Thomas Pearsall, Quaker Businessman

Manhattan and Flushing, New York

1735-1810


MANUSCRIPTS IN THOMAS PEARSALL'S COLLECTION AT THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

 

.DOCUMENT I.

The following is from a photocopy of a damaged and ancient handwritten document on good rag paper much damaged at the top of the pages. The first page(s) may be missing.

"............es Earthly Sufferings...venly Renou....

..............if say blessed are you....en y World speaks well of ...

..............fawns upon you: So...t his Blessings Cross the...

..............for the World blesseth those as happy who have y World's

............He blesseth those as happy that have y Worlds Frowns.

.......Is solveth y great objection Why are you so foolish to

ex yourselves to y Lan, to incur y Displeasures of Magistrates

and ..uffer y Loss of your Estate & Liberties? Cannot a Man...

serve God in his heart and do as others do? Are you wiser than yo...

forefathers? Call to mind your ancestors. Will you question their

Salvation by your Novelties and forget y future good of your Wife and Children as well as sacrifice present comforts of your Life, to hold up y Credit of a Party ? A Language I ..ue more than once heard. I say this Doctrine of Christ is an Answer and Antidote against y force of this objection. He teacheth us to embrace Truth under all those Scandals. The Jews had more to say of this kind than any, whose Way had a more extraordinary Institution; but Christ minds not either Institution or Succession. He was a new Man and came to consecrate a New Way and that [by the] will of God, and the Power that accompanied his Ministry and that of his followers, abundantly proved the divine Authority of his Mission, who thereby warns his...to

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expect and to bear Con......lection, Believing and.....................n:

for if they did it to y gree.....re, much more wer....................ect

that they would do it to ye dry...: If to the Lord then.............nt.

Why then should Christians fear that Reproach and Tru...........t

are the Companions of his Religion, Since they work to his......eer

Followers of more exceeding and eternal Weight ...................rry?

But indeed they have great Cause to fear and be ashamed who are the Authors of such Reproach and suffering, for contrary to ye meek and merciful spirit of Christ: For if they are Blessed who are reviled and persecuted for his sake, the Revilers and Persecutors must be cursed. But this is not all: he Bid his Disciples follow him, learn of him, for he was meek and lowly: He taught them to bear injuries andnot smite again; To exceed in Kindness; fo go two Miles when asked to go one, To part with Cloak and Coat too; To give to them that ask......

Rest of page blank.


THE LORD'S PRAYER, with or without Verse

Thou to thy Mercy Seat our Souls doth gather

To do our Duty unto thee.........our Gather

To whom all Praise, all Honour should be given

For thou art the great God........which art in Heaven

Thou by thy Wisdom rules the World's whole Frame

For ever therefore........& Hallowed be thy Name

Let never more Delays divide us from

Thy Glorious Grace, but let........Thy Kingdom come

Let thy Commands opposed be by NoneBut thy good pleasure and........Thy Will be done

And let our promptness to obey be even

The very same........ib earth as 'tis in Heaven

Then for our Souls O Lord we also pray

Thou wouldst be pleased to ........give us this Day

Sufficient Raiment and ........our daily Bread

with every needful Thing do thou relieve us.

And of thy Mercy pity and........forgive us

All our Misdeeds for him whom thou didst pleaseTo make an Offering for........iyr Trespasses

And forasmuch O Lord as we believe that Thou wilt pardon us...as we forgive

Let that Love teach us wherewith thou acquaints us

To Pardon all those........that tresspass against us

And though sometimes thou fearest we have forgot

The love of thee yet helps........And lead us not

Trhough Soul and Body Want to Desperation

Nor let Earth's Gain drive us ........into Temptation

Let not the Soul of any true Belieer

Fall in the Time of Tryall...but deliver

Yea save the from the Malice of the Devil

And both in life and Death keep...us from Evil

Thus pray we Lord for that of thee from whom

This may be had........for thine is the Kingdom

This World is of thy Work its wondrous Story

To thee belongs ........the Power and the Glory

And all thy wondrous Works have ended never

But will remain ........for ever and for ever

Thus we poor Creatures would confess again

And thus would say eternally - Amen



EXTRACT FROM THOMAS STORY'S JOURNAL 217

 

And here among my own memorials, I think proper to insert thefoundation of Infant Baptism or Rantism- A controversy anda hot one too, arising among the learned, professing Religion (by whom inall Ages the greatest Errors and Mischiefs have been introduced,contested, propagated and imposed upn the rest of Mankind) concerning Original Sin; and the ruling and strongest party blindly concluding that little Children were guilty of it so as to affect their State in Eternity, they imagined Something must be done (by them) to free Children from that Guilt, and affect Regeneration in them and pitched upon Water Baptism as the Means: But confessing the tender Condition of Enfants and the hurt which might arise from dipping or washing them in Water, especially in cold Countries, they laid that aside by degrees and practiced Sprinkling only instead of Baptism, declining that which they pretended to believe was an Ordinance of Christ, they established their own Ordinance: for which I refer to the second Edition of D'Anvers, a learned and Elaborate Tract on that Subject page 105.106 from which a page next following in that Journal is transcribed.


AN HYMN TO CONTENTMENT

 

Lovely lasting Peace of Mind

Sweet Delight of Human kind

Heavenly born and bred on high

To crown the fav'rites of the Sky

With more of Happiness below

Than Victors in a Triumph know!

Whither, o Whither hast thou fled

To lay thy meek Contented head

What happy Refion dost thou please

To make the leaf of Calm & Ease

 

Ambition searches all its sphere

of Pomp and State to meet thee there

Encreasing [sic] Avarice would find

Thy Presence in its Gold enshrin'd

The bold Adventurer ploughed his way

Thro' Rocks amidst the foaming Sea

To gain thy Love; and then perceive

Thou wast not in the Rock and Waves

 

The silent Heart with Grief assails

Tread soft and lonesome o'er the Vales

Sees Daisies open Ruvers run

And seeks far - I have vainly done

Amusing thought, but learns to know

That Solitude's the Nurse of Woe.

No real Happiness is found

In trailing purple oe'r the ground

Or in a soul exalted high

To range the Circuit of the Sky,

Converse with Stars above and know

All nature in its forms below,

The Rest it seeks in seeking dies

And Doubt at last for Knowledge rise

Lovely lasting Peace appear!

This World itself if thou art here,

Is once again with Eden blest

And Man contains it in his Bread

Twas thus an under shade of flood

Flung my Wishes to the Wood

And lost in thought no more perceived

The Branches whisper as the wav'd

It seem'd as all the quiet place

Confided the presence of the Grace

When thus she spake - go rule thy will

Bid thy wild passion all be still,

Know God - and bring thy Heart to know

The Joy which from Religion flow;

Then ever Grace shall prove its Guest

And I'll be there to crown the rest.

 

Oh! By yonder mossy Seat

In my Hours of sweet Retreat;

Might I thus my Soul employ

With sense of Gratitude and Joy;

Rais'd as ancient People were

In heav'nly vision praise and Prayer

Pleasing all Men, hurting none

Pleased and blest with God alone:

Then while the Gardens take my Sight

With all the Colors of Delight:

While silver waters glide along

To please my Ear and court my Song

I'll lift my voice and tune my String

And thee great {House?} of Nature sing

 

The Sun that walks his airy way

To light the world and guide the day;

The Moon that shines with borrowed light;

The Stars that gild the gloomy Night:

The Seas that roll unnumbered waves;

The Wood that spreads its shady Leaves

The Field whose ears conceal the grain

The yellow treasure of the plain;

All of these and all I see

Should be sung and sung by me

They speak their Maker as they can

But want and ask the Tongue of Man

 

Go search among your idle Dreams

Your busy or your vain Extremes

And find a life of Equal Bliss

Or own the next begun in this.


RACHEL CHANDLER (FORMERLY RACHEL PENFOLD)

 

A brief memorial of the Lord's Gracious Dealings with Rachel Chandler (formerly Rachel Renfold) late of Esher in Surry, writte by herself a few months before her Decease and at her particular Request communicated to Friends. ----

"When I confide that the grave canot celeprate the praise that is due to the Lord on the account of his gracious and merciful Dealings with my Soul, I am inclined to say so much on God's behalf as may suffice to let Mankind know, that he of his own free Mercy first visited my Soul when it was gone very far astray from the right path, and at about the Seventeenth year of my Age laid the Axe to the Root of the corrupt tree and shook my Sandy foundation, so that my feeble Building grounded only on Profession ad Name was made to totter and I to cry out in the Anguish of my

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Spirit, what shall I do to become what I ought fo be so I might obtain favour and peace with God and such was my Sorrow Night and Day that I often wish'd I had never been born, or that I had died very young before I had the Knowledge of Good or Evil for now that the Book of the Law was opened the Commandmments came, Sin revived that had been hid and covered with a fig leaf covering and I died and as one sensible of the Terror of the Lord I often cried "Oh wretched Creature that I am, who shall deliver me from this Body of Sin and Death, thus went I secretly mourning on y way for a long time, while my Adversary laid many Baits to catch my unwary Feet yet whenever I yielded to the forceaable power of Conviction tho' in ever so trivial things, I found peace, but as I had gone a great way from the Father's House, lo I had a great way to come back again, and it took up much time for there was long War between the House of Saul and the House of David but

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blessed be God the Father and fountain of Life the h[ouse] Of David grew Stronger and stronger as the House of Saul grew weaker and weaker so that in time mine Enemies were discomfited and what I had seen and heard in Secret at the bottom of Jordan and in the depth of the Sea was I required to proclaim as on the House top which was so weighty an Engagement that it took up much time to be fitted for least not being rightly prepared I should be drawn in a forward zeal to do that which was not required of me as poor Ussah did; or being rightly anointed, yet through a forward mind to be doing should be hastily drawn to offer sacrifice before Samuel came, for that after repeated Manifestations and convincing Circumstances had been afforded yet the confirming Evidence being wanted, I durst not appear in a public Testimony forged until Gideon like I had try'd the fleece every way by which the Long Forbearance of the Lord was discovered to me-wards; who knew my withholding was

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was not from obstinate Rebellion, but through Fear of taking that upon me which I was not called to, and that my desire in doing his work was that I might be his Servant and found answering the End for which I was made-that rightly improving my Tallent I might at the last have an Entrance into the Joy of my Lord and at Length having waited the Season tor the Accomplishing the work of manifesting my Love by Obedience, I gave up in great Weakness and Trembling to Speak a few Words in Meethings in the Twenty Sixth year of my Age and had great Peace in so doing & altho I have never been called to much Service, yet having one Talent committed to my Trust I have found an absolute Necessity to improve the small portion of Grace received and also to watch and guard against Temptation which I have had my Share in many ways but find none more dangerous if subtil than cursed Self the most cruel Foe of whom I am the more free in order to inform others that they may

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beware of him for he lurketh in the Secret Corners & with many fine ways & Words seeketh constantly to betray the simple at unawares; to give hi the Honour which belongs to God: I hae seen him in many Shapes and have had many Combat with him & as I cannot honour him in any of his appearances therefore I have born Ignominy and Scorn, yet oh how do I rejoice in this to see him underfoot and the Lord to be uppermost - there Self is of me no Reputation and that I may Still witness this that as y Eye hath been steadily fixed on my good Guide who first found me out when alone in a Desart [sic] Land, and a concern hath been raised to follow him only in the way of his Leadings, that he also may have the Glory and Praise in conducting me so far on my Journey through many Straits and difficulties which but only to look back upon makes me shudder at them insomuch that approaching Death appears a ;leasant Release from of world of Tryals [sic] and Besetments which

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while here we are liable to, and am ready to conclude my work is almost done, my day near at an End, my Sun near setting in which the Curtain of the Night will be drawn over my Earthly Tabernacle which pain and Weakness makes to shake so that suppose what I do I had need to do quickly for do Device or work can there be done when the Spirit is departed----therefore having Love to my fellow Citizens as well as good Will to Strangers, am willing for their Encouragement to leave this small hint of the Goodness of God to me a poor Worm who am far from being able to speak of one half of what he hath done for me and do this only that Men may glorify God when they find my footsteps and consider that as weak as I have been yet the great Condescension of divine Wisdom and Omnipotence is such that now being confined as a Prisoner at home by my incurable Malady in the Flesh, my Spirit is at Liberty to praise God and Glory to his Name under

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a renewed Sense that I have so far fought the good fight and have hitherto been helped to keep the Faith and I feel Peace to be my reward which makes ample amends for all my Sorrows yea & present Pain. Hallelujah to God on High; Peace on Earth - food Will toward Men faith my Soul - oh! Let all cleave to him as to a most sure and certain Guide, who will not leave his [sic] comfortless blessed be his Name, but will come again and cause them to rejoice and thus Joy shall exceed the Joy of Harvest when Corn and Wine encreaseth [sic]

Esher in Surry 9th Month 1764

R Chandler


THE CONSTANCY OF ELEAZER, ONE OF THE ANCIENT PEOPLE OF THE JEWS

Eleazer, one of the principal Scribes, an ag'd Man and a well-favoured Countenance was constrained to open his Mouth to eat Swines flesh but he chusing [sic] rather to die gloriously than to live, stained with such an abomination, spit it forth, and came of his own accord to the Torment, as it behoved them to come, that are resolvedto stand out against such things as are not lawful for love of life to be tasted: But they that had the charge of that wicked Feast for the old Acquaintance they had with the Man,taking him aside, besought him to bring flesh of his own Provision such as was lawful for him to use & make as if he did eat of the Flesh taken from the Sacrifice, commanded by the King; that in so doing he might be delivered from Death, and for the old Friendship with him find Favour. But he began to conquer discreetly, and as became his Age and the excellency of his ancient Years & the Honour of his grey head, whereunto he was come, and his most honest Education from a Child, or rather the holy Law made and given by God, therefore he answered accordingly, & willed them Straitways to send him to the Grave:" For it becometh not our Age (said he) in any wise to dissemble, whereby many young Persons might think that Eleazer being fourscore and ten years old, were now gone to a Strange Religion and so they, through mine Hypocrisy and desire to live a little time & a moment longer, shou'd be deceived by me, and I get a stain to mine old Age and make it abominable: for tho' for the present time I should be delivered from the punishment of Men yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty neither alive nor dead; wherefore now manfully changing this life, I will shew myself such an one as mine age requireth & leave a notable Example to such as be young, to die willingly and Couragiously, for the Honourable and holy Laws" and when he had said these words-immediately he went to the Torment; they that leave him changing the Good-will they bore him a little before, into Hatred; because the aforesaid Speeches proceeded , as they thought from a desperate Mind: but when he was ready to die with the Stripes he groaned and said " It is manifest unto the Lord who hath the holy Knowledge, that whereas I might have been delivered from death, I now endured sore pains in Body by being beaten: but in Soul am well content to suffer these things, because I fear him."

Thus this Man died leaving his death for an example of noble courage and a memorial of Virtue unto all his Nation.



THE MAIDEN'S BEST ADORNING -OR A DIRECTORY TO THE FEMALE SEX BEING A FATHER'S ADVICE TO HIS DAUGHTER

 

Dear Child these words which briefly I declare

Let them not hang like Jewells in thine Ear

But in the secret Closet of thy Heart

Lock them up safe that they may ne'er Depart.

Give first to God the Flower of thy Youth

Take for thy Guide the blessed word of Truth

Adorn thy Soul with Grace, prize Wisdom more

Than all the pearls upon the Indian Shore.

 

Think not to live still free from Grief, Sorrow

The Man who laughs to day may weep to morrow

Nor dream of Joy unmixed here below

No Roses here but what on thorns do grow

Scorn this deluding words that most bewitches

And place thy Hopes in Everlasting Riches.

 

Get a good Treasure laid up in thy Heart

Which by discourse thou wisely mayest impart

To profit others; holy thoughts within

Will guide thy Tongue and keep thee safe from Sin

 

Learn to distinguish between faithful Friends

And fawning Flatterers who for base Ends

Will speak thee fair with Words as soft as Oil

And make a show of Friendship to beguile

 

The Secrets of thy Friend do not disclose

Least by so doing those resemble those

Whose Ears are leaking Vessels which contain

Nothing; but what pour'd in runs out again

Straight at their Mouth proclaiming them unfit

For any Trust & to be void of Wit:

 

If thou resolve to change a single Life

And hast a purpose to become a Wife

Then chuse a Husband and not for worldly gain

No for his comely shape or beauty vain

If Money makes the Match or Lust impure

Both Bride and Bridegroom too shall weep be sure

 

But if the Fear of God most excellent

Be chiefly minded look for true Content

Cast off all needless and distrustful Care

Little is enough; too much a Snare

 

Our Journey from our cradle to our grave

Can be but short no great Provision crave

For such Conveniences as must be had

Trust in thy God who hath so richly clad

The fragrant Meadows with fresh silver showers

Sent down to nurse up under plants and flowers

He for each chirping Bird, provides a Nest

And gives all creatures that which feeds them best.

To him give Thanks for Mercie which before

Thou hast received and that make Way for more.

 

For Faith before his Face, reprove thy Friend

But all good Deeds behind his Back commend

Labour for Peace, strive to contend with none

Let Reason with sweet calmness keep the Throne

Treading fierce Wrath and lawless Passion down

The Grace of Meekness is a Woman's Crown.

 

Make Room for Christ; let not so base a Guest

As Earth have any Lodging in thy Breast.

Bad Company as deadly poison shun

Thousands by it are ruin'd and undone.

The giddy Multitude still goes astray

Turn from their brad and chuse the narrow Way

 

Keep Death and Judgement always in thine Eye

He's only fit to live that's fit to dye,

Make use of present time because thou must

E'er long take up thy lodging in the Dust

 

'Tis dreadful to behold the setting Sun

And Night approach before our work be done,

Let not thy winged days be spent in vain

When gone no Gold can call them back again.

 

Strive to subdue thy Sin when first beginning

Custom when once confirme'd is stranglely winning

Be much at Pray'r it is the begging Trade

By which true Christians are the richer made

 

Of Meditation get the blessed Art

And often search thy own deceitful Heart

Fret not with Envy at thy Neighbor's Wealth

Preferment Learning, Beauty Strength or Health

 

Abhor the lying Tongue, vile fraud detest

Plain Hearted Men by providence are blest

Take heed of Idlenesss that cursed Nurse

And Mother of all Vice there's nothing worse

And fly from Pride, high Hills are barren ground

But lowly Vallees with choice fruits are crown'd

Short sinful Pleasures and Delights eschew

Eternal Torments are their wages due

 

The Rules of Temperance observe and keep

That thou offend not in Meat Drink or Sleep

Nor costly Garments wear let Men admire

Thy Person rather than thy rich attire

 

Be Loving patient courteous and kind

So doing those shall Grace and Honour find

Where upon Earth and when all-conq'ring death

Thy Body shall dissolve and Stop thy Breath

 

Upon the Golden Wings of Faith and Love

Thy Soul shall fly to Paradise above,

where Sin and Sorrow shall forever cease

And there be Crowned with endless Joy and Peace

 

Gershom Boate


THE HERMIT-OR THE JUSTICE OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, REPRESENTED

 

Far in a Wild unknown to public View

From Youth to Age, a rev'rend Hermit grew;

The Moss his Bed, the Cave his humble Cell

His Food the Fruits, his Drink the Chrystal Well:

Remote from Man with God he passed the days

Pray'r all his Bus'ness, all his pleasure Praise

A life so sacred such serene Repose

Seem'd Heaven itself till one suggestion rose.

That Vice should triumph, virtue vice obey

This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway.

His Hopes no more a certain prospect boast,

And all the Tenure of his Soul is lost.

So when a smooth expanse receives imprest

Calm Nature's Image on its watr'y Breast

Down bend the Banks, the Trees depending grow

and Skies beneath with answ'ring Colours glow

 

But if a Stone the gentle Scene divide

Swift ruffling Circles curl on every side

And glimm'ring fragments of a broken Sun

Banks Trees and Skies in thick disorder run.

 

To clear this doubt to know the world by Sight

To find if Books or Swains report it right,

For yet by swains alone the World he knew

Whose feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew.

He quits his Cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore

And fix'd the Scallop in his Hat before;

Then with the Sun a rising Journey went

Sedate to think and watching each event

The Morn was wasted in the pathless Grass

And long and lonesome was the wild to pass.

But when the Southern Sun had warm'd the day

A Youth came posting o'er a crossing way;

His Raiment decent, his Complexion fair;

And soft in graceful Ringlets wav'd his Hair.

Then near approaching, Father hail he cry'd

And hail my Son the rev'rend like reply'd:

Words follow'd Words, from Question answer flow'd

And talk of various kind deceiv'd the Road.

 

Till each with other pleased and loth to part

While in their Age they differ, join in Heart.

Thus stands a aged Elm in Ivy bound

Thus youthful Ivy clasps an Elm around;

 

Now sunk the Sun, the closing Hour of day

Came onward, mantled o'er with Sober Grey;

Nature in Silence bid the world repose;

When near the Road a Stately palace rose.

There by the Moon through Ranks of Trees they pass,

Whose Verdure crowned their sloping sides of grass.

It chanc'd the noble Master of the Dome

Still made his House the wandering Stranger home

Yet still the Kindness from a thirst of Praise

Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive Ease.

The pair arrive; the liveried Servants wait.

The Table groans withh costly piles of Food,

And all is more than hospitably good.

Then led to Rest the Day's long Toil they drown

Deep sunk in Sleep and [?] heaps of Down.

At length 'tis Morn and at the dawn of Day

Along the wide Canals the Zephyrs play;

Fresh o'er the gay parterres the Breezes creep

And shake the Neighbouring Hive to banish sleep

 

Up rise the Guests, obiedient to the Call

An early Banquet deck'd the splendid Hall;

Rich luscious Wine a Golden Goblet grac'd

Which the kind Master forc'd the Guests to taste

Then pleas'd and thankful from the porch they go

And but the landlord, none had Cause of woe

The younger Guest purloin'd the glitt'ring Prize.

As one who spies a Serpent on his way,

Glist'ning and basking in the Summer's Ray,

Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near,

Then walks with faintness on and looks with Fear:

So seem'd the Sire when far upon the Road,

The Shining Spoil his wily partner shew'd.

He stopt with Silence then walk'd with trembling Heart,

And much he wish'd but durst not ask to part:

Murm'ring he lifts his Eyes and thinks it hard

That gen'rous Actions meet a base reward.

While thus they pass, the Sun his Glory shrouds

The Changing Skies hang out their sable Clouds;

A Sound in Air presaged approaching Rain,

And Beasts to cover scud across the plain.

Warn'd by the signs, the wand'ring pair retreat

To seek for shelter at a neighb'ring Seat.

 

Twas built with Turrets, on a rising Ground,

And strong and large and unimprov'd around;

Its Owner's Temper, tim'rous and severe,

Unkind and griping, caus'd a Desart [sic] there.

 

As near the Miser's heavy doors they drew

Fierce rising Gusts with sudden Fury blew;

The nimble Lightning mixt with Showers began,

And o'er their Heads loud rolling Thunder ran.

Here long they knock, but knock or call in Vain,

Driv'n by the wind and batter'd fy the Rain.

At length some Pity warm'd the Masters breast.

(Twas then his Threshold first receiv'd a Guest)

Slow creaking turns the door with jealous Care,

And half he welcomes in the shiv'ring Pair;

One frugal Faggot lights the naked Walls,

And Natures Fervor through their Limbs recalls;

Bread of the coarsest sort with eager wine

(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine;

And when the Tempest first appear'd to cease

A ready warning bid them part in Peace.

 

With still Remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd

In one so rich a Life so poor and Rude;

And why should such (within himself he cry'd)

Lock the lost Wealth a Thousand want beside?

But what new marks of wonder soon took place,

In ev'ry sett'ling feature of his Face,

When from his Vest the young Companion bore

The Cup that gen'rous Landlord own'd before,

And paid profusely with the precious Bowl

The stinted Kindness of the churlish Soul!

 

But now the Clouds in Tumult fly

The Sun emerging opes an azure Sky;

A fresher Green the smelling Leaves display,

And glitt'ring as they tremble hear the Day:

The Weather courts them from the poor Retreat,

And the glad Master bolts the wary Gate.

 

While hence they walk, the Pilgrims Bosom wrought

Wirh all the Travail of uncertain Thought:

His partner's Acts without their Cause appear;

'Twas there a Vice and seem'd a Madness here:

Detesting that, and pitying this he goes,

Lost and confounded with the various Shows

Now Night's dim Shades again involve the Sky

Again the Wand'rers want a place to lye.

Again they search and find a Lodging Nigh.

The Soil improv'd around the Mansion neat,

And neither poorly low nor idly great;

It seem'd to speak its Masters turn of Mind

Content and not for praise, but Virtue kind.

 

Hither the walkers turn with weary Feet

Then bless the Mansion and the Master great.

Their Greeting fair bestow'd with modest Guise

The courteous Master hears and thus replies.

Without a vain without a grudging Heart

To him who gives us all I yield a part

From him you come, for him accept it here

A Frank and Sober more than costly cheer.

He spoke and bid the welcome Table spread

Then talk'd of Virtue till the Time of Bed

When the grave Household round the Hall repair

Warn'd by a Bell and close the Hours with pray'r.

At length the world renew'd by calm repose,

Was strong for toil, the dappled Morn arose:

Before the Pilgrims part, the younger crept,

Near the clos'd Cradle where an infant slept

And writh'd his Neck; the Landlords little Pride

O strange Return! grew black and gasp'd and dy'd

 

Horror of Horrors! What! His only Son!

How looked our Hermit when the fact was done?

Not Hell tho' Hells black Jaws in sunder part

And breathe blue fire could more assault his Heart.

Confus'd and struck with Silence at the Deed

He flies, but trembling fails to fly with speed.

His steps the Youth pursues. The Country lay

Perplex'd with Roads: a Servant shew'd the way:

A River crop'd the Path; the Passaage o'r

Was nice to find; the Servant trod before:

Long Arms of Oaks an open Bridge supply'd

And deep the Waves beneath the bending Glide.

The Youth who seem'd to watch a time to Sin

Approach'd the careless Guide and thrust him in:

Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head

Then flashing turns and sinks among the dead.

 

Wild sparkling Rage influences the Father's eyes.

He bursts the Band of Fear and madly cries,

Detested Wretch! -But scarce his speech began

When the strange Partner seem'd no longer Man

His Youthful Face grew more serenly sweet

His Robe turn'd white and flow'd upon his feet;

 

Fair Rounds of radiant points invest his Hair;

Celestial Odours breathe through purpled Air

And wings whose Colours glittered on the Day,

Wide at his Back their gradual plumes display:

The form etherial bursts upon his Sight

And moves in all the Majesty of Light

 

Tho loud at first the Pilgrims passion grew

Sudden he gaz'd and wist not what to do:

Surprize in secret Chains his Words suspends,

And in a Calm his settling Temper ends.

But silence here the beauteous Angel broke

(the Voice of Music ravished as he spoke)

Thy Pray'r thy Praise, thy Life to Vice unknown,

In Sweet Memorial rise before the Throne.

These Charms Success in our bright Region find,

And force an Angel down to calm thy Mind;

For this commission I forsook the Sky

Nay cease to kneel thy fellow Servant I

Then know the Truth of Government divine,

And let these Scruples be no longer thine.

 

The Maker justly claims the World he made

In this the Right of Providence is laid;

Its sacred Majesty through all depends

On using second Means to work his Ends;

'Tis thus withdrawn in a State from human Eye

The Power exerts his Attributes on high;

Your Actions uses not contrasts your Will

And bids the doubting Sons of Men be Still.

 

What strange Events can strike with more surprize

Than those which lately struck thy wondr'ing Eyes?

Yet taught by these, confess th' Almighty just

And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust!

 

The great vain Man who far'd on costly food

Whose Life was too luxurious to be good;

Who made his Iv'ry Standes with Goblets shine

And forc'd his Guests to morning drafts of wine

Has with the Cup the graceless custom lost

And still he welcomes but with less of Cost.

 

 

The mean suspicious Wretch, whose bolted Door

Ne'er mov'd in pity to the wand'ring poor;

With him I left the Cup, to teach his Mind,

That Heaven can bless if Mortals will be kind

Conscious of wanting worth, he views the Bowl

And feels Compassion touch his grateful Soul.

Thus Artists melt the sullen ore of lead

With heaping Coals of Fire upon its Head.

In the kind Warmth the Metal learns to glow

And loose from Dross the Silver runs below.

 

Long had our pious Friend in Virtue trod;

But now the Child half wean'd his Heart from God;

(Child of his Age for him he liv'd in Pain.

And measur'd back his Steps to Earth again.)

To what excess had his Dotage run?

But God to save the Father took the Son.

To all but thee in Fits he seem'd to go

(And twas my Ministry to deal the Blow)

The poor fond parent humbled in the Dust

Now owns in Tears the punishment was just.

 

But how had all his Fortune felt a Wreck

Had that false Servant sped in safely back?

This Night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal

And what a fund of Charity would fail!

 

Thus Heaven instructs thy Mind this Trial o'er

Depart in Peace, resign and Sin no more.

On sounding pinions here the Youth withdrew.

The Sage stood wondring as the Seraph flew.

Thus looked Elisha, when to mount on high

His Master took the Chariot of the Sky;

The fiery Pomp ascending left the View

The prophet gaz'd and wished to follow too.

 

The bending Hermit here a Pray'r begun

"Lord, as in Heaven, on Earth thy will be done."

Then lastly turning, sought his ancient place

And pass'd a Life of Piety and Peace.

Thomas Pearsall, "Conundrum Book"


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