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THE PRE FACE. forgive us) with the taste of this refin'd age! To such a degree of degeneracy are we grown; and these are the dismal effects of loose and impious authors !
'Tis hop'd, however, our condition is not desperate : The disease is deplorable, but may admit of a cure. Virtue has fill her champions and admirers, who are not apam'd of her despis’d cause, nor dread to stem the threatning torrent." Truth and virtue are unconquerable ; tho' long oppress'd and smother'd, they'll at length break forth afresh, and fine in all their native lustre and beauty. Happy! should our days afford fuch a prospect as this. Should it be told to posterity, that these times faw. vice confounded, and virtue fit enthron'd on the ruin of impiety. One great obftacle that lyes
still in the way is, that so many men of extraordinary sense and wit engage in the cause of irreligion. Wou'd thefe but once desert the forry cause they espouse, and come over to the fide of virtue, wou'd they new but half that zeal in advancing religion, they have unhappily done in discarding it, the desir'd work would go on gloriously; for certainly they who can set off vice with advantage, and give sin itself an agreeable prospect, might far more easily recommend virtue ; might with far less pains reform the world, than they are at to ruin it.
Virtue is in itself excellent and charming, and wants but a little art to render it victorious. Wou'd but our great geniuses then employ their pens in its service, what a happy change should we soon see! How would they attract the attention of mankind? What force or act wou'd be able to withstand such skilful advocates when employed in fo good a cause? How fast would vice lole ground, and blush at her own deformity? How would the soft and moving strains of poetry tame the savage, inspire the stupid, melt the cruel, quench the flames of luft, and blow up the pure flames of devotion! These wou'd be the certain effects of divine and virtuous poetry. May the wits of the nation at length make the ex
periment, and so bless the world and themselves together.
Thus now I have deliver'd my mind with some warmth and freedom, but the importance of the thing, I presume, will sufficiently excuse me ; not that I expect to escape uncensured, this were to betray my ignorance of the Age we live in: But 'tis better I think to suffer man's
judgment than God's, better to be censur'd for defending religion, than for being a traitor to its cause. This is what however pleases me. My severest censurers will, when death approaches them, alter their opinion, and wish, with me, they had been faithful to God, and to their consciences; they'll give a world then to live over those precious minutes again, which are now spent perhaps in the wildest extravagancies. Virtue will then appear to them in all its charms, and vice in all its deformity; and they'll be at length fadly convinc'd, that such are the only wise and happy men who fear God, and live as the heirs of glory and immortality.
It remains now that a word or two be said concerning the collection the world is here presented with. The authors are men of unquestionable reputation in these matters ; the poems were dispers’d thro' several volumes, and most of them mix'd with others of a quite different nature, so that tho' printed already, they cou'd come into but very few hands, and will be altogether new to most people. May the whole be attended with God's blefling, and help to revive languishing piety as mong us.
Hymn, Hymn, Hymn, Hymn,
By ANONYMOUS AUTHORS. A paraphrafe on the 7th chapter of the Proverbs, 256 A pious wish,
2:55 Directions to happiness,
256 Human frailty,
I 18 20
21 Lines occafioned by a series of affliction,
255 On providence,
250 Psalm 114,
26 the elevation,
87 The meditation,
42 The prospect,
51 The ift psalm imitated,
204 The 137th pfalm paraphras'd,
50 The 148th palm paraphras'd,
100 The resignation,
88 The unknown world,
265 The warning,
89 Thoughts in health,
254 Thoughts in fickness,
96 Yo a gentleman who always gives a grand entertainment on his birth-day,
By Mr. Bow DEN.
the body, and the angels that came to conduct him
13 By the Earl of C--I--IE. The Earl of C--1--le's advice to his fon,
By Mr. Cowley. Christ's pasion. Taken out of a Greek ode,
By Mr. DENNIS. Te deum paraphrased,
By Mr. DR YDEN. Veni creator spiritus. Transated into a paraphrafe, 102
By Mr. FLATMAN.
By Mr. Gay.
By a YOUNG LADY.
By Mr. MARVELL. A dialogue between the foul and body,
Page 180 A dialogue between the resolved soul and created pleasure,
179 Eyes and tears,
By Mr. Milton. On the morning of Christ's nativity,
216 217 223
By Mr. NORRIS.
By Mr. OLDHAM, Paraphrafe upon the hymn of St. Ambrose,
By Dr. PARNELL.
183 181 III
By Mr. POMFRET.
By Mr. POPE.
By the Chevalier RAMSAY. A paftoral elegy upon the death of Lucinda,