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so long as these sullied garments of sin cover thee. To a clear lord must be a clean habitation. A pure heart must be his mansion, purged by faith, adorned with good works, inflamed with heavenly thoughts. No edging of vanity, no pearl of vain glory, no tinsel lustre of hypocrisy, must set forth thy nuptial garment; for these would detract from thy virgin beauty. Those Egyptian laces, and Babylonian borders, might attract a wandering eye, but purely fixed be the eyes of thy spouse. Whatsoever is without thee cannot take him; it is thy inward beauty that doth delight Him. Let thy affection then be renewed, thy virgin beauty restored, thy decays repaired. Come not in his sight till thou hast put off those rags of sin, and having put them off, say with the spouse in the Canticles: "I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on?" Let thy new dress be a new heart, shall thy spouse take delight in thee, with his sweet arms embrace thee, and be enamored of thee when he looks on thee; and, in the knowledge of thy beauty, say thus unto thee; "Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee." Cast thine eye all about thee, O my soul, but let it not wander lest thou lose thine honor. Take a full view of the renewal of all creatures, and reflect upon thyself, who, though sovereigness over all becomes least renewed of all. Thou seest the hart, the eagle, the swallow, how they are renewed; nay, even the snake, how by casting his slough he is renewed. Again, thou observest how years, days, hours, and minutes, are renewed; how the earth itself is renewed. She is with fresh flowers adorned, with a native tapestry embroidered, with a new beauty afreshed. Meantime how art thou renewed? Where be those fresh fragrant flowers of divine grace, and permanent beauties, wherewith thou shouldst be adorned? Must all things change for better, and thou become ever worse in the sight of thy Maker? None more inconsistent than thou in humoring the fashions of our time; none more constant than thou in retaining the fashion of sin. What canst thou see in thee that may please thee, or appear pleasing to him that made thee? Sin is a soil which blemisheth the beauty of thy soul. In this, then, to glory, were the highest pitch of infelicity. Thou art only to approve that with a discreet choice, which may make thee most amiable in the sight of thy spouse. When thou eyest the vanity of earth,

fix the eye of thy heart on the eternity of Heaven. Mix not thy delights in such objects where surfeit or excess begets a loathing, but in those lasting pleasures where fruition begets in thee an affectionate longing. Fashion not thyself after this world, where there is nothing that tempts but taints. Desire rather to be numerous in hours than in years; so dispose of thy time, that time may bring thee to eternity. Ever consider, O my soul, that thou art here in a wilderness, and far removed from the Canaan of true happiness. A captive's proper melody is Lachrymæ he cannot raise his voice to any other note, unless he mad himself in his misery, and forget his own state. Fie, then, in sighs with sins. Take compassion of thy woful condition. Be not commanded by thine handmaid, restrain her lest she grow imperious; show thyself a mistress, that she may become more obsequious. She is worthy to obey that knows not how to command. Do not lose thy prerogative; preserve thy style, retain thy state, and make her know how dangerous it is to incur thine hate. The more thou bringest her to contempt, the more shalt thou partake of content. Shouldst thou delicately feed her, or in her desires supply her, or loose thy reins, and give liberty unto her, she would not stick to deprive thee of thine honor, and by thy unworthy subjection become an usurping commander. To free thee from this danger, let devotion be thy succor; so shall the shadow of the Almighty be thy shelter. "Though the servant earnestly desire the shadow, and the hireling look for the reward of his work, or rather the end of the day to conclude his work, tarry thou the Lord's leisure; with patience endure the heat of the day, the weight of thy labor;" Though a pilgrim be wearied, he must not fail nor faint till his journey be ended; wherein he acounts himself so much the happier, as he is to his own native country nearer. If thou fit and furnish thyself in all points for this journey, thou shalt be joyfully received in thine arrival to thy country. Run, then, to the goal which is set up for thee; strive to come to the mark which is before thee. Let no impediments foreslow thee, no delights on earth divert thee. Seal up thine eye if it wander, but open it if it promise to fix on thy Saviour. Hourly thy dissolution is expected; the marriage-feast prepared; and, though, invited, let thy garment be holiness, so shall thy end be happiness.

352. THE GOOD PARSON.

A parish priest was of the pilgrim train;
An awful, reverend, and religious man.
His eyes diffused a venerable grace,
And charity itself was in his face.
Rich was his soul, though his attire was poor
(As God hath clothed his own ambassador);
For such, on earth, his bless'd Redeemer bore.
Of sixty years he seem'd, and well might last
To sixty more, but that he lived too fast;
Refined himself to soul, to curb the sense;
And made almost a sin of abstinence.
Yet, had his aspect nothing of severe,
But such a face as promised him sincere.
Nothing reserved or sullen was to see:
But sweet regards, and pleasing sanctity:
Mild was his accent, and his action free.
With eloquence innate his tongue was armed;
Though harsh the precept, yet the people charm'd;
For, letting down the golden chain from high,
He drew his audience upward to the sky:
And oft with holy hymns he charm'd their ears
(A music more melodious than the spheres):
For David left him, when he went to rest,
His lyre; and after him he sung the best.
He bore his great commission in his look:
But sweetly temper'd awe; and softened all he spoke.

He preach'd the joys of heaven, and pains of hell,
And warn'd the sinner with becoming zeal ;
But, on eternal mercy loved to dwell.

He taught the gospel rather than the law;
And forced himself to drive, but loved to draw.
For fear but freezes minds; but love, like heat,
Exhales the soul sublime to seek her native seat,
To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard,
Wrapp'd in his crimes, against the storm prepar'd;

CATEEN.

But, when the milder beams of mercy play,
He melts, and throws his cumbrous cloak away.
Lightning and thunder (heaven's artillery)
As harbingers before th' Almighty fly:
Those but proclaim his style, and disappear;
The stiller sound succeeds, and God is there.

The tithes, his parish freely paid, he took ; But never sued, or cursed with bell or book. With patience bearing wrong, but offering none: Since every man is free to lose his own. The country churls, according to their kind (Who grudge their dues, and love to be behind), The less he sought his offerings, pinch'd the more, And praised a priest contented to be poor.

Yet of his little he had some to spare,
To feed the famish'd, and to clothe the bare;
For mortified he was to that degree,

A poorer than himself he would not see.

"True priests," he said, "and preachers of the word,
Were only stewards of their sovereign Lord ;
Nothing was theirs; but all the public store;
Intrusted riches, to relieve the poor.
Who, should they steal, for want of his relief,
He judged himself accomplice with the thief."

Wide was his parish; not contracted close
In streets, but here and there a straggling house :
Yet still he was at hand without request,
To serve the sick, to succor the distress'd:
Tempting, on foot, alone, without affright,
The dangers of a dark tempestuous night.

All this, the good old man perform'd alone,
Nor spared his pains; for curate he had none.
Nor durst he trust another with his care;
Nor rode himself to Paul's, the public fair,
To chaffer for preferment with his gold,
Where bishoprics and sinecures are sold;

But duly watched his flock, by night and day:
And from the prowling wolf redeem'd the prey:
And hungry sent the wily fox away.

The proud he tam'd, the penitent he cheer'd: Nor to rebuke the rich offender fear'd.

His preaching much, but more his practice wrought
(A living sermon of the truths he taught ;)
For this by rules severe his life he squared;
That all might see the doctrine which they heard:
For priests, he said, are patterns for the rest.
(The gold of heaven, who bear the God impress'd :)
For, when the precious coin is kept unclean,
The sovereign image is no longer seen;
If they be foul in whom the people trust,
Well may the baser brass contract a rust.

The prelate for his holy life he prized;
The worldly pomp of prelacy despised.
His Saviour came not with a gaudy show:
Nor was his kingdom of the world below.
Patience in want, and poverty of mind,
These marks of church and churchmen he design'd,
And living taught, and dying left behind.

The crown he wore was of the pointed thorn:
In purple he was crucified, not born.
They who contend for place and high degree,
Are not his sons, but those of Zebedee.

Not but he knew the signs of earthly power
Might well become Saint Peter's successor;
The holy father holds a double reign,

The prince may keep his pomp, the fisher must be plain.
Such was the saint; who shone with every grace,
Reflecting, Moses like, his Maker's face.
God saw his image lively was express'd;
And his own work, as in creation bless'd.

The tempter saw him too with envious eye; And, as on Job, demanded leave to try.

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