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What an asylum has the soul in prayer!
And what a fane is this, in which to pray!
And what a God must dwell in such a fane !
O what a genius must inform the skies!
And is Lorenzo's salamander heart
Cold, and untouch'd, amid the sacred fires ?
O ye nocturnal sparks! ye glowing embers,
On Heaven's broad hearth! who burn, or burn no
Who blaze, or die, as great Jehovah's breath
Or blows you, or forbears: assist my song ;
Pour your whole influence; exorcise his heart,
So long possest; and bring him back to man.
And is Lorenzo a demurrer still ?
Pride in thy parts provokes thee to contest
Truths, which, contested, put thy parts to shame.
Nor shame they more Lorenzo's head than heart,
A faithless heart, how despicably small !
Too strait aught great, or generous, to receive !
Fillid with an atom! fill’d, and foul’d, with self!
And self-mistaken! self, that lasts an hour!
Instincts and passions, of the nobler kind,
Lie suffocated there; or they alone,
Reason apart, would wake high hope ; and open,
To ravish'd thought, that intellectual sphere,
Where order, wisdom, goodness, providence,
Their endless miracles of love display,
And promise all the truly-great desire.
The mind that would be happy, must be great ;
Great, in its wishes ; great, in its surveys ;
Extended views a narrow mind extend ;
Push out its corrugate, expansive make,
Which, ere long, more than planets shall embrace.
A man of compass makes a man of worth ;
Divine contemplate, and become divine.
As man was made for glory, and for bliss,
All littleness is in approach to woe ;
Open thy bosom, set thy wishes wide,
And let in manhood ; let in happiness ;
Admit the boundless theatre of thought
From nothing, up to God; which makes a man.
Take God from Nature, nothing great is left !
Man's mind is in a pit, and nothing sees ;
Man's heart is in a jakes, and loves the mire.
Emerge from thy profound; erect thine eye;
See thy distress! how close art thou besieg'd!
Besieg'd by Nature, the proud sceptic's foe!
Enclos'd by these innumerable worlds,
Sparkling conviction on the darkest mind,
As in a golden net of Providence.
How art thou caught, sure captive of belief !
From this thy blest captivity, what art,
What blasphemy to reason, sets thee free!
This scene is Heaven's indulgent violence :
Canst thou bear up against this tide of glory?
What is earth bosom'd in these ambient orbs,
But, faith in God impos'd, and press'd on man
Dar'st thou still litigate thy desperate cause,
Spite of these numerous, aweful witnesses,
And doubt the deposition of the skies?
O how laborious is thy way to ruin !
Laborious ! 't is impracticable quite ;
To sink beyond a doubt, in this debate,
With all his weight of wisdom and of will,
And crime flagitious, I defy a fool.
Some wish they did ; but no man disbelieves.
God is a spirit ; spirit cannot strike
These gross, material organs ; God by man
As much is seen, as man a God can see,
In these astonishing exploits of power,
What order, beauty, motion, distance, size!
Conception of design, how exquisite !
How complicate, in their divine police !
Apt means ! great ends! consent to general good!
Each attribute of these material gods,
So long (and that with specious pleas) ador'd,
A separate conquest gains o’er rebel thought;
And leads in triumph the whole mind of man.
Lorenzo! this may seem harangue to thee ;
Such all is apt to seem, that thwarts our will.
And dost thou, then, demand a simple proof
Of this great master-moral of the skies,
Unskill'd, or dis-inclin'd, to read it there?
Since 't is the basis, and all drops without it,
Take it, in one compact, unbroken chain.
Such proof insists on an attentive ear;
'T will not make one amid a mob of thoughts,
And, for thy notice, struggle with the world.
Retire ;- the world shut out;-thy thoughts call
home; Imagination's airy wing repress ;Lock up thy senses ;- let no passion stir ; Wake all to reason ; - let her reign alone ; Then, in thy soul's deep silence, and the depth Of Nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire, As I have done; and shall inquire no more. In Nature's channel, thus the questions run:
" What am I ? and from whence? – I nothing
know But that I am; and, since I am, conclude Something eternal : had there e'er been nought, Nought still had been ; eternal there must be. But what eternal ? — Why not human race ? And Adam's ancestors without an end ? That 's hard to be conceiv'd, since every link Of that long-chain’d succession is so frail. Can every part depend, and not the whole ? Yet grant it true; new difficulties rise ; I'm still quite out at sea; nor see the shore. [too? Whence Earth, and these bright orbs ? Eternal Grant matter was eternal ; still these orbs Would want some other father ;- much design Is seen in all their motions, all their makes ; Design implies intelligence, and art ; That can't be from themselves or man : that art Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow ? And nothing greater yet allow'd than man. Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain, Shot through vast masses of enormous weight? Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly? Has matter innate motion ? then each atom, Asserting its indisputable right To dance, would form an universe of dust : Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forins And boundless flights, from shapeless, and repos'd ? Has matter more than motion ? has it thought, Judgment, and genius ? is it deeply learn'd In mathematics? Has it fram'd such laws,
Which but to guess, a Newton made immortal ? -
If so, how each sage atom laughs at me,
Who think a clod inferior to a man!
If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct;
And that with greater far than human skill,
Resides not in each block; -a Godhead reigns.
Grant, then, invisible, eternal, Mind;
That granted, all is solv'd - But, granting that
Draw I not o'er me a still darker cloud ?
Grant I not that which I can ne'er conceive ?
A being without origin, or end !--
Hail, human liberty! There is no God-
Yet, why? On either scheme that knot subsists;
Subsist it must, in God, or human race :
If in the last, how many knots beside,
Indissoluble all ? - Why choose it there,
Where, chosen, still subsist ten thousand more?
Reject it, where, that chosen, all the rest
Dispers’d, leave reason's whole horizon clear ;
This is not reason's dictate; reason says, (scale;'
Close with the side where one grain turns the
What vast preponderance is here! can reason
With louder voice exclaim - Believe a God?'
And reason heard, is the sole mark of man.
What things impossible must man think true,
On any other system ! and how strange
To disbelieve, through mere credulity !”
If, in this chain, Lorenzo finds no flaw,
Let it for ever bind him to belief.
And where the link, in which a flaw he finds ?
And, if a God there is, that God how great!
How great that power, whose providential cers