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together the same number, the wonder would be nothing in comparison with this. But when we see this fimilitude and resemblance in the arm, the hand, the fingers; when we see one half of the body entirely correlpond with the other in all those minute strokes, without which a man might have very well fubfifted; nay, when we often fee a single part repeated an hundred times in the same body, notwithstanding it consists of the most intricate weaving of numberless fibres, and these parts differing still in magnitude, as the convenience of their particular situation requires ; sure a man must have a strange cast of understanding, who does not discover the finger of God in so wonderful a work. These duplicates in those parts of the body, without which a man might have very well subfifted, though not so well as with them, are a plain demonstration of an all-wise Contriver ; as those more numerous copyings, which are found among tlie vessels of the same body, : are evident demonstrations that they could not be the work of chance. This argument receives additional strength, if we apply it to every animal and insect with. in our knowledge, as well as to those numberless living creatures that are objects too minute for a human eye: and if we consider Jiow the several species in this whole world of life resemble one another, in very many parti. culars, so far as is convenient for their respective states of existence; it is much more probable that an hundred million of dice should be casually thrown a hundred mil. lion of times in the same number, than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter. And that the like chance should arise in innumerable instances, requires a degree of credulity that is not under the direction of common sense..
III. On Natural and Fatastical PleafüresoIT is of great use to consider the pleasures which cons
stitute human happiness, as they are distinguished into Natural and Fantastical. Natural pleasures I call those, which, not depending on the fashion and caprice of any particular age or nation, are suited to human nature in general, and were intended by Providence as rewards for the using our faculties agreeably to the ends for
which they were given us. Fantaftical pleasures are those, which, having no natural fitness to delight our minds, presuppose some particular whim or taite acci. dentally prevailing in a set of people, to which it is viving that they please.
Now I take it, that the tranquillity and cheerfulness with which I have passed my life, are the effect of having, ever since I came to years of discretion, continued my inclinations to the former fort of pleasures. But as my experience can be a rule only to my own actions, it may probably be a stronger motive to induce others to the fame fcheme of life, if they would contider that we are prompted to natural pleasures by an inflinét iniprelied on our minds by the Author of our nature, who beit understands our frames, and consequently beft knows what those pleasures are, which will give us the leaft uneasiness in the pursuit, and the greatest satisfaction in the enjoyment of them. Hence it follows, that the objects of our natural desires are clieap or easy to be obtained; it being a maxim that holds throughout the whole fyftem of created beings, " that nothing is inade in vain, much less the inftinets and appetites of animals, which the benevolence as well as wildom of the Deity is concerned to provide for. Nor is the fruition of those objects lefs pleasing than the acquisition is eafy; and the pleasure is heightened by the sense of having answered some natural end, and the consciousness of acting in concert with the supreme Governor of the universe.
Under natural pleafures I comprehend those which are universally suited, as well to the rational as the fenfual
part of our nature. And of the pleasures which af. fect our senses, those only are to be efteemed natural that are contained within the rules of reason, which is allowed to be as necessary an ingredient of human nature as sense. And, indeed, excefses of any hardly to be esteemed pleafures, much less natural pleafures.
It is evident, that a desire terminated in money. is fantastical ; so is the defire of outward distinctions, which bring na delight of sense, nor recommend us as useful to raankind; and the desire of things merely because they
are new or foreign. Men who are indifposed to a due exertion of their higher parts, are driven to such pursuits as these from the restlessness of the mind, and the senfi. tive appetites being easily satisfied. It is, in fome fort, owing to the bounty of Providence, that, disdaining a cheap and vulgar happiness, they frame to themselves imaginary goods, in which there is nothing can raise delire, but the difficulty of obtaining them. Thus men become the contrivers of their own misery, as a punishment on themselves for departing from the measures of nature. Having by an habitual reflection on these truths made them familiar, the effect is, that I, among a number of persons who have debauched their natural taste, see things in a peculiar light, which I have arrived at, not by any uncommon force of genius or acquired knowledge, but only by unlearning the false notions instilled by custom and education. : The various objects that compose the world were by Dature formed to delight our senses; and as it is this alone that makes them desirable to an uncorrupted taste, a man may be said naturally to possess them, when he possesseth those enjoyments which they are fitted by nature to yield. Hence it is usual with me to consider myself as having a natural property in every object that administers pleasure to me. When I am in the country, all the fine seats near the place of my residence, and to which I have access, I regard as mine. The fame I think of the groves and fields, where I walk, and muse on the folly of the civil landlord in London, who has the fantastical pleasure of draining dry rent into his coffers, but is a stranger to the fresh air and rural enjoy. ments. By these principles I am possessed of half a dozen of the finest seats in England, which in the eye
of the law belong to certain of my acquaintance, who being men of business choose to live near the court.
In some great families, where I choose to pass my time, a stranger would be apt to rank me with the other domestics; but in my own thoughts, and natural judge. ment, I am master of the house, and he who goes by that name is my steward, who eases me of the care of providing for myself the conveniencies and pleasures of life.
When I walk the streets, I use the foregoing natural maxim, (viz. That he is the true possessor of a thing who enjoys it, and not he that owns it without the enjoyment of it) to convince myself that I have a property in the gay part of all the gilt chariots that I meet, which I regard as amusements designed to delight my eyes, and the imagination of those kind people who sit in them gaily attired only to please me. I have a real, and they only an imaginary pleasure from their exterior embellishments. Upon the fame principle, I have discovered that I am the natural proprietor of all the diamond necklaces, the crofles, stars, brocades, and embroidered clothes, which I see at: play or birth-night, as giving more natural delight to the spectator, than to thole that wear them. And I look on the beaus and ladies as so many paroquets in an aviary, or tulips in a garden, designed purely for my diverfron. A gallery of pictures, a cabinet or library that I have free access to, I think my own.
In a word, all that I desire is the use of things, let who will have the keeping of them: by which maxim I am grown one of the richest men in Great Britain ; with this difference, that I am not a prey to my own cares, or the envy of others.
The fame principles I find of great use in my pri. vate economy. As I cannot go to the price of historypainting, I have purchased at easy rates several beautifully designed pieces of landskip and perspective, which are much more pleasing to a natural taste than unknown faces or Dutch gambols, though done by the best masters: my couches, beds, and window-curtains are of Irif stoff, which those of that nation work very fine, and with a delightful mixture of colours. There is not a piece of china in my house; but I have glasses of all forts, and some tinged with the finest colours, which are not the less pleasing, because they are domestic, and cheaper than foreign toys. Every thing is neat, entire and clean, and
fitted to the taste of one who would rather be happy than be thought rich.
Every day, numberlefs innocent and natural gratifications occur to me, while I behold my fellow-creatures labouring in a toilfome and absurd pursuit of trifles : one that he may be called by a particular appella:
tions another, that he may wear a particular ornament, · which I regard as a bit of ribband that has an agreeable effect on my fight, but is so far from supplying the place of inerit, where it is not, that it serves only to inake the want of it more conspicuous. Fair weather is the joy of my soul: about noon I behold a blue fky with rapture, and receive great consolation from the roly dashes of light which adorn the clouds of the morning and evening. When I am loft among the green trees, I do not envy a great man with a great crowd at his levee, And I often lay aside thoughts of going to an spera, that I may enjoy the filent pleasure of walking by moon light, or viewing tse stars 'sparkle in their azure ground; which I look upon as a part of my posfeffions, not without a secret indignation at the tastelessness of mortal men, who, in their race through life, overlook the real enjoyments of it.
But the pleasure which naturally affects a human mind with the most lively and transporting touches, I take to be the sense that we act in the eye of infinite wisdom, power and goodness, that will crown our virtuous en. deavours here, with a happiness hereafter, large as our desires, and lafting as our immortal souls. This is a per. petual spring of gladness in the mind. This lessens our
calamities, and doubles our joys. Without this the high· est state of life is insipid, and with it the lowest is a paradise.
IV. The Folly and Madness of Ambition illustrated. AMONG the variety of subjects with which you have
entertained and instructed the public, I do not remember that you have any where touched upon the fol. ly and madness of ambition; which, for the benefit of those wlio are dissatisfied with their present situations, I beg leave to illustrate by giving the history of my OWA life.
I am the son of a younger brother of a good family, who at liis decease left me a little fortune of a hundred pounds a year. I was put early to Eton school, where I learnt Latin and Greek ; from which I went to the university, where I learnt not--totally to forget them. I came to my fortune while I was at college ; and ha