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Of systems possible, if 'tis confest, That wisdom infinite must form the best, Where all must fall or not coherent be, And all that rises, rise in due degree; Then, in the scale of reasoning 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 placed him wrong? Respecting man, whatever wrong we call May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, though labor'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain; In God's, one single can its end produce, 55 Yet serves to second too some other use. So man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown, Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal; 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
60 When the proud steed shall know why man
His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains;
43. If 'tis confest, that infinite Wisdom must form the best of possible systems.
45. Where all must fall, or not be coherent.
49. Wrangle may be, by hypothesis, put in the imp. m. or in the subj. m.-if we or you wrangle.
50. The phrase, if God has placed him wrong, is in apposition with question.
51. Respecting, by some, is called a prep. and it may be a part. That, respecting man, which we call wrong 55. In God's works one single purpose, san, &c
When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Then shall man's pride and dullness comprehend His actions', passions', being's, use and end; 66 Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impell'd; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Then say not, man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say, rather, man's as perfect as he ought; 70 His knowledge measured 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.
III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book
All but the page prescribed, their present state; From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
63. Oxen were offered in sacrifice by most of the ancients, as well as the Jews. With the Egyptians, the species ox, was sacred, and an object of worship. When their god, the bull Apis, died, in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, the expenses of his funeral pomp exceeded 50,000 French crowns.
75. Blest, a part. used for its s. or, the man, who is (or who began to be) blest to-day, &c.
76. Years- Nouns of time and distance, and manner, with the noun, home, are put in the obj. case, without any word expressed to govern them -a prep. being understood. 80. Being is a noun- Who could suffer (i. e. bear the burden of) existence here below.
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor❜d mind
81. If the lamb, which thy riot dooms, &c. (if he) had thy reason, would he skip and play? He is only a repeti. tion of the subject, and in app. with lamb.
85. Interjections govern both the nom. and obj. of pronouns, but the nom. only of nouns.
87. Who relates to Heaven, which is here used for God, and God, in the end of the line, is connected with who, by the conj. as-or, those nouns which follow the conj. as, and have a like meaning with those to which they are connected, may be considered in apposition with the same.
92. Wait for the great teacher. By a particular usage of language, the obj. case is put after many verbs which do not pass over to them, as the real objects of an action.
His soul proud science never taught to stray
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
In pride, in reasoning pride our error lies;
102. To the solar walk, that is, the circuit of the sun. 113. Go, thou, who art wiser than the poor Indian. 115. Call that, imperfection, which thou fanciest to be
120. If he be not alone made, &c. then snatch —
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause.
V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, ""Tis for mine;
"For me, kind nature wakes her genial power, "Suckles each herb and spreads out ev'ry flow'r : "Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew 135 "The juice nectarius, and the balmy dew; "For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings; "For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; "Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My footstool earth, my canopy the skies." But errs not nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? "No, 'tis replied, the first Almighty Cause 145 "Acts not by partial, but by general laws; "The exceptions few; some change since all begun :
129. He who, &c. sins. When but can be changed into only, without injuring the sense, it is an adverb.
141. But does not nature err from this gracious end? viz: the blessings enumerated above.