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For sin’s black wages. On his tedious bed
He writhes, and turns him from the accusing

light, And finds no comfort in the sun, but says " When night comes I shall get a little rest.” Some few groans more, death comes, and there

an end. 'Tis darkness and conjecture all beyond ; Weak Nature fears, though Charity must hope, And Fancy, most licentious on such themes Where decent reverence well had kept her mute, Hath o'er-stock'd hell with devils, and brought

down, By her enormous fablings and mad lies, Discredit on the gospel's serious truths And salutary fears. The man of parts, Poet, or prose declaimer, on his couch Lolling, like one indifferent, fabricates A heaven of gold, where he, and such as he, Their heads encompassed with crowns, their

heels With fine wings garlanded, shall tread the stars Beneath their feet, heaven's pavement, far re

moved From damned spirits, and the torturing cries Of men, his breth'ren, fashioned of the earth,

As he was, nourish'd with the self-same bread,
Belike his kindred or companions once-
Through everlasting ages now divorced,
In chains and savage torments to repent
Short years of folly on earth. Their groans

In heav'n, the saint nor pity feels, nor care,
For those thus sentenced-pity might disturb
The delicate sense and most divine repose
Of spirits angelical. Blessed be God,
The measure of his judgments is not fixed
By man's erroneous standard. He discerns
No such inordinate difference and vast
Betwixt the sinner and the saint, to doom
Such disproportion’d fates. Compared with him,
No man on earth is holy called: they best
Stand in his sight approved, who at his feet
Their little crowns of virtue cast, and yield
To him of his own works the praise, his due.

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SANDFORD. Sir Walter's old steward.
MARGARET. Orphan ward of Sir Walter.

John'sriotous companions.


scene-for the most part at Sir Walter's

mansion in DEVONSHIRE ; at other times in the forest of SHERWOOD.

TIME-soon after the RESTORATION.


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