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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 flattery 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, Shuffing 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; Voz. XXXVI.
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true
O happy peasant ! Oh unbappy bard!
Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound
Not that the Former of us all in this, Or aught he does, is govern'd by caprice ; The supposition is replete with sin, And bears the brand of blasphemy burnt in. Not so--the silver trumpet's beav'nly call Sounds for the poor, but sounds alike for all : Kings are invited, and would kings obey, No slaves on Earth more welcome were than they But royalty, nobility, and state, Are such a dead preponderating weight, 'That endless bliss (how strange soe'er it seem) In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam. 'Tis open and ye cannot enter-why? Because ye will not, Conyers would replyAnd he says much that many may dispute And cavil at with ease, but none refute.
() bless'd effect of penury and want,
Envy, ye great, the dull unletter'd small :
How readily upon the Gospel plan, That question 'has its answer-What is man? Sinful and weak, in ev'ry sense a wretch ; An instrument, whose chords upon the stretch, And strain'd to the last screw that he can bear, Yield only discord in his Maker's ear: Once the blest residence of truth divine, Glorious as Solyma's interior shrine, Where, in his own oracular abode, Dwelt visibly the light-creating God; But made long since, like Babylon of old, A den of mischiefs never to be told : And she, once mistress of the realms around, Now scatter'd wide, and no where to be found,
As soon shall rise and reascend the throne,
What shall the man deserve of humankind, Whose happy skill and industry combin'd Shall prove (what argument could never yet) The Bible an imposture and a cheat? The praises of the libertine profess'd, 'The worst of men, and curses of the best. Where should the living, weeping o'er his woes; The dying, trembling at the awful close ; Where the betray'd, forsaken, and oppress'd, The thousands whom the world forbids to rest, Where should they find (those comforts at an end The Scripture yields) ór hope to find, a friend ? Sorrow might muse herself to madness, then, And seeking exile from the sight of men, Bury herself in solitude profound, Grow frantic with her pangs, and bite the ground. Thus often Unbelief, grown sick of life, Flies to the tempting pool, or felon knife. The jury meet, the coroner is short, And lunacy the verdict of the court; ' Reverse the sentence, let the truth be known, Such lunacy is ignorance alone ; They knew not, what some bishops may not know, That Scripture is the only cure of woe ; That field of promise, how it fings abroad Its odour o'er the Christian's thorny road! The soul, reposing on assar'd relief, Feels herself happy amidst all her grief, Forgets her labour as she toils along, Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song.
But the same word, that, like the polish'd share, Ploughs up the roots of a believer's care, Kills too the flowory weeds, where'er they grow, That bind the sinner's Bacchanalian brow.