Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routes, familiar with a round
Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepared by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of the world

To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride ;-
From such apostles, O ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On sculls that cannot teach, and will not learn 19.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.

I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain;
And plain in manner. Decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture. Much impress'd
Himself, as conscious of his aweful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too.

Affectionate in look,

And tender in address, as well becomes

A messenger of grace to guilty men.

Behold the picture !—Is it like ?-Like whom?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again; pronounce a text,
Cry, hem; and reading what they never wrote,—
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene.

19 We could not teach, and must despair to learn.
Book vi. 620.







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

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
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,

S. C.-9.







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.
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!
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
Respectful of the smutch'd artificer 22
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?
Ah spare your idol! think him human still;

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.

22 Another lean unwashed artificer.

Young. Satire i.

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
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,

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.

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



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A Deity could solve. Their answers vague
And all at random, fabulous and dark,

Defective and unsanction'd, proved too weak

Left them as dark themselves. Their rules of life

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,


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