« AnteriorContinua »
wherewith God doth not fill the Hearts and Mouths of his Children, in the Meditation of these facred Poems and fweet Songs of Ifrael, which, by the Efficacy of the Holy Spirit accompanying the Mufick and Expreffions of them, excite in their Souls holy Sallies and Flights from thefe Houses of Clay, to the blissful Regions of inexpreffible and immutable Glory.
A Contemplative Poem on the wonderful Works of God.
E Woods and Fields, receive me to your
These calm Retreats my Contemplation aid :
I haunt; but, Oh! 'tis thee I feek and love.
I fpeak thy dear-lov'd Name, nor speak in vain,
Fair look the Stars, and fair the Morning Ray,
What Wonders in the wide Creation fhine!
Beauty and Life, and thou th' inspiring Soul !
In all thy Works, our God is there confefs'd.
What tow'ring Intellect, with daring Flight,
Who'er has mark'd, with bold enquiring Eyes,
Who all his glorious Image ftampt on thee.
"Twas thou who didit his boundlefs Thoughts employ,
His fole Complacence, and peculiar Joy,
What Thought can measure back the long Extent
Thou waft in Blifs and Dignity the fame.
Angels, Arch-Angels, Thrones, Dominions, Pow'rs,
His perfect Image thou doft juftly prove; ไม่
A Letter from a Duke to bis Friend; Juppofed to be dilated while he lay on bis Death-Bed.
EFORE you receive this, my final State will be determin'd by the Judge of all the Earth: In a few Days at moft, perhaps, in a few Hours, the inevitable Sentence will be paff, that fhall raife me to the Height of Happiness, or fink me to the Depth of Mifery. While you read thefe Lines, I shall be either groaning under the
Agonies of abfolute Despair, or triumphing in Fulness of Joy.
It is impoffible for me to express the prefent Difpofition of my Soul, the vaft Uncertainty I am ftruggling with; no Tongue can express, or utter the Anguish of a Soul fufpended between the Extreams of infinite Joy and eternal Mifery. I am throwing my laft Stake for Eternity, and tremble, and fhudder, for the important Event. Good God! how have I employ'd my felf? What Enchantment has held me? In what Vanity have my Days been paft? What have I been doing, while the Sun in its Race, and the Stars in their Courfes, have lent their Beams, perhaps, to light me to Perdition ?I never wak'd till now:-I have juft commenced the Dignity of a rational Being:-Till this Inftant, I had a wrong Apprehenfion of every thing in Nature:-I have purfued Shadows, and entertain'd my felf with Dreams :-I have been treafuring up Duft, and fporting my felf with the Wind: I look on my past Life, and, but for fome Memorials of Infamy and Gu.lt, it's all a Blank, a perfect Vacancy-I might have graz'd with the Beasts of the Field, or fung with the winged Inhabitants of the Wood, to much better Purpose: I have liv'd but-Oh! but for fome faint Hope, a thousand Times more bleft had I been, to have flept with the Clods of the Valley, and never heard the Almighty's Fiat, nor awak'd into Life at his Command. I never had a just Apprehenfion of the Solemnity of the Part I am to act till now. I have often met Death infulting on the hoftile Plain; with Courage as brutal as that of the warlike Horfe, I have rushed into the Battle, laugh'd at the glittering Spear, and rejoic'd at the Sound of the Trumpet, nor had a Thought of any State beyond the Grave, nor of the great Tribunal, to which I might have been fummoned,
Where all my fecret Guilt had been reveal'd,
Tis this which arms Death with all his Terrors, Selfe I could ftill mock at Fear, and fmile in the Face of the gloomy Monarch. 'Tis not giving up my Breath; 'tis not being for ever infenfible, is the Caufe for which I fhrink; no, but it is the terrible Hereafter, the fomething beyond the Grave, at which I recoil. Thefe great Realities, which in the Hours of Mirth and Vanity I have treated as Phantoms, as idle Dreams-these start forth, and dare me in their most terrible Demonftrations. My awakened Confcience feels fomething of that eternal Vengeance I have fo often. defy'd. To what height of Madness is it poffible for Human Nature to reach! What Extravagance is it to jeft with Death! to laugh at Damnation! to fport with eternal Chains, and recreate a jovial Fancy with the Scenes of infernal Mifery! Were there no Impiety in this kind of Mirth, it would be as ill-bred, as to entertain a dying Friend with the Sight of an Harlequin, or the Rehearsal of a Farce. Every thing in Nature feems to reproach this Levity in human Creatures; the whole Creation, but Man, is ferious; Man, who has the highest Reason to be fo, on account of his fhort and uncertain Duration. A condemned Wretch may, with as good a Grace, go dancing to his Execution, as the greatest Part of Mankind go on with fuch a thoughtless Gaiety to their Graves.
O my dear Philario! with what Horror do I recal thofe Hours of Vanity we have wafted together!-Return ye loft neglected Moments, now fhould I prize you above the Eastern Treasures!— Let me converfe in Cottages, may I but once more stand a Candidate for an immortal Crown, and have my Probation for celeftial Happiness.