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What purpose has the King of saints in view ? Why falls the Gospel like a gracious dew? To call up plenty from the teeming earth, Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth? Is it that Adam's offspring may be sav'd From servile fear, or be the more enslav’d? To loose the links that gall’d mankind before, Or bind them faster on, and add still more ? The freeborn Christian has no chains to prove, Or, if a chain, the golden one of love : No fear attends to quench his glowing fires, What fear he feels, his gratitude inspires. Shall he, for such deliv'rance freely wrought, Recompense ill? He trembles at the thought. His Master's int’rest and his own combin'd Prompt ev'ry movement of his heart and mind : Thought, word, and deed, his liberty evince, His freedom is the freedom of a prince.
Man's obligations infinite, of course His life should prove that he perceives their force ; His utmost he can render is but smallThe principle and motive all in all. You have two servants Tom, an arch, sly rogue, From top to toe the Geta now in vogue, Genteel in figure, easy in address, Moves without noise, and swift as an express, Reports a message with a pleasing grace, Expert in all the duties of his place; Say, on what hinge does his obedience move ? Has he a world of gratitude and love ? No, not a spark—'tis all mere sharper's play ; He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay; Reduce his wages, or get rid of her, Tom quits you, with—Your most obedient, Sir.
The dinner servd, Charles takes his usual stand, Watches your eye, anticipates command; Sighs if perhaps your appetite should fail; And if he but suspects a frown, turns pale;
Consults all day your int'rest and your ease,
Now which stands highest in your serious thought ? Charles, without doubt, say you—and so he ought; One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds, Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds.
Thus Heav'n approves, as honest and sincere, The work of gen'rous love and filial fear; But with averted eyes th' omniscient Judge Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge. Where dwell these matchless saints ? old Curio cries. E’en at your side, Sir, and before your eyes, The favour'd few—th' enthusiasts you despise. And pleas’d at heart, because on holy ground Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found, Reproach a people with his single fall, And cast his filthy raiment at them all; Attend !--an apt similitude shall show Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain, Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain, Peal upon peal redoubling all around, Shakes it again and faster to the ground; Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play, Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away. Ere yet it came the tray'ller urg'd his steed, And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed; Now drench'd throughout, and hopeless of his case, He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace. Suppose, unlook'd for in a scene so rude, Long hid by interposing hill or wood, Some mansion, neat and elegantly dress’d, By some kind hospitable heart possess’d, Offer him warmth, security, and rest; Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease, He hears the tempest howling in the trees;
What glowing thanks his lips and heart employ,
Some lead a life unblameable and just,
That plea refuted, other quirks they seek-
Come then-a still, small whisper in your ear--
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare; Learning is one, and wit, however rare. The Frenchman, first in literary fame, (Mention him if you please. Voltaire ? –The same,) With spirit, genius, eloquence, supplied, Liv'd long, wrote much, laugh'd heartily, and died. The Scripture was his jest-book, whence he drew Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew; An infidel in health, but what when sick ? Oh-then a text would touch him at the quick: View him at Paris in his last career, Surrounding throngs the demigod revere ; Exalted on his pedestal of pride, And fum'd with frankincense on ev'ry side. He begs their flatt'ry with his latest breath, And smother'd in't at last, is prais'd to death.
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, Pillow and bobbins all her little store; Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay, Shuffling her threads about the livelong day, Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light; She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, Has little understanding, and no wit, Receives no praise; but, though her lot be such, (Toilsome and indigent) she renders much; Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible trueA truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew; And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes Her title to a treasure in the skies.
O, happy peasant! Oh, unhappy bard!
Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound
Not that the Former of us all, in this,
ye cannot enter-why ?