"No classic teaching those pure Truths imparts, / That Scripture stamps on humblest Christians' hearts!"

— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)

1814, 1816, 1896
"No classic teaching those pure Truths imparts, / That Scripture stamps on humblest Christians' hearts!"
Metaphor in Context
But Man, thro' colour'd lenses, need not try
To scan the Volumes of the Earth and Sky,
Or catch uncertain truth, or dubious hint,
From Sibyl phrase, or frail, imperfect, print;
While, smarting much, and oft, from Tutor's stripe,
Few Scholars understand a single type--
Much less can learn, in this World's carnal schools,
Their sovereign Master's more mysterious rules!
No classic teaching those pure Truths imparts,
That Scripture stamps on humblest Christians' hearts!

'Tis wisest, far, by Heav'n's clear light, to look
O'er the bright pages of God's gracious Book;
By which each eye of heav'n-illumin'd Minds,
Some useful science, in each sentence, finds.
Whence Nature's wonderous objects all arose--
Whence Man's foul, wicked, fall, with all his woes--
Where cloudy Ignorance may most clearly read,
Whence grew each graceless wish, foul word, and deed:
All that concerns the Souls of all the Race,
Consulting God, in Council, face to face.
May see Him in His Son's bright image, there,
Devoid of doubt, surmise, or slavish fear!
Behold Him wise--benevolent--and just--
For ever faithful to His promis'd trust!
Prompt, boundless Gifts, and Graces, to bestow,
To fit bless'd Souls for Heav'n, while here below!
Conferring Faith's--Hope's--Love's--full evidence,
Past Reason's reach, and Learning's proud pretence!
Fresh strength still offer'd to support the Soul,
'Gainst Prejudice--Lust--Passions'--strong controul;
Presenting motives--views--and objects, new,
All Pride to conquer, and each Lust subdue--
And, every heart, with tenderness, to win,
Forgives iniquity--transgression--sin!
With pure affection pardoning every flaw,
In debts of duty, and in rules of Law--
Where Justice joins with Mercy, hand in hand,
Like wedded Pairs' indissoluble band.
Not urging force, or fear; but chearful choice,
To wed with Virtue, while divorcing Vice!
With promise, full, of permanent reward,
For each true instance of the heart's regard!
The Mind's meek wishes, unpossest of pow'r,
Esteem'd much more than Pride's imperial dow'r.
Ev'n Widow's freewill mites are valued far more
Than grasps of gold from Ostentation's store;
The Kid, Lamb, Turtle-Dove, or Pigeon's prized
While Birds of Prey, foul Dog, and Swine's despis'd!
He gives the Whole--yet wooes one simple part,
One small return--an undivided Heart!
The Parent, He--the all-sufficient Friend,
Of all that on His Word, and Will, depend;
Whose Nature purest designations prove,
Sublime, and abstract; Truth--and Light--and Love!
Enfolding, in a Father's bless'd embrace,
Each Child that chooses His forgiving Grace;
Yet, with stern sentence, like a Judge severe,
Declares He never can the guilty clear!
Searching "heart" and "stamp" in HDIS (Poetry)
Poem first published in its entirety in 1896. The 1814 first edition receives notice in The New Monthly Magazine (March 1815); the poem was written "in the last century" (w. 1795-1820?).

Text from The Life and Poetical Works of James Woodhouse, ed. R. I. Woodhouse, 2 vols. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1896). <Link to Hathi Trust> <Link to LION>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.