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THE Justice which I have now done Mr Pope is agreeable to the public Voice, This goes so far, that I have seen several of his Readers admire him, like the rest, tho* they did not understand him, and indeed were very far from understanding him. I am pleased with thinking that a few Lines from his Pen bave had Credit enough to reconcile the Vulgar to the Notion of a Plurality of Worlds, which a great many Persons, even now, refuse to admit. However, this is a Notion that our Age has great Reafon to congratulate itself upon ; it seems to me to be of very great Use to raise our Admiration of the incomprehensible Infinity of our Creator.
I never find myself more sensibly touched with the Pleasure of Existing, than when I apply myself to run through the Gradations of Beings. The little Knowledge which I have in the Anatomy of Plants, and their Fruits, makes them already appear to me a Subject wortby of exbaufting my Admiratian. I lose myself in the Search of the Distribution of their clajes, ibeir Genera, Species, and Individuals, wbich, clofely examin’d, present new and undeterminable Differences between
them. What Transports do I feel when I attend to what Mr De Reaumur bas disco, cover'd to us (which he makes us bope that be will still continue to do) about the smallest of animal Beings, and which the Ignorance and stupid Negligence of Men made them look upon with so much Contempt! In Proportion as my Taste for the Knowledge of Nature grows strong and advances, it seems to me that our Earth alone contains Wonders enough to take up whole Lives infinitely longer than mine.
OUR Sun gives Light to fifteen other Planets, and perhaps a greater Number too far off to be visible to our Sight. Telescopes have taught us that the Number of Suns is above all Computation, and that beyond this innumerable Multitude, whose Distance furpasses all Imagination, it is very probable that an unbounded Immensity is still filled with Creatures, for the Wisdom and Power of God are absolutely infinite.
BUT what is this System itself of innu. merable Creatures, infinite as it is supposed, compared with the Infinity of God? There is an infinite Distance, between what receiv'd its whole Existence elsewhere, and the true
Being, the absolutely Infinite, whose Exift ence is necessarily eternal.
WHAT am I then, a little Particle, an Atom of this Immenfity? What am I, in comparison of the adorable infinite God? Notbing. I lose sight of myself in this Abyss : But I soon. find myself again, and that witha Raptures. I am a Part of this immense Work: The almighty Hand of its great and all-powerful Author formed me too. He faw, and still fees all bis Works. There is none but exists by him, none but what is present to him.'. There is no object. so little, upon which it is so easy for me to fix my Sight, as for him to make an infinite Number present to him. I am then honoured with bis Regard, I have nothing from my, felf, but all from him. How gloriously does this Thought draw me from Non-Existence ! I seem to myself coming out of nothing. In this Supposition I find myself obliged constant, ly to study myself, in order to acquire a Know ledge of all ibat I have received, and render Thanks to the adorable Author of my Being for all bis Gifts, and to confirm myself in the Use that I ought to make of them. If I was en Effect of. Chance, if I krew neither from
whence I came, nor to what I was appointed, my own Existence would be a Burthen to me, and I could not have any Regard for it. But as I am the Work of my God, the Creator of the Universe, I cannot help congratulating myself upon my Existence: I cannot belp loving, praising, and reverena, cing myself, and fearing to dishonour myself by Negligencies and Deviations. Since I am no longer for myself, all my Desires tend to discover what I ought to do with myself : With this Desire tbese Ideas arise : I find in myself a Monitor that teaches me what I ought to be employ'd in while I live, and persuades mé what I have to hope for after Death. With a Fear, however, of being flatter?d by these agreeable Hopes, and des ceiving myself in the Choice of my Employments, I come to perceive a Light which Socrates had so much wished for, and which be bap'd that God would honour Mankind with. I convince myself of the Truth of a Revelation, which gives an unshaken Constancy to all that Reafon bad already instructed me in, and presents me still with new Objects and new Hopes. It is so far from being posible that the giving myself up
to these glorious Expe&tations should be fuo Spected of Pride, that it would be Ingratitude, Shame, Haughtiness, and Brutality, not to tend with all my Powers to that Rank to which I am called. Infinite Goodness:bas created Men capable of making a, free Choice, capable of Self-determination, in order to enter into Treaty with them, to be loved of them by Choice, to honour them by a Goodness that surpasses all Understanding, by Returns of bis Affe&tion towards. Beings capable of giving themselves to him, from whom they received all, and to whom. they entirely belong.
WHOEVER will follow these Truths, fand where is it that they do not lead to?). Whoever will make Tryal of them, will find bere the solid and infinite Happiness for which our Soul was formed. And as there is one Aliment the most common of all, and of which the rest bave need, in order to make: them the better relished, in like mana ner is there a Stock of Reflections, which is : the Basis of our Pleasure, and heightens, the Value of all the innocent Amusements: that Life presents us with. All the Charms of Sight, all the Delights of Music, all the