The World, whose nature is to fade and die,
Must change, and take up Immortality;
And Time, which to Eternity rolls on,
Must change, and be Eternity begun.
The Best of Men cannot suspend their Fate;
The Good die early, and the Bad die late.
His pious course with childhood he began,
And was his Maker's sooner than his own;
The Sacred Study all his thoughts confined,
A sign what secret Hand prepared his Mind:
The Heavenly Book he made his only School,
In Youth his Study, and in Age his Rule.
Solid, yet vigorous too, both grave and young,
A taking Aspect and a charming Tongue;
With David's Courage and Josiah's Truth,
All over Love, Sincerity, and Truth.
As the Gay World attacked him with her charms,
He shook the gaudy Trifle from his Arms.
His native Candour and familiar Style,
Which did so oft his Hearers' Hours beguile,
Charmed us with godliness, and while he spake,
We loved the Doctrine for the Teacher's sake.
While he informed us what those Doctrines meant,
By dint of Practice more than Argument,
Strange were the Charms of his Sincerity,
Which made his Actions and his Words agree
At such a constant and exact a rate
As made a Harmony we wondered at.
Honour he had by Birth, and not by Chance,
And more by Merit than Inheritance;
But both, together joined, complete his Fame,
For Honesty and Honour are the same,
And show, when Merit's joined with Quality,
The Gentleman and Christian may agree.
Humility was his dear, darling Grace,
And Honesty sate Regent in his face;
Meekness of Soul did in his Aspect shine,
But in the Truth resolved, and masculine;
A pleasing Smile sat ever on his Brow,
A sign that cheerful Peace was lodged below.
If e'er his Duty forced him to contend,
Calmness was all his Temper, Peace his end;
And if just Censure followed the Debate,
His Pity would his Zeal anticipate.
A Heavenly Patience did his Mind possess,
Cheerful in Pain and thankful in Distress;
Mighty in Works of Sacred Charity,
Which none knew better how to guide than he;
Bounty and generous thoughts took up his Mind,
Extensive, like his Maker's, to Mankind.
With such a Soul that (had he Mines in store)
He'd ne'er be Rich while any Man was Poor;
A Heart so great, that, had he but a Purse,
'Twould have supplied the Poor o' th' Universe.
Now he's above the Praises of my Pen,
The Best of Ministers and best of Men!
Then speak not of him with a Mournful Voice;
For why should we Repine and he Rejoice?
His Harvest has been full, his Season long,
And long he charmed us with his Heavenly Song,
The same, the very same, which flaming Love,
Fired with celestial Raptures, sings above,
Touched with a Sacred Influence, that's given
From that Eternal Harmony in Heaven.
How much Celestial Vision comprehends,
Whether to Human Actions it extends,
Whether he's now informed of things below,
Is needless as impossible to know:
For sight of Spirits is unprescribed by Space--
What see they not who see the Eternal Face?
And could he now, in his exalted state,
His thoughts by Sympathy communicate,
Or some superior way -- for Spirits converse
Without helps of Voice, -- could he rehearse
To our Conception what is heaven above,
'Twould be concisely thus -- All Heaven is Love.