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THE P R E F A CE." forgive us) with the taste of this refin’d age! To such
a degree of degeneracy are we grown; and these are the * dismal effects of loose and impious authors !
'Tis hop'd, however, our condition is not defperate : The disease is deplorable, but may admit of a cure. Virtue has fill her champions and admirers, who are not apam'd' of her" despisid cause, nor dread to flem the threatning torrent. Truth and virtue are unconquerable; thò long opprefs'd and smother'd, they'll at length break forth afresh, and mine in all their native luftre and beauty. Happy! jould our days afford fuch a prospect as this. Should it be told to posterity, that these times faw. vice confounded, and virtue fit enthron’d on the ruin of impiety. . .'
One great obstacle that lyes fill in the way is, that fo many men of extraordinary fenfe and wit engage in the cause of irreligion. Wou'd thefe but once defert the forry cause they espouse, and come over to the side of virtue, wou'd they new but half that zeal in advancing religion, they have unhappily done in discarding it, the desir'd work would go on gloriously; for certainly they who can set off vice with advantage, and give sin itself an agreeable prospect, might far more easily recommend virtue; might with far less pains reform the world, than they are at to ruin it.
Virtue is in itself excellent and charming, and wants but a little art to render it victorious. Wou'd but our great geniuses then employ their pens in its service, what a happy change should we foon see! How would they ata tract the attention of mankind? What force or act wou'd be able to withstand such skilful advocates when employed in fo good a cause? How fast would vice lore ground, and blush at her own deformity? How would the foft and moving strains of poetry tame the savage, inspire the stupid, melt the cruel, quench the flames of luft, and blow up the pure flames of devotion! These wou'd be the certain effects of divine and virtuous poetry. May the wits of the nation at length make the ex
periment, and so bless the world and themselves together.
Thus now I have deliver'd my mind with some warmth and freedom, but the importance of the thing, I presume, will sufficiently excuse me; not that I expect to escape uncensured, this were to betray my ignorance of the Age we live in : But 'tis better I think to. Juffer man's judgment than God's, better to be censur'd for defending religion, than for being a traitor to its cause. This is what however pleafes me. My severest censurers will, when death approaches them, alter their opinion, and wish, with me, they had been faithful to God, and to their consciences ; they'll give a world then to live over those precious minutes again, which are now Spent perhaps in the wildeft extravagancies. Virtue will then appear to them in all its charms, and vice in all its de formity; and they'll be at length sadly convinc'd, that such are the only wise and happy men who fear God, and live as the heirs of glory and immortality,
It remains now that a word or two be said concerning the collection the world is here presented with. The authors are men of unquestionable reputation in these matters; the poems were dispers'd thro' several vos lumes, and most of them mix'd with others of a quite different nature, so that tho' printed already, they cou'd come into but very few hands, and will be altogether new to most people. May the whole be attended with God's blessing, and help to revive languishing piety as mong us.
пHymn, Hymn, Нутя,
27 On the resurrection,
212 By ANONYMOUS AUTHORS. A paraphrase on the 7th chapter of the Proverbs, A pious wish,
255 Directions to happiness, Human frailty,
250 Hymn, Hymn, Hymn, Hymn,
21 Lines occafioned by a series of affliction, On providence, Pfalm 114, The elevation, The meditation, The prospect, The it psalm imitated,
204 The 137th psalm paraphrasid, The 148th psalm paraphrasid,
100 The resignation,
88 The unknown world,
265 The warning, Thoughts in health, Thoughts in fickness, To a gentleman who always gives a grand entertain
ment on his birth-day,
. By Mr. BOWDEN.
the body, and the angels that came to conduct him
By Mr. Cowley.
By Mr. DENNIS.
By Mr. DR YDEN.
By Mr. FLATMAN. . Anthem for the evening,
Hymn for the morning,
By Mr. GAY.
By a YOUNG LADY.
By Mr. MARVELL. A dialogue between the foul and body, Page 180 A dialogue between the resolved foul and created pleasure,
185 Bermudas, Eyes and tears,
252 The coronet,
By Mr. Norris.
i By Mr. OLDHAM, Paraphrase upon the hymn of St. Ambrose,
By Dr. PARNELI.
By Mr. POMFRET.
By Mr. Pope.
By the Chevalier RAMSAY.