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Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
215 To that which warbles through the vernal wood ? The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine ! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line : In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true From pois'nous herbs extracts the healing dew? 220 How instinct varies in the grov'ling swine, Compar’d, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine !. 'Twixt that, and reason, what a nice barrier ? For ever sep’rate, yet for ever near! Remembrance and reflection, how ally'd ; 225 What thin partitions sense from thought divide ? And middle uatures, how they long to join, Yet never pass th' insuperable line! Without this just gradation, could they be Subjected, these to those, or all to thee? 230 The pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone, Is not thy reason all these pow'rs in one ?
VIII. See, thro’ this air, this ocean, and this earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth. Above, how high, progressive life may go! 235 Around, how wide, how deep extend below! Vast chain of being ! which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee,
240 From thee to nothing. On superior pow'rs Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
Or Ver. 238. Ed. Ist.
Ethereal essence, spirit, substance, man.
Or in the full creation leave a void,
And, if each system in gradation roll
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
X. Cease then, nor Order imperfection name :
285 Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear: Safe in the hand of one disposing 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 see ; 290 All discord, harmony not understood; All partial evil, universal good: And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite, One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
After ver. 282. in the MS.
Reason, to think of God when she pretends,
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE II.
Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to
Himself, as an Individual.
I. THE business of Man not to pry into God, but to study himself.
His Middle Nature; bis Powers and Frailties, ver. I to 19. The Limits of bis Capacity, ver. 19,&c. II. The two principles of Man, Self-love and Reason, both necessáry, ver. 53, &c. Self-love the stronger, and why, ver. 67, &c. Their End the same, ver. 81, &c.
III. 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 fixing our Principle, and ascertaining our Virtue, ver. 177. IV. Virtue and Vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident. What is the office of Reason, ver. 202 to 276. V. How odious Vice in itself, and bow we deceive ourselves in it, ver. 217. VI. That, bowever, the ends of Providence and general good are answered in our Pussions and Imperfections, ver. 238, &c. How usefully these are distributed to all orders of men, ver. 241. How usefu! they are to Society, ver. 251. And to Individuals, ver. 263. In cvery state, and every age of life, ver. 273, &c.