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" play the fool, and draw shame and misery upon a. “ man's self?" If to break loose from the conduct of reason, and to want that restraint of examination and judgment, which keeps us from choosing or doing the worse, be liberty, true liberty, madmen and fools are the only freemen: but yet, I think, nobody would choose to be mad for the sake of such liberty, but he that is mad already. The constant desire of happiness, and the constraint it puts upon us to act for it, no-body, I think, accounts an abridgment of liberty, or at least an abridgment of liberty to be complained of. God Almighty himself is under the necessity of being happy; and the more any intelligent being is so, the nearer is its approach to infinite perfection and happiness. That in this state of ignorance we short-sighted creatures might not mistake true felicity, we are endowed with a power to suspend any particular desire, and keep it from determining the will, and engaging us in action. This is standing still, where we are not sufficiently assured of the way: examination is consulting a guide. The determination of the will upon inquiry is following the direction of that guide: and he that has a power to act or not to act, according as such determination directs, is a free agent; such deterinination abridges not that power wherein liberty consists. He that has his chains knocked oil, and the prison-doors set open to him, is perfectly at liberty, because he may either go or stay, as he best likes; though his preference be determined to stay, by the darkness of the night, or illness of the weather, or want of other lodging. lle ceases not to be free, though the desire of some convenience to be bad there absolutely determines his preference, and makes him stay in his prison. ** Tlenecessity P. 51. As therefore the highest perfecof pursuing tion of intellectual nature lies in a careful true happi and constant pursuit of true and solid hayness the piness, so the care of ourselves, that we di foundation
mistake not imaginary for real happiness, is of liberty.
the necessary foundation of our liberty: The stronger ties we have to an unalterable pursuit of a happiness in general, which is our greatest good, and
which, as such, our desires always follow, the more are we free from any necessary determination of our will to any particular action, and from a necessary compliance with our desire, set upon any particular, and then appearing preferable good, till we have duly examined, whether it has a tendency to, or be inconsistent with our real happiness: and therefore till we are as much informed upon this inquiry, as the weight of the matter, and the nature of the case demands; we are, by the necessity of preferring and pursuing true happiness as our greatest good, obliged to suspend the satisfaction of our desires in particular cases. .
5. 52. This is the hinge on which turns the liberty of intellectual beings, in their
The reason constant endeavours after and a steady prosecution of true felicity, that they can suspend this prosecution in particular cases, till they had looked before them, and informed themselves whether that particular thing, which is then proposed or desired, lie in the way to their main end, and make a real part of that which is their greatest good : for the inclination and tendency of their nature to happiness is an obligation and motive to thein, to take care not to mistake or miss it; and so necessarily puts them upon caution, deliberation, and wariness, in the direction of their particular actions, which are the means to obtain it. Whatever necessity determines to the pursuit of real
Wiss, the same necessity with the same force establishes PLA suspense, deliberation, and scrutiny of each successive
desire, whether the satisfaction of it does not interfere with our true happiness, and mislead us from it.
This, as seems to me, is the great privilege of finite je intellectual beings; and I desire it may be well con
sidered, whether the great inlet and exercise of all the het liberty men have, are capable of, or can be useful to. je 30 them, and that whereon depends the turn of their acpostations, does not lie in this, that they can suspend their Port desires, and stop them from determining their wills to. wapin any action, will they have duly and fairly examined the on the good and evil of it, as far forth as the weight of the se inting requires. This we are able to do, and when ue
have done it, we have done our duty, and all that is in our power, and indeed all that needs. For since the will supposes knowledge to guide its choice, and all that we can do is to hold our wills undetermined, till we have examined the good and evil of what we desire. What follows after that, follows in a chain of consequences linked one to another, all depending on the last determination of the judgment; which, whether it shall be upon a hasty and precipitate view, or upon a due and mature exanjination, is in our power; experience showing us, that in most cases we are able to suspend the present satisfaction of any desire. Government
§. 53. But if any extreme disturbance of our pas
(as sometimes it happens) possesses our
(as SO sions the whole mind, as when the pain of the rack, right im an impetuous uneasiness, as of love, anger, provement of liberty.
or any other violcnt passion, running away
with us, allows us not the liberty of thought, and we are not masters enough of our own minds to consider thoroughly and examine fairly; God, who knows our frailty, pities our weakness, and requires of us no more than we are able to do, and sees what was and what was not in our power, will judge as a kind and merciful father. But the forhearance of a too hasty compliance with our desires, the moderation and restraint of our passions, so that our understandings may be free to examine, and reason unbiassed give its judy- j. ment, being that whereon a right direction of our conduct to true happiness depends; it is in this we should employ our chief care and endeavours. In this we 10 should take pains to suit the relish of our minds to the true intrinsick good or ill that is in things, and not permit an allowed or supposed possible great and weighty good to slip out of our thoughts, without leaving any relish, any desire of itself there, till, by a due consideration of its truc worth, we have formed lei appetites in our minds suitable to it, and made ourselves and uneasy in the want of it, or in the fear of losing it And how much this is in every one's pover, by making lilie résolutions to himself, such as he may keep, is easy tor every one to try. Nor let any one say he cannot go.
vern his passions, nor hinder them from breaking out, and carrying him into action; for what he can do before a prince, or a great man, he can do alone, or in the presence of God, if he will. .
M. 54. From what has been said, it is How.men easy to give an account how it comes to come to purpass, that though all inen desire happiness, non desire honniness
fue different yet their wills carry them so contrarily,
courses. and consequently some of them to what is evil. And to this I say, that the various and contrary choices that men make in the world, do not argue that thcy do not all pursue good; but that the same thing is not good to every man alike. This variety of pursuits shows, that every one does not place his happiness in the same thing, or choose the same way to it. Were all the concerns of man terminated in this life, why.one followed study and knowledge, and another hawking and hunting: why one chose luxury and debauchery, and another sobriety and riches; would not be, because every one of these did not aim at his own happiness, but because their happiness was placed in different things.
And therefore it was a right answer of the physician to - his patient that had sore eyes : If you have more plea21. sure in the taste of wine than in the use of your sight,
wine is good for you; but if the pleasure of seeing be
grcater to you than that of drinking, wine is naught. W $. 55. The mind has a different relish, as well as the rex palate ; and you will as fruitlessly endeavour to delightof all men with riches or glory (which yet some men &are place their happiness in) as you would to satisfy all Inmen's hunger with cheese or lobsters; which, though midi very agreeable and delicious fare to some, are to others
y extremely nauscous and offensive: and many people je on would with reason prefer the griping of an bumgry ohta belly, to those dishes which are a feast to others. pre. E llence it was, I think, that the philosophers of old did. Angie in vain enquire, whether summum bonum consisted in. rade en riches, or bodily delights, or virtue, or contemplation.
of And they might have as reasonably disputed, whether orks the best relish were to be found in apples, plumns, or in je nuts; and have divided themselves into sects upon it.
For as pleasant tastes depend not on the things themselves, but their agreeableness to this or that particular palate, whicrein there is great variety; so the greatest happiness consists in the having those things which produce the grealest pleasure, and in the absence of those which cause any disturbance, any pain. Now, these, to different men, are very different things. If therefore men in this life only have hope, if in this life they can only enjoy, it is not strange nor unreasonable, that they should seek their happiness by avoiding all things that disease them here, and by pursuing all that delight them; wherein it will be no wonder to find variety and difference. For if there be no prospect beyond the grave, the inference is certainly right, " let “ us eat and drink,” let us enjoy what we delight in, “ for to-morrow we shall die.” This, I think, may serve to show us the reason, why, though ali men's desres tend to happiness, yet they are not moved by the same object. Men may choose different things, and yet all choose right; supposing them only like a company of poor insects, whereof some are becs, delighted with flowers and their sweetness; others beetles, delighted with other kinds of viands, which having enjoyed for a season, they would ccase to be, and exist no more for ever. How men . $. 56. These things duly weighed, will 03 come to give us, as I think, a clear view into the choole illo liate of human liberty. Liberty, it is plain, consists in a power to do, or not to do; to do, or forbear doing, as we will. This cannot be denied. But i de this seeming to comprehend only the actions of a man consecutive to volition, it is farther inquired, “whe“ ther he be at liberty to will, or no.” And to this it has been ansierod, that in most cases a man is not at liberty to forbear the act of volition: he must exert an act of his will, whereby the action proposed is inade to exist, or not to exist. But yet there is a case wherein a man is at liberty in respect of willing, and that is, the choosing of a remote good, as an end to be pursued.. Ilere a man may suspect the act of his choice from being dctermined for or against the thing