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In youth he lifts vain follies to engage,
In manhood cares, and peevishness in age.
Oft forc'd afflictive trials to endure,
By use, his hardier valour to enure:
Pined with sharp wants, depreft by forrow's train,
By fickness worn, and agoniz'd with pain.
Or if with health he blooms, with plenty fmiles,
Still wars alarm him, and inceffant toils.
Pleasures, or cares, fome fresh attack begin,
Objects without, and paffions from within.
In vain he seeks to fhun th' unpleasing strife,
Still harafs'd in the civil feud of life.
In vain his powers would turn on reason's part,
The ruling inclination holds his heart.
And O more dangerous ftill his conflict grows,
Charg'd by a powerful host of stronger foes,
Dread hell's malicious troops his peace annoy,
Their force oppose and ftratagems employ.
While fuch his hazards, with fuch odds oppreft,
In nature's ftrength will man, prefumptuous, reft?
Weak man! with all his boasted trophies won,
So oft deluded, and so soon undone?
Happy alone, while danger thus invades, The faint affifted with fuperior aids;
Him, heaven's artill'ry arms-his ftrengthen'd reins Truth's belt, a firm fincerity fuftains.
A fteady righteousness thro' life exprest
He wears, bright armour, on his dauntless breast.
Calm preparation for what ills may rife,
With fure defenfive greaves his feet supplies,
But faith, his best security, imparts
Shield to repel th' infernal fiery darts.
His helmet, heavenly hope: and brandish'd sword
The Spirit's weapon, God's victorious word.
And laft (for each affault) the chief prepare
Fresh vigilance, and might-renewing prayer.
Thus fenc'd, and skilful how his arms to wield,
The CHRISTIAN HERO takes the advent'rous field.
Does adverse providence befet his way,
Pains waste his body, wants his mind dismay,
Stript of eftate, or relatives or friends?
Still on the arm that smites, his hold depends.
Conscious of woes deferv'd, of numerous stains,
Lefs than their due, he counts what heaven ordains.
He takes his Father's ftripes in gentlest part,
Nor one refentment murmurs in his heart.
He knows his orders wife, his nature kind,
And each affliction for his health design'd.
Finds earthly good more vain, beneath the rod;
And drove from creatures, meets his rest in God.
He marks how juft Uzzean Job was try'd;
How Jefus, how the guiltless Saviour dy❜d.
Bears the hard lot his patient Lord has borne,
Stoops to his crofs, and crowns him with his thorn.
Tho' o'er his long-tost bark the waves fwell high,
Shipwreck❜d-and left beneath a darken'd sky;
His faith th' unruffling trial firm endures,
Deliv'rance hopes, or bleft rewards affures.
Behold!-if heaven exempts the SAINT from cares, Amid his plenty he discerns his snares:
Knows how from fenfual baits his mind to cally'
Pleas'd in his ftation, arm'd to bear his fall.
He deems his wealth a talent left in truft,
No private perquifite for pride or luft.
His nobler portion in reverfion lies ;
A heavenly kingdom, in his Father's skies!
Gentle in power, with honours ne'er elate,
He only grows more useful, as more great.
His, is the human heart, the lib'ral mind,
Foe to no party, friend to all mankind.
To every object of diftreffing woes,
His bounty, as his pity, overflows.
If in gay youth, to pleasures he incline,
Lo! ftill he makes their rule, heaven's word divine
Regards due feafon, wild excefs refrains,
Nor gall they his review with guilty pains.
Him, nor delufive blifs to vice beguiles,
Th' intemperate bowl, the harlot's baneful smiles;
Proof 'gainst each lure that would the combat win,
Calm 'mid the ftrife that paffions raise within.
On the young HEBREW his reflections dwell,
Who a lewd wanton could refift fo well;
By gratitude reftrain'd, and pious fear,
A fhining proof of chastity fevere !
But moft the facred declarations move,
That fhut th' adulterer from the feats above,
That temp'rate paffions teach, and pure defire,
And promife aids, the conqueft to acquire.
The charms of heavenly love his thoughts employ,
The price of heavenly crowns, and heavenly joy.
He counts the pains his fuff'ring SAVIOUR bore,
Refolv'd, his guilt shall ope those wounds no more;
Nor render vain fuch pity, love, and grace,
Shown for man's worthlefs, ill deferving race.
Hail, reverenc'd GOSPEL! our fecurest guide,
In peace beft comfort, beft defence when try❜d:
Giv'n to fupport the weak, the fall'n to aid,
O! be thro' earth thy grateful founds convey'd !"
-Still view the friend of Jefus, how ferene,
Bright faith conducts him thro' life's parting scene:
Helps him pale death to scorn, proud fiends to quell,
Himself, too hard for all the force of hell:
But mark, what triumphs! mark th' amazing state,
What dazzling pomps th' afcending victor wait!
The joys of angels!-the PREDESTIN'D crown
The fhouts!-the plaudit from th' eternal throne!
Blifs, which a mufe defil'd with guilt and woe
Conceives but faintly, nor attempts below.
Yet, bleft Redeemer! heaven's disposing Lord,
By whom the finner is to blifs reftor'd;
Chief, in my grateful heart, that owes to thee
All I poffefs, or am, or hope to be.
Yet-can thy grace each guilty bar remove,
And make me taste th' unknown delights above.
Till when-thy willing foldier, weak-unskill'd,
So oft affaulted in life's doubtful field;
His feeble efforts in thy cause displays,
And confecrates this trophy to thy praise.
DISTRESSED ABOUT TEMPORAL CIRCUMSTANCES A LITTLE BEFORE MARRIAGE.
'HERE-E'ER kind providence directs thy way, Like thee I'll follow, and like thee obey The happy road, with fweet complaifance fee, And joyful tread the path, dear maid, with thee.
If humble POVERTY thy fteps attend,
And thorny cares with softeft pleasures blend;
Industrious love fhall labor night or day,
To smooth thy footsteps in life's rugged way.
The pains of want I'll from thy bofom move,
And leffen grief with kind officious love;
The frowns of INDIGENCE refigned fee,
Nor dread her threat'nings if but bless'd with thee,
If, after all my toils of pleasing care,
Wife providence with-hold what love would share,
My thankful foul fhall eager ftill pursue
In queft of happiness, dear maid, for you.
Not on the EARTH, the gift I wish to find,
Since all her bleffings leave a want behind;
EXPERIENCE tells me these will not fuffice,
Ne'er make thee happy, nor yet make thee wife.