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The joy unequalled, if its end it gain,
See the sole bliss Heav'n could on all bestow! Which who but feels could taste, but thinks can
know: Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will find; Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through nature up to nature's God; Pursues that chain which links the immense design, Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine; Sees, that no being any bliss can know, But touches some above, and some below: Learns, from this union of the rising whole, The first, last purpose of the human soul; And knows, where faith, law, morals, all began, All end, in love of God, and love of man.
For him alone, hope leads from goal to goal, And opens still, and opens on his soul; Till lengthened on to FAITH and unconfined, It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He sees, why Nature plants in man alone Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown: (Nature, whose dictates to no other kind Are given in vain, but what they seek they find) Wise in her present; she connects in this His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss; At once his own bright prospect to be blest, And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Self-love thus pushed to social, to divine, Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine. Is this too little for the boundless heart? Extend it, let thy enemies have part: Grasp the whole worlds of reason, life, and sense,
In one close system of benevolence:
God loves from whole to parts: but human soul
Come, then my Friend! my genius! come along; Oh, master of the poet, and the song! And while the muse now stoops, or now ascends, To man's low passions, or their glorious ends Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, To fall with dignity, with temper rise; Formed by thy converse, happily to steer From grave to gay, from lively to severe; Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Intent to reason, cr polite to please. Oh! while alone the stream of time thy name Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame, Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale? When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes, Shall then this verse to future age pretend Thou wert my guide, philosopher and friend ? That urged by thee, I turned the tuneful art From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart; For wit's false mirror held up nature's light, Showed erring pride, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT; That reason, passion, answer one great aim; That true self-love and social are the same; That virtue only makes our bliss below; And all our knowledge is ourselves to know,
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.”
DEO. OPT. MAX.
In ev'ry clime adored,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou Great First Cause, least undersood:
Who all my sense confined
And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
That, more than heav'n pursue.
Let me not cast away;
To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth's contracted span
Thy goodness led me bound,
When thousand worlds are round.
Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
On each I judge Thy foe.
1 Some passages in the “Essay on Man” having been anjustly suspected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed a prayer as the sum of all, which was intended to show that his system was founded in Free-will and terminated in Piety.Ruff head.
If I am right, Thy grace impart, .
Still in the right to stay;
To find that better way.
Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see; That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by thy breath; Oh, lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death.
This day, be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun, Thou know'st if best bestowed or not;
And let Thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies, One chorus let all being raise;
All nature's incense rise!
MORAL ESSAYS. IN FIVE EPISTLES TO SEVERAL PERSONS.
Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
1733. TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, LORD COBHAM.
OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN.
That it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider man in the
abstract: books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own exper. ience sigly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both. will be but noticnal, ver. 10. Some peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ver. 15. Difti. culties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c., ver. 31. The shortness of life, ut observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men, to observe by, ver. 37, &c. Our own principle of actiou often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons. ver. 71. Unimaginable weakness in the greatest, ver. 77. &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature, ver. 95. No judginr of the motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the same motives intluencing contrary actions, ver. 100.-II. Yet to form cl:aracters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree. The utter uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from policy, ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 141. Education alters the nature, or at least character of many, ver. 149. Actions, passicus, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging by nature, from ver. 158 to 178.-III. It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion : that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowl
kind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breath, ver. 222, &c.
YES, you despise the man to books confined, Who from his study rails at human kind; • Though what he learnshe speaks, and may advance