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fpeak it profanely) that, neither having the accent of Chriftian, nor the gait of Chriftian, Pagan, nor man, have so ftrutted and bellowed, that I have thought fome of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well; they imitated humanity fo abominably.
AND let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is fet down for them: for there be of them that will themfelves laugh, to fet on fome quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, fome neceffary queftion of the play be then to be confidered :—that's villainous; and fhews a moft pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. SHAKESPEAR.
THE PRESENT CONDITION OF MAN VINDICATED,
EAV'N from all creatures hides 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 fuffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reafon, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the laft, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood,
Oh blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n
Who fees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or fyftems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burft, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions foar; Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future blifs, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that Hope to be thy bleffing now.
Hope fprings eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be bleft:
The foul, uneafy and confin'd from home,
Refts and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whofe untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His foul proud Science never taught to ftray
Far as the folar walk, or milky way;
Yet fimple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some fafer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat❜ry waste,
Where flaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Chriftians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural defire,
He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire:
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog fhall bear him company.
Go, wifer thou! and in thy fcale of fenfe,
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence ;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy fport or guft,
Yet cry, if Man's unhappy, God's unjuft;
If man alone ingrofs not heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his juftice, be the God of GOD.
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride fill is aiming at the bleft abodes,
Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods.
Afpiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
Afpiring to be Angels, Men rebel :
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of ORDER, fins against th' Eternal Cause.
EE, thro' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting 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 ethereal, 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 flep broken, the great fcale's deftroyed:
From Nature's chain whatever link you ftrike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike,
And, if each fyftem in gradation roll
Alike effential to th' amazing Whole,
The least confufion but in one, not all
That fyftem only, but the whole must fall.
Let Earth, unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and Suns run lawless thro' the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on Being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heav'ns whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
All this dread ORDER break—for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!-Oh 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:
Just 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' ethereal frame,
Warms in the fun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the ftars, and bloffoms in the trees,
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
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 Seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no fmall;
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 sphere,
'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 understood;
All partial Evil, univerfal Good:
And, fpite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
THE ORIGIN OF SUPERSTITION AND TYRANNY.
HO firft taught fouls enflav'd, and realms undone,
Th' enormous faith of many made for one;
That proud exception to all Nature's laws,
T' invert the world, and counter-work its Cause? Force first made Conqueft, and that conqueft, Law; "Till Superftition taught the tyrant awe,
Then shar'd the Tyranny, then lent it aid,
And Gods of Conqu❜rors, Slaves of Subjects made:
She 'midft the light'ning's blaze, and thunder's found,
When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the ground,
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray,
To Pow'r unfeen, and mightier, far than they :
She, from the rending earth and bursting skies,
Saw Gods defcend, and fiends infernal rise :
Here fix'd the dreadful, there the bleft abodes;
Fear made her Devils, and weak Hope her Gods;