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1 Enoxish Sighton 4-30-34 15882

TO THE

R E A D E R.

IT bas, too long, been a general, though abfurd

Opinion, that all the Works of Providence we see around Us, were created only for the Use of Man. Ignorance and Pride, which first began, have

fince continued this Mistake ; and, being imbibed in Childbooda the early Prejudice of Education has given it fucb Authority, that to doubt its Truth, will, by many, be accounted high Impiety; tho' the quite contrary, to any one who dares refleet, is so extremely plain, that little more is necesary than to look about us and be convinced.

I am not for displacing Man from his proper Deo gree in the eternal Scale of Beings. He is, without dispute, the first upon this Globe : superior Reason making him superior to every other Creature here. But this Globe itself is so inconsiderable, so near to Nothing compared with the Grand Universe, that to be swelled with this small Pre-eminence, and

fancy himSelf therefore the Lord of the whole Creation, is no

less

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less ridiculous than it would be for the puny Inhabitant of an Ant-Hill, to strut about, and boast that all the Earth was made for him alone,

As Self-Love is the inborn Principle of Mankind, fo is Pride, its first-begotten, their general Pasion. No one lives without it : even the Beggar in his Rags imagines himself of Consequence. Nor is this Paffion useless, or to be blamed, but when it over-stretches much beyond the Bounds of Reafon : for the Mind is hereby excited to emulate and rise above its Fellows, to gain and to deserve Esteem. The Love and the Respect of Others are the just as well as the wished Reward of every good Action : but, without this Pason, they both would be disregarded, and we should want the

strongest Motive to encourage Us onward in the Pursuit of Virtue.-In short, Man has a Poj assign’d him in the Creation, and that no ignoble one: be is of Consequence, and ought to believe bimself fo: but, to fancy the Whole was design’d for him alone, is no better than downright Madness.

I thought the readiest way to check this Absurdity, would be to sketch out a Plan of the Universe; that, by considering the Grandeur of the Whole, Man might be made sensible of his own Littleness and

Infgnificance, except in the very Place he stands. When he views the

Heavens,

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Heavens, and considers their Immensty; the Number, tbe Distance, the Largeness and the Brightness of the Orbs which roll about him ; can a Man be then fo vain to cry, all these are his? or, if he looks at home, and furveys the Earth, stored with innumerable Species of Animals, all formed with exquisite Beauty and Exuitness, and

supplied with every Requisite to make them rejoice in their Existence ; will there not appear fome better Reason for all this, than meerly to supply his Luxury, or give him Subjects whereon to exercise his Power?--Do not the Insect Kinds, formed in the utnoft Perfection, (the greatest part of which are to his Paked Eye invisible, and almost all of them useless to bim) plainly say, they were not made for him ?How little either of the Heavens or of the Earth is he acquainted with! and how imperfect is his Knowledge even of that Little which he thinks he knows!

Mean and ridiculous is that Idea of the Deity which limits his Care to Man: but how must the Soul be filled with Amazement, and Love, and Adoration, that considers him as the impartial Parent of the whole Universe, and equally extending his Beneficence to every one of all his Creatures, according to the Rank it bears. The primary Intent of the Almighty in the Existence of every Being must have been

to

to make it happy; and the Relation in which it stand to every other Creature is only such as is most conducive towards the Felicity of the Whole. Every Individual was made principally for its own Sake : the meanej Infe&t as well as the proudest Monarch. We all are Fellow-Creatures.

The following Piece is a Hint only of what I judged would be a noble Subject for a larger Poem ; andi thereby fome able Genius

may

be excited to undertakel Pains have been well bestowed. In the mean while, I hope this Sketch may not be intirely useless

, to set forth the Omnipotence, Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator, by à general View of his Works ; a way I thought most likely to curb the Pride of Man.

I have advanced Nothing but what the Discoveries of the Learned have made most reasonable to believe. The Notes subjoin'd will, I hope, both vindicate me and entertain

my

Readers.

it, my

THE

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