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Repines then mutt'ring thy presumptuous tongue, That Heav'n's suspended wrath allows the wretch An hour to triumph ? that the God who counts His number'd years a moment, at thy call Points not his thunder to the guilty head, Nor bids his lightnings flash ? Know, if the good Through life should suffer, in that scanty span Are all his woes compris’d: if Vice exults, That span contains its happiness. Should he Who pitying snatches from Temptation's snare The just, as him whom yon devouring wave Has mantled; should his justice thus have claim'd The wretch, yet reeking from his brother's blood, An instant victim : as the one enjoys The prize of virtue, and no deep’ning stain Sullied his life; the other in the gulf Of black perdition must have wak’d; no time For mercy left; for penitence, for pray’r, For pardon none: his crimes yet unaton'd From Heav'n demanding vengeance. But the hand Of Goodness spares him, that repentant tears May ease the feeling heart, and Justice drop Her claim; or, still relentless, that the stroke May fall, when his full cup o'erflows with ill.
SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Thus am I doubly arm’d. My death and life,
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL IMPLIED FROM
The spirit of God doth secretly infuse,
And only this material world she views. At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the world and worldly things: She flies close by the world and hovers here,
And mounts not up with her celestial wings. Yet under heav'n she cannot light on aught
That with her heavenly nature doth agree; She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented be. For who did ever yet, in honour, wealth,
Or pleasure of the sense contentment find ? Who ever ceas'd to wish, when he had health?
Or having wisdom, was not vex'd in mind ? With this desire, she hath a native might
To find out every truth, if she had time; Th'innumerable effects to sort aright,
And by degree from cause to cause to climb. But since our life so fast away doth slide,
As doth a hungry eagle through the wind, Or as a ship transported with the tide,
Which in their passage leave no print behind; Of which swift little time so much we spend,
While some few things we through the sense do That our short race of life is at an end, strain, Ere we the principle of skill attain.
Sir J. Davies.
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL INFERRED FRON
ITS DISSIMILARITY TO THE BODY.
That mind and body often sympathize Is plain; such is this union Nature ties : But then as often too they disagree; Which proves the soul's superior progeny. Sometimes the body in full strength we find, Whilst various ills debilitate the mind; At others, whilst the mind its force retains, The body sinks with sickness and with pains : Now did one common fate their beings end, Alike they'd sicken, and alike they'd mend. But sure experience, on the slightest view, Shows us that the reverse of this is true ; For when the body oft expiring lies, Its limbs quite senseless, and half clos'd its eyes, The mind new force and eloquence acquires, And with prophetic voice the dying lips inspires.
Of like materials were they both compos'd, How comes it, that the mind, when sleep has clos'd Each avenue of sense, expatiates wide, Her liberty restor'd, her bonds unty'd ? And, like some bird who from its prison flies, Claps her exulting wings, and mounts the skies.
If to conceive how any thing can be From shape abstracted and locality Is hard; what think you of the Deity ? His being not the least relation bears, As far as to the human mind appears, To shape, or size, similitude, or place, Cloth'd in no form, and bounded by no space. Such then is God, a Spirit pure, refin'd From all material dross, and such the human mind:
For in what part of essence can we see
LIFE NOT WORTH ENJOYING, WITHOUT THE HOPE
OF IMMORTALITY. The mind contemplative finds nothing here On earth, that's worthy of a wish or fear : He, whose sublime pursuit is God and truth, Burns, like some absent and impatient youth, To join the object of his warm desires, Thence to sequester'd shades and streams retires, And there delights his passion to rehearse In wisdom's sacred voice, or in harmonious verse.
To me most happy therefore he appears, Who having once, unmov'd by hopes or fears, Survey'd this sun, earth, ocean, clouds, and flame, Well satisfied returns from whence he came. Is life a hundred years, or e'er so few, Tis repetition all,
and nothing new ; A fair, where thousands meet, but none can stay ; An inn, where travellers bait, then post away ; A sea, where man perpetually is tost, Now plung'd in business, now in trifles lost; Who leaves it first, the peaceful port first gain. Hold then! no further launch into the main ; Contract your sails ; life nothing can bestow By long continuance, but continued wo;