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But the monitory strain,

Oft repeated in your ears, Seems to sound too much in vain,

Wins no notice, wakes no fears.

Can a truth, by all confess'd

Of such magnitude and weight, Grow, by being oft impress’d,

Trivial as a parrot's prate?

Pleasure's call attention wins,

Hear it often as we may; New as ever seem our sins,

Though committed every day.

Death and judgment, heaven and hell

These alone, so often heard, No more move us than the bell,

When some stranger is interrd.

O then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from every eye, Spirit of Instruction, come,

Make us learn that we must die.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1792.

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari!

Virg
Happy the mortal, who has traced effects
To their first cause, cast fear beneath his feet,
And death, and roaring hell's voracious fires !

THANKLESS for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon; Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.

But he, not wise enough to scan

His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages, if he might:

To ages,

To ages in a world of pain;

where he goes Gall'd by affliction's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.

Strange fondness of the human heart,

Enamour'd of its harm ! Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm !

Whence has the world her magic power?

Why deem we death a foe? Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer woe?

The cause is Conscience-Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews :
Her voice is terrible, though soft,

And dread of death ensues.

Then anxious to be longer spared,

Man mourns his fleeting breath; All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of death.

"Tis judginent shakes him; there's the fear

That prompts the wish to stay: He has incurr'd a long arrear,

And must despair to pay.

Pay !—follow Christ, and all is paid;

His death your peace ensures ; Think on the grave where he was laid,

And calm descend to yours.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1793.

De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur. -Cic. de Leg.

But let us all concur in this one sentiment, that things sacred be inviolate,

He lives who lives to God alone,

And all are dead beside ;
For other source than God is none

Whence life can be supplied.

To live to God is to requite

His love as best we may:
To make his precepts our delight,

His promises our stay.

But life, within a narrow ring

Of giddy joys comprised,
Is falsely named, and no such thing,

But rather death disguised.

Can life in them deserve the name,

Who only live to prove
For what poor toys they can disclaim

An endless life above?

Who much diseased, yet nothing feel;

Much menaced, nothing dread ; Have wounds which only God can heal,

Yet never ask his aid ?

Who deem his house a useless place ;

Faith, want of common sense ; And ardour in the Christian race,

A hypocrite's pretence ?

Who trample order; and the day,

Which God asserts his own, Dishonour with unhallow'd play,

And worship chance alone?

If scorn of God's commands, impress'd

On word and deed, imply
The better part of man unbless'd

With life that cannot die;

Such want it, and that want, uncured

Till man resigns his breath, Speaks him a criminal, assured

Of everlasting death.

Sad period to a pleasant course !

Yet so will God repay
Sabbaths profaned without remorse,

And mercy cast away.

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