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And, like a prince of boundless interests there,
Still most ambitious of the most remote;
To look on truth unbroken, and entire ;
Truth in the system, the full orb; where truths
By truths enlighten'd, and sustain'd, afford
An arch-like, strong foundation, to support
Th' incumbent weight of absolute, complete
Conviction ; here, the more we press, we stand
More firm : who most examine, most believe.
Parts, like half-sentences, confound; the whole
Conveys the sense, and God is understood;
Who not in fragments writes to human race:
Read his whole volume, sceptic!' then reply.
This, this, is thinking free, a thought that grasps
Beyond a grain, and looks beyond an hour.
Turn up thine eyes, survey this midnight scene;
What are Earth's kingdoms, to yon boundless orbs,
Of human souls, one day, the destin'd range ?
And what yon boundless orbs, to godlike man?
Those numerous worlds that throng the firmament,
And ask more space in Heaven, can roll at large
In man's capacious thought, and still leave room
For ampler orbs, for new creations, there.
Can such a soul contract itself, to gripe
A point of no dimension, of no weight?
It can; it does : the world is such a point:
And, of that point, how small a part enslaves!
How small a part of nothing, shall I say? Why not? - Friends, our chief treasure ! how they
drop! Lucia, Narcissa fair, Philander, gone ! The grave, like fabled Cerberus, has op'd
A triple mouth ; and, in an aweful voice,
Loud calls my soul, and utters all I sing.
How the world falls to pieces round about us,
And leaves us in a ruin of our joy!
What says this transportation of my friends ?
It bids me love the place where now they dwell,
And scorn this wretched spot they leave so poor.
Eternity's vast ocean lies before thee;
There; there, Lorenzo ! thy Clarissa sails.
Give thy mind sea-room ; keep it wide of Earth,
That rock of souls immortal ; cut thy cord ;
Weigh anchor; spread thy sails; call every wind;
Eye thy Great Pole-star; make the land of life.
Two kinds of life has double-natur'd man, And two of death; the last far more severe. Life animal is nurtur'd by the Sun; Thrives on his bounties, triumphs in his beams, Life rational subsists on higher food, Triumphant in his beams, who made the day. When we leave that Sun, and are left by this, (The fate of all who die in stubborn guilt,) 'T is utter darkness; strictly double death. We sink by no judicial stroke of Heaven, But Nature's course; as sure as plummets fall. Since God, or man, must alter, ere they meet, (Since light and darkness blend not in one sphere,) 'T is manifest, Lorenzo ! who must change.
If, then, that double death should prove thy lot, Blame not the bowels of the Deity; Man shall be blest, as far as man permits. Not man alone, all rationals, Heaven arms With an illustrious, but tremendous, power
To counteract its own most gracious ends;
And this, of strict necessity, not choice ;
That power denied, men, angels, were no more
But passive engines, void of praise or blame.
A nature rational implies the power
Of being blest, or wretched, as we please ;
Else idle reason would have nought to do;
And he that would be barr'd capacity .
Of pain, courts incapacity of bliss.
Heaven wills our happiness, allows our doom ;
Invites us ardently, but not compels;
Heaven but persuades, almighty man decrees;
Man is the maker of immortal fates.
Man falls by man, if finally he falls;
And fall he must, who learns from death alone
The dreadful secret That he lives for ever.
Why this to thee ? - Thee yet, perhaps, in doubt
Of second life? But wherefore doubtful still ?
Eternal life is nature's ardent wish :
What ardently we wish, we soon believe :
Thy tardy faith declares that wish destroy'd :
What has destroy'd it? — Shall I tell thee what ?
When fear'd the future, 't is no longer wish'd ;
And, when unwish'd, we strive to disbelieve
“ Thus infidelity our guilt betrays."
Nor that the sole detection! Blush, Lorenzo !
Blush for hypocrisy, if not for guilt.
The future fear'd? – An infidel, and fear?
Fear what? A dream? A fable? - How thy dread,
Unwilling evidence, and therefore strong,
Affords my cause an undesign'd support !
How disbelief affirms what it denies !