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The spells and charms, that blinded you before, All vanish there, and fascinate no more,
I am no preacher, let this hint suffice The cross, once seen, is death to every vice : Else he that hung there suffer'd all his pain, Bled, groan'd, and agoniz'd, and died, in vain.
Pensantur trutina.----Hor. Lib. II. Epist. 1.
on the dubious waves of error tossid,
wrongs Take it, and perish; but restrain your tongue. Charge not, with light sufficient, and left free, Your wilful suicide on God's decree.
Oh how unlike the complex works of man, Heaven's easy, artless, unincumber'd, plan! No meretricious graces to beguile, No clustering ornaments to clog the pile ; From ostentation, as from weakness free, It stands like the cerulean arch we see, Majestic in its own simplicity. Inscrib'd above the portal, from afar Conspicuous as the brightness of a star, Legible only by the light they give, Stand the soul-quickening words-BELIEVE AND LIVE! Too many, shock'd at what should charm them most, Despise the plain direction, and are lost. Heaven on such terms ! (they cry with proud disdain) Incredible, impossible, and vain ! Rebel, because 'tis easy to obey ; And scorn, for its own sake, the gracious way. These are the sober, in whose cooler brains Some thought of immortality remains ; The rest, too busy, or too gay, to wait On the sad theme, their everlasting state, Sport for a day, and perish in a night ; The foam upon the waters not so light.
Who judg'd the pharisee ? What odious cause
Sit long and late at the carousing board ?
The self-applauding bird, the peacock, see-
Not so the pheasant on his charms presumes ;
His dwelling a recess in some rude rock ; Book, beads, and maple-dish, his meagre stock : In shirt of hair and, weeds of canvass dress'd, Girt with a bell-rope that the pope has bless'd; Adust with stripes, told out for every crime, And sore tormented, long before his time; His prayer preferr'd to saints that cannot aid ; His praise postpon’d and never to be paid ; See the sage hermit, by mankind admir'd, With all that bigotry adopts inspir’d, Wearing out life in his religious whim, Till his religious whimsy wears out him. His works, his abstinence, his zeal, allow'd, You think him humble-God accounts him proud. High in demand, though lowly in pretence, Of all his conduct this the genuine sense My penitential stripes, my streaming blood, Have purchas'd heaven, and prove my title good.
Turn Eastward now, and fancy shall apply
Which is the saintlier worthy of the two ? Past all dispute, yon anchorite, say you.