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quam decus; which, he tells you, are all names for the same thing, Tufc. 1. 2. This is the language of the heathen philosophers, who well understood wherein their notions of virtue and vice consisted. And though perhaps, by the different temper, education, fashion, maxims, or interest of different sorts of men, it fell out that what was thought praise-worthy in one place, escaped not censure in another; and so in different focieties, virtues and vices were changed ; yet, as to the main, they for the most part kept the same every where : For since nothing can be more natural, than to encourage with esteem and reputation that wherein every one finds his advantage, and to blame and discountenance the contrary ; it is no wonder, that esteem and discredit, virtue and vice, should in a great measure every where correspond with the unchangeable rule of right or wrong, which the law of God hath established; there being nothing that so directly and visibly secures and advances the general good of mankind, in this world, as obedience to the laws he has set them; and nothing that breeds such mischiefs and confusion, as the neglect of them : And therefore men, without renouncing all. ginning to know them, or else the foul's exerting of notions will be to me a very unintelligible expression, and I think at best is a very unfit one in this case, it misleading menu thoughts by an infinuation, as if these notions were in the mind before the foul exerts them, i. e. before they are known; wliereas truly before they are known, there is nothing of them in the mind but a capacity.to know them, when the concurrence of those circumstances, which this ingenious author thinks necessary in order to the soul's exerting thein, brings them into our knowledge.
P. 52. 1 find him express it thus: Tbese natural notions are not so ime printed upon the soul, as ibat ibey naturally and werefjarily exert themselves
even in children and idiots) without any ajifance from the outward senses, or witbout the belp of fuine previous cultivation. Here he says tbey exert tbemselves, as p. 78. that the foul exerts them. When he has explained to himself or others, what he mcans by the foul's exerting innate notions, or ibeir exerting themselves, and what that previous cultivation, and circumftan. res, in order to their being exerted, are, he will, I suppose, find there is fo little of controversy between him and me in the point, bating that he calls that exerting of notions, which I in a more vulgar style call knowing, that I have reason to think he brought in my name upon this occalion, only out of the pleasure he has to speak civilly of me; which i must gratefully acknowledge he has done every where he mentions me, not without conferring on me, as some others have done, a title L. have no right to.
fense and rcason, and their own interest, which they are so constantly true to, could not generaliy mistake in placing their commendation and blame on that side that really deserved it not : Nay, even those men, whose practice was otherwise, fajied not to give their approbation right; few being depraved to that degrec, as not to condemn, at least in others, the faults they themfelves were guilty of; whereby, even in the corruption of manners, the irue boundaries of the law of nature, which ought to be the rule of virtue and vice, were pretty well preserved : So that even the exhortations of inspired teachers have not feared to appeal to common repute : IV hatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, &c. Phil. iv. 8.
Ø 12. Its Inforcements, Commendation, and Discredit. If any one shall imagine that I have forgot my own notion of a law, when I make the law, whereby men judge of virtue and vice, to be nothing else but the consent of private men, who have not authority enough to make a law, especially wanting that which is so necessary and eficntial to a law, a power to inforce it ; I think I may say, that he who imagines commendation and disgrace not to be strong motives on men, to accommodate themselves to the opinions and rules of those with whom they converse, seems little skilled in the nature or history of mankind, the greatest part whereof he shall find to govern themselves chiefly, if not solely, by this law of fashion ; and so they do that which keeps them in reputation with their company, little regarding the laws of God, or the magistrate. The penalties that attend the breach of God's laws, fome, nay perhaps most men, feldom seriously reflect on; and amongst those that do, many, whilst they break that law, entertain thoughts of future reconciliation, and making their peace for such breaches : And as to the punislıments due from the laws of the commonwealth, they frequently flatter themselves with the hopes of impunity; but no man escapes the punishment of their cenfure and dislike, who offends against the fashion and opinion of the company he keeps, and would recommend himself to; nor is there
one of ten thousand, who is stiff and insensible enough to bear up under the constant ditlike and condemnation of his own club. He must be of a strange and unusual conftitution who can content himself to live in constant disgrace and disrepute with his own partiçular fociety. Solitude many men have fought, and been reconciled to; but nobody, that has the least thought or sense of a man about him, can live in society under the constant dislike and ill opinion of his familiars, and those he converses with: This is a burden too heavy for human sufferance: And he must be made up of irreconcileable contradictions, who can take pleasure in company, and yet be insensible of contempt and disgrace from his companions. Ø 13. These three Laws the Rules of A[oral Good and Evil. These three then, First, the law of God; Secondly, The law of politic societies ; Thirdly, the law of fashion or private censure, are those to which men variously compare their actions : And it is by their conformity to one of these laws, that they take their measures, when they would judge of their moral rectituar, and denominate their actions good or bad.
♡ 14. Morality is the Relation of Actions to these Rules. WHETHER the rule, to which, as to a touchstone, we bring our voluntary actions to examine them by, and try their goodness, and accordingly to name them, which is, as it were, the marks of the value we fet upon them; whether, I say, we take that rule from the fashion of the country, or the will of a law-maker, the mind is easily able to observe the relation any action hath to it, and to judge whether the action agrees or disagrees with the rule; and so hath a notion of moral goodness or evil, which is either conformity or not conformity of any action to that rule; and therefore is often called nioral rectitude. This rule being nothing but a collection of several fimple ideas, the conformity thereto is but so or. dering the action, that the fimple ideas belonging to it may correspond to those which the law requires : And thus we see how moral beings and notions are founded on, and terminated in these simple ideas we have receive
ed from sensation or reflection. For example, let us consider the complex idea we signify by the word murder; and when we have taken it asunder, and examin. ed all the particulars, we shall find them to amount to a collection of simple ideas derived from reflection or sen. fation, viz. First, From reflection on the operations of our minds, we have the ideas of willing, considering, purposing before-hand, malice, or withing ill to another; and also of life, or perception, and self-motion. Secondly, From sensation we have the collection of those simple sensible ideas which are to be found in a man, and of some action, whereby we put an end to perception and motion in the man; all which simple ideas are comprehended in the word murder. This collection of simple ideas being found by me to agree or disagree with the esteem of the country I have been bred in, and to be held by most men there worthy praise or blame, I call the action virtuous or vicious : If I have the will of a supreme invisible law-maker for my rule ; then, t. I supposed the action commanded or forbidden by God, I call it good or evil, sin or duty: And if I compare it to the civil law, the rule made by the legiflative power of the country, I call it lawful or unlawful, a crime or no crime. So that whencesoever we take the Tule of moral actions, or by what standard foever we frame in our minds the ideas of virtues or vices, they confist only, and are made of collections of simple ideas, which we originally received from sense or reflection; and their re&titude or obliquity consists in the agreement or disagreement with those patterns prescribed by some law.
$15. To conceive rightly of miral actions, we must take notice of them under this twofold consideration. First, as they are in themselves each made up of such a collection of simple ideas. Thus drunkenness, or lying, lignify such or such a collection of simple ideas, which I call mixed modes; and in this sense they are as much positive absolute ideas, as the drinking of a horse, or speaking of a parrot. Secondly, our actions are considered as good, bad, or indifferent; and in this respect
they are relative, it being their conformity to, or disagreement with some rule that makes them to be regular or irregular, good or bad ; and so, as far as they are compared with a rule, and thereupon denominated, they come under relation. Thus the challenging and fighting with a man, as it is a certain positive mode, or particular sort of action, by particular ideas, dilinguisha ed from all others, is called duelling ; which when confidered, in relation to the law of God, will deserve the name fin; to the law of fashion, in some countries, va. lour and virtue; and to the municipal laws of some governments, a capital crime. In this case, when the positive mode has one name, and another name as it stands in relation to the law, the distinction may as easily be observed, as it is in substances, where one name, v. gi man, is used to signify the thing; another, vo g. father, to signify the relation.
$ 16. The Denoininations of Actions often mislead us. But because very frequently the positive idea of the ac. tion, and its moral relation, are comprehended together under one name, and the same word made use of to express both the mode or action, and its moral rectitude or obliquity; therefore the relation itself is less taken notice of, and there is often no distinction inade between the politive idea of the action, and the reference it has to a rule.. By which consusion of thele two distinct considerations, under one term, those who yield too easily to the impresfions of sounds, and are forward to take names for things, are often milled in their judgment of actions. Thus, the taking from another what is his, without his knowledge. or allowance, is properly called stenling; but that name being commonly understood to signify also the moral pravity of the action, and to denote its contrariety to the law, men are apt to condemn whatever they hear called stealing, as an ill action, disagreeing with the rule of right. And yet the private taking away his sword from a madman, to prevent his doing mischief, though it: be properly denominated fealing, as the name of such a mixed mode, yet when compared to the law of God, and confidered in its relation to that supreme rule, it is