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- The Borough - 6/45 -


But these are men who yield such blest relief, That with the grievance they destroy the grief; Their timely aid the needy sufferers find, Their generous manner soothes the suffering mind; There is a gracious bounty, form'd to raise Him whom it aids; their charity is praise; A common bounty may relieve distress, But whom the vulgar succour they oppress; This though a favour is an honour too, Though Mercy's duty, yet 'tis Merit's due; When our relief from such resources rise, All painful sense of obligation dies; And grateful feelings in the bosom wake, For 'tis their offerings, not their alms we take. "Long may these founts of Charity remain, And never shrink, but to be fill'd again; True! to the Author they are now confined, To him who gave the treasure of his mind, His time, his health,--and thankless found mankind: But there is hope that from these founts may flow A side-way stream, and equal good bestow; Good that may reach us, whom the day's distress Keeps from the fame and perils of the Press; Whom Study beckons from the Ills of Life, And they from Study; melancholy strife! Who then can say, but bounty now so free, And so diffused, may find its way to me? "Yes! I may see my decent table yet Cheer'd with the meal that adds not to my debt; May talk of those to whom so much we owe, And guess their names whom yet we may not know; Blest, we shall say, are those who thus can give, And next who thus upon the bounty live; Then shall I close with thanks my humble meal. And feel so well--Oh, God! how shall I feel!" {2}

LETTER IV.

. . . . . . . . . . . But cast your eyes again And view those errors which new sects maintain, Or which of old disturbed the Church's peaceful reign; And we can point each period of the time When they began and who begat the crime; Can calculate how long th' eclipse endured; Who interposed; what digits were obscured; Of all which are already passed away We knew the rise, the progress, and decay. DRYDEN, Hind and Panther

Oh, said the Hind, how many sons have you Who call you mother, whom you never knew! But most of them who that relation plead Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead; They gape at rich revenues which you hold, And fain would nibble at your grandame gold. ibid. --------------------

SECTS AND PROFESSIONS IN RELIGION.

Sects and Professions in Religion are numerous and successive-- General effect of false Zeal--Deists--Fanatical Idea of Church Reformers--The Church of Rome--Baptists--Swedenborgians-- Univerbalists--Jews--Methodists of two Kinds: Calvinistic and Arminian--The Preaching of a Calvinistic Enthusiast--His contempt of Learning--Dislike to sound Morality: why--His Ideas of Conversion-- His Success and Pretensions to Humility. The Arminian Teacher of the older Flock--Their Notions of the operations and power of Satan- -Description of his Devices--Their opinion of regular Ministers-- Comparison of these with the Preacher himself--A Rebuke to his Hearers; introduces a description of the powerful Effects of the Word in the early and awakening Days of Methodism.

"SECTS in Religion?"--Yes of every race We nurse some portion in our favour'd place; Not one warm preacher of one growing sect Can say our Borough treats him with neglect: Frequent as fashions they with us appear, And you might ask, "how think we for the year?" They come to us as riders in a trade, And with much art exhibit and persuade. Minds are for Sects of various kinds decreed, As diff'rent soils are formed for diff'rent seed; Some when converted sigh in sore amaze, And some are wrapt in joy's ecstatic blaze; Others again will change to each extreme, They know not why--as hurried in a dream; Unstable, they, like water, take all forms, Are quick and stagnant; have their calms and storms; High on the hills, they in the sunbeams glow, Then muddily they move debased and slow; Or cold and frozen rest, and neither rise nor flow. Yet none the cool and prudent Teacher prize. On him ther dote who wakes their ectasies; With passions ready primed such guide they meet, And warm and kindle with th' imparted heat; 'Tis he who wakes the nameless strong desire, The melting rapture and the glowing fire; 'Tis he who pierces deep the tortured breast, And stirs the terrors never more to rest. Opposed to these we have a prouder kind, Rash without heat, and without raptures blind; These our Glad Tidings unconcern'd peruse, Search without awe, and without fear refuse; The truths, the blessings found in Sacred Writ, Call forth their spleen, and exercise their wit; Respect from these nor saints nor martyrs gain, The zeal they scorn, and they deride the pain: And take their transient, cool, contemptuous view, Of that which must be tried, and doubtless may be true. Friends of our Faith we have, whom doubts like these, And keen remarks, and bold objections please; They grant such doubts have weaker minds oppress'd, Till sound conviction gave the troubled rest. "But still," they cry, "let none their censures spare. They but confirm the glorious hopes we share; From doubt, disdain, derision, scorn, and lies, With five-fold triumph sacred Truth shall rise." Yes! I allow, so Truth shall stand at last, And gain fresh glory by the conflict past: - As Solway-Moss (a barren mass and cold, Death to the seed, and poison to the fold), The smiling plain and fertile vale o'erlaid, Choked the green sod, and kill'd the springing blade; That, changed by culture, may in time be seen Enrich'd by golden grain and pasture green; And these fair acres rented and enjoy'd May those excel by Solway-Moss destroy'd. Still must have mourn'd the tenant of the day, For hopes destroy'd, and harvests swept away; To him the gain of future years unknown, The instant grief and suffering were his own: So must I grieve for many a wounded heart, Chill'd by those doubts which bolder minds impart: Truth in the end shall shine divinely clear, But sad the darkness till those times appear; Contests for truth, as wars for freedom, yield Glory and joy to those who gain the field: But still the Christian must in pity sigh For all who suffer, and uncertain die. Here are, who all the Church maintains approve, But yet the Church herself they will not love; In angry speech, they blame the carnal tie Which pure Religion lost her spirit by; What time from prisons, flames, and tortures led, She slumber'd careless in a royal bed; To make, they add, the Church's glory shine, Should Diocletian reign, not Constantine. "In pomp," they cry, "is "England's Church array'd, Her cool Reformers wrought like men afraid; We would have pull'd her gorgeous temples down, And spurn'd her mitre, and defiled her gown: We would have trodden low both bench and stall, Nor left a tithe remaining, great or small." Let us be serious--Should such trials come. Are they themselves prepared for martyrdom? It seems to us that our reformers knew Th' important work they undertook to do; An equal priesthood they were loth to try, Lest zeal and care should with ambition die; To them it seem'd that, take the tenth away, Yet priests must eat, and you must feed or pay: Would they indeed, who hold such pay in scorn, Put on the muzzle when they tread the corn? Would they all, gratis, watch and tend the fold, Nor take one fleece to keep them from the cold? Men are not equal, and 'tis meet and right That robes and titles our respect excite; Order requires it; 'tis by vulgar pride That such regard is censured and denied; Or by that false enthusiastic zeal, That thinks the Spirit will the priest reveal, And show to all men, by their powerful speech, Who are appointed and inspired to teach: Alas! could we the dangerous rule believe, Whom for their teacher should the crowd receive? Since all the varying kinds demand respect, All press you on to join their chosen sect, Although but in this single point agreed, "Desert your churches and adopt our creed." We know full well how much our forms offend The burthen'd Papist and the simple Friend: Him, who new robes for every service takes, And who in drab and beaver sighs and shakes; He on the priest, whom hood and band adorn, Looks with the sleepy eye of silent scorn; But him I would not for my friend and guide, Who views such things with spleen, or wears with pride. See next our several Sects,--but first behold The Church of Rome, who here is poor and old: Use not triumphant raillery, or, at least, Let not thy mother be a whore and beast; Great was her pride indeed in ancient times, Yet shall we think of nothing but her crimes? Exalted high above all earthly things, She placed her foot upon the neck of kings;


The Borough - 6/45

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