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In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
But all Mankind's concern is Charity :


NOTES. However, not to leave him under the least suspicion in a matter of so much importance, I shall justify the sense here given to this passage more at large: First, by considering the words themselves; and then, by comparing this mistaken sense with the context.

The poet, we may observe, is here speaking, not of civil Society at large, but of a jujt legitimate Policy:

Th’according music of a well-mix'd State. Now mix'd States are of various kinds; in some of which the Democratic, in others the Aristocratic, and in others the Monarchic form prevails. Now as each of these mix'd Forms is equally legitiinate, as being founded on the principles of natural Liberty, that man is guilty of the highest folly, who chuseth rather to employ himself in a speculative contest for the superior excellence of one of these Forms to the rest, than in promoting the good administration of that settled Form to which he is subject. And yet all our warm disputes about Government, have been of this kind. Again, if by Forms of Government, must needs be meant legitimate Government, because that is the subject under debate ; then by Modes of Faith, which is the correspondent idea, must needs be meant the modes or exe planations of the True Faith, because the author is here too on the subject of true Religion:

Relum'd her ancient light, not kindled new, Besides, the very expression (than which nothing can be more precise) confineth us to understand, by Modes of Faith, those human explanations of Christian Mysteries, in contesting which, Zeal and Ignorance have so perpetually violated Charity.

Secondly, If we consider the context; to suppose him to mean, that all Forms of Government are indifferent, is making him directly contradict the preceding paragraph; where he extols the Patriot for discriminating the true from the false modes of Government. He, says the poet,


All must be false that thwart this One
And all of God, that bless Mankind or mend.

great End;



Taught Pow'r's due use to People and to Kings,
Taught not to pack, nor strain its tender strings;
The less and greater set so justly true,
That touching one must strike the other too;
'Till jarring int'rests of themselves create

Th'according music of a well-mix'd State. Here he recommendeth the true Form of Government, which is the mix'd. In another place he as strongly condemneth the false, or the absolute jure divino Form:

For Nature knew no right divine in Men. But the Reader will not be displeased to see the Poet's own apology, as I find it written in the year 1740, in his own hand, in the margin of a book, where he found these two celebrated lines misapplied. “ The author of these lines was far “ from meaning that no one form of Government is, in itself, “ better than another (as, that mixed or limited Monarchy, “ for example, is not preferable to absolute) but that no form “ of Government, however excellent or preferable, in itself, “ can be sufficient to make a People happy, unless it be admi“ nistered with integrity. On the contrary, the best sort of “ Government, when the form of it is preserved, and the ad" ministration corrupt, is most dangerous.'

Again, to suppose the Poet to mean, that all Religions are indifferent, is an equally wrong as well as uncharitable suspicion. Mr. Pope, though his subject in this Esay on Man confineth him to Natural religion (his purpose being to vindicate God's natural dispensations to Mankind against the Atheist) yet giveth frequent intimations of a more sublime dispensation, and even of the necessity of it; particularly in his second epistle (x 149, &c.] where he confesseth the weakness and insufficiency of human Reason.

And in his fourth epistle, where, speaking of the good Man, the favourite of Heaven, he sayeth,


Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported lives; The strength he gains is from th’embrace he gives.

COMMENTARY. VER. 311. Man, like the gen'rous vine, &c.] Having thus largely considered Man in his social capacity, the poet, in order to fix a momentous truth in the mind of his reader, concludes the Epistle in recapitulating the two Principles which concur to the support of this part of his character, namely, Self-love and

For him alone Hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul;
'Till, lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,

It pours the bliss that fills up all the Mind. But Natural Religion never lengthened Hope on to Faith ; nor did any Religion, but the Christian, ever conceive that Faith could fill the Mind with Happiness.

Lastly, In this very epistle, and in this very place, speaking of the great Restorers of the religion of Nature, he intimates that they could only draw God's shadow, not his image :

Re-lum'd her ancient light, not kindled new,

If not God's image, yet his shadow drew : as reverencing that truth, which telleth us, this discovery was reserved for the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor. iv. 4.

Ver. 305. For Modes of Faith let graceless zealots fight;] These latter Ages have seen so many scandalous contentions for modes of Faith, to the violation of Christian Charity, and difhonour of facred Scripture, that it is not at all strange they should become the object of so benevolent and wise an Author's refentment.

But that which he here seemed to have more particularly in his eye was the long and mischievous squabble between W-d and JACKSON, on a point confeffedly above Reason, and amongst those adorable mysteries, which it is the honour of our Religion to find unfathomable. In this, by the weight of answers and replies, redoubled upon one another without

On their own Axis as the Planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun ;

COMMENTARY. Social; and shewing that they are only two different motions of the appetite to Good; by which the Author of Nature hath enabled Man to find his own happiness in the happiness of the Whole. This he illustrates with a thought as sublime as that general harmony he describes :

On their own Axis as the Planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun;
So two consistent motions act the Soul ;
And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.

Thus God and Nature link'd the gen’ral frame,

And bade Self-love and Social be the same. For he hath the art of converting poetical ornament into philofophic reasoning; and of improving a simile into an analogical argument; of which more in our next.

NOTES. mercy, they made so profound a progress that the One proved, nothing hindered, in Nature, but that the Son might have been the Father; and the Other, that nothing hindered, in Grace, but that the Son may be a mere Creature. But if, instead of throwing so many Greek Fathers at one another's heads, they had but chanced to reflect on the sense of one Greek word, ATEIPIA, that it fignifies both INFINITY and IGNORANCE, this fingle equivocation might have saved them ten thousand, which they expended in carrying on the controversy. However thofe Mists that magnified the Scene, enlarged the Character of the Combatants : and no body expecting common sense on a subject where we have no ideas, the defects of dulness disappeared, and its advantages (for, advantages it has) were all provided for.

The worst is, such kind of Writers seldom know when to have done. For writing themselves up into the same delusion with their Readers, they are apt to venture out into the more So two consistent motions act the Soul ;

315 And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.

Thus God and Nature link'd the gen’ral frame, And bade Self-love and Social be the same.

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NOTES. open paths of Literature, where their reputation, made out of that stuff, which Lucian calls Exótog óróxgoos, presently falls from them, and their nakedness appears. And thus it fared with our two Worthies. The World, which must have always something to amuse it, was now in good time grown weary of its play-things, and catched at a new object that promised them more agreeable entertainment. Tindal, a kind of Bastard-Socrates, had brought our speculations from Heaven to Earth : and, under the pretence of advancing the Antiquity of Christianity, laboured to undermine its original. This was a controversy that required another management. Clear sense, fevere reasoning, a thorough knowledge of prophane and sacred Antiquity, and an intimate acquaintance with human Nature, were the qualities proper for such as engaged in this Subject. A very unpromising adventure for these metaphysical nurslings, bred up under the shade of chimeras. Yet they would needs venture out. What they got by it was only to be once weil laughed at, and then forgotten. But one odd circumstance deserves to be remembered; tho' they wrote not, we may be sure, in concert, yet each attacked his Adversary at the same time, fastened upon him in the same place, and mumbled him with just the same toothless rage. But the ill success of this escape foon brought them to themselves. The One made a fruitless effort to revive the old game, in discourse on The importance of the doctrine of the Trinity; and the Other has been ever since, till very lately, rambling in SPACE.

This short history, as insignificant as the subjects of it are, may not be altogether unuseful to posterity.' Divines may learn by these examples to avoid the mischiefs done to Religion and Literature thro' the affectation of being wise above what is written, and knowing beyond what can be understood,

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