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And when Harte frequently mar answer, “ No, no ! you have alr, Essay on Reason, which H: hardly serious. With respec' that Pope was not acquainted guide, on the subject of the rather strange and incredili following, among many oth
“ Clarke, after repeating that they are the same in he who denies them to bi sical attributes, insists on tice and goodness. H generality of his assert ance, for instance, or gross
and too risible, most. But that of cording to our notic was enough for his iv. p. 298. It is son we have no clear : is strongly maintai bishop King, in his was answered by thinking. The pe mous letter to ] which he was the View of his Phil letter was answ apparent mortific of this View.
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i tek lines M. Voltaire state 2. seroir pourquoi
and Jae Jupiter? Il se mestamohd 7 a point de est le À pa 384. Ed.
mittematician as he
Page to be as big
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2 your situation,
Of Systems possible, if 'tis confest
Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call, May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, tho' labourd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain; In God's, one single can its end produce; 55 Yet serves to second too some other use.
still weaker. And though you see not the reason of this in your own case; yet, that reasons there are, you may see in the case of other of God's creatures.
“ Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made
Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove ?" Here (says the Poet) the ridicule of the weeds' and the Satellites' complaint, had they the faculties of speech and reasoning, would be obvious to all; because their very situation and office might have convinced them of their folly. Your folly, says the Poet to his complainers, is as great, though not so evident, because the reason is more out of sight; but that a reason there is, may be demonstrated from the attributes of the Deity. This is the Poet's clear and strong reasoning; from whence, we see, he was so far from saying, that Man could not know the cause why Jove's Satellites were less than Jove, that all the force of his reasoning turns upon this, that Man did see and know it, and should from thence conclude, that there was a cause of this inferiority as well in the rational, as in the material Creation. W.
Ver. 53. In human works,] Verbatim from Bolingbroke. Fragnts 43 and 63.
I. Say first, of God above, or Man below,
taigne) est une mauvaise qualité; mais ne la pouvoir supporter, et s'en dépiter et rouger, comme il m'advient, c'est une autre sorte de maladie, qui ne doit gueres à la sottise en importunité.”
Ver. 16. But vindicate the ways] Hinting, by this allusion to the well-known line of Milton,
“ And justify the ways of God to man," that he intended his poem for a defence of Providence as well as Milton, but he took a very different method in pursuing that end. It cannot be doubted that Warburton seriously intended to do service to religion, by endeavouring to place this poem on the side of Revelation, and to take Pope out of the hands of the infidels. But he laboured in vain, and with an ill-grounded zeal; as would evidently appear if we were to undertake the unpleasing task of collecting all the passages which he has tortured and turned into meanings never dreamt of, or designed by the poet. Ver. 19, 20. Of Man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer ? The sense is, “ We see nothing of Man but as he stands at present in his station here : from which station, all our reasonings on his nature and end must be drawn; and to this station they must all be referred.” The consequence is, that our reasonings on his nature and end must needs be very imperfect.
But of this frame, the bearings and the ties,
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree,
Ver. 29. But of this frame, the bearing 8] "Imagine only some person entirely a stranger to navigation, and ignorant of the nature of the sea or waters, how great his astonishment would be, when finding himself on board some vessel anchoring at sea remote from all land-prospect; whilst it was yet a calm, he viewed the ponderous machine firm and motionless in the midst of the smooth ocean, and considered its foundations beneath, together with its cordage, masts, and sails above. How easily would he see the whole one regular structure, all things depending on one another; the uses of the rooms below, the lodgments, and the conveniences of men and stores! But being ignorant of the intent, or of all above, would he pronounce the masts and cordage to be useless and cumbersome, and for this reason condemn the frame and despise the architect ? O my friend! let us not thus betray our ignorance ; but consider where we are, and in what universe. Think of the many parts of the vast machine, in which we have so little insight, and of which it is impossible we should know the ends and uses : when, instead of seeing to the highest pendants, we see only some lower deck, and are in this dark case of flesh, confined even to the hold and meanest station of the vessel.” I have inserted this passage at length, because it is a noble and poetical illustration of the foregoing lines, as well as of many other passages in this Essay. Characteristics, vol. ii. p. 188.
The whole doctrine of Plato is contained in this one short sentence: Μέρος μεν ένεκα όλου, και ουχ όλον ένεκα μέρους απεργάSerai. See a very fine passage in A. Gellius, lib. 6. cap. I. containing the opinion of Chrysippus on the origin of evil.
Ver. 32. Can a part contain the whole ?] “ Hobbes (says Dr. Campbell) acknowledged God the author of all things, but thought, or at least pretended he thought, too reverently of him to believe his nature could be comprehended by human understanding But what gave a handle to some to treat him as an
II. Presumptuous Man ! the reason would'st thou
atheist, was, the contempt he expressed for many of those scholastic terms, invented by assuming men, who would impose their own crude notions of the Divine Being, on their fellow-creatures, as so many articles of faith.” One of the most false and pernicious tenets of Hobbes, was the debasing and disparaging human nature, and saying, that man was to man a wolf; and attempting, as Cudworth expresses it, to “villanize mankind."
Ver. 35. Presumptuous Man !] Voltaire, tom. iv. p. 227, has the following remarkable words: I own it flatters me to see that Pope has fallen upon the very same sentiment which I had entertained many years ago : Vous vous étonnez que Dieu ait fait l'homme si borné, si ignorant, si peu heureux. Que ne vous étonnez-vous, qu'il ne l'ait fait pas plus borné, plus ignorant, et plus malheureux? Quand un Français et un Anglais pensent de meme, il fait bien qu'ils aient raison.
Ver. 41. Or ask of yonder, &c.] On these lines M. Voltaire thus descants: “ Pope dit que l'homme ne peut savoir pourquoi les Lunes de Jupiter sont moins grandes que Jupiter ? Il se trompe en cela, c'est une erreur pardonable. Il n'y a point de Mathematicien qui n'eut fait voir," &c. [Vol. ii. p. 384. Ed. Gen.) And so goes on to shew, like a great mathematician as he is, that it would be very inconvenient for the Page to be as big as his Lord and Master. It is pity all this fine reasoning should proceed on a ridiculous blunder. The poet thus reproves the impious complainer of the order of Providence: “You are dissatisfied with the weakness of your condition : but, in your situation, the nature of things requires just such a creature as you are ; in a different situation, it might have required that you should be