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Account for this prerogative in brutes : No day, no glimpfe of day to folve the knot, But what beams on it from eternity. O fole and fweet folution! that unites The difficult, and foftens the fevere; The cloud on nature's beauteous face difpels; Reftores bright order; cafts the brute beneath; And re-inthrones us in fupremacy Of joy, ev'n here: admit immortal life, And virtue is knight-crrantry no more : Each virtue brings in hand a golden dow'r, Far richer in reverfion: hope exults; And, tho' much bitter in our cup is thrown, Predominates, and gives the taste of heav'n. O wherefore is the Deity to kind? Heav'n our reward—for heav'n enjoy'd below. Still unfubdu'd thy ftubborn heart? For there The traitor lurks, who doubts the truth I fing: Reafon is guiltlefs; will alone rebels. What, in that stubborn heart, if thould find New, unexpected witneffes against thee? Ambition, and the fatelefs love of gain! [foul Canft thou fufpect that thefe, which make the The flave of earth, thould own her heir of
$250. Ambition and Fame.
FIRST, then, ambition fummon to the bar :
Ambition's fhame, extravagance, difguft, And inextinguishable nature, fpeak: Each much depofes; hear them in their turn.
Thy foul how paffionately fond of fame ! How anxious, that fond paffion to conceal ! We bluth detected in defigns on praife, Tho' for beft deeds, and from the beft of men : And why? becaufe immortal. Art divine Has made the body tu or to the foul: Heav'n kindly gives our blood a moral flow; Bids it afcend the glowing check, and there Upbraid that little heart's inglorious aim, Which ftoops to court a character from man; While o'er us, in tremendous judgment, fit Far more than man, with endless praife, blame.
Ambition's boundlefs appetite out-fpeaks
The verdict of its fhame. When fouls take fire
At high prefumptions of their own desert,
One age is poor applaufe; the mighty fhout,
The thunder by the living few begun,
Late time muft echo! worlds anborn, refound:
We with our names eternally to live: [thought,
Wild dream! which ne'er had haunted human
Had not our natures been eternal too.
Inftinct points out an int'reft in hereafter;
But our blind reafon fees not where it lies;
Or, feeing, gives the fubftance for the fhade.
Fame is the fhade of immortality,
And in itself a fhadow: foon as caught,
Contemn'd; it fhrinks to nothing in the grafp.
Confult the ambitious; 'tis ambition's cure.
"And is this all?" cry'd Cæfar at his height,
Difgufted. This third proof ambition brings
Of immortality. The firft in fame,
Obferve him near, your envy will abate:
Sham'd at the difproportion vaft between
The paflion, and the purchase, he will figh
At fuch fuceefs, and blufh at his renown:
And why? because far richer prize invites
His heart; far more illuftrious glory calls.
And can ambition a fourth proof fupply!
It can, and ftronger than the former three.
Tho' difappointments in ambition pain,
And tho' fuccefs difzufts, yet ftill we strive
In vain to pluck it from us: man must foarf
An obftinate activity within,
An infuppreffive fpring will tofs him up,
In fpite of fortune's load. Not kings alone,
Each villager has his ambition too:
No Sultan prouder than his fetter'd flave:
Slaves build their little Babylons of ftraw,
Echo the proud Affyrian, in their hearts,
And cry,- Behold the wonders of my might!"
And why? becaufe immortal as their lord:
And fouls immortal muft for ever heave
At fomething great; the glitter, or the gold;
The praife of mortals, or the praife of heav'n.
THUS far ambition. What fays avarice?
This her chief maxim, which has long been
"The wife and wealthy are the fame." I grant it.
To ftore up treafure, with inceffant toil,
This is man's province, this his highest praife.
To this great end keen inftinct ftings him on;
To guide that inftin&t, reafon! is thy charge;
'Tis thine to tell us where true treasure lit:
But reafon failing to difcharge her truft,
A blunder follows, and blind industry,
O'er-loading, with the cares of distant age.
The jaded fpirits of the prefent hour,
Providing for eternity below.
Whence inextinguishable thirst of gain?
From inextinguifhable life in man :
Man, if not meant by worth to reach the skies,
Had wanted wing to fly fo far in guilt.
Sour grapes I grant ambition, avarice;
Yet ftill their root is immortality.
Thefe its wild growths religion can reclaim, Refine, exalt, throw down their pois'nous lee, And make them sparkle in the bowl of blifs.
§ 252. Address to Unbelievers. KNOW all; know infidels, unapt to know, 'Tis immortality your nature folves; 'Tis immortality decyphers man, And opens all the myft'ries of his make. Without it, half his inftinets are a riddle; Without it, all his virtues are a dream: His very crimes atteft his dignity; His fatelefs appetite of gold, and fame, Declares him born for bletfings infinite. What, lefs than infinite, makes unabfurd Paffions, which all on earth but more inflame Fierce paffions fo mismeasur'd to this fcene,
Stretch'd out, like eagles wings, beyond our neft,
Far, far beyond the worth of all below,
For earth too large, prefage a nobler flight,
And evidence our title to the skies."
253. The Paffions.
YE gentle theologues, of calmer kind!
Where conftitution dictates to your pen, Who, cold yourselves, think ardor comes from hell Think not our paffions from corruption fprung, Tho' to corruption, now, they lend their wings: That is their miftrefs, not their mother. All (And juftly) reafon deem divine: I fee, I feel a grandeur in the pattions too, Which perks their high defcent, and glorious Which speaks them rays of an eternal fire. In paradife it if they burnt as ftrong, Ere Adam fell; tho' wifer in their aim. What tho' our paffions are run mad, and stoop With low, terreftrial appetite, to graze On trash, on toys, dethron'd from high defire; Yet ftill, thro' their difgrace, no feeble ray Of greatnefs fhines, and tells us whence they fell: But thefe, when reafon moderates the rein, Shall re-afcend, remount their former sphere. But grant their phrenly lafts; their phrenty fails To difappoint one providential end; Was reafon filent, boundless paffion fpeaks A future fcene of boundle's objects too, And brings glad tidings of eternal day. Eternal day! 'tis that enlightens all; And all by that enlighten'd, proves it fure. Confider man as an immortal being, Intelligible, all; and all is great: Confider man as mortal, all is dark, And wretched; reafon weeps at the furvey.
$254 Proofs of Immortality. Man's Happiness confifis in the Hope of it.
MUCH has been urg'd; and doft thou call for
Call; and with endless questions be distreft,
All unrefolvable, if earth is all.
"Why life, a moment; infinite, defire?
Our with eternity; our home, the grave?
Heaven's promife dormant lies in human hope,
Who withes life immortal, proves it too.
Why happinefs purfu'd, tho' never found?
Man's thirst of happinefs declares it is,
(For nature never gravitates to nought;)
That thirst unquencht declares it is not here.
Why cordial friendship riveted fo deep,
As, hearts to pierce at firft, at parting, rend,
It friend and friendship vanish in an hour?
Is not this torment in the mask of joy?
Why by reflection marr'd the joys of fense?
Why paft and future, preying on our hearts,
And putting all our prefent joys to death?
Why labours reafon instinct were as well;
Inftinct far better; what can choose, can err;
O how infallible the thoughtlefs brute!
Keaton with inclination why at war?
Why fenfe of guilt why confcience up in arms
Confcience of guilt, is prophecy of pain,
And bofom-counsel to decline the blow.
Reafon with inclination ne'er had jarr'd,
If nothing future paid forbearance here.
Thus on-thefe, and a thoufand pleas uncall'd,
All promife, fome infure, a fecond scene;
Which, was it doubtful, would be dearer far
Than all things elle moft certain; was it falie,
What truth on earth fo precious as the lie?
This world it gives us, let what will enfue;
The future of the prefent is the foul:
This world it gives, in that high cordial, hope;
How this life groans, when fever'd from the next!
Poor, mutilated wretch, that disbelieves!
In both part perithes; life void of joy,
By cark diftruft his being cut in two,
Sad prelude of eternity in pain!
To night! to nothing! darker ftill than night.
If 'twas a dream, why wake me, my worst foe?
O for delufion! O for error still!
Could vengeance ftrike much stronger than to
A thinking being in a world like this,
Not over rich before, now beggar'd quite;
More curft than at the Fall! The fun goes out!
1 tie thorns fhoot up! what thorns in ev'ry
Why fenfe of better? it imbitters worse :
Why fenfe why life if but to figh, then fink
To what I was twice nothing! and much woe!
Woe, from heav'n's bounties! woc, from what
To flatter most, high intellectual pow'rs.
"Thought, virtue, knowledge! bleffings, by thy scheme,
All poifon'd into pains. First, knowledge, once
My foul's ambition, now her greatest dread.
To know myself, true wifdom-no, to fhun
That shocking fcience, parent of despair !
Avert thy mirror; if I fee, I die.
"Know my Creator? Climb his best abode
By painful fpeculation, pierce the veil,
Dive in his nature, read his attributes,
And gaze in admiration-on a foe,
Obtruding life, with-holding happiness?
From the full rivers that furround his throne,
Not letting fall one drop of joy on man;
Man gafping for one drop, that he might cease
To curfe his birth, nor cavy reptiles more!
Ye fable clouds! ye darkest shades of night!
Hide him, for ever hide him, from my thought,
Once all my comfort; fource and foul of joy!
"Know his achievements! ftudy his renown!
Contemplate this amazing univerfe,
Dropt from his hand, with miracles replete !-
For what 'Mid n.iracles of nobler name,
To find one miracle of mistry !
To find the being, which alone can know,
And praite his works, a blemish on his praife?
Thro' nature's ample range, in thought to fray
And ftart at man, the fingle mourner there,
Breathing high hope! chain'd down to pangs, and
"Knowing is fuff'ring: and fhall virtue fhare The figh of knowledge virtue thares the figh. By ftraining up the fleep of excellent,
By battles fought, and from temptation won, What gains the, but the pang of iceing worth, Angelic worth, feon, fhuffled in the dark With ev'ry vice, and fwept to brutal duft?
Duty; religion! thefe, cur duty done,
Imply reward. Religion is mistake:
Duty? there's none, but to repel the cheat.
Ye cheats! away; ye daughters of my pride!
Who feign yourselves the fav'rites of the fkies:
Ye tow'ring hopes! abortive energies!
That tofs and ftruggle in my lying breast,
To feale the fkies, and build prefumption there,
As I were heir of eternity;
Vain, vain ambitions! trouble me no more.
As bounded as my being, be my wish.
All is inverted, wifdom is a fool:
Senfe! take the rein; blind paffion! drive us on;
And, ignorance! befriend us on our way;
Yes; give the pulfe full cmpire; live the brute,
Since, as the brute, we die: the fum of man,
Of godlike man I to revel, and to rot.
But not on equal terms with other brutes:
Their revels a more poignant relifh yield,
And fafer too; they never poifons choofe. [mea,
Inftinct, than reafon, makes more wholefome
And fends ail-marring murmur far away.
For fenfual life they beft philofophize;
Theirs, that ferene, the fages fought in vain:
'Tis man alone expoftulates with heav'n,
His, all the pow'r, and all the caufe, to mourn.
Shall human eyes alone diffolve in tears?
And bleed, in anguifh, none but human hearts:
The wide-ftretcht realm of intellectual woe,
Surpaffing fenfual far, is all our own.
In life fo fatally diftinguifh'd, why
Caft in one lot, confounded, lumpt, in death?
"And why then have we thought? to toil and
Then make our bed in darknefs, needs no thought.
What fuperfluitics are reas'ning fouls!
Oh give eternity or thought destroy.-
But without thought our curfe were half unfelt
Its blunted edge would fpare the throbbing heart;
And therefore 'tis beftow'd. I thank thee, reafon,
For aiding life's too fmall calamities,
And giving being to the dread of death.
Such are thy bounties!-Was it then too much
For me, to trefpafs on the brutal rights ?
Too much for heav'n to make one emmet more !
Too much for chaos to permit my mafs
A longer ftay with effences unwrought,
Unfathicn'd, untermented into man?
Wretched preferment to this round of pains!
Wretched capacity of phrenfy, thought!
Wretched capacity of dying, life!
Life, thought, worth, wildom, all (oh fou! revolt!)
Once friends to peace, gone over to the foe.
"Death then has chang'd its nature too, O
Come to my bofom, thou beft gift of heav'n !
Beft friend of man! fince man is man no more.
Why in this thorny wilderness fo long,
Since there's no promis'd land's ambrofral bow'r?
But why this fumptuous infult o'er our heads?
Why this illuftrious canopy difplay'd?
Why fo magnificently lodg'd defpair?
At ftated periods, fure-returning, roll
Thefe glorious orbs, that mortais may compute
Their length of labours, and of pains; nor lofe
Their mitery's full meafure?-fmiles with flow rs,
And fruits promifcuous, ever-teeming earth,
That man may languifh in luxurious fcenes,
And in an Eden mourn his with'ring joys?
Clain earth and skics man's admiration, due
For fuch delights! bleft animals! too wife
To wonder; and too happy to complain!
"Our doom decreed demands a mournful fcene;
Why not a dungcon dark for the condemn'd ?
Why not the dragon's fubterranean den,
For man to howl in? why not his abode
Of the fame difmal colour with his fate?
A Thebes, a Babylon, at vaft expence
Of time, toil, treature, art, for owls and adders,
As congruous, as, for man, this lofty dome,
Which prompts proud thought, and kindles high
if from her humble chamber in the duft, [flames,
While proud thought fwells, and high defire in-
The poor worm calls us for her inmates there;
And round us death's inexorable hand
Draws the dark curtain clofe; undrawn no more.
"Undrawn no more? behind the cloud of death,
Once I beheld a fun; a fun which gilt
That fable cloud, and turn'd it all to gold:
How the grave's alter'd! fathomlefs as hell!
Annihilation! how it yawns before me!
Next moment I may drop from thought, from
The privilege of angels, and of worins, [fense,
An outcaft from exiftence! and this fpirit,
This all-pervading, this all-confcious foul,
This particle of energy divine,
Which travels nature, flies from ftar to ftar,
And vifits gods, and emulates their pow'rs,
For ever is extinguifh'd. Horror ! death!
Death of that death I fearlefs once furvey'd,
When horror univerfal fhall defcend,
And heav'n's dark concave urn all human race,
On that enormous, unrefunding tomb,
How juft this verfe! this monumental figh !
Beneath the lumber of demolish'd worlds,
Of matter, never dignify'd with life,
Here lie proud rationals; the fons of heav'n!
The lords of earth! the property of worms!·
Beings of yesterday, and no to-morrow!
Wool'd in terror, and in pangs expir'd.”
And art thou then a fhadow lets than fhadow?
A nothing, lefs than nothing? To have been,
And not to be, is lower than unborn.
Art thou ambitious why then make the worm
Thine equal runs thy tafte of pleasure high?
Why patronize fure death of every joy?
Charm riches why choofe begg ry in the grave,
Of ev'ry hope a bankrupt! and for ever?
Dar't thou perfift And is there nought on earth,
But a long train of transitory forms,
Rifing, and breaking, millions in an hour?
Bubbles of a fantastic lord, blown up
In fport, and then in cruelty deftroy'd?
Oh! for what crime, unmerciful Lorenzo,
Detroys thy fcheme the whole of human race?
Kind is fell Lucifer compar'd to thee:
Oh! fpare this wafte of being half divine;
And vindicate th' acconomy of heav'n.
§ 256. The Annihilation of Man, incompatible
with the Goodness of God.
HEAV'N is all love; all joy in giving joy;
It never had created, but to blefs:
And fhall it then ftrike off the lift of life,
A being bleft, or worthy fo to be?
Heav'n ftarts at an annihilating God.
$257. The Guilty alone wifh for Annibilation.
that, all nature starts at, thy defire?
Art fuch a clod to with thyfelf all clay?
What is that dreadful with the dying groan
Of nature murder'd by the blackest guilt:
What deadly poifon has thy nature drank?
To nature undebauch'd no fhock so great;
Nature's first wifh is endlefs happincts;
Annihilation is an after-thought,
A monftrous wifh, unborn, till virtue dies.
And oh ! what depth of horror lies inclos'd!
For non-existence no man ever with'd,
But first he wish'd the Deity deftray'd.
$258. No fpiritual Subflance annihilated.
THINK'ST thou omnipotence a naked root,
Each bloffem fair of Deity destroy'd?
Nothing is dead; nay, nothing fleeps; each foul
That ever animated human clay,
Now wakes; is on the wing: and when the call
Of that loud trump collects us, round heav'n's
Conglob'd we bask in everlasting day. [throne
How bright this profpect fhines! how gloomy
A trembling world! and a devouring God!
Earth, but the fhambles of omnipotence!
Heaven's face all ftain'd with caufelefs maffacres
Of countless millions, born to feel the pang
Of being loft. Lorenzo, can it be?
This bids us fhudder at the thoughts of life.
Who would be born to fuch a phantom world,
Where nought fubstantial, but our mifery ?
A world, where dark, myfterious vanity
Of good and ill the diftant colours blends,
Confounds all reafon, and all hope deftroys;
A world to far from great (and yet how great
It fhines to thee !) there's nothing real in it;
Being, a fhadow! confcioufnefs, a dream!
A dream how dreadful! univerfal blank
Before it, and behind! poor man a fpark
From non-existence ftruck by wrath divine,
Glitt'ring a moment, nor that moment fure,
'Midft upper, nether, and furrounding night,
His fad, fure, fudden, and eternal tomb.
$259. The World a Syflem of Theology.
THE fkies above proclaim immortal man,
And man immortal all below refounds.
The world's a fyftem of theology,
Read by the greatest ftrangers to the schools,
If honeft, learn'd; and fages o'er a plough.
What then is unbelief? 'tis an exploit:
A ftrenuous enterprife: to gain it, man
of common thame, magnanimously w
Muft burst thro' ev'ry bar of common sense,
wrong; And what rewards the ftudy combatant? His prize, repentance; infamy, his crown,
260. Virtue the Fruit of Immortality. THE virtues grow on immortality:
That root deftroy'd, they wither and expire
A Deity believ'd will nought avail;
Rewards and punishments make God ador'd;
And hopes and fears give confcience all her
As in the dying parent dies the child,
Virtue with immortality expires.
Who tells me he denies his foul immortal,
Whate'er his boast, has told me, he 's a knave,
His duty 'tis, to love himself alone,
Nor care, tho' mankind perifh, if he files.
And are there fuch?-Such candidates there are
For more than death; for utter lofs of being;
Is it in words to paint you? O ye fall'n!
Fall'n from the wings of reafon, and of hope!
Erect in ftature, prone in appetite!
Patrons of pleafure, pofting into pain!
Boafters of liberty, faft-bound in chains!
More fenfelefs than th' irrationals you fcorn!
Far more undone! O ye most infamous
Of beings, from fuperior dignity!
And are you, too, convinc'd, your fouls fly of
In exhalation foft, and die in air,
From the full flood of evidence against you ?
In the coarfe drudgeries, and finks of fenfe,
Your fouls have quite worn out the make of
To look on truth unbroken, and entire;
Truth in the fyftem, the full orb; where truths
By truths enlighten'd, and fuftain'd, afford
An arch-like, ftrong foundation, to fupport
Th' incumbent weight of abfolute, complete
Conviction; here, the more we prefs, we ftand
More firm; who moft examine, most believe.
Parts, like half fentences, confound; the whole
Conveys the fenfe, and God is understood;
Who not in fragments writes to human race;
Read his whole volume, fccptic! then, reply.
This, this is thinking free, a thought that
Beyond a grain, and looks beyond an hour.
Turn up thine eyes, furvey this midnight fcene;
What are earth's kingdoms to yon boundless orbs,
Of human fouls, one day, the deftin'd range?
And what yon boundlefs orbs to godlike man?
Thofe numerous worlds that throng the firmament,
And afk more space in heaven, can roll at large
In man's capacious thought, and fill leave room
For ampler orbs; for new creations, there.
Can fuch a foul contract itfelf, to gripe
A point of no dimenfion, of no weight?
It can; it does: the world is fuch a point,
And of that point how small a part enflaves!
How fmall a part-of nothing, fhall I fay?
Why not-friends, our chief treafure? how they
How the world falls to pieces round about us,
And leaves us in a ruin of our joy!
What fays this tranfportation of my friends?
It bids me love the place where now they dwell,
And fcorn this wretched fpot, they leave fo poor.
Eternity's vaft ocean lies before thee;
Give thy mind fea-room; keep it wide of earth,
That rock of fouls immortal; cut thy cord,
Weigh anchor; fpread thy fails; call ev'ry wind;
Eye thy great Pole-ftar: make the land of life.
Rational and Animal Life.
TWO kinds of life has double-natur'd man,
And two of death; the last far more fevere.
Life animal is nurtur'd by the fun;
Thrives on its bounties, triumphs in its beams.
Life rational fubfifts on higher food,
Triumphant in his beams who made the day.
When we leave that fun, and are left by this,
(The fate of all who die in ftubborn guilt)
'Tis utter dark nefs; strictly, double death.
We fink by no judicial stroke of heav'n,
But nature's courie; as fure as plummets fall.
If then that double-death fhould prove thy lot,
Blame not the bowels of the Deity:
Man fhall be bleft, as far as man permits.
Net man alone, all rationals heav'n arms
With an illuftrious, but tremendous, pow'r,
To countera& its own moft gracious ends:
And this, of ftrict neceflity, not choice.
That pow'r deny'd, men, angels, were no more
But pallive engines, void of praise, or blame.
A nature rational implies the pow'r
Of being bleft, or wretched, as we pleafe;
Elfe idle reason would have nought to do;
And he that would be barr'd capacity
Of pain, courts incapacity of blifs.
Heav'n wills our happinefs, allows our doom;
Invites us ardently, but not compels;
Man falls by man, if finally he falls;
And fall he muft, who learns from death alone
The dreadful fecret,-that he lives for ever.
Why this to thee thee yet perhaps in doubt
Of fecond life: but wherefore doubtful ftill?
Eternal life is nature's ardent with:
What ardently we wish, we foon believe:
Thy tardy faith declares that with deftroy'd:
What has deftroy'd it ?-Shall I tell thee, what?
When fear'd the future, 'tis no longer with'd,
And when unwifh'd, we strive to difbelieve.
INSTEAD of racking fancy, to refute,
Reform thy manners, and the truth enjoy.-
From purer nianners, to fublimer faith,
Is nature's unavoidable afcent;
An honeft deift, where the gofpel fhines,"
Matur'd to nobler, in the Chriftian ends.
When that bleft change arrives, e'en caft afide
This fong fuperfluous; life immortal strikes
Conviction, in a flood of light divine.
A Chriftian dwells, like Uricl in the fun:
Meridian evidence puts doubt to flight;
Aud ardent hope anticipates the fkies.
Read, and revere the facred page; a page
Where triumphs immortality; a page
Which not the whole creation could produce;
In nature's ruins not one letter loft:
Which not the conflagration thall destroy;
Tis printed in the minds of gods for ever.
§ 264. The Mystery of a Future State, no Argument against it.
STILL feems it ftrange, that thou shouldft live
Is it lefs ftrange, that thou fhouldft live at all?
This is a miracle; and that no more.
Who gave beginning, can exclude an end;
Deny thou art, then, doubt if thou shalt be.
A miracle, with miracles inclos'd,
Is man! and starts his faith at what is ftrange?
What lefs than wonders from the wonderful?
What lefs than miracles from God can flow?
Admit a God, that myftery fupreme!
That caufe uncaus'd! all other wonders ceafe,
Nothing is marvellous for him to do:
Deny him-all is mystery befides.
We nothing know, but what is marvellous :
Yet what is marvellous, we can't believe.
So weak our reafon, and fo great our God,
What most surprises in the facred page,
Or full as ftrange, or ftranger, must be true.
Faith is not reaton's labour, but repofe.