- The Preface
- Treatise I: An Essay On the Nature and Conduct of the Passions
- Section I: A General Account of Our Several Senses and Desires, Selfish Or Publick
- Section II: Of the Affections and Passions: the Natural Laws of Pure Affection: the Confused Sensations of the Passions, With Their Final Causes
- Section III: Particular Divisions of the Affections and Passions.
- Section IV: How Far Our Several Affections and Passions Are Under Our Power, Either to Govern Them When Raised, Or to Prevent Their Arising: With Some General Observations About Their Objects.
- Section V: A Comparison of the Pleasures and Pains of the Several Senses, As to Intenseness and Duration.
- Section VI: Some General Conclusions Concerning the Best Management of Our Desires. With Some Principles Necessary to Happiness.
- Treatise II: Illustrations Uponthe Moral Sense
- Section I Concerning the Character of Virtue, Agreeable to Truth Or Reason.
- Section II: Concerning That Character of Virtue and Vice, the Fitness Or Unfitness of Actions.
- Section III: Mr. Woolaston’s Significancy of Truth, As the Idea of Virtue Considered
- Section IV: Shewing the Use of Reason Concerning Virtue and Vice, Upon Supposition That We Receive These Ideas By a Moral Sense.
- Section V: Shewing That Virtue May Have Whatever Is Meant By Merit; and Be Rewardable Upon the Supposition, That It Is Perceived By a Sense, and Elected From Affection Or Instinct.
- Section VI: How Far a Regard to the Deity Is Necessary to Make an Action Virtuous
Illustrations uponthe Moral Sense
[205/207] The Differences of Actions from which some are constituted morally Good, and others morally Evil, have always been accounted a very important Subject of Inquiry: And therefore, every Attempt to free this Subject from the usual Causes of Error and Dispute, the Confusion of ambiguous Words, must be excusable.
Definitions.In the following Discourse, Happiness denotes pleasant Sensation of any kind, or a continued State of such Sensations; and Misery denotes the contrary Sensations.
Such Actions as tend to procure Happiness to the Agent, are called privately useful: and such Actions as procure Misery to the Agent, privately hurtful.
 Actions procuring Happiness to others may be called publickly useful, and the contrary Actions publickly hurtful. Some Actions may be both publickly and privately useful, and others both publickly and privately hurtful.
These different natural Tendencies of Actions are universally acknowledged; and in proportion to our Reflection upon human Affairs, we shall enlarge our Knowledge of these Differences.
Two Questions about Morality.When these natural Differences are known, it remains to be inquired into: 1st, “What Quality in any Action determines our Election of it rather than the contrary?” Or, if the Mind determines itself, “What Motives or Desires excite to an Action, rather than the contrary, or rather than to the Omission?” 2dly, “What Quality determines our Approbation of one Action, rather than of the contrary Action?”
The Words Election and Approbation seem to denote simple Ideas known by Consciousness; which can only be explained by synonimous Words, or by concomitant or consequent Circumstances. Election is purposing to do an Action rather than its contrary, or than being inactive. Approbation of our own Action denotes, or is attended with a Pleasure in the Contemplation of it, and in Reflection upon the Affections which inclined us to it. Approbation of the Action of another is pleasant, and is attended with Love toward the Agent.
The Qualities moving to Election, or exciting to Action, are different from those moving to Approbation: We often do Actions which we do not approve, and approve Actions which we omit: We often desire that an Agent had omitted an Action which we approve; and wish he would do an Action which we condemn. Approbation is employed about the Actions of others, where there is no room for our Election.
Now in our Search into the Qualities exciting either our Election or Approbation, let us consider the several Notions advanced of moral Good and Evil in both these Respects; and what Senses, Instincts, or Affections,  must be necessarily supposed to account for our Approbation or Election.
The Epicurean Opinion.There are two Opinions on this Subject entirely opposite: The one that of the old Epicureans, as it is beautifully explained in the first Book of Cicero, De [208 ] finibus; which is revived by Mr. Hobbes, and followed by many better Writers: “That all the Desires of the human Mind, nay of all thinking Natures, are reducible to Self‐Love, or Desire of private Happiness: That from this Desire all Actions of any Agent do flow.” Our Christian Moralists introduce other sorts of Happiness to be desired, but still “ ’tis the Prospect of private Happiness, which, with some of them, is the sole Motive of Election. And that, in like manner, what determines any Agent to approve his own Action, is its Tendency to his private Happiness in the whole, tho it may bring present Pain along with it: That the Approbation of the Action of another, is from an Opinion of its Tendency to the Happiness of the Approver, either immediately or more remotely: That each Agent may discover it to be the surest way to promote his private Happiness, to do publickly useful Actions, and to abstain from those which are publickly hurtful:  That the neglecting to observe this, and doing publickly hurtful Actions, does mischief to the whole of Mankind, by hurting any one part; that every one has some little damage by this Action: Such an inadvertent Person might possibly be pernicious to any one, were he in his Neighbourhood; and the very Example  of such Actions may extend over the whole World, and produce some pernicious Effects upon any Observer. That therefore every one may look upon such Actions as hurtful to himself, and in this view does disapprove them, and hates the Agent. In the like manner, a publickly useful Action may diffuse some small Advantage to every Observer, whence he may approve it, and love the Agent.”
Does not answer the Appearances.This Scheme can never account for the principal Actions of human Life: Such as the Offices of Friendship, Gratitude, natural Affection, Generosity, publick Spirit, Compassion. Men are conscious of no such Intentions or acute Reflections in these Actions. Ingenious speculative Men, in their straining to support an Hypothesis, may contrive a thousand subtle selfish Motives, which a kind generous Heart never dreamed of. In like manner, this Scheme can never account for  the sudden Approbation, and violent Sense of something amiable in Actions done in distant Ages and Nations, while the Approver has perhaps never thought of these distant Tendencies to his Happiness. Nor will it better account for our want of Approbation  toward publickly useful Actions done casually, or only with Intention of private Happiness to the Agent. And then, in these Actions reputed generous, if the Agent’s Motive was only a view to his own Pleasure, how come we to approve them more than his enriching himself, or his gratifying his own Taste with good Food? The whole Species may receive a like Advantage from both, and the Observer an equal Share.
Were our Approbation of Actions done in distant Ages and Nations, occasioned by this Thought, that such an Action done toward our selves would be useful to us, why don’t we approve and love in like manner any Man who finds a Treasure, or indulges himself in any exquisite Sensation, since these Advantages or Pleasures might be conferred on our selves; and tend more to our Happiness than any Actions in distant Ages?
The Sanctions of Laws may make any Agent chuse the Action required, under the Conception of useful to himself, and lead  him into an Opinion of private Advantage in it, and of detriment in the contrary Actions; but what should determine any Person to approve the Actions of others, because of a Conformity to a  Law, if Approbation in any Person were only an Opinion of private Advantage?
The opposite Opinion does plainly.The other Opinion is this, “That we have not only Self‐Love, but benevolent Affections also toward others, in various Degrees, making us desire their Happiness as an ultimate End, without any view to private Happiness: That we have a moral Sense or Determination of our Mind, to approve every kind Affection either in our selves or others, and all publickly useful Actions which we imagined do flow from such Affection, without our having a view to our private Happiness, in our Approbation of these Actions.”
These two Opinions seem both intelligible, each consistent with itself. The former seems not to represent human Nature as it is; the other seems to do it.
Schemes seemingly different from both.There have been many ways of speaking introduced, which seem to signify something different from both the former Opinions. Such as these, that “Morality of Actions consists in Conformity to Reason, or Difformity  from it:” That “Virtue is acting according to the absolute Fitness and Unfitness of Things, or agreeably to the  Natures or Relations of Things,” and many others in different Authors. To examine these is the Design of the following Sections; and to explain more fully how the Moral Sense alledged to be in Mankind, must be presupposed even in these Schemes.
Concerning the Character of Virtue, agreeable to Truth or Reason.
[213/215] Since Reason is understood to denote our Power of finding out true Propositions, Reasonableness must denote the same thing, with Conformity to true Propositions, or to Truth.
Reasonableness in an Action is a very common Expression, but yet upon inquiry, it will appear very confused, whether we suppose it the Motive to Election, or the Quality determining Approbation.
Conformity to Truth examined.There is one sort of Conformity to Truth which neither determines to the one or the other; viz. that Conformity which is between every true Proposition and its Object. This sort of Conformity can never make us chuse or approve one Action more than its contrary, for it is found in all Actions alike: Whatever attribute can be ascribed to a generous kind Action, the contrary Attribute may as truly be ascribed to a selfish cruel Action: Both Propositions are equally true, [216 ] and the two contrary Actions, the Objects of the two  Truths are equally conformable to their several Truths, with that sort of Conformity which is between a Truth and its Object. This Conformity then cannot make a Difference among Actions, or recommend one more than another either to Election or Approbation, since any Man may make as many Truths about Villany, as about Heroism, by ascribing to it contrary Attributes.
For Instance, these are Truths concerning the Preservation of Property. “It tends to the Happiness of human Society: It incourages Industry: It shall be rewarded by God.” These are also Truths concerning Robbery. “It disturbs Society: It discourages Industry: It shall be punished by God.” The former three Truths have the Preservation of Property for their Object; the latter three have Robbery. And each Class of Truths hath that sort of Conformity to its Object, which is common to all Truths with their Objects. The moral Difference cannot therefore depend upon this Conformity, which is common to both.
The Number of Truths in both cases may be plainly the same; so that a good Action cannot be supposed to agree to more Truths than an evil one, nor can an evil Action be disagreeable to any Truth or  Compages  of Truths made about it; for whatever Propositions do not agree with their Objects are not Truths.
If Reasonableness, the Character of Virtue, denote some other sort of Conformity to Truth, it were to be wished that these Gentlemen, who make it the original Idea of moral Good, antecedent to any Sense or Affections, would explain it, and shew how it determines us antecedently to a Sense, either to Election or Approbation.
They tell us, “we must have some Standardantecedently to all Sense or Affections, since we judge even of our Senses and Affections themselves, and approve or disapprove them: This Standard must be our Reason, Conformity to which must be the original Idea of moral Good.”
Reasons either justifying or exciting.But what is this Conformity of Actions to Reason? When we ask the Reason of an Action we sometimes mean, “What Truth shews a Quality in the Action, exciting the Agent to do it?” Thus, why does a Luxurious Man pursue Wealth? The Reason is given by this Truth, “Wealth is useful to purchase Pleasures.” Sometimes for a Reason of Actions we shew the Truth expressing a Quality, engaging our Approbation. Thus the Reason of hazarding  Life in just War, is, that “it tends to preserve our  honest Countrymen, or evidences publick Spirit:” The Reason for Temperance, and against Luxury is given thus, “Luxury evidences a selfish base Temper.” The former sort of Reasons we will call exciting, and the latter justifying. Now we shall find that all exciting Reasons presuppose Instincts and Affections; and the justifying presuppose a Moral Sense.
Exciting Reasons suppose Affections.As to exciting Reasons, in every calm rational Action some endis desired or intended; no end can be intended or desired previously to some one of these Classes of Affections, Self‐Love, Self‐Hatred, or desire of private Misery, (if this be possible) Benevolence toward others, or Malice: All Affections are included under these; no endcan be previous to them all; there can therefore be no exciting Reason previous to Affection.
We have indeed many confused Harangues on this Subject, telling us, “We have two Principles of Action, Reason, and Affection, or Passion (i.e. strong Affection): the former in common with  Angels, the latter with Brutes: No Action is wise, or good, or reasonable, to which we are not excited  by Reason, as distinct from all Affections; or, if any such Actions as flow from Affections be good, ’tis only by chance, or materially and not formally.” As if indeed Reason, or the Knowledge of the Relations of things, could excite to Action when we proposed no End, or as if Ends could be intended without Desire or Affection.
No exciting Reasons forultimate Ends.But are there not also exciting Reasons, even previous to any end, moving us to propose one end rather than another? To this Aristotle long ago answered, “that there are ultimate Ends desired without a view to any thing else, and subordinate Ends or Objects desired with a view to something else.” To subordinate Ends those Reasons or Truths excite, which shew them to be conducive to the ultimate End, and shew one Object to be more effectual than another: thus subordinate Ends may be called reasonable. But as to the ultimate Ends, to suppose exciting Reasons for them, would infer, that there is no ultimate End, but that we desire one thing for another in an infinite Series.
Thus ask a Being who desires private Happiness, or has Self‐Love? “what  Reason  excites him to desire Wealth”? He will give this Reason, that “Wealth tends to procure Pleasure and Ease.” Ask his Reason for desiring Pleasure or Happiness: One cannot imagine what Proposition he could assign as his exciting Reason. This Proposition is indeed true, “There is an Instinct or Desire fixed in his Nature, determining him to pursue his Happiness;” but it is not this Reflection on his own Nature, or this Proposition which excites or determines him, but the Instinct itself. This is a Truth, “Rhubarb strengthens the Stomach:” But ’tis not a Proposition which strengthens the Stomach, but the Quality in that Medicine. The Effect is not produced by Propositions shewing the Cause, but by the Cause itself.
In like manner, what Reason can a benevolent Being give, as exciting him to hazard his Life in just War? This perhaps, “such Conduct tends to the Happiness of his Country.” Ask him, “why he serves his Country?” he will say, “His Country is a very valuable Part of Mankind.” Why does he study the Happiness of Mankind? If his Affections be really disinterested, he can give no exciting Reasons for it: The Happiness of Mankind in general, or of any valuable Part of it, is an ultimate Endto that Series of Desires.
Men have many ultimate Ends.[219/222] We may transiently observe one Mistake which many fall into, who in their Philosophical Inquiries have learned to form very abstract general Ideas: They suppose, because they have formed some Conception of an infinite Good, or greatest possible Aggregate, or Sum of Happiness, under which all particular Pleasures may be included; that there is also some one great ultimate End, with a view to which every particular Object is desired; whereas, in truth, each particular Pleasure is desired without farther view, as an ultimate End in the selfish Desires. ’Tis true, the Prospect of a greater inconsistent Pleasure may surmount or stop this Desire; so may the Fear of a prepollent Evil. But this does not prove, that “all Men have formed Ideas of infinite Good, or greatest possible Aggregate, or that they have any Instinct or Desire, without an Idea of its Object.” Just so in the benevolent Affections, the Happiness of any one Person is an ultimate End, desired with no farther view: And yet the observing its Inconsistency with the Happiness of another more beloved, or with the Happiness of many, tho each one of them were but equally beloved, may overcome the former Desire. Yet this will not prove, that in each kind Action Men do form the abstract Conception of all Mankind, or the System of Rationals.  The forming such large Conceptions is indeed useful, that so we may gratify either our  Self‐Love or kind Affections in the fullest manner, as far as our Power extends; and may not content our selves with smaller Degrees either of private or publick Good, while greater are in our power: But when we have formed these Conceptions, we do not serve the Individual only from Love to the Species, no more than we desire Grapes with an Intention of the greatest Aggregate of Happiness, or from an Apprehension that they make a Part of the General sum of our Happiness. These Conceptions only serve to suggest greater Ends than would occur to us without Reflection; and by the Prepollency of one Desire toward the greater Good, either private or publick, to stop the Desire toward the smaller Good, when it appears inconsistent with the greater.
The common Reasons examined.Let us examine the Truths assigned as exciting to the Pursuit of publick Good, even by those, who, tho they allow disinterested Affections, and a moral Sense, yet suppose something reasonable in it antecedently. They assign such as these “publick Good is the End proposed by the Deity.” Then what Reason excites Men to concur with the Deity? Is it this, “Concurring with the Deity will make the Agent happy?” This is an exciting Reason indeed,  but plainly supposes Self‐Love:  And let any one assign the exciting Reason to the Desire of Happiness. Is the Reason exciting to concur with the Deity this, “The Deity is our Benefactor?” Then what Reason excites to concur with Benefactors? Here we must recur to an Instinct. Is it this Truth, “The divine Ends are reasonable Ends?” Then what means the Word [reasonable?] Does it mean, that “the Deity has Reasons exciting him to promote the publick Good?” What are these Reasons? Why, perhaps “we do not know them particularly, but in general are sure that the Deity has Reasons for them.” Then the Question recurs, What Reason excites us to implicit Concurrence with the Ends of the Deity? The Reasons which excite one Nature may not excite another: The Tendency of an Action to the Happiness of one Agent may excite him, but will not excite another Agent to concur, unless there appears a like Tendency to the Happiness of that other. They may say, “they are sure the divine Ends are good.” What means Goodness? Is it moral or natural? If the divine Ends be natural Good, i.e. pleasant, or the Cause of Pleasure, to whom is this Pleasure? If to the Deity, then why do we study the Happiness or the pleasing of the Deity? What Reason excites us? All the possible Reasons must  either presuppose some Affection, if they are  exciting; or some moral Sense, if they are justifying.—Is the divine End naturally good to us? This is an exciting Reason, but supposes Self‐Love. If we say the divine Ends are morally Good, we are just where we began. What is moral Goodness? Conformity to Reason. What are the Reasons exciting or justifying?
If any alledg as the Reason exciting us to pursue publick Good, this Truth, that “the Happiness of a System, a Thousand, or a Million, is a greater Quantity of Happiness than that of one Person: and consequently, if Men desire Happiness, they must have stronger Desires toward the greater Sum, than toward the less.” This Reason still supposes an Instinct toward Happiness as previous to it: And again, To whom is the Happiness of a System a greater Happiness? To one Individual, or to the System? If to the Individual, then his Reason exciting his Desire of a happy System supposes Self‐Love: If to the System, then what Reason can excite to desire the greater Happiness of a System, or any Happiness to be in the Possession of others? None surely which does not presuppose publick Affections. Without such Affections this Truth, “that an hundred Felicities is a greater Sum than one Felicity,” will no  more excite to study the Happiness of the Hundred, than this Truth, “an hundred  Stones are greater than one,” will excite a Man, who has no desire of Heaps, to cast them together.
The same may be observed concerning that Proposition, assigned by some as the ultimate Reason both exciting to, and justifying the Pursuit of publick Good, viz. “It is best that all should be happy.” Best is most good: Good to whom? To the Whole, or to each Individual? If to the former, when this Truth excites to Action, it must presuppose kind Affections; if it is good to each Individual, it must suppose Self‐Love.
The true Meaning of Reasons exciting to Actions, and reasonable Actions.Let us once suppose Affections, Instincts or Desires previously implanted in our Nature: and we shall easily understand the exciting Reasons for Actions, viz. “These Truths which shew them to be conducive toward some ultimate End, or toward the greatest Endof that kind in our Power.” He acts reasonably, who considers the various Actions in his Power, and forms true Opinions of their Tendencies; and then chuses to do that which will obtain the highest Degree of that, to which the Instincts of his Nature incline him, with the smallest Degree of those things to  which the Affections in his Nature make him averse.
 More particularly, the exciting Reasons to a Nature which had only selfish Affections, are those Truths which shewed “what Object or Event would occasion to it the greatest Quantity of Pleasure:” these would excite to the Prosecution of it. The exciting Truths about Means, would be only those which pointed out some Means as more certainly effectual than any other, or with less Pain or Trouble to the Agent. Publick Usefulness of Ends or Means, or publick Hurtfulness would neither excite nor dissuade, farther than the publick State might affect that of the Agent.
If there is any Nature with publick Affections: The Truths exciting to any Endin this Order, are such as shew, “that any Event would promote the Happiness of others.” That Endis called most reasonable, which our Reason discovers to contain a greater Quantity of publick Good, than any other in our power.
When any Event may affect both the Agent and others, if the Agent have both Self‐Love and publick Affections, he acts according to that Affection which is strongest, when there is any Opposition of Interests;  if there be no Opposition, he follows both. If he discovers this Truth, that “his constant  pursuit of publick Goodis the most probable way of promoting his own Happiness,” then his Pursuit is truly reasonable and constant; thus both Affections are at once gratify’d, and he is consistent with himself. Without knowledge of that Truth he does not act reasonably for his own Happiness, but follows it by Means not tending effectually to this End: and must frequently, from the Power of Self‐Love, neglect or counteract his other End, the publick Good. If there be also a moral Sense in such an Agent, while yet he is inadvertent to the Connexion of private Happiness with the Study of the publick; he must be perpetually yet more uneasy, either thro’ the apprehended Neglect of private Interest when he serves the Publick; or when he pursues only private Interest, he will have perpetual Remorse and Dissatisfaction with his own Temper, thro’ his moral Sense. So that the Knowledge of this Connexion of private Interest, with the Study of publick Good, seems absolutely necessary to preserve a constant Satisfaction of Mind, and to prevent an alternate Prevalence of seemingly contrary Desires.
Should any one ask even concerning these two ultimate Ends, private Good and publick, is not the latter more reasonable than the former?—What means the Word reasonable in this Question? If we  are allowed to presuppose Instincts and Affections, then the Truth just now supposed to be discoverable concerning our State, is an exciting Reason to serve the publick Interest, since this Conduct is the most effectual Means to obtain both ends. But I doubt if any Truth can be assigned which excites in us either the Desire of private Happiness or publick. For the former none ever alledged any exciting Reason: and a benevolent Temper finds as little Reason exciting him to the latter; which he desires without any view to private Good. If the meaning of the Question be this, “does not every Spectator approve the Pursuit of publick Good more than private?” The Answer is obvious that he does: but not for any Reason or Truth, but from a moral Sense.
This leads to consider Approbation of Actions, whether it be for Conformity to any Truth, or Reasonableness, that Actions are ultimately approved, independently of any moral Sense? Or if all justifying Reasons do not presuppose it?
Justifying Reasons suppose a moral Sense.If Conformity to Truth, or Reasonable, denote nothing else but that “an Action is the Object of a true Proposition,” ’tis  plain, that all Actions should be approved  equally, since as many Truths may be made about the worst, as can be made about the best. See what was said above about exciting Reasons.
But let the Truths commonly assigned as justifying be examined. Here ’tis plain, “A Truth shewing an Action to be fit to attain an End,” does not justify it; nor do we approve a subordinate Endfor any Truth, which only shews it to be fit to promote the ultimate End; for the worst Actions may be conducive to their Ends, and reasonable in that Sense. The justifying Reasons then must be about the Ends themselves, especially the ultimate Ends. The Question then is, “Does a Conformity to any Truth make us approve an ultimate End, previously to any moral Sense?” For example, we approve pursuing the publick Good. For what Reason? or what is the Truth for Conformity to which we call it a reasonable End? I fancy we can find none in these Cases, more than we could give for our liking any pleasant Fruit.
The Reasons assigned are such as these; “’Tis the End proposed by theDeity.” But why do we approve concurring with  the divine Ends? This Reason is given, “He is our Benefactor:” But then, for  what Reason do we approve Concurrence with a Benefactor? Here we must recur to a Sense. Is this the Reason moving to Approbation, “Study of publick Good tends to the Advantage of the Approver?” Then the Quality moving us to approve an Action, is its being advantageous to us, and not Conformity to a Truth. This Scheme is intelligible, but not true in fact. Men approve without Perception of private Advantage; and often do not condemn or disapprove what is plainly pernicious; as in the Execution of a just Sentence, which even the Criminal may approve.
If any allege, that this is the justifying Reason of the Pursuit of publick Good, “that it is best all be happy,” then we approve Actions for their Tendency to that State which is best, and not for Conformity to Reason. But here again, what means best? morally best, or naturally best? If the former, they explain the same Word by itself in a Circle: If they mean the latter, that “it is the most happy State where all are happy;” then, most happy, for whom? the System, or the Individual? If for the former, what Reason makes us approve the Happiness of a System? Here we must recur to a Sense or kind Affections. Is  it most happy for the Individual? Then the Quality moving Approbation is  again Tendency to private Happiness, not Reasonableness.
Obligation supposes either Affections or a moral Sense.There are some other Reasons assigned in Words differing from the former, but more confused, such as these: “’Tis our Duty to study publick Good. We are obliged to do it. We owe Obedience to the Deity. The whole is to be preferred to a Part.” But let these Words Duty, Obligation, Owing, and the meaning of that Gerund, is to be preferred, be explained; and we shall find our selves still at a Loss for exciting Reasons previously to Affections, or justifying Reasons without recourse to a moral Sense.
The meaning of Obligation.When we say one is obliged to an Action, we either mean, 1. That the Action is necessary to obtain Happiness to the Agent, or to avoid Misery: Or, 2. That every Spectator, or he himself upon Reflection, must approve his Action, and disapprove his omitting it, if he considers fully all its Circumstances. The former Meaning of the Word Obligation presupposes selfish Affections, and the Senses of private Happiness: The latter Meaning includes the moral Sense. Mr. Barbeyrac, in his Annotations upon Grotius, [230/233] makes Obligation denote an indispensable Necessity to act in a certain manner. Whoever observes his Explication of this Necessity, (which is not natural, otherwise no Man could act against his Obligation) will find that it denotes only “such a Constitution of a powerful Superior, as will make it impossible for any Being to obtain Happiness, or avoid Misery, but by such a Course of Action.” This agrees with the former Meaning, tho sometimes he also includes the latter.
Many other confused Definitions have been given of Obligation, by no obscure Names in the learned World. But let any one give a distinct Meaning, different from the two above‐mentioned. To pursue them all would be endless; only let the Definitions be substituted in place of the Word Obligation, in other parts of each Writer, and let it be observed whether it makes good Sense or not.
Arguments for some Standard of Morals prior to a Sense considered. Before we quit this Character Reasonableness, let us consider the Arguments brought to prove that there must be some Standard of moral Good antecedent to any Sense. Say  they, “Perceptions of Sense are deceitful, we must have some Perception or Idea of Virtue more stable and certain; this must be Conformity to Reason: Truth discovered by our Reason  is certain and invariable: That then alone is the Original Idea of Virtue, Agreement with Reason.” But in like manner our Sight and Sense of Beauty is deceitful, and does not always represent the true Forms of Objects. We must not call that beautiful or regular, which pleases the Sight, or an internal Sense; but Beauty in external Forms too, consists in Conformity to Reason. So our Taste may be vitiated: we must not say that Savour is perceived by Taste, but must place the original Idea of grateful Savours in Conformity to Reason, and of ungrateful in Contrariety to Reason. We may mistake the real Extent of Bodies, or their Proportions, by making a Conclusion upon the first sensible Appearance: Therefore Ideas of Extension are not originally acquired by a Sense, but consist in Conformity to Reason.
If what is intended in this Conformity to Reason be this, “That we should call no Action virtuous, unless we have some Reason to conclude it to be virtuous, or some Truth shewing it to be so.” This is very true; but then in like manner we should count no Action vicious, unless we  have some Reason for counting it so, or when ’tis Truth “that it is vicious.” If this be intended by Conformity to Truth, then at the same rate we may make Conformity to Truth the original Idea of Vice  as well as Virtue; nay, of every Attribute whatsoever. That Taste alone is sweet, which there is Reason to count sweet; that Taste alone is bitter, concerning which ’tis true that it is bitter; that Form alone is beautiful, concerning which ’tis true that it is beautiful; and that alone deformed, which is truly deformed. Thus Virtue, Vice, Sweet, Bitter, Beautiful, or Deformed, originally denote Conformity to Reason, antecedently to Perceptions of any Sense. The Idea of Virtue is particularly that concerning which ’tis Truth, that it is Virtue; or Virtue is Virtue; a wonderful Discovery!
So when some tell us, “that Truth is naturally pleasant, and more so than any sensible Perception; this must therefore engage Men more than any other Motive, if they attend to it.” Let them observe, that as much Truth is known about Vice as Virtue. We may demonstrate the publick Miseries which would ensue upon Perjury, Murder, and Robbery. These Demonstrations would be attended with that Pleasure which is peculiar to Truth; as well as the Demonstrations of the publick Happiness to  ensue from Faith, Humanity and Justice. There is equal Truth on both sides.
Whence it is that Virtue is called reasonable and not Vice. We may transiently observe what has occasioned the Use of the Word reasonable, as an Epithet of only virtuous Actions. Tho we have Instincts determining us to desire Ends, without supposing any previous Reasoning; yet ’tis by use of our Reason that we find out the Means of obtaining our Ends. When we do not use our Reason, we often are disappointed of our End. We therefore call those Actions which are effectual to their Ends, reasonable in one Sense of that Word.
Again, in all Men there is probably a moral Sense, making publickly useful Actions and kind Affections grateful to the Agent, and to every Observer: Most Men who have thought of human Actions, agree, that the publickly useful are in the whole also privately useful to the Agent, either in this Life or the next: We conclude, that all Men have the same Affections and Senses: We are convinced by our Reason, that ’tis by publickly useful Actions alone that we can promote all our Ends. Whoever then acts in a contrary manner, we presume is mistaken, ignorant of, or inadvertent to, these Truths which he might know; and say he acts unreasonably. Hence some have  been led to imagine, some Reasons either exciting or  justifying previously to all Affections or a moral Sense.
Objections from our judging even of our Affections and Senses themselves.Two Arguments are brought in defense of this Epithet, as antecedent to any Sense, viz. “That we judge even of our Affections and Senses themselves, whether they are morally Goodor Evil.”
The second Argument is, that “if all moral Ideas depend upon the Constitution of our Sense, then all Constitutions would have been alike reasonable and good to the Deity, which is absurd.”
I.That we judge our Senses themselves.As to the first Argument, ’tis plain we judge of our own Affections, or those of others by our moral Sense, by which we approve kind Affections, and disapprove the contrary. But none can apply moral Attributes to the very Faculty of perceiving moral Qualities; or call his moral Sense morally Goodor Evil, any more than he calls the Power of Tasting, sweet, or bitter; or of Seeing, strait or crooked, white or black.
Answered.Every one judges the Affections of others by his own Sense; so that it seems not impossible that in these Senses Men might differ as they do in Taste. A Sense approving Benevolence would disapprove  that Temper,  which a Sense approving Malice would delight in. The former would judge of the latter by his own Sense, so would the latter of the former. Each one would at first view think the Sense of the other perverted. But then, is there no difference? Are both Senses equally good? No certainly, any Man who observed them would think the Sense of the former more desirable than of the latter; but this is, because the moral Sense of every Man is constituted in the former manner. But were there any Nature with no moral Sense at all observing these two Persons, would he not think the State of the former preferable to that of the latter? Yes, he might: but not from any Perception of moral Goodness in the one Sense more than in the other. Any rational Nature observing two Men thus constituted, with opposite Senses, might by reasoning see, not moral Goodness in one Sense more than in the contrary, but a Tendency to the Happiness of the Person himself, who had the former Sense in the one Constitution, and a contrary Tendency in the opposite Constitution: nay, the Persons themselves might observe this; since the former Sense would make these Actions grateful to the Agent which were useful to others; who, if they had a like Sense, would love him, and return good Offices; whereas the latter Sense would make all such Actions as are useful  to others, and  apt to engage their good Offices, ungrateful to the Agent; and would lead him into publickly hurtful Actions, which would not only procure the Hatred of others, if they had a contrary Sense, but engage them out of their Self‐Love to study his Destruction, tho their Senses agreed. Thus any Observer, or the Agent himself with this latter Sense, might perceive that the Pains to be feared, as the Consequence of malicious Actions, did over‐ballance the Pleasures of this Sense; so that it would be to the Agent’s Interest to counteract it. Thus one Constitution of the moral Sense might appear to be more advantageous to those who had it, than the contrary; as we may call that Sense of Tasting healthful, which made wholesom Meat pleasant; and we would call a contrary Taste pernicious. And yet we should no more call the moral Sense morally goodor evil, than we call the Sense of Tasting savoury or unsavoury, sweet or bitter.
But must we not own, that we judge of all our Senses by our Reason, and often correct their Reports of the Magnitude, Figure, Colour, Taste of Objects, and pronounce them right or wrong, as they agree or disagree with Reason? This is true. But does it then follow, that Extension, Figure, Colour, Taste, are not  sensible Ideas, but only denote Reasonableness, or Agreement with  Reason? Or that these Qualities are perceivable antecedently to any Sense, by our Power of finding out Truth? Just so a compassionate Temper may rashly imagine the Correction of a Child, or the Execution of a Criminal, to be cruel and inhuman: but by reasoning may discover the superior Goodarising from them in the whole; and then the same moral Sense may determine the Observer to approve them. But we must not hence conclude, that it is any reasoning antecedent to a moral Sense, which determines us to approve the Study of publick Good, any more than we can in the former Case conclude, that we perceive Extension, Figure, Colour, Taste, antecedently to a Sense. All these Sensations are often corrected by Reasoning, as well as our Approbations of Actions as Good or Evil: and yet no body ever placed the Original Idea of Extension, Figure, Colour, or Taste, in Conformity to Reason.
Thus tho no Man can immediately either approve or disapprove as morally good or evil his own moral Sense, by which he approves only Affections and Actions consequent upon them; yet he  may see whether it be advantageous to him in other respects, to have it constituted one way rather than another. One Constitution may make these Actions grateful to this Sense which tend to procure other Pleasures also. A contrary Constitution may be known to the very Person himself to be disadvantageous, as making these Actions immediately grateful, which shall occasion all other sorts of Misery. His Self‐Love may excite him, tho with Dissatisfaction, to counteract this Sense, in order to avoid a greater Evil. Mr. Hobbes seems to have had no better Notions of the natural State of Mankind. An Observer, who was benevolent, would desire that all had the former sort of Sense; a malicious Observer, if he feared no Evil to himself,  from the Actions of the Persons observed, would desire the latter Constitution. If this Observer had a moral Sense, he would think that Constitution which was contrary to his own, strange and surprizing, or unnatural. If the Observer had no Affections toward others, and were disjoined from Mankind, so as to have neither Hopes nor Fears from their Actions, he would be indifferent about their Constitutions, and have no Desire or Preference of one above another; tho he might see which were advantageous to them, and which pernicious.
The 2d Objection, that all Constitutions would have been alikereasonable,answered. As to the second Argument, What means [alike reasonable or good to theDeity?] Does it mean, “that the Deity could have had no Reasons exciting him to make one Constitution rather than another?” ’Tis plain, if the Deity had nothing essential to his Nature, corresponding to our sweetest and most kind Affections, we can scarce suppose he could have any Reason exciting him to any thing he has done: but grant such a Disposition in the Deity, and then the manifest Tendency of the present Constitution to the Happiness of his Creatures was an exciting Reason for chusing it before the contrary. Each sort of Constitution  might have given Men an equal immediate Pleasure in present SelfApprobation for any sort of Action; but the Actions approved by the present Sense, procure all Pleasures of the other Senses; and the Actions which would have been approved by a contrary  moral Sense, would have been productive of all Torments of the other Senses.
If it be meant, that “upon this Supposition, that all our Approbation presupposes in us a moral Sense, the DDeitycould not have approved one Constitution more than another:” where is the Consequence? Why may not the Deity have  something of a superior Kind, analogous to our moral Sense, essential to him? How does any Constitution of the Senses of Men hinder the Deity to reflect and judge of his own Actions? How does it affect the divine Apprehension, which way soever moral Ideas arise with Men?
If it means “that we cannot approve of one Constitution more than another, or approve theDeityfor making the present Constitution:” This Consequence is also false. The present Constitution of our moral Sense determines us to approve all kind Affections:  This Constitution the Deity must have foreseen as tending to the Happiness of his Creatures; it does therefore evidence kind Affection or Benevolence in the Deity, this therefore we must approve.
The meaning of antecedent Reasonableness.We have got some strange Phrases, “that some things are antecedently reasonable in the Nature of the thing,” which some insist upon: “That otherwise, say they, if before Man was created, any Nature without a moral Sense had existed, this Nature would not have approved as morally good in the Deity, his constituting our Sense as it is at present.” Very true; and what next? If there had been no moral Sense in that Nature, there would have been no Perception  of Morality. But “could not such Natures have seen something reasonable in one Constitution more than in another?” They might no doubt have reasonedabout the various Constitutions, and foreseen that the present one would tend to the Happiness of Mankind, and would evidence Benevolence in the Deity So also they might have reasonedabout the contrary Constitution, that it would make Men miserable, and evidence Malice in the Deity. They would have reasonedabout both, and found out Truths: are both Constitutions alike reasonable to these Observers? No, say they, “the benevolent one is reasonable, and  the malicious unreasonable:” And yet these Observers reasonedand discovered Truths about both: An Action then is called by us reasonable when ’tis benevolent, and unreasonable when malicious. This is plainly making the Word reasonable denote whatever is approvedby our moral Sense, without Relation to true Propositions. We often use that Word in such a confused Manner: But these antecedent Natures, supposed without a moral Sense, would not have approvedone Constitution of the Deity as morally better than another.
Had it been left to the Choice of these antecedent Minds, what manner of Sense  they would have desired for Mankind; would they have seen no difference? Yes they would, according to their Affections which are presupposed in all Election. If they were benevolent, as we suppose the Deity, the Tendency of the present Sense to the Happiness of Men would have excited their Choice. Had they been malicious, as we suppose the Devil, the contrary Tendency of the contrary Sense would have excited their Election of it. But is there nothing preferable, or eligible antecedently to all Affections too? No certainly, unless there can be Desire without Affections, or superior Desire, i. e. Election antecedently to all Desire.
Reasons for Election different from those for Approbation. Some do farther perplex this Subject, by asserting, that “the same Reasons determining Approbation, ought also to excite to Election.” Here, 1. We often see justifying Reasons where we can have no Election; viz. when we observe the Actions of others, which were even prior to our Existence. 2. The Quality moving us to Election very often cannot excite Approbation; viz. private usefulness, not publickly pernicious. This both does and ought to move Election, and yet I believe few will say, “they approve as virtuous the eating a Bunch of Grapes, taking a Glass of Wine, or sitting down when  one is tired.” Approbation is not what we can voluntarily bring upon our selves. When we are contemplating Actions, we do not chuse to approve, because Approbation is pleasant; otherwise we would always approve, and never condemn any Action; because this is some way uneasy. Approbation is plainly a Perception arising without previous Volition, or Choice of it, because of any concomitant Pleasure. The Occasion of it is the Perception of benevolent Affections in our selves, or the discovering the like in others, even when we are incapable of any Action or Election. The Reasons determining Approbation are such as shew that an Action evidenced kind Affections, and that in others, as often as in our  selves. Whereas, the Reasons moving to Election are such as shew the Tendency of an Action to gratify some Affection in the Agent.
The Prospect of the Pleasure of Self‐Approbation, is indeed often a Motive to chuse one Action rather than another; but this supposes the moral Sense, or Determination to approve, prior to the Election. Were Approbation voluntarily chosen, from the Prospect of its concomitant Pleasure, then there could  be no Condemnation of our own Actions, for that is unpleasant.
As to that confused Word [ought] ’tis needless to apply to it again all that was said about Obligation.
Concerning that Character of Virtue and Vice, The Fitness or Unfitness of Actions.
The Fitness and Unfitness in Morals.[245/250] We come next to examine some other Explications of Morality, which have been much insisted on of late. We are told, “that there are eternal and immutable Differences of Things, absolutely and antecedently: that there are also eternal and unalterable Relations in the Natures of the Things themselves, from which arise Agreements and Disagreements, Congruities and Incongruities, Fitness and Unfitness of the Application of Circumstances, to the Qualifications of Persons; that Actions agreeable to these Relations are morally Good, and that the contrary Actions are morally Evil.” These Expressions are sometimes made of the same Import with those more common ones: “acting agreeably to the eternal Reason and Truth  of Things.” ’Tis is asserted, that  “God who knows all these Relations, &c. does guide his Actions by them, since he has no wrong Affection” (the Word [wrong] should have been first explained): “And that in like manner these Relations, &c. ought” (another unlucky Word in Morals) “to determine the Choice of all Rationals, abstractly from any Views of Interest. If they do not, these Creatures are insolently counteracting their Creator, and as far as they can, making things to be what they are not, which is the greatest Impiety.”
That Things are now different is certain. That Ideas, to which there is no Object yet existing conformable, are also different, is certain. That upon comparing two Ideas there arises a relative Idea, generally when the two Ideas compared have in them any Modes of the same simple Idea, is also obvious. Thus every extended Being may be compared to any other of the same Kinds of Dimensions; and relative Ideas be formed of greater, less, equal, double, triple, subduple, &c. with infinite variety. This may let us see that Relations are not real Qualities inherent in external Natures, but only Ideas necessarily accompanying our Perception of two Objects at once, and comparing them. Relative Ideas do continue, when the external  Objects do not exist, provided  we retain the two Ideas. But what the eternal Relations in the Natures of Things do mean, is not so easy perhaps to be conceived.
Three sorts of Relationsconsidered.To shew particularly how far Morality can be concerned in Relations, we may consider them under these Three Classes. 1. The Relations of inanimate Objects, as to their Quantity, or active and passive Powers, as explained by Mr. Locke.”2. The Relations of inanimate Objects to rational Agents, as to their active or passive Powers.3. The Relations of rational Agents among themselves, founded on their Powers or Actions past or continued. Now let us examine what Fitnesses or Unfitnesses arise from any of these sorts of Relations, in which the Morality of Actions may consist; and whether we can place Morality in them, without presupposing a moral Sense. ’Tis plain, that ingenious Author says nothing against the Supposition of a moral Sense: But many do imagine, that his Account of moral Ideas is independent upon a moral Sense, and therefore are less willing to allow that we have such an immediate Perception, or Sense of Virtue and Vice. What follows is not intended to oppose his Scheme, but rather to suggest what seems a necessary Explication of it; by shewing that it is no otherwise intelligible, [248/253] but upon Supposition of a moral Sense.
None of them explain Morality without a Sense.1. Relations of inanimate Objects being known, puts it in the Power of a rational Agent often to diversify them, to change their Forms, Motions, or Qualities of any kind, at his pleasure: but no body apprehends any Virtue or Vice in such Actions, where no Relation is apprehended to a rational Agent’s Happiness or Misery; otherwise we should have got into the Class of Virtues all the practical Mathematicks, and the Operations of Chymistry.
2. As to the Relations of inanimate Objects to rational Agents; the Knowledge of them equally puts it in one’s Power to destroy Mankind, as to preserve them. Without presupposing Affections, this Knowledge will not excite to one Action rather than another; nor without a moral Sense will it make us approve any Action more than its contrary. The Relation of Corn to human Bodies being known to a Person of kind Affections, was perhaps the exciting Reason of teaching Mankind Husbandry: But the Knowledge of the Relations of Arsenick would excite a malicious Nature, just in the same manner, to the greatest Mischief. A Sword, an Halter, a Musket, bear the same Relation  to the Body of an Hero, which they  do to a Robber. The killing of either is equally agreeable to these Relations, but not equally goodin a moral Sense. The Knowledge of these Relations neither excites to Actions, nor justifies them, without presupposing either Affections or a moral Sense. Kind Affections with such Knowledge makes Heroes; malicious Affections, Villains.
3. The last sort of Relations is that among rational Agents, founded on their Actions or Affections; whence one is called Creator, another Creature; one Benefactor, the other Beneficiary (if that Word may be used in this general Sense;) the one Parent, the other Child; the one Governor, the other Subject, &c. Now let us see what Fitnesses or Unfitnesses arise from these Relations.
There is certainly, independently of Fancy or Custom, a natural Tendency in some Actions to give Pleasure, either to the Agent or to others; and a contrary Tendency in other Actions to give Pain, either to the Agent or others: This sort of Relation of Actions to the Agents or Objects is indisputable. If we call these Relations Fitnesses, then the most contrary Actions have equal Fitnesses for contrary Ends; and each one is unfit for the End of  the other. Thus Compassion is fit to make others happy, and unfit to make others miserable. Violation of Property is fit to make Men miserable, and unfit to make them happy. Each of these is both fit and unfit, with respect to different Ends. The bare Fitness then to an End, is not the Idea of moral Goodness.
Perhaps the virtuous Fitness is that of Ends. The Fitness of a subordinate Endto the ultimate, cannot constitute the Action good, unless the ultimate Endbe good. To keep a Conspiracy secret is not a good End, tho it be fit for obtaining a farther End, the Success of the Conspiracy. The moral Fitness must be that of the ultimate Enditself: The publick Goodalone is a fit End, therefore the Means fit for this Endalone are good.
What means the Fitness of an ultimate End? For what is it fit? Why, ’tis an ultimate End, not fit for any thing farther, but absolutely fit. What means that Word fit? If it notes a simple Idea it must be the Perception of some Sense: thus we must recur, upon this Scheme too, to a moral Sense.
Agreement with Relations presupposes also a moral Sense. If Fitness be not a simple Idea, let it be defined. Some tell us, that it is “an Agreement of an Affection, Desire,  Action, or End, to the Relations of Agents.” But what means Agreement? Which of these four Meanings has it? 1. We say one Quantity agrees with another of equal Dimensions every way. 2. A Corollary agrees with a Theorem; when our knowing the latter to be Truth, leads us to know that the former is also a true Proposition.3.Meat agrees with that Body which it tends to preserve.4. Meat agrees with the Taste of that Being in whom it raises a pleasant Perception. If any one of these are the Meanings of Agreement in the Definition, then one of these is the Idea of Fitness.1. That an Action or Affection is of the same Bulk and Figure with the Relation. Or, 2. When the Relation is a true Proposition, so is the Action or Affection. Or, 3. The Action or Affection tends to preserve the Relation; and contrary Actions would destroy it: So that, for instance, God would be no longer related to us as Creator and Benefactor, when we disobeyed him. Or, 4. The Action raises pleasant Perceptions in the Relation. All these Expressions seem absurd.
 These Gentlemen probably have some other Meanings to these Words Fitness or Agreement. I hope what is said will shew the need for Explication of them, tho they be so common. There is one Meaning  perhaps intended, however it be obscurely expressed, That “certain Affections or Actions of an Agent, standing in a certain Relation to other Agents, is approvedby every Observer, or raises in him a grateful Perception, or moves the Observer to love the Agent.” This Meaning is the same with the Notion of pleasing a moral Sense.
Whoever explains Virtue or Vice by Justice or Injustice, Right or Wrong, uses only more ambiguous Words, which will equally lead to acknowledge a moral Sense.
Mr. Woolaston’s Significancy of Truth, as the Idea of Virtue considered
[253/258] Mr. Woolaston has introduced a new Explication of moral Virtue, viz. Significancy of Truth in Actions, supposing that in every Action there is some Significancy, like to that which Moralists and Civilians speak of in their Tacit Conventions, and Quasi Contractus!
Signification wherein it consists.The Word Signification is very common, but a little Reflection will shew it to be very ambiguous. In Signification of Words these things are included: 1. An Association of an Idea with a Sound, so that when any Idea is formed by the Speaker, the Idea of a Soundaccompanies it. 2. The Sound perceivedby the Hearer excites the Idea to which it is connected. 3. In like manner a Judgment in the Speaker’s Mind is accompanyed with the Idea of a Combination of Sounds. 4. This Combination of Sounds heard raises the Apprehension of that Judgment  in the Mind of the Hearer. Nothing farther than these Circumstances seems to be denoted by Signification.
Conclusions drawn from Speech.Hearing a Proposition does not of itself produce either Assent or Dissent, or Opinion in the Hearer, but only presents to his Apprehension the Judgment, or Thema Complexum. But the Hearer himself often forms Judgments or Opinions upon this occasion, either immediately without Reasoning, or by some short Argument. These Opinions are some one or more of the following Propositions.1.That a Sound is perceived, and a Judgment apprehended.2.Such a Person caused the Sound heard. 3. The Speaker intended to excite in the Hearer the Idea of the Sound, and the Apprehension of the Judgment, or Thema Complexum. This Judgment is not always formed by the Hearer, nor is it always true, when Men are heard speaking. 4.The Speaker intended to produce Assent in the Hearer: This Judgment is not always true. 5.The Speaker assents to the Proposition spoken: This Judgment in the Hearer is often false, and is formed upon Opinion of the Speaker’s Veracity, or speaking what expresses his Opinion usually. 6.The Speaker does not assent to the Proposition spoken: This Judgment of the Hearer is often false, when  what is spoken is every way  true. 7.The Speaker intended that the Hearer should believe or judge, “that the Proposition spoken was assented to by the Speaker.”8.The Speaker had the contrary Intention, to that supposed in the last Judgment: Both these latter Judgments may be false, when the Proposition spoken is every way true.9.The Proposition spoken represents the Object as it is, or is logically true.10.The Proposition spoken does not represent the Object as it is, or it is logically false.
Morality does not consist in Significancy.As to the first four Circumstances which make up the proper Significancy of Speech, ’tis scarce possible that any one should place moral Goodor Evil in them. Whether the Proposition were logically true or false, the having a bare Apprehension of it as a Thema Complexum, or raising this in another, without intending to produce Assent or Dissent, can have no more moral Goodor Evil in it, than the Reception of any other Idea, or raising it in another. This Significancy of Falshoodis found in the very Propositions given in Schools, as Instances of Falshood, Absurdity, Contradiction to Truth, or Blasphemy. The pronouncing of which, are Actions signifying more properly than most of our other Actions; and yet no body condemns them as immoral.
Nor in Conclusions formed by Hearers.[256 ] As to the Opinions formed by the Hearer, they are all his own Action as much as  any other Conclusion or Judgment formed from Appearances of any sort whatsoever. They are true or false, according to the Sagacity of the Observer, or his Caution. The Hearer may form perfectly true Opinions or Judgments, when the Speaker is guilty of the basest Fraud; and may form false Judgments, when the Speaker is perfectly innocent, and spoke nothing false in any Sense.
The Evils which may follow from the false Judgments of the Hearer, are no otherwise chargeable on the Speaker, than as the evil Consequences of another’s Action of any kind may be chargeable upon any Person who co‐operated; or, by his Action, or Omission, the Consequence of which he might have foreseen, did either actually intendthis Evil, or wanted that Degree of kind Affection, which would have inclined him to have prevented it.
The Morality of Speech in the Intention.The Intention of the Speaker is what all Moralists have hitherto imagined the Virtue or Vice of Words did depend upon, and not the bare Significancy of Truth or Falshood. This Intention is either, 1.To lead the Hearer into a true or false Opinion about the Sentiments of the Speaker.  2.To make the Hearer assent to the Proposition spoken. Or, 3.Both to make the Hearer assent to the Proposition, and judge that the  Speaker also assents to it. Or, 4.To accomplish some End, by means of the Hearer’s assent to the Proposition spoken. This End may be known by the Speaker to be either publickly useful, or publickly hurtful.
Some Moralists of late have placed all Virtue in Speech in the Intention of the last kind, viz. “Accomplishing some publickly useful End, by speaking either logical Truth or Falshood: and that all Vice in speaking, consists in intending to effect something publickly hurtful by Speech, whether logically true or false, and known to be such; or by using Speech in a manner which we may foresee would be publickly hurtful, whether we actually intendthis evil Consequence or not.” Some stricter Moralists assert, that “the publick Evils which would ensue from destroying mutual Confidence, by allowing to speak Propositions known to be false on any occasion, are so great, that no particular Advantage to be expected from speaking known logical Falshoods, can ever over‐ballance  them; that all use of Speech supposes a tacit Convention of Sincerity, the Violation of which is always evil.” Both sides in this Argument agree, that the moral Evil in Speech consists either in some direct malicious Intention, or a Tendency to the publick Detriment of  Society; which Tendency the Agent might have foreseen, as connected with his Action, had he not wantedthat Degree of good Affections which makes Men attentive to the Effects of their Actions. Never was bare Significancy of Falshoodmade the Idea of moral Evil. Speaking logical Falshoodwas still looked upon as innocent in many cases. Speaking contrary to Sentiment, or moral Falshood, was always proved evil, from some publickly hurtful Tendency, and not supposed as evil immediately, or the same Idea with Vice. The Intention to deceive was the Foundation of the Guilt. This Intention the Speaker studies to conceal, and does not signify it: It is an Act of the Will, neither signifiedby his Words, nor itself signifying any thing else.
This Point deserved Consideration, because if any Action be significant, ’tis certainly the Act of Speaking: And yet even in this the Virtue is not the signifying of Truth, nor the Vice the signifying Falshood.
The Significancy of Actions. The Signification of some Actions depends upon a like Association of Ideas with them, made either by Nature, or arbitrarily, and by Custom, as with Sounds. Letters are by Custom the Signs of Sounds. A Shriek or Groan is a natural Sign of Fear or Pain: A Motion of the Handor Headmay signify  Assent, Dissent, or Desire. The cutting down tall Poppies was an answer: The sending Spurs, advice to Flight: Kindling many Fires raises the Opinion of an Encampment: Raising a Smoke will raise Opinion of Fire.
The most important Distinction of Signs is this, that1. “Some Appearances are the Occasion upon which an Observer, by his own reasoning, forms a Judgment, without supposing, or having reason to believe, that the Agent, who caused these Appearances, did it with design to communicate his Sentiments to others; or when the Actions are such as are usually done by the Agents, without designing to raise Opinions in Observers. 2. Some Actions are never used but with professed Design to convey the Opinions of the Agent to the Observer; or such as the Observer  infers nothing from, but upon having reason to believe that the Causer of the Appearance intended to convey some Sentiment to the Observer.” 3. Other Signs are used, when “the Signifier gives no reason to conclude any other Intention, but only to raise an Apprehension of the Judgment, or the Thema Complexum, without professing any design to communicate  his Sentiments, or to produce any Assent in the Observer.”
To do Actions from which the Observer will form false Opinions, without having reason to imagine an Intention in the Agent, is never of itself imagined evil, let the Signs be natural or instituted; provided there be no malicious Intention, or neglect of publick Good. ’Tis never called a Crime in a Teacher, to pronounce an absurd Sentence for an instance; in a Nobleman, to travel without Coronets; or a Clergyman in Lay‐Habit, for private Conveniency, or to avoid troublesome Ceremony; to leave Lights in a Lodge, to make People conclude there is a Watch kept. This Significancy may be in any Action which is observed; but as true Conclusions argue no Virtue in the Agent, so false ones argue no Vice.
Raising false Opinions designedly by the second Sort of Signs, which reasonably  lead the Observer to conclude Intention in the Agent to communicate his Sentiments, whether the Signs be customary, instituted, or natural, is generally evil, when the Agent knows the Falshood; since it tends to diminish mutual Confidence. To send Spurs to a Friend, whom the Sender imagines to be in no danger, to deceive by Hieroglyphicks or Painting, is as criminal  as a false Letter. This Significancy occurs in very few human Actions: Some of the most important Virtues profess no design of communicating Sentiments, or raising Opinions either true or false: Nor is there any more Intention in some of the most vicious Actions. Again, who can imagine any Virtue, in all Actions, where there is this Significancy of Truth with Intention? Is it Virtue to say at Christmas, that “the Mornings are sharp?” to beckon with the Hand, in sign of Assent to such an Assertion? And in false Propositions thus signified by Actions or Words, there is no Evil apprehended where the Falshoodis only logical. When the Falshood is known by the Agent, the Evil is not imagined in the Significancy, but in doing what one may foresee tends to breed Distrust in Society. And did all moral Evil consist in moral Falshood, there could be no Sins of Ignorance. If Mr. Woolaston alledges, that “Ignorance of some things signifies this Falshood, viz. We are not  obliged to know the Truth:” This Falshood is not signified with Intention; nor is it moral Falshood, but only logical: since no Man in an Error knows that “he is obliged to know the contrary Truth,” Mr. Woolaston’s use of the Words [ought] or [obliged] without a distinct Meaning, is not peculiar to this Place.
 The third sort of Significancy of Falsehoodis never apprehended as morally Evil: if it were, then every Dramatick Writer drawing evil Characters, every History Painter, every Writer of Allegories, or Epicks, every Philosopher teaching the Nature of contradictory Propositions, would be thought criminal.
Significancy different from the Morality.But since only the first sort of Significancy can be in all Actions, and that too supposing that every Action whatsoever is observedby some Being or other: Let us see if this will account for Morality. Perhaps either, 1st, “Every Action is goodwhich leads the Observer into true Opinions concerning the Sentiments of the Agent, whether the Agent’s Opinions be true or false.” Or, 2dly. “That Action is good which leads the Observer into true Opinions concerning the Object, the Tendency of the Action, and the Relation between the Agent and the Object.”
 Did Virtue consist in this first sort of Significancy of Truth, it would depend not upon the Agent but the Sagacity of the Observer: The acute Penetration of one would constitute an Action virtuous, and the Rashness or Stupidity of another would make it vicious: And the most barbarous Actions  would raise no false Opinion of the Sentiments of the Agent, in a judicious Observer.
The second sort of Significancy would also make Virtue consist in the Power of Observers. An exact Reasoner would receive no false Opinion from the worst Action concerning the Object or Relation of the Agent to it: And a false Opinion might be formed by a weak Observer of a perfectly good Action.—An Observer who knew an Agent to have the basest Temper, would not from his worst Action conclude any thing false concerning the Object: And all such false Opinions would arise only upon Supposition that the Agent was virtuous.
But may it not be said, that “whether Men reason well about Actions or not, there are some Conclusions really deducible from every Action? It is a Datum from which something may be inferred by just Consequence, whether any one  actually infers it or not. Then may not this Quality in Actions, whether we call it Significancy or not, that only true Propositions can be inferred from them by just Reasoning, be moral Goodness? And may it not be the very Idea of moral Evil in Actions, that some false Conclusions  can by just Consequence, be deduced from them? ” Or if we will not allow these to be the very Ideas of moral Good and Evil, “are they not universal just Characters to distinguish the one from the other?”
One may here observe in general, that since the Existence of the Action is supposed to be a true Premise or Datum, no false Conclusion can possibly be inferred from it by just Reasoning. We could perhaps often justly infer, that the Agent had false Opinions; but then this Conclusion of the Observer, viz. “that the Agent has false Opinions,” is really true.
True Conclusions deducible from Actions, no just Character of Virtue.But again, it will not make an universal Character of good Actions, that a just Reasoner would infer from them, that “the Opinions of the Agent are true.” For it is thus Men must reason from Actions; viz. Given the Constitution of Nature, the Affections of Agents, and the Action, to conclude concerning the Opinions: Or more generally given any three  of these to conclude the fourth. Thus suppose the “Constitution of Nature such, that the private Interest of each Individual is connected with the publick Good:” Suppose an Agent’s Affections selfish only, then from a publickly useful  Action we infer, that “the Agent’s Opinions are true:” And from a publickly hurtful Action conclude his Opinions to be false.
The same Constitution supposed with publick Affections as well as selfish. The observing a kind or publickly useful Action, will not immediately infer, that the Agent’s Opinions are either true or false: With false Opinions he might do publickly useful Actions out of his publick Affections, in those cases wherein they are not apparently opposite to his Interest. A publick Action opposite to some present private Interest, would generally evidence true Opinions; or if the Opinions were false, that his publick Affections were in this Case much stronger than his Self‐Love. A cruel Action would indeed evidence false Opinions.
Suppose the same Constitution in all other respects, with malicious Affections in an Agent. A cruel or ungrateful Action would not always prove the Opinions of the Agent to be false; but only that his  Malice in this instance, was more violent than regard to his Interest. A beneficent Action would prove only one of these two, either that his Opinions of the Constitution were true; or, that if  he was mistaken about the Constitution, he had also a false Opinion of the natural Tendency of the Action. Thus false Opinions may be evidenced by contrary Actions.
Suppose “a Constitution wherein a private Interest could be advanced in Opposition to the publick” (this we may call an evil Constitution:) Suppose only Self‐Love in the Agent, then a publickly useful Action, any way toilsome or expensive to the Agent, would evidence false Opinions: And the most cruel selfish Actions would evidence true Opinions.
In an evil Constitution, suppose kind Affections in the Agent; a publickly useful Action would not certainly argue either true or false Opinions. If his Opinions were true, but kind Affections stronger than SelfLove, he might act in the same manner, as if his Opinions were false, and Self‐Love the reigning Affection.
In an evil Constitution, suppose malicious Affections in an Agent, all publickly useful Actions would argue false Opinions;  and publickly hurtful Actions would argue true ones.
 This may shew us that Mens Actions are generally publickly useful, when they have true Opinions, only on this account; that we neither have malicious Affections naturally, nor is there any probability, in our present Constitution, of promoting a private Interest separately from, or in Opposition to the Publick. Were there contrary Affections and a contrary Constitution, the most cruel Actions might flow from true Opinions; and consequently publickly useful Actions might flow from false ones.
How far it is a Character of Virtue, that it flows from true Opinions.In our present Constitution, ’tis probable no Person would ever do anything publickly hurtful, but upon some false Opinion. The flowing from true Opinions is indeed a tolerable Character or Property of Virtue, and flowing from some false Opinion a tolerable Character of Vice; tho neither be strictly universal. But, 1. This is not proper Signification. A judicious Observer never imagines any Intention to communicate Opinions in some of the most important Actions, either goodor evil.2. Did an Action signify Falshood, ’tis generally only logical.3. The false Opinion in the Agent is not the Quality for which the evil Action is condemned; nor is the  true Opinion that for which the good Action is approved. True Opinions in Agents  often aggravate Crimes, as they shew higher Degrees of evil Affection, or total Absence of good. And false Opinions generally extenuate Crimes, unless when the very Ignorance or Error has flowed from evil Affection, or total Absence of good.
’Tis surprizing, for instance, how any should place the Evil of Ingratitude in denying the Person injured, to have been a Benefactor. The Observer of such an Action, if he supposed the Agent had really that false Opinion, would think the Crime the less for it: But if he were convinced that the Agent had a true Opinion, he would think his Ingratitude the more odious. Where we most abhor Actions, we suppose often true Opinions: And sometimes admire Actions flowing even from false Opinions, when they have evidenced no want of good Affection.
To write a Censure upon a Book so well designed as Mr. Woolaston’s, and so full of very good Reasoning upon the most useful Subjects, would not evidence much good Nature. But allowing him his just Praise, to remark any Ambiguities or Inadvertencies which may lead Men into Confusion in their Reasoning, I am confident would  have been acceptable to a Man of so much Goodness, when he was living.
 One may see that he has had some other Idea of moral Good, previous to this Significancy of Truth, by his introducing, in the very Explication of it, Words presupposing the Ideas of Morality previously known: Such as [Right,] [Obligation,] [Lye,] [his] denoting [Property.]
Signifying of Truth equal in unequal Virtue.Mr. Woolaston acknowledges that there may be very little evil in some Actions signifying Falshood; such as throwing away that which is of but little Use or Value. It is objected to him, that there is equal Contrariety to Truth in such Actions, as in the greatest Villany: He, in answer to it, really unawares gives up his whole Cause. He must own, that there may be the strictest Truth and Certainty about Trifles; so there may be the most obvious Falshoodsignified by trifling Actions. If then Significancy of Falshoodbe the very same with moral Evil, all Crimes must be equal. He answers, that Crimes increase according to the Importance of the Truth denied; and so the Virtue increases, as the Importance of the Truths affirmed. Then
 Virtue and Vice increase, as the Importance of Propositions affirmed or denied;
But Signification of Truth and Falshooddoes not so increase:
Therefore Virtue and Vice are not the same with Signification of Truth or Falshood.
But what is this Importance of Truth? Nothing else but the Moment or Quantity of good or evil, either private or publick, which should be produced by Actions, concerning which these true Judgments are made. But it is plain, the Signification of Truth or Falshood is not varied by this Importance; therefore Virtue or Vice denote something different from this Signification.
But farther, The Importance of Actions toward publick Good or Evil, is not the Idea of Virtue or Vice: Nor does the one prove Virtue in an Action, any farther than it evidences kind Affections; or the other Vice, farther than it evidences either Malice or Want of kind Affections: Otherwise a casual Invention, an Action wholly from views of private Interest, might be as virtuous as the most kindand generous Offices: And Chance-Medley, or kindly‐intended, but unsuccessful Attempts  would be as vicious as Murder or Treason.
Some Ambiguities in Mr. Woolaston.One of Mr. Woolaston’s Illustrations that Significancy of Falshoodis the Idea of moral  Evil, ends in this, “’Tis acting a Lye.” What then? Should he not first have shewn what was moral Evil, and that every Lye was such?
Another Illustration or Proof is that, “it is acting contrary to that Reason whichGodhas given us as the Guide of our Actions.” Does not this place the original Idea of moral Evil in counteracting theDeity, and not in signifying Falshood? But, he may say, “Counteracting the Deity denies him to be our Benefactor, and signifies Falshood.” Then why is signifying Falshoodevil? Why, ’tis counteracting theDeity, who gave us Reason for our Guide. Why is this evil again? It denies the Truth, that “he is our Benefactor.”
Another Illustration is this, “That signifying Falshood is altering the Natures of Things, and making them be what they are not, or desiring at least to make them be what they are not.” If by altering the Natures be meant destroying Beings, then moral Evil consists in desiring the Destruction of other Natures,  or in Evil Affections. If what is meant be altering the Laws of Nature, or desiring that they were stopped; this is seldom desired by any but Madmen, nor is this Desire evidenced by some of the  worst Actions, nor is such Desire always criminal; otherwise it were as great a Crime as any, to wish, when a Dam was broken down, that the Water would not overflow the Country.
If making Things be what they are not, means “attempting or desiring that any Subject should have two opposite Qualities at once, or a Quality and its Privation;” ’tis certain then, that according to the Stoicks, all vicious Men are thorowly mad. But ’tis to be doubted, that such Madness never happened to even the worst of Mankind. When a Man murders, he does not desire his Fellow‐Creature to be both deadand living. When he robs, he does not desire that both he and the Proprietor should at the same time possess. If any says, that he desires to have a Right to that, to which another has a Right; ’tis probably false. Robbers neither think of Rights at all, nor are solicitous about acquiring them: Or, if they retain some wild Notions of Rights, they think their Indigence, Conquest or Courage gives them a Right, and makes the other’s Right to cease. If attempting to make  old Qualities or Rights give place to new, be the Idea of moral Evil, then every Artificer, Purchaser, or Magistrate invested with an Office is criminal.
 Many of Mr. Woolaston’s Propositions contradicted by Actions, are about Rights, Duties, Obligation, Justice, Reasonableness. These are long Words, principal Names, or Attributes in Sentences. The little Word [his,] or the Particles [as, according] are much better: they may escape Observation, and yet may include all the Ambiguities of Right, Property, Agreement, Reasonableness: “Treating Things as they are, and not as they are not:” Or, “According to what they are, or are not,” are Expressions he probably had learned from another truly great Name, who has not explained them sufficiently.
In Quasi Contracts, or Tacit, no Signification of Truth.It may perhaps not seem improper on this occasion to observe, that in the Quasi Contractus, the Civilians do not imagine any Act of the Mind of the Person obligedto be really signified, but by a sort of Fictio juris supposing it, order him to act as if he had contracted, even when they know that he had contrary Intentions.
In the Tacit Conventions, ’tis not a Judgment which is signified, but an Act of the Will transferring Right, in which  there is no Relation to Truth or Falshoodof itself. The Non‐performance of Covenants is made  penal, not because of their signifying Falshoods, as if this were the Crime in them: But it is necessary, in order to preserve Commerce in any Society, to make effectual all Declarations of Consent to transfer Rights by any usual Signs, otherwise there could be no Certainty in Mens Transactions.
Shewing the Use of Reason concerning Virtue and Vice, upon Supposition that we receive these Ideas by a Moral Sense.
Truths about Morals, four sorts.[275/280] Had those who insist so much upon the antecedent Reasonableness of Virtue, told us distinctly what is reasonable or provable concerning it, many of our Debates had been prevented. Let us consider what Truths concerning Actions Men could desire to know, or prove by Reason. I fancy they may be reduced to these Heads. 1. “To know whether there are not some Actions or Affections which obtain the Approbation of any Spectator or Observer, and others move his Dislike and Condemnation? ” This Question, as every Man can answer for himself, so universal Experience and History shew, that in all Nations it is so; and consequently the moral Sense is universal.2. “Whether there be any particular Quality, which, wherever it is apprehended, gains Approbation, and the contrary raises Disapprobation? ” We shall  find this Quality to be kind Affection,  or Study of the Good of others; and thus the moral Senses of Men are generally uniform. About these two Questions there is little reasoning; we know how to answer them from reflecting on our own Sentiments, or by consulting others. 3. “What Actions do really evidence kind Affections, or do really tend to the greatest publick Good?” About this Question is all the special Reasoning of those who treat of the particular Laws of Nature, or even of Civil Laws: This is the largest Field, and the most useful Subject of Reasoning, which remains upon every Scheme of Morals. 4. “What are the Motives which, even from Self‐Love, would excite each Individual to do those Actions which are publickly useful?” ’Tis probable indeed, no Man would approve as virtuous an Action publickly useful, to which the Agent was excited only by Self‐Love, without any kind Affection: ’Tis also probable that no view of Interest can raise that kind Affection, which we approve as virtuous; nor can any Reasoning do it, except that which shews some moral Goodness, or kind Affections in the Object; for this never fails, where it is observed or supposed in any Person to raise the Love of the Observer; so that Virtue is not properly taught.
[277/282] Yet since all Men have naturally Self‐Love as well as kind Affections, the former may often counteract the latter, or the latter the former; in each case the Agent is uneasy, and in some degree unhappy. The first rash Views of human Affairs often represent private Interest as opposite to the Publick: When this is apprehended, Self‐Love may often engage Men in publickly hurtful Actions, which their moral Sense will condemn; and this is the ordinary Cause of Vice. To represent these Motives of Self‐Interest, to engage Men to publickly useful Actions, is certainly the most necessary Point in Morals. This has been so well done by the antient Moralists, by Dr. Cumberland, Puffendorf, Grotius, Shaftesbury; ’tis made so certain from the divine Government of the World, the State of Mankind, who cannot subsist without Society, from universal Experience and Consent, from inward Consciousness of the Pleasure of kind Affections, and Self‐Approbation, and of the Torments of Malice, or Hatred, or Envy, or Anger; that no Man who considers these things, can ever imagine he can have any possible Interest in opposing the publick Good; or in checking or restraining his kind Affections; nay, if he had no kind Affections, his very Self‐Love and Regard to his private Good might excite  him to publickly  useful Actions, and dissuade from the contrary.
What farther should be provable concerning Virtue, whence it should be called reasonable antecedently to all Affection, or Interest, or Sense, or what it should be fit for, one cannot easily imagine.
Perhaps what has brought the Epithet Reasonable, or flowing from Reason, in opposition to what flows from Instinct, Affection, or Passion, so much into use, is this, “That it is often observed, that the very best of our particular Affections or Desires, when they are grown violent and passionate, thro’ the confused Sensations and Propensities which attend them, do make us incapable of considering calmly the whole Tendency of our Actions, and lead us often into what is absolutely pernicious, under some Appearance of relative or particular Good.” This indeed may give some ground for distinguishing between passionate Actions, and those from calm Desire or Affection which employs our Reason freely: But can never set rational Actions in Opposition to those from Instinct, Desire or Affection. And it must be owned, that the most perfect Virtue consists in the calm, unpassionate Benevolence,  rather than in particular Affections.
How we judge of our Moral Sense. If one asks “how do we know that our Affections are right when they are kind?” What does the Word [right] mean? Does it mean what we approve? This we know by Consciousness of our Sense. Again, how do we know that our Sense is right, or that we approve our Approbation? This can only be answered by another Question, viz. “How do we know we are pleased when we are pleased?”—Or does it mean, “how do we know that we shall always approve what we now approve?” To answer this, we must first know that the same Constitution of our Sense shall always remain: And again, that we have applyed our selves carefully to consider the natural Tendency of our Actions. Of the Continuance of the same Constitution of our Sense, we are as sure as of the Continuance of Gravitation, or any other Law of Nature: The Tendency of our own Actions we cannot always know; but we may know certainly that we heartily and sincerely studied to act according to what, by all the Evidence now in our Power to obtain, appeared as most probably tending to publick Good. When we are conscious of this sincere Endeavour, the evil Consequences which we could not have foreseen,  never will make us condemn our Conduct. But without this sincere Endeavour,  we may often approve at present what we shall afterwards condemn.
How our Moral Sense is corrected by Reason.If the Question means, “How are we sure that what we approve, all others shall also approve?” Of this we can be sure upon no Scheme; but ’tis highly probable that the Senses of all Men are pretty uniform: That the Deity also approves kind Affections, otherwise he would not have implanted them in us, nor determined us by a moral Sense to approve them. Now since the Probability that Men shall judge truly, abstracting from any presupposed Prejudice, is greater than that they shall judge falsly; ’tis more probable, when our Actions are really kindand publickly useful, that all Observers shall judge truly of our Intentions, and of the Tendency of our Actions, and consequently approve what we approve our selves, than that they shall judge falsly and condemn them.
If the Meaning of the Question be, “Will the doing what our moral Sense approves tend to our Happiness, and to the avoiding Misery?” ’Tis thus we call a Taste wrong, when it makes that Foodat present grateful, which shall occasion future Pains, or Death. This Question  concerning our Self‐Interest must be answered by such Reasoning as was mentioned above,  to be well managed by our Moralists both antient and modern.
Thus there seems no part of that Reasoning which was ever used by Moralists, to be superseded by supposing a moral Sense. And yet without a moral Sense there is no Explication can be given of our Ideas of Morality; nor of that Reasonableness supposed antecedent to all Instincts, Affections, or Sense.
“But may there not be a right or wrong State of our moral Sense, as there is in our other Senses, according as they represent their Objects to be as they really are, or represent them otherwise?” So may not our moral Sense approve that which is vicious, and disapprove Virtue, as a sickly Palate may dislike grateful Food, or a vitiated Sight misrepresent Colours or Dimensions? Must we not know therefore antecedently what is morally Goodor Evil by our Reason, before we can know that our moral Sense is right?
To answer this, we must remember that of the sensible Ideas, some are allowed to be only Perceptions in our Minds, and not Images of any like external Quality, as  Colours, Sounds, Tastes, Smells, Pleasure, Pain. Other Ideas are Images of something external,  as Duration, Number, Extension, Motion, Rest: These latter, for distinction, we may call concomitant Ideas of Sensation, and the former purely sensible. As to the purely sensible Ideas, we know they are alter’dby any Disorder in our Organs, and made different from what arise in us from the same Objects at other times. We do not denominate Objects from our Perceptions during the Disorder, but according to our ordinary Perceptions, or those of others in good Health: Yet no body imagines that therefore Colours, Sounds, Tastes, are not sensible Ideas. In like manner many Circumstances diversify the concomitant Ideas: But we denominate Objects from the Appearances they make to us in an uniform Medium, when our Organs are in no disorder, and the Object not very distant from them. But none therefore imagines that it is Reason and not Sense which discovers these concomitant Ideas, or primary Qualities.
Just so in our Ideas of Actions. These three Things are to be distinguished, 1. The Idea of the external Motion, known first by Sense, and its Tendency to the Happiness or Misery of some sensitive Nature, often inferr’d by Argument or Reason.2.Apprehension or Opinion of the Affections  in  the Agent, concluded by our Reason: So far the Idea of an Action represents something external to the Observer. 3. The Perception of Approbation or Disapprobation arising in the Observer, according as the Affections of the Agent are apprehended kindin their just Degree, or deficient, or malicious. This Approbation cannot be supposed an Image of any thing external, more than the Pleasure of Harmony, of Taste, of Smell. But let none imagine, that calling the Ideas of Virtue and Vice Perceptions of a Sense, upon apprehending the Actions and Affections of another does diminish their Reality, more than the like Assertions concerning all Pleasure and Pain, Happiness or Misery. Our Reason does often correct the Report of our Senses, about the natural Tendency of the external Action, and corrects rash Conclusions about the Affections of the Agent. But whether our moral Sense be subject to such a Disorder, as to have different Perceptions, from the same apprehended Affections in an Agent, at different times, as the Eye may have of the Colours of an unaltered Object, ’tis not easy to determine: Perhaps it will be hard to find any Instances of such a Change. What Reason could correct, if it fell into such a Disorder, I know not; except suggesting to its Remembrance its former  Approbations, and representing the general Sense of Mankind.  But this does not prove Ideas of Virtue and Vice to be previous to a Sense, more than a like Correction of the Ideas of Colour in a Person under the Jaundice, proves that Colours are perceived by Reason, previously to Sense.
If any say, “this moral Sense is not a Rule:” What means that Word? It is not a strait rigid Body: It is not a general Proposition, shewing what Means are fit to obtain an end: It is not a Proposition, asserting, that a Superior will make those happy who act one way, and miserable who act the contrary way. If these be the Meanings of Rule, it is no Rule; yet by reflecting upon it our Understanding may find out a Rule. But what Rule of Actions can be formed, without Relation to some Endproposed? Or what Endcan be proposed, without presupposing Instincts, Desires, Affections, or a moral Sense, it will not be easy to explain.
Shewing that Virtue may have whatever is meant by Merit; and be rewardable upon the Supposition, that it is perceived by a Sense, and elected from Affection or Instinct.
[285/290] Some will not allow any Merit in Actions flowing from kind Instincts: “Merit, say they, attends Actions to which we are excited by Reason alone, or to which we freely determine ourselves. The Operation of Instincts or Affections is necessary, and not voluntary; nor is there more Merit in them than in the Shining of the Sun, the Fruitfulness of a Tree, or the Overflowing of a Stream, which are all publickly useful.”
Merit, what.But what does Merit mean? or Praiseworthiness? Do these Words denote the “Quality in Actions, which gains Approbation from the Observer?” Or, 2dly, Are these Actions called  meritorious, “which, when any Observer does approve all other  Observers approve him for his Approbation of it; and would condemn any Observer who did not approve these Actions?” These are the only Meanings of meritorious, which I can conceive as distinct from rewardable, which is considered hereafter separately.
Now we endeavoured already to shew, that “no Reason can excite to Action previously to some End, and that no Endcan be proposed without some Instinct or Affection.” What then can be meant by being excited by Reason, as distinct from all Motion of Instincts or Affections?
Then determining our selves freely, does it mean acting without any Motive or exciting Reason? If it did not mean this, it cannot be opposed to acting from Instinct or Affections, since all Motives or Reasons presuppose them. If it do mean this, that “Merit is found only in Actions done without Motive or Affection, by mere Election, without prepollent Desire of one Action or Endrather than its opposite, or without Desire of that Pleasure which some do suppose follows  upon any Election, by a natural Connexion:” Then let any Man  consider whether he ever acts in this manner by mere Election, without any previous Desire? And again, let him consult his own Breast, whether such kind of Action gains his Approbation? Upon seeing a Person not more disposed by Affection, Compassion, or Love or Desire, to make his Country happy than miserable, yet choosing the one rather than the other, from no Desire of publick Happiness, nor Aversion to the Torments of others, but by such an unaffectionate Determination, as that by which one moves his first Finger rather than the second, in giving an Instance of a trifling Action; let any one ask if this Action should be meritorious: and yet that there should be no Merit in a tender compassionate Heart, which shrinks at every Pain of its Fellow‐Creatures, and triumphs in their Happiness; with kind Affections and strong Desire labouring for the publick Good. If this be the Nature of meritorious Actions; I fancy every honest  Heart would disclaim all Merit in Morals, as violently as the old Protestants rejected it in Justification.
But let us see which of the two Senses of Merit or Praise‐worthiness is founded on this (I won’t call it unreasonable or casual) but unaffectionate Choice. If Merit denotes the Quality moving the Spectator to approve, then there may be unaffectionate Election of the greatest Villany, as well as of the most  useful Actions; but who will say that they are equally approved?—But perhaps ’tis not the mere Freedom of Choice which is approved, but the free Choice of publick Good, without any Affection. Then Actions are approved for publick Usefulness, and not for Freedom. Upon this Supposition the Heat of the Sun, the Fruitfulness of a Tree, would be meritorious: or if one says, “these are not Actions;” they are at least meritorious Qualities, Motions, Attractions, &c. And a casual Invention may be meritorious.—Perhaps Free Election is a Conditio sine qua non, and publick Usefulness the immediate Cause of Approbation; neither separately, but both jointly are meritorious: Free Election alone is not Merit; Publick Usefulness alone is not Merit; but both concurring. Then should any Person by mere Election, without any Desire to serve the publick, set about Mines,  or any useful Manufacture; or should a Person by mere Election stab a Man, without knowing him to be a publick Robber; here both free Election and publick Usefulness may concur: Yet will any one say there is Merit or Virtue in such Actions? Where then shall we find Merit, unless in kind Affections, or Desire and Intention of the publick Good? This moves our Approbation wherever we observe it: and the want of this is the true Reason why a Searcher for Mines, a free Killer of an unknown  Robber, the warming Sun, or the fruitful Tree, are not counted meritorious.
But it may be said, that to make an Action meritorious, it is necessary not only that the Action be publickly useful, but that it be known or imaginedto be such, before the Agent freely chuses it. But what does this add to the former Scheme? Only a Judgment or Opinion in the Understanding, concerning the natural Tendency of an Action to the publick Good: Few, it may be presumed, will place Virtue in Assent or Dissent, or Perceptions. And yet this is all that is superadded to the former Case. The Agent must not desire the publick Good, or have any kind Affections. This would spoil the Freedom of Choice, according to their Scheme, who insist on a Freedom opposite to Affections  or Instincts: But he must barely know the Tendency to publick Good, and without any Propensity to, or Desire of, the Happiness of others, by an arbitrary Election, acquire his Merit. Let every Man judge for himself, whether these are the Qualities which he approves.
What has probably engaged many into this way of speaking, “that Virtue is the Effect of rational Choice, and not of Instincts or Affections,” is this; they  find, that “some Actions flowing from particular kind Affections, are sometimes condemned as evil,” because of their bad Influence upon the State of larger Societies; and that the Hurry and confused Sensations of any of our Passions, may divert the Mind from considering the whole Effect of its Actions: They require therefore to Virtue a calm and undisturbed Temper.
There is indeed some ground to recommend this Temper as very necessary in many Cases; and yet some of the most passionate Actions may be perfectly good. But in the calmest Temper there must remain Affection or Desire, some implanted Instinct for which we can give no reason; otherwise there could be no Action of any kind. As it was shewn above in the first Section.
 If meritorious Actions are these which whosoever does not approve, is himself condemnedby others; the Quality by which they are constituted meritorious in this Sense, is the same which moves our Approbation. We condemn any Person who does not approve that which we our selves approve: We presume the Sense of others to be constituted like our own; and that any other Person, would he attend to the  Actions which we approve, would also approve them, and love the Agent; when we find that another does not approve what we approve, we are apt to conclude, that he has not had kind Affections toward the Agent, or that some evil Affection makes him overlook his Virtues, and on this account condemn him.
Perhaps by meritorious is meant the same thing with another Word used in like manner, viz. rewardable. Then indeed the Quality in which Merit or Rewardableness is founded, is different from that which is denoted by Merit in the former Meanings.
Rewardable, or deserving Reward, denotes either that Quality which would incline a superior Nature to make an Agent happy: Or, 2dly, That Quality of Actions which would make a Spectator approve  a superior Nature, when he conferred Happiness on the Agent, and disapprove that Superior, who inflicted Misery on the Agent, or punished him. Let any one try to give a Meaning to the Word rewardable distinct from these, and not satisfy himself with the Words worthy of, or deserving, which are of very complex and ambiguous Signification.
 Now the Qualities of an Action determining a powerful Nature to reward it, must be various, according to the Constitution and Affections of that Superior. If he has a moral Sense, or something analogous of a more excellent sort, by which he is determined to love those who evidence kind Affections, and to desire their Happiness, then kind Affection is a Quality moving to Reward.
But farther, if this Superior be benevolent, and observes that inferior Natures can by their mutual Actions promote their mutual Happiness; then he must incline to excite them to publickly useful Actions, by Prospects of private Interest to the Agent, if it be needful: Therefore he will engage them to publickly useful Actions by Prospects of Rewards, whatever be the internal Principle of their Actions, or whatever their Affections be. These two Qualities in Actions, viz. flowing from kind Affections, and publick Usefulness concurring, undoubtedly incline the benevolent Superior to confer Happiness: The former alone, where, thro’ want of Power, the Agent is disappointed of his kind Intentions, will incline a benevolent Superior to reward; and the want of Power in the Agent will never incline him to punish. But the want of kind Affections, altho  there be publickly useful Actions, may be so offensive to the moral Sense of the superior Nature, as to prevent Reward, or excite to punish; unless this Conduct would occasion greater publick Evil, by withdrawing from many Agents a necessary Motive to publick Usefulness, viz. the Hope of Reward.
But if the Superior were malicious with a moral Sense contrary to ours, the contrary Affections and Tendency of Actions would excite to reward, if any such thing could be expected from such a Temper.
If Actions be called rewardable, when “a Spectator would approve the superior Mindfor conferring Rewards on such Actions:” Then various Actions must be rewardable, according to the moral Sense of the Spectator. Men approve rewarding all kind Affections: And if it will promote publick Good to promise  Rewards to publickly useful Actions from whatsoever Affections they proceed, it will evidence Benevolence in the Superior to do so. And this is the Case with human Governors, who cannot dive into the Affections of Men.
Whether Motives or Inclinations to Evil be necessary to make an Agent rewardable?Some strongly assert (which is often the only Proof) that “to make an Action rewardable, the Agent should have had Inclinations to evil as well as to good.” What does this mean, That a good governing Mind is only inclined to make an Agent happy, or to confer a Rewardon him when he has some evil Affections, which yet are surmounted by the benevolent Affections? But would not a benevolent Superior incline to make any benevolent Agent happy, whether he had any weaker evil Inclinations or not? Evil Inclinations in an Agent would certainly rather have some Tendency to diminish the Love of the superior Mind. Cannot a good Mind love an Agent, and desire his Happiness, unless he observes some Qualities, which, were they alone, would excite Hatredor Aversion? Must there be a Mixture of Hatredto make Love strong and effectual, as there must be a Mixture of Shade to set off the Lights in a Picture, where there are no Shades? Is there any Love, where there is no Inclination to  make happy? Or is strong Love made up of Love and Hatred?
’Tis true indeed, that Men judge of the Strength of kind Affections generally by the contrary Motives of Self‐Love, which they surmount: But must the Deity do so too? Is any Nature the less lovely, for its having no Motive to make itself odious? If a Being which has no Motive to evil can be belovedby a Superior, shall he not desire the Happiness of that Agent whom he loves? ’Tis true, such a Nature will do good Actions  without Prospect of any Self‐Interest; but would any benevolent Superior study the less to make it happy on that account?—But if they apply the Word rewardable to those Actions alone, which an Agent would not do without Prospect of Reward: then indeed to make an Action in this Sense rewardable, ’tis necessary that the Agent should either have no kind Affections, or that he should live in such Circumstances, wherein Self‐Love should lead to Actions contrary to the publick Good, and over‐power any kind Affections; or that he should have evil Affections, which even in a good Constitution of the World, his Self‐Love could not over‐ballance without Reward.
[296 ] This poor Idea of Rewardableness is taken from the Poverty and Impotence of human Governors: Their Funds are soon exhausted; they cannot make happy all those whose Happiness they desire: Their little Stores must be frugally managed; none must be rewarded for what good they will do without Reward, or for abstaining from Evils to which they are not inclined. Rewards must be kept for the insolent Minister, who without reward would fly in the Face of his Prince; for the turbulent Demagogue, who will raise Factions if he is not bribed; for the covetous, mean‐spirited, but artful Citizen, who will serve his Country no farther  than it is for his private Interest. But let any kind honest Heart declare what sort of Characters it loves? Whose Happiness it most desires? Whom it would reward if it could? Or what these Dispositions are, which if it saw rewarded by a superior Nature, it would be most pleased, and most approve the Conduct of the Superior? When these Questions are answer’d, we shall know what makes Actions rewardable.
If we call all Actions rewardable, the rewarding of which we approve; then indeed we shall approve the rewarding of all Actions which we approve, whether the  Agent has had any Inclinations or Motives to Evil or not: We shall also approve the promising of Rewards to all publickly useful Actions, whatever were the Affections of the Agents. If by this Prospect of Rewardeither malicious Natures are restrained from Mischief, or selfish Natures induced to serve the Publick, or benevolent Natures not able without reward to surmount real or apparent selfish Motives: In all these Cases, the proposing Rewards does really advance the Happiness of the Whole, or diminish its Misery; and evidences Benevolence in the superior Mind, and is consequently approvedby our moral Sense.
 In this last Meaning of the Word rewardable, these Dispositions are rewardable. 1.Pure unmixed Benevolence.2.Prepollent good Affections.3.Such weak Benevolence, as will not without Reward overcome apparently contrary Motives of Self‐Love.4.Unmixed Self‐Love, which by Prospect of Reward may serve the publick.5.Self‐Love, which by Assistance of Rewards, may overballance some malicious Affections. If in these Cases proposing Rewards will increase the Happiness of the System, or diminish its Misery, it evidences Goodness in the Governor, when he cannot so well otherwise accomplish so much good for the whole.
 If we suppose a Necessity of making all virtuous Agents equally happy, then indeed a Mixture of evil Dispositions, tho surmounted by the good, or of strong contrary Motives overballanced by Motives to Good, would be a Circumstance of some Importance in the Distribution of Rewards: Since such a Nature, during the Struggle of contrary Affections or Motives, must have had less Pleasure than that virtuous Nature which met with no Opposition: But as this very Opposition did give this Nature full Evidence of the Strength of its Virtue, this Consciousness may be a peculiar Recompence to which the unmixed Tempers are Strangers:  And there seems no such necessity of an equal Happiness of all Natures. It is no way inconsistent with perfect Goodness, to make different Orders of Beings; and, provided all the Virtuous be at last fully content, and as happy as they desire, there is nothing absurd in supposing different Capacities and different Degrees; and during the Time of Probation, there is no necessity, not the least shew of it, that all be equal.
Those who think “no Person punishable for any Quality or Action, if he had it not in his Power to have had the opposite Quality, or to have abstained from the Action if he had willed it;” perhaps are not mistaken: but then let them not assert on the other Hand, that it is unjust to reward or make happy those, who neither had any Dispositions to Evil, nor could possibly desire any such Dispositions. Now if Mens Affections are naturally good, and if there be in their Fellows no Quality which would necessarily raise Malice in the Observer; but, on the contrary, all Qualities requisite to excite at least Benevolence or Compassion: It may be justly said to be in the Power of every one, by due Attention, to prevent any malicious Affections, and to excite in himself kind Affections toward all. So that the intricate Debates about human Liberty do not affect what is here alledged, concerning our  moral Sense of Affections and Actions, any more than any other Schemes.
Some alledge, that Merit supposes, beside kind Affection, that the Agent has a moral Sense, reflects upon his own Virtue, delights in it, and chuses to adhere to it for the Pleasure which attends it. We need not debate the Use of this Word Merit: ’tis plain, we approve a generous kind Action, tho the Agent had not made this Reflection.  This Reflection shews to him a Motive of Self‐Love, the joint View to which does not increase our Approbation: But then it must again be owned, that we cannot form a just Conclusion of a Character from one or two kind, generous Actions, especially where there has been no very strong Motives to the contrary. Some apparent Motives of Interest may afterwards overballance the kind Affections, and lead the Agent into vicious Actions. But the Reflection on Virtue, the being once charmedwith the lovely Form, will discover an Interest on its side, which, if well attended to, no other Motive will overballance. This Reflection is a great Security to the Character; this must be supposed in such Creatures as Men are, before we can well depend upon a Constancy in Virtue. The same may be said of many other Motives  to Virtue from Interest; which, tho they do not immediately influence the kind Affections of the Agent, yet do remove these Obstacles to them, from false Appearances of Interest. Such are these from the Sanctions of divine Laws by future Rewards and Punishments, and even the manifest Advantages of Virtue in this Life: without Reflection on which, a steddy Course of Virtue is scarce to be expected amidst the present Confusion of human Affairs.
How far a Regard to the Deity is necessary to make an Action virtuous
[301/307] I. Some do imagine, that “to make an Action virtuous, it is necessary that the Agent should have previously known his Action to be acceptable to theDeity, and have undertaken it chiefly with design to please or obey him. We have not, say they, reason to imagine a malicious Intention in many of the worst Actions: the very want of good Affections in their just Degree, must constitute moral Evil. If so, then the moral Evil in the want of Love or Gratitude, must increase in proportion to the Causes of Love or Gratitude in the Object: by the Causes of Love, they mean those Qualities in the Object upon Observation of which Love or Gratitude do arise in every good Temper. Now the Causes of Love toward the Deity are infinite; therefore the want of the highest possible Degree of Love to him, must be infinitely evil.—To be excited more by smaller  Motives or Causes  than by greater; to love those who are less lovely, while we neglect him in whom are infinite Causes of Love, must argue great Perverseness of Affections. But the Causes of Love in the Deity, his infinite Goodness toward all, and even toward our selves, from whence springs all the Happiness of our Lives, are infinitely above any Causes of Love to be found in Creatures: Therefore to act from Love to them without Intention to please God, must be infinitely evil.”
If this Reasoning be just, the best of Men are infinitely evil. The Distinction between habitual and actual Intention will not remove the Difficulty, since these Arguments require actual Intention. An habitual Intention is not a present act of Love to the Deity, influencing our Actions more than actual Love to Creatures, which this Argument requires; but a prior general Resolution not at present repeated.
To find what is just on this Subject, we may premise some Propositions of which Men must convince themselves by Reflection.
How we compute the Goodness of Temper.II.There is in Mankind such a Disposition naturally, that they desire the Happiness of any known Sensitive Nature,  when it is not inconsistent with something more  strongly desired; so that were there no Oppositions of Interest either private or publick, and sufficient Power, we would confer upon every Being the highest Happiness which it could receive.
But our Understanding and Power are limited, so that we cannot know many other Natures, nor is our utmost Power capable of promoting the Happiness of many: our Actions are therefore influenced by some stronger Affections than this general Benevolence. There are certain Qualities found in some Beings more than in others, which excite stronger Degrees of Good‐will, and determine our Attention to their Interests, while that of others is neglected. The Ties of Blood, Benefits conferredupon us, and the Observation of Virtue in others, raise much more vigorus Affections, than that general Benevolence which we may have toward all. These Qualities or Relations we may call the Causes of Love.
However these Affections are very different from the general Benevolence toward all, yet it is very probable, that there is a Regularity or Proportion observed in the Constitution of our Nature; so that, abstracting from some acquired Habits, or  Associations of Ideas, and from the more sudden Emotions of some particular Passions, that Temper  which has the most lively Gratitude, or is the most susceptive of Friendship with virtuous Characters, would also have the strongest general Benevolence toward indifferent Persons: And on the contrary, where there is the weakest general Benevolence, there we could expect the least Gratitude, and the least Friendship, or Love toward the Virtuous. If this Proportion be observed, then, if we express all these Desires of the good of others by the Name of Benevolence, we may denote the several Degrees in which Men possess these several kind Dispositions by the Goodness of the Temper: And the Degrees of Desire toward the Happiness of any Person, we may call the Quantity of Love toward him. Then,
The Quantity of Love toward any Person is in a compound Proportion of the apprehended Causes of Love in him, and of the Goodness of Temper in the Observer. Or L = C × G.
When the Causes of Love in two Objects are apprehended equal, the Love toward either in different Persons is as the Goodness of Temper; or L = G × I.
 When the Goodness of Temper is the same or equal, the Love toward any Objects will be as the Causes; or L = C × I.
The Goodness of any Temper is therefore as the Quantity of Love, divided by the apprehended Causes, or G = L/C. And since we  cannot apprehend any Goodness in having the Degree of Love above the Proportion of its Causes, the most virtuous Temper is that in which the Love equals its Causes, which may therefore be expressed by Unity.
Hence it follows, that if there were any Nature incomparably more excellent than any of our Fellow‐Creatures, from whom also we our selves, and all others had received the greatest Benefits; there would be less Virtue in any small Degree of Desire of his Happiness, than in a like Degree of Love toward our Fellow‐Creatures. But not loving such a Being, or having a smaller Degree of Love, must evidence a much greater Defect in Virtue, than a like want of Love toward our Fellow‐Creature. For the Causes of Love being [306 ] very great, unless the Love be also very great, the Quotient which expresses the Goodness of Temper will be very much below Unity.
The general Rules applied to the Love of God.III.To apply this to the Deity is very obvious. Our Affections toward him arise in the same manner as toward our Fellows, in  proportion to our Attention to the Causes of Love in him, and the Goodness of our Temper. The Reflection on his Goodness raises Approbation and Complacence, his Benefits raise Gratitude, and both occasion Good‐will or Benevolence. Some imagine, that “his Happiness is wholly detached from all Events in this World, absolute, and unvaried in himself.” And yet the same Inclination of Mind might remain in us, tho we had this Opinion. When the Happiness of a Friendis in Suspense, we desire it; when he has obtained all that which we desired, the same Inclination of Mindseems to remain toward him, only without that Uneasiness accompanying Desire of an uncertain Object: Thus Gravity may be said to be the same when a Body is resting on a fixed Base, as when it caused descent.
Upon this Scheme of the divine Happiness, it is not easy to account how our Love to him could excite us to promote the Happiness of our Fellows. Our frequent Contemplation of such an amiable excellent  Nature, might indeed tend to reform or improve our Temper.
If we imagine that the Deity has such Perceptions of Approbation or Dislike toward  Actions as we have our selves, then indeed our Love to him would directly excite us to do whatever he approves, and shun what he condemns. We can scarce avoid imagining, that the frequent recurring of Events disapproved, must be uneasy to any Nature, and that the observing approved Actions must be delightful.
If we imagine that the divine Happiness, or any part of it is connected with the Happiness of his Creatures, so that their Happiness is constituted the Occasion of his; then indeed our Love to theDeity will directly excite us to all manner of beneficent Actions. ’Tis true, many good Men deny these two last Opinions, yet it is probable, when their Minds are diverted from Speculations, by Opportunities of Action, there recurs some Imagination of Offence, Uneasiness, and Resentment in the Deity, upon observing evil Actions; of Delight and Joy in beholding good Actions; of Sorrow upon observing the Misery of his Creatures, and Joy upon seeing them happy: So that by their Love to theDeity they are influenced to beneficent Actions, notwithstanding their  speculative Opinions. In our Conceptions of the Deity, we are continually led to imagine a Resemblance to what we feel in our selves.
 Whoever maintains these Opinions of the Deity to be true, must also suppose “a particular Determination of all Events in the Universe;” otherwise this part of the divine Happiness is made precarious and uncertain, depending upon the undetermined Will of Creatures.
The Diversity of Opinions concerning the divine Happiness, may lead Men into different ways of accounting for the Influence which the Love ofGod may have upon our Actions toward our Fellows: But the Affections toward the Deity would be much the same upon both Schemes. Where there were the same just Apprehensions of the divine Goodness in two Persons, the Love to the Deity in both would be proportioned to the Goodness of Temper. Tho the highest possible Degree of Love to a perfectly good Deity, would evidence no more Virtue of Temper, than a proportioned Love to Creatures; yet the having only smaller Degrees of Love to the Deity, would evidence a greater Defect of Goodness in the Temper, than any want of Affection toward Creatures.
 Here it must be remembred, that in arguing concerning the Goodness of Temper  from the Degree of Love directly, and the Causes of Love inversly, actual Attention to the Causes of Love is supposed in the Person. For ’tis plain, that in the best Temper no one Affection or Idea can always continue present, and there can be no Affection present to the Mind, toward any Object, while the Idea of it is not present. The bare Absence therefore of Affection, while the Mind is employed upon a different Object, can argue no evil in the Temper, farther than want of Attention may argue want of Affection. In like manner, in the best Temper, there can be no Love toward an Object unknown: The want therefore of Love to an Object unknown, can argue no evil in the Temper, farther than Ignorance may argue want of Affection. It is certain indeed, that he who knows that there is a good Deity, and actually thinks of him, and of all his Benefits, yet has not the strongest Love and Gratitude toward him, must have a Temper void of all Goodness; but it will not follow, that that Mind is void of Goodness which is not always thinking of the Deity, or actually loving him, or even does not know him. How far the want of Attention to the Deity, and Ignorance of him, may argue an evil Temper,  must be shown from different Topicks, to be considered hereafter.
What Degrees of Affection necessary to Innocence. IV. But previously to these Inquiries we must consider “what Degrees or Kinds of Affection are necessary to obtain the simple Approbation of Innocence.” ’Tis plain, the bare Absence of all Malice is not enough. We may have the general Benevolence toward a mere sensitive Nature, which had no other desire but Self‐Love; but we can apprehend no moral Goodness in such a Being: Nay, ’tis not every small Degree of kind Affections which we approve. There must be some proportion of kind Affections to the other Faculties in any Nature, particularly to its Understanding and active Powers to obtain Approbation. Some Brutes evidence small Degrees of Good‐will, which make them be approvedin their Kind; but the same Degrees would not be approved in a Man. There is an higher Degree expected in Mankind, to which, if they do not come up, we do not account them innocent. It is not easy to fix precisely that Degree which we approve as innocent by our moral Sense. Every kind Affection, if it be considered only with relation to its own Object, is indeed approved; such as natural Affection, Gratitude, Pity, Friendship: And yet when we take a more extensive View of the Tendency of  some Actions proceeding even from these Affections,  we may often condemn these Actions when they are apprehended as pernicious to larger Systems of Mankind. In the same manner we often condemn Actions done from Love to a particular Country, when they appear to be pernicious to Mankindin general. In like manner, SelfPreservation and pursuing private Advantage abstractly considered, is innocent: But when it is apprehended as very pernicious in any case to the Safety of others, it is condemned.
Mankind are capable of large extensive Ideas of great Societies. And it is expected of them, that their general Benevolence should continually direct and limit, not only their selfish Affections, but even their nearer Attachments to others: that their Desire of publick Good, and Aversion to publick Misery, should overcome at least their Desire of positive private Advantages, either to themselves or their particular Favourites; so as to make them abstain from any Action which would be positively pernicious or hurtful to Mankind, however beneficial it might be to themselves, or their Favourites. To undergo positive Evil for the sake of positive Goodto others, seems some degree of Virtue above Innocence, which we do not universally expect: But to reject positive attainable [312/318] good, either for our selves or our particular Favourites, rather than occasion any considerable Misery to others, is requisite to obtain the Approbation of Innocence. The want of this Degree we positively condemn as evil; and an Agent must rise above it by positive Services to Mankind, with some Trouble and Expence to himself, before we approve him as virtuous. We seem indeed universally to expect from all Men those good Offices which give the Agent no trouble or expence: Whoever refuses them is below Innocence. But we do not positively condemn those as evil, who will not sacrifice their private Interest to the Advancement of the positive Goodof others, unless the private Interest be very small, and the publick Good very great.
But as the Desire of positive private Goodis weaker than Aversion to private Evil, or Pain; so our Desire of the positive Good of others, is weaker than our Aversion to their Misery: It seems at least requisite to  Innocence, that the stronger publick Affection, viz. our Aversion to the Misery of others, should surmount the weaker private Affection, the Desire of positive private Good; so that no prospect of  Good to our selves, should engage us to that which would occasion Misery to others. It is in like manner requisite to Innocence, that our Aversion to the Misery of greater or equal Systems, should surmount our Desire of the positive Goodof these to which we are more particularly attached.
How far it may be necessary to Innocence to submit to smaller private Pains to prevent the greater Sufferings of others, or to promote some great positive Advantages; or how far the Happiness of private Systems should be neglected for the Happiness of the greater, in order to obtain the Approbation of Innocence, it is perhaps impossible precisely to determine, or to fix any general Rules; nor indeed is it necessary. Our business is not to find out “at how cheap a Rate we can purchase Innocence, but to know what is most noble, generous and virtuous in Life.” This we know consists in sacrificing all positive Interests, and bearing all private Evils for the publick Good: And in submitting also the Interests of all smaller Systems to the Interests of the whole: Without any other Exception or Reserve than this, that every Man may look upon himself as a Part of this System, and consequently not sacrifice an important private Interest to a  less important Interest of others. We may find the same sort of Difficulty about all our other Senses, in determining precisely what Objects are indifferent,  or where Pleasure ends, and Disgust begins, tho the positive Degrees of the grateful and ungrateful are easily distinguished.
It is also very difficult to fix any precise Degree of Affection toward the Deity, which should be barely requisite to Innocence. Only in general we must disapprove that Temper, which, upon Apprehension of the perfect Goodness of the Deity, and of his innumerable Benefits to Mankind, has not stronger Affections of Love and Gratitude toward him, than those toward any other Being. Such Affections would necessarily raise frequent Attention and Consideration of our Actions; and would engage us, if we apprehended any of them to be offensive to him, or contrary to that Scheme of Events in which we apprehended the Deity to delight, to avoid them with a more firm Resolution than what we had in any other Affairs. Positive Virtue toward the Deity must go farther than a resolute abstaining from Offence, by engaging us with the greatest Vigor, to do whatever we apprehend as positively pleasing, or conducive to those Ends in which we apprehend the Deity delights. It is  scarce conceivable that any good Temper can want such Affections toward the Deity, when once he is known, as were above supposed necessary to Innocence. Nor  can we imagine positive Degrees of Goodness of Temper above Innocence, where Affections toward the Deity do not arise proportionably.
What is here said relates only to the Apprehensions of our moral Sense, and not to those Degrees of Virtue which the Deity may require by Revelation: And every one’s Heart may inform him, whether or no he does not approve, at least as innocent, those who omit many good Offices which they might possibly have done, provided they do a great deal of good; those who carefully abstain from every apprehended Offence toward the Deity, tho they might possibly be more frequent in Acts of Devotion. ’Tis true indeed, the Omission of what we know to be required is positively evil: so that by a Revelation we may be obliged to farther Services than were requisite previously to it, which we could not innocently omit, after this Revelation is known: But we are here only considering our moral Sense.
How far Ignorance of Deity is Evil.V. Now let us inquire how far simple Ignorance of a Deity, or unaffected Atheism does evidence an evil Disposition, or Defect of good Affections below Innocence.
1. Affections arising upon apparent Causes, or present Opinions, tho false, if  they be such as would arise in the best Temper, were these Opinions true, cannot argue any present want of Goodness in any Temper, of themselves: the Opinions indeed may often argue a want of Goodness at the time they were formed: But to a benevolent Temper there is no Cause of Malice, or Desire of the Misery or Non‐existence of any Being for itself. There may be Causes of Dislike, and Desire of Misery or Non‐existence, as the Means of greater Good, or of lessening Evil.
2. No Object which is entirely unknown, or of which we have no Idea, can raise Affection in the best Temper; consequently want of Affection to an unknown Object evidences no evil. This would be the Case of those who never heard even the Report of aDeity, if ever there were any such: Or who never heard of any Fellow‐Creatures, if one may make a Supposition like to that made by Cicero. And this is perhaps the Case, as to the Deity, of any unfortunate Children, who may have some  little Use of Reason, before they are instructed in any Religion.
If there really were an Innate Idea of a Deity so imprinted, that no Person could  be without it; or if we are so disposed, as necessarily to receive this Idea, as soon as we can be called moral Agents: then no Ignorance of a Deity can be innocent; all Atheism must be affected, or an Opinion formed, either thro’ evil Affection, or want of good Affection below Innocence. But if the Idea of aDeity be neither imprinted, nor offer itself even previously to any Reflection, nor be universally excited by Tradition, the bare Want of it, where there has been no Tradition or Reflection, cannot be called criminal upon any Scheme. Those who make Virtue and Vice relative to a Law, may say, “Men are required to reflect, and thence to know a Deity. “But they must allow Promulgation necessary, before Disobedience to a Law can be criminal. Now previously to Reflection it is supposed impossible for the Agent to know the Legislator, or to know the Law requiring him to reflect, therefore this Law requiring him to reflect, was not antecedently to his Reflection published to him.
The Case of human Laws, the Ignorance of which does not excuse, is not parallel  to this. No Person under any Civil Government can be supposed ignorant that there are Laws made for the whole State. But in the present Supposition, Men antecedently to Reflection may be ignorant of the Deity, or that there are Laws of Nature.  If any Subject could thus be unapprized, that he lived under Civil Government, he should not be accounted Compos Mentis. The Supposition indeed in both Cases is perhaps wholly imaginary; at least as to Persons above Childhood. One can scarce imagine that ever any Person was wholly unapprized of a governing Mind, and of a Right and Wrong in Morals. Whether this is to be ascribed to innate Ideas, to universal Tradition, or to some necessary Determination in our Nature, to imagine a designing Cause of the beautiful Objects which occur to us, with a moral Sense, let the curious inquire.
3. Suppose an Idea formed in a benevolent Mind, of other sensitive Natures, Desire of their Existence and Happiness would arise.
4. A good Temper would incline any one to wish, that other Natures were benevolent, or morally Good, since this is the chief Happiness.
 5. A good Temper would desire that the Administration of Nature were by a benevolent or good Mind.
6. All Desire of any Event or Circumstance inclines any Mind to search into the Truth of that Event or Circumstance,  by all the Evidence within its power to obtain.
7. Where there is such Desire, and sufficiently obvious Evidence given in proportion to the Sagacity of the desiring Mind, it will come to the Knowledge of the Truth, if its Desire be strong.
Now from these Propositions we may deduce the following Corollaries.
1. Supposing the Idea of a good Deity once apprehended, or excited either by Report, or the slightest Reflection; if there be objective Evidence in Nature proportioned to the Capacity of the Inquirer, for the Existence of a good Deity,Atheism directly argues want of good Affection below Innocence.
2. If there be only the simple Tradition or Presumption of a governing Mind once raised; and if there be Evidence as  before for his Goodness, to conclude the Deityevil or malicious, must argue want of good Affection as before.
3. Suppose the Idea of an evilDeity once excited, and some Presumptions for his Malice from Tradition, or slight Reflection upon particular Evils in Nature; to rest in this Opinion without Inquiry,  would argue want of good Affection; to desire to reject this Opinion, or confute it by contrary Evidence, would argue good Affection: Suppose such contrary Evidences obvious enough in Nature to one who inquired as diligently about it as about his own Interest; to continue in the false Opinion cannot be innocent.
How Ignorance in human Affairs evidences a bad Temper.VI. In like manner concerning our Fellow‐Creatures, who are actually known to us.
4. To imagine Fellow‐Creatures morally Good, either according to Evidence upon Inquiry, or even by a rash Opinion, evidences good Affection.
5. Imagining them Evil contrary to obvious Evidence, argues want of good Affection below Innocence.
6. Retaining and inculcating an Opinion either of the Causes of Love in  others, or of the Causes of Aversion, induces an Habit; and makes the Temper prone to the Affection often raised. Opinion of Goodness in the Deity and our Fellows, increases good Affection, and improves the Temper: Contrary Opinion of either, by raising frequent Aversions, weakens good Affection, and impairs the Temper.
 This may shew how cautious Men ought to be in passing Sentence upon the Impiety of their Fellows, or representing them as wicked and profane, or hateful to the Deity, and justly given over to eternal Misery: We may see also what a wise Mark it is to know the true Church by, that “it pronounces Damnation on all others.” Which is one of the Characters of the Romish Church, by which it is often recommended as the safest for Christians to live in.
The same Propositions may be applied to our Opinions concerning the natural Tendencies of Actions. Where the Evidence is obvious as before, good Affection will produce true Opinions, and false Opinions often argue want of good Affection below Innocence. Thus, tho in Assent or Dissent of themselves, there can neither be Virtue nor Vice, yet they may be Evidences of either in the Agent, as well as his external Motions. ’Tis not possible indeed for Men to determine precisely in many cases the Quantity of Evidence, and its proportion to the Sagacity of the Observer, which will argue Guilt in him, who contrary to it, forms a false Opinion. But Men are no better judges of the Degrees of Virtue  and Vice in external Actions. This therefore will not prove that all false Opinions or Errors are innocent, more than external Actions: The Searcher of Hearts can judge exactly of both. Human Punishments are only Methods of Self‐Defence; in which the Degrees of Guilt are not the proper Measure, but the Necessity of restraining Actions for the Safety of the Publick.
How want of Attention evidences a bad Temper.VII. It is next to be considered, how far want of Attention to the Deity can argue want of good Affections, in any Agent, to whom he is known.
Every good Temper will have strong Affections to a good Deity, and where there is strong Affection there will be frequent Reflection upon the Object beloved, Desire of pleasing, and Caution of offence. In like manner every Person of good Temper, who has had the Knowledge of a  Country, a System, a Species, will consider how far these great Societies may be affected by his Actions, with such Attention as he uses in his own Affairs; and will abstain from what is injurious to them.
But an injurious Action which appeared to the Agent not only pernicious to his Fellows, or to particular Persons, but offensive to theDeity, and pernicious to a System, is much more vicious than when the Agent did not reflect upon the Deity, or a Community.
Nothing in this Scheme supersedes the Duty of Love to the Deity, and general Benevolence. VIII. We must not hence imagine, that in order to produce greater Virtue in our selves, we should regard the Deity no farther, then merely to abstain from Offences. Were it our sole Intention in beneficent Actions, only to obtain the private Pleasure of Self‐Approbation for the Degree of our Virtue, this might seem the proper Means of having great Virtue with the least Expence. But if the real Intention, which constitutes an Action virtuous, be the promoting publick Good; then voluntarily to reject the Consideration of any Motive which would increase the Moment of publick Good, or would make us more vigorous and stedfast in Virtue, must argue want of good Affection. In any given Moment of Beneficence, the unaffected Want of Regard to the Deity, or to private Interest, does really argue greater Virtue. But the retaining these Motives with a View to increase the Moment of publick Good in our Actions, if they really do so, argues Virtue equal to, or greater than that in the former Case: And the affected Neglect of these Motives, that so we may acquit our selves virtuously with the least Expence to our selves, or with the least Moment of publick Good, must evidence want of good Affections, and base Trick and Artifice to impose upon  Observers, or our own Hearts. Therefore
Since Gratitude to the Deity, and even Consideration of private Interest, tend to increase the Moment of our Beneficence, and to strengthen good Affections, the voluntary Retaining them with this View evidences Virtue, and affecting to neglect them evidences Vice. And yet,
 If the Moment produced by the Conjunction of these Motives, be not greater than that produced with unaffected Neglect of these Motives, from particular good  Affection, there is less Virtue in the former than in the latter.
Men may use Names as they please, and may chuse to call nothing Virtue but “what is intended chiefly to evidence Affection of one kind or other toward the Deity.” Writers on this Scheme are not well agreed about what this virtuous Intention is; whether only to evidence Submission, or Submission and Love, or to obtain the divine Benevolence, and private Happiness to the Agent, or to give Pleasure to the Deity. But let them not assert, against universal Experience, that we approve no Actions which are not thus intended toward the Deity. ’Tis plain, a generous compassionate Heart, which, at first view of the Distress of another, flies impatiently to his Relief, or spares no Expence to accomplish it, meets with strong Approbation from every Observer who has not perverted his Sense of Life by School‐Divinity, or Philosophy. ’Tis to be suspected, that some Vanity must be at the Bottom of these Notions, which place Virtue in some Nicety, which active Tempers, have not leisure to apprehend, and only the Recluse Student can attain to.
 To be led by a weaker Motive, where a stronger is alike present to the Mind, to love a Creature more than God, or to have stronger Desires of doing what is grateful to Creatures than to God, when we equally attend to both, would certainly argue some Perversion of our Affections; or to study the particular Goodof one, more than that of a System, when we reflected on both: But as no finite Mindcan retain at once a  Multiplicity of Objects, so it cannot always retain any one Object. When a Person therefore not thinking at present of the Deity, or of a Community or System, does a beneficent Action from particular Love, he evidences Goodness of Temper. The bare Absence of the Idea of a Deity, or of Affections to him, can evidence no evil; otherways it would be a Crime to fall asleep, or to think of any thing else: If the bare Absence of this Idea be no evil, the Presence of kind Affections to FellowCreatures cannot be evil. If indeed our Love to the Deity excited to any Action, and at the same time Love to a Creature excited to the Omission of it, or to a contrary Action, we must be very criminal if the former do not prevail; yet this will not argue all Actions to be evil in which pleasing theDeity,  is not directly and chiefly intended. Nay, that Temper must really be very deficient in Goodness, which needs to excite it to any good Office, to recal the Thoughts of a Deity, or a Community, or a System. The frequent recalling these Thoughts, indeed, does strengthen all good Affections, and increases the Moment of Beneficence to be expected from any Temper; and with this View frequently to recal such Thoughts, must be one of the best Helps to Virtue, and evidence high Degrees of it. Nay, one cannot call that Temper entire and complete, which has not the strongest Affection toward the greatest Benefactor, and the most worthy Object.
Beings of such Degrees of Knowledge, and such Extent of Thought, as Mankind are not only capable of, but generally obtain, when nothing interrupts their Inquiries, must naturally arise to the Knowledge of theDeity, if their Temper be good. They must form general Conceptions of the whole, and see the Order, Wisdom, and Goodness in the Administration of Nature in some Degree. The Knowledge and Love of the Deity, the universalMind, is as natural a Perfection to such a Being as Man, as any Accomplishment to which we arrive by  cultivating our natural Dispositions; nor is that Mind come to the proper State and Vigor of its kind, where Religion is not the main Exercise and Delight.
Whether the Deity is the sole proper Object of Love.IX. There is one very subtle Argument on this Subject. Some alledge, “That  since the Deity is really the Cause of all the Good in the Universe, even of all the Virtue, or good Affection in Creatures, which are the seeming Causes of Love toward them, it must argue strange Perversion of Temper to love those in whom there is no Cause of Love, or who are (as they affect to speak) nothing, or Emptiness of all Goodness. TheDeity alone is amiable, in whom there is infinite Fulness of every amiable Quality. The Deity, say they, not without some Reason, is the Cause of every pleasant Sensation, which he immediately excites according to a general Law, upon the Occasion of Motions arising in our Bodies; that likewise he gave us that general Inclination, which we modify into all our different Affections;God therefore, say they, is alone lovely. Other Things are not to be beloved, but only the Goodness of God appearing in them; nay some do make the loving of them, without considering God as displaying  his Goodness in them, to be infinitely evil.”
In answer to this it must be owned, that “God’s being the Cause of all the Good in the Universe, will no doubt raise the highest Love to him in a good Temper, when it reflects upon it.”
 But 1st, had all Men this Apprehension that “there was no good in any Creature,” they really would not love them at all. But Men generally imagine with very good ground, that there are good Beings distinct from God, tho produced by him: And whether this Opinion be true or false, it evidences no evil.
2. As upon this Scheme God is the Cause of all pleasant Sensation, so is he the Cause of all Pain: He is, according to them, the Cause of that Inclination which we modify into evil Affection, as well as into good. If then we are to love God only, for what we call good Affection in Creatures, and not the Creatures themselves, we must also only love God upon observing evil Affections in Creatures, and have no Aversion to the basest Temper, since God gave the general Inclination alike in both Cases.
 3. If we may suppose real Beings distinct from God, that their Affections are not God’s Affections, if God is not the only Lover and Hater, if our moral Sense is determined to approve kind Affections, and our Love or Benevolence must arise toward what we approve; or if we find an Instinct to desire the Happiness of every sensitive  Nature, we cannot avoid loving Creatures, and we must approve any kind Affections observed in others toward their Fellows. ’Tis true, we must approve the highest Affections toward the Deity, and condemn, as a Deficiency of just Affections toward God any Degree which is not superior to our other Affections. But still, Affections towards Creatures, if they be distinct Natures from God, must be approved.
4. If to make a Mind virtuous, or even innocent, it be necessary that it should have such sublime Speculations of God, as the τὸ πα̑ν in the Intellectual active System (if we call one Agent in many Passive Organs an active System) then God has placed the Bulk of Mankind in an absolute Incapacity of Virtue, and inclined them perpetually to infinite Evil, by their very Instincts and natural Affections. Does the parental Affection direct  a Man to love the Deity, or his Children? Is it the Divinity, to which our Pity or Compassion is directed? Is God the Object of Humanity? Is it a Design to support the Divinity, which we call Generosity or Liberality? Upon Receipt of a Benefit, does our Nature suggest only Gratitude towardGod? Affections toward the Deity may indeed often accompany Affections toward Creatures, and do so in a virtuous Temper: but  these are distinct Affections. This Notion of making all virtuous Affections to be only directed toward God, is not suggested to Men by any thing in their Nature, but arises from the long subtle Reasonings of Men at leisure, and unemployed in the natural Affairs of Life.
5. If there be no Virtue or Cause of Love in Creatures, it is vain for them to debate wherein their Virtue consists, whether in regard toward the Deity, or in any thing else, since they are supposed to have none at all.
To conclude this Subject. It seems probable, that however we must look upon that Temper as exceedingly imperfect, inconstant, and partial, in which Gratitude toward the universal Benefactor, Admiration and Love of the supreme  original Beauty, Perfection and Goodness, are not the strongest and most prevalent Affections; yet particular Actions may be innocent, nay virtuous, where there is no actual Intention of pleasing the Deity, influencing the Agent.
Treatise i: An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions
Illustrations of … are so,] Illustrations of this Point, that we have a moral Sense, and a Sense of Honour, by which we discern an immediate Good in Virtue and Honour, not referred to any further Enjoyment, are not much insisted on since they are already laid down
tho Seven or Ten might] though a larger Number might perhaps
Perceptions,] Perceptions immediately
I … do,] Mr. Locke declares expressly, calling it internal Sensation, that [See John Locke, Essay, II. 1 §4. Locke is interested in giving an account of how and from where experience furnishes us with ideas, not with using the idea of reflection as a basis for multiplying senses which is more a characteristic of Shaftesbury.]
natural … as] natural and necessary and ultimate, without reference to any other, as
The principal Objections … complete the Scheme] The Author takes nothing in bad part from any of his Adversaries, except that Outcry which one or two of them made against these Principles as opposite to Christianity, though it be so well known that they have been and are espoused by many of the most zealous Christians. There are Answers interspersed in the later Editions to these Objections, to avoid the disagreeable Work of Replying or Remarking, in which one is not generally upon his Guard [xiii] sufficiently to avoid Cavils and offensive Expressions.
to establish.] to establish in Treat. IV.
some other natural] some of the natural
every one … to approve] om.
tend] are intended
in the … Agent] om.
it can … Affections.” ] our Power can reach, is approved as the highest Virtue; and that the universal calm Good‐will or Benevolence, where it is the leading Affection of the Soul, so as to limit or restrain all other Affections, Appetites, or Passions, is the Temper which we esteem in the highest Degree, according to the natural Constitution of our Soul: And withal, that we in a lower Degree approve every particular kind Affection or Passion, which is not inconsistent with these higher and nobler Dispositions.”
this to be] this calm extensive Affection to be
Actions, are,] Actions,
Natural,] Natural, yet are
yet if] but if
tend to the greater] tend to the
whereas a … find his] while yet one may better find his private
I hope … Gentlemen,] Gentlemen,
Δύναμις αγαθοειδὴς] Φιλάνθρωπον και αγαθοειδῃς
Journals,] Journals in 1728,
them bore] them in those weekly Papers bore
I have … I have] He was soon after informed, that his Death disappointed the Author’s great Expectations from so ingenious a Correspondent. The Objections proposed in the first Section of Treatise IV, are not always those of Philaretus, though the Author endeavoured to leave no Objections of his unanswered; but he also interspersed whatever Objections occurred in Conversation on these Subjects; and has not used any Expressions inconsistent with the high Regard he has
several Senses] several Powers of Perception or Senses
There seems … or Pain.] It is by some Power of Perception, or Sense, that we first receive the Ideas of these Objects we are conversant with, or by some Reasoning upon these perceived Objects of Sense. By Sensation we not only receive the Image or Representation, but some Feelings of Pleasure or Pain; nay sometimes the sole Perception is that of Pleasure or Pain, as in Smells, and the Feelings of Hunger and Thirst.
Extension … one of] Duration or Time,
Idea, or Assemblage] Idea, or Image, or Assemblage
is ridiculously] seems very
Ideas, as] Ideas, and yet may also accompany any other Ideas, as
Sensations.] Sensations. Brutes, when several Objects are before them, have probably all the proper Ideas of Sight which we have, without the Idea of Number.
Senses.] Senses; since they can be received sometimes without the Ideas of Colour, and sometimes without those of Touching, though never without the one or the other.
Smells, … &c.] Smells, colours, Sound, Cold, Heat, &c.
as also] as also,
Antients. 4. The] Antients. This inward Pain of Compassion cannot be called a Sensation of Sight. It solely arises from an Opinion of Misery felt by another, and not immediately from a visible Form. The same Form presented to the Eye by the exactest Painting, or the Action of a Player, gives no Pain to those who remember that there is no Misery felt. When Men by Imagination conceive real Pain felt by an Actor, without recollecting that it is merely feigned, or when they think of the real Story represented, then, as there is a confused Opinion of real Misery, there is also Pain in Compassion. 4.
Virtue, or Vice] Virtue or Vice,
Virtue, or Vice] Virtue or Vice,
Plato* accounts] Plato makes one of his Dialogists* account
our selves] ourselves
Senses);] Senses, of Taste and Touch chiefly);
The third … of Love.] om.
Desires, with] Desires, and that with
Hence it is that] Thus
Sense, by] Sense, yet by
this] all this,
Sect. 6.] Sect. 2.
such as] such as those of
a Desire of Distinction,] an Emulation or desire of Eminence,
II.] II. in his Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice.
Desire is … is plain,] there is a certain Pain or Uneasiness accompanying most of our violent Desires. Though the Object pursued be Good, or the Means of Pleasure, yet the Desire of it generally is attended with an uneasy Sensation. When an Object or Event appears Evil, we desire to shun or prevent it. This Desire is also attended with uneasy Sensation of Impatience: Now this Sensation  immediately connected with the Desire, is a distinct Sensation from those which we dread, and endeavour to shun. It is plain then,
itself. ”… be uneasy:] itself.” Uneasy Sensations previously felt, will raise a Desire of whatever will remove them; and this Desire may have its concomitant Uneasiness. Pleasant Sensations expected from any Object may raise our Desire of it; this Desire too may have its concomitant uneasy Sensations:
pleasant] peculiar pleasant
the Pleasure of gratified] that Pleasure which merely arises from gratifying of
since the] since this
Desire or Affection] Desire, or the mere Affection,
our Happiness,] our future Happiness
these are either … shewing,] the two former are Motives only to external Actions; and the other two only shew
of the Happiness of others,] of the Happiness of others,
Event … desired] Event desired
but as conceiving it] except we imagined their Happiness to be
but to continue him in Misery,] or to harden our Hearts against all feelings of Compassion, on the one hand, while yet the Object continued in Misery;
Drink] Drink and his Sensations of Hunger and Thirst
Life.] Life, which must be the Case with those who voluntarily hazard their Lives, or resolve on Death for their Country or Friends.
attempting] from the attempting
“befooled] “outwitted by nature
or certainly future] or future
are sure] expect or judge
in some sense also be called a Sensation.] be called a Sort of Sensation: as the Physicians call many of our Passions internal Senses.
includes, beside … impending Evil,] includes a strong Brutal Impulse of the Will, sometimes without any distinct notions of Good, publick or private, attended with
it appears] they appear
Temper. We] Temper. Sometimes the calm Motion of the Will conquers the Passion, and sometimes is conquered by it. Thus Lust or Revenge may conquer the calm Affection toward private Good, and sometimes are conquered by it. Compassion will prevent the necessary Correction of a Child, or the use of a severe Cure, while the calm parental Affection is exciting to it. Sometimes the latter prevails over the former. All this is beautifully represented in the 9th book of Plato’s Republick. We
In the third edition The same … finite Evils. is connected to, and concludes, the previous paragraph.
about … that tho] even in the acts of the Understanding, or in Judging, that though
by the Moment] by the Importance or Moment
the Axioms subjoined] the Maxims subjoined
Treat. 4] Treat. II. [As noted by Turco, Hutcheson incorrectly emended the third edition. The reference should be to the final paragraph of T4 6.6.]
Cor.Relative]  Hence relative
Cor. 2.] 2.
the Powers … Goods] Goods of several sorts
at once … Evil:] at once Good and Evil:
Action is … Sense,] Action is morally good,
(*which is … Passions;)] (*universal Evil is scarce ever intended, and particular Evil only in violent Passion)
beloved.] for whose sake it is desired.
Intenseness:] Intenseness, or Dignity of the Enjoyment:
selves … Systems,] Hearts,
And we] We
We do] We
do not seem] seem not
of Good,] of Good,
ours. There] ours. There are  perhaps Orders of rational Beings also without these particular limited Attachments, to which our Natures are subjected; who may perhaps have no Parental Affection, Friendships, or Love to a Country, or to any special smaller Systems; but have Universal Good‐will to all, and this solely proportioned to the moral Excellencies of the several Objects, without any other Bonds of Affection. There
do accompany] accompany
from a like] from a certain Prospect of future pleasant Sensations on the one hand, or from a like
Joy of Love … Sorrow of Aversion:] raises joyful Love: Good in suspense, the Love of Desire, or desirous Love: Good lost, sorrowful Love. Evil present, raises sorrowful Aversion: Evil expected, desirous Aversion; and Evil removed, joyful Aversion. The joyful Love, and joyful Hatred, will possibly be found nearly the same sort of Sensations, though upon different Occasions; the same may be said of the sorrowful Love, and the sorrowful Aversion:
tho … often [tho’ other Degrees may often
shewing] shewing, [In the third edition the five numbered paragraphs following “shewing” are connected to form one paragraph. The small caps used to offset “How” at the beginning of each paragraph is rendered in regular print as “How”]
absent … others;] Happiness of others while it is in suspense;
Diffidence of] Diffidence in
do raise] raise
this Passion,] it,
malicious, and designing] malicious, designing
we … pursue] we naturally pursue
Let … especially] Let one reflect on this Class of Passions,
would give us;] gives us;
external] other sorts of
others:] others, or Consciousness of moral Evil:
fellow Creatures.] Fellow‐creatures.
it self;] itself:
proportioned] generally proportioned
have any] secure constant
all … Cruelty,] all Cruelty,
Praise …Style,] Praise,
but] and that
of the lower … boasting] Expressions of the Stoicks, boasting, one would imagine, who did not remember other parts of their Scheme,
find … Misfortunes;] when under Misfortunes find in being pitied by others;
Fly or Maggot] Brute or Insect
Luxurious Debauchee] Debauchee
An Hobby‐Horse … a Son.] Our former Toys we more easily procured, kept in good order, and managed, than the present Objects of our Cares, an Employment, a Son, a Friend, a Country, a Party.
luxurious Debauchees,] Debauchees
given to Castle‐building,] amusing himself with imaginary Scenes of Life,
When we] When indeed we
begin indeed from] begin from
“That had we] That we had
Time”—No Mortal,] Time—No mortal,
Absence … revenged?] Safety from Injury, to the having revenged an Injury?
Life: The] Life, the
Necessity, do] Necessity,
World, … themselves,] World,
incapable … without] without,
any one] one
Men should neglect] Men neglect
Praise … represent] World imagines
Duels,] our Duels,
Reflection; nor] Reflection; and that almost solely arises from the return of Appetite; and some Prospect of repeated Enjoyment, or some moral Notions of Love or Friendship or Communication of Pleasure: without these the Remembrance of past sensual Enjoyments is more generally nauseous. Nor
nor ever] never
in every] in almost every
our selves,] ourselves,
our selves;] ourselves;
no … these.] least Relief from them.
We see therefore,] Thus,
that] we see that
Honour … to] Honour: To
us … by] us, by
Passions do often] Passions often
Authors … to] Authors to
publickly useful.] useful to the Publick.
Merit do] Merit
The] When we have the
is indeed … We] we
The Conceptions] Conceptions
Author.] Author. See Treat. I. Sect. ult.
external Pains] the most severe external Pain
the Pains] Pain
their natural … Necessaries.] the common Necessaries, or even of the natural Conveniences of Life,
Par. lost,] Par. Lost,
Frauds … what] Frauds in other points, yet probably
a generous] generous
Treatise ii: Illustrations upon the Moral Sense
called privately] called for shortness,  privately
is pleasant … Agent.] has some little Pleasure attending it in the Observer, and raises Love toward the Agent, in whom the Quality approved is deemed to reside, and not in the Observer, who has a Satisfaction in the Act of approving.*
Mr. Hobbes,] Hobbes, Rochefocault, and others of the last Century,
Moralists] Moralists of this Scheme
“ ’tis the Prospect] it is the “Prospect
be] have been
imagined do] imagine
Suasoriae.] Suasoriæ, or these, sub ratione utilis.
Affection, … Affection):] Affection or Passion: This paragraph follows in the third edition:Writers on these Subjects should remember the common Divisions of the Faculties of the Soul. That there is 1.Reason presenting the natures and relations of things, antecedently to any Act of Will or Desire:2. The Will, or Appetitus Rationalis, or the disposition of Soul to pursue what is presented as good, and to shun Evil. Were there no other Power in the Soul, than that of mere contemplation, there would be no Affection, Volition, Desire, Action. Nay without some motion of Will no Man would voluntarily persevere in Contemplation. There must be a Desire of Knowledge, and of the Pleasure which attends it: this too is an Act of Willing. Both these Powers are by the Antients included under the λογος or λογικὸν μήρος. Below these they place two other powers dependent on the Body, the Sensus, and the Appetitus Sensitivus, in which they place the particular Passions: the former answers to the Understanding,  and the latter to the Will. But the Will is forgot of late, and some ascribe to the Intellect, not only Contemplation or Knowledge, but Choice, Desire, Prosecuting, Loving. Nay some are grown so ingenious in uniting the Powers of the Soul, that contemplating with Pleasure, Symmetry and Proportion, an Act of the Intellect as they plead, is the same thing with Goodwill or the virtuous Desire of publick Happiness.
one … Ideas:] a Mistake some fall into;
prove, that “all] prove “that all
Desire,] Desire, actually operating
do form] form
The … is] Such Conceptions are
either] to either
Is it] It is
serves the] serves in
Sense] Sense in the Constitution of the Soul.
Gerund,] Gerund or Participle,
sweet,] sweet This paragraph follows in the third edition: ’Tis manifest we have in our Understanding moral Ideas, or they are Perceptions of the Soul: we reason about them, we compare, we judge; but then we do all the same Acts about Extension, Figure, Colour, Taste, Sound, which Perceptions all Men call Sensations. All our Ideas, or the materials  of our reasoning or judging, are received by some immediate Powers of Perception internal or external, which we may call Senses; by these too we have Pleasure and Pain. All Perception is by the Soul, not by the Body, tho’ some Impressions on the bodily Organs are the Occasions of some of them; and in others the Soul is determined to other sorts of Feelings or Sensations, where no bodily Impression is the immediate Occasion. A certain incorporeal Form, if one may use that Name, a Temper observed, a Character, an Affection, a State of a sensitive Being, known or understood, may raise Liking, Approbation, Sympathy, as naturally from the very Constitution of the Soul, as any bodily Impression raises external Sensations. Reasoning or Intellect seems to raise no new Species of Ideas, but to discover or discern the Relations of those received. Reason shews what Acts are conformable to a Law, a Will of a Superior; or what Acts tend to Private Good, or to Publick Good: In like manner, Reason discovers contrary Tendencies of contrary Actions. Both Contraries are alike the Object of the Understanding, and may give that sort of Pleasure which arises upon Discovery of Truth. A Demonstration that certain Actions are detrimental to Society is attended with the peculiar Pleasure of new Knowledge, as much as a like Demonstration of  the Benefit of Virtue. But when we approve a kind beneficent Action, let us consider whether this Feeling, or Action, or Modification of the Soul more resembles an Act of Contemplation, such as this [when strait Lines intersect each other, the vertical Angles are equal;] or that Liking we have to a beautiful Form, an harmonious Composition, a grateful Sound.
corresponding] resembling or analogous
of one] one
Some do] Some
(the Word] the (Word
do continue,] continue
many do] many
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