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THE

UNIVERSAL

PRA Y E R.

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THE

Universal Prayer. DEO OPT. MAX.

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ATHER of All! in ev'ry Age,

In ev'ry Clime ador'd,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !

Thou Great First Cause, least understood:
Who all

my

Sense confin'd
To know but this, that Thou art Good,

And that myself am blind ;

be proper

COMMENTARY. Universal Prayer.] Concerning this poem, it

may to observe, that some passages, in the preceding Esay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to shew that his fyftem was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: That the first cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submiffion to his will (the great principle inforced throughout the Elay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along with a blind determination ; but a religious acquiescence, and confidence full

I

Yet gave me,

in this dark Estate, To see the Good from Ill; And binding Nature fast in Fate,

Left free the Human Will.

What Confcience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to Thun,

That, more than Heav'n pursue.

What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not cast

away ;
For God is pay'd when Man receives,

T'enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span

Thy Goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,

When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy Foe.

COMMENTARY. of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight and reality, the poet chose for his model the LORD's PRAYER, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed tɔ this Paraphrase.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay ; If I am wrong, oh teach

my

heart To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,

Or impious Discontent,
At ought thy Wisdom has deny’d.

Or ought thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,

To hide the Fault I fee : That Mercy I to others show,

That Mercy Thow to me.

Mean tho I am, not wholly so

Since quick’ned by thy Breath;
Oh lead me wherefoe'er I

go,
Thro' this day's Life or Death.

NOTES
If I am right, thy grace impart,-

If I am wrong, teach my heart] As the imparting grace on the store men to the right than to christian system is a stronger keep them in it. But as it exertion of the divine power, was the poet's purpose to inthan the natural illumination sinuate that Revelation was the of the heart, one would ex right, nothing could better expect that the request should press his purpose than the makhave been expressed reversely ;

ing the right secured by the more aid being required to re guards of grace.

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