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His Eternity. WHENCE sprung this glorious frame? or whence The various forms the universe compose ? (arose From what Almighty Cause, what mystic springs, Shall we derive the origin of things ? Sing, heav'nly Guide! whose all-efficient light Drew dawning planets from the womb of Night! Since reason, by thy sacred dictates taught, Adores a Power beyond the reach of thought.
First Cause of causes ! Sire supreme of birth! Sole light of Heav'n! acknowledged life of Earth ; Whose word from nothing called this beauteous
Thus wide expanded all from pole to pole!
Who shall prescribe the boundary to thee,
Or fix the era of eternity ?
Should we, deceiv'd by Error's sceptic glass,
Admit the thought absurd-that nothing was!
Thence would this wild, this false conclusion flow,
That nothing rais'd this beauteous all below.
When from disclosing darkness splendour breaks,
Associate atoms move, and matter speaks,
When non-existence bursts its close disguise,
How blind are mortals-not to own the skies!
If one vast void eternal held its place, Whence started time? or whence expanded space? What
gave the slumb’ring 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 minds.
Inactive Chaos sleeps in dull repose,
Nor knowledge thence, nor free volition flows.
A nobler source those powers ethereal show,
By which we think, design, reflect, and know;
These from a cause superior 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 shine,
Eternal, self-existent, 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 Heav'n enrich and gladden worlds below;
Which are no less when properly defin’d,
Than emanations of th'Éternal Mind:
Hence triumphs truth beyond objection clear,
(Let unbelief attend, and shrink with fear)
That what for ever was-must surely 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 began, nor e'er shall end.
In him from whom existence boundless flows,
Let humble faith its sacred trust repose:
Assurd on his eternity depend,
Eternal Father! and eternal Friend !!
Within that mystic circle safety seek,
No time can lessen, and no force can break;
And, lost in adoration, breathe his praise,
High Rock of ages, ancient Sire of days'
Thus recogniz'd, the spring of life and thought,
Eternal, self-derived, and unbegot;
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 creature sprung to hail his wide command;
Bless'd, had the sacred fountain ne'er run o'er,
Å boundless sea of bliss that knows no shore.
Nor sense can two prime origins conceive,
Nor reason two eternal Gods believe :
Could the wild Manichæan own that guide,
The good would triumph, and the ill subside;
Again would vanquish'd Aramanius bleed,
And darkness from prevailing light recede.
In diff'rent 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 pow'r and parted empire claim;
How soon would universal order cease!
How soon would discord harmony displace!
Eternal schemes maintain eternal fight,
Nor yield, supported by eternal might;
Where each would uncontrollid his aim pursue,
The links dissever, or the chain renew ;
Matter from motion cross impressions take,
As serv'd each pow'r his rival's pow'r to break,
While neutral Chaos, from his deep recess,
Would view the never-ending strife increase,
And bless the contest that secur'd his peace;
While new creations would opposing rise,
And elemental war deform the skies;
Around wild uproar and confusion hurl'd,
Eclipse the heav'ns, 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 through the flow'ry lawn;
So, mindful of their spring, one course they keep,
Exploring, till they find their native deep.
Exalted Power, invisible, supreme, Thou sov'reign, sole unutterable name! As round thy throne thy flaming seraphs stand, And touch the golden lyre with trembling hand; Too weak thy pure effulgence to behold, With their rich plumes their dazzled eyes infold Transported with the ardours of thy praise, The holy! holy! holy! anthem raise ! To them responsive, let creation sing, Thee, indivisible, eternal King!
His Spirituality. 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 passions, impulse, fear,
In good pre-eminent, in truth severe;
Unmix'd his nature, and sublime his pow'rs
From all the gross alloy that 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 sightless excellence;
Most perfect, most intelligent, most wise,
In whom the sanctity of pureness lies;
In whose adjusting mind the whole is wrought,
Whose form is spirit, and whose essence thought;
Are truths inscrib'd by wisdom's brightest ray,
In characters that gild the face of day.
Reason confess'd, (howe'er we may dispute)
Fix'd boundary! discovers man from brute;
But, dim to us, exerts his fainter ray,
Depress’d in matter, and allied to clay;
In forms superior kindles less confin'd,
Whose dress is ether, and whose substance mind;
Yet all from Him, supreme of causes flow,
To him their pow'rs 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 spirit still ascend,
Through spirit still refining, higher tend;
Pursue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road,
Pierce through infinitude in quest of God;