Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

CHARACTER

OF

THE

Rev. J A MES

FOSTER.

Attend, ye

FROM Codex hear, ye ecclesiastic men,
This pastoral charge to Webster, Stebbing, Ven;

emblems of your pc's mind ! Mark Faith, mark Hope, mark Charity, defin’d; On terms, whence no ideas ye can draw,

5 Pin well your faith, and then pronounce it law; First wealth, a crofier next, your hope enflame; And next church - powera power o'er conscience,

claim;

JO

In modes of worship right of choice deny;
Say, to convert, all means are fair ;-add, why?
'Tis charitable let your power decree,
That Perfecution then is Charity;
Call reason error; forms, not things, display ;
Let moral doctrine to abftrufe give way;
Sink demonstration; mystery preach alone;
Be thus Religion's friend, and thus your own.

But Foster well this honest truth extend smem
Where Mystery begins, Religion ends.

15

20

In him, great modern miracle! we fee
A priett, from avarice and ambition free;
One, whom no persecuting spirit fires;
Whose heart and tongue benevolence inspires :
Learn'd, not assuming; eloquent, yet plain ;
Meek, though not timorous; conscious, though not

vain;
Without craft, reverend; holy, without cant; 25
Zealous for truth, without enthusiast rant.
His faith, where no credulity is seen,
'Twixt infidel and bigot, marks the mean ;
His hope, no mitre militant on earth,
'Tis that bright crown, which heaven reserves for worth.
A priest, in charity with all mankind,
His love to virtue, not to sect confin'd:
Truth his delight; from himn it flames abroad,
From bim, who fears no being, but his God:
In him from Christian, moral light can thine ; 35
Not mad with mystery, but a sound divine;
He wins the wise and good, with realin's lore;
Then strikes their passions with pathetic power;
Where vice erects her head, rebukes the page;
Mix'd with rebuke, persuasive charms engage ; 40
Charms, which th' unthinking must to thought excite;
Lo! vice less vicious! virtue more upright :
Him copy, Codex, that the good and wise,
Who so abhor thy heart, and head despise,
May see thee now, though late, redeem thy name, 45
And glorify what else is damn’d to fame,

Bus 50

But should some churchman, apeing wit fevere, The poet 's sure turn’d Baprift-fay, and sneer; Shame on that narrow mind so often known, Which in one mode of faith, ownis worth alone. Sneer on, rail, wrangle ! nought this truth repelsVirtue is virtue, wherefoe'er she dwells; And sure, where learning gives her light to Mine, Her's is all praise-if her’s, 'tis Foster, thine. Thee boast diflenters; we with pride may own 55 Our Tillotson; and Rome, her Fenelon*,

Τ Η Ε

POE 'T'S DEPENDANCE

Ο Ν

A

S Τ Α Τ Ε S M Α Ν.

SOME

OME seem to hint, and others proof will bring,
That, from neglect, my numerous hardthips

spring. * In this Character of the Rev. James Foster, truth guided the pen of the Muse. Mr. Pope paid a tribute to the modest worth of this excellent man: little did he imagine his Rev. Annotator would endeavour to convert his praise into abuse. The character and writings of Foster will be admired and read, when the works of the bitter Controversialist are forgotten.

E.

Seck

L 3

JO

Seek the great man! they cry--'tis then decreed,
In him, if I court fortune, I succeed.

What friends to second ? who for me Mould lue, s
Have interests, partial to themselves, in view.
They own my matchless fate compassion draws;
They all with well, lament, but drop my cause.

There are who ask no pension, want no place, No title wish, and would accept no grace. Can I entreat, they should for me obtain The least, who greatest for themselves disdain ? A ftatesman, knowing this, unkind, will cry, Those love him : let those serve him!—why should I ?

Say, mall I turn where lucre points my views; 15
At first desert my friends, at length abute ?
But, on less terms, in promise he complies :
Years bury years, and hopes on hopes arise ;
I trust, am trusted on my fairy gain;
And woes on woes attend, an endless train.

Be pofts dispos’d at will !-) have, for these,
No gold to plead, no impudence to teaze.
All secret service from my soul I hate ;
All dark intrigues of pleasure, or of state.
I have no power, election-votes to gain ;

25
No will to hackney out polemnic strain ;
To shape, as time shall serve, my verse, or prose,
To flatter thence, nor dur, a courtier's foes ;
Nor him to daub with praise, if I prevail ;
Nor Mock'd by him with libels to affail.

30 Where these are not, what claim to me belongs ? Though mine the Muse and virtue, birth and wrongs.

Where

20

40

Where lives the statesman, so in honour clear, To give where he has nought to hope, nor fear? No !-there to seek, is but to find fresh pain :

35 The promise broke, renew'd, and broke again ; To be, as humour deigns, receiv’d, refus’d; By turns affronted, and by turns amus’d; To lose that time, which worthier thoughts require ; To lose the health, which should those thoughts in

fpire ; To ftarve on hope ; or, like camelions, fare On ministerial faith, which means but air.

But still, undrooping, I the crew disdain, Who, or by jobs, or libels, wealth obtain. Ne'er let me be, through those, from want exempt; 45 In one man's favour, in the world's contempt: Worse in my own !-through ose, to posts who rise, Themselves, in secret, must themselves despise ; Vile, and more vile, till they, at length, disclaim Not sense alone of glory, but of fame.

5 What though I hourly see the servile herd, For meannefs honour'd, and for guilt preferid; See selfish pafsion, public virtue seem; And public virtue an enthusiast dream; See favour'd falsehood, innocence belied,

55 Meekness depress’d, and power-elated pride; A scene will new, all-righteous vision haste; The meek exalted, and the proud debas'd! Oh, to be there! - to tread that friendly shore, Where falsehood, pride, and statesmen are no more ! 60

But

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »