תמונות בעמוד

Divine laws do not constitute and determine? And how can an oath of allegiance bind but by virtue of some Divine command, that obliges us not to violate our vows By this it appears, that an atheist must be the worst of subjects; that his principles subvert the thrones of princes, and undermine the foundations of government and society, on which the happiness of mankind so much depends; and therefore it is not possible to conceive how there can be a greater disturber of the public peace, or a greater enemy to his prince and country, than a professed atheist, who propagates with zeal his destructive opinions. I have proved, in the following poem, that no hypothesis hitherto invented in favour of impiety has the least strength or solidity, no, not the least appearance of truth, to recommend it. A man must be deserted of Heaven, and inflexibly hardened, that cannot, or rather will not, see the unreasonableness of irreligious principles. I demand only a candid temper in the reader, and a mind pleased with truth, and delivered from the prejudices of atheistical conversation.




Tur design of this work is to demonstrate the existence of a Divine Eternal 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.

[ocr errors]




A Philosophical. PorM.

1.x seveN Books.
Principio coelum, ac terras camposaue liquentes,
Lucentemque globum Lunae, Titaniaque astra
Spiritus intus alit, totamgue infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem, & magnose corpore miscet.
Inde hominum, pecudumque genus, vitaeque vo-


Et quae marmoreo fert monstra sub acquore pontus. Virg.

Book 1.

The Art Gu Mext.

The proposition. The invocation. The existence of a God demonstrated, from the marks of wisdom, choice, and art, which appear in the visible world, and infer an intelligent and free cause. This evinced from the contemplation, I. Of the Earth. 1. Its situation 2. The cohesion of its parts, not to be solved by any hypothesis yet produced. 3. Its stability. 4. Its structure, or the order of its parts. 5. Its motion diurnal and annual, or else the motion of the Sun in both those respects. The cause of these motions not yet accounted for by any philosopher. 6. Its outside or face; the beauties and conveniences of it; its mountains, lakes, and rivers. II. The existence of a God proved from the marks and impressions of prudence and design, which appear in the sea. 1. In its formation. 2. The proportion of its parts in respect of the earthy. 3. Its situation. 4. The contexture of its parts. 5. Its brackish or briny quality. 6. Its flux and reflux.

- No more of courts, of triumphs, or of arms, No more of Valour's force, or Beauty's charms; The themes of vulgar lays, with just disdain, I leave unsung, the flocks, the atmorous swain, The pleasures of the land, and terrours of the main. How abject, how inglorious, 'tis to lie Groveling in dust and darkness, when on high Fampires immense, and rolling worlds of light, To range their heavenly scenes, the Muse invite

I meditate to soar above the skies,
To heights unknown, through ways untry'd to riset
I would th’ Eternal from his works assert,
And sing the wonders of creating Art.
While I this unexampled task essay,
Pass awful gulphs, and beat my painful way;
Celestial Dove' divine assistance bring, -
Sustain me on thy strong-extended wing, -
That I may reach th' Almighty's sacred throne,
And make his causeless power, the cause of all
things, known.
Thou dost the full extent of nature see,
And the wide realms of vast immensity:
Eternal Wisdom thou dost comprehend,
Rise to her heights, and to her depths descendt
The Father's secret counsels thou canst tell,
Who in his bosom didst for ever dwell.
Thou on the deep's dark face, immortal Dove'
Thou with almighty energy didst move
On the wild waves, incumbent didst display
Thy genial wings, and hatch primeval day.
Order from thee, from thee distinction came,
And all the beauties of the wondrous frame.
Hence stampt on Nature we perfection find,
Fair as th’ idea in the Fternal Mind.
See, through this vast extended theatre
Of skill divine, what shining marks appear!
Creating power is all around exprest,
The God discover'd, and his care confest.
Nature's high birth her heavenly beauties show; .
By every feature we the parent know.
Th’ expanded spheres, anazing to the sight!
Magnificent with stars and globes of light,
The glorious orbs, which Heaven's bright host
Th’ imprison'd sea, that restless ebbs and flows,
The fluctuating fields of liquid air,
With all the curious meteors hovering there,
And the wide regions of the land, proclaim
The Power Divine, that rais'd the mighty frame. ,
What things soe'er are to an end referr'd,
And in their motions still that end regard,
Always the fitness of the means respect,
These as conducive choose, and those reject,
Must by a judgment, foreign and unknown,
Be guided to their end, or by their own;
For to design an end, and to pursue

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That eud by uneans, and have it still in view,

« הקודםהמשך »