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the present depends. Which laft is thus beautifully expressed.
Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state ;
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
Or who could suffer being here below ?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he kip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food
And licks the hand just rais'd to Thed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n :
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall ;
Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions foar .
Wait the great teacher Death, and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breaft:
Man never is, but always to be bleft:
The soul, uneasy, and confind, from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way ;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud.topt hill, an humbler heav'n,
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the watry waste,
Where ilaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no christians thirt for gold.
To be content's his natural defire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire ;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
He then proceeds to prove that the pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more perfection, is the cause of man's error and misery; and Thews the inpiety of his presuming to judge of the fitness or anfitness,
perfe&tion or imperfection, justice or injustice, of the difpensations of the Almighty. He represents the absurdity of man's conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection in the moral world, which is not in the natural. He shews the unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he craves the perfections of angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of brutes ; tho to poffefs any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable ; as he has thus proved.
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T'inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia darting thro' the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that heav'n had left him ftill
The whisp’ring zephyr, and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
He observes that throughout the whole visible world, an universal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties may be seen, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to man. He then treats of the gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, and reason; and observes that reason alone countervails all the other faculties. He enquires how far this order and subordination of living creatures may extend, above and below us ; were any part of which broken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation must be destroy'd ; and thus beautifully represents the extravagance, madness, and pride, of man's defiring to be other than what he is,
What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame :
Just as absurd, to mourn the talks or pains,
The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one ftupendous whole,
Whose body. Natore is, and God the soul :
That chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same
Great in the earth, as in th' æthereal frame.
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives thro’all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
All full, as perfect, in a hair as heart ;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns :
To him no high, no low, no great, no small ;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
And this first epifle he concludes by hewing that absolute submission is due to Providence, both as to our present and future state.
Cease then, nor order imperfection name:
proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit. - In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as bleft as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee ;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not fee ;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood ;
All partial Evil, universal Good :
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's fpite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
In his second epittle he treats of the nature and state of man with respect to himself as an individual; and tells us
that the business of man is not to pry into God, but to ftudy himself. He speaks of his middle nature, bis powers, frailties, and the limits of his capacities ; observes that the two principles by which he is govern'd, are self-love and reason, which are both necessary, but that self-love is the strongeft, and the reason why it is so he has given us in the following lines.
Two principles in human nature reign ;
Self-love, to urge, and Reason to refrain :
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all :
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all Good; to their Improper, ill.
Self-love, the spring of motion, ads the foul ;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And, but for this, were active to no end ;
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot:
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless thro’the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Moft strength the moving principle requires ;
A&ive its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, delib'rate, and advise.
Self-love ftill stronger, as its obje&t's nigh;
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie :
That sees immediate good by present sense ;
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng,
At best more watchful this, but that more strong.
The action of the stronger to suspend,
Reason still use, to reason fill attend :
Attention, habit and experience gains,
Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire :
But greedy that its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flow's:
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
He then speaks of the passions. and their use, and more especially of the predominant or ruling paffion; of its neceflity, in directing men to different pursuits, and its providential use, in fixing our principles, and ascertaining our virtue.
Paffions, like elements, tho' born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
These, 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes man, can man destroy ?
Suffice that reason keep to nature's road,
Subjcct, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train,
Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain;
These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind :
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes,
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise :
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On diff'rent Senses diff'rent objects strike;
Hence diff'rent passions more or less enflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame ;
And hence one master-passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death ;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
So caft, and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its ruling passion came;
Each vital humour which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul :
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dang'rous art,
And pours it all upon
the peccant part. Virtue and vice, he observes, are joined in our mixt nature, and their limits are near, tho' separate and evident.