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For Wit's false mirror held up Nature's light;
Ver. 397. That Virtue only, &c.) in the MS. thus,
That just to find a God is all we can,
T H E
DEO OPT. MAX.
ATHER of All! in ev'ry Age,
In ev'ry Clime ador’d,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !
Universal Prayer.] Concerning this poem, it may be proper to observe, that some passages, in the preceding Esay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed this Prayer' as the sum of all, to shew that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety : That the first cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle inforced throughout the Esay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along Thou Great First Cause, least understood :
Who all my Sense confin’d
And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,
To see the Good from Ill; And binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.
What Conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
That, more than Heav'n pursue.
What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,
T'enjoy is to obey.
with a blind determination ; but a religious acquiescence, and confidence full of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight and reality, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this Paraphrase.