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penalties that attend the breach of God's laws, some, nay, perhaps most men, seldom seriously reflect on; and amongst those that do, many, whilst they break the law, entertain thoughts of future reconciliation, and making their peace for such breaches. And as to the punishments due from the laws of the commonwealth, they frequently flatter themselves with the hopes of impunity. But no man escapes the punishment of their censure 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 dislike and condemnation of his own club. He must be of a strange and unusual constitution, who can content himself to live in constant disgrace and disrepute with his own particular society. Solitude many men have sought, and been reconciled to : but no-body, 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 dis. grace from his companions.
§. 13. These three then, first, the law of These three God; secondly, the law of politic socie- laws the rules ties; thirdly, the law of fashion, or private
of moral : 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 rectitude, and denominate their actions good or bad.
$. 14. Whether the rule, to which, as to Morality is a touchstone, we bring our voluntary ac- the relation tions, to examine them by, and try their of actions to goodness, and accordingly to name them :
me these rules, which is, as it were, the mark of the value we set upon them: whether, I say, we take that rule from the fashion of the country, or the will of a lawmaker, 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 there. fore is often called moral rectitude. This rule being nothing but a collection of several simple ideas, the conformnity thereto is but so ordering the action, that the simple 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 termipated in these simple ideas we have received 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 examined all the particulars, we shall find them to amount to a collection of simple ideas derived from reflection or sensation, viz. first, from reflection on the operations of our own minds, we have the ideas of willing, considering, purposing before-hand, malice, or wishing 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 blamc, I call the action virtuous or vicious: if I have the will of a supreme invisible law-giver for my rule; then, as 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 legislative power of the country, I call it lawful or unlawful, a crime or no crime. So that whencesoever we take the rule of moral actions, or by what standard soever we frame in our minds the ideas of virtues or vices, they consist only and are made up of collections of simple ideas, which we originally received from sense or reflection, and thcir rectitude or obliquity consists
in the agreement or disagreement with those patterns prescribed by some law.
Ø, 15. To conceive rightly of moral actions, we must take notice of them under this two-fold consideration. First, as they are in themselves each made up of such a collection of simple ideas. Thus drunkenness, or lying, signify 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, diştinguished from all others, is called duelling : which, when considered in relation to the law of God, will deserve the name sin; to the law of fashion, in some countries, valour 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. g. man, is used to signify the thing; another, v.g. father, to signify the relation. + - §. 16. But because very frequently the The denomi. positive idea of the action, and its moral nations of relation, are comprehended together under actions often one name, and the same word made use of
mislcad us. 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 made between the positive idea of the action, and the reference it has to a rule. By which confusion of these two distinct considerations under one term, those who yield too easy to the impressions of sounds, and are forward to take names for things, are often misled in their judgment of actions. Thus the taking from ano
ther what is his, without his knowledge or allowance, is properly called stealing ; but that name being com·monly understood to signity 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 bis sword from a madman, to prevent his doing mischief, though it be properly denominated stealing, as the name of such a mixed mode; yet when compared to the law of God, and considered in its relation to that supreme rule, it is no sin or transgression, though the name stealing ordinarily carries such an intimation with it.
: . 17. And thus much for the relation of Relations in.
. human actions to a law, which therefore I romerable, human actions to a
call moral relation.
It would make a volume to go over all sorts of relations; it is not therefore to be expected that I should here mention them all. It suffices 10 our present purpose to show by these, what the ideas are we have of this comprehensive consideration, called relation : which is so various, and the occasions of it so many (as many as there can be of comparing things one to another) that it is not very easy to reduce it to rules, or under just - heads. Those I have mentioned, I think, are some of the most considerable, and such as may serve to let us see from whence we get our ideas of relations, and wherein they are founded. But before I quit this argument, from what has been said, give me leave to observe ; All relations $. 18. First, that it is evident, that all terminate in relation terminates in, and is ultimately simple ideas. founded on those simple ideas we have got from sensation or reflection : so that all that we have in our thoughts ourselves (if we think of any thing, or have any meaning) or would signify to others, when we use words standing for relations, is nothing but some simple ideas, or collections of simple ideas, compared one with another. This is so manifest in that sort called proportional, that nothing can be more: for when a n says, honey is sweeter than wax, it is plain that his
thoughts thoughts in this relation terminate in this simple idea, sweetness, which is equally true of all the rest; though where they are compounded or decompounded, the simple ideas they are made up of are, perhaps, seldom taken notice of. V. g. when the word father is mentioned; first, there is meant that particular species, or collective idea, signified by the word man. Secondly, those sensible simple ideas, signified by the word generation : and, thirdly, the effects of it, and all the simple ideas signified by the word child. So the word friend being taken for a nian, who loves, and is ready to do good to another, has all these following ideas to the making of it up: first, all the simple ideas, comprehended in the word man, or intelligent being. Secondly, the idea of love. Thirdly, the idea of readiness or disposition. Fourthly, the idea of action, which is any kind of thought or motion. Fifthly, the idea of good, which signifies any thing that may advance his happiness, and terminates at last, if examined, in particular simple ideas; of which the word good in general signifies any one, but, if removed from all simple ideas quite, it signifies nothing at all. And thus also all moral words terminate at last, though perhaps more remotely, in a collection of simple ideas : the immediate signification of relative words, being very often other supposed known relations; which, if traced one to another, still end in simple ideas.
§. 19. Secondly, That in relations we We have orhave for the most part, if not always, as dinarily as clear a notion of the relation, as we have clear for
clearer) ano of those simple ideas, wherein it is founded.
tión of the Agreement or disagreement, whereon rela- relation, as tion depends, being things whereof we have of its foun.commonly as clear ideas, as of any other dation. whatsoever ; it being but the distinguishing simple ideas, or their degrees one from another, without which we could have no distinct knowledge at all. For if I have a clear idea of sweetyess, light or extension, I have too, of equal, or more or less of each of these : if I know what it is for one man to be born of a woman, viz. Sempronia, I know what it is for another