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Man, like the gen'rous vine, fupported lives;
The strength he gains is from th'embrace he gives.


VER. 311. Man, like the gen'rous vine, &c.] Having thus largely confidered Man in his focial capacity, the Poet, in or-.


should become the object of fo benevolent and wife an Au-
thor's refentment.

But that which he here feemed to have more particularly in his eye, was the long and mischievous fquabble between W-d and JACKSON, on a point confeffedly above Reason, and amongst those adorable myfteries, which it is the honour of our Religion to find unfathomable. In this, by the weight of anfwers and replies, redoubled upon one another without mercy, they made fo profound a progrefs, that the One proved, nothing hindred in Nature, but that the Son might have been the Father; and the Other, that nothing hindered in Grace, but that the Son may be a mere Creature. But if, infteed of throwing fo many Greek Fathers at one another's heads, they had but chanced to reflect on the fense of one Greek word, AПEIPIA, that it fignifies both INFINITY and IGNORANCE, this fingle equivocation might have faved them. ten thousand, which they expended in carrying on the controversy. However thofe Mifts that magnified the Scene, enlarged the Character of the Combatants and no body expecting common fenfe on a fubject where we have no ideas, the defects of dulnefs difappeared, and its advantages (for, advantages it has) were all provided for.

The worst is, fuch kind of Writers feldom know when to have done. For writing themselves up into the fame delufion with their Readers, they are apt to venture out into the more open paths of Literature, where their reputation, made out of that stuff which Lucian calls, Exóτ& iλóxço✪, presently falls from them, and their nakedness appears. And thus it fared with our two Worthies. The World, which must have always fomething to amufe it, was now, and it was time, grown weary of its play-things; and catched at a new object, that promifed them more agreeable entertainment, Tindal,


On their own Axis as the Planets run,

Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;


der to fix a momentous truth in the mind of his reader, concludes the epiftle in recapitulating the two Principles which concur to the fupport of this part of his character, namely, SELF-LOVE and SOCIAL; and in fhewing that they are only two different motions of the appetite to Good; by which the Author of Nature hath enabled Man to find his own happinefs in the happiness of the Whole. This he illuftrates with


a kind of Bastard-Socrates, had brought our fpeculations from Heaven to Earth: and, under the pretence of advancing the Antiquity of Christianity, laboured to undermine its Original. This was a controverfy that required another management. Clear fenfe, fevere reafoning, a thorough knowledge of prophane and facred Antiquity, and an intimate acquaintance with Human Nature, were the qualities proper for fuch as engaged in this fubject. A very unpromifing adventure for these metaphyfical nurflings, bred up under the fhade of chimeras. Yet they would needs venture out. What they got by it was only to be once well laughed at, and then forgotten. But one odd circumftance deferves to be remembered; though they wrote not, we may be fure, in concert, yet each attacked his adversary at the fame time; faftened upon him in the fame place; and mumbled him with juft the fame toothless rage. But the ill fuccefs of this escape foon brought them to themfelves. The one made a fruitless effort to revive the old game, in a difcourfe on The IMPORTANCE of the Doctrine of the Trinity; and the Other has been ever fince, rambling in SPACE, and TIME.

This short hiftory, as infignificant as the fubjects of it are, may not be altogether unufeful to pofterity. Divines may learn by these examples to avoid the mischiefs done to Religion and Literature, through the affectation of being wife above what is written, and knowing beyond what can be understood.

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So two confiftent motions act the Soul;
And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.

Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral frame,
And bade Self-love and Social be the fame.



a thought as fublime as that general harmony which he describes :

"On their own Axis as the Planets run,
"Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
"So two confiftent motions act the Soul;
"And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.

"Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral frame,
"And bade Self-love and Social be the fame."

For he hath the art of converting poetical ornament into philofophic reasoning; and of improving a fimile into an analogical argument; of which, more in our next.


VER. 318. And bade Self-love and Social be the fame.] True Self-love is an appetite for that proper good, for the enjoyment of which, we were made as we are. Now that good is commenfurate with all other good, and a part and portion of Univerfal Good: it is therefore the fame with Social, which hath the fame properties.




Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Happiness.

I. FALSE Notions of Happiness, Philofophical and Popular, anfwered from Ver. 19 to 27. II. It is the End of all Men, and attainable by all, Ver. 30. God intends Happiness to be equal; and to be fo, it must be focial, fince all particular Happiness depends on general, and fince he governs by general, not particular Laws, Ver. 37. As it is necessary for Order, and the peace and welfare of Society, that external goods Should be unequal, Happiness is not made to confift in thefe, Ver. 51. But, notwithstanding that inequality, the balance of Happiness among Mankind is kept even by Providence, by the two Paffions of Hope and Fear, Ver. 70. III. What the Happiness of Individuals is, as far as is confiftent with the conftitution of this world; and that the good Man has here the advantage, Ver. 77. The error of imputing to Virtue what are only the calamities of Nature, or of Fortune, Ver. 94. IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter bis general Laws in favour of particulars, Ver. 121. V. That we are not judges who are good; but that whoever they are, they must be happiest, Ver. 133, &c. VI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconfiftent with, or deftructive of, Virtue, Ver. 165. That even these can make no Man happy without Virtue: Inftanced in Riches, Ver. 183. Honours, Ver. 191. Nobility, Ver. 203. Greatness, Ver. 215. Fame, Ver. 235. Superior Talents, Ver. 257, &c. With pictures of human Infelicity in Men poffeffed of them all, Ver. 267, &c. VII. That Virtue only conftitutes a Happiness, whofe object is univerfal, and whofe profpect eternal, Ver. 307, &c. That the perfection of Virtue and Happiness confifts in a conformity to the ORDER of PROVIDENCE here, and a Refignation to it here and bereafter, Ver. 326, &c.



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