« ZurückWeiter »
Not worlds posscat can raise it; worlds destroy'd Till stumbling at a straw, in their career,
and song? Creation's obsequies. What treasure, this ! Are there on earth (let me not call them men)
. The monarch is a beggar to the inan. Who lodge a soul immortal in their breasts ;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore, $ 212. Immortality.
Or rock, of its inestimable gem? Inxortal! ages past, yet nothing gone!
When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, Morn without eve! a race without a goal !
Shall know their treasure; treasure, theş, 00 l'nshorten'd by progression infinite ! Futurity for ever future! life Beginning still, where computation ends!
$ 214. Disbelief of a Future Ştate. "Tis the description of a Deity! 'Tis the description of the meanest slave.
ARE there (still more amazing!) who resist Immortal! what can strike the sense so strong,
The rising thought? who smother in its As this the soul? it thunders to the thought;
birth Reason amazes , gratitude o'erwhehns;
The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes? No more we slumber on the brink of fate;
Who thro' this bosom-barrier burst their way, Rous'd at the sound, th' exulting soal ascends,
And, with rever'd ainbition, strive to sink? And breathes her native air; an air that feeds
Who labor downwards thro'th' opposing pow'rs, Ambition high, and fans ethereal fires;
Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, Quick-kindles all that is divine within us;
To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock Nor leaves one loitering thought beneath the of endless night? night darker than the grave's ? Immortal! was but one immortal, how [stars
. Who fight the proofs of immortality? Would others envy! how would thrones adore !
To contradict them see all nature risc ! Because 'tis coinmon, is the blessing lost?
What object, what event, the moon beneath, How this ties up the bounteous hand of Ileaven! But'argues, or endears, an after-scene? Orain, vain, vain ! all else: eternity!,
To reason prove's, or weds it to desire ? A glorious, and a needful refuge that,
All things proclaim it necdful ; some advance Fronı vile imprisonment in abject yiews.
One precious step beyond, and prove it sure: Tis jinmortality, 'tis that alone,
A thousand arguments swarm round my pen, Amidst life's pains, abasements, einptiness,
From heaven, and earth, and inan. Indulgea The soul can comfort, elevate, and fill.
By nature, as her common habit worn. [few', Eternity depending covers all;
"Thou! whose all-providential eye surveys, Sets earth at distance, casts her into shades; Whose hand directs, whose Spiritfills, and warms Blends her distinctions; abrogates her pow'rs; Creation, and holds empire far beyond! The low, the lofty, joyous, and severe,
Eternity's inhabitant august! Fortune's dread frowns, and fascinating smiles, lof two eternities amazing Lord! Wake one pronuscuous, and neglected heap,
One past, ere man's, or angel's, had beguni; The man beneath; if I nay call himn ma!,
Aid, while I rescue from the foe's assault Whoin immortality's full force inspires.
Thy glorious immortality in man. Nothing terrestrial touches his nigh thought ; Suns shine unseen, and thunders roll unheard, $ 215. Man's Immortality prored by Nature, By minds quite conscious of their high descent, NATURE, thy daughter, ever-clianging birih Their present province, and their future prize ; Of thee the great Immutable, to man Disinely darting upward every wish,
Speaks wisdom ; iş his oracle supreme; Warm on the wing, in glorious absence lost. And he who most consults her, is most wise. Doubt you this truth? 13 labors your be-Look nature through, 'tis revolution all. [night
lict? If earth's whole orb by some due distanc'd
All change, no death. Day follows night; and cre
The dying day; stars rise, and set, and rise; Was seen at once, herrow'ring alps would sink, Earth takes th' example. See the suminer gay, And leveld Atlas leave an even sphere. With her green chaplet, and ambrosial flow'rs, Thus earth, and all that earthly, uninds'aclinire, Droops into pallid autunn; winter grey, Is swallow'd in cternity's vast round.
Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storin, To that stupendous view when souls awake,
Blows autumn, and his golden fruits away,
Then melts into the spring; soft spring, with
Favonian, front warm chambers of the south, $213. Man ignorant of his real Greatness. Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades : I: spite of all the truths the Muse hassung, As in a wheel, all sinks, to re-ascend : Are there who wrap the world so close about Emblems of man, who passes, not expires: thesis,
With this minute distinction, emblems just,
Eternal, that a circle, this a'linc,
That gravitates, This soars. Th' aspiring snul No fault, but in defect : blest Hear'n! avert
A brighter sun, and in a nobler soil,
Matter, immortal? and shall spirit die? Shall flourish fair, and put forth all their bloom. Above the nobler, shall less noble rise ? Shall inan alone, for whoin all else revives, No resurrection know? shall man alorie,
: $ 217. Reason and Instinct, Imperial man! be sown in barren ground, Reason progressive, instinct is complete ; Less privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds ? Swift instinci leaps ; slow reason feebly Is man, whorn alone is power to prize
Was man to live cooral with ihe sun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still ;
Yet, dying, leave his lesson half unlearnt, WHY discontent for ever harlor'd there ; Men perish in advance, as if the sun Incurable consumption of our peace! Should set ere noon, in eastern oceans drown'd. Resolve me, why, the cottager, and king, To man, why, stepdaine nature, so severe? He whom sea-sever'd realms obey, and he Jily thrown aside thymaster-piece half-wrought, Who steals his whole domivion from the waste. Vhile meaner efforts thy last hand enjoy? Repelling winter's blast, with mud and strais, Or, if abortively poor man must die, Filtead? Disquietude alike, draw sigh for sigh, Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in In fare so distant, in coinplaint so near. Why curst with foresight? wise to misery?
Is it, that things terrestrial can't content? Why of his proud prerogative the prey?
His immortality alone can tell,
§ 218.' Iluman Hope.
Possession, why inore tasteless than pursuit? Shall sons of æther, shall the blood of heav'n, Why is a wish far dearer than a crown? Set
up their hopes on earth, and stable here, That wish accomplish'd, why the grave of bliss With brutal acquiescence in the mire? Because in the great future bury'd deep, No, no, my friend : they shall be nobly paind; Beyond our plans of empire, and renown, The glorious foreigners distrest, shall sigh Lies all that man with ardor should pursue ; Pa thrones ; and thou congratulate the sigh : And he who made him, bent him to the right. Man's misery declares him born for bliss ; Man's heart th' Almighty to the future sets His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing. By secret and inviolable springs; Our heads, our hearts, our passions, and our And makes his hope his sublunary, joy. pow'rs,
Man's lieart eats all things, and is hungry still; Speak the same language; call us to the skies. "More, more, the glution cries :" for something Unripen'd these, in this inclement clime,
So rages appetite, if man can't inount, new Scarce rise above conjecture, and mistake ; He will descend. He starves on the possest. And for this land of trifles, those too strong, Hence the world's master, from ambition's spire, Tumultuous rise, and tempest human life; In Caprea plung'd; and div'd beneath the brute, What prize on earth can pay us for the storm? In that rank sty why wallow'd empire's son Meet objects for our passions Heav'n ordain'd, Supreme? Because he could no higher fly; Objects that challenge all their fire, and leave His riot was ambition in despair.
See restless hope, for ever on the wing! And strennous to transcribe, in human life, High perch'd o'er ev'ry thought that falcon sits, The mind almighty? could it be, that fate, To fly at all that rises in her sight;
Just when the lineaments began to shine, [ever? Aad never stooping, but to mount again! Should snatch the draught, and blot it out for Next moment, she betrays her aim's mistake, Shall we, this moment, gaze on God in man? Andowns her quarry lodgid beyout the grave. The next, lose man for ever in the dust?
There should it fail us (it must fail us there, From dust we disengage, or man mistakes ; If being fails) more mournful riddles rise, And there, where least his judgement fears a flaw!. And virtue vies with hope in mystery.
\Visdon, and worth, how bolly be conimends Sly virtue? Where its praise, its being, fled ? Wisdom and worth are sacred naines ; rerer'd; Tirtue is triz self-interest pursued;
Where not embrac'd; applauded ! deify'd! ; That, true self-int'rest of quite mortal tran? Why not compassion’d 100? If spirits die, To close with all that makes him happy licre, Both are calamities, intricted boili, li vice (as sometimes) is our friend on earth, To make us but more wretched; wisdom's
ye. Then vice is virtue, 'tis our sov’reign good. Acute, for what? To spy inore miseries;
The rigid guardian of a blameless heart, And worth, so recompens'd, new points' their So long rever'd, so long reputed wise,
stings: Is weak; with rank knight-errantries o'errun. Or man the grave surmounts, or gain is loss, Why beats Uy bosow avith iilustrious dreams And worth exalted humbles us the more. Of salkınt'enterprise, and glorious death? Were then capacities divine conferr'd, Die for thy country ? - thou romantic fool! As a mock diadem, in savage-sport, Seise, seise the plank thyself; and let her sink! Rank insult of our pompous poverty,
[fair? Thy coumary! what to thee? (I speak with awe) Which reaps but pain, from seeming claiins so The godhead, what? tho' he should bid thee In future age lies 110 redress ? au shuts II, with thy blood, thy final hope is split, [bleed: Eternity the door on our complaint? Nor car Oinnipotence reward the blow, If so, for what strange ends were mortals made: Be deaf; preserve thy being; disobey. The worst to wallow, and the best to weep.
(an we conceive a disregard in heaven, 019. The Madness of Infidelity. What the worst perpetrate, or best endure ? Susce virtue's recompense is doubtful, here,
This cannot be. To love, and know, in man If man dies wholly, well may wc demand,
Is boundless appetite, and boundless pow'r; Why is man sutfer'd to be good in vain?
And these demonstrate boundless objects too. Why to be good in vain, is man enjoin'd? Objects, pow'rs, appetites, heav'n suits in all; Why in be good in vain, is man beiray'd ? Nor, nature thro', e'er violates this sweet, Betray'd by irailors lodg'd in his own breast, Eternal concord, on her tuneful string. B; sweet complacencies from virtue felt? Is mau the sole exception from her laws ? Why whispers nature lies on virtue's parts? Eternity struck off from humau hope, Or if blind instinct (which assumes the name
Man is a monster, the reproach of heav'n, Of sacred conscience) plays the fool in man, A stain, a dark impenetrable cloud Why reason made accomplice in the cheat? On nature's beauteous aspect; and deforms, Why are the wisest, loudest in her praise ? (Amazing blot!) deforms her with her lord. Can man by reason's beam be led astray ?
Or own the soul immortal, or invert 01, at his peril, imitate his God?
All order. Go, mock-majesty! go, man, Since virtue soinetimes ruins us on earth, And how to thy superiors of the stall ; Or, both are true, or man survives the grave. Thro' every scene of sense superior far: [stream
Or inan survives the grave, or own, Lorenzo, They graze the turf untilld; they drink the Thy boast supreme, a wild absurdity.
Unbrew'd, and ever full, and unimbitter'd Dauntless thy spirit ; cowards are thy scorn.
With doubts, fears, fruitless hopes, regrets, dcGrant man immortal, and thy scorn is just.
spairs, The man immortal, rationally brare,
Mankind's peculiar! reason's precious dow'r! Dares rash on death, - because he cannot die. No foreign clime they ransack for their robes, But if man loses all, when life is lost; Nor brothers cite to the litigious bar : He lives a coward, or a fool expires.
Their good is good entire, unmixt, unmarrd; A daring infidel (and such there are, They find a paradise in ev'ry field, From pride, example, lucre, rage, revenge,
On boughs forbidden, where no curses hang;' Or pure fieroical defect of thought),
'Their ill no more than 'strikes the sense, unOf all earth's madınen, most descrves a chain.
stretcht When, to the grave, we follow the renown'd By previous dread or murmur in the rear; For valor, virtue, science, all we love, [beunr When the worst comes, it comes unfear'd; one And all we pra e; for worth, whose noontide
stroke Mends our ideas of ethereal pow'rs;
Begins and ends their woe: they die but once ; Dream we, that lustre of the moral world Blest, incommunicable privilege!
stars, Gres out in stench, and rottenness the close ? For which who 'rules the globe, and reads the Why was he wise to know, and warın to praise, Philosopher, or here, sigbs in vain.
Account for this prerogative in brutes : Of immortality. The first in faine,
Sham'd at the disproportion vast between
At such success, and blush at his renown: The cloud on nature's beauteous face dispels And why? because far richer prize invites Restores bright order ;' casts the brute beneath ; His heart; far more illustrious glory calls. And re-inthrones us in supreniaey
And can ambition a fourth proof supply? Of joy, ev'n here, admit im mortal life,
and stronger than the former three. And virtue is knight-errantry no more Tho' disappointments in ambition pain, Each virtue brings in hand a golden dow'r, And thio'success disgusts, yet still we strive Far richer in reversion : hope exults ;
la vain to pluck it from us : man inust soar: And, tho' much bitter in our cup is thrown, An obstinate activity within, Predominates, and gives the taste of heav'n. An insuppressive spring will toss him up, O wherefore is the Deity so kind ?
In spite of fortune's load. Not kings alone, Heav'n our reward -- for heav'n enjoy'd below. Each villager has his ambition too:
Still unsubdu'd thy stubborn heart? For there No Sultan prouder than his ferter'd slave:
$ 221. Avarice.
Thus far ambition. What says avarice?
This her chief maxim, which has long been
thine, First, then, ambition summon to the bar:
“ The wise and wealthy are the same." Igrant Ambition's shame, extravagance, disgust, And inextinguishable nature, speak :
To store up treasure, with incessant toil, sit. Each much deposes : hear them in their turn. To this great end keen instinct stings him on;
This is man's province, this his highest praise. Thy soul how passionately fond of fame! How anxious that fond passion to conceal !
To guide that instinct, reason! is thy charge ;
"Tis thine to tell us where true treasure lies: We blush detected in designs on praise, Tho' for best deeds, and froin the best of men :
But reason failing to discharge her trust,
A blunder follows, and blind industry,
O'erloading, with the cares of distant age,
The jaded spirits of the present hour, Bids it ascend the glowing check, and there
Providing for eternity below. Upbraid that liitle heart's inglorious aim,
Whence inextinguishable thirst of gain?
From inextinguishable life in man:
Man, if not meant by worth to reach the skies, l'ar more than man, with endless praise, and Sour rapes I grant ambition, avarice ;
Had wanted wing to fly so far in guilt. blame. Ambition's boundless appetite out-speaks
Yet stilliheir root is immortality. 'The verdict of its shame. When souls take firc Refine, exalt, throw down their pois'nous lee,
These its wild growths religion can reclaim, At high presumptions of their own desert,
And make them sparkle in the bowl of bliss. is
poor applause ; the mighty shout, The thunder by the living few begun, Late tinc must echo! worlds unborn resound :
Address to Unbelievers. We wish our names eternally tv live: (thought.“ Kxow all;-know infidels, unapt to know, Wild dream! which ne'er had haunted human 'Tis iinmortality your nature solves ; Had not our natures been cternal 100,
'Tis immortality decyphers inan, Instinct points out an int'rest in hereafter; And opens all the myst'ries of his make. But our blind reason sces not where it lies ; Without it half his instincts are a riddle: Or, seeing, gives the substance for the shade. Without it,' all his virtues are a dream : Fame is the shade of iminortality,
His very crimes attest his dignity; And in itself a shadow; soon as caught, His fateless appetite of gold, and fame, Contemnd; it shrinks to nothing in the grasp. Declares him born for blessings infinite. Consult the ambitious ; 'tis ambition's cure. What, less than infinite, makes unabsurd "And is this all ?" cry'd Cæsar at his height, Passions, which all on earth but more infilame? Disgusted. This third proof ambition brings Fierce passions so nis measur'd to this scene,
Stretch'd out, like eagles' wings, beyond our nest, : Conscience of guilt, is prophecy of pain, Får, far, berond the worth of all below, And bosoin-counsel to decline the blow. Tor earth too large, presage a nobler flight, Reason with inclination ne'er had jarr'd, And evidence our title to the skies.”
If nothing future paid forbearance here.
Thus on these, and a thousand pleas uncalled, $ 223. The Passions.
All promise, some insure, a second scene ; Yz gentle theologues, of calmer kind !
Which, was it doubtful, would be dearer far Whose constitution dictates to your pen,
Than all things else most certain ; was it false, Who,cold yourselves, think ardor comes fromhell! What truth on earth so precious as the lie? Think not our passions froin corruption sprung, This world it gives, in that high cordial, hope ;
This world it gives us, let what will ensue; Tho' to corruption now they lend their wings : The future of the present is the soul : That is their inistress, not their mother. All (And justly) reason deem divine: I see
How this life groans, when sever'd from the nexti. I feel a grandeur in the passions too, (end;
Poor, mutilated wretch, that disbelieves !
By dark distrust his being cut in two,
Sad prelude of eternity in pain!
$225. Misery of Unbelief.
COULDst thou persuade me, the next life
would fail Yet still, thro' their disgrace,' no feeble ray Of greattiess shines, and tells us whence they fell: My bleeding heart in anguish, new, as deep!
Our ardent wishes; how should I pour out But these, when reason moderates the rein, Shall re-ascend, re-mount their former sphere. Abhorr'd Annihilation blasts the soul, [spair,
Oh! with what thoughts, thy hope, and my des But yrant their phrenzy lasts; their phrenzy And wide extends the bounds of human woe! To disappoint one providential end ; (fails in this black channel would my ravings run: Was reason silent, boundless passion speaks “ Grief from the future borrow'd peace, cre A futive seene of boundless objects tori,
while And brings glad tidings of eternal day:
The future vanish'd, and the present pain'd! Eternal day! 'tis that enlightens all; nd all by that enlighten’d, prores it sure.
Fill, how profound! hurl'd headlong, hurld at Consider can as an immortal beirra, Intelligible, all; and all is great ;
To night! to nothing! darker still than night.
If 'twas a dreain, why wake me, my worst foe? Consider maan as mortal, al is dark,
O for delusion! O for error still! [plant And wretched; reason weeps at the survey. Could vengeance strike much stronger than to
A thinking being in a world like this, $294. Pronfs of Immortality. Man's Flappiness Not over-rich before, now beggar'd quite; consists in the Hope of it,
More curst than at the Fall? The sun goes out! Mucu has been urg'd; and dost thou call for The thorns shoot up! what thorns in ev'ry more?
thought ! Call; and with endless questions be distrept, Why sense of better? it imbitters worse : All u resolvable, it earth is all.
Why sense? why life? if but to sigh, then sink " Why life, a moment; infinite, desire ? To what I was ? twice nothing! and much woe! Our wish eternity ; qur home, the grave? Woe, from heaven's bountieswoe, froin what Heaven's promise dormant lies in human hope, Who wishes life immortal, proves it too. To fatter most, high intellectual pow'rs. Why happiness pursu'd, tho never found? " Thought, virtue, knowledge I blessings, by Man's thirst of happiness declares it is,
thy scheme, (For nature never gravitates to nought;) All poison'd into pains. First, knowledge, onde That thirst unquencht declares it is not here, My soul's ambition, now her greatest dread. Why cordial friendship riveted so deep, To know myself, true wisdom?---no, to shun As, hearts to pierce at first, at parting, rend, That shocking science, parent of despair ! If friend and friendship vanish in an hour ? Avert thy mirror; if I see, I die. Is not this torment in the inask of joy?
Know my Creator? Climb his blest abode -Why by reflection marr'd the joys of sense! By painful speculation, pierce the veil, Why past and future, preying on our hearts, Dive in his nature, read his attributes, And putting all our present joys to death And gaze in admiration-on a foe, Why labors reason? 'instinci were as well; Obtruding life, withholding happiness? Instinct far better ; what can choose, can err; From the full rivers that surround his throne, O how infallible the thoughtless brute ! Not letting fall one drop of joy on man; Reason with inclination why at war?
Man gasping for one drop, that he might cease Why sense of guilt? why conscience up in arms ?" To curse his birth, nor eavy reptiles more !