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See, thro' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and burfting into birth.
Above, how high progreffive life may go?
Around how wide? how deep extend below?
Vaft chain of being! which from God began,
Natures æthereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, infect! what no eye can fee,
No glafs can reach from infinite to thee,
From thee to nothing! on fuperior pow'rs
Were we to prefs, inferior might on ours:
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one ftep broken, the great fcale's deftroy'd;
From nature's chain whatever link you ftrike,
Ten or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And if each system in gradation roll,
Alike effential to th' amazing whole;
The leaft confufion but in one, not all
That fyftem only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and funs rufh lawless thro' the fky,
Let ruling angels from their fpheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world,
Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And nature tremble, to the throne of God!
All this dread order break!-For whom? For thee?
Vile worm!-O madness! pride! impiety!

What if the foot, ordain'd the duft to tread,
Or hand to toil, afpir'd to be the head ?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To ferve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Juft as abfurd, for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame :
Juft as abfurd, to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing MIND of ALL ordains.

All are but parts of one ftupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the foul;
That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the fame,
Great in the earth, as in th' æthereal frame,











refreshes in the breeze,
and bloffoms in the trees,
extends thro' all extent,

Warms in the fun,
Glows in the stars,
Lives thro' all life,
Spreads undivided, operates unfpent,
Breathes in our foul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart,

As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt feraph that adores and burns;
To him, no high, no low, no great, no small:
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

Cease then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper blifs depends on what we blame,
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, heav'n beftows on thee.
Submit-in this, or any other fphere,
Secure to be as bleft as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one difpofing pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction which thou canst not fee:
All difcord, harmony not underfood:
All partial evil, univerfal good:

And fpight of pride, in erring reafon's spight,
One truth is clear; "Whatever is, is RIGHT."







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Of the NATURE and STATE of MAN, with Respect to HIMSELF as an Individual

THE bufinefs of man is not to pry into God, but to ftudy himself. His middle nature; his powers and frailties, and the limits of his capacity, 43. The two principles of man, felf-love and reason, both neceffary; self-love the stronger, and why? their end the fame, 83. The PASSIONS, and their use, 83 to 120. The predominant paffion, and its force, 122 to 150; its neceffity, in directing men to different purposes, 153, &c. its providential ufe, in. fixing our principle and ascertaining our virtue, 167. Virtue and vice joined in our mixt nature; the limits near, yet the things feparate, and evident. What is the office of reason? 187, &c. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it, 209. That however, the ends of providence and general good are answered in our pasions, and imperfections, 230, &c. How usefully they are distributed to all orders of men, 233. How useful they are to Society, 241, and to the individuals, 253. In every state, and in every age of life, 263, &c.

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NOW then thyfelf, prefume not God to scan ; The proper ftudy of mankind is Man. Plac'd on this ifthmus of a middle ftate, A being darkly wife, and rudely great : With too much knowledge for the sceptic fide, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between'; in doubt to act, or rest, In doubt to deem himself a god, or heast; In doubt, his mind or body to prefer, Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reafon fuch, Whether he thinks too little, or too much : Chaos of thought and paffion, all confus'd; Still by himself abus'd, or dif-abus'd; Created half to rife, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd: The glory, jeft, and riddle, of the world!

Go wond'rous creature! mount where science guides, Go measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides, Inftruct the planets in what orbs to run, Correct old time, and regulate the fun; Go foar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere, To the firft good, first perfect, and first fair; Or tread the mazy round his follow'rs trod, And quitting sense call imitating God, As eastern priests in giddy circles run, And turn their heads to imitate the fun. Go, teach eternal wifdom how to ruleThen drop into thyself, and be a fool!

Superior beings, when of late they faw A mortal man unfold all nature's law,

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The proper Study of Mankind is MAN.

Essay on Man.

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