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The bloody 3 bear, an independent beast,
Unlick'd to form, in groans her hate expreft.
Among the timorous kind the quaking hare
Profefs'd neutrality, but would not fwear.
Next her the buffoon ape as atheists use,
Mimick'd all fects, and had his own to chufe:
Still when the lion look'd his knees he bent,
And paid at church a courtier's compliment.
The briftled 4 baptist-boar, impure as he,
But whiten'd with the foam of fanctity,
With fat pollutions fill'd the facred place,
And mountains levell'd in his furious race:
So firft rebellion founded was in grace.
But fince the mighty ravage, which he made
In German 5 forefts, had his guilt betray'd,
With broken tusks, and with a borrow'd name,
He fhun'd the vengeance, and conceal'd the fhame;
So lurk'd in fects unfeen. With greater guile
Falle Reynard fed on confecrated spoil:
The graceless beaft by Athanafius first
Was chas'd from Nice, then by Socinus nurs'd
His impious race their blafphemy renew'd,
And nature's king thro' nature's optics view'd.
Revers'd they view'd him leffen'd to their eye,
Nor in an infant could a God descry,
New fwarming fects to this obliquely tend,
Hence they began, and here they all will end.
What weight of ancient witnefs can prevail,
If private reafon hold the public scale?
3 The independents were a fet of proteftants, who held that each church, within itself, had power to do every thing relative to church government. They fprung up in Charles the Fift's reign, about 1643. 4 The brifled baptift boar, &c. The anabaptifts who reject infant baptifm; and baptife only by immersion.
5 In German forefts had his guilt betray'd. They fucceeded to the rife of Lutheranifm in Germany about 1521, and committed innumerable violences,
But, gracious God, how well doft thou provide
For erring judgments an unerring guide?
Thy throne is darkness in th' abyss of light,
A blaze of glory that forbids the fight.
O teach me to believe thee thus conceal'd,
And fearch no farther than thyfelf reveal'd;
But her alone for my director take,
Whom thou haft promis'd never to forfake!
My thoughtless youth was wing'd with vain defires,
My manhood, long mifled by wandering fires,
Follow'd falfe lights; and, when their glimpfe was gone,
My pride ftruck out new sparkles of her own,
Such was I, fuch by nature ftill I am;
Be thine the glory, and be mine the shame.
Good life be now my tafk: my doubts are done:
What more could fright my faith, than three in one?
Can I believe eternal God could lie
Difguis'd in mortal mold and infancy?
That the great Maker of the world could die?
And after that truft my imperfect sense,
Which calls in question his omnipotence?
Can I my reason to my faith compel?
And fhall my fight, and touch, and tafte rebel?
Superior faculties are fet afide;
Shall their fubfervient organs be my guide?
Then let the moon ufurp the rule of day,
And winking tapers fhew the fun his way;
For what my fenfes can themselves perceive,
I need no revelation to believe.
Can they who fay the hoft fhould be descry'd
By fenfe, define a body glorify'd?
Impaffable, and penetrating parts?
Let them declare by what myfterious arts
He fhot that body thro' th' oppofing might
Of bolts and bars impervious to the light,
And stood before his train confefs'd in open fight.
For fince thus wonderously he pass'd, 'tis plain,
One fingle place two bodies did contain.
And fure the fame omnipotence as well
Can make one body in more places dwell,
Let reason then at her own quarry fly,
But how can finite grafp infinity?
'Tis urg'd again, that faith did firft commence
By miracles, which are appeals to sense,
And thence concluded, that our fenfe must be
The motive ftill of credibility.
For latter ages must on former wait,
And what began belief muft propagate.
But winnow well this thought, and you fhall find
'Tis light as chaff that flies before the wind.
Were all those wonders wrought by power divine,
As means or ends of fome more deep defign?
Moft fure as means, whofe end was this alone,
To prove the Godhead of th' eternal fon,
God thus afferted, man is to believe
Beyond what fenfe and reafon can conceive,
And for myfterious things of faith rely
On the proponent, heaven's authority.
If then our faith we for our guide admit,
Vain is the farther fearch of human wit,
As when the building gains a furer stay,
We take th' unufeful fcaffolding away.
Reason by sense no more can understand;
The game is play'd into another hand,
Why chufe we then like bilanders to creep
Along the coaft, and land in view to keep,
When fafely we may launch into the deep?
In the fame veffel, which our Saviour bore,
Himself the pilot, let us leave the shore,
And with a better guide a better world explore.
Could he his Godhead veil with flesh and blood,
And not veil thefe again to be our food?
His grace in both is equal in extent,
The first affords us life, the second nourishment.
And if he can, why all this frantic pain
To conftrue what his cleareft words contain,
And make a riddle what he made fo plain?
To take up half on truft, and half to try,
Name it not faith, but bungling bigotry.
Both knave and fool the merchant we may call,
To pay great fums and to compound the fmall:
For who would break with heaven, and would not
break for all?
Reft then, my foul, from endless anguish freed ;
Nor fciences thy guide, nor fenfe thy creed.
Faith is the beft enfurer of thy bliss;
The bank above must fail before the venture mifs. But heaven and heaven born faith are far from thee, 'Thou first 6 apoftate to divinity.
Unkennell'd range in thy Polonian plains;
A fiercer foe th' infatiate wolf remains.
Too boaftful Britain, please thyfelf no more.
That beafts of prey are banish'd from thy fhore
The bear, the boar, and every favage name,
Wild in effect, tho' in appearance tame,
Lay wafte thy woods, deftroy thy blissful bower,
And, muzzled tho' they feem, the mutes devour.
More 7 haughty than the reft, the wolfish race
Appear with belly gaunt, and famish'd face:
Never was fo deform'd a beast of grace.
His ragged tail betwixt his legs he wears,
Clofe clap'd for fhame; but his rough creft he rears,
And pricks up his predeftinating ears.
6 Arius, the heretick.
7 More haughty than the reft, the wolfish race.
who during the confufions about Oliver Cromwell's time wore black caps, that left their ears bare, their hair being cropped round quite clofe; wherefore the wolf, the emblem of Prefbytery, is here faid to prick up his predeftinating ears.
His wild diforder'd walk, his haggard eyes,
Did all the beftial citizens furprize.
Though fear'd and hated, yet he rul'd a-while,
As captain or companion of the spoil.
Full 8 many a year his hateful head had been
For tribute paid, nor fince in Cambria seen :
The 9 laft of all the litter fcap'd by chance,
And from Geneva first infefted France.
Some authors thus his pedigree will trace,
But others write him of an upstart race;
Because of Wickliff's brood no mark he brings,
But his innate antipathy to kings.
Thefe laft deduce him from th' Helvetian kind,
Who near the Leman-lake his confort lin'd:
That fiery 2 Zuinglius firft th' affection bred,
meagre Calvin bleft the nuptial bed.
In 3 Ifrael fome, believe him whelp'd long fince,
When the proud fanhedrim opprefs'd the prince,
8 Full many a year his hateful bead bhad beer.
Several parts of England and Wales were once fo over run with wolves, that a reward was given by the government for destroying them, by which means the country was quite cleared of them.
9 The last of all the litter, &c. Calvin was made profeffor of divinity, at Geneva, in 1536; but being obliged to retire from thence, as he had been before from his native country, France, he took refuge in Strasburgh, where he fet up a French church. Calvinism, or Prefbyterianifm, for they are much the fame, made its way from France and Switzerland into Germany, Poland, Holland, England, &c. and has occafioned many great disturbances in all thefe different places.
1 Because of Wickliff's brood, &c. Dr. John Wickliff, a man of sharp wit, great learning, and ftrong judgment, broached a new doctrine in the fourteenth century, "denying the pope's fupremacy, the infallibility of the church, tranfubftantiation, &c." and pubI cly maintained his tenets in the univerfity of Oxford.
2 That fiery Zuinglius, &c. Zuinglius was a Swifs divine of the fifteenth century, who alfo denied tranfubftantiation.
3. Vide preface to Heylin's hiftory of Prefbyterianism. VOL. II.