The Proof of God’s Existence: & Other Verses on Reason & Faith

Five Epistles in rhymed couplets set in iambic pentameter, including: the Proof of God’s Existence, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, The Apostle’s Creed, and The Our Father. The first four epistles were published in The New Oxford Review. Illustrations featuring Thomas Cole and others from the Hudson River School and others still. Sampler:

PREFACE:

O gracious God! how far have we
Profan’d thy heav’nly gift of Poesy?
Made prostitute and profligate the Muse,
Debas’d to each obscene and impious use,
Whose harmony was first ordain’d above,
For tongues of Angels and for hymns of love!—Dryden

INVOCATION: A POET’S PRAYER

“Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”—Pope
The aim below, tis’ my wish and my hope:
Comply with the decree of Master Pope,
And squander not words, nor waste precious time,
And blight not Doctrine put to verse and rhyme.
For Canons ought not the foolish to bear;
So, please God, as I write this prayer,
Give content, balance, junction to each part,
And let faith be enhanc’d by reason’s art.

EPISTLE 1: THE PROOF OF GOD’S EXISTENCE 1.

Ye Gods of Science: Haste!, to reason, fly! 2.
Lest tyrant, Madame Hubris, blind thine eyes. 3.
The Anarch Chance hath sapp’d thy wits. 4.
Hap bangs, self-mintage account not a whit. 5.
Make haste, end affair soiling all thy gains. 6.
Molt cocksure plume, the ordure of big brains. 7.
“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. 8.
Let meekness guide thee safely in pride’s stead. 9.
And understand, please, there must needs be
here 10.
Much more than objects of sense, matter mere. 11.
Muse on it, thy reflection will assess 12.
Materialism crass guide you’ll soon love less. 13.
If there be doubt, consider please anew, 14.
From gentle censure, this we plead to you: 15.
Here proofs of God’s existence thee to sift, 16.
Which, if no more, persuasion’s burden shift 17.
To ye agnosticks, scepticks, cav’lers still, 18.
We offer the Angelic Doctor’s Bill; 19.
Particulars his, set precis in form, 20.
Hark! Oyez! Lo!: Aquin’s exōrdium, 21.
His ā posteriōrīs,13 from effect, cause. 22.
When effect’s better perceiv’d than the cause, 23.
We learn causation via consequences. 24.
If effect exist, some cause predispenses. 25.
So far as God be not self-evident, 26.
Here demonstrations quia, five anent: 27.
First Motion, next Efficient Cause present’d, 28.
Necessary and Possibles augment’d, 29.
Perfection and Gradations fourth averr’d, 30.
Intelligent Design he fifth inferr’d. 31.
Neglect we not the other proofs devis’d 32.
Two ontologicals, ā priōrīs. 33.
From Anselm first, and second ala’ Descartes. 34.
From cause to effect reasonings impart 35.
And one from conscience Newman had assay’d 36.
Eight short refreshers that ought you persuade. 37.

Proof from Motion 38.
Whatever moves is by some other mov’d 39.
As body in act is by the soul behoov’d; 40.
And mover suprā by another yet 41.
And that last by some other prior set 42.
In motion by a third, mov’d by a fourth, 43.
And on but not to infinity thenceforth. 44.
For chain causation can’t fore’er extend 45.
(Save that attribute for Him Who transcends) 46.
Then, ergō, there would no first mover be. 47.
That, reason’s friends and scepticks, must
agree 48.
As inconceivable as fig from thorn. 49.
For motion’s the actūs18 from power born, 50.
Potential changing into actuate. 51.
So prīmum movens19 need we postulate. 52.

Proof from Cause 53.
Because a thing can not itself remake, 54.
Each effect has cause from which it partakes. 55.
Like motion, causes reach not infinitude. 56.
There must be an uncaused first, self-imbued, 57.
A nē plūs ultrā, in itself exists, 58.
Perduring, Causer-Uncaused ere subsists. 59.
The sine quā nōn, take it out and Woe! 60.
Gone universal ballast, status quō 61.
The middle causes and pars prō tōtō 62.
Soon to collapse in Pope’s imbroglio: 63.
“The least confusion but in one, not all 64.
That system only, but the whole must fall. 65.
Let earth, unbalanced, from her orbit fly, 66.
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky 67.
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl’d 68.
Being on being wreck’d, and world on world.”24 69.
Therefore, say I, oblig’d we to admit 70.
Efficient cause thy reason ought submit. 71.
Proof from Necessity and Contingency 72.
So far, as motion and cause have expos’d 73.
Supreme a Mover-Causer are propos’d. 74.
Whence comes all beings incūnābala, 75.
And, too, their sequels in low’r Valhalla. 76.
Comes next in Aquin’s staunch polemickal, 77.
Revis’d e’er ‘umbly to poetickal: 78.
Necesssary, the indispensibles, 79.
Contingents known also as the possibles. 80.
Since everything from something else is
brought, 81.
There ne’er could be a time or State of Naught. 82.
“Naught was!:” “No, Naught was’nt!,” maze of poly-nots. 83.
“Yes, naught was”, “No, Naught never was not
not”. 84.
“You do know naught.” “No you don’t know no
squat”. 85.
Thrusts, parries, war between the whats and
nots; 86.
Lo!: ”Nothing comes from nothing,” and
ne’er could, 87.
So sang Maria of the sisterhood, 88.
Renewing “Ex nihilō, nihil fit,” 89.
The upshot is a something requisite. 90.
For if there e’er were time of beings void, 91.
Then either nothing made some sort of ’noid; 92.
Or something made itself and so was, and 93.
So act’d ere twas!―Hamlet’s legerd’maine: 94.
Be or be not, let question’s dawd’ling close, 95.
For if there ne‘er were nothing, we must pose 96.
A being extant with beginning none, 97.
An Alpha essence by which all begun. 98.

Proof from Perfection and Gradation 99.
Gradations in things we find with great ease: 100.
Less in this, more in that, still more in these. 101.
Our judgment on things’ rankings postulates 102.
An absolute perfection culminates, 103.
A measure absolute, the maximum. 104.
As a thing’s hotter, it the closer comes 105.
To imitating fire the hottest reach. 106.
All things their priors, afters, series’d each 107.
Relations distant or consecutives, 108.
Comparatives and the superlatives, 109.
Ancestors and their primogenitors, 110.
Inferiors and their superiors, 111.
Their antecedents and their consequents, 112.
The accidentals and accouterments 113.
Of good, true, noble; better, truer, nobl’r 114.
Best, truest, noblest: summum bonum, e’er 115.
The consummate Perfection intrā sē, 116.
Cause of all goodness’s and truth’s overlay. 117.

Proof from Intelligent Design 118.
Intelligent Design, most manifest, 119.
Draws the proof from the universe impress’d 120.
With beauty and an order symmetris’d. 121.
And to say world and stars self-actu’lis’d! 122.
As dim as: “Fickle chance” did form the Earth 123.
“Courts give the constitution high worth”; 124.
Or worse: “Abortion’s not infanticide”; 125.
“The Maginot Line stemm’d the Nazitide.” 126.
If the inertnoids rule themselves, what next? 127.
The Zooids, humanoids they to perplex; 128.
Shafts fly without an archer to dispatch? 129.
If stones self-govern, what will then next hatch? 130.
A Pres’dnt Min‘ral, Chief Justice Igneous? 131.
Inanimates to rule themselves―and us? 132.
(Give me impervious o’er the vainglorious, 133.
Far better torpid o’er the succubus, 134.
The Mephistoes whom, ought we, to keelhaul.) 135.
Digress no more, to Line 122 please recall, 136.
For beings to their best ends are deploy’d, 137.
Inerts though are in intellect devoid; 138.
Reach not their ends without a course to trace, 139.
A coxswain to guide, pace them through their
race. 140.

If ye a scientist’s seal do require, 141.
Know ye that Newton’s work is still for hire: 142.
“Blind metaphysickal necessity”, 143.
Says he, could ne’er yield the diversity 144.
Of beings natural, of things we find, 145.
Well-suit’d to places sundry, diverse times. 146.
For that plurality must needs proceed, 147.
Contriv’d by Wisdom, the all-knowing seed 148.
Perhaps a naturalist ye might desire 149.
Know Doctor Galen’s work36 might yet inspire 150.
God’s plan, said he, in nature’s labours bound, 151.
Where no effort’ wast’d is e’er to be found. 152.
And Galen, of God’s craft so taken was he, 153.
Prais’d a hymn honouring His majesty. 154.

Proof from Mental Conception 155.
To ontology, metaphysicks turn 156.
To Anselm’s Proslogium pray ye well learn. 157.
The argument Copleston39 well digests: 158.
“God” to all, faithful, even atheists, 159.
Is that which greater none can be conceiv’d, 160.
But greatest’s not best til’ it’s first achiev’d , 161.
Existence which, without, makes nullity, 162.
For greatest is none-such, supremacy, 163.
As pride (or opera) supreme malignancy. 164.
But a “supreme” can’t the “supremest” be 165.
Without its being true and realis’d, 166.
And not just an idea fictionis’d. 167.
Else would be by a second overpass’d, 168.
One having true existence the first lack’d. 169.
Of “God”, the utmost of conceivable, 170.
Existence must be e’er believable, 171.
The nūllī secundus, first principle, 172.
Actual, He “Who Is”, Original. 173.
Replying, Monk Gaulino who demurr’d, 174.
To the Saint’s logic and in turn averr’d: 175.
“We might as well say, ‘The most excellent 176.
Isle we conceive must somewhere be extant, 177.
For we can just as well envision it.’ ” 178.
But the Monk’s protest was inapposite, 179.
For Anselm’s reply held off the barrage 180.
And popp’d the “island perfect” mirage: 181.
Most beautiful isle, said he, need not be, 182.
An isle such, a mere possibility, 183.
Whereas a being perfect must exist, 184.
So island parity one must resist. 185.
Proof from the ‘Cogito, Ergo Sum’186.
The Saint’s proof was reissu’d a la’ Descartes 187.
Cōgitō ergō sum, so his proof starts, 188.
What e’er’s in a thing by one’s notions true 189.
Must in that being found and be imbu’d, 190.
And notion of a thing that is complete 191.
Requires, therefor, a real existence meet. 192.

Proof from Conscience 193.
To Newman now we to his proof recur 194.
For a last ā posteriōrī refer. 195.
From the internal witness conscience flows 196.
To the supremacy of law moral goes, 197.
To a supreme law-giver the proof’s course runs. 198.
When shame deserve we, our touch’d
conscience duns. 199.
We sorrow as when we a mother hurt, 200.
When right reigns, to delight we do advert, 201.
As on receiving a true father’s praise. 202.
The conscience both as accuser, judge so
weighs. 203.
Emotions, joy and sorrow, both it stirs 204.
Inward a monitor, when it concurs 205.
“The sweetest cordial we receive at last 206.
Is conscience of our virtuous actions past”. 207.
But when wrong we do, strongly it dissents 208.
Brings on remorse, all kind of discontents. 209.
Compunction and foreboding n’er a pause. 210.
Those feelings, glad and sad, require a cause 211.
“The wicked flees when him pursueth none” 212.
Why does he fly? Whence his terror begun? 213.
Who can into heart’s darkest chambers see? 214.
Can the cause of those passions from here be? 215.
Or from beyond, from an all-seeing grace, 216.
Of God’s sure being, we now rest our case. 217.

Other Considerations 218.

If doubt grip ye yet, as a last resort, 219.
Agnosticks consult this, our last exhort: 220.
Look well at your odds, muse Pascal’s advice; 221.
His wager take; risk not the rolling dice, 222.
Bet God and be right: infinite bliss yours. 223.
Bet no God and be wrong, your lot’s remorse, 224.
Perpetual grief or eternal inferno; 225.
For evil’s woe of your bet “No”― 226.
Discount’d even for chance ye deem but scant― 227.
Would be “the sprites of fiery termagants”, 228.
Thy flaming companions for aye to be, 229.
As thy remains gyre on Hell’s gallows tree. 230

_______________________________

Epistle 2: The Realm of Reason (209 lines).
Epistle 3: The Realm of Faith (236 lines).
Epistle 4: The Realm of Faith (continued) (246 lines).
Epistle 5: The Enemies of Faith (298 lines).

List Price: $21.50
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Full Color on White paper
76 pages
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Published in: on March 16, 2013 at 7:27 am  Leave a Comment  

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