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That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same; Great in the earth, as in th’æthereal frame 270
NO TE S. who hath intentionally created a Spinozist have told us, a perfect Universe? Or would
The workman from the work diffinĉt was known, a line that overturns all Spino- but, if that will not satisfy the zism from its very foundations. men he writes against, the phi
But this sublime description losophy likewise of Sir Isaac of the Godhead contains not Newton. only the divinity of St. Paul;
The poet says,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent. The Philosopher:-- In ipfo con- | regit & omnia cognofcit.-Cum tinentur & moventur universa, unaquæque Spatii particula fit fed absque mutua passione. Deus semper, & unumquodque Duranihil patitur ex corporum mo
tionis indivisibile momentum , tibus ; illa nullam fentiunt ubique, certe rerum omnium Farefiftentiam ex omnipræsentia bricator ac Dominus non erit Dei.--Corpore omni Es figura nunquam, nusquam. corporea deftituitur. - Omnia Mr. Pope :
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair, as heart;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
corporeum, viventem, intelligen. phænomenis conftat ese entem in- tem, omnipræfentem, qui in spa
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
NOTES. tio infinito, tanquam sensorio to the perfection of the whole. fuo, res ipfas intime cernat, But allow him to employ the penitusque perspiciat, totasque passage in the sense of St. Paul, intra se præsens præsentes com- That we and all creatures live ple&tatur.
and move and have our being in But now admitting, for ar- God; and then it will be seen gument's fake, there was an to be the most logical support ambiguity in these expressions, of all that had preceded. For so great, as that a Spinozist the poet having, as we say, might employ them to express laboured through his epistle to his own particular principles; prove, that every thing in the and such a thing might well Universe tends, by a foreseen be, because the Spinozists, in contrivance, and a present diorder to hide the impiety of rection of all its parts, to the their principle, are used to ex- perfection of the whole; it press the Omnipresence of might be objected, that such a God in terms that any religi- disposition of things implying ous Theist might employ. In in God a painful, operose, and this case, I say, how are we inconceivable extent of Proto judge of the poet's mean- vidence, it could not be suping? Surely by the whole tenor posed that such care extended of his argument. Now take to all, but was confined to the the words in the sense of the more noble parts of the creaSpinozists, and he is made, in tion.
tion. This gross conception the conclusion of his epistle, of the First Cause the poet exto overthrow all he has been poses, by shewing that God is advancing throughout the body equally and intimately present of it: For Spinozism is the de- to every particle of Matter, struction of an Universe, where to every sort of Substance, and every thing tends, by a fore- in every instant of Being. seen contrivance in all its parts,
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
X. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name: Our
proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Reason, to think of God when she pretends,
MEN T A R Y. VER. 281. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name :] And now the poet, as he had promised, having vindicated the ways of God to Man, concludes (from y 280 to the end) that, from what had been said, it appears, that the very things we blame, contribute to our Happiness, either as Particulars, or as Parts of the Universal system; that our State of Ignorance was allotted to us out of compaffion; that yet we have as much Knowledge as is sufficient to shew us that we are, and always shall be, as bleit as we can bear; for that NATURE is neither a Stratonic chain of blind Causes and Effects,
(All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee) nor yet the fortuitous result of Epicurean Atoms,
(All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see) as those two species of atheism supposed it; but the wonderful Art and Direction, unknown indeed to Man, of an all-powerful, all-wise, all-good, and free Being. And therefore, we may be assured, that the arguments, brought above, to prove partial moral Evil productive of universal Good, are conclutive; from
NOTES. Ver. 278. As the rapt name Seraphim, fignifying Seraph &c.] Alluding to the
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
COMMENTARY. whence one certain truth results, in spite of all the pride and cavils of vain Reason, That WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
That the reader may fee in one view the Exactness of the Method, as well as Force of the Argument, I shall here draw up a short fynopsis of this Epistle. The poet begins by telling us his subject is an Essay on Man: That his end of writing is to vindicate Providence: That he intends to derive his arguments, from the visible things of God seen in this system: Lays down this Propofition, That of all posible systems infinite Wisdom has form'd the best : draws from thence two Consequences, 1. That there must needs be somewhere such a creature as Man; 2. That the moral Evil which he is author of, is productive of the Good of the Whole. This is his general Thesis; from whence he forms this Conclusion, That Man should rest submissive and content, and make the hopes of Futurity his comfort; but not suffer this to be the occasion of PRIDE, which is the cause of all his impious complaints.
He proceeds to confirm his Thesis._Previously endeavours to abate our wonder at the phænomenon of moral Evil; shews, first, its use to the Perfection of the Universe, by Analogy, from the use of physical Evil in this particular system.--Secondly, its use in this system, where it is turned, providentially, from its natural bias, to promote Virtue. Then goes on to vindicate Providence from the imputation of certain supposed natural
Evils; as he had before justified it for the Permission of real moral Evil, in shewing that, though the atheist's complaint against Providence be on pretence of real moral Evil, yet the true cause is his impatience under imaginary natural Evil; the iffue of a depraved appetite for fantastical advantages, which, if obtained, would be useless or hurtful to Man, and deforming
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
COMMENTARY. and destructive to the Universe, as breaking into that Order by which it is supported. -- He describes that Order, Harmony, and clofe Connection of the Parts; and, by shewing the intimate presence of God to his whole creation, gives a reason for an Universe so amazingly beautiful and perfect. From all this he de. duces his general Conclusion, That Nature being neither a blind chain of Causes and Effects, nor yet the fortuitous result of wandering atoms, but the wonderful Art and Direction of an all-wise, all-good, and free Being; WHATEVER IS, is Right, with regard to the Disposition of God, and its Ultimate Tendency; which once granted, all complaints against Providence are at an end.
NOTE s. Ver. 294. One truth is especially when the author, in clear, &c.] It will be hard to this very epiftle, has himself think any caviller should have thus explained it; objected to this conclusion,
Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call,
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole. But without any regard to the “ first losing his head on the evidence of this illustration, “ scaffold, we must have said there is one who exclaims : “this is right; at the fight “ See the general conclusion, “ too of his judges condemn“ All that is, is right. So that “ ing him, we must have said " at the fight of Charles the “ this is right; at the fight of