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Yet there thy majesty divine appear'd,
There shone thy glory, and thy voice was heard;
Ev'n in the blaze of that tremendous day,
Idolatry its impious rites could pay !
Oh shame to thought!-Thy sacred throne invade,
And brave the bolt that linger'd round its head!
O Thou, who when th' almighty form'd this all, Upheld the scale, and weigh’d each ballanc'd ball; And as his hand completed each design, Number'd the work, and fix'd the seal divine; O Wisdom infinite! creation's foul, Whose
diffuse new lustre o'er the whole; What tongue shall make thy charms celestial known! What hand, fair Goddess! paint thee but thy own! What tho' in nature's universal store, Appear the wonders of almighty pow'r ! Pow'r unattended, terror would inspire, Aw'd muft we gaze, and comfortless admire. But when fair Wisdom joins in the design, The beauty of the whole result's divine ! See, how associate round their central fun, Their faithful rings the circling planets run; Still equi-diftant, never yet too near, Exactly tracing their appointed sphere. Mark how the moon our flying orb pursues, While from the sun her monthly light renews;
Breathes her wide infl’ence on the world below,
And bids the tides alternate ebb and flow.
View how in course the constant seasons rise,
Deform the earth, or beautify the skies:
First Spring advancing, with her flow'ry train,
Next Summer's hand that spreads the fylvan scene,
Then Autumn with her yellow harvests crown'd,
And trembling Winter close the annual round.
The vegetable tribes observant trace,
From the tall cedar to the creeping grass :
The chain of animated beings scale,
From the small reptile to th' enormons whale ;
From the strong eagle stooping from the skies,
To the low infect that escapes thy eyes !
And see, if see thou can'it, in ev'ry frame,
Eternal Wisdom Mine confess'd the fame:
proper organs to the least aflign'd, As
proper means to propagate their kind;
As just the structure, and as wise the plan,
As in this lord of all debating man !
Hence, reas'ning creature, thy distinction find,
Nor longer to the ways of heav'n be blind.
Wisdom in outward beauty strikes the mind,
But outward beauty points a charm behind.
What gives the earth, the ambient air or seas,
The plain, the river, or the wood to please?
Oh say, in whom does beauty's felf reside,
The Beautifier, or the beautify'd?
His steady eye the mental birth perceives, Ere yet to us the new idea' lives! Knows what we say—ere yet the words proceed, And ere we form th' intention, marks the deed! But Conscience, fair vicegerent-light within, Afferts its author, and restores the scene ! Points out the beauty of the govern'd plan, “ And vindicates the ways of God to man.” Then facred Muse, by the vast prospect fir'd, From heav'n descended, as by heav'n inspir'd; His all-enlight'ning Omnipresence own, Whence first thou feel'ft thy dwindling presence known; His wide Omniscience, juftly grateful fing, Whence thy weak science prunes its callow wing! And bless th' eternal-all-informing foul, Whose light pervades, whose knowledge fills the whole !
As the Eternal and Omniscient Mind,
By laws not limited, nor bounds confin'd;
Is always independent, always free,
Hence shines confefs'd Immutability!
Change, whether the spontaneous child of will,
Or birth of force,-is imperfection still.
But he, all-perfect, in himself contains
Pow'r self-deriv'd, for from himself he reigns !
If, alter'd by constraint, we could fuppose,
That God his fix'd stability should lose ;
How startles reason at a thought so strange!
What pow'r can force Omnipotence to change?
If from his own divine productive thought,
Were the yet-stranger alteration wrought ;
Could excellence fupreme, new rays acquire?
Or strong perfection raise its glories higher!
Absurd !-his high meridian brightness glows,
Never decreases, never overflows !
Knows no addition, yields to no decay,
The sacred blaze of inexhaustless day!
Below, thro' different forms does matter range,
And life subfifts from elemental change,
Liquids condensing shapes terrestrial wear,
Earth mounts in fire, and fire dissolves in air;
While we, enquiring phantoms of a day,
Inconftant as the shadows we survey !
With them, along Time’s rapid current pass,
And haste to mingle with the parent mass;
But Thou, Eternal Lord of life divine !
In youth immortal shalt for ever shine!
No change shall darken thy exalted name,
From everlasting ages still the same!
If God, like man, his purpose could renew,
His laws could vary, or his plans undo;
Desponding Faith would droop its chearless wing,
Religion deaden to a lifeless thing!
Where could we, rational, repose our trust,
But in a pow'r immutable as juft?
How judge of revelation's force divine,
If truth unerring gave not the design;
Where, as in nature's fair according plan,
All smiles benevolent and good to man.
Plac'd in this narrow clouded spot below,
Darkly we see around, and darkly know!
Religion lends the falutary beam,
That guides our reason thro’ the dubious gleam;
Till sounds the hour!when he who rules the skies,
Shall bid the curtain of Omniscience rise!
Shall diffipate the mists that veil our sight,
And show his creatures- -all his ways are right!
Then when astonish'd nature feels its fate,
And fetter'd Time shall know its latest date !
When earth shall in the mighty blaze expire,
Heav'n melt with heat, and worlds dissolve in fire!
The universal system shrink away,
And ceasing orbs confess th' Almighty fway!
Immortal He, amidst the wreck secure,
Shall fit exalted, permanently pure !
As in the Sacred Bush, shall shine the fame,
And from the ruin raise a fairer frame!
Far hence ye visionary charming maids,
Ye fancy'd nymphs that haunt the Grecian shades!
Your birth, who from conceiving fiction drew,
Yourselves producing phantoms as untrue;