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Sublimer views thy darling Spirit bound;
all the Virtues into bloom.
Ye deathless Names, ye Sons of endless praise, By Virtue crown'd with never-fading bays ! Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire, Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire ? Or if, O WARBURTON, inspir’d by You, The daring Mufe a nobler path pursue, By You inspir’d, on trembling pinions soar, The sacred founts of social bliss explore, In her bold numbers chain the Tyrant's rage, And bid her Country's glory fire her page: If such her fate, do thou, fair Truth, descend, 515 And watchful guard her in an honest end : Kindly fevere, instruct her equal line To court no Friend, nor own a Foe but thine, But if her giddy eye should vainly quit Thy sacred paths, to run the maze of wit;
520 If her apostate heart should e'er incline To offer incense at Corruption's shrine; Urge, urge thy pow'r, the black attempt confound, And dash the smoaking Censer to the ground. Thus aw'd to fear, instructed Bards may see,
525 That Guilt is doom'd to sink in Infamy,
D E SI G N.
AVING proposed to write some pieces on Human
Life and Manners, such as (to use my lord Bacon's expression) come home to Mens Business and Bofoms, I thought it more satisfactory to begin with confidering Man in the abstract, his Nature and his State ; fince, to prove any moral Duty, to enforce any moral precept, or to examine the perfection or imperfection of any creature whatsoever, it is necessary first to know what condition and relation it is placed in, and what is the proper end and purpose of its being.
The science of Human Nature is, like all other sciences, reduced to a few clear prints: There are not many certain truths in this world. It is therefore in the Anatomy of the mind as in that of the Body ; more good will accrue to mankind by attending to the large, open, and perceptible parts, than by ftudying too much such finer nerves and vessels, the conformations and uses of which will for ever escape our observation, The disputes are all upon these last, and I will venture to say, they have lefs sharpened the wits than the hearts of men against each other, and have diminished the practice, more than advanced the theory, of Morality. If I could flatter myself that this Essay has any merit, it is in steering betwixt the extremes of doctrines seemingly opposite, in pailing over terms utterly unintelligible, and in forming a temperate yet not inconsistent, and a short yet not imperfect iystem of Ethics.
This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons. The one will appear obvious ; that principles, maxims, cr precepts so written, both strike the reader more strongly at first, and are more easily retained by him afterwards : The other may seem odd, but is true, I found