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Made for his use all creatures if he call,
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, Say what their use, had he the powers of all ? Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike. Nature to these without profusion, kind,
And, if each system in gradation roll The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; Alike essential to th' amazing whole, Each seeming want compensated of course,
The least confusion but in one, not all Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force; That system only, but the whole must fall. All in exact proportion to the state;
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly, Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky; Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurld, Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone? Being on being wreck’d, and world on world; Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod, Be pleas'd with nothing, if not blest with all ? And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) All this dread order break-for whom ? for thee? Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
Vile worm Soh madness! pride! impiety! No powers of body or of soul to share,
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, But what his nature and his state can bear. Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? Why has not man a microscopic eye?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ?
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing mind of all ordains. Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Die of a rose in aromatic pain?
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul; If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same;
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name :
Submit.-In this, or any other sphere,
All partial Evil, universal Good.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH REIs not thy Reason all these powers in one ?
SPECT TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
Argument. All maiter quick, and bursting into birth. I. The business of man not to pry into God, but to A bove, how high! progressive life may go !
study himself. His middle nature: his powers Around, how wide! how deep extend below! and frailties. The limits of his capacity. II. The Vast chain of being! which from God began, two principles of man, self-love and reason, both Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, end the same. III. The passions, and their use. No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee,
The predominant passion, and its force. Its necesFrom thee to Nothing.-On superior powers
sity, in directing men to different purposes. Its Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
providential use, in fixing our principle, and as. Or in the full creation leave a void,
certaining our virtue. IV. Virtue and vice joined Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd :| in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the
things separate and evident: what is the office of Man, but for that, no action could altend,
V. How odious vice in itself, and how And but for this, were active to no end :
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh;
Reason's at distance, and in prospect lie:
That sees immediate good by present sense ;
Reason still use, to Reason still attend.
Attention, habit, and experience gains;
Each strengthens Reason, and Self-love restrains.
And Grace and Virtue, Sense and Reason split,
With all the rash dexterity of Wit.
Self-love and Reason to one end aspire, Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire ; guides,
But greedy that, his object would devour,
| Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
III. Modes of Self-love the passions we may call;
And Reason bids us for our own provide ;
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair, And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
List under Reason, and deserve her care ; Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule- Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim, Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name. Superior beings, when of late they saw
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast A mortal man unfold all Nature's law,
Their virtue fix'd ; 'tis fix'd as in a frost; Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape, Contracted all, retiring to the breast; And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest : Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind, The rising tempest puts in act the soul ; Describe or fix one movement of his mind! Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. Who saw its fires here rise and there descend, On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, Explain his own beginning or his end ?
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale ; Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Nor God alone in the still calm we find, Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art; He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind. But when his own great work is but begun, Passions, like elements, though born to fight, What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite :
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide ; These 'tis enough to temper and employ ; First strip off all her equipage of Pride ;
But what composes man, can man destroy ? Deduct what is but Vanity or dress,
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain;
Make and maintain the balance of the mind; Then see how little the remaining sum,
The lights and shades whose well-accorded strife Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come! Gives all the strength and color of our life.
II. Two principles in human nature reign; Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes; Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise : Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Present to grasp, and future still to find, Each works its end, to move or govern all : The whole employ of body and of mind. And to their proper operation still,
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike; Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill.
On different senses, different objects strike: Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Hence different passions more or less inflame, Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. As strong or weak, the organs of ‘he framo;
And hence one master passion in the breast, The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
Extremes in Nature equal ends produce,
And oft so mix, the difference is too nice
That vice or virtue there is none at all.
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white ?
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbor further gone than he:
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd; The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious every man must be, 'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree;
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
That disappoints th' effect of every vice:
That, happy frailties to all ranks applied ;
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride;
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief;
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief: "Tis thus the mercury of man is fix’d,
That, Virtue's ends from vanity can raise,
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride) The learn'd is happy Nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more.
The rich is happy in the plenty given,
The poor contents him with the care of Heaven.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell’d its neighbor to embrace. The starving chymist in his golden views
See malter next, with various life endued,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
All forms that perish other forms supply, Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die,)
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne, Pleas'd with a ratile, tickled with a straw: They rise, they break, and to that sea return. Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, Nothing is foreign ; parts relate to whole ; A little louder, but as empty quite :
One all-extending, all-preserving soul Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, Connects each being, greatest with the least ; And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age : Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast; Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ; All serv’d, all serving : nothing stands alone; 'Till tir'd he sleeps, and Life's poor play is o'er. The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown. Meanwhile Opinion gilds with varying rays
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good.
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn:
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ?
Loves of his own and raptures swell the note. Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, The bounding steed you pompously bestride, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. Shares with his lord the pleasure and the prido See! and confess, one comfort still must rise ; Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain? 'Tis this, Though man 's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE. The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer:
The hog, that plows not, nor obeys thy call,
Know, Nature's children all divide her care, OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RE- The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear.
While man exclaims, “ See all things for my uso
“See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goose : Argument.
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. 1. The whole universe one system of society. Grant that the powerful still the weak control,
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : for another. The happiness of animals mutual. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, JI. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good And helps, another creature's wants and woes. of each individual. Reason or instinct operate Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, also to society in all animals. III. How far Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? society carried by instinct. How much farther Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings ? by reason. IV. Of that which is called the state Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings ? of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, invention of arts, and in the forms of society. To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods : V. Origin of political societies. Origin of mon- For some, his interest prompts him to provide, archy Patriarchal government. VI. Origin of For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride : true religion and government, from the same all feed on one vain patron, and enjoy principle, of love. Origin of superstition and Th' extensive blessing of his luxury. tyranny, from the same principle of fear. The That very life his learned hunger craves, influence of self-love operating to the social and He saves from famine, from the savage saves ; public good. Restoration of true religion and Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, government on their first principle. Mixed gov- And, till he ends the being, makes it blest :
Various forms of each, and the true Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, end of all
Than favor'd man by touch ethereal slain.
The creature had his feast of life before ; HERE then we rest; “the Universal Cause Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er! Acts to one end, but acts by various laws." To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend, In all the madness of superfluous health,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end : The train of pride, the impudence of wealth, To man imparts it; but with such a view Let this great truth be present night and day; As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too : But most be present, if we preach or pray.
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear, I. Look, round our world; behold the chain of Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
Great standing miracle! that Heaven assign'd Combining all below and all above.
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind. See plastic Nature working to this end,
II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest, The single atoms each to other tend,
Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best ;
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
Self-love and social at her birth began,
The same his table, and the same his bed ;
All vocal beings hymnd their equal God :
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undress'd
Heaven's attribute was universal care,
And man's prerogative, to rule, but spare.
Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan,
And every death its own avenger breeds ;
Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake-
'Go, from the creatures thy instructions take:
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds Learn of the little Nautilus to sail,
And hence let Reason, late, instruct mankind :
Here subterranean works and cities see ;
Their separato cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state,
Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate.
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd."
Here rose one little state ; another near
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe.
Converse and Love mankind might strongly draw,
Thus states were form’d; the name of king unknown,