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Still to the great Jehovah, Lord of all!
In different ways the pious heave the sigh; Regardless of the mode, he hears their call,
And dries, in every land, the tearful eye.
The honest mind in every varied clime,
Alike demands the approving smile of heaven; Sincere amendment does away the crime,
And mercy to the contrife heart is given.
Is not the God you worship boundless love?
Say then ye sects of every land and name, How do you dare his dictates disapprove,
And ever seek each other to defame?
Shall you, who boast a Saviour for your head,
A lord who suffered, died, and bled for all, Still in your actions contradict his creed,
And wanting candour-low as devils fall !*
The author wishes to be understood, that he only uses the word devils figuratively; he has no faith in their existence really, and he believes, that when mankind find that they do not want wars, and taxes, and a religion to underprop the extravagancies of power by extravagancies of its own, they will discoyer that they can do very well without devils.
Hence, ye profane! of whatsoever tribe,
And perish all the systems that you teach! In vain you talk, if you have priestly pride,
And wanting charity in vain you preach.
What are your forms, ye Christians, Pagans, Turks?
If vehicles to serve your God, 'tis well;
Nor cares if psalms you sing, or beads you tell.
Serve then sincere that Power who reigns above;
O'er all he holds corrective mercy's rod;
POETICAL SCRAPS, vol. II. page 135.
How paltry, how detestable, is that criticism, which only seeks to find out and dwell on errors and inaccuracies ; passing over in silence, what is grand, sublime, and useful! How still more paltry, and detestable, is that disposition, which seeks only to find out and dwell on the defects and foibles of character !
While Mr. Paine's enemies have laboured, and are still labouring, to detect vices and errors in his life and manners, shall not his friends dwell on the immense good he has done in public life, on the happiness he has created for myriads, in private? Shall they not point to the abodes of delight and comfort, where live and flourish the blessings of domestic bliss ; AFFECTION's dear intercourses, FRIENDSHIP's solaces, and Love's sacred enjoyments ? and there are millions of such abodes originating in his labours. Why seek occasions, surly critics and detractors ! to maltreat and misrepresent Mr. Paine? He was mild, unoffending, sincere, gentle, humble, and unassuming; his talents were soaring, acute, profound, extensive, and original; and he possessed that charity, which covers a multitude of sins: but as the following Elegy, published soon after his death, conveying a just character of him, is considered as a more appropriate channel for doing so than prose, I take the liberty to conclude this Life with transcribing it.
MEMORY OF THOMAS PAINE.
The unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.
Acutely throbb’d my bosom, as I stood
On Gallia’s strand, and markt, with tearful eye, Thy lessening bark that plough'd the briny flood,
Till the last glimpse was lost mid sea and sky.
Yet hope still flutter'd round my aching breast;
And as along our favorite walks I stray'd, While the bright sun was sinking in the west,
And Seine her matchless prospects wide display'd:
Or while the moon, holding her high career,
Gleam'd on the sombre woods and glittering main, While murmuring surges, breaking on the ear,
With melancholy musings mixt their strain
Fondly I sigh’d, alas !--Tho here no more
Mid NATURE's loveliest scenery we shall prowl, Nor share again, on HAVRE's charming shore,
« The feast of reason and the flow of soul”
Tho heré, mid bowers fit for the Muse's haunt,
We ne'er shall shape our devious course again ; Ne'er range the hills, the woods, the fields, that slant
Where the broad Seine majestic meets the main
Yet will I not despair. The time may come,
When on COLUMBIA's free and happy coast, With thee once more at large thy friend shall roam,
Once more renew the blessings he has lost.
Thus Hope still flutter'd round my throbbing breast,
And heal'd the direful wound which parting gave, Soothed each afflictive feeling into l'est,
And like a pitying angel came to save.
And often thus, amid my troublous days
A life eventful, and of varied hue-
And present evils taught me to subdue.
Fallacious CHARMER! long my soul enjoy'd
The pleasing hope to cross the Atlantic main ; But cruel DEATH the promised bliss destroy'd,
And snatcht, with unrelenting hand, my PAINE.
Cast in superior mould, some nobler souls
Sublimely soar, for great events design'd, Whom no corruption taints, no vice controls
Who live to enlighten -- live to bless mankind.