[Page 153]

On BARCLAY's Apology for the Quakers.

1 THESE sheets primaeval doctrines yield,
2 Where revelation is reveal'd:
3 Soul-phlegm from literal feeding bred,
4 Systems lethargick to the head
5 They purge, and yield a diet thin,
6 That turns to gospel-chyle within.
7 Truth sublimate may here be seen
8 Extracted from the parts terrene.
9 In these is shewn, how men obtain
10 What of Prometheus poets feign:
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11 To scripture-plainness dress is brought,
12 And speech, apparel to the thought.
13 They hiss from instinct at red coats,
14 And war, whose work is cutting throats,
15 Forbid, and press the law of love:
16 Breathing the spirit of the dove.
17 Lucrative doctrines they detest,
18 As manufactur'd by the priest;
19 And throw down turnpikes, where we pay
20 For stuff, which never mends the way;
21 And tythes, a Jewish tax, reduce,
22 And frank the gospel for our use.
23 They sable standing armies break;
24 But the militia useful make:
25 Since all unhir'd may preach and pray,
26 Taught by these rules as well as they;
27 Rules, which, when truths themselves reveal,
28 Bid us to follow what we feel.
29 The world can't hear the small still voice,
30 Such is its bustle and its noise;
31 Reason the proclamation reads,
32 But not one riot passion heeds.
33 Wealth, honour, power the graces are,
34 Which here below our homage share:
35 They, if one votary they find
36 To mistress more divine inclin'd,
37 In truth's pursuit to cause delay
38 Throw golden apples in his way.
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39 Place me, O heav'n, in some retreat
40 There let the serious death-watch beat,
41 There let me self in silence shun,
42 To feel thy will, which should be done.
43 Then comes the Spirit to our hut,
44 When fast the senses' doors are shut;
45 For so divine and pure a guest
46 The emptiest rooms are furnish'd best.
47 O Contemplation! air serene
48 From damps of sense, and fogs of spleen!
49 Pure mount of thought! thrice holy ground,
50 Where grace, when waited for, is found.
51 Here 'tis the soul feels sudden youth,
52 And meets exulting, virgin Truth;
53 Here, like a breeze of gentlest kind,
54 Impulses rustle thro' the mind;
55 Here shines that light with glowing face,
56 The fuse divine, that kindles grace;
57 Which, if we trim our lamps, will last,
58 Till darkness be by dying past,
59 And then goes out at end of night,
60 Extinguish'd by superior light.
61 Ah me! the heats and colds of life,
62 Pleasure's and pain's eternal strife,
63 Breed stormy passions, which confin'd,
64 Shake, like th' Aeolian cave, the mind;
65 And raise despair, my lamp can last,
66 Plac'd where they drive the furious blast.
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67 False eloquence, big empty sound,
68 Like showers, that rush upon the ground,
69 Little beneath the surface goes,
70 All streams along and muddy flows.
71 This sinks, and swells the buried grain,
72 And fructifies like southern rain.
73 His art, well hid in mild discourse,
74 Exerts persuasion's winning force,
75 And nervates so the good design,
76 That king Agrippa's case is mine.
77 Well-natur'd, happy shade, forgive!
78 Like you I think, but cannot live.
79 Thy scheme requires the world's contempt,
80 That, from dependence life exempt;
81 And constitution fram'd so strong,
82 This world's worst climate cannot wrong.
83 Not such my lot, not Fortune's brat,
84 I live by pulling off the hat;
85 Compell'd by station every hour
86 To bow to images of power;
87 And, in life's busy scenes immers'd,
88 See better things, and do the worst.
89 Eloquent Want, whose reasons sway,
90 And make ten thousand truths give way,
91 While I your scheme with pleasure trace,
92 Draws near, and stares me in the face.
93 Consider well your state, she cries,
94 Like others kneel, that you may rise;
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95 Hold doctrines, by no scruples vex'd,
96 To which preferment is annex'd,
97 Nor madly prove, where all depends,
98 Idolatry upon your friends.
99 See, how you like my rueful face,
100 Such you must wear, if out of place.
101 Crack'd is your brain to turn recluse
102 Without one farthing out at use.
103 They, who have lands, and safe bank-stock,
104 With faith so founded on a rock,
105 May give a rich invention ease,
106 And construe scripture how they please.
107 The honour'd prophet, that of old
108 Us'd heav'n's high counsels to unfold,
109 Did, more than courier angels, greet
110 The crows, that brought him bread and meat.


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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): On BARCLAY's Apology for the Quakers.
    Author: Matthew Green
    Themes: religion
    References: DMI 21897

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    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. I. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 153-157. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.