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The unambiguous footsteps of the God
Who gives its luftre to an infect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.
Much converfant with heav'n, fhe often holds
With thofe fair minifters of light to man,
That fill the skies nightly with filent pomp,
Sweet conference. Enquires what ftrains were they
With which heav'n rang, when ev'ry star, in haste
To gratulate the new-created earth,
Sent forth a voice, and all the fons of God
Shouted for joy." Tell me, ye fhining hosts
"That navigate a fea that knows no storms,
"Beneath a vault unfullied with a cloud,
"If from your elevation, whence ye view
'Distinctly, scenes invisible to man,
"And fyftems of whose birth no tidings yet
"C Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race
"Favor'd as our's, tranfgreffors from the womb,
"And hafting to a grave, yet doom'd to rife,
"And to poffefs a brighter heav'n than yours?
"As one who long detain'd on foreign fhores
"Pants to return, and when he fees afar
"His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks,
"From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
"Radiant with joy towards the happy land;
"So I with animated hopes behold,
"And many an aching wish, your beamy fires,
"That fhew like beacons in the blue abyfs,
"Ordain'd to guide th' embodied spirit home,
"From toilfome life to never-ending reft.
"Love kindles as I gaze. I feel defires
"That give affurance of their own success,
"And that infus'd from heav'n must thither tend.".
So reads he nature whom the lamp of truth Illuminates. Thy lamp, myfterious word! Which whofo fees, no longer wanders loft, With intellects bemaz'd in endless doubt,
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou haft built,
With means that were not 'till by thee employ'd,
Worlds that had never been hadft thou in ftrength
Been lefs, or lefs benevolent than ftrong.
They are thy witneffes, who speak thy pow'r
And goodness infinite, but speak in ears
That hear not, or receive not their report.
In vain thy creatures testify of thee
'Till thou proclaim thyfelf. Their's is indeed
A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn,
And with the boon gives talents for its use.
'Till thou art heard, imaginations vain
Poffefs the heart, and fables false as hell;
Yet deem'd oracular, lure down to death
The uninform'd and heedlefs fouls of men.
We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind,
The glory of thy work, which yet appears
Perfect and unimpeachable of blame,
Challenging human scrutiny, and prov'd
Then skilful most when moft feverely judg'd.
But chance is not; or is not where thou reign'ft:
Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r
(If pow'r fhe be that works but to confound)
To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws.
Yet thus we doat, refusing while we can
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
Gods fuch as guilt makes welcome, Gods that fleep, Or difregard our follies, or that fit
Amus'd spectators of this bustling stage.
Thee we reject, unable to abide
Thy purity, 'till pure as thou art pure,
Made fuch by thee, we love thee for that cause
For which we fhunn'd and hated thee before.
Then we are free. Then liberty like day
Breaks on the foul, and by a flash from heav'n
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not
'Till thou haft touch'd them; 'tis the voice of fong,
A loud Hofanna fent from all thy works,
Which he that hears it with a fhout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the gen'ral praise.
In that bleft moment, nature throwing wide
Her veil opaque, difclofes with a smile
The Author of her beauties, who, retir'd
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his pow'r deny'd.
Thou art the fource and centre of all minds,
Their only point of reft, eternal Word!
From thee departing, they are loft and rove
At random, without honor, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that fooths the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad fuccefs,
His ftrength to fuffer and his will to ferve.
But oh thou bounteous giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyfelf the crown!
Give what thou can'ft, without thee we are poor;
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt