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easily retained by him afterwards: The other may seem odd, but is true. I found I could express them more shortly this way than in prose itself; and nothing is more certain, than that much of the force as well as grace of arguments or instrućtion depends on their concisenes. I was unable to treat this part of my subjećt more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering from the precificn, or breaking the chain of reasoning: If any man can unite all these without diminution of any of them, I freely confess he will compass a thing above my capacity. What is now published, is only to be confidered as a general Map of MAN, marking out no more than the greater party, their extent, their limits, and their conneétion, but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts which are now to follow. Consequently these Epistles in their progress (if I have health and leisure to make any progress) will be less dry, and more susceptible of poetical ornament. I am here only opening the fountains, and clearing the passage. To deduce the rivers, to follow them in their course, and to observe their effeóts, may be a task more agreeable. P.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE I.
Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to
OF Man in the abstraśī.—I. That we can judge only with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things, Ver. 17, &c. II. That Man is not to be deemed imperfeót, 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 happines; in the present 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 unfitnes, perfestion or imperfečiion, justice or injuffice, of his dispensations, Ver. Io9, &c. V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expeãing 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 Perfections of the Angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the Brutes ; though, to poss; 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 fubordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to Man. The gradations of sense, instinét, thought, reB 3 fleótion,