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Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
OF Man in the abstract.-I. That we can judge only
with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of fystems and things, ver. 17. &c. II. That Man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a Being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general Order of things, and conformable to Ends and Relations to him unknown, ver. 35, &c. III. That it is partly upon his Ignorance of future events, and partly upon the hope of a future state, that all his happiness in the prefent depends, ver. 77. &c. IV. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more Perfection, the cause of Man's error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice, of his difpenfations, ver. 109, &c. V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection in the moral world, which is not in the natural, ver. 131, &c. VI. The unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he demands the Perfection of the Angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the Brutes; though, to poffefs any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable, ver. 173, &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 extravagance, 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, &c. to the end.
EPIST LE I.
AWAKE, my St. John ! leave all meaner things
To low ambition, and the pride of Kings,
I. 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 tho' the God be known, 'Tis ours to trace him only in our own. Hle, who through vast immensity can pierce, See worlds on worlds compose one universe, Observe how system into system runs,
25 What other planets circle other suns,
What vary'd Being peoples every star,
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree,
II. Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find,
Of Systems poffible, if 'tis confeft,
50 Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, though labour'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain; In God's, one single can its end produce;
55 Yet ferves to second too some other use.
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 :
79 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, foon 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 VARIATIONS. In the former Editions, ver. 64.
Now wears a garland an Agyprian God.
If to be perfect in a certain fphere,