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of all men, and attainable by all, ver. 30. God in tends happiness to be equal; and, to be so, it must be social, since all particular happiness depends on general, and since he governs by general, not particular laws, ver. 37. As it is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that external goods should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these, ver. 51. But, notwithstanding that inequaliy, the balance of happiness among nankind is kept even by Providence, by the two passions of hope and fear, ver. 70. III. What the happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and that the good man has here the advantage, ver. 77. The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of fortune, ver. 94. IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter his general laws in favour of particulars, ver. 121. V. That we are not judges who are good; but that, whoever they are, they must be happiest, ver. 133, &c. VI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue, ver. 167. That even these can make no man happy without virtue; instanced in riches, ver. 185. Ho nours, ver. 193. Nobility, ver. 205. Greatness, ver. 217. Fame, ver. 237. Superior talents, ver. 257, &c With pictures of human infelicity in men possessed of them all, ver. 269, &c. VII. That virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, ver. 307. That the perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a conformity to the order of Providence here, and a resignation to it here and hereafter, ver. 326, &c.
OH Happiness! our being's end and ain!
Fair opening to some court's propitious shine,
Tis no where to be found, or every where;
And fled from monarchs, St. John! dwells with thee.
To trust in every thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that happiness is happiness?
II. Take nature's path, and mad opinions leave; All states can reach it, and all head's conceive: Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; There needs but thinking right, and meaning well; And, mourn our various portions as we please Equal is common sense, and common case. Remember, man, 'the Universal Cause Acts not by partial, but by general laws;' And makes what happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing individuals find, But some way leans and hearkens to the kind No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, No cavern'd hermit, rests self-satisfied: Who most to shun or hate mankind pretend, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend: Abstract what others feel, what others think All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink:
Each has his share; and who would more obtain, Shall find the pleasure pays not half the pain.
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confess'd, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest, More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence That such are happier, shocks all common sense Heaven to mankind impartial we confess,
If all are equal in their happiness :
But mutual wants this happiness increase;
All nature's difference keeps all nature's peace
Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
In him who is, or him who finds a friend:
Heaven breathes through every member of the whole
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
While those are placed in hope, and these in fear: 70
O, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
III. Know, all the good that individuals find,
Sav in pursuit of profit or delight,
Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right↑
Oh, blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue wo! Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, Best knows the blessing, and will most be bless'd. But fools the good alone unhappy call, For ills or accidents that chance to all.
See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just!
See godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust!
Say, was it virtue, more though Heaven ne'er gave,
Or change admits, or nature lets it fall,
IV. Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires!
On air or sea new motions be impress'd,
Oh blameless Bethel! to relieve thy breast?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall,
V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave)
A kingdom of the just then let it be:
The good must merit God's peculiar care!
And what rewards your virtue, punisn mine.
And which more bless'd? who chain'd his country
Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
VI. 'But sometimes virtue starves while vice is fed.' What then? Is the reward of virtue bread? That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil;
The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil;
The knave deserves it when he tempts the main;