« ZurückWeiter »
Without this just gradation, could they be
And, if each system in gradation roll Alike essential to th' amazing whole, The least confusion but in one, not all That system only, but the whole must fall. Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly, Planets and suns run lawless through the sky; Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd, Being on being wreck'd, and world on world; Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod, And Nature trembles to the throne of God. All this dread order break — for whom ? for thee? Vile worm! -oh madness! pride ! impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ? Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another in this general frame: Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains The great directing mind of all ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same; Great in the Earth, as in th' ethereal frame; Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart, As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt seraph that adores and burns : To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name : Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. Submit. — In this, or any other sphere, Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear : Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, Or in the natal, or the mortal hour. All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee; All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see ;
All Discord, Harnony not understood ;
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
Argument. 1. The business of man not to pry into God, but
to study himself. His middle nature : his powers and frailties. The limits of his capacity. II. The two principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their end the same. III. The passions, and their use. The predominant passion, and its force. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes. Its providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue. IV. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident: what is the office of reason. V. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it. VI. That, however, the ends of Providence and general good are answered in our passions and imperfections. How usefully these are distributed to all orders of men. How useful they are to society; and to individuals, in every state, and every age of life.
1. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
Go, wondrous creature ! mount where Science
Superior beings, when of late they saw
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Who saw its fires here rise and there descend,
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide;
II. Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Most strength the moving principle requires : Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.