Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

}

“One in herself, not rent by schism, but sound, Entire, one solid shining diamond; Not sparkles, shatter'd into sects, like you ; One is the church, and must be, to be true : One central principal of unity, As undivided, so from errors free, As one in faith, so one in sanctity. Thus she, and none but she, the’ insulting rage Of heretics oppos'd from age to age: Still when the giant brood invades her throne, She stoops from Heaven, and meets 'em half way

down, And with paternal thunder vindicates her crown. But like Egyptian-sorcerers you stand, And vainly lift aloft your magic wand, To sweep away the swarms of vermin from the You could, like them, with like infernal force, Produce the plague, but not arrest the course; But when the boils and blotches, with disgrace And public scandal sat upon the face, Themselves attack'd, the Magi strove no more, They saw God's finger, and their fate deplore; Themselves they could not cure of the dishonest

[land;

sore.

Thus one, thus pure, behold her largely spread
Like the fair ocean from her mother-bed;
From east to west triumphantly she rides,
All shores are water'd by her wealthy tides.
The Gospel-sound, diffus’d from pole to pole,
Where winds can carry, and where waves can roll,
The self-same doctrine of the sacred page
Convey'd to every clime, in every age.

“Here let my sorrow give my satire place, To raise new blushes on my British race;

[blocks in formation]

Our sailing ships like common-sewers we use,
And through our distant colonies diffuse
The draught of dungeons, and the stench of stews:.
Whom, when their home-bred honesty is lost,
We disembogue on some far Indian coast :
Thieves, panders, palliards,* sins of every sort,
Those are the manufactures we export;
And these the missioners our zeal has made:
For, with my country's pardon, be it said,
Religion is the least of all our trade.

“Yet some improve their traffic more than we;
For they on gain, their only god, rely,
And set a public price on piety.
Industrious of the needle and the chart,
They run full sail to their Japonian mart;
Prevention fear, and, prodigal of fame,
Sell all of Christian to the very name, (shame.
Nor leave enough of that to hide their naked
Thus, of three marks, which in the Creed we

view,
Not one of all can be applied to you;
Much less the fourth : in vain, alas ! you seek
The ambitious title Apostolic:
Godlike descent! 'tis well your blood can be
Prov'd noble in the third or fourth degree:
For all of ancient that

you

had before, (I mean what is not borrow'd from our store) Was error fulminated o'er and o'er; Old heresies condemn'd in ages past, By care and time recover'd from the blast.

“ 'Tis said with ease, but never can be prov'd, The church her old foundations has remov’d,

• Debauchees.

And built new doctrines on unstable sands :
Judge that, ye winds and rains! you prov'd her,

yet she stands. Those ancient doctrines charg'd on her for new, Show when, and how, and from what hands they

grew. We claim no power, when heresies grow bold, To coin new faith, but still declare the old : How else could that obscene disease be purg'd, When controverted texts are vainly urg'd ? To prove tradition new, there's somewhat more Requir'd than saying, 'twas not us'd before. Those monumental arms are never stirrd, Till schism or heresy call down Goliath's sword.

“ Thus, what you call corruptions are, in truth,
The first plantations of the Gospel's youth;
Old standard faith :: but cast your eyes again,
And view those errors which new sects maintain,
Or which of old disturb’d the church's peaceful

reign;
And we can point each period of the time
When they began, and who begot the crime;
Can calculate how long the eclipse endur'd,
Who interpos’d, what digits were obscur'd:
Of all which are already pass'd away,
We know the rise, the progress, and decay,

“Despair at our foundations then to strike,
Till you can prove your faith apostolic;
A limpid stream drawn from the native source ;
Succession lawful in a lineal course.
Prove any church, oppos’d to this our head,
So one, so pure, so unconfin’dly spread,
Under one chief of the spiritual state,
The members all combin'd, and all subordinate :

;}

Show such a seamless coat, from schism so free,
In no communion join'd with heresy.
If such a one you find, let truth prevail;
Till when, your weights will in the balance fail;
A church unprincipled kicks up the scale.-

“But if you cannot think (nor sure you can
Suppose in God what were unjust in man)
That He, the fountain of eternal grace,
Should suffer falsehood, for so long a space,
To banish truth, and to usurp her place;
That seven successive ages should be lost,
And preach damnation at their proper cost;
That all your erring ancestors should die,
Drown'd in the abyss of deep idolatry:
If piety forbid such thoughts to rise,
Awake, and open your unwilling eyes;
God hath left nothing for each age undone,
From this to that wherein he sent his Son ;
Then think but well of him, and half your work

is done. See how his church, adorn'd with every grace, With open arms, a kind forgiving face, [brace. Stands ready to prevent her long-lost sons em. Not more did Joseph o'er his brethren weep, Nor less himself could from discovery keep, When in the crowd of suppliants they were seen, And in their crew his best-beloved Benjamin. That pious Joseph in the church behold, To feed your famine, and refuse your gold ;* The Joseph you exild, the Joseph whom you

sold." Thus, while with heavenly charity she spoke, A streaming blaze the silent shadows broke,

* The renunciation of the Benedictines to the Abbey lands.

Shot from the skies, a cheerful azure light;
The birds obscene to forests wing'd their flight,
And gaping graves receiv'd the wandering guilty

spright.
Such were the pleasing triumphs of the sky,
For James his late nocturnal victory;
The pledge of his almighty Patron's love,
The fireworks which his angels made above.
I saw myself the lambent easy light
Gild the brown horror, and dispel the night;
The messenger with speed the tidings bore;
News which three labouring nations did re-

store; But Heaven's own Nuncius was arriv'd before. By this the Hind had reach'd her lonely cell, And vapours rose, and dews unwholesome fell: When she, by frequent observation wise, As one who long on Heaven had fix'd her eyes, Discern’d a change of weather in the skies. The western borders were with crimson spread, The moon descending look'd all flaming red; She thought good manners bound her to invite The stranger dame to be her guest that night: “'Tis true, coarse diet, and a short repast, (She said) were weak inducements to the taste Of one so nicely bred, and so unus'd to fast; But what plain fare her cottage could afford, A hearty welcome at a homely board, Was freely her's; and, to supply the rest, An honest meaning, and an open breast: Last, with content of mind, the poor man's wealth, A grace-cup to their common patron's health.” This she desir'd her to accept, and stay, For fear she might be wilderd in her way,

}

« VorigeDoorgaan »