Skip to main content

Religion & morality

Following important enquiries

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

                        The following Important Enquiries,
      Containing Four USEFUL QUESTIONS— Firſt, What am I?

—Secondly, Where am I?—Thirdly, What am I a doing ?—Fourthly, Where am I going?—With ſuitable
REFLECTIONS, proper for every Chriſtian, is printed for and ſold by WILLIAM ANDERSON,
and his Wife, who once lived in Credit, but through unavoidable Misfortunes, we are now reduced to
our preſent Diſtreſs, I myſelf being afflicted with the Rheumatiſm, it will be a great Charity to buy them
of me ; or if you would pleaſe to buy ſome Penny or Twopenny Books, ſtould be very thankful.

                 Important Enquiries.

                  Firſt,—What am I?

A CREATURE, form'd by power and ſkill divine,
God, the great artiſt, rear'd this frame of mine
His matchleſs wiſdom drew the wond'rous plan,
And his Almighty power made me the man.

He breath'd, and bid the wheels of motion roll,
And plac'd within my breaſt a living foal ;
His goodneſs did this ſoul with pow'rs endue,
To know its God, and love and ſerve him too.

A foul immortal ! what a ſacred truſt !
And yet this fleſh claims kindred with the duſt,
Should not this humbling thought ambition kill,
Yet there's a thought far more diſtreſſing ſtill ;
Sin, that vile monſter, dwells within my breaſt,
'Tis this reſlection blackens all the reſt.

         Secondly,—Where, am I?

NOT in an Eden of ſupreme delight,
Where every object, captivates the fight ;
Where ſtreams of living waters gently flow,
And trees of life in ſacred order grow.

Whoſe fruits ectarious make their branches nod,
And all conſpire to lead the foul to God :
Mankind's firſt pare t was thus highly bleſt ;
Adam, in Paradiſe, theſe joys poſſeſs'd.

No cares nor ſorrows could approach the place,
Or clouds to hide his Maker's ſmiling face ;
The great Jehovah oft would condeſcend,
To converſe with his creature as a friend !

Sweet contemplations did his hours employ ;
How vaſt his bliſs ! how won'drous was his joy
One prohibition God enjoin'd alone ;
Forbear this tree, the reft is all your own.

This teſt of your obedience I chuſe,
And death's the conſequence if you reſufe !
But the poor man would gratify his taſte,
And chang'd his garden for this howling waſte
To flop the guiſhing tear I ſcarce Know how,
Nor help exclaiming—Adam, where art thou ?

               Thirdly,—What am I a doing.

TRAVELLING with weary ſteps from ſtage to ſtage,
Thro' infancy, thro' youth, and riper age ;
Not long ago I hung upon the breaſt,
While the fond parent ſooth'd her babe to reſt.

With pleaſure ſhe beheld her offspring grow,
And taught the wadling infant how to go ;
Her cate how great, how tender, and kind,
Sure it was God who thus her heart inclin'd.

God, who ten thouſand other gifts beſtow'd,
Ere I could tell from whence my comforts flow'd ;
Oft have I tottered on deſtruction's brink,
But he upheld, nor fuſſer'd me to fink.

Heal'd my diſeaſes, and prolong'd my breath,
When there was but a ſtep ' twixt me and death ;
His goodneſs led me all the way I came,
Tis by his grace I now am what I am ;
But notwithſtanding all, alas ! I've been,
Too much a ſlave to that vile tyrant fin,

         Fourthly,—Where am I a going?

INTO eternity, that bouodleſs ſea,
Faſt as the ſtreams of life can glide away
O thou eternity ! thou awful ſound,
Thou ſhoreleſs ocean, and thou deep profound !
'Midſt thine infinitudes my thoughts are drown'd !

Compar'd with thee, how ſeanty time appears,
How mere a nothing is onr thrceſcore years !
Yet for this ſhort duration I've no leaſe,
Tenant at will, and quit when God ſhall pleaſe.

Howe'er protracted, life is but a ſpan,
Short the exiſtehce of the oldeſt man !
A ſhort time more, and I muſt lay my head,
Withi in the dreary manſions of the dead !

The day of life muſt cloſe in death's dark night,
And nought but heaven and hell appears in fight
The foul, diſlodg'd, muſt ſtand before that God,
Whoſe final ſentence fixes its abode :
To heaven's high bliſs it ſoars, or finks to hell,
In one of which it muſt for ever dwell,

               SOLILOQUY

AND is it thus, my foul, and is it true ?
What am I ? mortal, yet immortal too !
Muſt this poor ſleſh to worms a banquet give,
And muſt this ſoul thro' endleſs ages live,
High in ſalvation and climes of bliſs,
Or lay deſpairing in a dread abyſs !
With devils howl, or angel-like adore,
When time and its connections are no more ?
Will dire diſeaſe ſoon ſlop the ſtruggling breath,
And facriſice me to relentleſs death ?
Whither my foul, ah ! whither wilt thou flee,
When of this fleſh unburthen'd thou ſhalt be ?
Is heaven thy right, by nature or by birth,
And canſt thou claim it when reltas'd from earth
Claim as thy due in paradiſe thy ſhare,
And plead thy merits as thy charter there ?
Deteſted thought ! what can a creature boaſt,
Who ought to tremble at his merit moſt ?
My merits ſhall my foul with horror fill,
By nature vile, by practice viler ſtill!
Reflection can but open ev'ry wound,
And creature helps are infuſſicient found ;
Hath Gilead no relief againſt deſpair ;
No healing balm, no good phyſician there ?
Bleſſed be God, there is, there is a name,
At once can ſilence fear and baniſh ſtiame ;
Reviving beams are ſeen in JESUS' ſace !
His power is infinite, and ſuch his grace,
On wings of love the incarnate God came down,
To raiſe unworthy rebels to a crown ;
Free from polluſion here he liv'd with us,
Fulfill'd the law, and bore the fatal curſe.'
He lives again, and ſinners fix their hope,
On him who rules and bears all nature up !
By faith I view, and with delight I ſee,
That Jeſus bled, and died for ſinners vile as me ;
All my own works I'll count but dung and d ſs,
And if I periſh, periſh at his croſs.
But ſay, dear Jeſus, charmer of my ſoul.
Say thou art mine, and all my fears controul ;
Say thou art mine, and death ſhall loſe its ſling
Amongſt the heavenly choir my foul ſhall ſing ;
Thoſe animating founds, that cheering word,
Will ſuch ſerenity and grace afford,
As nothing earthly gives, or can deſtroy,
The foul's calm ſunſhine, and the heart-felt joy.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence