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This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons: The one will appear obvious; that principles, maxims, or precepts so written both strike the reader more strongly at first, and are more easily retained by him afterwards. The other may seem odd, but it is true; I found I could express them more shortly this way than in profe itself, and nothing is truer than that much of the force, as well as grace, of arguments or instructions depends on their conciseness. I was unable to treat this part of my subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without facrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering from the precision, or breaking the chain of reasoning. If

any man can unite all these , without diminution of any of them, I freely confess he will compass a thing above my capacity.

What is now published, is only to be considered as a general map of Man, marking out no more that the greater parts, their extent, their limits, and their connexion, but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in their charts which are to follow. Consequently these Epistles in their progress (if I make any progress) will be less dry, and more susceptible of poetical ornament. I am here only opening the fountains, and clearing the paffage: to deduce the rivers, to follow them in their course, and to observe their effects, would be a talk more agreeable.

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Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect

to the UNIVERSE.

4

F
O Man in the abstrakt, -That we can judge only

with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things, ver. 17, &c. That Man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a Being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable tothe general Order of Things, and conformable

to Ends and Relations to bimunknown, ver. 33 &c. That it is partly upon his Ignorance of future events,

and partly upon the Hope of a future ftate, that all his Happiness in the present depends, ver. 77, &c.

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The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretend

ing to more Perfection, the cause of Man's error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice of his dispensations,

ver. 113, &c. The abfurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the

creation, or expecting that perfection in the moral

world, which is not in the natural, ver. 137, &c. Theunreasonableness of his complaints against Provi

dence, while, on the one hand, he demands the Perfections of the Angels; and, on the other, the bodily qualification of the Brutes; though to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable,

ver. 173, &c. That throughout the whole visible world, an uni

versal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a sub- . ordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to Man. The gradation of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, reason; that Reafon alone

; countervails all the other faculties, ver. 207 How much farther this order and subordination of

living creatures may extend, above and below us; were any part of which broken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation must be destroyed,

ver. 233:

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Virtue and Vice joined in our mixed Nature; the

limits near, yet the things separate and evident :

What is the office of Reason, ver• 195, &c.
How odious Vice in itself, and how we deceive our
selves into it,

ver. 217, &c.
That, however, the Ends of Providence and general
Good are answered in our Paffions and Imperfec-

'
tions,

ver. 219, &c.
How usefully these are distributed to all Orders of
Men,

ver. 241 &c.
How useful they are to Society, ver. 249,&c.
And to the Individuals,

ver. 263.
In every state, and every age of life, ver. 271, &c.

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