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That there's a God from Nature's voice is clear,
what errors to this truth adhere?
How have the fears and follies of mankind
Now multiply'd their Gods, and now fubjoin'd
To each the frailties of the human mind ?
Nay superstition spread at length fo wide,
Beafts, birds, and onions too were deify'd.
Th’ Athenian lage revolving in his mind
This weakness, blindness, madness of mankind,
Foretold, that in maturer days, tho' late,
When time should ripen the decrees of Fate,
Some God would light us, like the rising day,
Thro' error's maze, and chase these clouds away.
Long since has Time fulfill'd this great decree,
And brought us aid from this divinity.
Well worth our search discoveries may be made
By Nature, void of the celestial aid :
Let's try what her conjectures then can reach,
Nor scorn plain Reason, when the deigns to teach.
That mind and body often fympathize
Is plain ; such is this union Nature ties :
But then as often too they disagree,
Which proves the foul's fuperior progeny.
Sometimes the body in full strength we find.
Whilft various ails debilitate the mind;
At others, whild the mind its force retains,
The body finks with fickness and with pains :
Now did one common fate their beings end, ,
Alike they'd ficken, and alike they'd mend.
But sure experience, on the flightest view,
Shews 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 seep 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 fkies.
Grant that corporeal is the human mind,
It must have parts in infinitum join'd;
And each of these muft will, perceive, design,
And draw confus’dly in a different line ;
Which then can claim dominion o'er the rest,
Or stamp the ruling passion in the breast?
Perhaps the mind is formid by various arts
Of modelling, and figuring these parts;
Just as if circles wiser were than squares ;
But surely common sense aloud declares
That fite, and figure are as foreign quite
From mental pow'rs, as colours black or white,
Allow that motion is the cause of thought,
With what strange pow'rs must motion then be fraught?
Reason, fense, science, muft derive their source
From the wheel's rapid whirl, or pully's force ;
Tops whip’d by school-boys sages must commence,
Their hoops, like them, be cudgeld into sense,
And boiling pots o'erflow with eloquence.
Whence can this very motion take its birth?
Not sure from matter, from dull clods of earth;
But from a living spirit lodg'd within,
Which governs all the bodily machine:
Just as th' Almighty Universal Soul
Informs, directs, and animates the whole.
Cease then to wonder how th’immortal mind
Can live, when from the body quite disjoin'd ;*
But'rather wonder, if she e'er cou'd die,
So fram'd, so fashion'd for eternity;
Self-movd, not form’d of parts together ty’d,
Which time can dissipate, and force divide ;
For beings of this make can never die,
Whose pow'rs within themselves, and their own essence lie.
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, fimilitude or place,
Cloath'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 fee
More certain marks of Immortality
Ev'n from this dark confinement with delight
She looks abroad, and prunes herself for flight;
Like an unwilling inmate longs to roam
From this dull earth, and seek her native home,
Go then forgetful of its toil and strife,
Pursue the joys of this fallacious life;
Like some poor fly, who lives but for a day,
Sip the fresh dews, and in the sunshine play,
And into nothing then dissolve away:
Are these our great pursuits, is this to live?
These all the hopes this much-lov'd world can give!
How much more worthy envy is their fate,
Who search for truth in a superior state ?
Not groping step by step, as we pursue,
And following reason's much entangled clue,
But with one great, and instantaneous view.
But how can sense remain, perhaps you'll say,
Corporeal organs if we take away!
Since it from them proceeds, and with them mult decay. S
Why not? or why may not the soul receive
New organs, fince ev'n art can these retrieve ?,
The silver trumpet aids th’ obstructed ear,
And optic glafles the dim eye can clear ;
These in mankind new faculties create,
And lift him far above his native state;
Call down revolving planets from the lky,
Earth's secret treasures open to his eye,
The whole minute creation make his own,
With all the wonders of a world unknown.
How cou'd the mind, did she alone depend
On sense, the errors of those senses mend?
Yet oft, we see those senses she corrects,
And oft their information quite rejects.
In distances of things, their shapes and size,
Qur reason judges better than our eyes.
Declares not this the foul's preheminence
Superior to, and quite diftinct from fenfe?
For sure 'tis likely, that, since now so high
Clogg'd and unfledg'd the dares her wings to try,
Loos’d, and mature, she shall her strength display,
And foar at length to Truth's refulgent ray.
Inquire you how these pow'rs we shall attain,
'Tis not for us to know ; our search is vain :
Can any now remember or relate
Ilow he existed in the embryo state?
Or one from birth insensible of day
Conceive ideas of the solar ray?
That light's deny'd to him, which others fee,
He knows, perhaps you'll say, and so do we.
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,