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But reason heard, and nature well perus’d,
At once the dreaming mind is disabus'd.
If all we find possessing earth, sea, air,
Reflect his attributes who plac'd them there,
Fulfil the purpose, and appear design'd
Proofs of the wisdom of th' all-feeing mind,
'Tis plain, the creature whom he chose t'inveft
With kingship and dominion o'er the rest,
Receiv'd his nobler nature, and was made
Fit for the power in which he stands array'd,
That first or last, hereafter if not here,
He too might make his author's wisdom clear,
Praise him on earth, or, obstinately dumb,
Sụffer his justice in a world to come.
This once believ'd, 'twere logic misapplied
To prove a consequence by none denied,
That we are bound to cast the minds of youth
Betimes into the mould of heav'nly truth,
That taught of God they may indeed be wise,
Nor ignorantly wand'ring miss the skies.
In early days the conscience has in most A quickness, which in later life is loft, Preservd from guilt by falutary fears, Or, guilty, foon relenting into tears. Too careless often, as our years proceed, What friends we fort with, or what books we read, Our parents yet exert a prudent care To feed our infant minds with proper fare, And wisely store the nurs’ry, by degrees, With wholesome learning, yet acquir'd with ease. Neatly secur'd from being soild or torn, Beneath a pane of thin translucent horn, A bouk (to please us at a tender age 'Tis call'd a book, though but a single page) Presents the pray’r the Saviour deign'd to teach, Which children use, and parsons when they preach. Lifping our syllables, we scramble next Through moral narrative, or facred text, And learn with wonder how this world began, Who made, who marr'd, and who has ransom'd man,
Points, which unless the Scripture made them plain, The wiseft heads might agitate in vain. Oh thou, whom borne on fancy's eager wing Back to the season of life's happy spring, I pleas'd remember, and while mem'ry yet Holds fast her office here, can ne'er forget, Ingenious dreamer, in whose well told-tale Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail, Whose hum'rous vein, strong senfe, and simple style, May teach the gayest, make the graveft smile, Witty, and well employ'd, and like thy Lord, Speaking in parables his lighted word, I name thee not, test fo despis'd a name Should move a sneer at thy deserved fame; Yet ev'n in transitory life's late day, That mingles all my brown with sober
grey, Revere the man, whose Pilgrim marks the road, And guides the Progrefs of the soul to God. "Twere well with most, if books that could
engage Their childhood, pleas'd them at a riper age;
The man, approving what had charm’d the boy,
Would die at last in comfort, peace, and joy,
And not with curses on his art who stole
gem of truth from his unguarded soul.
The stamp of artless piety, impress’d
By kind tuition on his yielding breast,
The youth now bearded, and yet pert and raw,
Regards with scorn, though once receiv'd with awe,
And, warp'd into the labyrinth of lies,
That babblers, call’d philosophers, devise,
Blasphemes his creed, as founded on a plan
Replete with dreams, unworthy of a man.
Touch but his nature in its ailing part,
Affert the native evil of his heart,
His pride resents the charge, although the proof *
Rise in his forehead, and seem rank enough ;
Point to the cure, describe a Saviour's cross
As God's expedient to retrieve his loss,
# See 2 Chron. ch. xxvi. ver. 19.
The young apoftate sickens at the view,
And hates it with the malice of a Jew.
How weak the barrier of mere nature proves,
Oppos'd against the pleasures nature loves !
While self-betray'd, and wilfully undone,
She longs to yield, no fooner woo'd than won.
Try now the merits of this blest exchange
Of modest truth for wit's eccentric range.
'Time was, he clos'd as he began the day
With decent duty, not asham'd to pray ;
The practice was a bond upon his heart, ,
A pledge he gave for a consistent part,
Nor could he dare presumptuously difplease
A pow'r confefs'a so lately on his knees.
But now, farewell all legendary tales,
The shadows fly, philofophy prevails ;
Pray'r to the winds, and caution to the waves,
Religion makes the free by nature slaves,