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With grief and gladness mix'd, the mothers view'd
Her martyr'd offspring, and their race renew'd;
Their corpse to perish, but their kind to last,
So much the deathless plant the dying fruit surpass'd.
Panting and pensive now she rang'd alone,
And wander'd in the kingdoms once her own.
The common hunt, tho’ from their rage restrain'd
By sov'reign pow'r, her company disdain'd,
Grinn'd as they pass'd, and with a glaring eye
Gave gloomy signs of secret enmity,
Tis true, she bounded by, and tripp'd so light,
They had not time to take a steady sight;
For truth has such a face and such a mien
As, to be lov'd, needs only to be seen.
The bloody bear, an independent beast,
Unlick’d to form, in groans her hate express'd.
Among the tim'rous kind the quaking hare
Profess'd neutrality, but would not swear,
Next her the buffoon ape, as Atheists use,
Mimic'd all sects, and had his own to chuse:
Still when the lion look'd his knees he bent,
And paid at church a courtier's compliment.
The bristled baptist boar, impure as he,
But whiten'd with the foam of sanctity,
With fat pollutions fill'd the sacred place,
And mountains level'd in his furious race;
So first rebellion founded was in grace:
But since the mighty ravage which he made
In German forests had his guilt betray'd,
With broken tusks, and with a borrow'd name, 50
He shunnid the vengeance, and conceal'd the shame;
So lurk'd in sects unseen. With greater guile
False Reynard fed on consecrated spoil :
The graceless beast by Anthanasius first,
Was chas'd from Nice, then by Socinus nurs'd;
His impious race their blasphemy renew'd,
And Nature's king thro' Nature's optics view'd;
Revers'd they view'd him lessen'd to their eye,
Nor in an infant could a god descry,
New swarming sects to this obliquely tend, 60
Hence they began, and here they all will end.
What weight of ancient witness can prevail,
If private reason hold the public scale ?
But, gracious god how well dost thou provide
For erring judgments an unerring guide ?
Thy throne is darkness in th' abyss of light,
A blaze of glory that forbids the sight,
O teach me to believe thee thus conceal'd,
And search no farther than thyself reveal’d;
But her alone for my director take,
Whom thou hast promis'd never to forsake!
My thoughtless youth was wing'd with vain desires,
My manhood, long misled by wand'ring fires,
Follow'd false lights, and, when their glimpsewasgonę.
My pride struck out new sparkles of her own.
Such was I, such by nature still I am:
Be thine the glory, and be mine the shame,
Good life be now my task: my doubts are done;
What more could fright my faith than Three in One ?
Can I believe eternal God could lie
Disguis'd in mortal mould and infancy,
That the great maker of the world could die ?
And, after that, trust my imperfect sense,
Which calls in question his omnipotence!
Can I my reason to my faith compel ?
And shall my sight, and touch, and taste, rebel ?
Superior faculties are set aside;
Shall their subservient organs be my guide ?
Then let the moon usurp the rule of day,
And winking tapers shun the sun his way ;
For what my senses can themselves perceive,
I need no revelation to believe,
Can they who say the host should be descry'd
By sense, define a body glorify'd ?
Impassable, and penetrating parts ?
Let them declare by what mysterious arts
He shot that body thro' th' opposing might
Of bolts and bars, impervious to the light,
And stood before his train confess'd in open sight:
For, since thus wondrously he pass’d, 'tis plain 100
One single place two bodies did contain ;
And sure the same Omnipotence as well
Can make one body in more places dwell.
Let reason then at her own quarry fly,
But how can finite grasp infinity?
'Tis urg'd again, that faith did first commence
By miracles, which are appeals to sense,
And thence concluded, that our sense must be
The motive still of credibility:
For latter ages must on former wait,
And what began belief must propagate.
But winnow well this thought, and you shall find
'Tis light as chaff that flies before the wind.
Were all those wonders wrought by pow'r divine,
As means, or ends, of some more deep design?
Most sure as means, whose end was this alone,
To prove the Godhead of th' eternal Son.
God thus asserted, man is to believe
Beyond what sense and reason can conceive,
And for mysterious things of faith rely,
On the proponent, Heaven's authority.
If then our faith we for our guide admit,
Vain is the farther search of human wit;
As when the building gains a surer stay,
We take th' unuseful scaffolding away.
Reason by sense no more can understand:
The game is play'd into another hand.
Why chuse we then, like billenders, to creep
Along the coast, and land in view to keep,
When safely we may launch into the deep ? 130