EPISTLE 1
The Proof of God's Existence

January-February 2010By Douglass H. Bartley

Douglass H. Bartley of Ely, Minnesota, a former judge, is the author of a treatise on the Constitution, The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed: A Coroner's Inquest and Report, a work in search of a publisher, and a blog, "Pastoral Republican," found at http://douglassbartley.wordpress.com/. Epistle 2, "On Faith & Reason," is the next installment of his essays on God and His creations.

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


Prologue

"Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found." 1
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.

The Proof of God's Existence

Ye Gods of Science: Haste! to reason, fly!
Lest tyrant, Madame Hubris, blind thine eyes.
The Anarch Chance hath sapp'd thy wits.
Hap bangs, self-mintage account not a whit.
Make haste, end affair soiling all thy gains.
Molt cocksure plume, the ordure of big brains.
"For fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
Let meekness guide thee safely in pride's stead.
And understand, please, there must needs be here
Much more than objects of sense, matter mere.
Muse on it, thy reflection will assess
Materialism, crass guide, you'll soon love less.
If there be doubt, consider please anew,
From gentle censure, this we plead to you:
Here proofs of God's existence thee to sift,
Which, if no more, persuasion's burden shift
To ye agnosticks, scepticks, cav'lers still,
We offer the Angelic Doctor's Bill;
Particulars his, set précis in form,
Hark! Oyez! Lo! Aquin's exordium,
His a posterioris, from effect, cause.
When effect's better perceiv'd than the cause,
We learn causation via consequences.
If effect exist, some cause predispenses.
So far as God be not self-evident,
Here demonstrations quia, five anent:
First Motion, next Efficient Cause present'd,
Necessary and Possibles augment'd,
Perfection and Gradations fourth averr'd,
Intelligent Design he fifth inferr'd.
Neglect we not the other proofs devis'd
Two ontologicals, a prioris.
From Anselm first, and second à la Descartes.
From cause to effect reasonings impart
And one from conscience Newman had assay'd
Eight short refreshers that ought you persuade.

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