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Religion is a branch, first set and blest

By heav'n's high finger in the hearts of kings:
Which whilome grew into a goodly tree,
Bright angels sat and sung upon the twigs,
And royal branches for the heads of kings
Were twisted of them.

Zeal against policy maintains debate;
Heav'n gets the better now, and now the state:
The learned do by turns the learn'd confute,
Yet all depart unalter'd by dispute.
The priestly office cannot be deny'd;

It wears heav'n's liv'ry, and is made our guide:
But why should we be punish'd if we stray;
When all our guides dispute which is the way?
Earl of Orrery's Mustapha.

Great piety consists in pride;
To rule is to be sanctified;
To domineer, and to control,
Both o'er the body and the soul,
Is the most perfect discipline,

Of church rule, and by right divine.

Hence 'tis, hypocrisy as well

Butler's Hudibras

Chapman's Byron's Conspiracy. Part II. Will serve t' improve a church as zeal;

Sacred religion! mother of form and fear!
How gorgeously sometimes dost thou sit deck'd?
What pompous vestures do we make thee wear?
What stately piles we prodigal erect?
How sweet perfum'd art thou, how shining clear?
How solemnly observ'd; with what respect?
Another time all plain, all quite thread-bare:
Thou must have all within, and nought without;
Sit poorly without light, disrob'd: no care
Of outward grace t'amuse the poor devout:
Poorless, unfollow'd: scarcely men can spare
The necessary rites to set thee out.

Daniel's Musophilus.
He whom God chooseth, out of doubt doth well:
What they that choose their God do, who can tell?
Lord Brooke's Mustapha.
Divinity, wrested by some factious blood,
Draws swords, swells battles, and o'erthrows all
Webster's White Devil.
He wears his faith but as the fashion of
His hat; it ever changes with the next block.

Shaks. Much ado.

As persecution or promotion
Do equally advance devotion.

Butler's Hudibras

For his religion it was fit
To match his learning and his wiṭ;
'Twas Presbyterian true blue;

For he was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints, whom all men grant
To be the true church militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun:
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery;

And prove their doctrine orthodox,
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire, and sword, and desolation,
A godly, thorough reformation,
Which always must be carried on,
And still be doing, never done;
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended.

Butler's Hudibras. Could not that wisdom which first broached the Who search the secrets of the future state: But whither went his soul, let such relate,


Have thicken'd it with definitions?

Divines can say but what themselves believe;
Strong proofs they have, but not demonstrative

And jagg'd his seamless coat, had that been fine, For, were all plain, then all sides must agree,

With curious questions and divisions?

But all the doctrine which he taught and gave
Was clear as heav'n, from whence it came:
At least those beams of truth, which only save,
Surpass in brightness any flame,

Love God, and love your neighbour; watch and

Do as you would be done unto:

O dark instructions, ev'n dark as day!
Who can these gordian knots undo?

And faith itself be lost in certainty.
To live uprightly then is sure the best,
To save ourselves, and not to damn the rest.
Dryden's Palamon and Arcue.
Devotion in distress

Is born, but vanishes in happiness.

Dryden's Tyrannic Love.

Yet crowds will still believe, and priests will teach
As wand'ring faricy, and as int'rest leads.


Rowe's Royal Convert

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Without or star, or angel, for their guide,
Who worship God, shall find him. Humble love,
And not proud reason, keeps the door of heaven:
Love finds admission, where proud science fails.
Young's Night Thoughts.
True religion

Is always mild, propitious, and humble,
Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood;
Nor bears destruction on her chariot-wheels;
But stoops to polish, succour, and redress,
And builds her grandeur on the public good.
Miller's Mahomet.

What a reasonless machine
Can superstition make the reas'ner man!
Miller's Mahomet.

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O Thou! dark, awful, vast, mysterious power,
Whom Christians worship, yet not comprehend:
If ignorant of thy new laws I stray,
Shed from thy distant heav'n, where'er it shines,
One ray of guardian light, to clear my way:
And teach me first to find, then act thy will.
Hill's Alzira

To give religion her unbridled scope,
Nor judge by statute a believer's hope.

Cowper's Table Talk.
Priests have invented, and the world admir'd
What knavish priests promulgate as inspir'd;
Till reason, now no longer overaw'd,
Resumes her pow'rs, and spurns the clumsy fraud
Cowper's Tirocinium.

Whether from principle, or jail dismay,
Springs thy morality, we dare not say.

Dr. Wolcott's Peter Pindar

Ere wit oblique had broke that steady light,
Man, like his Maker, saw that all was right;
To virtue in the paths of pleasure trod,
And own'd a father when he own'd a God.
Love all the faith, and all th' allegiance then:
For nature knew no right divine in men,
No ill could fear in God; and understood
A sovereign being, but a sovereign good.
True faith, truc policy, united ran;
That was but love of God, and this of man.
Pope's Essay on Man.
Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be The flow of waters, and the song of birds,

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Methinks it is not strange then, that I fled
The house of prayer, and made the lonely grove
My temple, at the foot of some old oak,
Watching the little tribes that had their world
Within its mossy bark; or laid me down
Beside the rivulet whose murmuring

Was silence to my soul, and mark'd the swarm
Whose light-edged shadows on the bedded sand
Mirror'd their many sports; the insect hum,

Making a holy music to mine ear:

Oh! was it strange, if for such scenes as these,
Such deep devoutness, such intense delight
Of quiet adoration, I forsook

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