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ON THE FOLLY OF ATHEISM.
OW weak the ATHEIST's argument, how odd,
Who to be happy first denies a GOD:
When with too little faith truth to believe,
Can fhew too much an error to conceive:
So inconfiftent, and his folly such,
He trufts too little, while he trufts too much.
A foe profefs'd to the ALMIGHTY's laws,
Yet a blind bigot in the DEVIL's caufe;
He from free-thinking hopes to gain some light,
Thinks free on every subject but the right;
A hint there is a GOD, creates a doubt,
And prejudice puts weaker reason out:
Of REASON proud, by paffion rul'd alone,
Because he'd have no GOD, concludes there's none;
Thinks CHANCE with blind effect nice order brings,
And harmony from wild confufion springs ;
Springs of itself-for all spontaneous grow,
And the CREATED are CREATORS too:
Then IMMORTALITY he'll disbelieve,
Yet ftarts to think he can't for ever live;
Dreading it true, a future ftate denies,
And while he laughs at death, with fear he dies,
Defpairing launches to fome future ftate,
REPENTS his folly, but repents too late.
THOUGHTS ON DEATH.
N youth, by hope remov'd to distant days, Death's fhadowy form no glancing eye dismays; In waneing age, the palfied hand of fear With all his terrors brings the spectre near; Then fancy, skilful in the painter's art, Shapes the grim feature, and projects the dart. Man! wretched man, whom lengthen'd woes attend, Still clings to life, and fears his laft, beft friend; Of pain and want tenacious, gafps for breath, And tired and restlefs dreads the fleep of death.
By age, and age's wants, and woes grown wife, I view thee, death, tho' near, with placid eyes; Thy hafting strides let fuperftition dread, And VICE, too late repenting, hide her head; For me, I find no terrors in thy face, Parent of reft, and minister of grace!
O! lead me quickly to the blissful fhore,
Where fraud and malice fhall pursue no more.
With joy the SAILOR, long by tempests tost,
Spreads all his canvas for the rifing coaft;
With joy the HIND, his daily labour done,
Sees the broad fhadows, and the fetting fun;
With joy the SLAVE, worn out with tedious woes,
Beholds the hand that liberty bestows;
So death with joy my feeble voice fhall greet,
My hand fhall beckon, and my wifh fhall meet;
Nor dim the path that leads to his abode,
A GOD's bright footsteps mark the lucid road!
O let me trace the kind conducting ray,
And follow Jefus to the realms of day.
ON READING BISHOP WARBURTON's SERMONS.
ET ROME, on man God's image to deface,
Still deem STUPIDITY a mark of GRACE;
On ign'rance build what monks devotion name,
Her FAITH, impiety; her GLORY, fhame:
While priest and people ghoftly commerce hold,
And pious frauds exchange for finful gold :
May TRUTH's divine invariable ray,
Still bless our ifle with intellectual day.
HERE, ftill let wisdom at each temple wait,
Trace all our streets, and knock at ev'ry gate.
Still keep us facred as her laft retreat,
From fools much cheated, and from knaves who cheat.
Still teach thy hands to build-a bleft employ!
On KNOWLEDGE virtue, and on VIRTUE joy.
On reafon's bafe, to bid religion rife,
Till the tall pile fhall end within the skies.
ON RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS.
RACIOUS and bleft! how shall the mufe afpire,
Feeble and tuneless to attempt the lyre;
How in apt ftrains thy boundless goodness fing,
Thou dread JEHOVAH, earth's celeftial king?
If from the grave redeem'd, again I view
The world as from its chaos form'd anew;
And my dim eyes reftor'd again furvey,
As from my tomb, the half forgotten day;
What grateful praise fhall I unceafing give,
Who thus am rais'd by thine own hand to live?
ALMIGHTY SIRE! thy mercy boundless flows,
And like ETERNITY no period knows ;
Proftrate I fall, and at thy feet adore,
Had I an angel's voice I'd praise thee more;
Yet thou my humble gift wilt not contemn,
Nor from a BANKRUPT's hand expect a GEM;
Tho' mean the giver, and his present small,
He best aspires to please, who offers all.
Great LORD of all-let me thy hand revere,
And speak thy praises with becoming fear;
Thy wonders for ungrateful ISRAEL shown,
Confefs thee GOD, OMNIPOTENT alone.
What power but thine could the wide fea command,
And change its yielding waves to folid fand?
'Thro' barren waftes unnumber'd lives fuftain,
Where the leaft fuftenance was fought in vain :
The heavens did food for their refreshment yield,
And a rich banquet spread the grainless field; [rage)
Murm'ring thro' drought (provok'd with righteous
Thou bad'st the flinty ROCK their thirst afsuage;
The ftubborn ROCK did thy dread will obey,
And at thy word diffolv'd in ftreams away!
Swift JORDAN'S ftream did at thy word divide,
And stood a watery mount on either fide;
Thy tribes its dry foundations firmly bore,
And gave safe paffage to the farther shore.
On themes like these my muse would gladly dwell, And to the world JEHOVAH'S Wonders tell; At his command consuming lightnings fly, And thunders roll along the troubled sky. On him blue plagues and hosts of deaths attend, And to his fov'reign charge obfequious bend: Yet MAN, prefumptuous rebel to his laws, Dares impiously oppose his facred caufe; By VICE enflav'd, and to himself severe, Rafhly he braves the doom he ought to fear; Blind to his GOD, he flights RELIGION'S call, And chufes rather, obftinate to fall. RELIGION fmiling, waits with open arms, A heavenly mistress full of fweetest charms: Safety and peace in her embraces reft,
And none ere fought her yet who were not blest,
How few her face with rapturous pleasure view,
Or think her offer'd joys unpall'd and true!
Allur'd by folly, they provoke their fate
And (if at all) grow penitent too late.