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THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.

DEO OPT. MAX.

It may be proper to observe, that some passages,

in the preceding Essay, having been unjustly sus. pected of a tendency towards fate and naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to show that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: That the First Cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Essay, was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but the resting in a religious acquiescence, and confidence full of hope and immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this paraphrase.

FATHER OF aime in every age,

clime adora,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,

Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou Great First Cause, least understood;

Who all my sense confin'd
To know but this, that thou art good,

And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill; And, binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will :

What conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do, This, teach me more than hell to shun,

That, more than heaven pursue.

What blessings thy free bounty gives,

Let me dot cast away;
For God is paid when man receives :

T' enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth's contracted span

Thy goodness let me bound, Or think thee Lord alone of man,

When thousand worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,

On each I judge thy foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay: If I am wrong, o teach my

heart To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish pride,

Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has deny'd,

Or aught thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's woe,

To hide the fault I see, That mercy I to others show,

That mercy show to me,

Mean though I am, not wholly so,

Since quicken'd by thy breath ; O lead me, wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death.

This day, be bread and peace my lot:

All else beneath the sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,

And let thy will be done.

3

To thee, whose temple is all space,

Whose altar, earth, sea, skies! One chorus let all being raise !

All nature's incense rise !

MORAL ESSAYS,

IN FOUR EPISTLES TO SEVERAL PERSONS.

Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures :
Et sermone opus est modo tristi, sæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo rhetoris atque poëtæ,
laterdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas consulto.

HOR

ADVERTISEMENT.

The Essay on Man was intended to have been comprised in four books :

The first of which, the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.

The second was to have consisted of the same number: 1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and therefore ato tajnable, together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against a misapplication of them, illustrated by pic. tures, characters, and examples.

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The third book regarded civil regimen, or the sci. ence of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to be examined and explained; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society; between which the au. thor always supposed there was the most interesting relation and closest connexion; so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.

The fourth and last book concerned private ethics, or practical morality, considered in all the circum. stances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.

The scheme of all this had' been maturely digested, and communicated to Lord Bolingbroke, Dr. Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years ;, but was, partly through ill health, partly through discouragements from the depravity of the times, and partly on pru. dential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.

But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly reflected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetæ, that now remain, it may not be amiss to be a little more par. ticular concerning each of these projected books.

The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every of his rela tions, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following; so that,

The second book was to take up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treats of man in his intellectual capacity at large, As has been explained above. Of this only a small part of the cor clusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit' and learning) may be found in the fourth book of the Dun. ciad, and up and down, occasionally, in the other three.

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