Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION VIII - A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations
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SECTION VIII - Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations 
A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations, with Supplements and a Discourse by George Turnbull. Translated from the Latin by George Turnbull, edited with an Introduction by Thomas Albert and Peter Schröder (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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It ought to be the end of education to produce the patience of thinking, or the government of reason.We may however observe, before we go farther, 1. That unless the mind be early rendered of a temper for thinking and enquiring about the proper rules of conduct, it will not set itself to find them out, but will give up the reins to its affections, and be tossed to and fro by them in a most desultory irregular manner; and the longer this unthinking way of living takes place, the more difficult will it be to recover the mind from the tyranny of its passions, and to establish reason into its due authority and command over them. And therefore the great end of education ought to be to produce the love and patience of thinking; to establish the deliberative disposition and temper, or the habit of consulting reason, and weighing things maturely before one chooses and determines. This is the chief end of education. And if one be not obliged to wise education for this happy temper of mind, it seldom happens that one ever attains to it, till he is awakened and roused to think, by some great suffering brought upon himself, by his not having exercised his reason, but suffered his passions and appetites to drive him whithersoever they listed. The reason is, that by repeated acts, habits are formed, which it is exceeding difficult to undo, and which cannot be undone but by the strong opposition of reason. And therefore, if the habit of ruling ourselves by reason, be not early formed in us by right education, the habit of indulging every passion and appetite that assails us, and of living without exercising our reason, must soon become too fixed, settled and inveterate to be easily conquered. It is fit, highly fit, nay absolutely necessary for us, that the law of habits should take place in our constitution. Yet this must be the effect of it, that unless great care be taken, by proper education and discipline, early to form the reflecting and considering habit, in young minds, which is to establish the government of reason in them, it must be extremely difficult for us ever to become reasonable creatures, or to attain to self-command, and to establish our reason as our ruler and guide, in the room of appetite, humour and passion. Mr. Locke hath made admirable observations on this subject, in his excellent treatise of education.2
When this temper is formed, happiness and duty are easily discovered.But, 2. When the love and patience of thinking are once attained, and the sedate, deliberative temper is fairly established, it is then very easy to find out the proper rules of action, or what is the most eligible course of life and behaviour, and how the affections ought to be governed. The affections then range themselves, as it were, spontaneously into good order. The understanding is then clear and undisturbed, and duty is easily discerned. Whatever difficulty reason may find in establishing its authority, it is no sooner fixed and settled in the mind, as the ruling and commanding principle, than the rules which ought to be observed in conduct are immediately discovered. True happiness is then immediately felt to consist chiefly in the very consciousness of this temper, in the consciousness of reason’s having this sway within us. And when this is looked upon to be the chief part of happiness, the chief part of our happiness is then something dependent upon ourselves, which nothing can deprive us of, while reason presides and rules in our breast. A source of inward consolation, far superior to all other enjoyments, and which is as steady as all other things are uncertain, is thus discovered. And the mind, which hath once fixed upon this as its main good, will be proof against all the most specious appearances of pleasures, till their pretentions have been examined, and their consistency with this chief principle of happiness hath been duly considered; and will therefore be a calm and impartial judge of what pleasures it may allow itself, and of what it ought not to give indulgence to. But if the mind be calm and unbiassed, and resolved to act the part that shall appear wisest and best upon due attention to the laws of nature fixing the connexions relative to our happiness, the whole difficulty is over. Till then it is not capable of judging; but when that point is gained, it is very easy to judge right. In every case, not to judge, but to be fit to judge, is the difficult part. The first thing therefore that our frame and constitution points out to us as the law of our conduct, is to take care to establish reason in our mind, as the ruler, without consulting which we will not allow our passions to indulge themselves, and the dictates of which we are resolved steadily to obey, that we may always enjoy that delightful consciousness of having been guided by our reason, which is by our make the greatest of all enjoyments. But to this education ought, and must contribute; otherwise the establishment of this excellent temper, in proportion to the prevalence of which one is more or less a reasonable being, must be a very difficult, a very hard task; and to assist in conquering the contrary habit, distress and suffering will be necessary. And why should we not look upon the evils that are brought upon ourselves by thoughtlessness, folly, or, in one word, by not governing ourselves by reason, to be intended chiefly for this very end; even to awaken, rouze, and excite us to think, by making us feel the necessity of exercising our reason, and obeying it, instead of indulging every appetite that assails us, without considering the consequences of living in such an irrational manner! For this is self-evident, that were not agents placed in a state where certain manners of acting produce good, and others evil, there would in such a state be no place for choice and agency; for prudence and imprudence; nor consequently, for reason and self-approbation. And therefore to the existence of the highest rank of created beings, it is necessary that certain methods of acting be attended with evil consequences. For tho’ we may, by adding more and more to our own active powers, conceive various species of created agents above us, till we rise in our contemplation to the Supreme Being, in whom all perfections meet, and are united in their highest degree; yet we can conceive no order of beings above mere passive ones, without conceiving them to be disposers of their own actions by their reason, understanding and choice: And as for more or less, i.e. a larger or lesser sphere of activity, here the known rule takes place, That more and less do not alter the species. If any one should ask what the proper method of education is in order to produce the reasonable thinking temper? it is sufficient to answer here, that the chief business is to accustom youth early to examine the associations of ideas in their minds, and to consider whether these associations be founded in, and agreeable to nature, or not; which ought to be the unintermitted exercise during life of every one who would maintain the empire of his reason. But because this would lead me into a digression, or rather into a subject, for which we have not yet sufficiently prepared the way, we shall only refer those who ask this question to the above mentioned treatise of Mr. Locke, and go on to take notice of some particular laws of our conduct, pointed out to us by the make of the human mind, and the circumstances in which we are placed by the Author of nature.
[2 ] Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, pp.142-43.