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(Poor rules, with which our bounded mind is fill'd,
When we would plant, or cultivate, or build);
But fhining with fuch vaft, fuch various light,
As fpeaks the hand that form'd them, infinite ;
How mean the order and perfeétion fought
In the beft produ&t of the humam thought,
' Compar'd to the great harmony that reigns
In what the fpirit of the world ordains !
Now if the fun to earth tranfmits his ray,
Yet does not fcorch us with too fierce a day ;
How fmall a portion of his power is giv'n
To orbs more diftant, and remoter Heaven ?
And of thofe ftars, which our imperfe&t eye
Has doom'd, and fix'd to one eternal fky,
Each by a native ftock of honour great, -
IMay dart ftrong influence, and diffufe kind heat,
(It felf a fun ;) and with tranfmiffive light
Enliven worlds deny'd to humam fight:
Around the circles of their ambient fkies
New moons may grow or wane, may fet or rife ;
And other ftars may to thofe funs be earths ;
Give their own elements their proper births ;
Divide their climes, or elevate their pole;
See their land flourifh, and their oceans roll;
Yet thefe great orbs thus radically bright,
Primitive founts, and origins of light,
Makes or their diftance, or their height appear)
Be fesn a nobler, or inferior ftar ;
C z - And
May each to other (as their different fphere $
And in that fpace, which we call air and fky, .
Myriads of earths, and moons, and funs may lie 3 -
Unmeafur'd, and unknown to human eye.
In vain we meafure this amazing fphere,
And find and fix its centre here or there,
Whilft its circumference fcorning to be brought
Even in fancy'd fpace, illudes our vanquifh'd thought.
Where then are all the radiant Monfters driven,
With which your gueffes fill'd the frighten'd heaven ?
Where will their fi&tious images remain ?
In paper fchemes, and the Chaldean's brain.
This problem yet, this offspring of a guefs,
Let us for once a child of truth confefs;
That thefe fair ftars, thefe obje&ts of delight
And terror, to our fearching dazzled fight, ~
Are worlds immenfe, unnumber'd, infinite: ?
But do thefe worlds difplay their beams, or guide
Their orbs, to ferve thy ufe, to pleafe thy pride?
Thy felf but duft; ^thy ftature but a fpan
A moment thy duration ; foolifh man!
As well may the minuteft emmet fay,
That Caucafus was rais'd to pave his way:
The fnail, that Lebanon's extended wood
Was deftin'd only for his walk and food ;
The vileft cockle gaping on the coaft
That rounds the ample feas as well may boaft,
The craggy rock proje&ts above the fky,
That he in fafety at his foot may lie ;
And the whole ocean's confluent waters fwell,
Only to quench his thirft, or moveand blanch his fhel1.
A higher flight the venturous Goddefs tries, Leaving material worlds, and local fkies ; Enquires, what are the beings, where the fpace, That form'd and held the Angels ancient race ? For rebel Lucifer with Michael fought (I offer only what tradition taught) Embattl'd cherub againft cherub rofe, Did fhield to fhield, and power to power oppofe ; Heaven rung with triumph : Hell was fill'd with
What were thofe forms of which your volumes tell,
How fome fought great, and others recreant fell:
Thefe bound to bear an everlafting load,
Durance of chain, and banifhment of God :
By fatal turns their wretched ftrength to tire;
To fwim in fulphurous lakes, or land on folid fire:
Whilft thofe exalted to primæval light,
Excefs of bleffing, and fupreme delight,
Only perceive fome little paufe ofjoys
In thofe great moments when their God employs
Their miniftry, to pour his threaten'd hate
On the proud king, or the rebellious ftate ;
Orto reverfe Jehovah's high command,
And fpeak the thunder falling from his hand,
When to his duty the proud king returns,
And the rebellious ftate in afhes mourns.
How can good angels be in Heaven confin'd ;
Or view that prefence which no fpace can bind ?
Is God above, beneath, or yon, or here ?
He who made all, is he not every where?
Oh how can wicked angels find a night
So dark to hide them from that piercing light, }
Which form'd the eye, and gave the power offight?
What mean I now of angel, when I hear
Firm body, fpirit pure, or fluid air?
Spirits to a&tions fpiritual confin'd,
Friends to our thought, and kindred to our mind,
Should only a&t and prompt us from within,
Nor by external eye be ever feen.
Was it not-therefore to our fathers known,
That thefe had appetite, and limb, and bone ?
Elfe how could Abraham wafh their weary'd feet:
-Or Sarah pleafe their tafte with favoury meat ?
Whence fhould they fear ? or why did Lot engage
To fave their bodies from abufive rage,
And how could Jacob, in a real fight,
Feel or refift the wreftling angel's might?
How could a form its ftrength with matter try?
Or how a fpirit touch a mortal's thigh ?
Now are they air condens'd, orgather'd rays ?
How guide they then our prayer, or keep our ways,
By ftronger blafts ftill fubje&t to be toft,
By tempefts fcatter'd, and in whirlwinds loft ?
Have they again (as facred fong proclaims)
Subftances real, and exifting frames ?
How comes it fince with them we jointly fhare
The great effe&t of one Creator's care ;
That, whilft our bodies ficken and decay,
Their's are for ever healthy, young, and gay ?
- Why -
VWhy, whilft we ftruggle in this vale beneath,
With, want and forrow, with difeafe and death,
3)o they, more blef$'d perpetual life employ
Qn fongs of pleafure, and in fcenes ofjoy?
Now when my mind has all this world furvey'd,
And found that nothing by itfelf was made;
VVhen thought has rais'd it felfby juft degrees
From vallies crown'd with flowers, and hills with trees;
From fmoaking minerals, and from rifing ftreams;
From fattening Nilus, or viétorious Thames;
From all the living that four-footed move
Along the fhoar, the meadow, or the grove;
From all that can with fins, or feathers fly,
Through the aëria!, or the watery fky ;
Prom the poor reptile with a reafoning foul,
That miferable mafter of the whole ;
From this great objeét of the body's eye,
This fair half-round, this ample azure fky,
Terribly large, and wonderfully bright
With ftars unnumber'd, and unmeafur'd light ;
From effences unfeen, celeftial names,
Enlightening fpirits, and minifterial fames,
Angels, dominions, potentates, and thrones,
All that in each degree the name of creature owns:
Lift we our reafon to that fovereign caufe,
Who bleft the whole with life, and bounded it with
Who forth from nothing call'd this comely frame,
His will and a&t, his word and work the fame;
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