Page images


Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Society.

I. THE whole Universe one fyftem of Society, Ver. 7, &c. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, Ver. 27. The happiness of Animals mutual, Ver. 49. II. Reason or Instinct operate alike to the good of each Individual, Ver. 79. Reason or Instinct operate also to Society, in all animals, Ver. 109. III. How far Society carried by Inflinct, Ver. 115. How much farther by Reason, Ver. 128. IV. Of that which is called the State of Nature, Ver. 144. Reafon inftructed by Instinct in the Invention of Arts, Ver. 166; and in the Forms of Society, Ver. 176. V. Origin of Political Societies, Ver. 196. Origin of Monarchy, Ver. 207. Patriarchal Government, Ver. 212. VI. Origin of true Religion and Government, from the same principle, of Love, Ver. 231, &c. Origin of Superftition and Tyranny, from the fame principle, of Fear, Ver. 237, &c. The Influence of Self-love operating to the focial and public Good, Ver. 266. Reftoration of true Religion and Government on their first principle, Ver 285. Mixed Government, Ver. 288. Various Forms of each, and the true end of all, Ver. 300,



RE then we reft: "The Universal Caufe HERE

"Acts to one end, but acts by various laws." In all the madness of fuperfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth,


VER. 1. In feveral Edit. in 4to.

Learn, Dulnefs, learn! "The Univerfal Caufe," &c.



We are now come to the third epiftle of the Effay on Man. It having been fhewn, in explaining the origin, ufe, and end of the Paffions, in the second epiftle, that Man hath focial as well as felfish Paffions, that doctrine naturally introduceth the third, which treats of Man as a socIAL animal; and connects it with the fecond, which confidered him as an INDIVIDUAL. And as the conclufion from the fubject of the firft epiftle made the introduc tion to the second, so here again, the conclufion of the second

" (Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine,)" maketh the introduction to the third,

"Here then we reft: The Universal Cause

Acts to one end, but acts by various laws."

The reason of variety in those laws, which tend to one and the fame end, the good of the Whole generally, is, becaufe the good of the Individual is likewife to be provided for; both which together



VER. 3. fuperfluous health,] Immoderate labour and immoderate study are equally the impairers of health: They whose station fets them above both, must needs have an abundance of it, which not being employed in the common fervice, but wafted in Luxury and Folly, the Poet properly calls a fuperfluity. WARBURTON.

Let this great truth be prefent night and day;
But most be present, if we preach or pray.




make up the good of the Whole univerfally. And this is the caufe (as the Poet fays elsewhere) that

“Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal."

But, to prevent our refting there, God hath made each need the affiftance of another; and fo

"On mutual wants built mutual happiness.”

It was neceffary to explain the two firft lines, the better to fee the pertinency and force of what followeth (from ver. 2 to 7.), where the Poet warns fuch to take notice of this truth, whose circumftances placing them in an imaginary station of Independence, and inducing a real habit of infenfibility to mutual wants (from which wants general Happiness results), make them but too apt to overlook the true system of things; viz. the men in full health and opulence. This caution was neceffary with respect to Society; but ftill more neceflary with refpect to Religion: Therefore he especially recommends the memory of it as well to the Clergy as Laity, when they preach or pray; because the preacher who doth not confider the First Cause under this view, as a Being confulting the good of the Whole, must needs give a very unworthy idea of him; and the fupplicant, who prayeth as one not related to a whole, or indifferent to the happiness of it, will not only pray in vain, but offend his Maker by neglecting the interefts of his difpenfation. WARBURTON.


VER. 3, 4, 5, 6. M. Du Refnel, not feeing into the admirable purpose of the caution contained in these four lines, hath quite dropped the moft material circumftances contained in the last of them; and, what is worfe, for the fake of a foolish antithesis, hath deftroyed the whole propriety of the thought in the two firft and fo, between both, hath left his Author neither sense nor system. "Dans le fein du bonheur, ou de l'adverfité."

Now of all men, those in adverfity have leaft need of this caution, as being least apt to forget, That God confults the good of the whole, and provides for it by procuring mutual happiness by means of mutual wants; it being seen that such who yet retain the smart of any fresh calamity, are most compaffionate to others labouring under diftreffes, and most prompt and ready to relieve them. WARBURTON.

Look round our World; behold the chain of Love' Combining all below and all above. See plastic Nature working to this end, The fingle atoms each to other tend, Attract, attracted to, the next in place Form'd and impell'd its neighbour to embrace. See Matter next, with various life endu'd, Prefs to one centre ftill, the genʼral Good.

[ocr errors]



VER. 7. Look round our World, &c.] He now introduceth his fyftem of human Sociability (ver. 7, 8.), by fhewing it to be the dictate of the Creator; and that Man, in this, did but follow the example of general Nature, which is united in one close system of benevolence. WARBURTON.

But the obfervation, that God

"Connects each being, greatest with the leaft;

Made Beast in aid of Man, and Man of Beaft;
All ferv'd, all ferving"-

VER. 9. See plaftic Nature working to this end,] This he proveth, firft (from ver. 8 to 13.), on the noble theory of Attraction, from the economy of the material world; where there is a general confpiracy in all the particles of Matter to work for one end; the use, beauty, and harmony of the whole mafs. WARBURTON.

VER. 13. See Matter next, &c.] The fecond argument, (from ver. 12 to 27.), is taken from the vegetable and animal world; whose parts serve mutually for the production, support, and suf.

tentation of each other.

awaking again the pride of his impious adverfaries, who cannot bear that man should be thought, to be ferving as well as served; he takes this occafion again to humble them (from ver. 26 to 49.) by the same kind of argument he had so successfully employed in the first epistle, and which the comment on that epiftle hath confidered at large. WARBURTON.


VER: 12. Form'd and impell'd, &c.] To make Matter fo cohere as to fit it for the ufes intended by its Creator, a proper configura


H 4

« PreviousContinue »