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And there admit me, one short ftruggle o'er,
Where death, and fin, and forrow are no more?
But, O my father! how fhall he sustain
This load of woe, this heart-oppreffing pain!
Cancell❜d at once to view high heaven's decree
Of bleffings to his future race in me !
His hopes all blafted, all his comforts fled,
Grief to the grave must bow his hoary head.
Him, though the op'ning scenes my thoughts employ,
Of heaven and raptures of immortal joy:
Yet him with deep affliction I condole,
And feel his anguish in my inmost soul.”
With juft rebuke the patriarch mild replies,
"In vain, my son, thy anxious terrors rise.
Think'ft thou that change affects th' eternal will ?
Hath GOD once faid, and fhall not he fulfil ?
Revolving time muft bring the dreadful day
When heaven and earth diffolv'd fhall pass away:
At once the glorious universal flame
Shall fhrink like parchment crackling in the flame; Ruin o'er total nature fhall prevail,
But not one tittle of his word can fail.
Thee, the just heir of all my hopes to come,
His goodness gave me from the barren womb:
Thee, the fame goodness, facrific'd and flain,
Can raife and quicken into life again.
Or as the feed, though from the fower's hand
It dies and rots beneath the furrow'd land,
Soon with new strength reviv'd, effays to rife,
And feeks the genial influence of the skies;
The rip'ning ears a rich abundance yield,
And golden harvests crown the smiling field.
So from what here the hallow'd pile must burn,
Ev'n from thy ashes fleeping in their urn,
A new corporeal system he may frame,
And re-inspire the animating flame.
Events to come, and fate by GOD defign'd,
The counfels of his own omniscient mind,
Himself alone furveys; but here we rest,
That what he wills must be, and must be beft.
'Tis his to man his pleasure to display:
Ours to adore, to tremble, and obey.
Yet, had it rather pleas'd the will divine
To fpare my Ifaac's life, and call for mine,
In her own tenor to let nature run,
Nor bid the fire furvive the flaughter'd fon;
How had I then (my courfe all faithful found,
My end by GOD's exprefs acceptance crown'd)
How had I joy'd to hear his orders spoke ?
Bow'd my old head fubmiffive to the stroke:
In praise refign'd my last expiring breath,
And met with transport the embrace of death!"
He said, and both the facred rite prepare,
And both pour out their fouls in ardent pray'r,
And humbly hope heaven's mightiest aid to find,
To wake each latent virtue in their mind.
And now the altar blaz'd, and now difplay'd
Abraham advanc'd aloft his glitt'ring blade,
With ftrenuous zeal repreft his inward woe,
And rais'd his trembling hand to ftrike the blow:
When lo! effulgent with amazing light,
A form celestial stood before his fight;
Lefs glorious fhines, his rapid race to run
Forth iffuing from his eaftern goal, the fun;
The patriarch gaz'd, nor fpeech nor motion found,
And dropt his lifted weapon to the ground.
A sweet regard the pitying angel fhow'd,
And thus his folemn words complacent flow'd:
"Sheath, Abraham, fheath the fword; in gracious part
Accepts th' Almighty thy obedient heart,
For the full forfeit takes thy fervice done,
And freely gives thee thy devoted fon.
Now hear, thou faithful man, whilst I unfold
Succeffive fcenes, illuftrious to behold,
Of fame to thee, and wond'rous love defign'd,
In thy diftinguifh'd race to human-kind.
Try if thou canst by numb'ring to explore
All the loose atoms on the fandy shore;
Or upwards turn thy penetrating eye,
And count the radiant fpangles of the sky:
Like these fhall Ifaac's progeny outgo
What bounds or thought can reach or number show.
From his fam'd feed, as heaven its aid fupplies,
Shall ftates be form'd, and mighty empires rife,
And kings, ordain'd in future realms to fhine,
Shall boaft their royal stock deriv'd from thine.
But one fair branch GOD's larger love muft fhare,
His chofen people, his peculiar care:
Himself confeft, fhall own their favor'd caufe,
Conduct their counfels, and prescribe their laws.
Himself shall raise, inspir'd with matchless might,
In rule their judges, and their chiefs for fight.
How oft' for them fhall his fierce wrath confound
The faithlefs nations gather'd all around!
How oft' fhall raise his wonder-working sway,
And turn old nature from her deftin'd way,
To crush whoe'er their conqu'ring arms withstand,
And plant his people in the promis'd land!
Whilst the vain world to impious rites refign'd,
To lufts abandon'd, and to reafon blind,
Stray in the dark; to them, to them alone
Shall heaven's pure will and genuine truth be known:
Religion shall be theirs, her facred ray
Shall wisdom pour to guide them in the way.
For this fhall rev'rend feers, divinely taught,
GOD's great defigns imprest upon their thought,
From age to age his gradual word display,
And fhed the chearful dawning of the day;
Till in full light MESSIAH's felf fhall rife,
Sprung from thy feed, defcending from the skies;
Stupendous union! heaven and earth combin'd!
Incarnate GOD, to rescue loft mankind!
With him, erft fled from fin's polluting stain,
Shall ancient virtue vifit earth again;
Peace fent from heaven fhall bless the world below,
And like the spreading fea fhall knowledge flow.
Mercy divine MESSIAH fhall bring down
To finful man, and mighty in renown
Shall break hell's power and death's tyrannic chain, And end the long approach of Satan's reign."
He said and inftant, pleas'd whilft they pursue The great ideas, vanish'd from their view; A thousand thoughts their reas'ning powers controul, And deep amazement fills the lab'ring foul. Yet all they could to fhew their just regard, A beaft they bring, for facrifice prepar'd, And, his free grace with holy vows implor'd, Burn the vicarious victim to the LORD. Then pond'ring all the wonders of the day, With hearts exulting, homeward bend their way.
WRITTEN UNDER AN HOUR GLASS,
IN A GROTTO NEAR THE SIDE OF A RIVER.
HIS bubbling ftream not uninftructive flows, Nor idly loiters to its distant main, Each flower it feeds that on its margin grows, And bids thee blush, whose days are spent in vain.
Nor void of moral, tho' unheeded, glides
Time's current stealing on with filent haste;
For lo! each falling fand his folly chides,
Who lets one precious moment run to waste.