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النشر الإلكتروني

T H E

Universal Prayer. .

DEO OPT.

M A X.

F

ATHER of All! in ev'ry Age,

In ev'ry Clime ador’d,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !

COMMENTARY.

Universal Prayer.] Concerning this poem, it may be proper to observe, that some passages, in the preceding Elay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to shew that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety : That the first cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle inforced throughout the Esay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along

Thou Great First Cause, least understood:

Who all my Sense confin’d
To know, but this, that Thou art Good,

And that myself am blind ;

Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,

To see the Good from Ill;
And binding Nature fast in Fate,

Left free the Human Will.

What Conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,

That, more than Heav'n pursue.

What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not cast

away ;
For God is pay'd when Man receives,

T'enjoy is to obey.

COMMENTARY.

with a blind determination ; but a religious acquiescence, and confidence full of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight and reality, the poet chose for his model the Lord's PRAYER, which, of all others, bet deserves the title prefixed to this Paraphrase.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span,

Thy Goodness let me bound, Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,

When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw, And deal damnation round the land,

On each I judge thy Foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay; If am wrong, oh teach

my

heart To find that better way.

NOTES.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

If I am wrong, o teach my heart] As the imparting grace on store men to the right than the christian system is a to keep them in it. But as stronger exertion of the di- it was the poet's purpose to vine power, than the na infinuate that Revelation tural `illamination of the was the right, nothing could heart, one would expect that better express his purpose the request should have been than the making the right expressed reversely; more secured by the guards of aid being required to re- grace.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,

Or impious Discontent,
At ought thy Wisdom has deny’d.

Or ought thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,

To hide the Fault I fee; That Mercy I to others show,

That Mercy show to me.

Mean tho' I am, not wholly so

Since quick’ned by thy Breath ;
Oh lead me wherefoe'er I

go,
Thro' this day's Life or Death,

This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot:

All else beneath the Sun, Thou know'st if beft bestow'd or not,

And let Thy Will be done.

To thee, whose Temple is all Space,

Whose Altar, Earth, Sea, Skies ! One Chorus let all Being raise !

All Nature's Incense rise !

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