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dom 'mentioned in the huts of Indians, much less are they to be found in the thoughts of children, or any impressions of them on the minds of naturals. They are the language and business of the schools and açademies of learned nations, accustomed to that sort of conversation or learning, where disputes are frequent: these maxims being suited to artificial argumentation, and useful for conviction ; but not much conducing to the discovery of truth, or advanceinent of knowledge. But of their small use for the improvement of knowledge, I shall have occasion to speak more at large, 1. 4. c.7.
§. 28. I know not how absurd this may Recapitulacion.
seem to the masters of demonstration : and
probably it will hardly down with any body at first hearing. I must therefore beg a little truce with prejudice, and the forbearance of censure, till I have been heard out in the sequel of this discourse, being very willing to submit to better judgments. And since I impartially search after truth, I shall not be sorry to be convinced that I have been too fond of my own notions ; which I confess we are all apt to be, when application and study have warmed our heads with them.
Upon the whole matter, I cannot see any ground to her think these two speculative maxims innate, since they ? are not universally assented to ; and the assent they so generally find, is no other than what several proposi. tions, not allowed to be innate, equally partake in with them; and since the assent that is given them, is produced another way, and comes not from natural in. scription, as I doubt not but to make appear in the following discourse. And if these first principles of knowice! ledge and science are found not to be innate, no other om speculative maxims can (I suppose) with better right to pretend to be so.
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$. 1. IF those speculative maxims, whereof No moral
I we discoursed in the foregoing chapknowlen ter. have not an actual universal assent from
clear, and so
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all mankind, as we there proved, it is much ceived, as the more visible concerning practical princi- foremention. ples, that they come short of an univer- cd specula.
tive maxims, sal reception : and I think it will be hard to instance any one moral rule, which can pretend to so general and ready an assent as, “what is, is ;' or to
be so manifest a truth as this, “ that it is impossible of come for the same thing to be, and not to be.” Whereby it si disco is evident, that they are farther removed from a title to CAS .' be innate; and the doubt of their being native impresa I all ?. sions on the mind, is stronger against those moral prin
ciples than the other. Not that it brings their truth apt to at all in question : they are equally true, though not our B equally evident. Those speculative maxims carry their
own evidence with them: but moral principles require group reasoning and discourse, and some exercise of the mind, E vinces to discover the certainty of their truth. They lie not Evinttik." open as natural characters engraven on the mind; tal pic which, if any such were, they must needs be visible by take ib" themselves, and by their own light be certain and jem, s known to every body. But this is no derogation to
natura their truth and certainty, no more than it is to the ir in : truth or certainty of the three angles of a triangle being is of ho, equal to two right ones ; because it is not so evident, as is, 10 l"the whole is bigger than a part;” nor so apt to be
assented to at first hearing. It may suffice, that these moral rules are capable of demonstration; and therefore it is our own fault, if we come not to a certain knowledge of them. But the ignorance wherein many men are of them, and the slowness of assent wherewith
others receive them, are manifest proofs that they are C!!! VOL. I.
pe tre gra
not innate, and such as offer themselves to their view without searching.
niete Faith and
$. 2. Whether there be any such moral justice not principles, wherein all men do agree, I J KOT DA ? owned as appeal to any, who have been but modeprinciples by rately conversant in the history of mankind, schmit and men, and looked abroad beyond the smoke of the truth their own chimnies. Where is that practical truth, that is universally received without doubt or question, and desi as it must be, if innate ? Justice, and keeping of con point anden tracts, is that which most men seem to agree in. This allon is a principle, which is thought to extend itself to the fans in dens of thieves, and the confederacies of the greatest abs villains; and they who have gone farthest towards the el putting off of humanity itselt, keep faith and rules of a justice one with another. I grant that out-laws themselves do this one amongst another ; but it is without receiving these as the innate laws of nature. They practise them as rules of convenience within their own communities : but it is impossible to conceive, that he embraces justice as a practical principle, who acts fairly with his fellow highwayman, and at the same time plun. ders or kills the next honest man he meets with. Jus. tice and truth are the common ties of society; and therefore, even out-laws and robbers, who break with all the world besides, must keep faith and rules of equity amongst themselves, or else they cannot hold together. But will any one say, that those that live by fraud or rapine, have innate principles of truth and justice which they allow and assent to? Objection. §. 3. Perhaps it will be urged, that the Though men tacit assent of their minds agrees to what deny them in their practice contradicts. I answer, first, their prac. I have always thought the actions of men en tice, yet they admit them the best interpreters of their thoughts. But in their since it is certain, that most men's prac. thoughts, an. tices, and some men's open professions, șwered. have either questioned or denied these prin legno ciples, it is impossible to establish an universal con sent, (though we should look for it only amongst grown men) without which it is impossible to conclude themes
innate. Secondly, it is very strange and unreasonable, such a to suppose innate practical principles, that terminate
agret only in contemplation. Practical principles derived but is from nature are there for operation, and must produce f manis conformity of action, not barely speculative assent to
smoke their truth, or else they are in vain distinguished from tical to speculative maxims. Nature, I confess, has put into I QUE man a desire of happiness, and an aversion to misery : Eng out these indeed are innate practical principles, which (as
practical principles ought) do continue constantly to opeself to rate and influence all our actions without ceasing: these he gre may be observed in all persons and all ages, steady and Duardo universal; but these are inclinations of the appetite to ud rule good, not impressions of truth on the understanding. Llars that I deny not, that there are natural tendencies imprinted
is wite on the minds of men; and that, from the very first inure Tystances of sense and perception, there are some things
their or that are grateful, and others unwelcome to them; some To that things that they incline to, and others that they fly: iets her but this makes nothing for innate characters on the
mind, which are to be the principles of knowledge, regulating our practice. Such natural impressions on the understanding are so far from being confirmed hereby, that this is an argument against them; since, if there were certain characters imprinted by nature on
the understanding, as the principles of knowledge, we and all could not but perceive them constantly operate in us
and influence our knowledge, as we do those others on the will and appetite ; which never cease to be the constant springs and motives of all our actions, to which we
perpetually feel them strongly impelling us. t y. 4. Another reason that makes me doubt Moral rules
of any innate practical principles, is, that need a proof, te ll I think there cannot any one moral rule ergo not in. ghts." aprill be proposed, whereof a man may not justly walo
demand a reason: which would be perfectly ridicu. Tous and absurd, if they were innate, or so inuch as self-evident; which every innate principle must needs
be, and not need any proof to ascertain its truth, nor Do want any reason to gain it approbation. He would be innett Laought void of common sense, who asked on the one D2
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side, or on the other side went to give, a reason, why it is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be. It carries its own light and evidence with it, and needs no other proof: he that understands the terms, assents to it for its own sake, or else nothing will ever be able to prevail with him to do it. But should that most unshaken rule of morality, and foundation of all social virtue, “ that one should do as he would be done unto," be proposed to one who never heard it before, but yet is of capacity to understand its meaning, might he not without any absurdity ask a reason why? aho and were not he that proposed it bound to make out the truth and reasonableness of it to him? which plainly shows it not to be innate ; for if it were, it could nei. ther want nor receive any proof; but must needs (at least, as soon as heard and understood) be received and àssented to, as an unquestionable truth, which a man can by no means doubt of So that the truth of all these moral rules plainly depends upon some other antecedent to them, and from which they must be deduced; which could not be, if either they were innate, or so much as self-evident. Instance in s. 5. That men should keep their comkeeping com. pacts, is certainly a great and undeniable pacts. rule in morality. But yet, if a: christian, who has the view of happiness and misery in another life, be asked why a man must keep his word, he will give this as a reason; because God, who has the power of eternal life and death, requires it of us. But if an Hobbist be asked why, he will answer, because the public requires it, and the Leviathan will punish you, if you do not. And if one of the old philosophers had been asked, he would have answered, because it was dishonest, below the dignity of a man, and opposite to virtue; the highest perfection of human nature, to do otherwise. Virtue gent. $. 6. Hence naturally flows the great va. saiiy appro- riety of opinions concerning moral rules, ved, not be. cause innate,
which are to be found among men, accordo ki but because ing to the different sorts of happiness they livet profitable, have a prospect of, or propose to th