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Universal Prayer.



ATHER of All! in ev'ry Age,

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

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
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;

COMMENTARY. Universal Prayer.] It may be proper to observe, that some passages in the preceding Ejay, having been unjustly fufpected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the Author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to thew that his fystem 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 fubmission to his will, (the great principle inforced throughout the Esay) was not meant fuffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but resting in a religious acquiescence, and


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 paid when Man receives,

T' enjoy is to obey.
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.

COMMENTARY. confidence full of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the Poet chose for his model the Lord's PRAYER, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to his Paraphrase.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay; If I am wrong,

oh teach To find that better way.

my heart

Save me alike from foolish Pride,

Or impious Discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has deny'd,

Or aught 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 quicken'd by thy Breath; Oh lead me wherefoe'er I go,

Thro' this day's Life or Death.

NOT E s.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

if I am wrong, o reach my heart] As the imparting of grace, on the Christian system, is a stronger exertion of the Divine Power than the natural illumination of the heart, one would expect that right and wrong should change places; more aid being required to reftore men to right, than to keen them in it. But as it was the Poet's pure pose to insinuate that Revelation was the right, nothing could better express his purpose, than making the right secured by the guards of grace.


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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