תמונות בעמוד

That can deliberate, means elect, and find
Their due connection with the end design'd.
And since the world's wide frame does not include
A cause with such capacities endued;
Some other cause o’er nature must preside,
Which gave her birth, and does her motions guide.
And here behold the cause, which God we name,
The source of beings, and the mind supreme;
Whose perfect wisdom, and whose prudent care,
With one confederate voice, unnumber'd worlds

See, how the earth has gain'd that very place,
Which, of all others in the boundless space,
Is most convenient, and will best conduce
To the wise ends requir’d for nature's use.
You, who the Mind and Cause Supreme deny,
Nor on his aid to form the world rely,
Must grant, had perfect wisdom been employ'd
To find, through all the interminable void,
A seat most proper, and which best became
The earth and sea, it must have been the same.

Now who can this surprising fact conceive, Who this event fortuitous believe, That the brute earth, unguided, should embrace ) The only useful, only proper place, Of all the millions in the empty space?

Could stupid atoms, with impetuous speed, By different roads and adverse ways proceed; From regions opposite begin their flight, That here they might rencounter, here unite ? What charms could these terrestrial vagrants see In this one point of all immensity, That all the enamour'd troops should thither flow? Did they its useful situation know?

And, when the squadrons with a swift career
Had reach'd that point, why did they settle there, &
When nothing check'd their flight but gulfs of air;)
Since Epicurus and his scholars say ,
That unobstructed matter flies away,
Ranges the void, and knows not where to stay ? )
If you, sagacious sons of art, pretend
That by their native force they did descend,
And ceas'd to move, when they had gain’d their

end ;
That native force till you enlighten'd know,
Can its mysterious spring disclose, and show
How 'tis exerted, how it does impel,
Your uninstructive words no doubts dispel.
We ask you, whence does motive vigour flow?
You say, the nature of the thing is so. .
But how does this relieve the' inquirer's pain;
Or how the dark impulsive power explain?

The Atomists, whose skill mechanic teach,
Who boast their clearer sight, and deeper reach,
Assert their atoms took that happy seat,
Determin’d thither by their inbred weight; [strove
That downward through the spacious void they
To that one point, from all the parts above.
Grant this position true, though up and down
Are to a space not limited unknown;
But since they say our earth from morn to morn
On its own axis is oblig'd to turn;
That swift rotation must disperse in air
All things, which on the rapid orb appear :
And if no power that motion should control,
It must disjoint and dissipate the whole.
'Tis by experience uncontested found,
Bodies orbicular, when whirling round,

Still shake off all things on their surface plac’d, And to a distance from the centre cast.

If ponderous atoms are so much in love With this one point, that all will thither move, Give them the situation they desire : But let us then, ye sages, next inquire What cause of their cohesion can you find; What props support, what chains the fabric bind? Why do not beasts that move, or stones that lie Loose on the field, through distant regions fly? Or why do fragments, from a mountain rent, Tend to the earth with such a swift descent?

Those who ascribe this one determin'd course Of ponderous things to gravitating force, Refer us to a quality occult, To senseless words, for which while they insult With just contempt the famous Stagyrite, (light. The schools should bless the world with clearer Some, the round earth's cohesion to secure, For that hard task employ magnetic power. Remark, say they, the globe; with wonder own Its nature, like the fam'd attractive stone. This has its axis, so the observer tells, Meridians, poles, equator, parallels. To the terrestrial poles by constant fate The obsequious poles themselves accommodate; And, when of this position dispossess'd, They move, and strive, nor ever will they rest, Till their lov'd situation they regain, Where pleas'd they settle, and unmov'd remain.. And should you (so experience does decide) Into small parts the wondrous stone divide, Ten thousand of minutest size express The same propension which the large possess..

Hence all the globe ('tis said) we may conclude
With this prevailing energy endued :
That this attractive, this surprising stone
Has no peculiar virtue of its own;
Nothing but what is common to the whole,
To sides, to axis, and to either pole.

The mighty magnet from the centre darts
This strong, though subtle force, through all the
Its active rays, ejaculated thence,

[parts; Irradiate all the wide circumference. While every part is in proportion bless'd, And of its due attractive power possess'd; While adverse ways the adverse atoms draw With the same strength, by nature's constant law Balanc'd and fix'd; they can no longer move; Through gulfs immense no more unguided rove. If cords are pull'd two adverse ways, we find The more we draw them, they the faster bind. So when with equal vigour nature strains This way and that these fine mechanic chains, They fix the earth, they part to part unite, Preserve their structure, and prevent their flight, Pressure (they say) and weight, we must disown, As things occult, by no ideas known; And on the earth's magnetic power depend To fix its seat, its union to defend.

Let us this fam'd hypothesis survey, And with attentive thought remark the way, How earth's attractive parts their force display. ) The mass ('tis said) from its wide bosom pours Torrents of atoms, and eternal showers Of fine magnetic darts, of matter made So subtle, marble they with ease pervade :

Refin'd, and, next to incorporeal, thin;
Not by Ausonian glasses to be seen.
These emanations take their constant flight
Swift from the earth, as from the sun the light;
To a determin'd distance they ascend,
And there infiect their course, and downward tend.

What can insult unequal reason more,
Than this magnetic, this mysterious power?
That cords and chains, beyond conception small,
Should gird and bind so fast this mighty ball !
That active rays should spring from every part,
And, though so subtle, should such force exert!
That the light legions should be sent abroad,
Range all the air, and traverse every road!
To stated limits should excursions make,
Then backward of themselves their journey take ;
Should in their way to solid bodies cling,
And home to earth the captive matter bring;
Where all things on its surface spread are bound
By their coercive vigour to the ground!
Can this be done without a guide Divine ?
Should we to this hypothesis incline,
Say, does not here conspicuous wisdom shine? )
Who can enough magnetic force admire ?
Does it not counsel and design require
To give the earth this wondrous energy,
In such a measure, such a just degree,
That it should still perform its destin'd task,
As nature's ends and various uses ask?

For, should our globe have had a greater share Of this strong force, by which the parts cohere, Things had been bound by such a powerful chain, That all would fix'd and motionless remain;

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