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A SOLILOQUY ON THE COURSE AND CONSQUENCE OF A DOUBTING MIND, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: I muse, I doubt, I reason, and debate
Last Line: A blessed christian, or a cursed fool.
Subject(s): Doubt; Reason; Selflessness; Solitude; Thought; Skepticism; Intellect; Rationalism; Brain; Mind; Intellectuals; Loneliness; Thinking

I MUSE, I doubt, I reason, and debate—
Therefore I am not in that perfect state,
In which, when its creation first began,
God plac'd his own beloved Image, man;
From whose high birth, at once design'd for all,
This ever poring reason proves a fall.

Whilst Adam stood in that immortal life,
Wherein pure truth excluded doubt and strife,
He knew, he saw, by a diviner light,
All that was good for knowledge or for sight;
But when the serpent-subtlety of hell
Brought him to doubt and reason—then he fell.

Fell, by declining from an upright will,
And sunk into a state of good and ill:
The very state of such a world as this
Became a death to his immortal bliss:
Bliss, which his reason gave him not, before
The loss ensu'd, nor after could restore.

From him descending, all the human race
Must needs partake the nature of his case:
Just as the trunk, the branches, or the fruit,
Derive their substance from the parent root:
What life or death into the father came,
The sons, tho' guiltless, could but have the same.

If I am one, if ever I must live
The blissful life, which God design'd to give;
As reason dictates, or as some degree
Of higher light enables one to see,
It cannot rise from being born on earth,
Without a second, new, and heav'nly birth.

The gospel doctrine, which assures to men
The joyful truth of being born again,
Demands the free consent of every will,
That seeks the good, and to escape the ill:
In all the sav'd, right reason must allow
Such birth effected, tho' it knows not how.

Such was the faith in Life's Redeeming Seed,
Of poor fall'n man the comfort and the creed:
Such was the hope before and since the flood,
In ev'ry time and place, of all the good:
Till the new Birth of JESUS, from above,
Reveal'd below the Mystery of Love.

His virgin birth, life, death, and re-ascent,
Explain what all God's dispensations meant—
God give me grace to shun the doubting crime!
Since nothing follows intermediate time,
But life, or death, eternally to rule
A blessed christian, or a cursed fool.

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