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militude. Accept, then, a few hints of consolation from a part of scripture, which, by an easy turn of thought, may be applied to your case.
Rev. xii. 1. - A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet : V. 2. Being with child, travailed in birth : v. 5. And she brought forth a man child, and it was caught up to God and his throne : v. 6. And the woman had a place prepared of God in the wilderness, V. 14. To be 'nourished for a time and times: v.9. But the great dragon that was cast out of heaven, the old serpent called the Devil and Satan, v. 13. Persecuted the woman : v. 15. And cast out of his mouth water as a flood: v. 17. And went to make war with the remnant of her seed.
Thus far the words of scripture.
Now, Madam, if you have put on Christ, and are clothed by faith with the Sun of righteousness ; if you are drest in the shining graces of heaven, and have the pale and changing glories of this world under your feet, then you may be assured the child that you have brought forth is not lost, but is caught up to God and his throne, by virtue of that extensive covenant which includes sincere Christians and their offspring together. Mourn not therefore for your son who is with God, but rather for yourself, who are yet in the wilderness of this world, where the old serpent has so much power; where he will persecute you with the flood of his temptations, if possible to carry you away with them ; but I trust God has prepared a place for your safety, even his church, his gospel, his own everlasting arms.
Yet shall the serpent make war with the remnant of your seed; your little daughter that remains in the wilderness must go through this war, and be exposed to these temptations. O turn your tears from your son, into pity and prayer for yourself and your daughter, that ye may never be carried away by these floods; but when the times are past which God has appointed for your abode and nourishment in the wilderness, you may rejoice to find yourself,
with all your offspring, in everlasting safety before the throne of God. Amen.
So prays your affectionate, &c. May 2. 1719.
III. Heathen Poesy Christianized. 1736. It is a piece of ancient and sacred history which Moses inform us of, that when the tribes of Israel departed from the land of Egypt, they borrowed of their neighbours gold and jewels, by the appointment of God, for the decoration of their sacrifices and solemn worship, when they should arrive at the appointed place in the wilderness. God himself taught his people how the richest of metals which had ever been abused to the worship of idols, might be purified by the fire, and, being melted up into a new form, might be consecrated to the service of the living God, and add to the magnificence and grandeur of his tabernacle and temple. Such are some of the poetical writings of the ancient Heathens : they have a great deal of native beauty and lustre in them, and, through some happy turn given them by the pen of a Christian poet, may be transformed into divine meditations, and may assist the devout and pious soul in several parts of the Christian life and worship.
Amongst all the rest of the Pagan writers, I know none so fit for this service as the odes of Horace, as vile a sinner as he was. Their manner of composure comes nearer the spirit and force of the psalms of David than any other ; and as we take the devotions of the Jewish king, and bring them into our Christian churches, by changing the scene and the chronology, and superadding some of the glories of the gospel, so the representation of some of the Heathen virtues, by a little more labour, may be changed into Christian graces, or at least into the image of them, so far as human power can reach. One day musing on this project, I made an experiment on the two last stanzas of Ode
29. Book iii.
Non meum est, si mugiat Africis
Ne Cypric Tyriæque merces
Sink in their drowning ship,
Defraud their long projecting cares,
Hath swell's the storm so high,
Or give some angel swift command
He that distributes crowns and thorns,
If I could pursue all the wondrous achievements of a dying and a rising Saviour in verse, as fast and as far as my thoughts sometimes attempt to trace them, I should lengthen this ode to many stanzas, and yet, at last, I should lose both my thoughts and my verse amongst the unknown wonders of his glory, and the ages of eternity.
Who shall fulfil this boundless song?
What vain pretender dares ?
And Gabriel's heart despairs
V. COMPLAINT and HOPE wder great PAIN. 1736.
To thy superior will :
While those that love thee groan.
And plead before her God,
Secure my soul from hell?
W bile thus at home confin'd ?
VI. * Note, In this ode, there are three or four lines taken from Mr Stennet's Sacramental Hymns; for when I found they exprest my thought and design, in proper and beautiful language, I chose rather to borrow and aco knowledge the debt, than to labour hard for worse lines, that I might have the poor pleasure of calling them my own,