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That hides divinity from mortal eyes,
fare The world takes little thought; who will may preach, And what they will. All pastors are alike 890 To wandering sheep, resolved to follow none. Two gods divide them all, Pleasure and Gain. For these they live, they sacrifice to these, And in their service wage perpetual war
894 With conscience and with thee. Lust in their hearts, And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth To prey upon each other; stubborn, fierce, High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace. Thy prophets speak of such ; and noting down The features of the last degenerate times, Exhibit
lineament of these. Come then, and added to thy many crowns Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest, Due to thy last and most effectual work, Thy word fulfilled, the conquest of a world ! 905
He is the happy man, whose life even now Shows somewhat of that happier life to come; Who doomed to an obscure but tranquil state
Is pleased with it, and were he free to choose 25, Would make his fate his choice ; whom peace, the fruit Of virtue, and whom virtue, fruit of faith,
911 Prepare for happiness; bespeak him one Content indeed to sojourn while he must Below the skies, but having there his home. The world o'erlooks him in her busy search 915 Of objects more illustrious in her view; And occupied as earnestly as she, Though more sublimely, he o'erlooks the world. She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not ; He seeks not hers, for he has proved them vain. 920 He cannot skim the ground like summer birds Pursuing gilded flies, and such he deems Her honours, her emoluments, her joys. Therefore in contemplation is his bliss,
924 Whose power is such, that whom she lifts from earth She makes familiar with a heaven unseen, And shows him glories yet to be reveal’d. Not slothful he, though seeming unemployed, And censured oft as useless. Stillest 26 streams Oft water fairest meadows, and the bird
25 He has a heart, as Marvel expresses it, to make his destiny his choice.
Elia, vol. ii.
p. 206. 2 How seldom do we look through the form and circumstances of affairs into their real importance; and how much are we led to rate them by the stir and noise with which they are attended !
But we might reflect that the most perfect and beneficial agency is exerted without precipitation or tumult; that all the planetary revolutions are performed in majestic order and silence, and with less impression upon the senses than the motions of a water mill.
Rural Philosophy, by Ely Bates.
That flutters least is longest on the wing 27.
27 Like virtue, thriving most where little seen.
Book iii, 664.
Excursion, p. 7. 28 He deserves the name of a great and good man, who serves God, and is a friend to mankind, and receives the most ungrateful returns from the world, and endures them with a calm and composed mind; who dares look scorn and death and infamy in the face, who can stand forth unmoved and patiently bear to be derided as a fool and an idiot, to be pointed out as a madman and an enthusiast, to be reviled, &c. He who can pass through these trials is a conqueror indeed, and what the world calls courage scarcely deserves that name when compared to this behaviour.
Jortin's Discourses, ii. p. 125.
And think on her, who thinks not for herself. 950
970 Holds no ignoble, though a slighted place. The man whose virtues are more felt than seen, Must drop indeed the hope of public praise ; But he may boast what few that win it can, That if his country stand not by his skill,
975 At least his follies have not wrought her fall. Polite refinement offers him in vain Her golden tube, through which a sensual world Draws gross impurity, and likes it well, The neat conveyance hiding all the offence. 980 Not that he peevishly rejects a mode
Because that world adopts it 29 : if it bear
29 Though wrong the mode, comply; more sense is shown In wearing others' follies than your own.
Young. Satire iv.
Pope. Essay on Crit. ii. 338.