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EPIS T L E IV. Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
Happiness. I. FALSE Notions of Happiness, Philosophical and Po
pular, answered from ø 19 to 77. II. It is the End of all Men, and attainable by all, ý 30. God intends Happiness to be equal; and to be so, it must be social, fince all particular Happiness depends on general, and fince he governs by general, not particular Laws, Ý 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 consist in these, x 51. But, notwithstanding that inequality, the balance of Happiness among Mankind is kept even by Providence, by The two Passions of Hope and Fear, ý 70. III. What the Happiness of Individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and that the good Man has here the advantage, x 77: The error of imputing to Virtue what are only the calamities of Nature, or of Fortune, * 94. IV. The folly of expecting that God mould alter his general Laws in favour of particulars,
I2I. V. That we are not judges who are good; but that, whoever they are, they must be happiest, x 133, &c. VI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of Vir: tue, Ý 165. That even these can make no Man happy without Virtue : Instanced in Riches, Ý 183. Honours, Ý 191. Nobility, x 203. Greatness, $ 215. Fame, x 235. Superior Talents, ¥ 257, &c. With pietures of human Infelicity in Men posessed of them all, x 267, &c. VII. That Virtue only constitutes a Happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, x 307, &c. That the perfection of Virtue and Happiness consists in a conformity to the ORDER of PROVIDENCE here, and a Resignation to it here and hereafter, x 326, &c.
Gray one Man.lj. and place:
Virtue next was the anci the art to ir but our auth thod and re deavour to
It is to be
N. Blakey inv.et deli
Know then this Truthlenough for Man to know everal names
be then mo?
and Callima feveral nam was difingu
E PIST LE
H HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Oh Happiness! to which we all aspire,
Honda COMMENTARY. THE two foregoing epistles having considered Man with regard to the Means (that is, in all his relations, whether as an Individual, or a Member of Society) this last comes to consider him with regard to the End, that is, Happiness.
It opens with an Invocation to Happiness, in the manner of the ancient poets, who, when destitute of a patron God, applied to the Muse, and, if she was engaged, took up with any simple Virtue next at hand, to inspire and prosper their designs. This was the ancient Invocation, which few modern poets have had the art to imitate with any degree either of spirit or decorum ; but our author hath contrived to make it subservient to the method and reasoning of his philosophic composition. I will endeavour to explain so uncommon a beauty.
It is to be observed that the Pagan deities had each their sefor his veral names and places of abode, with some of which they were
supposed to be more delighted than others, and confequently to
be then most propitious when invoked by the favourite name con
and place: Hence we find, the hymns of Homer, Orpheus, and Callimachus to be chiefly employed in reckoning up the feveral names and places of abode by which the patron God was diftinguished. Our poet hath made these two circumstances
That something still which prompts th'eternal figh,
COMMENTARY. serve to introduce his subject. His purpose is to write of Happiness; method therefore requires that he first define what men mean by Happiness, and this he does in the ornament of a poetic Invocation; in which the several names, that happiness goes by, are enumerated.
Oh Happiness ! our being's end and aim, Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content ! whate'er thy Name : After the Definition, that which follows next, is the Propofition, which is, that human Happiness confifts not in external Advantages, but in Virtue. For the subject of this epistle is the detecting the false notions of Happiness, and settling and explaining the true ; and this the poet lays down in the next fixteen lines. Now the enumeration of the several situations in which Happiness is supposed to reside, is a summary of falfe Happiness, placed in Externals:
Plant of celestial seed! if dropt below,
NOTĖ S. Ver. 6. O'erlook'd, seen any thing else to have a share double,] O’erlook'd by those with Virtue in procuring Hapwho place Happiness in any piness; these being the two thing exclusive of Virtue ; general mistakes that this episeen double by those who admit itle is employed in confuting.