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NOTES.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER.] "Some paffages in the Effay on Man having been unjustly suspected of a tendency toward Fate and Naturalism, the Author compofed a Prayer, as the fum of all, which was intended to fhew that his fyftem was founded in Freewill, and terminated in Piety." RUFFHEAD.

Warton thinks, for "clofenefs and comprehenfion of thought, and for brevity and energy of expreffion, there are few pieces of poetry in our language that can be compared with this." How extraordinary is it, that Warton fhould be ever accufed, as if he wifhed to decry Pope! No one has borne fuch willing and ample testimony to his excellence as a Poet, when he truly deserves it; but will any one compare him to Milton?

In this place, Warton gives the Poetry more praise than it appears entitled to; though this compofition is beautiful, and in fome paffages fublime.

VER. 4. Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!]" It is of very little confequence," fays Seneca, De Beneficiis, "by what name you call the firft Nature, and the divine Reason, that prefides over the universe, and fills all the parts of it. He is ftill the fame God. You may give Him as many names as you please, provided you allow but one Sole Principle every-where prefent."

"Notwith

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Thou Great First Cause, least understood,
Who all my Senfe confin'd

To know but this, that Thou art Good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark Eftate,
To fee the Good from Ill;
And binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.

NOTES.

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What

Notwithstanding all the extravagancies and mifcarriages of the Poets," fays Cudworth, chap. 4., "we fhall now make it plainly appear, that they really afferted, not a multitude of felfexiftent and independent Deities, but one, only, unmade Deity; and all the other, generated or created gods. This hath been already proved concerning Orpheus, from fuch fragments of the Orphic Poems as have been owned and attefted by Pagan writers." Cudworth proceeds to confirm this opinion by many strong and uncontefted paffages from Homer, Hefiod, Pindar, Sophocles, and especially Euripides, Book i. chap. iv. fect. 19.; and Aristophanes, in the first line of Plutus, diftinguishes betwixt Jupiter and the gods : Ω Ζεῦ καὶ θεοι. WARTON.

VER. 6. my Senfe confin'd] It ought to be confinedft, or didft confine; and afterwards, gaveft, or didft give, in the second perfon. See Lowth's Grammar. WARTON.

VER. 9. Yet gave me,] Originally Pope had written another ftanza, immediately after this:

"Can fins of moments claim the rod
Of everlasting fires?

And that offend great Nature's God
Which Nature's felf infpires ?"

The licentious fentiment it contains, evidently borrowed from a
well-known paffage of Guarini in the Paftor Fido, induced him
to ftrike it out. And perhaps also the abfurd metaphor of a rod
of fires, on examination, displeased him.
WARTON.

VER. 12. Left free] An abfurd and impoffible exemption, exclaims the Fatalift; "comparing together the moral and the natural

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What Conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,

This, teach me more than Hell to fhun,
That, more than Heav'n pursue.

What Bleffings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not caft away;

For God is paid when Man receives,
T' enjoy is to obey.

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20 Yet

NOTES.

tural world, every thing is as much the refult of established laws in the one as in the other. There is nothing in the whole universe that can properly be called contingent: nothing loofe or fluctuating in any part of Nature; but every motion in the natural, and every determination and action in the moral world, are directed by immutable laws; fo that, whilft thefe laws remain in their force, not the fmalleft link of the univerfal chain of caufes and effects can be broken, nor any one thing be otherwife than it is." All the most fubtile and refined arguments that can be urged in a dispute on Fate and Free-will, are introduced, in a converfation on this fubject, betwixt the angels Gabriel and Raphael, and Adam, in the fourth act of Dryden's State of Innocence, and stated with a wonderful precifion and perfpicuity. Reasoning, in verse, was one of Dryden's most fingular and predominant excellencies; notwithstanding which, he must rank as a poet for his Mufic-ode, not for his Religio Laici. WARTON.

VER. 12. the Human Will.] The refult of what Locke advances on this, the most difficult of all subjects, is, that we have a power of doing what we will. If it be the occafion of disorder, it is the cause of order; of all the moral order that appears in the world. Had Liberty been excluded, Virtue had been excluded with it. And if this had been the case, the world could have had no charms, no beauties, fufficient to recommend it to Him who made it. In fhort, all other powers and perfections would have been very defective without this, which is truly the life and fpirit of the WARTON.

whole creation."

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span
Thy Goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,

When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Prefume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy Foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way!

Save me alike from foolish Pride,
Or impious Difcontent,

At aught thy Wisdom has deny'd,
Or aught thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,
To hide the Fault I fee;
That Mercy I to others fhow,
That Mercy fhow to me.

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"Or think Thee LORD ALONE of Man, When thousand Worlds are round;" but the conclufion is a contraft of littleness, "And deal damnation round the land!"

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Mean

NOTES.

VER. 27. deal damnation] There is fomething elevated in the idea and expreffion,

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