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maturely to fearch, digeft and practife the Truths of bis most facred and Holy Word, which DIVINE BOOK is, or ought to be in all our Houfes; the impartial Cofideration of which Subjects, together with fome Account of that most charming, romantic, and delightful Park, which was the Means of giving Birth to the following Poems &c, fhall, through the Divine Mercy, compole the Subftance of this Preface.
And ift. in Regard to the vifible Creation, or the Works of his Almighty Hand. On Thele the LORD hath engraven the Knowledge of Himself moft confpicuously, and in fuch a plain and univerfal Language, that it is within the Reach of every rational Being, if He will not wilfully clofe his Eyés against fuch Con viction, to read and comprehend the Same; For "The " Heavens declare the Glory of GOD: and the Firmament "fheweth his handy-work. Day unto Day uttereth Speech, "and Night unto Night fheweth Knowledge. There is no "Speech nor Language where their Voice is not heard. Their "Line is gone out through all the Earth, and their Words
to the End of the World." Pía. XIX. 1 to 5. And "That which may be known of GOD, is manifeft in Them; for GOD hath fhewed it unto Them. For the invifible
Things of Him from the Creation of the World are clearly "feen, being understood by the Things that are made, even "His eternal Power and Godhead; fo that they are without Excufe." Rom. I. 19. 20.
If Any therefore remain ignorant of GOD, and deftitute of his Holy Prefence and Love in their own Hearts, it must be their own Faults; and can be for no other Reason, but because They love Darkness rather than Light, and do not like to retain HIM in their Thoughts.' If this was not the Cafe, We muft All of Confèquence know Him and love Him. fecing He is not far from Every One of Us, for in Him We live, and move, and have our Being:
and We cannot turn our Eyes to the Heavens Above, or to the Earth below, but We must see most manifeftProofs of His Almighty Power, his unfearchable Wisdom, and his boundless Love.
Did We but attentively admire the Sun, Moon and Stars, in the immenfe Expanfe Above Us, and also the various Things around Us in the animal and vegetable Creation? Did We but accuftom Ourfelves foberly and seriously to meditate on their various Uses, Beauties and Glories? Did We but ponder well the wonderful Power, whereby the whole Face of Nature is changed from the Barrennefs, Unpleasantness, and Unfruitfulness of Winter, into the more pleafing Afpe&t of Beauty, Fruitfulness, and bleffed Abundance for our Ufe and Comfort in the Spring and Summer Seasons ? Did We but enquire in our own Minds, from whence fuch wonderous Changes and marvellous Effects were produced, We cou'd not but acknowledge their Divine Source? We must be forced to confefs that there is a real and fenfible Intercourfe betwixt the invisible Creator, and the visible Works of his Hands, which latter only afford a temporary and visible Cloathing to the eternal and invifible Realities, which exift in a much more glorious and perfect World. In fhort, Were We poffeffed of the Wifdom of the holy Antients, We should fee clearly that the vifible Things of this World owe their Subfiftance, to the invifible Things of another World, and were intended to lead us to the Knowledge of fuch invifible Things? And further, did We injoy their Light in our Interior, We fhould perceive, that they exhibit a glorious Difplay of GOD's fpiritual Kingdom, and are an outward Manifeftation of the Glories, the Ufes, and the Beauties thereof; to be convinced of which, We need only be at the Pains to ask Qurselves, Why is a Rofe, a Lilly, or a Paffion-Flower fo beautiful? For I think
We shall not be able to give any other Anfwer, than
that they are the reprefentative Forms in outward Nature of that beautiful Spirit or Life from which they fpring.
Thus, if We did but ufe Ourselves to regard the outward Objects of Creation in a fober and ferious Manner, they wou'd appear, not only beautiful and glorious, but alfo most interesting and edifying to Us― We fhou'd behold the Operations of the Divine Goodnefs, Wisdom, Power and Providence, in having prepar ed fuch a World, together with fuch a wonderfal Variety of Things therein, adapted to the Neceffity, the Service, the Comfort and the Inftruction of it's Inhabitants. Thus, I fay, regarding the wonderful Works of Creation in this holy Light, We fhou'd certainly be led by their Means to the Knowledge and Adoration of their Divine and adorable Creator- We fhou'd with Delight and Gratitude join the infpired Saints of cld, (who no doubt reaped much Benefit from furveying the wonderful Works of Creation,) and thus addrefs their Divine Original, Thou LORD, in the Beginning, haft laid the Foundations of the Earth; and the Heavens are the Work of thy Hands. O LORD our LORD, how excellent is thy Name in all the Earth! Who haft fet thy Glory above the heavens. When I confider thy Heavens, even the Works of thy Fingers, the Moon and the Stars which Thou haft ordain ed; LORD, what is Man that Thou art mindful of Him? or the Son of Man, that Thou vifiteft Him?
Since the wonderful Works of Creation, therefore, furround Us All, and speak fo loudly to every Creature, for ever manifefting the Almighty Power, Wisdom and Love of their great Creator, O let us be wife and improve by an attentive Confideration of them - let us open our Eyes to behold their Magnificence and Grandeurlet us contemplate his Glory in the vifible Creation; he may be seen, not only in his fpreading out the Hea
vens like a Curtain, but in the Formation of the smallest Creature; every Flower of the Field, the Lilly of the Valley and the humbleft Shrub, no less than the lofty Oaks and Cedars, fuggeft Leffons of Inftruction and Devotion to Us,
"For Ever fpeaking, as They fhine,
"The Hand, that made Us, is Divine."
And Here I cannot but make a few Observations on those most charming, romantic, and delightful Scenes, which gave Birth to the following Poems.
When I first vifited HAWKSTONE PARK, (the Day being beautiful and the Sky clear,) I was ftruck with pleafing Altouifhment at it's Greatnefs and Magnifi cence: I was charmed with it's Bloom and Splendor, and most particularly affected with the vaft, the various, and the extenfively pleasing Views prefented from it's Rocks and Hills, from fome of which fuch peculiarly ftriking Profpects of the neighbouring and distant Country are beheld, that my feeble Pen cannot poffibly describe. Surely None but down-right Atheists, who wilfully refule the facred Exercise of meditating on the Works of their great and good Creator, can deny the Operation of his ALMIGHTY Power in the vifible Works of Creation, more efpecially in fuch glorious Works and delightful Scenes, as HAWKSTONE PARK furnishes it's Vifiters: with; for look which Way foever You will, you have the most admirable Specimen of the Divine Love and Wisdom of the fublime Author of Nature; and Your Eyes behold fuch various Scenes of Beauty, that no Words can exprefs or Pen defcribe. And the more You examine Them, the more You are ftruck with a Sense of their Divine Creator, and the more they manifeft his. Love and Wildom, exhibiting at the fame Time fuch ftriking Proofs of his Power and Prefence, as None but the most wilful blind and obftinate can overlook and B refift
refift. Surely, the contemplative Mind, on beholding fuck a Profufion of Beauties, will be led with Thankfulness and Admiration to join the Poet in the following Language! "When fuch bright Scenes as These, O LORD, "My Soul on Earth furveys, "Transported with the View, I'm loft
"In Wonder, Love, and Praife!"
And I have no doubt, cou'd We but trace these Paradifiacal Scenes up to their true Origin, We shou'd difcern Them as fo many representative Forms or Types of heavenly Blessednesses, which wou'd never fail, as often as We viewed Them in this pleafing Light, to elevate our Minds to their Divine Author. Indeed I muft frankly acknowledge that Such hath been the Effect They have been the means of producing in my Mind. Whilft furveying thefe lovely Landfcapes, with which the most bountiful LORD has overfpread, enriched, and beautified HAWKSTONE'S Charming Park, with it's furrounding Scenes, I have been ftruck with Wonder and Delight, at obferving both the exquifite Beauty, and the immenfe Magnificence of the whole; I have felt fuch a fweet Complacency and Dilation of Heart, fuch an Elevation of Soul mixed with Rapture and Devotion, that I have often been constrained, with the most pro. found Veneration, to break out into grateful Songs of Praife, whilft I faw the Love and Wifdom, the Majefty and Mercy of the adorable Creator in such sublime Works. For, to speak the Truth, I cou'd behold No. thing but GOD and his Divine Operation in the whole of these most charming and delightful Scenes. Their Grandeur, their Magnificence, their Beauty, and above All their pleafing Variety, often tranfported Me into the most warm and heavenly Meditations; and I was fre quently, as it were, carried out of Myfelf, whilft I was led to behold the Power and Goodness, the Majesty and