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have to a rule to which they are referred, and by which they are judged of; which, I think, may be called Moral relation, as being that which denominates our moral actions, and deserves well to be examined, there being no part of knowledge wherein we should be more careful to get determined ideas, and avoid, as much as may be, obscurity and confusion. Human actions, when with their various ends, objects, manners, and circumstances, they are framed into distinct complex ideas, are, as has been shown, so many mixed modes, a great part whereof have names annexed to them. Thus, supposing gratitude to be a readiness to acknowledge and return kindness received, polygamy to be the having more wives than one at once; when we fra:ne these notions thus in our minds, we have there to many determined ideas of mixed modes : But this is not all that concerns our actions; it is not enough to have determined ideas of them, and to know what names belong to such and such combinations of ideas ; we have a farther and greater concernment, and that is, to know whether such actions so made up are morally good or bad.
5. Moral Good and Evil. Good and evil, as hath been shown, B. II. Ch. 20.9 2. and Ch. 21.842, are nothing but pleasure or pain, or that which occaGons, or procures pleasure or pain to us. Moral good and evil then is only the conformity or disagreement of our voluntary actions to some law, whereby good or evil is drawn on us by the will and power of the law. maker ; which good and evil, pleasure or pain, attending our observance, or breach of the law, by the decree of the law-maker, is that we call reward and punishment.
$ 6. Moral Rules. Of these moral rules, or laws, to which men generally refer, and by which they judge of the rectitude or pravity of their actions, there seem to me to be three forts, with their three different enforcements, or rewards and punishments : For Gince it would be utterly in vain to suppose a rule set to the free actions of man, without annexing to it some enforcement of good and evil to de
termine his will, we must, wherever we suppose a law, suppose also some reward or punishment annexed to that law. It would be in vain for one intelligent being to set a rule to the actions of another, if he had it not in his power to reward the compliance with, and punith deviation from his rule, by some good and evil, that is not the natural product and consequence of the action itself; for that being a natural convenience, or inconvenience, would operate of itself without a law : This, if I mistake not, is the true nature of all law, properly so called.
07. Laws. The laws that men generally refer their actions to, to judge of their rectitude or obliquity, seem to me to be there three : 1. The divine law; 2. The civil law; 3. The law of opinion or reputation, if I may so call it. By the relation they bear to the first of these, men judge whether their actions are sins or duties ; by the second, whether they be criminal or innocent; and by the third, whether they be virtues or vices.
$ 8. Divine Law, the Measure of Sin and Duty. FIRST, The divine law, whereby I mean that law which God has set to the actions of men, whether promulgated to them by the light of nature or the voice of revelation. That God has given a rule whereby men should govern themselves, I think there is nobody so brutish as to deny : He has a right to do it; we are his creatures : He has goodness and wisdom to direct our actions to that which is best; and he has a power to in force it by rewards and punishments, of infinite weight and duration, in another life ; for nobody can take us out of his hands. This is the only true touchstone of moral rectitude, and by comparing them to this law, it is that men judge of the molt considerable moral good or evil of their actions; that is, whether as duties or fins they are like to procure them happiness or misery from the hands of the Almighty. jo Civil Law, the Measure of Crimes and Innocence. SECONDLY, The civil law, the rule set by the commonwealth to the actions of those who belong to it, is
another rule to which men refer their actions, to judge whether they be criminal or no; this law nobody over. looks; the rewards and punishments that inforce it being ready at hand, and suitable to the power that makes it, which is the force of the commonwealth, engaged to protect the lives, liberties, and pofleflions of those who live according to its laws, and has power to take away life, liberty, or goods from hir, who disobeys ; which is the punishment of offences committed against this law. § 10. Philosophical Law, the Measure of Virtue and
Vice. THIRDLY, The law of opinion or reputation. Virtue and vice are names pretended and supposed every where to stand for actions in their own nature right or wrong; and as far as they really are so applied, they so far are coincident with the divine law above mentioned : But yet whatever is pretended, this is visible, that these names Virtue and lice, in the particular instances of their application, through the several nations and societies of men in the world, are constantly attributed only to such actions, as in each country and society are in reputation or discredit : Nor is it to be thought firange, that men every where should give the name of Virtue to those actions, which among them are judged praiseworthy, and call that Vice, which they account blameable ; lince otherwise they would condemn themselves, if they should think any thing right, to which ihey allowed not commendation, any thing wrong, which they let pass without blame. Thus the measure of what is every where called and esteemed Virtue and Vice, is this approbation of difike, praise, or blame, which by a secret and tacit consent establishes itself in the several societies, tribes, and clubs of men in the world; whereby several actions come to find credit or disgrace anongst then, according to the judgment, maxims, or fafiions of that place : For though men, , uniting into politic societies, have religned up to the public the difpofing of all their force, so that they cannot employ it against any fellow-citizens any farther than the law of the country direct, yet they retain still
the power of thinking well or ill, approving or disapproving of the actions of those whom they live amongit, and converse with: And by this approbation and dislike, they establish among themselves what they will call Virtue and Vice.
$11. That this is the common measure of virtue and vice, will appear to any one who considers, that though that passes for vice in one country, which is counted a virtue, or at least not vice in another, yet every where virtue and praise, vice and blame go together. Virtue is every where that which is thought praise-worthy; and nothing else but that which has the allowance of public esteem, is called Virtue*. Virtue and praise are so united, that they
• Our autbor, in bis prefuce to tbe fourth edition, taking notice how apt mer Wave been to mistike bim, added what bere follows : Of this the ingenious author of the Difcou-se concerning the Nature of Man has given me a late instance, to mention no other: For the civility of his expressions, and the candour that belongs to his order, forbid me to think, that he would have closed his preface with an infinuation, as if in what I had said, Book 11. Chap. 28. concerning the third rule which men refer their actions co, I went about to make virtue vice, and vice virtue, unless he had mistaken my meaning, which he could not have done, if he had but given himself the trouble to consider what the argument was I was then upon, and what was the chief design of that chapter, plainly enough fet down in the fourth section, and those following: For I was there not laying down moral rules, but showing the original and nature o moral ideas, and enumerating the rules men make use of in moral relations, whether those rules were true or false; and pursuant thereun10, I tell what has every where that denomination, which in the language of that place answers to virtue and vice in ours, which alters not the nature of things, though men do generally judge of, and denominate their actions according to the esteem and fashion of the place, or sect they are of.
If he had been at the pains to reflect on what I had said, B. 1.6. 3. $ 18. and in this present chapter, § 13, 14, 15, and 20. he would have known what I think of the eternal and unalterable nature of right and wrong, and what I call viriue and vice; and if he had observed, that in the place he quotes, I only report, as matter of fact, what others call qirtue and vice, he would not have found it liable to any great exception: For I think I am not much out in saying, that one of the rules made use of in the world for a ground or measure of a moral relation, is that esteem and reputation which several sorts of actions find variously in the several forieties of men, according to which they are called virtues or vices; and whatever authority the learned Mr. Lowde places in his Old Englijf Dictionary, I dare say it no where tells him (if I should
are called often by the same nanie. Sunt fua præmia laudi, says Virgil, and so Cicero, Nihil babet natura præftantius, quam honeslutem, quam laudem, quam dignitatem,
appeal to it) that the same action is not in credit, called and counted a virtue in one place, which being in disrepute, pastes for and under the name of vice in another. The taking notice that men bestow the names of virtue and vice according to this rule of reputation, is all i have done, or can be laid to my charge to have done, towards making vice virtut, and virtue vice : But the good man docs well, and as becomes his calling, to be watchful in such points, and to take the alarm, even at expreilions, which standing alone by themselves might sound ill, and be suspected.
It is to this zeal, allowable in his function, that I forgive his citing, as he does these words of mine, in § 11. of this chapter: Tbe extorta. tions of inspired brachers have not feared to appeal to common repule ; whatscever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if ibere be any praise, &c. Phil. iv. 8. without taking notice of those immediately preceding, which introduce them, run thus: W bereby in tbe cor. ruption of manners, ibe true boundaries of the law of nature, wbicb ought to be the rule of virtue and vice, were pretty well preferved, so that even the exbortations of inffired reacbers, &c. By which words, and the rest of that fcction, it is plain that I brought that passage of St. Paul, not to prove that the general nieasure of what men call virtue and vice, throughout the world, was the reputation and fashion of each particular fociety within itself; but to show, that though it were so, yet, for reasons I there give, mien, in that way of denominating their actions, did not for the most part much vary from the law of nature; which is that standing and unalterable rule, by which they onght to judge of the moral re&itude and pravity of their actions, and accordingly denominate them virtues or vices : Had Mr. Lowde considered this, he would have found it little to his purpose, to have quoted that paffage in a sense I used it Rot; and would, I imagine, have spared the explication he subjoins to it, as not very necessary : But I hope this second edition will give him satisfaction in the point, and that this matter is now so exprefied, as to Mow him there was no cause of scruple.
Though I am forced to differ from him in those apprehensions he has exprefied in the latter end of his preface, concerning what I had said about virtue and vice, yet we are better agreed than he thinks, in what he says in his third chapter, p. ;8. concerning natural infiription and innate notions. I shall not deny him the privilege he claims, p. 52. to state the question as he pleafes, especially when he states it so as to leave nothing in it contrary to what I have said : For, according to him, innate notions being conditional things, depending upon the concurrence of Several otber circumstances, in crder to the foul's exerting tbem ; all that he says for innate, imprinted, impressed notion's (sor of innate ideas he says nothing at all) amounts at last only to this, that there are certain propositions, which though the soul from the beginning, or when a man is born, does not know, yet by alifiance from ibe outward fenfes, and ibe belp of some previous cultivation, it may afterwards come certainly to know the truth of; which is no more than what I have affirmed in my firft book : For I suppose, by the foul's exerting then, he means its bc