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EPISTLE IV.

ARGUMENT.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH

RESPECT TO HAPPINESS. HAPPINESS ill defined by the philosopher, ver. 19.

That it is the end of all men, and attainable by all, 28. God governs by general, not particular laws : intends happipess to be equal ; and to be so it must be social, since all particular happiness depends on general, 35. , As it is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that external goods should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these, 47. But, notwithstanding that inequality, the balance of happiness among mankind is kept even by providence, by the two passions of hope and fear, 66. What the happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world ; and that the good man has here the advantage, 76. The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of fortune, 92, The folly of expecting that God should alter his general laws in favour of particulars, 118. That we are not judges who are good ; but that, whoever they are, they must be bappiest, 130, &c. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of virtue, 166. That even these can make no man happy without virtue ; instanced in riches, 176. Honours, 184. Birth, 203. Greatness, 213. Fame, 233. Superior talents, 257. With pictures of human infelicity in men possest of them all, 275, &c. That virtue only constitutes a bappiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, 304, &c. That the perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a conformity to the Order of Providence here, and a resignation to it here and hereafter, 326, &c.

TO HENRY ST. JOHN LORD BOLINGBROKE.

EPISTLE I. AWAKE, my St. John ! leave all meaner things * To low ambition, and the pride of kings. Let us (since life can little more supply Than just to look about us and to die) Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man ; A mighty maze ! but not without a plan ; A wild, where weeds and flow'rs promisc'ous shoot, Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit. Together let us beat this ample field, Try what the open, what the covert yield; 10 The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar ; Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise ; Laugh where we must, be candid where we can, 15 But vindicate the ways of God to man.

Say first, of God above, or man below, What can we reason, but from what we know ? Of man what see we, but his station here, From which to reason, or to which refer? Thro' worlds unnumber'd tho' the God be known, 'Tis ours to trace him only in our own. He, who through vast immensity can pierce, See worlds on worlds compose one upiverse, Observe how system into system runs, What other planets circle other suns, What varied being peoples ev'ry star, May tell why heav'n has made us as we are : But of this frame the bearings, and the ties, The strong connexions, nice dependencies,

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Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd thro'; or can a part contain the whole ?

Is the great chain that draws all to agree, s
And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee }
Presumptous man ! the reason wouldst thou find, 35
Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind !
First, if thou canst the harder reason guess,
Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ;
Ask of thy mother earth, why oaks are made
Taller and stronger than the weeds they shade ; 40
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
Why Jove's satellites are less than Jove.

Of systems possible, if 'tis confest
That wisdom infinite must form the best,
Where all must full, or not coherent be,

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And all that rises, rise in due degree ;
Then, in the scale of reas’ning life, 'tis plain,
There must be, somewhere, such a rank as man ;
And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?

Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, 'must be right, as relative to all,
In human works, tho' labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain ;
In God's one single can its end produce,. :
Yet serves to second too some other use.
So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal:
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.

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When the proud steed shall know why man restrains
His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains ;
When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's God:
Then shall man's pride and dullness comprehend 65
His actions', passions', being's, use and end ;
Why doing, suff'ring, check’d, impellid ; and why
This hour a slave, the next a' deity.

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Then say not Man's imperfect, heav'n in fault : Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought ; 70 His knowledge measur'd to his state and place, His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter soon or late, or here or there? The bless'd to-day are as completely so, As who began a thousand years ago.

Heav'n from all creatures bides the book of fate, All but the page prescrib'd, their present state ; From brutes what men, from men what spirits know, Or who could suffer being here below ? The Lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day, Had he thy reason, would he skip and play ? Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food, And licks the band just rais'd to shed his blood. Oh ! blindness to the future ! kindly givin, 85 That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n ; Who sees, with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall ; Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world. 90

Hope humbly then, with trembling pinions soar ; Wait the great teacher death, and God adore. What future bliss he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Hope springs eternal in the human breast : 95 Man never is, but always to be, bless'd. The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Lo ! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; 100 His soul proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud-top'd hill, an humbler heav'n ; Some safer world in depth of woods embrac’d, 103 Some happier island in the wat'ry waste,

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