« AnteriorContinua »
In his most sharp encounters we could find
No ebullitions of a bitter mind;
No stormy passion rose, no clamorous noise
To make his fav’rites blush, or foes rejoice :
Bnt ftill with meekness like a mighty charm,
Did quickly all opposing pow'rs disarm.
He up or down could move with bridle-hand
The passions rude of others at command;
And yet himself sedate and moveless stand.
He such a disputant for truth appear’d,
Gainst error such victorious trophies rear'd,
His nervous tongue that held the sacred plea,
Was steel'd with such a conqu’ring energy ;
One would have thought, that did the hellish crew
With heav'nly choir their old dispute renew
'Bout Moses corpse *; the cherubs might have chose
His tongue the weapon to defeat the foes :
And found their cause sustain no detriment
By lips in arguing so bellipotent.
For when he rose, down (in effect) to hell
The dusky dregs precipitated fell :
As does the rising morn with rosy light
Adorn the skies, and put the shades to flight.
In public work he taught with solemn awe
The peaceful gospel and the fiery law.
Most sweetly did the cunning harper rove
Through all the labours of our Saviour's love :
While from his eloquent, mellifluous tongue
The streams of heav'nly rhetoric run along.
The holy theme was trim'd with lovely bait :
Each word was masly, and each sentence great.
Free from each pageantry of knowing fools,
And all the loose opinions of the schools.
His tongue seraphic did attention draw,
Below dispensing what above he saw ;
With skill divine unvail'd to human eyes
Dark oracles, and opened all the skies.
Angels that into gospel mysteries pry, †
To's fluent lips might for instruction fly. I
Who could more plain the mystic knots unfold
Than Oedipus the fabld riddle of old.
• Jude, ver. 9.
t1 Pet. i. 12. Eph. *** 10,
Heav'n form'd his mind great gospel-depths to traz,
His mouth to found the filver trump of grace;
To speak the grandeur of the Saviour God;
To blaze his righteoufness divine abroad;
And 'gainst their face the flaming sword to draw
Whose legal strain affronts the royal law.
He doom'd harengues that 'gainst the light offend,
And gospel-grace with pagan morals blend,
That make not Christ, but self their spring, their end.
In teaching moral duties, great or small,
He told the share that should to Jesus fall,
Was like his name, the First, the Last, the All.
His doctrine ev'ry gloomy fhade dispellid;
His refutations more and more excell'd :
For here we saw his lofty mind still higher,
Dashing black error down with holy ire,
And fencing beauteous truth around with walls of fire.
Hence anti-evangelic schemes refind
Were driven like chaff before the whirle-wind.
So bright he shone, ev'n in a private sphere,
Ere he posselt the ministerial chair ;
We've seen him with a Proc'tor's work in hand
The listening ears of Senators command.
With fluent lips, strong sense, and decent port,
Attract the heart and eyes of all the court,
And take them captive like a rend'ring fort.
In civil laws expert, in sacred more ;
His head a lib'rary of learning bore;
So fill'd with foreign and domestic store :
Here seem'd amass'd as much within one span,
As all the volumes of the Vatican.
Should we Pythagoras' old fancy grant,
That fouls retir'd did other bodies haunt;
We yet might search to find the man we want:
Who hath his great acumen ? who his brain,
His heart, his tongue ? Alas! the search is vain;
His mantle has not dropt upon the plain.
Lo! now his death had hid the fulgent light,
And wrapt us in the shades of gloomy night.
The running years of ecclesiastic thrall
Make up the night portended by the fall.
But, had he stay'd: What then? A question seem’d,
To which in answer thus by night we dream'd.
“ False reason cover'd with a florid file,
“ So quickly blush'd when he expos'd the guile :
“ We might have seen, we thought, had he but stay'd,
“ Trutb riding more triumphant by his aid:
“ Her equal cause more uncontrould by far
“ Had he appear'd puissant at the bar.
“ Would Zion's eyes have seen her healthful fons
“ Disgorge the Marrow, and digest the bones? *
“ Her serious clerks with numbers sport themselves:
“ And for twelve Brethren, Queries hatch by swelves?t
“ Would rowers into waters great have brought
" The sbatter'd vessel with so little thought?
“ Would Arius' ghost got leave t'appear, and thew
“ The Webster's slighted libel too too true ? :$
“ Would furious minds have turn'd the church's keys
“ To galling spurs and riding committees ? ||
• Would o'er the brethren arbitrary sway
“ Have thrown a whole quaternity away? S
“ Would rage have hafted with a violent ruth,
“ To ruining extremes her pow'r to push,
“ Had Cuthbert stay'd to put her to the blush?
“ No, no; we thought, had we our Atlas here,
“ His head would have upheld the falling fphere."
Thus vain we thought, and wish'd him living still;
Yet fear his life had brought a greater ill :
For, jealous Heav'n might fee us on the road
Of homage to him as a guardian God:
* Alluding to the controversy about the MARROW OF MODERN DIVINITY, a book condemned by the General Afcmbly. See the affair laid open,
Vol. I. p. 232. Vol. II. p. 304, 305, Vol. III. p. 44.
+ Twelve Ministers, commonly called the TWELVE MARROW-Men, becaufe they defended the doctrine laid down in that book. They had iwelve Querics propounded to them, on that subje&, by the Assembly; to which they made answer.
Pointing at the prosecution against Professor Simson. See the affair briefly stard, Vol. II. p. 466, 467. Vol. IV. p. 146.
|| Referring to the Committees appointed by the General Assembly to settle ministers upon reclaiming and dissenting congregations, on the footing of the Patronage Act, when the Presbytery, in which the lenclement happened to be, refused to do it. Sce the great evil of Patronage laid open, Vol. V. p. 198. 310. 351. 392. 418. 419.
Ø Alluding, no doubt, to the fufpending and deposing of the Four Brethren; a short account of which affair may be feen, Vol. V. p. 298, 299, 390.
And therefore made his days a narrow span,
Left we deprav'd had idoliz'd the man,
Who in the fenates could have led the van.
Such is the dubious state of mortals here,
We know not what to wish or what to fear.
Dark clouds envelop, till the labouring mind
Be to the wise dispose of Heav'n resign'd.
Heav'n thought his death a ftroke too too severe,
Too troublous for a peaceful hemisphere;
And therefore then did shake the British globe
With th' insurrection of a furious mob : *
That noise of blood and arms, of swords and spears,
Might drown the clamours of our mournful lyres :
That burning filames of rude intestine wrath
Might dry the tears of forrow for his death ;
Lest floods of grief had swell'd beyond their shore,
And like a deluge drown'd the earth once more.
Heav'n wrathful sent the messenger of death,
Then to demand our Cuthbert's precious breath,
To 'venge the crying guilt of daring crimes,
And scourge the bold rebellion of the times.
This Phoenix rare, whose life the earth desir'd, Then Phænix-like in chearful flames expir'd. He from his life's decay could joy conceive, And kindle into transport at a grave. For, though his conscious mind could own her Nips ; And kindly wail the errors of its lips; Which might, he thought, in praise of Jesus more Have daily lavish'd out her fluent store : Yet, living high by faith, could joyful go Through all the loud alarms of death below. Nor can the soul that to IMMANUEL clings, Whose courage from the depth of knowledge fprings, Fear inevitable and destin'd things. The pleasant mould in which kind Heav'n him cast, Maintain'd amidst the formidable blast, His charming chearful temper to the last.
His inward pulse, as death advanced nigh, Beat strong with vigorous immortality. Upward we saw his heav'n-born spirit rise, And boldly claim acquaintance with the skies.
The rebellion which took place Anno 1713. This was also succeeded by another in the year 1745. by the same disaffected party.
He on a death-bed could auditors teach,
And his own glorious resurrection preach ;
And press the good, the holy gospel-way,
By all the glories of the awful day.
He spoke his Master's name, his words, and wounds,
Then stretch'd and foar'd beyond times narrow bounds,
To speak his praise in more majestic sounds.
His foul expanding her immortal wings,
Loft by degrees the fight of mortal things.
With him once conjunct in the pastral chair, :
We saw the Gospel.herald, worthy Mair,
Constrain's his wonted theme to supersede,
And from the pulpit, o'er the hearse to bleed,
And blaze abroad the praises of the dead.
Declaring “ by his death that day there fell,
“ A great man; yea, a prince in Ifrael.”
See now, though yet the colours dark appear,
The picture of the famous CUTHBERT here.
My pencil having drawn but half the man,
Must leave unfinish'd what it rash began.
These honour'd with his converse once will find
His livelier image pictur'd on their mind.
We fee him fall, and to augment the moan,
The great, the grave, judicious Boston gone,
Who once t, like Atbanafus bold, stood firm alone.
Whose golden pen I to future times will bear
His fame, till in the clouds his Lord appear.
With him bleft Hogg, the venerable sage,
The humble witness 'gainst the haughty age,
Was swept, with other worthies, off th’unworthy stage.
But thus if Horfemen and Commanders die,
How can, alas! the Infantry but fly?
We dread our fine new Lights the Church enthrall,
When former glorious Luminaries fall.
But, hark! are now these bright and stately forms
A despicable prey to greedy worms?
True! but, behold! their better part survives,
And Zion's glorious King for ever lives.
* He died on Saturday, May 20. 1732.
+ Viz. In the affair of Professor Simson at the General Assembly, Anno 1929.
I Meaning his excellent writings that were corrected by himself for the press.