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If one vast void eternal held its place,
Whence started time? or whence expanded space!
What gave the flumbering mafs to feel a change?
Or bid confenting worlds harmonious range!
Could nothing link the univerfal chain?
No, 'tis impoffible, abfurd and vain!
Here reafon its eternal author finds,
The whole who regulates, unites, and binds,
Enlivens matter, and produces minds!
Inactive chaos fleeps in dull repose,
Nor knowledge thence, nor free volition flows!
A nobler fource thofe powers etherial show,
By which we think, defign, reflect, and know;
These from a caufe fuperior date their rife,
"Abstract in effence from material ties."
An origin immortal, as supreme,
From whose pure day, celeftial rays! they came:
In whom all poffible perfections fhine,
Eternal, felf-exiftent, and divine!
From this great spring of uncreated might!
This all-refplendent orb of vital light!
Whence all created beings take their rise,
Which beautify the earth, or paint the fkies!
Profufely-wide the boundless bleffings flow,
Which heaven enrich, and gladden worlds below!
Which are no lefs, when properly defin'd,
Than emanations of th' eternal mind!
Hence triumphs truth beyond objection clear
(Let unbelief attend, and fhrink with fear !)
That what for ever was-must furely be
Beyond commencement, and from period free;
Drawn from himself his native excellence,
His date eternal, and his fpace immenfe !
And all of whom that man can comprehend,
Is, that he ne'er begun, nor e'er fhall end.
In him from whom exiftence boundless flows,
Let humble faith its facred trust repofe;
Affur'd, on his eternity depend,
"Eternal father! and eternal friend !"
Within that myftic circle safety seek,
No time can weaken, and no force can break;
And, loft in adoration, breathe his praise,
High rock of ages, ancient fire of days!
Thus recogniz'd, the spring of life and thought! Eternal, felf-exiftant, un-begot!
Approach, celeftial mufe! th' empyreal throne,
And awfully adore th' exalted one!
In nature pure, in place fupremely free,
And happy in effential unity!
Blefs'd in himself, had from his forming hand
No creatures fprung to hail his wide command ;
Blefs'd, had the facred fountain ne'er run o'er,
A boundless fea of bliss, that knows no shore !
Nor fenfe can two bright origins conceive,
Nor reason two eternal Gods believe!
Could the wild Manichæan own that guide,
The good would triumph, and the ill fubfide!
Again would vanquish'd Arimanius bleed,
And darkness from prevailing light recede!
In different individuals we find,
An evident disparity of mind;
Hence ductile thought a thousand changes gains,
And actions vary as the will ordains ;
But should two beings, equally fupreme,
Divided power, and parted empire claim;
How foon would univerfal order cease!
How foon would difcord harmony displace?
Eternal schemes maintain eternal fight,
Nor yield, fupported by eternal might ?
Where each would uncontrol'd his aim pursue,
The links diffever, or the chain renew;
Matter from motion cross impreffions take,
As ferv'd each power his rival's power to break,
While neutral chaos, from his deep recefs,
Would view the never-ending ftrife increase,
And blefs the conteft which fecur'd his peace!
Or new creations would oppofing rise,
With elemental war to blot the skies!
And round wild uproar and confusion hurl❜d, Would veil the heavens, and waste the ruin'd world.
Two independent causes to admit,
Deftroys religion, and debafes wit;
The first by fuch an anarchy undone,
The laft acknowledges its fource but one.
As from the main the mountain rills are drawn,
That wind irriguous thro' the flowery lawn;
So, mindful of their fpring, one course they keep,
Exploring, till they find their native deep!
Exalted power! invifible, fupreme,
Thou fovereign fole unutterable name!
As round thy throne thy flaming seraphs stand,
And as they touch the lyre with trembling hand,
Too weak thy pure effulgence to behold,
With their rich plumes their dazzled eyes infold:
Transported with the ardors of thy praise,
The holy! holy! holy! anthem raise!
To them, refponfive, let creation fing,
Thee, indivifible eternal king!
O fay, celestial muse! whose purer birth,
Difdains the low material ties of earth
By what bright images fhall be defin'd
The myftic nature of th' eternal mind?
Or how fhall thought the dazzling height explore,
Where all that reafon can-is to adore!
That God's an immaterial effence pure,
Whom figure can't describe, nor parts immure;
Incapable of paffions, impulfe, fear,
In good pre-eminent, in truth severe:
Unmix'd his nature, and fublim'd his powers,
From all the gross allay which tempers ours;
In whofe clear eye the bright angelic train
Appear fuffus'd with imperfection's ftain !
Impervious to the man's-or seraph's eye,
Beyond the ken of each, exalted high!
Him would in vain material femblance feign,
Or figur'd shrines the boundless God contain;
Object of faith!-he fhuns the view of sense,
Loft in the blaze of fightless excellence!
Moft perfect, most intelligent, most wise,
In whom the fanctity of pureness lies;
In whose adjusting mind the whole is wrought,
Whose form is fpirit! and whofe effence, thought!
Are truths infcrib'd by wifdom's brightest ray,
In characters that gild the face of day!
Reafon confefs'd (howe'er we may difpute)
Fix'd boundary! discovers man from brute;
But dim to us, exerts its fainter ray,
Deprefs'd in matter, and allied to clay !
In forms fuperior kindles less confin'd,
Whose dress is æther, and whofe fubftance mind;
Yet all from him, fupreme of causes, flow,
To him their powers and their existence owe;
From the bright cherub of the nobleft birth,
To the poor reasoning glow-worm plac'd on earth;
From matter then to spirit ftill afcend,
Thro' fpirit ftill refining, higher tend;
Purfue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road,
Pierce thro' infinitude in queft of God!
Still from thy fearch, the centre still shall fly,
Approaching ftill-thou never fhalt come nigh!