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Then truth is hush'd, that heresy may preach ;
And all is trash that reason cannot teach :
Then God's own image, on the soul impressid,
Becomes a mockery and a standing jest ;
And faith, the root whence only can arise
The graces of a life that wins the skies,
Loses at once all value and esteem,
Pronounc'd by grey beards—a pernicious dream :
Then ceremony leads her bigois forth,
Prepar'd to fight for shadows of no worth;
While truths, on which eternal things depend,
Find not, or hardly find, a single friend :
As soldiers watch the signal of command,
They learn to bow, to kneel, to sit, to stand ;
Happy to fill religion's vacant place
With hollow form, and gesture, and grimace.

Such, when the teacher of his church was there, People and priest the sons of Israel were ; Stiff in the letter, lax in the design And import, of their oracles divine ; Their learning legendary, false, absurd, And yet exalted above God's own word; They drew a curse from an intended good, Puff'd up with gifts they never understood. He judg'd them with as terrible a frown, As if not love, but wrath, had brought him down : Yet he was gentle as soft summer airs ; Had grace for others' sins, but none for their's. Through all he spoke a noble plainness ran Rhetoric is artifice, the work of man;

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And tricks and turns, that fancy may devise, Are far too mean for Him that rules the skies. Th' astonishid vulgar trembled while he tore The mask from faces never seen before : He stripp'd th' impostors in the noon-day sun ; Shew'd that they follow'd all they seem'd to shun; Their prayers made public, their excesses kept As private as the chambers where they slept ; The temple and its holy rites profan'd By mummeries he that dwelt in it disdain'd; Uplifted hands, that at convenient times Could act extortion and the worst of crimes, Wash'd with a neatness scrupulously nice, And free from every taint but that of vice. Judgment, however tardy, mends her pace When obstinacy once has conquer'd grace. They saw distemper heal’d, and life restor's, In answer to the fiat of his word; Confess'd the wonder, and, with daring tongue, Blasphem'd th' authority from which it sprung. They knew, by sure prognostics seen on high, The future tone and temper of the sky; But, grave dissemblers ! could not understand, That sin, let loose, speaks punishment at hand.

Ask now of history's authentic page,
And call up evidence from every age ;
Display with busy and laborious hand
The blessings of the most indebted land:
What nation will you find, whose annals prove
So rich an interest in Almighty love?

Where dwell they now, where dwelt in ancient day,
A people planted, water'd, blest, as they?
Let Egypt's plagues and Canaan's woes proclaim
The favours pour'd upon the Jewish name-
Their freedom, purchas'd for them at the cost
Of all their hard oppressors valued most ;
Their title to a country not their own
Made sure by prodigies till then unknown ;
For them, the states they left, made waste and void ;
For them, the states to which they went, destroy'd;
A cloud to measure out their march by day,
By night a fire to cheer the gloomy way;
That moving signal summoning, when best,
Their host to move ; and when it stay'd, to rest.
For them the rocks dissolvd into a flood,
The dews condens'd into angelic food ;
Their very garments sacred-old, yet new,
And time forbid to touch them as he flew ;
Streams, swell'd above the bank, enjoin'd to stand,
While they pass'd through to their appointed land;
Their leader arm'd with meekness, zeal and love,
And grac'd with clear credentials from above ;
Themselves secur'd beneath th' Almighty wing ;
Their God their captain, * lawgiver, and king ;
Crown'd with a thousand victories, and at last
Lords of the conquer'd soil, there rooted fast,
In peace possessing what they won by war,
Their name far publish'd, and rever'd as far ;
Where will you find a race like theirs, endow'd
With all that men e'er wish'd, or Heaven bestow'd ?

Vide Joshua Y. 14.

They, and they only, amongst all mankind, Receiv'd the transcript of th' Eternal Mind ; Were trusted with his own engraven laws, And constituted guardians of his cause ; Theirs were the prophets, theirs the priestly call, And theirs, by birth, the Saviour of us all. In vain the nations, that had seen them rise With fierce and envious, yet admiring eyes, Had sought to crush them, guarded as they were By power divine, and skill that could not err. Had they maintain's allegiance firm and sure, And kept the faith immaculate and pure, Then the proud eagles of all-conquering Rome Had found one city not to be o'ercome ; And the twelve standards of the tribes unfurl'd Had bid defiance to the warring world. But grace, abus'd, brings forth the foulest deeds, As richest soil the most luxuriant weeds. Cur'd of the golden calves, their fathers’ sin, They set up self, that idol god within ; View'd a Deliverer with disdain and hate, Who left them still a tributary state ; Seiz'd fast his hand, held out to set them free From a worse yoke, and nail'd it to the tree : There was the consummation and the crown, The flower of Israel's infamy full blown : Thence date their sad declension and their fall ; Their woes, not yet repeal'd-thence date them all!

Thus fell the best instructed in her day, And the most favour'd land, look where we may.

Philosophy, indeed, on Grecian eyes
Had pour'd the day, and clear'd the Roman skies ;
In other climes, perhaps, creative art,
With power surpassing theirs, perform'd her part;
Might give more life to marble, or might fill
The glowing tablets with a juster skill,
Might shine in fable, and grace idle themes
With all th' embroidery of poetic dreams :
"Twas theirs alone to dive into the plan,
That truth and mercy had reveal'd to man ;
And, while the world beside, that plan unknown,
Deified useless wood or senseless stone,
They breath'd in faith their well-directed prayers,
And the true Godthe God of truth-was theirs,

Their glory faded, and their race dispers'd ;
The last of nations now, though once the first ;
They warn and teach the proudest, would they learn,
Keep wisdom, or meet vengeance in your turn :
If we escap'd not, if Heaven spar'd not us,
Peeld, scatter'd, and exterminated, thus ;
If vice receiv'd her retribution due
When we were visited, what hope for you?
When God arises, with an awful frown,

To punish lust, or pluck presumption down ;
When gifts perverted, or not duly priz'd,
Pleasure o’ervalued, and his grace despis'd,
Provoke the vengeance of his righteous hand
To pour down wrath upon a thankless land ;
He will be found impartially severe ;
Too just to wink, or speak the guilty clear.

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