Friday, July 27, 2012

"A God there Is, the Whole Creation Tells"

Since I've been thinking about the relationship between divinity and creation recently, I thought I'd share a gem of my recent reading in old newspapers. I found this anonymously authored poem in the August 6, 1747 edition of Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette:

The Deity

A God there is, the whole Creation tells,
Th' imprest Idea on our Reason dwells.
In vain the Atheist, with his florid Lines,
Dazzles the Crowd, and with th' Unthinking shines:
His Proofs, like Bubbles on a rainy Day,
That o'er the Waters trembling Surface play,
On the least Touch their Emptiness explose,
And shew'd on Air their slender Convex rose.

Avaunt, ye Slaves, vile lumber of the Land,
Offspring of Night, an inauspicious Band,
Fly far from us, and there your Rites maintain,
Where Darkness, Chance, and Elder Chaos reign:
Reverse of Sense, and to Religion Foes,
Let these for you a Trinity compose;
With Hymns infernal let your Altars ring,
And to these darling Gods loud Hallelujahs sing.

Shou'd you demand evincing Proofs below
That God's Existence manifestly show?
Earth, Sea, and Air, his greatest Work in Man
View well---then doubt a Godhead if you can.

His Pow'r gives Life, leads on the rolling Years,
And, in each Act, each Object plain appears,
Gleams in the Colours of the wat'ry Bow,
Falls in soft Fleeces of descending Snow;
With hoary Honours silvers o'er the Woods,
And, freezing, chains the Current of the Floods.
His Power when low'ring Winter creeps away,
Joys in the Fields, and bids the World be gay;
Dispenses Verdure to the blooming Bow'rs,
Decks all the Meads; and paints the springing Flow'rs.

From his Command, one universal Soul
Breathes in each Reptile, animates the Whole;
Smiles in the Morning, blushes in the Noon,
Swells in the Waves, and glitters in the Moon;
Flies on the Winds , and in the Light'ning plays,
Glows in the Sun, and lights the Comet's Blaze.

From him comes Friendship, Concord, Peace, and Love;
All comes from Him, in Him all Beings move.

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