Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE UNION AND THREE-FOLD DISTINCTION OF GOD, NATURE AND CREATURE, by JOHN BYROM



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ON THE UNION AND THREE-FOLD DISTINCTION OF GOD, NATURE AND CREATURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: All that comes under our imagination
Last Line: And, god's own image lord of it, a man.
Subject(s): Mankind; Mediums; Religious Education; Human Race; Spiritualists; Sunday Schools; Yeshivas; Parochial Schools


PART FIRST

ALL that comes under our imagination
Is either God, or nature, or creation:
God is the free eternal Light or Love,
Before, beyond all nature, and above:
The one unchangeable, unceasing will
To ev'ry good, and to no sort of ill.

Nature, without him, is th' abyssal dark,
Void of the light's beatifying spark;
Th' attraction of desire, by want repell'd,
Whence circling rage proceeds, and wrath unquell'd:
But, by the light's all-joyous pow'r, th' abyss
Becomes the groundwork of a threefold bliss.

Creation is the gift of light and life
To nature's contrariety and strife;
For without nature, or desirous want,
There would be nothing to receive the grant;
Nor could a creature, or created scene
Exist, did no such medium intervene.

Creature and God would be the same; the thought,
Which books inform us that Spinoza taught,
Would then be true; and we be forc'd to call
Things good or bad, "the Parts of the great All:"
In whatsoever state itself may be
Nature is his, but nature is not He.

Like as the dark, behind the shining glass,
By hind'ring rays that of themselves would pass,
Affords that glimpse of objects to the view,
Which the transparent mirror could not do;
So does the life of nature, in its place,
Reflect the glories of the life of grace.

Of ev'ry creature's happiness, the growth
Depends upon the union of them both;
And all, that God proceeded to create,
Came forth, at first, in this united state;
No evil wrath or darkness could begin
To shew itself, but by a creature's sin.

And were not nature separate, alone,
Such a dark wrath, it could not have been shewn:
Its hidden properties are ground as good
For life's support, as bones to flesh and blood:
The false, unnatural, ungodly will,
That lays them open, is sole cause of ill.

When it is caus'd, renouncing, to be sure,
All such-like wills, contributes to the cure;
That nature's wrathful forms may not appear,
Nor what is made subservient domineer;
But God's good will all evil ones subdue,
And bless all nature, and all creature too.

PART SECOND.

THIS universal blessing to inspire
Was God's eternal purpose or desire;
Desire, which never could be unfulfill'd;
Love put it forth, and Heav'n was what it will'd;
And the desire had in itself the means,
From whence the love could raise the heav'nly scenes.

Hence an eternal nature, to proclaim
By outward, visible, majestic frame,
The hidden Deity, the pow'r Divine,
By which th' innumerable beauties shine;
That by succession, without end, recal
A GOD of LOVE, a present ALL in ALL.

From Love, thus manifested in the birth
Of nature and the pow'rs of Heav'n and earth,
The various births of creatures, at the voice
Of God, came forth to see, and to rejoice;
To live within his kingdom, and partake
Of ev'ry bliss, adapted to their make.

For as, before a creature came to see,
No other life but that of God could be;
No other place but Heav'n, no other state;
So, when it pleas'd th' Almighty to create,
From Him must come the creature's life within;
Its outward state from nature must begin.

Oh! what angelic orders! what divine,
And heav'nly creatures answer'd the design
Of God's communicative goodness, shewn
By giving rise to offsprings of his own!
With godlike spirits how was nature fill'd,
And beauteous forms, as its Great Author will'd!

Thus in its full perfection then it stood,
Seeking, receiving, manifesting good,
By virtue of that union which it had
With Him, who made no creature to be bad;
But highly blest; and with a potent will
So to continue, and to know no ill.

Nature's united properties had none—
Whence then the change that it has undergone,
But from the creatures striving to aspire
Above the light, which their own dark desire
Quench'd in themselves, and rais'd up all the storms
Of nature's wrathful, separated forms?

So Lucifer and his proud legions fell,
And turn'd their heav'nly mansion to a hell;
To that dark, formless void, wherein the light
Ent'ring again with nature to unite,
The new creation of a world began,
And, God's own image lord of it, a man.





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