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A R G U M E N T
OF EPISTLE I. Of the Nature and State of Man with respect
to the Universe.
OF MAN IN THE ABSTRACT.
1. That we can judge only with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things, ver. 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 Ordre of things, and conformable to Ends and Relations to him unknown, ver. 35. &c.
III. That it is partly upon his ignorance of future events, and partly upon the hope of a future staie, that all his happiness in the present depends, ver.
IV. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more Perfečtion, the cause of Man's error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness , perfection or imperfection , justice or injustice, of his dispensations, ver. 109. &c.
F. The abfurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expecting that perfe&tion in the moral world, which is not in the natural, ver.
VI. The unreasonableness 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 ; though, to posess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable, ver. 137. &c.
VII. That throughout the whole visible world, an universel order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to Man. The gradations of sense , instinct, thought, reflection, reason; that "Reason alone countervails all the other faculties : veri 207.
VIII. How much farther this order and subore dination of living creatures may extend , above and below us; were any part of which broken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation must be destroyed, ver. 233.
IX. The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a desire , ver. 250.
X. The consequence of all, the absolute fubmiffion due to Providence, both as to our present and future state, ver. 281. &c. to the end.
Persius Satyr. III. v. 66. fq. Discite o miseri , & caufas cognofcite rerum, Quid fumus, & quidnam vičturi gignimur; ordo Quis datus ; aut metæ quà mollis flexus , & unde:
quid fas optare
patriæ , charisque propinquis Quantum elargiri deceat : quem te Deus esse Juffit, & humana qua parte locatus es in re.
E P I S T L E I.
To low ambition, and the pride of Kings.
Together let us beat this ample field,
J. Say first, of God above, or Man below,
He, who thro' vast immensity can pierce,