« ZurückWeiter »
Of the Nature, and State of Man with respect to
1. THE whole Universe one system of Society, x 7, &c.
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, x 27. The happiness of Animals mutual, x 49. II. Reason or Instinct operate alike to the good of each Individual, x 79. Reason or Instinct operate also to Society, in all animals, x 109. III. How far Society carried by Instinet, 115. How much farther by Reafon, X 128. IV. Of that which is called the State of Nature, 144. Reafon instructed by Instinet in the invention of Arts, ♡ 166, and in the Forms of Society, Ý 176. V. Origin of Political Societies, x 196. Origin of Monarchy, x 207. Patriarchal Government, X 212. VI. Origin of true Religion and Government, from the Same principle, of Love, 231, &c. Origin of Superfti. tion and Tyranny, from the same principle, of Fear, X 237, &c. The Influence of Self-love operating to the social and public Good, x 266. Restoration of true Religion and Government on their first principle, x 285. Mixt Government, x 288. Various Forms of each, and the true end of all, y 300, &c.
N.Wlakey inv.et del.
See some fu Passion every Age supply:Slepe travels through, nor quits us nhen we die
E P I S T L E III.
ERE then we reft: “ The Universal Cause “ Acts to one end, but acts by various laws."
VARIATIONS. Ver. 1. in several Edit. in 4to.
Learn, Dulness, learn! “ The Universal Cause &c,
COMMENTARY. WE are now come to the third epistle of the Effay on Man. It having been shewn, in explaining the origin, use, and end of the Passions, in the second epistle, that Man hath social as well as selfish passions, that doctrine naturally introduceth the third, which treats of Man as a social animal; and connects it with the second, which considered him as an INDIVIDUAL. And as the conclusion from the subject of the first epistle made the introduction to the second, fo here again, the conclusion of the second
(Ev’n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others wants by thine.) maketh the introduction to the third,
Here then we rest : « The Universal Cause
“ Acts to one end, but acts by various laws." The reason of variety in those laws, which tend to one and the lame end, the good of the Whole generally, is, because the good of the individual is likewise to be provided for; both which together make up the good of the Whole universally. And this is the cause, as the poet says elsewhere, that
Each individual seeks a sev'ral goal, But to prevent our resting there, God hath made each need the affistance of another; and so
On mutual wants built mutual happiness.
In all the madness of superfluous health,
COMMENTARY. It was necessary to explain these two first lines, the better to see the pertinency and force of what followeth (from ø 2 to 7) where the poet warns such to take notice of this truth, whose circumstances placing them in an imaginary station of Independence, and a real one of insensibility to mutual Wants (from whence general Happiness results) make them but too apt to overlook the true system of things; viz. Men in full health and opulence. This caution was necessary with regard to Society; but still more necessary with regard to Religion: Therefore he especially recommends the memory of it both to Clergy and Laity, when they preach or pray; because the preacher, who doth not confider the first Cause under this view, as a Being consulting the good of the whole, must needs give a very unworthy idea of him; and the supplicant, who prayeth as one not related to a whole, or as disregarding the happiness of it, will not only pray in vain, but offend his Maker by an impious attempt to counter-work his dispensation.
7. Look round our World; &c.] Next he introduceth his system of human Sociability (v 7, 8) by shewing it to be the
NOTES. Ver. 3. - superfluous health,) Immoderate labour and study are the great impairers of health : They, whose station sets them above both, muft needs have an abundance of health, which not being employed in the common service, but wasted in Luxury, the poet properly calls a superfluity.
Ver. 4. - impudence of wealth,] Because wealth pretends