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E wife to-day; 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead ;;
Thus on, till wisdom is pul'd out of life.
Procrastination is the chief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fied,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene,
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, " That all men are about to live,”
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They, one day, shall not drivel; and their pride
On this reverfion takes up ready praise ;
At least, their own ; their future felves applauds;
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own bands is Folly's vails;
That lodg?d in Fate's, to Wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't birt purpose, they postpone į
'Tis not in Folly, not to scorn a fool;
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.
All Promise is poor dilatory man,
And that thro? ev'ry stage. When young, indeed
In full content we, sometimes, nobly reft,
Un-anxious for ourselves; and only wish
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man. suspects himfelf a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves ; then dies the fame.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal, but themselves ;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes thro their wounded hearts the sudden dread
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where past the shaft, no trace is found.
On the BEING of a GOD.
(YOUNG.] ETIRE;The world shut out ;-Thy thoughts R call home;Imagination's airy wing repress.;-a Lock up thy senises ;--Let no passion stir ;Wake all to Reason ;-Let her reign alone; Then, in thy Soul's deep silence, and the depth Of Nature's filence, midnight, thus inquire, As I have done.
What am I? and from whence? - I nothing know , But that I am ; and, since I am, conclude Something eternal : had there e'er been nought, Nought still had been : Eternal there must be. But what eternal ?-Why not human race? And ADAM's ancestors without an end? That's hard to be conceiv'd; fince ev'ry link Of that long-chain'd succession is so frail; Can ev'ry part depend, and not the whole Yet grant it true ; new difficulties rise;. I'm still quite out at fea; nor see the shore. Whence earth, and these bright orbs?-Eternal too? Grant matter was eternal; still these orbs Would want some other father ;
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes ;;
Design implies intelligence, and; art :
That can't be from themselves or man ; that art
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow?
And nothing greater, yet allow'd than man.
Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain,
Shot thro’ vast masses of, enormous weight?
Who bid brute matter's restive lump allume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly?
Has matter innate motion? Then each atom,
Afferting its indisputable right
To dance, would form an universe of duft:
Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forms,
boundless fights, from shapeless, and repos’d ?
Has matter more than motion ? Has it thought,
Judgment, and genius? Is it deeply learn'd
In Mathematics? Has it fram’d such laws,
Which, but to guess, a NEWTON made immortal?
If art, to form ; and counsel, to conduct;
And that with greater far, than human skill,
Resides not in each block;~a GODHEAD reigns..
And, if a GOD. there is, that GOD how great !
The IGNORANCE of MAN, with regard to the
GENERAL LAWS of the UNIVERSE, a Reason
why he fhould be contented with his PRESENT
AY first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know !
Of man, what fee we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Thro' worlds unnumber'd tho the God be known,
'Tis ours-to trace him only in our own.
He, who thro' vaft immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compofe one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other funs,
What vary'd being peoples ev'ry star,
May tell why heav'n has made us as we are..
But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies,
Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd thro'? or can a part contain the whole ?
Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?
Presumptuous man! 'the reason would'At thou find,
Why form'd fo weak, so little, and so blind?
First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,
Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less?
Al of thy mother earth, why oaks are made
Taller and stronger than the weeds they fhade?
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
Why Jové's satellites are less than Jove?
of systems poffible, if 'tis confest
That wisdom infinite muft form the best:
Where all must full or not coherent be,
And all that rises, rise in due degree ;
Then, in the scale of reas'ning life, 'tis plain,
There must be somewhere, such a rank as man:
And all the question, (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, tho' labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce once purpose.gain;
In God's, one fingle can its end produce;
Yet serves to second too some other use.
man, who here seems-principal alone, Perhaps acts second to foine sphere unknown, Touches some wheel, or verges to fome goal; ''Tis but a part we fee, and not a whole.
When the proud steed shall know why man restrains His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains; When the dull ox, why now he breaķs the clod, Is now a vietim, and now Ægypt's god : Then shall inan's pride and dulness comprehend His actions!, pafsions', being's, use and end; Why doing, fuff'ring, check'd, impellid; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Then fay not man's imperfect, heav'n in fault; Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought: His knowledge meafur'd to his state and place; His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter, soon or late, or here, or there? The blest to-day is as completely so, As who began a thousand years ago. Our HAPPINESS partly owing to our IGNORANCE
of FUTURE EVENTS, partly to our HOPE of a FUTURE STATE. [Pope.] TEAV'N from all creatures hides the book of fate,
From brutes what men, from men what spirits 'know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'ng,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perith, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
And now a bubble burft, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions foar;
Wait the great teacher death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blefling now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast :
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His foul, proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste,
Where Aaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Chriftians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural defire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog fhall bear him company.
The UNREASONABLENESS of our COMPLAINTS
against PROVIDENCE. [Pope.] THAT would this Man? Now upward will he foar,
more; Now looking downwards, just
as griev'd appears,
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
Say what their use, had he the pow'rs of all;
Nature to these, without profufion, kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign'd;
Each seeming want compensated of course,
Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
All in exact proportion to the state;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
Is Heav'n unkind to Man, and Man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas’d with nothing, if not bleft with all?