Front Page Titles (by Subject) PART III: On God - Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind
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PART III: On God - Francis Hutcheson, Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind 
Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind, ed. James Moore and Michael Silverthorne, texts translated from the Latin by Michael Silverthorne, introduction by James Moore (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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What natural theology is
All philosophy is pleasant and profitable, but no part is richer and more fertile than that which holds the knowledge of God, and which is called natural theology.1 It exhibits what philosophers have perceptively uncovered or diligently argued in sole reliance on the powers of human reason; it does not touch those things which the great and good God in his supreme love for man has designed to teach those who have been inspired by his divinity with marvelous signs beyond man’s normal reach. For imperfect as it is, this knowledge of the highest matters is not only delightful and worthy of a man in itself, but also offers supreme inducements to every virtue and to all honest modes of life, while at the same time laying firm foundations of true magnanimity, constancy, and peace.
In giving a brief synopsis of this science, we shall deal briefly with the most important topics which philosophers treat at length: first, that most serious question whether there is a God, next the attributes of God, and finally the divine operations.
In Which It Is Shown That There Is a God
Who is the subject of the question whether there is a God?
In this part of our course, the question whether there is a God takes first place. But if we are to understand the force of the word, we must first say that God is a certain nature much superior to human nature, governing this whole world by reason and design. This summary is enough for now, as we shall soon give a more thorough account of the divine nature, after we have expounded the arguments which prove that there is a God and what his nature is. Whoever believes that this world and its major parts are governed by the reason and design of an intelligent nature believes that there is a God or gods, even though he may have formed many views rashly and falsely about the nature or attributes of God. The only people who are atheists are those who deny that the world is governed by the design of a wise ruler or that in the beginning it was made by him.
The intelligent fabric of the world shows that there is a God
That there is a God who formed this world in the beginning and rules it at all times is shown by the supremely intelligent design of the world and of all its parts, which have been so well made that they could not be more serviceable in use or more beautiful in appearance.
Two kinds of action: by design and by brute force
We take it that there are two kinds of action: one, when we move bodies in an endeavor to put some specific shape or form into things by deliberate design; the other, when we stir bodies at random without any design, without concern to produce any special effect or form. From the latter kind of action we cannot expect anything that is beautiful or regular, or similar to previous things or usefully made, but from the former, all things beautiful, regular, similar, and useful readily arise.
The criterion of each and the reason for the difference
The reason for this difference is not hard to see: the ugly and useless figures and positions which the parts of any object may take are infinite in number, whereas there is only one form and perhaps only one position of things which tend to beauty or usefulness in any given kind. Without art, therefore, and design there can be no expectation that anything beautiful or similar or useful is likely to result from the use of brute force. Since, therefore, so many very beautiful forms appear in the world every day, things which have been fabricated on a similar pattern, whose innumerable parts have been most cunningly fashioned both for beauty and for use, anyone who believes that all these things could have been made without divine intelligence and reason must really be regarded as himself devoid of intelligence and reason.
The movements of the heavenly bodies most cleverly devised
Anyone who wishes to treat this argument fully must surely survey the whole of natural philosophy (physiologia);1 we shall only deal briefly with the more important points. Consider the immense size and power of the heavenly bodies, their certain motions and fixed orders, and especially the grandeur and beauty of the sun and its effects: how in rising it brings in the day, diffusing everywhere a cheerful, healthy light, in setting gives place to darkness which is most suitable for rest, and in regular succession effects the annual change of the seasons, for the health and preservation of all animals and plants: anyone who has come to know these things will surely not be able to doubt that they are all caused by a preeminent and divine reason.
The fabric of the earth and of terrestrial things
Let us come to the earth,2 surrounded by a living and breathable nature whose name is air, and clothed with flowers, herbs, trees, and fruits, the unbelievable multitude of which is marked by an insatiable variety. Add here the grandeur and usefulness of the clouds which are raised by the sun from the great ocean and the lakes and are held aloft by the weight of the air, the height of the mountains, the power of the winds, the perennial springs that flow from them, and the clear and health-giving water of the rivers that make this earth a fruitful, abundant, and pleasant home for all living things. No one looking at these things will fail to see the signs of a most benevolent God.
How wonderful is the structure of those things that grow from the earth, which are held by roots that draw nourishment from the earth: how great is their variety and beauty! How great is the force of all of them, so that from such little seeds they bring forth grasses, plants, trunks, branches, leaves and flowers, and then again seeds, distinguished by an infinite variety and providing so many uses to living creatures! And every one of them is so similar to all others of the same kind (whose number is infinite) that no hand or art could bring it about or mind imagine it.
Signs of art and divine design in living things
How great is the variety of living things! How great a drive to reproduce and to persist, each in its own kind! And largely and abundantly has nature provided food for living things, the proper food for each kind; and what differences in the shapes of animals so that they may get and consume their food, how cunning, how subtle! How admirable the structure of the limbs! And all of them so made and placed that none is superfluous, none not necessary for the preservation of life.
In their senses and appetites
Both sense and appetite have been given to living things, so that by the one they may endeavor to obtain healthy and useful things, and by the other distinguish the noxious from the healthful. Instinctive in the limbs are the powers that make possible a marvelous variety of spontaneous motions, so that they may get the things that will do them good and repel or avoid what will do them harm. These movements and senses are aroused according to specific conditions, by a wonderful artifice which men can scarcely learn even by long investigation. Specific sensations are caused by many movements in the body which are not known or observed by the animal itself; and in turn the desired movements immediately respond to a determination of the mind to move a certain part of the body. In both cases certain motions of the internal parts come into play which the mind does not perceive or command. And this mutual effect of the body on the mind and of the mind on the body extends as far as is useful and no further. For these continual motions of the inward parts on which the life of a living thing depends are maintained when we are asleep or doing something else, and even against our will. They excite no sense in the mind, which incidentally would be pointless and annoying. We cannot move at our will those parts of the body whose voluntary motion could not help us at all.
In the preservation of species
With how provident a design are the kinds of animals and of things which grow from the earth preserved! Such power is in their seed that from one or two seeds many creatures are generated. Some living things are male, others female; some parts of the body are adapted for begetting and conceiving, and there are wonderful passions for bringing bodies together. As soon as the fetus of living things which are nourished by milk leaves the womb, the mother’s nourishment begins to flow. And creatures which have only been born a moment before seek the breast under the guidance of nature, without any teacher, and are filled by its abundance. And that we may understand that none of these things is by chance, that all are the works of a provident and intelligent nature, there is innate in all animals whose offspring need their help an exceeding love and a special care to protect and raise what they have begotten right up to the time that the offspring can look after themselves, or in fact so long as the parents can provide help to them. But when the offspring no longer needs the help of the parents, and the parents’ help is no longer useful, this love either disappears or remains inactive.3
Especially in the structure of the human body
What great evidence of supremely clever design there would be if the whole fabric of the human frame were thoroughly scanned? If the appearance and dignity of the whole body were considered? The organs of sense most subtly crafted and most aptly placed? Why speak of the eyes or ears of living things? Why of the internal organs? What of the human face which reveals all the motions of the mind? What works has not nature constructed for the purpose of speech? How apt are the hands she has given, the ministers of how many arts?
And in the powers of the mind
Let us come to the powers of the mind whose aspect is still more glorious, and especially to the power of reason, which has given man empire over all the things of the earth, whether animate or inanimate. By men’s reason and foresight so many arts have been invented which provide such a store of useful and pleasant things. Men’s reason penetrates even to the sky and contemplates the beauty of the world, and surely comes to him not from chance nor by the design or skill of his parents but from the most wise God.
And in its nobler powers
Why should I mention the other powers of the mind? Why should I recall that it has been given virtually to man alone to discern the beauty of things, their order, the connection of their parts, and their use? Why should I say that men also sense in the intentions of their minds, and in their words and actions, what beauty and goodness are, what is fitting, what is proper; and that the feelings of our hearts and our plans for action meet with more approval from other men’s sense of things, and are more universally praised, the more happiness in life they are likely to give to more people, even when those who approve and praise them have absolutely no prospect of any advantage for themselves.
What of the fact that men’s desires are formed on a most benevolent design? For nature does not make a man love only himself, but also his wife, his child, his family, his neighbors, his fellow-citizens, all of whom we treat with spontaneous kindness, provided there is no reason for conflict; and good men love each other as if united by kinship and by nature. Human love goes even further, and sometimes embraces the whole human race. Why should I mention the natural approval of goodness even in those we have never seen, compassion for the wretched, and the pleasing memory of good deeds done? Nature has bound men to each other by these bonds which escape the sight of the eyes, and has inspired them to create companies, councils, and states, and equipped them for all the noble duties of life. If anyone thinks that all this has come about by chance, I do not know what works he would be able to leave to skill or design or foresight.4
[Assume that a corporeal structure can think (though we have shown this to be very much against probability),5 yet, as even atheists admit, such a structure will have to have been constructed with the most subtle and exquisite art, to be adequate to think. Even so, no one would say, without the greatest perversity and determination to talk nonsense, that therefore brute and inert matter should, so frequently and regularly in a certain, determinate order, be so artfully composed that it rises to the power of thought, and does so in every single individual man who is born (not to speak of other living things), without the reason and design of a wise and powerful nature.]6
Arguments on the other side are refuted
We must take careful note in this inquiry that a nature endowed with reason and acting deliberately can act equally in both directions when it so wishes, and may make things either beautiful and similar and useful, or ugly, discordant, and useless. In fact, on occasion, even the most intelligent nature may try deliberately to make things crude and repulsive, and in other things not even attempt to create any distinction or beauty. Yet never will anything beautiful or uniform or fit for use be made by brute force. Therefore those things in the world which seem neglected and squalid do not afford a good reason why we should doubt the providential government of things, for there are so many more things most skillfully framed which argue that the world is governed by divine providence.
What of the fact that almost all those things that were regarded as faults in the world by the Epicureans, so that they denied that the world had been divinely made,7 have been found by more careful observers of nature to be the best and most intelligent device after all, or to follow necessarily from the device which is altogether the best and most intelligent; and thus they are no small signs of divine wisdom.
Other reasons are adduced
From all this it is not rash to conclude that the world has been formed by the reason and divine power of a most wise and powerful nature. But we must not ignore the other arguments on this subject which have been acutely elaborated by philosophers, and which bring us to a fuller knowledge of God.
There is necessarily something which is first and independent
There are now very many things in existence; therefore there has also been something in all past time. There are now reason and prudence in the world; therefore they too have been there from eternity. For such genuine virtues could not have arisen by force of any things that were devoid of reason and design. And since an infinite series of causes operating deliberately cannot be conceived in the mind without some absolutely first and eternal nature which was not itself caused by any prior nature, we infer that God has been independent from the beginning and that he is endowed with the highest wisdom and power; only from him could these virtues derive; they could not have derived from the brute force of matter nor from ignorant parents.
Matter is not independent, nor is the material world
Metaphysical writers tell us that matter or body which receives no virtue or perfection is not a thing that was primary in itself or eternal but required a deliberately acting cause from which to receive figure and posture.8 But suppose eternal matter without cause; it would still be a completely different nature from which matter received motion, one which is indifferent to motion or rest. Now, since we cannot conceive a motion or imparted force which does not tend in some direction, and all matter can be carried by motion in any direction equally, in such an ambiguous situation we cannot conceive that there is in matter either a natural or a necessary ability to move, but all the ability that it has would have been imparted by force of an intelligent nature. Even suppose that matter moved in some way or had the power of moving, but had no design or foresight, there could never have come from that the magnificent order we see in the world.
New arguments from the discoveries of natural philosophers
What of the fact that those who have most carefully explored the causes of things in recent times, who see new traces everywhere of providential design, new reasons why we must have recourse to a divine power which moves all things? It is not unfamiliarity with nature and ignorance of causes which have compelled men to have recourse to God as the architect of the universe.
There are quite a few arguments for the newness of the world or for its recent origin, which show that this earth could not have existed from eternity and that a home fit for living things cannot last forever. For not to speak of the sun and the stars which must one day be exhausted by the perpetual outflow of light, and whose motions are gradually slowing in a space which is not completely empty, a great deal of matter is washed down daily in recent times from the higher parts of the earth into the seabed by the force of the rains and the winds. By this continual mutation, in a certain finite period of time, all the heights will be lowered and the hollows filled up, and the whole earth covered with the waters of the sea. Add to this the recent origin of the arts and sciences, the low antiquity of reliable history, the story of the recent origin of the world which almost all peoples preserve, and the universal consent about a deity that governs all things, which does not rest on a preconception of the senses.
A conflict of two beliefs
Relevant here is a comparison between the reasons that support this belief and those which can be adduced in favor of the other side. Contemplate also the problems involved for those who in declining the difficult notion of a first and most wise nature have recourse either to a world which is eternal in itself and most intelligently fashioned but without any reason or design to govern it, or to a fortuitous concourse of atoms. No intelligent man will fail to see which view an intelligent and serious person will approve.
[I do not use the Cartesian arguments, because they suffer from obvious fallacies. Descartes first says that “there is a cause of every idea, endowed with at least as much perfection as is exhibited in the idea itself. But we have the idea of an infinitely perfect being; there is therefore some superior nature, infinitely perfect.”9 Both of the premisses of this argument are, to say the least, ambiguous. For men make for themselves obscure and inadequate ideas of virtues which are far superior to their own; and no one has a fuller or clearer idea of a supreme being than he has formed by amplifying the ideas of his own virtues and purging them of faults, unless God has given anyone a clearer sense of himself above the common lot of man. In vain does Descartes insist “that the progenitor of men had the same idea of supreme perfection; and since it was sufficient to him for existing, it sufficed also for attributing supreme perfections to himself.” This affirms nothing, unless God is said to be the efficient cause of himself, which is absurd.
He continues, however, by saying “that necessary existence is contained in the idea of most perfect being; an infinitely perfect being therefore exists.” However, anyone who has understood the nature of abstract propositions will see that one should only infer from this that if there is any most perfect nature, it necessarily exists and does not depend upon the will of another.]10
On the Natural Virtues of God
How the attributes of God are known
Since we seem to have shown clearly enough that a superior nature has existed from all eternity, we proceed to explain his virtues or attributes. [We understand well enough from logic that all our ideas arise from some sense either external or internal. What we derive from our external senses is supplemented by arguments from which we rightly infer that there is a God, and that he is endowed with every virtue; no external sense, however, can grasp the virtues of God themselves. All mental virtues therefore are understood by an internal sense or by internal consciousness of the self and its properties. This is the source from which at least the elements of all the notions which represent the divine virtues are engendered in the mind. But since it is agreed that the first and superior nature is free of all those vices and defects with which human virtues are tainted, we form the most perfect notions of the divine virtues of which our minds are capable by amplifying as much as we can these ideas of our own virtues or perfections, and removing all defects from them. [Communicable and incommunicable attributes ]1 Hence in a certain manner all the divine virtues may be said to be communicable, because we find a certain resemblance to them or obscure intimation of them in created things. However, those names or attributes that denote the supreme and highest degree of virtue which the virtues of God alone attain are called incommunicable.]2
Independent and necessary existence
Among the attributes which cannot be communicated, the first place is taken by independence, by which God is understood to have always existed in himself, the first of all things, so that he recognizes no other cause or force from outside to which he owes anything of himself. We should not, however, imagine from this that either God is cause of himself or that any attribute of his is the cause or effective reason of the other attributes. Independence always entails that God from the first and always necessarily is, and therefore depends on the will of no one. And we are not to ask any cause or efficient reason for the first cause; and a necessity of nature is not a cause or reason of the existence of the thing itself in which this necessity is, since no attribute can be prior to its subject.3
Hence we also conclude that there is only one God, if by the word God we understand the first nature created by no one. For nothing suggests that there has been more than one thing of that kind, and indeed the notion is unintelligible. For when there is a certain number of any things, whatever they may be, we are simply compelled to think that the will or design of a spontaneous or free cause has intervened to decide on this number rather than any other. But this cannot be supposed in the case of the first nature.
The structure of the world shows this too: all the parts of the world that are known to us are so connected with each other and mutually dependent that they seem to signal the design of a single maker. [Polytheism does not preclude all piety.] Not all piety, however, or religion would be abolished, nor would all the foundations of virtue be subverted by the belief that there are several gods, provided we retain a belief in the government of the whole universe by the harmonious counsel of benevolent and provident gods.4
From the fact that God is absolutely first and sprung from nothing, we conclude that the virtues or perfections of God are infinite in precisely the same way, and that he is endowed with every true and pure perfection. For when a thing enjoys only certain virtues but not all, or a merely finite mode and measure of perfection, these things seem to have been altogether determined by the will of an effective cause. We therefore rightly conclude that the first nature which recognizes no cause has all virtues and all superiority and that it is infinite.
God is spirit
That God is not corporeal is shown by the same arguments that prove that human minds are things different from body and that matter cannot think or have a sense of itself.5 And no thing devoid of sense can have any superiority or perfection. But all of these are to be attributed to the first nature of all.
That God is a simple nature without parts and not made or composed of different things is inferred from the fact that he is spirit, and that primary and independent nature is most perfect. The perfections of God are not therefore adventitious but are all necessarily connected with the divine nature from the beginning. [Immutable ] He is therefore immutable, whereas all adventitious things come in to make up a deficiency. Therefore God is rightly defined as independent spirit, all of whose virtues are most superior.
In what sense he is immeasurable and eternal
Since all the things that we know in time seem to exist successively, and every action or passion of the mind of which it is itself aware appears to carry with it a certain notion or sense of this, and since all the corporeal things among which we live seem to fill a certain place or space, a difficult question arises about the divine nature: does it exist successively, and is it diffused like space? Serious thinkers have gone in opposite directions on this.6 Some believe that God, like every thinking thing, is so simple that he cannot be coextended with space nor occupy any place. For these things cannot be understood without parts which are distinct, however similar or cohesive they may be. They also confirm this from the fact that the properties, virtues, and vices of spirits and all that seem to belong to the nature of mind itself, and which nature leads us to believe are properties of our own minds, appear incapable of being diffused through space or spread through an extended place. Likewise by a similar reasoning (which, however, seems to go beyond what the mind can see), some think that the simple and immutable divine nature, which understands and wills all the samethings always in a single act, does not exist successively either. Other equally powerful thinkers, however, reject this belief and take the position that eternal duration is the very eternity of God, and that his immeasurability is infinite space itself. In this difficult question which altogether surpasses the powers of the human mind, we can hardly assert that anything has been fully made out, except this one thing: that everything that happens in the whole of space is and always has been perceived and comprehended by God, and that in all places he can always bring about what he has willed. The former position seems the more likely, though it is so obscure that it scarcely seems to come within the orbit of thought.7
From these natural attributes or virtues of God, which cannot be communicated with others, one may see above all that God is uncomprehended, not adequately grasped by any finite mind.8 This is true of God not only in the sense in which it may be said of any other substance, namely that its inner nature is hidden from us and that no one has discerned and known its innumerable relations with other things, but also in the sense that our ideas of these attributes are not appropriate to depict or represent the things themselves, although they seem to go some way toward them. The moral attributes which are said to be communicable are another matter. For our ideas of these are appropriate, and they do truly depict them, however imperfect and inadequate [our ideas] may be; for all the evidence which proves that God exists also proves that he is endowed with supreme wisdom, power, and goodness, and is the kind of evidence of which we can form distinct and suitable conceptions in our minds. We will now proceed to expound the virtues which we know from that inner awareness of our own virtues that we mentioned above.]9
On the Divine Virtues Concerned with Understanding
God living and omnipotent
When we speak of the living God, we mean by this that he understands and perceives all things, and moves and rules them by his own efficacious will. In no other sense is he to be called the soul of the world.1 For God is not affected with a pleasing or displeasing sense against his will as a result of the motions of matter, as men’s minds are often affected by the motions of their bodies. Further, since the divine nature is fully active and at the same time absolute with every perfection, we cannot doubt that God can effect whatever he has willed; all things are possible to him, as we defined “possible” in our Ontology.2
Wise and omniscient
That God is most wise and does not act by blind impulse is shown by the intelligent structure of the whole universe, and by the reason and prudence with which men are endowed; these must necessarily be more perfect in men’s progenitor.
The divine ideas which are prior to every external thing could not have been aroused either by an external exemplar or by a superior nature; and since all things have been made on their pattern, they adequately represent all things. Therefore we do not ascribe to God sensations and images or any inadequate ideas. And it is not credible that God himself once of his own will fashioned in his own mind, which had been ignorant at first of all finite things, the first ideas of all things, as obscure adumbrations of his virtues. For if from the first God himself and all his virtues had been clearly known to him, he would from the first also have known all the other things with which his wisdom, power, and goodness would one day be concerned. This receives rich confirmation from the fact that all notions, apart from the general notion of being itself, include in themselves some relation to other things, or something relative; hence the actual ideas of the divine virtues could not have been full and distinct in God unless ideas of other things had also been present. This is the probable answer to this difficult question.
Little excellence would be found in ideas alone, if there were not also in them a knowledge or full perception of all the relationships and connections which hold between them. Hence we should attribute another operation of the mind to God, which logicians call judgment, or infinite knowledge: knowledge free from all doubt, error, ignorance, and forgetfulness, and from the laborious progress of inference from things known to things unknown, knowledge which extends to all things.
The knowledge of simple intelligence
The scholastics apply a twofold knowledge to God, namely, the knowledge of simple intelligence and the knowledge of vision.3 By the former God is thought to view all abstract truths as well as his own nature and necessary virtues; these are all those things which they do not wish even the will of God to be the cause of, since among the eternal ideas themselves in the mind of God are the necessary relations and immutable connections which are expressed in these eternal and abstract truths. No one can conceive that these truths could be otherwise, or that the nature of things could be so changed that such propositions could become false.
The knowledge of vision
By the knowledge of vision God is thought to have foreknown from the first all absolute truths about the existences of all things and any changes which may happen to them, that is, the changes which are considered to depend on his decree that governs all things. All these things, therefore, God is thought to perceive not in their effects but in his own efficacious intention.
No place for mediate knowledge
Anyone who ascribes this twofold knowledge to God and holds that both kinds of knowledge extend to all things, will leave no room for the other kind of knowledge which they call mediate knowledge, by which ex hypothesi God foresees what men will do.4 Different views of divine knowledge correspond with different views of liberty. There is no dispute about events which depend on natural and necessary causes. The dispute is about free causes. Those who adopt the Stoic view of liberty hold that when all the agents’ characters whether natural or artificial are thoroughly understood, and all the allurements and enticements are known which attract an agent toward one action rather than another, and all the support available to the agent is revealed, a sure foundation has been laid for divine foreknowledge to rest upon; and that foundation has been laid by God himself, who shaped all these things by his own decree. They will not grant that the supreme excellence of God allows one to say that divine knowledge may be said to increase gradually by fresh observation of events or that God may be said to make uncertain conjectures about future things.
The various views of the Peripatetics
Those who hold a contrary view about liberty think that this Stoic doctrine about foreknowledge and decrees, in decreeing and foreseeing evil actions as well [as good], is not consistent with the holiness and justice of God, and leaves no room for virtue or vice. There will be another opportunity, when we come to the divine operations, to discuss the reconciliation of divine holiness with a sure foreknowledge and decree of all events.5 And we have already spoken above of virtue and vice in actions certainly foreseen.6 Fairness itself, however, requires us to point out that the supporters of the Peripatetic position on liberty by no means deny to God a providence that extends to all things; and not all of them deny certain foreknowledge of all things. For some of them attribute also to man an indifferent liberty of turning himself in any direction, despite any attractions, and at the same time ascribe to God a sure foreknowledge of all actions from eternity: which indeed seems to us a completely inconsistent position. Others, in asserting this liberty in men, sharply deny that free actions have been certainly foreseen; they maintain that this is impossible, and that we no more detract from divine omniscience by denying it than we detract from divine omnipotence by denying that God can bring about the impossible. In any case, however, both sides hold that God has foreseen most things from certain causes, and that he has determined in himself from the beginning that as he is always present and aware of his own omnipotence, he will rule and govern all things by constantly interposing his power, and that he has always kept in view how far and in what directions men’s freedom might stray and how easily he could check it.7
Since the supporters of contrary positions on this difficult question seem to be motivated by so much piety and such scrupulous care not to derogate from the virtues of God in any way, they should abstain from curses, insults, angry assertions, and personal resentment, and not hurl abuse at each other; this is unworthy of philosophy.]8
On the Will of God
What the will of God is
1. We also attribute to God a will which is similar to our own, though without our faults, weakness, and imperfection; no intelligent nature would be perfect which lacked a will. There are no violent emotions in God, analogous to human passions, and no disagreeable sensations or distress, since a most powerful and most wise nature is not liable to fatigue from his efforts to get a thing or from anxiety that he may not get it.
2. Although God is held to delight in external events, especially in the best and happiest state of the world, the divine happiness is not therefore made uncertain, precarious, or dependent on external things, since all external things and their entire condition depend upon his most powerful self.
3. There seems to be nothing that the most blessed God could seek as a result of self-love that would increase his happiness.
4. All intentions for his own actions seem to emanate rather from his unwavering benevolence and his natural and unchangeable will to share his felicity with others.
5. Of all the things that are pleasing to God in themselves and worthy to be sought by him, the greater are more sought and the greatest most sought.
[6. All ascribe liberty to God, but different kinds of it. However, hardly anyone would say that he could will anything contrary to his own innate virtues, or could fail to will anything consistent with them. God is not therefore to be thought to be indifferent to all those things that depend on his will, or favorable to both sides; for there is a certain necessary will.
7. Although some of the designs of God have the status of ends and others of means, since he sees that certain lesser things are a means to other, more excellent things, nevertheless the divine excellence precludes a progress like our own from conceiving the end to discerning the means: he sees all things at a single glance, and at the same time determines the whole sequence of all things with an unwavering will.]1
Arguments which show that God is good
We infer that God is wholly good and benevolent not only from the natural assumption that good men alone are happy, and that benevolence itself is a very great cause of happiness to its possessor and bars no other source of happiness, and because it is praiseworthy in itself and the supreme excellence and perfection of an intelligent nature, the very sense of which brings joy to such a nature, but also because no temptation to a contrary course could occur to a superior nature which needs nothing for its own sake.
[Arguments] from the fact that the very fabric of the world is built to a benevolent design
The whole structure of the world, all the things which have been fabricated by art and design, seem to have been built to a benevolent design and to have been intended to create or to preserve life and happiness. Nothing seems to have been made by art and intelligence for the purpose of causing pointless pain or misery. There is no trace of an evil intention or of a spiteful or cruel intention, which it would have been possible to see, frequently or regularly, in a world which was under the rule of a malignant deity. Let the structure of the world which shows that God exists be examined. How beautiful, clever, and kind it is! What a store of things has kindly nature supplied which help one to live a comfortable and agreeable life! The senses of men and of all living things have been so fashioned that almost everything that is health-giving and useful is also pleasant to healthy people, and they are prompted by unpleasant sensations to avoid anything that would cause disease. All the appetites implanted by nature are useful, indeed necessary, for the preservation and happiness of the individual or of the species. By a kind of acute sense of the fitting and the beautiful, together with kindly and social feelings, men are prompted to be helpful one to another and to offer mutual assistance; by a most happy sense of the right and the good, those who have made an effort for the happiness of others are rewarded; and the approbation and approval of others fills them with the most honorable delight. But those who neglect these duties or do the opposite are punished by the bitter bites and unseen strokes of conscience.
From the preponderance of happiness in the world
All these things have that much greater weight because we see that there are far, far more good and happy things in life than there are sad and gloomy things, so that nearly everyone has a good reason to go on living; and even those who at some time feel it would be better to depart from life have had a happy and desirable life through far more years.
Various reasons which indicate that a kindly God had to mix evil with good
Even the evils which afflict many men seem to follow clearly from the fabric and structure of things and from the natural laws which are altogether necessary and most useful. The bodies of living things could not be preserved if they were not warned and compelled by a sharp sense of pain to avoid and repel things which would harm the fabric of the body and impair its integrity. If men cannot without much labor obtain what they need for food and clothing, and cannot enhance their lives without still further labor, still labor itself very much contributes to health and strength both of mind and body. In cultivating the arts, practice and thought sharpen men’s minds, and should be called pleasures, not labors.
Disagreeable sensations often very useful
Who has grown so hardened against the feelings and promptings of nature that he finds fault with those motions of the mind by which we deplore the misfortunes of others and are prompted to give help to the distressed, even at some cost to ourselves? Or that bite or pain of the mind which we get from consciousness of wrongs we have done, which a kindly God intended as a remedy for vices? Who even will condemn all anger and indignation, especially that which stimulates us to protect ourselves, our family, and all good men from wrong, and to restrain evil men, and to advance good men to higher dignities?
Death too is desirable
What of the fact that death itself, from which we so fiercely shrink, also seems to be necessary, having regard to the whole system. For those who are satiated with all the pleasures of life and who do not know how to live well should give way to those for whom life will be happier and who can use it more fittingly. And an early death holds no sadness and grief for those who are departing from life, nor should God be thought to have had little regard for them. Death takes away the pleasures of life which they were expecting, but after death, either there will be for good men a happy experience or no experience at all. If the former, which right reason and the consent of all nations affirm, they will be much happier; if the latter, they will at any rate not be miserable. Nor do the brief pains of illness have so much importance that they deserve to be weighed against long years of health and the many pleasures of life.2
The best system of the world requires various kinds of sentient natures
In even the best-constituted system of things there have to be different kinds of living things, higher and lower, so that there may be an opportunity to exercise the noble virtues of the mind. For compassion, doing good, generosity, courage, equanimity, patience, gentleness, and nearly all the duties that we freely do (the sense of which is by far the happiest and the memory the most agreeable) would be excluded if there were no weakness, no want, no vices and errors among men; and no honest duties would be performed. There would be no room for counsel, prudence, and industry, if there were no general laws in force in the nature of things, in the knowledge of which men could make their plans and promise themselves certain effects and consequences from certain actions; and from even the best-designed laws certain evils would necessarily arise. The things that are seen in a bad life will not have sufficient force to show that the world was not made by a good God. For under the rule of even the most benevolent God such evils would happen. And indeed the evils which we see, though many and various, do not seem to be built into the actual machinery or structure of things as the proper end of them, but appear to result from the weakness of the material, the error of inferior agents or chance, beyond the natural design or intention of the work, in accordance with laws which are altogether useful and necessary.
Evils often serve greater goods or are linked with them
And in the end it is only a small part of the world that we see and for a short space of time. In this corner and in this short time, there are far more goods than evils in life, so that it is better for nearly everyone to remain in life rather than to simply die, and the whole machinery of things shows the kindly design of the supreme artificer. Even in this life we see that very many evils bring great benefits, which often check and punish men’s crimes, exercise and augment the virtues of the good, and convert men’s minds from external things and lower pleasures to internal and true goods. Hence it is surely probable that even those evils whose use we do not now see have been destined for the happiness and perfection of parts of the system remote from us, or of centuries to come, and of the whole world. At any rate these things will not show that the government of the world is spiteful or malignant.
God is very good
If therefore God is kind, and desirous of the happiness of all living things, their greater happiness will be preferred to their lesser happiness. Despite the fact, then, that many men are afflicted with grievous ills, we conclude that since God is also most powerful, all things have been from the beginning made in the best way and are kept in the best condition they can be, having regard to the whole world and its government through all the ages.3
The justice of God
Justice is associated with goodness itself and is rightly thought to be a part of it, since goodness expresses itself in making and promulgating laws pertaining to conduct, which command all right things and which will benefit the whole world, and also requires that these laws be fortified with strong sanctions so that all men may be better held to their duty and due obedience. And that the force of these laws for the common happiness may be all the greater, the same justice or goodness requires that fixed penalties be attached to the laws and that there be no unfair indulgence or favor shown toward evil men, which would harm the whole city of God.
Holiness has almost the same nature as goodness and justice; in willing all the best and in designing the best for the whole world, God is free of all evil or wicked desire, and rejoices in his own virtues and in all those who are like him, and condemns and turns his face from the opposite.
God is truthful
Since there is no reason to doubt that God can teach men many things beyond the common lot of nature and declare his will through them, we conclude from the fact that he is both the best and the wisest, who neither can be deceived himself nor wishes to deceive men when it is not to their interest to be deceived, that God is truthful in keeping his words and promises.
From all the other virtues of God we conclude that he is most blessed. But the blessedness of God can by no means depend upon external things, since all these depend upon him. Rather the best and most benevolent God receives his supreme and unchanging joys from himself and the consciousness of his own virtues, and from the optimal state of the whole world which he has made and continues to preserve by his own virtue.
On the Operations of God
[Though we have little knowledge of the operations of God, we should make the following brief, general points. God’s operations have no defects or faults; they follow his intention and his will, and therefore are completely free, though he cannot will anything that does not seem best to him in his wisdom. Never does God fail to achieve his expectation or intention, never does he change his design, nothing can obstruct him when he wills or impede his intention when he has determined in himself to act in a certain way. His power operates without any painful effort on his part; nothing can occur contrary to his will; and he does not borrow his force from any external power or need its help when he wills to do something without the intervention of others. However, things which are inconsistent with each other cannot happen, as we have already said.1 And whether some action intervenes apart from the will of God itself, or whether on the contrary the actual volition is effective in itself, we may not say for certain.]2
Goodness is the cause of the divine operations
From what has been said above about the divine goodness, we shall not be likely to disapprove the view that the great and good God was moved by his own supreme and pure goodness to make this whole world and all its parts, in order that he might impart to things other than himself life, perfection, and happiness, and admitted no evils into the world other than those which appeared to be quite unavoidable to this end, because they are associated with the overriding good.
Among the operations of God the first place is taken by the bringing into being of things different from himself, which before were not. This is called creation, indeed the first creation. That is called the second creation which gave matter its first forms,and created species out of matter which was not in itself suitable. The first creation seems to be the work of God alone.3 [It should not appear incredible to anyone that by his own power God caused things which previously were not to begin to be; human power could do nothing like this. One must reflect how small is man, how blind in seeing into the actual natures of things, so that he scarcely has any better understanding of how he recalls his own ideas and variously alters them and how he initiates new motions in his body when it is at rest.
Whether a nature active from all eternity could also have brought anything into being from the first, so that the duration of created things would have anteceded all finite time, has not perhaps been adequately investigated on the basis of the nature of things, but there is no reason to doubt that God can preserve created things forever.]4
There is no agreed view as to what sort of power on the part of God created things require in order to continue: that is, whether they need the same continuous force by which they came into existence, or whether in the beginning so much natural durability was given to them that they can endure by themselves, unless they once again perish by the hand of divine power. It is also unclear whether the attraction and communication of movement which we observe between bodies is effected by some divine force which is either continuous or applied from time to time by a fixed law, or on the other hand whether so much force was given to the bodies themselves at the beginning and is preserved along with them. In either case, however, it is absolutely certain that God who gave being to things themselves can also destroy them when he wishes, and all their duration and power must be credited to God.
All things are governed by the providence of God
That God governs the world by his providence we conclude from more or less the same reasons that show that God exists. It is simply not credible that a superior nature adorned with all wisdom, goodness, and power does not care about the world and its parts and especially about those parts that are endowed with reason and capable of so much happiness and misery, all of which he made with so much skill and intelligence; it is simply not credible that he has left them to the tender mercies of blind fortune.
[Besides, everything that happens is brought about by some adequate cause; for it seems that nothing can be effected except by a cause which is brought to effect this particular thing at this time either by its own nature and character (together, when it is a question of free causes, with the prospect of the things presented to it), or by some external force; for if indifference remains, nothing will be effected, unless we are to attribute some efficiency to fortune or chance as if they were real things. It is for this reason that some learned men5 plausibly want us to conclude that all things happen through certain causes which had previously been moved by other things according to a certain law, and which will finally bring us back, if we trace it, to the first cause of all things, which set up the whole series of things and all their changes and causes as seemed best to himself at the beginning. This doctrine will not subvert the motives of piety, whether all things are said to be effected from the beginning or effected by the repeated intervention of divine power, provided that in both cases we maintain that in his counsels for ruling the world God took account of the virtues and vices which he foresaw would emerge in living beings endowed with reason, and adapted the outcomes of things to them.]6
The question about the order of decrees is forestalled
Since nothing can happen without the knowledge or will of God, who in a single act surveyed the natures of all things, their powers and changes and all the links between them, and indeed everything that could happen, we must not think that God desires or decides different things at different times in the manner of men, and therefore that he first proposed the end and subsequently the means to obtain the end, but rather we must suppose that at the same time he both decided and effected in one unwavering decree the whole series of all things which seemed best to him. Hence any question about the order of his decrees is forestalled.7 Notwithstanding, some things are rightly said to be sought by God for their own sakes, and some things for the sake of other things as means or supports. And we should not exclude the so-called final causes from physics.
The whole question about free actions
[There is no dispute about the efficacy of what are called natural causes or how the movements and changes of the physical world are ruled by God, since they follow certain causes and necessary laws which God has made.]8 It is not so easy to explain, however, in what way a fixed providence relates to the actions and especially the vicious actions of free causes, without implicating God in a certain responsibility for evil actions. In governing and determining good actions there is no fear of attributing too much to God, because in that case he is rightly thought of as the fount and head of every good and praiseworthy thing, either because he has given a certain natural character to each man and keeps it subject to certain natural laws, which have such power even over free things that their feelings and characters are changed in a certain way as the result of certain causes, or because he put before them certain attractions, certain prospects of good and evil, or finally, because he attracts certain men to all things good by a divine instinct which is beyond the normal bounds of nature. But the control of evil actions is not so easily explained. Men are indeed prompted to do evil actions in a somewhat similar manner in certain conditions on the basis of objects presented to them and of their own character; and God is thought to have made all these causes of actions. However, he only permits those which he sees to be necessary and useful for the whole system, and does not allow human depravity too much scope because of his benevolent will toward all, and therefore, however depraved the passions are which move men to do evil, God permits them because of his most holy and benevolent will for the perfection of the whole system. Therefore no moral wrong is attributable to God.
[God is free of all fault
And there is no fault in the fact that God gave to each man natural and necessary appetites for the lower goods, nor are men therefore excusable, since he has also given to each man who carefully reflects on them more powerful attractions to all good things, and has implanted in men a sense of them and a desire for them, which will help them to govern and control their lower appetites, if they take them to heart. Nor should we consider it a fault in God that in his large bounty, he has also created inferior natures who can be depraved and turn to vices, since as we said before, this appears to be required by the most perfect state of the world, and from their very vices God has arranged, in his most intelligent design, to extract and obtain advantages and benefits for the whole universe of things, and these far outweigh the vices.
Concerning precursus and concursus
In explaining providence there is no need to follow the scholastics in combining with every action of men various, distinct actions of God which they call precursus or premotions and concursus; for it does not seem easy to reconcile these with divine holiness. For whatever may be said of external movements, in the motions of the soul it is barely possible, and perhaps not even barely possible, to separate physical nature from moral nature, so that God may be the efficient cause of the former and man of the latter. Similarly, whatever in any given circumstances moves one to the exercise of an action also impels one to the appearance (speciem), as they call it.9
Those who oppose the Stoic position should not say that many things are so evil and vile that they seem plainly unworthy of God’s care. For we often see that the biggest things depend on the smallest; not only are the big things helped by small things, but all their hope often depends upon them. They should be careful they do not finish up eating salt in deriding the contrary opinion.]10
The account of providence which we have given breathes the simplicity of nature and thus appears more worthy of God than the one which holds that God at the beginning is ignorant of very many things that will happen, but as he is always present he constantly forms new plans, according as things themselves and new events seem to require.
The right of dominion and majesty
That God rightly assumes government or majesty over all things we conclude from his very perfections, namely, his wisdom and supreme goodness, which show that his government will benefit all men, and therefore should be approved by all men. The powerful inducement to encourage men to obey him is found in his omnipotence, which is capable of suppressing all resistance with the severest penalties. But the consideration which shows that it is always fitting and proper to conduct ourselves well toward God in all things and detest all resistance to him, lies in the innumerable benefits which he bestows upon us who gives us life and breath and all things.
God can reveal his will beyond the normal means of nature
Finally, reason itself shows that God can, if he so wills, teach many things to those who are inspired by his divinity, which would otherwise have been hidden, and share his counsels and intentions with them, and by their ministry declare to mankind laws and guidance for the conduct of life. And trustworthy historians tell us that this has really happened. It will not, therefore, be beyond the bounds of philosophy to inquire what might be the means by which these inspired men can convince others of this fact. For God can make them as immediately aware and certain of his presence and divinity as each man is of himself thinking.
By what means we may be convinced of this
We scarcely seem able to understand how this can happen except by God predicting to them that events would occur which could not be foreknown by human foresight or intelligence, or by giving them the power to do miracles which are far above human capacity. The attributes of God which it particularly helps us to know are wisdom, power, and goodness. Prophecies will give signs of the divine wisdom, miracles of his power. It is vain to say of a miracle, “that it is a work that can only be performed by the omnipotence of God,” because no one has sufficiently explored the powers of all created things so that he can assert that this or that was effected by God alone. Let us therefore be content with this description, that a miracle is a work beyond the common tenor of things, far surpassing human powers, but done on the order of a man or at his will, or for his security and evident advantage. For when such miracles are performed by a man so as to convince us that he is inspired by God, they plainly show that some superior nature is implicated in it. But what sort of powerful nature is it? Is it good and benevolent, that is, God himself, or is it one of the good angels at God’s behest? Or is it on the other hand some spiteful and malicious demon? This will be determined by the laws and moral institutions he promulgates: if they are holy and conducive to man’s happiness, we rightly believe that their herald or promulgator was inspired with the spirit of God in performing the miracles.11 And thus natural theology will lead us to the acceptance of what is called revealed theology.
On the Natural Sociability of Mankind
[1 ]This was the part of Hutcheson’s metaphysics that he continued to teach at the University of Glasgow. He did not teach those parts of metaphysics that dealt with ontology and the human mind; those subjects were taught by the Professor of Logic. See the introduction, p. xxii. He taught natural theology because in the universities of Scotland and the Netherlands in the early eighteenth century it was considered that natural theology was the foundation of morality. See Gershom Carmichael, “Synopsis of Natural Theology,” in Natural Rights, p. 230, and de Vries, Determinationes Ontologicae, III, 1, p. 47.
[1 ]In the third edition (1744) there is the following note: “Philosophers, ancient and modern, have fully explained this topic: Plato, Xenophon, Cicero, Arrian, and the writer of the very elegant little book, ‘On the World’ among the works of Aristotle. It would take a long time to enumerate the names of the moderns: the Cudworths, Stillingfleets, Nieuwentijts, Rays, Pellings, Derhams, Fenelons, Cheynes, Clarkes, Nyes.” There is a notable duplication in this list with the names of natural philosophers cited by Carmichael in “A Synopsis of Natural Theology,” in Natural Rights, p. 241.
[2 ]Compare Shaftesbury, “The Moralists, a Philosophical Rhapsody,” pt. 3, sec. 1: “Let us begin, then, said he, with this one element of earth. …” Characteristics, p. 310 ff.
[3 ]See also A System of Moral Philosophy, I, 9, p. 171.
[4 ]See the elaboration of the argument of this paragraph in “On the Natural Sociability of Mankind.”
[5 ]Note (1749): “Part II, Chapter 3,” pp. 138-44.
[6 ]This paragraph was added in 1744.
[7 ]Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, II, 175; Bayle, “Epicurus,” remark S, in Dictionary, 1737, vol. 5, pp. 56-59.
[8 ]Baxter, Enquiry, p. 22 ff.
[9 ]Descartes, third meditation, in Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, pp. 77-78. See also Carmichael’s comment on the third meditation of Descartes in “A Synopsis of Natural Theology,” in Natural Rights, pp. 246-47.
[10 ]This section was added in 1744.
[1 ]For the distinction between the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God, see Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, chap. 5, p. 60 ff., and Carmichael, “A Synopsis of Natural Theology,” Natural Rights, pp. 248-70.
[2 ]All of the sentences between brackets were added in the second edition (1744).
[3 ]Hutcheson’s opinion that God does not require a cause and that the notion of self-creation or aseity is not a meaningful term or idea was shared by de Vries, Determinationes Ontologicae, III, 3, pp. 52-54, and Carmichael, Natural Rights, pp. 249-50.
[4 ]As Hutcheson understood the Stoics, they made provision for the government of nature by “many inferior created spirits.” See “The Life of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus,” prefaced to Hutcheson’s and Moor’s translation of The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, p. 35 ff. See also A System of Moral Philosophy, pp. 174 and 206.
[5 ]Note (1740): “Part II, Chapter III,” pp. 138-44 above.
[6 ]Note (1749): “Part I, Chapter III, Section 4 and Part II, Chapter III, Sections 4 and 5.” See pp. 82-86 and 140-42. The “serious thinkers” whom Hutcheson had in mind were identified in his note to I, 3, 4 (p. 83, n. 10) and the note to A System of Moral Philosophy, p. 200, cited at II, 3, 5 (p. 142, n. 6).
[7 ]Hutcheson’s view that “the former position seems the more likely” appears consistent with the line taken by Leibniz in his exchange with Clarke: “some have believed it [space] to be God himself, or, one of his Attributes, his Immensity. But since Space consists of Parts, it is not a thing which can belong to God.” The Works of Samuel Clarke, vol. 4, p. 602. Carmichael had adopted a similar position: Natural Rights, p. 254.
[8 ]Compare Joseph Butler, The Analogy of Religion, pt. 1, chap. 7, pp. 160-61: “The natural world then, and natural government of it, being … so incomprehensible, that a man must, really in the literal sense, know nothing at all, who is not sensible of his ignorance in it. …”
[9 ]This paragraph was added in 1744.
[1 ]The characterization of God as “the soul of the world” had become particularly controversial in the early eighteenth century because of the identification of this Platonic and Stoic idea with the philosophy of Spinoza. See, for example, Bayle’s Dictionary article “Spinoza,” remark A: “He was a systematical Atheist, and upon a scheme intirely new, though the ground of his doctrine was the same with that of several other Philosophers, both ancient and modern. … The doctrine of the soul of the world, which was so common among the ancients, and which made a principal part of the system of the Stoics, is at the bottom that of Spinoza.” Vol. 9, pp. 347, 351. See also Leibniz’s second letter to Clarke: “Will they say that [God] is Intelligentia Mundana; that is, the Soul of the World ? I hope not. However, they will do well to take care not to fall into that Notion unawares.” The Works of Samuel Clarke, vol. 4, p. 595.
[2 ]Hutcheson’s note (1749): “Part I, Chapter 1, Section 4.” See p. 70.
[3 ]The distinction between knowledge of simple intelligence and knowledge of vision is found in the writings of Reformed scholastics. See Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, pp. 74-75; de Vries, Determinationes Ontologicae, pp. 68-69; and Carmichael, Natural Rights, pp. 259-61.
[4 ]The doctrine of mediate knowledge was rejected by the Reformed as Jesuitical and Pelagian. See Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 78, quoting Voetius: “The Jesuits thought out scientia media, which to this day is the refuge of all Pelagianisers.” See also Carmichael, Natural Rights, pp. 261-62.
[5 ]Hutcheson’s note (1749): “Part III, final chapter, Section 4.” See pp. 183-84.
[6 ]Hutcheson’s note (1749): “Part II, Chapter 2, Section 3.” See pp. 129-32.
[7 ]See the introduction, p. xxv.
[8 ]The paragraphs between brackets were added in 1744.
[1 ]The sentences between brackets were added in 1744.
[2 ]The argument that evil, disagreeable sensations, and death itself are consistent with the benevolent design of the world is developed at greater length in A System of Moral Philosophy, bk. 1.
[3 ]Hutcheson’s note (1749): “On this whole question, read Leibniz, Théodicée; the Earl of Shaftesbury, Rhapsody [“The Moralists, a Philosophical Rhapsody,” in Characteristics ]; Samuel and John Clarke; the Boyle lectures; and dissertations of others against the Manichees.”
[1 ]Note (1749): “Part III, Chapter 3, Section 1,” p. 168.
[2 ]This section was added in 1744.
[3 ]The distinction between first and second creation was made by Reformed theologians. See Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, chap. 9, pp. 197-98, and de Vries, Determinationes Ontologicae, III, XVII, p. 79.
[4 ]The sentences between brackets were added in 1744.
[5 ]Samuel Clarke, A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God; Baxter, Enquiry.
[6 ]This paragraph was added in 1744.
[7 ]Reformed theologians distinguish between the “general decree,” by which God created the world, and the “special decree,” in which God predestined some for eternal life, others to be damned. See Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, pp. 145-49. Hutcheson appears to preempt consideration of any distinction of this kind.
[8 ]This sentence was added in 1744.
[9 ]The distinction between the preservation of all things by God (or precursus) and the manner in which God enters into the successive actions of creatures (or concursus ) is found in Reformed scholasticism. See Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 250 ff.
[10 ]The three paragraphs between brackets were added in 1744.
[11 ]It was characteristic of the natural theologies of the Reformed scholastics that they eventuated in a discussion of miracles. See Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, pp. 263-65; de Vries, Determinationes Ontologicae, p. 89; Carmichael, “Synopsis of Natural Theology,” in Natural Rights, p. 277. Unlike Reformed natural theologians, however, Hutcheson considered it the criterion of a divinely inspired miracle that it must be conducive to human happiness.