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It is not every one that talks loudest about doctrines and principles of faith-it is not every one who is ambitious of exalting his character by the cant of a party, who, if a heretic, thinks orthodoxy nonsense; or if orihodox, deems heresy to be worse than immorality-it is not every one who on the most trilling incidents runs on in a strain of spiritualization, giving a sanctimonious turn to every word that is dropped, and every object that is seen, in all sorts of company-it is not every one who is so violently bent on being thought somewhat wonderful in his way, that feels the impressions of real religion, and is most governed by its mild and steady influence through the trying vicissitudes of life.
The man who drops a tear in private over the follies and vices of his fellow-creatures; who, retired from the eye of the world, pours his ardent wishes into the bosom of his God, and there meekly records the pity of his heart; the man, who really desirous to have the true ends of his admonitions and remonstrances answered, consults the best time and place for administering them; the fittest and most engaging means---who discovers affection in his reproofs, and candour in his advices; such an one, whose uniforin example gives force and credit to his lessons, is an ornament to any character, and was lent by Heaven as a blessing to mankind.
A religious bigot, under the influence of rash and unguarded zeal, looking upon prudence as a more passable word for indifference, will break through every restraint as a shackle inconsistent with his duty, either as a zealot for one creed, or against all. He will hack the darling notions of those who differ from him, with upsparing rigour and unblushing insolence. And why is he so precipitate? Why does he not begin with more inildness, and proceed gradually to the correction of their errors and the improveinent of their understandings?“ No,” he will reply, “ by no means: for this is only temporizing, trimming; it is to be afraid of the faces of men, who must be told what is truth and what is error in the bluntest, plainest, and most resolute language.” But what does he get by his bold and forward attack on what he is pleased to call prejudices? He is only laughed at and despised by the more modest and discerning part of mankind for his petulance and vanity.
As to the gross herd of the people, their prejudices perhaps are only rivetted the firmer by his indiscreet methods of opposing them; or should he happen to cure them of some old ones, neither they nor their neighbours will gain
much by his skill, since the expulsion of one foul spirit may only clear the way for the admission of a fouler, who, to give the finishing hand to the work, may probably “ take with him seven other devils more wicked than himself; and so the last state of such men will be worse than the first !**
ALL truth is from the seinpiternal Source
Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome,
Drew from the stream below. More favour'd, we
Drink, when we choose it, at the fountain head.
To them it flow'd much mingled and defild
With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams
Illusive of philosophy, so calld,
But falsely. Sages after sages strove
In vain to filter off a crystal draught
Pure from the lees, which after more enhanc'd
The thirst than slak'd it, and not seldom bred
Intoxication and delirium wild.
In vain they push'd enquiry to the birth
And spring-time of the world ; ask'd, whence is man!
Why form’d at all? and wherefore as he is ?
Where must he find his Maker? with what rites
Adore him ? Will he hear, accept, and bless?
Or does he sit regardless of his works?
Has man within him an immortal seed ?
Or does the tomb take all? If he survive
His ashes, where ? and in wbat weal or woe?
Knots worthy of solution, which alone
A Deity couid solve. Their answers, vague,
And all at random, fabulous, and dark,
Left them as dark theinselves. Their rules of life,
Defective and unsanction'd, prov'd too weak
To bind the roving appetite, and lead
Blind nature to a God not yet reveal'd.
'Tis revelation satisfies all doubts,
Explains all mysteries, except her own,
And so illuminates the path of life,
That fools discover it, and stray no more.
Now tell me, dignified and sapient Sir,
My man of morals, nurtur'd in the shades
Of Academusis this false or true ?
Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools ?
If Christ, then why resort at ev'ry turn
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
Of man's occasions, when in him reside
Grace, knowledge, comfort-an unfathom'd store?
How oft, when Paul has serv'd us with a text,
Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully, preach'd !
Men that, if now alive, would sit content
And bumble learners of a Saviour's worth,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of truth,
Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too!
The only ainaranthine flow'r on earth
Is virtue; th' only lasting treasure, truth.
Bụt what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question, put
To Tryth itself, that deign'd him no reply.
And wherefore? will not God impart his light
To them that ask it ?—Truly~'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature, to impart.
But to the proud, uncandid, insincere,
Or negligent enquirer, not a spark.
What's that which brings contempt upon a book,
And him who writes it; though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact?
That makes a minister in holy things
The joy of many, and the dread of more,
His name a theme for praise and for reproach?
That, while it gives us worth in God's account,
Depreciates and undoes us in our own?
What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy,
That learning is too proud to gather up ;
But which the poor, and the despis'd of all,
Seek and obtain, and often find unsought?
Tell me and I will tell thee what is truth.
WHERE England, stretch'd towards the setting sun, Narrow and long, o'erlooks the western wave, Dwelt young Misagathus ; a scorner he Of God and goodness, atheist in ostent, Vicious in act, in temper savage-fierce. He journey'd ; and his chance was as he went,
To join a trav'ller, of far diff'rent note
Evander, famed for piety, for years,
Deserving honour, but for wisdom more.
Fame had not left the venerable mani
A stranger to the manners of the youth,
Whose face, too, was familiar to his view.
Their way was on the margin of the land,
O’er the green summit of the rocks, whose base
Beats back the roaring surge, scarce heard so high.
The charity that warm'd his heart was moved,
At sight of the man-monster. With a smile,
Gentle, and affable, and full of grace,
As fearful of offending whom he wish'd
Much to persuade, he plied his ear with truths
Not barshly thunder'd forth or rudely press’d
But, like his purpose, gracious, kind, and sweet.
“ And dost thou dream,” th’impenetrable man
Exclaim’d, “ that me, the lullabies of age,
And fantasies of dotards, such as thou,
Çan cheat, or move a moment's fear in me?
Mark now the proof I give thee, that the brave
Need no such aids as superstition lends
To steel their hearts against the dread of death."
He spoke, and to the precipice at hand
Push'd with a madman's fury. Fancy shrinks,
And the blood thrills and curdles, at the thought
Of such a gulf as he design’d his grave.
But though the felon on his back could dare
The dreadful leap, inore rational, his steed
Declin'd the deaih, and wheeling swiftly round,
Or ere his hoof had press'd the crumbling verge,
Baffled his rider, sav'd against his will!
The frenzy of the brain may be redress'd
By med'cine well applied, but without grace
The heart's insanity admits no cure.
Enrag'd the more, by what inight have reform'd
His horrible inteni, again he sought
Destruction, with a zeal to be destroy'd,
With sounding whip, and rowels dy'd in blood.
But still in vain. The Providence, that meant
A longer date to the far nobler beast,
Spar'd yet again the ignobler, for his sake.
And now, his prowess prov'd and his sincere
Incurable obduracy evinc'd,
His rage grew cool; and, pleas’d perhaps t' have earn'd
So cheaply the renown of that attempt,
With looks of some complacence he resum'd
His road, deriding much the blank amaze
Of good Evander, still where he was left
Fix'd motionless, and petrified with dread.
So on they far'd. Discourse on other themes
Ensuing, seem'd t'obliterate the past;
And, tamer far for so much fury shown
(As is the course of rash and fiery men)
The rude companion smild, as if transform'd.
But 'twas a transient calm. A storm was near,
An unsuspected storm. His hour was come.
The impious challenger of Pow'r Divine
Was now to learn, that Heav'n, though slow to wrath,
Is never with impunity defied.
His horse as he had caught his master's mood :
Snorting, and starting into sudden rage,
Unbidden, and not now to be controld,
Rush'd to the cliff, and, having reach'd it, stood.
At once the shock unseated him: he flew
Sheer o'er the craggy barrier; and, immers'd
Deep in the flood, found, when he sought it not,
The death he had deserv'd-and died alone!
So God wrought double justice; made the fool
The victim of his own tremendous choice,
And taught a brute the way to safe revenge.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PULPIT AND PREACHER.
- THE pulpit-(and I name it fill'd
With solem awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing)
The pulpit (when the sat'rist has at last,
Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school,
Spent all his force and made po proselyte)
I say the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs)
Must stand acknowledg'd, while the world shall stand
The most intportant and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament, of virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth; there stands
The legate of the skies |--His theine divine,