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He from the wondering furrow call'd the food,
Who first taught-souls enslav’d, and realms undone,
ground, She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, To poweg unseen, and mightier far than they ; She, from the rending earth and bursting skies, Saw gods descend, and fiends infernal rise ; Here fix'd the dreadful, there the bless'd abodes; Fear made her devils, and weak hope her gods;
Gods partial, ehangeful, passionate, unjust,
So drives self-love through just and through unjust,
Twas then the studious head, or generous mind, Follower of God, or friend of human-kind, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore The faith and moral Nature gave before; Relum'd her ancient light, not kindled new; If not God's image, yet his shadow drew; Taught power's due use to people and to kings, Taught nor to slack nor strain its tender strings, The less or greater set so justly true, That touching one must strike the other too, Till jarring interests of themselves create The' according music of a well-mix'd state. Such is the world's great harmony, that springs From order, union, full consent of things ;
Where small and great, where weak and mighty,made
Man, like the generous vine, supported lives;
Thus God and nature link'd the general frame, And bade self-love and social be the same.
Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect
ARGUMENT. 1. False notions of happiness, philosophical and popular, answered.---2. It is the end of all men, and attainable by all.--God intends happiness to be equal; and, to be so, it must be social, since all particular happiness depends on general, and since he governs by general, not particular laws.---As it is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that external goods should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these. --But, notwithstanding that inequality, the baJance of happiness among mankind is kept even by providence, by the two passions of hope and fear.-3. What the happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world, and that the good man has here the advantage.---The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of fortune..-4. The folly of expecting that God should alter his general laws in favour of particulars.---5. That we are not judges who are good; but that whoever they are, they must be happiest.-6. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue.--That even these can make no man happy without virtue: instanced in riches --Honours--Nobility.--Greatness-Fame Superior talents, with pictures of human infelicity in men possessed of them all.--7. That virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prose pect eternal.---That the perfection of virtue and hapo piness consists in a conformity to the order of Provi
dence here, and a resignation to it here and hereafter. O Happiness! our being's end and aim!
Good,pleasure,ease,content! whate'er thy name: That something still which prompts the' eternal sigh, For which we bear to live, or dare to die; Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies, O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise. Plant of celestial seed ! if dropp'd below, Say in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow ? Fair opening to some court's propitious shine, Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine?
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
Ask of the learn'd the way? the learn'd are blind;
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that happiness is happiness ?
Take nature's path and mad opinion's 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 sense and common ease. Remember, man,
“ the Universal Cause Acts not by partial but by general laws," And makes what happiness we justly call Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing individuals find, But some way leans and hearkens to the kind; No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, No cavern'd hiermit, rests self-satisfied : 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 sicken, and all glories sink : Each has his share ; and who would more obtain, Shall find the pleasure pays not half the pain. Order is Heav'n's first law; and, this confest, Some are and must be greater than the rest,