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The Grand, the Marvellous, of Civil Life.
Thus far Ambition. What says Avarice?
To this great End keen Instinët ftings him on.
“ Thou shalt not covet," is a wise Command,
See the Third Witness laughs at Bliss remote,
Since Nature made us not more fond, than proud Of Happiness, (whence Hypocrites in Joy,
Makers of Mirth! Artificers of Smiles !)
The Witnesses are heard, the Cause is o'er ;
- unapt to Know! “ 'Tis Immortality your Nature folves; “ 'Tis Immortality decyphers Man, “ And opens all the Myft'ries of his Make. « Without it, half his Instincts are a Riddle; 66 Without it, all his Virtues are a Dream: “ His very Crimes attest his Dignity ; - His fateless Thirst of Pleasure, Gold, and Fame, " Declares him born for Blessings infinite; “ What, less than Infinite, makes unabsurd of Passions, which all on Earth but more infames ? " Fierce Paffions fo mismeasur'd to this Scene, ... Stretch'd out, like Eagles Wings, beyond our Neft, .66 Far, far beyond the Worth of all below, ** For Earth too large, presage a nobler Flight, 166 And Evidence our Title to the Skies."
Ye gentle Theologues, of calmer Kind! Whose Constitution dictates to your Pen, Who, Cold yourselves, think Ardor comes from Hell ! Think not our Paffions from Corruption (prung, Tho' to Corruption, now, they lend their Wings; That is their Mistress, not their Mother. All (And justly) Reafon deem Divine: I see, I feel, a Grandeur in the Paffons too, Which speaks their high Descent, and glorious End; Which speaks them Rays of an Eternal Fire. In Paradise itself they burnt as strong, Ere Adam fell ; tho' wiser in their Aim. Like the proud Eastern, ftruck by Providence, What tho' our Pasions are run mad, and stoop With low, terrestrial Appetite, to graze, On Trash, on Toys, dethron’d from high Desire ; Yet still, thro' their Disgrace, no feeble Ray Of Greatness shines, and tells us whence they fell : But These, (like that fall’n Monarch when reclaim'd) When Reason moderates the Rein-aright, Shall reascend, remount their former Sphere, Where, once, they soar’d Illustrious ; ere seduc'd, By wanton Eve's Debauch, to ftrole on Earth, And set the sublunary World on Fire.
But grant their Frenzy lafts; their Frenzy fails To disappoint one providential End; Was Reason filent, boundless Passion speaks A future Scene of boundless Objects too, And brings glad Tidings of eternal Day. Eternal Day! 'Tis that enlightens All; And All, by that enlighten'd, proves it sure. Consider Man as an immortal Being, Intelligible, All; and All is Great ; A crystalline Transparency prevails, And strikes full Lustre thro' the Human Sphere ; Consider Man as mortal, All is dark, And wretched ; Reason weeps at the Survey.
The learn'd LORENZO cries, “ And let her weep, Weak, modern Reason; antient Times were wise. « Authority, that venerable Guide, “ Stands on my Part; the fam'd Athenian Porch, “ (And who for Wisdom so renown'd as They?) “ Deny'd this Immortality to Man.” I grant it ; but affirm they prov'd it too. A Riddle, this? Have Patience, l'll explain.
WHAT noble Vanities, what moral Flights, Glitt'ring thro' their romantic Wisdom's Page, Make as, at once, despise them, and admire ? Fable is flat to These high-season'd Sires, They leave th’ Extravagance of Song below. « Flesh shall not feel; or feeling, fall enjoy & The Dagger, or the Rack; to them alike « A Bed of Roses, or the burning Bull." In Men exploding all beyond the Grave, Strange Doctrine, This : As Do&trine it was ftrange, But not as Prophecy; for such it prov'd, And, to their own Amazement, was fulfill'd: They feign'd a Firmness Christians need not feign, The Christian truly triumph'd in the Flame: The Stoic faw, in double Wonder loft, Wonder at Them, and Wonder at Himself, To find the bold Adventures of his Thought Not bold, and that he strove to lye in vain. WHENCE, then, those Thoughts? Those towTing
Thoughts that flew