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The design of this work is to demonstrate the existence of a Divine Fternal Mind.
The arguments used for this end are taken from the various marks of wisdom and artful contrivance, which are evident to observation in the several parts of the material world, and the faculties of the human soul.
The first book contains the proof of a Deity, from the instances of design and choice, which occur in the structure and qualities of the earth and sea.
The second pursues the proof of the same proposition, there is a God, from the celestial motions, and more fully from the appearances in the solar system, and the air.
In the third, the objections which are brought by atheistical philosophers against the hypothesis established in the two preceding books are answered.
In the fourth, is laid down the hypothesis of the Atomists or Epicureans, and other irreligious philosophers, and confuted.
In the fifth, the doctrine of the Fatalists, or Aristotelians, who make the world to be eternal, is considered and subverted
In the sixth, the argument of the two first books is resumed, and the existence of God demonstrated from the prudence and art discovered in the several parts of the body of man.
In the seventh, the same demonstration is carried on from the contemplation of the instincts in brute animals, and the faculties and operations of the soul of man. The book concludes with a recapitulation of what has been treated of, and a hymn to the Creator of the World.
SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE.
A PHILOSOPHICAL POEM.
IN SEVEN BOOKS.
I meditate to soar above the skies,
And sing the wonders of creating Art.
And make his causeless power, the cause of all Et quæ marmoreo fert monstra sub æquore pontus. things, known.
Virg. Thou dost the full extent of nature see,
And the wide realms of vast immensity :
The Father's secret counsels thou canst tell,
of a God demonstrated, from the marks of wis- Thou on the deep's dark face, immortal Dove! dom, choice, and art, which appear in the visible
Thou with almighly energy didst move world, and infcr an intelligent and free cause.
On the wild waves, incumbent didst display This evinced from the contemplation, 1. Of the Thy genial wings, and hatch primeval day. Earth. 1. Its situation 2. The cohesion of
Order from thce, from thee distinction came, its parts, not to be solved by any hypothesis And all the beauties of the wondrous frame. yet produced. 3. Its stability. 4. Its structure,
Hence stampt on Nature we perfection find, or the order of its parts. 5. Its motion diurnal Fair as th' idea in the Eternal Mind. and annual, or else the motion of the Sun in
See, through this vast extended theatre both those respects. The cause of these motions of skill divine, what shining marks appear! not yet acconnted for by any philosopher. 6. Creating power is all around exprest, Its outside or face; the beauties and convenien- The God discover'd, and his care confest.
, 구 ces of it; its mountains, lakes, and rivers. 11. Nature's high birth her heavenly beauties show;. The existence of a God proved from the marks By every feature we the parent know. and impressions of prudence and design, which Th' expanded spheres, ainazing to the sight! appear in the sea. i. In its formation. 2. The Magnificent with stars and globes of light, proportion of its parts in respect of the carthy. The glorious orbs, which Heaven's bright host 3. Its situation. 4. The contexture of its parts.
compose, 5. Its brackish or briny quality. 6. Its flux Th’ imprison'd sea, that restless ebbs and flows, and reflux,
The fluctuating fields of liquid air,
And the wide regions of the land, proclaim
Must by a judgment, foreign and unknown,
Demands a conscious, wise, reflecting cause, Still shake off all things on their surface placid,
If pondrous atoms are so much in love
But let us then, ye sages, next ipquire, Some other cause o'er Nature must preside, What cause of their cohesion can you find? Which gave her birth, and does her motions guide. What props support, what chains the fabric bind? And here behold the cause, which God we naine, Why do not beasts that move, or stones that lie The source of beings, and the mind suprenie; Loose on the field, through distant regions fly? Wiose perfect wisdom, and whose prudent care, Or why do fragments, from a mountain rent, With one confederate voice unnumber'd worlds Tend to the Earth with such a swift descent? declare.
Those who ascribe this one determin'd course See, how the Earth has gain'd that very place, Of pondrous things to gravitating force, Which, of all others in the boundless space, Refer us to a quality occult, Is must convenient, and will best conduce
To senseless words, for which, while they insult, To the wise cuds requir'd for Nature's use. With just contempt, the famous Stagyrite, You, who the Mind and Cause Supreme deny, Their schools should bless the world with clearer Nur on his aid to furin the world rely,
light. Must grant, had perfect wisdom been employ'd Some, the round Earth's cohesion to secure, To tinci, through all the interminable void,
For that hard task employ magnetic power. A scat most proper, and which best became
“ Remark,” say they,
" the globe; with wonder The carth and sea, it must have been the same.
Now who can this surprising fact conceive, Its nature, like the fam'd attractive stone. Who this event fortuitous believe,
This has its axis," so th' observer tells, That the brute Farth, unguided, should embrace “ Meridians, poles, cquator, parallels. The only useful, only proper place,
To the terrestrial poles, by constant fate, Of all the millions in the empty space?
Th' obsequious poles themselves accommodate, Could stupid atoms, with impetuous speed, And, when of this position dispossest, By different roads and adverse ways proceed; They move, and strive, nor ever will they rest, From regions opposite begin their fight,
Till their lov'd situation they regain, That here they might rencounter, here unitc? Where pleas’d they settle, and unmov'd remain. What charms could these terrestrial vagrants see And should you, so experience does decide, In this one point of all immensity,
Into small parts the wondrous stone divide, . That all th’ enamour'd troops should thither flow? Ten thousand of minutest size express Did they its useful situation know?
The same propension, which the large possess. And when the squadrons, with a swift career, llence all the globe,” 'tis said, " we may conclude, Had reach'd that point why did they settle there, With this prevailing energy endued: When nothing checkd their flight but gulphs of air; That this attractive, this surprising stone, Since Epicurus and his scholars say,
Jas no peculiar virtue of its own;
Nothing but what is common to the whole,
“ The mighty magnet from the centre darts That by their native force they did olescend, This strong, though subtle force, through all the And ceas'd to move, when they had gain'd their
Its active rays, ejaculated thence,
And of its due attractive power possest;
While adverse ways the adverse atoms draw, We ask you, whence tioes motive vigour flow? With the same strengtli, by Nature's consiant law You may, the nature of the thing is so.
Balancid and fixt; they can no longer inove; But how does this relieve th' inquirer's pain? Through gulphs immense no more unguided rove. Or how the dark impulsive pour explain? If corols are pull'd two adverse ways, we find
The atomists, who skill mechanic teach, The more we draw them, they the faster bind. Who boast their clearer sight, and deeper reach, So when with equal vigour Nature strains Assert their atoms took tiat happy seat,
This way and that these fine mechanie chains, Decomin'd thither by their inbred weight;
They fix the Farth, they part to part unite,
And on the Earth's inagnetic power depend
Let us this fam'd hypothesis survey,
And with attentive thought rcmark the way, All things, which on the rapid orb appear:
llow Earth's attractive parts their force display. And if no power that motion should control, “The mass," 'tis said, “ from its wide bosom pours It must disjoint and dissipate the whole.
Torronts of atoms, and cternal showers "Tis by experience uncontested found,
Of fine magnetic darts, of matter made Bodies orbicular, when whirling round,
So subtle, marble they with ease pervade :