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Book II. Part I. - 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 II. Part I.
26 We have consider'd what Virtue is, and to whom the Character belongs. It remains to require, What Obligation there is to Virtue. or what Reason to embrace it.
We have found, that to deserve the name of good or virtuous, a Creature must have all his Inclinations and. Affections, his Dispositions of Mind and Temper, sutable, and agreeing with the Good of his Kind, or of that System in which he is included, and of which he constitutes a Part. To stand thus well affected, and to have one's Affections right and intire, not only in respect of one's self, but of Society and the Publick: This is Rectitude, Integrity, or Virtue. And to be wanting in any of these, or to have their Contrarys, is Depravity, Corruption, and Vice.
It has been already shewn, that in the Passions and Affections of particular Creatures, there is a constant relation to the Interest of a Species, or common Nature. This has been demonstrated in the case of natural Affection, parental Kindness, Zeal for Posterity, Concern for the Propagation and Nurture of the Young, Love of Fellowship and Company, Compassion, mutual Succour, and the rest of this kind. Nor will any-one deny that this Affection of a Creature towards the Good of the Species or common Nature, in as proper and natural to him, as it is to any Organ, Part or Member of an Animal-Body, or mere Vegetable, to work in its known Course, and regular way of Growth. 'Tis not more natural for the Stomach to digest, the Lungs to breathe, the Glands to separate Juices, or other Intrails to perform their several Offices; however they may by particular Impediments be sometimes disorder'd, or obstructed in their Operations.
27 There being allow'd therefore in a Creature such Affections as these towards the common Nature, or System of the Kind, together with those other which regard the private Nature, or Self-system; it will appear that in following the first of these Affections, the Creature must on many Occasions contradict and go against the latter. How else shou'd the Species be preserv'd? Or what wou'd signify that implanted natural Affection, by which a Creature thro' so many Difficultys and Hazards preserves its Offspring, and supports its Kind?
It may therefore be imagin'd, perhaps, that there is a plain and absolute Opposition between these two Habits or Affections. It may be presum'd, that the pursuing the common Interest or publiek Good thro' the Affections of one kind, must be a hindrance to the Attainment of private Good thro' the Affections of another. For it being taken for granted, that Hazards and Hardships, of whatever sort, are naturally the Ill of the private State; and it being certainly the Nature of those publick Affections to lead often to the greatest Hardships and Hazards of every kind; 'tis presently infer'd, 'That 'tis the Creature's Interest to be without any publick Affection whatsoever.'
28 This we know for certain; That all social Love, Friendship, Gratitude, or whatever else is of this generous kind, does by its nature take place of the self-interesting Passions, draws us out of ourselves, and makes us disregardful of our own Convenience and Safety. So that according to a known way of reasoning on Self-interest, that which is of a social kind in us, shou'd of right be abolish'd. Thus Kindness of every sort, Indulgence, Tenderness, Compassion, and in short, all natural Affection shou'd be industriously suppress'd, and, as mere Folly, and Weakness or Nature, be resisted and overcome; that, by this means, there might be nothmg remaining in us, which was contrary to a direct Self-end; nothing which might stand in opposition to a steddy and deliberate Pursuit of the most narrowly confin'd Self-interest.
According to this extraordinary Hypothesis, it must be taken for granted, 'That in the System of a Kind or Species, the Interest of the private Nature is directly opposite to that of the common one; the Interest of Particulars directly opposite to that of the Publick in general.'— A strange Constitution! in which it must be confess'd there is much Disorder and Untowardness; unlike to what we observe elsewhere in Nature. As if in any vegetable or animal Body, the Part or Member cou'd be suppos'd in a good and prosperous State as to it-self, when under a contrary Disposition, and in an unnatural Growth or Habit as to its Whole.
Now that this is in reality quite otherwise, we shall endeavour to demonstrate; so as to make appear, 'That what Men represent as an ill Order and Constitution in the Universe, by making moral Rectitude appear the Ill, and Depravity the Good or Advantage of a Creature, is in Nature just the contrary. That to be well affected towards the Public Interest and one's own, is not only consistent, but inseparable; and that moral Rectitude, or Virtue, must accordingly be the Advantage, and Vice the Injury and Disadvantage of every Creature.'
29 There are few perhaps, who when they consider a Creature void of natural Affection, and wholly destitute of a communicative or social Principle, will suppose him, at the same time, either tolerably happy in himself, or as he stands abroad, with respect to his Fellow-Creatures or Kind. 'Tis generally thought, that such a Creature as this, feels slender Joy in Life, and finds little Satisfaction in the mere sensual Pleasures which remain with him, after the Loss of social Enjoyment, and whatever can be call'd Humanity or Good-nature. We know that to such a Creature as this, 'tis not only incident, to be morose, rancorous and malignant; but that, of necessity, a Mind or Temper thus destitute of Mildness and Benighity, must turn to that which is contrary, and be wrought by Passions of a different kind. Such a Heart as this must be a continual Seat of perverse Inclinations and bitter Aversions, rais'd from a constant ill Humour, Sourness, and Disquiet. The Consciousness of such a Nature, so obnoxious to Mankind, and to all Beings which approach it, must overcloud the Mind with dark Suspicion and Jealousy, alarm it with Fears and Horror, and raise in it a continual Disturbance, even in the most seeming fair and secure State of Fortune, and in the highest degree of outward Prosperity.
This, as to the compleat immoral State, is what, of their own accord, Men readdy remark. Where there is this absohtle Degeneracy, this total Apostacy from all Candour, Eqmty, Trust, Sociableness, or Friendship; there are few who do not see and acknowledg the Misery which is consequent. Seldom is the Case misconstru'd, when at worst. The misfortune is, we look not on this Depravity, nor consider how it stands, in less degrees. The Calamity, we think, does not of necessity hold proportion with the Injustice or Iniquity. As if to be absolutely immoral and inhuman, were indeed the greatest misfortune and misery; but that to be so, in a little degree, shou'd be no misery nor harm at all! Which to allow, is just as reasonable as to own, that 'tis the greatest Ill of a Body to be in the utmost manner distorted and maim'd; but that to lose the use only of one Limb, or to be impair'd in some one single Organ or Member, is no Inconvenience or Ill worthy the least notice.
30 The Parts and Proportions of the Mind, their mutual Relation and Dependency, the Connexion and Frame of those Passions which constitute the Soul or Temper, may easily be understood by any-one who thinks it worth his while to study this inward Anatomy. 'Tis certain that the Order or Symmetry of this inward Part is, in it-self, no less real and exact, than that of the Body. However, 'tis apparent that few of us endeavour to become Anatomists of this sort. Nor is any-one asham'd of the deepest Ignorance in such a Subject. For tho the greatest Misery and Ill is generally own'd to be from Disposition, and Temper; the 'tis allow'd that Temper may often change, and that it actually varys on many occasions, much to our disadvantage yet how this Matter is brought about, we inquire not. We never trouble our-selves to consider thorowly by what means or methods our inward Constitution comes at any time to be impair'd or injur'd. The Solutio Continui, which bodily Surgeons talk of, is never apply'd in this case, by Surgeons of another sort. The Notion of a Whole and Parts is not apprehended in this Science. We know not what the effect is, of straining any Affection, indulging any wrong Passion, or relaxing any proper and natural Habit, or good Inclination. Nor can we conceive how a particular Action shou'd have such a sudden Influence on the whole Mind, as to make the Person an immediate Sufferer. We suppose rather that a Man may violate his Faith, commit any Wickedness unfamiliar to him before, engage in any Vice or Villany, without the least prejudice to himself, or any Misery naturally following from the ill Action. 'Tis thus we hear it often said, 'Such a Person has done ill indeed: But what is he the worse for it?' Yet speaking of any Nature thorowly savage, curst, and inveterate, we say truly, 'Such a one is a plague and torment to himself:' And we allow, 'That thro' certain Humours, or Passions, and from Temper merely, a Man may be compleatly miserable; let his outward Circumstances be ever so fortunate.' These different Judgments sufficiently demonstrate that we are not accustom'd to think with much coherency on these moral Subjects; and that our Notions, in this respect, are not a little confus'd, and contradictory.
Now if the Fabrick of the Mind or Temper appear'd such to us as it really is; if we saw it impossible to remove hence any one good or orderly Affection, or introduce any ill or disorderly one, without drawing on, in some degree, that dissolute State, which at its height is confess'd to be so miserable: 'twou'd then undoubtedly be own'd, that since no ill, immoral, or unjust Action cou'd be committed without either a new inroad and breach on the Temper and Passions, or a farther advancing of that Execution already begun; whoever did ill, or acted in prejudice of his Integrity, Good-nature, or Worth, wou'd of necessity act with greater Cruelty towards himself, than he who scrupled not to swallow what was poisonous, or who with his own hands shou'd voluntarily mangle or wound his outward Form or Constitution, natural Limbs or Body.
31 It has been shewn before, that no Animal can be said properly to act, otherwise than thro' Affections or Passions, such as are proper to an Animal. For in convulsive Fits, where a Creature strikes either himself or others, 'tis a simple Mechanism, an Engine, or Piece of Clock-work, which acts, and not the Animal.
Whatsoever therefore is done or acted by any Ammal as such, is done only thro' some Affection or Passion, as of Fear, Love, or Hatred moving him.
32 And as it is impossible that a weaker Affection shou'd overcome a stronger, so it is impossible but that where the Affections or Passions are strongest in the main, and form in general the most' considerable Party, either by their Force or Number; thither the Animal must incline: And according to this Balance he must be govern'd, and led to Action.
The Affections or Passions which must influence and govern the Animal, are either,
I. The natural Affections, which lead to the Good of The Publick.
2 Or the Self-affections, which lead only to the Good of The Private.
3 Or such as are neither of these; nor tending either to any Good of the Publick or Private but contrary-wise: and which may therefore be justly styl'd unnatural Affections.
So that according as these Affections stand, a Creature must be virtuous or vitious, good or ill.
The latter sort of these Affections, 'tis evident, are wholly vitious. The two former may be vitious or virtuous, according to their degree.
33 It may seem strange, perhaps, to speak of natural Affections as too strong, or of Self-affections as too weak. But to clear this Difficulty, we must call to mind what has been already explain'd, 'That natural Affection may, in particular Cases, be excessive, and in an unnatural degree:' As when Pity is so overcoming as to destroy its own End, and prevent the Succour and Relief requir'd; or as when Love to the Offspring proves such a Fondness as destroys the Parent, and consequently the Offspring it-self. And notwithstanding it may seem harsh to call that unnatural and vitious, which is only an Extreme of some natural and kind Affection; yet 'tis most certain, that where-ever any single good Affection of this sort is over-great, it must be injurious to the rest, and detract in some measure from their Force and natural Operation. For a Creature possess'd with such an immoderate Degree of Passion, must of necessity allow too much to that one, and too little to others of the same Character, and equally natural and useful as to their End. And this must necessarily be the occasion of Partiality and Injustice, whilst only one Duty or natural Part is earnestly follow'd; and other Parts or Dutys neglected, which shou'd accompany it, and perhaps take place and be prefer'd.
34 Now as in particular Cases, publick Affection, on the one hand, may be too high; so private Affection may, on the other hand, be too weak. For if a Creature be self-neglectful, and insensible of Danger; or if he want such a degree of Passion in any kind, as is useful to preserve, sustain, or defend himself, this must certainly be esteem'd vitious, in regard of the Design and End of Nature. She her-self discovers this in her known Method and stated Rule of Operation. 'Tis certain, that her provisionary Care and Concern for the whole Animal, must at least be equal to her Concern for a single Part or Member. Now to the several Parts she has given, we see proper Affections, sutable to their Interest and Security; so that even without our Consciousness, they act in their own Defense, and for their own Benefit and Preservation. Thus an Eye, in its natural State, fails not to shut together, of its own accord, unknowingly to us, by a peculiar Caution and Timidity; which if it wanted, however we might intend the Preservation of our Eye, we shou'd not in effect be able to preserve it, by any Observation or Forecast of our own. To be wanting therefore in those principal Affections, which respect the Good of the whole Constitution, must be a Vice and Imperfection, as great surely in the principal part, (the Soul or Temper) as it is in any of those inferior and subordinate parts, to want the self-preserving Affections which are proper to them.
And thus the Affections towards private Good become necessary and essential to Goodness. For tho no Creature can be call'd good, or virtuous, merely for possessing these Affections; yet since at is impossible that the publick Good, or Good of the System, can be preserv'd without them; it follows that a Creature really wanting in them, is in reality wanting in some degree to Goodness and natural Rectitude; and may thus be esteem'd vitious and defective.
'T is thus we say of a Creature, in a kind way of Reproof, that he is too good; when has Affection towards others is so warm and zealous, as to carry him even beyond his Part; or when he really acts beyond it, not thro' too warm a Passion of that sort, but thro' an over-cool one of another, or thro' want of some Self-passion to restrain him within due Bounds.
35 It may be objected here, that the having the natural Affections too strong, (where the Self-affections are over-much so) or the having the Self-affections defective or weak, (where the natural Affections are also weak) may prove upon occasion the only Cause of a Creature's acting honestly and in moral proportion. For, thus, one who is to a fault regardless of his Life, may with the smallest degree of natural Affection do all which can be expected from the highest Pitch of social Love, or zealous Friendship. And thus, on the other hand, a Creature excessively timorous may, by as exceeding a degree of natural Affection, perform whatever the perfectest Courage is able to inspire.
To this it is answer'd, That whenever we arraign any Passion as too strong, or complain of any as too weak; we must speak with respect to a certain Constitution or Œconomy of a particular Creature, or Species. For if a Passion, leading to any right end, be only so much the more serviceable and effectual, for being strong; if we may be assur'd that the strength of it will not be the occasion of any disturbance within, nor of any disproportion between it self and other Affections; then consequently the Passion, however strong, cannot be condemn'd as vitious. But if to have all the Passions in equal proportion with it, be what the Constitution of the Creature cannot bear; so that only some Passions are rais'd to this height, whilst others are not, nor can possibly be wrought up to the same proportion; then may those strong Passions, the of the better kind, be call'd excessive. For being in unequal proportion to the others, and causing an ill Balance in the Affection at large, they must of course be the occasion of Inequality in the Conduct, and incline the Party to a wrong moral Practice.
36 But having shewn what is meant by a Passion's being in too high, or in too low a degree; and that, 'To have any natural Affection too high, or any Self-affection too low,' tho it be often approv'd as Virtue, is yet, strictly speaking, a Vice and Imper fection: we come now to the plainer and more essential part of Vice, and which alone deserves to be consider'd as such: that is to say,
Otherwise than thus, it is impossible any Creature can be such as we call ILL or VITIOUS. So that If once we prove that it is really not the Creature's Interest to be thus vitiously affected, but contrariwise; we shall then have pray'd, 'That it is his Interest to be wholly Good and Virtuous:' Since in a wholesom and sound State of his Affections, such as we have describ'd, he cannot passibly be other than sound, good and virtuous, in his Action and Behaviour.
37 Our Business, therefore, will be, to prove;