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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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38 To begin therefore with this Proof, 'That to haw the Natural Affections (such as are founded in Love, Complacency, Good-will, and in a Sympathy with the Kind or Species) is to have the chief Means and Power of Self-enjoyment: And That to want them is certain Misery and Ill.'
We may inquire, first, what those are, which we call Pleasures or Satisfactions; from whence happiness is generally computed. They are (according to the common distinction) Satisfactions and Pleasures either of the Body, or of the Mind.
39 That the latter of these Satisfactions are the greatest, is allow'd by most People, and may be prov'd by this: That whenever the Mind, having conceiv'd a high Opinion of the Worth of any Action or Behaviour, has receiv'd the strongest Impression of this sort, and is wrought up to the highest pitch or degree of Passion towards the Subject; at such time it sets itself above all bodily Pain as well as Pleasure, and can be no-way deverted from its purpose by Flattery or Terror of any kind. Thus we see Indians, Barbarians, Malefactors, and even the most execrable Villains, for the sake of a particular Gang or Society, or thro' some cherish'd Notion or Principle of Honour or Gallantry, Revenge, or Gratitude, embrace any manner of Hardship, and defy Torments and Death. Whereas, on the other hand, a Person being plac'd in all the happy Circumstances of outward Enjoyment, surrounded with every thing which can allure or charm the Sense, and being then actually in the very moment of such a pleasing Indulgence; yet no sooner is there any thing amiss within, no sooner has he conceiv'd any internal Ail or Disorder, any thing inwardly vexatious or distemper'd, than instantly his Enjoyment ceases, the pleasure of sense is at an end; and every means of that sort becomes ineffectual, and is rejected as uneasy, and subject to give Distaste.
The Pleasures of the Mind being allow'd, therefore, superior to those of the Body; it follows, 'That whatever can create in any intelligent Being a constant flowing Series or Train of mental Enjoyment, or Pleasures of the Mind, is more considerable to his Happiness, than that which can create to him a like constant Course or Train of sensual Enjoyments, or Pleasures of the Body.'
40 Now the mental Enjoyments are either actually very natural Affections themselves in their immediate Operation: Or they wholly in a manner proceed from them, and are no other than their Effects.
If so; it follows, that the natural Affections duly establish'd in a rational Creature, being the only means which can procure him a constant Series or Succession of the mental Enjoyments, they are the only means which can procure him a certain and solid Happiness.
41 Now, in the first place, to explain, 'How much the natural Affections are in themselves the highest Pleasures and Enjoyments:' There shou'd methinks be little need of proving this to any-one of human Kind, who has ever known the Condition of the Mind under a lively Affection of Love, Gratitude, Bounty, Generosity, Pity, Succour, or whatever else is of a social or friendly sort. He who has ever so little Knowledge of human Nature, is sensible what pleasure the Mind perceives when it is touch'd in this generous way. The difference we find between Solitude and Company, between a common Company and that of Friends; the reference of almost all our Pleasures to mutual Converse, and the dependence they have on Society either present or imagin'd; all these are sufficient Proofs in our behalf.
How much the social Pleasures are superior to any other, may be known by visible Tokens and Effects. The very outward Features, the Marks and Signs which attend this sort of Joy, are expressive of a more intense, clear, and undisturb'd Pleasure, than those which attend the Satisfaction of Thirst, Hunger, and other ardent Appetites. But more particularly still may this Superiority be known, from the actual Prevalence and Ascendency of this sort of Affection over all besides. Where-ever it presents it-self with any advantage, it silences and appeases every other Motion of Pleasure. No Joy, merely of Sense, can be a Match for it. Whoever is Judg of both the Pleasures, will ever give the preference to the former. But to be able to judg of both, 'tis necessary to have a Sense of each. The honest Man indeed can judg of sensual Pleasure, and knows its utmost Force. For neither is his Taste, or Sense the duller; but, on the contrary, the more intense and clear, on the account of his Temperance, and a moderate Use of Appetite. But the immoral and profligate Man can by no means be allow'd a good Judg of social Pleasure, to which he is so mere a Stranger by his Nature.
Nor is it any Objection here; That in many Natures the good Affection, the really present, is found to be of insufficient force. For where it is not in its natural degree, 'tis the same indeed as if it were not or had never been. The less there is of this good Affection in any untoward Creature, the greater the wonder is, that it shou'd at any time prevail; as in the very worst of Creatures it sometimes will. And if it prevails but for once, in any single Instance it shews evidently, that if the Affection were thorowly experienc'd or known, it wou'd prevail in all.
Thus the Charm of kind Affection is superior to all other Pleasure: since it has the power of drawing from every other Appetite or Inclination. And thus in the Case of Love to the Offspring, and a thousand other Instances, the Charm is found to operate so strongly on the Temper, as, in the midst of other Temptations, to render it susceptible of this Passion alone; which remains as the Master-Pleasure and Conqueror of the rest.
42 There is no-one who, by the least progress in Science or Learning, has come to know barely the Principles ofMathematicks, but has found, that in the exercise of his Mind on the Discoverys he there makes, the merely of speculative Truths, he receives a Pleasure and Delight superior to that of Sense. When we have thorowly search'd into the nature of this contemplative Delight_ we shall find it of a kind which relates not in the least to any private interest of the Creature, nor has for its Object any Self-good or Advantage of the private System. The Admiration, Joy, or Love, turns wholly upon what is exterior, and foreign to our-selves. And tho the reflected Joy or Pleasure, which arises from the notice of this Pleasure once perceiv'd, may be interpreted a Self-passion, or interested Regard: yet the original Satisfaction can be no other than what results from the Love of Truth, Proportion, Order, and Symmetry, in the Things without. If this be the Case, the Passion ought in reality to be rank'd with natural Affection. For having no Object within the compass of the private System; it must either be esteem'd superfluous and unnatural, (as having no tendency towards the Advantage or Good of any thing in Nature) or it must be judg'd to be, what it truly is, 'A natural Joy in the Contemplation of those Numbers, that Harmony, Proportion, and Concord, which supports the universal Nature, and is essential in the Constitution and Form of every particular Species, or Order of Beings.'
But this speculative Pleasure, however considerable and valuable it may be, or however superior to any Motion of mere Sense; must yet be far surpass'd by virtuous Motion, and the Exercise of Benignity and Goodness; where, together with the most delightful Affection of the Soul, there is join'd a pleasing Assent and Approbation of the Mind to what is acted in this good Disposition and honest Bent. For where is there on Earth a fairer Matter of Speculation, a goodlier View or Contemplation, than that of a beautiful, proportion'd, and becoming Action? Or what is there relating to us, of which the Consciousness and Memory is more solidly and lastingly entertaining?
We may observe, that in the Passion of Love between the Sexes, where, together with the Affection of a vulgar sort, there is a mixture of the kind and friendly, the Sense or Feeling of this latter is in reality superior to the former; since often thro' this Affection, and for the sake of the Person belov'd, the greatest Hardships in the World have been submitted to, and even Death it-self voluntarily imbrac'd, without any expected Compensation. For where shou'd the Ground of such an Expectation lie? Not here, in this World surely; for Death puts an end to all. Nor yet hereafter, in any other: for who has ever thought of providing a Heaven or future Recompenee for the suffering Virtue of Lovers?
We may observe, withal, in favour of the natural Affections, that it is not only when Joy and Sprightliness are mix'd with them, that they carry a real Enjoyment above that of the sensual kind. The very Disturbances which belong to natural Affection, tho they may be thought wholly contrary to Pleasure, yield still a Contentment and Satisfaction greater than the Pleasures of indulg'd Sense. And where a Series or continu'd Succession of the tender and kind Affections can be carry'd on, even thro' Fears, Horrors, Sorrows, Griefs; the Emotion of the Soul is still agreeable. We continue pleas'd even with this melancholy Aspect or Sense of Virtue. Her Beauty supports it-self under a Cloud, and in the midst of surrounding Calamitys. For thus, when by mere Illusion, as in a Tragedy, the Passions of this kind are skilfully excited in us; we prefer the Entertainment to any other of equal duration. We find by our-selves, that the moving our Passions in this mournful way, the engaging them in behalf of Merit and Worth, and the exerting whatever we have of social Affection, and human Sympathy, is of the highest Delight; and affords a greater Enjoyment in the way of Thought and Sentiment, that any thing besides can do in a way of Sense and common Appetite. And after this manner it appears, 'How much the mental Enjoyments are actually the very natural Affections themselves.'
43 Now, in the next place, to explain, 'How they proceed from them, as their natural Effects;' we may consider first, That the EFFECTS of Love or kind Affection, in a way of mental Pleasure, are, 'An Enjoyment of Good by Communication: A receiving it, as it were by Reflection, or by way of Participation in the Good of others:' And 'A pleasing Consciousness of the actual Love, merited Esteem or Approbation of others?
How considerable a part of Happiness arises from the former of these Effects, will be easily apprehended by one who is not exceedingly ill natur'd. It will be consider'd how many the Pleasures are, of sharing Contentment and Delight with others; of receiving it in Fellowship and Company; and gathering it, in a manner, from the pleas'd and happy States of those around us, from accounts and relations of such Happinesses, from the very Countenances, Gestures, Voices and Sounds, even of Creatures foreign to our Kind, whose Signs of Joy and Contentment we can anyway discern. So insinuating are these Pleasures of Sympathy, and so widely diffus'd thro' our whole Lives, that there is hardly such a thing as Satisfaction or Contentment, of which they make not an essential part.
As for that other Effect of social Love, viz. the Consciousness of merited Kindness or Esteem; 'tis not difficult to perceive how much this avails in mental Pleasure, and constitutes the chief Enjoyment and Happiness of those who are, in the narrowest sense, voluptuous. How natural is it for the most selfish among us, to be continually drawing some sort of Satisfaction from a Character, and pleasing our-selves in the Fancy of deserv'd Admiration and Esteem? For tho it be mere Fancy, we endeavour still to beheve it Truth; and flatter our-selves, all we can, with the Thought of Merit of some kind, and the Persuasion of our deserving well from some few at least, with whom we happen to have a more intimate and familiar Commerce.
What Tyrant is there, what Robber, or open Violater of the Laws of Society, who has not a Companion, or some particular Sect, either of his own Kindred, or such as he calls Friends; with whom he gladly shares his Good; in whose Welfare he delights; and whose Joy and Satisfaction he makes his own? What Person in the world is there, who receives not some Impressions from the Flattery or Kindness of such as are familiar with him? 'Tis to this soothing Hope and Expectation of Friendship, that almost all our Actions have some reference. 'Tis this which goes thro' our whole Lives, and mixes it-self even with most of our Vices. Of this, Vanity, Ambition, and Luxury, have a share; and many other Disorders of our Life partake. Even the unchastest Love borrows largely from this Source. So that were Pleasure to be computed in the same way as other things commonly are; it might properly be said, that out of these two Branches (viz. Community or Participation in the Pleasures of others, and Belief of meriting well from others) wou'd arise more than nine Tenths of whatever is enjoy'd in Life. And thus in the main Sum of Happiness, there is scarce a single Article, but what derives it-self from social Love, and depends immediately on the natural and kind Affections.
Now such as Causes are, such must be their Effects. And therefore as natural Affection or social Lave is perfect, or imperfect so must be the Content and Happiness depending on it.
44 But lest any shou'd imagine with themselves that an inferior Degree of natural Affection, or an imperfect partial Regard of this sort, can supply the place of an intire, sincere, and truly moral one; lest a small Tincture of social Inclination shou'd be thought sufficient to answer the End of Pleasure in Society, and give us that Enjoyment of Participation and Community which is so essential to our Happiness; we may consider first, That Partial Affection, or social Love in part, without regard to a compleat Society or Whole, is in it-self an Inconsistency, and implies an absolute Contradiction. Whatever Affection we have towards any thing besides our-selves; if it be not of the natural sort towards the System, or Kind; it must be, of all other Affections, the most dtissociable, and destructive of the Enjoyments of Society: If it be really of the natural sort, and apply'd only to some one Part of Society, or of a Species, but not to the Species or Society it-self; there can be no more account given of it, than of the most odd, capricious, or humoursom Passion which may arise. The Person, therefore, who is conscious of this Affection, can be conscious of no Merit or Worth on the account of it. Nor can the Persons on whom this capricious Affection has chanc'd to fall, be in any manner secure of its Continuance or Force. As it has no Foundation or Establishment in Reason; so it must be easily removable, and subject to alteration, without Reason. Now the Variableness of such sort of Passion, which depends solely on Capriciousness and Humour, and undergoes the frequent Successions of alternate Hatred and Love, Aversion and Inclination, must of necessity create continual Disturbance and Disgust, give an allay to what is immediately enjoy'd in the way of Friendship and Society, and in the end extinguish, in a manner, the very Inclination towards Friendship and human Commerce. Whereas, on the other hand, Intire Affection (from whence Integrity has its name) as it is answerable to it-self, proportionable, and rational; so it is irrefragable, solid, and durable. And as in the case of Partiality, or vitious Friendship, which has no rule or order, every Reflection of the Mind necessarily makes to its disadvantage, and lessens the Enjoyment; so in the case of Integrity, the Consciousness of just Behaviour towards Mankind in general, casts a good reflection on each friendly Affection in particular, and raises the Enjoyment of Friendship still the higher, in the way of Community or Participation above-mention'd.
And in the next place, as partial Affection is fitted only to a short and slender Enjoyment of those Pleasures of Symathy or Participiation with others; so neither is it able to derive any considerable Enjoyment from that other principal Branch of human Happiness, viz. Consciousness of the actual or merited Esteem of others. From whence shou'd this Esteem arise? The Merit, surely, must in it-self be mean whilst the Affection is so precarious and uncertain. What Trust can there be to a mere casual Inclination or capricious Liking? Who can depend on such a Friendship as is founded on no moral Rule, but fantastically assign'd to some single Person, or small Part of Mankind, exclusive of Society, and the Whole?
It may be consider'd, withal, as a thing impossible; that they who esteem or love by any other Rule than that of Virtue, shou'd place their Affection on such Subjects as they can long esteem or love. 'Twill be hard for them, in the number of their so belov'd Friends, to find any, in whom they can heartily rejoice; or whose reciprocal Love or Esteem they can sincerely prize and enjoy. Nor can those Pleasures be sound or lasting, which are gather'd from a Self-flattery, and false Persuasion of the Esteem and Love of others, who are incapable of any sound Esteem or Love. It appears therefore how much the Men of narrow or partial Affection must be Losers in this sense, and of necessity fall short in this second principal part of mental Enjoyment.
45 Mean while intire Affection has all the opposite advantages. It is equal, constant, accountable to it-self, ever satisfactory, and pleasing. It gains Applause and Love from the best; and in all disinterested cases, from the very worst of Men. We may say of it, with justice, that it carry with it a Consciousness of merited Love and Approbation from all Society, from all intelligent Creatures, and from whatever is original to all other Intelligence. And if there be in Nature any such Original; we may add, that the Satisfaction which attends intire Affection, is full and noble, in proportion to its final Object, which contains all Perfection according to the Sense of Theism above-noted. For this, as has been shewn, is the result of Virtue. And to have this intire Affection or Integrity of Mind, is to live according to Nature, and the Dictates and Rules of supreme Wisdom. This is Morality, Justice, Piety, and natural Religion.
46 But lest this Argument shou'd appear perhaps too scholastically stated, and in Terms and Phrases, which are not of familiar use; we may try whether possibly we can set it yet in a plainer light.
Let any-one, then, consider well those Pleasures which he receives either in private Retirement, Contemplation, Study and Converse with himself; or in Mirth, Jollity, and Entertainment with others; and he will find, That they are wholly founded in An easy Temper, free of Harshness, Bitterness, or Distaste; and in A Mind or Reason well compos'd, quiet, easy within itself, and suck as can freely bear its own Inspection and Review. Now such a Mind, and such a Temper, which fit and qualify for the Enjoyment of the Pleasures mention'd, must of necessity be owing to the natural and good Affections.
47 As to what relates to Temper, it may be consider'd thus. There is no State of outward Prosperity, or flowing Fortune, where Inclination and Desire are always satisfy'd, Fancy and Humour pleas'd. There are almost hourly some Impediments or Crosses to the Appetite; some Accidents or another from without; or something from within, to check the licentious Course of the indulg'd Affections. They are not aways to be satisfy'd by mere Indulgence. And when a Life is guided by Fancy only, there is sufficient ground of Contrariety and Disturbance. The very ordinary Lassitudes, Uneasinesses, and Defects of Disposition in the soundest Body; the interrupted Course of the Humours, or Spirits, in the healthiest People; and the accidental Dasorders common to every Constitution, are sufficient, we know, on many occasions, to breed Uneasiness and Distaste. And this, in time, must grow into a Habit; where there is nothing to oppose its progress, and hinder its prevailing on the Temper. Now the only sound Opposite to ILL Humour, is natural and kind Affection. For we may observe, that when the Mind, upon reflection, resolves at any time to suppress this Disturbance already risen in the Temper, and sets about this reforming Work with heartiness, and in good earnest; it can no otherwise accomplish the Undertaking, than by introducing into the affectionate Part some gentle Feeling of the social and friendly kind; some enlivening Motion of Kindness, Fellowship, Complacency, or Love, to allay and convert that contrary Motion of Impatience and Discontent.
If it be said perhaps, that in the case before us, Religious Affection or Devotion is a sufficient and proper Remedy; we answer, That 'tis according as the Kind may happily prove. For if it be of the pleasant and chearful sort, 'tis of the very kind of natural Affection it-self; if it be of the dismal or fearful sort; if it brings along with it any Affection opposite to Manhood, Generosity, Courage, or Free-thought; there will be nothing gain'd by this Application; and the Remedy will, in the issue, be undoubtedly found worse than the Disease. The severest Reflections on our Duty, and the Consideration merely of what is by Authority and under Penaltys enjoin'd, will not by any means serve to calm us on this occasion. The more dismal our Thoughts are on such a Subject, the worse our Temper will be, and the readier to discover it-self in Harshness, and Austerity. If, perhaps, by Compulsion, or thro' any Necessity or Fear incumbent, a different Carriage be at any time effected, or different Maxims own'd the Practice at the bottom will be still the same. If the Countenance be compos'd; the Heart, however, will not be chang'd. The ill Passion may for the time be with-held from breaking into Action; but will not be subdu'd, or in the least debilitated against the next occasion. So that in such a Breast as this, whatever Devotion there may be; 'tis likely there will in time be little of an easy Spirit, or good Temper remaining; and consequently few and slender Enjoyments of a mental kind.
If it be objected, on the other hand, that tho in melancholy Circumstances ill Humour may prevail, yet in a Course of outward Prosperity, and in the height of Fortune, there can nothing probably occur which shou'd thus sour the Temper, and give it such disrelish as is suggested; we may consider, that the most humour'd and indulg'd State is apt to receive the most disturbance from every Disappointment or smallest Ail. And if Provocations are easiest rais'd, and the Passions of Anger, Offence, and Enmity, are found the highest in the most indulg'd State of Will and Humour; there is still the greater need of a Supply from social Affection, to preserve the Temper from running into Savageness and Inhumanity. And this, the Case of Tyrants, and most unlimited Potentates, may sufficiently verify and demonstrate
48 Now as to the other part of our Consideration, which relates to a Mind or Reason well compos'd and easy within il-self; upon what account this Happiness may be thought owing to natural Affection, we may possibly resolve our-selves, after this manner. It will be acknowledg'd that a Creature, such as Man, who from several degrees of Reflection has risen to that Capacity which we call Reason and Understanding; must in the very use of this his reasoning Faculty, be forc'd to receive Reflections back into his Mind of what passes in itself, as well as in the Affections, or Will; in short, of whatsoever relates to his Character, Conduct, or Behaviour amidst his Fellow-Creatures, and in Society. Or shou'd he be of himself unapt; there are others ready to remind him, and refresh his Memory, in this way of Criticism. We have all of us Remembrancers enow to help us in this work. Nor are the greatest Favourites of Fortune exempted from this Task of Self-inspection. Even Flattery itself, by making the View agreeable, renders us more attentive this way, and insnares us in the Habit. The vainer any Person is, the more he has in Eye inwardly fix'd upon himself; and is, after a certain manner, employ'd in this home-Survey. And when a true Regard to our-selves cannot oblige us to this Inspection, a false Regard to others, and a Fondness for Reputation raises a watchful Jealousy, and furnishes us sufficiently with Acts of Reflection on our own Character and Conduct.
In whatever manner we consider of this, we shall find still that every reasoning or reflecting Creature is, by his Nature, forc'd to endure the Review of his own Mind, and Actions; and to have Representations of himself, and his inward Affairs, constantly passing before him, obvious to him, and revolving in his Mind. Now as nothing can be more grievous than this is, to one who has thrown off natural Affection; so nothing can be more delightful to one who has preserv'd it with sincerity.
49 There are two Things, which to a rational Creature must be horridly offensave and grievous; viz. 'To have the Reflection in his Mind of any unjust Action or Behaviour, which he knows to be naturally odious and ill-deserving: Or, of any foolish Action or Behaviour, which he knows to be prejudicial to his own Interest or Happiness.
The former of these is alone properly call'd Conscience whether in a moral, or religious Sense. For to have Awe and Terror of the Deity, does not, of itself, imply Conscience. No one is esteem'd the more conscientious for the fear of evil Spirits, Conjurations, Enchantments, or whatever may proceed from any unjust, capricious, or devilish Nature. Now to fear God any otherwise than as in consequence of some justly blameable and imputable Act, is to fear a devilish Nature, not a divine one. Nor does the Fear of Hell, or a thousand Terrors of the Deity, imply Conscience unless where there is an Apprehension of what is wrong, odious, morally deform'd and ill-deserving. And where this is the Case, there Conscience must have effect, and Punishment of necessity be apprehended; even tho it be not expressly threaten'd
And thus religious Conscience supposes moral or natural Conscience. And tho the former be understood to carry with it the Fear of divine Punishment; it has it's force however from the apprehended moral Deformity and Odiousness of any Act, with respect purely to the Divine Presence, and the natural Veneration due to such a suppos'd Being. For in such a Presence, the Shame of Villany or Vace must have its force, independently on that farther Apprehension of the magisterial Capacity of such a Being, and his Dispensation of particular Rewards or Punishments in a future State.
It has been already said, that no Creature can maliciously and intentionally do ill, without being sensible, at the same time, that he deserves ill And in this respect, every sensible Creature may be said to have Conscience. For with all Mankind, and all intelligent Creatures this must ever hold, 'That what they know they deserve from every-one, that they necessarily must fear and expect from all.' And thus Suspicions and ill Apprehensions must arise, with Terror both of Men and of the Deity. But besides this, there must in every rational Creature, be yet farther Conscience; viz. from Sense of Deformity in what is thus ill-deserving and unnatural: and from a consequent Shame or Regret of incurring what is odious, and moves Aversion.
50 There scarcely is, or can be any Creature, whom Consciousness of Villany, as such merely, does not at all offend; nor any thing opprobrious or heniously imputable, move, or affect. If there be such a one; 'tis evident he must be absolutely indifferent towards moral Good or Ill. If this indeed be his Case; 'twill be allow'd he can be no-way capable of natural Affection: If not of that, then neither of any social Pleasure, or mental Enjoyment, as shewn above; but on the contrary, he must be subject to all manner of horrid, unnatural, and ill Affection. So that to want Conscience, or natural Sense of the Odiousness of Crime and Injustice, is to be most of all miserable in Life: but where Conscience, or Sense of this sort, remains; there, consequently, whatever is committed against it, must of necessity, by means of Reflection, as we have shewn, be continually shameful, grievous and offensive.
A man who in a Passion happens to kill his Companion, relents immediately on the sight of what he has done. His Revenge is chang'd into Pity, and his Hatred turn'd against himself. And this merely by the Power of the Object. On this account he suffers Agonys; the Subject of this continually occurs to him; and of this he has a constant ill Remembrance and displeasing Consciousness. If on the other side, we suppose him not to relent or suffer any real Concern or Shame; then, either he has no Sense of the Deformity of the Crime and Injustice, no natural Affection, and consequently no Happiness or Peace within: or if he has any Sense of moral Worth or Goodness, it must be of a perplex'd, and contradictory kind. He must pursue an inconsistent Notion, idolize somefalse Species of Virtue; and affect as noble, gallant, or worthy, that which is irrational and absurd. And how tormenting this must be to him, is easy to conceive. For never can such a Phantom as this be reduc'd to any certain Form. Never can this Proteus of Honour be held steddy, to one Shape. The Pursuit of it can only be vexatious and distracting. There is nothing beside real Virtue, as has been shewn, which can possibly hold any proportion to Esteem, Approbation, or good Conscience. And he who, being led by false Religion or prevailing Custom, has learnt to esteem or admire any thing as Virtue which is not really such; must either thro' the Inconsistency of such an Esteem, and the perpetual Immoralitys occasion'd by it, come at last to lose all Conscience; and so be miserable in the worst way: or, if he retains any Conscience at all, it must be of a kind never satisfactory, or able to bestow Content. For 'tis impossible that a cruel Enthusiast, or Bigot, a Persecutor, a Murderer, a Bravo, a Pirate, or any Villain of less degree, who is false to the Society of Mankind in general, and contradicts natural Affection; shou'd have any fix'd Principle at all, any real Standard or Measure by which he can regulate his Esteem, or any solid Reason by which to form his Approbation of any one moral Act. And thus the more he sets up Honour, or advances Zeal; the worse he renders his Nature, and the more detestable his Character. The more he engages in the Love or Admiration of any Action or Practice, as great and glorious, which is in it-self morally ill and vitious; the more Contradiction and Self-disapprobation he must incur. For there being nothing more certain than this, 'That no natural Affection can be contradicted, nor any unnatural one advanc'd, without a prejudice in some degree to all natural Affection in general:' it must follow, 'That inward Deformity growing greater, by the Incouragement of unnatural Affection; there must be so much the more Subject for dissatisfactory Reflection, the more any false Principle of Honour, any false Religion, or Superstition prevails.'
So that whatever Notions of this kind are cherish'd; or whatever Character affected, which is contrary to moral Equity, and leads to Inhumanity, thro' a false Conscience, or wrong Sense of Honour, serves only to bring a Man the more under the lash of real and just Conscience, Shame, and Self-reproach. Nor can any one, who, by any pretended Authority, commits one single Immorality, be able to satisfy himself with any Reason, why he shou'd not at another time be carry'd further into all manner of Villany; such perhaps as he even abhors to think of. And this is a Reproach which a Mind must of necessity make to it-self upon the least Violation of natural Conscience; in doing what is morally deform'd, and ill-deserving; tho warranted by any Example or Precedent amongst Men, or by any suppos'd Injunction or Command of higher Powers.
51 Now as for that other part of Conscience, viz. the remembrance of what was at any time unreasonably and foolishly done, in prejudice of one's real Interest or Happiness: This dissatisfactory Reflection must follow still and have effect, wheresoever there is a Sense of moral Deformity, contracted by Crime, and Injustice. For even where there is no Sense of moral Deformity, as such merely; there must be still a Sense of the ill Merit of it with respect to God and Man. Or tho there were a possibihty of excluding for ever all Thoughts or Suspicions of any superior Powers, yet considering that this Insensibility towards moral Good or Ill implies a total Defect in natural Affection, and that this Defect can by no Dissimulation be conceal'd; 'tis evident that a Man of this unhappy Character must suffer a very sensible Loss in the Friendship, Trust, and Confidence of other Men; and consequently must suffer in his Interest and outward Happiness. Nor can the Sense of this Disadvantage fail to occur to him; when he sees, with Regret, and Envy, the better and more grateful Terms of Friendship, and Esteem, on which better People live with the rest of Mankind. Even therefore where natural Affection is wanting; 'tis certain still, that by Immorality, necessarily happening thro' want of such Affection, there must be disturbance from Conscience of this sort, viz. from Sense of what is committed imprudently, and contrary to real Interest and Advantage.
52 From all this we may easily conclude, how much our Happiness depends on natural and goad Affection. For if the chief Happiness be from the Mental Pleasures and the chief mental Pleasures are such as we have describ'd, and are founded in natural Affection; it follows, 'That to have the natural Affections, is to have the chief Means and Power of Self-enjoyment, the highest Possession and Happiness of Life.
53 Now as to the Pleasures of THE BODY, and the Satisfactions belonging to mere SENSE 'tis evident, they cannot possibly have their Effect, or afford any valuable Enjoyment, otherwise than by the means of social and natural Affection.
To live well, has no other meaning with some People, than to eat anddrink well. And methinks 'tis an unwary Concession we make in favour of these pretended good Livers, when we join with 'em, in honouring their way of Life with the Title of living fast. As if they liv'd the fastest who took the greatest pains to enjoy least of Life: For if our Account of Happiness be right; the greatest Enjoyments in Life are such as these Men pass over in their haste, and have scarce ever allow'd themselves the liberty of tasting.
But as considerable a Part of Voluptuousness as is founded in the Palat; and as notable as the Science is, which depends on it; one may justly presume that the Ostentation of Elegance, and a certain Emulation and Study how to excel in this sumptuous Art of Living, goes very far in the raising such a high Idea of it, as is observ'd among the Men of Pleasure. For were the Circumstances of a Table and Company, Equipages, Services, and the rest of the Management withdrawn; there wou'd be hardly left any Pleasure worth acceptance, even in the Opinion of the most debauch'd themselves.
The very Notion of a Debauch (which is a Sally into whatever can be imagin'd of Pleasure and Voluptuousness) carrys with it a plain reference to Society, or Fellowship. It may be call'd a Surfeit, or Excess of Eating and Drinking, but hardly a Debauch of that kind, when the Excess is committed separately, out of all Society, or Fellowship. And one who abuses himself in this way, is often call'd a Sot but never a Debauchee. The Courtizans, and even the commonest of Women, who live by Prostitution, know very well how necessary it is, that every-one whom they entertain with their Beauty, shou'd believe there are Satisfactions reciprocal; and that Pleasures are no less given than receiv'd. And were this Imagination to be wholly taken away, there wou'd be hardly any of the grosser sort of Mankind, who wou'd not perceive their remaining Pleasure to be of slender Estimation.
Thus, therefore, not only the Pleasures of the Mind, but even those of the Body, depend on natural Affection: insomuch that where this is wanting, they not only lose their Force, but are in a manner converted into Uneasiness and Disgust. The Sensations which shou'd naturally afford Contentment and Delight, produce rather Discontent and Sourness, and breed a Wearisomness and Restlesness in the Disposition. This we may perceive by the perpetual Inconstancy, and Love of Change, so remarkable in those who have nothing communicative or friendly in their Pleasures. Good Fellowship, in its abus'd Sense, seems indeed to have something more constant and determining. The Company supports the Humour. 'Tis the same in Love. A certain Tenderness and Generosity of Affection supports the Passion, which otherwise wou'd instantly be chang'd. The perfectest Beauty cannot, of it-self, retain, or fix it. And that Love which has no other Foundation, but relies on this exterior kind, is soon turn'd into Aversion. Satiety, perpetual Disgust, and Feverishness of Desire, attend those who passionately study Pleasure. They best enjoy it, who study to regulate their Passions. And by this they will come to know how absolute an Incapacity there is in any thing sensual to please, or give contentment, where it depends not on something friendly or social, something conjoin'd, and in affinity with kind or natural Affection.
54 But ere we conclude this Article of social or natural Affection, we may take a general View of it, and bring it, once for all, into the Scale; to prove what kind of Balance it helps to make within; and what the Consequence may be, of its Deficiency, or light Weight.
There is no-one of ever so little Understanding in what belongs to a human Constitution, who knows not that without Action, Motion, and Employment, the Body languishes, and is oppress'd; its Nourishment turns to Disease; the Spirits, unimploy'd abroad, help to consume the Parts within; and Nature, as it were, preys upon her-self. In the same manner, the sensible and living Part, the Saul or Mind, wanting its proper and natural Exercise, is burden'd and diseas'd. Its Thoughts and Passions being unnaturally with-held from their due Objects, turn against itself, and create the highest Impatience and Ill-humour.
It happens with Mankind, that whilst some are by necessity confin'd to Labour, others are provided with abundance of all things, by the Pains and Labour of Inferiors. Now, if among the superior and easy sort, there be not something of fit and proper Imployment rais'd in the room of what is wanting in common Labour and Toil; if instead of an Application to any sort of Work, such as has a good and honest End in Society, (as Letters, Sciences, Arts, Husbandry, publick Affairs, Œconomy, or the like) there be a thorow Neglect of all Duty or Imployment; a settled Idleness, Supineness, and Inactivity: this of necessity must occasion a most relax'd and dissolute State; It must produce a total Disorder of the Passions, and break out in the strangest Irregularity imaginable.
We see the enormous Growth of Luxury in capital Citys, such as have been long the Seat of Empire. We see what Improvements are made in Vice of every kind, where numbers of Men are maintain'd in lazy Opulence, and wanton Plenty. 'Tis otherwise with those who are taken up in honest and due Imployment, and have been well inur'd to it from their Youth. This we may observe in the hardy remote Provincials, the Inhabitants of smaller Towns, and the industrious sort of common People; where 'tis rare to meet with any Instances of those Irregularitys, which are known in Courts and Palaces, and in the rich Foundations of easy and pamper'd Priests.
Now if what we have advanc'd concerning an inward Constitution be real and just; if it be true that Nature works by a just Order and Regulation as well in the Passions and Affections, as in the Limbs and Organs which she forms; if it appears withal, that she has so constituted this inward Part, that nothing is so essential to it as Exercise; and no Exercise so essential as that of social or natural Affection: it follows, that where this is remov'd or weaken'd, the inward Part must necessarily suffer andbeimpair'd Let Indolence, Indifference or Insensibility, be study'd as an Art, or cultivated with the utmost Care; the Passions thus restrain'd will force their Prison, and in one way or other procure their Liberty, and find full Employment. They will be sure to create to themselves unusual and unnatural Exercise, where they are cut off from such as is natural and goad. And thus in the room of orderly and natural Affection, new and unnatural must be rais'd, and all iuward Order and Œconomy destroy'd.
55 Thus it may appear, how much NATURAL AFFECTION is predominant; how it is inwardly join'd to us, and implanted in our Natures; how interwoven with our other Passions; and how essential to that regular Motion and Course of our Affections, on which our Happiness and Self-enjoyment so immediately depend.
And thus we have demonstrated, That as, on one side, To HAVE THE NATURAL AND GOOD Affections, IS TO HAVE THE CHIEF MEANS AND POWER OF SELF-ENJOYMENT: So, on the other side, to want them, is certain MISERY, AND Ill.
56 We are now to prove, That by having the Selfpassions TOO INTENSE OR STRONG, A CREATURE BECOMES MISERABLE.
In order to this, we must, according to Method, enumerate those Home-affections which relate to the private Interest or separate Economy of the Creature: such as Love of Life:—Resentment of Injury;—Pleasure, or Appetite towards Nourishment, and the Means of Generation;—Interest, or Desire of those Conveniences, by which we are all well provided for, and maintain'd;—Emulation, or Love of Praise and Honour;—Indolence, or Love of Ease and Rest.—These are the Affections which relate to the private System, and constitute whatever we call Interestedness or Self-love.
Now these Affections, if they are moderate, and within certain bounds, are neither injurious to social Life, nor a hindrance to Virtue: but being in an extreme degree, they become Cowardice,—Revengefulness,—Luxury,—Avarice, —Vanity and Ambition,—Sloth;— and, as such, are own'd vitious and ill, with respect to human Society. How they are ill also with respect to the private Person, and are to his own disadvantage as well as that of the Publick, we may consider, as we severally examine them.
57 If there were any of these Self-passions which for the Good and Happiness of the Creature might be oppos'd to Natural Affection, and allow'd to over-balance it; the desire and Love of Life wou'd have the best Pretence. But it will be found perhaps, that there is no Passion which, by having much allow'd to it, is the occasion of more Disorder and Misery.
There is nothing more certain, or more universally agreed than this; 'That Life may sometimes be even a Misfortune and Misery.' To inforce the continuance of it in Creatures reduc'd to such Extremity, is esteem'd the greatest Cruelty. And the Religion forbids that any-one shou'd be his own Reliever; yet if by some fortunate accident, Death offers of it-self it is embrac'd as highly welcome. And on this account the nearest Friends and Relations often rejoice at the Release of one intirely belov'd; even tho he himself may have been so weak as earnestly to decline Death, and endeavour the utmost Prolongment of his own un-eligible State.
Since, Life therefore, may frequently prove a Misfortune and Misery; and since it naturally becomes so, by being only prolong'd to the Infirmitys of old Age; since there is nothing, withal, more common than to see Life over-valu'd, and purchas'd at such a Cost as it can never justly be thought worth: it follows evidently, that the Passion itself (viz. the Love of Life, and Abhorreme or Dread of Death) if beyond a certain degree, and over-balancing in the Temper of any Creature, must lead him directly against his own Interest; make him, upon occasion, become the greatest Enemy to himself; and necessitate him to act as such.
But tho it were allow'd the Interest and Good of a Creature, by all Courses and Means whatsoever, in any Circumstances, or at any rate, to preserve Life; yet wou'd it be against his Interest still to have this Passion in a high degree. For it wou'd by this means prove ineffectual, and no-way conducing to its End. Various Instances need not be given. For what is there better known, than that at all times an excessive Fear betrays to danger, instead of saving from it? 'Tis impossible for any-one to act sensibly, and with Presence of Mind, even in his own Preservation and Defense, when he is strongly press'd by such a Passion. On all extraordinary Emergcnces, 'tis Couraoge and Resolution saves whilst Cowardice robs us of the means of Safety, and not only deprwes us of our defensive Facultys, but even runs us to the brink of Ruin, and makes us meet that Evil which of it-self wou'd never have invaded us.
But were the Consequences of this Passion less injurious than we have represented; it must be allow'd still that in it-self it can be no other than miserable; if it be Misery to feel Cowardice, and be haunted by those Specters and Horrors, which are proper to the Character of one who has a thorow Dread of Death. For 'tin not only when Dangers happen, and Hazards are incurr'd, that this sort of Pear oppresses and distracts. If it in the least prevails, it gives no quarter, so much as at the safest stillest hour of Retreat and Qmet. Every Object suggests Thought enough to employ it. It operates when it is least observ'd by others and enters at all times into the pleasantest parts of Life; so as to corrupt and poison all Enjoyment, and Content. One may safely aver, that by reason of this Passion alone, many a Life, if towardly and closely view'd, wou'd be found to be thorowly miserable, the attended with all other Circumstances which in appearance render it happy. But when we add to this, the Meannesses, and base Condescensions, occasion'd by such a passionate Concern for living; when we consider how by means of it we are driven to Actions we can never view without Dislike, and forc'd by degrees from our natural Conduct, into still greater Crookednesses and Perplexity there is no-one, surely, so disingenuous as not to allow, that Life, in this case, becomes a sorry Purchase, and is pass'd with little Freedom or Satisfaction. For how can this be otherwise, whilst every thing which is generous and worthy, even the chief Relish, Happiness, and Good of Life, is for Life's sake abandon'd and renoune'd.
And thus it seems evident, 'That to have this Affection of Desire And Love of Life, too intense, or beyond a moderate degree, is against the Interest of a Creature, and contrary to his Happiness and Good.'
58 There is another Passion very different from that of Fear, and which in a certain degree is equally preservative to us, and conducing to our Safety. As that is serviceable, in prompting us to shun Danger; so is this, in fortifying us against it, and enabling us to repel Injury, and reast Violence when offer' & 'Tis true, that according to smct Virtue, and a just Regulation of the Affections in a wise and virtuous Man, such Efforts towards Action amount not to what is justly styl'd Passion or Commotion. A Man of Courage may be cautious without real Fear. And a Man of Temper may resist or punish without Anger. But in ordinary Characters there must necessarily be some Mixture of the real Passions themselves which however, in the main, are able to allay and temper one another. And thus Anger in a manner becomes necessary. 'Tis by this Passion that one Creature offermg Violence to another, is deter'd from the Executmn; whilst he observes how the Attempt affects his Fellow; and knows by the very Signs which accompany this rising Motion, that if the Injury be carry'd further, it will not pass easily or with impunity. * * * As to this Affection therefore, notwithstanding its immediate Alia: be indeed the Ill or Punishment of another, yet it is plainly of the sort of those which tend to the Advantage and Interest of the Self-system, the Animal himself; and is withal in other respects contributing to the Good and Interest of the Species.
Now as to that Passion which is esteem'd peculiarly interesting; as having for its Aim the Possession of Wealth, and what we call a Settlement or Fortune in the World: If the Regard towards this kind be moderate, and in a reasonable degree; if it occasmns no passionate Pursmt, nor rinses any ardent Desire or Appetite; there is nothing in this Case which is not compatible with Virtue, and even sutable and beneficial to Society. The publick as well as private System is advanc'd by the Industry, which this Affection excites. But if it grows at length into a real Passion; the Injury and Mischief it does the Publick, is not greater than that which it creates to the Person himself. Such a one is in reality a Self-oppressor, and lies heavier on himself than he can ever do on Mankind.
59 Thus have we consider'd the Self-passions; and what the Consequence is of their rising beyond a moderate degree. These Affections, as self-interesting as they are, can often, we see, become contrary to our real Interest. They betray us into most Misfortunes, and into the greatest of Unhappinesses, that of a profligate and abject Character. As they grow imperious and high, they are the occasion that a Creature in proportion becomes mean and low. They are original to that which we call Selfishness, and give rise to that sordid Disposition of which we have already spoken. It appears there can be nothing so miserable in it-self, or so wretched in its Consequence, as to be thus impotent in Temper, thus master'd by Passion, and by means of it, brought under the most servile Subjection to the World.
'Tis evident withal, that as this Selfishness increases in us, so must a certain Subtlety, and feignedness of Carriage, which naturally accompanys it. And thus the Candour and Ingenuity of our Natures, the Ease and Freedom of our Minds must be forfeited; all Trust and Confidence, in a manner lost; and Suspicions, Jealousys, and Envys multiply'd. A separate End and Inlerest must be every day more strongly form'd in us; generous Views and Motives laid aside: And the more we are thus sensibly disjoin'd every day from Society and our Fellows the worse Opinion we shall have of those uniting Passions, which bind us in strict Alhance and Amity wath others. Upon these Terms we must of course endeavour to silence and suppress our natural and good Affections: since they are such as wou'd carry us to the good of Society, against what we fondly conceive to be our private Good and Interest; as has been shewn.
Now if these Selfish Passions, besides what other Ill they are the occasion of, are withal the certain means of losing us our natural Affections; then (by what has been prov'd before) 'tis evident, 'That they must be the certain means of losing us the chief Enjoyment of Life, and raising in us those horrid and unnatural Passions, and that Savageness of Temper, which makes the greatest of Miserys, and the most wretched State of Life:' as remains for us to explain.
60 The Passions therefore, which, in the last place, we are to examine, are those which lead neither to a publick nor a private Good; and are neither of any advantage to the Species in general, or the Creature in particular. These, in opposition to the social and natural, we call the unnatural Affections.
Of this kind is that unnatural and inhuman Delight in beholding Torments, and in viewing Distress, Calamity, Blood, Massacre and Destruction, with a peculiar Joy and Pleasure. This has been the retgning Passion of many Tyrants, and barbarous Nations; and belongs, in some degree, to such Tempers as have thrown off that Courteousness of Behaviour, which retains in us a just Reverence of Mankind, and prevents the Growth of Harshness and Brutahty. This Passion enters not where Civility or affable Manners have the least place. Such is the Nature of what we call good Breeding, that in the midst of many other Corruptions, it admits not of Inhumanity, or savage Pleasure. To see the Sufferance of an Enemy with cruel Delight, may proceed from the height of Anger, Revenge, Fear, and other extended Self-passions: But to delight in the Torture and Pain of other Creatures indifferently, Natives or Foreigners, of our own or of another Species, Kindred or no Kindred, known or unknown; to feed, as it were, on Death, and be entertain'd with dying Agonys; this has nothing in it accountable in the way of Self-interest or private Good above-mention'd, but is wholly and absolutely unnatural, as it is horrid and miserable.
There is also among these, a sort of Hatred of Mankind and Society a Passion which has been known perfectly reigning in some Men, and has had a peculiar Name given to it. A large share of this belongs to those who have long indulg'd themselves in a habitual Moroseness, or who by force of ill Nature, and ill Breeding, have contracted such a Reverse of Affability, and civil Manners, that to see or meet a Stranger is offensive. The very Aspect of Mankind is a disturbance to 'era, and they are sure always to hate at first mght. The Distemper of this kind is sometimes found to be in a manner National; but peculiar to the more savage Nations, and a plain Characteristick of unclvihz'd Manners, and Barbarity. This is the immediate Opposite to that noble Affection, which in antient Language, was term'd Hospitality, viz. extensive Love of Mankind, and Relief of Strangers.
Treachery and Ingratitude are in strictness mere negative Vices; and, in themselves, no real Passions; having neither Averslon or Inclination belonging to them; but are deriv'd from the Defect, Unsoundness, of Corruption of the Affections in general. But when these Vices become remarkable in a Character, and arise in a manner from Inclination and Chome when they are so forward and active, as to appear of their own accord, without any pressing occasion 'tis apparent they borrow something of the mere unnatural Passions, and are deriv'd from Malice, Envy, and Inveteracy; as explam'd above. 61 It may be objected here, that these Passions, unnatura! as they are, car-ry still a sort of Pleasure with them; and that however barbarous a Pleasure it be, yet still it is a Pleasure and Salisfaction which is found in Pride, or Tyranny, Revenge, Malice, or Cruelty exerted. Now if it be possible in Nature, that any-one can feel a barbarous or malicmus Joy, otherwise than in consequence of mere Angmsh and Torment, then may we perhaps allow this kind of Satisfaction to be call'd Pleasure or Delight. But the Case is evidently contrary. To love, and to be kind to have social or natural Affection, Complacency and Good-will, is to feel immediate Satisfaction and genuine Content. 'Tis in it-self original Joy, depending on no preceding Pain or Uneasiness and producing nothing beside Satisfaction merely. On the other side, Animosity, Hatred, and Bitterness, is original Misery and Torment, producing no other Pleasure or Satisfaction, than as the unnatural Desire is for the instant satisfy'd by something which appeases it. How strong soever this Pleasure, therefore, may appear; it only the more xmplies the Misery of that State which produces it. For as the cruellest bodily Pains do by intervals of Assuagement, produce (as has been shewn) the highest bodily Pleasure; so the fiercest and most ragtag Torments of the Mind, do, by certain Moments of Rehef, afford the greatest of mental Enjoyments to those who know little of the truer kind.
62 The Men of gentlest Dispositions, and best of Tempers, have at some time or other been sufl_clently acquainted with those Disturbances, which, at ill hours, even small occasions are apt to raise. From these slender Experiences of Harshness and Ill-humour, they fully know and will confess the ill Moments which are pass'd, when the Temper is ever so little gall'd or fretted. How must it fare, therefore, with those who hardly know any better hours in Life; and who, for the greatest part of it, are agitated by a thorow active Spleen, a close and settled Malignity, and Rancour? How lively must be the Sense of every thwarting and controuling Accident? How great must be the Shocks of Disappointment, the Stings of Affront, and the Agonys of a working Antipathy, against the multiply'd Objects of Offence Nor can it be wonder'd at, if to Persons thus agitated and oppress'd, it seems a high Delight to appease and allay for the while those furious and rough Motions, by an Indulgence of their Passion in Mischief and Revenge.
Now as to the Consequences of this unnatural State, in respect of Interest, and the common Circumstances of Life; upon what Terms a Person who has in this manner lost all which we call Nature, can be suppos'd to stand, in respect of the Society of Mankind; how he feels himself in it; what Sense he has of his own Disposition towards others, and of the mutual Disposition of others towards himself; this is easily conceiv'd.
What Injoyment or Rest is there for one, who is not conscious of the merited Affection or Love, but, on the contrary of the Ill-will and Hatred of every human Soul? What ground must this afford for Horror and Despair? What foundation of Fear, and continual Apprehension from Mankind, and from superior Powers? How thorow and deep must be that Melancholy, which being once mov'd, has nothing soft or pleasing from the side of Friendship, to allay or divert it? Wherever such a Creature turns himself; whichever way he casts his Eye every thing around must appear ghastly and horrid; every thing hostile, and, as it were, bent against a private and single Being, who is thus divided from every thing, and at defiance and war with the rest of Nature.
'Tls thus, at last, that a Mind becomes a Wilderness; where the is laid waste, every thing fair and goodly remov'd, and nothing extant beside what is savage and deform'd. Now if Basement from one's Country, Removal to a foreign Place, or any thing which looks like Solitude or Desertion, be so heavy to endure; what must it be to feel this inward Banlskment, this real Estrangement from human Commerce; and to be after this manner in a Desart, and in the worriedest of Solitudes, even when in the midst of Society? What must it be to live in this Disagreement, with everything, this Irreconcilableness and Opposition to the Order and Government of the Universe?
Hence it appears, That the greatest of Miserys accompanys that State which is consequent to the Loss of natural Affection; and That to have those horrid, monstrous, and unI_atural Affections, is to be miserable in the highest Degree.
68 Thus have we endeavour'd to prove what was propos'd in the beginning. And since in the common and known Sense of Vice and Illness, no-one can be vitious or ill except either,
I. By the Deficiency or Weakness of natural Affections;
Or, 2. by the Violence of the selfish
Or, 3. by such as are plainly unnatural:
It must follow, that if each of these are pernicious and destructive to the Creature, insomuch that his compleatest State of Misery is made from hence; To be wicked or vitious, is TO BE MISERABLE AND UNHAPPY.
And since every vitious Action must in proportion, more or less, help towards this Mischief, and Self-ill; it must follow, That EVERY VITIOUS ACTION MUST BE SELF-INJURIOUS AND ILL.
64 On the other side; the Happiness and Good of Virtue has been prov'd from the contrary Effect of other Affections, such as are according to Nature, and the Economy of the Species or Kind. We have cast up all those Particulars, from whence (as by way of Addition and Subtraction) the main Sum or general Account of Happiness, is either augmented or diminish'd. And if there be no Article exceptionable in this Scheme of Moral Arithmetick; the Subject treated may be said to have an Evidence as great as that which is found in Numbers, or Mathematicks. For let us carry Scepticism ever so far, let us doubt, if we can, of every thing about us; we cannot doubt of what passes within ourselves. Our Passions and Affections are known to us. They are certain, whatever the Objects may be, on which they are employ'd. Nor is it of any concern to our Argument, how these exterior Objects stand; whether they are Realitys, or mere Illusions; whether we wake or dream. For ill Dreams will be equally disturbing. And a good Dream, if Life be nothing else, will be easily and happily pass'd In this Dream of Life, therefore, our Demonstrations have the same force; our Balance and Œconomy hold good, and our Obligation to Virtue is in every respect the same.
65 Upon the whole: There is not, I presume, the least degree of Certainty wanting in what has been said concerning the Pre-ferableness of the mental Pleasures to the sensual', and even of the sensual, accompany'd with Good Affection, and under a temperate and right use, to those which are no ways restrain'd, nor supported by any thing soaal or affectionate
Nor is there less Evidence in what has been said, of the united Structure and Fabrick of the Mind, and of those Passions which constitute the Temper, or Soul; and on which its Happiness or Misery so immediately depend. It has been shown, That in this Constitution, the impairing of any one Part must instantly tend to the disorder and rum of other Parts, and of the Whole it-self; thro' the necessary Connexion and Balance of the Affections: That those very Passions thro' which Men are vitious, are of themselves a Torment and Disease; and that whatsoever is done which is knowingly ill, must be of ill Consciousness; and in proportion, as the Act is ill, must impair and corrupt social Enjoyment, and destroy both the Capacity and kind Affection, and the Consciousness of meriting any such. So that neither can we participate thus in Joy or Happiness with others, or receive Satisfaction from the mutual Kindness or banging' d Love of others: on which, however, the greatest of all our Pleasures are founded.
If thus be the Case of moral Dehnqueney; and if the State which is consequent to this Defection from nature, be of all other the most horrid, oppressive, and miserable 'twill appear, 'That to yield or consent to any thing ill or immoral, is a Breach of Interest, and leads to the greatest Ills:' and, 'That on the other side, Every thing which is an Improvement of Virtue, or an Establishment of right Affection and Integrity, is an Advancement of Interest, and leads to the greatest and most solid Happihess and Enjoyment.'
66 Thus the Wisdom of what rules, and is Pirst and crlief in Nature, has made it to be according to the private Interest and Good of every-one, to work towards the general Good; which if a Creature ceases to promote, he is actually so far wanting to himself, and ceases to promote his own Happiness and Welfare. He is, on this account, directly his own Enemy: Nor can he any otherwise be good or useful to himself, than as he continues good to Society, and to that Whole of which he is himself a Part. So that Virtue, which of all Excellencys and Beautys is the chief, and most amiable; that which is the Prop and Ornament of human Affairs; which upholds Communitys, maintains Union, Friendship, and Correspondence amongst Men; that by which Countrys, as well as private Familys, flourish and are happy and for want of which, everything comely, conspicuous, great and worthy, must perish, and go to rum that single Quality, thus beneficial to all Society, and to Mankind in general, is found equally a tappiness and Good to each Creature in particular; and is that by which alone Man can be happy, and without which he must be miserable.
And, thus Virtue is the Good, and Vice the Ill of everyone.
[EXTRACT FROM 'THE MORALISTS, A RHAPSODY.'