Front Page Titles (by Subject) Query VIII - The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy
Return to Title Page for The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Query VIII - George Turnbull, The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy 
The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy, ed. and with an Introduction by Alexander Broadie (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Now, all these things being considered, is not the present establishment or order of nature as much in favour of virtue and against vice, i.e. is there not as much provision made for distributive justice, in the course of human affairs, as can be supposed to take place in consequence of natural constitutions, in a first state of mankind, formed to acquire knowledge and virtuous habits by culture, and to arrive to happiness by right social union? Especially, if we add to all that hath been said one other consideration, which is the fitness or rather necessity of various temptations to vice, and of various trials of virtue, in order to the formation of virtuous habits; or in a state where they are not yet acquired, but to be acquired. I add this consideration, which hath been often already mentioned, because it well deserves the serious reflection of those who believe the reality of virtue, and yet are perplexed with doubts about the government of the world (for with such only am I now reasoning) whether the result of all that disorder and confusion in the world, which right human government would in a great measure diminish, if not put an end to, can be said to amount to, more than such trials of virtue and temptations to vice, as make a very proper theatre for forming the virtues, for making mens characters known, and for improving<431> in moral prudence and every great and noble accomplishment of the mind those who set themselves to do it; which cannot be called a bad constitution, since, while it serves that excellent purpose, it is in a great degree but the effect of the want of that right social union man is excellently fitted for, and strongly incited to by nature; and to which therefore, as hath been already said, we must be understood to be called by the author of nature, by natural connexions, in the same sense any other connexions are said to speak or point out a rule of action to us. Here then is evidently great good arising by the constitution and government of things, out of an evil against which there is, by the same constitution, all conceivable remedies, i.e. all the remedies consistent with leaving it to men to improve themselves, and to work their own happiness, i.e. all the remedies consistent with the first state of beings capable of exercising reason, acquiring knowledge, and gratifying either self-approbation or benevolence. And therefore, last of all let me ask,