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In man or woman, but far most in man, And most of all in man that ministers

415 And serves the altar, in my soul I loath All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn ; Object of my implacable disgust. What !—will a man play tricks, will he indulge A silly fond conceit of his fair form

420 And just proportion, fashionable mien And pretty face, in presence of his God? Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes, As with the diamond on his lily hand, And play his brilliant parts before my eyes

425 When I am hungry for the bread of life? He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames His noble office, and instead of truth Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock. Therefore avaunt! all attitude and stare

430 And start theatric, practised at the glass. I seek divine simplicity in him Who handles things divine; and all beside, Though learn'd with labour, and though much admired By curious eyes and judgements ill-inform’d, 435 To me is odious as the nasal twang Heard at conventicle 20, where worthy men Misled by custom, strain celestial themes

20 In the first edition thus

At conventicle heard, where worthy men.
He used to lay about and stickle,
Like ram or bull at conventicle.

Hudibras, 1. ii. 438.
A conventicle flush'd his greener years.

Dispensary, Canto iv.

Through the prest nostril, spectacle-bestrid.
Some, decent in demeanour while they preach, 410
That task perform'd, relapse into themselves,
And having spoken wisely, at the close
Grow wanton, and give proof to every eye,
Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not.
Forth comes the pocket mirror. First we stroke 445
An eyebrow; next, compose a straggling lock ;
Then with an air, most gracefully perform'd,
Fall back into our seat; extend an arm
And lay it at its ease with gentle care,
With handkerchief in hand, depending low. 450
The better hand more busy, gives the nose
Its bergamot, or aids the indebted eye
With opera glass to watch the moving scene,
And recognize the slow-retiring fair.
Now this is fulsome, and offends me more 455
Than in a churchman slovenly neglect
And rustic coarseness would. An heavenly mind
May be indifferent to her house of clay,
And slight the hovel as beneath her care ;
But how a body so fantastic, trim,

460 And quaint in its deportment and attire, Can lodge an heavenly mind,-demands a doubt.

He that negotiates between God and man, As God's ambassador, the grand concerns Of judgement and of mercy, should beware 465 Of lightness in his speech. 'Tis pitiful To court a grin, when you should woo a soul; To break a jest, when pity would inspire Pathetic exhortation; and to address The skittish fancy with facetious tales,

470 S. C.-9.

I

When sent with God's commission to the heart.
So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip
Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,
And I consent you take it for your text,
Your only one, till sides and benches fail.

475
No: he was serious in a serious cause,
And understood too well the weighty terms
That he had ta’en in charge. He would not stoop
To conquer those by jocular exploits,
Whom truth and soberness assail'd in vain. 480

Oh, popular applause 21 ! what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms?
The wisest and the best feel urgent need
Of all their caution in thy gentlest gales ;
But swell’d into a gust.-who then, alas !

485
With all his canvass set, and inexpert
And therefore heedless, can withstand thy power?
Praise from the rivel'd lips of toothless, bald
Decrepitude; and in the looks of lean
And craving poverty; and in the bow

490 Respectful of the smutch'd artificer Is oft too welcome, and may much disturb The bias of the purpose. How much more Pour'd forth by beauty splendid and polite, In language soft as adoration breathes ?

495 Ah spare your idol! think him human still;

22

21 The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art,

Reigns more or less, and glows, in every heart;
The proud to gain it, toils on toils endure,
The modest shun it but to make it sure.

Young. Satire i. 22 Another lean unwashed artificer,

King John.

Charms he may have, but he has frailties too;
Dote not too much, nor spoil what ye

admire.
All truth is from the sempiternal source
Of light divine. But Egypt, Greece, and Rome 500
Drew from the stream below. More favour'd we
Drink, when we chuse it, at the fountain head.
To them it flow'd much mingled and defiled
With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams
Illusive of philosophy, so call’d,

505 But falsely. Sages after sages strove In vain, to filter off a chrystal draught Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced The thirst than slaked it, and not seldom bred Intoxication and delirium wild.

510 In vain they push'd enquiry to the birth And spring-time of the world, asked, 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 what weal or woe? Knots worthy of solution, which alone

520 A Deity could solve. Their answers vague And all at random, fabulous and dark, Left them as dark themselves. Their rules of life Defective and unsanction'd, proved too weak To bind the roving appetite, and lead

525 Blind Nature to a God not yet reveal'd. 'Tis Revelation satisfies all doubts, Explains all mysteries except her own,

515

And so illuminates the path of life
That fools discover it, and stray no more.

530
Now tell me, dignified and sapient sir,
My man of morals, nurtured in the shades
Of Academus, is this false or true ?
Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools ?
If Christ, then why resort at every turn

535 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 served us with a text, Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully preach'd !

540 Men that, if now alive, would sit content And humble learners of a Saviour's worth, Preach it who might 23. Such was their love of truth, Their thirst of knowledge, and their candour too.

And thus it is. The pastor, either vain 545 By nature, or by flattery made so, taught To gaze at his own splendour, and to exalt Absurdly, not his office, but himself; Or unenlighten'd, and too proud to learn, Or vicious, and not therefore apt to teach, Perverting often by the stress of lewd And loose example, whom he should instruct, Exposes and holds up to broad disgrace The noblest function, and discredits much The brightest truths that man has ever seen. For ghostly counsel, if it either fall Below the exigence, or be not back'd 23 Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure

intent Would have been held in high esteem with Paul.

Milton, Sonnet xix.

550

555

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