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How instinct varies in the grovelling swine,
And, if each system in gradation roll
250 Let earth unbalanced from her orbit fly, Planets and suns rup lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spberes be hurld,
IX. What if the foot, ordain’d the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspired to be the head ?
260 What if the head, the eye, or ear, repined To serve mere engines to the ruling mind? Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another in this general frame: Just as absurd, to mourn the task or pains The great directing mind of all ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is and God the soul; That, changed through all, and yet in all the same, Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame; 270 Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars and blossoms in the trees: Lives through all life, extends through all extent, Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full as perfect, in a hair as heart; As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapp'd seraph that adores and burns : To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, he bounds connects, and equals all. 280
X. Cease then, nor order imperfection name; Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point : this kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee, Submit-In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as bless'd as thou canst bear;
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE II.
ON THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO HIMSELF AS AN
1. The business of man not to pry into God, but to study himself.
His middle nature; his powers and frailties, ver. 1 to 19. The limits of his capacity, ver, 19, &c. II, The true principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary, ver. 53, &c. Self-love the stronger and why, ver. 67, &c. their end the same, ver. 81, &c. n. The passions, and their use, ver. 93, to 130. The predominant passion, and its force, ver. 132 to 160. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes, ver. 165, &c. Its providential use, in
our principle, and ascertaining our virtue, ver. 177, V. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature ; the limits ni ar, yet the things separate and evident: what is the office of reason, ver. 202 to 216. V. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it, ver. 217. VI. That, however, the ends of Providence and general good are answered in our passions and imperfections, ver. 231, &c. How usefuly these are distributed to all orders of men, ver. 241. How useful they are to society, ver. 251. And to inclividuals, ver. 263. In every state, and every ag'e of life, ver. 273, &c.
1. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
Superior beings, when of late they saw A mortal man unfold all nature's law, Admired such wisdom in an earthly shape, And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Describe or fix one movement of his mind?
Trace science then, with modesty thy guide ;
50 Then see how little the remaining sum, Which served the past, and must the times to come!
II. Two principles in human nature reign; Self-love to urge, and reason to restrain ; Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call, Each work its end, to move or govern And to their proper operation still, Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill. Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; Reason's comparing balance rules the whole. 60 Man, but for that, no action could attend, And, but for this, were active to no end : Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot, To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot; Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void, Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires ; Active its task, it prompts, fimpels inspires. Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,