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It then remains, that church can only be
The guide, which owns unfailing certainty;
Or else you flip your hold, and change your fide,
Relapfing from a neceffary guide,
But this annex'd condition of the crown,
Immunity from errors, you difown;
Here then you fhrink, and lay your weak pretenfions down,
For petty royalties you raife debate;
But this unfailing universal state
You fhun; nor dare fucceed to fuch a glorious weight;
And for that cause those promises deteft,
With which our Saviour did his church inveft;
But strive t'evade, and fear to find them true,
As confcious they were never meant to you:
All which the mother church afferts her own,
And with unrivall'd claim afcends the throne.
So when of old th' almighty Father fate
In council, to redeem our ruin'd state,
Millions of millions, at a distance round,
Silent the facred confiftory crown'd,
To hear what mercy, mixt with juftice, could propound:
All prompt with eager pity, to fulfil
The full extent of their creator's will.
But when the ftern conditions were declar'd,
A mournful whisper thro' the hoft was heard,
And the whole hierarchy, with heads hung down,
Submiffively declin'd the pond'rous proffer'd crown.
Then, not till then, th' eternal Son from high
Rofe in the ftrength of all the Deity;
Stood forth to accept the terms, and underwent
A weight which all the frame of heaven had bent,
Nor he himself could bear, but as Omnipotent.
Now, to remove the leaft remaining doubt,
That e'en the blear-cy'd fects may find her out,
Behold what heavenly rays adorn her brows,
What from his wardrobe her belov'd allows
To deck the wedding-day of his unfpotted spouse.
Behold what marks of majesty she brings;
Richer than ancient heirs of eaftern kings:
Her right hand holds the fceptre and the keys,
To fhew whom the commands, and who obeys:
With thefe to bind, or fet the finner free,
With that to affert spiritual royalty.
One in herself, 7 not rent by schism, but found,
Entire, one folid fhining diamond;
Not fparkles shatter'd into fects like you:
One is the church, and must be to be true:
One central principle of unity.
As undivided, fo from errors free,
As one in faith, so one in fan&ity.
Thus fhe, and none but she, the insulting rage
Of heretics oppos'd from age to age:
Still when the giant-brood invades her throne,
She stoops from heaven, and meets them half way down,
And with paternal thunder vindicates her crown.
But like Egyptian forcerers you stand,
And vainly lift aloft your magic wand,
To sweep away the fwarms of vermin from the land:
You could like them, with like infernal force,
Produce the plague, but not arrest the course.
But when the boils and blotches, with difgrace
And public fcandal fat upon the face,
Themselves attack'd, the Magi ftrove no more,
They faw God's finger, and their fate deplore;
Themselves they could not cure of the dishonest fore.
Thus one, thus pure, behold her largely fpread,
Like the fair ocean from her mother-bed;
From east to weft triumphantly fhe rides,
All fhores are water'd by her wealthy tides.
7 Marks of the catholick church from the Nicene treed.
The gospel-found, diffus'd from pole to pole,
Where winds can carry, and where waves can roll,
The self-fame doctrine of the facred page
Convey'd to every clime, in every age.
Here let my forrow give my fatire place,
To raise new blushes on my British race;
Our failing ships like common-fewers we ufe,
And thro' our diftant colonies diffufe
The draught of dungeons, and the ftench of ftews.
Whom, when their home-bred honesty is loft,
We difembogue on fome far Indian coaft:
Thieves, pandars, 8 paillards, fins of every fort;
Those are the manufactures we export;
And these the miffioners our zeal has made:
For, with my country's pardon be it faid,
Religion is the leaft of all our trade.
Yet fome improve their traffic more than we;
For they on gain, their only god, rely,
And fet a public price on piety.
Induftrious of the needle and the chart,
They run full fail to their Japonian mart;
Prevention fear, and, prodigal of fame,
Sell all of 9 Chriftian to the very name;
Nor leave enough of that, to hide their naked shame.
Thus, of three marks, which in the creed we view,
Not one of all can be apply'd to you:
Much lefs the fourth; in vain, alas! you feek
The ambitious title of apoftolic:
God-like defcent! 'tis well your blood can be
Prov'd noble in the third or fourth degree:
For all of ancient that you had before,
(I mean what is not borrow'd from
Was error fulminated o'er and o'er;
8 Paillards-a french word for whoremafters.
9 It is faid that the Dutch in order to fecure to themfelves the whole trade of Japan, trample on the cross, and deny the name of Jefus,
Old herefies condemn'd in ages past,
By care and time recover'd from the blaft.
"Tis faid with ease, but never can be prov❜d,
The church her old foundations has remov'd,
And built new doctrines on unftable fands:
Judge that, ye winds and rains: you prov'd her, yet she stands.
Thofe ancient doctrines charg'd on her for new,
Shew when, and how, and from what hands they grew.
We claim no power, when herefies grow bold,
To coin new faith, but ftill declare the old.
How elfe could that obfcene disease be purg'd,
When controverted texts are vainly urg'd?
To prove tradition new, there's fomewhat more
Requir'd, than faying, 'twas not us'd before.
Thofe monumental arms are never ftirr'd,
Till fchifm or herefy call down Goliah's fword.
Thus, what you call corruptions, are, in truth,
The first plantations of the gofpel's youth;
Old standard faith: but caft your eyes again,
And view thofe errors which new fects maintain,
Or which of old disturb'd the church's peaceful,reign;
And we can point each period of the time,
When they began, and who begot the crime;
Can calculate how long the eclipfe endur'd,
Who interpos'd, what digits were cbfcur'd:
Of all which are already pafs'd away,
We know the rife, the progrefs, and decay.
Defpair at our foundations then to ftrike,
Till you can prove your faith apostolic;
A limpid ftream drawn from the native fource;
Succeffion lawful in a lineal course.
Prove any church, oppos'd to this our head,
So one, fo pure, fo unconfin'dly spread,
Under one chief of the fpiritual state,
The members all combin'd, and all fubordinate.
Shew fuch a feamless coat, from fchifm fo free,
In no communion join'd with heresy.
If fuch a one you find, let truth prevail:
Till when your weights will in the balance fail:
A church unprincipled kicks up the scale.
But if you cannot think (nor fure you can
Suppofe in God what were unjust in man)
That he, the fountain of eternal grace,
Should fuffer falfhood, for fo long a space,
To banish truth, and to ufurp her place:
That seven fucceffive ages should be lost,
And preach damnation at their proper coft;
That all your erring ancestors fhould die,
Drown'd in th' abyfs of deep idolatry :
If piety forbid fuch thoughts to rise,
Awake, and open your unwilling eyes:
God hath left nothing for each age undone,
From this to that wherein he fent his fon :
Then think but well of him, and half your work is done.
See how his church, adorn'd with every grace,
With open arms, a kind forgiving face,
Stands ready to prevent her long-loft son's embrace.
Not more did Jofeph o'er his brethren weep,
Nor lefs himself could from difcovery keep,
When in the crowd of fuppliants they were feen,
And in their crew his best-beloved Benjamin.
That pious Jofeph in the church behold,
To feed your famine, and refuse your gold;
The Jofeph you exil'd, the Jofeph whom you fold.
Thus, while with heavenly charity fhe spoke,
A ftreaming blaze the filent fhadows broke;
Shot from the fkies; a chearful azure light:
The birds obfcene to forefts wing'd their flight,
And gaping graves receiv'd the wand'ring guilty
I The renunciation of the Benedictines to the abby lands.