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Gods partial, changeful, paffionate, unjust,
Whofe attributes were Rage, Revenge, or Luft;
Such as the fouls of cowards might conceive,
And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe.
Zeal then, not charity, became the guide;
And hell was built on spite, and heav'n on pride.
Then facred feem'd th' ethereal vault no more;
Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore:
Then first the Flamen tafted living food;
Next his grim idol smear'd with human blood;
With Heav'ns own thunders fhook the world below,
And play'd the God an engine on his foe.
So drives Self-love, thro' juft and thro' unjust,
To one Man's pow'r, ambition, lucre, luft:
The fame Self-love, in all, becomes the cause
Of what restrains him, Government and Laws.
For, what one likes if others like as well,
What ferves one will, when many wills rebel?
How shall he keep, what, fleeping or awake,
A weaker may surprise, a stronger take?
His fafety muft his liberty reftrain:
All join to guard what each defires to gain.
Forc'd into virtue thus by Self-defence,
Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence:
Self-love forfook the path it first purfu'd,
And found the private in the public good.
'Twas then, the ftudious head or gen'rous mind,
Follow'r of God, or friend of human-kind,
Poet or patriot, rofe but to restore
The Faith and Moral, Nature gave before;
Re-lum'd her ancient light, not kindled new;
If not God's image, yet his fhadow drew:
Taught Pow'r's due ufe to People and to Kings,
Taught nor to flack, nor strain its tender strings,
The lefs, or greater, set so justly true,
That touching one must strike the other too;
'Till jarring int'refts, of themselves create
Th' according mufic of a well-mix'd State.
Such is the world's great harmony, that fprings
From Order, Union, full Confent of things:
Where small and great, where weak and mighty, made
To ferve, not fuffer, ftrengthen, not invade;
More pow'rful each as needful to the reft,
And, in proportion as it bleffes, blest;
Draw to one point, and to one centre bring
Beast, Man, or Angel, Servant, Lord, or King.
For Forms of Government let fools conteft;
Whate'er is best administer'd is beft:
For Modes of Faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right:
In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
But all Mankind's concern is Charity:
All must be falfe that thwart this One great End;
And all of God, that blefs Mankind or mend.
Man, like the gen'rous vine, fupported lives;
The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives.
On their own axis as the Planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
So two confiftent motions act the Soul;
And one regards Itfelf, and one the Whole.
Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral frame,
And bade Self-love and Social be the fame.
H HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim !
Good, Pleafure, Eafe, Content! whate'er thy name:
That fomething ftill which prompts th' eternal figh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die ;
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'erlook'd, feen double, by the fool, and wife.
Plant of celestial feed! if dropt below,
Say, in what mortal foil thou deign'ft to grow?
Fair op'ning to fome Court's propitious fhine,
Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine?
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnaffian laurels yield,
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field?
Where grows?-where grows it not? If vain our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the foil:
Fix'd to no fpot is Happiness fincere,
"Tis no where to be found, or ev'ry where; 'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
And fled from monarchs, ST. JOHN! dwells with thee.
Afk of the Learn'd the way? The Learn'd are blind;
This bids to serve, and that to fhun mankind:
Some place the blifs in action, fome in ease,
Those call it Pleasure, and Contentment thefe;
Some funk to beafts, find pleasure end in pain;
Some fwell'd to Gods, confefs ev'n Virtue vain;
Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
To truft in every thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, fay they more or less
Than this, that Happiness is Happiness ?
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinions leave;
-All states can reach it, and all heads conceive;
Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell;
There needs but thinking right, and meaning well;
And mourn our various portions as we please,
Equal is Common Senfe, and Common Eafe.
Remember, Man," the Universal Caufe
Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral laws;"
And makes what Happiness we juftly call,
Subfift not in the good of one, but all.
There's not a bleffing Individuals find,
But fome way leans and hearkens to the kind:
No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride,
No cavern'd Hermit, refts felf-fatisfy'd:
Who most to shun or hate Mankind pretend,
Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend:
Abstract what others feel, what others think,
All pleasures ficken, and all glories fink:
Each has his fhare; and who would more obtain,
Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain.
ORDER is Heav'ns first law; and this confest,
Some are, and must be, greater than the reft,
More rich, more wife; but who infers from hence
That fuch are happier, fhocks all common sense.
Heav'n to mankind impartial we confefs,
If all are equal in their Happiness :
But mutual wants this Happinefs increase;
All Nature's diff'rence keeps all Nature's peace.
Condition, circumftance is not the thing;
Blifs is the fame in fubject or in king;
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
In him who is, or him who finds a friend :
Heav'n breathes thro' every member of the whole
One common bleffing, as one common foul.
But Fortune's gifts if each alike poffeft,
And each were equal, must not all contest?
If then to all men Happiness was meant,
God in Externals could not place Content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy thofe ;
But Heav'n's just balance equal will appear,
While those are plac'd in Hope, and these in Fear:
Not prefent good or ill, the joy or curfe,
But future views of better, or of worfe.
Oh fons of earth! attempt ye ftill to rise,
By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies?
Heav'n ftill with laughter the vain toil furveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence.
NOW thou this truth (enough for man to know)
"Virtue alone is Happiness below."
The only point where human blifs ftands ftill,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only Merit conftant pay receives,
Is bleft in what it takes, and what it gives ;