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On Predestination

The following poem appeared in The Continental Journal on March 11, 1779. It was entitled “On Predestination.”

If all things succeed as already agreed,
And immutable impulses rule us;
To preach and to pray, is but time thrown away,
And our teachers do nothing but fool us.

If we’re driven by fate, either this way or that,
As the carman whips up his horses,
Then no man can stray --- all go the right way,
As the stars that are fix’d in their courses.

But if by free will, we can go or stand still,
As best suits the present occasion;
Then fill up the glass, and confirm him an ass
[He} That depends upon Predestination.

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