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But reason heard, and nature well perused,
At once the dreaming mind is disabused.
If all we find poffeffing earth, fea, air,
Reflect his attributes, who placed them there,
Fulfil the purpose, and appear defigned
Proofs of the wisdom of the all-seeing mind,
'Tis plain the creature, whom he chose to inveft
With kingship and dominion o'er the reft,
Received his nobler nature, and was made
Fit for the power, in which he stands arrayed,
That first or laft, hereafter if not here,
He too might make his author's wisdom clear,
Praise him on earth, or obftinately dumb
Suffer his justice in a world to come.
This once believed, '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 heavenly truth,
That taught of God they may indeed be wise,
Nor ignorantly wandering miss the skies.
In early days the conscience has in most A quickness, which in later life is loft: Preserved from guilt by salutary fears, Or guilty soon relenting into tears. Too careless often, as our years proceed, What friends we sort with, or what books we read,
Our parents yet exert a prudent care
To feed our infant minds with proper fare;
And wifely store the nursery by degrees
With wholesome learning, yet acquired with ease.
Neatly secured from being soiled or torn
Beneath a pane of thin translucent horn,
A book (to please us at a tender age
'Tis called a book, though but a single page)
Presents the prayer the Saviour deigned to teach,
Which children use, and parsons when they preach.
Lisping our syllables, we scramble next
Through moral narrative, or sacred text;
And learn with wonder how this world began,
Who made,who marred, and who has ransomed, man.
Points, which unless the scripture made them plain,
The wiseft heads might agitate in vain.
O thou, whom, borne on fancy's eager wing
Back to the season of life's happy spring,
I pleased remember, and while memory yet
Holds faft her office here, can ne'er forget;
Ingenious dreamer, in whose well-told tale
Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail ;
Whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style,
May teach the gayeft, make the graveft smile;
Witty, and well employed, and like thy Lord,
Speaking in parables his flighted word;
I name thee not, left so despised a name
Should move a sneer at thy deserved fame;
Yet ev’n in tranfitory life's late day,
That mingles all my brown with sober
Revere the man, whose PILGRIM marks the road,
And guides the Progress of the soul to God.
"Twere well with most, if books, that could engage
Their childhood, pleased them at a riper age;
The man, approving what had charmed the boy,
Would die at last in comfort, peace and joy;
And not with curses on his heart, who stole
The gem of truth from his unguarded soul.
The stamp of artless piety impressed
By kind tuition on his yielding breast,
The youth now bearded, and yet pert and raw,
Regards with scorn, though once received with awe;
And, warped into the labyrinth of lies,
That babblers, called philosophers, devise,
Blafphemes 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:
See 2 Chron. ch. xxvi. ver. 19.
Point to the cure, describe a Saviour's crofs
As God's expedient to retrieve his loss,
The young apoftate fickens at the view,
And hates it with the malice of a Jew.
How weak the barrier of mere nature proves, Opposed against the pleasures nature loves! While felf-betrayed, and wilfully undone, She longs to yield, no sooner wooed than won. Try now the merits of this blest exchange Of modeft truth for wit's eccentric range. 'Time was, he closed as he began the day With decent duty, not ashamed to pray: The practice was a bond upon his heart, A pledge he gave for a confistent part; Nor could he dare presumptuously displease A power, confefied so lately on his knees. But now farewell all legendary tales, The shadows fly, philosophy prevails; Prayer to the winds, and caution to the waves; Religion makes the free by nature slaves. Priests have invented, and the world admired What knavish priests promulgate as inspired; Till reason, now no longer overawed, Resumes her powers, and spurns the clumsy fraud;
And, common-senfe diffusing real day,
The meteor of the gospel dies away.
Such rhapsodies our shrewd discerning youth
Learn from expert inquirers after truth;
Whose only care, might truth prefume to speak,
Is not to find what they profess to seek.
And thus, well-tutored only while we Mare
A mother's lectures and a nurse's care;
And taught at schools much mythologic stuff*,
But found religion sparingly enough;
Our early notices of truth, disgraced,
Soon lose their credit, and are all effaced.
Would you your son should be a fot or dunce,
Lascivious, headstrong, or all these at once;
That in good time the stripling's finished taste
For loose expense, and fashionable waste,
Should prove your ruin, and his own at last;
Train him in public with a mob of boys,
Childish in mischief only and in noise,
* The author beçs leave to cxplain. Sensible that, without such knowledge, neither the ancient poets nor h storians can be tafted, or indce i understood, he does not mean to censure the pains, that are taken to inftrud a school-boy in the religion of the hea. then, but merely that neglect of Christian culture, which leaves him shamefully ignorant of his own. VOL, II,