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HERE then we rest: “The Universal Cause

“Acts to one end, but acts by various laws."


Ver. 1. in the several Edit. in 4to,

Learn, Dulness, learn! “ The universal Caufe, &c.

NOTE s. EP. III. We are now come to the third Epistle of the Essay 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 paflions, that doctrine naturally introduced 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 conclus fion from the subject of the first epistle made the introduction to the second, so 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.

Ver. 1. Here then sue reft: The Universal Caufa Axts to one end, but acts by various laws.] The reason of variety in those laws, which tend to one and the same 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 refting there, God hath made each Deed the affistance of another; and so

In all the madness of superfluous health,
The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth,
Let this great truth be present night and day,
But most be present, if we preach or pray.



On mutual wants built mutual happinefs. It was necessary to explain these two first lines, the better to see the pertinency and force of what followeth, 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 ; Qiz. Men in full health and opulence. This caution was vecessary with regard to Society ; but still more neceffary with regard to Religion. Therefore he especially recommends the memory of it both to Clergy and and Laity, when they preach or pray; because the preacher, who doth not consider 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 bis Maker by an impious attempo to counterwork his difpensation.

VER. 3. --- fuperfluous health,) Immoderate labour and fody are the great impairers of health: They, whose ftation sets them above both, muft needs have an abun. daree of health, which, not being employed in the common service, but wasted in luxury, the poet properly calls a fuperfluity.

VER.4. - impudence of wealth.) Because wealth pretends to be wisdom, wit, learning, honesty, and, in short, all the virtues in their turns.



Look round our world behold the chain of Love, Combining all below and all above. See plastic Nature working to this end, The single atoms each to other tend,

10 Attract, attracted to, the next in place Form’d and impell’d its neighbour to embrace, See Matter next, with various life endu'd, Press to one centre still, the gen’ral Good. See dying vegetables life sustain,

15 See life diffolving vegetate again; All forms that perish other forms supply, (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die) Like bubbles on the sea of Matter borne, They rise, they break, and to that sea return. Nothing is foreign; Parts relate to whole; One all-extending, all-preserving Soul



Ver.12. Form'd and impellod, &c.] To make Matter so cohere as to fit it for the uses intended by its Creator, a proper configuration of its insensible parts, is as necessary as that quality fo equally and universally conferred upon it, called Attraction. To express the first part of this thought, our Author fays form'd, and to express the latter, impelld.

VER. 22. One all-extending, all-preseroving foul.) Which, in the language of Sir Ifaac Newton, is, “Deus omni“ bus præsens eft, non per virtutem folam, fed etiam per fub. * ftantiam : nam virtus fine fubftantia fubfiftere non poo teft.” Nowt. Princ. sehol. gen. füb fin.


Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made Beast in aid of Man, and Man of Beast;
All serv'd all serving : nothing stands alone! 25
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.

Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good,
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spread the flow’ry lawn; 30
Is it for thce the lark ascends and figna vingo
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own and raptures swell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride, 35
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
Is thine alone the feed that strews the plain!
The birds of heav'n fhall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: 40
The hog that plows not nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all.


Ver. 23. Greatest with the least; ) As acting more strongly and immediately in beasts, whose instinct is plainly an external reason; which made an old school-man say, with great elegancę, “ Deus eft anima brutorum."

In this 'tis God directs

Know, Nature's children shall divide her care:
The fur that warms the monarch, warm'd a bear.
While Manexclaims, “See all things for my use! 45
" See man for mine ! ” replies a pamper'd goose:
And just as short of Reason He must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.
Grant that the pow'rful still the weak controul :
Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole: 50
Nature that Tyrant checks; He only knows,
And helps, another creature's wants and woes.


After ver.

46. in the former Editions,
What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat hima
All this he knew; but not that 'twas to eat him.,
As far as Goose could judge, he reason'd right;
But as to man, mistook the matter quite.


VER. 45. See all things for my use.] On the contrary the wise man hath said, The Lord hath made all things for bimself, Prov. xvi. 4.

VER. 50. Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the whole :) Alluding to the witty system of that Philosopher, which made Animals mere Machines, insensible of pain or pleasure; and so encouraged Men in the exercise of that Tyranny over their fellow-creatures, consequent on such a principle.

Ver. 51. Nature that Tyrant checks;} I grant, indeed, fays the Poet, that Man affects

to be the Wit and Tyrant of the whole, and would fain shake off

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