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though to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable, ver. 172, &c. VII. That throughout the whole visible world, an universal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to man. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, reason; that reason alone countervails all the other faculties, ver. 207. VIII. How much farther 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 destroyed, ver. 233. IX. The ex-> travagance, madness, and pride of such a desire, ver. 250. X. The consequence of all, the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state, ver. 281, to the end,
To low ambition and the pride of kings. Let us (since life can little more supply Than just to look about us, and to die) Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man; A mighty maze! but not without a plan : A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot; Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit. Together let us beat this ample field, Try what the open, what the covert yield; The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar; Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise: Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, But vindicate the ways of God to man.
1. Say first, of God above, or man below, What can we reason, but from what we know?
of man, what see we but his station here, From which to reason, or to which refer? Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be
known, 'Tis ours to trace him only in our own. He, who through vast immensity can pierce, See worlds on worlds compose one universe, Observe how system into system runs, What other planets circle other suns, What vary'd being peoples every star, May tell why Heaven has made us as we are. But of this frame the bearings and the ties, The strong coupexions, nice dependencies, Gradations just, has thy pervading soul Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole?
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God or thee? • II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou
Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call
So man, who here seems principal alone,
Then say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought: His knowledge measur'd to his state and place; His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter, soon or late, or here, or there? The blest to day is as completely so, As who began a thousand years ago. III. Heaven 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 skip and play? Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food, And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blooda Oh blindness to the future! kindly given, That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven: Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar, 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 pow.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast :
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose uotutor'd mind
IV. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy opinion against Providence ; Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such; Say, here he gives too little, there too much: Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust; If man alone engross not Heav'n's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there: Snatch'd from his hand the balance and the sod, Re-judge his justice, be the god of God. In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies; All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods if angels fell, Aspiring to be angels men rebel : And who but wishes to invert the laws Of order, sins against th' Eternal Cause.
V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, . 'tis for mine: For me kind nature wakes her genial power; Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower ;
Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew
But errs not nature from this gracious end,
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, Were there all harmony, all virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind, That never passion discompos'd the mind. But all subsists by elemental strife; And passions are the elements of life. The general order, since the whole began, Is kept in nature, and is kept in man. [soar,
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he And, little less than angel, would be more ;