« ForrigeFortsett »
True bliss, if man may reach it, is compos'd Of hearts in union mutually disclos'd; And, farewell else all hope of pure delight, Those hearts should be reclaim'd, renew'd, upright. Bad men, profaning friendship's hallow'd name, Form, in it's stead, a covenant of shame, A dark confed'racy against the laws Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause: They build each other up with dreadful skill, As bastions set point blank against God's will; Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt, Deeply resolv'd to shut a Saviour out: Call legions up from Hell to back the deed; And, curs'd with conquest, finally succeed. But souls, that carry on a blest exchange Of joys, they meet with in their heav'nly range, And with a fearless confidence make known The sorrows, sympathy esteems it's own, Daily derive increasing light and force From such communion in their pleasant course, Feel less the journey's roughness and it's length, Meet their opposers with united strength, And, one in heart, in int'rest, and design, Gird up each other to the race divine.
But Conversation, choose what theme we may, And chiefly when religion leads the way, Should flow, like waters after summer show'rs, Not as if rais'd by mere mechanic pow'rs. The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress'd, Lives the dear thought of joys he once possess'd, When all his glowing language issued forth With God's deep stamp upon it's current worth, Will speak without disguise, and must impart, Sad as it is, his undissembling heart, Abhors constraint, and dares not feign a zeal, Or seem to boast a fire he does not feel. The song of Sion is a tasteless thing, Unless, when rising on a joyful wing, The soul can mix with the celestial bands, And give the strain the compass it demands.
Strange tidings these to tell a World, who treat All but their own experience as deceit! Will they believe, though credulous enough, To swallow much upon much weaker proof, That there are blest inhabitants of Earth, Partakers of a new ethereal birth, Their hopes, desires, and purposes estrang'd From things terrestrial, and divinely chang'd,
Their very language of a kind, that speaks The soul's sure int'rest in the good she seeks, Who deal with Scripture, its importance felt, As Tully with philosophy once dealt, And in the silent watches of the night, And through the scenes of toil-renewing light. The social walk, or solitary ride, Keep still the dear companion at their side? No—shame upon a self-disgracing age, God's work may serve an ape upon a stage With such a jest, as fill'd with hellish glee Certain invisibles as shrewd as he; But veneration or respect finds none, Save from the subjects of that work alone. The World grown old her deep discernment shows, Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose, Peruses closely the true Christian's face, And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace; Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare, And finds hypocrisy close lurking there; And, serving God herself through mere constraint, Concludes his unfeign'd love of him a feint. And yet, God knows, look human nature through, (And in due time the World shall know it too)
That since the flow'rs of Eden felt the blast,
That while she dotes, and dreams that she believes,
She mocks her Maker, and herself deceives,
Her utmost reach, historical assent,
The doctrines warp'd to what they never meant;
That truth itself is in her head as dull
And useless as a candle in a scull,
And all her love of God a groundless claim,
A trick upon the canvass, painted flame.
Tell her again, the sneer upon her face,
And all her censures of the work of grace,
Are insincere, meant only to conceal
A dread she would not, yet is forc'd to feel;
That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
And while she seems to scorn him, only fears.
A poet does not work by square or line, As smiths and joiners perfect a design; At least we moderns, our attention less, Beyond th' example of our sires digress, And claim a right to scamper and run wide, Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide. The World and I fortuitously met; I ow'd a trifle, and have paid the debt; She did me wrong, I recompens'd the deed, . And, having struck the balance, now proceed.