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Wise is her present; she connects in this
Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine,
God loves from whole to parts : but human soul Must rise from individual to the whole. Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; The centre moved, a circle straight succeeds, Another still, and still another spreads; Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace; His country next, and next all human race: Wide and more wide, the oʻerflowings of the mind Take every creature in, of every kind :
370 Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty bless'd, And Heaven beholds its image in his breast.
Come then, my friend! my genius! come along; O master of the poet, and the song! And while the muse now stoops, or now ascends, To man's low passions, or their glorious ends, Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, To fall with dignity, with temper rise; Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer From grave to gay, from lively to severe; 380 Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Intent to reason, or polite to please. O! while along the stream of time thy name Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame, Say, shall my little bark attendant sail, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO OPT. MAX.
It may be proper to observe, that some passages in the preceding Essay having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards fate and naturalism, the author composed this prayer as the sum of all, to show that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: that the First Cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the universe as the Crea. tor of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Essay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determin. ation, but a resting in a religious acquiescence, and confi. dence full of hope and immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this paraphrase.
FATHER of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
Thou Great First Cause, least understood ,
Who all my sense confined
And that myself am blind;
To see the good from ill;
Left free the human will:
Or warns me not to do,
That, more than heaven pursue.
Let me not cast away ;
To enjoy is to obey.
Thy goodness let me bound,
When thousand worlds are round.
Presume thy bolts to throw,
On each I judge thy foe.
Still in the right to stay :
To find that better way.
Or impious discontent,
Or aught thy goodness lent.
To hide the fault I see • That mercy I to others show
That mercy show to me
Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quicken'd by thy breath ; O lead me, wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death. This day, be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun,
And let thy will be done.
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies !
All Nature's incense rise !
Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu
ADVERTISEMENT. The Essay on Man was intended to have been comprised in four books :
The first of which the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.
The second was to have consisted of the same number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and therefore attainable, together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of inen. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures, characters, and examples.
The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained ; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society: between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relation and closest connexion : so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.
The fourth and last book concerned private ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.
The scheme of all this had been maturely digested, and communicated to Lord Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was partly through illhealth, partly through discouragements from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.
But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly retlected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetæ that now remain, it may not be amiss to be a little moro particular concerning each of these projected books.
The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following; so that
The second book was to take up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treat of