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His Eternity WHENCE sprung this glorious frame? or whence The various forms the universe compose? [arose From what Almighty Cause, what mystic springs, Shall we derive the origin of things ? Sing, heav'nly Guide! whose all-efficient light Drew dawning planets from the womb of Night! Since reason, by thy sacred dictates taught, Adores a Power beyond the reach of thought.
First Cause of causes ! Sire supreme of birth! Sole light of Heav'n! acknowledged life of Earth; Whose word from nothing called this beauteous
Should we, deceiv'd by Error's sceptic glass,
If one vast void eternal held its place, Whence started time? or whence expanded space? What gave the slumb'ring mass to feel a change, Or bid consenting worlds harmonious range? Could nothing link the universal chain ? No, 'tis impossible, absurd, and vain. Here reason its eternal Author finds, The whole who regulates, unites, and binds, Enlivens matter, and produces minds.
Inactive Chaos sleeps in dull repose,
From this great spring of uncreated might,
In him from whom existence boundless flows, Let humble faith its sacred trust repose: Assurd on his eternity depend, · Eternal Father! and eternal Friend! Within that mystic circle safety seek, No time can lessen, and no force can break; And, lost in adoration, breathe his praise, High Rock of ages, ancient Sire of days
Nor sense can two prime origins conceive,
In diff'rent individuals we find
While neutral Chaos, from his deep recess,
Two independent causes to admit,
Exalted Power, invisible, supreme, Thou sov'reign, sole unutterable name! As round thy throne thy flaming seraphs stand, And touch the golden lyre with trembling hand; Too weak thy pure effulgence to behold, With their rich plumes their dazzled eyes infold; Transported with the ardours of thy praise, The holy! holy! holy! anthem raise ! To them responsive, let creation sing, Thee, indivisible, eternal King!
His Spirituality. O say, celestial Muse! whose purer birth Disdains the low material ties of earth; By what bright images shall be defin'd The mystic nature of th' eternal Mind? Or how shall thought the dazzling height explore, Where all that reason can-is to adore ?
That God's an immaterial essence pure, Whom figure can't describe, nor parts immure ; Incapable of passions, impulse, fear, In good pre-eminent, in truth severe; Unmix'd his nature, and sublime his pow'rs From all the gross alloy that tempers ours; In whose clear eye the bright angelic train Appear suifus'd with imperfection's stain, Impervious to the man's or seraph's eye, Beyond the ken of each exalted high. Him would in vain material semblance feign, Or figur'd shrines the boundless God contain: Object of faith! he shuns the view of sense, Lost in the blaze of sightless excellence; Most perfect, most intelligent, most wise, In whom the sanctity of pureness lies; In whose adjusting mind the whole is wrought, Whose form is spirit, and whose essence thought; Are truths inscrib'd by wisdom's brightest ray, In characters that gild the face of day.
Reason confess'd, (howe'er we may dispute) Fix'd boundary! discovers man from brute; But, dim to us, exerts his fainter ray, Depress'd in matter, and allied to clay; In forms superior kindles less confin'd, Whose dress is ether, and whose substance mind; Yet all from Him, supreme of causes flow, To him their pow'rs and their existence owe: From the bright cherub of the noblest birth, To the poor reasoning glow-worm plac'd on earth; From matter then to spirit still ascend, Through spirit still refining, higher tend; Pursue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road, Pierce through infinitude in quest of God;