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No powers of body or of soul to share,
7. Far as creation’s ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental powers
ascends. Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race From the green myriads in the peopled grass : What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole’s dim curtain and the lynx's beam! Of smell, the headlong lioness between And hound sagacious on the tainted green
! Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood To that which warbles through the vernal wood ! The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line; In the nice bee what sense so subtly true, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew!
How instinct varies in the grovelling swine,
8. See through this air, this ocean, and this
And if each system in gradation roll,
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit ily,
9. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
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!
10. 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 bless'd 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, harmony not understood ; All partial evil, universal good : And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is is right.
AN ESSAY ON MAN.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
TO HIMSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
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. 2. The two principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their end the same. 3. The passions, and their
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. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident: what is the office of reason. 5. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it. 6. 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 the individuals, in every state, and every age of life.
1. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;