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CHAPTER II: Of Human Nature, and Right Reason . - Richard Cumberland, A Treatise of the Laws of Nature 
A Treatise of the Laws of Nature, translated, with Introduction and Appendix, by John Maxwell (1727), edited and with a Foreword by Jon Parkin (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
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Of Human Nature, and Right Reason.
Man defin’d, By the Word [Man], I understand an Animal endow’d with a Mind; and Hobbes himself, in his Treatise of Human Nature, acknowledges the Mind to be one of the principal Parts of Man.1 Natural Philosophers, both antient and modern, Des-Cartes, Digby, More, but especially Seth Ward, in opposition to Hobbes himself, have sufficiently proved the distinctness of the Mind from the Body, under which all the Animal Faculties are compriz’d;2 so that I should but light a Candle to the Sun at Noonday, in offering to add to their Arguments. However, I cannot but take notice, that Hobbes has unluckily stumbled at the Threshold of his Treatise de Cive, in reducing the Faculties of human Nature to four Kinds, bodily Force, Experience, Reason, and the Passions:3 For beside, that the first of these, bodily Force, contains all the rest, in his Opinion, who acknowledges no other Force, but that of Body; it is contrary to all Use of Words, to call Experience a Faculty of our Nature; whereas it is properly to be reckon’d among those things, which are accidental to our Senses, both internal and external, of which Memory is sometimes the Effect, tho it is not it self Memory, as it is by him defin’d, in his Treatise of Human Nature, Page 36.4 Nay further, it is well known, that things we have experienc’d, do sometimes slip out of our Memory: But, if by the word Experience, he understands a Habit acquir’d by Experiments, it is a mistake to reckon it among the Faculties; except he would reckon Geometry, a Knowledge of the Law; and other Sciences, both Theoretical and Practical, amongst our Faculties, because they are Habits. But this is not a Matter of sufficient importance to dwell longer upon: Let us rather a while consider the foregoing Definition of Man.
As Animal.By the word [Animal] I understand, what the Philosophers agree is to be found in Brutes, the Powers of receiving Increase by Nourishment, of beginning Motion, and of propagating their Species; and I also willingly so far allow them a sensitive Power, as we may bestow the Name of Sensation5 (in which I see no Absurdity) on the Motions impress’d on the Organs by the Objects, and thence transmitted, by the Nerves appropriated to the Senses, into the Brain, and sometimes thence communicated to the Muscles, where they excite Motion, or to the Heart or Lungs, and perhaps to other Intestines, by means whereof various Affections are excited. However, I suppose the Power of observing or distinctly perceiving these Motions to be peculiar to the Mind, so as freely to contemplate what in them, for example, determines the Figure of the Object, what, a Situation in the Object, different from that which is in the Retina; what, its Magnitude, what, its Motion; what in the Surface thereof, or what Refraction in the Medium, does so diversify the Motions of Light, as to exhibit all the various Phaenomena of Colours: for I do not see, what in the corporeal substance of the Brain can separate from one another all these (crowding at once into the Eyes, by means of the same percussion of the Rays of Light;) compare them with one another, and distinguish them; or what should hinder them from appearing always confused, as they are perceiv’d in the Camera Obscura,6 or in the bottom of the Eye of an Animal, whence they naturally rush at once into the Thalami of the Optick Nerves, which penetrate the inward substance of the Brain. But these are Matters of physical Consideration.
To the Mind we ascribe Understanding and Will; to the Understanding we reduce Apprehending, Comparing, Judging, Reasoning, a methodical Disposition, and the Memory of all these things, and of the Objects about which they are conversant: To the Will we ascribe, both the simple Acts of chusing and refusing, and that Vehemence of those Actions which discovers it self in the Passions, over and above that emotion or disturbance of the Body, which is visible in them.
Endow’d with Mind.In the Memory of Propositions, Theoretical and Practical, consist Habits, as well Theoretical, which are distinguish’d by the Name of Sciences, as Practical, which are called Arts. Here Ethicks, which is the Art of Living, or of directing the whole of all human Actions to the best End, comes under Consideration.
(Whence variety of Manners proceeds. See ch. 5. § 9.)§II. Here it may be proper to take some notice of the various Manners of particular Nations; nay, and of most Men too: for various Habits are acquir’d, partly from diversity of Disposition or natural Genius, more prone to Habits of some sorts than others; partly from the Temper of the Body, Climate, Soil, Education, Religion, Fortune, and kind of Business about which Men are employ’d. From Manners, thus procur’d, arises to Men as it were a second Nature; they are therefore to be consider’d in the framing Laws, and that so far, that very antient Laws, tho not in all respects, if consider’d in themselves, the best, ought nevertheless to be retained, were it but upon this account, that Men long accustom’d to them would not readily suffer better to be substituted in their stead, without publick Commotions, and, consequently, greatly endangering the Rights of all.
Man (notwithstanding Hobbes’s Assertion to the contrary) is rational, and fitted for Society, by Nature.I thought it also proper to observe here by the way, that I, (as all other Philosophers do,) in the following enquiry into the Laws necessarily connected and agreeing with human Nature, always understand or suppose human Nature as it is in adult Persons, who have a sound Mind in a sound Body; so far, at least, as is necessary to the exercise of Reason and Virtue: for Laws are not framed for Infants, Ideots, or mad Men; nor of such do we form Societies; nor therefore ought we, from their irregular Appetites and Actions, to form a Judgment of the Rights and Inclinations of human Nature. Tho, I think, what ever we perceive in them (after Maturity) agreeable, whether to the animal or rational Nature, that we may look upon as a Proof, that such Actions are very natural to Men; so in them we may perceive, both an expectation of Compassion from Men, and a Sympathy to be accounted for upon Principles which I shall afterwards explain, by which they rejoice with those that rejoice, and weep with those that weep. In vain therefore does Hobbes, (explaining the Reason why, in opposition to the Opinion of most Philosophers, he affirm’d Man not to be Ζωον πολιτικὸν,7 which he translates, “An Animal form’d by Nature for Society,”) bring this Proof for his Opinion, that since “civil Societies are Leagues, whose Obligation Infants and the unlearned are ignorant of; and whose Usefulness is not understood by those” (whom he afterwards affirms to be “very many, perhaps the Majority, thro’ distemper of Mind, or want of Discipline) who have not experienc’d the Damage arising from want of Society: Whence it comes, that those cannot, and these care not to enter into Society; yet these, both Infants and Adult Persons, partake of human Nature, therefore Man is not made apt for Societyby Nature, but by Discipline.”8 This is the Substance of Hobbes’s Annotation, these the words, tho somewhat contracted for brevity’s sake. I at present pass by his false Supposition, “That Societies are Leagues”; and that he sets Discipline, which entirely accommodates it self, and is subservient, to Nature, in opposition to Nature; for whatever we learn from others; they draw from their own Nature and that of the Universe. I here also affirm, “That Experience it self (for want whereof he accuses the Generality as unfit for Society) is resolv’d into Nature, which, without doubt, teaches whatsoever Experience testifies to be true.” Altho many acquire most of their Knowledge by words of arbitrary Appointment, yet the Ideas or Sense affix’d to these words, and Connexion of these Ideas, in which all Truth consists, are from Nature; whence they are the same every where, tho Languages differ. Hobbes, it seems, forgets here, where he sets Experience in opposition to human Nature, that he had before made it one of its Faculties. I would only observe, “That all Philosophers and Writers of Politicks, tho they were neither ignorant nor forgetful, how unqualify’d, Infants, and adult Persons of distemper’d Minds, were for forming Leagues, or doing the Duties of Society, have thought Man form’d by Nature for that, which, when come to years of Maturity, he was prompted to by Nature, except something preternatural, such as all Distempers of the Mind are, interpos’d.” The Observation of Juvenal is well known,
And Aristotle (Politic. 1. c. 2.) affirms, that “we ought to judge of Nature from her Intention or perfect State”;10 and it is certainly a childish Inference, favouring more of the Grammarian than the moral Philosopher; “Men are born Infants, therefore they are born unfit for Society.” This is much of a-piece with Hobbes’s accounting (in his Physicks) for the Noise of Thunder from the breaking of Ice, which, in spite of Staticks, he suspends in the Air in the middle of Summer.11 Altho the word Nature be deriv’d from Nascor [to be born,] yet it is well known, that by human Nature we mean that Force of Reason, whose first Rudiments only are to be found in new born Infants. So Man is by Nature fitted for propagating his Species, which yet neither an Infant, nor one whom Distemper hath render’d impotent, is capable of, nor any Person without the help of a Woman. So likewise, we call the Powers of Plants and Fruits to afford us both Nourishment and Medicine, natural, which yet are not to be found in them, upon their first Appearance out of the Earth or Trees, but then only, when the Sun and Rain have brought them to Perfection, and they have escap’d the Malignity of blasting Winds: but that Reason, nay right Reason, is a Faculty of human Nature, and therefore natural to us, Hobbes himself acknowledges in these words, “Right Reason therefore is a kind of Law, which may be call’d natural, since it is no less a part of human Nature, than any other faculty or affection of the Mind.”12 Yet the same Hobbes elsewhere denies this very thing; Leviath. c. 5. p. 21. where he says, “Reason is not, as Sense and Memory, born with us, nor gotten by Experience only, as Prudence is, but attained by Industry.”13 Let him free himself, if he can, from Contradiction. I will not therefore waste my time in proving what is self-evident; especially when I had before affirm’d expressly, that I consider’d the Nature of Man come now to Maturity, at which time Nature usually confers upon him the use of Reason.
Which suggests the Law of Nature in the same manner as it does the Art of Numbering;§III. I shall think that I sufficiently prove my Point, when I have made it appear, “That human Nature suggests certain Rules of Life, in the same manner that it suggests the Skill of Numbering.” All Men, when come to Maturity, except they labour under some Distemper of Mind, of their own accord reckon things by Numbers, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing them, if the Numbers be small, without any Rules of Art. The Sentiments of all Nations are necessarily the same, concerning the Sum of two Numbers found by Addition, and concerning their difference by Subtraction, how much soever they may differ in the Names and Characters by which they express the Numbers, which every Nation fixes for it self arbitrarily. It seems to me, that all, in the same manner, under the same conduct of Nature, necessarily acknowledge, (1.) That the Good of all rational Beings is greater than the like Good of any part of that aggregate Body; that is, That it is truly the greatest Good: and (2.) That in promoting the Good of this whole Aggregate, the Good of Individuals is contain’d and promoted: Also, (3.) That the Good of every particular Part requires the introducing and settling of distinct Property in such Things, and such Services of rational Agents, as contribute to the common Happiness; that is, such as are necessary to testify the Honour we pay to God, or to preserve the Life, Health, and Faculties of every particular Man. In these three Propositions we shall find the Seeds and Force of all the Laws of Nature to be contain’d. Skill in Numbering is much assisted by Industry, by artificial Characters, and by their Places: but these very Helps we owe to Nature, as to their Original; nor can they ever cause that, which without Art we know to be true and of necessary use in Life, to become false or useless. “Whatever Assistance we may procure from Art, the whole Effect is to be ascrib’d rather to Nature than to Art.” Just as, after the Art of Cookery has fitted Meat for Nourishment, no one will deny, that we are nourish’d by the Power of Nature, otherwise Life it self were not natural.
The Mind is necessarily determin’d, in forming simple Apprehensions, in chusing Good, and refusing Evil in general.This I think proper to premise as a Postulatum, which, I believe, no one will think unreasonable, “That the Mind of Man, and every Faculty thereof, especially the Intellectual, is prone to such Actions as are proper thereto, as often as Occasion is offer’d, and Matter suggested, either from without, or from the Body united to it. ” It is confirm’d by continual Experience, “That the Mind (whenever Light, Colour, or Sound, is presented to it thro’ the Senses, the Eyes, for example, or the Ears) is immediately apt to observe what is offer’d.” And the Case is the same, in observing painful or pleasant Sensations, taking their rise from the inward State of the Body. Simple Apprehensions, the more obvious Comparisons of Ideas among themselves, and certain Judgments or Propositions thence form’d, are in some sort necessary; the evident Connexion between Causes and Effects does also lead Men to form Propositions affirming that Connexion; and they involuntarily return upon the Mind, when any occasion is offer’d from the inward force or vigor of the Memory; nor can the Will at all put a stop to such Actions, tho it may indeed promote them. For we can excite our selves to recollect those things which had almost slipt out of the Memory, and attentively to consider what our Senses had observ’d, and diligently to form Comparisons and Propositions from Ideas compar’d among themselves, to form Syllogisms from Propositions compar’d, and from these to infer new Conclusions. Every one come to maturity, in proportion to the natural vigor of his Mind, is by the same Nature spontaneously carry’d on to such Operations, at once with the greatest pleasure, and with absolute necessity. Into this natural Impulse, I would resolve most of those Propositions, which I call the natural Dictates of Reason, (namely, the primary and self-evident ones;) as also those Acts of the Will, which are conversant, either about Happiness in general, that is, about the whole sum of all possible good Things; (for there is in this Case no occasion for the Judgment to deliberate and compare, because Happiness is, as defin’d by Cicero, “A Collection of all good Things”;)14 or about those several parts of our Happiness, which are desirable for their own sakes; such are Wisdom, Health, the seeing a Light not too strong, and such other agreeable Sensations as come in our way. Nor do I suppose that Hobbes, the great Patron of all kind of Necessity, will contradict me here, who hath affirm’d, that all “Conceptions are nothing really but Motion in some internal substance of the Head; which Motion proceeding to the Heart, if it help the vital Motion, is called Delight, Contentment, or Pleasure; and, with reference to the Object, Love. But when such Motion weakeneth or hindereth the vital Motion, then it is called Pain; and in relation to that which causeth it, Hatred, which the Latins express some times by Odium, and some times by Taedium; and that this Motion is also a Sollicitation, or Provocation, either to draw near to the thing that pleaseth, and is then called Appetite, or to retire from the thing that displeaseth, and is then called Aversion.” Human Nature, p. 69, 70.15 I do not indeed perceive any such Power of the material World over our Minds, that necessarily determines them by mechanical Principles; yet I concur with all Philosophers, that I know of, in affirming, “That the first Apprehensions of Things, and the desire of Good and aversion from Evil in general, are necessary”: for the innate Activity of the divine Nature of the Mind, permits it not to be perfectly idle; nor can it do any thing else than (as occasion offers) understand, chuse, refuse, and determine certain Motions of the Body, in order to obtain what it has chosen.
A distinct enumeration of those Powers of the human Mind, (which has greater Powers than what are necessary to preserve the Life of the Body,) which dispose Men, beyond other Animals, to enter into Society with God, and other Men;§IV. But because the Laws of Nature enjoin those things only, which proceed from innate Principles of Action, it is therefore proper to take a thorow view of the State and Power, both of the Mind and Body, separately and jointly, that it may thence appear, for what kind of Action Man is fitted by his inward Frame.
There are most evident Indications, that the Mind has much greater Powers, and is created for much nobler Purposes, than only to preserve the Life of one inconsiderable Animal; which I shall now endeavour to explain.
And here, in the first place, I must not omit its spiritual, incorporeal, and God-like Nature, which is capable of a better Employment than that of the Soul of a Swine, instead of Salt, to preserve a Carcass from Rottenness: For it may and ought to be observ’d in general, “That Powers of the Mind, far inferior to those which we find in Man, are sufficient to preserve Life for a long time”; which is evident in long-liv’d Brutes, nay, and in Trees, as the Oak, whose long continuance in a flourishing State is even without Sense, much more without Reason: Nay, “That the Sagacity of our Mind does not consist in discovering what kinds of Nourishment, Medicines, Exercise, &c. are most conducive to our long continuance in this State,” for even the best Physicians are strangely at a loss in these Particulars; but, “That it rather excels in those Qualities, which relate to the Knowledge and Worship of a Deity, and to Acts moral and civil.” But Dr. Ward, now Bishop of Salisbury, hath excellently manag’d this Argument, beyond any other, whether antient or modern, Philosopher, and vindicated it from the Objections of Mr. Hobbes.16
Nevertheless, it is necessary to lay before the Reader some Powers and Actions of the Mind, whence it may appear, “That it is naturally fitted to become a Member of the greatest Society, (consisting of all rational Beings with God at their head,) and that it neglects its principal use, and loses the best Fruits of its natural Disposition, if it do not enter therein”; and that for a better Reason, than we affirm that the Earth (which here spontaneously produces Ears of Corn, and there Fruit-Trees) is naturally fit to encourage and reward the Industry of the Tiller; for Soils have their different natural Dispositions. The human Faculties are so fitted for Society, that it appears, (1.) “That all Men can both know and observe the Laws of Nature, which must in the first place be evident, because otherwise both the Admonitions of others, and our own Endeavours would be vain: (2.) That the Observance of those Laws is in it self pleasant and grateful; that the Precepts which point out to us such a Method of Action, for this very reason that they lead us to things naturally pleasant, promise a Reward to Obedience; and that a suitable Practice brings along with it no inconsiderable Advantage, namely, that Pleasure or part of our Happiness, which is necessarily contain’d in such natural employment of the human Faculties, as leads to the best End we can propose in Life, and to the fittest Means to attain it”: for all exercise of natural Powers, especially of the highest Order, in which we neither miss our aim, nor turn out of the direct Road, is naturally pleasant; nor can we conceive any other pleasure in Action, except what arises from Actions of this kind.17Freedom from Evil, and from Uneasiness, and grateful Impressions of some kinds, may be effected in us by external Objects;18 but no other Pleasure can take its rise from within our selves, than what either immediately or mediately depends upon such kind of Actions as I have now been describing. This is the only Happiness to which moral Philosophy directs us; nor can we be instructed how to obtain that, which in no sort depends upon our own Actions and Faculties. Hence it follows, “That the more things there are in the human Faculties, fitted for the knowledge and observance of the Laws of Nature, and consequently for the Practice of Virtue, so much greater are the Rewards annex’d to such Actions of the Mind, or, a Happiness so much the greater and more peculiar to Man, may be obtain’d by acting virtuously”: For each Faculty is render’d happy, by those Actions tending to promote the publick Good, to the exercise whereof it is fitted by Nature; for I shall shew hereafter, “That Happiness’s proceeding necessarily from such Actions as take their rise from Nature, is a most evident natural Proof, that it is the Will of the first Cause to oblige Men to such Actions, or that he enjoins them by his Law.”
Which Powers are, 1. Right Reason. 2. The Power of forming universal Ideas, Judgments from them, and consequent Volitions, and of representing these Ideas by arbitrary Signs, i.e. Words.I have selected as fittest for my purpose,
First, Right Reason, and the Standard of its Rectitude;
Secondly, Universal Ideas, (such, for example, as that of human Nature in general,) and the Judgments or Propositions thence arising concerning the Properties agreeing or disagreeing with those Ideas, and general or undetermined Acts of the Will agreeable to, and consequent upon, such Judgments. Hither also is to be referr’d the power of appointing arbitrarySigns, such as words spoken or written, accommodated to such universal Ideas, Propositions and Volitions. For Speech, because it is a help to the Memory and Reason,19 is rather subservient to Virtue, than Vice; to Society, than Sedition. Hence arises the power of forming general Rules of Life or Action, from Ideas of Actions20 agreeing in their general Nature with the Idea of human Nature: But such Propositions are more easily remember’d, if they be express’d in Words accommodated to this purpose, and to the Ideas of the generality of Mankind, and be applied by common Consent to express them. Thence are form’d Rules common to many, or publick Laws, which, as the State of Affairs happens to require, may be enacted, abrogated, or alter’d: As a Physician may justly prescribe to the same Patient, at different times, sometimes a slenderer, sometimes a more plentiful, Diet, now Restoratives, and then evacuating Medicines.
3. The Knowledge of Number, Measure, and Weights.Thirdly, The knowledge of Number, Measure, and Weights, and consequently the power of collecting many Particulars (lesser good Things, for example) into one Sum, and comparing the same with one another, according to their Difference and mutual Proportion. Hence Man can discover the chief Good, that is, the Collection of all good Things, and a comparative Good, perceiving one Good to be greater or less than another; and can subtract some from others; and is able to estimate the Proportion between things equally and unequally Good. To direct such Actions in such manner, as that they may best promote the best End, is the business of all the Laws of Nature.
4. The Power of observing and establishing Order.Fourthly, The Power (nearly related to this) of either observing Order already established, or of establishing it, in the Conduct of our Affairs, and of knowing of how great moment it is in uniting several Powers, in order to produce the same Effect, especially the common Good, as we may observe in modelling an Army or Common-Wealth. Whilst I was more attentively considering this Subject, I imagin’d, “That the best way of distinctly knowing the Nature and Force of Order, was to consider it in the most simple Matter, that shews its most simple Effect.” But I no where meet with Order in a more simple Matter, nor a more simple Effect thence demonstrable, than that Geometrical Order of right Lines and compounded Motions, whence Descartes has demonstrated (Geom. 1. 2.) that his Geometrical Curves might be generated.21 For he has there prov’d from Analytical Principles, “That the Nature and Properties of a Line describ’d by compounded Motions, is not subject to accurate Calculation or Demonstration, unless all the other Motions, in subordination to one another, be regulated by one.” What he has observ’d concerning a Line, the most simple Effect of compounded Motions, holds equally true in all Effects, depending upon the Concurrence of many Causes; namely, that it is necessary, that, among such Causes, some should be regulated by others in a certain Order, and all by one supreme Power; otherwise it will be uncertain, what Effect will follow from their Concurrence; and so either no End will be procured by the common Assistance of them all, or by Means which we know not, whether they be proper or no. By means of this Knowledge, and from the Train of subordinate Causes, which we perceive by our Senses, the Mind comes to a more distinct Knowledge of a first Cause, which is God the Governor of the World, who is able to foresee, what will be the Effects of the power of all rational Agents, placed and acting in a known Subordination; both which Considerations will have a natural Tendency to persuade Men, to consider themselves, both in their Thoughts and Actions, as subordinate Members of the most enlarg’d Society, in which all are contain’d, as it were in the Kingdom of God.
5. The Power of the Mind, to raise, stop, and moderate the Passions.Fifthly, From these arises that exalted Privilege belonging to the Mind of Man, of great force to establish and preserve this Society, namely, the Power of the Mind, to raise, stop, and moderate the Passions, and to direct them to desire greater Good, and to avoid greater Evil, than what any other Animal is capable of knowing; because we comprehend good Things, both more in number, and universal as to extent, their Sums, and their orderly Series; and we are conscious, that we can divert our Minds from such Thoughts and Affections as respect only our own private Good, and fix them upon the Care of the Publick Good, in which Liberty principally consists. I will not meddle with the Disputes about Liberty, which have been handled by others. This seems to be beyond all Controversy, “That the Nature of Man has so much Liberty, that he is determin’d to nothing (in external Actions, such as are Contracts, their Observation and Violation) without using his own Judgment, in forming which he may call in the Aid, not of the Senses only, but of the Memory; and to consider, Is this which I am going to do, consistent with the publick Good, which except it be preserv’d unviolated, the Happiness of particular Persons cannot be secur’d? Is this consistent with the well-grounded Motives of Virtue? &c.” I have observ’d that even Hobbes’s Politicks do, and that justly, suppose this Postulatum, “That Men may agree among themselves, or covenant, to transfer their Rights to another Person, for the common Good, (c. 5. §. 6.)”22 tho elsewhere he contends, “That they can regard nothing but their own private Good.” But since there is naturally in Men so large and noble a Faculty, which can both comprehend and pursue that vast Good, the greatest united Happiness of all rational Agents, the Reader will easily judge, whether the greatest Happiness of every particular Person does not consist in the perpetual vigorous Exercise of that Faculty. I do not contend that this Faculty is any thing distinct from the Powers of the Understanding and the Will: It is sufficient, if from the Concurrence of them the Power I have mention’d, arises. Every one sees, how immediately this Power of the Mind disposes or qualifies Men to restrain themselves from any sudden Sally of Passion, and to conform their Manners to the Laws, first of Nature, then of the Society; and, consequently, to establish at once the greatest and strictest Society of all rational Beings. Concerning right Reason and universal Ideas, I think proper to treat more at large; it will be sufficient to handle the rest briefly.
Of right Reason, (which consists, as well of selfevident Truths, as of Conclusions thence deduced, and stored up in the Memory;)§V. We must treat of right Reason the more particularly, both because what is right discovers both it self and what is crooked; it holding the same Rank in Morality, that Health does in Physick, the knowledge whereof is prior and more distinct in the Order of Nature, than the Theory of Diseases: and because Hobbes agrees with other Philosophers, that it is the Rule of human Actions, even before Civil Laws are fram’d; (See de Cive, c. 2. §. 1. and the Annotation.) 23 And, if he will be consistent with himself, we shall not differ much with him about its Definition. For c. 2. §. 1. in a Parenthesis (which he seems to place there for a Definition) he hints, that it is “Truth inferr’d from true Principles by right Reasoning.”24 But I think that, in this Argument, the notion of right Reason is somewhat more extensive; for it comprehends, as well first Principles, or self-evident Truths, as Conclusions thence form’d. The Etymology of the Word [Ratio] favours this Sense, which implies only a Proposition, that is rata, i.e. certain, unchangeable, and agreeable to the Nature of Things, whether it be self-evident, or prov’d by the help of an inference. Custom also, which is the Rule of Language, favours the same Sense of the Word; for all acknowledge the most evident Propositions, (such as “It is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to beat the same time”) for the Dictates of Reason, no less than those which require proof. Nor do I believe that Hobbes himself will oppose this larger Sense of the Words. I agree, however, with him, that by right Reason is not to be understood an infallible Faculty, (as he affirms many, but I know not who, to understand it;) but yet by it is to be understood a Faculty, not false in these Acts of judging. Nor is it properly understood to be an Act of Reasoning, (as he too rashly asserts,) but an Effect of the Judgment; that is, true Propositions treasur’d up in the Memory, whether they be Premisses or Conclusions, of which some that are practical are called Laws; for Actions are compar’d with these, in order to examine their Goodness, not with those Acts of Reasoning which discover them; yet I willingly allow, that these Acts of Reasoning are also included in the Notion of right Reason.
Of which, not every Man’s proper Reason, but the Nature of Things, is the Standard.But that which he immediately adds in the Annotation, (in order to give a Reason, why, in his Definition of right Reason, he lays down “every Man’s proper Reasoning as the Standard ”) is most false. “Out of civil Society, where no one can distinguish right Reason from wrong, except by making a Comparison with his own, every Man’s proper Reason is to be esteem’d, not only the Standard of his own Actions, which he does at his own peril, but also the measure of other Mens Reason with respect to his Affairs.”25 For, out of civil Society, any one may distinguish right Reason, without making a Comparison with his own. Because there is a common Standard, by which every Man’s own Reason (or Opinion) and that of others, is to be try’d, namely, the Nature of Things, as it lies before us, carefully to be observ’d and examin’d by all our Faculties. That is the Rule with which all, both Premisses and Conclusions, are to be compared, whether form’d by me or by any other Man, or by the Commonwealth it self, after it is form’d. For it is most certain, “That the Truth or Rectitude of Propositions concerning Things and Actions, present or future, consists in their Conformity with the Things themselves, concerning which they are form’d.” For since all our Ideas, or simple Apprehensions of Things, are the Images of those Things, (and the Truth and whole Perfection of Images consist in their exact Correspondence to the Objects they are design’d to represent;) and since true Propositions are the joining, by Affirmation, of Apprehensions impress’d upon the Mind by the same Objects, or the separating, by Negation, of Notions representing different Objects; it is necessary, that their Truth and Rectitude should entirely depend upon their Conformity with the Things themselves; as all agree, that the Truth of simple Apprehensions is to be deduced from that Standard.
This therefore is beyond Controversy, “That the Man who judges of Things otherwise than they are, does not judge according to right Reason, or does not make a right use of his Judgment; but that he pronounces according to right Reason, who affirms or denies, as Things really are.”
Wherefore such Propositions only are true, as agree with the Nature of Things.§VI. Nor is it material in this case, “Who it is that judges otherwise than the Thing really is, whether a sovereign, or a subordinate, Judge”; because the Truth, or Rectitude, of a Proposition in no respect depends upon the Order established amongst Men, but only upon the Agreement there of with the Things, concerning which a Judgment is made. Nor is it any Proof of the contrary, that there are some Mathematical Propositions,26 and others of like kind might be invented, which may be called true, tho there be nothing in Nature, to which they are conformable. For such conditional Propositions, because they pronounce nothing concerning Things without the Mind, are not to be compar’d with them; for their Truth consists only in an Agreement among the Terms, of which they are compos’d; and that is all which is to be look’d for in this Case. But these are of no use in human Life, except we find something external done, or possible to be done, which differs in nothing considerable from our Ideas.27 If their Subject, or something extremely like it, cannot exist, the Propositions are trifling, and are only equivocally called true. For the Truth of Propositions, which consists only in the Agreement of the Terms, if the Terms themselves cannot exist,28 is not of the same nature with that, which affirms the Agreement of Terms, possible, at least, if not present or future. The former kind of Truth is perfectly useless. However, let this Point be determin’d as it will, this is clear, “That a Proposition, whose Subject does or will exist, that is, whose Subject is conformable to Things without the Mind, which either now are, or hereafter shall be, does require, that what is affirm’d of that Subject should be conformable to the same things; and that therefore the whole ought to agree with the Nature of Things without us”; which is the principal Point I at present contend for.
It is also certain, “That every particular Man, and his Right over Things and Persons, whatever it may be, is not something merely chimerical and fictitious, but to be consider’d as something real, and existing without the Imagination”: because the Rights of particular Persons relate to the use of Things, and to Effects grateful to Men; and therefore the Truth of Propositions, or of the Dictates of Reason, concerning them, does necessarily consist in their Conformity to the State of Things; which is what I would lay as a Ground-work, in order to overthrow Hobbes’s Fundamentals: for it hence immediately follows, “That contradictory Propositions, concerning the Right of any two to the same Things or Persons, cannot be the Dictates of right Reason”; which is the Foundation of Hobbes’s Scheme.
An Explanation of practical right Reason, which points out the end, and the means thereto;§VII. I think it proper to observe here, by the way, “That by the Dictates of practical Reason, I understand Propositions, which point out either the end, or the means thereto, in every man’s power”; for all Practice is resolv’d into these: and, “That practical Reason is then called Right, when it determines truly, or as the thing is in it self, in Propositions declaring what is every man’s best and most necessary End, and what are the most proper Means of obtaining it”; or (which comes to the same thing) which pronounces, according to Truth, what Effects of our own Counsel and Will will render our selves and others happy, and how we shall, with the greatest certainty, produce them; just as in Geometry, that speculative Reason is right, which affirms a Quantity, which is really in its own Nature greater, to be greater, than another. And that practical Proposition is right, which teaches that method of constructing Problems, which if we pursue, we shall really produce the effect propos’d. Nor is an Opinion, or Proposition of this kind, truer, when affirm’d by a King, than when by a Subject. Since then all right Reason is conformable to those things, about which we have form’d a Judgment, since each thing is, in its nature, but one, and uniform with it self; it follows, “That right Reason in one cannot dictate that, which contradicts right Reason, concerning the same things, in any other Person.”
And is uniform and consistent,From this Principle follows that Precept of universal use, concerning the Actions of all Men, That human Actions ought to be uniform and consistent with themselves, thro’ the whole course of every Man’s Life; and that he cannot act always agreeably to right Reason, who, as Horace expresses it,
It is included in the Notion of a true Proposition, (a practical one, for instance,) and is consequently a necessary Perfection of a Man forming a right Judgment in that Affair; that it should agree with other true Propositions framed about a like Subject, tho that like Case should happen at another time, or belong to another Man: And therefore, if any one judge, “That his Act of taking to himself the Necessaries of Life, not yet possess’d by any other, would promote the common Happiness”; it is necessary that the Judgment, “That the like Action of another in like Circumstances, would equally conduce to the same End,” must be undoubtedly right.Forming like Judgments in like Cases, whether our own, or those of other Men. Whoever therefore judges truly, must judge the same things, which he thinks truly are lawful to himself, to be lawful to others in a like Case. In the same manner, whatever Assistance any Man rightly and truly believes, he may or ought to demand according to right Reason, it is equitable, and consequently a Dictate of right Reason, that he should think, that any other in like Circumstances justly may or ought to demand the like help from him.
The reason of Hobbes’s making so gross a Blunder in this Argument, was, because he did not observe, “That there was the same Standard to all, by which the Reason of every one is to be tried, whether it be right or no”; namely, the Nature of Things, especially, of the End necessary to all rational Beings, and of the Means naturally leading thereto.
(To which sight Reason, and consequently to God, its Author, Hobbes imputes Contradictions;§VIII. We may observe here, by the way, how honourable Hobbes’s Sentiments are concerning God, ruling naturally by the Dictates of Reason; that is, that God, instructing Men in the Laws of Nature by the Dictates of right Reason, does enjoin Contradictions; that he first tells us, “We must fight against all, and so engages Men in a War, in which all that fall, are unjustly murder’d on both sides, because they claim only their own Rights”; that afterwards, “By the same right Reason he forbids War, and commands us to relinquish those very things, which yet he affirms are justly to be retain’d, and defended by the Sword, because they are Rights”: For he must necessarily ascribe to God all those Contradictions, which he imputes to the right Reason (as he calls it) of Men, contradicting one another with relation to the Necessaries of Life; for he affirms, that “God rules by this Reason, as by a Law,”30 and consequently, that he permits all those things which Reason permits; and teaches that all those things may be done consistently with his Laws, which right Reason has taught may be done, by natural Right. For Hobbes himself does not extend “Right” (where he purposely defines it) beyond “the Liberty of using our Faculties according to right Reason.”31
It is hence evident, “That God, according to Hobbes, first gives a Right to invade the Properties of all others, that his right Reason includes a Licence to commit any Crimes, and then involves all Men in the Miseries of a destructive War.” But after he has render’d Men miserable by the Evils of Wickedness and War, he points out a somewhat better road to Justice, such at least as may be sufficient to avoid the Punishment of the civil Power; and then at last endeavours to bring over wretched Mortals to such a Peace, as that Justice would establish.
Whereas right Reason judges alike in all.)That Reason, which I acknowledge as Right, first examines all the Parts, both of our own and others Happiness, and foresees, at a great distance, the Causes thereof that are lodg’d in our own Power; then, perceiving them in their own Nature so interwoven, that a prudent care of our own Happiness cannot be separated from the pursuit of the Happiness of others, that is, of the common Society of all rational Beings, it determines, that the strictest Justice is to be cultivated, with respect both to God and Men, and presages, that the Fruit there of shall be a most happy Tranquillity. By the same Reasoning it foresees, that the Actions of Men, who arrogate each all things to himself, or are guilty of such Practices, will involve all in War and extreme Calamities; and that so evidently, that there need not for Information be made so rash and fatal an Experiment. Therefore it will never allow a Right to act in such a manner; but, on the contrary, it will command Men to contract Friendships, to establish civil Government where it is wanting, and to preserve it when establish’d; that not only those Miseries of War, which it forsees may arise from the Folly of some Men, may be avoided, but the greatest Assistances to the most perfect Virtue and Happiness be procur’d. Hobbes therefore thought that this would be done, (and that necessarily too,) because he did not observe, “That there was the same Rule (the Nature of Things) for all, by which the Reason of all ought to be tried, whether it be right or no.”32
Here, I think, the fundamental Corner-Stone of the Temple of Concord is laid by Nature; for hence is deriv’d that Law of Nature uniting all rational, or wise, Beings (for Reason in perfection is Wisdom)33 among themselves, and with God as the wisest; which is thus express’d, Whoever determines his Judgment and his Will by right Reason, must agree with all others, who judge according to right Reason in the same Matter. Whence it also follows conditionally, (which I shall afterwards prove from proper Principles,) “If any right Reasoner, any wise Person, shall assign to each his proper Office, in order to the publick Good, all others who judge rightly, shall approve of the Distribution.” But of this more hereafter.
How to prevent false Reasoning.§IX. I shall hereafter observe, “That, in order to preserve our Reason right, we ought not only to avoid false Deductions, but especially the rash Admission of any thing as self-evident, without proof.” And we ought to take care, in the first place, “That our simple Ideas be both clear, from strong and frequent Impressions of the same thing known in various Circumstances; and distinct, by a separate Observation of the Parts singly; and adequate also (as far as we can) by the Assistance of the Memory and Understanding, added to the Discoveries of Sense.” It is to be observ’d, “That in these external Impressions there can be no Falshood, properly so called.” The Unwary, indeed, take occasion of judging falsly, from the Distance, the Refraction, or the tinging of the Rays of Light in the Eyes of Persons infected with the Jaundice: but if all things in the Medium between the Organ of Sense and its Object be consider’d, as they ought, before we pass a Judgment, (to this Head is to be referr’d the Temper of the Blood, that of the Animal Spirits, and the Brain;) we may avoid falling into Error. In the Medium are the partial Causes34 of the Impressions made, and they are therefore necessarily to be consider’d. What is more, before we determine any thing concerning the Sameness, and Connexion, or the Diversity, and Opposition of the Terms, they are most carefully to be compar’d with one another; and we ought to take care, especial care, when we contemplate the first and most universal Truths, not to give our Assent to any Proposition, without the strongest and most inevitable Necessity; for Truth depends not on our Will, but upon the Connexion of Things, and of those distinct Ideas, which are impress’d upon us by Things; but what we perceive, we necessarily perceive, whenever the Faculty is attentive, altho that Attention generally depends upon our own Will: and upon this Rule depends the main Point now in dispute. For since the whole Truth of affirmative Propositions consists in the Connexion of two Terms; and since these are naturally connected, because both Terms are imprinted upon the Mind by the same thing, and are evidently Representatives of one and the same Thing under different Respects; it is evident, “That Truths depend, not upon the Will of Men imposing and connecting Names arbitrarily, but upon the Natures of Things delineating their own Representations upon the Mind. But whatever Motions are impress’d upon us by the Nature of Things, are necessary, and proceed from the first Mover, the Author of Nature; so, consequently, do all those Ideas, which, impress’d upon the Senses and Imagination by a Motion evidently natural, represent practical Truth to the Mind, concerning Actions most conducive to the common Good. Truths of this kind are natural Laws, as I shall hereafter prove; and their Impression upon the Mind is the Inscription and Promulgation of Laws; and they may for the same reason be affirm’d to be by the first Mover imprinted upon us, (by means of the Nature of Things;) that speculative Axioms (such as, “Lines drawn from the Centre to the Circumference of the same Circle are equal”) may be truly affirm’d to be necessarily planted in our Minds by the First, thro’ the intervention of Second, Causes. Justly therefore may we ascribe to the Law of Nature the words of Demosthenes, which Marcian, in the Pandects, has inserted into his general Description of Laws, that it is “The Invention and Gift of God.”35 They, who do not acknowledge the Proof of a Deity from the Necessity of a first Mover, (which Hobbes however acknowledges,)36 take away the most antient, and, in my Opinion, the strongest, Prop of Religion. Nevertheless, if they own the Proof of a God from that Order which is visible in the World, the mutual Relations of Things, and the Beauty thence arising, or from this, that they perceive so many of them design’d by Nature for our Use, as their final Cause, they will be oblig’d, by this our Argument, to acknowledge God as the Author of all necessary Impressions.
To which we are never necessarily determin’d, Judging, Willing, or Acting, wrong, being owing only to an Abuse of Liberty;§X. This Observation, concerning the Truth of simple Apprehensions, or of all natural Impressions, seems to me of so great importance, that I will venture thence to conclude, that “Neither does our own Nature, nor that of Things without us, ever necessarily or unavoidably determine us to form a false Judgment, nor, consequently, to chuse or act amiss”; which always proceeds from the Uncertainty or Error of the Understanding Whatever, at any time, we judge, chuse, or act, contrary to those Notices, which a thorow Examination into the Nature of Things affords; that I think wholly owing to a hasty, rash, and unseasonable Use of Liberty, which is generally deluded thro’ the Sollicitation of a present Advantage, and incites the Judgment to determine Points not yet sufficiently clear’d up. “All Truths, (even in Morality,) which are unchangeable and never deceive, are owing to Nature, and to a Necessity of assenting to things evident. And to Nature they only (exclusive of Errors) are to be ascrib’d, if we would not be injurious, to our own Faculties, no one of which ever necessarily determines us to embrace a Falshood; to natural external Agents, that cannot deceive; and, to God himself, to whose Nature it is a Contradiction to suppose him willing to deceive us.” We thus determine upon these Points, on better Authority, than Physicians, who call only those Motions of the Humors, for instance, Natural, which tend to the Preservation and Health of the Individual, calling the rest, which tend to Disease and Death, Preternatural; and with Reason, because by Nature here they understand the Nature of the Individual, whose Preservation is the End of their Art: Yet they will not deny the most fatal Alterations of the Humours, to be according to the universal Laws of Nature. But, in Man, the Error of the Judgment, and Perverseness of the Will, are neither agreeable to the Nature of the Individual endeavouring its own Perfection, nor proceed from any necessary influence of things external upon him; but first from mere Inadvertency and Rashness, afterwards from Habits or Example, the Imitation of himself or others. Hobbes is therefore very unfair, who proposes whatever Transaction he has observ’d among Cabals of Villains, as a momentous Discovery in human Nature, and a Foundation of a new Set of Politicks.
And human Judgment acting most agreeably to Nature, whom it approaches nearest to Necessity.I am of Opinion, that not only speculative Axioms, but the first Principles of moral Habits are thus necessary. It is sufficient, indeed, that those Dictates which determine many particular Actions, as they are circumstanc’d, are supported by probable Reasons, such as the Weakness of our Mind, which cannot examine all things present, much less foresee all the Consequences of the present Action, can attain, whilst urg’d by an immediate Necessity of Acting. Those things which proceed from Examination and cautious Deliberation, from Experience, and the faithful Testimony of competent Witnesses, such are Civil Laws and Precedents, or Cases adjudg’d in Courts of Judicature, make the nearest Approaches to Necessity. We ought therefore to form a Judgment of the Inclination of human Nature from these, rather than from the rash Actions of Men. For Deliberation, Experience, and all the other helps to discover Truth, do continually bring us nearer to that State of Mind, by which, because of the Influence of Things upon it, it cannot think otherwise than it does think, which is the Case, when it judges from the Evidence of Sense, or clear Demonstration: And thus the more necessary and unavoidable any Judgment is, so much the more natural, or approaching to what is natural, it is to beesteem’d. Hobbes, on the contrary, forms a mistaken Judgment of human Nature, from rash Actions, as absurdly, as if we were to judge of the Nature of a Tree, from the fungous or mossy Excrescencies sometimes growing to its Bark.
2. Of universal Ideas,§XI. 2. Next comes under Consideration, that peculiar Power of the human Mind, by which it forms universal Ideas, omitting those Accidents, by which particular things are distinguish’d. Hence arises a great help to the Memory, and consequently to Prudence thence arising; nay, to every Virtue, as connected therewith, and to every Action and Habit, which ministers Steadiness, Beauty, and Happiness, to human Life. For the Mind can easily apply to innumerable Individuals and their various Circumstances, Properties agreeing to one or a few Natures consider’d in themselves, whether those Properties respect their inward Frame, or their Causes and Effects: Hence all Sciences take their rise, as compos’d of Universals. By the help of these, Abstracts, and the chief Heads, of Natural History are easily collected; whence (to omit other Advantages) we readily learn what things are necessary, to preserve and perfect, both our own Nature and that of others. In like manner the Precepts of Arts, since they too are universal, compendiously instruct, by what means any Persons, whose Faculties are capable of them, shall or may attain the Ends by them propos’d. So Logick, Physick, Ethicks, (or the Art of Morality,) the Arts of Navigation and Architecture, do not instruct one particular Person only, how Aristotle, for example, shall direct his Reason, in one Affair, to the Discovery of Truth; or Hippocrates preserve, or recover, his own Health; or Palinurus reach one Port only; but they instruct all Artists without distinction: They consider the End, and, consequently, the propos’d Good of every Man in general, chusing, and prescribing the use of, Means as general; and, therefore, both they who teach, and they who learn, these Arts, first contemplate these general Precepts. Which proves, by the way, that Men not only can, but that in all Arts it is their universal Practice, to respect a general Good, earlier than their own: Altho nothing hinders, but that Hippocrates, applying his general Precepts to a particular Case, may preserve his own Health, for instance, as well as that of others; and Vitruvius may build himself a House, as he had done before for others. It is of this further Advantage to observe these universal Ideas and Propositions, both Speculative and Practical, which are naturally form’d by the Mind of Man, because from such universal Notions are form’d Unchangeable, and consequently in some Sense Eternal, Rules of human Action. In the following Sheets, I shall lay before the Reader many such Propositions or Rules, whence he may distinctly perceive, what those universal Notions are, of which they are form’d; and how peculiar they are to the Mind of Man; and how much they promote Religion, civil Government, and the Peace and Commerce of different Nations.
And Speech, which is compos’d of Words, which are the arbitrary Signs of universal Ideas.But first I must make a few Observations on the Power and Inclination of the Mind of Man to form Words, spoken or written, and other arbitrary Signs, by help of which it may either recollect, or communicate to others, its Notions, both universal and particular. This remarkable Difference, between Men and other Animals, contributes much both to the forming and preserving Societies: The great Agreement observable among Men, in the use of such Signs, will easily be accounted for, if we consider (as becomes Christians) what the sacred History informs us, “That all Mankind have sprung from one Original,”37 so that Eve might, without Difficulty, have used words in the same Sense that Adam first appointed them, and their Posterity might suck in their Signification with their Mother’s Milk. But if Hobbes would rather consider them in his State of Nature, as suddenly sprung out of the Earth (like Mushrooms) of full Growth, and without any Relation to one another;38 even in that Case Reason would persuade them, that many, (namely, all those who wanted to maintain a mutual Intercourse,) might agree in the same words, or other Signs, to express the same things. Nor was it at all of any Consequence, who first express’d this Idea or Thing by that Sign; but it would greatly concern them all, to agree among themselves in some common Marks of their Ideas, by help whereof each particular thing might be made known to all. Hereby each Person, by communicating his Observations to others, is enabled to “Improve their Minds with a further Degree of Knowledge”; so that the Experience and Endeavours of the present Age may point out to the succeeding ones a shorter way to Prudence and Happiness, and by a more easy Method produce in them all kinds of Virtue; hereby Men are inabled to “Debate concerning Covenants, and Laws, to be made,” to “Promulgate such as have been agreed upon,” to “Examine, whether they have been observ’d”; to“Produce and receive Testimonies”; and to “Give Judgment according to the Proofs.” Hobbes himself will not deny, both that these things are peculiar to human Nature, and that they fit Man for Society.
Of the Reflex Acts of the Mind, and of Conscience.§XII. Shall I not reckon among the Perfections of the human Understanding, that it can reflect upon it self? Consider its Habits, as Dispositions arising from past Actions? Remember and recollect its own Dictates, and compare them with its Actions? Judge which way the Mind inclines? And direct it self to the Pursuit of what seems fittest to be done? Our Mind is conscious to it self of all its own Actions, and both can, and often does, observe what Counsels produced them; it naturally fits a Judge upon its own Actions, and thence procures to it self either Tranquillity and Joy, or Anxiety and Sorrow. In this Power of the Mind, and the Actions thence arising, consists the whole force of Conscience, by which it proposes Laws to it self, examines its past, and regulates its future Conduct. Nor appear any Traces, in other Animals, of sonoblea Faculty. Great are the Powers of this Principle, both to the Formation and Increase of Virtue, to the erecting and preserving Civil Societies, both among those who are not subject to the same Civil Power, and among Fellow-Subjects. And, indeed, the principal Design of this Treatise is to shew, “How this Power of our Mind, either of it self, or excited by external Objects, forms certain universal practical Propositions, which give us a more distinct Idea of the utmost possible Happiness of Mankind, and pronounce by what Actions of ours, in all Variety of Circumstances, that Happiness may most effectually be obtain’d.” For these are the Rules of Action, these are the Laws of Nature.
I will here add nothing to what I have already mention’d of the Knowledge of Number, Measure, Order, Free-Will, &c. altho these be both peculiar to Man, and are very material in the present Argument.
Indications enforcing universal Benevolence, from a Survey of the human Body, considr’d.§XIII. I will now apply my self to the Consideration of the Human Body, in which I meet with several things worthy of Observation for my present Purpose, which are usually neglected, or at least omitted, by others who have handled this Argument.
For, since the Life, Health, and most perfect State, of the human Body, which can be acquir’d, (every thing else being regarded according to its Value or Dignity,) is part of that End which right Reason proposes to its self, and its Powers and various Uses are Means highly useful to the whole Man, both to procure the Improvement of the Minds of Individuals, and to promote the common Good; it is impossible, but that the Consideration thereof must suggest somewhat useful to direct us in the Choice of the supreme End, and in the Application of the Means; but in Dictates concerning that End, and the Means conducing thereto, does the whole of the Law of Nature, whose original and principal Parts I here propose to enquire into, consist.
In the first place, I think that this may be affirm’d universally, That whatever (1.) demonstrates, from the divinely-contriv’d Make of our Body, “That the whole possible Happiness of Man depends upon many Causes, the chief whereof are Rational; and that, therefore, it cannot reasonably be expected but in conjunction with the common Happiness”; whatever (2.) proves further, “That every one can, by the proper Power of his own Body, effect somewhat, by which this common End may be promoted, and the Assistance of others procur’d, and that, by his Endeavours of this kind, every Man will procure to himself the greatest Happiness in his Power”: That demonstrates certainly, “That the Nature of the human Body affords a sufficient Indication of our Obligation to such Endeavours.” And this will appear plainly, from the Consideration of natural Obligation, and of Law, which I shall afterwards explain.
Further, the more evidently and constantly the Manner and Method is pointed out, according to which it is necessary, in order to our own Happiness, that we should co-operate with others to procure the common Happiness; and the greater any one’s Powers are, or the stronger his Inclination to such Actions; so much the easier it is to pay this Debt due to the Publick, and the Crime the greater, which is committed by the Breach of the Commandment; and from hence our clearer and stronger Obligation to such Actions may with the utmost Certainty be inferr’d: For these Reasons I thought it proper to propose some Indications of this kind, taken from the human Body. The Observation and Sagacity of others will add more, or will pursue these Hints further.
In the human Body are to be consider’d, (1.) What belongs to it as Body; (2.) What it has, as a Body endow’d with Life and Sense, like other Animals; (3.) What are peculiar to it self.
I. As a Body in General, I. It has these things in common with all other Bodies.
1. Having its Motions, necessary for its Preservation, dependent upon, and limited by, the Motions of other Bodies, especially those of other Men.1. That all its Motions, and consequently those which preserve its Life, Health and Strength, (whose Preservation each Person proposes to himself as a principal part of his End,) proceed from the first Mover, and are necessarily complicated with, and in some measure depend upon, innumerable Motions of other corporeal Parts of the same System. Among these are chiefly to be consider’d the Bodies of other Men, and their Motions which can limit ours, and are govern’d by Reason, which we have just ground to hope may be brought to concur with our Reason.39
2. That its Motion (as that of all other Bodies) is propagated far and wide, and does not perish, but concurs with other Motions to perpetuate the Successions of Things, or to preserve the Whole.2. Being equally able to promote those Motions in other human Bodies, which are equally necessary for their Preservation. And as the first Observation instructs us, “That our private Good depends upon common Powers”; so this second Observation proves, “That the Powers of particular Persons may be of publick and most extensive Advantage.” The former forbids, “To hope for the Happiness of particular Persons separately from the Good of the Whole,” and consequently points out “The common Good” as “The fruitful Cause of private Happiness”: the latter shews, “That the Pursuit of the common Good will not be in vain, because it conspires with the Endeavours of the whole Universe.” In both these complicated Motions, namely, that, by which almost all Things concur in some measure to the Preservation of any particular Body for some time, and that, by which any particular Body concurs with others to the Preservation of the whole System, a certain Order is preserv’d, by which some Motions are determin’d by others in a continued Series, and all are govern’d by the continued circular Motion of the whole System. I need not any particular Hypothesis concerning the System of the World, to prove what I have advanc’d concerning the necessary Order, and the Powers of complicated Motions; for these are demonstrated from geometrical Principles, which no Hypothesis can hurt. Tho a Contemplation of this kind may at first seem merely speculative, yet it is not without its Use in human Affairs; for hence we know distinctly, and from general Principles, “How necessary a certain Order among Causes which act by a corporeal Force, is, that many of them should conspire to produce any Effect foreknown and design’d in the Mind.” It further shews, “How we may judge with Certainty, which Cause has contributed more, which less, to the Effect design’d.” Whence the value and worth of Causes, with respect to any Effect, is fix’d and determin’d by their proper and natural Force; and, consequently, we are instructed by the very Nature of Things, both, “Which Causes are more highly to be valued, upon account of what they have already effected,” and, “The Aid of what Causes we ought chiefly to sollicit, in order to procure what we farther desire.” We thus come to know, “That those Causes, which Philosophers call Universal,40 (such as the Motion of the Aetherial Fluid, & c.) but chiefly the first of them, God, are the principal Sources of the common Good, which we either all enjoy, or which we expect from the Nature of Things.” We thus also know, “That Motions of Bodies ever so little subject to the Determination and Direction of the human Will,(too mit the Consideration of those which are exempted from it,) when govern’d by the universal Benevolence of all rational Beings towards all, are the principal Causes of the publick Happiness of all, whence is deriv’d the private Happiness of each.” For universal Benevolence is the Spring and Source of every Act of Innocence and Fidelity, of Humanity and Gratitude, and, indeed, of all the Virtues by which Property and Commerce are maintain’d. They are govern’d by it, as particular Motions are determin’d by the universal Motion in the System of the World; or as all the Functions of the Spirits, Bowels, Vessels, and Limbs, in the Body of an Animal, proceed from the general Motion of the Blood. If we embrace this Opinion, from a thorow Examination of the Nature of Things, it will doubtless oblige us to pay Obedience to all the Laws of Nature, and to take diligent care, that the same be paid by others: This is the utmost we can do, to make our selves, as well as others, happy; nor can Reason propose to any one a greater End.
Knowledge, and the Use of Signs, in Mankind, consider’d as a corporeal System, supplying the want of Contiguity in communicating Motion.§XIV. However, in this Comparison of the Aggregate of Mankind, as they act by a corporeal Force, with the natural System of Bodies, I am not ignorant of this wide Difference between them, “That the Effects of Systems merely corporeal, are perform’d, not without Contiguity between the Bodies moving and moved, for the most part without Sense, but always without the interposition of Counsel and Liberty; whereas Men act often at a considerable distance, and make much use of their Reason and Liberty.” It is, nevertheless, likewise evident, (1.) “That the corporeal Force of all Men, when it is exerted, is subject to the same Laws of Motion with other Bodies”; and, (2.) “That the force and necessity of Subordination between the Motions arising from Man, is the same with that which is among those of any other Bodies”; whenever many Men co-operate to any Effect which relates to others, (which they daily practise more than any one can “be well aware of”:) with respect to these two Points only, I propos’d the foregoing Comparison; which, therefore, was made and apply’d justly. I will, upon this occasion, venture to go farther and affirm, “That, because Men have frequent Opportunities of meeting, by which they mutually profit or hurt one another, and many ways of doing, by Words or Actions, good or harm to Persons at a great distance, especially, if Men form Schemes for the Conduct of their Lives, (which it is certain every one naturally and constantly does, because every one desires that all his future Existence should be happy”;) I will venture to affirm, I say, “That the whole Race of Mankind ought to be consider’d as one System of Bodies, so that nothing of any Moment can be done by any Man, relating to the Life, Fortune, or Posterity of any one, which may not some way affect those things which are alike dear to others; as the Motion of every Body, in the System of the World, communicates its Motion to many others, especially neighbouring ones.” For that vast Privilege of extensive Knowledge, with which Men are endow’d, supplies the want of Contiguity, which is requisite in other Bodies, to the Communication of Motion; for Men are excited to Motion by the least Signals, whether Natural or Arbitrary, by which they quickly perceive what has been, or ought to be, done by other Men at the greatest distance. What is more, they retain a Memory of those things, done either to themselves or those who are dear to them, and by it are excited to take the first Opportunity of Retaliation; they are also naturally provident, and presage, from what has been done to others, what is to be expected by themselves, and those they love; and this induces them to many things, with a view to prevent Evils, and to create a probable Prospect of very remote future Advantages. This Remembrance of Things past, and Foresight of Things to come, are the Reason why Men, at a distance, are more mov’d by what is done to others, than inanimate Bodies are by the Motion of neighbouring ones, which act nothing, except they be present: for from these they immediately and justly conclude, “That being like in Nature and Condition, with respect to Necessaries, they also are to expect like things.” Thus they cannot but be affected with those Actions of any towards others, which, if often repeated, or copied after by others, naturally work a considerable Change (either for the better or the worse) in the Condition of Men in general.
I own, however, that all are not equally affected with such Actions, but some more, some less, according to their different degrees of Sagacity, in apprehending the Causes or Hindrances of the common Good. Nor is the Influence communicated from some Men to others, by such Actions as respect the common End of all, for that Reason less natural, than that between Bodies of the same System with respect to natural Motions, which are communicated to more subtle and fluid Matter in a greater, to grosser Matter in a less, degree. It is sufficient, that “To perceive in Men a Likeness of Nature and Condition with respect to Necessaries,” and “To infer from what is done to others, what we are to hope or fear will be done to our selves,” are Acts, Natural and Universal, and not of less Efficacy to influence Men, than mutual Contact between Bodies moving and moved, is to communicate Motion among the Parts of a corporeal System. I will infer no more from hence, than what is otherwise evident, and seems to be naturally accounted for upon these Principles, that all Men may hence learn, “That their Security from Evils, and their whole Prospect of Assistance from others, in their pursuit of Happiness, necessarily depend upon the voluntary Assistance of many, who do not less stand in need of many others, that it may be well with them.” Whence we are immediately oblig’d to acknowledge, “That the mutual good Offices of all are useful to all.” Just as natural Bodies in the same System cannot perform their Motions, unless other Bodies concur with, and give place to, them.
From the Necessity of mutual Offices it follows necessarily, “That he that would, to the utmost of his Power, provide for his own Happiness, must, according to the measure of his Ability, procure to himself the Benevolence and Assistance of all others.” Every one may easily know, that he has Power to confer upon others Assistance and innumerable good Offices, and to conspire with the whole System of rational Beings to the same End, and in pursuit of the common Good: but, on the contrary, that he can no more compel so many Causes, which are singly of force nearly equal with himself, to lend him their Assistance, and at the same time to relinquish and neglect all natural Endeavours to promote such things as are necessary for themselves, than one Pound Weight can, in a just Balance, raise a Weight of some thousand Pounds in the opposite Scale. For all Struggles between Men, by force merely corporeal, are perpetually determin’d according to the natural Laws of Motion; all which Laws Wren and Huygens have shewn how to exhibit by the Beam of a Balance, suspended either upon a single Center, or upon two Centers at equal distance from the Center of Gravity.41 Nor is the Cunning or Craft of any one above all the rest, of so great Powers as to force the Beam, which is depress’d by the real Necessities, Powers, and Counsels of a great Number, toward the common Good, to incline to the contrary Part, that is, to the private Advantage of any particular Person. Wherefore it cannot but appear evident, from the general Nature of human Power, “That we can more surely procure its Assistance, by promoting the common Good, than by Force and Fraud, or a savage Rapaciousness”; to which, according to Hobbes’s Doctrine, (in the Epistle dedicatory to his Treatise de Cive,) even good Men must have recourse in a State of Nature;42 and their natural Right resto perve themselves, makes it no Vice.
Which is illustrated from the known Laws of Matter and Motion.§XV. Our Opinion seems to be much illustrated by the general Principles of Mechanical Philosophy, (the only Principles Hobbes himself seems to me to agree to,) which inculcate this principally, as necessary in every Hypothesis, “That the Motion of the corporeal World, dispersed thro’ the several Parts thereof, is preserv’d by that mutual Communication, Cession, Acceleration, or Retardation, of all Motions, which the Powers and Impulses of every particular Body, reduced to an exact Calculation, require: yet so, That the Motion of the whole System about the common Center, (which is compos’d as a whole, of the Motions of every particular Body added together,) is preserv’d always without In terruption or Alteration, and determines and adjusts the Motion of all its Parts.” All Bodies have the same Power and Necessity to continue in Motion, which is in each proportionable to their Quantity of Matter, or their Bulk and Solidity compar’d together: but even this Force is subordinate, in every particular Body, to the Motion of the whole System; and is therefore it self, as well as the whole, preserv’d by that which determines it. Thus the Motions of particular Bodies agree with the general Motion of the Whole, and are subservient thereto; and that general Motion of the System governs and preserves the Powers of all particular Bodies, in the most effectual manner, by the Nature of things consider’d, either together, or each by it self; which Nature consists in perpetual Motion and Change. All things are so order’d, “That not the smallest Quantity of Matter nor Motion may be lost,” which is demonstrated from Mechanical Principles; and universal Experience, and the most authentick Histories of past Times, witness, “That the same Kinds of Animals are perpetuated, and their Numbers rather increas’d than diminish’d, notwithstanding the fierce Passions of some few Animals.” In this Perpetuity of Matter and Motion, and of the Kinds of all things continued by a Succession of Individuals, consists the Preservation, or natural Good, of the material Universe, which is promoted, according to the unchangeable Laws of Motion. Nor can any sufficient Reason be assign’d, “Why the Preservation of Mankind should not be look’d upon as establish’d and continued by the force of Causes equally certain and natural, as the Successions of any other Animals, which entirely depend upon the unchangeable Nature of the material World, and the necessary Laws of Motion, since they perfectly agree in all that is essential to an Animal.” Certainly the Conjunction of the Mind with the Body, very often makes its Condition better than that of Brutes, but never worse; which will be evident to any one who considers, what Advantages the Body receives from the Conduct of Reason, which abundantly compensate some Mischiefs, which happen to the Body thro’ the Error of the Mind: nay, it is certain, that the Errors of the Mind about Food, Pleasure, and other things which relate to the care of the Body, proceed from hence, that the Mind, regardless of the Admonitions of its own Reason, gives way to the Appetite, and the corporeal or animal Affections.
Whence it appears, that the common Good is the noblest Effect possible, and inseparable from that of particular Persons.These Observations, concerning the necessary Causes of the Preservation of the corporeal Universe, and (to omit other things) of the several Kinds of Animals, and consequently of Mankind, make such Impressions upon the Minds of Men, as these which follow, and conduce much to our present purpose, viz.
1. That the Preservation (or common Good) of Mankind is a matter not only possible, but that it depends upon so many Causes, so certainly determin’d, that we have the greatest reason to believe, that it will undoubtedly be perpetuated, notwithstanding the malevolent Endeavours of any to the contrary.
2. That this Effect is both in its own nature the most noble, and most closely united with the Preservation, and possible Happiness, of every Individual.
3. That the Matter and Motion of all particular Bodies, and, consequently, of Men themselves, is, in some measure, naturally and necessarily subservient, whether they will or no, to the Preservation of the corporeal Universe, (which includes human Bodies,) namely, as every particular Body is determin’d in its own Motion, by the general Motion of the whole System, by which it is perpetuated.
Does not the Nature of Things, and consequently God its Author, powerfully persuade and command an Endeavour to promote the common Good of Mankind, by every Indication they give, that it is both a possible Effect, and the greatest; and also more closely united with the private Happiness of every one, than any other Effect which we can foresee as possible, and by making us in some degree to promote it necessarily, even then when we give way to our natural Affections, and oppose it to the utmost of our Power? Is it not evident, that he acts most agreeably to practical Reason, and to the imprinted Ideas of the Causes of both publick and private Good, who promotes the first Attempts of corporeal Nature, and exalts them to a greater height, by the additional Force of the human Mind?
Which is effected by the Subordination and balancing of Powers.But this seems to be sufficiently evident to all, especially because the whole Operation of the Mind, necessary to compleat human Happiness, may be deduced from what I have said concerning the manner in which the corporeal World is preserv’d; for it consists in these two Things, (1.) That the Endeavours of all particular Persons toward their own Preservation be made subordinate to such Endeavours or Actions as are evidently necessary to the Preservation of the Whole. (2.) That by this Method those Powers of all Individuals, necessary for Self-defence, be so pois’d, that no one can be destroy’d by any other, to the hazard and damage of the Whole. Something like these is observable in the Motions of the Mundane System, which arises from the Plenitude of the World,43 and the Contact of Bodies, and therefore extends it self to them all. It is the work of the Mind and Reason to observe, “That every one’s proper Happiness depends in a nobler manner upon the voluntary Actions of other rational Agents, even at a great distance”; and therefore to take care, “That all human Actions do in like manner contribute to the common Good of all rational Beings; as the Motions of all Bodies contribute to the Preservation of the corporeal System.” This we shall effect, if these two Things which I have now mention’d, be observ’d in all voluntary Actions which respect others. Thus therefore we are instructed by the Nature of things, “How to promote the common Happiness, and our own, which is necessarily included therein”: which is the same as to say, “We are taught what Actions are commanded by the Law of Nature.” And certainly all prudent Persons, in all kind of Deliberations, where Civil Laws take no place, or leave the matter to every Man’s own Determination, naturally fix their Eyes on these things, and can agree among themselves upon these things only, which serve to promote the common Good of the Parties consulting, and so to balance the Powers of all, that it may be every one’s Interest, that no one have Power to oppress another. Thus, among all neighbouring States, who are not subject to the same Government, this is the chief View in all Embassies, Covenants, and Leagues, so to balance the Powers of every particular State by mutual Assistance, that it should be difficult for them to destroy one another, but sufficiently easy to preserve, and, in some measure, enrich, themselves, which was the End of first erecting Civil States.
Which is illustrated from the Consideration of the Nature of Government,§XVI. In like manner, at the first Establishment of any Commonwealth, the Powers of all Orders and Parts are mutually balanc’d with the greatest Exactness, and are all subjected to the supreme Power, so as to be able mutually to assist, but hardly to hurt, one another. Nay, further, the Preservation of the Commonwealth, both from seditious and internal Evils, and from foreign Invasion, is only a continued Establishment of the same Balance of Power, and proceeds from Causes plainly alike. Moreover, whenever new Laws are to be enacted, or old ones to be amended, or receive an equitable Construction, all wise Men will ever have recourse to the Principles I have mention’d; and, universally, in all Cases where civil Laws are silent, or cannot bring a seasonable Relief, or where they allow a Liberty of acting, to Persons, whether in a publick or private Station, (which Cases, as Hobbes himself owns, are almost innumerable,)44natural Rules of human Actions can be taken from nothing else, than from the Consideration of the common Good, as the End, and from the Advantage of preserving that Balance of Power, which either Nature hath made, or the Constitution of the Commonwealth hath establish’d.
And of the System of the World, without assuming any particular Hypothesis.Tho’ I own, that the Power of Order and of conspiring to one common End, and also the Necessity of a Balance of Power in all Parts of any System, in order to the Preservation of the Whole, both may be, and usually are, observ’d in the Frame, whether Natural or Artificial, of such things especially as are most obvious, without any Skill in Mathematicks, and the mechanical Philosophy of the System of the World; in like manner, as much is discover’d concerning the Numbers and Magnitudes of Things, without any other Arithmetick and Geometry, than what is learn’d by common Experience only, without the Help of Books: Yet I thought it proper, in this stricter Research into the Nature of Causes, where we are endeavouring to obtain an exact Knowledge of the whole Matter, sometimes to have recourse to those Sciences, in which these Notions are most distinctly explain’d, and in so general a manner, that they may, with great Advantage of Illustration, be thence easily apply’d. So it is usual to have recourse to the artificial Rules of Arithmetick and Geometry, when any Difficulty arises relating to those Things, whose Number or Measure we have guess’d at by the Help of natural Sagacity only, or when we have occasion for an exact Computation. I chose to illustrate the present Argument by the Example of the System of the World; both because some general, tho confus’d, Notion thereof is always present to the Minds of all, and imprints upon them some Idea of the greatest End, the common Good, and of mutual Assistance, as the only Means to obtain it; and because, from those general Motions of the System of the World, (of which only the Learned frame a distinct Idea,) the Powers, Orders, and Limits, of all lesser Motions, as from the most general Causes, are deduced; so that, in this Enquiry into Causes, we can never stop, till we arrive at the First Causes among those which are created, which lead us immediately to God. But let it suffice, to have hinted these things in general; from them it easily appears, “That those Powers, which, consider’d either singly or jointly with others, are very unequal, may yet be conveniently enough balanc’d among themselves in the same System, to the Preservation of the Whole.” I thought it proper, not to make use of any particular Hypothesis, with respect to the System of the World; both because the Resemblance between the Manner and Causes, by which this material World and Mankind are preserv’d, does not extend it self to all Circumstances, (which is not necessary, in order to the Mind’s learning something, which may be of publick Advantage;) and because what I have advanc’d is so manifestly true, that it must be admitted in every Hypothesis: Lastly, because to have added more, was not necessary to those who are conversant in Natural Philosophy, and to others it would be unacceptable, and seem impertinent.
II. As a Body, endow’d with Life and Sense, like other Animals.§XVII. II. That Power and that Necessity of being subservient to the Motions of innumerable other Bodies, which I have shewn, from the general Nature of Matter and Motion, to be in all Bodies, as long as they continue in Motion, are found likewise in human Bodies, and seem to persuade, and readily incline, each particular Person to lend his Assistance to Mankind. But if to these we add those things which distinguish the Nature of Animals from other Bodies, they will more strongly incline us, and will lay before us a sufficient Reason, why we should be chiefly sollicitous to assist those of our own Species, with little comparative regard to other Bodies.
Bodies Animate are distinguish’d from Inanimate, by that Temper of Parts, and Configuration of Organs, which are sufficient for Nutrition, Generation, Sensation, Imagination, Affections, and voluntary Motions; and all unanimously agree, that, by these Actions, all kind of Animals endeavour their own Preservation, and Perfection, or Happiness, for the time appointed by the universal Causes of the World. Nor is it difficult, in some measure, to explain the Power and Causes of this Endeavour, from the Observations of Anatomists and Physicians, on the Circulation of the Blood and other useful Juices, and on the spreading of the Nerves thro’ the whole Body of Animals, together with what Natural Philosophers have thence deduced, concerning the Causes of Hunger and muscular Motion; but it is not worth while to insist upon the Proof of Truths universally acknowledg’d; from these, as allow’d us by our Adversaries, it will be proper to draw some Inferences, which may make for our present Purpose. Such are,
First, “That, from the same inward Frame of Animals, which determines them to Self-Preservation, there are beside afforded manifest Indications, that their behaving themselves innocently and beneficently towards Animals of the same Species, is necessary to their own Preservation and happiest State”: and then,
Secondly, “That, from the Concurrence of the same internal Causes, Animals cannot but be sensible of, and retain in Memory, these Indications.” The former of these summarily includes the Precept and the Sanction of the Laws of Nature; the latter respects their Promulgation, or the manner by which they become known: There fore both these must be explain’d in their proper order.
Whence the first Indication to Benevolence is this, That Men, being Animals of the same kind with other Men, have therefore their Appetite of Self-preservation limited in like manner; which is therefore very consistent with a Permission to others of the same Species, to preserve themselves likewise.In the first place it offers it self to our Observation, “That the Bodies of each Animal are contain’d within very narrow Limits, and that the time of their possible Duration is but small”; which is a sufficient Indication, that each has occasion for a few things only, in order to its Welfare; or that, if some sort of concurrence of many things be necessary, it is no other, than what may at the same time be communicated to many. Hence they are by Nature induced to desire but few things for them selves separately, and to desire those things in common with others, whose Use may conveniently be common to many, such as Air and Light. The same Surface of Skin, which in every Animal limits the spreading and circulation of its Blood, by the same Power, sets Limits to those Necessities, which urge it to Self-preservation. All the Necessities of the Body are enclos’d within the Circumference of the Circle describ’d by the Blood of that Animal: Those few things which are sufficient to fan and repair this vital Fluid, are sufficient to the Preservation of Life, Health, and natural Strength. The Quantity of that Juice is very small, which, by twitching the Stomach and Throat of an Animal, excites Hunger and Thirst; and it therefore needs no great Quantity of Meat and Drink to rebate its force. Lastly, the Capacity, of those Vessels in which the Nourishment is prepar’d and fermented, of the Chyle-Vessels, and of the Veins and Arteries receiving it, is fill’d by a Quantity so determin’d and small, that I believe it evident, that no Animal, even of the Brutekind, ever fell into Hobbes’s Error, so as to think all things necessary to its own Preservation.
It is hence evident, from the inward Frame of Animals, “That it is necessary to their Preservation, that they take to themselves only a few things, to satisfy their Hunger and Thirst, and to repel the inclemency of the Weather, and leave the rest of fruitful Mother Earth’s abundant Productions to those others, to whom they may be useful.” Thus the Quantity of the Bodies of Animals, which is naturally limited, limits their Appetites, to seek only a few things necessary for themselves, leaving the rest to the use of others; whence naturally arises some kind of division of Things, among several Animals, in which is laid the Foundation of that Concord and mutual Benevolence, which we are inquiring after. For on this very account, that Self-Love, which is natural to Animals, is limited and satisfy’d in the manner I have now shewn, there is no inducement to their opposing the Preservation of others, either by debarring them from a free use of what is not necessary to themselves, or even by refusing to lend them their Labour, when it is of no further use to themselves; but they are rather, on the contrary, thence dispos’d to assist others; whether from the Pleasure, tho it were not suppos’d very great,45 which they receive from the Society of others, and the present Happiness thence arising; or from the Hope of their afterwards rewarding them with the like Assistance. Animals (I believe) are sensible, I am sure Men cannot be ignorant, that when once they have provided themselves with Necessaries, there remains nothing that can be of greater Advantage to them, than Tranquillity, and the Society of Animals of their own Kind, which can be procur’d or preserv’d, only by Benevolence towards them.
Secondly, That Likeness of Images, by which Animals of the same Species are represented, disposes them to Affections, like to those, by which they are inclin’d to their own Preservation.§XVIII. We may take the second Indication, from the Effects of the Senses, Imagination, and Memory, when they are employ’d about Animals of the same kind; for those Impressions, which, made upon the Senses of Animals, discover others to have a Nature very like their own, passing immediately into the Brain (where they goby the Name of Imagination) dispose them to Affections towards those of their own kind, like those they bear towards themselves, and that from the Constitution of their own Nature. Here I will industriously avoid all Controversies, concerning the Knowledge of brute Animals, of what Kind it is, and of the manner how the Affections are mov’d by the Imagination; I take this only for granted, “That the Imagination excites the Affections,” and “That a like Imagination (as such) excites like Affections.” The latter is a Consequence of the former; whence I would infer only thus much, “That a known Likeness of Natures, when discover’d, does somewhat promote Benevolence among those who are alike, except it be join’d with some unlikeness more strongly enforcing Enmity.” To this it is owing, that Animals cannot wholly forget others of the same Kind, whilst they remember themselves. For like Animals (as far as they are such) are represented under the same Image; they also cannot but know, that they are subject to like Hunger and Thirst with themselves; and that they are therefore equally urg’d by Nature, to seek Nourishment for themselves; and that therefore it is pleasing to them, when they are permitted a free use of it, or when they are assisted in procuring it. Because Animals have perpetually such Images of others of the same Kind, and some benevolent Efforts thence necessarily arising from the Condition of their Nature, it follows, “That their natural Disposition is so far thwarted, as any thing contrary to such natural Efforts proceeds either from Madness or Pleasure, or any violent Desires or Passions”: As all look upon it as a Dies temper, and praeter natural Disposition of a Dog, who, thro’ Rage or Madness, is unusually excited to bite every other Dog he meets. Nor can I see any Reason, why all kinds of Affections, which so disturb the Oeconomy of any particular Animal, as to hurry it on to Actions destructive to Animals of the same Species, (such as Malevolence, Envy, violent Fits of Anger, &c.) should not be look’d upon as certain Distempers of the Blood, and Brain perhaps, and somewhat a kin to the Rage of a mad Dog. Such Affections are attended with manifest Symptoms of Distempers, an overflowing of the bilious Juices, a dangerous Effervescence of Blood, a Jaundice Colour, Paralytick Tremblings, and other such Effects, well enough known to Physicians. Nor is raging Anger against Animals of the same Species, the only Passion which turns to a formal Disease; an excessive Fear of them is no less Praeter natural; that is, it is no less different from that Manner of all Animals, which arises from their natural and found Disposition; and, like other Distempers, it prejudices their Health by reducing them to Sadness, Solitariness, and unseasonable Watchings, with the other Symptoms of a predominant Melancholy, which hastens untimely Death; nor can any Measure or Bounds be set to this Fear, which is rooted in a false Imagination and Opinion, that all other Animals of the same Species, are naturally and necessarily inclin’d, to hurt, and fight against, them.
The Condition of such Animals, (and such Hobbes feigns all Men in a State of Nature,) is perfectly like the wretched State of those, who are seiz’d with a Hydrophobia;46 they are afraid of Water and all Liquids, without which, (tho they sometimes hurt accidentally,) Life cannot be supported. And as this Opinion proceeds not from the Nature of the Water, but from an Imagination disturb’d by the Bite of a mad Dog, so it proceeds from a distemper’d Brain and Imagination, that any Animal is afraid of its whole Species, when in reality there is nothing pleasanter to those whose Brain is not disturb’d. It is too well known to need Proof, “That Animals, if by any Accident they have for some time been separated from others of the same Kind, as soon as they have come within sight of one another, even at a distance, immediately rejoice, shew their Joy by Gestures, run to one another, and with Pleasure eat, drink, and play together, but very seldom fight with one another; and, if at anytime they happen to fight, that immediately after a Victory, for the most part obtain’d without any Damage, the same Animals herd again very lovingly and peaceably together.” But because it is evident, “That the Causes of their thus peaceably associating and agreeing with one another, which are essential to Brutes, are plainly necessary; nor other than those, by which their Blood, Spirits, Brain and Nerves, are preserv’d in a sound State”; it thence follows evidently, “That the Health of every one of them cannot be separated from an Inclination to associate friendly with those of the same Species, but is easily and naturally preserv’d therewith”; which was what was to be prov’d from this second Indication, which is common to all kinds of Animals, and consequently to Men.
Thirdly, The Love Animals bear to those of their own Species, is a pleasant Affection, and its Exercise therefore closely connected with that Self-love, which is common to all Animals.§XIX. Near of kin to this is the Third Indication, taken from the Pleasantness of those Affections, which are conversant about Good common to many: This is of near Affinity with the precedent, because the Rise, and all the Powers, of the Affections, depend upon the Imagination. Natural Philosophers very well know, “That the Motion of the Blood and Heart, which is necessary to Life, is befriended by Love, Desire, Hope and Joy, especially when conversant about a great Good; whence the Arteries and Veins are fill’d with better and more flowing Juices, brisker Spirits are produced, and the whole Circulation, and consequently all the animal Functions, perform’d with greater Ease.” Nor is it less evident, “That the Good, which is known to extend it self to very many, (among which the Animal it self, concerning which we speak, is comprehended,) will upon this very account appear the greatest.” Wherefore it self will necessarily be much befriended by those very Affections, by which it befriends other Animals of the same kind with it self:47 And for this very Reason, that it has naturally a perfect Sense of this Effect in it self, it will have a strong Propension to those benevolent Affections, as very useful to, and intimately united with, its own Preservation, and a natural Reward will follow such Affections. I affirm’d indeed, that every Animal perceives this agreeable Effect, or the Pleasure of such Passions; yet the manner how these Passions have this friendly Influence, is unknown to most Men, who are ignorant of natural Philosophy, much more is it above the Knowledge of Brutes: It is, however, sufficient, to excite the Inclinations I have mention’d, that they are sensible of the Effect. On the contrary, “In Envy, Hatred, Fear and Grief, the Motion of the Blood is retarded, and the Heart is clogg’d, so that it contracts, and expels the Blood, with difficulty; whence the Countenance of Man becomes pale, and numberless Mischiefs, in the whole Animal Oeconomy, but especially in the Functions of the Brain and Nerves, follow; such are the Distempers usually ascrib’d to the Spleen and Melancholy.” This Matter belongs properly to the Consideration of Physicians; I therefore willingly resign it to the Skilful in that Art, who are daily industrious to adorn it with noble Discoveries for the Good of Mankind. I will, however, transcribe one extraordinary Case, from Harvey’s Anatomical Exercitation concerning the Circulation of the Blood, which will be a noble Illustration of what I have advanc’d. “I knew” (says he) “a high-spirited Man, who, thro’Anger and Indignation conceiv’d for an Injury, join’d with an Affront, receiv’d at the Hands of a powerful Person, so kindled with Rage, that, Envy and Hatred continually increasing for want of Revenge, and the strong Passion which rankled in his Mind being disclos’d to no one, he fell at length into a strange kind of Distemper, and was miserably afflicted with a great Oppression and Pain, both of his Heart and Breast, so that receiving no Relief from the Advice of the most Skilful, he fell, after some Years, into a sscorbutick Habit of Body, which threw him into a Consumption, of which he died. He had some Ease, only as of ten and as long as the whole Region of his Breast was compress’d. His jugular Veins were swell’d, as thick as a Man’s Thumb, with a Pulse high and strong, as if each of them were it self the Aorta, or great descending Artery, and appear’d like two oblong Aneurisms;48when I had dissected the Body, I found the Heart and Aorta so distended, and stuffed with Blood, that the Size of the Heart and Cavities of the Ventricles were as great as those of an Ox.”49 Whence we may observe, that such Passions obstruct the Motion of the Blood in the small Branches of the Arteries, which are dispers’d thro’ the Brain; and that vast Mischiefs arise thence to the Heart, and consequently to the whole Animal, with dire Symptoms of Distempers, whence Life it self (common to Man with other Animals) is greatly endanger’d. It is hence evident, “That the very Nature of an Animal, and of the Passions, admonishes Men, that it will be of Advantage to them, to be of a benevolent Disposition towards others, all, if possible”; since fierce Hatred against one Man brought so great Mischiefs to the Cherisher of the Passion.
Fourthly, The same is prov’d, from their natural Propension, to propagate their Species, and rear their Offspring.§XX. Next follows the fourth Indication of the same thing, which is taken from hence, “That Animals are incited to endeavour the Propagation of their own Species, by the force of the same Causes, which preserve the Life of every Individual, so that these Two are connected by Tie evidently natural.” Hence it is, that, Animals of the same Species but, different Sexes are united, by a strong Friendship, whence they perform to one another many mutual good Offices, and that Offspring is propagated, which they love and cherish as their own Blood, except something very unusual happens to change their natural Inclinations. But those things, which so rarely happen, ought not to be brought into the account, when we are taking a Survey of the ordinary and regular State of Nature. The Connexion is very close between the Propagation of the Species, and that natural Affection, which excites to an Endeavour of nourishing the young when brought forth. Preservation is only a kind of continued Generation of a thing; therefore the same natural Causes will incline an Animal to both: But it is evident, that their Offspring cannot be preserv’d, except Animals of the same Kind mutually cultivate Peace or Benevolence. Therefore they naturally desire, that this Benevolence may be of as long Continuance, as they wish to their Offspring: in such a Benevolence, which is extensive and durable, consists the Pursuit of the common Good of the whole Species, in proportion to the Capacity of the Animal, which, indeed, if Man be excepted, is but of a small reach, and not at all provident. Yet that low degree of Sagacity, which all Animals are possess’d of, is sufficient to enable them, to provide for themselves and their Young, by the exercise of some kind of Benevolence towards Animals of the same Kind. Because I hinted, “That the natural Love of their Offspring, proceeds from the same Causes, which incline Animals to propagate their Species,” I must shew, “That this Inclination is essential to Animals, whose Powers are come to their greatest Perfection, and that it flows from the same Causes, which are necessary to the Preservation and Perfection of every Individual”: Whence it follows, “That it is necessary, that Animals should, along with their own Welfare, endeavour the Continuation of their own Species, and, consequently, promote the common Good.” And this is evident, from the manner in which Animals are form’d, and nourish’d: for it is certain, (as Harvey has observ’d,)50 that the same Causes which, in the Womb or Egg, form the Parts requisite to the Nourishment of the Individual, (as the Stomach, Heart, &c.) do likewise form the spermatick Vessels, and difference of Sexes, in the first rough-draught of Animals. From the same Mass of nutritious Juice mingled with the Blood, part goes into Nourishment, part into Seed for propagating the Species. The whole Circulation of the Blood, and every thing instrumental thereto, as the muscular Force of the Heart, and the Contrivance of the Valves in the Veins, is at the same time subservient to the private Nourishment of the Individual, and to the publick Good by propagating the Species, whilst it sends off the Materials of the Seed to the spermatick Vessels. Lastly, whatever any of the Bowels, or other Parts of the Body, perform towards preserving the natural State of the Blood, at the same time tends to preserve the Life of the Individual, and, remotely at least, disposes to the Procreation of Offspring, which is hinder’d by every great Disorder of the Blood.
I might here expatiate very largely; but, lest I should be too prolix, I thought it proper to leave the Remainder of what be longs to this Subject, to be farther pursued by such Readers as are skilful in Natural Philosophy and Medicine, and to be apply’d, by a Parity of Reason with what I have already suggested, to the forming a Rule of Manners from the Indications of Nature, I will add only this, that it is very evident, “That Animals are in the manner above-mention’d inclin’d to the Love of the other Sex, and of their Offspring, and thus divest themselves of a contracted Selfishness, which when they have once laid aside, they are easily induc’d to proceed still further in the Love of others, till at last, upon account of their Likeness of Nature, it takes in all of the same Species”; and, consequently, that the Observation of common Experience hasits Foundation in the common Nature of Animals, “That Men are more inclin’d to Peace after begetting Children, and that their natural Propension to beget Children disposes all to the Love of Peace.”
(All our Actions cannot be resolv’d into a principle of Self-Love; and, tho they could, that would not take away the Obligations to promote the common Good.)I must here, however, take notice of that common Evasion, by which many are wont to elude this and other Indications taken from natural Inclinations, whence human Reason may learn the Law of Nature, “That, altho it often happens that, by means of these Inclinations, many are profited, yet they all proceed from the Love of our own Pleasure only, and, consequently, that all the Actions flowing from hence have no other End, and that they therefore discover no thing but mere Self-Love.”
I answer, 1. It is evident from what I have already said, that I do not take any Indication of a Law of Nature, obliging to promote the common Good, from the End which Animals propose to themselves; I affirm nothing concerning their Intentions.
2.51 It cannot be prov’d, that Animals, in those voluntary Actions, by which they actually promote the Good of others, as well as themselves, do not alike intend and will both. It is certainly much more probable, that both Effects are equally intended; since it is so in all those Cases, where Men act deliberately; for they intend to produce all the foreseen Effects of their Actions, tho some of them move them to Action much more strongly than others, and delight them much more, after the Action is over; yet every thing which they intend to effect, is justly call’d an End of Action.
3. Supposing, but not granting, that Animals sought their own Preservation and Happiness only, as their End, and that they exercis’d Benevolence towards other Animals of the same Kind, as the Means, naturally and perpetually necessary to that End; yet even this Supposition would prove, that there was an Indication from Nature, “That the common Good of the whole Species was to be promoted,” and thence would arise an Obligation to the use of Means so necessary, which would be no less valid than our Obligation to the End suppos’d, viz. Self-preservation. For the Obligation is the same to the necessary Means, and to the End it self. And this Obligation is equally valid, with any which can arise from the Punishments of Civil Laws, which can inflict nothing greater than Death, and which these Objectors contend, is by far the greatest, or rather the only real Obligation we lie under. For this Reason therefore, among many others, Hobbes’s Argument is vain, who (that he might take away all natural Obligation to promote the common Good) endeavours to resolve all natural Propensions tending thereto, into a Desire of preserving or of pleasing one’s self only. So, partly in his Treatise of human Nature, (Chap. 9. § 10, 15, 16, 17.)52 partly in that de Cive (Chap. 1. § 2.) he affirms, not only that the Love by which Animals are inclin’d to the Propagation of their Species, but also, that the natural Affection, with which they embrace and rear their Offspring, and all Charity towards others, and Compassion towards the Afflicted, arise from hence, “That Animals, by these Actions, either seek some Advantage to themselves, or, at least, that they may think magnificently of their own Powers, or have a good Opinion of themselves,”53 which is Hobbes’s Definition of Glory; but, beside that the inward Force of these Affections, and their Effects, by which they are much more serviceable to others, than to the Agents themselves, are an evident Proof of the contrary; and that those Animals, in which these Affections are vigorous, are sensible enough of this, and therefore cannot but intend greater Advantages to others than to themselves: If it be granted, “That these Affections are necessarily in Animals, that they may make themselves happy by certain Advantages and this imaginary Glory,” nevertheless the Obligation to Actions advantageous to others would remain, lest they should in any respect be wanting to themselves, in those things which he supposes to be naturally and necessarily, and, consequently, perpetually desir’d. For it is impossible, but that they must be influenc’d by the Hope of enjoying these Advantages, and by the Fear of losing them, if those Actions, which respect the Good of others, be neglected; and Hobbes acknowledges, that natural Obligation takes place, where human Liberty is restrain’d by Hope or Fear, de Cive, c. 15. §7.54 This Reasoning seems to me conclusive against Objections upon Hobbes’s Principles. In what consists the Nature of moral Obligation, I have elsewhere explain’d; I will here only add, “That in the true Rules of Morality, whence natural Obligation arises, so diminutive an End as the Preservation of one Man only, is not regarded, but the common Happiness of all rational Beings.” On the contrary, Hobbes proposes this little End as the Rule of all human Actions, with this View, that they may neglect any Actions whatsoever, and any natural benevolent Propensions, when soever they shall not seem to make for their own private Advantage, altho in reality “The Desire of the publick Good testify’d by outward Actions, is always a Means necessary to the chief Happiness of every particular Man”; which yet most, who are blinded with Self-Love, are generally ignorant of.
Lastly, Not to dwell too long upon the Solution of this Objection, it is to be consider’d, that I have drawn my Conclusion, not from voluntary Actions, whose Ends are various in different Animals, and in the same Animal at different times, but from such Actions and Inclinations as are evidently necessary, which are in Animals even not conscious of them, and sometimes opposing them; and which, as I briefly hinted, proceed from the very Frame and Temper of their Bodies; for it is not owing to their chusing and desiring to preserve themselves, but to the natural Contraction of the Heart, that the Blood is sent off to the spermatick Vessels, and the Seed thence separated and brought to Perfection, whence arise in all Animals, venereal Inclinations, and a Desire of begetting and preserving Offspring. For both Appetites are Effects of the same Cause: Just as from the same matter an Animal is at first form’d, and for some time nourish’d and grows in the Egg or Womb; yet of these things the Parents are so little conscious, that, tho they concur, as Instruments to the Production of the Effect, yet they know not before their Offspring comes into the World, whether what they have begotten be Male or Female, whether it receives its Nourishment by the Mouth or Navel, or both: Nay, whether it is at all nourish’d, or whether it lives or no. It is hence evident, “That, in the forming and nourishing the Foetus, Animals are not directed by their Knowledge foreseeing the Effect or End, much less by the Prospect of preserving their own Life by this Method, for that is rather weakened by the Propagation of the Species; but that these Actions are done by them without Deliberation, and that the Propensions to these Actions are in a high Degree necessary”: In these Actions Animals are plainly like Plants, which, tho they are void of Sense and all Prospect of an End, yet do not draw in Nourishment for themselves alone, but produce Seed for the Propagation of their Species. And as in Eggs are contain’d both the Body of the Chicken, and proper Nourishment for it, till it becomes strong enough to procure its Food elsewhere, and to digest it; so also in Seeds, beside the small Bud, (which is the rough-draught of a future Plant,) is contain’d also a fit Substance, which, after moistening, and a certain kind of Fermentation arising from a proper Heat, insinuates it self into the tender Roots of the Bud, which it nourishes till it has got Strength enough to imbibe Nourishment out of the neighbouring Earth. But afterwards, when the Foetus is born, Animals perceiving, that an Animal like themselves is form’d from their own Blood, by the Concurrence of their own natural Powers, they are inwardly dispos’d not to destroy it, by any Act or voluntary Neglect of theirs. What I have now advanc’d, is well enough known to natural Philosophers; which if any one desires to see more distinctly explain’d, he may consult Harvey and Highmore of Generation, and Needham in his learned Treatise of the Formation of the Foetus.55 These few Observations are sufficient to prove “That a strong Tendency, not only to propagate their Species, but to nourish it when propagated, arises from the very Frame and natural Disposition of Animals (nay, and of Plants too) which proceeds from universal and determin’d Causes.” What is more, it is well known from Experience, “That these Propensions grow stronger in Animals by Age and Practice, so that any Accident thwarting these, produces in them strong Resentments.” Hence Mankind shed those Tears, which fall in case of disappointed Love, of Barrenness, or Loss of Children. Therefore one may easily infer, from these, and innumerable other like Instances which daily happen, “That the ordinary State of Animals would, for the most part, be very disagreeable to ’em, unless (to the best of their Power) they enter, by Benevolence towards others of the same Species, into a friendly Society with them, by whose Assistance they may beget Offspring, and rear them as safely as possible.”
Fifthly, Benevolence among Animals of the same Species, prov’d from the intire Frame of Animals.Lastly, The whole Frame of Animals, (because it is the necessary Cause of their usual Functions and Actions,) plainly indicates, “That from the same internal Causes proceed both Actions in order to Self-preservation, and Affections of so great Benevolence, as are sufficient for a friendly Association with other Animals of the same Species”: for these two are generally exerted by all Kinds of Animals, altho it happens sometimes, but rarely, thro’ Ignorance or irregular Passions, that they hurt either themselves or others of the same Species. Therefore, because Concord among them is much more frequent than Discord, it follows, “That the natural and internal Causes of Concord are stronger, or that their Nature, without the Assistance of civil Society, does more strongly incline them to this Affection than to Discord”; which is the principal Point I contend for. For (unless it appear, that the Animal Nature in Men is fiercer or less inclinable to Peace than the same in Brutes) this is sufficient to prove, that in all Deliberations upon future Events (in which we can only reckon upon what happens for the most part) we may conclude in general, “That a peaceable Association with others will be more agreeable to our natural Inclinations, and that the same is more probably to be expected in others, than the contrary, tho in some Cases it may happen otherwise.” As any one may with truth affirm, that it is more agreeable to the Nature of a Die, that a Six should not be thrown at the first Cast, than that it should; because there are five possible Cases inconsistent with this Cast, and but one that favours it. That Brute Animals act, for the most part, benevolently with others of their own Kind, is easy to prove, by taking a View of all those things, which I have in the first Chapter shewn to be requisite, that any thing may be said to be subservient to the publick Good of any Species.56 They generally abstain from mutually hurting one another.57Juvenal has long since observ’d what makes much for our present Purpose.
What is more, they behave more mildly toward those, with whom they have herded for some time; and the Practice of the Storks, who feed their disabled Parents, in which are to be found some Footsteps of Gratitude, is notorious.60 In all these is observable a limited Love, both of themselves and their Offspring, and they are inclin’d to do several mutual good Offices, not trifling ones only, as when they play together, but very considerable, as when they assist one another against a common Enemy; and they signify their Expectation thereof, by a particular kind of Voice, by which most Animals, when sensible of approaching Danger, call others to their Assistance. These things are (if you consider the Substance of the Actions) the same with those which I have affirm’d to be necessarily included in the care of the publick Good, which, indeed, are perform’d very imperfectly by Brutes, yet in proportion to that slender Knowledge, which they use about things necessary to their own Preservation.
Sixthly, Benevolence is inforc’d among Animals of the same Species, by their numerous wants, and the most probable Method of relieving them, from natural Assistance.§XXI. If we inquire into those Causes, which are so interwoven into the Frame of Animals as to become part of their Nature, and which determine them generally to such a Conduct, besides those whence I have taken the foregoing Indications, the following are peculiar to them, as they are distinguish’d from inanimate Bodies. First, their Frame, as being made up of Parts very different, needs more things for its Preservation, than Minerals or Plants do. For the Blood, and other Liquors necessary to Life, as the Lymph, Bile, Pancreatick Juice, and perhaps a Nervous Fluid, and Animal Spirits, are so perpetually subject to Change and Perspiration, that there is continual Occasion for new Recruits, and also for Exercise, Rest, Sleep, Watching, and moderate Affections, to restore to a just Temper what has been chang’d, or repair what has been spent. Hence arise very uneasy Sensations of Hunger, Thirst, and various Diseases, and these excite them to search for, and try, the most convenient Methods of acquiring Nourishment, Medicine, and other Helps, such as an Estimate of their own Powers, and a Knowledge of things about them shall suggest. But they are conver sant with nothing better known to them, than Animals of their own Species, of whole Powers and Necessities they make an easy Estimate from their Likeness to their own, and, from the same Likeness of Nature, they conceive some Hope of their Love and Assistance. The Cause of that Hope is, partly, because like Things usually beget like Images of themselves, and, consequently, like Affections (except there arise some great Impediment, such as Passion, Error, a very disagreeable unlikeness, &c.) causing them to embrace other Animals of the same Kind with themselves, with the same Love as themselves: Partly, because they foresee great and innumerable Evils arising from Discord and Contention, but that scarce any Good can be thence expected. For Equality of Strength, or many Accidents which may set a smaller Power upon a level with a greater, (such as Sleep, Weariness, Diseases, the Confederacy of several weaker Powers, various accidental Advantages arising from the Place, by means whereof the weaker may overcome the stronger,) will give them frequent Opportunities of mutually hurting or killing one another. For if contending Powers by any means become equal, they are to one another mutually, as Weights counterpoising one another, of which each can with-hold the other from the lower place, to which it tends, and neither of them can reach the Place, to which it-self tends. Such are the Mischiefs arising from the Contention of one Animal with another of equal Power, tho each were at Peace with all the rest. But if each One should wage War with all the rest, there would be so frequent Contests with Forces vastly superior, that there would remain no Hope of Life to any. To be brief, it is probable, “That, even in the Judgment of Brutes, it is better, where there is plenty of all things necessary to the Preservation of every Individual, amicably, as occasion offers, to share in the Use of Things, and assume only what is at present necessary, than to expose themselves to the Hazards of perpetual War, in order to acquire Plenty of Things not necessary.” But in the Will to allow such a Division of Things and mutual Services, and to preserve it after it is made, is contain’d the Sum of all Actions, by which the common Good of every one’s Species is procur’d; wherefore “Even Brutes themselves, in some measure, perceive the Connexion between their own Preservation, and Actions contributing to the common Good of their Species, and for this Reason act benevolently to one another”; which was to be prov’d. I will add only this, that all those things which I have observ’d in Animals, are to be consider’d jointly, as concurring to enable and incline Animals to promote the common Good of their own Species, and that so strongly and constantly, that, except Animals comply therewith, they will want a great part of their Happiness, (which consists in the gratifying of their natural Inclinations,) and will find a Grief arising from this Struggle of vain Passions, which oppose those most natural Principles of Action, whose Force depends upon no Delusion of the Imagination; and are therefore justly distinguish’d from those Passions which I call’d vain, because they proceed from a deluded Fancy. It is with this View, that I inquir’d into the Causes of this Benevolence towards Animals of the same Species, which by the help of Reason may be rais’d to a greater Degree of Pefection.
Hobbes’s Objections against the Argument, drawn from the Association of other Animals, answer’d,§XXII. Hobbes was not ignorant, that this was no way consistent with his Principles, and therefore he abounds with such Insinuations as these to the contrary: That “Men are fiercer than Bears, Wolves, and Serpents”; that “Their natural State is a State of War of All against All,” that “Among them there is no such thing as publick Good or Evil, before the Establishment of civil Government,” and that “Therefore there is no Knowledge or Desire of such Good.” I have elsewhere cited the Passages in which he has advanc’d this Doctrine;61 but here falls properly under Consideration a Passage in his Leviathan, Chap. 17. (which is agreeable to what he advances, de Cive, c. 5. § 5.) where he thus objects to himself, “That certain living Creatures, as Bees and Ants, live sociably one with another”;62 and he asks, What hinders but that Men may do the same? He reduces his Answer to six Heads; of which the Substance is this.
1. “Men are continually in competition for Honour and Dignity, which these Creatures are not.”63 I reply; “That civil Honours (about which Contentions sometimes arise) have no place in a State of Nature, or before the establishing civil Government among Men, and that, therefore, they cannot contend about them in a State of Nature, (concerning which is the present Question,) more than Brute Animals.” In the next place, “true Glory,” of such Honour as can be attain’d out of civil Society, according to Cicero’s Definition, is “The concurrent Praise of good Men, and the incorrupt Voice of those who form a true Judgment of eminent Virtue.”64 But the Pursuit of the common Good comprehends all Virtues, and thence only is procur’d the Praise of good Men. War, and that against all, is so far from being an Effect of the Desire of such Honour, that, on the contrary, Men are by this Motive excited, beyond other Animals, to the Exercise of all the Virtues, which Hobbes himself owns to be necessary Means of the common Peace. Leviath. 15.65
2. He answers, 2dly. That “Among all those Creatures, the Common Good differs not from the Private, and being by Nature inclin’d to their Private, they procure thereby the Common Benefit. But Man, whose Joy consisteth in comparing himself with other Men, can relish nothing but what is eminent.”66 To this I answer; “That we are oblig’d to Hobbes, that he has unawares acknowledg’d, that there is such a thing as the publick or common Good, out of civil Society, and that this is really procur’d by Brutes themselves.” Elsewhere he affirms the contrary; see his Treatise de Homine, c. 10. in the latter end.67 I am of opinion, “That the Knowledge of the publick Good, disposes Men to Peace and Virtue, as in its own Nature amiable, and the strongest Security of private Good.” Its differing (in some Cases) from the private Good of some Particulars, is not a sufficient Reason, why Men should war amongst themselves, rather than Bees or Ants, whose common Good is distinguish’d from the Private in the same manner. What he adds concerning Men, if it be taken universally, as the Words seem to import, is most false and groundless; unless, perhaps, he sends us to that general Demonstration, as he calls it, of such Matters, which he hints in the Preface to his Leviathan;68Hobbes, truly, knew himself, and that with respect to his own Possessions, he relish’d nothing but what was Eminent, upon comparing himself with other Men, and thence he concludes, that all others are in the same Sentiments. But he ought to have shewn something in the Nature of Things, or of Men, that imposes a Necessity upon all Men to form such a Judgment. All who reason justly, know certainly, from their natural Wants and the Use of Things, what Judgment to pass upon their own Affairs, whether they relish them or not, and in what degree, without comparing them with those of other Men. They are foolish or envious Persons, who take pleasure only in the Excess of their own Enjoyments above those of others. But if he would have his Assertion understood, with Limitation to such Men only, he does not assign a sufficient Cause of a universal War of All against All, but only of some accidental Contention rais’d by the Foolish and Envious, which the Reason or Force of wiser Men may easily restrain from hurting All.
3. He answers, 3dly. That “These Creatures, having not (as Man) the Use of Reason, do not see, or think they see, any Fault in the Administration of their common Business: Whereas amongst Men it is otherwise: Hence War.”69 To which I thus answer; “That this Reason suggests nothing to hinder Men from living peaceably with one another, tho they were subject to no civil Government; in which case their natural Propensions to universal Benevolence, and all the Laws of Nature, would take place, notwithstanding any thing here alledg’d to the contrary.”70 Nor does he offer any thing which proves, but that such Men may agree among them selves to erect Civil Government, (for the Causes of such hindrance are what we at present inquire into;) he only objects what may hinder the Preservation of Government already establish’d by Consent alone. Let Hobbes look to it, whether or no what he here asserts concerning the Temper of the Generality of Mankind, will not as effectually unsettle the Foundation of Peace, in a Commonwealth establish’d by his fictitious UNION. “Among Men” (saith he) “There are very many that think themselves wiser, and able to govern the Publick better, than the rest; and these strive to reform and innovate, one this way, another that way, and thereby bring it into Distraction and Civil War.”71 Do not Men, so dispos’d, usually violate the Compacts they have mutually enter’d into, and break into Civil War? It is farther to be consider’d, “That human Reason does much more effectually promote Peace and Concord, by discovering numberless Delusions of the Imagination and Passions, than Discord, by its own Fallibility, in such Things as are always necessary to the common Peace, which are but few, and very evident.” Farther, “Men don’t immediately make War, as soon as they think they see any Fault in the Administration of the Publick”; the same Reason, which discovers the Fault, also admonishes them, that many things are to be borne with for Peacesake, and suggests several Methods, by which the redressing such Grievance may be peaceably attempted. I appeal to your Judgment, candid Reader, whether Reason makes the Condition of Man worse than that of Brutes? Does not Hobbes rather form an unjust Judgment of Men, who accuses their Reason of all the Miseries arising from War and Discord, and for this Reason contends, that Men live less peaceably with one another, than irrational Brutes? But this whole Answer of Hobbes’s is nothing to the Purpose. The Question is, “Concerning the Obligation of the Precepts of right Reason, before the erecting of Government”: The Answer is, “That the Reason of many Men is so erroneous, as to dissolve Governments already erected.”
4. He asserts, 4thly. That “Men cannot live sociably with one another as Bees, &c. because those Animals want that Art of Words, by which some Men can represent to others, that which is Good in the Likeness of Evil, and Evil in the Likeness of Good, &c. discontenting Men, and troubling their Peace at their Pleasure.”72 Truly, because it sometimes happens, that Seditions are rais’d by the help of the false colouring of Speech; therefore Men, because they can make such use of Speech, certainly will not preserve Peace among themselves. Here is evidently no Consequence. For he ought to prove, “That Men necessarily, or at least certainly, have the Will to use, and that constantly, such seditious Speeches as tend to raise War”; especially, since there are so many Causes, both within and without them, that rather persuade them to cultivate Peace. He ought likewise to prove, “That such Speeches necessarily, or at least always, have so great an Effect upon all or most of their Hearers, as to ingage them immediately in War.” For “They may, perhaps, be too sharp-sighted, to suffer themselves to be imposed upon by rhetorical varnish.” It is possible, “That they may rather listen to the peaceable Speeches of the Prudent, supported by more solid Arguments.” It is possible, “That they may rather weigh the importance of Things, than the empty Sound of Words”; to which they certainly have a natural Tendency; for they well know, that Words will not feed or defend them from Injuries, but that Actions, proceeding from mutual Benevolence, will. What hinders, but that the Persuasion of good Men may prevail, which the Reason, both of the Speaker and Hearer, and the very nature of Things themselves, favour? Why may not the Tongue of the Ambassador of Peace prevail above that which sounds the Trumpet of War? All cautious Person regard diligently, rather what others do, than what they say; and, beside, take care, that the Power of those whom they trust be so balanc’d, that they may not be able to hurt them, without their own great Peril. But, if the Reader further considers, how great Force Words, both spoken and written, are of, to the making of all Contracts, and to the preserving the Memory of Laws, (by which two subsists all peaceable Society;) I doubt not, but that he will agree with me, “That they have a much greater Tendency to establish, than banish, Peace, and that they are, therefore, to be reckon’d among the Advantages of Mankind, and not among those things, which make Men more inhuman than Brutes themselves.”
5. Hobbes urges, “Irrational Creatures cannot distinguish between Injury and Damage, and, therefore, as long as they be at ease, they are not offended with their Fellows. Whereas Man is then most troublesome, when he is most at ease: for then it is that he loves to shew his Wisdom, and censure the Actions of them who govern the Common wealth.”73 The Antithesis, or Opposition, here insinuates thus much; “That Men are of a less peaceable Disposition than Brutes, because they distinguish between Injury and Damage.” I am of a very different Opinion, “That Men more patiently bear Damage done them by other Men, provided it be not injuriously done, and that all Distinction between these two, is founded in the Knowledge of Right and Laws, which I readily acknowledge, to be proper to Man alone.” But I utterly deny, “That this Knowledge inclines Men to violate Peace, or to trample upon the Laws, and the Rights of others like their own.” I acknowledge, indeed, “That Men may violate the Rules of Justice thro’ unbridled Passions, notwithstanding this Knowledge”; but the Knowledge of the Difference between those things, which are done rightfully and injuriously, can never make Men more prone to injure others. But they will envy others, (as the Antithesis insinuates,) and will “Love to shew their Wisdom, by censuring the Actions of them who govern the Commonwealth.” It is certainly very injurious, “To impute to all Mankind the Faults of a few, and that without Proof, ” except that, perhaps, he has found such Affections in himself, and has thence concluded, that they are natural to all Men; for, in the Preface to his Leviathan, he recommends this Method of knowing Mankind, to Rulers and all others, affirming, that “There is no other Proof of such Matters”; but he admonishes us to examine, “Whether these things agree with our own Thoughts.”74 With mine they certainly do not agree. Provided I am happy, tho others be happier, I envy them not; I shall lose nothing by it. I believe human Nature more modest, than to delight in censuring Princes. He must be long harden’d in Wickedness, who will venture upon Rebellion, which is a Complication of innumerable Acts of Murder, Plundering, Sacrilege, and, in short, of all kinds of Villany. But Hobbes very improperly imputes that Crime to Man, in his suppos’d State of Nature, which State, according to his Hypothesis, is previous to the Establishment of Civil Government.
6. Let us now see, whether, in his last Answer, he brings any better Proof, that Mankind is less aptthan Brutes, to a mutual Agreement. “The Agreement” (says he) “of these Creatures is Natural, that of Man is by Covenant only, which is Artificial; and, therefore, it is no wonder, if there be somewhat else requir’d (besides Covenant) to make their Agreement constant and lasting, which is a common Power to keep them in awe, and to direct their Actions to the common Benefit.”75 I answer; “That the natural Causes, which are woven, as it were, in the Constitution of human Nature, as they are Animals, and which induce them to agree in the Exercise of mutual Benevolence, are plainly equal to those, which are found in any other Animals”; for instance, in Oxen, Lions, Bees; and this I have already endeavour’d briefly to prove:76 I will afterwards prove them to be greater.77Hobbes cannot shew any thing wanting in Man, that is the Cause of such peaceful Agreement as is found in Brutes. What he adds, that it is from Covenant among Men, and therfore artificial, may perhaps deceive the Vulgar, but will easily be refuted by Philosophers. For these Covenants are form’d by the Power, both of the animal and rational Nature. Certainly, “If Men had neither enter’d into Covenants, nor made any use of their Reason, the common Nature of Animals of the same Kind, would, nevertheless, be of as great Efficacy among them, to procure their Agreement in cultivating mutual Benevolence, as far as among all Brutes of the same Species”; now such an Agreement among Brutes there is, which is acknowledg’d to be natural. What therefore hinders, but that, after Reason and the Use of Speech are added to Men, that Agreement may still continue to be natural? Reason does not destroy natural Endeavours and Propensions to Concord, nor is an Agreement which is natural, less firm or durable, because it is express’d in Words: As the desire and use of Nourishment cease not to be natural Actions in Man, tho he signify this Appetite by Words, and by his Reason appoint the Place, Time, and Kind of Food to be taken. Besides, Hobbes himself, sometimes, acknowledges Reason to be a Part of human Nature, and a natural Faculty,78 and all others (that I know of) constantly acknowledge the same; whence it follows, “That any further Agreement or Society, which Reason persuades to establish by Covenants, proceeds from the rational Nature of Man; and that it may therefore be justly called Natural, tho it be much firmer, and bound by more Ties, than can be met with among Brutes.” It will appear also, “That Agreement, proceeding from Reason, is therefore more properly called Natural, if we consider that practical Reason is wholly determin’d by the Nature of the best End we can propose, and of the best Means we can use”: And further, “That nothing else is effected by the whole Process of Reason, than that those Propensions to Concord with others of the same Kind, which are natural to all Animals, (but exert themselves in Brutes in a very confused and improvident manner,) are directed to their adequate Object, namely, all rational Beings; and that every Action is, under its Conduct, exerted in the best Time, Place, and other Circumstances, which can be imagin’d.” Thus that taking of Meat or Drink may justly be called most natural, which both, in general, takes its Rise from the Constitution of the Animal, and, in all particular Cases, is most perfectly directed by Reason, taking care of the Animal’s Health, without any Error in Diet. These Precepts of regulating Diet, whose Efficacy and Truth Reason observes from the Nature of Things, may also properly be called Art: For Art is a Habit directing Actions, as the Nature of the End and Means points out: Yet such a Habit may justly be called Natural to a rational Agent, as consisting of Parts or Precepts so few, and so obvious, that they may be easily learn’d from the Nature of Things, without teaching, or so much as intending it; as Brutes collect the manner of regulating themselves, with respect to their Food, from Experience only; and even Plants, without Sense, much less Art, without Error extract from the Earth agreeable Juices only, for their Nourishment. Habits, properly so call’d, are the first Principles of Arts, and indeed essential Parts of the Arts, to which they belong; so that upon this account, perhaps, they may be called Artificial; but, because they are always learn’d without Art, they are by all acknowledg’d to become known naturally; and they, who write concerning Arts, do not teach, but suppose, them. Thus the Skill of adding small Numbers, and Right Lines, together, so as to make a Sum; and a like Subtraction in little or well known Quantities, may be called a Habit, and an essential part of Arithmetick and practical Geometry; yet Teachers of Mathematicks suppose their Scholars to have acquir’d this Skill by their own natural Parts, without Instruction, and, consequently, that it is plainly natural. Euclid therefore, in those common Notions, which he calls Axioms, supposes “Equal Quantities added to, or taken from, Equals,” and that it is known, that “Their Sums, or Differences, will be equal.” The Reason of my observing which, is only to make it evident, “That some Skill of acting (adding, for instance, or subtracting) is at once an essential Part of an Art, and yet may be perfectly natural to Man, as a reasonable Creature.” Wherefore I think Hobbes has not done right, in affirming, that the Agreement among Men, which is express’d in Covenants, is Artificial, in such Sense as to be oppos’d to Natural. I do not deny, that those Words, in which Covenants are express’d, proceed from arbitrary Appointment: But that Consent of Minds, relating to mutual Offices of Benevolence, of which Words are only the Signs, is wholly Natural. But in that Consent of Minds to exchange good Of fices consists the whole Nature of a Covenant, and from thence flows all its obligatory Force. The Knowledge also, and the Will, of appointing some Signs, by which such Consent may be mutually declar’d, is so easy and obvious to Man, without Instruction, that it may justly be called Natural, tho the use of some Signs rather than others, be arbitrary, (for so I would chuse to call it, rather than artificial.) To be brief, the Agreement express’d by Covenants, (especially about the most general Acts of Benevolence, of which, only, we treat in an Inquiry in to the Laws of Nature,) ought either not to be called Artificial, or if it be so called that Term is to be taken in such Sense, as to be consistent with, not oppos’d to, what is natural, as if such Agreement were less constant or lasting, as Hobbes would have it. For the signifying a natural Agreement by Words, contriv’d by some kind of Art, does not make it less firm or durable.
It therefore remains firm, what at first I advanced, “That there are in Men, for this very reason, because they are Animals, at least such benevolent Propensions, as are to be found in other Animals, towards those of the same Species,” which, I have taken notice, do in several Cases observe the chief Heads of the Law of Nature, in proportion to their Knowledge.
And retorted.I thought it worth while, to examine separately these Answers of Hobbes’s, partly, that the Reader might see, how gross an Error he is forc’d to defend, in his Attempt to deface the Indications of the Sanction of the Laws of Nature, taken from natural Inclinations: Partly, because I have observ’d, that all these Particulars, whence Hobbes would infer, that Man is more malevolent toward his own Species, and more unsociable, than Brutes, may, with great Advantage, be retorted upon himself, as the clearest Indications, that Man is by Nature fitted for greater Benevolence toward those of his own Species, than any other kind of Animal is. For, 1. He loves Honour, which flows naturally from such Benevolence. 2. He knows more perfectly the Influence of the publick Good, towards securing his own private Happiness. 3. He has the Use of Reason, which disposes him equally, either to obey or to command, as occasion offers.4. He knows how, by proper words, to give, both an Edge and Beauty to the Force of his Reason. 5. He understands a Law, by means whereof he distinguishes an Injury, from a Damage done without Injury. 6. Lastly, to this Agreement, once made amongst Men, not Nature only imparts Constancy, but Art, the Assistant of Nature, communicates, by means of writing, many Preservatives against even less probable Accidents, and gives it a Continuance beyond the Age of Man. However, I will not insist longer upon explaining these things more particularly in this place, but leave it to the Reader’s unbyass’d Judgment, whether Hobbes’s Answers, or these Retorsions, be juster? or, whether these things, peculiar to Man, do not rather promote benevolent Inclinations, which, it is evident, are perpetually united to the Animal Nature, than extirpate or weaken them?
Lastly, Benevolence is enforced, 1. From those Particulars, which are peculiar to a human Body; such are those which assist the Fancy and Memory, and, consequently, Prudence. (This falls under the Head of the foregoing second Indication, § 18.)§XXIII. My Method requires, that I now take into Consideration some things, which are peculiar to human Bodies, in order to discover, whether these do not dispose Men, more than other Animals, to the Exercise of mutual Benevolence, and, consequently, to the forming more friendly Societies than they do? This will come more pertinently to be consider’d in this place, because even these things belong to them as Animals; and therefore they are to be consider’d, not as of any Efficacy by themselves, but as co-operating with what I have before observ’d common to them with other Animals, whence, from their united Force, we may expect an Effect of the same Kind, but greater and more certain. I, therefore, thought it proper to range these Particulars in such Order, that they may easily be referr’d to the same Heads, which we have but now perceiv’d to indicate, “That the same Formation and Structure of Parts, which inclines all Animals to preserve themselves, inclines them also to Benevolence towards others of the same Species.”
I find nothing peculiar, remarkable in a human Body, to refer to the first Indication, which is taken from the limited Quantity of its Parts; but there are many Particulars, which may be referr’d to the second, which is taken from the Powers or Effects of the Imagination and Memory, in which a human Body excells the Bodies of other Animals. To these is to be premis’d this general Observation, “That, whatever increases the Powers of the Fancy and Memory, or makes them of longer Continuance in Man, than in other Animals, that all contributes much to their learning many things, from natural and common Experience, relating to the Causes (subject to their Power) of both their own and the common Good, and therefore contributes to their greater Stock of Prudence, which will both inable and incline them to direct their Actions in pursuit, both of their own and the publick Good, which two are, from the Nature of Men, inseparably united and intervoven.” But whatsoever tends to increase this kind of Prudence, equally disposes to the Practice of all moral Virtues, that is, to the Observance of all the Laws of Nature.
This being premis’d, I will, out of Anatomical Writers, and also from my own Observations, and those of others, take notice of some things peculiar and remarkable in a human Body, which contribute to the enlarging and strengthening the Fancy and Memory in Men, which singly consider’d are of little Advantage, but if survey’d as united among them selves, and with those things which are common to Animals of all kinds, and also in Subordination to the divine Powers of the Mind, of which these parts of our Body are the proper Instruments, they seem to afford great Light to the present Argument.
The human Fancy and Memory are assisted by, 1. The Brain, which, in proportion to the Bulk of his Body, is much greater in Man, than in any other kind of Animal: 2. Greater Quantity of Blood and animal Spirits thence form’d, and their greater Purity, from the erect Posture of the Body; a greater Vigor and brisker Motion, by means of a freer Passage into the Brain, thro’ the unbranch’d Tubes of the Carotid Arteries: The longer Continuance, both of Childhood, in which great Plenty, both of Things and Words is treasur’d up, and of Manhood, in which our former, and our later, Observations are with greater Judgment rang’d under their several Heads, is of particular use to the Memory. I will enlarge a little upon each of these, to set the whole in a clearer Light.
Under this Head are consider’d, 1. The Brain, much greater in Man, than in other Animals, in proportion to the Bulk of his Body.By the Brain, I here understand all that white Substance, which is contain’d in the Membranes within the Skull, which is sometimes divided into the Brain, properly so called, and the Cerebellum, of which Bartholin writes thus. “The Bulk of the human Brain is remarkable, in proportion to the Body, as Aristotle has observ’d. And a Man has generally twice as much Brains as an Ox, to the Quantity of four or five Pounds.”79 Hence, I think, we may thus reason. The weight of a middle-siz’d human Body amounts not to more than a fourth Part of the weight of an Ox, and yet has a Brain twice as large, to govern so little a Body; it hence follows, that he has eight times the Quantity of Brain, to govern an equal Quantity of Body. I have found the Bodies of large Sheep, and of Hogs, to equal, in weight, a human Body; and that their Brain weighs, but about the eighth Part of the Brain of a Man. But what other Inference can we draw from so great a Disparity, in this matter, between these Animals, than that Man is so form’d by Nature, that the Influence of his Brain, on the Government of his Actions, may be much greater and more conspicuous? It is certain, (to omit other Uses of the Brain, common to Man with other Animals, upon account whereof no Reason can be assign’d for the excess of Weight,) that Man, by the help of this part, 1st. Observes sensible Objects more accurately, and examines, (besides other Effects of less Consequence,) how much all those things, which are in our Power, can bring of Good or Evil to Men singly or jointly consider’d. 2dly. Because all the Nerves take their Rise from the Brain, or from the spinal Marrow, which is only the Substance of the Brain continued, it is evident, that all voluntary Motions of the Body are directed and govern’d by means of the Brain. This may more clearly appear, from what Willis has observ’d of the Origin of all the Nerves, which are us’d in voluntary Motion, from the Brain properly so called. From these Observations it naturally follows, “That both the greater Quantity and Force of the Brain, which are visible in Man, are naturally of use to him, to direct the various Actions or Motions thence depending, with more circumspect Deliberation, Counsel and Care, which are the peculiar Offices of the Brain.”80 But this can no otherwise be effected, than by proposing to himself the greatest End, (which is the common Good of the Universe, but of rational Beings especially,) and, in the best manner, procuring the assistance of the best means, that is, by procuring to himself the Favour of all rational Agents, by an active Benevolence. Certainly, a more simple Apparatus of Organs, such as is found in Trees, is sufficient for the Preservation of one Individual; (for most of them flourish longer than the Age of Man;) nay, is sufficient for the Propagation of the Species, in which is contain’d somewhat of the common Good. Therefore so great a Quantity of Brain, with so many admirable Instruments thereto pertaining, (such as the Organs of all the Senses, and of voluntary Motion,) must be design’d for nobler Uses. In some Birds and Fish, the bulk and weight of the Brain is not greater, but sometimes less, than that of the Eyes, (which, with many other Anatomical Observations, was first communicated to me by my worthy Friend, that learned and successful Physician, Dr. Hollings;)81 yet even these want not Understanding enough, to live peaceably with those of their own Species. How much less can it be wanting to Men in general, (consistently with their Happiness,) who have the largest Organs for acquiring Knowledge; especially, since the greatest part of human Happiness consists in the Use of the Brain, in order to the attainment of Truth and the greatest Good? To this Head belongs what Willis has deliver’d, that, in the Dissection of the Body of one who was a Fool from his Birth, he discover’d nothing amiss in the Brain, but that it was extremely small: And in the Anatomy of a Monkey he observ’d, that the Brain differ’d but little from that in a Dog or Fox, except that, in proportion to the Bulk of its Body, it was much greater, and its winding Passages larger, whence this Animal makes nearer Approaches than the rest, to the Understanding of Man.82
2. The greater Quantity, Purity, and Vigour, of the Blood and Animal Spirits.§XXIV. Secondly; In the human Body are observable the Quantity, Purity, and Vigour, of the Blood and Animal Spirits thence form’d, greater than are to be found in Brutes, which may justly be reckon’d among the Helps of the Fancy and Memory, and, consequently, of Prudence it self. The Quantity of Blood varies, for several Reasons, in all Animals, and, consequently, in Man. Charlton, Lower,83 and other Anatomists, have observ’d, that it is rarely more than 25, or less than 15, Pounds, therefore its Weight may be estimated, at a Medium, at 20 Pounds. If, therefore, we suppose the Body of such a Man, freed from Blood, to weigh 200 lb. (which exceeds the Weight of a middle-siz’d Man,) the Blood will be to the rest of the Body, as 1 to 10, or it will be the eleventh part of the Body of a living Man. Glisson’s Computation is not much wide of this, who affirms the Blood to be the twelfth part of the whole human Body.84 But in a Sheep, Calf, and Hog, I have often found, that the Blood is, in proportion to their bloodless Body, as 1 to 20, or, at most, to 18. Hence we may infer, “That the Blood of a Man is to his Body, almost in a double Proportion to that of Beasts.” But, in Fish and Birds, the Proportion of the Mass of Blood to the Bulk of their Bodies, is still far less. Anatomists likewise agree, that Man’s Blood is warmer than that of other Animals. From the Plenty and Heat of the Blood, it is obvious to collect the Plenty and Briskness of the Spirits. I thought proper to add here this one Remark, “That I affirm nothing of the Form of the Spirits, whether it be Aerial or no,” which I perceive is oppos’d by Harvey85 and his Followers; but that by that Name I understand the most active Part of the Blood, thence convey’d into the Brain, to assist the Imagination and Memory, and also into the Nerves and Muscular Fibres, there to be subservient to the Motions of the Animal, such as Harvey himself does not deny. The manner how the Spirits, or more active Parts of the Blood, are separated from the rest, has not yet, perhaps, come to the Knowledge of those curious Inquirers into Nature, the learned in Physick. It is sufficient for my present purpose, that they are almost unanimously agreed, “That the Blood, whose more spirituous, or active, Parts have been in some measure freed from the rest by Fermentation, is convey’d to the Brain, that there the Spirits may be thorowly separated or distill’d.” This further, only, I would observe, in order to my present Argument, that it is easily intelligible. “That the greater Quantity of Brain and Blood in Man may produce greater Plenty of Spirits in him, than in other Animals,” however it is effected in either.
Further, it may not, perhaps, be wholly impertinent, to take notice of what Dr. Glisson, our learned Physic-Professor, has observ’d in rickety Children, that the Head grows greater, thro’ the wasting of the other Parts; and that, at the same time, the Understanding is inlarg’d, in proportion to the Brain, by means of the affluence of a greater Quantity of Blood.86 Nor ought it to be omitted, that the Posture of our Body, which, when we are awake, is generally erect, contributes some what to this effect. For, hence, we are not only symbolically instructed, to contemplate higher Causes, which have an equal Influence upon all Men every where, and so upon this whole sublunary World, which has been observ’d by many of the Antients;87 but, hence also, the Brain of Manis dispos’d to produce greater Plenty of brisker Spirits, whence we are naturally qualify’d the better, to execute all the extensive Duties of Reason; which are all discharg’d by a friendly Association with other rational Beings. The reason why I am of Opinion, that this Situation of the human Brain contributes somewhat to the Production of more, and more active, Spirits, is drawn from statical Principles, accommodated to the Functions and Situation of the Arteries and Veins, belonging to the human Head; the Influence of which Principles, tho they may to many seem impertinent, and foreign to our present purpose, appears to me to be extended thro’ the whole material World; and, consequently, to have no inconsiderable Effect upon human Bodies. It seems to me, that, while the whole Mass of Blood rushes into the Aorta, by the impulse receiv’d from the Contraction of the Heart, all its Parts do not receive an equal degree of Velocity from that Impulse, because of their difference of Magnitude, Vigure, Solidity, and Motions, which are in the different Parts of the Blood; (which is a Liquor consisting of very heterogeneous Parts, which have different Motions, as they are fluid, as they are warm, as they are fermented, and as they are more or less heavy, in proportion to their Bulk; but that some of them are, for these Reasons, mov’d more swiftly, which I therefore take leave to call, the brisker and lighter Parts of the Blood. Hence I think it probable, that a great Number of these Particles free themselves from the gross ones in the windings of the Arteries, and may with greater ease mount upwards by force of the Pulses perpetually renew’d, by which an unequal degree of Velocity is communicated to the different Particles of the Blood; to the Active, a greater; to the Gross, a less degree. Hence I imagine, that the Blood is somewhat brisker, which rises in the narrow ascending Trunk, than that which passes into the wider descending Trunk, thro’ which the grosser and heavier Blood is forc’d with greater ease. From the ascending Trunk, the yet purer Blood passes into the Carotidal and Vertebral Arteries, whence the Brain is supply’d with Materials for forming the Spirits. I do not think, that the Difference is great, between the arterial Blood which passes thro’ the Head, and that which passes thro’ the lower Parts of the Body; but I thought, that even the minutest Things, which seem’d deducible from clear and universal Principles, were not to be wholly pass’d over in silence, when they came pertinently in my way. I will there fore add another Observation, of a like kind, concerning the perpendicular Situation of the Veins belonging to the Brain, which favours the quicker Circulation of the Blood, descending by its own Gravity; the Branches of the Jugular and Vertebral Veins are hereby quickly emptied, and way the sooner made for a Tide of fresh Blood, from the Carotid and Vertebral Arteries, which would otherwise be retarded by the Resistance of the venal Blood. From the happy Concurrence of these two Causes, that is, from the ascent of the more spirituous Blood, in the Arteries allotted to the Brain, and from the precipitate Descent of the same Blood, (after the Spirits are separated) in the Veins, thro’ the erect Situation of a human Body, the Consequence will be a swifter Circulation of the Blood in the Head, than in other Parts of the Body, or than is in the Heads of other Animals; and, from the swifter Circulation, fresh Blood is more quickly supply’d, whence greater Plenty of Spirits is separated.
To confirm the Ascent of the more spirituous Blood, by the Arteries of the Head, I might easily bring many Arguments, and those taken from the more frequent Obstructions in the Region of the lower Belly, arising from impurer Blood; from the swelling, and sometimes bleeding, of the haemmorhoidal Veins, which Distemper (in my Opinion) peculiar to Man, seems to proceed, in part at least, from the erect Posture of his Body; but I study Brevity. The Reader, who desires more to this Purpose, may consult what Lower has writ in his learned Treatise de Corde, cap. 2. from Pag. 133 to the end of the Chapter, most of which (tho intended by him for another purpose) may, by the judicious Reader, be easily adapted to the present Argument.88 Nor is it any Objection to what I have advanced, that some long-neck’d Birds walk with their Heads upright. It may be granted, that, in them too, the lighter and more spirituous Blood, by that means ascends; yet, from hence, no great Advantage to their Understanding is to be expected, because they have very little, of either Blood or Brain, in proportion to the Bulk of their Body. Moreover, so small a Quantity of Blood, tho it were not spirituous, might ascend thro’ their Carotid Arteries, by a gentle impulse of the Heart’s Contraction, because they are so very slender, that they partake much of the Nature of Capillary Glass Tubes, in which common Water, especially if heated, ascends, as it were spontaneously, to the height of several Inches.
I should now take notice of the swifter Motion of the Blood into the human Brain, proceeding from this, that the Carotid Artery is not divided in Man, as in most Brutes, into a great many Branchings and Windings like Net-work, which check the Motion of the Blood in them; whereas, in Man, it flows in one large and open Channel, till it enters the Brain; whence all its Parts, and, consequently, the Spirits themselves, must necessarily be mov’d with greater Force, its whole Circulation be sooner perform’d, and room sooner made for the Admission of fresh Blood. All which contribute much, to the greater briskness and plenty of the Spirits. But Willis, and Lower, have treated this Matter so fully, and accurately, that they have left no room for our Industry, and ought themselves to be consulted, as Originals.89 It is sufficient for me, to have apply’d these Observations, borrow’d from them, to my present Argument. This, however, I think proper to add, “That, tho in the human Head there are so many Helps to the Imagination and Memory, which are of great Service to the Mind, these are no way sufficient, to resolve the above mention’d Operations into the mechanical Powers of Matter and Motion.” On the contrary, I think Malpighius’s Observation very just, “That, the better we understand the nature and functions of the Brain, the more we shall despair of the Possibility of explaining the Operations of the Mind by its Motions.” See Malpigh. de Cerebri cortice, cap. 4.90
3. Longer Life.§XXV. I now proceed to the last help, to the Memory, and, consequently, to Prudence; this Advantage Mankind usually enjoy beyond other Animals, which proceeds from our ordinary length of Life. The Power of our Memory is certainly wonderful, which comprehends some Thousands of Words, above a Million of Sentences or Propositions thence form’d, and an almost infinite Variety of Things and Actions, observ’d with in the Compass of our Life. Which, however short it is, if compar’d with that Eternity we hope for, or with the long Lives of the Antediluvian Patriarchs, which we learn from sacred History, is yet much longer, than that of most other Animals we know. They sooner come to Maturity, and generally decay sooner, so as not to reach sixty or seventy Years, the usual Limits of the Life of Man. It is also providently contriv’d by Nature, “That the Memory of Children should be retentive, by means whereof, before we become fit for transacting Business, we retain much concerning God and Men, the Causes of the common Good, and of that Happiness we hope for”; and thence learn, “How necessary it is, both to pursue this greatest End, and to exercise a most extensive Benevolence towards them as the only Means to obtain that End.” Yet Hobbes, in this Article as well as in others, prefers Brutes to Men; and in his Leviathan, chap. 3. where he treats of Prudence, he asserts thus. “There be Beasts, that at a Year old, observe more, and pursue that which is for their Good more prudently, than a Child can do at ten.”91 I, who have often, with wonder, observ’d, the Contrivance of Children in their Plays, the Pertinence of their Answers to Questions, and their remarkable Happiness of Memory in learning Languages, have never met with any thing in Brutes comparable thereto: I therefore leave it to the Reader’s Judgment, whether this be not affirm’d by Hobbes, with more Ill-nature than Truth and Ingenuity. He frequently acknowledges, “That many Years Experience, especially after we come to Years of Discretion, naturally produces Prudence”;92 yet he sees not “The advantage, which Men, in this particular, have over Brutes, whose Life is shorter, whose Understanding improves but very little by time, and who cannot so easily communicate to others, what they have learn’d by Experience, especially at a considerable distance of Time or Place, as Men can, and usually do, to their great increase of Prudence and mutual Happiness.”
Secondly, There are some things which,(1.) enable him better to rule his Affections, (This and the following § may be referred to the third Indication, § 19.)§XXVI. Having dispatch’d what relates to the human Imagination and Memory, let us now consider those Properties of a human Body, which seem more nearly to respect the Government, and Determination of the Affections to pursue, rather the Good, than Hurt of others. At present I suppose, and lay down as a foundation, what I have observed in the third Indication, taken from the common nature of Animals, “That those Affections, which are employ’d in pursuit of Good, do naturally more befriend and delight all Animals, in which they reside, and that they therefore incline to these Affections, as more conducing to the Preservation of their own Life, with the same necessity, that all Principles of Action, essential to them, are determined to preserve, rather than destroy, Life and Health.” This being suppos’d, there are two peculiar properties of a human body, which ought to incline them, with a diligence greater than that of other Animals, to govern their Affections; of which the first enables them, better than other Animals, to effect it; the second renders it more necessary to the Health, and, consequently, to the Life, of Man, that he should govern his Affections, than it is to other Animals. If, in either Article, any thing seems not sufficiently proved to the Reader, let him remember, that what I add here is more than is necessary to my Argument, which is otherwise sufficiently prov’d; and that it may be of some use, here to recount these things peculiar to Man, that others, at least, may more happily explain their uses. I make no question, but that they serve other purposes also: yet I think it probable, that they are not ineffectual to those noble ends, which I have hinted. And they are these,(1.) A Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man;93 (2.) The connexion of the Pericardium with the Diaphragm, and a like communication between the Nervus Diaphragmaticus and the Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man, which is chiefly subservient to the Praecordia. With respect to these, I think proper, only briefly to sum up the observations of Anatomists, and to accommodate to my present purpose, what they have advanced in general, concerning the Affections hence depending. It is evident, “That the strongest Passions of Men are employ’d about those things, which are the Objects of Laws, whether natural or civil”; for the business of these, is to settle and preserve Property, both in Things and in human Services, than which nothing moves Men more strongly; therefore it is not to be doubted, but “That all those things in a human body, which naturally serve to excite or allay the Passions, have a considerable share in settling and defending a distinction of Property, in which the whole matter of the Laws of Nature consists.”
as a Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man.I will begin with transcribing, from Willis, a few things concerning the Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man. The Reader, if he has the Author by him, may consult himself, and receive it with greater pleasure at first hand, where he may find what is here describ’d, represented to his view in the ninth Plate.94 “The Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man, is about the middle of the Neck, in the Trunk of the intercostal Nerve, which, beside the Fibres sent off into the Blood-vessels and Gullet, and those small Branches, which it sends into the Trunks of the Nervus Diaphragmaticus, and of thePar Vagum, and into the recurrent Nerve, detaches, beside, on each hand, two Branches toward the Heart, which are joined by another rising somewhat lower, and these, at length, meeting more from the other side, form the Plexus Cardiacus; thence proceed both those remarkable Branches of Nerves spreading over the Region of the Heart, and those nervous Loops, which gird the pneumonick Artery and Vein,” (the principal conveyance of the blood, whence the spirits, which contain the first seeds of the Passions, break forth) “and the same intercostal Nerve afterwards winds about the subclavian Arteries, before the rise of the vertebral Arteries, which convey the Blood to the Head. The intercostal Nerve, by these Branches, supplies the Place of an extraordinary Courier, communicating, to and fro, the mutual Sensations of the Heart and Brain. By means of this Communication, the Conceptions of the Brain affect the Heart, and move the Vessels thereof along with the Diaphragm, whence the motion of the Blood, and the Respiration, receive various Alterations, and the State of the Spirits, which are thence to be form’d, is somewhat chang’d.” He farther adds, “That the Thoughts, relating to Acts of the Will or Understanding,” (in which the Powers of Prudence, and the Virtues, are conspicuous,) “may be duly form’d, it is necessary, that the torrent of Blood in the Breast be kept within bounds, and the inordinate motions of the Heart be restrained, by the Nerves, as by Reins, and be reduc’d to regularity.” He observ’d also, “in the Dissection of one who was a Fool from his Birth, that the foresaid Plexus Nervosus was very slender, and attended with an unusually small Train.” And, moreover, he observed “in a Monkey” (which Animal makes the nearest Approaches to human Sagacity and Passions) “some Branches sent off to the Heart and its Appendix, from the intercostal Nerve, before its insertion into the Plexus Thoracicus,” (as he calls it,) “which is different from what it is in other Animals.”95 I will transcribe no more from him upon this head. It is sufficient to have shewn, “That Man is naturally furnish’d with these Instruments, (beside the Powers of his Mind, and, perhaps, yet other undiscover’d Properties of the Brain,) for the Government of his Affections,” which would not be foreign toour present Purpose, tho something of the same kind were to be found in Brutes, conducing to their living peaceably among themselves. But, since these things are peculiar to Man, it cannot but suggest to his Mind, “That it is its Province, diligently to attend the Helm committed to its care, and to steer skilfully.”
(2.) Make Man’s Government of his Passions of greater Importance to him, as the connexion of the Pericardium with the Diaphragm, and other Causes, which render his risques greater than those of other Animals, in violent Passions.§XXVII. We are, in the second place, to consider the connexion between the Pericardium and Diaphragm, (which is not at all to be found in other Animals,) to which I thought proper to add the Communication between the foresaid Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man, and the Nervus Diaphragmaticus; because, as Willis has observed in the same Place, two, and sometimes three, Nerves are inserted, from this Plexus, into the Nervus Diaphragmaticus: Nor is it to be omitted, that, from the same intercostal Nerve, in which the aforesaid Plexus is found, innumerable Branches are spread thro’ all Parts of the lower Belly, so that the Heart, in some measure, communicates with them all.
I should be too prolix, if I endeavoured to enlarge upon all these particulars, and it would be rashness, to offer to determine the use of each of these Nerves, which to me seems not yet sufficiently discover’d. It is sufficient for my present Argument, to make a few Observations concerning their general use, in which Anatomists are agreed, which is, (1.) That they serve to begin, or stop, motion; (2.) That they convey to the Brain Sensations of Pain or Pleasure, from the Parts in which they are inserted; (3.) That those Nerves, with which they are complicated, sympathize with them. These Particulars being suppos’d, I assume what is evident from innumerable Experiments, “That our Heart and Diaphragm, and all the Bowels of the lower Belly, the Stomach, for instance, the Liver, Spleen, Spermatick Vessels, &c. are variously affected in all violent Passions about Good or Evil, whether our own or another’s; especially, when our own Concerns are found involv’d, from the nature of Things, with those of others, which, because of the known likeness of the Condition of all Men, is always easy to observe.” It is evident, “That the Nerves inserted in these Bowels, are the Instruments of these Motions, perhaps, not without the Concurrence of the arterial Blood.” Hence I infer, “That the Heart of Man is, in such Passions, more affected than that of other Animals”; because it communicates or sympathizes with the other Bowels, by that connexion, peculiar to Man, of the Nerves and Pericardium, which I have mentioned; and because both his Heart and other Bowels, in every kind of Passion, are mov’d by the Influenceof a more powerful Brain, and the Impulse of more active Spirits. And, because the Heart, and the Blood circulated by means thereof, is the Fountain of Life and Health, and, in consequence, of all the Pleasure we enjoy; those Passions, which assist, or retard, its Motion more powerfully in Men than Brutes, must necessarily affect us more than they do them, whose Hearts do not so many ways communicate with their Bowels: Beside, their Brains are more sluggish; and their Spirits, whether in the Blood or Nerves, are fewer and less active. How much it conduces to our present Argument, that, from the very Structure of our Body, we are continually admonish’d of the necessity of governing our Affections with a strict hand, they will easily understand, who consider, “That all the Virtues, and the whole Observance we owe to the Law of Nature, are contain’d in the Government of those Passions, which are employ’d in settling or securing every Man’s Property.”
But, because I have observ’d, from Anatomists, beside those general Phaenomena, concerning which I have treated, two particular ones, peculiar to Man, accurately explain’d from this Connexion between the Heart and other Bowels, which are Laughing and Sighing, I presently imagin’d, that these are Symptoms of our two principal Passions, that of a profuse Joy, this of Grief; and that all the rest of our Affections are like these; so that we may hope, from a Parity of Reason, that, in time, their Symptoms too may in like manner be explain’d. I therefore resolv’d briefly to explain, and to apply to my present purpose, these, as Specimens of what I have before asserted, only in general Terms.
First, therefore, I observe from Willis, in the Chapter before quoted, that, from the above-mention’d Communication, between the Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man, and the Nervus Diaphragmaticus, the true Cause appears, why Risibility is a Property of human Nature; which is, because the Diaphragm, as well as the Heart, is affected with the pleasing Motion of the Imagination, and is drawn upward by the Intercourse of the Nerves proceeding from this Plexus, and is excited to repeated Heavings as it were; whence, because the Pericardium is joined to it, the Heart itself and the Lungs are likewise mov’d; then, because the same Intercostal Nerve is continued upward with the Nerves of the Jaws, when once the Laugh is begun in the Breast, the Posture of the Mouth and Countenance pathetically corresponds thereto. Willis has more upon this Head. What Lower delivers upon this Subject, differs somewhat from this, but yet may be reconcil’d with it: The Place is worth the Reader’s Inspection.96 I observe, to my present purpose, “That Laughter gives a most agreeable Relish to human Life, and, especially, to friendly Society, but is of little or no use in Solitude, or in such Affections, as are conversant about any great Evil, as in Anger, Envy, Hatred, Fear; and is, therefore, to be reckon’d amongst those things, which frequently make human Conversation more agreeable, but seldom the contrary.” Because this Motion, repeated at proper Intervals, is wonderfully agreeable, and strongly throws off all Uneasiness of Grief, we may conclude, “That human Nature, (on this very account, that it is fitly fram’d to procure its own Preservation,) is inclinable to this sweetner of Society, which is peculiar to Man; and that therefore, in this respect also, there is a natural Connexion between our Care of our-selves, and a Desire to please others.”
The Sigh, tho’ it be not peculiar to Man, is yet more frequently observ’d in him; nor is it, that I know of, in other Animals reckon’damong the Signs of Grief or Melancholy; however, it is more prejudicial to the Heart in Man, than in other Animals, because of the Connexion between his Pericardium and Diaphragm, by whose Motion it is produc’d; for the Motion of the Heart, so necessary to the Life of Man, is disturb’d by that extraordinary Motion of the annex’d Diaphragm. The Inconvenience of Sighing, when seldom, is but small; but, if frequent and of long Continuance, it wonderfully tires the Heart, and disqualifies it for its Functions. This Evil is near a-kin to that Distemper, which is call’d the Hiccough, which, (as Lower has rightly observ’d,)97 tho’ it generally takes its Rise from the Stomach, to which it is prejudicial, is properly an Affection of the Diaphragm; and which, tho’ it hurt but little, when its Stay is short, yet, when it is of long Continuance, and is attended with other Symptoms, (which Physicians are acquainted with from the Aphorisms of Hippocrates,)98 is often a Harbinger, and partly a Cause, of Death.
Whilst I was considering a Sigh, as an Effect of Grief, a probable Conjecture (as it seems to me) came into my Mind, concerning the Cause of Tears, which is one of the Effects of Grief, and almost proper to Man alone. I am of Opinion, “That in Grief the Motion of the Blood, in the Extremities of the Veins and Arteries in the Head, is somewhat obstructed, so that it cannot so freely circulate as before,” (nor are we without other Proofs of this Obstruction in this Passion,) “in which case the Lachrymal Glands” (for whose Explication we are indebted to Steno)99 “can make a more plentiful Secretion of the Serum from the Blood, and empty it, by their Passages, into the Eyes.” I took the first Hint of this Conjecture, from that noble Experiment of Lower, in which, after he had tied the Jugular Veins in a live Dog, all the Parts above the Ligature swell’d prodigiously, Tears flow’d plentifully, and Spittle as copiously, as if in a Salivation. Read the Experiment, useful upon many Accounts, in its Author, in the Chapter above quoted, and I believe, my Conjecture will not seem improbable: But, perhaps, Man alone weeps, either because his Blood is more obstructed in Grief, in proportion to the Size of his Brain, and the Quickness of his Apprehension; or because his Blood, being more copious and warm, and of swifter Circulation in the Head, cannot suffer such Obstructions, without the Secretion of a salt Humour from the Glands, which breaks forth in Tears. However, if in Grief there were no such Obstructions in the Brain as we suppose, yet, if in that Passion the Blood either became too thick to find aneasy Passage thro’ its usual Windings; or if, on the contrary, it were more rarify’d, or its Velocity ever so little increas’d from the Heart toward the Head, because it does not find a proportionably freer Passage, thro’ its winding Canals, into the Veins, the Arteries must of Necessity swell, and there will be the same reason of the watery Parts breaking forth in Tears, as if such Obstructions, as I suppos’d, had oppos’d its Course, which might easily be prov’d from hydrostatical Principles. However this happens, the breaking forth of Tears, in these Obstructions, is an Indication, “That the Health of Man is more endanger’d from giving way to Grief, than that of other Animals”; for the Lachrymal Glands will scarce suffice for evacuating the whole Serum, after it has made an Eruption in some other Part of the Head, tho some Ease may arise from this Partial Evacuation. The clouding the Fancy, and the Symptoms of various Diseases, which usually follow, according to the various Circumstances, and Temper of Body, of the Persons grieving, especially in those of a melancholy Disposition, make it evident, that all the ill Consequences of Grief are not carry’d off by Tears, which are seldom shed by Men come to Years. Yet it is remarkable, that a Stag, whose Blood, especially when heated and accelerated by the Chace, approaches near to the State of human Blood, when he cannot make head against the Fury of the Dogs bearing in upon him, and sees Death approaching, bursts forth into Tears.
But, to cut these Speculations short, I will conclude with this Remark, that it is evident, by the manifold Experience of all, “That human Passions, if not restrain’d by Reason, give Birth and Increase to several Distempers, especially Hypochondriacal, to which Man is subject, more than other Animals; but that the same Passions, under the Conduct of Reason, make Men hale, brisk, lively, and fit for all Duties.” And, therefore, as we would lead our Lives pleasantly, we must endeavour to govern our Passions, whether their Causes be now at length discover’d to us, or whether they remain yet unknown, in whole or in part.
From this Effect, which we certainly know sufficiently, arises a Necessity of finding out some Rules of Reason, by which they may be confin’d within certain Bounds; but those Rules are the same with those, which command us to employ our Affections, only about the Means conducing to the best and greatest End, or the common Good. But the Means to this End, in the Power of Man, are only those free Actions, by which is either made or preserv’d such a Division of Things and human Services, as most conduces to the Happiness of all. And these Rules are the very Laws of Nature, as I shall afterwards shew; and such Actions are Acts of universal Justice, or of Virtue conformable to such Laws. Wherefore, from the Premises, I may conclude, “That all those Properties of a human Body, which effect, either that he is better able to govern his Passions, or that to do so is more necessary to him than to Brutes, do very much conduce, both to his Knowledge of the Laws of Nature, and to his inclining, in some measure, to the doing those things, which they enjoin.”
Thirdly, Mankind are more particularly influenc’d to Benevolence, by their more uninterrupted Inclinations to beget, and, consequently, to rear, their Offspring, than are to be found in other Animals. (This is to be referr’d to the Head of the fourth Indication, § 20.)§XXVIII. What remains will be soon finish’d. With respect to the fourth Indication, common to all Animals, taken from their Propension to propagate their Species, a human Body has this only (that I have observ’d) peculiar to it, which is, “That its venereal Inclinations are not limited to certain Seasons of the Year, as in most other Animals, but are, in some sort, perpetual.” Hence it is, that most Men find it necessary to marry, and hence proceeds a strong Desire of propagating their Species; whence are inseparable, Appetites, and also Covenants, relating to the Maintenance and Government of their Families. And because the Uninterruptedness of this Propension, and its Consequences, proceed from the greater Activity of the human Blood, and the greater Force of the spermatick Vessels, they must necessarily be proportionably greater in Men than Brutes; his Care therefore must be greater, to support and govern his Family; and this necessarily supposes the Knowledge of the Laws of Nature, and some Inclination to observe them. For no Provision can be made for a Family, without settling and preserving some Division of Things and of mutual Services, for that purpose. But when this is once understood and approv’d of in the Care of one Family, the Parity of Reason is so evident, in those things which are equally necessary to the Happiness of other Families, that it cannot be, but that the Necessity of such a Division, must in like manner be understood, nor can any sufficient Reason be assign’d, “Why it should not in like manner be approv’d of by, and so extend it self to, all Mankind.” But in the Knowledge and Approbation of such a Division, necessary for the Good of all, is contain’d the Knowledge and Approbation of the Law of Nature. Meanwhile, the manner, how the seminal and active Particles of the Blood excite the Idea and Appetite of Procreation, is to be explain’d by natural Philosophers upon some physical Hypothesis; for since these Particles, thro’ their minuteness, fall not under the Observation of our Senses, their particular Effects and Motions cannot be methodically explain’d from Observation and Natural History. From the beginning I determin’d to abstain from such Hypotheses; let every one take that, which is most consistent with his own Observations and Reason. It is sufficient for my Purpose to have shewn, “That natural Affection, or the Appetite of preserving and educating Offspring brought into the World, is only a continued Appetite of begetting it, or causing it to exist, which includes an Opposition to those Causes, which hinder its Existence.” But of this enough already. However, this I think proper hereto add, “That, because the Offspring of Man continues longer weak, and in need of the help of its Parents, it is certain, that, thro’ length of Time, and frequent repeated Acts of their Love, that Affection grows stronger in Parents; so that the longer they have bestow’d Pains upon their Education, they with less Patience bear any Evil, but especially Death, happening to them; and so the very Difficulty of forming Men, in order to the common Good, because it is overcome by Hope founded in their Nature, causes Parents to set about it with a greater Earnestness and Industry, and daily to give much greater Proofs of their natural Affection, than what are any where to be met with in other Animals.”
All the Indications, deduc’d from this Head, are the more carefully to be observ’d, because into it finally is to be resolv’d, both the reciprocal Love of Children toward their Parents, and the Benevolence of Relations toward one another, which will, at length, extend it self to a Love of all Mankind; when once we come to know, from the most authentick Histories, (the only means antient Facts can be known by,) “That all Men are descended from the same common Parents.”
Fourthly, From the Consideration of the whole Frame of a human Body, by which is is fitted for Society; (This is to be referr’d to the fifth Indication, § 20.)§XXIX.100 To the last Indication, taken from the entire Frame of Animals and their united Actions, is to be referr’d the Consideration, “That the Bodies of Men are generally more fitted, for discharging the Offices of friendly Society; and, that the manifest Effects of a stricter Union among Men than Brutes, is visible in civil Government, which has always taken place, over the whole habitable World, at least under Heads of Families.” Yet I confess, “That this is not to be ascrib’d wholly to the Frame of their Bodies, as in Brutes, but in much greater measure to the governing Mind, which in Man sits as it were at the Helm.” In this place we are not so much to consider the Privileges of some particular Parts, as the apt Dis-position of them all, with respect to one another, by which they are better enabled to mutual Assistance, of which Disposition it is more easy to perceive the Effects, than to explain wherein it consists. It is, however, to be observ’d, “That almost all these Parts are somewhat more powerful, by their being influenc’d by a larger Brain, by a greater quantity of Blood and Spirits, and a Heart more under command, by means of Nerves peculiar to it-self.” Yet I thought it proper, to take notice of something remarkable in two Parts of a Man’s Body, (by which he is better fitted for friendly Society,) the Countenance and the Hand.
Especially of the Countenance,Of the Countenance, Cicero has long since observ’d, “That it is to be found in no other Animal; their Faces not making near so many Discoveries of their Thoughts and Affections.”101 These Discoveries are of singular use, in beginning and keeping up an Intercourse among Men, but in Solitude are of no use at all. These Signs, what they are, we all perceive, but can hardly distinctly express; yet these are very conspicuous, the Blush in Shame, Paleness in Fear and Anger. These two owe their being visible in Man, to the Transparency of the Scarf-skin of his Face, so that the greater or less Quantity of Blood, which lies under it, and its various Motions, are easily perceiv’d. From the same cuticular Transparency, peculiar to Man, proceeds great part of that extraordinary Beauty, which is conspicuous in the human Countenance, which is of great Efficacy in procuring Good-will among Men, and was, therefore, not to be pass’d over in silence. For hence we see, not only that agreeable Mixture of the bright Colour of the Blood with that of the Skin, but its various Motions, according to the Variety of the Passions: a very agreeable Spectacle! To these may be added Laughter and Weeping, (whose Causes peculiar to Man I have already hinted,) Symptoms of Passions, of great use to give a Relish to Society, and to banish Savageness of Temper. All other Diversities of Countenance, (which can hardly be enumerated,) according to the Diversity of Passions, arise, either from the various Motions of our Blood, which may, in some measure, be perceiv’d by the change of Colour in the outer Skin of the Face, or from the Motions of the Muscles belonging to the Eyes and the rest of the Face, which are excited by the Nerves of the fifth or sixth Pair, which owe their Original to the Intercostal Nerve, and so communicate more immediately than others, with the Plexus Nervosus peculiar to Man. Hence it is, that in the Nature of Man alone is founded that common Observation, “The Countenance is the Image, the Eyes the Index, of the Mind.”102 Moreover, that remarkable Diversity of Face, by means whereof, among so many Millions, scarce two can be found alike, is of vast use in forming and preserving Societies; for hence all may be easily distinguish’d from one another, so that every one may discern, with whom it is that he hath made any Covenant, or transacted any Affair, and Men may give certain Testimony, concerning those things, which any one has done, said, or attempted; which would be impossible, were there not something in the Faces of Men, by which they might be distinguish’d from one another.
and the Hand.The Make of the human Hand, consider’d with its Arm, is very particular;103 and its various Powers, with respect to Agriculture, Planting, Architecture, whether in building Houses, Fortifications, or Ships, and all other kinds of mechanical Contrivances, would be almost useless, unless Men mutually assisted one another, and enter’d into friendly Society. I had not any Opportunity of dissecting an Ape, or Monkey, to compare, in every particular, their Fore-feet, which resemble our Hands, with the dissected Hand, Arm, and Shoulder of a Man. But, without dissecting them, it is evident, both that no Effects of so great Dexterity are produc’d by those Animals, as appear in the Works of Man above-mention’d; and that the Muscles, both in the Extremity of the human Hand, Arm, and Shoulder, are stronger, in proportion to the Bulk of their Body, and the Joints much more pliable every way. It is also evident, that, in Man, the Bone of the Arm, properly so called, which reaches from the Shoulder to the Elbow, is very long, so as to exceed in length the Bones of the Cubit, which terminate in the Wrist, and that the said Bone of the Arm is so conveniently inserted into the Scapula, (which is plac’d upon the Back, and not so forward, as in Brutes,) and govern’d by its Muscles, that the Hands may by that means be extended more widely from one another, and even so turn’d backward, as to be able to grasp a great Bulk, or lift a great Weight.104 By this very particular, and truly mechanical, contrivance of Nature, it is, that a Man’s Hand is not only fitted for many more Motions and Operations, but that it has much more Strength, both in sustaining and carrying Weights, and in communicating Motion to other Bodies. For, when the Hand is to sustain and carry a great Weight, the Hand, with the Weight it holds, is so let down along the side, by the Motion of the Joints of the Arm, as to be at the least distance possible from the Line of Direction;105 whence it is, that the Weight is poiz’d, with the smallest Force, upon the Center of Gravity of the whole Aggregate, compounded of our Body and the Weight to be sustain’d. And this they perform spontaneously, who are perfectly ignorant of the Doctrine of the Center of Gravity, being taught by Experience only; which were not possible, except the Hand were so conveniently fitted to the Shoulder, and to the upright situation of the Body. On the contrary, when our Hand is to communicate Motion to a lighter Body, (to a Stone, for instance, to be thrown, a Hammer, or any other Instrument;) it is from this convenient Frame of our Hand, that we learn to raise it; whence, because it is farther distant from the Center of its Motion, it moves more swiftly, and exerts a greater Force. As in a longer Sling, because of the greater distance from the Center of its Motion, a greater Force (caeteris paribus) is communicated to the Stone to be slung. The Center of Motion, whence the distance of the Hand, and, consequently, the increase of Force, is to be computed, is not always in the Articulation of the Bone of the Arm in to the Scapula, (whence, however, the Stroke of a Man would receive an additional Force, greater than what is to be met with in other Animals,) but in many Cases, as when the whole Body, and, consequently, the Shoulder it self, is, in striking, mov’d along with the Arm, the Center of Motion is in the Foot on which we stand, and the distance is to be computed from the Foot to the elevated Hand, if we would understand the degree of Acceleration, and the Force thence arising. Thus a new and further Strength is added to that of our Hands, as peculiar to Man, as his erectness of Stature. And it is further to be observ’d, that the elastick Force of the many Muscles, spread almost thro’ our whole Body, do both conspire to begin such Motions, and concur with the foresaid distance from the Center of Motion, to accelerate them, when once begun. These Instruments of greater Power may, indeed, be made use of for Slaughter, and other mischievous Purposes, against other Men: Yet I think it evident, “That all those things, which inlarge the Power of all Men in general, provided a due Equality or Balance be preserv’d, are Arguments to persuade each to use his Power, rather to assist, than to hurt others, and, consequently, to recommend that mutual Benevolence, which I endeavour to establish”; this is prov’d, Step by Step, in the following Propositions.
Notwithstanding these Advantages peculiar to Men, their Powers, how great soever, being nearly equal, afford much stronger Arguments to Benevolence than Malevolence.§XXX.106 1. A Power of hurting others, balanc’d by an equal Power in them to hurt, (in Defence or Revenge,) does not afford a proper Motive to any one, who with Caution provides for his own Security, to endeavour to hurt others. For it is manifest, because the Forces of the Powers are suppos’d equal on each side, that, so far, no Reason is assign’d, why the Scale should incline one way, rather than the other. On the contrary, because, if they fight, it is certain, that both the contending Parties may be kill’d or maim’d, and it is also certain, that neither of them can gain as much by the Victory, as he who is kill’d in fight loses, nor as much as he hazards, who commits his Life to the Chance of War; it is both their Interest, “Not to engage.” The hazarding my Life deprives me of more Good, than can accrue to me from this, that my Enemies Life is in equal Danger; nor is his Security therefore the greater, because my Life is insecure; but hence both lose something which neither gains. Nay, if we, for a while, lay aside the Consideration of Life and Health, and regard only our outward Possessions, it is certain, “That the Conquerors do not get all the Conquer’d lose, and that they acquire greater Advantages, who cultivate Peace, by which they may enjoy their own.”
2. A Power of helping others, balanc’d by an equal Power in them of helping, suggests to every one a proper Motive, to desire to help others, especially, when it is certain, such Assistance may be given without Damage to our selves. For a possible Compensation partakes of the Nature of Good, and is, therefore, a sufficient Motive to influence the Will of Man, especially, when, for the most part, we lose nothing by our Beneficence, (the Compensation whereof is at least possible,) which can deserve to be brought into the Account. From comparing this with the former Proposition, it is evident, “That the Consequences (tho they should be suppos’d equally contingent) of Power, determin’d to act benevolently, have a greater Force to influence the Mind, foreseeing these Consequences, to Benevolence, than the Consequences of Power, determin’d to act malevolently, have to influence the Mind that way”; which is sufficient for my present purpose. For the Mind is chiefly influenc’d by the foreseen Consequences of its own Actions. In the former case, we foresee it possible, “That we may bring Evil upon others”; and we see it equally possible, “That we may suffer Evil from them”: on each side there is an equal Evil, but nothing which may allure the Will, which always inclines to the greater Good: In the latter case, we foresee Good, which we are capable, both of doing and receiving, but no damage to draw back the Scale leaning this way; it is not, in this case, so much as possible, that both should lose any thing by Actions of this kind, and here more accrues to the one, than is taken from the other. I can benefit others by Innocence, by Humanity, by performing Covenants in support of the common Good; yet, if I duly consider every thing, I lose nothing thereby; nay, by thus acting, I gain inward Strength and Pleasure, and the Hope of a plentiful Return; which yet, how small soever, can scarce be so small, as what by such Actions I deprive my self of, to bestow upon the Publick. For, if I am consider’d, not only as every one is, alone, but also without the Benevolence, Peace, and Assistance, of others, I have so very little, that I am not sufficient to supply my own Wants, but am, on all sides, so surrounded with extreme Necessity, that I can hardly make my Condition worse by serving others, which will be plainly understood by him, who considers the State of Man in a War of all against all, on all sides unjust. There is no occasion to assert with Hobbes, “That such a War is just and necessary, by means of the right Reason of every particular Person, judging all things to be necessary to himself, before the Establishment of civil Society”; since we may grant to him, that it may be very useful to consider, “How great Evils may proceed from universal Injustice, and the mistaken Judgments of any Number of Men, arrogating each everything to himself.” But this is widely distant from Hobbes’s Error, who has taught, “That the right Reason of all, living out of civil Society, necessarily leads all into these Evils, so as to leave to Reason no Power of doing Good, beside what proceeds from the Authority of civil Government.” I, on the contrary, affirm, “That it is impossible, that right Reason should teach us to arrogate all things to our selves only; nay, that it commands us, to agree benevolently to make and preserve a Division, by which every one acquires some Property; and that, as for many other reasons, so also, because it easily foresees Floods of Evils, that threaten all, and, consequently, every Individual, upon this one Supposition, that each regarded himself only, and with a Desire insatiable arrogated all things to himself.” The two precedent Propositions prove my Point, if the Power of each be consider’d, as balanc’d by the Power of one other Person only. But the Matter will become yet more evident, if we consider,
3. That the Power, in any single Person, of hurting others, is far exceeded by the Power of many, or of all, by which they defend themselves, or revenge an Injury: And, 4. That the Power of any one, by which he may benefit others, is far exceeded by the Power of Requital, which is in many, or in all. For these Considerations will most strongly persuade us, to determine our Powers, how great soever, rather to benefit, than to hurt others. Nor can it be imagin’d, “That the Powers of all will be always so divided, that one will in this War fight only with one”; and by what Accident soever it happens, that an unequal Number of a side engage in the Combat, two against one, for Instance, this will carry on the War to the more certain destruction of that Person; and, if at first an equal Number engage of a Side, they may be reduc’d to an Inequality by the Death of one. But thus much seems abundantly sufficient to prove, “That the very Powers of Men, whilst they are suppos’d nearly equal, rather suggest Arguments for mutual Benevolence, than for attempting mutual Destruction.” It has been already prov’d, “That the other Particulars, which I have shewn to be peculiar to human Nature, enforce the same more strongly.”
(Hobbes falsly asserts, that Men generally refuse equal Conditions of Society, and he argues from accidental and partial Causes, instead of necessary and universal ones.)§XXXI.107 Here, Reader, I desire it may be observ’d, “That Hobbes has no where offer’d any thing, in this manner natural and essential to the Mind or Body of Man, which can suggest to any one a necessary Argument, or can otherwise necessarily determine Men, that each should claim all things to himself alone”; but that he sometimes imputes it to the Passions, which I have already disprov’d; sometimes, that he says only in general, That “They will not bear equal Conditions of Society, tho they desire Society it self. ”108 I answer, “That, altho there are some Men, who sometimes will not accept of necessary and equal Conditions of Society, yet, neither the Nature of all Things, nor of themselves, teaches or determines them to refuse those Conditions. The Manners, which a few sometimes fall rashly into, and from which the Conduct of most others, and often of themselves too, differs, are not to be imputed to the Nature of Man, nor of the Universe; but as those Manners themselves are Contingent, so they have a contingent Cause, which is the rash Determination of their Free-will. He, who would affirm any thing to be Natural, ought to consider the constant, necessary, and essential Powers and Tendencies of all things, especially, of Man, by which his Life, and ordinary Happiness are preserv’d; rather than those accidental Irregularities, by which they are weaken’d: For it is certain, “That, while we live and are in health, the Causes of Life and Health are stronger, than those which, by their Irregularity, disturb us; and that, therefore, an Estimate is to be made of our Nature from those, not these.” The reason is the same, in pronouncing concerning all Mankind, or all Ages of all Men, which succeed one another, like the Parts of a River. As to the Manners of Men, it is generally, tho contingently, true, “That they will accept equal Conditions of Society,” which is evident from Experience, because we see, “That such Societies have been long ago voluntarily form’d every where by them, and that they are preserv’d oftener and longer, than they are dissolv’d”; but to be willing to maintain civil Society, or to preserve Peace with another State, is only a constant and continued Will to establish it. Nay it is sometimes more difficult to continue, than at first to form, a Society; yet that Difficulty is overcome by almost all, thro’ the Powers of their Reason and Nature.
The Advantages of Society, and convenient Subordination, and consequently of Government, may be shown from the natural Union of the Mind with, and Dominion over, the Body.Lastly, the Nature of Man does not comprehend only his Mind and Body, which are his essential Parts, but also the Union of these two to one another. And, therefore, I thought it proper to observe, “That Men may hence also be led to the Knowledge and Desire of a Good common to many, nay, and of Society and Government, and that these are agreeable and grateful to the Will of the first Cause.” For we perceive in our selves, that our Body is naturally, and, consequently, at the divine Appointment, not only united to our Minds, but also, that, in most acts of the Memory, Affections, and Motions, especially Muscular, it is subject to their Government. And hence, as by an Idea or Plan of Polity, inseparably united to the Mind, we are continually admonish’d, “How many different things, because of the mutual Assistance which they afford, are necessarily to be consider’d as one Aggregate, whilst we are in pursuit of the Causes of a happy Life; how necessary it is, that, among our Parts, some should be determin’d by others: Of how great Advantage the mutual Order of Parts is, and how necessary the orderly Concurrence of many Causes is to almost all Effects grateful to our Nature: Of how great use the mutual Offices of Parts are, and how pernicious the Separation of some from others, is, which threatens Death.” Having thorowly treated of these, I proceed next to the Consideration of Good, the greatest Good, which is any way in our Power to attain.
General Remarks on Chapter II
It is highly probable, “That Men are more nearly equal in natural Disposition to Benevolence, than is generally imagin’d, and that the Difference chiefly arises from Habit.”
If this Disposition depends so much upon Habit, surely every Person has the greatest reason, to use all the Industry in his power, to improve it, which, I believe, might, in great measure, be effected, by a strict regard to the little common Occurrences of Life, which are, for the most part, wholly disregarded, as trifling, and of no import. Of the many Incidents in Life, which may be used, either to the Blasting, or Nourishment, of this amiable Disposition, I shall only mention one, which seems to me of the greatest consequence, and the least regarded; and that is, our Behaviour to one another in Company. No Man who considers, “That the Strength of any Habit depends upon the Strength and Number of the Acts which constitute that Habit, and that we have the most frequent occasions in conversation, of acting in a good or ill-natur’d manner”; I say, none who considers these things can doubt, “That our Behaviour in Company is of the last consequence, towards the settling a Habit of Benevolence, or avoiding the contrary Disposition.” I believe no Man, who would but seriously reflect, that, by every little piece of ill-natur’d Raillery, or malevolent Contradiction, that Disposition of Mind, upon the Strength of which the whole Happiness of his Life does in a great measure depend, could take pleasure in giving another Uneasiness. The Politeness of the higher Ranks, which chiefly consists in being agreeable, and avoiding every thing which may give Pain to any of their Company, is, in my opinion, no inconsiderable reason, why Good-nature is to be found more frequently among them, than those of the lower Degrees, among whom there is little else to be found, but Rudeness and Rusticity.
There is also another very considerable use to be made of this Observation, “That Benevolence principally consists in Habit,” which regards the Education of Childhood and Youth. It is most certain, “That this flexible Age is the most proper for laying the Foundations of Habits”; and yet it is, with regard to Benevolence, almost wholly neglected. I believe there can be no other Reason assigned, “Why all our Dispositions, which are approv’d of by Reason, except Benevolence, gather Strength and flourish, as the Person grows in Years and Understanding; and that this, the most amiable, the most noble, of all, does wither and decay.” I say, there can hardly be any other tolerable Reason assign’d for this, than what may be drawn from the above-mentioned Observation. For, tho the Reason of an enlarg’d, well-inform’d Mind does perfectly approve of the highest Benevolence, yet, there are many, of so little, narrow, souls, as to take in nothing but the present: And as a small degree of Understanding may make a cunning, but not a wise, Man; so it generally makes a Man selfish, but never prudent.
General Remarks on Chapters I and II
In the first and second Chapters, most of what the Author says, tends to shew, “That Benevolence contributes to the common Good; and that, from the Nature of Things, and from Human Nature, in particular, it appears, That it is the Will of the Author of Nature, that Men should, in general, assist one another; because he hath framed Man in such a manner, and hath adapted the Nature of Things to the Constitution of Man in such a manner, as that Man, partly from the Instinct of Benevolence, but, chiefly, from Self-Love, in consulting his own Advantage, acts in many cases for the Good of others.” What can be collected chiefly for his purpose, from these things, is, in my opinion, this, “That, from what we know of Nature, it plainly appears, That God is a most benevolent Being; and that, in most grand cases, he hath plainly connected private with publick Good; and that, therefore, we have good reason to believe, from the uniformity of Nature, that private Happiness is in all cases perfectly connected with the publick Good, even in this Life; altho we are often so short-sighted, as not fully to perceive that connexion: Or, that, if private Happiness is not perfectly connected with publick Good in this Life, it is by superadded Rewards and Punishments in another.”
[1. ]Hobbes, Humane Nature: or, The Fundamental Elements of Policy (1650), 1.5, p. 3. Cumberland mistakenly attributes Hobbes’s comment to 1.3. Note that this work is the first English version of Hobbes’s Elements of Law (1640).
[2. ]Cumberland refers to Descartes, Les Passions de l’Ame (1649); Digby, Of the Immortality of Man’s Soul (1644); More, The Immortality of the Soul (1659); and Ward, In Thomae Hobbii Philosophiam Exercitatio Epistolica (1656). [Maxwell] “Dr. Samuel Clarke having, in my opinion, set the Immateriality of the Soul, and its Distinctness from the Body, in the best light, of any Writer I have met with; I have, in the Appendix to this Treatise, given his Reasoning upon that Head in as succinct a manner as was consistent with Perspicuity.”
[3. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 1.11, p. 21.
[4. ]Hobbes, Humane Nature, pp. 35–36.
[5. ][Maxwell] “Tho Motions, impress’d upon the Organs of Sense, may occasion Sensation, yet no Motion, of any kind, is Sensation: If it were, Matter, which is capable of all kinds of Motion, would be capable of Sensation and Thought. But for a Proof, that Matter is incapable of Thought, I refer the Reader to Dr. Clarke’s Reasoning in the Appendix.”
[6. ][Maxwell] “A Camera Obscura is a darken’d Chamber, into which the Light is let only by one little Aperture in one Window; in which Aperture or Opening, if one or more Glasses, of proper Figures, be plac’d according to the Rules of Opticks, and the Light passing thro’ them falls upon a Sheet of white Paper, &c. at a proper distance, the Images of those external Objects which could be seen by the Eye thro’ the Aperture, will be very distinctly delineated upon the Paper in their proper Figures and Colours, especially if the Sun shine upon the Objects, whose very Motions also, if they be in motion, will be represented. If the Rays of Light pass in at the Aperture thro’ one Glass only, the external Objects will appear inverted; if thro’ two Glasses of proper Figures, and properly apply’d, the external Objects will appear erect.”
[7. ]Aristotle, Politics, I.2.
[8. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 1.2n, pp. 24–25: “But civil Societies are not mere gatherings; they are Alliances [Foedera], which essentially require good faith and agreement for their making. Infants and the uninstructed are ignorant of their Force, and those who do not know what would be lost by the absence of Society and unaware of their usefulness. Hence the former cannot enter Society because they do not know what it is, and the latter do not care to because they do not know the good it does. It is evident therefore that all men (since all men are born as infants) are born unfit for society; and very many (perhaps the majority) remain so throughout their lives, because of mental illness or lack of training [disciplina]. Yet as infants and adults they do have a human nature. Therefore man is made fit for Society not by nature, but by training.” The quotation here is a translation of the passage quoted in Maxwell’s footnote in Latin.
[9. ]Juvenal, Satires, XIV.321.10.
[10. ]Aristotle, Politics, I.2.
[11. ]Hobbes, Problemata Physica (1662), ch. 6, pp. 90–93.
[12. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 2.1, p. 33.
[13. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 5, p. 25.
[14. ]Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.x.28–29.
[15. ]Hobbes, Humane Nature, 7.1–2.
[16. ]Cumberland is probably referring to Ward’s A Philosophicall Essay Towards an Eviction of the Being and Attributes of God (1652) and his lengthy refutation of Hobbes, In Thomae Hobbii Philosophiam Exercitatio Epistolica (1656).
[17. ]Barbeyrac (Traité Philosophique, p. 111, n. 4) suggests that Cumberland alludes to the classical discussion of pleasure in motion and pleasure in rest, referring to Diogenes Laertius, Lives, X.136, and Cicero’s distinction between voluptas in motu and voluptas stabilis in De Finibus II.x.29–32, II.xxiii.75–77.
[18. ]Barbeyrac (Traité Philosophique, p. 112, n. 5): “The deliverance from some evil, and a certain peace of mind, or even perhaps some not disagreeable impression, may come to us from without.”
[19. ]Maxwell correctly translates the original but failed to note that Cumberland corrects the sentence in his errata. The sentence should read: “In addition speech, because it is a help to. . . .”
[20. ][Maxwell] “That is, such Actions as are productive of natural Good to Men.”
[21. ]Descartes, La Géométrie (1637), I.2.
[22. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 5.6, p. 72.
[23. ]Ibid., 2.1, p. 33.
[24. ]Ibid., 2.1n.
[26. ][Maxwell] “Such as Demonstrations concerning imaginary Worlds or Systems would be.”
[27. ][Maxwell] “Thus, tho there are perhaps no Bodies in the World exact Spheres or Cubes, such as are the Subjects of Mathematical Demonstration, and tho the Curves in which the Planets revolve, are not perfect Ellipses; yet such Spheres, &c. as we meet with, differ so little from those which are exact, that the Difference is of no consequence in human Life, in Surveying, Gauging, Astronomy, &c.”
[28. ][Maxwell] “If the Terms cannot exist, I do not see, that any thing can be demonstrated concerning them; for example, what can be demonstrated of a Square Circle?”
[29. ]Horace, Epistles, I.1.97.
[30. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 15.8, p. 175: “Since the Word of God (God reigning through nature alone) is defined simply as right reason; and since the laws of Kings can only be known from their Word, it is evident that the laws of God reigning through nature alone are the only natural laws.”
[31. ]Ibid., 1.7, p. 27.
[32. ]Cumberland provides a manuscript replacement for this sentence: “Hobbes on the other hand is reduced to having to affirm generally that all the maxims of true reason, even on the effects of natural causes, and on the properties of numbers and figures, however varied they might be, are indeed maxims of true reason in a state where the sovereign approves them, but they are not so in another state, where the sovereign, through folly or ignorance, rejects and contradicts them.” Cumberland, Trinity College MS.adv.c.2.4, p. 88.
[33. ]Following Cicero, De Legibus, I.7.
[34. ][Maxwell] “That is, those Causes, which give occasion to Error.”
[35. ]Justinian, Digest, 1.3.2.
[36. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 12, p. 64.
[37. ][Maxwell] “It is observable, that those Nations have the fairest Complexion, who live near the Poles, and that they generally grow darker, as they approach nearer the Equinoctial, so the Swedes, English, French, Spaniards, and the Natives of Barbary, grow gradually of a more dusky Hue, each than the other, which is evidently owing to the greater Heat of Climate. The Natives of Africa, who live between the Tropicks, have receiv’d the deepest Dye, beyond either those of America or Asia in the same Latitude, which is probably owing to one of two Causes, or to both conspiring; either, 1. Certain subterranean Exhalations, whither of the mineral Kind, or others, which may be peculiar to those Parts of Africa: Or, 2. A greater Heat in those Parts of Africa, than what is to be found in Asia and America in the same Latitude. The Inland Parts of Africa are the worst water’d Countries we know; for the Vapours, which, in form of Dew, Rain, &c. moisten the Earth, do, most of them, fall to the Ground, before they can reach them, lying at so great a Distance from the Ocean, whence those Vapours are exhaled. Also the Soil of those Parts of Africa is generally more sandy than the correspondent Parts of the other Quarters, which greatly increases the reflected Heat; to which more of the Heat we feel is owing, than is generally imagin’d, as appears from this, that Snows lie long unmelted on the Tops of high Mountains, under, or very near, the Equinoctial, the direct Heat of the Sun, even there, being often not sufficient to melt them. Therefore the Parts of Asia and America, which lie between the Tropicks, are more temperate than those of Africa in the same Latitude, as not being so sandy, as receiving more Rain, &c. and abounding more with Rivers, with which South-America is mighty well supply’d. Beside, the Line cuts Asia among the Islands, and in such Parts of the Continent, as being near the Sea, are much refreshed with Breezes from thence. It is therefore, for these Reasons, to me highly probable, that the Colour of the Negroes, which is immediately owing to a Mucus between the inner and the outer Skin, is remotely owing to the Climate they inhabit, and that the Whites and Blacks are all come from the same common Stock.”
[38. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 8.1, p. 102.
[39. ][Maxwell] “Because right Reason is the same in all rational Agents, as having but one and the same invariable Standard, the Nature of Things, See § 5.”
[40. ][Maxwell] “That is, such Causes, as concur with others to the producing many Effects of different Kinds; such as Universal Gravitation, the Solar Heat, &c. The Aetherial Fluid, or Materia Subtilis of Des-Cartes, which our Author gives as an instance of this Kind, is rejected as a fictitious Substance, since the introducing the Newtonian Philosophy.”
[41. ][Maxwell] “The Author is here proving, ‘That in all Struggles between Men, by force merely corporeal, the greatest Force must as certainly prevail, as in a Balance that Scale in which the greatest Weight lies, must certainly preponderate,’ which he proves thus. All such Struggles are according to those Laws of Motion, which take place in the Shock of two Bodies meeting; which Laws of Motion Wren and Huygens have shewn to be truly exhibited by a Balance, whose Beam, in some Cases, is suspended upon one Center, the Center of Gravity; in other Cases, upon two Centers, each of which is at equal distance from the Center of Gravity. That the Reader may the better understand this, I have subjoin’d what Wren and Huygens have said upon this Subject, to which our Author refers.” Maxwell (p. 117n) includes an extract from Wren’s discussion of the laws of collision from the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions 43 (1668/69), pp. 867–68 and Huygens’s contribution to Philosophical Transactions 46 (1669) pp. 925–28.
[42. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, Dedicatory Epistle, sect. 2, p. 4: “But between commonwealths, the wickedness of bad men compels the good too to have recourse, for their own protection, to the virtues of war, which are violence and fraud.”
[43. ][Maxwell] “This Hypothesis, asserting the Plenitude of the World, or denying any Vacuum therein, is a fundamental Principle of the Cartesian Philosophy, and embrac’d by our Author, in whose time that Philosophy prevail’d much; but has since been disprov’d by Sir Isaac Newton; which, however, does not in the least affect our Author’s Reasoning, which stands equally firm in either Case: For, whenever he makes use of an Hypothesis, it is only in order to illustrate, but not to prove any thing, to which Purpose the contrary Hypothesis would have serv’d as well.”
[44. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 13.15, pp. 150–51.
[45. ][Maxwell] “I am of Opinion, that the Author here, in supposing the Pleasure, which Brutes receive from the Society of one another, not very great, means no more, than that it is very small, when compar’d with the Pleasures of Society among Men. For we have good reason to believe, from the Uniformity which we perceive in the Works of Nature, which we are acquainted with, that the Pleasures of Benevolence, as well among Brutes as Men, are the greatest and most refin’d of any which they enjoy. If it be objected, ‘That the Pleasures of Benevolence are probably in different degrees, in proportion to the Usefulness of Society among them, but that Society is much more useful among Men than Brutes;’ it may be answer’d, ‘That to Bees, Ants, and some other Species, Society is as useful, in proportion to their Sources of Pleasure, as to Mankind.’ And in most other Species it is also of great use. I believe, it will appear from a following Note, concerning the Behaviour of Men towards Brutes, that the Inquiry is not altogether unworthy of Regard.”
[46. ]Cf. Hobbes’s use of the hydrophobia metaphor, Leviathan, ch. 29, p. 215.
[47. ][Maxwell] “To what the Author has said upon this Head, may be added, ‘That those who live to an healthful old Age, are, for the most part, remarkable, for an easy Chearfulness of Disposition, but that a natural unconstrain’d Chearfulness is always accompanied with Benevolence, is, I believe, sufficiently testify’d by every one’s Experience.’”
[48. ][Maxwell] “An Aneurism is a Tumour, form’d by the inward Coat of an Artery’s being broke, and the Force of the Blood’s distending the outward Coat.”
[49. ]Harvey, Exercitatio Anatomica de Circulatione Sanguinis (1649), pp. 89–90.
[50. ]Harvey, Exercitationes de Generatione Animalium (1651), exert. 69, pp. 305–14.
[51. ][Maxwell] “The Author seems too complaisant to Hobbes in this Point. ’Tis certain, we often desire the Good of others, without ever considering it as the means of private Good, or having any such selfish Intention, as is evident in the Natural Affections of Parents Toward Their Children, Friendship, Patriotism.”
[52. ]Hobbes, Elements of Law, 9.10, 15, 16, 17. These sections deal with pity, lust, love, and charity.
[53. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 1.2, pp. 21–25.
[54. ]Ibid., 15.7, pp. 174–75.
[55. ]Harvey, Exercitationes de Generatione Animalium (1651); Highmore, The History of Generation (1651); Needham, Disquisitio Anatomica de Formata Foetu (1667).
[56. ]See Cumberland, A Treatise of the Laws of Nature, 1.24, 25.
[57. ][Maxwell] “Goodness of Temper, and Proneness to Society, mutual Aid, and Compassion, tho in a weaker Degree, yet is observable among all Brutes toward their own Species. Where Animals of the same Species are found prone to fighting, they are such as do not continue in their natural State, but are pamper’d and artificially fed by Men. And, this too happens only among some few Species, and will not continue, if they are restor’d to their natural manner of Feeding.”
[58. ]Juvenal, Satires, XV.131–64. Cumberland quotes only lines 159–64. (Maxwell highlights the original quotation in italics.)
[59. ]The translation comes from Nahum Tate’s contribution to John Dryden’s The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis (1693), pp. 303–5.
[60. ]Pliny, Natural History, X.xxxii.63 [Maxwell incorrectly cites X.23]: “Storks nourish their parents’ old age in their turn”; Solinus, Polyhistor, ch. 40: “Storks show extraordinary loyalty; indeed see how much time they spend in bringing up their young, the young supporting them as much in turn.”
[61. ]Hobbes, De Homine, 10.3; On the Citizen, 1.13.
[62. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 17, p. 108; On the Citizen, 5.5, p. 71.
[64. ]Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.ii.3–4.
[65. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 15, p. 100.
[66. ]Ibid., ch. 15, p. 108. Maxwell quotes the English version. There is a minor difference in the Latin version quoted by Cumberland, for which see Leviathan, p. 108, n. 4.
[67. ]Hobbes, De Homine, 10.5, p. 60.
[68. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, pp. 4–5.
[69. ]Ibid., ch. 17, p. 108.
[70. ]Maxwell, as Barbeyrac notes (Traitè Philosophique p. 152, n. 8), in an attempt to make sense of the confused original, makes Cumberland say something odd: Replying to Hobbes’s accusation that conflict is caused by individuals assuming they know better than others how common business is to be transacted, Maxwell’s translation stresses that men will find it easy to live together even with out civil government, whereas the logic of the original passage is to emphasize that even without civil government, there is nothing to suggest that their natural propensions to benevolence and the law of nature would prevent them from transacting common business, notwithstanding anything Hobbes says to the contrary. Cumberland, De Legibus Naturae, p. 125: “Rationem hanc nihil suggere quò minus hominess pacatè inter se agerent, si nullam esset regimen Civile cui subjicerentur; quo casu propensiones naturals ad benevolentiam universalem, legèsq; naturae omnes locum haberent, his non obstantibus.”
[71. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 17, p. 108.
[72. ]Ibid. Cumberland paraphrases Hobbes’s Latin to reveal Hobbes’s concerns about the instability of language. For discussion, see Skinner, “Hobbes on Rhetoric and the Construction of Morality” in Skinner, Visions of Politics (2002), vol. III, pp. 87–141.
[73. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 17, pp. 108–9.
[74. ]Ibid., Introduction, p. 4.
[75. ]Ibid., ch. 17, p. 109.
[76. ]Cumberland, A Treatise of the Laws of Nature, ch. 2., sections 17–21.
[77. ]Ibid., sections 23–31.
[78. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 1.1, p. 21; 2.1, pp. 32–34.
[79. ]Bartholin, History of Anatomy (1668), III.3, pp. 133–34; the report of Aristotle refers to De Partibus Animalium, II.7.
[80. ]Willis, Cerebri Anatome, cui accessit nervorum descripto et usus (1664).
[81. ]For Hollings, see introduction, n. 38.
[82. ]Willis, Cerebri Anatome, ch. 26, pp. 184–91.
[83. ]Walter Charleton (1627–1707); Richard Lower (1631–91).
[84. ]Glisson, Anatomia Hepatis (1654), ch. 7, pp. 77–90.
[85. ]William Harvey (1578–1657), discoverer of the circulation of the blood.
[86. ]Glisson, De Rachitide (1650), pp. 15–16.
[87. ]Barbeyrac (Traitè Philosophique, 164, n. 3) indicates Cumberland’s likely sources: Ovid, Metamorphoses, I.84; Cicero, De Legibus, I.ix; De Natura Deorum, II.lvi.
[88. ]Lower, Tractatus de Corde (1669), 2.2, pp. 132–50.
[89. ]Willis, Cerebri Anatome; Lower, Tractatus de Corde.
[90. ]Malpighi, De Cerebri Cortice (1666), ch. 4.
[91. ]Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 3, p. 14.
[92. ]Ibid. Cumberland may also be thinking of arguments in ch. 5, p. 26; ch. 8, p. 40; ch. 13, p. 74–75; ch. 46, p. 454.
[93. ][Maxwell] “Plexus Nervosus, is agreat number of minute complicated Branches of the Nerves.”
[94. ]Maxwell includes the illustration mentioned from Willis, Cerebri Anatome, plate 9, p. 223. Cumberland was not able to include the plate in the 1672 edition of De Legibus.
[95. ]Willis, Cerebri Anatome, ch. 26, pp. 184–91. The lessons drawn from this passage were popular among Cumberland’s contemporaries. Samuel Parker uses it to the same effect in Tentamina Physico-Theologica de Deo (1665), pp. 79–98, 100–108, 116–20, 138–39; see also his A Free and Impartiall Censure of the Platonick Philosophy (1666), p. 66. Robert Sharrock also used Willis in De Finibus Virtutis Christianae (1673), pp. 114–15.
[96. ]Lower, De Corde, ch. 2, p. 90.
[97. ]Ibid., ch. 2.
[98. ]Hippocrates, Aphorisms, sect. III.
[99. ]Niels Stensen, or Steno (1638–86), published detailed descriptions of the lachrymal glands in Observationes Anatomicae (1662).
[100. ]Maxwell breaks up Cumberland’s original section XXVIII to provide a tidier break between topics. This involves inserting a new section (XXIX) at the beginning of paragraph 3 of p. 151 of the 1672 edition. The effect adds an extra section to the translation and complicates the relationship with the section numbers of the original text until the end of the chapter.
[101. ]Cicero, De Legibus, I.ix.
[102. ]The phrase comes from Cicero, De Oratore, III.lix: “vultus est animi imago indices oculi.”
[103. ]Cf. Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II.lx.150–52.
[104. ]Cumberland’s manuscript is corrected to read “introrsum” (inward) rather than “retrorsum” (backward). Maxwell translates the error with its rather odd effect.
[105. ][Maxwell] “The Line of Direction, is that right Line, which may be conceiv’d drawn from the Center of Gravity, to the Earth’s Center.”
[106. ]Section XXIX in the 1672 edition.
[107. ]Section XXX in the 1672 edition.
[108. ]Hobbes, On the Citizen, 1.2n, p. 25: “For even those who arrogantly reject the equal conditions without which society is not possible, still want it.”