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BOOK I. Part II. - Lewis Amherst Selby-Bigge, British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, vol. 1 
British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, edited with an Introduction and analytical Index by L.A. Shelby-Bigge in two volumes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897). Vol. 1.
Part of: British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols.
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BOOK I. Part II.
1 When we reflect on any ordinary Frame or Constltutmn either of Art or Nature; and consider how hard it is to give the least account of a particular Part, without a competent Knowledge of the Whole: we need not wonder to find our-selves at a loss in many things relating to the Constitution and Frame of Nature her-self. For to what End in Nature many things, even whole Species of Creatures, refer; or to what purpose they serve will be hard for any-one justly to determine: But to what End the many Propomons and various Shapes of Parts in many Creatures actually serve; we are able, by the help of Study and Observation, to demonstrate, with great exactness.
We know that every Creature has a private Good and Interest of his own; which Nature has compel'd him to seek, by all the Advantages afforded him, within the compass of his Make. We know that there is in reahty a right and a wrong State of every Creature; and that his right-one is by Nature forwarded, and by himself affectionately sought. There being therefore in every Creature a certain Interest or Good, there must be also a certain End, to which every thing in his Constitution must naturally refer. To this End, if any thing, either in his Appetites, Passions, or Affections, be not conducing, but the contrary we must of necessity own it ill to him. And in this manner he is ill, with respect to himself; as he certainly is, with respect to others of his kind, when any such Appetites or Passions make him any-way injurious to them. Now, if by the natural Constitution of any rational Creature, the same Irregularitys of Appetite which make him ill to Others, make him ill also to Himself; and if the same Regularity of Affectmns, which causes him to be good in one sense, causes him to be good also in the other; then is that Goodness by which he is thus useful to others, a real Good and Advantage to himself. And thus Virtue and Interest may be found at last to agree.
Of this we shall consider particularly in the latter part of our Inquiry. Our first Design is, to see if we can clearly determine what that Quality is to which we give the Name of Goodness, or Virtue.
2 Shou'd a Historian or Traveller describe to us a certain Creature of a more solitary Disposition than ever was yet heard of; one who had neither Mate nor Fellow of any kind nothing of his own Likeness, towards which he stood well-affected or inchn'd; nor any thing without, or beyond himself, for which he had the least Passion or Concern: we might be apt to say perhaps, without much hesitation,' That this was doubtless a very melancholy Creature, and that in this unsociable and sullen State he was he to have a very disconsolate kind of Life.' But if we were assur'd, that notwithstanding all Appearances, the Creature enjoyed himself extremely, had a great relish of Life, and was in nothing wanting to his own Good; we might acknowledge perhaps, 'That the Creature was no Monster, nor absurdly constituted as to himself.' But we should hardly, after all, be induc'd to say of him, 'That he was a good Creature.' However, shou'd it be urg'd against us, 'That such as he was, the Creature was still perfect in himself, and therefore to be esteem'd good: For what had he to do with others?, In this sense, indeed, we might be forc'd to acknowledge, 'That he was a good Creature; if he cou'd be understood to be absolute and complete in himself; without any real relation to any thing in the Universe besides.' For shou'd there be any where in Nature a System, of which this hving Creature was to be consider'd as a Part; then cou'd he no-wise be allow'd good; whilst he plainly appear'd to be such a Part, as made rather to the harm than good of that System or Whole in which he was included.
3 If therefore in the Structure of this or any other Animal, there be any thing which points beyond himself, and by which he is plainly discover'd to have relation to some other Being or Nature besides his own; then will this Animal undoubtedly be esteem'd a Part of some other System. For instance, if an Animal has the Proportions of a Male, it shews he has relation to a Female. And the respective Proportxons both of the Male and Female will be allow'd, doubtless, to have a joint-relation to another Existence and Order of things beyond themselves. So that the Creatures are both of 'em to be consxder'd as Parts of another System: which is that of a particular Race or Species of living Creatures, who have some one common Nature, or are provided for, by some one Order or Constitution of things subsisting together, and co-operating towards their Conservation, and Support.
In the same manner, if a whole Species of Animals contribute to the Existence or Well-being of some other; then is that whole Species, an general, a Part only of some other System.
For instance; To the Existence of the Spider, that of the Fly is absolutely necessary. The heedless Flight, weak Frame, and tender Body of this latter Insect, fit and determine him as much a Prey, as the rough Make, Watchfulness, and Cunning of the former, fit him for Rapine, and the ensnaring part. The Web and Wing are suted to each other. And in the Structure of each of these Ammals, there is as apparent and perfect a relation to the other, as in our own Bodys there is a relation of Limbs and Organs or, as in the Branches or Leaves of a Tree, we see a relation of each to the other, and all, in common, to one Root and Trunk.
In the same manner are Flies also necessary to the Existence of other Creatures, both Fowls and Fish. And thus are other Specms or Kinds subservient to one another; as being Parts of a certain System, and included in one and the same Order of Beings.
So that there is a System of all Animals; an Animal-Order or Œconomy, according to which the animal Affairs are regulated and dispos'd.
Now, if the whole System of Animals, together wxth that of Vegetables, and all other things in this inferior World, be properly comprehended in one System of a Globe or Earth: And if, again, this Globe or Earth it-self appears to have a real Dependence on something still beyond as, for example, either on its Sun, the Galaxy, or its Fellow-Planets; then is it in reality a Part only of some other System. And if it be allow'd, that there is in like manner a System of all Things, and a Universal Nature; there can be no particular Being or System which is not either good or ill in that general one of the Universe: For if it be insignificant and of no use, it is a Fault or Imperfection, and consequently ill in the general System.
4 Therefore if any Being be wholly and really Ill, it must be 111 with respect to the Universal System and then the System of the Universe is ill, or imperfect. But if the Ill of one private System be the Good of others; if it makes still to the Good of the general System, (as when one Creature lives by the Destruction of another; one thing is generated from the Corruption of another or one planetary System or Vortex may swallow up another) then is the Ill of that pnvate System no real Ill in it-self_ any more than the pain of breeding Teeth is ill, in a System or Body which is so constituted, that without this occasion of Pain, it wou'd suffer worse, by being defective.
So that we cannot say of any Being, that it is wholly and absolutely ill, unless we can positively shew and ascertain, that what we call Ill is no where Good besides, in any other System, or with respect to any other Order or Œconomy whatsoever.
But were there in the World any intire Species of Animals destructive to every other, it may be justly call'd an ill Species as being ill in the Animal-System. And if in any Species of Animals (as in Men, for example) one Man is of a nature pernicious to the rest, he is in this respect justly styl'd an ill Man.
5 We do not however say of any-one, that he is an ill Man because he has the Plague-Spots upon him, or because he has convulsive Fits which make him strike and wound such as approach him. Nor do we say on the other side, that he is a good Man, when having his Hands ty'd up, he is hinder'd from doing the Mischief he designs or (which is in a manner the same) when he abstains from executing his ill purpose, thro' a fear of some impending Punishment, or thro' the allurement of some exterior Reward.
So that in a sensible Creature, that which is not done thro' any Affection at all, makes neither Good nor Ill in the nature of that Creature; who then only is suppos'd Good, when the Good or Ill of the System to which he has relation, is the immediate Object of some Passion or Affection moving hma.
Since it is therefore by Affection merely that a Creature is esteem'd good or ill, natural or unnatural; our business will be, to examine which are the good and natural, and which the ill and unnatural Affections.
6 In the first place then, it may be observ'd, that if there be an Affection towards any Subject consider'd as private Good, which is1 not really such, but imaginary; that Affection, as being superfluous, and detracting from the Force of other requisite and good Affections, is in it-self vitious and ill, even in respect of the private Interest or Happiness of the Creature. If there can possibly be suppos'd in a Creature such an Affection towards Self-Good, as is actually, in its natural degree, conducing to his private Interest, and at the same time inconsistent with the publick Good; this may indeed be call'd still a vxtious Affection: And on this Supposition a Creature1 cannot really be good and natural in respect of his Society or Publick, without being ill and unnatural toward himself. But if the Affection be then only injurious to the Society, when it is immoderate, and not so when it is moderate, duly temper'd, and allay'd; then is the immoderate degree of the Affection truly vitious, but not the moderale. And thus, if there be found in any Creature a more than ordinary Self-concernment, or Regard to private Good, which is inconsistent with the Interest of the Species or Publick; this must in every respect be esteem'd an ill and viuous Affection. And this is what we commonly call1 Selfishness, and disapprove so much, in whatever Creature we happen to discover it. 7 On the other side, if the Affection towards private or Self-good, however selfish it may be esteem'd, is in reahty not only consistent with publick Good, but in some measure contributing to it; if it be such, perhaps, as for the good of the Species in general, every Individual ought to share; 'tis so far from being ill, or blameable in any sense, that it must be acknowledg'd absolutely necessary to constitute a Creature Good. For if the want of such an Affection as that towards Self-preservation, be injurious to the Species; a Creature is ill and unnatural as well thro' this Defect, as thro' the want of any other natural Affection. And this no-one wou'd doubt to pronounce, if he saw a Man who minded not any Precipices which lay in his way, nor made any distinction of Food, Diet, Clothing, or whatever else related to his Health and Being. The same wou'd be aver'd of one who had a Disposition which render'd him averse to any Commerce with Womankind, and of consequence unfitted him thro' Illness of Temper (and not merely thro' a Defect of Constitution) for the propagation of his Species or Kind.
8 Thus the Affection towards Self-good, may be a good Affection, or an ill-one. For if this private Affection be too strong, (as when the excessive Love of Life unfits a Creature for any generous Act) then is it undoubtedly vitious and if vitious, the Creature who is mov'd by it, is Vltlously mov'd, and can never be otherwise than vitious in some degree, when mov'd by that Affection. Therefore if thro' such an earnest and passionate Love of Life, a Creature be accidentally induc'd to do Good, (as he might be upon the same terms indue'd to do Ill) he is no more a good Creature for this Good he executes, than a Man is the more an honest or good Man e:ther for pleading a just Cause, or fighting in a good one, for the sake merely of his Fee or Stipend.
8 Whatsoever therefore is done which happens to be advan tageous to the Species, thro' an Affection merely towards Self-good, does not imply any more Goodness in the Creat me than as the Affection it-self is good. Let him, in any particuular, act ever so well; if at the bottom,:t be that selfish Affection alone which moves him he from himself shall various. Nor can any Creature be consider'd otherwise, when the Passion towards Self-good, the ever so moderate, is his real motive in the doing that, to which a natural Affection for his Kmd ought by right to have mclin'd him.
And indeed whatever exterior Helps or Succours an ill-dispos'd Creature may find, to push him on towards the performance of any one good Action; there can no Goodness arise in him, till his Temper be so far chang'd, that in the issue he comes in earnest to be led by some immediate Affection, directly, and not accidentally, to Good, and against Ill.
For instance; if one of those Creatures suppos'd to be by Nature tame, gentle, and favourable to Mankind, be, contrary to his natural Constitution, fierce and savage; we instantly remark the Breach of Temper, and own the Creature to be unnatural and corrupt. If at any time afterwards, the same Creature, by good Fortune or right Management, comes to lose his Faerceness, and is made tame, gentle, and treatable, like other Creatures of his Kind; 'tis acknowledg'd that the Creature thus restor'd becomes good and natural. Suppose, now, that the Creature has indeed a tame and gentle Carriage but that it proceeds only from the fear of his Keeper which if set aside, his predominant Passion instantly breaks out: then is his Gentleness not his real Temper; but, his true and genuine Nature or natural Temper remaimng just as it was, the Creature is still as ill as ever.
10 Nothing therefore being properly either Goodness or Illness in a Creature, except what is from natural Temper; 'A good Creature is such a one as by the natural Temper or Bent of has Affections is carry'd primarily and immediately, and not secondarily and accidentally, to Good, and against Ill:' And an ill Creature is just the contrary; viz. 'One who is wanting in right Affections, of force enough to carry him directly towards Good, and bear him out against Ill, or who is carry'd by other Affections directly to Ill, and against Good.'
When in general, all the Affections or Passions are suted to the publick Good, or good of the Species, as above-mention'd, then is the natural Temper entirely good. If, on the contrary, any requisite Passion be wanting, or if there be any one supernumerary, or weak, or any-wise disserviceable, or contrary to that main End; then is the natural Temper, and consequently the Creature himself, in some measure corrupt and ill.
There is no need of mentioning either Envy, Malice, Frowardness, or other such hateful Passions; to shew in what manner they are ill, and constitute an ill Creature. But it may be necessary perhaps to remark, that even as to Kindness and Love of the most natural sort, (such as that of any Creature for its Offspring) if it be immoderate and beyond a certain degree, it is undoubtedly vitious. For thus over-great Tenderness destroys the Effect of Love, and excessive Pity, renders us uncapable of giving succour. Hence the Excess of motherly Love is own'd to be a vinous Fondness; over-great Pity, Effeminacy and Weakness; over-great Concern for Self-preservatiou, Meanness and Cowardice; too httle, Rashness; and none at all, or that which is contrary, (viz. a Passion leading to Self-destruction) a mad and desperate Depravity.
11 But to proceed from what is esteem'd mere Goodness, and he's within the reach and capacity of all sensible Creatures, to that which is call'd VIRTUE or MERIT, and is allow'd to Man only.
In a Creature capable of forming general Notions of Things, not only the outward Beings which offer themselves to the Sense, are the Objects of the Affection but the very Actions themselves, and the Affections of Pity, Kindness, Gratitude, and their Contrarys, being brought into the Mind by Reflection, become Objects. So that, by means of this reflected Sense, there arises another kind of Affection towards those very Affections themselves, which have been already felt, and are now become the Subject of a new Liking or Dishke.
12 The Case is the same in mental or moral Subjects, as in ordinary Bodys, or tithe common Subjects of Sense. The Shapes, Motions, Colours, and Proportions of these latter being presented to our Eye; there necessarily results a1 Beauty or Deformity, according to the different Measure, Arrangement and Disposition of their several Parts. So in Behaviour and Actions, when presented to our Understanding, there must be found, of necessity, an apparent Difference, according to the Regularity or Irregularity of the Subjects.
The Mind, which is Spectator or Auditor of other Minds, cannot be without its Eye and Ear; so as to discern Proportion, distinguish Sound, and scan each Sentiment or Thought which comes before it. It can let nothing escape its Censure. It feels the Soft and Harsh, the Agreeable and Disagreeable, in the Affections; and finds a Foul and Fair, a Harmonious and a Dissonant, as really and truly here, as in any musical Numbers, or in the outward Forms or Representations of sensible Things. Nor can it1 with-hold its Admiration and Extasy, its Aversion and Scorn, any more in what relates to one than to the other of these Subjects. So that to deny the common and natural Sense of a SUBLIME and BEAUTIFUL in Things, will appear an Affectation merely, to any-one who considers duly of this Affair.
Now as in the sensible kind of Objects, the Species or Images of Bodys, Colours, and Sounds, are perpetually moving before our Eyes, and acting on our Senses, even when we sleep; so in the moral and intellectual kind, the Forms and Images of Things are no less active and incumbent on the Mind, at all Seasons, and even when the real Objects themselves are absent.
In these vagrant Characters or Pictures of Manners, which the Mind of necessity figures to it-self, and carrys still about with it, the Heart cannot possibly remain neutral; but constantly takes part one way or other. However false or corrupt it be within it-self, it finds the difference, as to Beauty and Comeliness, between one Heart and another, one Turn of Affection, one Behaviour, one Sentiment and another; and accordingly, in all disinterested Cases, must approve in some measure of what is natural and honest, and disapprove what is dishonest and corrupt.
Thus the several Motions, Inclinations, Passions, Dispositions, and consequent Carnage and Behaviour of Creatures in the various Parts of Life, being in several Views or Perspectives represented to the Mind, which readily discerns the Good and Ill towards the Species or Publick; there arises a new Trial or Exercise of the Heart: which must either rightly and soundly affect what is just and right, and disaffect what is contrary; or, corruptly affect what is ill, and disaffect what is worthy and good.
18 And in this Case alone it is we call any Creature worthy or virtuous, when it can have the Notion of a publick Interest, and can attain the Speculation or Science of what is morally good or ill, admirable or blameable, right or wrong. For the we may vulgarly call an ill Horse vitious, yet we never say of a good one, nor of any mere Beast, Idiot, or Changehng, the ever so good-natur'd, that he is worthy or virtuous.
So that if a Creature be generous, kind, constant, compassionate, yet if he cannot reflect on what he himself does, or sees others do, so as to take notice of what is worthy or honest; and make that Notice or Conception of Worth and Honesty to be an Object of his Affection; he has not the Character of being virtuous: for thus, and not otherwise, he is capable of having a Sense of Right or Wrong; a Sentiment or Judgment of what is done, thro' just, equal, and good Affection, or the contrary.
Whatsoever is done thro' any unequal Affection, IS iniquous, wicked, and wrong. If the Affection be equal, sound, and good, and the Subject of the Affection such as may with advantage to Society be ever in the same manner prosecuted, or affected; this must necessarily constitute what we call Equity and Right in any Action. For, WRONG is not such Action as is barely the Cause of Harm, (since at this rate a dutiful Son aiming at an Enemy, but by mistake or ill chance happening to kill his Father, wou'd do a Wrong) but when any thing is done thro' insufficient or unequal Affection, (as when a Son shews no Concern for the Safety of a Father or, where there is need of Succour, prefers an indifferent Person to him, this is the nature of Wrong).
14 Neither can any Weakness or Imperfection in the Senses be the occasion of iniquity or Wrong; if the Object of the Mind it-self be not at any time absurdly fram'd, nor any way improper, but sutable, just, and worthy of the Opinion and Affection apply'd to it. For if we will suppose a Man, who being sound and intire both in his Reason and Affection, has nevertheless so deprav'd a Constitution or Frame of Body, that the natural Objects are, thro' his Organs of Sense, as thro' ill Glasses, falsly convey'd and misrepresented; 'twill be soon observ'd, in such a Person's case, that since his Failure is not in his principal or leading Part; he cannot in himself be esteem'd iniquous, or unjust.
15 'Tis otherwise in what relates to Opinion, Belief, or Speculation. For as the Extravagance of Judgment or Belief is such, that in some Countrys even Monkeys, Cats, Crocodiles, and other vile or destructive Animals, have been esteem'd holy, and worshipp'd even as Deitys; shou'd it appear to any-one of the Religion or Belief of those Countrys, that to save such a Creature as a Cat, preferably to a Parent, was Right; and that other Men, who had not the same religious Opinion, were to be treated as Enemys, till converted this wou'd be certainly Wrong, and wicked in the Believer: and every Action, grounded on this Belief, wou'd be an iniquous, wicked, and vitious Action.
And thus whatsoever causes a Misconception or Misapprehension of the Worth or Value of any Object, so as to diminish a due, or raise any undue, irregular, or unsocial Affection, must necessarily be the occasion of Wrong. Thus he who affects or loves a Man for the sake of something which is reputed honourable, but which is in reality vitious, is himself vitious and ill. The beginnings of this Corruption may be noted in many Occurrences: As when an ambitious Man, by the Fame of his high Attempts, a Conqueror or a Pirate by his boasted Enterprizes, raises in another Person an Esteem and Admiration of that immoral and inhuman Character, which deserves Abhorrence: 'tis then that the Hearer becomes corrupt, when he secretly approves the Ill he hears. But on the other side, the Man who loves and esteems another, as believing him to have that Virtue which he has not, but only counterfeits, is not on this account either vitious or corrupt.
16 A Mistake therefore in Fact being no Cause or Sign of ill Affection, can be no Cause of Vice. But a Mistake of Right being the Cause of unequal Affection, must of necessity be the Cause of vitious Action, in every intelligent or rational Being.
But as there are many Occasions where the matter of Right may even to the most discerning part of Mankind appear difficult, and of doubtful Decision, 'tis not a slight Mistake of this kind which can destroy the Character of a virtuous or worthy Man. But when, either thro' Superstition or ill Custom, there come to be very gross Mistakes in the assignment or application of the Affection; when the Mistakes are either in their nature so gross, or so complicated and frequent, that a Creature cannot well live in a natural State; nor with due Affections, compatible with human Society and civil Life, then is the Character of Virtue forfeited.
17 And thus we find how far Worth and Virtue depend on a knowledge of Right and Wrong, and on a use of Reason, sufficient to secure a right application of the Affections; that nothing horrid or unnatural, nothing unexemplary, nothing destructive of that natural Affection by which the Species or Society is upheld, may, on any account, or thro' any Principle or Notion of Honour or Religion, be at any time affected or prosecuted as a good and proper object of Esteem. For such a Principle as this must be wholly vitious: and whatsoever is acted upon it, can be no other than Vice and Immorality. And thus if there be any thing which teaches Men either Treachery, Ingratitude, or Cruelty, by divine Warrant; or under colour and pretence of any present or future Good to Mankind: if there be any thing which teaches Men to persecute their Friends thro' Love; or to torment Captives of War in sport; or to offer human Sacrifice; or to torment, macerate, or mangle themselves, in a religious Zeal, before their God or to commit any sort of Barbarity, or Brutality, as amiable or becoming: be it Custom which gives Applause, or Religion which gives a Sanction; this is not, nor ever can be Virtue, of any kind, or in any sense; but must remain still horrid Depravity, notwithstanding any Fashion, Law, Custom, or Religion; which may be ill and vitious it-self, but can never alter the eternal Measures, and immutable independent Nature of Worth and Virtue.
18 Upon the whole. As to those Creatures which are only capable of being mov'd by sensible Objects; they are accordingly good or vitious, as the sensible Affections stand with them. 'Tis otherwise in Creatures capable of framing rational Objects of moral Good. For in one of this kind, shou'd the sensible Affections stand ever so much amiss; yet if they prevail not, because of those other rational Affections spoken of; 'tis evident, the Temper still holds good in the main; and the Person is with justice esteem'd virtuous by all Men.
19 More than this. If by Temper any one is passionate, angry, fearful, amorous; yet resists these Passions, and notwithstanding the force of their Impression, adheres to Virtue; we say commonly in this case, that the Virtue is the greater; and we say well. Tho if that which restrains the Person, and holds him to a virtuous-like Behaviour, be no Affection towards Goodness or Virtue it-self, but towards private Good merely, he is not in reality the more virtuous; as has been shewn before. But this still is ewdent, that if voluntarily, and without foreign Constraint, an angry Temper bears, or an amorous one refrains, so that neither any cruel or immodest Action can be forc'd from such a Person, the ever so strongly tempted by his Constitution; we applaud his Virtue above what we shou'd naturally do, if he were free of this Temptation, and these Propensitys. At the same time, there is no body will say that a Propensity to Vice can be an Ingredient in Virtue, or any way necessary to compleat a virtuous Character.
There seems therefore to be some kind of difficulty in the Case: but it amounts only to this. If there be any part of the Temper in which ill Passions or Affections are seated, whilst in another part the Affections towards moral Good are such as absolutely to master those Attempts of their Antagonists; this is the greatest Proof imaginable, that a strong Principle of Virtue lies at the bottom, and has possess'd it-self of the natural Temper. Whereas if there be no ill Passions stirring, a Person may he indeed more cheaply virtuous; that as to say, he may conform himself to the known Rules of Virtue, without sharing so much of a virtuous Principle as another. Yet if that other Person, who has the Principle of Virtue so strongly implanted, comes at last to lose those contrary Impediments suppos'd in him, he certainly loses nothing in Virtue; but on the contrary, losing only what is vitious in his Temper, is left more intire to Virtue, and possesses it in a higher degree.
20 Thus is Virtue shar'd in different degrees by rational Creatures; such at least as are call'd rational; but who come short of that sound and well-establish'd Reason, which alone can constitute a just Affection, a uniform and steddy Will and Resolution. And thus Vice and Virtue are found variously mix'd, and alternately prevalent in the several Characters of Mankind. For It seems evident from our Inquiry, that how ill soever the Temper or Passions may stand with respect either to the sensible or the moral Objects; however passionate, furious, lustful, or cruel any Creature may become; however vitious the Mind be, or whatever ill Rules or Principles it goes by; yet if there be any Flexibleness or favourable Inclination towards the least moral Object, the least appearance of moral Good, (as if there be any such thing as Kindness, Gratitude, Bounty, or Compassion) there is still something of Virtue left; and the Creature is not wholly vitious and unnatural.
Thus a Ruffian, who out of a sense of Fidelity and Honour of any kind, refuses to discover his Associates; and rather than betray them, is content to endure Torments and Death; has certainly some Principle of Virtue, however he may misapply it. 'Twas the same Case with that Malefactor, who rather than do the Office of Executioner to his Companions, chose to keep 'em company in their Execution.
In short: As it seems hard to pronounce of any Man,' That he is absolutely an Atheist;' so it appears altogether as hard to pronounce of any Man, 'That he is absolutely corrupt or vitious;' there being few, even of the horridest Villains, who have not something of Virtue in this imperfect sense. Nothing is more just than a known saying, 'That it is as hard to find a Man wholly Ill, as wholly Good:' because wherever there is any good Affection left, there is certainly some Goodness or Virtue still in being.
And, having consider'd thus of Virtue, What it is in it-self; we may now consider how it stands with respect to the Opinions concerning a Deity, as above-mention'd.
Infra, § 27, 60, &c.
Infra, § 27, 60, &c.
Infra, § 27, 60, &c.
Infra, § 67.
Infra, § 67.