THE PROOF OF GOD’S EXISTENCE & Other Verses on Reason & Faith

& Other Verses on Reason & Faith
Volume 1
Douglass H. Bartley © 2011
All Rights Reserved
ISBN-13: 978-1456497927
ISBN-10: 1456497928
First Edition: 2011
Epistles 1-4 are reprinted with the kind permission of
The New Oxford Review @

This post includes Epistles 1-4. Epistles 5 and 6 (partial) are found in an earlier post here. Epistles 1-5 (including illustrations and notes) are available @


In Nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti
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

“Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”
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.

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, 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 actūs from power born, 50.
Potential changing into actuate. 51.
So prīmum movens 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 tōtō23 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.” 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 work 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 Copleston 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”,41 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.

That man makes a mean figure in the eye of reason,
who is measuring syllables and coupling rhymes,
when he should be mending his own soul, and securing
his own immortality.―Pope

Recap of Epistle 1: Proofs of God’s Existence 1.
That God is, is prov’d by bare reason lone 2.
With demonstrations eight, as have been shown, 3.
By Thomas from effects, Cause God deduc’d; 4.
And other sages by whom God educ’d: 5.
By Anselm’s concept perfect God inferr’d; 6.
And Newman by the conscience God e’er stirr’d. 7.
To sum, we see that in all causal chains 8.
There must a Causer First aye to obtain 9.
Else we regress in expectation vain 10.
In hopeless and perpetual refrain. 11.
For whirlpool Hylotheism swirls in 12.
The careless to a mean oblivion. 13.
A fell Charybdis, reason it engorges 14.
And in exchange, pretension it disgorges. 15.
And from its vortex it detritus hurls 16.
“The wrecks of matter and the crush of worlds.”17.
So Gods of Science: Haste!, to reason, fly! 18.
Lest tyrant, Madame Hubris, blind thine eye. 19.
Recall, ‘ere the heads into baskets fell’d 20.
By Cain’s blood-cry, “Fraternity”, impel’d. 21.
When science vouch’d God’s reality 22.
And treat’d Him with awe and humility. 23.
Need we cite Huygens or Galileo? 24.
Or Euler, Haller, Kepler and Tycho, 25.
And Bacon and Copernicus, Linné, 26.
And since then, Kelvin, Einstein, Faraday? 27.
Recall too Einstein’s resonant acclaim: 28.
Without religion Science is―just―“lame.” (End Recap) 29.
Reason’s Essence, its Situs, and Acts 31.
What is this reason; where does it reside? 32.
And lo, if it survive, why does it hide? 33.
Why man, intelligent, neglect his wits? 34.
And to the sense alone his soul commits? 35.
Right reason, man’s discursive faculty, 36.
Draws consequents from lemma verily, 37.
Comparing the result with principle, 38.
She rules the Empire of Incorporal. 39.
(She is not, as mus’d Descartes, pineal, 40.
Gland common to both courtiers, spaniels.) 41.
Her home is the soul’s intellect’al part 42.
Where she performs her dialectic art 43.
Abstracting from the phantasms of sense― 44.
Particulars of physical worlds―thence 45.
To general or universal essence 46.
She changes mere image to sapience. 47.
There synthesis, analysis subsist; 48.
There lower, higher reason co-exist 49.
The low intent on the things temporal 50.
The high intent on the things eternal. 51.
The lower, Science, Wisdom the higher; 52.
The sciences: maids to reason the master. 53.
And “in the Soul”, Adam said to griev’d Eve, 54.
(Morn after her doom-dream perceiv’d) 55.
Are lesser parts to reason aye to serve 56.
Among those is the “Fancie” to conserve 57.
The things the “watchful Senses”present 58.
Stuff for the intellect’s distinguishment, 59.
Demands for her ladyship’s arbitrament, 60.
And notions for further development. 61.
The forms of nature reason’s to prehend 62.
The cosmic system that God did prepend. 63.
Reason’s Effects: Ordering Creation 64.
For we discern things not by sense lone, 65.
But by our innate, rigour reason sewn 66.
In man’s soul, vision’s home, conception’s seat, 67.
Mind’s billet, the reticulated suite, 68.
Where correlations, creatures symmetrised, 69.
Each corresponding part is synchronized, 70.
Harmonicks, chords, notes of His grand ov’r ture: 71.
Allegro, largo, allegretto stir 72.
Soul to polyphonies, praise e’er recur. 73.
And to His Order thou ought e’er defer, 74.
The Concatenator’s tableau sublime, 75.
The Architect, Designer, Mover Prime. 76.
The world’s a work of order’d artistry, 77.
Behold! God’s masterpiece, Earth’s brilliancy. 78.
Porphyry’s Tree and the Chain of Beings 79.
Consider tactiles in God’s vast domain: 80.
Kinds, species link’d in the material chain. 81.
Assemblage Earth and beings there inlaid, 82.
Substrata, orders in grades well-array’d, 83.
Diverse forms, beings by His hand compos’d; 84.
Parts all to share His goodness predispos’d. 85.
Boughs branching out of Porphyry’s Wedge Tree: 86.
Top heavy, shape invert, things pedigree’d 87.
Branch Summum Genus, the world’s apogee. 88.
Wing substance brackets God’s tier’d progeny, 89.
Spans greatest, laps o’er every limb below, 90.
Sweeps all creation its extension go, 91.
Swath broadest, but scop’d least intension fro. 92.
From top on down e’er shorter shoots entail, 93.
Ranks Min’ral, Organic, and Animal: 94.
Grade Elemental the inanimates; 95.
Grade Vegetal, life’s vital insensates, 96.
Grade Animal, mankind’s steadfast helpmates. 97.
Then, in extension last, Grade fourth, class Man. 98.
Though greatest in intension in Earth’s clan, 99.
With most attributes of all under the Sun, 100.
For the ens rationale, boughs overrun. 101.
Fix’d God Earth’s substances for shading Man, 102.
“A mighty maze! but not with out a plan”. 103.
Man: Only Being Both Material and Immaterial 104.
So far are four grades in God’s regimen 105.
Add God, five beings reside his domain 106.
He infinite and immaterial, 107.
Eternal, simple, and immutable. 108.
Contrast earth’s beings: three full corporal, 109.
Then Man mix’d corporal-ethereal, 110.
He an immortal, yet ephemeral, 111.
Intangible join’d with the physical. 112.
The finite, the composite, in form soul, 113.
In matter body, man thereby his whole, 114.
Of all, the only bi-dimensional. 115.
“Till body up to spirit work, in bounds 116.
Proportion’d to each kind. So from the root 117.
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves 118.
More aerie, last the bright consummate floure 119.
Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit 120.
Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim’d 121.
To vital Spirits aspire, to animal, 122.
To intellectual, give both life and sense, 123.
Fansie and understanding, whence the soule 124.
Reason receives, and reason is her being.” 125.
The Symmetry of the Visible Beings 126.
Four grades: three perishable, one unique: 127.
Part mortal, part fore’er, Man seems oblique. 128.
But from a vantage broader, please reflect: 129.
A cosmos to perfect, each part connects 130.
In symbiosis; each gear’s synchromesh’d. 131.
Parts in rapport are the best of all blest; 132.
Take one from kilter and woe to the rest. 133.
For to have balance, there can be no void, 134.
No gap in one lest others be destroy’d. 135.
“Or in the full creation leave a void, 136.
Where, one step broken, the great scale’s destroy’d: 137.
From Nature’s chain whatever link you strike, 138.
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.” 139.
“All quite down from us,” says Mr. Locke, find we 140.
Ranks differing a jot in pedigree. 141.
Wing’d fish and water birds, flesh so alike, 142.
The faithful may on fish-days have each type. 143.
Amphibians link aquatics with land-lock’d 144.
Seals live on land, at sea, where porpoises flock’d, 145.
And dolphins, mam-fish, nearly humanoid? 146.
Some animals, plants are closely allied. 147.
Compare the lowest of one, highest thence, 148.
Scarcely to perceive any great difference. 149.
And so inorganicks, in chemistry 150.
Vary in almost insensible degree. 151.
The Immaterials: God, Angels, and Souls of Men 152.
Considering God’s infinite wisdom, 153.
Ought we not also discern a speculum, 154.
One in which creatures should ascend from us, 155.
Just as they gently descend from us, 156.
Between God and man, in res medias, 157.
Some other beings scal’d in omnibus. 158.
To fill the void between earthlings and God, 159.
‘Twixt spiritual and Earth’s material quad, 160.
Impalpables, the angels, God creat’d 161.
As mediates, though in descent relat’d. 162.
“Vast chain of being”, link’d in perfect six, 163.
In universal order God did fix. 164.
Of Angels: Mediate Between Man and God 165.
Thus to Pneumaticks, field of spirituals―166.
God, angels, souls,―the immaterials, 167.
But angels chiefly, next consider please 168.
Angelus, lēgatūs, nūntius these: 169.
Terms “Angel”, “Delegate”, and “Messenger”, 170.
So in the Vulgate do those nouns appear. 171.
That there are angels Scripture makes so clear, 172.
That without doubt the faithful do adhere; 173.
Only those spoil’d by pride, petulant conceit, 174.
By soil’d materialism’s bemus’d deceit, 175.
Dour souls consum’d, immers’d so in matter, 176.
That things beyond, they taunt, treat as blatter.177.
“Some are bewilder’d in the maze of schools, 178.
And some made coxcombs, nature meant but fools.” 179.
Some who mock angelic reality 180.
Affirm their own with great anxiety. 181.
Times were when angel-worship held such sway 182.
As to turn souls from God in sin astray. 183.
The sin of that dark age now’s the reverse: 184.
Both angels, God displac’d with much the worse, 185.
With philosophies alien, exotick, 186.
Expelling God, faith, by “laws” despotick. 187.
False wisdom loving worldly novelties 188.
Mocks angels, God as eccentricities; 189.
Treats nature’s “miracles” mechanicals, 190.
Mere processes in place of God, angels, 191.
God’s agents, which move bodies natural, 192.
As a man’s body is mov’d by his soul. 193.
Reason: Preamble to Faith 194.
The order, beauty of creation show, 195.
From nature’s realm, through reason God to know. 196.
Man’s reason, though the great Almighty’s gift, 197.
Cuts a small clearing where we can sift 198.
Invisible things by grace He hath reveal’d 199.
The mysteries of faith elsewise conceal’d 200.
Ineffable but for the faith’s constant light. 201.
And for bare reason far too recondite. 202.
Faith, reason, two wings by which man could soar, 203.
Truth to discover, errour to abhor 204.
For sunder’d from truth, man’s mir’d in folly, 205.
In data-muck, in permanent ennui 206.
Leave trifles behind, shrug off all caprice 207.
Quit those immers’d in the aridities 208.
“Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.” 209.

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
believed.―John 20:2982
Reason saw not until faith sprung to light.―John Dryden
[True Christians] are little understood by the world
because they are not of the world; and hence it sometimes
happens that even the better sort of men are often disconcerted and vexed by them.
It cannot be otherwise; they move forward on principles
so different from what are commonly assumed as true.
They take for granted, as first principles, what the
world wishes to have proved in detail. * * * [They] even
make others feel constrained and uneasy in their
presence.”―John Henry Newman

Recap of Epistle 2: The Realm of Reason 1.
That God is, was prov’d by bare reason lone 2.
With demonstrations eight, as have been shown, 3.
By Thomas from effects, Cause God deduc’d; 4.
And other sages by whom God educ’d . * * * 5.
The order, beauty of creation show, 6.
From nature’s realm, through reason God to know. 7.
Man’s reason, though the great Almighty’s gift, 8.
Cuts a small clearing where we can sift 9.
Invisible things by grace He hath reveal d 10.
The mysteries of faith elsewise conceal’d, 11.
Ineffable but for the faith’s constant light 12.
And for bare reason far too recondite. * * * 13.
Faith, reason, two wings by which man could soar,14.
Truth to discover, errour to abhor. 15.
For sunder’d from truth, man’s mir’d in folly, 16.
In data-muck, in permanent ennui. 17.
Leave trifles behind, shrug off all caprice; 18.
Quit those immers’d in the aridities 19.
“Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.” 20.
The Essence of Faith 21.
Lo! reason dear: first passage to wisdom, 22.
The prelude to faith, soul’s viaticum, 23.
For its long journey to eternity 24.
And to the ultimate Epiphany, 25.
The beatific, three-fold unity, 26.
The Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Holy Trinity, 27.
Fulfillment and fruition of our Creed, 28.
The articles of faith that “We believe”. 29.
For we believe His revelations true, 30.
Not by the reason vainly we pursue, 31.
But by the rule of He Who cannot err, 32.
Who reveals that to which we must concur. 33.
For our God is He who cannot deceive, 34.
He Who is truth itself we must believe. 35.
Through His afflatus truths that He divest’d, 36.
Truths by which we may be securely rest’d, 37.
While human reason sometimes can beguile, 38.
Remains He with us steadfast all the while. 39.
Faith evidences things appearing not; 40.
It goes forth caring not for the world’s lot. 41.
It craves not to espy the journey’s end. 42.
And it does not to measures of chance bend. 43.
Men worldly on futures e’er speculate, 44.
While men full of faith the past venerate. 45.
To them the past the mirror of future, 46.
Serene, obeying Christ’s word to abjure 47.
All worldly treasure and instead convey 48.
In a beneficent and noble way. 49.
The Effects of Faith 50.
“Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill 51.
Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe; 52.
Beyond which was my folly to aspire. 53.
Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best, 54.
And love with feare the onely God, to walk 55.
As in his presence, ever to observe 56.
His providence, and on him sole depend, 57.
Merciful over all his works, with good 58.
Still overcoming evil, and by small 59.
Accomplishing great things, by things deem’d weak 60.
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise 61.
By simply meek; that suffering for Truth’s sake 62.
Is fortitude to highest victorie, 63.
And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life” 64.
The Object of Faith―The Beatific Vision 65.
Faith’s realm is to believe, on God’s holy writ, 66.
What we see not; and gain the perquisite: 67.
Delighting in the bliss of His Being, 68.
Beholding the lofty light subsisting, 69.
Three orbs tri-hued, but one dimensional 70.
With one reflect’d in the next as spectral, 71.
As in the bands and curves of a rainbow, 72.
And the third appearing a flame aglow 73.
Proceeding forth from the other two rings, 74.
Love’s blazing fire; yet, lo, borne on dove’s wings! 75.
The Articles of Faith―The Creed 76.
In God, Almighty Father I believe, 77.
Creator Heaven and the earth I cleave. 78.
And Jesus Christ, His only Son, Logos, 79.
Became incarnate by the Holy Ghost. 80.
To blessed Virgin Mary He was born. 81.
And under Pontius Pilate crown’d with thorn. 82.
Was crucified, died, and then laid away. 83.
Descend’d into Hell and on the third day, 84.
Rose from the dead according to Scripture; 85.
To heaven soar’d He, Prince, our blest Savior, 86.
Where sitteth He at God the Father’s right 87.
Among the saints and angels starry bright. 88.
Thence He shall judge both the quick and the dead. 89.
And in the Holy Ghost, dove overspread. 90.
And I believe in the Church genuine, 91.
Communion of saints, and reprieve of sin. 92.
The resurrection of the body then 93.
And the life of the world to come―Amen. 94.
God, the Father 95.
God, Father, Alpha and Omega He, 96.
First Person of the Holy Trinity. 97.
To Moses He reveal’d “YHWH” He “Who is” 98.
“Lord”, “Adonai”, “Kyrios”, each name His 99.
Self-actual, the ens ineffable, 100.
And providential, indefectible, 101.
All-knowing, all-just, and immutable, 102.
All-wise, all-holy, and perpetual, 103.
Immaterial and all-powerful, 104.
Illimitable, immeasurable, 105.
All-present, all-good, and all-merciful. 106.
And in Him, nothing is impossible, 107.
For He is truth and love, the beautiful, 108.
The Gracious Governor, The Invincible. 109.
God, the Son 110.
The Second Person of the Trinity, 111.
The Father’s one Son, His facsimile. 112.
Born of the Father fore all the ages, 113.
Ere all the prophets, wise men, and sages. 114.
And consubstantial, Christ, with Our Maker, 115.
Each with all the traits of divine nature. 116.
But Jesus Christ, as man’s true Savior, 117.
On His descent assum’d mankind’s nature, 118.
The Word made flesh, divine Incarnation, 119.
Born of the Virgin by intercession 120.
Of the Spirit of God, Holy Ghost. 121.
Christ: true God of the Father, Lord of Hosts. 122.
God-Man in Union Hypostatical, 123.
The way, truth, and life beatifical 124.
His Mission 125.
IHESUS our expiation, our ransom; 126.
God sent God-man for bloody Martyrdom, 127.
God’s own atonement for the sins of Man, 128.
Who tabl’d with sinners and publicans! 129.
“Sin no more” the adultress He forgave! 130.
For true to his name, “Jesus” is “God saves”! 131.
And temple from, The Lamb! drove fleecers fro! 132.
And chairs and tables, He did overthrow! 133.
Lamb of God and Good Shepard both at once! 134.
And Pharisees and Scribes He did affront, 135.
This Lion, the Messiah, Prince of Peace, 136.
The Blessed carpenter, man’s battlepiece. 137.
Anoited and anoiter each be He, 138.
Christ, mankind’s only true felicity. 139.
Kyrie Eleison, the Lord had mercy, 140.
Christe Eleison, Christ was His mercy. 141.
Then, now, and evermore our Advocate, 142.
Redeemer foretold, He does manumit 143.
Us from the fomes, slavery of sin. 144.
Bliss ours if we abide His discipline: 145.
“Take up my yoke upon you, learn of me”91 146.
For I am meekness and humility 147.
In me you’ll find calm to your soul’s delight 148.
“For my yoke is sweet and my burden light”149.
His Teachings 150.
And Jesus, seeing the vast multitudes, 151.
Ascend’d the Mountain of Beatitudes 152.
And speaking taught them, Blest are the modest, 153.
For Kingdom Heaven will be their bequest. 154.
Blest are the meek: they shall the land possess.155.
Blest are the mourners: they shall have solace. 156.
Blest are those who thirst, hunger for justice, 157.
For they shall be fill’d with that benefice. 158.
Blest are the merciful: they’ll earn mercy. 159.
Blest are the clean of heart: they God shall see. 160.
Blest peacemakers: call them God’s progeny. 161.
Blest are those persecuted unjustly, 162.
For justice’ sake: for heaven waits for thee. 163.
Thus then the essence Christianity. 164.
And this: ye vilified on my account, 165.
Rejoice! for your reward be paramount! 166.
Continuing his sermon, Jesus said, 167.
And I have not come to declare Law dead, 168.
But to fulfill it and make it choate, 169.
With the New Law faith through love consummate, 170.
And to replace the ceremonial, 171.
Its jots and tittles, with the ethical. 172.
By His Blood, New Eternal Covenant, 173.
Shed for our pardon, our Sacrificant, 174.
The way, truth, and life, our Resuscitant, 175.
Our Sun of Virtue, the Illuminant. 176.
For the New Law was in the Old contain’d 177.
As nature provides us with fruits and grains. 178.
First blade, then ear, then full corn in the ear; 179.
Blade Nature’s Law, ear the Old Law appear. 180.
And underneath the kernels were conceal’d, 181.
Until at last the new fruit was reveal’d. 182.
And the New Law does not the Old repeal. 183.
Instead it amplifies Old principle, 184.
Sear’d in stone tablets Moses carr’d forth, 185.
New, a stricter law to apply henceforth. 186.
Press’d us to new agape―charity― 187.
Embodied in the Man of Galilee. 188.
Consider ye now more of His sermon. 189.
The Pharisees and scribes He jettison’d 190.
Unless your justice will exceed what’s theirs, 191.
Ascend ye will not as do Heaven’s heirs. 192.
You have heard it said that Thou shalt not kill, 193.
To which subjoin’d He a new codicil: 194.
Whoe’er toward brother holds thoughts of anger, 195.
Will to Law’s judgment be put in danger 196.
Who‘eer declaims “Raca” of his brother, 197.
He the Sanhedrim’s bristle shall procure. 198.
He who says “Fool” in hellfire shall perdure. 199.
Grades, thus, of sanctions that Thou will endure. 200.
And with thy creditor seek an accord, 201.
Else prison till the last cent be restor’d. 202.
You know Thou shan’t commit adultery, 203.
But gazing at a woman lustfully, 204.
Commits adultery discarnately. 205.
So fly!, flee,! from sin’s ugly pedigree. 206.
And if thy right eye shall give thee scandal, 207.
Pluck it out and set at naught the evil. 208.
And if thy right hand shall thee scandalize, 209.
Cut it off for it to thee stigmatise, 210.
For better that thy members mortify, 211.
Than have whole body in Hell torrefy. 212.
(This sermon Christ’s no campfire sermonette 213.
Of marshmallows, balloons, and flowerettes.) 214.
And it was said, Who shall his wife eschew 215.
Must first he for a bill of divorce sue. 216.
But I say that he who puts her away, 217.
Except for fornication make her stray, 218.
And cause her to commit adultery, 219.
And he who marries her same infamy. 220.
You have heard, Thou shalt not thyself forswear; 221.
Thou shall not thy oaths to the Lord impair. 222.
But say I swear not at all by heaven, 223.
Nor by the earth, nor by Jerusalem; 224.
Nor head; thou can’t make one hair black or white. 225.
Let your speech be: yea, yea; no, no―forthright, 226.
For surplus over those is of evil, 227.
For with the truth ye ought ne’er to conceal. 228.
And it was said, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth 229.
But I say evil resist not, forsooth: 230.
Your enemies love, do good, pray for them 231.
That persecute thee and of thee contemn 232.
And Christ said to the crowds, Be you perfect 233.
Just as your Father in heaven’s perfect 234.
Here we pause at the sermon’s end, first part. 235.
Behold the Word, sear it into thy heart. 236.

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,
but he that believeth not shall be condemned. ―Christ
The Sermon on the Mount . . . is meant to inspire
us with an active principle of charity which ought to
make obligations and prohibitions unnecessary to us . .
. . ―Msgr. Ronald Knox
[I]t is sometimes spoken of as a hardship that a
Catholic is not allowed to inquire into the truth of his
Creed;—of course he cannot, if he would retain the
name of believer. He cannot be both inside and outside
of the Church at once. It is merely common sense to tell
him that, if he is seeking, he has not found. If seeking
includes doubting, and doubting excludes believing,
then the Catholic who sets about inquiring, thereby
declares that he is not a Catholic. He has already lost
faith.―John Henry Newman.
Recap of Epistle 3: The Realm of Faith (first
part) 1.
Faith evidences things appearing not; 2.
It goes forth caring not for the world’s lot. 3.
It craves not to espy the journey’s end. 4.
And it does not to measures of chance bend. * * * 5.
The Apostle’s Creed 6.
In God, Almighty Father I believe, 7.
Creator Heaven and the earth I cleave. 8.
And Jesus Christ, His only Son, Logos, 9.
Became incarnate by the Holy Ghost. 10.
To blessed Virgin Mary He was born. 11.
And under Pontius Pilate crown’d with thorn. * * * 12.
God, the Father 13.
God, Father, Alpha and Omega He, 14.
First Person of the Holy Trinity. * * * 15.
God, the Son 16.
The Second Person of the Trinity, 17.
The Father’s one Son, His facsimile. * * * 18.
His Mission 19.
IHESUS our expiation, our ransom; 20.
God sent God-man for bloody martyrdom, * * * 21.
His Teachings 22.
And Jesus, seeing the vast multitudes, 23.
Ascend’d the Mountain of Beatitudes 24.
And speaking taught them,Blest are the modest, 25.
For Kingdom Heaven will be their bequest. 26.
Blest are the meek: they shall the land possess. 27.
Blest are the mourners: they shall have solace. 28.
Blest are those who thirst, hunger for justice, 29.
For they shall be fill’d with that benefice. * * * (End Recap) 30.
Christ’s Teachings 32.
* * * Continuing Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, 33.
Display not your justice on men’s account, 34.
And when you give alms, don’t a trumpet blow 35.
As do the hypocrites by public show; 36.
That they receive praise, plaudits temporal, 37.
For they then will have gain’d their sole laurel. 38.
But all was false though their tongues drop’d manna, 39.
And to the Father they’re anathema. 40.
And be not hypocrites when ye do pray, 41.
Who public make their prayer a display. 42.
The praise of men, that will be their reward, 43.
So pray ye in thy chamber to your Lord. 44.
And when ye pray, be simple, speak not much, 45.
Not as the heathens who declaim too much. 46.
Your Father knows already what you need. 47.
Thus pray: Our Father, to Him shall ye plead, 48.
Who art in heaven, hallow’d be Thy name 49.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done the same 50.
On earth as does Thy will in heaven reign; 51.
And then, petitioning, we next exclaim 52.
Give us Thy bread, life supersubstantial 53.
Thy leaven, body, host empyreal 54.
Forgive us our debts as we our debtor 55.
And from temptation, to good us restore 56.
And pray deliver us from sin.―Verily. 57.
When you forgive men their iniquity, 58.
Your Father will acquit your peccancy. 59.
But if you hold pique o’er improbity 60.
The Lord’s forbearance won’t to you accrue. 61.
And when you fast, wear not false face of rue, 62.
As the dissemblers, scribes display their gloom. 63.
But ye ought wash thy face and thy head groom, 64.
That thou appear to men as out of fast; 65.
For Lo! thy Father will give you full repast. 66.
And treasures earthly ought you to forego, 67.
But lay up wealth for heaven apropos. 68.
And the light of thy body is thy eye. 69.
If thy eye be fix’d toward your Father nigh, 70.
Your body will absorb His light from high 71.
And keep you safely from veering awry. 72.
And no man can serve two masters aptly. 73.
For he will one hate, other serve raptly, 74.
Or one sustain, the second he will shun. 75.
For no one can serve both God and Mammon. 76.
So be not for your life solicitous 77.
Or for what ye eat or wear, ye shan’t fuss. 78.
Behold the birds who neither sow nor reap; 79.
The Father feedeth them and safely keep. 80.
And for thy raiment, ye ought n’er grieve: 81.
Field lilies labour not, nor do they weave. 82.
And Solomon had not the splendour these 83.
For as God gave earth these salubrities 84.
How much more you, O ye of little faith? 85.
How sooner, still, your harvest will be rathe. 86.
For the Lord knows you have need of those things 87.
So seek God’s kingdom, to Him ye can cling, 88.
For all those things will be provid’d to you. 89.
And for the morrow have ye no ado 90.
Tomorrow will its own demands invoke 91.
Sufficient today its evil yoke 92.
Said Christ, Judge not, that ye may not be judg’d, 93.
For by the judgment you give, you’ll be judg’d, 94.
The measure you mete may you scorify 95.
Why seest the splinter in thy brother’s eye? 96.
And in thine own eye see not the timber? 97.
Ye hypocrite, purge first your own chancre, 98.
Then shall thou see enough to clear his eye. 99.
And give not dogs that which is sanctifi’d. 100.
Before swine cast not pearls lest they stomp them, 101.
Rend you to pieces, and the truth condemn. 102.
By those beasts the truth pummel’d and despise’d 103.
And truth’s defenders will be stigmatize’d. 104.
Ask, and to you shall be given the way. 105.
Seek, and ye shall be to the truth convey’d. 106.
Knock, and the life’s door shall be open’d to you. 107.
For he that asks shall learn faith’s avenue, 108.
And he that seeketh, the truth shall he view 109.
And to him who knocks, in God shall renew. 110.
And who of you, if your son should ask bread? 111.
Would ye before him set a stone instead? 112.
Or for a fish, would ye hand a serpent? 113.
If ye, of sin, to your son good present, 114.
How much more the Lord will bring good to you? 115.
All things you would that men should do to you 116.
Ye also must to men reciprocate. 117.
Go through the narrow gate, for wide the gate 118.
And broad the way that to destruction lead. 119.
And many there are who down that path proceed. 120.
How narrow the gate, strait the life’s byway, 121.
And how few they who on the right road stay. 122.
Beware false prophets in the guise of sheep, 123.
The ravening wolves that will ye estrepe. 124.
Look out! for by their fruits you shall them know: 125.
Grapes not from thorns come, nor figs thistles grow. 126.
From good trees, good fruit, from trees evil, shame; 127.
The evil tree, cut down and set aflame. 128.
Not all who says Lord, Lord, shall heaven reach, 129.
But they who of my Father shall beseech, 130.
And seek His will, shall to His kingdom come; 131.
Many’ll say, Lord, Lord, in false encomium: 132.
Have not we prophesiz’d in the Lord’s name? 133.
Cast devils, miracles done for your fame? 134.
I’ll say, I know thee not; this flummery, 135.
Fly thee hence, for you work iniquity. 136.
He who hears my words, and in them abides, 137.
Wise as he in his house on rock resides. 138.
And he who hears not, by my words doesn’t stand, 139.
Is as the fool who built his house on sand. 140.
God, The Holy Ghost 141.
Third Person of the Holy Trinity 142.
The Paraclete, our Spiritus Sancti. 143.
And in the Holy Ghost, Lord, I accede. 144.
Life-giver from the Father, Son proceeds; 145.
Consubstantial with Father and the Son, 146.
Indwelling in each, circumincession, 147.
Who with the Father and Son we invoke, 148.
Glorify Him who through the prophets spoke. 149.
He, Sanctifier, who our faith kindles, 150.
And in the Church, in souls of men He dwells. 151.
And by Him Holy Baptism we receive, 152.
Bath of regeneration, our reprieve. 153.
And for sins He also bestows penance, 154.
Both for malfeasance and concupiscence. 155.
And to the twelve on Pentecost descend’d 156.
E’er to teach and guide them until time is end’d. 157.
And He will raise our bodies from the dead, 158.
According to how we are merited. 159.
From His gifts come His twelve fruits in reward 160.
Gifts: piety, grit, and fear of the Lord; 161.
And knowledge, insight, wisdom, and counsel. 162.
Fruits: charity, joy, goodness, peace, good will, 163.
Faith, patience, modesty in you instill’d, 164.
Long-suffering and mild you will be fill’d, 165.
Restraint and chastity will fare thee well 166.
And His fruits will slake ye, keep ye from Hell! 167.
The Church: Bride and Body of Christ 168.
Ecclesia, the Church of Christ, consists: 169.
All baptiz’d in true faith, unit’d subsist, 170.
In the same Sacrifice and Sacraments, 171.
Acceding to Canonic Government. 172.
By Christ Himself, Church Catholic creat’d; 173.
One fold, one shepherd for all He mandat’d.107 174.
And to the apostles gave His regimen: 175.
To teach, to rule, and sanctify all men 176.
To make disciples of the nations all, 177.
And baptize them that they may hear Christ’s call. 178.
Church holy, Christ form’d as a monarchy, 179.
To Peter the Rock vest’d the papacy, 180.
And to his train in perpetuity. 181.
And to them gave the power of the keys 182.
To bind, and to loose from the Vicar’s chair; 183.
And His Church to prevail against Satan’s snare. 184.
For in the Church e’er dwells the Holy Ghost, 185.
Soul of the Church, first seen at Pentecost 186.
As flaming tongues, to the twelve did appear, 187.
And fill’d with Him, they spoke tongues far and near, 188.
That each might preach the holy discipline 189.
To all who would be subjects genuine, 190.
Residents of the heavenly City, 191.
Home of the one, true Christianity. 192.
For Christ grant’d His Bride jurisdiction sole, 193.
The power to make laws to save man’s soul 194.
Forth from the Spirit, the Church sends His sparks 195.
As the Church Catholic lone bears His marks: 196.
One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic. 197.
“One” in faith, Christ’s own prayerful rhetoric, 198.
“One” to prevent a shipwreck of false sects, 199.
“One” to assail the ploys of heretics. 200.
“One” for full orthodox in her dogma, 201.
Dissenters, trimmers are anathema. 202.
Her truths not as a cafeteria, 203.
Where to pick just some from a plethora 204.
For her truths, though faith’s cornucopia, 205.
Each an arch in man’s whole-soul’d vertebra 206.
And “Holy” for her Founder’s pedigree 207.
And for the graces and the fruits of her tree, 208.
Saints, Martyrs: Bishop Fisher, More, my best, 209.
Aquinas, John, Paul, Peter and the rest. 210.
And in His Bride Christ’s plightd troth e’er will dwell 211.
In Holy marriage indissolvable 212.
Her Constitution is immutable. 213.
The Paraclete her Godly sentinel 214.
To rule, guide, light, and guard against earth’s turmoil, 215.
Against the floodtides of frills, swills, and evils, 216.
Of fads, fashions, trenders, and scandaleers, 217.
Of gangs and hoods, of punks and racketeers. 218.
He braces her militant against heretics; 219.
And politicians; and her mavericks: 220.
The renegade priests, prelates, catechists. 221.
And relativists, deconstructionists, 222.
Abortionists and their apologists, 223.
Who, blest by Archon-contortionists, 224.
Consign God’s lambs to a grisly death-row, 225.
The result of the detestable Roe. 226.
And peddlers of smut, drugs; and very bad arts; 227.
Pimps, slavers, traffickers in baby parts. 228.
And “catholic” for world-wide her missions, 229.
Commission’d by Christ to teach all nations. 230.
And “apostolic” for on them Christ found’d, 231.
On the unbroken line of Peter ground’d 232.
And her attributes, and her qualities: 233.
Authority and infallibility, 234.
Beside her indefectibility. 235.
“Authority” from Christ to teach, sanctify; 236.
“Infallible” in that she cannot err 237.
In teachings ex cathedra she avers. 238.
For to hold otherwise would be absurd, 239.
For the Church was creat’d by Holy Word, 240.
And for Christ promis’d to guide her fore’er 241.
From truth divine she never can sever. 242.
Her steadfast Magisterium sublime, 243.
Church, truth, and beauty: always in rhyme. 244.
And “indefectible”, her bells will chime, 245.
She will endure ‘til the end of all time. 246.

See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of casuistry heap’d o’er her head!
Philosophy, that lean’d on heaven before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of Metaphysic begs defence,
And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense!
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, Turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion, blushing, veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal darkness buries all.―Pope

Recap of Epistle 4: The Realm of Faith
(continued from Epistle 3) 1.
Christ’s Teachings (continued) 2.
Continuing Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, 3.
Display not your justice on men’s account, 4.
And when you give alms, don’t a trumpet blow 5.
As do the hypocrites by public show; 6.
That they receive praise, plaudits temporal, 7.
For they then will have gain’d their sole laurel. 8.
But all was false though their tongues drop’d manna, 9.
And to the Father they’re anathema. * * * 10.
God, The Holy Ghost 11.
Third Person of the Holy Trinity 12.
The Paraclete, our Spiritus Sancti. 13.
And in the Holy Ghost, Lord, I accede. 14.
Life-giver from the Father, Son proceeds; 15.
Consubstantial with Father and the Son, 16.
Indwelling in each, circumincession, 17.
Who with the Father and Son we invoke, 18.
Glorify Him who through the prophets spoke. * * * 19.
The Church: Bride and Body of Christ * * * 20.
And “catholic” for world-wide her missions, 21.
Commission’d by Christ to teach all nations. 22.
And “apostolic” for on them Christ found’d, 23.
On the unbroken line of Peter ground’d 24.
And her attributes, and her qualities: 25.
Authority and infallibility, 26.
Beside her indefectibility. 27.
“Authority” to teach through the papacy; 28.
“Infallible” in that she cannot err 29.
In teachings ex cathedra she avers. 30.
For to hold otherwise would be absurd, 31.
For the Church was creat’d by Holy Word, 32.
And for Christ promis’d to guide her fore’er 33.
From truth divine she never can sever. 34.
Her steadfast Magisterium sublime, 35.
Church, truth, and beauty: always in rhyme. 36.
And “indefectible”, her bells will chime, 37.
She will endure ‘til the end of all time. (End
Recap) 38.
One Being or Many?―Monism (Pantheism) vs. Pluralism 40.
Are beings many or all part of One? 41.
One “all-God”, pantheos, and others none? 42.
Or are there other beings real, distinct? 43.
Some beings separate, yet also link’d? 44.
To the last, ye must answer, “Yes, of course”, 45.
There are multiple beings, God the source, 46.
First cause all things, but not one with the Earth. 47.
That beings are both profuse and diverse 48.
Is plainly manifest’d, as we perceive 49.
Stark differences ‘tween a stone and a Steve. 50.
And things profuse we readily believe, 51.
For sense unanimous does not deceive; 52.
And all can see things in plurality, 53.
Set in an order’d numerosity, 54.
The beings array’d in God’s hierarchy 55.
In the grades and ranks of Porphyry’s tree, 56.
Diverse forms, beings by His hand compos’d; 57.
Parts all to share His goodness predispos’d. 58.
And to claim all things, God, a unity 59.
Is to say, “Matter and God―same esse”. 60.
But things are compounds of form and matter, 61.
Stocks and stones to which changes do recur. 62.
But God has nary a quark of hyle; 63.
First Mover, unmov’d, all incorporal, 64.
And consequently e’er immutable, 65.
Distinct from objects, things material. 66.
Thus fall the twin “isms”―monism, pantheism― 67.
To realism of clear-cut pluralism. 68.
Reality Outside the Mind?―Subjectivism vs. Objectivism 69.
Subjectivism, the scourge of modern times, 70.
Is, broadly speaking, any view that denies 71.
Reality external from the mind. 72.
‘Tis a malaise which clouds the eyes, then blinds 73.
The soul to viewing things exclusively 74.
Through the lens of its felt acuity; 75.
Absorb’d, creates its own reality, 76.
And soul, derang’d, slides to pomposity. 77.
This disease, this worm, presents in tri-form: 78.
Type I’s to morals as a chloroform. 79.
Like its clone, Relativism, it accepts 80.
No principles of conduct, norms, except 81.
Inventions of the individual, 82.
According to the free will’s whimsical, 83.
Bound only by the “What is right for me”, 84.
With no thought for eternal verities. 85.
Will, fickle, with the conscience thence equat’d, 86.
And vice, corruption are emancipat’d. 87.
Type II destroys all real philosophy, 88.
Holds knowledge and Truth both futility, 89.
There being no sooth and no certitude 90.
Beyond mind’s own verisimilitude. 91.
Type III, last course in germ’s pathology, 92.
The virus’s terminal catastrophe: 93.
Soul’s liberation from the Deity, 94.
Replac’d by Ego’s self-idolatry; 95.
Faith and God then no longer fix’d concepts 96.
But proteans to false faiths well-adept. 97.
When Ego rules, God and Truth don’t intrude 98.
And the soul perishes in lassitude, 99.
And “time hangs heavily on one’s own hand” 100.
For true faith, all hope are at last unmann’d. 101.
Contrast the mind-mush of subjectivism 102.
With the philosophy, objectivism, 103.
Which holds things are ground’d in reality 104.
And independent of psychology; 105.
Holds certitude to be attainable, 106.
And propositions indisputable: 107.
Such as, “Whate’er is, is”, and other laws, 108.
Such as, “Each change, each movement has a cause”; 109.
“Things equal to thsame, equal each other”; 110.
Are axioms to which all must concur. 111.
And likewise as to moral certitude: 112.
The Law Eternal has definitude 113.
Set in rules and standards divinely-scrib’d 114.
By Decalogue and from the Mount prescrib’d. 115.
Reality: Merely a Flux of Appearances?
Phenomenalism vs. Substantialism 116.
Phenomenalism comes in forms dual: 117.
One says that substances, all things real, 118.
Though palpable, are indemonstrable, 119.
For knowledge limit’d to phenomenal, 120.
To what appears from the pure sensual; 121.
No knowledge save for the empirical; 122.
No ken of substance metaphysical, 123.
For knowledge being only the spectral. 124.
Form II claims all substantiality, 125.
All matter and corporeality, 126.
False absolutely, all illusory. 127.
For that’s the claim of Bishop Berkeley 128.
Who taught that only spirits do exist; 129.
Perception the sole essence, he insists, 130.
And nature’s order merely God’s vapor, 131.
Some false varietals man to savour. 132.
Fun with Berkeley’s Metaphysics 133.
The Bishop’s “Nay” to the fact of matter 134.
To Doctor Johnson, a lot of blatter. 135.
Told that the case was irrefutable, 136.
Sam straightaway the Bishop’s “Nay” dispel’d 137.
By kicking a large stone with mighty thrust, 138.
And rebounding, cried, “I refute it thus!” 139.
And Johnson once begg’d a Berkeley fan 140.
Not to leave his group, for, said Doctor Sam, 141.
They might stop thinking of him and therefore, 142.
The absent man then would exist no more! 143.
The Bishop’s “To be is to be perceiv’d” 144.
Drew Monseigneur Knox this verse to conceive: 145.
“There was a young man who said, ‘God, 146.
You must find it exceedingly odd 147.
That a tree, as a tree, 148.
Simply ceases to be 149.
When there’s no one about in the Quad.’ ” 150.
And then to his own limerick’s parry 151.
Rejoin’d it with this merry contrary: 152.
“Dear Sir, 153.
Your astonishment’s odd; 154.
I am always about in the quad. 155.
And that’s why this tree 156.
Will continue to be, 157.
Since observed by 158.
Yours faithfully, 159.
God.” 160.
To which some cunning students at Oxford 161.
With this, “Ode to the Tree”, the final word: 162.
“But one day there came a small squad 163.
Of tree surgeons into the Quad; 164.
And cut down the tree 165.
That will no longer be 166.
Observed by the DEAN or by GOD.” 167.
Now time for metaphysical fun’s run 168.
For serious we scarcely have begun. 169.
The fact of the matter: matter’s a fact, 170.
A certainty on which all men must act, 171.
Or fore’er in the Bishop’s quagmire trapp’d 172.
All headway, in yap vapid, men be strapp’d. 173.
Phenomenalism I, though less extreme, 174.
Still nullifies reality’s regime. 175.
As with Subjectivism, it gelds man’s thought, 176.
For by it Wisdom, Truth be set at naught. 177.
Depriv’d of certainty, mankind distraught, 178.
By deluge of data, man’s overwrought. 179.
The Fundamentals of Substantialism 180.
Compare Substantialism (or Realism), 181.
The metaphysic of Catholicism, 182.
From Aristotle, on through Saint Thomas. 183.
It holds reality’s hypostasis 184.
Of substances, of beings in close link, 185.
Existing; yet in, by themselves, distinct. 186.
For substance underlies phenomena: 187.
Each substance has for itself noumena, 188.
Has being, in and of itself real, 189.
Distinguish’d from the mere perceivable. 190.
Each has its quiddity: “Stan is a man”; 191.
Each its hæcceity: “This man is Stan.” 192.
Things do change of course―ev’n that blast’d Quad Tree, 193.
For it’s impossible for things to be 194.
Twice absolutely in the same fix’d state: 195.
As the Tree in fall would de-foliate 196.
And then in the spring would re-foliate. 197.
The Tree flush in lush-leaf, full-germinate― 198.
Changes extrinsic but insubstantive, 199.
For bare or leav’d keeps its definitive. 200.
So not all change is really profound: 201.
Sir Tree was a tree ‘til ‘twas fell’d aground. 202.
But when by the quack “surgeons” Sir Tree brought down,203.
Its splendid limbs, trunk laying dead on ground, 204.
‘Twas no more a tree, but mere piece of wood. 205.
And as wood it remains unless it should 206.
Be used as firewood which, when flames consume, 207.
Transform’d, ‘tis, radically to ash, fume. 208.
Ere Aristotle, on change were two “schools”: 209.
One, Hereclitus, constant flux his rules, 210.
For, he insist’d, it is impossible 211.
In the same stream, twice to step or dabble. 212.
A disciple, the zealous Cratylus, 213.
Could have won a Nobel for fractiousness, 214.
Strong sceptick, very nearly Nihilist, 215.
Precursor, or first Deconstructionist. 216.
Against his master (that loquacious dunce): 217.
Held one can’t wade the same stream even once! 218.
SophoCrat (to rename thbrat) stopp’d not there, 219.
For he flux’d into language’s own Robespierre, 220.
Averring all communication null 221.
Save finger wags (and perhaps nods of skull). 222.
For language, claim’d he, is as flux-able 223.
As the stream, and thus quite ineffable. 224.
The second school, that of Parmenides 225.
His school to Cratylus’s: antipodes. 226.
Parmenides taught nothing ever changes, 227.
For change is an illusion that estranges 228.
Men from reality’s fixidity, 229.
Its permanence and its rigidity. 230.
Mr. P and his school were soon laughing-stocks 231.
Caus’d Zeno, his chum, to vox paradox: 232.
(Caution: lines below could make one quite daft, 233.
By causing one’s brain cells to overdraft, 234.
And rush’d off to the funny farm sublime 235.
Where life is beautiful, aye, e’er in rhyme.) 236.
For a thing to move, from its place must light. 237.
Take his example of an arrow in flight: 238.
The flying arrow just seems like it flies, 239.
For to fly it must move from where it lies, 240.
The place it, at that instant, occupies, 241.
To a locale it not then occupies. 242.
But the shaft cannot move, in that time-jot, 243.
A tittle from where ‘tis, to where ‘tis not. 244.
Nor can the shaft move from where then it is, 245.
To where ‘tis, for already there it is. 246.
Consequently the arrow never mov’d , 247.
And seemingly stay’d in the bow-string, groov’d. 248.
Maybe the archer ne’er it de-quiver’d; 249.
Or his supplier’s shafts ne’er deliver’d; 250.
Or the tree that gave wood to craft that shaft, 251.
Ne’er came to be, its being all witchcraft. 252.
Just one more paradoxical hurdle: 253.
Of Achilles and “Speedy”, the turtle. 254.
In a race to see who wins the myrtle 255.
To Speedy, Warrior, who can hurtle, 256.
Gives graciously a handicap, large spread, 257.
Of ninety yards for a course one hundred, 258.
Ends at the stump that was once Proud Quad Tree, 259.
Now used by Quad dogs as felicity. 260.
The runners have each chosen Berkeley: 261.
Perceive, will he, the winning nullity 262.
With Zeno to help if a seeming tie 263.
The winner Zeno would then signify; 264.
By coin “toss”? but like arrows, coins can’t fly 265.
So what would Zeno do to break the tie? 266.
But lo, those questions we needn’t consider, 267.
For, Zeno says, Achilles can never 268.
The turtle overtake, for he must first 269.
An infinite amount of points traverse, 270.
Just to reach a point Speedy has surpass’d, 271.
And for Achilles and runners first-class, 272.
For even wing-sandl’d Hermes to over-fly 273.
Latitudes limitless, no termini. 274.
The race, if e’er begun, can never end: 275.
Achilles, lo, with Speedy ne’er contends. 276.
But even so, the race comes to its “end” 277.
When flying arrow at long last descends; 278.
The arrow Paris so long ago shot, 279.
Apollo-guid’d to you-know-who’s soft-spot. 280.
Achilles, drawn by Mum from river Styx, 281.
To Oxford bound, home to Knox’s limmericks, 282.
To cricket fields, lawns, and trees in the Quad; 283.
The warrior breath’d his last on bloody sod.129 284.
Readers: Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, 285.
For Zeno-Phobia’s left it quite dead. 286.
But to my widow, orphans, please send bread 287.
And rescue them from Zeno’s syndrome dread; 288.
Please Cratylus and Zeno, blame instead. 289.
Each the sort that gives cause, as Trumbull said, 290.
“Metaphysicks, as it is rightly shown, 291.
But teach how little ever can be known.” 292.
Route of roads many, Bierce did so declare, 293.
From nothing heading, leading to nowhere. 294.
But gloom no more, for next time we shall see 295.
Retort of sensible philosophy, 296.
As Aristotle parries sophistry 297.
And metaphysickal monstrosities. 298.

Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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