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I could express them more shortly this way than in prose itself; and nothing is more certain, than that much of the force as well as grace of arguments or instructions, depends on their conciseness
. I was unable to treat this part of my subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandring from the precision, or breaking the chain of reasoning : If any man can unite all these without diminution of any of them, i freely confess he will compass a thing above my capacity.
What is now published, is only to be considered as a general Map of Man, marking out no more than the greater paris, their extent, their limits, and their connection, but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts which are to follow. Consequently, these Epistles in their progress (if I have health and leisure to make any progress) will be less dry, and more susceptible of poetical ornament.
I am here only opening the fountains, and clearing the passage. To deduce the rivers, to follow them in their course, and to observe their efa í fects, may be a talk more agreeable,
ARG U M E N T OF
to the UNIVERSE.
OF Man in the abstract—I. That we can judge only
with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things, y 17, &c. II, That Man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a Being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general Order of things, and conformable to Ends and Relations to him unknown, Ý 35, &c. III. That it is partly upon his ignorance of future events, and partly upon the hope of a future ftate, that all his happiness in the present depends, $ 77, &c.
IV. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more Perfection, the cause of Man's error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitnes, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice, of his difpensations, x 109, &c. V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expeeling that perfection in the moral world, which is not in the natural, ý 131, &c. VI. The unreafonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he demands the Perfections of the Angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the Brutes ; tho', to Bo[ess any of the fensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable, x 173, &c. VII. That throughout the whole visible world, an univerfal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to Max. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, reason;
1 that Reason alone countervails all the other faculties, $ 207. VIII. How much further this order and fubordination of living creatures may extend, above and below us; were any part of which breken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation ! must be destroyed, ý 233. IX. The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a defire, 250. X. The consequence of all, the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state, Ý 281, &c. to the end.