Imatges de pÓgina
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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.

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E Woods and Fields, receive me to your
Shade;

These calm Retreats my Contemplation aid :
From Mortals flying to your chatte Abode,
Let me attend th' inftructive Voice of God.
He speaks in all, and is in all things found;
I hear him, I perceive him all around.
In Nature's lovely and unblemish'd Face,
With Joy thy facred Lineaments I trace;
O glorious Being! O fupremely fair!
How free, how perfect thy Productions are!
Forgive me, while with curious Eyes I view
Thy Works, and thus thy facred Steps pursue:
The filent Valley, and the lonely Grove

I haunt; but, Oh! 'tis thee I feek and love.
'Tis not the Chant of Birds, nor whifp'ring Breeze,
But thy foft Voice I feek among the Trees:
Invoking thee, by filver Streams I walk;
To thee in folitary Shades I talk:

I fpeak thy dear-lov'd Name, nor speak in vain,
Kind Ecchoes long the pleafing Sound-retain,
Reviving Sweets the op'ning Flow'rs difclofe,
Fragrant the Violet, the budding Rose;
But all their balmy Sweets from thee they fteal,
And fomething of thee to my Senfe reveal.

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Fair

Fair look the Stars, and fair the Morning Ray,
When first the Fields their painted Scenes difplay
Glorious the Sun, in his Meridian Height,
And yet, compar'd to thee, how faint the Light!
Ador'd Artificer, what Skill divine,

What Wonders in the wide Creation fhine!
Order and Majefty adorn the whole,

Beauty and Life, and thou th' inspiring Soul !
Whatever Grace or Harmony's exprefs'd

In all thy Works, our God is there confefs'd.
But, Oh! from all thy Works, how small a Part
Is known to human Minds of what thou art!
Fancy gives o'er its Flight, in Search of thee,
Our Thoughts are loft, in thy Immenfity.
What Path is found to thefe fublime Retreats,
Where Pleasure banquets in its lovely Seats;
Where Beauty triumphs in her native Bow'r,
Uncopy'd yer by the creating Pow'r ?
Ten thousand various Forms divinely fair,
Sparkle in their fupream Ideas there;
While Wisdom with fuperior Order fhines
In boundless Schemes, and infinite Designs.
Wondrous the Profpect, clear and unconfin'd,
But open only to th' Eternal Mind..

What tow'ring Intellect, with daring Flight,
Has made Excurfion thro' the Realms of Light?
The bleft Receffes, where th' approachlefs God,
From all Duration made his high Abode.

Who'er has mark'd, with bold enquiring Eyes,
From whence the fecret Springs of Life arife?
How from their deep exhauftlefs Source they flow.
To actuate Heav'n, and chear the World below?
Thofe dazling Habitations who has found,
Where Love in all its heav'nly Charms fits crown'd?
Great Love, th' Almighty Father's first Delight,
His Image, and the Darling of his Sight,
The full Refemblance of the Deity,

Who all his glorious Image ftampt on thee.

'Twas

"Twas thou who didit his boundlefs Thoughts employ,

His fole Complacence, and peculiar Joy,
From Ages unbegun; but who can tell
Thy Generation, or thy Birth reveal ?

What Thought can measure back the long Extent
Of nameless Times, or fpeak thy great Defcent?
Before the Hills appear'd, or Fountains flow'd,
Or golden Flames in the blue Æther glow'd;
Before the vaft Creation had a Name,

Thou waft in Blifs and Dignity the fame.
By thee the Sun, by thee the Stars were made,
The fpacious Skies at thy Command were spread;
The Heav'n of Heav'ns, th' Empyrean Coasts
Were form'd by thee, with all their num'rous

Hofts;

Angels, Arch-Angels, Thrones, Dominions, Pow'rs,
Who fing thy Conqueft in th' almighty_Bow'rs;
For thou doft ev'ry heav'nly Breaft enflame,
To speak loud Praises to thy facred Name;
Their Beings and their Blifs they owe to thee,
Thou equal Offspring of the Deity:

His perfect Image thou doft juftly prove; ไม่
For all the bright Divinity is Love.

A Letter from a Duke to bis Friend; Juppofed to be dilated while he lay on bis Death-Bed.

B

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

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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

Where all my fecret Guilt had been reveal'd,
Nor the minutest Circumftance conceal'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.

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