Front Page Titles (by Subject) section iii: Duties to Society - The Elements of Moral Philosophy
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section iii: Duties to Society - David Fordyce, The Elements of Moral Philosophy 
The Elements of Moral Philosophy, in Three Books with a Brief Account of the Nature, Progress, and Origin of Philosophy, ed. Thomas Kennedy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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Duties to Society
Filial and Fraternal Duty
As we have followed the Order of Nature in tracing the History of Man, and those Duties which he owes to himself, it seems reasonable to take the same Method with those he owes to Society, which constitute the second Class of his Obligations.
Connection of ParentsHis Parents are among the earliest Objects of his Attention, he becomes soonest acquainted with them, reposes a peculiar Confidence in them, and seems to regard them with a fond Affection, the early Prognostics of his future Piety and Gratitude. Thus does Nature dictate the first Lines of filial Duty, even before a just Sense of the Connection is formed. But when the Child is grown up, and has attained to such a Degree of Understanding, as to comprehend the Moral Tye, and be sensible of the Obligations he is under to his Parents; when he looks back on their tender and disinterested Affection, their incessant Cares and Labours in nursing, educating, and providing for him, during that State in which he had neither Prudence nor Strength to care and provide for himself, he must be conscious that he owes to them these peculiar Duties.
Duties to ParentsTo reverence and honour them as the Instruments of Nature in introducing him to Life, and to that State of Comfort and Happiness which he enjoys; and therefore to esteem and imitate their good Qualities, to alleviate and bear with, and spread, as much as possible, a decent Veil over their Faults and Weaknesses.
2. To be highly grateful to them for those Favours which it can hardly ever be in his Power fully to repay; to shew this Gratitude by a strict Attention to their Wants, and a solicitous Care to supply them; by a submissive Deference to their Authority and Advice, especially by paying great Regard to it in the Choice of a Wife, and of an Occupation; by yielding to, rather than peevishly contending with their Humours, as remembering how oft they have been persecuted by his; and in fine, by soothing their Cares, lightening their Sorrows, supporting the Infirmities of Age, and making the remainder of their Life as comfortable and joyful as possible.—To pay these Honours and make these Returns is, according to Plato, to pay the oldest, best, and greatest of Debts, next to those we owe to our supreme and common Parent. They are founded in our Nature, and agreeable to the most fundamental Laws of Gratitude, Honour, Justice, Natural Affection, and Piety, which are interwoven with our very Constitution; nor can we be deficient in them without casting off that Nature, and counteracting those Laws.
Duties to Brethren and SistersAs his Brethren and Sisters are the next with whom the Creature forms a Social and Moral Connection, to them he owes a Fraternal Regard; and with them ought he to enter into a strict League of Friendship, mutual Sympathy, Advice, Assistance, and a generous Intercourse of kind Offices, remembering their Relation to common Parents, and that Brotherhood of Nature, which unites them into a closer Community of Interest and Affection.
Connection with the other SexWhen Man arrives to a certain Age, he becomes sensible of a peculiar Sympathy and Tenderness towards the other Sex; the Charms of Beauty engage his Attention, and call forth new and softer Dispositions than he has yet felt. The many amiable Qualities exhibited by a fair Outside, or by the mild Allurement of Female Manners, or which the prejudiced Spectator without much Reasoning supposes those to include, with several other Circumstances, both natural and accidental, point his View and Affection to a particular Object, and of course contract that general rambling Regard, which was lost and useless among the undistinguished Croud, into a peculiar and permanent Attachment to one Woman, which ordinarily terminates in the most important, venerable, and delightful Connection in Life.
The Grounds of this ConnectionThe State of the Brute Creation is very different from that of Human Creatures. The former are cloathed, and generally armed by their Structure, easily find what is necessary to their Subsistence, and soon attain their Vigour and Maturity; so that they need the Care and Aid of their Parents but for a short while; and therefore we see that Nature has assigned to them vagrant and transient Amours. The Connection being purely Natural, and formed merely for propagating and rearing their Offspring, no sooner is that End answered than the Connection dissolves of course. But the Human Race are of a more tender and defenceless Constitution; their Infancy and Non-age continue longer; they advance slowly to Strength of Body, and Maturity of Reason; they need constant Attention, and a long Series of Cares and Labours to train them up to Decency, Virtue, and the various Arts of Life. Nature has, therefore, provided them with the most affectionate and anxious Tutors, to aid their Weakness, to supply their Wants, and to accomplish them in those necessary Arts, even their own Parents, on whom she has devolved this mighty Charge, rendered agreeable by the most alluring and powerful of all Ties, Parental Affection. But unless both concur in this grateful Task, and continue their joint Labours, till they have reared up and planted out their young Colony, it must become a Prey to every rude Invader, and the Purpose of Nature, in the original Union of the Human Pair, be defeated. Therefore our Structure as well as Condition is an evident Indication, that the Human Sexes are destined for a more intimate, for a moral and lasting Union. It appears likewise, that the principal End of Marriage is not to propagate and nurse up an Offspring, but to educate and form Minds for the great Duties and extensive Destinations of Life. Society must be supplied from this original Nursery with useful Members, and its fairest Ornaments and Supports. But how shall the young Plants be guarded against the Inclemency of the Air and Seasons, cultivated and raised to Maturity, if Men, like Brutes, indulge to vagrant and promiscuous Amours?
Moral Ends of MarriageThe Mind is apt to be dissipated in its Views, and Acts of Friendship and Humanity; unless the former be directed to a particular Object, and the latter employed in a particular Province. When Men once indulge to this Dissipation, there is no stopping their Career, they grow insensible to Moral Attractions, and by obstructing, or impairing, the decent and regular Exercise of the tender and generous Feelings of the human Heart, they in time become unqualified for, or averse to, the forming a Moral Union of Souls, which is the Cement of Society, and the Source of the purest domestic Joys. Whereas a rational, undepraved Love, and its fair Companion, Marriage, collect a Man’s Views, guide his Heart to its proper Object, and by confining his Affection to that Object, do really enlarge its Influence and Use. Besides, it is but too evident from the Conduct of Mankind, that the common Tyes of Humanity are too feeble to engage and interest the Passions of the Generality in the Affairs of Society. The Connections of Neighbourhood, Acquaintance, and general Intercourse, are too wide a Field of Action for many; and those of a Public or Community are so for more, and in which they either care not, or know not how to exert themselves. Therefore Nature, ever wise and benevolent, by implanting that strong Sympathy which reigns between the Individuals of each Sex, and by urging them to form a particular Moral Connection, the Spring of many domestic Endearments, has measured out to each Pair a particular Sphere of Action, proportioned to their Views, and adapted to their respective Capacities. Besides, by interesting them deeply in the Concerns of their own little Circle, she has connected them more closely with Society, which is composed of particular Families, and bound them down to their good Behaviour in that particular Community to which they belong. This Moral Connection is Marriage, and this Sphere of Action is a Family. It appears from what has been said that, to adult Persons, who have Fortune sufficient to provide for a Family, according to their Rank and Condition in Life, and who are endued with the ordinary Degrees of Prudence necessary to manage a Family, and educate Children, it is a Duty they owe to Society, to marry.
An Objection answeredSome Pretenders to a peculiar Refinement in Morals think, however, that a single State is most conducive to the Perfection of our Nature, and to those sublime Improvements to which Religion calls us. Sometimes indeed the more important Duties we owe to the Public, which could scarce be performed, or not so well in the Married State, may require the single Life, or render the other not so honourable a Station in such Circumstances. But surely, it must be improving to the Social Affections to direct them to particular Objects whom we esteem, and to whom we stand in the nearest Relation, and to ascertain their Exercise in a Field of Action, which is both agreeable in itself, and highly advantageous to Society. The constant Exercise of Natural Affection, in which one is necessarily engaged in providing for, and training up one’s Children, opens the Heart, and must inure the Mind to frequent Acts of Self-denial and Self-command, and consequently strengthen the Habits of Goodness. The Truth of this is but too evident in those married Persons who are so unfortunate as to have no Children, who for want of those necessary Exercises of Humanity are too generally over-anxious about the World, and perhaps too attentive to the Affair of Oeconomy. Another Circumstance deserves to be remembered, that Men who are continually engaged in Study and Business, or anxiously intent on public Concerns, are apt to grow stern and severe, or peevish and morose, on account of the frequent Rubs they meet with, or the Fatigues they undergo in such a Course. The Female Softness is therefore useful to moderate their Severity, and change their Ill-humour into domestic Tenderness, and a softer kind of Humanity. And thus their Minds, which were over-strained by the Intenseness of their Application, are at once relaxed, and retuned for public Action. The Minds of both Sexes are as much formed one for the other by a Temperament peculiar to each, as their Persons. The Strength, Firmness, Courage, Gravity, and Dignity, of the Man, tally to the Softness, Delicacy, Tenderness of Passion, Elegance of Taste, and Decency of Conversation, of the Woman. The Male Mind is formed to defend, deliberate, foresee, contrive, and advise. The Female One to confide, imagine, apprehend, comply, and execute. Therefore the proper Temperament of these different Sexes of Minds, makes a fine Moral Union; and the well-proportioned Opposition of different or contrary Qualities, like a due Mixture of Discords in a Composition of Music, swells the Harmony of Society more than if they were all Unisons to each other. And this Union of Moral Sexes, if we may express it so, is evidently more conducive to the Improvement of each, than if they lived apart. For the Man not only protects and advises, but communicates Vigour and Resolution to the Woman. She, in her turn, softens, refines, and polishes him. In her Society he finds Repose from Action and Care; in her Friendship, the Ferment into which his Passions were wrought by the Hurry and Distraction of public Life, subsides and settles into a Calm; and a thousand nameless Graces and Decencies that flow from her Words and Actions, form him for a more mild and elegant Deportment. His Conversation and Example, on the other hand, enlarge her Views, raise her Sentiments, sustain her Resolutions, and free her from a thousand Fears and Inquietudes, to which her more feeble Constitution subjects her. Surely such Dispositions, and the happy Consequences which result from them, cannot be supposed to carry an unfriendly Aspect to any Duty he owes either to God, or to Man.
Duties of MarriageOf the Conjugal Alliance the following are the natural Laws. First, mutual Fidelity to the Marriage-bed. Disloyalty defeats the very End of Marriage, dissolves the natural Cement of the Relation, weakens the Moral Tye, the chief Strength of which lies in the Reciprocation of Affection; and by making the Offspring uncertain, diminishes the Care and Attachment necessary to their Education.
2. A Conspiration of Counsels and Endeavours to promote the common Interest of the Family, and to educate their common Offspring. In order to observe these Laws, it is necessary to cultivate, both before and during the married State, the strictest Decency and Chastity of Manners, and a just Sense of what becomes their respective Characters.
3. The Union must be inviolable, and for Life. The Nature of Friendship, and particularly of this Species of it, the Education of their Offspring, and the Order of Society, and of Successions which would otherwise be extremely perplexed, do all seem to require it. To preserve this Union, and render the matrimonial State more harmonious and comfortable, a mutual Esteem and Tenderness, a mutual Deference and Forbearance, a Communication of Advice, and Assistance, and Authority, are absolutely necessary. If either Party keep within their proper Departments, there need be no Disputes about Power or Superiority, and there will be none. They have no opposite, no separate Interests, and therefore there can be no just Ground for Opposition of Conduct.
PolygamyFrom this Detail, and the present State of things, in which there is pretty near a Parity of Numbers of both Sexes, it is evident that Polygamy is an unnatural State; and tho it should be granted to be more fruitful of Children, which however it is not found to be, yet it is by no means so fit for rearing Minds, which seems to be as much, if not more, the Intention of Nature, than the Propagation of Bodies.
Divorce, &c.In what Cases Divorce may be proper, what are the just Obstacles to Marriage, and within what Degrees of Consanguinity it may be allowed, we have not room to discuss here, and therefore we refer the Reader to Mr. Hutchinson’s ingenious Moral Compend. Book III. Chap. 1.6
Of Parental Duty
Connection of Parents and ChildrenThe Connection of Parents with their Children is a natural Consequence of the matrimonial Connection, and the Duties which they owe them, result as naturally from that Connection. The feeble State of Children, subject to so many Wants and Dangers, requires their incessant Cares and Attention; their ignorant and uncultivated Minds demand their continual Instruction and Culture. Had human Creatures come into the World with the full Strength of Men, and the Weakness of Reason and Vehemence of Passions which prevail in Children, they would have been too strong, or too stubborn, to have submitted to the Government and Instruction of their Parents. But as they were designed for a Progression in Knowledge and Virtue, it was proper that the Growth of their Bodies should keep pace with that of their Minds, lest the Purposes of that Progression should have been defeated. Among other admirable Purposes which this gradual Expansion of their outward as well as inward Structure serves, this is one, that it affords ample Scope to the Exercise of many tender and generous Affections, which fill up the domestic Life with a beautiful Variety of Duties and Enjoyments; and are of course a noble Discipline for the Heart, and an hardy kind of Education for the more honourable and important Duties of public Life.
The Authority founded on that ConnectionThe above-mentioned weak and ignorant State of Children, seems plainly to invest their Parents with such Authority and Power as is necessary to their Support, Protection, and Education; but that Authority and Power can be construed to extend no farther than is necessary to answer those Ends, and to last no longer than that Weakness and Ignorance continue; wherefore the Foundation or Reason of the Authority and Power ceasing, they cease of course. Whatever Power or Authority then it may be necessary or lawful for Parents to exercise during the Non-age of their Children, to assume or usurp the same when they have attained the Maturity or full Exercise of their Strength and Reason, would be tyrannical and unjust. From hence it is evident, that Parents have no Right to punish the Persons of their Children more severely than the Nature of their Wardship requires, much less to invade their Lives, to encroach upon their Liberty, or transfer them as their Property to any Master whatsoever. But if any Parent should be so unjust and inhuman as to consider and treat them like his other Goods and Chattles, surely whenever they dare, they may resist, and whenever they can, shake off that inhuman and unnatural Yoke, and be free with that Liberty with which God and Nature has invested them.
Duties of ParentsThe first Class of Duties which Parents owe their Children respect their natural Life; and these comprehend Protection, Nurture, Provision, introducing them into the World in a manner suitable to their Rank and Fortune, and the like.
EducationThe second Order of Duties regards the intellectual and moral Life of their Children, or their Education in such Arts and Accomplishments, as are necessary to qualify them for performing the Duties they owe to themselves and to others. As this was found to be the principal Design of the matrimonial Alliance, so the fulfilling that Design is the most important and dignified of all the parental Duties. In order therefore to fit the Child for acting his Part wisely and worthily, as a Man, as a Citizen, and a Creature of God, both Parents ought to combine their joint Wisdom, Authority, and Power, and each apart to employ those Talents which are the peculiar Excellency and Ornament of their respective Sex. The Father ought to lay out and superintend their Education, the Mother to execute and manage the Detail of which she is capable. The former should direct the manly Exertion of the intellectual and moral Powers of the Child. His Imagination, and the manner of those Exertions, are the peculiar Province of the latter. The former should advise, protect, command, and by his Experience, masculine Vigour, and that superior Authority which is commonly ascribed to his Sex, brace and strengthen his Pupil for active Life, for Gravity, Integrity, and Firmness in Suffering. The Business of the latter is to bend and soften her Male Pupil, by the Charms of her Conversation, and the Softness and Decency of her Manners, for social Life, for Politeness of Taste, and the elegant Decorums of and Enjoyments of Humanity; and to improve and refine the Tenderness and Modesty of her Female Pupil, and form her to all those mild domestic Virtues, which are the peculiar Characteristics and Ornaments of her Sex.
To conduct the opening Minds of their sweet Charge through the several Periods of their Progress, to assist them in each Period in throwing out the latent Seeds of Reason and Ingenuity, and in gaining fresh Accessions of Light and Virtue; and at length, with all these Advantages, to produce the young Adventurers upon the great Theatre of human Life, to play their several Parts in the Sight of their Friends, of Society, and Mankind! How gloriously does Heaven reward the Task, when the Parents behold those dear Images and Representatives of themselves, inheriting their Virtues as well as Fortunes, sustaining their respective Characters gracefully and worthily, and giving them the agreeable Prospect of transmitting their Name with growing Honour and Advantage to a Race yet unborn!
Herile and Servile Duty
The Ground of this ConnectionIn the natural Course of human Affairs it must necessarily happen, that some of Mankind will live in Plenty and Opulence, and others be reduced to a State of Indigence and Poverty. The former need the Labours of the latter, and the latter the Provision and Support of the former. This mutual Necessity is the Foundation of that Connection, whether we call it Moral or Civil, which subsists between Masters and Servants.The Conditions of Service He who feeds another has a Right to some Equivalent, the Labour of him whom he maintains, and the Fruits of it. And he who labours for another, has a Right to expect that he should support him. But as the Labours of a Man of ordinary Strength are certainly of greater Value than mere Food and Cloathing; because they would actually produce more, even the Maintenance of a Family, were the Labourer to employ them in his own Behalf, therefore, he has an undoubted Right to rate and dispose of his Service for certain Wages above mere Maintenance. And if he has incautiously disposed of it for the latter only, yet the Contract being of the onerous kind, he may equitably claim a Supply of that Deficiency. If the Service be specified, the Servant is bound to that only; if not, then he is to be construed as bound only to such Services as are consistent with the Laws of Justice and Humanity. By the voluntary Servitude to which he subjects himself, he forfeits no Rights but such as are necessarily included in that Servitude, and is obnoxious to no Punishment but such as a voluntary Failure in the Service may be supposed reasonably to require. The Offspring of such Servants have a Right to that Liberty which neither they, nor their Parents, have forfeited.
The Case of great OffendersAs to those, who because of some heinous Offence, or for some notorious Damage, for which they cannot otherwise compensate, are condemned to perpetual Service, they do not, on that account, forfeit all the Rights of Men; but those, the Loss of which is necessary to secure Society against the like Offences for the future, or to repair the Damage they have done.
The Case of CaptivesWith regard to Captives taken in War, it is barbarous and inhuman to make perpetual Slaves of them, unless some peculiar and aggravated Circumstances of Guilt have attended their Hostility. The Bulk of the Subjects of any Government engaged in War, may be fairly esteemed innocent Enemies, and therefore they have a Right to that Clemency which is consistent with the common Safety of Mankind, and the particular Security of that Society against which they are engaged. Though ordinary Captives have a Grant of their Lives, yet to pay their Liberty as an Equivalent, is much too high a Price. There are other Ways of acknowledging or returning the Favour, than by surrendering what is far dearer than Life itself.* To those, who under Pretext of the Necessities of Commerce, drive the unnatural Trade of bargaining for human Flesh, and consigning their innocent, but unfortunate Fellow-creatures, to eternal Servitude and Misery, we may address the Words of a fine Writer; “Let Avarice defend it as it will, there is an honest Reluctance in Humanity against buying and selling, and regarding those of our own Species as our Wealth and Possessions.”
As it is the Servant’s Duty to serve his Master with Fidelity and Chearfulness, like one who knows he is accountable to the great Lord of the Universe, so the Master ought to exact nothing of his Servant beyond the natural Limits of Reason and Humanity, remembering that he is a Brother of the same Family, a Partner of the same Nature, and a Subject of the same great Lord.
Social Duties of the private Kind
Hitherto we have considered only the Domestic, Oeconomical Duties, because these are the first in the Progress of Nature. But as Man passes beyond the little Circle of a Family, he forms Connections with Relations, Friends, Neighbours, and others; from whence results a new Train of Duties of the more private social kind; as Friendship, Chastity, Courtesy, Good-neighbourhood, Charity, Forgiveness, Hospitality.
Man’s Aptitude for SocietyMan is admirably formed for particular social Attachments and Duties. There is a peculiar and strong Propensity in his Nature to be affected with the Sentiments and Dispositions of others. Men, like certain musical Instruments, are set to each other, so that the Vibrations or Notes excited in one, raise correspondent Notes and Vibrations in the others. The Impulses of Pleasure or Pain, Joy or Sorrow, made on one Mind, are by an instantaneous Sympathy of Nature, communicated in some degree to all; especially when Hearts are (as an humane Writer expresses it) in Unison of Kindness; the Joy that vibrates in one, communicates to the other also. We may add, that tho’ Joy thus imparted swells the Harmony, yet Grief vibrated to the Heart of a Friend, and rebounding from thence in sympathetic Notes, melts as it were, and almost dies away. All the Passions, but especially those of the social kind, are contagious; and when the Passions of one Man mingle with those of another, they increase and multiply prodigiously. There is a most moving Eloquence in the human Countenance, Air, Voice, and Gesture, wonderfully expressive of the most latent Feelings and Passions of the Soul, which darts them, like a subtle Flame, into the Hearts of others, and raises correspondent Feelings there: Friendship, Love, Good-humour, Joy, spread through every Feature, and particularly shoot from the Eyes their softer and fiercer Fires with an irresistible Energy. And in like manner, the opposite Passions of Hatred, Enmity, Ill-humour, Melancholy, diffuse a sullen and saddening Air over the Face, and flashing from Eye to Eye, kindle a Train of similar Passions. By these and other admirable Pieces of Machinery, Men are formed for Society and the delightful Interchange of friendly Sentiments and Duties, to increase the Happiness of others by Participation, and their own by Rebound, and to diminish, by dividing, the common Stock of their Misery.
Duties arising from private RelationThe first Emanations of the Social Principle beyond the Bounds of a Family, lead us to form a nearer Conjunction of Friendship or Good-will with those, who are any wise connected with us by Blood, or Domestic Alliance. To them our Affection does, commonly, exert itself in a greater or less Degree, according to the Nearness or Distance of the Relation. And this Proportion is admirably suited to the Extent of our Powers and the Indigence of our State; for it is only within those lesser Circles of Consanguinity or Alliance, that the Generality of Mankind are able to display their Abilities or Benevolence, and consequently to uphold their Connection with Society and Subserviency to a public Interest. Therefore it is our Duty to regard these closer Connections as the next Department to that of a Family, in which Nature has marked out for us a Sphere of Activity and Usefulness; and to cultivate the kind Affections which are the Cement of those endearing Alliances.
Ingredients of FriendshipFrequently, the view of distinguishing Moral Qualities in some of our Acquaintance may give birth to that more noble Connection we call Friendship, which is far superior to the Alliances of Consanguinity. For these are of a superficial, and often of a transitory Nature, of which, as they hold more of Instinct than of Reason, we cannot give such a rational Account. But Friendship derives all its Strength and Beauty, and the only Existence which is durable, from the Qualities of the Heart, or from virtuous and lovely Dispositions. Or, should these be wanting, they or some Shadow of them must be supposed present. Therefore Friendship may be described to be, “The Union of two Souls, by means of Virtue, the common Object and Cement of their mutual Affection.” Without Virtue, or the Supposition of it, Friendship is only a Mercenary League, an Alliance of Interest, which must dissolve of course when that Interest decays or subsists no longer. It is not so much any particular Passion, as a Composition of some of the noblest Feelings and Passions of the Mind. Good Sense, a just Taste and Love of Virtue, a thorough Candor and Benignity of Heart, or what we usually call a Good Temper, and a generous Sympathy of Sentiments and Affections, are the necessary Ingredients of this virtuous Connection. When it is grafted on Esteem, strengthened by Habit, and mellowed by Time, it yields infinite Pleasure, ever new and ever growing; is a noble Support amidst the various Trials and Vicissitudes of Life, and an high Seasoning to most of our other Enjoyments. To form and cultivate virtuous Friendship must be very improving to the Temper, as its principal Object is Virtue, set off with all the Allurement of Countenance, Air, and Manners, shining forth in the native Graces of manly honest Sentiments and Affections, and rendered visible as it were to the friendly Spectator in a Conduct unaffectedly great and good; and as its principal Exercises are the very Energies of Virtue, or its Effects or Emanations. So that wherever this amiable Attachment prevails, it will exalt our Admiration and Attachment to Virtue, and, unless impeded in its Course by unnatural Prejudices, run out into a Friendship to the Human Race. For as no one can merit, and none ought to usurp, the sacred Name of a Friend, who hates Mankind, so, whoever truly loves them, possesses the most essential Quality of a true Friend.
Its DutiesThe Duties of Friendship are a mutual Esteem of each other, unbribed by Interest, and independent of it, a generous Confidence, as far distant from Suspicion as from Reserve, an inviolable Harmony of Sentiments and Dispositions, of Designs and Interests, a Fidelity unshaken by the Changes of Fortune, a Constancy unalterable by distance of Time or Place, a Resignation of one’s personal Interests to those of one’s Friend, and a reciprocal, unenvious, unreserved Exchange of kind Offices.—But amidst all the Exertions of this Moral Connection, humane and generous as it is, we must remember that it operates within a narrow Sphere, and its immediate Operations respect only the Individual, and therefore, its particular Impulses must still be subordinate to a more public Interest, or be always directed and controuled by the more extensive Connections of our Nature.
Love and ChastityWhen our Friendship terminates on any of the other Sex, in whom Beauty or Agreeableness of Person, and external Gracefulness of Manners, conspire to express and heighten the Moral Charm of a tender honest Heart; and sweet, ingenious, modest Temper, lighted up by good Sense, it generally grows into a more soft and endearing Attachment. When this Attachment is improved by a growing Acquaintance with the Worth of its Object, is conducted by Discretion, and issues at length, as it ought to do, in the Moral Connection formerly* mentioned, it becomes the Source of many amiable Duties, of a Communication of Passions and Interests, of the most refined Decencies, and of a thousand nameless deep-felt Joys of reciprocal Tenderness and Love, flowing from every Look, Word, and Action. Here Friendship acts with double Energy, and the Natural conspires with the Moral Charm, to strengthen and secure the Love of Virtue. As the delicate Nature of Female Honour and Decorum, and the inexpressible Grace of a chaste and modest Behaviour, are the surest, and indeed the only means of kindling at first, and ever after of keeping alive this tender and elegant Flame, and of accomplishing the excellent Ends designed by it; to attempt by Fraud to violate one, or, under pretence of Passion, to sully and corrupt the other, and, by so doing, to expose the too often credulous and unguarded Object, with a wanton Cruelty, to the Hatred of her own Sex, and the Scorn of our’s, and to the lowest Infamy of both, is a Conduct not only base and criminal, but inconsistent with that truly rational and refined Enjoyment, the Spirit and Quintessence of which is derived from the bashful and sacred Charms of Virtue kept untainted, and therefore ever alluring to the Lover’s Heart.
Courtesy, Good-neighbourhood, &c.Courtesy, Good-neighbourhood, Affability, and the like Duties, which are founded on our private Social Connections, are no less necessary and obligatory to Creatures united in Society, and supporting and supported by each other in a Chain of mutual Want and Dependence. They do not consist in a smooth Address, an artificial or obsequious Air, fawning Adulations, or a polite Servility of Manners, but in a just and modest Sense of our own Dignity and that of others, and of the Reverence due to Mankind, especially to those who hold the highest Links of the Social Chain; in a discreet and manly Accommodation of ourselves to the Foibles and Humours of others; in a strict Observance of the Rules of Decorum and Civility; but above all in a frank obliging Carriage, and generous Interchange of good Deeds, rather than Words. Such a Conduct is of great Use and Advantage, as it is an excellent Security against Injury, and the best Claim and Recommendation to the Esteem, Civility, and universal Respect of Mankind. This inferior Order of Virtues unite the particular Members of Society more closely, and form the lesser Pillars of the civil Fabric; which, in many Instances, supply the unavoidable Defects of Laws, and maintain the Harmony and Decorum of Social Intercourse, where the more important and essential Lines of Virtue are wanting.
Charity, ForgivenessCharity and Forgiveness are truly amiable and useful Duties of the Social kind. There is a twofold Distinction of Rights commonly taken notice of by Moral Writers, viz. Perfect and Imperfect. To fulfil the former, is necessary to the Being and Support of Society; to fulfil the latter is a Duty equally sacred and obligatory, and tends to the Improvement and Prosperity of Society; but as the Violation of them is not equally prejudicial to the public Good, the fulfilling them is not subjected to the Cognizance of Law, but left to the Candor, Humanity, and Gratitude of Individuals. And by this means ample Scope is given to exercise all the Generosity, and display the genuine Merit and Lustre of Virtue. Thus the Wants and Misfortunes of others call for our charitable Assistance and seasonable Supplies. And the good Man, unconstrained by Law, and uncontrouled by human Authority, will chearfully acknowledge and generously satisfy this mournful and moving Claim; a Claim supported by the Sanction of Heaven, of whose Bounties he is honoured to be the grateful Trustee. If his own perfect Rights are invaded by the Injustice of others, he will not therefore reject their imperfect Right to Pity and Forgiveness, unless his Grant of these should be inconsistent with the more extensive Rights of Society, or the public Good. In that case he will have recourse to public Justice and the Laws, and even then he will prosecute the Injury with no unnecessary Severity, but rather with Mildness and Humanity. When the Injury is merely personal, and of such a Nature as to admit of Alleviations, and the Forgiveness of which would be attended with no worse Consequences, especially of a public kind, the good Man will generously forgive his offending Brother: and it is his Duty to do so, and not to take private Revenge, or retaliate Evil for Evil. For though Resentment of Injury is a natural Passion, and implanted, as was observed* above, for wise and good Ends; yet, considering the manifold Partialities which most Men have for themselves, was every one to act as Judge in his own Cause, and to execute the Sentence dictated by his own Resentment, it is but too evident that Mankind would pass all Bounds in their Fury, and the last Sufferer be provoked in his turn to make full Reprisals. So that Evil, thus encountering with Evil, would produce one continued Series of Violence and Misery, and render Society intolerable, if not impracticable. Therefore, when the Security of the Individual, or Good of the Public, does not require a proportionable Retaliation, it is agreeable to the general Law of Benevolence, and to the particular End of the Passion (which is to prevent Injury and the Misery occasioned by it) to forgive personal Injuries,* or not to return Evil for Evil. This Duty is one of the noble Refinements which Christianity has made upon the general Maxims and Practice of Mankind, and enforced with a peculiar Strength and Beauty, by Sanctions no less alluring than awful. And indeed the Practice of it is generally its own Reward; by expelling from the Mind the most dreadful Intruders upon its Repose, those rancorous Passions which are begot and nursed by Resentment, and by disarming and even subduing every Enemy one has, except such as have nothing left of Men, but the outward Form.
HospitalityThe most enlarged and humane Connection of the private kind, seems to be the Hospitable Alliance, from which flow the amiable and disinterested Duties we owe to Strangers. If the Exercise of Passions of the most private and instinctive kind is beheld with Moral Approbation and Delight, how lovely and venerable must those appear, which result from a calm Philanthropy, are founded in the common Rights and Connections of Society, and embrace Men, not of a particular Sect, Party, or Nation, but all in general without Distinction, and without any of the little Partialities of Self-love.
Social Duties of the Commercial Kind
Commercial DutiesThe next Order of Connections are those which arise from the Wants and Weakness of Mankind, and from the various Circumstances in which their different Situations place them. These we may call Commercial Connections, and the Duties which result from them Commercial Duties, as Justice, Fair-dealing, Sincerity, Fidelity to Compacts, and the like.
Their FoundationIt is observed somewhere by a Writer* of the first Rank, that though Nature is perfect in all her Works, yet she has observed a manifest and eminent Distinction among them. To all such as lie beyond the Reach of human Skill and Power, and are properly of her own Department, she has given the finishing Hand. These Man may design after and imitate, but he can never rival them, nor add to their Beauty or Perfection. Such are the Forms and Structure of Vegetables, Animals, and many of their Productions, as the Honeycomb, the Spider’s Web, and the like. There are others of her Works which she has of design left unfinished, as it were, in order to exercise the Ingenuity and Power of Man. She has presented to him a rich Profusion of Materials of every kind for his Conveniency and Use; but they are rude and unpolished, or not to be come at without Art and Labour. These therefore he must apply, in order to adapt them to his Use, and to enjoy them in Perfection. Thus Nature has given him an infinite Variety of Herbs, Grain, Fossils, Minerals, Wood, Water, Earth, Air, and a thousand other crude Materials to supply his numerous Wants. But he must sow, plant, dig, refine, polish, build, and, in short, manufacture the various Produce of Nature, in order to obtain even the Necessaries, and much more the Conveniencies and Elegancies of Life. These then are the Price of his Labour and Industry, and, without that, Nature will sell him nothing. But as the Wants of Mankind are many, and the single Strength of Individuals small, they could hardly find the Necessaries, and much less the Conveniencies of Life, without uniting their Ingenuity and Strength in acquiring these, and without a mutual Intercourse of good Offices. Some Men are better formed for some kinds of Ingenuity and Labour, and others for other kinds; and different Soils and Climates are enriched with different Productions; so that Men by exchanging the Produce of their respective Labours, and supplying the Wants of one Country with the Superfluities of another, do, in effect, diminish the Labours of each, and increase the Abundance of all. This is the Foundation of all Commerce, or Exchange of Commodities and Goods one with another; in order to facilitate which, Men have contrived different Species of Coin, or Money, as a common Standard by which to estimate the comparative Values of their respective Goods. But to render Commerce sure and effectual, Justice, Fair-dealing, Sincerity, and Fidelity to Compacts are absolutely necessary.
Justice, &c.Justice, or Fair-dealing, or, in other Words, a Disposition to treat others as we would be treated by them, is a Virtue of the first Importance, and inseparable from the virtuous Character. It is the Cement of Society, or that pervading Spirit which connects its Members, inspires its various Relations, and maintains the Order and Subordination of each Part to the Whole. Without it, Society would become a Den of Thieves and Banditti, hating and hated, devouring and devoured, by one another.
SinceritySincerity or Veracity, in our Words and Actions, is another Virtue or Duty of great Importance to Society, being one of the great Bands of mutual Intercourse, and the Foundation of mutual Trust. Without it, Society would be the Dominion of Mistrust, Jealousy, and Fraud, and Conversation a Traffic of Lies and Dissimulation. It includes in it a Conformity of Words with our Sentiments, a Correspondence between our Actions and Dispositions, a strict Regard to Truth, and an irreconcileable Abhorrence of Falsehood. It does not indeed require that we expose our Sentiments indiscreetly, or tell all the Truth in every Case; but certainly it does not and cannot admit the least Violation of Truth, or Contradiction to our Sentiments. For if these Bounds are once passed, no possible Limit can be assigned where the Violation shall stop; and no Pretence of private or public Good, can possibly counterbalance the Ill Consequences of such a Violation. And we trust, the Order of Nature and Providence is such, that it seldom or never falls out, that so valuable a Sacrifice must be made in order to obtain the Ends of an extensive Benevolence. It belongs to us to do what appears right and conformable to the Laws of our Nature, and to leave Heaven to direct and over-rule Events or Consequences, which it will never fail to do, for the best.
Fidelity to Promises, Compacts, &c.Fidelity to Promises, Compacts, and Engagements, is likewise a Duty of such Importance to the Security of Commerce and Interchange of Benevolence among Mankind, that Society would soon grow intolerable without the strict Observance of it. Hobbes, and others who follow the same Track, have taken a wonderful deal of pains to puzzle this Subject, and to make all the Virtues of this Sort merely artificial, and not at all obligatory, antecedent to human Conventions. No doubt Compacts suppose People who make them, and Promises Persons to whom they are made, and therefore both suppose some Society more or less between those who enter into these mutual Engagements. But is not a Compact or Promise binding, till Men have agreed that they shall be binding? Or are they only binding because it is our Interest to be bound by them, or to fulfil them? Do not we highly approve the Man who fulfils them, even tho’ they should prove to be against his Interest? And do not we condemn him as a Knave, who violates them on that account? A Promise is a voluntary Declaration, by Words, or by an Action equally significant, of our Resolution to do something in behalf of another, or for his Service. When it is made, the Person who makes it, is by all supposed under an Obligation to perform it. And he to whom it is made, may demand the Performance as his Right. That Perception of Obligation is a simple Idea, and is on the same Footing as our other Moral Perceptions, which may be described by Instances, but cannot be defined. Whether we have a Perception of such Obligation quite distinct from the Interest, either Public or Private, that may accompany the Fulfilment of it, must be referred to the Conscience of every Individual. And, whether the mere Sense of that Obligation, apart from its Concomitants, is not a sufficient Inducement or Motive to keep one’s Promise, without having recourse to any selfish Principle of our Nature, must be likewise appealed to the Conscience of every honest Man. Fair-dealing and Fidelity to Compacts require that we take no Advantage of the Ignorance, Passion, or Incapacity of others, from whatever Cause that Incapacity arises;—that we be explicit and candid in making Bargains, just and faithful in fulfilling our Part of them. And if the other Party violates his Engagements, Redress is to be sought for from the Laws, or from those who are intrusted with the Execution of them. In fine, the Commercial Virtues and Duties require that we not only do not invade, but maintain the Rights of others;—that we be fair and impartial in transferring, bartering, or exchanging Property, whether in Goods or Service; and be inviolably faithful to our Word and our Engagements, where the Matter of them is not criminal, and where they are not extorted by Force.—But on this the designed Brevity of the Work will not permit us farther to insist.
Social Duties of the Political Kind
We are now arrived at the last and highest Order of Duties respecting Society, which result from the Exercise of the most generous and heroic Affections, and are founded on our most enlarged Connections.
Political ConnectionsThe Social Principle in Man is of such an expansive Nature, that it cannot be confined within the Circuit of a Family, of Friends, or a Neighbourhood: it spreads into wider Systems, and draws Men into larger Confederacies, Communities, and Commonwealths.—It is in these only that the higher Powers of our Nature attain the highest Improvement and Perfection of which they are capable. These Principles hardly find Objects in the solitary State of Nature. There the Principle of Action rises no higher at farthest than Natural Affection towards one’s Offspring. There Personal or Family wants entirely engross the Creature’s Attention and Labour, and allow no Leisure, or, if they did, no Exercise for Views and Affections of a more enlarged kind. In Solitude all are employed in the same way, in providing for the Animal Life. And even after their utmost Labour and Care, single and unaided by the Industry of others, they find but a sorry Supply of their Wants, and a feeble, precarious Security against Dangers from wild Beasts; from inclement Skies and Seasons; from the Mistakes or petulant Passions of their Fellow-creatures; from their Preference of themselves to their Neighbours; and from all the little Exorbitances of Self-love. But in Society, the mutual Aids which Men give and receive, shorten the Labours of each, and the combined Strength and Reason of Individuals give Security and Protection to the whole Body. There is both a Variety and Subordination of Genius among Mankind. Some are formed to lead and direct others, to contrive Plans of Happiness for Individuals, and of Government for Communities, to take in a public Interest, invent Laws and Arts, and superintend their Execution, and in short, to refine and civilize human Life. Others, who have not such good Heads, may have as honest Hearts, a truly public Spirit, Love of Liberty, Hatred of Corruption and Tyranny, a generous Submission to Laws, Order, and Public Institutions, and an extensive Philanthropy. And others, who have none of those Capacities either of Heart or Head, may be well-formed for Manual Exercises and Bodily Labour. The former of these Principles have no Scope in Solitude, where a Man’s Thoughts and Concerns do all either center in himself, or extend no farther than a Family; into which little Circle all the Duty and Virtue of the Solitary Mortal is crouded. But Society finds proper Objects and Exercises for every Genius, and the noblest Objects and Exercises for the noblest Geniuses, and for the highest Principles in the human Constitution: particularly for that warmest and most divine Passion, which God hath kindled in our Bosoms, the Inclination of doing good and reverencing our Nature; which may find here both Employment, and the most exquisite Satisfaction. In Society a Man has not only more Leisure, but better Opportunities of applying his Talents with much greater Perfection and Success, especially as he is furnished with the joint Advice and Assistance of his Fellow-creatures, who are now more closely united one with the other, and sustain a common Relation to the same Moral System, or Community. This then is an Object proportioned to his most enlarged Social Affections, and in serving it he finds Scope for the Exercise and Refinement of his highest Intellectual and Moral Powers. ThereforeSociety, or a State of Civil Government, rests on these two principal Pillars, “That in it we find Security against those Evils which are unavoidable in Solitude—and obtain those Goods, some of which cannot be obtained at all, and others not so well in that State, where Men depend solely on their individual Sagacity and Industry.”
From this short Detail it appears that Man is a Social Creature, and formed for a Social State; and that Society, being adapted to the higher Principles and Destinations of his Nature, must, of necessity, be his Natural State.
Political DutiesThe Duties suited to that State, and resulting from those Principles and Destinations, or in other Words, from our Social Passions and Social Connections, or Relation to a Public System, are Love of our Country, Resignation and Obedience to the Laws, Public Spirit, Love of Liberty, Sacrifice of Life and all to the Public, and the like.
Love of one’s CountryLove of our Country is one of the noblest Passions that can warm and animate the human Breast. It includes all the limited and particular Affections to our Parents, Children, Friends, Neighbours, Fellow-Citizens, Countrymen. It ought to direct and limit their more confined and partial Action within their proper and natural Bounds, and never let them encroach on those sacred and first Regards we owe to the great Public to which we belong. Were we solitary Creatures, detached from the rest of Mankind, and without any Capacity of comprehending a public Interest, or without Affections, leading us to desire and pursue it, it would not be our Duty to mind it, nor criminal to neglect it. But, as we are Parts of the Public System, and are not only capable of taking in large Views of its Interests, but by the strongest Affections connected with it, and prompted to take a Share of its Concerns, we are under the most sacred Ties to prosecute its Security and Welfare with the utmost Ardor, especially in times of public Trial. This Love of our Country does not import an Attachment to any particular Soil, Climate, or Spot of Earth, where perhaps we first drew our Breath, though those Natural Ideas are often associated with the Moral ones; and, like external Signs or Symbols, help to ascertain and bind them; but it imports an Affection to that Moral System, or Community, which is governed by the same Laws and Magistrates, and whose several Parts are variously connected one with the other, and all united upon the Bottom of a common Interest. Perhaps indeed every Member of the Community cannot comprehend so large an Object, especially if it extends through large Provinces, and over vast Tracts of Land; and still less can he form such an Idea, if there is no Public, i.e. if all are subjected to the Caprice and unlimited Will of one Man; but the Preference the Generality shew to their native Country; the Concern and Longing after it which they express, when they have been long absent from it; the Labours they undertake and Sufferings they endure to save or serve it; and the peculiar Attachment they have to their Country-men, evidently demonstrate that the Passion is natural, and never fails to exert itself, when it is fairly disengaged from foreign Clogs, and is directed to its proper Object. Wherever it prevails in its genuine Vigour and Extent, it swallows up all sordid and selfish Regards, it conquers the Love of Ease, Power, Pleasure, and Wealth; nay, when the amiable Partialities of Friendship, Gratitude, private Affection, or Regards to a Family, come in Competition with it, it will teach us bravely to sacrifice all, in order to maintain the Rights and promote or defend the Honour and Happiness of our Country.
Resignation and Obedience to the Laws, &c.Resignation and Obedience to the Laws and Orders of the Society to which we belong, are Political Duties necessary to its very Being and Security, without which it must soon degenerate into a State of Licence and Anarchy. The Welfare, nay, the Nature of Civil Society, requires that there should be a Subordination of Orders, or Diversity of Ranks and Conditions in it;—that certain Men, or Orders of Men, be appointed to super-intend and manage such Affairs as concern the Public Safety and Happiness;—that all have their particular Provinces assigned them;—that such a Subordination be settled among them, as none of them may interfere with another;—and finally, that certain Rules, or common Measures of Action, be agreed on, by which each is to discharge his respective Duty to govern or be governed, and all may concur in securing the Order and promoting the Felicity of the whole Political Body. Those Rules of Action are the Laws of the Community, and those different Orders are the several Officers, or Magistrates, appointed by the Public to explain them, and super-intend or assist in their Execution. In consequence of this Settlement of Things, it is the Duty of each Individual to obey the Laws enacted, to submit to the Executors of them with all due Deference and Homage, according to their respective Ranks and Dignity, as to the Keepers of the Public Peace, and the Guardians of Public Liberty; to maintain his own Rank, and perform the Functions of his own Station with Diligence, Fidelity, and Incorruption. The Superiority of the higher Orders, or the Authority with which the State has invested them, entitle them, especially if they employ their Authority well, to the Obedience and Submission of the lower, and to a proportionable Honour and Respect from all. The Subordination of the lower Ranks claims Protection, Defence, and Security, from the higher. And the Laws, being superior to all, require the Obedience and Submission of all, being the last Resort, beyond which there is no Decision or Appeal.—Besides these natural and stated Subordinations in Society, there are others accidental and artificial, the Opulent and Indigent, the Great and the Vulgar, the Ingenious and Prudent, and those who are less so. The Opulent are to administer to the Necessities of the Indigent, and the Indigent to return the Fruits of their Labours to the Opulent. The Great ought to defend and patronize their Dependents and Inferiors, and They in their turn, to return their combined Strength and Assistance to the Great. The Prudent should improve the Ingenuities of the Mind for the Benefit of the Industrious, and the Industrious lend the Dexterities of their Strength for the Advantage of the Prudent.
Foundation of Public Spirit, Love of Liberty, &c.Public Spirit, Heroic Zeal, Love of Liberty, and the other Political Duties, do, above all others, recommend those who practise them to the Admiration and Homage of Mankind; because as they are the Offspring of the noblest Minds, so are they the Parents of the greatest Blessings to Society. Yet exalted as they are, it is only in equal and free Governments, where they can be exercised and have their due Effect. For there only does a true Public prevail, and there only is the Public Good made the Standard of the Civil Constitution. As the End of Society is the Common Interest and Welfare of the People associated, this End must, of necessity, be the Supreme Law or Common Standard, by which the particular Rules of Action of the several Members of the Society towards each other are to be regulated. But a common Interest can be no other than that which is the Result of the common Reason, or common Feelings of all. Private Men, or a particular Order of Men, have Interests and Feelings peculiar to themselves, and of which they may be good Judges; but these may be separate from, and often contrary to the Interests and Feelings of the rest of the Society; and therefore they can have no Right to make, and much less to impose, Laws on their Fellow-Citizens, inconsistent with, and opposite to those Interests and those Feelings. Therefore a Society, a Government, or real Public, truly worthy the Name, and not a Confederacy of Banditti, a Clan of lawless Savages, or a Band of Slaves under the Whip of a Master, must be such a one as consists of Freemen, chusing or consenting to Laws themselves; or, since it often happens that they cannot assemble and act in a Collective Body, delegating a sufficient Number of Representatives, i.e. such a Number as shall most fully comprehend, and most equally represent, their common Feelings and common Interests, to digest and vote Laws for the Conduct and Controul of the whole Body, the most agreeable to those common Feelings and common Interests.
Political Duties of every CitizenA Society thus constituted by common Reason, and formed on the Plan of a common Interest, becomes immediately an Object of public Attention, public Veneration, public Obedience, a public and inviolable Attachment, which ought neither to be seduced by Bribes, nor awed by Terrors; an Object, in fine, of all those extensive and important Duties which arise from so glorious a Confederacy. To watch over such a System; to contribute all he can to promote its Good by his Reason, his Ingenuity, his Strength, and every other Ability, whether Natural or Acquired; to resist, and, to the utmost of his Power, defeat every Incroachment upon it, whether carried on by secret Corruption, or open Violence; and to sacrifice his Ease, his Wealth, his Power, nay Life itself, and what is dearer still, his Family and Friends, to defend or save it, is the Duty, the Honour, the Interest, and the Happiness of every Citizen; it will make him venerable and beloved while he lives, be lamented and honoured if he falls in so glorious a Cause, and transmit his Name with immortal Renown to the latest Posterity.
Of the PeopleAs the People are the Fountain of Power and Authority, the original Seat of Majesty, the Authors of Laws, and the Creators of Officers to execute them; if they shall find the Power they have conferred abused by their Trustees, their Majesty violated by Tyranny, or by Usurpation, their Authority prostituted to support Violence, or screen Corruption, the Laws grown pernicious through Accidents unforeseen, or unavoidable, or rendered ineffectual thro’ the Infidelity and Corruption of the Executors of them; then it is their Right, and what is their Right is their Duty, to resume that delegated Power, and call their Trustees to an Account; to resist the Usurpation, and extirpate the Tyranny; to restore their sullied Majesty and prostituted Authority; to suspend, alter, or abrogate those Laws, and punish their unfaithful and corrupt Officers. Nor is it the Duty only of the united Body, but every Member of it ought, according to his respective Rank, Power, and Weight in the Community, to concur in advancing and supporting those glorious Designs.
Of BritonsThe Obligations of every Briton to fulfil the political Duties, receive a vast Accession of Strength, when he calls to mind of what a noble and well-balanced Constitution of Government he has the Honour to partake; a Constitution founded on common Reason, common Consent, and common Good; a Constitution of free and equal Laws, secured against arbitrary Will and popular Licence, by an admirable Temperament of the governing Powers, controuling and controuled by one another. How must every one who has tolerable Understanding to observe, or tolerable Honesty to acknowledge its happy Effects, venerate and love a Constitution, in which the Majesty of the People is, and has been frequently recognized; in which Kings are made and unmade by the Choice of the People; Laws enacted or annulled only by their own Consent, and for their own Good, in which none can be deprived of their Property, abridged of their Freedom, or forfeit their Lives, without an Appeal to the Laws, and the Verdict of their Peers or Equals; a Constitution, in fine, the Nurse of Heroes, the Parent of Liberty, the Patron of Learning and Arts, the Dominion of Laws, “the Pride of Britain, the Envy of her Neighbours, and their Sanctuary too!”—How dissolute and execrable must their Character and Conduct be, who, instead of sacrificing their Interest and Ambition, will not part with the least Degree of either, to preserve inviolate, and entail in full Vigour to their Posterity, such a glorious Constitution, the Labour of so many Ages, and Price of so much Blood and Treasure; but would chuse rather to sacrifice it, and all their own Independency, Freedom, and Dignity, to personal Power and hollow Grandeur, to any little Pageant of a King, who should prefer being the Master of Slaves to being the Guardian of Freemen, and consider himself as the Proprietor, not the Father of his People!—But Words cannot express the Selfishness and Servility of those Men; and as little the public and heroic Spirit of such, if any such there are, as have Virtue enough still left to stem the Torrent of Corruption, and guard our sacred Constitution against the Profligacy and Prostitution of the Corruptors and the Corrupted.
[6.]Hutcheson, Philosophiae moralis.
[7.]Lines 1149–53 from “Spring,” the third part of the epic poem The Seasons (London, 1726–30, revised 1744) by the Scottish poet James Thomson (1700–48). Fordyce has elided the third line (1151), “To pour the fresh instruction o’er the mind.”
[*] Vid. Hutches. Moral Instit. Phil. Lib. iii. Cap. 3. [Hutcheson, Philosophiae moralis.]
[*] See Chap. 3 of this Sect.
[*] See Book I. Sect. 2. & 4.
[*] See Butler’s excellent Serm. (9th) on this Subject. [“Upon Forgiveness of Injuries,” Butler, Fifteen Sermons.]
[*] Lord Bacon. [See, for example, Bacon’s De Augmentis, book 2, chapter 2.]