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MY LORD, Y OUR Lordship's known regard for the sacred in terests of Virtue and true Religion, is sufficient to ensure your favourable reception of any work which tends to promote those great and important ends. The following has yet a farther claim to your Lordship's favour. The Author, my excellent Father, (your Lord ship knows I exceed not the truth in calling him so) was formerly honoured with a place in your friendship. As this was a source of the highest pleasure to him while he lived, so it must reflect particular honour upon his memory. It is with pleasure I embrace this public opportunity of declaring myself, with the highest re spect and gratitude, MY LORD, ____Your Lordship' s most obedient, ______and most humble Servant, __ DUBLIN, __Jan. 25, 1755.
________ Francis Hutcheson.
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Concerning the Constitution of Human Nature, and the Supreme Good. CHAPTER I. Of the Constitution of Human Nature and its Powers, and first the Understanding, Will and Passions. I. The intention of moral phil osophy is to( Moral Philoso phy, what. ) direct men to that course of action which tends most effectually to promote their greatest hap piness and perfection; as far as it can be done by obser vations and conclusions discoverable from the consti tution of nature, without any aids of supernatural re velation: these maxims, or rules of conduct are there fore reputed as laws of nature, and the system or col lection of them is called the Law of Nature. As human happiness, which is the end of this art,( Knowledge of the humon pow ers necessary to it. ) cannot be distinctly known without the previous know ledge of the constitution of this species, and of all its perceptive and active powers, and their natural ob jects; (since happiness denotes the state of the soul ari-
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(Book I.) sing from its several grateful perceptions or modifica tions;) the most natural method in this science must be first to inquire into the several powers and disposi tions of the species, whether perceptive or active, into its several natural determinations, and the objects from whence its happiness can arise; and then to compare together the several enjoyments this species is capable of receiving, that we may discover what is its supreme happiness and perfection, and what tenor of action is subservient to it. In this inquiry we shall but briefly mention such parts of our constitution, whether in body or mind, as are not of great consequence in morals; avoiding un necessary controversies, and often referring to other au thors for those points which have been tolerably well explained by them. Thus we pass over many ingeni ous anatomical observations upon the advantages and dignity of the human body above that of other ani mals. The reader may find them in the anatomical authors, and Dr. Cumberland. ( Early infirmities of men. ) II. Consider mankind from their birth, you see a species at first weaker and less capable of subsisting, without the aid of the adult, than any other; and con tinuing longer in this infirm state. Animals of several other kinds attain to their full vigour and the perfect use of all their powers in a few months; and few re quire more than four or five years to their maturity. Ten or twelve years are necessary to mankind before they can obtain subsistence by their own art or labour, even in civilised societies, and in the finest climates af-
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ter they have been cleared of all beasts of prey. Many(Chap. 1.) other animals are both cloathed and armed by nature, and have all that is necessary for their defence or con venient subsistence without any care or contrivance of their own: the earth uncultivated offers them their food, and the woods or rocks their shelter. Mankind are naked and unarmed; their more salutary and agree able food is more rare, requiring much art and labour: their bodies are less fit to resist the injuries of weather, without more operose contrivances for cloathing and shelter. Their preservation therefore, in their tender years, must depend on the care of the adult; and their lives must always continue miserable if they are in solitude, without the aids of their fellows. This is no unreasonable severity in the Author of( their final cau ses. ) Nature to our species. We shall soon discover the natural remedy provided for this lasting imbecillity of our younger years, in the tender parental affec tion of a rational species; and the final causes of it, in the several improvements we are capable of recei ving. The means of subsistence to our species re quire much contrivance and ingenuity: we are ca pable of many noble enjoyments unknown to other animals, and depending on useful and delightful arts, which we cannot attain to without a long educa tion, much instruction and imitation of others. How much time is requisite for learning our mother tongues? how much for dexterity even in the com monest arts of agriculture, or in domestic service? full strength of body, without a mind equally advanced in
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(Book I.) knowledge and arts and social habits, would make us ungovernable and untractable to our parents or in structors. Since we need to be so long in subjection, we should not soon be able to shake off the necessary and friendly yoke. ( Powers which appear first. ) III. The natural principles which first discover themselves are our external senses, with some small powers of spontaneous motion, an appetite for food, and an instinct to receive and swallow it. All these powers exert themselves in a way too dark for any of us ever to apprehend completely: much less have the brutes any knowledge to direct them to the teats of their dams, or notion of the pressure of the air upon which sucking depends. At first indeed we all alike act by instincts wisely implanted by a superior hand. Our external senses soon introduce to the mind some perceptions of pleasure and pain: and along with these perceptions there immediately appears a natural constant determination to desire the one and repel the other; to pursue whatever appears to be the cause or occasion of pleasure, and to shun the causes of pain. These are probably our first notions of natural good or evil, of happiness or misery. ( Proper ideas of sensation. ) The external senses are those „determinations of nature by which certain perceptions constantly arise in the mind, when certain impressions are made upon the organs of the body, or motions raised in them.“ Some of these perceptions are received solely by one sense, others may be received by two or more. Of the former class, are these five sorts, viz. colours, sounds,
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tastes, smells, cold or heat; some ingenious authors(Chap. 1.) reckon more: these we may call the proper ideas of sensation. These sensations, as the learned agree, are not pic tures or representations of like external qualities in ob jects, nor of the impression or change made in the bo dily organs. They are either signals, as it were, of new events happening to the body, of which experience and observation will shew us the cause; or marks, settled by the Author of Nature, to shew us what things are sa lutary, innocent, or hurtful; or intimations of things not otherways discernable which may affect our state; tho' these marks or signals bear no more resemblance to the external reality, than the report of a gun, or the flash of the powder, bears to the distress of a ship. The pleasant sensations of taste, smell, and touch, general ly arise from objects innocent or salutary, when used in a moderate degree; the disagreeable or painful sen sations, from such as are pernicious or unfit for com mon use. But sight and hearing seem not to be im mediate avenues of pain; scarcely is any visible form or any sound the immediate occasion of it; tho' the vi olent motion of light or air may cause painful feel ings; and yet by sight and hearing the exquisite plea sures of beauty and harmony have access to the soul, as well as the ideas of magnitudes, figures, situation, and motion. It is by the former senses, and not by those, that we receive the pleasures commonly called sensual. The ideas of two or more senses are Duration, num- ( Concomitant ide- as of sensation. )
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(Book I.) ber, extension, figure, motion, rest. Duration and number are applicable to every perception or action of the mind, whether dependent upon bodily organs or not. The simpler ideas of this class, which some call the Concomitant ideas of sensation, are not generally either pleasant or painful. It is from some complex modes of figure and motion that pleasure is perceived: beauty, from some proportions of figure with colour: harmony, from some proportions of time as well as of tones or notes. The proportions of numbers and fi gures are the field in which our reasoning powers have the most free and vigorous exercise. Of these here after. ( Ideas of consci- ousness or reflec- tion. ) IV. There is another natural power of perception, always exercised but not enough reflected upon, an in ward sensation, perception, or consciousness, of all the actions, passions, and modifications, of the mind; by which its own perceptions, judgments, reasonings, af fections, feelings, may become its object: it knows them and fixes their names; and thus knows itself in the same manner that it does bodies, by qualities immedi ately perceived, tho' the substance of both be un known. ( judging and rea- soning. ) These two powers of perception, sensation and con sciousness, introduce into the mind all its materials of knowledge. All our primary and direct ideas or noti ons are derived from one or other of these sources. But the mind never rests in bare perception; it compares the ideas received, discerns their relations, marks the changes made in objects by our own action or that of
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others; it inquires into the natures, proportions, cau (Chap. 1.) ses, effects, antecedents, consequents, of every thing, when it is not diverted by some importunate appetite. These powers of judging and reasoning are more known and better examined by all philosophers than any other, and therefore we pass them over. All these se veral powers, of external sensation, consciousness, judg ing, and reasoning, are commonly called the acts of the understanding. V. Tho' there are many other sorts of finer percep-( The acts of the will. ) tions to be considered as natural to men, yet as some of them have the acts of the will, the affections, and passions, for their objects, it is necessary to take a short view of the will and its natural determinations, before we proceed to these finer perceptions. Here it is plain, as soon as any sense, opinion, or reasoning, represents an object or event as immediate ly good or pleasant, or as the means of future plea sure, or of security from evil, either for ourselves or any person about whom we are sollicitous, there arises immediately a new motion of the soul, distinct from all sensation, perception, or judgment, a desire of that object or event. And upon perception or opinion of an object or event as the occasion of pain or misery, or of the loss of good, arises a contrary motion called aversion; on all occasions of this sort, these primary motions of the will naturally arise without any previ ous choice or command, and are the general springs of action in every rational agent. To the will are commonly referred also two other ( Four general classes of the acts of the will. )
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(Book I.) modifications, or new states, arising from our appre hensions of objects or events, as obtained or not ob tained, according to our previous desire; or repel led and prevented, or not, according to our previ ous aversions; which are called joy and sorrow. But as they do not immediately move the soul to acti on, they seem rather new feelings or states of the soul, than acts of the will, more resembling sensations than volitions. These words however are often used pro miscuously, as are many other names of the actions and passions of the soul. Thus delight or joy, is often used for the desire of any event which when it befals will give delight; so is sorrow, for fear and aversion. Thus we have the * old division of the motions of the will into four general species, Desire, Aversion, Joy, and Sorrow. Nor can we easily imagine any spirit with out these modifications and motions of Will of one sort or other. The Deity in deed, as he is possessed of all power and all perfection, must be incapable of every modification implying pain. ( These selfish or benevolent. ) The acts of the will may be again divided into two classes, according as one is pursuing good for himself, and repelling the contrary, or pursuing good for o thers and repelling evils which threaten them. The former we may call selfish, the later benevolent. What ever subtile debates have been to prove that all moti 8
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ons of the will spring from one fountain, no man can(Chap. 1.) deny that we often have a real internal undissembled desire of the welfare of others, and this in very diffe rent degrees. VI. There are two calm natural determinations( The two calm determinations of will. Self-love. ) of the will to be particularly considered on this occa sion. First, an invariable constant impulse toward one's own perfection and happiness of the highest kind. This † instinct operates in the bulk of mankind very con fusedly; as they do not reflect upon, or attend to, their own constitution and powers of action and enjoyment; few have considered and compared the several enjoy ments they are capable of, or the several powers of ac tion. But whosoever does so will find a calm settled desire of the perfection of all our active powers, and of the highest enjoyments, such as appear to us, upon comparison, of the greatest importance to our happi ness. Those who have not made such reflections and comparisons, naturally desire all sorts of enjoyments they have any notion of by their senses or any higher powers they have exercised, as far as they are consi stent with each other, or appear to be so; and desire the perfection of such powers as they attend to. Where several enjoyments appear inconsistent, the mind, while it is calm, naturally pursues, or desires in prefe rence to others, those which seem of the greatest im portance to its happiness. So far all agree. The other determination alleged is toward the ( Benevolence. ) 9
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(Book I.) universal happiness of others. When the soul is calm and attentive to the constitution and powers of other beings, their natural actions and capacities of happi ness and misery, and when the selfish appetites and pas sions and desires are asleep, 'tis alleged that there is a calm impulse of the soul to desire the greatest hap piness and perfection of the largest system within the compass of its knowledge. Our inward consciousness abundantly testifies that there is such an impulse or determination of the soul, and that it is truly ulti mate, without reference to any sort of happiness of our own. But here again, as few have considered the whole system of beings knowable by men, we do not find this determination exerted generally in all its ex tent; but we find natural desires of the happiness of such individuals, or societies, or systems, as we have calmly considered, where there has intervened no pre judice against them, or notion that their happiness is any way opposite to our own. As the notion of one's own highest happiness, or ( Affections exten- sive or limited. ) the greatest aggregate or sum of valuable enjoyments, is not generally formed by men, it is not expressly de sired or intended. And therefore we cannot say that every particular calm desire of private good is aim ing directly at that sum, and pursuing its object un der the notion of a necessary part of that sum. Men naturally desire, even by calm motions of the soul, such objects as they conceive useful or subservient to any valuable enjoyment, such as wealth, power, ho nour, without this conception of their making a part
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of this greatest sum. In like manner we have calm be(Chap. 1.) nevolent affections toward individuals, or smaller so cieties of our fellows, where there has not preceeded any consideration of the most extensive system, and where they are not considered formally as parts of this largest system, nor their happiness pursued as condu cing to the greatest sum of universal happiness. Such are our calm benevolent affections to friends, coun tries, men of eminent worth, without any reference in our thoughts to the most extensive system. We can make these references of all selfish enjoyments pur sued by us to the greatest sum of private happiness, whenever we please; and we can in like manner refer all our calm particular kind affections to the general extensive benevolence; and 'tis of great consequence to have these large conceptions, and to make these re ferences. But 'tis plain the several particular affections, whether selfish or benevolent, operate, and that too without turbulent or passionate commotions, where no such references have preceeded. VII. But beside all these calm motions of the will( Turbulent pas- sions selfish or be- nevolent. ) more or less extensive, there are many particular pas sions and appetites which naturally arise on their pro per occasions, each terminating ultimately on its own gratification, without further reference; and attended with violent, confused, and uneasy sensations, which are apt to continue till the object or gratification is ob tained. Of these turbulent passions and appetites some are selfish, some benevolent, and some may partake of both characters. Of the selfish are bunger, thirst, lust,
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(Book I.) passions for sensual pleasure, wealth, power, or fame. Of the benevolent kind are pity, condolence, congra tulation, gratitude, conjugal and parental affections, as often as they become violent and turbulent com motions of the soul. Anger, envy, indignation, and some others, may be of either kind, according as they arise either on account of some opposition to our own interests, or to those of our friends or persons loved and esteemed. Thefe all arise on their natural occa sions, where no reference is made by the mind to its own greatest happiness, or to that of others. The difference between the calm motions of the will and the passionate, whether of the selfish or bene volent kinds, must be obvious to any who consider how often we find them acting in direct opposition. * Thus anger or lust will draw us one way; and a calm regard, either to our highest interest the greatest sum of private good, or to some particular interest, will draw the opposite way: sometimes the passion conquer ing the calm principle, and sometimes being conquer ed by it. The calm desire of wealth will sorce one, tho' with reluctance, into splendid expences, when necessa ry to gain a good bargain or a gainful employment; while the passion of avarice is repining at these ex pences. The sedate desire of a child's or a friend's vir tue and honour and improvement, will make us send them abroad amidst dangers; while the parental and friendly passions are opposing this purpose. Grati tude, pity, and friendly passions, solicite to one side; 10
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and love of a country, or a yet more extensive benevo (Chap. 1.) lence, may be soliciting on the other side. We cor rect and restrain our children, we engage them in un easy studies and labours, out of calm good-will, while this tender passion is opposing every thing that is un easy to them. Desire of life persuades to abstinence, to painful cures and nauseous potions, in oppositi on to the appetites destined to preserve life in the order of nature. As there belong to the understanding not only the lower powers of sensation, common to us with the brutes, but also thofe of reasoning, consciousness, and pure intellect, as 'tis called; so to the will belong not only the bodily appetites and turbulent passions, but the several calm and extensive affections of a nobler order. VIII. To the Will we also ascribe the power of Spon-( Powers of mo- tion. ) taneous Motion; since, in consequence of our willing it, we find many parts of the body move as we incline. All its parts are not thus subjected to be moved as we please; but only such as 'tis necessary or useful in life for us to have thus subjected. The in ward parts go on, in those motions upon which the continuance of life immediately depends, without any acts of our will; nor can we directly, by any volition, accelerate or retard them. To superintend motions continually neces sary would engross the mind perpetually, and make it incapable of any other business. Nor does every mo tion or impression on the parts of the body excite sen sations in the soul. There is no sensation of the inter-
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(Book I.) nal motions on which life immediately depends, while the body is in good order Such sensation would be an uneasy useless distraction of the mind from all va luable purposes; as we experience, when a disease makes the contraction of the heart, or beatings of the pulse, be come sensible. Sensations indicate only such changes, and new events, or objects, as 'tis convenient we should be apprized of. Thus volitions move the head, the eyes, the mouth, the tongue, the limbs, and, that exquisite instrument of a rational inventive and artful species, the hand. All these are plain indications of the wise and benign counsel of our Creator. Nay our limbs are moved immediately in consequence of the contracti on of muscles, and of some power sent down by nerves from the head. But in our spontaneous motions we neither know nor will these intermediate steps: we in tend the last motion; and those other motions are per formed without any knowledge or will of ours. Sen sation in like manner immediatly ensues upon some motion in a nerve continued to the brain: we perceive no motion in the brain; but have a sensation immedi atly referred to the extremity of the body where the impression was made, and seeming to occupy that place; in a manner quite inexplicable. These consi derations have led some ingenious and pious men to conclude that a superior Being, or the Deity himself, is the sole physical cause of all our motions; according to certain general laws; and the sole efficient cause of all our sensations too, in the like manner.
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Concerning the finer Powers of Perception. I. A Fter the general account of the perceptive powers, and of the will, we proceed to consi der some finer powers of perception, and some other natural determinations of will, and general laws of the human constitution. To the senses of seeing and hearing, are superad-( Pleasures of i- magination. ) ded in most men, tho' in very different degrees, cer tain powers of perception of a finer kind than what we have reason to imagine are in most of the lower a nimals, who yet perceive the several colours and fi gures, and hear the several sounds. These we may call the senses of beauty and harmony, or, with Mr. Ad dison, the imagination. Whatever name we give them, 'tis manifest that, the several following qualities in ob jects, are sources of pleasure constituted by nature; or, men have natural powers or determinations to per ceive pleasure from them. 1. Certain forms are more grateful to the eye than( Beauty. ) others, even abstracting from all pleasure of any live ly colours; such complex ones, especially, where, uni formity, or equality of proportion among the parts, is observable; nor can we, by command of our will, cause all forms indifferently to appear pleasant, more than we can make all objects grateful to the taste. 2. As a disposition to imitate is natural to man( Imitation. )
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(Book I.) kind from their infancy, so they universally receive pleasure from imitation * . Where the original is beau tiful, we may have a double pleasure; but an exact imitation, whether of beauty or deformity, whether by colours, figures, speech, voice, motion or action, gives of itself a natural pleasure. ( Harmony. ) 3. Certain compositions of notes are immediatly pleasant to the generality of men, which the artists can easily inform us of. The simpler pleasures arise from the concords; but an higher pleasure arises from such compositions as, in sound and time, imitate those mo dulations of the human voice, which indicate the seve ral affections of the soul in important affairs. Hence Plato † and Lycurgus ‡ observed a moral charac ter in musick, and looked upon it as of some conse quence in influencing the manners of a people. ( Design. ) 4. As we are endued with reason to discern the fit ness of means for an end, and the several relations and connexions of things; so, there is an immediate plea sure in knowlege †, distinct from the Judgment itself, tho' naturally joined with it. We have a pleasure also in beholding the effects of art and design, in any in genious machinery adapted to valuable purposes, in any utensil well fitted for its end; whether we hope to have the use of it or not. We have delight in exer cising our own rational, inventive, and active powers; we are pleased to behold the like exercises of others, and the artful effects of them. In such works of art 11 12 13 14
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we are pleased to see intermixed the beauty of form,(Chap. 2.) and imitation, as far as it consists with the design; but the superior pleasure from the execution of the de sign makes us omit the inferior when it is inconsistent. II. Granting all these dispositions to be natural, we( Cause of variety of tastes. ) may account for all that diversity of fancies and tastes which we observe; since so many qualities are natural ly pleasing, some of which may be chiefly regarded by one, and others by others. The necessitous, the busy, or the sloathful, may neglect that beauty in dress, ar chitecture, and furniture, which they might obtain, and yet not be insensible to it. One may pursue only the simpler kind in the uniformity of parts; others may also intersperse imitation of the beautiful works of nature; and, of these, some may chuse one set of natural objects, and others may chuse other objects of greater beauty or dignity: the manner too of imi tation may be more or less perfect. Again, some in their works may chiefly regard the pleasure from ap pearance of design, and usefulness, admitting only the pleasures of beauty and imitation as far as they con sist with it. In the most fantastick dresses there is uni formity of parts, and some aptitude to the human shape, and frequently imitation. But our modern dres ses are less fitted for easy motion, and the difplaying of the human shape, than the antient. Spectators who regard these ends may prefer the ancient dresses; those who do not think of them, or regard them, may pre fer the modern. In like manner as to architecture; they who dis-
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(Book I.) cern the imitation of the proportions of the human body in certain parts, may relish one manner on that account. Others, who know the uses of which cer tain parts present the appearance, may relish this de sign; others, without these views, may be pleased with the uniformity of the parts: others may like or dis like through some * associations of ideas; of which hereafter. ( not reducible to usefulness. ) One who would reduce all sense of beauty in forms to some real or apparent usefulness discerned, will ne ver be able to explain how the spectator relishes those useful forms from which he gets no benefit, nor ex pects any beyond the pleasure of beholding them; nor how we are pleased with the forms of flowers, of birds, and wild beasts, when we know not any real or appa rent uses indicated by them; nor how any spectator, quite a stranger to the views of the architect, shall be pleased with the first appearance of the work; nor whence it is that we are all pleased with imitations of objects, which, were they really placed where their ima ges are, would be of no advantage; one may as well assert that, before we can be pleased with a savour, we must know the figures of the minute particles, and see their inoffensive nature to our nerves. ( of great conse- quence in life. ) The pleasures of these † finer senses are of no small importance in life. How much soever they seem ne 15 16
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glected by the votaries of wealth and power, they are(Chap. 2.) generally much in their view for themselves, in some future period of life, or for their posterity: as for o thers who have a more elegant taste, they are the end of a great part of their labours: and the greatest part of men, when they are tolerably provided against the uneasy cravings of appetite, shew a relish for these pleasures: no sooner are nations settled in peace than they begin to cultivate the arts subservient to them, as all histories will inform us. To these pleasures of the imagination may be ad-( Relish for gran- deur and novel- ty. ) ded two other grateful perceptions arising from no velty and grandeur. The former ever causes a grate ful commotion when we are at leisure; which perhaps arises from that curiosity or desire of knowlege which is deeply rooted in the soul; of which hereafter. Gran deur also is generally a very grateful circumstance in any object of contemplation distinct from its beauty or proportion. Nay, where none of these are ob served, the mind is agreeably moved with what is large, spacious, high, or deep, even when no advantage ari sing from these circumstances is regarded. The final causes of these natural determinations or senses of pleasure may be seen in some * late authors. III. Another important determination or sense of( The sympathetick sense. Compassion. ) the soul we may call the sympathetick, different from all the external senses; by which, when we apprehend the state of others, our hearts naturally have a fellow-feel ing with them. When we see or know the pain, dis 17
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(Book I.) tress, or misery of any kind which another suffers, and turn our thoughts to it, we feel a strong sense of pity, and a great proneness to relieve, where no con trary passion with-holds us. And this * without any artful views of advantage to accrue to us from giving relief, or of loss we shall sustain by these sufferings. We see this principle strongly working in children, where there are the fewest distant views of interest; so strongly sometimes, even in some not of the softest mould, at cruel executions, as to occasion fainting and sickness. This principle continues generally during all our lives. ( Congratulation. ) We have a like natural disposition to Congratula tion with others in their joys; where no prior emulati on, imagined opposition of interest, or prejudice, pre vents it. We have this sympathy even with the brute animals; and hence poets so successfully please us with descriptions of their joys. But as our own sel fish passions which repel evil, such as fear, anger, re sentment, are generally stronger commotions of soul than the passions pursuing private good; so pity is a stronger benevolent passion than congratulation. And all this is wisely contrived, since immunity from pain seems previously necessary to the enjoyment of good. Thus the stronger motions of the mind are directed toward that which is most necessary. This sympathy seems to extend to all our affections and passions. They all seem naturally contagious. We not only sor row with the distressed, and rejoice with the prospe 18
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rous; but admiration, or surprise, discovered in one,(Chap. 2.) raises a correspondent commotion of mind in all who behold him. Fear observed raises fear in the observer before he knows the cause, laughter moves to laugh, love begets love, and the devout affections displayed dispose others to devotion. One easily sees how direct ly subservient this sympathy is to that grand determi nation of the soul toward universal happiness. IV. Before we mention some other finer senses,( A natural pro- pensity to action in most animals. ) which have actions of men for their objects, we must observe one general determination of the soul to exer cise all its active powers. We may see in our species, from the very cradle, a constant propensity to action and motion; children grasping, handling, viewing, tasting every thing. As they advance they exert other powers, making all tryals possible; observing all chan ges, and inquiring into their causes; and this from an impulse to action and an implanted instinct toward knowledge, even where they are not allured by any pro spects of advantage. Nay we see almost all other ani mals, as soon as they come to light, exercising their se veral powers by like instincts, in the way that the Au thor of Nature intended; and by this exercise, tho' of ten laborious and fatiguing, made happier than a ny state of slothful sensuality could make them. Ser pents try their reptile motions; beasts raise themselves and walk or run; birds attempt to raise themselves with their wings and soar on high; water-fowl take to the water as soon as they see it. The colt is practising for the race, * the bull is butting with his 19
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(Book I.) horns, and the hound exercising himself for the chace. Children are ever in motion while they are awake, nor ( chiefly in men. ) do they decline weariness and toil: they shew an aver sion to sleep till it over-powers them against their wills: they observe whatever occurs, they remember and in quire about it; they learn the names of things, in quire into their natures, structures, uses, and causes; nor will their curiosity yield to rebukes and affronts. Kind affections soon break out toward those who are kind to them; strong gratitude, and an ardor to excel in any thing that is praised; in vying with their fellows they are transported with success and victory, and exceedingly dejected when they are out-done by others. They are soon provoked to anger upon any imagined injury or hurt; are afraid of experienced pain, and provoked at the cause of it; but soon ap peased by finding it undesigned, or by professions of repentance. Nothing do they more resent than false accusation or reproach. They are prone to sincerity, and truth, and openness of mind, until they have ex perienced some evils following upon it. They are im patient to relate to others any thing new or strange, or apt to move admiration or laughter; ready to gra tify any one with what they have no use for them selves; fond of pleasing, and void of suspicion, till they have had experience of injuries. ( High pleasures in action. ) This impulse to action continues during life, while we retain the use of our powers. The men who are most worthless and slothful yet are not wholly idle; they have their games, their cabals and conversation
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to employ them, or some mean ingenuity about sen-(Chap. 2.) sual pleasures. We see in general that mankind can be happy only by action of one kind or other; and the exercise of the intellectual powers is one source of natural delight from the cradle to the grave. Chil dren are transported with discoveries of any thing new or artificial, and impatient to shew them to o thers. Publick shows, rarities, magnificence, give them high entertainment: but above all, the impor tant actions of great characters; the fortunes of such men, and of the states where they lived, whether re lated, read, or represented by action, are the delight of all ages. Here the pleasure is heightened by our so cial feelings of joy, and the keeness of inquiry increa sed by our impulse to compassion, and our concern a bout the persons we admire. When men have the proper genius, and access to more laborious knowlege, what ardour of mind do some shew for geometry, numbers, astronomy, and natural history? All toils and watchings are born with joy. Need we mention even fabulous history, mytho logy, philology? 'Tis manifest there is an high natu ral pleasure in knowledge without any allurements of other advantage. There is a like pleasure in practical knowlege about the business of life, and the effects of actions upon the happiness of individuals, or that of societies. How contrary are all these appearances of Nature to that Philosophy which makes the sole impulse or determination of the soul to be a desire of
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(Book I.) such pleasures as arise from the body and are refer red to it, or of immunity from bodily pain! ( A moral sense. ) V. Action is constituted to mankind the grand source of their happiness by an higher power of per ception than any yet mentioned; namely, that by which they receive the moral notions of actions and charac ters. Never was there any of the human species, ex cept ideots, to whom all actions appeared indifferent. Moral differences of action are discerned by all, even when they consider no advantage or disadvantage to redound to themselves from them. As this moral sense is of high importance, it shall be more fully con sidered in a subsequent chapter. It may suffice at pre sent to observe what we all feel, that a certain tem per, aset of affections, and actions consequent on them, when we are conscious of them in ourselves, raise the most joyful sensations of approbation and inward satis faction; and when the like are observed in others, we have a warm feeling of approbation, a sense of their excellence, and, in consequence of it, great good-will and zeal for their happiness. If we are conscious of contrary affections and actions, we feel an inward re morse, and dislike to ourselves; when we observe the like in others, we dislike and condemn their dispositi ons, reputing them base and odious. The affections which excite this moral approbati on are all either directly benevolent, or naturally con nected with such dispositions; those which are disap proved and condemned, are either ill-natured, by which one is inclined to occasion misery to others; or
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such selfish dispositions as argue some unkind affecti (Chap. 2.) on, or the want of that degree of the benevolent af fections which is requisite for the publick good, and commonly expected in our species. This moral discernment is not peculiar to persons( universal in mankind. ) of a fine education and much reflection. The rudest of mankind shew such notions; and young minds, who think least of the distant influences of actions u pon themselves or others, and have small precaution about their own future interests, are rather more moved with moral forms than others. Hence that strong in clination in children, as soon as they understand the names of the several affections and tempers, to hear such stories as present the moral characters of agents and their fortunes. Hence that joy in the prosperity of the kind, the faithful, and the just; and that indig nation and sorrow upon the successes of the cruel and treacherous. Of this power we shall treat more fully hereafter. VI. As by the former determination we are led to( A sense of ho nour; ) approve or condemn ourselves or others according to the temper displayed, so by another natural determi nation, which we may call a sense of honour and shame, an high pleasure is felt upon our gaining the approba tion and esteem of others for our good actions, and upon their expressing their sentiments of gratitude; and on the other hand, we are cut to the heart by censure, condemnation, and reproach. All this appears in the countenance. The fear of infamy, or censure, or con tempt, displays itself by blushing.
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(Book I.) 'Tis true, we may observe from our infancy, that men are prone to do good offices to those they approve ( an immediate principle. ) and honour. But we appeal to the hearts of men, whe ther they have not an immediate pleasure in being ho noured and esteemed, without thinking of any future advantages, and even when they previously know that they can receive none. Are not we generally solicitous about our characters after our death? And whence is it that blushing accompanies this sort of fear, and not the fears of other disadvantages, if this is not an im mediate principle? * Aristotle's account of this pleasure, tho' more elegant, is not just: „that we relish honour as it is a testimony to our virtue, which we are previously conscious is the greatest good.“ This considerati on may sometimes make honour very grateful to men who are doubtful and diffident of their own con duct. But have not also the men of greatest abilities, who are perfectly assured of the goodness of their con duct, a like natural joy in being praised, distinct from their inward self-approbation? The kind intention of God in implanting this prin ciple is obvious. 'Tis a strong incitement to every thing excellent and amiable: it gives a grateful re ward to virtue: it often surmounts the obstacles to it from low worldly interests: and even men of little virtue are excited by it to such useful services as they would have otherways declined. The selfish are thus, be yond their inclination, made subservient to a publick interest; and such are punished who counteract it. 20
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What may further prove that this sense of honour(Chap. 2.) is an original principle, is this; we value the praise of others, not in proportion to their abilities to serve us, but in proportion to their capacity of judging in such matters. We feel the difference, between the in terested desire of pleasing the man in power who can promote us; and the inward joy from the approbation of the judicious or ingenious, who cannot do us any other good offices. The desire of praise is acknow leged to be one of the most universal passions of the soul. VII. Tho' it is by the moral sense that actions be-( A sense of decen- cy and dignity. ) come of the greatest consequence to our happiness or misery; yet' tis plain the mind naturally perceives some other sorts of excellence in many powers of body and mind; must admire them, whether in ourselves or others; and must be pleased with certain exercises of them, with out conceiving them as moral virtues. We often use words too promiscuously, and do not express distinctly the different feelings or sensations of the soul. Let us keep moral approbation for our sentiments of such dis positions, affections, and consequent actions, as we re pute virtuous. We find this warm approbation a very different perception from the admiration or liking which we have for several other powers and dispositi ons; which are also relished by a sense of decency or dignity. This sense also is natural to us, but the per ceptions very different from moral approbation. We not only know the use of such valuable powers, and of their exercise, to the person possessed of them; but
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(Book I.) have agreeable commotions of admiration and liking, and these in several degrees. Thus beauty, strength, swiftness, agility of body, are more decent and esteem able than a strong voracious stomach, or a delicate pa late. The manly diversions of riding, or hunting, are beheld with more pleasure and admiration than eat ing and drinking even in a moderate degree. A taste for these manly exercises is often valued; whereas pur suits of mere sensuality appear despicable even when they do not run into excess, and at best are only in nocent. Nay there is something graceful, in the very shape gesture and motion, and something indecent and uncomely; abstracting from any indications of advantage discerned by the spectators. ( in different de- grees. ) But this is still more obvious about the powers of the mind and their exercise. A penetrating genius, capacity for business, patience of application and la bour, a tenacious memory, a quick wit, are naturally admirable, and relished by all observers; but with a quite different feeling from moral approbation. To every natural power there seems to be a corresponding sense or taste, recommending one sort of exercise, and disliking the contrary. Thus we relish the exercise of all the ingenious arts, machinery of every kind, imi tation in painting, sculpture, statuary, poetry; garde ning, architecture, musick. We not only behold the works with pleasure, but have a natural admiration of the persons in whom we discern a taste and genius for these arts. Whereas the exercise of our lower powers, merely subservient to sensual gratification, are
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at best beheld with indifference, are often matter of(Chap. 2.) shame, and the cause of contempt. Thus according to the just observation of Ari( Happiness of ac- tive beings is in action. ) stotle, „The chief happiness of active beings must arise from action; and that not from action of eve ry sort, but from that sort to which their nature is adapted, and which is recommended by nature.“ When we gratify the bodily appetites, there is an im mediate sense of pleasure, such as the brutes enjoy, but no further satisfaction; no sense of dignity upon reflection, no good-liking of others for their being thus employed. There is an exercise of some other bodily powers which seems more manly and graceful. There is a manifest gradation; some fine tastes in the ingenious arts are still more agreeable; the exercise is delightful; the works are pleasant to the spectator, and reputable to the artist. The exercise of the high er powers of the understanding, in discovery of truth, and just reasoning, is more esteemable, when the sub jects are important. But the noblest of all are the vir tuous affections and actions, the objects of the moral sense. Some other abilities and dispositions of soul, which( Additional ideas. ) are naturally connected with benevolent dispositions, and inconsistent with the highest selfishness and sensu ality, seem to be immediatly approved by the moral sense itself. These we refer to another place. We shall only take notice here, that by certain associati ons of ideas, and by frequent comparisons made in si milies and metaphors, and by other causes, some ina-
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(Book I.) nimate objects have obtained additional ideas of dig nity, decency, sanctity; some appear as mean and de spicable; and others are in a middle state of indiffe rence. Our relish for imitation and observing resem blances has made all languages full of metaphors: and similitudes and allegories give no small pleasure in many compositions: hence we cloath many objects with additional ideas of qualities they are not natu rally capable of; some of these ideas are great and ve nerable, others low and contemptible. Some attempt to explain the natural cause or occasion of laughter, a commotion of mind generally agreeable, of which all are susceptible, from a natural sense of the ridicu lous in objects or events. ( Association of i- deas very neces- sary. ) VIII. Before we pass to the dispositions of the will, we may observe a natural involuntary determination to associate or bind together all such perceptions as have often occurred together, or have made at once a strong impression on the mind, so that they shall still attend each other, when any object afterwards excites any one or more of them. As this is experienced in smaller matters, so it affects our apprehensions of good and evil natural and moral. When the strain of con versation and popular maxims have long represented certain actions or events as good, and others as evil; we find it difficult to break the association, even after our reason is convinced of the contrary. Thus certain ac tions are confusedly imagined honourable, others dis honourable; certain stations miserable, and others happy; as spectres are imagined in church-yards. Tho'
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many miseries and vices spring from this fountain, we(Chap. 2.) may see the absolute necessity of this determination. Without it we could have little use of memory, or recollection, or even of speech. How tedious would it be to need a particular recollection, upon each word we hear or desire to speak, to find what words and ideas are joined by the custom of the language? it must be as tedious a work as decyphering after we had found an alphabet. Whereas, now, the sound and idea are so associated, that the one ever is attended with the other. Nay, how is it we remember? when we are ex amined about a past event, the time, or place, some circumstance, or person then present, is suggested in the question, and these bring along with them the whole train of the associated ideas. The subject of a debate is suggested; a man conversant in it finds, pre vious almost to volition, the principal reasonings on both sides arising in his mind. To this disposition in a great measure is owing the power of education, which forms many associations in our early years; and few have the patience or courage to examine, whether they are founded in nature, or in the weakness of our instructors. IX. Many of the natural determinations of the( The will and habits. ) will are abundantly explained by such as treat design edly upon that subject, and point out the natural oc casions of the several passions and affections. To these authors we may refer much of this subject. We con sidered, above, the strong natural propensity to action. We may also observe another determination, or law
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(Book I.) of our nature, by which the frequent repetition of actions gives not only a facility in performing them, by encreasing our active powers, but makes the mind more prone to them for the future, or more uneasy when it is by violence restrained from them. And this is called an Habit. In our passive sensations the plea sures and pains are rather abated by frequent feelings: and yet the uneasiness under the want of pleasures is increased by our being long enured to them. If we find much detriment from habits of vice, equally great is the advantage of the habits of virtue. It is of ge neral advantage to a rational species, that it thus can increase any of its powers as it chuses, and make them more stable and vigorous. It is still in our power, too, to wear out any habits, by abstaining from their acts, or resolutely acting in opposition to them. Could we acquire no habits, our powers must remain miserably weak, and all artificial action continue as uneasy as we found our first essays. ( No habit or cus- tom gives new ideas. ) But all these associations, habits, customs, or Vpre judices, recommend objects to our liking, or raise a versions to them, under the notion of some quality or species perceivable by the senses we are naturally en dued with, nor can they raise any new ideas. No sen timents therefore of approbation or condemnation, no liking or disliking, are sufficiently explained by at tributing them to prejudice, custom, or education, or association of ideas; unless we can fully shew what these ideas or notions are, and to what sense they be-
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long, under which these objects are approved or con-(Chap. 2.) demned, liked or disliked. X. At a certain age arises a new desire between the( Conjugal and pa- rental affecti ons. ) sexes, plainly destined for the continuance of our race; which, as it would be pernicious or useless in our first years, before we had acquired knowledge and experience sufficient for the preservation of offspring, is wisely postponed in the order of nature. This de sire in mankind does not terminate merely on sensu al pleasure, as in the brutes; nor is it in mankind on ly a blind impulse, such as excites the brutes, previ ously to experience of pleasure. There is a natural liking of beauty as an indication of a temper and man ners. A character is apprehended, and thence good will and esteem arises, and a desire of society for life, with friendship and mutual love, and united interests. Thus these sentiments and desires, in mankind, al ways accompany the natural impulse. They have al so universally a desire of offspring, where no stronger inconsistent views restrain them. Toward offspring there is in man, as in other ani mals, a peculiar strong affection, and a tender solici tude for their preservation and happiness. In man kind this affection continues during life, as parents may always do some good to their posterity. It de scends to grandchildren, and their children, almost undiminished. In the brutes it is found where the young need assistance; where they don't, it is not found. It lasts till the young can support themselves, and then generally ceases. All this carries with it ma-
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(Book I.) nifest evidences of design in the Author of Nature. Like affections, but weaker, are found generally to attend the tyes of blood among collaterals. These tender affections are the springs of more than one half of the labours and cares of mankind: and, where there is any ability, they rouse the mind to diligence and industry, and to things great and honourable. By means of them the heart is made more suscep tible of every tender kind and social affection. ( Men social, and fit for eivil so- ciety. ) XI. One can scarce deny to mankind a natural im pulse to society with their fellows, as an immediate principle, when we see the like in many species of animals; nor should we ascribe all associating to their indigence. Their other principles, their cu riosity, communicativeness, desire of action; their sense of honour, their compassion, benevolence, gai ety, and the moral faculty, could have little or no exercise in solitude, and therefore might lead them to haunt together, even without an immediate or ultimate impulse, or a sense of their indigence. The tyes of blood would have the same effect, and have probably first united large numbers for mutual as sistance and defence, upon a common apprehension of their indigence in solitude. When many were thus associated, the superior goodness, prudence, or courage of some, would naturally procure them a su perior esteem and confidence from all around them. Controversies would arise; the mischief of deciding them by violence would soon appear. They would soon see the danger of divided counsels, either about
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improving their condition, or common defence; tho'(Chap. 2.) all agreed in the general end. The most esteemed would soon be chosen arbitrators of their controver sies, and directors of the whole body in matters con cerning their common interest; and, as their prudence suggested, laws and political institutions would be established. The rest, finding the sweets of good order, safety, and laws, would have a veneration for the so ciety, and its governors, and constitution. The fi ner spirits would feel patriotism and the love of a country in their breasts: and all, in some measure, by bonds of acquaintance, and intercourse of business, and the enjoyments of protection for themselves and their fortunes, would acquire a love to the communi ty and zeal for its interests. XII. As the order, grandeur, regular dispositions( Religion natural. ) and motions, of the visible world, must soon affect the mind with admiration; as the several classes of ani mals and vegetables display in their whole frame ex quisite mechanism, and regular structure, evidencing counsel, art, and contrivance for certain ends; men of genius and attention must soon discover some intelli gent beings, one or more, presiding in all this comely order and magnificence. The great and the beauti ful strikes the mind with veneration, and leads us to infer intelligence as residing in it, or directing it: a careful attention to the structure of our own nature and its powers leads to the same conclusion. Our feeling moral sentiments, our sense of goodness and virtue, as well as of art and design; our experience of
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(Book I.) some moral distribution within, by immediate happi ness or misery constantly attending virtue and vice, and of a like distribution generally obtaining even in ex ternal things by a natural tendency, must suggest that there is a moral government in the world: and as men are prone to communicate their knowledge, in ventions, conjectures, the notions of a Deity and pro vidence must soon be diffused; and an easy exercise of reason would confirm the persuasion. Thus some de votion and piety would generally obtain, and there fore may justly be called natural to a rational system. An early revelation and tradition generally anticipa ted human invention in this matter: but these alone could scarce have diffused the belief so universally, without the aids of obvious reasons from strong ap pearances in Nature. Notions of Deity and some sort of worship have in fact as universally obtained among men, as living in society, the use of speech, or even propagating their kind; and thus may be counted as natural. The several powers dispositions or determinati ons above-mentioned are universally found in man kind, where some accident hath not rendered some in dividual monstrous, or plainly maimed and deficient in a natural faculty. But, in the different individuals, these dispositions are not in the same proportion as to strength; one being prevalent in one, and another in another: and hence the great diversity of characters. Yet, upon a proper occasion, when there is no opposi-
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tion from some stronger principle, each of these powers(Chap. 2.) will exert itself, and have its effect. XIII. Notwithstanding that all these nobler powers( The causes of vice. ) we mentioned are natural to us, the causes of that vice and depravity of manners we observe, are pretty ob vious. Not to say any thing of causes not discover able by the light of nature, mankind spend several of their first years, where there is not a careful educati on, in the gratification of their sensual appetites, and in the exercise of some lower powers, which, by long indulgence, grow stronger: reflecting on moral notions, and the finer enjoyments, and comparing them with the lower, is a laborious exercise. The appetites and passions arise of themselves, when their objects occur, as they do frequently: the checking, examining, and ballancing them, is a work of difficulty. Prejudices and groundless associations of ideas are very incident to men of little attention. Our selfish passions early gain strength by indulgence. Hence the general tenor of human life is an incoherent mixture of many social, kind, innocent actions, and of many selfish, angry, sen sual ones; as one or other of our natural dispositions happens to be raised, and to be prevalent over o thers.
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(Book I.)


Concerning the Ultimate Determinations of the Will, and Benevolent Affections. ( The ultimate de- terminations of the soul. ) I. AFter this long enumeration of the several sen ses or powers of perception, by which a great multitude of objects may be the occasion of pleasure or pain, or of some sorts of happiness or misery; and a like enumeration of many dispositions of will, or de terminations of desire; human nature must appear a very complex and confused fabrick, unless we can dis cover some order and subordination among these powers, and thus discern which of them is naturally fit to govern. Of this we shall treat in some following chapters. In the first place the Understanding, or the power of reflecting, comparing, judging, makes us capable of discerning the tendencies of the several senses, appetites, actions, gratifications, either to our own happiness, or to that of others, and the com parative values of every object, every gratification. This power judges about the means or the subordi nate ends: but about the ultimate ends there is no rea soning. We prosecute them by some immediate dis position or determination of soul, which in the order of action is always prior to all reasoning; as no opini on or judgment can move to action, where there is no prior desire of some end. ( The selfish gene- ral determina- tion alleged the only one. ) Were there no other ultimate determination or de sire in the human soul than that of each one toward
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his own happiness; then calm * self-love would be the(Chap. 3.) sole leading principle, plainly destined by Nature to govern and restrain all other affections, and keep them subservient to its end; having reason for its minister or counsellor, to suggest the means. But the end would be constituted by that ultimate determination, without any reasoning. This is a favourite tenet of a great many authors,( Various accounts of it. ) and pleases by its simplicity. But very different and contrary accounts are given, by these authors, of the private enjoyments or happiness pursued in the of fices we commonly repute virtuous. Some make the sole motive to all offices or actions even the most ho nourable, the sole end ultimately intended by them, to be some worldly advantage, some bodily pleasures or the means of them. This was the tenet of the Cy renaicks, and probably of the Epicureans too, and of some moderns. Others say, that we desire the good of others, or of societies, merely as the means of our own safety and prosperity; others, as the means of some subtiler pleasures of our own by sympathy with others in their happiness: others make our end to be the pleasures we enjoy in being honoured, or some re wards we expect for our services, and these either from God, or men. But there is still an higher scheme; allowing in deed no other calm setled determination of soul but 21
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(Book I.) that in each one toward his own happiness; but grant ing that we have a moral faculty, and many particu lar kind affections truly disinterested, terminating u pon the happiness of others, and often operating when we have no reference of it in our minds to any enjoy ment of our own. But, say they, „the sole original spring of all calm deliberate purposes of cultivating these generous affections, and of gratifying them in opposition to any selfish affections, is this; we ex perience the sublimest joys of self-approbation in gratifying these generous motions; these joys are a nobler happiness than any other; and the desire of them, flowing from the calm selfish determination, is the view of all deliberate purposes of virtue; tho' the kind passions themselves often hurry us into friendly and generous actions without this thought.“ ( This consistent with many disin- terested affecti- ons. ) This last account gives a lovely representation of human nature and its affections, and leaves a great deal of room for most of the generous virtues of life; but it does not please us with such simplicity as the other schemes, which directly deduce every motion of the heart from self-love. This is not to be reckoned among the selfish schemes, since it makes all the emi nent virtues flow from disinterested affections, natu ral to the heart, however in our calmer hours they may be corroborated by the calm views and desires of our own happiness. But our business is to find the truth, let the schemes, or their authors, be classed as they will: and, for this purpose, 'tis necessary to consi der well, both these affections alledged to be disinte-
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rested, and the moral faculty by which we judge of(Chap. 3.) all the motions of the will; that we may see, whe ther there be in the soul, as we alledged above, ano ther calm determination, beside that one toward our own happiness; as well as many particular affections, terminating upon the good of others, as their imme diate and ultimate object, without reference to private interest of any kind. II. The calm self-love, or the determination of each( In desires, the uneasiness differs from the mo- tives. ) individual toward his own happiness, is a motion of the will without any uneasy sensation attending it. But the several selfish desires, terminating on particu lar objects, are generally attended with some uneasy turbulent sensations in very different degrees: yet these sensations are different from the act of the will to which they are conjoined; and different too from the motives of desire. The motive is some good ap prehended in an object or event, toward which good the desire tends; and, in consequence of desire, some uneasiness arises, till the good is obtained. To aversi on, the motive is some evil apprehended or feared, and perhaps not yet felt. Uneasiness too attends the aversion, untill the evil is repelled. Prospects of the pleasures or powers attending opulence are the motives to the desire of wealth, and never the uneasy feelings attending the desire itself. These feelings are, in nature, subsequent to the desire. Again, when we obtain the thing desired; beside the pleasures to be obtained from this object, which were the motives of the desire, and often before we
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(Book I.) enjoy them, there is one pleasure immediatly arising from the success, at least in those cases where there was any difficulty in the pursuit, or fear of disappoint ment. It would be absurd to say that this joy in the success was the motive to the desire. We should have no joy in the success, nor could we have had any de sire, unless the prospect of some other good had been the motive. This holds in all our desires, benevolent or selfish, that there is some motive, some end inten ded, distinct from the joy of success, or the removal of the pain of desire; otherways all desires would be the most fantastick things imaginable, equally ardent to ward any trifle, as toward the greatest good; since the joy of success, and the removal of the uneasiness of desire, would be alike in both sorts of desires. 'Tis trifling therefore to say that all desires are selfish, because by gratifying them we obtain the joy of suc cess, and free ourselves from the uneasy feelings of de sire. ( Subordinate good-will is not virtue. ) III. 'Tis owned by all, that many actions, benefi cial to others, may directly spring from selfish desires of rewards, of returns of good offices, of honour. One may serve others from fear of unjust violence, or of just punishment. Nay, from the desire of our own happiness we may have an inward undissembled de sire of another's happiness, which we conceive to be the means of our own. Thus, one desires the success of a partner in managing the common stock; the pro sperity of any country or society upon which his for tunes depend; the advancement of a friend from
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whom we expect promotion; the success and good(Chap. 3.) conduct of a pupil, which may redound to the ho nour of the master or tutor. These real desires of the welfare of others may all be subordinate to one's own selfish desires. Here 'tis agreed by all, that desires of the welfare( Whether kind af- fections are ul- timate; ) of others, subordinated to one's desires of his own worldly advantages, without any other affection, have nothing virtuous in them. A change of outward cir cumstances, without any change of temper, would raise desires of the adversity of others, in the same manner. The main question is, whether the affections reputed benevolent are subordinated to some finer in terests than worldly advantages, and ultimately ter minate upon them: or, if there are not kind affecti ons ultimately terminating on the good of others; and these constituted by nature, (either alone, or perhaps sometimes corroborated by some views of interest,) the immediate cause of moral approbation. Now 'tis plain, IV. 1. That all hopes or fears from men, whether( they do not ter- minate upon re- wards from men;) about wealth or poverty, honour or infamy, bodily pleasure or pain, can only be motives to external acti ons or services, and not to any inward good-will or de sire of their happiness; since we all know that our in ternal affections are hid from others. External deport ment alone can be the means of obtaining what we hope from them, or of avoiding what we fear. 2. As self-love can make us desire only what ap-( nor on those from God, or from self-approbati- on. ) pears the means of our own happiness, one can scarce
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(Book I.) alledge that even the subtilest interests are the springs of real good-will to others. If one is aware of the high pleasures of self-approbation, arising upon con sciousness of inward good-will and kind affections, or is convinced that the Deity will confer rewards u pon men of such tempers; these two motives may make one desire to have that useful set of affections, in order to obtain happiness. Now, could we by com mand of the will directly raise what affections we de sire, from these motives we would raise kind affecti ons. But a temper or set of affections cannot thus be raised. As esteem cannot be raised, by any act of the will, toward an object in which no excellence appears, nor fear where there is nothing formidable, nor anger where there is nothing hurtful, nor pity where there is no suffering, nor gratitude where there has been no evidence of prior benevolence; so neither can a mind wholly determined toward selfish good raise in itself kind affections, by a command of its will. The natu ral cause must be presented before any affection can be raised. ( How divine laws operate to make men virtuous. ) If indeed our hearts are so constituted, as the asser tors of disinterested affections alledge, that upon pre senting the state of any sensitive beings to our calm thoughts, when no opposition of interests or evil dis positions apprehended in them obstruct the natural motion of our souls, a kind good-will naturally arises; then the motives of gaining the nobler pleasures of self-approbation, or rewards from God, will incline us to turn our calm attention to the state of others; will
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surmount little interfering interests, and remove even(Chap. 3.) the obstacles of anger * . The same motives will make us inquire also into all such qualities excellencies or good offices of others as are the natural occasions of the warmer and more endearing affections. And thus it is that the sanctions of the divine laws can influence our affections. But, 3. From self-love we desire only the means of our own happiness. Now the actual happiness of others is nei ther the cause nor means of obtaining self-approbati on, nor rewards from God. Our hearts approve us, and God promises rewards to us, not because others are in fact happy, but because we have such kind dis positions, and act our parts well in their behalf, whe ther in the event they are happy or not. Our desire therefore of the pleasure of self-approbation, or of divine rewards, can only make us desire to have these affections, and to act a suitable part. But these affec tions cannot be directly raised by the will: and where ever they are, they plainly terminate upon the good of others, as the ultimate end intended by them; tho' in our previous consultations with ourselves, or deli berations about the inward culture of the mind, we may have resolved, with a view to our own perfection 22
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(Book I.) and sublimest happiness, to incourage all such affec tions in ourselves, and to turn our attention to all such considerations as are naturally apt to raise them; and to despise all the mean interfering interests of this present world. These generous affections often ope rate where there have been no such previous delibera tions and purposes of cultivating them; and where there have been such purposes, still the generous af fection terminates and rests upon its natural object, the good of others; and must have had its existence in the soul previous to all desires and intentions of cultivating it. ( The affections do not arise imme- diatly upon our wishing to have them. ) There is nothing strange or unusual in this that one should want certain tender generous affections, of love, esteem, gratitude, pity, repentance for offen ces; while yet he earnestly wishes to have them. An inward temper and a set of affections do not start up at once upon a wish or command. Men who have been careless about virtue and piety are often observed, upon approach of danger, and on other occasions, heartily wishing, from self-love or fear of punishment, that they had love and gratitude to God, warm cha rity and good-will to their neighbours, meekness and a forgiving temper, and sorrow for their sins; and yet they have a distressing consciousness that these dispo sitions do not arise in them. In good men these af fections operate without any intentions of interests, without views of self-approbation, or future rewards. Nay, are not some of these kind affections strongest where we least expect honour from men, rewards from
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God, or even any considerable self-approbation; as(Chap. 3.) the conjugal and parental affections, friendship, and gratitude? However the want of them is much con demned, these affections are reputed but a lower kind of virtue, some of them scarce any virtue at all. V. Some plead that our most generous affections( All kind affecti- ons are not from sympathy. ) are subordinate to private interest by means of sympa thy, which makes the pleasures and pains, the happi ness or misery of others, the constant causes of plea sure or pain to ourselves. We rejoice in seeing others happy, nay in knowing that they are happy tho' at a distance. And in like manner we have pain or sorrow from their misery. To obtain this pleasure therefore and to avoid this pain, we have from self-love, say they, an inward desire of their happiness, undissem bled, tho' subordinate to our desire of our own. But this sympathy can never account for all kind affecti ons, tho' it is no doubt a natural principle and a beau tiful part of our constitution. Where it operates alone, it is uniformly proportioned to the distress or suffer ing beheld or imagined without regard to other cir cumstances, whereas our generous affections are in ve ry different degrees and proportions; we may have a weaker good-will to any person unknown; but how much stronger is the affection of gratitude, the love with esteem toward a worthy character or intimate friend, the parental affection? This sympathy, if it is the cause of all love, must be a very variable disposition, increasing upon benefits received, moral excellence ob served, intimacies, and tyes of blood: for the inward
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(Book I.) good-will, the kind affection, is plainly increased by these causes. Grant it naturally varied from these causes, yet this sympathy could never account for that immediate ar dour of love and good-will which breaks forth toward any character represented to us as eminent in moral excellence, before we have had any thoughts, or made any inquiries into his state in point of happiness or misery. Suppose him in the remotest parts of the earth, or in some other planet. Sure we can know the intention of the soul in its pursuits or affections. Is our own future pleasure in some sympathetick joys the ob ject upon which every kind affection and every friend ly wish terminates? Does parental care, patriotism, even when it is deliberately sacrificing life for its coun try, terminate upon some private joy of its own? when and where is it to be obtained? only a moment or two, before death is to carry us off from all human affairs, and few of us think of knowing the state of our survivors. Should God intimate to a brave man that his death is approaching next moment, and that he should have no longer fellow-feeling with mortals or memory of them, but that he would grant his last wishes about his children, his friends, his country; would he not as ardently desire their prosperity as in any former period of life, tho' his joyful sympathetick imagination would cease next moment? how will one account upon this scheme for those anxieties, ten der recommendations, advices, and ardent prayers of men a-dying for those who were dear to them, tho'
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they are persuaded that they shall presently be remo-(Chap. 3.) ved from this state and know no more of human af fairs? Our compassion too toward the distressed, 'tis plain,( Compassion not selfish. ) terminates upon their relief, even when we have no attention to our own pain. Nor is the termination of any desire merely upon the removal of the uneasiness which accompanies it. Thus tho' there may be in na ture some connections of interest between us and the objects of our tender affections, yet the affection ter minates on their good, is previous to this connexion, and is the cause of it. We therefore rejoice in the happiness of our child, our friend, our country, be cause we previously had an ultimate good-will to them. Nor do we therefore love them or wish them well be cause we have observed that we would derive joy from their happiness, and sorrow from their misery. Hence it is that, the stronger our previous love and esteem was, the greater shall our joy be on account of their happiness, and our sorrow for their misery. This may suffice to establish that important point,( Some affections entirely disinte- rested. ) that our nature is susceptible of affections truly disin terested in the strictest sense, and not directly subordi nated to self-love, or aiming at private interest of any kind. The tyes of blood, benefits received, moral ex cellence displayed, tho' we apprehend no advantage redounding to ourselves from it, are the natural causes of these particular kind affections; many of them arise unmerited; all terminate on the good of others; and all of them often operate in the soul when it has no
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(Book I.) views, or rational ground of hoping for any private advantage; nay when they are involving it in trouble and anxiety. ( Calm affections and passions. ) VI. As we observed formerly that the particular motions of the will toward private good are, either the calm stable affections, or turbulent passions; so are the particular motions of the generous kind: some of them are calm, sedate, and steddy; aiming at the hap piness of their object, whether an individual or a so ciety, attended with no turbulent sensations, and on ly causing uneasiness when they are defeated in their intention; others are turbulent, and attended with un easy sensations. We may proceed further in this comparison. ( Universal bene- valence. ) As there is found in the human mind, when it re collects itself, a calm general determination toward personal happiness of the highest kind it has any notion of; so we may find a like principle of a generous kind. When upon recollection we present to our minds the notion of the greatest possible system of sensitive beings, and the highest happiness it can enjoy, there is also a calm determination to desire it, abstracting from any connection with or subserviency to our private enjoy ment. We shall find these two grand determinations, one toward our own greatest happiness, the other to ward the greatest general good, each independent on the other, each capable of such strength as to restrain all the particular affections of its kind, and keep them subordinate to itself. ( Whether should the selfish yield to ) But here arises a new perplexity in this complex
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structure, where these two principles seem to draw dif (Chap. 3.) ferent ways. Must the generous determination, and( the benevolent principle or not. ) all its particular affections, yield to the selfish one, and be under its controll? must we indulge their kind moti ons so far as private interest admits and no further? or must the selfish yield to the generous? or can we sup pose that in this complex system there are two ultimate principles which may often oppose each other, with out any umpire to reconcile their differences? or shall we deny any original calm determination toward a publick interest; allowing only a variety of particular ultimate kind affections; not indeed arising from self love, or directly aiming at private good as their natu ral termination, and yet in all our deliberate counsels about the general tenor of our conduct, subjected, in common with all the particular appetites and passions of the selfish kind, to the original impulse in each one toward his own perfection and happiness? This last seems to be the scheme of some excellent authors both antient and modern. To alledge here that, by our reason and reflection, we( This determi- ned by the mo- ral sense. ) may see what was the intention of God the Author of our Nature in this whole fabrick of our affections; that he plainly intended the universal happiness, and that of each individual, as far as it is consistent with it; and that this intention should be our rule: that we should therefore restrain and controll, not only all selfish affections, but even all generous particular af fections, within such bounds as the universal interest requires: this is true in fact, but does not remove the
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(Book I.) difficulty, unless we are first told from what determi nation of soul, from what motive, are we to comply with the divine intentions? if from a desire of reward, then the selfish calm determination is the sole ultimate principle of all deliberate counsels in life: if from a perception of his moral excellence, a desire of imitat ing him, and from love and gratitude, then the desire of moral excellence must be the supreme original de termination. But this desire of moral excellence, how ever an original principle, must presuppose some an tecedent determinations of the will as its object. And among these there must be some one in which the su preme moral excellence consists, otherways our very sense and desire of moral excellence, since it may re commend many particular affections, which may in terfere with each other, will again lead us into a new labyrinth of perplexity. The solution of these dif ficulties must be found by considering fully that mo ral faculty above-mentioned, to which, in the next place, we proceed; briefly touching at those reasons which shew this moral faculty to be an original deter mination or sense in our nature, not capable of being referred to other powers of perception.
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(Chap. 4.)


Concerning the Moral Sense, or faculty of perceiving moral excellence, and its supreme objects. I. ALtho' we have kind affections ultimately aim-( The notion of moral goodness is not giving us pleasure by sym- pathy;) ing at the good of others, the success of which is joyful to us, yet our approbation of moral conduct is very different from liking it merely as the occasion of pleasure to ourselves in gratifying these kind affec tions. As we do not approve all conduct which gives us this pleasure, so we approve sometimes such con duct as does not give it; and our approbation of the good conduct which gives this pleasure is not propor tioned to the pleasure it gives us. Thus many in ventions, and much art and industry which does good to the persons or country we love, is not approved as virtuous: we approve generous attempts tho' unsuc cessful; we approve the virtues of enemies, which may hurt the chief objects of our love. We equally approve the virtues or generous designs of good men in for mer ages toward their contemporaries, or in the re motest nations, toward their countrymen, for whom our affections are very faint and weak, as if the like were done to our friends, or country, the objects of our strongest affections. Again - - - - Tho' the approbation of moral excellence( nor pleasing our moral sense. ) is a grateful action or sensation of the mind, 'tis plain the good approved is not this tendency to give us a
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(Book I.) grateful sensation. As, in approving a beautiful form, we refer the beauty to the object; we do not say that it is beautiful because we reap some little pleasure in viewing it, but we are pleased in viewing it because it is antecedently beautiful. Thus, when we admire the virtue of another, the whole excellence, or that quali ty which by nature we are determined to approve, is conceived to be in that other; we are pleased in the contemplation because the object is excellent, and the object is not judged to be therefore excellent because it gives us pleasure. ( nor that of use- fulness to the agent; ) II. Much less is it the approved species of virtue, that it is an affection or action which gives pleasure to the agent. It always may indeed give him pleasure upon reflection, by means of this moral faculty: but 'tis plainly then that we most admire the virtue of a nother when we attend to its labours, dangers, diffi culties, pains; and have no thought of any present or future pleasures of the agent. 'Tis strange that men should be at a loss to dis ( or to the appro- ver; ) cern what form, or conception, or species it is, under which they approve esteem or admire their own af fections and conduct, or that of others; and disap prove and condemn the contrary. One would think it manifest that the notion under which one approves virtue, is neither its tendency to obtain any benefit or reward to the agent or to the approver. The appro ver never expects a reward for the virtue of another; he approves where he sees no interest of his own pro moted: and he would less approve such actions as are
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beneficent, the more he considered them as advanta-(Chap. 4.) geous to the agent, and imagined him influenced by the views of his own advantage. Actions are conceived rewardable because they are good, not good because they are to be rewarded. Both the spectator and the agent value good actions the more in point of virtue, the more expensive or disadvantageous they are to the agent; and both will disapprove as immoral some ac tions which the one will allure to by bribes, and the other undertake; both conceiving them in this man ner advantageous. Now, if direct explicite opinions of tendencies to( nor imaginations of advantage. ) the advantage of the approver or agent do not raise moral approbation, much less can we suppose that any confused imaginations, or vague associations of ideas, about such advantages to the approver or the agent, can be the form under which virtue is approved. 'Tis also obvious that the notion under which we approve virtue is not its tendency to procure honour. A prospect of honour may be a motive to the agent, at least to external actions: but the tendency of an ac tion to procure honour cannot make another approve it, who derives no honour from it. Our very desire of gaining honour, and the disposition in spectators to confer it, must presuppose a moral sense in both. And any views an agent may have to obtain self-approba tion must also presuppose a moral sense. We cannot therefore say an action is judged good because it gains to the agent the pleasure of self-approbation; but it gains to him this pleasure because it was antecedent-
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(Book I.) ly good, or had that quality which by the constituti on of this sense we must approve. Our present que stion is, what is that quality, and how perceived? ( Not conformity to laws; ) III. The primary notion under which we approve is not merely a conformity to the divine will or laws. We seriously inquire about the moral goodness, justice, holiness, rectitude, of the Divine Nature itself, and likewise of his will or laws; these characters make up our common praises of them. They surely mean more than that his will or laws are conformable to them selves. This we might ascribe to an artful impure De mon. Conformity to his nature is not conformity to immensity, eternity, omnipotence. 'Tis conformity to his goodness, holiness, justice. These moral per fections then must be previously known, or else the definition by conformity to them is useless. ( nor conformity to truth. ) Neither is the notion of moral goodness under which we approve it well explained by conformity of affections and actions to truth, reason, true propositi ons, reason of things; as in the common acceptation these characters agree to every object of the mind, a bout which it judges truly, animate or inanimate, vir tuous or vicious. Conformity to moral truth, or true propositions about morals, equally belongs to virtue and vice; as the mind discerns truth about both; and, as every true proposition is conformed to its ob ject, so is the object to the proposition. If 'tis said that these moral truths intended are only such as shew what actions are good, what we are obliged to do, what ought to be done. These words mean no more than the
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word moral goodness; and then the definition is no bet (Chap. 4.) ter than this, „the moral goodness of an action is its conformity to such true propositions as shew the action to be good;“ or, “good actions are such a bout which 'tis true that they are good.“ In general, all descriptions of moral goodness by conformity to reason if we examine them well, must lead us to some immediate original sense or determi nation of our nature. All reasons exciting to an ac tion will lead us to some original affection or instinct of will; and all justifying reasons, or such as shew an action to be good, will at last lead us to some origi nal sense or power of perception. In like manner all descriptions of it by fitness, con-( or fitness, con- gruity, {et}c. ) gruity, agreement, must lead us to these original de terminations. The fitness of means or subordinate ends, does not prove them to be good, unless the ulti mate end be good. Now fitness of an end truly ulti mate must be an absurd expression; as it is referred to nothing, or is fit for nothing further. All ultimate ends are setled by some of the original determinati ons of our nature. * 'Tis in vain here to alledge instruction, education, custom, or association of ideas as the original of moral approbation. As these can give no new senses, let us exa mine what the opinion or what the notion is upon which we approve, and to what sense it belongs, whatever way the notion may have been conjoined, or whatever 23
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(Book I.) have been the causes of our getting this opinion that such a quality is inherent in or connected with the action? and this will lead us to an original principle. ( There is a mo- ral sense.) IV. There is therefore, as each one by close at tention and reflection may convince himself, a natu ral and immediate determination to approve certain affections, and actions consequent upon them; or a na tural sense of immediate excellence in them, not refer red to any other quality perceivable by our other sen ses or by reasoning. When we call this determination a sense or instinct, we are not supposing it of that low kind dependent on bodily organs, such as even the brutes have. It may be a constant setled determinati on in the soul itself, as much as our powers of judging and reasoning. And 'tis pretty plain that reason is on ly a subservient power to our ultimate determinations either of perception or will. The ultimate end is setled by some sense, and some determination of will: by some sense we enjoy happiness, and self-love determines to it without reasoning. Reason can only direct to the means; or compare two ends previously constituted by some other immediate powers. ( This plainly a- nalogous to other parts of nature. ) In other animal-kinds each one has instincts to ward its proper action, and has the highest enjoyment in following them, even with toil and some pain. Can we suppose mankind void of such principles? as brutes seem not to reflect on their own temper and actions, or that of others, they may feel no more than present delight in following their impulses. But in men, who can make their own tempers and conduct the ob-
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jects of reflection, the analogy of nature would make(Chap. 4.) one expect a sense, a relish about them, as well as a bout other objects. To each of our powers we seem to have a corresponding taste or sense, recommending the proper use of it to the agent, and making him re lish or value the like exercise of it by another. This we see as to the powers of voice, of imitation, de signing, or machinery, motion, reasoning; there is a sense discerning and recommending the proper exer cise of them. It would be anomalous in our struc ture if we had no relish or taste for powers and acti ons of yet greater importance; if a species of which each one is naturally capable of very contrary affecti ons toward its fellows, and of consequent actions, each one also requiring a constant intercourse of actions with them, and dependant on them for his subsistence, had not an immediate relish for such affections and actions as the interest of the system requires. Shall an immediate sense recommend the proper use of the in ferior powers, and yet shall we allow no natural re lish for that of the superior? V. As some others of our immediate perceptive( This sense re- quires culture and improve- ment. ) powers are capable of culture and improvement, so is this moral sense, without presupposing any reference to a superior power of reason to which their percepti ons are to be referred. We once had pleasure in the simple artless tunes of the vulgar. We indulge our selves in musick; we meet with finer and more com plex compositions. In these we find a pleasure much higher, and begin to despise what formerly pleased us.
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(Book I.) A judge, from the motions of pity, gets many crimi nals acquitted: we approve this sweet tenderness of heart. But we find that violence and outrages abound; the sober, just, and industrious are plagued, and have no security. A more extensive view of a publick in terest shews some sorts of pity to occasion more exten sive misery, than arises from a strict execution of jus tice. Pity of itself never appears deformed; but a more extensive affection, a love to society, a zeal to promote general happiness, is a more lovely principle, and the want of this renders a character deformed. This only shews, what we shall presently confirm, that among the several affections approved there are ma ny degrees: some much more lovely than others. 'Tis thus alone we correct any apparent disorders in this moral faculty, even as we correct our reason itself. As we improve and correct a low taste for harmony by enur ing the ear to finer compositions; a low taste for beau ty, by presenting the finer works, which yield an high er pleasure; so we improve our moral taste by present ing larger systems to our mind, and more extensive affections toward them; and thus finer objects are ex hibited to the moral faculty, which it will approve, even when these affections oppose the effect of some narrower affections, which considered by themselves would be truly lovely. No need here of reference to an higher power of perception, or to reason. Is not our reason itself also often wrong, when we rashly conclude from imperfect or partial evidence? must there be an higher power too to correct our rea-
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son? no; presenting more fully all the evidence on(Chap. 4.) both sides, by serious attention, or the best exercise of the reasoning power, corrects the hasty judgment. Just so in the moral perceptions. VI. This moral sense from its very nature appears( The moral sense destined to go- vern our other powers. ) to be designed for regulating and controlling all our powers. This dignity and commanding nature we are immediatly conscious of, as we are conscious of the power itself. Nor can such matters of immediate feeling be otherways proved but by appeals to our hearts. * It does not estimate the good it recommends as merely differing in degree, tho' of the same kind with other advantages recommended by other senses, so as to allow us to practise smaller moral evils acknow ledged to remain such, in order to obtain some great advantages of other sorts; or to omit what we judge in the present case to be our duty or morally good, that we may decline great evils of another sort. But as we immediatly perceive the difference in kind, and that the dignity of enjoyment from fine poetry, painting, or from knowledge is superior to the pleasures of the palate, were they never so delicate; so we immediatly discern moral good to be superior in kind and dig nity to all others which are perceived by the other per ceptive powers. In all other grateful perceptions, the less we shall relish our state, the greater sacrifice we have made of 24
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(Book I.) inferior enjoyments to the superior; and our sense of the superior, after the first flutter of joy in our success is over, is not a whit increased by any sacrifice we have made to it: nay in the judgment of spectators, the su perior enjoyment, or our state at least, is generally counted the worse on this account, and our conduct the less relished. Thus in sacrisicing ease, or health, or pleasure, to wealth, power, or even to the ingenious arts; their pleasures gain no dignity by that means; and the conduct is not more alluring to others. But in mo ral good, the greater the necessary sacrifice was which was made to it, the moral excellence increases the more, and is the more approved by the agent, more admired by spectators, and the more they are roused to imitati on. By this sense the heart can not only approve itself in sacrificing every other gratisication to moral good ness, but have the highest self-enjoyment, and appro bation of its own disposition in doing so: which plain ly shews this moral sense to be naturally destined to command all the other powers. ( The chief objects of approbation are kind affecti- ons. ) VII. Let us next consider the several powers or dis positions approved or disapproved by this faculty. And here 'tis plain that the primary objects of this faculty are the affections of the will, and that the several af fections which are approved, tho' in very different de grees, yet all agree in one general character, of ten dency to the happiness of others, and to the moral perfection of the mind possessing them. No actions, however in fact beneficial to society, are approved as virtuous if they are imagined to flow from no inward
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good-will to any person, or from such dispositions as(Chap. 4.) do not naturally suppose good-will in the agent, or at least exclude the highest selfishness. The desires of glory, or even of rewards in a future state, were they supposed the sole affections moving an agent in the most beneficial services, without any love to God, esteem of his moral excellencies, gratitude to him, or good will to men, would not obtain our approbation as mo rally good dispositions: and yet a firm belief of future happiness to be obtained by Divine appointment, u pon our doing beneficent actions, might be as steddy and effectual a cause of or motive to such actions as any other. But mere desire of one's own happiness, without any love to God, or man, is never the object of approbation. This itself may shew us how distinct moral approbation is from a persuasion of the ten dency of actions to the interest of the approver, since he might hope equally great advantages from such a steddy interested disposition to actions in fact benefi cent, as from any kind affection. That some sort of benevolent affections, or some( This evident from experience. ) dispositions imagined to be connected with them, are the natural objects of approbation; and the opposite affections, or the want of the kind ones, the objects of condemnation, will be plain from almost all our reasonings in praising or censuring, applauding or con demning the characters and actions of mankind. We point out some kind or beneficent intention, or some beneficent purposes proposed by the agent in what we praise, or would vindicate from censure. We shew
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(Book I.) some detriment ensuing to others, either intended or known, or what easily might have been known by one who had any tender regard for the interests of others, as the evidence either of ill-nature in the agent, or such selfishness, or such selfish passions as over-power all kindness and humanity. ( A decency and a dignity distinct from virtue. ) VIII. There is a plain gradation in the objects of our approbation and condemnation, from the indif ferent set of actions ascending to the highest virtue, or descending to the lowest vice. It is not easy to setle exactly the several intermediate steps in due order, but the highest and lowest are manifest. The indiffe rent affections and actions are such as pursue the in nocent advantages of the agent without any detriment to society, and yet without any reference made by the agent to any good of others. Such are the necessary and moderate gratifications of appetite, and many trifling actions. To explain the different degrees, we must ob serve, what was hinted at formerly, that beside the mo ral approbation of virtue, there is also another relish or sense of a certain dignity or decency in many disposi tions and actions not conceived as virtuous. Thus we value the pursuits of the ingenious arts, and of know ledge, nay even some bodily perfections, such as strength and agility, more than mere brutal sensuali ty. We in like manner value more in another activi ty, patience of labour, sagacity, and spirit in business, provided they are not injurious, tho' we conceive them solely exercised for his own promotion to wealth and honour, than a lazy inactive indolence.
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The calm desire of private good, tho' it is not ap-(Chap. 4.) proved as virtue, yet it is far from being condemned as vice. And none of the truly natural and selfish ap-( Qualities nei- ther approved as virtue, nor con- demned as vice. ) petites and passions are of themselves condemned as evil, when they are within certain bounds, even tho' they are not referred by the agent to any publick in terest. It was necessary for the general good that all such affections should be implanted in our species; and therefore it would have been utterly unnatural to have made them matter of disapprobation even while they were not hurtful. Nay, as these selfish affections are aiming at an end necessary to the general good, to wit the good of each individual, and as the abilities of gratifying them are powers which may be very use fully employed in subserviency to the most generous affections, it was highly proper and benign in the Au thor of Nature to invite us to the culture of these powers by an immediate relish for them wherever we observe them, in ourselves or in others; tho' this re lish is plainly different from moral approbation. We all have by consciousness and experience a no tion of the human constitution, and of a certain pro portion of affections requisite to an innocent cha racter. The selfish affections are then only disap proved when we imagine them beyond that inno cent proportion, so as to exclude or over-power the amiable affections, and engross the mind wholly to the purposes of selfishness, or even to obstruct the pro per degree of the generous affections in the station and circumstances of the agent.
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(Book I.) IX. But there is another set of dispositions and abi lities still of a finer nature, tho' distinct from both ( Degrees of vir- tue; first some a- bilities and dispo- sitions different from kind affec- tions. ) the calm universal benevolence and the particular kind affections; which however are naturally connec ted with such affections, natural evidences of them, and plainly inconsistent with the highest sorts of sel fishness and sensuality; and these seem immediate ob jects of the moral sense, tho' perhaps not the highest. They seem to be approved immediatly, even before we think of this connexion with disinterested affecti ons, or imagine directly that the agent is referring them to beneficent purposes. Of these moral dis positions there are several sorts, all immediatly ap proved, unless the mind directly discerns that they are employed in vicious purposes. Thus is fortitude ap proved, as it imports that something moral is more valued than life, and as plainly inconsistent with the highest selfishness: if indeed it be seen employed in ra pine, and merely selfish purposes, such as those of lust or avarice, it becomes the object of horror. Candour, and openness of mind, and sincerity, can scarce ever be unattended with a kind honest heart; as 'tis virtue and innocence alone which need no disguise. And these dispositions too are immediatly approved, per haps before we think of this connextion; so is also a stedfast principle of veracity whenever we speak. ( When veracity is approved. ) I know not if Cicero 's account of this be exact; „that we naturally desire knowledge, and are averse to ignorance, and error, and being deceived; and thence relish these dispositions which are the natu-
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„ral means of knowledge, and the preservatives a-(Chap. 4.) gainst deceptions.“ Veracity seems to be immediat ly and strongly approved, and that from our infancy; as we see the first natural impulse of the young mind is to speak truth, till by experiencing some inconvenien cies it is taught to counteract the natural impulse. One needs not mention here courtesy and good manners: they are the very dress of virtue, the direct profession of kind affections, and are thus approved. As all these abilities and dispositions are of great importance in life, highly beneficial to mankind when exerted in consequence of kind affections, and are naturally con nected with them, or exclude the opposite extreme, 'tis with the highest goodness and wisdom that they are immediatly recommended to our approbation by the constitution of our moral faculty. But of all such dispositions of our nature, different( The relish and desire of moral excellence. ) from all our kind affections, none is so nearly connec ted with them, none so natural an evidence of them, none so immediatly and necessarily subservient to them, as an acute moral sense itself, a strong desire of mo ral excellence, with an high relish of it wherever it is observed. We do not call the power or sense itself vir tuous; but the having this sense in an high degree na turally raises a strong desire of having all generous af fections; it surmounts all the little obstacles to them, and determines the mind to use all the natural means of raising them. Now, as the mind can make any of its own powers the object of its reflex contemplation, this high sense of moral excellence is approved above
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(Book I.) all other abilities. And the consequent desire of mo ral excellence, the consequent strong love, esteem, and good-will to the persons where it is found, are imme diatly approved, as most amiable affections, and the highest virtues. ( The degrees re- cited. ) X. Having premised these considerations, we may observe the following degrees of approbation, as they arise above what is merely indifferent. ( Certain abilities of dignity. ) 1. One may rank in the first step, as the object of some sort of esteem or good liking, the exercise even of those more manly powers, which have no necessa ry or natural connexion with virtue, but shew a taste above sensuality and the lower selfishness: such as the pursuits of the ingenious arts, of the elegance of life, and speculative sciences. Every one sees a dignity in these pleasures, and must relish the desires of them; and indeed they are far less opposite to virtue, or the publick interest, than keen tastes or appetites of a lower kind. 2. 'Tis plain however, that our moral sense puts a much higher value upon abilities and dispositions im mediatly connected with virtuous affections, and which exclude the worst sorts of selfishness. Thus candour, veracity, fortitude, and a strong sense of honour, have a moral estimation above other abilities. ( Calm kind affec- tions more ap- proved than passions. ) 3. But to come to the more immediate objects of moral approbation, the kind affections themselves; 'tis certain that, among affections of equal extent, we more approve the calm stable resolute purposes of heart, than the turbulent and passionate. And that,
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of affections in this respect alike, we more approve(Chap. 4.) those which are more extensive, and less approve those which are more confined. Thus, the stable con-( Extensive more approved than the narrow. ) jugal and parental love, or the resolute calm purpose of promoting the true happiness of persons thus rela ted to us, is preferable to the turbulent passionate dis positions of tenderness. And the love of a society, a country, is more excellent than domestick affections. We see plainly the superior dignity in these cases from this, that, notwithstanding the struggle felt in our breasts, and the opposition made by the passionate or more limited affections, yet, when we resolutely fol low the calm and extensive notwithstanding of this opposition, the soul in its calmest hours and most de liberate reflections approves of its own conduct; and scarce ever fails to approve the like conduct in others at once; as in the case of others its passions are not raised to give opposition. On the contrary, when we have yielded to the passion or the limited affection, in opposition to the calm or more extensive principle, the soul upon reflection is dissatisfied with itself, and at first view it condemns the like conduct in others. That disposition therefore which is most excellent,( The chief moral excellence, uni- versal good-will, ) and naturally gains the highest moral approbation, is the calm, stable, universal good-will to all, or the most extensive benevolence. And this seems the most di stinct notion we can form of the moral excellency of the Deity. Another disposition inseparable from this in men,( and love of this affection. ) and probably in all beings who are capable of such ex-
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(Book I.) tensive affection, is the relish or approbation of this affection, and a naturally consequent desire of this moral excellence, and an esteem and good-will of an higher kind to all in whom it is found. This love of moral excellence is also an high object of approbati on, when we find it in ourselves by reflection, or ob serve it in another. It is a pretty different affection from benevolence or the desire of communicating happiness; and is as it were in another order of affec tions; so that one cannot well determine whether it can be compared with the other. It seems co-ordinate, and the highest possible of that kind; never in opposi tion to benevolence, nay always conspiring with and assisting it. This desire of moral excellence, and love to the mind where it resides, with the consequent acts of esteem, veneration, trust, and resignation, are the essence of true piety toward God. We never speak of benevolence toward God; as that word carries with it some supposal of indigence, or want of some good, in the object. And yet, as we have benevolence toward a friend when he may need our assistance; so, the same emotion of soul, or the same disposition toward him, shall remain when he is raised to the best state we can wish; and it then exerts itself in congratulation, or rejoicing in his happiness. In this manner may our souls be affected toward the Deity, without any supposition of his indigence, by the highest joy and complacence in his absolute hap piness. ( The degrees of vice. ) XI. 'Tis easy to observe the like gradation from the
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indifferent state of the soul through the several de-(Chap. 4.) grees of moral turpitude. The first may be the want of these more reputable abilities; which indeed implies no evil affection, and yet plainly makes a character despicable, tho' not immoral. Thus we dislike the imprudent conduct of any man with respect to his own interest, without thinking of any detriment to arise to society from it. Thus negligence, rashness, sloth, indolence, are naturally disliked, abstracting from their effects upon society. So is a mind insen sible to the more manly pleasures of arts and genius. When indeed imprudent conduct, in point of private interest, is considered also as affecting a publick, or some other persons than the agent, whose interests he ought to have regarded, as it generally does; then it may be matter of high moral condemnation and re morse: so may the meanness of our talents or abilities, when occasioned by our immoderate sloth and sensua lity, and a defect of generous affections. 1. The objects of the gentlest moral disapprobati-( Several degrees recited. ) on or censure are those cases „where one in gratify ing some lovely narrower affection has inadvertent ly omitted what would have most tended to the publick good.“ Such is the promoting a good friend or benefactor in opposition to a competitor of superi or merit and abilities. The preferring, in such cases, a less worthy friend to one's self, may be censured in deed as a want of due proportion among these lovely af fections, when a more extensive one yields to the more limited; but the moral beauty of some limited affecti-
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(Book I.) ons is so great that we readily overlook some defects in the more extensive. The same is the case if one has served a friend at a trouble or expence to himself much above the value of the good he has done his friend; perhaps too incapacitating himself for some wi ser services hereafter. Where indeed one preferred to himself a friend of equal merit, the publick interest is as well promoted this way, and a beautiful affecti on of friendship is displayed. And yet the contrary conduct, when there are no special circumstances plead ing for a friend, could not be censured as immoral. 2. Other objects of lighter censure are those actions detrimental to the publick which a person is forced to do to avoid death torture or slavery; when yet the publick detriment is still greater than those evils he avoids. Here the agent may have no ill-will; nay may have many generous affections, tho' not of that heroick strength which the moral sense would recommend. The guilt is exceedingly extenuated by the greatness of the temptation, which few have sufficient strength of soul to resist. In order to retain the character of inno cence, we expect, not only the absence of all malicious dispositions, but many good affections, and those too of an extensive nature; with much caution about the interests of others. The precise degrees cannot well be determined; nor is it necessary. But the stronger and the more extensive the generous affections are, so much the better is the temper; the lower they are, and the more that any opposite or narrower ones pre vail against them, so much the temper is the worse
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'Tis our business to aim at the highest moral excel-(Chap. 4.) lence, and not content ourselves with merely avoiding infamy or censure. 3. Another degree of vice are the sudden passionate motions of anger, resentment, and ill-will, upon pro vocation either falsely apprehended, or aggravated be yond any real ground. Such passions when they lead to injury are vicious, tho' not in the highest degree. When indeed by indulgence they tum into habitual rancour and settled malice or revenge, they form a most odious character. 4. A more deformed sort of vice is when the selfish passions and sensual appetites lead men into like inju ries. These are worse excuses and weaker extenuati ons of guilt than the angry passions. 5. A degree more deformed is when calm selfish ness raises deliberate purposes of injury known to be such. In these cases the moral faculty must be quite over-powered, and deprived of all its natural force in the soul, and so must all humanity. The like is the case when men from mere selfishness, without any grievous temptation, or without any motives of publick inte rest, counteract their moral sentiments by falsehood, treachery, ingratitude, a neglect of honour, or low cowardice dreading to lose some positive advantages, even while there is no such evil impending as could much affect a brave and good man. 6. In this class, or rather in a worse one, we must rank impiety, or the want of all due affections to the Deity, when he is known and conceived to be good.
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(Book I.) Our moral faculty must be strangely asleep where the desire of knowing the Supreme Excellence is a-want ing, or love to it when it is known: or where there is no care to cultivate devout affections of gratitude where there have been the greatest benefits received, and where they are repeated every moment. There is a disposition still worse, conceivable in the abstract, but scarce incident to mankind, or the crea tures of a good Deity; a fixed unprovoked original malice, or a desire of the misery of others for itself, without any motives of interest. ( The moral sense reduces all our powers into or- der. ) XII. Without a distinct consideration of this moral faculty, a species endued with such a variety of senses, and of desires frequently interfering, must appear a complex confused fabrick, without any order or re gular consistent design. By means of it, all is capable of harmony, and all its powers may conspire in one di rection, and be consistent with each other. 'Tis al ready proved that we are capable of many generous affections ultimately terminating on the good of o thers, neither arising from any selfish view, nor termi nating on private good. This moral faculty plainly shews that we are also capable of a calm settled uni versal benevolence, and that this is destined, as the su preme determination of the generous kind, to govern and controll our particular generous as well as selfish affections; as the heart must entirely approve its do ing thus in its calmest reflections: even as in the order of selfish affections, our self-love, or our calm regard to the greatest private interest controlls our particu-
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lar selfish passions; and the heart is satisfied in its do (Chap. 4.) ing so. To acknowledge the several generous ultimate af-( Calm self-love not the supreme principle. ) fections of a limited kind to be natural, and yet main tain that we have no general controlling principle but self-love, which indulges or checks the generous affections as they conduce to, or oppose, our own no blest interest; sometimes allowing these kind affecti ons their full exercise, because of that high enjoyment we expect to ourselves in gratifying them; at other times checking them, when their gratification does not over-ballance the loss we may sustain by it; is a scheme which brings indeed all the powers of the mind into one direction by means of the reference made of them all to the calm desire of our own hap piness, in our previous deliberations about our con duct: and it may be justly alledged that the Author of Nature has made a connexion in the event at last between our gratifying our generous affections, and our own highest interest. But the feelings of our heart, reason, and history, revolt against this account: which seems however to have been maintained by excellent authors and strenuous defenders of the cause of virtue. This connexion of our own highest interests with the gratifying our generous affections, in many cases is imperceptible to the mind; and the kind heart acts from its generous impulse, not thinking of its own in terest. Nay all its own interests have sometimes ap peared to it as opposite to, and inconsistent with the generous part, in which it persisted. Now were there
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(Book I.) no other calm original determination of soul but that toward one's own interest, that man must be appro ved intirely who steadily pursues his own happiness, in opposition to all kind affections and all publick in terest. That which is the sole calm determination, must justify every action in consequence of it, however opposite to particular kind affections. If it be said „that 'tis a mistake to imagine our interest opposite to them while there is a good providence:“ grant it to be a mistake; this is only a defect of reasoning: but that difposition of mind must upon this scheme be ap proved which coolly sacrifices the interest of the uni verse to its own interest. This is plainly contrary to the feelings of our hearts. ( Another ulti- mate determina- tion of will to- ward publick good. ) Can that be deemed the sole ultimate determinati on, the sole ultimate end, which the mind in the ex ercise of its noblest powers can calmly resolve, with inward approbation, deliberately to counteract? are there not instances of men who have voluntarily sacri ficed their lives, without thinking of any other state of existence, for the sake of their friends or their coun try? does not every heart approve this temper and conduct, and admire it the more, the less presumpti on there is of the love of glory and postumous fame, or of any sublimer private interest mixing itself with the generous affection? does not the admiration rise higher, the more deliberately such resolutions are for med and executed? all this is unquestionably true, and yet would be absurd and impossible if self-interest of any kind is the sole ultimate termination of all
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calm desire. There is therefore another ultimate de-(Chap. 4.) termination which our souls are capable of, destined to be also an original spring of the calmest and most deli berate purposes of action; a desire of communicating happiness, an ultimate good-will, not referred to any private interest, and often operating without such re ference. In those cases where some inconsistency appears be-( Which the mo- ral faculty shews destined to con- troll all others. ) tween these two determinations, the moral faculty at once points out and recommends the glorious the a miable part; not by suggesting prospects of future in terests of a sublime sort by pleasures of self-approba tion, or of praise. It recommends the generous part by an immediate undefinable perception; it approves the kind ardour of the heart in the sacrificing even life itself, and that even in those who have no hopes of surviving, or no attention to a future life in ano ther world. And thus, where the moral sense is in its full vigour, it makes the generous determination to publick happiness the supreme one in the soul, with that commanding power which it is naturally destin ed to exercise. It must be obvious we are not speaking here of the ordinary condition of mankind, as if these calm de terminations were generally exercised, and habitual ly controlled the particular passions; but of the con dition our nature can be raised to by due culture; and of the principles which may and ought to operate, when by attention we present to our minds the ob jects or representations fit to excite them. Doubtless
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(Book I.) some good men have exercised in life only the parti cular kind affections, and found a constant approba tion of them, without either the most extensive views of the whole system, or the most universal benevolence. Scarce any of the vicious have ever considered where in it is that their highest private happiness consists, and in consequence of it exerted the calm rational self-love; but merely follow inconsiderately the selfish appetites and affections. Much less have all good men made actual references of all private or generous affections to the extensive benevolence, tho' the mind can make them; or bad men made references of all their affections to calm self-love. ( Comparing, rea- soning, laws, re- ligion, still ne- cossary. ) XIII. But as the selfish principles are very strong, and by custom, by early and frequent indulgences, and other causes, are raised in the greatest part of men above their due proportion, while the generous prin ciples are little cultivated, and the moral sense often asleep; our powers of reasoning and comparing the se veral enjoyments which our nature is capable of, that we may discover which of them are of greatest consequence to our happiness; our capacity, by reasoning, of arri ving to the knowledge of a Governing Mind presiding in this world, and of a moral administration, are of the highest consequence and necessity to preserve our affections in a just order, and to corroborate our moral faculty: as by such reasoning and reflection we may dis cover a perfect consistency of all the generous motions of the soul with private interest, and find out a cer tain tenor of life and action the most effectually sub-
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servient to both these determinations. This shall be(Chap. 5.) the subject of some following chapters, after we shall have subjoined some further confirmation of these moral principles, from the sense of honour; and ob served the universality of both, and how far they seem uniform principles in our species.


The Sense of Honour and Shame explained. The uni- __versal influence of the Moral Sense, and that of __Honour, and their uniformity. I. IF we consult our own feelings we must acknow-( Sense of honour an immediate principle. ) ledge that as there are certain affections and acti ons which we naturally approve, and esteem, and praise, so there is an immediate grateful sensation felt when we are approved and praised by others, and generally a most uneasy one when we are censured; without the expectation of any other advantages or disadvantages which may thence accrue to us. A more distinct con sideration of this sense of honour and shame will much confirm the preceding account of our moral faculty. They who refer all the motions of the heart to( Abstracted from private inte- rest. ) private interest, and would reduce all our perceptive powers to a very small number, by one artful refe rence or another, depart exceedingly from nature in their accounts of those determinations about honour and shame, which are acknowledged to appear uni versally among men.
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(Book I.) They tell us „our honouring a man is merely reput ing him useful to us either explicitely, and thus we honour the generous and beneficent, with whom we have intercourse, and by whose offices we are profi ted; or implicitely, and by some confused imagina tions, and thus we honour heroes who lived in prior ages, or remote nations, imagining they are our contemporaries or countrymen; or thinking that they would be very useful to us if we had intercourse with them. And thus our esteem is only an opini on of a character or conduct as useful to us, and a liking it on this account.“ And, say they, “we de sire to be honoured, or reputed useful to others, not from an immediate sensation, but because we know that men are studious of serving such as they ho nour and repute useful to them; not indeed from ultimate love to them, but as a further allurement to continue thus useful; and we, in hopes of such services from those to whom we are reputed use ful, desire to obtain this reputation of being useful to others.“ 'Tis a pain to dwell upon such schemes as contradict the immediate feelings of the heart so manifestly. ( This proved by several reasons. ) Upon this scheme, the man who honours an agent, and the agent himself who approves his own conduct, must have notions of the same honoured action the most different imaginable. The honourer must only value it as tending to his ease, wealth, pleasure, safety; and the agent values it as the artful, and necessary, but disagreeable means of obtaining some remote advan-
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tages from others, who will probably invite him to(Chap. 5.) continue such conduct by making him some returns of useful services. But 'tis plain there are many tem pers and actions useful to us, nay to a whole commu nity, which we don't honour; such as useful treachery, a selfish inventive industry in improving manufactures; a promiscuous profuseness. Nay we honour some times what we conceive directly to be detrimental; as patriotism or courage, in a foreigner, or an enemy. Shall confused imaginations of usefulness be regarded here, against the most direct opinions of detriment to ourselves? Who finds these imaginations respecting his own interests, in reading antient histories, or dra matick writers, when the soul is so strongly moved with the several moral forms? And then, surely, this notion of my own temper and conduct as beneficial to others can upon their scheme have nothing immediately grateful to me. These cool uncertain prospects of returns of advantage from the selfish arts of others can have nothing alluring amidst certain expences, labours, wounds, and death? whence the ardour for a surviving fame? this is all monstrous and unnatural. Is all our admiration, our high zeal for the brave, and merciful, and generous, and mag nanimous, all our ambition and ardour for glory, this cool traffick, this artful barter of advantageous ser vices without an express bargain? We appeal to eve ry human heart in this matter; to the hearts of the young, who are most ardent in praising, and most de lighted with praise; and have little felt those artful
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(Book I.) mean designs of interest. Is all esteem and honour a mere cool opinion that from some actions and affec tions we shall reap some advantage? Is all the con founding sense of shame, and blushing, only a fear of some future uncertain losses, which we know not well what they shall be, or how they will befal us? Are not men conscious of their own designs in the pur suits of honour; of their own apprehensions in their avoiding of what is shameful; and of the occasion of their sorrow when they are ashamed? surely these art ful views of our own interest could not be unknown to us. ( This sense ap- pears very early. ) II. There is therefore an immediate sense of ho nour and shame, often operating where there are no such views of interest, and plainly presupposing a mo ral sense. It generally appears very early in life, be fore any considerable reasoning or reflection can settle well the notions of morality; and thus before we can judge for ourselves we are wisely and benignly sub jected to the direction of others, are rewarded for our compliance by a most grateful sensation, and by a most uneasy one deterred from frowardness and obsti nacy. The selfish accounts of this principle make all the ardour for glory the same base temper with that of a traitor or informer, who desires to appear use ful to others in hopes of a reward. No better no tion can they give of modesty, the sense of shame, the abhorrence of any imputation of moral turpitude, that pudor of the Romans, the finest stroke in a cha racter.
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We see this sense of honour admits several de (Chap. 5.) grees in conformity to the moral sense on which it is( There are seve- ral degrees of the honourable and shameful. ) founded. But first, in consequence of that natural de sire or impulse toward the perfection of all our powers, and a sense of dignity and decency in some of them above others, we find a natural pleasure in discovering to others the perfection of any manly powers, and in being valued in that respect. Hence a taste for the ingenious arts of musick, sculpture, painting, and even for the manly diversions, is reputable. The gran deur and elegance of living, in dress, architecture, furniture, gardens, are in certain circumstances mat ter of glorying and of praise: much more so are the abilities yet higher, a strong genius in acquiring know ledge, the high lively imagination of the poet or ora tor. This last indeed plainly includes an high moral sense. But to come directly to our sense of pleasure in ob taining moral approbation. All actions which proceed from any friendly or kind affection, and are not op posite to some more extensive one, are attended with assurance, and openness of behaviour, and we glory in them. The sensual passions, and ill-natured affecti ons of anger, malice, envy, and even cool selfishness, we naturally conceal; and are ashamed of them. III. One cannot well pass by that peculiar branch( The modesty of the sexes natu- ral. ) of modesty so conspicuous in all ages and nations, a bout venereal enjoyments. As there is a very violent appetite implanted for the most necessary purposes of the system, requiring however, in order to answer these
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(Book I.) ends more effectually, a great deal of nice regulation, by our reason and consideration of the common in terest of society. 'Tis with great wisdom and good ness that such an early check is provided for this ap petite by a natural principle of modesty. Children un instructed would not soon discover to us this modesty, nor have they for some years a notion of the object or design of it, as the appetite does not arise in our first years. Should we whimsically suppose savages come to maturity in solitude, without these objects occurring to them which could excite social affecti ons or moral notions; in this unnatural state some na tural principles might not appear. But were they brought into society, and had the actions and senti ments of others presented to them, their moral facul ty, and their sense of honour and shame, would soon discover themselves; and particularly their natural modesty of this peculiar kind would quickly appear. As they would approve all humanity and kindness, even when practised toward others, and abhor the con trary dispositions, they would soon despise sensuality and selfishness. As soon as they knew how the race of mankind is preserved, they would desire marriage and offspring; and when the occasion of this natural mo desty was felt, and the intention of the appetite known, this natural check of shame would discover itself. When the necessity of strict marriage-laws for the ascertaining to the fathers their own offspring was once observed, new reasons would appear for modest behaviour, and for creating an early habit of it in the
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education of both sexes. But, besides, there seem to be(Chap. 5.) several natural dispositions and senses peculiarly rela tive to this affair, distinct from the general shame of all immoderate selfishness, particularly that of mo desty, which begins at that period when the appetite which needs its controll arises, and seems to abate in old age along with the appetite. IV. Having a natural capacity for moral notions,( This sense how affected by educa- tion. ) we may be ashamed of actions without knowing the true reasons why they are immoral. By education we may contract groundless prejudices, or opinions about the qualities perceivable by any of our senses, as if they were inherent in objects where they are not. Thus we are prejudiced against meats we never tasted: but we could not be prejudiced on account of savour, or under that notion, if we had not the natural sense. Thus it is always under some species recommended by the moral faculty that we praise or desire to be prai sed, tho' we frequently have very imperfect views of the tendencies of actions, and of the affections from which they proceeded. What we observed about the moral faculty, holds also in our sense of honour, that we are highly delight ed with the approbation of others, not only for the good affections themselves, but for all those abilities and dispositions which are their natural concomitants, or which exclude the contrary affections. Thus we glory in fortitude, veracity, candour, openness of mind, and the desire of honour itself; tho' the pleasure of receiving praise is known to be so strong, and there are
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(Book I.) such suspicions of our being envied for it, that men are averse to let any impatience for this pleasure ap pear, or to discover their high delight in it, least it should argue too much selfishness. ( The moral sense and that of ho- nour affect all parts of life. ) V. The force of the moral sense, and that of ho nour, is diffused through all parts of life. The very luxury of the table derives its main charms from some mixture of moral enjoyments, from communi cating pleasures, and notions of something honour able as well as elegant. How universally despicable is the character of one who in solitude pursues eager ly the pleasures of the palate without society or ho spitality. The chief pleasures of history and poetry, and the powers of eloquence are derived from the same sources. History, as it represents the moral characters and for tunes of the great and of nations, is always exercising our moral faculty, and our social feelings of the fortunes of others. Poetry entertains us in a way yet more affec ting, by more striking representations of the same objects in fictitious characters, and moving our terror, and com passion, and moral admiration. The power of the ora tor consists in moving our approbation or condemna tion, and the ensuing affections of esteem or indigna tion, by presenting fully all the moral qualities of ac tions and characters, all the pityable circumstances which may extenuate or excuse, to engage our favour; or all the aggravating ones, to encrease our indigna tion; displaying all the high colours on both sides, as be is either praising or making invectives.
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The very arts of musick, statuary, and painting, beside(Chap. 5.) the natural pleasures they convey by exact imitations, may receive an higher power and a stronger charm from something moral insinuated into the performan ces. The chief beauties of countenance, and even of behaviour, arise * from indications of some sweet af fections, or morally esteemable abilities, as it appears by almost all the epithets of commendation. 'Tis al ways some real or imagined indications of something vicious which chiefly causes our dislike, as we see from the qualities censured and condemned. Hence it is that such deformity is † observed in the countenan ces of the angry, the envious, the proud, and the sel fish; and so much alluring sweetness in those which display the tender gentle and friendly affections. We see how these moral indications affect the na tural desires between the sexes. Could one attain to maturity without having any moral notions, which however scarce ever happened in one instance, except in ideots; he might be moved by this instinct as the brutes are. But we find that beauty raises first some favourable notions of an inward temper; and, if ac quaintance confirms them, we feel an high esteem and a desire of mutual friendship. Thus we are admiring wit, good-nature, prudence, kindness, chastity, a com mand over the lower appetites, while the instinct is 25 26
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(Book I.) also exciting to its natural purpose. Hence it is that this passion is often observed to make considerable im provements of the temper in several amiable virtues. 'Tis in like manner some moral worth apprehen ded, some justice or goodness of intention in persons and causes, which occasions most of that keen zeal for certain parties and factions, and those strong attach ments to them, in people who have no hopes of those advantages which the leaders of them may have in ( Our intimacies not from inte- rest. ) view. To alledge that our * chusing persons of know ledge, courtesy, and good-nature for our intimates, and our avoiding the ignorant, the morose, or selfish, argues all our intimacies to arise from selfish views, is plainly unjust. 'Tis true the one sort of compani ons are improving, pleasant, obliging, safe; and the other useless, unpleasant, dangerous. But are all friendships and intimacies mere grimace and hypo crisy? does one feel no inward esteem of certain cha racters, and good-will to the persons? does one only desire his own improvement or pleasure or gain, as when he hires a master to teach him a mechanick art, or a musician to entertain him, or a labourer to do a piece of common work? do we only intend a fair out ward appearance with our best friends, that we may not lose these advantages? On the contrary does not every one feel an inward esteem and good-will toward any virtuous acquaintances, which shall remain when we are separated, and hope not to meet them again? Were there no such moral sense and sense of honour 27
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in our constitution, were we as entirely selfish as some(Chap. 5.) refiners alledge, human life would be quite different from what we feel every day, a joyless, loveless, cold, sullen state of cunning and suspicion. 'Tis worth our notice here that however by the( Things insensible are most real. ) early prejudices of the external senses we are apt to imagine little reality in any thing which is not the ob ject of one or other of them, and to conceive what is not thus sensible to be fictitious and imaginary; yet if we attend to the inward feelings of our hearts, the greatest realities, our very happiness and misery, that dignity or worth in which alone we can have the most entire satisfaction with ourselves, or for which we love, esteem, and admire another, and count him excellent or happy, or chuse him for a friend, are qualities en tirely insensible, too noble and excellent to fall under the cognizance of these powers which are chiefly de stined for the support of the body. VI. Many suspect that no such senses can be natu-( These senses uni- form. ) ral, because there are such different and opposite no tions of morality, among different nations. But grant ing that their relishes were different, that different men and nations approved and condemned actions upon different accounts, or under different notions; this only proves that their senses are not uniform; and not that no such principles are natural. Men's palates differ as much; but who thence denies a sense of tasting to be natural? But the uniformity is much greater in our moral faculty than in our palates. The different reasons gi-
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(Book I.) ven by different persons for their approving or con demning will all lead us at last, when we examine them, into the same original species or notions of mo ral good and evil. In approving or vindicating of actions, in all nati ons, men generally alledge some tendency to the hap piness of others, some kind intention more or less ex tensive, some generous affections, or some dispositi ons naturally connected with them. When we alle viate any imprudent conduct, we say, the agent in tended well; did not foresee the bad consequence; or had such provocation as might have transported even a kind temper, or a man of justice. When we inveigh against bad conduct, we shew that all the contrary af fections or dispositions were evidenced by it, such as cruelty, wrath, immoderate selfishness, or a want of such kind affections as we generally expect in our spe cies. If we blame imprudent conduct, without this re ference to evil affections, or to the want of the good ones, 'tis sometimes from our good-will and pity to ward the agent, with some contempt of his mean abi lities, his sloth, stupidity, or indolence. And yet how are we softened by the thought that „the poor creature intended no harm, or occasioned none to others.“ This is often indeed a false excuse, as the publick suf fers by any one's making himself less capable of ser ving it, as well as his more peculiar friends. ( The immediate object approved is generally the same. ) Nay we shall find that men always approve upon some opinion, true or false, that an action has some of those qualities or tendencies, which are the natural
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objects of approbation. We may indeed often ima-(Chap. 5.) gine without ground, that actions have good effects upon the publick, or that they flowed from good af fections, or that they are required by the Deity and acceptable to him; and then under these appearances we approve them. 'Tis our reason which presents a false notion or species to the moral faculty. The fault or error is in the opinion or understanding, and not in the moral sense: what it approves is truly good; tho' the action may have no such quality. We sometimes chuse and like, in point of interest, what is in event detrimental to ourselves. No man thence concludes that we are not uniform in self-love or liking of our own interest. Nor do like mistakes about the moral qualities of actions prove either that we have no moral sense, or that it is not uniformly constituted. The pas sions of spectators, as well as those of agents, prevent a mature examination of the moral natures of those actions which are subservient to the designs of the pas sions; as lust, rage, revenge, will hurry men into what a calm man would discern to be ruinous. But these things do not prove that men are dissimilar to each other, either in their moral faculty, or their sels-love. To prove that men have no moral faculty, or very dissimilar ones; we must shew either that nations or great numbers of men hold all actions to be indiffe rent which don't appear to them to affect their own private interest; or that they are pleased with cruelty, treachery, ingratitude, unprovoked murders, and tor tures, when not practised toward themselves, just as
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(Book I.) much as with their contraries: they should in some nations be deemed as reputable and lovely as huma nity, compassion, liberality, faith: the action of Sex tus Tarquin, or Claudius the decemvir, should be approved as much as that of Scipio with his Spanish captive. But such nations have not yet been disco vered to us, not even by the invention of the boldest traveller. ( The causes of different appro- bations and cen- sures. different notions of happi- ness. ) VII. The chief causes of different approbations are these three. 1. Different notions of happiness and the means of promoting it. Nations unacquainted with the improvements which life receives from art and industry, may see no occasion for incouraging them by securing to each man a property in the fruits of his labours, while the bare necessaries of life are ea sily obtained. Nay they can see no harm in depriving men of their artificial acquisitions, and stores beyond their present use, or of superfluities tending to dis solve them in pleasure and sloth: hence no evil may appear in theft. If any nation saw no use in the ascer taining of their offspring to the fathers, or had no desire of it; they might discern no moral evil in prac tices which more civilized nations see to be destruc tive to society. But no nation has yet been found in sensible to these matters. ( The causes of barbarous laws. ) In some civilized states laws have obtained which we repute barbarous and impious. But look into the reasons for them, or the notions under which they were approved, and we generally find some alledged tendency to some publick good. There may no doubt
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be found some few instances where immoderate zeal(Chap. 5.) for their own grandeur, or that of their nation, has made legislators enact unjust laws, without any mo ral species recommending them. This only proves that sometimes a different principle may over-power our sense of justice. But what foolish opinions have been received! what fantastick errors and dissimili tudes have been observed in the admired power of rea soning, allowed to be the characteristick of our spe cies! Now almost all our diversities in moral senti ments, and opposite approbations, and condemnations, arise from opposite conclusions of reason about the effects of actions upon the publick, or the affections from which they flowed. The moral sense seems ever to approve and condemn uniformly the same imme diate objects, the same affections and dispositions; tho' we reason very differently about the actions which evi dence certain dispositions or their contraries. And yet reason, in which all these errors happen is allowed to be the natural principle; and the moral faculty is not, because of the diversities of approbation; which yet arise chiefly from the diversity of reasonings. 2. A second cause of different approbations are the( Different systems regarded. ) larger or more confined systems which men regard in considering the tendencies of actions; some regarding only their own country and its interest, while the rest of mankind are overlooked; and others, having yet narrower systems, only a party, sect, or cabal. But if we enlarge our views with truth and justice, and ob serve the structure of the human soul, pretty much
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(Book I.) the same in all nations; none of which wants multi tudes of good men, endued with the same tender af fections to kindred, friends, benefactors; with the same compassion for the distressed, the same admiration and love of eminent virtue, the same zealous con cerns for their countries which we think so lovely a mong ourselves; we must find a sacred tye of nature binding us even to foreigners, and a sense of that jus tice, mercy and good-will * which is due to all. To men of small attention their own countrymen or par tisans are the only valuable part of mankind: every thing is just which advances their power, tho' it may hurt others. The different approbations here arise a gain from different opinions about a matter of fact. Were certain nations or sects entirely impious, cruel, and fixed upon such measures as would involve all men in eternal as well as temporal misery, and possessed of such arts of fascination as no reasonings could effec tually withstand; one could scarce blame any violent destruction made of such monsters by fire or sword. Under this very notion all persecutors out of principle behold such as they call hereticks; under it they raise a general abhorrence of them. The like notions many little sects form of each other; and hence lose the sense of moral evil in their mutual hatreds and per secution. ( Different opini- ons about God's commands. ) 3. A third cause of different sentiments about ac tions, as frequently occurring as any one, are the dif ferent opinions about what God has commanded. 28
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Men sometimes from desire of rewards, and fear of(Chap. 5.) punishments, counteract their moral sense, in obedi ence to what they conceive to be divine commands; as they may also from other selfish passions: they may have some confused notions of matters of duty and obligation, distinct from what their hearts would ap prove were the notions of divine commands removed. Habits and associations of ideas affect men's minds in this matter. But where there are different opinions in different nations about the objects of the divine command, there are such strong moral colours or forms in obedience and disobedience to God, that they must necessarily cause very different approbations and cen sures, even from the most uniformly constituted moral faculties. God is generally conceived to be good and wise, to be the author of our lives, and of all the good we enjoy. Obedience must be recommended to our approbation generally under the high species of gra titude, and love of moral excellence, as well as under the notion of advantageous to the publick: and diso bedience must appear censurable, under the contrary notions. Disobedience therefore to what one believes God has commanded, from any views of secular ad vantages or sensual pleasure, or the inveigling others into such disobedience, must appear grossly ungrate ful, sensual, selfish or cruel. Where different opini ons about God's commands prevail, 'tis unavoidable that different approbations and censures must be ob served in consequence of these opinions, tho' the na tural immediate objects of praise and censure were the
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(Book I.) same to all men. This accounts for the different rites of worship, different notions of sanctity and prophani ty, and for the great abhorrence some nations may have of some practices in which others can discern no pernicious tendency, and repute indifferent, having no opinion of their being prohibited. ( Different rites of religion and notions of impie- ty. ) These considerations account sufficiently for the approbation of human sacrisices and other monstrous rites: tho' 'tis probable they have been often practi sed merely from fear, without moral approbation, by such as scarce were persuaded of the goodness of their gods: they likeways shew how incest and polygamy may be generally abhorred in some nations, where a few only can show their pernicious consequences; and yet be deemed lawful in other nations. ( Errors often criminal. ) Let no man hence imagine that such actions flow ing from false opinions about matters of fact, or a bout divine commands, are light matters, or small blemishes in a character. Where the error arises from no evil affection, or no considerable defect of the good ones, the action may be very excusable. But many of those errors in opinion which affect our devotion to ward the Deity, or our humanity toward our fellows, evidence very great defects in that love of moral ex cellence, in that just and amiable desire of knowing, reverencing, and confiding in it, which is requisite to a good character; or evidence great defects in huma nity, at least in the more extensive and noble kinds of it. Where these principles are lively, they must ex cite men to great diligence and caution about their
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duty and their practical conclusions: and consequent-(Chap. 5.) ly must lead them to just sentiments in the more im portant points, since sufficient evidence is afforded in nature to the sincere and attentive. No man can have sufficient humanity of soul, and candour, who can believe that human sacrifices, or the persecution of his fellow-creatures about religious tenets which hurt not society, can be duties acceptable to God. VIII. Our having a moral sense does not infer that we( No innate ide- as supposed. ) have innate complex ideas of the several actions; or innate opinions of their consequences or effects upon society: these we discover by observation and reason ing, and we often make very opposite conclusions a bout them. The object of this sense is not any exter nal motion or action, but the inward affections and dispositions, which by reasoning we infer from the actions observed. These immediate objects may be apprehended to be the same, where the external acti ons are very opposite. As incisions and amputations may be made either from hatred, or from love; so love sometimes moves to inflict painful chastisements, and sometimes to confer pleasures, upon its object. And when men form different opinions of these affections in judging about the same actions, one shall praise what another censures. They shall form these different opi nions about the affections from which actions proceed ed, when they judge differently about their tendency to the good or the hurt of society or of individuals. One whose attention is wholly or chiefly employed about some good tendencies of the actions, while he over-
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(Book I.) looks their pernicious effects, shall imagine that they flowed from virtuous affections, and thus approve them: while a mind more attentive to their pernici ous effects, infers the contrary affections to have been their spring, and condemns them. ( Why it is ne- cessary to consi- der the connexion of virtue with interest. ) Were nothing more requisite in laying the founda tion of morals, but the discovering in theory what affections and conduct are virtuous, and the objects of approbation, and what are vicious, the account now given of the constitution of our moral faculty would be sufficient for that purpose; as it points out not on ly what is virtuous and vicious, but also shews the se veral degrees of these qualities in the several sorts of affections and actions; and thus we might proceed to consider more particularly the several offices of life, and to apply our power of reason to discover what partial affections, and actions consequent upon them, are to be entirely approved, as beneficial to some parts of the system, and perfectly consistent with the gene ral good; and what affections and actions, even of the beneficent kind, tho' they may be useful to a part, are pernicious to the general system; and thus deduce the special laws of nature, from this moral faculty and the generous determination of soul. But as we have al so a strong determination toward private happiness, with many particular selfish appetites and affections, and these often so violent as not immediately to sub mit to the moral power, however we may be consci ous of its dignity, and of some considerable effect it has upon our happiness or misery; as strong suspici-
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ons may often arise attended with great uneasiness,(Chap. 5.) that in following the impulse of our kind affections and the moral faculty we are counteracting our inte rest, and abandoning what may be of more conse quence to our happiness than either this self-approbati on or the applauses of others; to establish well the foun dations of morality, and to remove, as much as may be, all opposition arising from the selfish principles, that the mind may resolutely persist in the course which the moral faculty recommends, 'tis necessary to make a full comparison of all human enjoyments with each other, and thence discover in which of them our greatest happiness consists.
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8 * See Cicero's Tuscul. lib. iii. & iv. Hinc metuunt, cupiuntque, dolent, gaudent que. Virg. The Stoics, the avowed enemies of the passions, allowed the βουλησις and ευλάβεια, and χαρὰ, in the perfectest character, even the Deity; but all these of an higher sort than the turbulent passions; of which di stinction hereafter.
9 † We need no apology, for using the word instinct for our highest powers, to those who know the Latin language. Ap petite is in our language much confined to lower powers; but in Latin the word is applied to the highest.
10 * See this well described in Plato. Rep. l. 9. and Aristot. Eth. Nicom.
11 * Aristot. Poet. c. 4. calls man ζώον μιμητικώτατον.
12 † De Repub. l. 3.
13 ‡ Plut. in Lycurgo.
14 Inquiry b. i. c. 3. and Aristot. Ethic. there cited.
15 * See the Inquiry into Beauty. b. i. c. 7. §. 4.
16 † One who would make all these to be perceptions of the external senses, and de ny that we have any distinct powers of perception, may as well assert that the plea sures of geometry, or perspective, are sen sual, because 'tis by the senses we receive the ideas of figure.
17 * See Spectator N. 412. and the Inquiry into Beauty, last section.
18 * See Inquiry into Virtue sect. 2.
19 * Dente lupus, &c. Hor. lib. i. sat. 1. l. 52.
20 * Ethic. ad Nicom. l. i. c. 5.
21 * By self-love we mean, one's desire of his own happiness and this only. By a fre quent use of the word love, for esteem, some have imagined an universal self-esteem, or preference of our moral character and accomplishments to those of others, which is contrary to what the modest and self diffident continually experience.
22 * This is the reference to our own high est and most noble enjoyments and inte rests, which we see made in some of the best writings of the antients, and in Lord Shaftesbury; „That, conscious of the in ward delights and dignity of virtue sur passing all other enjoyments, we resolve to follow all the noble and generous motions of our hearts in opposition to “the lower interests of this life.“ Not that they imagined we can raise any new affec tion, by command of the will, which na ture had not planted and connected with its proper causes: nor that all generous affections have private good in view. This notion they opposed with the greatest zeal and strength of reason.
23 * A compleat examination of these cha racters would call us off too much from the present design; we must therefore refer to the illustrations on the moral sense.
24 * Thus the Stoick in Cicero de Fin. l. iii. c. 10. Bonum hoc, de quo agimus, est illud quidem plurimi aestimandum, sed ea aestimatio genere valet, non magnitudine. ------ Alia est aestimatio virtutis, quae gene re, non crescendo valet.
25 * See Inquiry into Beauty &c. § vi.
26 † See Cicero de Offic. l. i. c. 29. Appe titus qui longius evagantur -- a quibus non modo animi perturbantur, verum etiam cor- pora. Licet ora ipsa cernere iratorum, aut eorum qui libidine aliqua, aut metu commoti sunt, aut voluptate nimia gestiunt &c. and often in his other works.
27 * See Hobbes, Bayle, Mandevil, in many places, after Rochefocault.
28 * See this often inculcated in Marc. Antonin.

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