There was a time when " only miracles and signs, sublime, ... Could conquer Sinners' hearts"

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

1814, 1816, 1896
There was a time when " only miracles and signs, sublime, ... Could conquer Sinners' hearts"
Metaphor in Context
When Christianity, at first, arose,
Encompast with a World of powerful Foes,
Confronting calumny, and suffering scorn,
A Babe, among wild Beasts, in Cities, born;
She fear'd to struggle, in her infant state,
When each fell Tyrant's word was wing'd with fate;
But check'd her feeble hand--restrain'd her tongue--
While Wickedness was old, and She was young--
When every Potentate, and Priest, around,
Endeavour'd to destroy, or wish'd to wound--
When Prophets and Apostles hid their head,
And pure Evangelists and Prophets fled--
When brave Professors forfeited their breath,
And rash resistance expedited death.
When all its trembling Votaries vainly strove
To recommend its truths by Peace and Love.
When Wisdom, pure, and Grace, with Pow'r supreme,
Alone could execute the heavenly Scheme.
When only miracles and signs, sublime,
Could sanction Doctrines, and encounter Crime--
Could conquer Sinners' hearts
--could Demons quell,
And gain full victory o'er the gates of Hell--
When strength celestial stooped to mortal Might,
Such precepts, and such practices, were right.
When God was pleas'd to work, by secret ways,
His Son's eternal throne, on Earth, to raise;
Justice then slumber'd--Pow'r, apparent, slept--
Tho' Martyrs bled, and all the Faithful wept--
But now to greater strength and stature grown,
She fills the Senate, and supplies the Throne--
Kings become Fathers, or professing Brothers,
And mighty Queens proclaim'd Her nursing Mothers--
While Princes prostrate fall before her feet--
And Nobles occupy her Judgment-seat--
Now Heav'n's pure Spirit's offer'd free to all,
And none, inferior, Fellow-Christian's call.
None, now, with Fellow-man may strive, nor strike,
For all Mankind, by Christ, are call'd, alike--
Bodies all form'd alike from earthly clod,
And reasoning Spirits all inspir'd by God--
Like innate Appetites, Pride, Passions, fire--
All fall'n, alike, with one, unfaithful Sire--
And all alike mixt up with mortal leav'n,
Alike the Heirs of Sin, of Hell, or Heav'n!
Searching "conque" and "heart" 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.