ePub 版

as inhuman as the priests by whom they are administered, who are continually learning every art but the art of being happy. The earth every where produces abundance for man, while thoughtless, thankless man, every where waters that same earth with the tears and blood of man, unhappy man! It is not nature, but man that is to be impeached with the miseries and ills of life. O that I could convince the unfortunate man, wbo sickens at the gloomy spectacle which this wieked world presents to his view, that his heavenly Father and his Friend is always ready to alleviate his sorrows, and that he only afflicts him to-day, to reward him to-morrow.

The rich and affluent think all are miserable who live out of the circumference of fashionable life; but they themselves are the most miserable, bę. cause they counteraet the laws of nature, and live in opposition, and not in subordination to her dictates ; such persons have no relish but for vain delights, no sight but for shadows, no pleasure but in sensuality ; while they have no relish for God, they are total strangers to true pleasure, and their whole life is a miserable dream. They are in the midst of the superb works of God, and yet admire only their own grandeur. They are continually fed (like the swine feeding upon acorns, who never know nor care from wbence they fall) by the liberal hand of the Creator, and yet they infringe his rights, and counteract bis excellent laws. Surely the oppressor thus acts; and the just re-action of Providence repays him in his own coin. With the same measure he metes, it is measured unto him again. The more men are oppressed, the more feeble and wretched are their oppressors; for they produce misery, and misery produces murders, robberies, prostitution, rebellion and civil wars, which end in their ruin.

This re-action of evil is observable in the governments of modern, as well as of ancient times. We see even in the present day, governments judicially infatuated, which with long and steady strides, approach the brink of political

[ocr errors]

annihilation. They do not remember, that the cause must be removed before the effects will cease. The world is filled with wretchedness and misery, which are the offspring of cruelty and oppression, and not the produce of nature. Man, who is weak, man, who stands on the brink of the grave, man, who is poor, who is nothing, has the temerity to impeach God with the fruits and effects of his own folly; to shew the inconsistency of which, I will beg leave to transcribe a few verses applicable to the present subject, from my tragical poem entitled “ Avenia," first edition, page 244: In the second edition, they have been left out by the ingenious and respectable doctor, who revised and corrected it.

- The hosts on higb, With gazing saints, lean forward from the sky, From clouds all fring'd with gold, their bodies bent, With eager eyes they view the sad event ; They view the hero's wrongs, the foe's delight, They view his wrongs, and loathe the hateful sight: Then veii their eyes refulgent to behold, With their white wings, all tipp'd with downy gold; To whom, while blushing, from the chief they look, The Sire of men, the Sire of angels spoke, Around his brows a brilliant cloud was spread, And foods of glory rolld above his kead.

Like mighty thunders, lo, his voice he rear'd,
Hosts dropp'd their harps, and worshipp'd as they

With awe, they see the chequer'd lightnings play,
And turn their eye-balls from the golden ray.
Beneath his eye, the heav'ns, in full survey,
The spacious earth, and vast creation lay.
He darts his eye, his piercing eye profound,
And looks majestically stern around;
And, with a single glance the God surveys
The slaves, the ships, the navigable seas.
Again the Sire of men his silence broke,
Ad heav'n attentive, trembled as he spoke:
The stormy winds a solemn silence keep,
The curling waves lie level on the deep;
All æther trembled, while high heav'n was aw'd,
All nature reverenc'd the immortal God.
His voice harmonious, thus Jehovah cries,
While anger sparkled in his awful eyes....
“ Behold and blush, ye first-born of the skies,
Behold yon Christian hypocrites unjust,
Full of rage, rapine, cruelty and lust;
Tenslave my sons, they propagate their sway,
Join fraud to force, and bear the spoil away.
Who, smooth of tongue, in purpose insincere,
Hide fraud in smiles, while death is harbour'd there :
From tender husbands, weeping brides they tear,
They proffer peace, yet wage unnat'ral war:
Whilst still they hope we'll wink at their deceit,
And call their villanies the crimes of fate.
Unjust mankind, whose will's created free,
Charge all their guilt on absolute decree :
To us they pray, to us their sins translate,
And follies are miscall'd the crimes of fale.
The Christian rulers in their ruin join,
And truth is scorn'd by all the perjured line!
Their crimes transcend all crimes since Noah's flood,
Their guilty glories soon shall set in blood.
They swear by heav'n, then spill their brother's gore;
Lo, view my creatures bleeding on the shore :


Shall heav'n be false, because revenge is slow!
No....we prepare to strike the fiercer blow :
Sure is our justice. They shall feel their woe!
The day shall come, that great avenging day,
When all their honours in the dust shall lay;
Ourself shall pour dire judgments on their land,
Thus have we said, and what we say shall stand.
Their cruelty for justice daily cries,
And pulls reluctant vengeance from the skies;
Such hypocritic foes their toils shall know,
And ev'ry hand shall work its share of woe.
How av'rice fires their minds, ye heav'n born train,
Behold our sacred gospel preach'd in vain ;
Behold us disobey'd ; what dire alarms
Inflame their souls to slaughter, blood, and arms.
Their dreadful end will wing its fatal way,
Nor need their rage anticipate the day.
Let him who tempts me dread the dire abode,
And know th' Almighty is a jealous God.
Still they may charge on us their own offence,
And call their woes the crimes of Providence:
But they themselves their miseries create,
They perish by their folly, not their fate."

Most assuredly all the works of God bespeak his goodness, as well as his power: who can look up to the golden skies above him, or the spacious landscapes around him, and dare to deny this assertion ? Who can view the trees, loaded with delicious fruit within the reach of man, and deny the providential care and impartial beneficence of Jehovah? In order to be convinced

« 上一頁繼續 »