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If one vast void eternal held its place,
Whence started time? or whence expanded space!
What gave the flumbering mass to feel a change?
Or bid consenting worlds harmonious range!
Could nothing link the universal chain !
No, 'tis impossible, absurd and vain !
Here reason its eternal author finds,
The whole who regulates, unites, and binds,
Enlivens matter, and produces ininds !
Inactive chaos fleeps in dull repose,
Nor knowledge thence, nor free volition flows !
A nobler source those powers etherial show,
By which we think, design, reflect, and know;
These from a cause fuperior date their rise,
" Abstract in essence from material ties.”
An origin immortal, as supreme,
From whose pure day, celestial rays ! they came :
In whom all possible perfections thine,
Eternal, self-exiftent, and divine !
From this great spring of uncreated might!
This all-resplendent orb of vital light !
Whence all created beings take their rise,
Which beautify the earth, or paint the skies!
Profusely-wide the boundless blessings flow,
Which heaven enrich, and gladden worlds below!
Which are no less, when properly defin'd,
Than emanations of th' eternal mind!
Hence triumphs truth beyond objection clear
(Let unbelief attend, and shrink 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 space immense !
And all of whom that man can comprehend,
Is, that he ne'er begun, nor e'er shall end.
In him from whom existence boundless flows,
Let humble faith its facred trust repose;
Affur'd, on his eternity depend,
66 Eternal father! and eternal friend !"
Within that mystic circle safety feek,
No time can weaken, and no force can break;
And, lost in adoration, breathe his praise,
High rock of ages, ancient fire of days !
Thus recogniz'd, the spring of life and thought! Eternal, felf-existant, un-begot! Approach, celestial muse! th' empyreal throne, And awfully adore th' exalted one! In nature pure, in place supremely free, And happy in essential unity! Bless'd in himself, had from his forming hand No creatures sprung to hail his wide command
; Bless'd, had the sacred fountain ne'er run o'er, A boundless fea of bliss, that knows no shore ! Nor sense can two bright origins conceive, reason two eternal Gods believe !
Could the wild Manichæan own that guide,
The good would triumph, and the ill subside!
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 supreme,
Divided power, and parted empire claim;
How foon would universal order cease!
How soon would discord harmony displace?
Eternal schemes maintain eternal fight,
Nor yield, supported by eternal might?
Where each would uncontrol'd his aim pursue,
The links disseyer, or the chain renew;
Matter from motion cross impressions take,
As serv'd each power his rival's power to break,
While neutral chaos, from his deep recess,
Would view the never-ending strife increase,
And bless the contest which secur'd his peace !
Or new creations would oppofing rife,
With elemental war to blot the skies !
And round wild uproar and confusion hurld,
Would veil the heavens, and waste the ruin'd world.
Two independent causes to admit,
Destroys religion, and debases wit;
The first by such an anarchy undone,
The last acknowledges its source but one.
As from the main the mountain rills are drawn,
That wind irriguous thro' the flowery lawn;
So, mindful of their spring, one course they keep,
Exploring, till they find their native deep!
Exalted power ! invisible, supreme,
Thou sovereign sole 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, responsive, let creation fing,
Thee, indivisible eternal king!
O say, celestial muse! whose purer birth, Disdains the low material ties of earth / By what bright images shall be defin'd The mystic nature of th’ eternal mind? Or how shall thought the dazzling height explore, Where all that reason can-is to adore ! That God's an immaterial essence pure, Whom figure can't describe, nor parts immure; Incapable of paffions, impulse, fear, In good pre-eminent, in truth severe : Unmix'd his nature, and sublim'd his powers, From all the gross allay which tempers ours ;
In whose clear eye the bright angelic train
Appear suffus'd with imperfection's stain !
Impervious to the man's-or seraph's eye,
Beyond the ken of each, exalted high !
Him would in vain material semblance feign,
Or figur'd shrines the boundless God contain;
Object of faith!-he shuns the view of sense,
Lost in the blaze of fightless excellence !
Most perfect, most intelligent, most wise,
In whom the fanctity of pureness lies;
In whose adjusting mind the whole is wrought,
Whofe form is spirit! and whose essence, thought !
Are truths inscrib'd by wisdom's brightest ray,
In characters that gild the face of day!
Reafon confess'd (howe'er we may dispute)
Fix'd boundary ! discovers man from brute;
But dim to us, exerts its fainter ray,
Depress’d in matter, and allied to clay!
In forms superior kindles less confin’d,
Whose dress is æther, and whose substance mind;
Yet all from him, supreme of causes, flow,
To him their powers and their existence owe;
From the bright cherub of the noblest birth,
To the poor reasoning glow-worm plac'd on earth;
From matter then to fpirit still ascend,
Thro' spirit still refining, higher tend;
Pursue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road,
Pierce thro' infinitude in quest of God!
Still from thy search, the centre still shall fly,
Approaching still-thou never shalt come nigh!