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“ of disorder in which men live by their own fault *. I will venture to say, every part of this reflection is false and calumnious. The first part of it, that the Eternal Bcing, according to Mr. Pope, was inevitably determined, and that he had not power to contrive matters otherwise, I have already shewn to be so.
It is still a more unpardonable calumny to say that Mr. Pope has thrown the cause of moral evil upon God, and had not the caution to recur to Man's abuse of his own free-will: For Mr. De Crousaz could not but see that the Poet had, in so many words, thrown the cause entirely upon that abuse, where, speaking of natural and moral Evil, he says,
What makes all physical and moral Ill!
GOD SENDS NOT ILL. Ep. iv. l. 109, 8: seq: When he had said this, and acquitted the Supreme Cause, he then informs us what is God's agency, after natural and moral evil had been thus produced by the deviation of nature, and depravity of will; namely, that he hath so contrived, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, that good shall arise from this evil.
If rightly understood,
1. 111, 8: seq: And speaking in another place of God's Providence;
That counterworks each folly and caprice,
Ep. fi. I. 229. What is this but bringing good out of evil? And how distant is that from being the cause of evil?
After this, a philosopher should never think of writing more till he had rectified what he had already wrote so much amiss.
The next passage the Examiner attacks is the following:
* Commentaire, p. 94, 95.
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
Here the Exăminer upbraids Mr. Pope for degrading himself so far as to write to the gross prejudices of the people. “ In the corporeal nature (says he) there is no
piece of matter that is perfectly simple; all are composed of small particles, called eleinentary; from
their inixture, proceeds a fermentation, sometimes “weak and sometimes strong, which still farther attenu"ates these particles : and thus agitated and divided,
they serve for the nourishment and growth of organic “ bodies; to this growth it is we give the name of life. “ But what have the passions in common with these
particles? Do their mixture and fermentation serve “ for the nourishment of that substance which thinks, “ and do they constitute the life of that substance*?" Thus Mr. De Crousaz, who, as, a little before, he could not see the nature of the comparison, so here, by a more deplorable blindness, could not see that there was any comparison at all. “You, says Mr. Pope, perhaps may
think it would be better, that neither air nor ocean was vexed with tempests, nor that the mind was ever discomposed by passion; but consider, that as in the
one case our material system is supported by the "strife of its elementary particles
, so in the intellectual, " the passions of the mind are, as it were, the elements * of human life, i.e. actions. All here is clear, solid, and well-reasoned, and hath been considered above. What must we say then to our Examiner's wild talk of the mixture and fermentation of elementary particles of matter for the nourishment of that substance that thinks, and of its constituting the life of that substance? I call it the Examiner's, for, you see, it is not Mr. Pope's; and Mr. Crousaz ought to be charged with it, because it may be questioned whether it was a simple blunder, he urging it so invidiously as to insinuate that Mr. Pote
Examen de l'Essai.
might probably hold the materiality of the soul. However, if it was a inistake, it was a pleasant one, and arose from the ambiguity of the word life, which in English, as la vie in French, siguifies both existence and human action, and is always to have its sense determined by the context.
Rir. Pope says, speaking of the brute creation,
Mr. Crousuz obscrves, that“ in this verse, by the term “ Nature, we must necessarily understand the Author of “ Nature; it is a figure much in use. SPINOZA has "employed all his metaphysics to confound these two
significations *.” Therefore, I suppose, Mr. Pope must not employ the word at all, though it be to vindicate it from that abuse, by distinguishing its different significations. But this we are to consider as a touch of our logician's art. It is what they call argumentum ad invidiam.
p. i. l. 199, & seq. On this the Commentator, “That place of honour, “ which the Poet has refused to Man in another part of “his Epistle, he gives him here, because it serves to " embellish and perfect the gradation. At every step "Mr. Pope forgets one of those principal and most “ essential rules, which Mr. Des Carics lays down in his " method; that is, exactly to review what one asserts, so " that no part be found to be gratis dictum, nor the “ whole repugnant to itself t." This we are to understand, as said, do Rex?ixūs. But I shall beg leave to observe, that our logician here gives his lessons very impertinently. For, that Mr. Pope, in calling the race of Man imperial, hath bestowed no title on him in this place, which he had denied him elsewhere. He, with * Commentaire, p. 99. * Ibid, p. 108.
great piety and prudence, supposes what the Scripture tells us to be true, that Man was created lord of this inferior world; he supposes it, I say, in these lines of this very Epistle:
Without this just gradation could they be
1. 221, & seq. He expressly asserts it in the third Epistle :
Heaven's attribute was universal care,
And Man's prerogative to rule, but spare. 1. 160. And this, in the very place where he gives the description of man in paradise.
What misled our Critic so far as to imagine Mr. Pope had here contradicted himself was, I suppose, such passages as these :
Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, &c. And again :
Has God, thou fool! work’d solely for thy good, &c. But in truth this is so far from a contradiction to what was said before of Man's prerogative, that it is a confirmation of it, and of what the Scripture tells us concerning it.
And because this matter has been mistaken, to the discredit of the Poet's religious sentiments, by *readers, whom the conduct of certain licentious writers, treating this subject in an abusive way, hath rendered jealous and mistrustful, I shall endeavour to explain it. Scripture says, that Man was made lord of all. But this lord, become, at length, intoxicated with pride, the common effect of sovereignty, erected himself, like particular monarchs,' into a tyrant. And as tyrunny consists in supposing all made for the use of one; he took those freedoms with all, that are consequent on such a principle. He soon began to consider the whole animal creation as his slaves, rather than his subjects; as being created for no use of their own, but for his only; and therefore used then with the utmost barbarity: and not so content; to add insult to his cruelty, he endeavoured
to philosophise himself into an opinion, that animals were mere machines, insensible of pain or pleasure. And thus, as Mr. Pope says, Nlan affected to be the wit, as well as tyrant of the whole* Our Commentator can tell us what dcep philosopher it was that invented this witty system, and by the assistance of what METHOD SO wonderful a discovery was brought to light. It becarne then one who adhered to the Scripture account of Nian's dominion, to reprove this abuse of it, and to shew that,
Heaven's attribute was universal cure,
And Man's prerogative to rule, BUT SPARE. The poctical Translator † has turned the words, to Man's imperial race, by
Jusqu'à l'Homme, ce chef, ce roy de l'univers !
Even to Man, this head, this king of the universe. Which is so sad a blunder, that it contradicts Mr. Pope's whole systein. Who, although he allows Man to be. king of this inferior world, is far from thinking him king of the universe. If the system itself could not teach bin this, yet methinks the following lines of this very Epistle might:
So Man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown. l. 57. If the Translator imagined Mr. Pope was here speaking ironically, where he talks of llan's imperial race, and so would heighten the ridicule 'by ce roy de l'univers, the mistake is still worse; the force of the argunent depending upon its being said seriously. For the Poet is speaking of a scale, from the highest to the lowest, in the mundane system.
But now we come to the famous passage which is to fix the charge :
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
* Grant that the powerful still the weak controvl, Be Man the ait ard tyrunt of the whole.
Ep. iii. 544 M. L'Abbé du Resnel,