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That Cause, from whence all beings else arose, : She labour'd hard; but still the more he wrought,
The more was wilder'd in the maze of thought.
Sometimes she fancy'd things to be
Coeval with the Deity, Two firsts, in reason, we can ne'er suppose.
And in the form which now they are If that, in false opinion, we allow,
From everlasting ages were.
Sometimes the casual event,
Of atoms floating in a space immense,
Void of all wisdom, rule, and senfe; Shall non-existence to existence pass?
But, by a lucky accident, Thus, something must from everlasting be;
Jumbled into this scheme of wondrous excellence. Or matter, or a Deity.
'Twas an establish's article of old, If matter only uncreate we grant,
Chief of the philosophic creed, We shall volition, wit, and reason, want ;
And does in natural productions bold; An agent infinite, and action free;
That from mere nothing, nothing could proceed; Whence does volition, whence does reason, Aow?
Material substance never could have rose, How came we to reflect, design, and know?
If some existence had not been before, This from a nobler nature fprings,
In wisdom infinite, immense in power. Diftinct in effence from material things :
Whate'er is made, a maker muit suppose, For, thoughtless matter cannot thought bestow, As an effect a cause that could produce it thews. But, if we own a God supreme,
Nature and art, indeed, have bounds allign'd, And all perfection 's possible in him ;
And only forms to things, not being, give; In him does boundless excellence reside,
That from Omnipotence they must receive; Power to create, and providence to guide;
But the eternal felf-existent mind Unmade himself, could no beginning have,
Can, with a single Fiat, cause to be But to all substance prime existence give :
All that the wondrous eye furveys,
And all it cannot fee.
Nature may fhape a beauteous tree,
And art a noble palace raise,
But must not to creative power afpirc;
But their God alone can claim,
As pre-existing substance doch require :
Matter produc'd, had till a chaos been:
Eternal battles would have wig'd,
And fill'd with endless horror the tumultuous scene;
If wisdom infinite, for less
Cowd not the vast prodigious embryo wield,
Or itrength complea to labouring Nature yield,
Had not, with actual address,
Compos'd the bellowing huriy, and establish'd peace,
Whate'er this visible creation shows
That's lovely, uniform, and bright,
To her its eruinence and beauty owes.
By her all creatores have their ends affign'd,
Proportion'd to their nature, and their kind; The largest portions of created excellence,
To which they ftcadily advance,
Mov'd by right Reason's high command,
Or guided by the fecret hand
Of real instinct, or imaginary chance.
Nothing but men reject her facred rules;
Who from the end of their creation fly,
And deviate into misery;
As if the liber to act like fools
Were the chief cause that Heaven made them free.
Bold is the wretch, and blasphemous the man, Philosophy of old in vain esitay'd
Who, finite, will attempt to scan
The works of him that 's infinitely wise,
And those he cannot comprehend, denies; But, by false reasonings, fulle foundations lạid : As if a space iminense were measurable by a span.
Thus the proud sceptic will not own
in the strength and vigour of bis yezes, That Providence the world directs,
The feeble bark of life he lives,
Amidst the fury of tempestuous waves,
From all the dangers he foresees, or fexs; How does it with almighty grandeur suit, Yet every hour 'twixt Scylla and Charybdis fteers To be concern'd with our impertinence;
If Providence which can the feas command, Or interpose his power for the defence
Held not the rudder with a steady hand.
*r'is happy for the fons of men, that he, Which honor, ease, and aMuence give;
Who all existence out of nothing made,
Supports his creatures by immediate aid:
But then this all-intending Deity
Must Omnipresent be:
For how shall we by demonstration thew
The Godhead is this moment here,
If he 's not present every where,
And always so? And yet regards not the loud cries of guiltless blood ?
What's not perceptible to sense, may be But thall we things unfearchable deny, Because our reason cannot tell us why
Ten thousand miles remote from x,
Unless his nature is from limitation free. They are allow'd, or acted by the Deity?"
In vain we for protection pray; 'Tis equally above the reach of thought,
For benefits receiv'd high altars raise,
And offer up our hymns and prais;
In vain his anger dread, or laws obey.
An absent god from ruin can defend
No more than can an abfent friend; What ligatures the soul and body join;
No more is capable to know
How gratefully we make retums, Or, how the memory does th' impreslion take
When the loud muhe founds, or vi&tim burbs, Of things, and to the mind reftores them back.
Than a poor Indian Nave of Mexico. Did not th' Almighty, with immediate care, Direct and govern this capacious all,
If so, 'tis equally in vain How soon would things into confusion fall!
The prosperous fings, and wretched mourne;
He cannot hear the praise, or mitigate the pzia. Earthquakes the trembling ground would tear,
But by what Being is confin'd And blizing comets rule the troubled air;
The Godhead we adore ?
He must have equal or fuperior power.
If equal only, they each other bind, 'To stop the raging sea's impctuous course :
So neither 's God, if we define him right,
For neither's infinite.
But if the other have fuperior might
Then he, we worship, can't pretend to be And all that part of nature which has breath
Omnipotent, and free
From all restraint, and fo no Deity. Deliver to the tyranny of death,
If God is limited in space; his view, And hurry to the dungeons of the grave,
His knowledge, power, and wisdom, is so too: If watchful Providence were not concern'd to save.
Unless we 'll own, that these perfections are Let the brave speak, who oft hias been
At all times present every where, In dreadful fieges, and fierce battles seen,
Yet he himself not actually there. How he's preservd, when bombs and bullets fly
Which to fuppofe, that strange conclufion brings, So thick, that scarce one inch of air is free;
His essence and his attributes are different things.
AS the supreme, omniscient mind, To what invisible protecting power
Is by no boundaries confin'd;
So Reason must acknowledge him to be
From possible mutation free :
Change, whether the effect of force of vill, His tender infancy protection found,
Must argue imperfection fill.
That 's absolutely perfect, cannot be:
Who can compel, without his own conler, To guard him from innumerable fatal harms :
A God to change that is omnipotent?
And every alteration without force,
Is for the better or the wore.
He that is infinitely wise,
They shall ten thoufand ages laft: To alter for the worse will never choose,
Ten thousand, more, perhaps, when they are past; That a depravity of nature shews:
But not eternal in a literal sense :
If God be mutable, which way, or how, Though none can give a solid reason, why
To heaven and hell indifferent join'd,
Should carry sense of a different kind;
But if there be one attribute divine
'T is goodness, which we every moment loc Without immediate notice from above;
The godhead exercise with such delight,
It seems, it only seems, to be
And more than infinite.
Without that, he could never prove When an eternal stake is to be lost or won.
The proper objects of our praise or love,
Were he not good, he'd be no more concern'd
To hear the wretched in affliction cry,
Or fee the guiltless for the guilty die,
Than Nero, when the flaming ciiy burn'd,
And wecping Romans o'er its ruins mourn'd. Who was, and will for ever be the same:
Eternal justice then would be, Your grateful incenfe to his temples bring,
But everlasting cruelty; That from the smoking altars may arise
Power unrestrain'd, almighty violence ; Clouds of perfumes to the imperial skies.
And wisdom unconfin'd, but craft immense. His promises stand firm to you,
'T is goodness constitutes him that he is; And endless joys will be beítow'd,
And those As fure as that there is a God,
Who will deny him this, On all who virtue choose, and righteous paths pursue. A god without a deity suppose. Nor should we more his menaces distrust,
When the lewd atheist blasphemously swears, For while he is a Deity he must
By his tremendous name (As infinitely good) be infinitely just.
There is no god, but all's a sham; But does it with a gracious godhcad suit,
Insipid tattle, praise, and prayers, Whose Mercy is his darling attribute,
Virtue, pretence; and all the facred rules To punish crimes tirat temporary be,
Religion teaches, tricks to cully fools : And those but trivial offences too,
Justice would strike th' audacious villain dead, Mere Nips of human nature, small and few',
But mercy, boundless, faves his guilty head; With everlasting misery?
Gives him protection, and allows him bread. This shocks the mind with deep reflections fraught, Does not the finner whom no danger awes,
And Reason bends beneath the ponderous thought; Without restraint, his infamy pursus, Crimes take their estimate from guilt, and grow
Rejoice, and glory in it too; More heinous ftill, the more they do incense
Laugh at the power divine, and ridicule his laws;
Labour in vice his rivals to •scel,
That, when he's dead, they may their pupils tell
How wittily the fool was damn'd, how hard he fell? The anger of the merciful Most High,
Yet this vile wretch in safety lives, We have no standard to discern it by,
Bleffings in common with the beft receives; But the inftition he on the offender lays.
Though he is proud t'affront the God those bleflings So that if endless punishment on all
gives. Our unrepented sins must fail,
The chearful fun his influence spreads on all; None, not the least, can be accounted small.
Has no respect to good or evil : That God is in perfection just, must be
And fruitful showers without diftinction fall, Allow'd by all that own a Deky:
Which fields with corn, with grass the pastures, fill. If so, from equity he cannot swerve,
The bounteous hand of Heaven bestows Nor punish finners more than they deferve.
Success and honour many times on those
Who fcorn his favourites, and caress his foes.
To this good God, whom my adventurous pen
Has dar'd to celebrate Daration absolutely without end;
In lofty Pindar's train; Against which sense some zealously contend,
Though with uncqual strength to bear the weight That when applied to pains, it only means,
Of such a ponderous theme fo infinitely great:
To this good God, celestial spirits pay,
To him each rational existence here,
Of piety or fear,
By prompt obedience to his word,
Instinctive honour to their lord; And shame the thinking world, who in rebellion live. With Heaven and earth then, O my soul, unite, And the great God of both adore and bless, Who gives tree competence, content, and peace ; The only fountains of sincere delight: That from the transitory joys below, Thou by a happy exit may'st remove
To those inettable above; Which from the vifion of the godhcad now, And neither end, decrearc, nor interruption know.
Ah! where's the house of the Eternal King;
His terrible, amazing nime,
fane. Alas, Jerusalem! each spacious street
Was once fo fill'd, the numerous throng Was forc'd to joftle as they pass'd along,
And thousands did with thousands meet; The darling then of God, and man's belor'd retet. In thee was the bright throne of justice fix'd, Justice impartial, and vain fraud unmix'd! She scorn'd the beauties of fallacious gold,
Despising the most wealthy bribes;
But did the sacred balance hold
Were once with polih'd marble laid,
And all his lofty bulwarks made
Were cover*d o'er with folid gold;
It ravish'd and amaz'd the eye ;-
What mighty heaps of wealth are here !
Paraphrased out of Josephus. A
Thy prilline glory, thy unmatch'd renown,
Ah, hapless, miserable town!
Thou once most noble, celebrated place,
Who gav'ft to godlike princes birth,
The souls of foreigners adore
Thy wondrous brightness, which no more
Her fplendid train of numerous kings,
But now, ah! now they laugh and cry,
See how her lofty buildings lic!
B:ut now, oh wretched, wretched place !
Thy streets and palaces are spread With heaps of carcases, 'and mountains of the deal,
The bleeding relics of the Jewith race!
But is with breathless bodies fill'd,
Death's arrows all at random flew
All in one dismal ruin join'd,
(For swords and peftilence are blind) The fair, the good, the brave, no mercy
find: Those that from far, with joyful hafte, Came to attend thy festival,
Of the same bitter poison taste,
Ir borrid defolation lies !
See how the burning ruins flame!
And the triumphant vi&tor cries,
Where's all the young, the valian, and the gay, That on her festivals were us'd to play Harmonious funes, and beautify the day?
The glittering troops, which did from far, Bring home the trophies, and the spoils of war, Whom all the nations round with terror vicw'd,
Nor durft their godlike valour try? Where'er they fought, they certainly subdued, And every combat gain'd a victory.
And you may Navishly preserve your breath, Or seek for freedom in the arms of death.
Thus then resolve ; nor tremble at the thought :
Can glory be too dearly bought ?
What brave despair compellid us to !
Bring then your wives, your children, all
With ready hands, and place them here ;
And dare do any thing but ill :
Who would an aged father save,
A PROSPECT OF DEATH.
The most obdurate creature must
And could the marble rocks but know
Their pity and concern to shew :
And all by this destruction made
And made thee happy, made thee great ;
Who sat upon the awful chair
Now fit in the corrupted air,
Ah, dismal scene! hark how they cry!
Woe! woe! one beam of mercy give, Good Heaven! alas, for we would live! Be pitiful, and suffer us to die!
Thus they lament, thus beg for ease; While in their feeble, aged arms they hold The bodies of their offspring, stiff and cold, To guard them from the ravenous savages : Till their increasing forrows death persuade
(For death must sure with pity fee The horrid desolation he has made) To put a period to all their misery.
Thy wretched daughters that survive,
And then be mix'd with common dud.
But who, without a flood of tears, can see
Thy mournful, sad catastrophe ?
Their mighty weight no mortal knows,
Good Heaven had been cxtremely kind,
May, happily, be sure to die.
Our friends and relatives are fain!
Nothing but ruins round us see,
Our enemies without prepare
INCE we can die but once, and after death
Our state no alteration knows;
Th’immortal spirit goes
That mighty and important stake;
And, by all methods, strive to make His passage safe, and his reception sure. Merely to die, no man of reason fears ;
For certainly we must,
As we are born, return to dust : 'T is the last point of many lingering years ;
But whither then we go,
Whither, we fain would know; But human understanding cannot hew.
This makes us tremble, and creates
Strange apprehensions in the mind;
None know what death is, but the dead;
When to the margin of the grave we come, And scarce have one black, painful hour to live ;