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proposed, titself and consegnce chose
proposed, till he las examined whether it be really of
What has been said may also discover to us the reason why men in this world prefer different things, and pursue happiness by contrary courses. But yet, since men are always constant, and in earnest, in matters of happiness and misery, the question still remaing, How inen come often to prefer the worse to the better; and to choose that, which by their own confession, has made them miserable ?
$. 57. To account for the various and contrary wars men take, though all aim at being happy, we inust conVOL. I.
sider whence the various uneasinesses, that determine the will in the preference of each voluntary action, have their rise. From bodily .
1. Some of them 'come from causes not in our power; such as are often the pains
of the body, from want, disease, or outward injuries, as the rack, &c. which, when present and violent, operate for the most part forcibly on the will, and turn the courses of men's lives from virtue, piety, and religion, and what before they judged to lead to happiness; every one not endeavouring, or through disuse not being able, by the contemplation of remote and future good, to raise in himself desires of them strong enough to counterbalance the uneasiness he feels in those bodily torments, and to keep his will steady in the choice of those actions which lead to future happiness. A neighbour country has been of late a tragical theatre, from which we might fetch instances, if there needed any, and the world did not in all countries and ages furnish examples enough to confirm that received observation,“ necessitas cogit ad turpia ;" and therefore there is great reason for us to pray, “ lead us not into temptation.”
2. Other uneasinesses' arise from our deFrom wrong desires, aris' sires of absent good'; which desires always ing from bear proportion to, and depend on the judge wrong judg- ment we make, and the relish we have of meni.
• any absent-good : in both which we are apt to be variously muisled, and that by our own fault.
udo . 58. In the first place, I shall consider ment of pre. the wrong judgments men make of future sent good or good and evil, whereby their desires are evil alway's niisled. For; as to present happiness and
. misery, when that alone comes into consideration, and the consequences are quite removed, a man never chooses amiss; he knows what best pleases him, 'and that he actually prefers. Things in their present enjoyment are what they seem: the apparent and real good are, in this case, always the same. For the pain or pleasure being just so great, and no greater than it is felt, the present good or evil is really so much
: . as
as it appears. And therefore, were every action of ours concluded within itself, and drew no consequences after it, we should undoubtedly never err in our choice of good; we should always infallibly prefer the best. Were the pains of honest industry, and of starving with hunger and cold, set together before us, nobody would be in doubt which to choose : were the satisfaction of a lust, and the joys of heaven offered at once to any one's present possession, he would not balance, or err in the determination of his choice.
§. 59. But since our voluntary actions carry not all the happiness and misery that depend on them, along with them in their present performance, but are the precedent causes of good and evil, which they draw after them, and bring upon us, when they themselves are passed and cease to be; our desires look beyond our present enjoyments, and carry the mind out to absent good, according to the necessity which we think there is of it, to the making or increase of our happiness. It is our opinion of such a necessity, that gives it its attraction : without that, we are not moved by absent good. For in this narrow scantling of capacity, which we are accustomed to, and sensible of here, wherein we
enjoy but one pleasure at once, which, when all unradio easiness is away, is, whilst it ļasts, sufficient to make ne pobedio us think ourselves happy; it is not all remote, and even op apparent good, that affects us. . Because the indolency oveli i and enjoyinent we bave, suflicing for our present hapwit piness, we desire not to, venture the change; since we
judge that we are happy already, being content, and pe that is enough. For who is content is happy. But as Apsini e soon as any new uneasiness comes in, this happiness is
disturbed, and we are set afresh on work in the pursuit
appy of happiness.
compris 9. 60. Their aptness, therefore, to con- . From a it is clude that they can be happy without it, wrong judge is one great occasion that men often are not
ment of what
makes a ne en faised to the desire of the greatest absent cessary part
good. For, whilst such thoughts possess of their hapa wowem, the joys of a future state move them piness. is not: they have little concern or uneasiness about them;
and the will, free from the determination of such desires, is left to the pursuit of nearer satisfactions, and to the removal of those uneasinesses which it then feels, in its want of and longings after them. Change but a man's view of these things; let him see, that virtue and religion are necessary to his happiness; let him look into the future state of bliss or misery, and sce there God, the righteous judge, ready to "render to “ every man according to his deeds; to them who by " patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and " honour, and immortality, eternal life; but unto “ every soul that doth evil, indignation and wrath, “ tribulation and anguish:” to him, I say, who hath a prospect of the different state of perfect happiness, or misery, that attends all men after this life, depending on their behaviour here, the measures of good and evil, that govern his choice, are mightily changed. For since nothing of pleasure and pain in this life can bear any proportion to the endless happiness, or exquisite misery, of an immortal soul hereafter ; actions in his power will have their preference, not according to the transient pleasure or pain that accompanies or follows them here, but as they serve to secure that perfect durable happiness hereafter. A more par.
. . 61. But to account more particularly
con for the misery, that men often bring on count of themselves, notwithstanding that they do wrong judg. all in earnest pursue happiness, we must ments.
consider how things come to be represented to our desires, under deceitful appearances; and that is by the judgment pronouncing wrongly concerning them. To see how far this reaches, and what are the causes of wrong judgment, we must remember that things are judged good or bad in a double sense.
First, That which is properly good or bad, is nothing but barely pleasure or pain. : Secondly, But because not only present pleasure and pain, but that also which is apt by its efficacy or colsequences to bring it upon us at a distance, is a proper object of our desires, and apt to move a creature tikt has forcsight; therefore things also that draw atzer
them pleasure and pain, are considered as good and evil.
8. 62. The wrong judgment that misleads us, and makes the will often fasten on the worse side, lies in misreporting upon the various comparisons of these. The wrong judgment I am here speaking of, is not what one man may think of the determination of another, but what every man himself must confess to be wrong. For since I lay it for a certain ground, that every intelligent being really seeks happiness, which consists in the enjoyment of pleasure, without any considerable mixture of uneasiness; it is impossible any one should willingly put into his own draught any bitter ingredient, or leave out any thing in his power, that would tend to his satisfaction, and the compleating of his happiness, but only by wrong judgment. I shall not here speak of that mistake which is the consequence of invincible error, which scarce deserves the name of wrong judgment; but of that wrong judgment which every ınan hiinself must confess to be so.
g. 63. If, therefore, as to present plea. In comparing sure and pain, the inind, as has been said, present and never mistakes that which is really good or future. evil; that which is the greater pleasure, or the greater pain, is really just as it appears. But though present pleasure and pain show their difference and degrees so plainly, as not to leave room for inistake; yet when we compare present pleasure or pain with future, (which is usually the case in the most important determinations of the will) we often make wrong judgments of them, taking our measures of them in different positions of distance. Objects, near our view, are apt to be thought greater than those of a larger size, that are more remote; and so it is with pleasures and pains; the present is apt to carry it, and those at a distance have the disadvantage in the comparison. Thus most men, like spendthritt heirs, are apt to judge a little in hand better than a great deal to conne; and so, for small matters in pofleflion, part with greater ones in reversion. But that this is a wrong judgment, every one must allow, let his pleasure consist in whatever it S: