Dire Invasion

From him, a darling race descended fair,
Even to this day my first and chiefest care,
When pertest Priestly calls mankind, to see
His own corruptions of Christianity.
Mean time, less open friends my cause sustain’d,
More smoothly tempted and more slily gain’d;
Taught easier ways to climb the bright abode;
Less pure made virtue, and less perfect God;
Less guilty vice, the atonement less divine,
And pav’d, with peace and joy, the way to sin.
While thus by art and perseverance won,
Again the old world seem’d almost my own.
In this wild waste , where Albion’s lights revive,
New dangers threaten and new evils live.
Here a dread race, my sturdiest ones design’d,
Patient of toil, of firm and vigorous mind,
Pinion’d with bold research to truth’s far coast,
By storms undaunted, nor in oceans lost,
With dire invasion, error’s realm assail,
And all my hardy friends before them fail.
But my chief bane, my apostolic foe,
In life, in labours, source of every woe […]

Timothy Dwight: The Triumph of Infidelity (1788)

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