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Error like this ev'n Truth can fearce reprove;
Ye deathlefs Names, ye Sons of endless praife,
To court no Friend, nor own a Foe but thine.
But if her giddy eye fhould vainly quit
Thy facred paths, to run the maze of wit;
If her apoftate heart fhould e'er incline
To offer incenfe at Corruption's fhrine;
Urge, urge thy power, the black attempt confound,
That guilt is doom'd to fink in Infamy.
HAVING propofed to write fome pieces on Hu
man Life and Manners, fuch as (to ufe my lord Bacon's expreffion) "come home to Men's Business and Bofoms," I thought it more fatisfactory to begin with confidering Man in the abstract, his Nature, and his State; fince, to prove any moral Duty, to enforce any moral precept, or to examine the perfection or imperfection of any creature whatfoever, it is neceffary first to know what condition and relation it is placed in, and what is the proper end and purpose of its being.
The science of Human Nature is, like all other fciences, reduced to a few clear points: There are not many certain truths in this world. It is therefore in the Anatomy of the Mind as in that of the Body; more good will accrue to mankind by attending to the large, open, and perceptible parts, than by studying too much fuch finer nerves and veffels, the conformations and uses of which will for ever efcape our obfervation. The difputes are all upon these laft; and I will venture to fay, they have lefs fharpened the wits than the hearts of men against each other, and have diminished the practice, more than advanced the theory of Morality. If I could flatter myself that this Effay has any merit, it is in fteering betwixt the extremes of doctrines feemingly oppofite, in paffing over terms utterly unintelligible,