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THE BEST ADVOCATE OF VIRTUE.
THE pulpit, therefore (and I name it filla
say the pulpit (in the sober use Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs) Must stand acknowledg’d, while the world shall
stand, The most important and effectual guard, Support, and ornament, of virtue's cause. There stands the messenger of truth: there stands The legate of the skies !—Iis theme divine, His office sacred, his credentials clear. By him the violated law speaks out Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet As angels use, the gospel whispers peace. He stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart,
Down into modern use; transforms old print • To zig-zag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gall'ry critics-by a thousand arts.
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
I venerate the man whose heart is warm, Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life, Coincident, exhibit lucid proof That he is honest in the sacred cause. To such I render more than mere respect, Whose actions say that they respect themselves. But, loose in morals, and in manners vain, In conversation frivolous, in dress Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse; Frequent in park with lady at his side, Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes; But rare at home, and never at his books, Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card; Constant at routs, familiar with a round Of ladyships---a stranger to the poor; Ambitious of preferment for its gold, And well-prepar'd, by ignorance and sloth, By infidelity and love of world, To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride: I'rom such apostles, oh, ye mitred heads, Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands On sculls that cannot teachi, and will not learn.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul, Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own Paul should himself direct me. I would trace His master-strokes, and draw from his design. I would express him simple, grave, sincere; In doctrine uncorrupt; in lunguage plain,
In: plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste, And natural in gesture; inuch impress'd Ilimself, as conscious of his awful charge, And anxious mainly that the tiock he feeds May feel it tov; affectionate in look, And tonder in address, as well becomes A messenger
of grace to guilty men. Behold the pictur!-- Is it like?-Like whom? The things that mount the rostrum with a skip, And then skip down again; pronounce a test; Cry-hem; and reading what they nerer wrote, Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work, And with a well-bred whisper close the scene!
In man or woman, but far most in man,