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REFLECTIONS ON THE BEING OF A GOD.
RETIRE;—the world shut out ;---thy thoughts call home;-
Imagination's airy wing repress ;-
Lock up thy senses ; let no passions stir ;
Wake all to reason :- let her reign alone :
Then in my soul's deep silence, and the depth
Of Nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire-
What am I ? and from whence? I nothing know
But that I am ; and since I am, conclude
Something eternal : had there e'er been nought,
Nought still had been : eternal there must be.-
But what eternal? Why not human race?
And Adam's ancestors without an end?
That's hard to be conceiv'd, since every link
Of that long-chain'd succession is so frail.
Can every part depend, and not the whole ?
Yet grant it true, new difficulties rise ;
I'm still quite out at sea, nor see the shore.
Whence earth, and these bright orbs ?- Eternal too?
Grant matter was eternal, still these orbs
Would want some other father;-inuch design
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes,
Design implies intelligence and art;
They can't be from themselves-or man: that art
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow ?
And nothing greater yet allowed than man.-
Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain,
Shot thro' vast masses of enormous weight?
Who bade brute matter's restive lump assume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly?
Has matter innate motion ? then each atom,
Asserting its indisputable right
To dance, would form an universe of dust :
Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forms,
And boundless flights, from shapeless and reposed ?
Has matter more than motion ? has it thought?
Juigment, and genius? is it deeply learned
In mathematics? has it fram'd such laws,
Which but to guess, a Newton made immortal ?—
If art to form, and counsel to conduct,
And that which greater far than human skill,
Resides not in each block,-a Godhead reigns,-
And, if a God there is,--that God how great !
I sought Thee round about, O) thou my God!
In thine abode.
I said unto the Earth, “ Speake, art thou He?
She answered me,
“ I am not.” I inquired of creatures all,
Contain’d therein ;-they with one voice proclaim,
That none amongst them challenged such a name.
I ask’t the seas, and all the deeps below,
My God to know.
I ask't the reptiles, and whatever is
In the abysse ;
Even from the shrimpe to the leviathan,
But in those deserts which no line can sound,
The God I sought for, was not to be found.
I ask't the aire, if that were He? but, lo!
It told me No.
I from the towering eagle to the wren,
any feather'd fowle 'mongst them were such?
But they all, much Offended with my question, in full quire, Answer'd,“ to finde thy God thou must look higher.”
I ask't the heavens, sun, moon, and stars, but they
“ We obey
'The God thou seek'st."--I ask't what eye or eare
Could see or heare;
What in the world I might descry or know
With an unanimous voice, all these things said,
“ We are not God, but we by him were made."
I ask't the world's great universal masse,
If that God was?
Which with a mighty and strong voice reply'd,
“I am not He, o man ! for know, that I
By him on bigh,
Was fashion'd first of nothing, thus instated,
And sway'd by Him, by whom I was created.”
A scrutiny within myself I, then,
Even thus began :“ () man, what art thou ?"-What more could I say,
Than dust and clay?
Fraile, mortal, fading, a mere puffe, a blast,
That cannot last;
Enthroned to-day, to-morrow in an urne;
Form'd from that earth to which I must returne.
I ask't myself, what this great God might be
That fashion'd me?
I answer'd--the all-potent, solely immense,
Surpassing sense ;
Unspeakable, inscrutable, eternall,
Lord over all;
The only terrible, strong, just, and true,
Who hath no end, and no beginning knew.
He is the well of life, for He doth give
To all that live,
Both breath and being : He is the Creator
Both of the water,
Earth, aire, and fire. Of all things that subsist,
He hath the list;
Of all the heavenly host, or what earth claimes,
He keeps the scrole, and calls them by their names.
And now, my God, by thine illumining grace,
Thy glorious face,
(So far forth as it may discovered be,)
Methinks I see;
And though invisible and infinite,-
To human sight,
Thou, in thy mercy, justice, truth, appearest;
In which to our weake senses Thou comest nearest.
O make us apt to seeke, and quicke to finde,
Thou God, most kinde!
Give us love, hope, and faith in Thee to trust,
Thou God, most just!
Remit all our offences, we intreat;
Most Good, most Great!
Grant that our willing, though unworthy guest
May, through thy grace, admit us 'mongst the blest.
THE DIVINE PERFECTIONS In its sublime research, philosophy
May measure out the ocean deep-may
count O thou eternal One! whose presence bright | The sands or the sun's rays--but, God! for All space doth occupy, all motion guide,
Thee Unchang'd through time's all-devastating There is no weight nor measure; none can fight;
mount Thou only God! There is no God beside!
Up to Thy mysteries; Reason's brightest Being above all beings! Mighty One!
spark, Whom none can comprehend and none ex. Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would plore ;
try Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone :
To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark : Embracing all,-supporting, -ruling o'er,
And thought is lost ere thought can soar so Being whom we call GOD)--and know no
Even like past moments in eternity. more.