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C R E A TION:

BO" O" K

IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

THE introduction. No man happy, that has not con

quered the fears of death. The inability of the Épicurean scheme to accomplish that end. Religion only capable of subduing those fears. The hypothesis of Epicurus concerning the formation of the universe shewn to be absurd. I. In a more general survey of the parts of the universe. II. By a more close and strict examination of his scheme. The principle of motion not accounted for by that scheme; nor the determination of it one way. Pondus, gravity, innate mobility, words without a meaning. Descent of atoms; upwards and downwards, a middle or centre absurdly asserted by Epicurus in infinite space. His hypothesis not to be supported, whether his matter be fupposed finite or infinite. His ridiculous affertion relating to the diurnal and annual motion of the sun. The impossibility of forming the world by the casual concourse of atoms. They could never meet if they inoved with equal speed. Primi tive atoms, being the smallest parts of matter, would: move more slowly than bodies of greater bulk, which have more gravity; yet these are absurdly supposed to . move the swiftest. His assertion, that soine primitive atoms have a direct, and others an inclining motion,.

implies

implies a contradiction.

Lucretius's explanation of this inclining motion of some first atoms not intelligible The inexplicable difficulty of stopping the atoms in their flight, and causing them to settle in a formed world. The ponderous earth not to be sustained in liquid air. The Epicurean formation of the heavens very ridiculous. No account given by the Epicureans how the sun and stars are upheld in fluid æther. Their idle account of the formation of the air. The variety of figure and size given by Epicurus to his atoms, a convincing proof of wisdom and design. Another proof is the disproportion of the moist and dry atoms in the formation of the earth. His ludicrous and childish account of the formation of the hollow for the sea. No account given by Epicurus, or his followers, of the motion of the heavenly orbs, particularly of the sun.

CARUS, we grant, no man is bleft

, but he

Whose mind from anxious thoughts of death is Let laurel wreaths the vittor's brows adorn, [free. Sublime through gazing throngs in triumph borne; Let acclamations ring around the skies,

5 While curling clouds of balmy incense rise ; Let spoils immenfe, let trophies gain'u in war, And conquer'd kings, attend his rolling car; If dread of death still unsubdued remains, And secret o’er the vanquish'd victor reigns, Th'illustrious slave in endless thraldom bears A heavier chain than his led captive wears.

With swiftest wing the fears of future fate Elude the guards, and pass the palace-gate;

15 Traverse

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Traverse the lofty rooms, and uncontrol'd
Fly hovering round the painted roofs, and bold
To the rich arras cling, and perch on bust of gold ;
Familiar horrors haunt the monarch's head,
And thoughts ill-boding from the downy bed
Chace gentle sleep; black cares the foul infeft,
And broider'd stars adorn a troubled breast;
În vain they ask the charming lyre, in vain
The flatterer's sweeter voice, to lull their pain ;
Riot and wine but for a moment please ;
Delights they oft' enjoy, but never ease.

What are distinction, honour, wealth, and state,
The pomp of courts, the triumphs of the great ;
The numerous troops, that envy'd thrones secure,
And splendid enligns of imperial power ?
What the high palace, rear’d with vast expence,
Unrivalid art, and luxury immense,
With statues grac'd by ancient Greece supply'd,
With more than Persian wealth, and Tyrian pride?
What are the foods of all delicious kinds,

35
Which now the huntsman, now the fowler, finds;
The richest wines, which Gallia's happy field,
Which Tuscan hills, or thine, Iberia, yield ?

Nature deprav'd abundance does pursue ; Her first and pure demands are cheap and few. What health promotes, and gives unenvy'd peace, Is all expenceless, and procur’d with ease. Behold the shepherd, see th’industrious swain, Who ploughs the field, or reaps the ripen'd grain, How mcan, and yet how tasteful is their fare ! 45 How sweet thcir sleep! their souls how free from care!

They

They drink the streaming crystal, and escape
Th’inflaming juices of the purple grape ;
And, to protect their limbs from rigorous air,
Garments, their own domestic work, they wear : 50
Yet thoughts of death their lonely cots molest,
Affright the hind, and break the labourer's rest.

Since these reflections on approaching fate
Distrust and ill-presaging care create;
'Tis clear we strive for happiness in vain,

55 While fears of death within insulting reign.

But then Lucretian wits absurdly frame, To fink those inbred fears, their impious scheme. To chace the horrors of a conscious mind, They desperate means and wild expedients find; 60 The hardy rebels aiming to appeale Their fierce remorse, and dream a while at ease, Of crying guilt th'avenging power disown, And pull their high. Creator from his throne; That done, they mock the threats of future pain, 65 As monstrous fictions of the poet's brain.

Thy force alone, Religion ! Death disarms, Breaks all his darts, and every viper charms; Soften'd by thee, the grisly form appears No more the horrid object of our fears ; We undismay'd this awful power obey, That guides us through the safe, though gloomy way, Which leads to life, and to the bleft abcde, Where ravish'd minds enjoy, what here they own'd, a

Regard, ye sages of Lucretian race, (God. Nature's rich dress, behold her lovely face.

75 Look.

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Look all around, terrestrial realms survey,
The illes, the rivers, and the spacious fea;
Observe the air, view with attentive eyes
The glorious concave of the vaulted skies;
Could these from casual hits, from tumult those, arise:
Can rule and beauty from distraction grow?
Can symmetry from wild confusion flow?
When atoms in th' unmeasur'd space did rove,
And in the dark for doubtful empire ftrove;
Did intervening Chance the feuds compose,
Establish friendship, and disarm the foes ?
Did this the ancient darksome horrors chace,
Distinction give, and spread celestial grace
O'er the black districts of the empty space ?
Could atoms, which, with undirected 'flight, 90
Roam'd through the void, and rang'd the realms of
Of reason destiture, without intent,

[night,
Depriv'd of choice, and mindless of event,
In order march, and to their posts advance,
Led by no guide, but undefigning Chance ?

95 What did th' entangled particles divide, And sort the various seeds of things ally'd ? To make primæval clements, select All the fit atoms, and th’unfit reject ? Distinguish hot from cold, and moist from dry, Range some to form the earth, and some the sky ? From the embrace, and gloomy arms, of night, What freed the glimmering fire, and disengag'd the

light? Could Chance such just and prudent measures take ? To frame the world, such distribution make? 10,5

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