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Francis Hutcheson, An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense 
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense, ed. Aaron Garrett (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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Table of Contents
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), jointly with Francis Hutcheson’s earlier work Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725),1 presents one of the most original and wide-ranging moral philosophies of the eighteenth century. These two works, each comprising two semiautonomous treatises,2 were widely translated and vastly influential throughout the eighteenth century in England, continental Europe, and America.
The two works had their greatest impact in Scotland and influenced many well-known Scottish philosophers, particularly those writing after the last Jacobite upheaval, in 1745. This can be seen in the concern of the post-1745 generation with analyzing human nature as the foundation of moral theory, with the “moral sense” and moral epistemology more generally, with the impartial spectator and the calm passions, and with the independence of benevolence from self-interest. In addition to the influence of his writings, Hutcheson was also a famed teacher whose Glasgow students, notably Adam Smith, held sway over generations of Scottish moral philosophers.
Despite their impact on Scottish letters, the four treatises were in fact written in Dublin, and the philosophers to whom Hutcheson responded and with whom he debated were in the main not Scottish but English, Irish, French, Roman, and Greek. Consequently, part of Hutcheson’s legacy was a cosmopolitan outlook among enlightened Scots, who learned to turn their eyes far from home.
Hutcheson was born in 16943 in County Down, near Saintfield. His father and grandfather were respected Presbyterian ministers in the Scots emigrant community of Ulster. Unlike their brethren in Scotland, where the Presbyterian Kirk was the established church, the Irish Presbyterians were Dissenters. Like the English Dissenters, they were discriminated against by the Anglican state church, which considered them marginally less unsavory than Catholics.4 They were excluded from Trinity College, Dublin, as well as from Oxford and Cambridge, and, after 1704, they could not take public office.5 The major difference between Irish Presbyterians and English Dissenters was that the former had strong ties to Scotland, including the Scottish universities, especially Glasgow.
Irish Presbyterians were divided between traditionalists and more rationally inclined “New Light” ministers. John Hutcheson, Francis’s father, was a traditionalist who wrote the church’s response to the claims of “liberal” nonsubscribers. Francis associated with the nonsubscribing clergymen in Belfast and leaned toward the tolerationist theology of love that was associated with the New Light.6.
Hutcheson was schooled in classics in Ireland and moved to Glasgow in 1711 when the university was just recovering from a period of decline, thanks to the influence of some charismatic and theologically moderate teachers and of politically active Irish students who challenged the arbitrariness of university authority.7 Upon graduating, Hutcheson returned to Ireland to head a Dissenting Academy in Dublin, a major undertaking of the Ulster Kirk in which he appears to have prospered. Hutcheson associated with Robert Molesworth, a close friend of Shaftesbury and of radical intellectuals such as John Toland and Anthony Collins. In Ireland, Molesworth cultivated a circle of talented intellectuals who wrote in the Dublin Journal, notably Hutcheson’s friend James Arbuckle. Hutcheson was also in contact with open-minded Anglican intellectuals such as William King, the archbishop of Dublin. At the same time, Hutcheson no doubt felt the impact of the more bigoted world about him.
In intellectual circles, clubs, and, particularly, publications such as the Dublin Journal and the London Journal, provincial intellectuals flourished, fought, and exchanged ideas. Like Bayle’s Rotterdam, with its Huguenot diaspora, Hutcheson’s Dublin felt the weight of sectarian controversy and the tug of another country. In this context Hutcheson wrote his early masterpieces.
Treatise 1, the Inquiry on Beauty, is relatively independent of the Essay with Illustrations except that it presents the sense of the “beautiful” as a model for Hutcheson’s subsequent considerations of the “internal” senses. Treatise 2, however, is presupposed in the Essay with Illustrations (see the Preface). The first section of Treatise 2 considers the moral sense, and the validity and the importance of the arguments for it in Treatise 2 are assumed in Treatises 3 and 4.
Hutcheson’s basic premise—in both the Inquiry and the Essay—is that our immediate perceptions of the moral qualities of an action or a character are derived from a “sense,” like the external senses, that perceives external, adventitious qualities. To this end, Hutcheson argued that the content of a moral perception, the quality perceived, cannot be forced upon us. Moral perceptions are, like the perceptions of other senses, independent of the will.
As we cannot will the perception of something, for example, stimulated by a reward or punishment, our volitions either result from or are independent of our experience of moral qualities; they do not prompt them. This is the basis for Hutcheson’s argument against the view that morality arises from sanctions associated with Locke’s Essay and Pufendorf’s Law of Nature and Nations (although Hutcheson is at pains not to deny all influence of sanctions). On the same basis, Hutcheson argued that benevolence toward mankind is “disinterested”; we are capable of having benevolent sentiments toward those in whom we have no interest and whose “lovely disposition” our moral sense tells us to approve (T2 148).
Hutcheson’s best explanation of this moral sense was that nature determines us to apprehend moral qualities and that our apprehension is issued with a moral sense that approves of good moral qualities (T2 180). Our judgments are sometimes incorrect, but there is nevertheless a perceived quality of which we judge. When we perceive as benevolent someone who is in fact malicious, what we approve of is still the perceived benevolence. Thus, Hutcheson attempted to rest the approval of benevolence on our perceptions and, ultimately, on our natures.
Gilbert Burnet and John Clarke of Hull
The Essay with Illustrations followed the Inquiry by almost three years, during which time a number of acute thinkers criticized the Inquiry, and Hutcheson became widely known. The Essay with Illustrations is distinctive, therefore, both for its content and for the altered intellectual context. In 1725, Hutcheson entered into a debate in the London Journal with Gilbert Burnet concerning the newly published Inquiry—and this bore fruit in Treatise 4, the Illustrations. In the same year, John Clarke published an attack on the then-anonymous author of the Inquiry (along with criticisms of Samuel Clarke) and then communicated further comments to Hutcheson directly. The first section of Treatise 3, the Essay, is a response to John Clarke that sets the agenda for much that follows.
Gilbert Burnet (1690–1726) was the son of Bishop Gilbert Burnet of Salisbury (1643–1715), one of the best-known latitudinarian divines of the era, admired by Shaftesbury8 and many others. His son, Hutcheson’s correspondent, was chaplain to George I and a promising young churchman. John Clarke was master of the Hull grammar school when he entered into argument with Hutcheson. He was referred to as John Clarke of Hull to distinguish him from Samuel Clarke’s better-known nephew. Clarke of Hull was known in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries primarily for his popular Latin manuals, but he was also an able philosopher who produced two undervalued but significant works: An Examination of the Notion of Moral Good and Evil (1725) and The Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice Considered (1726).
In an enterprising piece of self-advertisement, Hutcheson published an anonymous letter, “To Britannicus,” in the London Journal, praising the Inquiry. Shortly afterward, Burnet responded skeptically: How do we know the moral sense is not erroneous or deceitful? Pleasure does not make it true; rather, reason does, and that is the proper internal or moral sense by which we judge. Once we know that a given act or quality is really good, then we take pleasure in its intrinsic moral qualities.
Hutcheson thus confronted moral rationalism of the sort presented by Samuel Clarke, who had argued that morality was found in the “fitnesses” of things. Obligations and duties flowed from eternal relations, ends, and offices forming a system as certain as mathematics and, like mathematics, discerned through reason.9
Hutcheson provided a bevy of arguments against Burnet and criticized the clarity and coherence of his terminology. One argument is particularly notable. Hutcheson took over Grotius’s distinction between exciting and justifying reasons, arguing that “Desires, Affections, Instincts, must be previous to all Exciting Reasons; and a Moral Sense antecedent to all Justifying Reasons.”10 Neither justifying reason nor exciting reason is adequate to the purposes to which Samuel Clarke and Burnet would put reason. For moral reasoning, “reasonableness,” is practical and has numerous ends. Some ends may be more “fit” and “rational” than others, but we recognize ends through our practical interests, and we distinguish among competing ends.
John Clarke’s The Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice was a criticism of Samuel Clarke and Hutcheson. Clarke of Hull was a hedonistic theist in the mold of the elder Locke and Pierre Bayle, who viewed sanction as the basic support of morality, in contrast with both Hutcheson and the moral rationalists. His central challenge to Hutcheson concerned self-love. Clarke claimed that Hutcheson’s arguments for the independence of benevolence from self-love were inadequate because they failed to recognize that “the Love of Benevolence is … a Desire or Inclination to do Good to others,” and “the Object and Cause of Desire is Pleasure alone, or the supposed Means of procuring it.”11 Although there is a profound natural connection between the happiness of a parent and the happiness of a child, and this connection is as “disinterested” as smelling a rose or tasting a peach, it is still pleasure that reinforces and spurs action in both cases. We may have different sorts of pleasures, some brutish and bad, such as the desire for esteem, and some delightful, such as eating a peach or seeking the good of a child, but this does not make them less pleasing. Their virtue must instead be related to the pain and pleasure of divine sanction.
In the Essay, Hutcheson attempted to untangle these difficulties while furnishing a consistent and convincing theory of the passions. The latter was formulated with reference to two of his predecessors, Bernard Mandeville and Shaftesbury.12 Mandeville had been publishing for twenty years, but only with the publication in 1723 of a much expanded edition of the Fable of the Bees did he become famous and controversial. It was on Hutcheson’s generation, therefore, that he had his greatest impact. Mandeville presented an infamous Epicurean theory of the passions based on a skeptical analysis of human nature: “I believe Man (besides Skin, Flesh, Bones, &c. that are obvious to the Eye) to be a compound of various Passions, that all of them, as they are provoked, and come uppermost, govern him by turns, whether he will or no.”13 The theory was directed against Shaftesbury, as a naively optimistic aristocrat with little understanding of the realities of human nature.
Shaftesbury also championed the diversity of human nature but diminished the importance of self-interest by promoting the social affections “and a thousand other springs, which are counter to self-interest, [and] have as considerable a part.”14 Following Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, Shaftesbury saw virtue, not as a Mandevillian artifice, but as a stoic harmony with man’s intrinsically passionate nature.
Mandeville emphasized the complexity of self-interest, the interconnectedness of vice and virtue, and the diversity and ubiquity of pleasure. Hutcheson’s reply to this, as to John Clarke’s hedonism, was a reprise of the argument that we cannot force a sentiment, even if the result is pleasing. If feeling a certain passion makes us happy, we might wish to feel it in order to be happy, but we cannot force ourselves to feel something in order to get a reward. Instead, we sense and desire, and then we may feel pleasure as a consequence of the desire. The idea that action implies pleasure is false moral psychology.
For Hutcheson, as for many early modern philosophers, the passions were central to ethics. The most unsavory passions and sentiments—bigotry, anger, and the desire to harm—are consequences of limited and “partial Views,” and they arise from emphasis on selfish interest and mistaken understandings of the public good (pp. 72, 75). Consequently, they are less present in the broader view and disappear in the universal view of the moral system. Limited views of human interest derive such validity as they have from their approximation to the most general view, the providential design of creation, and the prospect of the future state (p. 123). The general view reinforces the calm passions.
The progress of the sentiments accordingly leads us to reflection not only on the human system but also on its place in the universal system. Such reflection shows how many apparently negative features of human nature have their place—in moderation. By reflection on the universal “oeconomy,” we learn to regulate passions so as to be happy and to make others happy.
Hutcheson’s theory of the passions responded to John Clarke’s claim that his moral philosophy was based on poor psychology. Clarke forced Hutcheson to draw his account of desire and sentiment more precisely than he had in the Inquiry, and to show how it was linked with the moral sense. But, as noted previously, other issues were afoot. Burnet’s criticisms of Treatise 2 had brought out Hutcheson’s conflict with moral realism and the view that moral judgments are like other judgments insofar as they are only valid if true.
As noted, Hutcheson emphasized in Treatise 4.1 that this was a skirmish among those who accepted the moral sense, even if some parties were not aware of it! But Burnet was not the only writer of that stripe. In the opening chapters of the Illustrations, Hutcheson successively criticized Samuel Clarke and William Wollaston (1659–1724), employing two related strategies. First, he used Grotius’s distinction between exciting and justifying reasons to show the confusion in many rationalists’ invocation of reason. Hutcheson argued that there is “no exciting Reason previous to Affection” (pp. 139–40); what we take as exciting reasons to action and to active attitudes, such as desire and affection, either presupposes affections and desires or serves as mere justifying reasons.
Furthermore, moral reasoning is practical and particular and varies from agent to agent. Consequently, supposedly fixed and eternal reasons differ drastically according to how they are viewed by individuals, and judging what is reasonable in a given situation is difficult. Rather, moral ends and actions are fixed through a moral sense; they may be justified by reason but cannot be called forth by it.
Similar arguments were deployed against Samuel Clarke’s eternal moral relations and Wollaston’s “significancy of truth in actions.” Hutcheson attacked Samuel Clarke’s “fitnesses”—real, normative predispositions among beings—and argued that the theory was incoherent and failed to support the eternal moral relations that Clarke required. Clarke’s heart was in the right place, but that was because the “eternal relations” were perceived by his own moral sense.
William Wollaston argued in the Religion of Nature Delineated (1724; first printed privately in 1722) that actions have “significancy”; that is, they could be true or false. Any act that interferes with truth is morally wrong, and, conversely, any act in accordance with the truth is morally right. Therefore, there is a correspondence of the truth signified by actions and the morally right, and conversely the denial of truth and the morally wrong.
Hutcheson distinguished between logical and moral truths. Many logical truths and falsehoods are not moral truths and falsehoods. Notably, actions that unintentionally hinder truth are rarely considered evil; they may be logically but not morally false.15 False ideas often may result in moral evil, but they are evil not because of falsity but because we recognize them as evil through our moral sense.
The moral sense in parallel with the senses of beauty, honor, and imagination does not mean that Hutcheson saw morals as nothing but spontaneous reactions. Although we do not divine eternal moral relations in the fitnesses of things, we are capable of exact knowledge of natural law and civil laws, which constitute “the most useful Subject of Reasoning … as certain, invariable, or eternal Truths, as in any Geometry” (pp. 174/10, 216). But these “relations” arise from the nature of people in social interaction, not from eternal logical relations in abstraction from human nature. The absolute principles of the universal moral system are inaccessible to humanity, but we can gain more extensive views by exploring our nature and its place in a wider world.
In the final chapter of Illustrations, Hutcheson is concerned with balancing the importance of toleration with the need for belief in and love of God. Our love of God amplifies the social affections and reinforces benevolence. Consequently, the best signs of piety are social affections and public virtue, and we should not attempt further divination of the beliefs of others. Instead, we should broaden our views through reflection on the general moral system and thereby cultivate the calm passions. The Illustrations thus concludes with a “moderate” vision of humanity that connects the theory of the passions with Hutcheson’s later discussions in the System.16
Remarks Concerning the Editions
Three editions of the Essay with Ilustrations were printed during Hutcheson’s lifetime, with two variants of the first edition:
1aAn Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections. With Illustrations On the Moral Sense. By the Author of the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. London: Printed by J. Darby and T. Browne, for John Smith and William Bruce, Booksellers in Dublin; and sold by J. Osborn and T. Longman in Pater-Noster-Row, and S. Chandler in the Poultrey. M.DCC.XXVIII.
1bAn Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections. With Illustrations On the Moral Sense. London: Printed and Dublin re-printed by S. Powell for P. Crampton, at Addison’s Head, Opposite the Horse Guard in Dame’s-Street, and T. Benson, at Shakespear’s Head in Castle-Street, MDCCXXVIII.
2An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections. With Illustrations on the Moral Sense. By Francis Hutcheson, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow; and Author of the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. London: Printed for James and John Knapton, and John Crownfield in St. Paul’s Church-Yard; John Darby in Bartholomew-Close; Thomas Osborne Jun. At Greys Inn; and Lauton Gilliver in Fleetstreet. M.DCC.XXX.
3An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections. With Illustrations On the Moral Sense. The third edition, with Additions. London: Printed for A. Ward, J. and P. Knapton, T. Longman, S. Birt, C. Hitch, L. Gilliver, T. Astley, S. Austen, and J. Rivington. MDCCXLII.
There is some question about the order of appearance of 1a and 1b. Scott notes that 1b was advertised as having “the errors of the London Edition emended.”17 But 1a has fewer errors than 1b, which might seem according to Scott’s comment to make it the “emended” edition. Furthermore, 1a and not 1b was repackaged as the “second edition.” But 1b clearly reads, “London: printed and Dublin re-printed,” and according to Mautner, 1a is advertised in the London Journal as having been printed on January 13, 1728.18 Thus, unless 1b was printed in the first two weeks of January, which seems unlikely, 1b was an inferior edition that appeared after 1a.
1a and 1b appeared anonymously as penned by “the Author of the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue” (which did carry Hutcheson’s name). The second edition of 1730, which introduced Hutcheson’s name on the title page, is not an independent edition but rather 1a reprinted with Francis Hutcheson’s name on the title page. This was, it seems, the only revision. The authorship read in full, “Francis Hutcheson, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow; and Author of the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue.” The point of this reissue was probably to boost sales of both of Hutcheson’s works by means of his newly acquired academic distinction. He became a professor in Glasgow in 1730, and the third edition of the Inquiry (1729) had been published too early to make note of Hutcheson’s new standing.
The third edition of 1742 is a distinct and revised edition with many additions and emendations, mainly to the Illustrations. There were a number of posthumous editions of Essay with Illustrations. Jessop mentions a 1751 Dublin edition, a 1756 London fourth edition, and a 1772 Glasgow “3rd edition.”
Of the two extant variorum editions,19 Peach used a posthumous 1769 reprint of 3 as the copy text for his edition of the Illustrations.20 This is the best approach to the Illustrations when presented independently of the Essays. I have adopted 1a as the copy text for this edition of the entire Essay with Illustrations for a simple reason. It allows the reader to view the actual chronological alteration of the text: that is, how Hutcheson himself initially presented it and then altered it fourteen years later.
Turco’s excellent Italian edition uses internal citation to make the body of the text neutral to the specific edition.21 Unfortunately, that approach becomes far too unwieldy when noting punctuation changes. As Turco’s edition is a translation into Italian with textual apparatus, minute changes of punctuation go for the most part unremarked.
Why 1a and not 1b? Because 1a has fewer mistakes than 1b, is more common, and is the basis for 2 (more accurately, it is identical to 2, aside from a new title page). I have not noted any variations among 1a, 1b, and the “second edition,” as they have only bibliographic interest (and limited bibliographic interest at that), since Hutcheson appears to have had little or no hand in them. For the same reason, I have not noted variations found in posthumous editions.
Hutcheson made numerous alterations in the third edition, although the differences between the two editions are not as dramatic as one might expect, given the fourteen years between them. The significant varia are at the end of this text and are indicated by page and line number of the present volume. Hutcheson’s notes and my editorial notes are attached to the main body of the text, as is the pagination for 1a and 3 (1a appears in italic typeface; 3 appears in regular typeface).
The lengthiest emendations are found in the preface to the work and in the Illustrations; generally, these are subtractions from the preface and additions to the Illustrations. Many of the specific references to his contemporaries Joseph Butler, Jean Le Clerc, and John Clarke are trimmed from the preface in 3.
There are numerous other changes to the text, additions and subtractions of words, lines, and paragraphs, as well as countless modifications and alterations to punctuation, capitalization procedures, italics, and typeface. A number of footnotes were added to the later edition as well, including a diatribe against Hutcheson’s critic John Balguy. A sole reference to the New Testament is also added. There are even alterations in the marginal titles.
I have restricted my variorum to changes that could alter the sense of the text, although what could affect sense is a point of debate. I have noted all changes of wording and all changes of relevant punctuation. These are clearly the two most important types of textual varia. There are many varia, though, that have not been noted.
I have not noted most changes in capitalization, as there is little or no rhyme or reason to Hutcheson’s use of them. Although capitals are often used for emphasis in twentieth-century prose, they are not used with great consistency in earlier eighteenth-century English-language philosophical texts. Furthermore, capitalization was often a printer’s decision. The same holds for italics. I have noted very few changes in capitals and italics—only those that could possibly be construed as providing a change in emphasis. Readers are strongly cautioned, however, against reading too much into even those changes.
Among other variorum that have not been noted are the following:
Finally, I have corrected obvious printer’s errors (e.g., “deipise” for “despise”) and missing punctuation (e.g., a period missing at the end of a sentence), without remark. I have also substituted regular capitalization for the small caps used in the first word of every paragraph.[Back to Table of Contents]
A number of people and institutions have helped in producing this edition of Hutcheson’s Essay with Illustrations. As to institutions, special thanks are due Boston University, the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University, the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Liberty Fund and its unfailingly helpful staff, and the Australian National Cricket Team, which kept me awake through long nights of collation. As to people, James Moore has shown great generosity in helping me with my many queries about Hutcheson. He suggested Gershom Carmichael as the possible identity of the man of “real merit” in Glasgow (cf. p. 10, note x) and has aided in numerous other notes. Stephen Scully and Morgan Meis have suggested and corrected translations. I am also grateful to Bob Brown, Alfredo Ferrarin, Ian Hunter, Thomas Mautner, and Åsa Söderman.
Three people deserve very special thanks. First, Shelly Kroll labored with me over the proofs and caught many errors with her eagle eye. Second, I have benefited beyond measure from Luigi Turco’s masterly Italian edition of the Essay with Illustrations. Through his scholarship I have avoided many pitfalls, and most of the notes in my edition are indebted in one way or another to his far more copious and erudite discussions. In particular, he has identified all of Hutcheson’s classical sources. I refer to Turco in a few of my notes, when I am deriving a particular point from him, but his mark is on virtually everything in this volume. All readers who can read Italian and want to know more about the Essay with Illustrations are referred to his work. Finally, thanks to Knud Haakonssen, the editor of this series, who has helped with many notes, edited my prose, and been a constant support and resource. Without him this edition would not exist.
Nature and Conduct
Passions and Affections.
On the Moral Sense.
By the Author of the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue.
Hoc opus, hoc studium, parvi properemus, & ampli,Si Patriae volumus, si Nobis vivere chari. Hor.1
Printed by J. Darby and T. Browne, for John Smith and William Bruce, Booksellers in Dublin; and sold by J. Osborn and T. Longman in Pater-Noster-Row, and S. Chandler in the Poultrey.
M.DCC.XXVIII.[Back to Table of Contents]
[iii] Altho the main practical Principles, which are inculcated in this Treatise, have this Prejudice in their Favour, that they have been taught and propagated by the best of Men in all Ages, yet there is reason to fear that renewed Treatises upon Subjects so often well manag’d, may be look’d upon as superfluous; especially since little is offer’d upon them which has not often been well said before. But [iv] beside that general Consideration, that old Arguments may sometimes be set in such a Light by one, as will convince those who were not [iv] moved by them, even when better express’d by another; since, for every Class of Writers, there are Classes of Readers adapted, who cannot relish any thing higher: Besides this, I say, the very Novelty of a Book may procure a little Attention, from those who over‐look the Writings which the World has long enjoy’d. And if by Curiosity, or any other means, some few can be engag’d to turn their Thoughts to these important Subjects, about which a little Reflection will discover the Truth, and a thorow Consideration of it may occasion a great Increase of real Happiness; no Person need be asham’d of his Labours as useless, which do such Service to any of his Fellow‐Creatures.
[v] If any should look upon some Things in this Inquiry into the Passions, as too subtile for common Apprehension, and consequently not [v] necessary for the Instruction of Men in Morals, which are the common business of Mankind: Let them consider, that the Difficulty on these Subjects arises chiefly from some previous Notions, equally difficult at least, which have been already receiv’d, to the great Detriment of many a Natural Temper; since many have been discourag’d from all Attempts of cultivating kind generous Affections in themselves, by a previous Notion that there are no such Affections in Nature, and that all Pretence to them was only Dissimulation, Affectation, or at best some unnatural Enthusiasm. And farther, that to discover Truth on these Subjects, nothing more is necessary than a little Attention to what passes in our own Hearts, [vi] and consequently every Man may come to Certainty in these Points, without much Art or Knowledge of other Matters.
[vi] Whatever Confusion the Schoolmen introduced into Philosophy, some of their keenest Adversaries 2 seem to threaten it with a worse kind of Confusion, by attempting to take away some of the most immediate simple Perceptions, and to explain all Approbation, Condemnation, Pleasure and Pain, by some intricate Relations to the Perceptions of the External Senses. In like manner they have treated our Desires or Affections, making the most generous, kind and disinterested of them, to proceed from Self‐Love, by some subtle Trains of Reasoning, to which honest Hearts are often wholly Strangers.
[vii] Let this also still be remembred that the natural Dispositions of Mankind will operate regularly in those who never reflected upon them, nor form’d just Notions about them. [vii] Many are really virtuous who cannot explain what Virtue is. Some act a most generous disinterested Part in Life, who have been taught to account for all their Actions by Self‐Love, as their sole Spring. There have been very different and opposite Opinions in Opticks, contrary Accounts have been given of Hearing, voluntary Motion, Digestion, and other natural Actions. But the Powers themselves in reality perform their several Operations with sufficient Constancy and Uniformity, in Persons of good Health, whatever their Opinions be about them. In the same manner our moral Actions and Affections may be in good order, when our Opinions [viii] are quite wrong about them. True Opinions however, about both, may enable us to improve our natural Powers, and to rectify accidental Disorders incident unto them. And true Speculations on these Subjects must certainly [viii] be attended with as much Pleasure as any other Parts of Human Knowledge.
It may perhaps seem strange, that when in this Treatise Virtue is suppos’d disinterested; yet so much Pains is taken, by a Comparison of our several Pleasures, to prove the Pleasures of Virtue to be the greatest we are capable of, and that consequently it is our truest Interest to be virtuous. But let it be remember’d here, that tho there can be no Motives or Arguments suggested which can directly raise any ultimate Desire, such as that of our own Happiness, or publick Affections (as we attempt to prove in Treatise IV;) [ix] yet if both are natural Dispositions of our Minds, and nothing can stop the Operation of publick Affections but some selfish Interest, the only way to give publick Affections their full Force, and to make them prevalent [ix] in our Lives, must be to remove these Opinions of opposite Interests, and to shew a superior Interest on their side. If these Considerations be just and sufficiently attended to, a natural Disposition can scarce fail to exert it self to the full.
In this Essay on the Passions, the Proofs and Illustrations of a moral Sense, and Sense of Honour are not mention’d; because they are so, in the Inquiry into Moral Good and Evil, in the first and fifth Sections. Would Men reflect upon what they feel in themselves, all Proofs in such Matters would be needless.
[x] Some strange Love of Simplicity in the Structure of human Nature, [x] or Attachment to some favourite Hypothesis, has engag’d many Writers to pass over a great many Simple Perceptions, which we may find in our selves. We have got the Number Five fixed for our external Senses, tho Seven or Ten might as easily be defended. We have Multitudes of Perceptions which have no relation to any external Sensation; if by it we mean Perceptions, occasion’d by Motions or Impressions made on our Bodies, such as the Ideas of Number, Duration, Proportion, Virtue, Vice, Pleasures of Honour, of Congratulation; the Pains of Remorse, Shame, Sympathy, and many others. It were to be wish’d, that those who are at such Pains to prove a beloved Maxim, that “all Ideas arise from Sensation and Reflection,” had so explain’d [xi] themselves, that none should take their Meaning to be, that all our Ideas are either external Sensations, [xi] or reflex Acts upon external Sensations: Or if by Reflection they mean an inward Power of Perception, as I fancy they do, they had as carefully examin’d into the several kinds of internal Perceptions, as they have done into the external Sensations: that we might have seen whether the former be not as natural and necessary as the latter. Had they in like manner consider’d our Affections without a previous Notion, that they were all from Self‐Love, they might have felt an ultimate Desire of the Happiness of others as easily conceivable, and as certainly implanted in the human Breast, tho perhaps not so strong as Self‐Love.
The Author hopes this imperfect Essay will be favourably re[xii] ceiv’d, till some Person of greater Abilities [xii] and Leisure apply himself to a more strict Philosophical Inquiry into the various natural Principles or natural Dispositions of Mankind; from which perhaps a more exact Theory of Morals may be formed, than any which has yet appear’d: and hopes that this Attempt, to shew the fair side of the human Temper, may be of some little use towards this great End.
The principal Objections offer’d by Mr. Clarke of Hull, against the second Section of the second Treatise, occurr’d to the Author in Conversation, and had appriz’d him of the necessity of a farther illustration of disinterested Affections, in answer to his Scheme of deducing them from Self‐Love, which seem’d more ingenious than any which the Author of the Inquiry ever yet saw in print. He takes better from Mr. Clarke, all [xiii] other Parts of his Treatment, than the raising such an Outcry against him as injurious to Christianity,3 for Principles which some of the most zealous Christians have publickly maintain’d: He hopes Mr. Clarke will be satisfy’d upon this Point, as well as about the Scheme of disinterested Affections, by what is offer’d in the Treatise on the Passions, Sect. I. and designedly placed here, rather than in any distinct Reply, both to avoid the disagreeable Work of Answering or Remarking upon Books, wherein it is hard to keep off too keen and offensive Expressions; and also, that those who have had any of the former Editions of the Inquiry, might not be at a loss about any Illustrations or additional Proofs necessary to complete the Scheme.
The last Treatise had never seen the Light, had not some worthy [xiv] Gentlemen mistaken some things about the moral Sense alledg’d to be in Mankind:4 Their Objections gave Opportunity of farther Inquiry into the several Schemes of accounting for our moral Ideas, which some apprehend to be wholly different from, and independent on, that Sense which the Author attempts to establish. The following Papers attempt to shew, that all these Schemes must necessarily presuppose this moral Sense, and be resolv’d into it: Nor does the Author endeavour to over-turn them, or represent them as unnecessary Superstructures upon the Foundation of a moral Sense; tho what he has suggested will probably shew a considerable Confusion in some of the Terms [xiv] much used on these Subjects. One may easily see from the great variety of Terms, and diversity of Schemes invented, that all Men feel something in their own Hearts recommending Virtue, which [xv] yet it is difficult to explain. This Difficulty probably arises from our previous Notions of a small Number of Senses, so that we are unwilling to have recourse in our Theories to any more; and rather strain out some Explication of moral Ideas, with relation to some other natural Powers of Perception universally acknowledg’d. The like difficulty attends several other Perceptions, to the Reception of which Philosophers have not generally assigned their distinct Senses; such as natural Beauty, Harmony, the Perfection of Poetry, Architecture, Designing, and such like Affairs of Genius, Taste, or Fancy: The Explications or Theories on these Subjects [xv] are in like manner full of Confusion and Metaphor.
To define Virtue by agreeableness to this moral Sense, or describing it to be kind Affection, may [xvi] appear perhaps too uncertain; considering that the Sense of particular Persons is often depraved by Custom, Habits, false Opinions, Company: and that some particular kind Passions toward some Persons are really pernicious, and attended with very unkind Affections toward others, or at least with a Neglect of their Interests. We must therefore only assert in general, that “every one calls that Temper, or those Actions virtuous, which are approv’d by his own Sense;” and withal, that “abstracting from particular Habits or Prejudices, every one is so constituted as to approve every particular kind Affection toward any one, which argues no want of Affection toward others. And constantly to approve that Temper which desires, and those Actions which tend to procure the greatest Moment of Good in the Power of the Agent toward [xvii] the [xvi] most extensive System to which it can reach;” and consequently, that the Perfection of Virtue consists in “having the universal calm Benevolence, the prevalent Affection of the Mind, so as to limit and counteract not only the selfish Passions, but even the particular kind Affections.”
Our moral Sense shews this to be the highest Perfection of our Nature; what we may see to be the End or Design of such a Structure, and consequently what is requir’d of us by the Author of our Nature: and therefore if any one like these Descriptions better, he [xvii] may call Virtue, with many of the Antients, “Vita secundum naturam;”5 or “acting according to what we may see from the Constitution of our Nature, we were intended for by our Creator.”
[xviii] If this Moral Sense were once set in a convincing Light, those vain Shadows of Objections against a virtuous Life, in which some are wonderfully delighted, would soon vanish: alledging, that whatever we admire or honour in a moral Species, is the effect of Art, Education, Custom, Policy, or subtle Views of Interest; we should then acknowledge
’Tis true, a Power of Reasoning is natural to us; and we must own, that all Arts and Sciences which are well founded, and tend to direct our [xviii] Actions, are, if not to be called Natural, an Improvement upon our Nature: yet if Virtue be look’d upon as wholly Artificial, there are I know not what Suspicions against it; as if indeed [xix] it might tend to the greater Interest of large Bodies or Societies of Men, or to that of their Governors; whereas a private Person may better find his Interest, or enjoy greater Pleasures in the Practices counted vicious, especially if he has any Probability of Secrecy in them. These Suspicions must be entirely remov’d, if we have a moral Sense and publick Affections, whose Gratifications are constituted by Nature, our most intense and durable Pleasures.
I hope it is a good Omen of something still better on this Subject to be expected in the learned World, that Mr. Butler, in his Sermons at the Rolls Chapel, has done so much Justice to the wise and good Order of our Nature; that the Gentlemen, who have oppos’d some other Sentiments of the Author of the Inquiry, seem convinc’d of a moral [xx] Sense.7 Some of them have by a Mistake made a Compliment to the Author, which does not [xix] belong to him; as if the World were any way indebted to him for this Discovery. He has too often met with the Sensus Decori & Honesti,8 and with the Δύναμις αγαθοειδὴς, to assume any such thing to himself.
Some Letters in the London Journals, subscribed Philaretus,9 gave the first Occasion to the Fourth Treatise; the Answers given to them bore too visible Marks of the Hurry in which they were wrote, and therefore the Author declined to continue the Debate that way; chusing to send a private Letter to Philaretus, to desire a more private Correspondence on the Subject of our Debate. I have been since informed, that his Death disappointed my great Expectations from [xxi] so ingenious a Correspondent. The Objections proposed in the first Section of Treatise [xx] IV, are not always those of Philaretus, tho I have endeavour’d to leave no Objections of his unanswer’d; but I also interspersed whatever Objections occurr’d to me in Conversation on these Subjects. I hope I have not used any Expressions inconsistent with the high Regard I have for the Memory of so ingenious a Gentleman, and of such Distinction in the World.
The last Section of the Fourth Treatise, was occasion’d by a private Letter from a Person of the most real Merit, in Glasgow; representing to me some Sentiments not uncommon among good Men, which might prejudice them against any Scheme of Morals, not wholly founded upon Piety.10 This Point is, I hope, so treated, as to remove the Difficulty.
[xxii] The Deference due to a Person, who has appear’d so much in the learned World, as M. Le Clerc, would seem to require, that I should make some Defense against, or Submission to, the Remarks he makes in his Bibliotheque Ancienne & Moderne. But I cannot but conclude from his Abstract, especially from that of the last Section of the Inquiry, either that I don’t understand his French, or he my English, or that he has never read more than the Titles of some of the Sections: and if any one of the three be the Case, we are not fit for a Controversy.11
In the References, at bottom of Pages, the Inquiry into Beauty is called Treatise I. That into the Ideas of moral Good and Evil, is Treatise II. The Essay on the Passions, Treatise III. And the Illustrations on the moral Sense, Treatise IV.[Back to Table of Contents]
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions[Back to Table of Contents]
A general Account of our several Senses and Desires, Selfish or Publick
[1/1] The Nature of human Actions cannot be sufficiently understood without considering the Affections and Passions; or those Modifications, or Actions of the Mind consequent upon the Apprehension of certain Objects or Events, in which the Mind generally conceives Good or Evil.  In this Inquiry we need little Reasoning, or Argument, since Certainty is only  attainable by distinct Attention to what we are conscious happens in our Minds.
Art. I. “Objects, Actions, or Events obtain the Name of Good, or Evil, according as they are the Causes, or Occasions, mediately, or immediately, of a grateful, or ungrateful Perception to some sensitive Nature.” To understand therefore the several Kinds of Good, or Evil, we must apprehend the several Senses natural to us.
There seems to be some Sense or other suited to every sort of Objects which occurs to us, by which we receive either Pleasure, or Pain from a great part of them, as well as some Image, or Apprehension of them: Nay, sometimes our only Idea is a Perception of Pleasure, or Pain. The Pleasures or Pains perceived, are sometimes simple, without any other previous Idea, or any Image, or other concomitant Ideas, save those of Extension, or of Duration; one of which accompanies every Perception, whether of Sense, or inward Consciousness. Other Pleasures arise only upon some previous Idea, or Assemblage, or Comparison of Ideas. These Pleasures, presupposing previous Ideas, were called Perceptions of an internal  Sense, in a former  Treatise.* Thus Regularity and Uniformity in Figures, are no less grateful than Tastes, or Smells; the Harmony of Notes, is more grateful than simple Sounds.† In  like manner, Affections, Tempers,  Sentiments, or Actions, reflected upon in our selves, or observed in others, are the constant Occasions of agreeable or disagreeable Perceptions, which we call Approbation, or Dislike. These Moral Perceptions arise in us as necessarily as any other Sensations; nor can we alter, or stop them, while our previous Opinion or Apprehension of the Affection, Temper, or Intention of the Agent continues the same; any more than we can make the Taste of Wormwood sweet, or that of Honey bitter.
If we may call every Determination of our Minds to receive Ideas independently on our Will, and to have Perceptions of Pleasure and Pain,a Sense, we shall find many other Senses beside those commonly explained. Tho it is not easy to assign accurate Divisions on such Subjects, yet we may reduce them to the following Classes, leaving it to others to arrange them as they think convenient. A little Reflection will  shew that there are such Natural  Powers in the human Mind, in whatever Order we place them. In the 1st Class are the External Senses, universally known. In the 2d, the Pleasant Perceptions arising from regular, harmonious, uniform Objects; as also from Grandeur and Novelty. These we may call, after Mr. Addison, the Pleasures of the Imagination; 12 or we may call the Power of receiving them, an Internal Sense. Whoever dislikes this Name may substitute another. 3. The next Class of Perceptions we may call a Publick Sense, viz. “our Determination to be pleased with the Happiness of others, and to be uneasy at their Misery.” This is found in some degree in all Men, and was sometimes called Ḱοινονοημοσύνη or Sensus Communis13 by some of the Antients. 4. The fourth Class we may call the Moral  Sense, by which “we perceive Virtue, or Vice in our selves, or others.” This is plainly distinct from the former Class of Perceptions, since many are strongly affected with the Fortunes of others, who seldom reflect upon Virtue, or Vice in themselves, or others, as an Object: as we may find in Natural Affection, Compassion, Friendship, or even general Benevolence to Mankind, which connect our Happiness or Pleasure with that of others, even when we are not reflecting upon our own Temper, nor delighted with the Perception of our own Virtue. 5. The fifth  Class is a Sense of Honour, “which makes the Approbation, or Gratitude of others, for any good Actions we have done, the necessary occasion of Pleasure; and their Dislike, Condemnation, or Resentment of Injuries done by us, the occasion of that uneasy Sensation called Shame, even when we fear no further evil from them.”
There are perhaps other Perceptions distinct from all these Classes, such as some Ideas “of Decency, Dignity, Suitableness to human Nature in certain Actions and Circumstances; and of an Indecency, Meanness, and Unworthiness, in the contrary Actions or Circumstances, even without any conception of Moral Good, or Evil.” Thus the Pleasures of Sight, and Hearing, are more esteemed than those of Taste or  Touch: The Pursuits of the Pleasures of the Imagination, are more approved than those of simple external Sensations. Plato* accounts for this difference from a constant Opinion of Innocence in this sort of Pleasures, which would reduce this Perception to the Moral Sense. Others may imagine that the difference is not owing to any such Reflection upon their Innocence, but that there is a different sort of Perceptions in these cases, to be reckoned another Class of Sensations.
A like Division of our Desires. II. Desires arise in our Mind, from the Frame of our Nature, upon Apprehension of Good or Evil in Objects, Actions, or Events, to obtain for our selves or others the agreeable Sensation, when the Object or Event is good; or to prevent the uneasy Sensation, when it is evil. Our original Desires and Aversions may therefore be divided into five Classes, answering to the Classes of our Senses. 1. The Desire of sensual Pleasure, (by which we mean that of the external Senses); and Aversion to the opposite Pains. 2. The Desires of the Pleasures of Imagination or Internal Sense,† and Aversion to what is disagreeable to it. 3. Desires of the Pleasures arising from Publick Happiness, and Aversion to the Pains arising  from the Misery of others. 4. Desires of Virtue, and Aversion to Vice, according to the Notions we have of the Tendency of Actions to the Publick Advantage or Detriment. 5. Desires of Honour, and Aversion to Shame.*
The third Class of Publick Desires contains many very different sorts of Affections, all those which tend toward the Happiness of others, or the removal of Misery; such as those of Gratitude, Compassion,  Natural Affection, Friendship, or the more extensive calm Desire of the universal Good of all sensitive Natures, which our moral Sense approves as the Perfection of Virtue, even when it limits, and counteracts the narrower Attachments of Love.
Secondary Desires of Wealth and Power.Now since we are capable of Reflection, Memory, Observation, and Reasoning about the distant Tendencies of Objects and Actions, and not confined to things present, there must arise, in consequence of our original Desires, “secondary Desires of every thing imagined useful to gratify any of the primary Desires, with strength proportioned to the several original Desires, and the imagined Usefulness, or Necessity, of the advantageous Object.” Hence it is that as soon as we come to apprehend the Use of Wealth or Power to gratify any of our original Desires, we must also desire them. Hence arises the Universality of these Desires of Wealth and Power, since they are the Means of gratifying all other Desires. “How foolish then is the Inference, some would make, from the universal Prevalence of these Desires, that human Nature is wholly selfish, or that each one is only studious of his own Advantage; since Wealth or Power are as naturally fit to  gratify our Publick Desires, or to serve virtuous Purposes, as the selfish ones?”
 “How weak also are the Reasonings of some recluse Moralists, who condemn in general all Pursuits of Wealth or Power, as below a perfectly virtuous Character: since Wealth and Power are the most effectual Means, and the most powerful Instruments, even of the greatest Virtues, and most generous Actions?” The Pursuit of them is laudable, when the Intention is virtuous; and the neglect of them, when honourable Opportunities offer, is really a Weakness. This justifies the Poet’s Sentiments:
“Further, the Laws or Customs of a Country, the Humour of our Company may have made strange Associations of Ideas, so that some Objects, which of themselves are indifferent to any Sense, by reason of some additional grateful Idea, may become very desirable; or by like Addition of an ungrateful Idea may raise the strongest Aversion.” Thus many a Trifle, when once it is made a Badge of Honour, an Evidence of some generous Disposition, a Monument of  some great Action, may be impatiently pursued,  from our Desire of Honour. When any Circumstance, Dress, State, Posture is constituted as a Mark of Infamy, it may become in like manner the Object of Aversion, tho in itself most inoffensive to our Senses. If a certain way of Living, of receiving Company, of shewing Courtesy, is once received among those who are honoured; they who cannot bear the Expence of this may be made uneasy at their Condition, tho much freer from Trouble than that of higher Stations. Thus Dress, Retinue, Equipage, Furniture, Behaviour, and Diversions are made Matters of considerable Importance by additional Ideas.* Nor is it in vain that the wisest and greatest Men regard these things; for however it may concern them to break such Associations in their own Minds, yet, since the bulk of Mankind will retain them, they must comply with their Sentiments and Humours in things innocent, as they expect the publick Esteem, which is generally necessary to enable Men to serve the Publick.
The Uses of these Associations.Should any one be surprized at this Disposition in our Nature to associate any Ideas together for the future, which once presented themselves jointly, considering what  great Evils, and how much Corruption  of Affections is owing to it, it may help to account for this Part of our Constitution, to consider “that all our Language and much of our Memory depends upon it:” So that were there no such Associations made, we must lose the use of Words, and a great part of our Power of recollecting past Events; beside many other valuable Powers and Arts which depend upon them. Let it also be considered that it is much in our power by a vigorous Attention either to prevent these Associations, or by Abstraction to separate Ideas when it may be useful for us to do so.
Concerning our Pursuit of Honour, ’tis to be observ’d, that “since our Minds are incapable of retaining a great Diversity of Objects, the Novelty, or Singularity of any Object is enough to raise a particular Attention to it among many of equal Merit:” And therefore were Virtue universal among Men, yet, ’tis probable, the Attention of Observers would be turned chiefly toward those who distinguished themselves by some singular Ability, or by some Circumstance, which, however trifling in its own Nature, yet had some honourable Ideas commonly joined to it, such as Magnificence, Generosity, or the like. We should perhaps, when we considered sedately the  common Virtues of others,  equally love and esteem them:* And yet probably our Attention would be generally fixed to those who thus were distinguishedfrom the Multitude. Hence our natural Love of Honour, raises in us a Desire of Distinction, either by higher Degrees of Virtue; or, if we cannot easily or probably obtain it this way, we attempt it in an easier manner, by any Circumstance, which, thro’ a Confusion of Ideas, is reputed honourable.
This Desire of Distinction has great Influence on the Pleasures and Pains of Mankind, and makes them chuse things for their very Rarity, Difficulty, or Expence; by a confused Imagination that they evidence Generosity, Ability, or a finer Taste than ordinary; nay, often the merest Trifles are by these means ardently pursued. A Form of Dress, a foreign Dish, a Title, a Place, a Jewel; an useless Problem, a Criticism on an obsolete Word, the Origin of a Poetic Fable, the Situation of a razed Town, may employ many an Hour in tedious Labour:
Desires, selfish and publick.[13/13] Art. III. There is another Division of our Desires taken from the Persons for whose Advantage we pursue or shun any Object. “The Desires in which one intends or pursues what he apprehends advantageous to himself, we may call Selfish; and those in which we pursue what we apprehend advantageous to others, and do not apprehend advantageous to our selves, or do not pursue with this view, we may call Publick or Benevolent Desires.” If there be a just Foundation for this Division, it is more extensive than the former Division, since each of the former Classes may come under either Member of this Division, according as we are desiring any of the five sorts of Pleasures for our selves, or desiring them for others. The former Division may therefore be conceived as a Subdivision of the latter.
This Division has been disputed since Epicurus; who with his old Followers, and some of late, who detest other parts of his Scheme,16 maintain, “that all our Desires are selfish: or, that what every one intends or designs ultimately, in each Action, is the obtaining Pleasure to himself, or the avoiding his own private Pain.”*
[14/14] It requires a good deal of Subtilty to defend this Scheme, so seemingly opposite to Natural Affection, Friendship, Love of a Country, or Community, which many find very strong in their Breasts. The Defences and Schemes commonly offered, can scarce free the Sustainers of this Cause from manifest Absurdity and Affectation. But some do† acknowledge a publick Sense in many Instances; especially in natural Affection, and Compassion; by which “the Observation of the Happiness of others is made the necessary Occasion of Pleasure, and their Misery the Occasion of Pain to the Observer.” That this Sympathy with others is the Effect of the Constitution of our Nature, and not brought upon our selves by any Choice, with view to any selfish Advantage, they must own: whatever Advantage there may be in Sympathy with the Fortunate, none can be alledged in Sympathy with the Distressed: And every one feels that this publick Sense will not leave his Heart, upon a change of the Fortunes of his Child or Friend; nor does it depend upon a Man’s Choice, whether he will be affected with their Fortunes or not. But supposing this publick Sense, they insist, “That by means  of it there is a Conjunction of Interest: the  Happiness of others becomes the Means of private Pleasure to the Observer; and for this Reason, or with a View to this private Pleasure, he desires the Happiness of another.” Others deduce our Desire of the Happiness of others from Self‐love, in a less specious manner.
If a publick Sense be acknowledged in Men, by which the Happiness of one is made to depend upon that of others, independently of his Choice, this is indeed a strong Evidence of the Goodness of the Author of our Nature. But whether this Scheme does truly account for our Love of others, or for generous Offices, may be determined from the following Considerations; which being matters of internal Consciousness, every one can best satisfy himself by Attention, concerning their Truth and Certainty.
Let it be premised, that Desire is generally uneasy, or attended with an uneasy Sensation, which is something distinct from that uneasy Sensation arising from some Event or Object, the Prevention or Removal of which Sensation we are intending when the Object is apprehended as Evil; as this uneasy Sensation of Desire is obviously different from the pleasant Sensation, expected from the Object or Event [16 ] which we apprehend as Good. Then it is plain,
1. “That no Desire of any Event is excited by any view of removing the uneasy Sensation attending this Desire itself. ” Sensations which are previous to a Desire, or not connected with it, may excite Desire of any Event, apprehended necessary to procure or continue the Sensation if it be pleasant, or to remove it if it be uneasy: But the uneasy Sensation, accompanying and connected with the Desire itself, cannot be a Motive to that Desire which it presupposes. The Sensation accompanying Desire is generally uneasy, and consequently our Desire is never raised with a view to obtain or continue it; nor is the Desire raised with a view to remove this uneasy Sensation, for the Desire is raised previously to it. This holds concerning all Desire publick or private.
There is also a pleasant Sensation of Joy, attending the Gratification of any Desire, beside the Sensation received from the Object itself, which we directly intended. “But Desire does never arise from a View of obtaining that Sensation of Joy, connected with the Success or Gratification of Desire;  otherwise the strongest Desires might arise toward any Trifle, or an Event in all respects indifferent:  Since, if Desire arose from this View, the stronger the Desire were, the higher would be the Pleasure of Gratification; and therefore we might desire the turning of a Straw as violently as we do Wealth or Power.” This Expectation of the Pleasure of gratifiedDesire, would equally excite us to desire the Misery of others as their Happiness; since the Pleasure of Gratification might be obtained from both Events alike.
2. It is certain that, “that Desire of the Happiness of others which we account virtuous, is not directly excited by prospects of any secular Advantage, Wealth, Power, Pleasure of the external Senses, Reward from the Deity, or future Pleasures of Self‐Approbation.” To prove this let us consider, “That no Desire of any Event can arise immediately or directly from an Opinion in the Agent, that his having such a Desire will be the Means of private Good.” This Opinion would make us wish or desire to have that advantageous Desire or Affection; and would incline us to use any means in our power to raise that Affection: but no Affection or Desire is raised in us, directly by our volition or desiring it. That alone which raises in us from Self‐Love  the Desire of any Event, is an Opinion that that Event is the Means  of private Good. As soon as we form this Opinion, a Desire of the Event immediately arises: But if having the Desire or Affection be imagined the Means of private Good, and not the Existence of the Event desired, then from Self‐Love we should only desire or wish to have the Desire of that Event, and should not desire the Event itself, since the Event is not conceived as the Means of Good.
For instance, suppose God revealed to us that he would confer Happiness on us, if our Country were happy; then from Self‐Love we should have immediately the subordinate Desire of our Country’s Happiness, as the Means of our own. But were we assured that, whether our Country were happy or not, it should not affect our future Happiness; but that we should be rewarded, provided we desired the Happiness of our Country; our Self‐Love could never make us now desire the Happiness of our Country, since it is not now conceived as the Means of our Happiness, but is perfectly indifferent to it. The Means of our Happiness is the having a Desire of our Country’s Happiness; we should therefore from Self‐Love only wish to have this Desire.
 ’Tis true indeed in fact, that, because Benevolence is natural to us, a little Attention  to other Natures will raise in us good‐will towards them, whenever by any Opinions we are persuaded that there is no real Opposition of Interest. But had we no Affection distinct from Self‐Love, nothing could raise our Desire of the Happiness of others, but conceiving their Happiness as the Means of ours. An Opinion that our having kind Affections would be the Means of our private Happiness, would only make us desire to have those Affections. Now that Affections do not arise upon our wishing to have them, or our volition of raising them; as conceiving the Affections themselves to be the Means of private Good; is plain from this, that if they did thus arise, then a Bribe might raise any Desire toward any Event, or any Affection toward the most improper Object. We might be hired to love or hate any sort of Persons, to be angry, jealous, or compassionate, as we can be engaged into external Actions; which we all see to be absurd. Now those who alledg, that our Benevolence may arise from prospect of secular Advantage, Honour, Self‐Approbation, or future Rewards, must own, that these are either Motives only to external Actions, or Considerations, shewing, that having the Desire of the Happiness of others, would be the Means of private Good;  while the Event supposed to be desired, viz. the Happiness of others, is not  supposed the Means of any private Good. But the best Defenders of this part of the Scheme of Epicurus, acknowledge that “Desires are not raised by Volition.”
This Distinction Defended3. “There are in Men Desires of the Happiness of others, when they do not conceive this Happiness as the Means of obtaining any sort of Happiness to themselves.” Self‐Approbation, or Rewards from the Deity, might be the Ends, for obtaining which we might possibly desire or will from Self‐Love, to raise in our selves kind Affections; but we could not from Self‐Love desire the Happiness of others, but as conceiving it the Means of our own. Now ’tis certain that sometimes we may have this subordinate Desire of the Happiness of others, conceived as the Means of our own; as suppose one had laid a Wager upon the Happiness of a Person of such Veracity, that he would own sincerely whether he were happy or not; when Men are Partners in Stock, and share in Profit or Loss; when one hopes to succeed to, or some way to share in the Prosperity of another; or if the Deity had given such Threatnings, as they tell us Telamon gave his Sons when they went to War,17 that he would reward or punish one according as others were  happy or miserable: In such cases one might have this subordinate Desire  of another’s Happiness from Self‐Love. But as we are sure the Deity has not given such Comminations, so we often are conscious of the Desire of the Happiness of others, without any such Conception of it as the Means of our own; and are sensible that this subordinate Desire is not that virtuous Affection which we approve. The virtuous Benevolence must be an ultimate Desire, which would subsist without view to private Good. Such ultimate publick Desires we often feel, without any subordinate Desire of the same Event, as the Means of private Good. The subordinate may sometimes, nay often does concur with the ultimate; and then indeed the whole Moment of these conspiring Desires may be greater than that of either alone: But the subordinate alone is not that Affection which we approve as virtuous.
Benevolence is not the Desire of the Pleasures of the publick Sense.Art. IV. This will clear our way to answer the chief Difficulty: “May not our Benevolence be at least a Desire of the Happiness of others, as the Means of obtaining the Pleasures of the publick Sense, from the Contemplation of their Happiness? ” If it were so, it is very unaccountable that we should approve this subordinate Desire as virtuous, and yet not approve the like Desire upon a Wager, or other Considerations of Interest.  Both Desires proceed from Self‐Love in the same  manner: In the latter case the Desires might be extended to multitudes, if any one would wager so capriciously; and, by increasing the Sum wagered, the Motive of Interest might, with many Tempers, be made stronger than that from the Pleasures of the publick Sense.
Don’t we find that we often desire the Happiness of others without any such selfish Intention? How few have thought upon this part of our Constitution which we call a Publick Sense? Were it our only View, in Compassion to free our selves from the Pain of the publick Sense; should the Deity propose it to our Choice, either to obliterate all Ideas of the Person in Distress, but to continue him in Misery, or on the other hand to relieve him from it; should we not upon this Scheme be perfectly indifferent, and chuse the former as soon as the latter? Should the Deity assure us that we should be immediately annihilated, so that we should be incapable of either Pleasure or Pain, but that it should depend upon our Choice at our very Exit, whether our Children, our Friends, or our Country should be happy or miserable; should we not upon this Scheme be intirely indifferent? Or, if we should even desire the  pleasant Thought of their Happiness, in our last Moment, would not this Desire be the faintest imaginable?
 ’Tis true, our Publick Sense might be as acute at our Exit as ever; as a Man’s Taste of Meat or Drink might be as lively the instant before his Dissolution as in any part of his Life. But would any Man have as strong Desires of the Means of obtaining these Pleasures, only with a View to himself, when he was to perish the next Moment? Is it supposable that any Desire of the Means of private Pleasure can be as strong when we only expect to enjoy it a Minute, as when we expect the Continuance of it for many Years? And yet, ’tis certain, any good Man would as strongly desire at his Exit the Happiness of others, as in any part of his Life. We do not therefore desire it as the Means of private Pleasure.
Should any alledge, that this Desire of the Happiness of others, after our Exit, is from some confused Association of Ideas; as a Miser, who loves no body, might desire an Increase of Wealth at his Death; or as any one may have an Aversion to have his Body dissected, or made a Prey to Dogs after Death:  let any honest Heart try if the deepest Reflection will break this Association (if there be any) which is supposed to raise the Desire. The closest Reflection would be found rather to strengthen it.  How would any Spectator like the Temper of one thus rendered indifferent to all others at his own Exit, so that he would not even open his Mouth to procure Happiness to Posterity? Would we esteem it refined Wisdom, or a Perfection of Mind, and not rather the vilest Perverseness? ’Tis plain then we feel this ultimate Desire of the Happiness of others to be a most natural Instinct, which we also expect in others, and not the Effect of any confused Ideas.
The Occasion of the imagined Difficulty in conceiving distinterested Desires, has probably been attempting to define this simple Idea, Desire. It is called an uneasy Sensation in the absence ofGood.* Whereas Desire is as distinct from any Sensation, as the Will is from the Understanding or Senses. This every one must acknowledge, who speaks of desiring to remove Uneasiness or Pain.
We may perhaps find, that our Desires are so far from tending always toward private Good, that they are oftner employ’d about the State of others. Nay further, we may have a Propensity toward an Event, which we neither apprehend as the Means of private Good, or publick. Thus an Epicurean who denies a future State; or, one to  whom God revealed that he should be annihilated, might at his very Exit desire a future Fame, from which he expected no Pleasure to himself, nor intended any to others. Such Desires indeed no selfish Being, who had the modelling of his own Nature, would chuse to implant in itself. But since we have not this power, we must be content to be thus “befooled into a publick Interest against our Will;” as an ingenious Author expresses it.18
The Prospect of any Interest may be a Motive to us, to desire whatever we apprehend as the Means of obtaining it. Particularly, “if Rewards of any kind are proposed to those who have virtuous Affections, this would raise in us the Desire of having these Affections, and would incline us to use all means to raise them in our selves; particularly to turn our Attention to all those Qualities in the Deity, or our Fellows, which are naturally apt to raise the virtuous Affections.” Thus it is, that Interest of any kind may influence us indirectly to Virtue, and Rewards particularly may over‐ballance all Motives to Vice.
 This may let us see, that “the Sanctions of Rewards and Punishments, as proposed in the Gospel, are not rendered  useless or unnecessary, by supposing the virtuous Affection to be disinterested;” since such Motives of Interest, proposed and attended to, must incline every Person to desire to have virtuous Affections, and to turn his Attention to every thing which is naturally apt to raise them; and must overballance every other Motive of Interest, opposite to these Affections, which could incline Men to suppress or counteract them.[Back to Table of Contents]
Of the Affections and Passions: The natural Laws of pure Affection: The confused Sensations of the Passions, with their final Causes
Proper Affections are Desire and Aversion.[27/27] I. After the general account of Sensations, we may consider other Modifications of our Minds, consequent upon these Perceptions, whether grateful, or uneasy. The first which occur to any one are Desire of the grateful Perceptions, and Aversion to the uneasy, either for our selves or others. If we would confine the word Affection to these two, which are entirely distinct from all Sensation, and directly incline the Mind to Action or Volition of Motion, we should have no Debate about the Number or Division of Affections. But since, by universal Custom, this Name is applied to other Modifications of the Mind, such as Joy, Sorrow, Despair, we may consider what universal Distinction can be assigned between these Modifications, and the several Sensations abovementioned; and we shall scarce find any other than this, that we call “the direct immediate Perception of Pleasure or Pain from  the present  Object or Event, the Sensation:”Affection distinct from Passion. But we denote by the Affection or Passion some other “Perceptions of Pleasure or Pain, not directly raised by the Presence or Operation of the Event or Object, but by our Reflection upon, or Apprehension of their present or certainly future Existence; so that we are sure that the Object or Event will raise the direct Sensations in us.” In beholding a regular Building we have the Sensation of Beauty; but upon our apprehending our selves possessed of it, or that we can procure this pleasant Sensation when we please, we feel the Affection of Joy. When a Man has a Fit of the Gout, he has the painful Sensation; when he is not at present pained, yet apprehends a sudden return of it, he has the Affection of Sorrow, which might in some sense also be called a Sensation.
When the word Passion is imagined to denote any thing different from the Affections, it includes, beside the Desire or Aversion, beside the calm Joy upon apprehended Possession of Good, or Sorrow from the Loss of it, or from impending Evil, “a*confused Sensation either of Pleasure [29/29] or Pain, occasioned or attended by some violent bodily Motions, which keeps the Mind much employed upon the present Affair, to the exclusion of every thing else, and prolongs or strengthens the Affection sometimes to such a degree, as to prevent all deliberate Reasoning about our Conduct.”
General Desires, and particular Affections or Passions.II. We have little reason to imagine, that all other Agents have such confused Sensations accompanying their Desires as we often have. Let us abstract from them, and consider in what manner we should act upon the several Occasions which now excite our Passions, if we had none of these Sensations whence our Desires become passionate.
There is a Distinction to be observed on this Subject, between “the calm Desire of Good, and Aversion to Evil, either selfish or publick, as it appears to our Reason or Reflection; and the particular Passions towards Objects immediately presented to some Sense.” Thus nothing can be more distinct than the general calm Desire of private Good of any kind, which alone would incline us to pursue whatever Objects were apprehended as the Means of Good, and the particular selfish Passions, such as Ambition, Covetousness, Hunger, Lust, Revenge, Anger,  as they arise upon particular Occasions.  In like manner, our publick Desires may be distinguished into the general calm Desire of the Happiness of others, or Aversion to their Misery upon Reflection; and the particular Affections or Passions of Love, Congratulation, Compassion, natural Affection. These particular Affections are found in many Tempers, where, thro’ want of Reflection, the general calm Desires are not found: Nay, the former may be opposite to the latter, where they are found in the same Temper. We obtain Commandover the particular Passions, principally by strengthning the general Desires thro frequent Reflection, and making them habitual, so as to obtain Strength superior to the particular Passions.*
 Again, the calm public Desires may be considered as “they either regard the Good of particular Persons or Societies presented to our Senses; or that of some more abstracted or general Community, such as a Species or System.” This latter sort we may call universal calm Benevolence. Now ’tis plain, that not only particular kind Passions, but even calm particular Benevolence do not always arise from, or necessarily presuppose, the universal Benevolence; both the former may be found in Persons of little Reflection, where the latter is wanting: And the former two may  be opposite to the other, where they meet together in one Temper. So the universal Benevolence might be where there was neither of the former; as in any superior Nature or Angel, who had no particular Intercourse with any part of Mankind.
 Our moral Sense, tho it approves all particular kind Affection or Passion, as well as calm particular Benevolence abstractedly considered; yet it also approves the Restraint or Limitation of all particular Affections or Passions, by the calm universal Benevolence. To make this Desire prevalent above all particular Affections, is the only sure way to obtain constant Self‐Approbation.
The calm selfish Desires would determine any Agent to pursue every Object or Event, known either by Reason or prior Experience to be good to itself. We need not imagine any innate Idea of Good in general, of infinite Good, or of the greatest Aggregate: Much less need we suppose any actual Inclination toward any of these, as the Cause or Spring of all particular Desires. ’Tis enough to allow, “that we are capable by enlarging, or by Abstraction, of coming to these Ideas: That we must, by the Constitution of our Nature, desire any apprehended Good which occurs a‐part from any Evil:  That of two Objects inconsistent with each other, we shall desire that which seems to contain the greatest Moment of Good.” So that it cannot be pronounced concerning any finite Good, that it shall necessarily engage our Pursuit; since the Agent may possibly  have the Idea of a Greater, or see this to be inconsistent with some more valuable Object, or that it may bring upon him some prepollent Evil. The certain Knowledge of any of these Things, or probable Presumption of them, may stop the Pursuit of any finite Good. If this be any sort of Liberty, it must be allowed to be in Men, even by those who maintain “the Desire or Will to be necessarily determined by the prepollent Motive;” since this very Presumption may be a prepollent Motive, especially to those, who by frequent Attention make the Idea of the greatest Goodalways present to themselves on all important Occasions.
The same may easily be applied to our Aversion to finite Evils.
There seems to be this Degree of Liberty about the Understanding, that tho the highest Certainty or Demonstration does necessarily engage our Assent, yet we can suspend any absolute Conclusion from probable Arguments, until we examine whether this  apparent Probability be not opposite to Demonstration, or superior Probability on the other side.
This may let us see, that tho it were acknowledged that “Men are necessarily determined to pursue their own Happiness, and to be influenced by whatever Motive  appears to be prepollent;” yet they might be proper Subjects of a Law; since the very Sanctions of the Law, if they attend to them, may suggest a Motive prepollent to all others. In like manner, “Errors may be criminal,* where there are sufficient Data or Objective Evidence for the Truth;” since no Demonstration can lead to Error, and we can suspend our Assent to probable Arguments, till we have examined both Sides. Yet human Penalties concerning Opinions must be of little consequence, since no Penalty can supply the place of Argument, or Probability to engage our Assent, however they may as Motives determine our Election.
In the calm publick Desires, in like manner, where there are no opposite Desires, the greater Good of another is always preferred to the less: And in the calm  universal Benevolence, the Choice is determined by the Moment of the Good, and the Number of those who shall enjoy it.
When the publick Desires are opposite to the private, or seem to be so, that kind prevails which is stronger or more intense.
Definitions. III. The following Definitions of certain Words used on this Subject, may shorten our Expressions; and the Axioms subjoined may shew the manner of acting from calm Desire, with Analogy to the Laws of Motion.
Axioms, or general Laws.IV. Axioms, or natural Laws of calm Desire.
Action from pure Desire or Affection.V. If it be granted, that we have implanted in our Nature the several Desires above‐mentioned, let us next inquire “into  what State we would incline to bring our selves, upon the several Accidents which now raise our Passions; supposing that we had the Choice of our own State entirely, and were not, by the Frame of our Nature, subjected to certain Sensations, independently of our Volition.”
If it seems too rash to assert a Distinction between Affections and Passions, or that Desire may subsist without any uneasiness, since perhaps we are never conscious of any Desire absolutely free from all uneasiness; “let it be considered, that the simple Idea of Desire is different from that of Pain of any kind, or from any Sensation whatsoever: Nor is there any other Argument for their Identity than this, that they occur to us at once: But this Argument is inconclusive, otherwise  it would prove Colour and Figure to be the same, or Incision and Pain.”
There is a middle State of our Minds, when we are not in the pursuit of any important Good, nor know of any great Indigence of those we love. In this State, when any smaller positive Good to our selves or our Friend is apprehended to be in our power, we may resolutely desire and pursue it, without any considerable Sensation of Pain or Uneasiness. Some Tempers seem  to have as strong Desires as any, by the Constancy and Vigor of their Pursuits, either of publick or private Good; and yet give small Evidence of any uneasy Sensation. This is observable in some sedate Men, who seem no way inferior in Strength of Desire to others: Nay, if we consult our selves, and not the common Systems, we shall perhaps find, that “the noblest Desire in our Nature, that of universal Happiness, is generally calm, and wholly free from any confused uneasy Sensation:” except in some warm Tempers, who, by a lively Imagination, and frequent Attention to general Ideas, raise something of Passion even toward universal Nature.* Yea, further, Desire may be as strong as possible toward a certainly future  Event, the fixed Time of its Existence being also known, and yet we are not conscious of any Pain attending such Desires. But tho this should not be granted to be Fact with Men, yet the Difference of the Ideas of Desire and Pain, may give sufficient ground for abstracting them; and for our making the Supposition of their being separated.
Upon this Supposition then, when any Object was desired, if we found it difficult or uncertain to be obtained, but worthy of all the Labour it would cost; we would set  about it with Diligence, but would never chuse to bring upon our selves any painful Sensation accompanying our Desire, nor to increase our Toil by Anxiety. Whatever Satisfaction we had in our State before the Prospect of this additional Good, we should continue to enjoy it while this Good was in suspense; and if we found it unattainable, we should be just as we were before: And we should never [46 ] chuse to bring upon our selves those Frettings which now commonly arise from Disappointments. Upon Opinion of any impending Evil, we should desire and use all means to prevent it, but should never voluntarily bring upon our selves the uneasy Sensation of Fear, which now naturally anticipates our Misery, and gives us a Foretaste of it, more ungrateful sometimes than the Suffering itself. If the Evil did befal us, we should never chuse to increase it, by the Sensations of Sorrow or Despair; we should consider what was the Sum of Good remaining in our State, after subtracting this Evil; and should enjoy our selves as well as a Being, who had never known greater Good, nor enjoyed greater Pleasure, than the absolute Goodyet remaining with us; or perhaps we should pursue some other attainable Good. In the like manner, did our State and the Modifications of our Mind depend upon our Choice, should we be affected upon the apprehended Approach of Good or  Evil, to those whom we love; we should have desires of obtaining the one for them, and of defending them from the other, accompanied with no uneasy Sensations. We do indeed find in fact, that our stronger Desires, whether private or publick, are accompanied with uneasy Sensations; but these Sensations do not seem the necessary Result of the Desire itself: They depend upon the present Constitution of our Nature, which might possibly have been otherwise ordered. And in fact we find a considerable Diversity of Tempers in this matter; some sedate Tempers equally desiring either publick or private Good with the more passionate Tempers; but without that Degree of Ferment, Confusion, and Pain, which attend the same Desires in the Passionate.
 According to the present Constitution of our Nature, we find that the Modifications or Passions of our Mind, are very different from those which we would chuse to bring upon our selves, upon their several Occasions. The Prospect of any considerable Good for our selves, or those we love, raises Desire; and this Desire is accompanied with uneasy confused Sensations, which often occasion Fretfulness, Anxiety, and Impatience. We find violent Motions in our Bodies; and are often made unfit for serious Deliberation about the Means of obtaining  the Good desired. When it is first obtained, we find violent confused Sensations of Joy, beyond the Proportion of the Good itself, or its Moment to our Happiness. If we are disappointed, we feel a Sensation of Sorrow and Dejection, which is often entirely useless to our present State. Foreseen Evils are antedated by painful Sensations of Fear; and Reflection, attended with Sensations of Sorrow, gives a tedious Existence to transitory Misfortunes. Our publick Desires are in the same manner accompanied with painful Sensations. The Presence or Suspence of Good or Evil to others, is made the Occasion of the like confused Sensations. A little Reflection will shew, that none of these Sensations depend upon our Choice, but arise from the very Frame [48 ] of our Nature, however we may regulate or moderate them.
The Necessity for these Sensations.VI. Let us then examine “for what Purpose our Nature was so constituted, that Sensations do thus necessarily arise in us.” Would not those first sorts of Sensations, by which we apprehend Good and Evil in the Objects themselves, have been sufficient, along with our Reason and pure Desires, without those Sensations attending the very Desires themselves, for which they are called Passions, or those Sensations which  attend our Reflection upon the Presence, Absence, or Approach of Good or Evil?
The common Answer, that “they are given to us as useful Incitements or Spurs to Action, by which we are roused more effectually to promote our private Good, or that of the Publick,” is too general and undetermined. What need is there for rousing us to Action, more than a calm pure Desire of Good, and Aversion to Evil would do, without these confused Sensations? Say they, “we are averse to Labour; we are apt to be hurried away by Avocations of Curiosity or Mirth; we are often so indolent and averse to the vigorous Use of our Powers, that we should neglect our true Interest without these solliciting  Sensations.” But may it not be answered, that if Labour and vigorous Use of our Powers be attended with Uneasiness or Pain, why should not this be brought into the Account? The Pursuit of a small Good by great Toil is really foolish; violent Labour may be as pernicious as any thing else: Why should we be excited to any uneasy Labour, except for prepollent Good? And, when the Good is prepollent, what need of any further Incitement than the calm Desire of it? The same may be said of the Avocations of Curiosity or Mirth; if their absolute Pleasures be greater than  that of the good from which they divert us, why should we not be diverted from it? If not, then the real Moment of the Good proposed is sufficient to engage our Pursuit of it, in Opposition to our Curiosity or Mirth.
If indeed our Aversion to Labour, or our Propensity to Mirth be accompanied with these Sensations, then it was necessary that other Desires should be attended with like Sensations, that so a Ballance might be preserved. So if we have confused Sensation strengthning and fixing our private Desires, the like Sensation joined to publick Affections is necessary, lest the former Desires should wholly engross our Minds: If weight be cast into one Scale, as much must be put into the other to preserve  an Equilibrium. But the first Question is, “whence arose the Necessity of such additional Incitements on either side?”
It must be very difficult for Beings of such imperfect Knowledge as we are, to answer such Questions: we know very little of the Constitution of Nature, or what may be necessary for the Perfection of the whole. The Author of Nature has probably formed many active Beings, whose Desires are not attended with confused Sensations, raising them into Passions like to ours. There is probably an infinite Variety of Beings, of all possible Degrees, in which the Sum of Happiness exceeds that of Misery. We know that our State is absolutely Good, notwithstanding a considerable Mixture of Evil. The Goodness of the great Author of Nature appears even in producing the inferior Natures, provided their State in the whole be absolutely Good: Since we may probably conclude,* that there are in the Universe as many Species of superior Natures, as was consistent with the most perfect State of the whole. This is the Thought so much insisted upon by Simplicius, that the universal  Cause must produce τα μέσα, as well as τα πρω̑τα, και τα ἔσχατα. We know not if this Globe be a fit Place for the Habitation of Natures superior to ours: If not, it must certainly be in the whole better that it should have its imperfect  Inhabitants, whose State is absolutely Good, than that it should be desolate.
All then which we can expect to do in this Matter, is only to shew, that “these confused Sensations are necessary to such Natures as we are in other respects: Particularly that Beings of such Degrees of Understanding, and such Avenues to Knowledge as we have, must need these additional Forces, which we call Passions, beside the first Sensations by which Objects are constituted Good or Evil, and the pure Desire or Aversion arising from Opinion or Apprehension of Good or Evil.”
From the Imperfection of our Understanding, which required Sensations of Appetite. Now our Reason, or Knowledge of the Relations of external Things to our Bodies, is so inconsiderable, that it is generally some pleasant Sensation which teaches us what tends to their Preservation; and some painful Sensation which shews what is pernicious. Nor is this Instruction sufficient; we need also to be directed when our Bodies want supplies of Nourishment; to this our Reason could not extend: Here then  appears the first Necessity of uneasy Sensation, preceding Desire, and continuing to accompany it when it is raised.
 Again, our Bodies could not be preserved without a Sense of Pain, connected with Incisions, Bruises, or violent Labour, or whatever else tends to destroy any part of their Mechanism; since our Knowledge does not extend so far, as to judge in time what would be pernicious to it: And yet, without a great deal of human Labour, and many Dangers, this Earth could not support the tenth Part of its Inhabitants. Our Nature therefore required a Sensation, accompanying its Desires of the Means of Preservation, capable to surmount the Uneasiness of Labour: this we have in the Pains or Uneasiness accompanying the Desires of Food.
In like manner, the Propagation of Animals is a Mystery to their Reason, but easy to their Instinct. An Offspring of such Creatures as Men are, could not be preserved without perpetual Labour and Care; which we find could not be expected from the more general Ties of Benevolence. Here then again appears the Necessity of strengthning the Στοργὴ, or natural Affection, with strong Sensations, or Pains of Desire, sufficient to counter‐ballance the Pains of Labour, and the Sensations of the  selfish Appetites; since Parents must often check and  disappoint their own Appetites, to gratify those of their Children.
“When a Necessity of joining strong Sensations to one Class of Desires appears, there must appear a like Necessity of strengthning the rest by like Sensations, to keep a just Ballance.” We know, for instance, that the Pleasures of the Imagination tend much to the Happiness of Mankind: the Desires of them therefore must have the like Sensations assisting them, to prevent our indulging a nasty solitary Luxury. The Happiness of human Life cannot be promoted without Society and mutual Aid, even beyond a Family; our publick Affections must therefore be strengthned as well as the private, to keep a Ballance; so must also our Desires of Virtue and Honour. Anger, which some have thought an useless Passion, is really as necessary as the rest; since Men’s Interests often seem to interfere with each other; and they are thereby led from Self‐Love to do the worst Injuries to their Fellows. There could not therefore be a wiser Contrivance to restrain Injuries, than to make every mortal some way formidable to an unjust Invader, by such a violent Passion. We need not have recourse to a Prometheus in this matter, with the old Poets:  they might have ascribed it to their Optimus Maximus.19
A Ballance may be still preserved.VII. With this Ballance of publick Passions against the private, with our Passions toward Honour and Virtue, we find that human Nature may be as really amiable in its low Sphere, as superior Natures endowed with higher Reason, and influenced only by pure Desires; provided we vigorously exercise the Powers we have in keeping this Ballance of Affections, and checking any Passion which grows so violent, as to be inconsistent with the publick Good. If we have selfish Passions for our own Preservation, we have also publick Passions, which may engage us into vigorous and laborious Services to Offspring, Friends, Communities, Countries. Compassion will engage us to succour the distressed, even with our private Loss or Danger. An Abhorrence of the injurious, and Love toward the injured, with a Sense of Virtue, and Honour, can make us despise Labour, Expence, Wounds and Death.
The Sensations of Joy or Sorrow, upon the Success or Disappointment of any Pursuit, either publick or private, have directly the Effect of Rewards or Punishments,  to excite us to act with the utmost Vigor, either for our own Advantage, or that of  others, for the future, and to punish past Negligence. The Moment of every Event is thereby increased: as much as the Sensations of Sorrow add to our Misery, so much those of Joy add to our Happiness. Nay, since we have some considerable Power over our Desires, as shall be explained hereafter, we may probably, by good Conduct, obtain more frequent Pleasures of Joy upon our Success, than Pains of Sorrow upon Disappointment.
A just Balance very rare.’Tis true indeed, that there are few Tempers to be found, wherein these Sensations of the several Passions are in such a Ballance, as in all cases to leave the Mind in a proper State, for considering the Importance of every Action or Event. The Sensations of Anger in some Tempers are violent above their proportion; those of Ambition, Avarice, desire of sensual Pleasure, and even of natural Affection, in several Dispositions, possess the Mind too much, and make it incapable of attending to any thing else. Scarce any one Temper is always constant and uniform in its Passions. The best State of human Nature possible might require a Diversity of Passions and Inclinations, for the different Occupations necessary for the whole: But the Disorder seems to be much greater than is  requisite for this End. Custom, Education, Habits, and Company, may  often contribute much to this Disorder, however its Original may be ascribed to some more universal Cause. But it is not so great, but that human Life is still a desireable State, having a superiority of Goodness and Happiness. Nor, if we apply our selves to it, does it hinder us from discerning that just Ballance and Oeconomy, which would constitute the most happy State of each Person, and promote the greatest Good in the whole.
Dispositions to some particular Passions.Let Physicians or Anatomists explain the several Motions in the Fluids or Solids of the Body, which accompany any Passion; or the Temperaments of Body which either make Men prone to any Passion, or are brought upon us by the long Continuance, or frequent Returns of it. ’Tis only to our Purpose in general to observe, “that probably certain Motions in the Body do accompany every Passion by a fixed Law of Nature; and alternately, that Temperament which is apt to receive or prolong these Motions in the Body, does influence our Passions to heighten or prolong them.” Thus a certain Temperament may be brought upon the Body, by its being frequently put into Motion by the Passions of Anger, Joy, Love, or Sorrow; and the Continuance of this Temperament shall make Men prone to the several  Passions for the future. We find  our selves after a long Fit of Anger or Sorrow, in an uneasy State, even when we are not reflecting on the particular Occasion of our Passion. During this State, every trifle shall be apt to provoke or deject us. On the contrary, after good Success, after strong friendly Passions, or a State of Mirth, some considerable Injuries or Losses, which at other times would have affected us very much, shall be overlooked, or meekly received, or at most but slightly resented; perhaps because our Bodies are not fit easily to receive these Motions which are constituted the Occasion of the uneasy Sensations of Anger. This Diversity of Temper every one has felt, who reflects on himself at different Times. In some Tempers it will appear like Madness. Whether the only Seat of these Habits, or the Occasion rather of these Dispositions, be in the Body; or whether the Soul itself does not, by frequent Returns of any Passion acquire some greater Disposition to receive and retain it again, let those determine, who sufficiently understand the Nature of either the one or the other.[Back to Table of Contents]
Particular Divisions of the Affections and Passions.
[58/59] I. The Nature of any Language has considerable Influence upon Men’s Reasonings on all Subjects, making them often take all those Ideas which are denoted by the same Word to be the same; and on the other hand, to look upon different Words as denoting different Ideas. We shall find that this Identity of Names has occasioned much confusion in Treatises of the Passions; while some have made larger, and some smaller Collections of Names, and have given the Explications of them as an Account of the Passions.
The Division of the Stoicks.Cicero, in the Fourth Book of Tusculan Questions,21 gives from the Stoicks, this general Division of the Passions: First, into Love and Hatred, according as the Object is good or evil; and then subdivides each, according as the Object is present or expected. About Good we have these two, Libido & Latitia, Desire and Joy: About Evil we have likewise two, Metus & Ægritudo, Fear and Sorrow. To this general Division he  subjoins many  Subdivisions of each of these four Passions; according as in the Latin Tongue they had different Names for the several Degrees of these Passions, or for the same Passion employed upon different Objects. A Writer of Lexicons would probably get the most precise Meanings of the Latin Names in that Book; nor would it be useless in considering the Nature of them.
The Schoolmen, as their Fund of Language was much smaller, have not so full Enumerations of them, going no further than their admired Aristotle.
’Tis strange that the thoughtful Malebranche did not consider, that “Desire and Aversion are obviously different from the other Modifications called Passions; that these two directly lead to Action, or the Volition of Motion, and are wholly distinct from all sort of Sensation.” Whereas Joy and Sorrow are only a sort of Sensations; and other Affections differ from Sensations only, by including Desire or Aversion, or their correspondent Propensities: So that Desire and Aversion are the only pure Affections in the strictest Sense.
Sensation and Affection distinct.If, indeed, we confine the Word Sensation to the “immediate Perceptions of  Pleasure and Pain, upon the very Presence  or Operation of any Object or Event, which are occasioned by some Impression on our Bodies;” then we may denote by the Word Affection, those Pleasures or Pains not thus excited, but “resulting from some Reflection upon, or Opinion of our Possession of any Advantage, or from a certain Prospect of future pleasant Sensations on the one hand, or from a like Reflection or Prospect of evil or painful Sensations on the other, either to our selves or others.”*
Passion.When more violent confused Sensations arise with the Affection, and are attended with, or prolonged by bodily Motions, we call the whole by the Name of Passion, especially when accompanied with some natural Propensities, to be hereafter explained.
Division by Malebranche.If this use of these Words be allowed, the Division of Malebranche is very natural. Good Objects excite Love; evil Objects Hatred: each of these is subdivided, as the Object is present and certain, or doubtfully expected, or certainly removed. To these three Circumstances correspond three Modifications of the original Affections; viz. Joy, Desire and Sorrow. Good present, raises Joy of Love, or Love of Joy: Good in suspense,  the Love of Desire; Good lost, Love of Sorrow. Evil  present, raises Aversion of Sorrow; Evil expected, Aversion or Hatred of Desire; and Evil removed, Aversion of Joy. The Joy of Love, and the Joy of Hatred, will possibly be found nearly the same sort of Sensations, tho upon different Occasions; the same may be said of the Sorrow of Aversion: and thus this Division will amount to the same with that of the Stoicks.22
Desire and Aversion. Joy and Sorrow.Perhaps it may be more easy to conceive our Affections and Passions in this manner. The Apprehension of Good, either to our selves or others, as attainable, raises Desire: The like Apprehension of Evil, or of the Loss of Good, raises Aversion, or Desire of removing or preventing it. These two are the proper Affections, distinct from all Sensation: We may call both Desires if we please. The Reflection upon the Presence or certain Futurity of any Good, raises the Sensation of Joy, which is distinct from those immediate Sensations which arise from the Object itself.* A like Sensation is raised, when we reflect upon the Removal or Prevention of Evil which once threatned our selves or others. The Reflection upon the Presence of Evil, or the certain Prospect  of it, or of the Loss of Good, is the Occasion of the Sensation of Sorrow, distinct from  those immediate Sensations arising from the Objects or Events themselves.
Affections may be distinguished from Passions.These Affections, viz. Desire, Aversion, Joy and Sorrow, we may, after Malebranche, call spiritual or pure Affections; because the purest Spirit, were it subject to any Evil, might be capable of them. But beside these Affections, which seem to arise necessarily from a rational Apprehension of Good or Evil, there are in our Nature violent confused Sensations, connected with bodily Motions, from which our Affections are denominated Passions.
Affections attended with undesigning Propensities. Anger.We may further observe something in our Nature, determining us very frequently to Action, distinct both from Sensation and Desire; if by Desire we mean a distinct Inclination to something apprehended as Good either publick or private, or as the Means of avoiding Evil: viz. a certain Propensity of Instinct to Objects and Actions, without any Conception of them as Good, or as the Means of preventing Evil. These Objects or Actions are generally, tho not always, in effect the Means of some Good; but we are determined to them even without this Conception of them. Thus, as we  observed above,† the Propensity to Fame  may continue after one has lost all notion of Good, either publick or private, which could be the Object of a distinct Desire. Our particular Affections have generally some of these Propensities accompanying them; but these Propensities are sometimes without the Affections or distinct Desires, and have a stronger Influence upon the Generality of Men, than the Affections could have alone. Thus in Anger, beside the Intention of removing the uneasy Sensation from the Injury received; beside the Desire of obtaining a Reparation of it, and Security for the future, which are some sort of Goods intended by Men when they are calm, as well as during the Passion, there is in the passionate Person a Propensity to occasion Misery to the Offender, a Determination to Violence, even where there is no Intention of any Good to be obtained, or Evil avoided by this Violence. And ’tis principally this Propensity which we denote by the Name Anger, tho other Desires often accompany it.
So also our Presence with the distressed is generally necessary to their relief; and yet when we have no Hopes nor Intention of relieving them, we shall find a Propensity to  run to such Spectacles of Pity. Thus also, beside the calm Desire of the Happiness of a Person beloved, we have a strong Propensity to their Company, to the very  Sight of them, without any Consideration of it as a Happiness either to our selves or to the Person beloved. The sudden Appearance of great Danger, determines us to shriek out or fly, before we can have any distinct Desires, or any Consideration that a Shriek or Flight are proper means of Relief. These Propensities, along with the Sensations above-mentioned, when they occur without rational Desire, we may call Passions, and when they happen along with Desires, denominate them passionate. This part of our Constitution is as intelligible as many others universally observed and acknowledged; such as these, that Danger of falling makes us stretch out our Arms; noise makes us wink; that a Child is determined to suck; many other Animals to rise up and walk; some to run into Water, before they can have any Notion of Good to be obtained, or Evil avoided by these means.
Love and Hatred. Envy.It may perhaps be convenient to confine Love and Hatredto our Sentiments toward Moral Agents; Love denoting “Desire of the Happiness of another, generally attended with some Approbation of him as innocent at least, or being of a mixed  Character, where Good is generally prevalent:” And Hatred“denoting Disapprobation by our Sense, with the Absence of Desire of their  Happiness.” Benevolence may denote only “the Desire of another’s Happiness;” and Malice, “the Desire of their Misery,” abstractly from any Approbation or Condemnation by our Moral Sense. This sort of Malice is never found in our Nature, when we are not transported with Passion. The Propensities of Anger and Envy have some Resemblance of it; yet Envy is not an ultimate Desire of another’s Misery, but only a subordinate Desire of it, as the Means of advancing our selves, or some Person more beloved than the Person envied.
Fear. Hope.Fear, as far as it is an Affection, and not an undesigning Propensity, is “a Mixture of Sorrow and Aversion, when we apprehend the Probability of Evil, or the Loss of Good befalling our selves, or those we love:” There is more or less of Sorrow, according to the apprehended Degrees of Probability. Hope, if it be any way an Affection, and not an Opinion, is “a Mixture of Desire and Joy, upon the probability of obtaining Good, and avoiding Evil.” Both these Passions may have some Propensities and Sensations attending them, distinct from those of the other Affections.
Confused Use of Names, The confused Use of the Names, Love, Hatred, Joy, Sorrow, Delight, has made [66 ] some of the most important Distinctions of our Affections and Passions, to be overlooked. No Modifications of Mind can be more different from each other, than a private Desire, and a publick; yet both are called Love. The Love of Money, for Instance, the Love of a generous Character, or a Friend: The Love of a fine Seat, and the Love of a Child. In like manner, what can be more different than the Sorrow for a Loss befallen our selves, and Sorrow for the Death of a Friend? Of this Men must convince themselves by Reflection.
There is also a considerable Difference even among the selfish Passions, which bear the same general Name, according to the different Senses which constitute the Objects good or evil. Thus the Desire of Honour, and the Desire of Wealth, are certainly very different sorts of Affections, and accompanied with different Sensations: The Sorrow in like manner for our Loss by a Shipwreck, and our Sorrow for having done a base Action, or Remorse: Sorrow for our being subject to the Gout or Stone, and Sorrow for our being despisedand condemned, or Shame: Sorrow for the Damage done by a Fire, and that Sorrow which arises upon an  apprehended Injury from a Partner, or any other of our Fellows, which we call Anger. Where we  get some special distinct Names, we more easily acknowledge a Difference, as it may appear in Shame and Anger; but had we other Names, appropriated in the same manner, we should imagine, with good ground, as many distinct Passions. The like Confusion is observable about our Senses.*
To say that the Sensation accompanying all sorts of Joy is pleasant, and that accompanying Sorrow uneasy, will not argue that there is no farther Diversity. Pains have many differences among themselves, and so have Pleasures, according to the different Senses by which they are perceived. To enumerate all these Diversities, would be difficult and tedious. But some Men have piqued themselves so much upon representing “all our Affections as selfish; as if each Person were in his whole Frame only a seperate System from his Fellows, so that there was nothing in his Constitution leading him to a publick Interest, further than he apprehended it subservient to his own private Interest; and this Interest made nothing else, than the gratifying our external Senses and Imagination, or obtaining the Means of it:” that thereby the Wisdom  and Goodness of  the Author of our Nature is traduced, as if he had given us the strongest Dispositions toward what he had in his Laws prohibited; and directed us, by the Frame of our Nature, to the meanest and most contemptible Pursuits; as if what all good Men have represented as the Excellence of our Nature, were a Force or Constraint put upon it by Art or Authority. It may be useful to consider our Affections and Passions more particularly, as “they are excited by something in our Frame different from Self‐Love, and tend to something else than the private Pleasures of the external Senses or Imagination.” This we may do under the following Heads, by shewing
1. Passions about our own Actions. The Passion of Heroism in Castle building. Moral Joy or Self Approbation. Remorse.1. The Passions about our own Actions occasioned by the Moral Sense. When we form the Idea of a morally good Action, or see it represented in the Drama, or read it in Epicks or Romance, we feel a Desire arising of doing the like. This leads most Tempers into an imagined Series of Adventures, in which they are still acting the generous and virtuous Part, like to the Idea they have received. If we have executed any good Design, we feel inward Triumph of Joy: If we are disappointed thro our own Negligence, or have been diverted from it by some selfish View, we shall feel a Sorrow called Remorse.
Reluctance.When the Idea is in like manner formed of any morally evil Action, which we might possibly accomplish, if we reflect upon the Cruelty or pernicious Tendency of it, there arises Reluctance, or Aversion: If we have committed such a Crime, upon like Reflection we feel the Sorrow called Remorse: If we have resisted the Temptation,  we feel a secret Joy and Self‐Approbation, for which there is no special Name.
Modesty. Shame.We might enumerate six other Passions from the Sense of Honour, according as we  apprehend our Actions, or any other Circumstances, shall affect the Opinions which others form concerning us. When any Action or Circumstance occurs, from which we imagine Honour would arise, we feel Desire; when we attain it, Joy; when we are disappointed, Sorrow. When we first apprehend any Action or Circumstance as dishonourable, we feel Aversion arising; if we apprehend our selves involved in it, or in danger of being tempted to it, we feel a Passion we may call Modesty or Shame; when we escape or resist such Temptations, or avoid what is dishonourable, we feel a Joy, for which there is no special Name.
Ambition. Pride.We give the Name Ambition to a violent Desire of Honour, but generally in a bad Sense, when it would lead the Agent into immoral Means to gratify it. The same Word often denotes the Desire of Power. Pride denotes sometimes the same Desires of Honour and Power, with Aversion to their contraries; sometimes Pride denotes Joy upon any apprehended Right or Claim to Honour; generally it is taken in a bad Sense, when one claims that to which he has no Right.
Shame for others. Men may feel the Passion of Shame for the dishonourable Actions of others, when any part of the Dishonour falls upon themselves;  as when the Person dishonoured is one of their Club, or Party, or Family. The general Relation of human Nature may produce some uneasiness upon the Dishonour of another, tho this is more owing to our publick Sense.
2. Publick Passions abstractly. Goodwill. Compassion. Pity. Congratulation.2. The second Class are the publick Passions about the State of others, as to Happiness or Misery, abstractly from their Moral Qualities. These Affections or Passions extend to all perceptive Natures, when there is no real or imagined Opposition of Interest. We naturally desire the absent Happiness of others; rejoice in it when obtained, and sorrow for it when lost. We have Aversion to any impending Misery; we are sorrowful when it befals any Person, and rejoice when it is removed. This Aversion and Sorrow we often call Pity or Compassion; the Joy we may call Congratulation.
Since our Moral Sense represents Virtue as the greatest Happiness to the Person possessed of it, our publick Affections will naturally make us desire the Virtue of others. When the Opportunity of a great Action occurs to any Person against whom we are  no way prejudiced, we wish he would attempt it, and desire his good Success. If he succeeds, we feel Joy; if he is disappointed,  or quits the Attempt, we feel Sorrow. Upon like Opportunity of, or Temptation to a base Action, we have Aversion to the Event: If he resists the Temptation, we feel Joy; if he yields to it, Sorrow. Our Affections toward the Person arise jointly with our Passions about this Event, according as he acquits himself virtuously or basely.
3. Publick Passions with moral Perceptions. Regret.3. The Passions of the third Class are our publick Affections, jointly with moral Perceptions of the Virtue or Vice of the Agents. When Good appears attainable by a Person of Moral Dignity, our Desire of his Happiness, founded upon Esteem or Approbation, is much stronger than that supposed in the former Class. The Misfortune of such a Person raises stronger Sorrow, Pity, or Regret, and Dissatisfaction with the Administration of the World, upon a light View of it, with a Suspicion of the real Advantage of Virtue. The Success of such a Character raises all the contrary Affections of Joy and Satisfaction with Providence, and Security in Virtue. When Evil threatens such a Character, we have strong Aversion to it, with Love toward the Person: His escaping the Evil raises Joy, Confidence in  Providence, with Security in Virtue. If the Evil befals him, we feel the contrary Passions, Sorrow, Dissatisfaction with Providence,  and Suspicion of the Reality of Virtue.
Which of them fit for the Drama.Hence we see how unfit such Representations are in Tragedy, as make the perfectly Virtuous miserable in the highest degree. They can only lead the Spectators into Distrust of Providence, Diffidence of Virtue; and into such Sentiments, as some Authors, who probably mistake his meaning, tell us Brutus express’d at his Death, “That the Virtue he had pursued as a solid Good, proved but an empty Name.” But we must here remember, that, notwithstanding all the frightful Ideas we have inculcated upon us of the King of Terrors, yet an honourable Death is far from appearing to a generous Mind, as the greatest of Evils. The Ruin of a Free State, the Slavery of a generous Spirit, a Life upon shameful Terms, still appear vastly greater Evils; beside many other exquisite Distresses of a more private nature, in comparison of which, an honourable Death befalling a favourite Character, is looked upon as a Deliverance.
Passions toward moral evil Agents. No disinterested or ultimate Malice in Men. Anger.Under this Class are also included the Passions employed about the Fortunes of Characters, apprehended as morally Evil. Such Characters do raise Dislike in any  Observer, who has a moral Sense: But Malice, or the ultimate Desire of their Misery, does  not necessarily arise toward them. Perhaps our Nature is not capable of desiring the Misery of any Being calmly, farther than it may be necessary to the Safety of the innocent: We may find, perhaps, that there is no Quality in any Object which would excite in us pure disinterested Malice, or calm Desire of Misery for its own sake.* When we apprehend any Person as injurious to our selves, or to any innocent Person, especially to a Person beloved, the Passion of Anger arises toward the Agent. By Anger is generally meant “a Propensity to occasion Evil to another, arising upon apprehension of an Injury done by him:” This violent Propensity is attended generally, when the Injury is not very sudden, with Sorrow for the Injury sustained, or threatned, and Desire of repelling it, and making the Author of it repent of his Attempt, or repair the Damage.
Its Effects.This Passion is attended with the most violent uneasy Sensations, and produces as great Changes in our Bodies as any whatsoever. We are precipitantly led by this Passion, to apprehend the injurious as  directly malicious, and designing the Misery of others without farther Intention. While the Heat of this Passion continues, we seem naturally to pursue the Misery  of the injurious, until they relent, and convince us of their better Intentions, by expressing their Sense of the Injury, and offering Reparation of Damage, with Security against future Offences.
Now as it is plainly necessary, in a System of Agents capable of injuring each other, that every one should be made formidable to an Invader, by such a violent Passion, till the Invader shews his Reformation of Temper, as above, and no longer; so we find it is thus ordered in our Constitution. Upon these Evidences of Reformation in the Invader, our Passion naturally abates; or if in any perverse Temper it does not, the Sense of Mankindturns against him, and he is looked upon as cruel and inhumane.
In considering more fully the Passions about the Fortunes of evil Characters, distinct from Anger, which arises upon a fresh Injury, we may first consider the evil Agents, such as a sudden View sometimes represents them, directly evil and malicious; and then make proper Abatements, for what the worst of Men come short of this compleatly evil Temper. As Mathematicians  suppose perfect Hardness in some Bodies, and Elasticity in others, and then make Allowances for the imperfect Degrees in natural Bodies.
Joy of Hatred. Sorrow of Hatred. The Prospect of Good to a Person apprehended as entirely malicious, raises Aversion in the Observer, or Desire of his Disappointment; at least, when his Success would confirm him in any evil Intention. His Disappointment raises Joy in the Event, with Trust in Providence, and Security in Virtue. His Success raises the contrary Passions of Sorrow, Distrust, and Suspicion. The Prospect of Evil, befalling an evil Character, at first, perhaps, seems grateful to the Observer, if he has conceived the Passion of Anger; but to a sedate Temper, no Misery is farther the Occasion of Joy, than as it is necessary to some prepollent Happiness in the whole. The escaping of Evil impending over such a Character, by which he is confirmed in Vice, is the Occasion of Sorrow, and Distrust of Providence and Virtue; and the Evil befalling him raises Joy, and Satisfaction with Providence, and Security in Virtue. We see therefore, that the Success of evil Characters, by obtaining Good, or avoiding Evil, is an unfit Representation in Tragedy.
 Let any one reflect on this Class of Passions, especially as they arise upon Occasions which do not affect himself, and he will see how little of Self‐Love there is in them; and yet they are frequently as violent as any Passions  whatsoever. We seem conscious of some Dignity in these Passions above the selfish ones, and therefore never conceal them, nor are we ashamed of them. These complicated Passions the Philosophers have confusedly mentioned, under some general Names, along with the simple selfish Passions. The Poets and Criticks have sufficiently shown, that they felt these Differences, however it did not concern them to explain them. We may find Instances of them in all Dramatick Performances, both Antient and Modern.
Passions about mixed Characters. Envy, Sorrow, Joy. Pity.The Abatements to be made for what human Nature comes short of the highest Degrees either of Virtue or Vice, may be thus conceived: When the Good in any mixed Character surpasses the Evil, the Passions arise as toward the Good; where the Evil surpasses the Good, the Passions arise as toward the Evil, only in both Cases with less Violence. And further, the Passions in both Cases are either stopped, or turned the contrary way, by want of due Proportion between the State and Character. Thus an imperfect good Character, [78 ] in pursuit of a Good too great for his Virtue, or to the exclusion of more worthy Characters, instead of raising Desire of his Success, raises Aversion; his Success raises Envy, or a Species of Sorrow, and his Disappointment Joy.  An imperfectly evil Character, threatned by an Evil greater than is necessary to make him relent and reform, or by a great Calamity, which has no direct tendency to reform him, instead of raising Desire toward the Event, raises Aversion; his escaping it raises Joy, and his falling under it raises Pity, a Species of Sorrow.
The best Plots in Tragedy.There is another Circumstance which exceedingly varies our Passions of this Class, when the Agents themselves, by their own Conduct, procure their Misery. When an imperfect good Character, by an evil Action, procures the highest Misery to himself; this raises these complicated Passions, Pity toward the Sufferer, Sorrow for the State, Abhorrence of Vice, Awe and Admiration of Providence, as keeping strict Measures of Sanctity and Justice. These Passions we may all feel, in reading the Oedipus of Sophocles, when we see the Distress of that Prince, occasioned by his superstitious Curiosity about his future Fortunes; his rash Violence of Temper, in Duelling without Provocation, and in pronouncing Execrations on Persons unknown.  We feel the like Passions from the Fortunes of Creon in the Antigone; or from the Fates of Pyrrhus and Orestes, in the Andromache of Racine; or our Distressed Mother. We heartily  pity these Characters, but without repining at Providence; their Misery is the Fruit of their own Actions. It is with the justest Reason, that Aristotle* prefers such Plots to all others for Tragedy, since these Characters come nearest to those of the Spectators, and consequently will have the strongest Influence on them. We are generally conscious of some good Dispositions, mixed with many Weaknesses: few imagine themselves capable of attaining the height of perfectly good Characters, or arriving to their high Degrees of Felicity; and fewer imagine themselves capable of sinking into the Baseness of perfectly evil Tempers, and therefore few dread the Calamities which befal them.
How these Passions are raised high and complicated.There is one farther Circumstance which strengthens this Class of Passions exceedingly, that is, the greatness of the Change of Fortune in the Person, or the Surprize with which it comes. As this gives the Person a more acute Perception either of Happiness or Misery, so it  strengthens our Passions, arising from Observation of his State. Of this the Poets are very sensible, who so often represent to us the former Prosperity of the Person, for whom they  would move our pity; his Projects, his Hopes, his half‐executed Designs. One left his Palace unfinished, another his betrothed Mistress, or young Wife; one promised himself Glory, and a fortunate old Age; another was heaping up Wealth, boasted of his Knowledge, was honoured for his fine Armour, his Activity, his Augury.
The Joy is in like manner increased upon the Misfortunes of evil Characters, by representing their former Prosperity, Pride and Insolence.
This Sorrow or Joy is strangely diversified or complicated, when the Sufferers are multiplied, by representing the Persons attached to the principal Sufferer, and setting before us their Affections, Friendships, tender Solicitudes, care in Education, succour in former Distresses; this every  one will find in reading the Stories of Pallas, Camilla, Nisus, and Euryalus; 25 or in general, any Battle of Homer or Virgil. What there  is in Self‐Love to account for these Effects, let all Mankind judge.
4.Publick Passions and Relations of Agents.VI. The Passions of the fourth Class arise from the same moral Sense and publick Affections, upon observing the Actions of Agents some way attachedto each other, by prior Ties of Nature or good Offices, or disengaged by prior Injuries; when these Relations are known, the moral Qualities of the Actions appear considerably different, and our Passions are much diversified by them:Contrastes and Complications of Passions. there is also a great Complication of different Passions, and a sort of Contraste, or assemblage of opposite Passions toward the several Persons concerned. The most moving Peripeties, and Remembrances, in Epick and Dramatick Poetry, are calculated to raise these complicated Passions; and in Oratory we study to do the same.
Thus strong Sentiments of Gratitude, and vigorous Returns of good Offices observed, raise in the Spectator the highest Love and Esteem toward both the Benefactor, and even the Person obliged, with Security and Delight in Virtue.—Ingratitude, or returning bad Offices designedly, raises the greatest Detestation against  the Ungrateful; and Love with Compassion toward the  Benefactor, with Dejection and Diffidence in a virtuous Course of Life.—Forgiving of Injuries, and much more returning Good for Evil, appears wonderfully great and beautiful to our moral Sense: it raises the strongest Love toward the Forgiver, Compassion for the Injury received; toward the Injurious, if relenting, some degree of Good‐will, with Compassion; if not relenting, the most violent Abhorrence and Hatred.—Mutual good Offices done designedly between morally good Agents, raise Joy and Love in the Observer toward both, with delight in Virtue.—Mutual Injuries done by evil Agents designedly, raise Joy in the Events, along with Hatredto the Agents, with Detestation of Vice.—Good Offices done designedly by good Agents toward Evil, but not so as to encourage, or enable them to further Mischief, raise Love toward the good Agent; Displicence, with some Good‐will toward the evil Agent.—Good Offices designedly done mutually among evil Agents, if these Offices do not promote their evil Intentions, diminish our Dislike and Hatred, and introduce some Compassion and Benevolence.—Good Offices from good Agents, to Benefactors unknown to the Agent, or to their unknown Friends or Posterity, increase Love toward both; and raise great Satisfaction and Trust in  Providence, with  Security in Virtue, and Joy in the Event.—Undesigned evil Returns in like Case with the former, raise Sorrow in the Observer upon account of the Event, Pity toward both, with Suspicion of Providence and Virtue.—An undesigned Return of Evil to an evil Agent from a good one, whom he had injured, raises Joy upon account of the Event, and Trust in Providence.—Undesigned evil Offices mutually done to each other by evil Agents, raise Joy in the Event, Abhorrence of Vice, and Satisfaction with Providence.—Undesigned good Offices done by good Agents toward the evil, by which they are further excited or impowered to do evil, raise Pity toward the good Agent, Indignation and Envy toward the Evil, with Distrust in Providence.—Undesigned good Offices done by good to evil Agents, by which they are not excited or enabled to do further mischief, raise Envy or Indignation toward the evil Agent, if the Benefit be great; if not, they scarce raise any new Passion distinct from that we had before, of Love toward the one, and Hatredor Dislike toward the other.
These Passions might have been diversified, according to Malebranche’s Division, as the Object or Event was present, or in suspense, or certainly removed: And would appear in different Degrees of  Strength, according  as the Persons concerned were more nearly attached to the Observer, by Nature, Friendship, or Acquaintance.26
5.Publick Passions join’d with the selfish.VII. The Passions of the last Class, are those in which any of the former Kinds are complicated with selfish Passions, when our own Interest is concerned. It is needless here to repeat them over again: Only this may be noted in general, that, as the Conjunction of selfish Passions will very much increase the Commotion of Mind, so the Opposition of any selfish Interests, which appear of great Importance, will often conquer the publick Desires or Aversions, or those founded upon the Sense of Virtue or Honour; and this is the Case in vicious Actions done against Conscience.
These Complications of Passions are often not reflected on by the Person who is acted by them, during their Rage: But a judicious Observer may find them by Reflection upon himself, or by Observation of others; and the Representation of them never fails to affect us in the most lively manner.
[85/86] In all this tedious Enumeration, let any one consider, “How few of our Passions can be any way deduced from Self‐Love, or desire of private Advantage: And how improbable it is, that Persons in the Heat of Action, have any of those subtle Reflections, and selfish Intentions, which some Philosophers invent for them: How great a part of the Commotions of our Minds arise upon the moral Sense, and from publick Affections toward the good of others. We should find, that without these Principles in our Nature, we should not feel the one half at least of our present Pleasures or Pains; and that our Nature would be almost reduced to Indolence.”
How Characters and Tempers of Men are formed.An accurate Observation of the several distinct Characters and Tempers of Men, which are constituted by the various Degrees of their natural Sagacity, their Knowledge, their Interests, their Opinions, or Associations of Ideas, with the Passions which are prevalent in them, is a most useful and pleasant Entertainment for those, who have Opportunities of large Acquaintance and Observation. But our present Purpose leads only to consider the first general  Elements, from the various Combinations  of which, the several Tempers and Characters are formed.
The Order of Nature partly vindicated.This account of our Affections will, however, prepare the way for discerning considerable Evidences for the Goodness of the Deity, from the Constitution of our Nature; and for removing the Objections of voluptuous luxurious Men, against the Rules of Virtue laid down by Men of Reflection. While no other Ideas of Pleasure or Advantage are given us, than those which relate to the external Senses; nor any other Affections represented as natural, save those toward private Good: it may be difficult to persuade many, even of those who are not Enemies to Virtue from Inclination, of the Wisdom of the Deity, in making the Biass of our Nature opposite to the Laws he would give us; and making all Pleasure, the most natural Character of Good, attend the prohibited Actions, or the indifferent ones; while Obedience to the Law must be a constrainedCourse of Action, inforced only by Penalties contrary to our natural Affections and Senses. Nature and Grace are by this Scheme made very opposite: Some would question whether they could have the same Author. Whereas, if the preceding Account be just, we see no  such Inconsistency: “Every Passion  or Affection in its moderate Degree is innocent, many are directly amiable, and morally good: we have Senses and Affections leading us to publick Good, as well as to private; to Virtue, as well as to external Pleasure.”[Back to Table of Contents]
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.
Affections and Passions depend much upon Opinions.[88/89] I. From what was said above it appears, that our Passions are not so much in our Power, as some seem to imagine, from the Topicks used either to raise or allay them. We are so constituted by Nature, that, as soon as we form the Idea of certain Objects or Events, our Desire or Aversion will arise toward them; and consequently our Affections must very much depend upon the Opinions we form, concerning any thing which occurs to our Mind, its Qualities, Tendencies, or Effects. Thus the Happiness of every sensitive Nature is desired, as soon as we remove all Opinion or Apprehension of Opposition of Interest between this Being and others. The Apprehension of morally good Qualities, is the necessary Cause of Approbation, by our moral Sense, and of stronger  Love. The Cause of Hatred, is the Apprehension  of the opposite Qualities. Fear, in like manner, must arise from Opinion of Power, and Inclination to hurt us: Pity from the Opinion of another’s undeserved Misery: Shame only arises from Apprehension of Contempt from others: Joy, in any Event, must arise from an Opinion of its Goodness. Our selfish Passions in this, do not differ from our publick ones.
This may shew us some Inconsistency in Topicks of Argument, often used to inculcate Piety and Virtue. Whatever Motives of Interest we suggest, either from a present or future Reward, must be ineffectual, until we have first laboured to form amiable Conceptions of the Deity, and of our Fellow Creatures. And yet in many Writers, even in this Cause, “Mankind are represented as absolutely evil, or at best as entirely selfish; nor are there any nobler Ideas of the Deity suggested. It is grown a fashionable Topick, to put some sly selfish Construction upon the most generous human Actions; and he passes for the shreudest Writer, or Orator, who is most artful in these Insinuations.”
Appetites and Affections distinguished.II. The Government of our Passions must then depend much upon our Opinions:  But we must here observe an obvious Difference among our Desires, viz. that  “some of them have a previous, painful, or uneasy Sensation, antecedently to any Opinion of Good in the Object; nay, the Object is often chiefly esteemed good, only for its allaying this Pain or Uneasiness; or if the Object gives also positive Pleasure, yet the uneasy Sensation is previous to, and independent of this Opinion of Good in the Object.” These Desires we may call Appetites. “Other Desires and Aversions necessarily presuppose an Opinion of Good and Evil in their Objects; and the Desires or Aversions, with their concomitant uneasy Sensations, are produced or occasioned by this Opinion or Apprehension.” Of the former kind are Hunger and Thirst, and the Desires between the Sexes; to which Desires there is an uneasy Sensation previous, even in those who have little other Notion of Good in the Objects, than allaying this Pain or Uneasiness. There is something like to this in the Desire of Society, or the Company of our fellow Creatures. Our Nature is so much formed for this, that altho the Absence of Company is not immediately painful, yet if it be long, and the Person be not employed in something which tends to Society at last, or which is designed to fit him for Society, an uneasy Fretfulness, Sullenness, and Discontent,  will grow upon him by degrees, which Company alone  can remove. He shall not perhaps be sensible always, that it is the Absence of Company which occasions his Uneasiness: A painful Sensation dictates nothing of it self; it must be therefore some Reflection or Instinct, distinct from the Pain, which suggests the Remedy. Our Benevolence and Compassion pre suppose indeed some Knowledge of other sensitive Beings, and of what is good or evil to them: But they do not arise from any previous Opinion, that “the Good of others tends to the Good of the Agent.” They are Determinations of our Nature, previous to our Choice from Interest, which excite us to Action, as soon as we know other sensitive or rational Beings, and have any Apprehension of their Happiness or Misery.
In other Desires the Case is different. No Man is distressed for want of fine Smells, harmonious Sounds, beautiful Objects, Wealth, Power, or Grandeur, previously to some Opinion formed of these things as good, or some prior Sensation of their Pleasures. In like manner, Virtue and Honour as necessarily give us Pleasure, when they occur to us, as Vice and Contempt give us Pain; but, antecedently to some Experience or Opinion of this Pleasure, there is no previous uneasy Sensation in their Absence, as there  is in the Absence of the Objects of Appetite. The Necessity  of these Sensations previous to our Appetites, has been considered already.* The Sensations accompanying or subsequent to our other Desires, by which they are denominated Passions, keep them in a just Balance with our Appetites, as was before observed.
But this holds in general, concerning all our Desires or Aversions, that according to the Opinion or Apprehension of Good or Evil, the Desire or Aversion is increased or diminished: Every Gratification of any Desire gives at first Pleasure; and Disappointment Pain, proportioned to the Violence of the Desire. In like manner, the escaping any Object of Aversion, tho it makes no permanent Addition to our Happiness, gives at first a pleasant Sensation, and relieves us from Misery, proportioned to the Degree of Aversion or Fear. So when any Event, to which we had an Aversion, befals us, we have at first Misery proportioned to the Degree of Aversion. So that some Pain is subsequent upon all Frustration of Desire or Aversion, but it is previous to those Desires only, which are called Appetites.
[93/94] III. Hence we see how impossible it is for one to judge of the Degrees of Happiness or Misery in others, unless he knows their Opinions, their Associations of Ideas, and the Degrees of their Desires and Aversions. We see also of how much Consequence our Associations of Ideas and Opinions are to our Happiness or Misery, and to the Command of our Passions.
Associations of Ideas and Opinions increase or diminish the strength of our Desires.For tho in our Appetites there are uneasy Sensations, previous to any Opinion, yet our very Appetites may be strengthened or weakened, and variously alter’d by Opinion, or Associations of Ideas. Before their Intervention, the bodily Appetites are easily satisfied: Nature has put it in almost every one’s power, so far to gratify them, as to support the Body, and remove Pain. But when Opinion, and confused Ideas, or Fancy comes in, and represents some particular kinds of Gratifications, or great Variety of them, as of great Importance; when Ideas of Dignity, Grandure, Magnificence, Generosity, or any other moral Species, are joined to the Objects of Appetites, they may furnish us with endless Labour, Vexation, and Misery of every kind.
As to the other Desires which pre suppose some Opinion or Apprehension of  Good,  previous to any Sensation of uneasiness; they must still be more directly influenced by Opinion, and Associations of Ideas. The higher the Opinion or Apprehension of Good or Evil is, the stronger must the Desire or Aversion be; the greater is the Pleasure of Success at first, and the greater the Pain of Disappointment. Our publick Desires are influenced in the same manner with the private: what we conceive as Good, we shall desire for those we love, as well as for our selves; and that in proportion to the Degree of Goodapprehended in it: whatever we apprehend as Evil in any degree to those we love, to that we shall have proportionable Aversion.
The common Effect of these Associations of Ideas is this, “that they raise the Passions into an extravagant Degree, beyond the proportion of real Good in the Object: And commonly beget some secret Opinions to justify the Passions. But then the Confutation of these false Opinions is not sufficient to break the Association, so that the Desire or Passion shall continue, even when our Understanding has suggested to us, that the Object is not good, or not proportioned to the Strength of the Desire.” Thus we often may observe, that Persons, who by reasoning have laid aside all Opinion of  Spirits being in the  dark more than in the light, are still uneasy to be alone in the dark.* Thus the luxurious, the extravagant Lover, the Miser, can scarce be supposed to have Opinions of the several Objects of their Pursuit, proportioned to the Vehemence of their Desires; but the constant Indulgence of any Desire, the frequent Repetition of it, the diverting our Minds from all other Pursuits, the Strain of Conversation among Men of the same Temper, who often haunt together, the Contagion in the very Air and Countenance of the passionate, beget such wild Associations of Ideas, that a sudden Conviction of Reason will not stop the Desire or Aversion, any more than an Argument will surmount the Loathings or Aversions, acquired against certain Meats or Drinks, by Surfeits or emetick Preparations.
The Luxurious are often convinced, when any Accident has revived a natural Appetite, of the superior Pleasures in a plain Dinner, with a sharp Stomach:† but [96/97] this does not reform them; they have got all the Ideas of Dignity, Grandure, Excellence, and Enjoyment of Life joined to their Table. Explain to a Miser the Folly of his Conduct, so that he can alledg nothing in his Defence; yet he will go on,
He has likewise all Ideas of Good, of Worth, and Importance in Life confounded with his Coffers.
A romantick Lover has in like manner no Notion of Life without his Mistress, all Virtue and Merit are summed up in his inviolable Fidelity. The Connoisseur has all Ideas of valuable Knowledge, Gentlemanlike Worth and Ability associated with his beloved Arts. The Idea of Property comes along with the Taste, and makes his Happiness impossible, without Possession of what he admires. A plain Question might confute the Opinion, but will not break the Association: “What Pleasure has the Possessor more than others, to whose Eyes they are exposed as well as his?”
Our publick Desires are affected by confused Ideas, in the same manner with our private Desires. What is apprehended  as  Good, thro’ an Association of foreign Ideas, shall be pursued for those we love, as well as what is really good for them. Our benevolent Passions in the nearer Ties, are as apt to be too violent as any whatsoever: this we may often experience in the Love of Offspring, Relations, Parties, Cabals. The Violence of our Passion makes us sometimes incapable of pursuing effectually their Good, and sinks us into an useless State of Sorrow upon their Misfortunes. Compassion often makes the Evil greater to the Spectator than to the Sufferer; and sometimes subjects the Happiness of a Person of great Worth, to every Accident befalling one entirely void of it.
The Desire of Virtue, upon extensive impartial Schemes of publick Happiness, can scarce be too strong; but, upon mistaken or partial Views of publick Good, this Desire of Virtue may often lead Men into very pernicious Actions. One may conceive a sort of Extravagancy, and effeminate Weakness even of this Desire; as when Men are dissatisfied with themselves for Disappointments in good Attempts, which it was not in their Power to accomplish; when some heroick Tempers shew no Regard to private Good; when the Pursuit of the lovely Form is so passionate, that the Agent  does not relish his past Conduct  by agreeable Reflection, but like the Ambitious,
But the most pernicious Perversions of this Desire are “some partial Admirations of certain moral Species, such as Fortitude, Propagation of true Religion, Zeal for a Party; while other Virtues are overlooked, and the very Endto which the admired Qualities are subservient is forgotten. Thus some Phantoms of Virtue are raised, wholly opposite to its true Nature, and to the sole End of it, the publick Good.”
Honour, in like manner, has had its foolish Associations, and the true Nature of it has been overlooked, so that the Desire of it has run into Enthusiasm, and pernicious Madness. Thus, “however our Desires, when our Opinions are true, and the Desire is proportioned to the true Opinion, are all calculated for good, either publick or private; yet false Opinions, and confused Ideas, or too great a Violence in any of them, above a due Proportion to the rest, may turn the best of them into destructive Follies.”
Malicious or cruel Tempers, how they arise.[99/100] This is probably the Case in those Affections which some suppose natural, or at least incident to our Natures, and yet absolutely evil: Such as Rancour, or disinterested Malice, Revenge, Misanthropy. We indeed find our Nature determined to disapprove an Agent apprehended as evil, or malicious, thro’ direct Intention; we must desire the Destruction of such a Being, not only from Self‐Love, but from our Benevolence to others. Now when we rashly form Opinions of Sects, or Nations, as absolutely evil; or get associated Ideas of Impiety, Cruelty, Profaneness, recurring upon every mention of them: when, by repeated Reflection upon Injuries received, we strengthen our Dislike into an obdurate Aversion, and conceive that the Injurious are directly malicious; we may be led to act in such a manner, that Spectators, who are unacquainted with our secret Opinions, or confused Apprehensions of others, may think we have pure disinterested Malice in our Nature; a very Instinct toward the Misery of others, when it is really only the overgrowth of a just natural Affection, upon false Opinions, or confused Ideas; even as our Appetites, upon which our natural Life depends, may acquire accidental Loathings at the most wholesom Food. Our Ideas and Opinions of Mankind are often very rashly formed,  but our Affections  are generally suited to our Opinions. When our Ideas and Opinions of the moral Qualities of others are just, our Affections are generally regular and good: But when we give loose Reins to our Imagination and Opinion, our Affections must follow them into all Extravagance and Folly; and inadvertent Spectators will imagine some Dispositions in us wholly useless, and absolutely and directly evil.
Now the Gratification of these destructive Desires, like those of all the rest, gives at first some Pleasure, proportioned to their Violence; and the Disappointment gives proportioned Pain. But as to the Continuance of these Pleasures or Pains, we shall find hereafter great Diversity.
From this view of our Desires, we may see “the great Variety of Objects, Circumstances, Events, which must be of Importance to the Happiness of a Creature, furnished with such a Variety of Senses of Good and Evil, with equally various Desires corresponding to them: especially considering the strange Combinations of Ideas, giving Importance to many Objects, in their own Nature indifferent.”
How far the several Desires must necessarily arise in us.IV. We must in the next Place enquire “how far these several Desires must  necessarily  arise, or may be prevented by our Conduct.”
1.That of external pleasures.The Pleasures and Pains of the external Senses must certainly be perceived by every one who comes into the World; the one raising some Degree of Desire, and the other Aversion: the Pains of Appetites arise yet more certainly than others, and are previous to any Opinion. But then it is very much in our power to keep these Sensations pure and unmixedwith any foreign Ideas: so that the plainest Food and Raiment, if sufficiently nourishing and healthful, may keep us easy, as well as the rarest or most expensive. Nay the Body, when accustomed to the simpler Sorts, is easiest in the Use of them: And we are raised to an higher Degree of Chearfulness, by a small Improvement in our Table, than it is possible to bring a pampered Body into, by any of the Productions of Nature. Whatever the Body is once accustomed to, produces no considerable Change in it.
2.The Desires of the Pleasures of the Imagination.The Pleasures of the Imagination, or of the internal Sense of Beauty, and Decency, and Harmony, must also be perceived by us. The Regularity, Proportion and Order in external Forms, will as necessarily strike the Mind, as any Perceptions of the external Senses. But then, as we have no uneasiness  of Appetite, previous to the  Reception of those grateful Ideas, we are not necessarily made miserable in their Absence; unless by some fantastick Habit we have raised very violent Desires, or by a long Pursuit of them, have made our selves incapable of other Enjoyments.
Again, the Sense and Desire of Beauty of several kinds is entirely abstracted from Possession or Property; so that the finest Relish of this kind, and the strongest subsequent Desires, if we admit no foolish Conjunctions of Ideas, may almost every where be gratified with the Prospects of Nature, and with the Contemplation of the more curious Works of Art, which the Proprietors generally allow to others without Restraint. But if this Sense or Desire of Beauty itself be accompanied with the Desire of Possession or Property; if we let it be guided by Custom, and receive Associations of foreign Ideas in our Fancy of Dress, Equipage, Furniture, Retinue; if we relish only the Modes of the Great, or the Marks of Distinction as beautiful; if we let such Desires grow strong, we must be very great indeed, before we can have any Pleasure by this Sense: and every Disappointment or Change of Fortune must make us miserable. The like Fate may attend the Pursuit of speculative Sciences, Poetry, Musick, or  Painting; to excel in these things is granted but to few.  A violent Desire of Distinction and Eminence may bring on Vexation and Sorrow for the longest Life.
3.The publick Desires.The Pleasures and Pains of the publick Sense will also necessarily arise in us. Men cannot live without the Society of others, and their good Offices; they must observe both the Happiness and Misery, the Pleasures and Pains of their Fellows: Desire and Aversion must arise in the Observer. Nay farther, as we cannot avoid more near Attachments of Love, either from the Instinct between the Sexes, or that toward Offspring, or from Observation of the benevolent Tempers of others, or their particular Virtues and good Offices, we must feel the Sensations of Joy and Sorrow, from the State of others even in the stronger Degrees, and have the publick Desires in a greater Height. All we can do to prevent the Pains of general Benevolence, will equally lessen the Pleasures of it. If we restrain our publick Affection from growing strong, we abate our Pleasures from the good Success of others, as much as we lessen our Compassion for their Misfortunes: If we confine our Desires to a small Circle of Acquaintance, or to a Cabal or Faction, we contract our Pleasures as much as we do our Pains. The Distinction of Pleasures and Pains into real  and imaginary, or rather into necessary and voluntary,  would be of some use, if we could correct the Imaginations of others, as well as our own; but if we cannot, we are sure, whoever thinks himself miserable, is really so; however he might possibly, by a better Conduct of his Imagination, have prevented this Misery. All we can do in this affair, is to enjoy a great Share of the Pleasures of the stronger Ties, with fewer Pains of them, by confining the stronger Degrees of Love, or our Friendships, to Persons of corrected Imaginations, to whom as few of the uncertain Objects of Desire are necessary to Happiness as is possible. Our Friendship with such Persons may probably be to us a much greater Source of Happiness than of Misery, since the Happiness of such Persons is more probable than the contrary.
Since there is nothing in our Nature determining us to disinterested Hatredtoward any Person; we may be secure against all the Pains of Malice, by preventing false Opinions of our Fellows as absolutely evil, or by guarding against habitual Anger, and rash Aversions.
The moral Ideas do arise also necessarily in our Minds. We cannot avoid observing the Affections of those we converse with;  their Actions, their Words, their Looks betray them. We are conscious of  our own Affections, and cannot avoid Reflection upon them sometimes: the kind and generous Affections will appear amiable, and all Appearance of Cruelty, Malice, or even very selfish Affections, will be disapproved, and appear odious. Our own Temper, as well as that of others, will appear to our moral Sense either lovely or deformed, and will be the Occasion either of Pleasure or Uneasiness. We have not any proper Appetite toward Virtue, so as to be uneasy, even antecedently to the Appearance of the lovely Form; but as soon as it appears to any Person, as it certainly must very early in Life, it never fails to raise Desire, as Vice does raise Aversion. This is so rooted in our Nature, that no Education, false Principles, depraved Habits, or even Affectation itself can entirely root it out. Lucretius and Hobbes shew themselves in innumerable Instances struck with some moral Species; they are full of Expressions of Admiration, Gratitude, Praise, Desire of doing Good; and of Censure, Disapprobation, Aversion to some Forms of Vice.
Since then there is no avoiding these Desires and Perceptions of Morality, all we can do to secure our selves in the possession of Pleasures of this kind, without Pain, consists in “a vigorous Use of our Reason, to  discern what Actions really [106 ] tend to the publick Good in the whole, that we may not do that upon a partial View of Good, which afterwards, upon a fuller Examination, we shall condemn and abhor our selves for; and withal, to fix our Friendships with Persons of like Dispositions, and just Discernment.” Men of partial Views of publick Good, if they never obtain any better, may be easy in a very pernicious Conduct, since the moral Evil or Deformity does not appear to them. But this is seldom to be hop’d for in any partial Conduct. Those who are injured by us fail not to complain; the Spectators, who are disengaged from our partial Attachments, will often take the Freedom to express their Sentiments, and set our Conduct in a full Light: This must very probably occasion to us Shame and Remorse. “It cannot therefore be an indifferent Matter, to an Agent with a moral Sense, what Opinions he forms of the Tendency of Actions; what partial Attachments of Love he has toward Parties or Factions. If he has true Opinions of the Tendencies of Actions; if he carefully examines the real Dignity of Persons and Causes, he may be sure that the Conduct which he now approves he shall always approve, and have delight in Reflection upon it, however it be censured by others. But if he takes up at hazard Opinions of Actions;  if  he has a foolish Admiration of particular Sects, and as foolish Aversions and Dislike to others, not according to any real Importance or Dignity, he shall often find occasion for Inconstancy and Change of his Affections, with Shame and Remorse for his past Conduct, and an inward Dislike and Self‐Condemnation.”
What most deeply affects our Happiness or Misery, are the Dispositions of those Persons with whom we voluntarily contract some nearer Intimacies of Friendship: If we act wisely in this Point, we may secure to our selves the greatest Pleasures with the fewest Pains, by attaching our selves to Persons of real Goodness, good Offices toward whom are useful to the World. The Ties of Bloodare generally very strong, especially toward Offspring; they need rather the Bridle than the Spur, in all Cases wherein the Object is not recommended to a singular Love by his good Qualities. We may, in a considerable measure, restrain our natural Affection toward a worthless Offspring, by setting our publick Affections and our moral Sense against it, in frequent Contemplation of their Vices, and of the Mischief which may arise to Persons of more worth from them, if we give them any Countenance in their Vices.
[108/109] The regulating our Apprehensions of the Actions of others, is of very great Importance, that we may not imagine Mankind worse than they really are, and thereby bring upon our selves a Temper full of Suspicion, Hatred, Anger and Contempt toward others; which is a constant State of Misery, much worse than all the Evils to be feared from Credulity. If we examine the true Springs of human Action, we shall seldom find their Motives worse than Self‐Love. Men are often subject to Anger, and upon sudden Provocations do Injuries to each other, and that only from Self‐Love, without Malice; but the greatest part of their Lives is employed in Offices of natural Affection, Friendship, innocent SelfLove, or Love of a Country. The little Party‐Prejudices are generally founded upon Ignorance, or false Opinions, rather apt to move Pity than Hatred. Such Considerations are the best Preservative against Anger, Malice, and Discontent of Mind with the Order of Nature. “When you would make yourself chearful and easy (says the Emperor* ) consider the Virtues of your several Acquaintances, the Industry and Diligence of one, the Modesty of another, the Generosity or  Liberality of a  third; and in some Persons some other Virtue. There is nothing so delightful, as the Resemblances of the Virtues appearing in the Conduct of your Contemporaries as frequently as possible. Such Thoughts we should still retain with us.”
When the moral Sense is thus assisted by a sound Understanding and Application, our own Actions may be a constant Source of solid Pleasure, along with the Pleasures of Benevolence, in the highest Degree which our Nature will admit, and with as few of its Pains as possible.
How far our Sense of Honour is in our power.As to the Desires of Honour, since we cannot avoid observing or hearing of the Sentiments of others concerning our Conduct, we must feel the Desire of the good Opinions of others, and Aversion to their Censures or Condemnation: since the one necessarily gives us Pleasure, and the other Pain. Now it is impossible to bring all Men into the same Opinions of particular Actions, because of their different Opinions of publick Good, and of the Means of promoting it; and because of opposite Interests; so that it is often impossible to be secure against all Censure or Dishonour from some of our Fellows. No one is so much Master of external Things, as to make his honourable Intentions successful; and yet  Success  is a Mark by which many judge of the Goodness of Attempts. Whoever therefore suffers his Desire of Honour or Applause to grow violent, without Distinction of the Persons to whose Judgment he submits, runs a great hazard of Misery. But our natural Desire of Praise, to speak in the Mathematical Style, is in a compounded Proportion of the Numbers of Applauders, and their Dignity. “He therefore who makes Distinction of Persons justly, and acts wisely for the publick Good, may secure himself from much uneasiness upon injudicious Censure, and may obtain the Approbation of those whose Esteem alone is valuable, or at least far over‐ballances the Censure of others.”
The Desire of Wealth and Power.The Desire of Wealth must be as necessary as any other Desires of our Nature, as soon as we apprehend the usefulness of Wealth to gratify all other Desires. While it is desired as the Means of something farther, the Desire tends to our Happiness, proportionably to the good Oeconomy of the principal Desires to which it is made subservient. It is in every man’s power, by a little Reflection, to prevent the Madness and Enthusiasm with which Wealth is insatiably pursued, even for itself, without any direct Intention of using it. The Consideration of the small Addition often  made by Wealth to the Happiness of the Possessor, may check  this Desire, and prevent that Insatiability which sometimes attends it.
Power in like manner is desired as the Means of gratifying other original Desires; nor can the Desire be avoided by those who apprehend its usefulness. It is easy to prevent the Extravagance of this Desire, and many of its consequent Pains, by considering “the Danger of affecting it by injurious Means, supporting it by Force, without consent of the Subject, and employing it to private Interest, in opposition to publick Good.” No Mortal is easy under such Subjection; every Slave to such a Power is an Enemy: The Possessor must be in a continual State of Fear, Suspicion and Hatred.
The Occasion of fantastick Desires.There is nothing in our Nature leading us necessarily into the fantastick Desires; they wholly arise thro’ our Ignorance and Negligence; when, thro’ want of Thought, we suffer foolish Associations of Ideas to be made, and imagine certain trifling Circumstances to contain something honourable and excellent in them, from their being used by Persons of Distinction. We know how the Inadvertencies, Negligences, Infirmities, and even Vices, either of great or ingenious Men, have been affected,  and imitated by those who were incapable of  imitating their Excellencies. This happens often to young Gentlemen of plentiful Fortunes, which set them above the Employments necessary to others, when they have not cultivated any relish for the Pleasures of the Imagination, such as Architecture, Musick, Painting, Poetry, Natural Philosophy, History: When they have no farther Knowledge of these things, than stupidly to praise what they hear others praise: When they have neglected to cultivate their publick Affections, are bantered a long time from Marriage and Offspring; and have neither themselves Minds fit for Friendships, nor any intimate Acquaintance with such as are fit to make Friends of: When their moral Sense is weakened, or, if it be strong in any points, these are fixed at random, without any regular Scheme: When thro’ Ignorance of publick Affairs, or want of Eloquence to speak what they know, they despair of the Esteem or Honour of the Wise: When their Hearts are too gay to be entertained with the dull Thoughts of increasing their Wealth, and they have not Ability enough to hope for Power; such poor empty Minds have nothing but Trifles to pursue; any thing becomes agreeable, which can supply the Void of Thought, or prevent the sullen Discontent which must grow upon a Mind conscious of no Merit, and expecting  the Contempt of its Fellows; as a Pack of Dogs,  an Horse, a Jewel, an Equipage, a Pack of Cards, a Tavern; any thing which has got any confused Ideas of Honour, Dignity, Liberality, or genteel Enjoyment of Life joined to it. These fantastick Desires any Man might have banished at first, or entirely prevented. But if we have lost the Time of substituting better in their stead, we shall only change from one sort to another, with a perpetual Succession of Inconstancy and Dissatisfaction.
V. The End of all these Considerations, is to find out the most effectual way of advancing the Happiness of Mankind; in order to which, they may perhaps appear of considerable Consequence, since Happiness consists in “the highest and most durable Gratifications of, either all our Desires, or, if all cannot be gratify’d at once, of those which tend to the greatest and most durable Pleasures, with exemption either from all Pains and Objects of Aversion, or at least from those which are the most grievous.” The following general Observations may be premised concerning their Objects.
The full Pursuit of all kinds of Pleasure is impossible.[114/115] 1. “It is plainly impossible that any Man should pursue the Gratifications of all these Desires at once, with Prudence, Diligence, and Vigor, sufficient to obtain the highest Pleasures of each kind, and to avoid their opposite Pains.” For, not to mention the Narrowness of the Powers of our Minds, which makes them incapable of a Multiplicity of Pursuits at once; the very Methods of obtaining the highest Gratification of the several Senses and Desires, are directly inconsistent with each other. For example, the violent Pursuit of the Pleasures of the external Senses, or Sensuality, is opposite to the Pleasures of the Imagination, and to the Study of the ingenious Arts, which tend to the Ornament of Life: These require Labour and Application, inconsistent with the Voluptuousness of the external Senses, which by itself would engross the whole Application of our Minds, thro’ vain Associations of Ideas.
Again: The violent Pursuits of either of the former kinds of Pleasures, is often directly inconsistent with publick Affections, and with our moral Sense, and Sense of Honour. These Pleasures require a quite different Temper, a Mind little set upon selfish Pleasures, strongly possessed with Love for  others, and Concern for their  Interests capable of Labour and Pain. However our desire of Honour be really selfish, yet we know it is never acquired by Actions appearing selfish; but by such as appear publick‐spirited, with neglect of the Pleasures of the external Senses and Wealth. Selfishness is generally attended with Shame;* and hence we conceal even our Desire of Honour itself, and are ashamed of Praise in our own Presence, even when we are doing beneficent Actions, with design to obtain it. The Pursuits of Wealth and Power are often directly opposite to the Pleasures of all the other kinds, at least for the present, however they may be intended for the future Enjoyment of them.
No Certainty of Success in any Pursuit, save that of Virtue.2. “There is no such Certainty in human Affairs, that a Man can assure himself of the perpetual Possession of these Objects which gratify any one Desire,” except that of Virtue itself: which, since it does not depend upon external Objects and Events,* but upon our own Affections and Conduct, we may promise to our selves that we shall always enjoy. But then Virtue consists in Benevolence, or Desire of the publick Good: The Happiness of others is  very uncertain, so  that our publick Desires may often be disappointed; and every Disappointment is uneasy, in proportion to the Degree of Desire. And therefore, however the Admiration and fixed Pursuit of Virtue may always secure one stable and constant Pleasure of Self‐Approbation, yet this Enjoyment presupposes a Desire of publick Good, subject to frequent Disappointments, which will be attended with Uneasiness proportioned to the Degree of publick Desire, or the Virtue upon which we reflect. There seems therefore no possibility of securing to our selves, in our present State, an unmixed Happiness independently of all other Beings. Every Apprehension of Good raises desire, every Disappointment of Desire is uneasy; every Object of Desire is uncertain except Virtue, but the Enjoyment of Virtue supposes the Desire of an uncertain Object, viz. the publick Happiness. To secure therefore independently of all other Beings invariable and pure Happiness, it would be necessary either to have the Power of directing all Events in the Universe, or to root out all Sense of Evil, or Aversion to it, while we retained our Sense of Good, but without previous Desire, the Dissappointment of which could give Pain. The rooting out of all Senses and Desires, were it practicable, would cut off all Happiness as well as Misery: The removing  or stopping a part of them, might indeed be  of consequence to the Happiness of the Individual on some occasions, however pernicious it might be to the Whole. But ’tis plain, we have not in our power the modelling of our Senses or Desires, to form them for a private Interest: They are fixed for us by the Author of our Nature, subservient to the Interest of the System; so that each Individual is made, previously to his own Choice, a Member of a great Body, and affected with the Fortunes of the Whole, or at least of many Parts of it; nor can he break himself off at pleasure.
The Mistakes of the Stoicks about compleat Happiness.This may shew the Vanity of some of the lower rate of Philosophers of the Stoick Sect, in boasting of an undisturbed Happiness and Serenity, independently even of the Deity, as well as of their Fellow‐Creatures, wholly inconsistent with the Order of Nature, as well as with the Principles of some of their great Leaders: for which, Men of Wit in their own Age did not fail to ridicule them.
That must be a very fantastick Scheme of Virtue, which represents it as a private sublimely selfish Discipline, to preserve our selves wholly unconcerned, not only in the  Changes of Fortune as to our Wealth or Poverty, Liberty or Slavery, Ease or Pain, but even in all external Events  whatsoever, in the Fortunes of our dearest Friends or Country, solacing ourselves that we are easy and undisturbed. If there be any thing amiable in human Nature, the Reflection upon which can give us pleasure, it must be kind disinterested Affections towards our Fellows, or towards the whole, and its Author and Cause. These Affections, when reflected upon, must be one constant Source of Pleasure in Self-Approbation. But some of these very Affections, being toward an uncertain Object, must occasion Pain, and directly produce one sort of Misery to the virtuous in this Life. ’Tis true indeed, it would be a much greater Misery to want such an amiable Temper, which alone secures us from the basest and most detestable State of Self‐Condemnation and Abhorrence. But, allowing such a Temper to be the necessary Occasion of one sort of Happiness, even the greatest we are capable of, yet it may also be the Occasion of no inconsiderable Pains in this Life.
That this affectionate Temper is true Virtue, and not that undisturbed Selfishness, were it attainable, every one would readily own who saw them both in Practice. Would any honest Heart relish such a Speech  as this from a Cato or an Aemilius Paulus? “I foresee the Effects of this Defeat, my Fellow‐Creatures, my Countrymen, my  honourable Acquaintances; many a generous gallant Patriot and Friend, Fathers, Sons, and Brothers, Husbands and Wives, shall be inslaved, tortured, torn from each other, or in each other’s sight made subject to the Pride, Avarice, Petulancy, or Lust of the Conqueror. I have, for my own Pleasure, to secure agreeable Reflections, laboured in their Defence. I am unconcerned in their Misfortunes; their bodily Tortures, or more exquisite Distresses of Mindfor each other, are to me indifferent. I am entirely absolute, compleat in myself; and can behold their Agonies with as much Ease or Pleasure, as I did their Prosperity.” This is the plain Language of some boasting Refiners upon Virtue; Sentiments as disagreeable as those of Catiline.
The Desire of Virtue is toward an Object ἐκ τω̑ν έφ̕ ὴμιν, or in our power, since all Men have naturally kind Affections, which they may increase and strengthen; but these kind Affections tend toward an uncertain Object, which is not in our power. Suppose the Stoick should alledg, “Vice is the only Evil, and Virtue the only Good.” If we have Benevolence to others, we must  wish them to be virtuous, and must have compassion toward the vicious: thus still we may be subjected to Pain or Uneasiness,  by our very Virtue; unless we suppose, what no Experience can confirm, that Men may have strong Desires, the Disappointment of which will give no Uneasiness, or that Uneasiness is no Evil. Let the Philosopher regulate his own Notions as he pleases about Happiness or Misery; whoever imagines himself unhappy, is so in reality; and whoever has kind Affections or Virtue, must be uneasy to see others really unhappy.
But tho a pure unmixed Happiness is not attainable in this Life, yet all their Precepts are not rendered useless.
3.The full Sense of Good may be preserved, without the Pains of Desire, in many Cases.3. For we may observe, thirdly, that “the Sense of Goodcan continue in its full Strength, when yet we shall have but weak Desires.” In this case we are capable of enjoying all the Good in any Object, when we obtain it, and yet exposed to no great Pain upon Disappointment. This may be generally observed, that “the Violence of Desire does not proportionably enliven the Sensation of Good, when it is obtained; nor does diminishing the Desire weaken the Sensation, tho it will diminish the  Uneasiness of Disappointment, or the Misery of contrary Evils.” Our high Expectations of Happiness from  any Object, either thro’ the Acuteness of our Senses, or from our Opinions or Associations of Ideas, never fail to increase Desire: But then the Violence of Desire does not proportionably enliven our Sensation in the Enjoyment. During the first confused Hurry of our Success, our Joy may perhaps be increased by the Violence of our previous Desire, were it only by allaying the great Uneasiness accompanying the Desire itself. But this Joy soon vanishes, and is often succeeded by Disgust and Uneasiness, when our Sense of the Good, which is more fixed in Nature than our Fancy or Opinions, represents the Object far below our Expectation. Now he who examines all Opinions of Good in Objects, who prevents or corrects vain Associations of Ideas, and thereby prevents extravagant Admirations, or enthusiastick Desires, above the real Moment of Good in the Object, if he loses the transient Raptures of the first Success, yet he enjoys all the permanent Goodor Happiness which any Object can afford; and escapes, in a great measure, both the uneasy Sensations of the more violent Desires, and the Torments of Disappointment, to which Persons of irregular Imaginations are exposed.
 This is the Case of the Temperate and the Chaste, with relation to the Appetites; of the Men of Moderation and Frugality,  and corrected Fancy, with regard to the Pleasures of Imagination; of the Humble and the Content, as to Honour, Wealth or Power. Such Persons upon good Success, want only the first transitory Ecstacies; but have a full and lively Sense of all the lasting Good in the Objects of their Pursuit; and yet are in a great measure secure against both the Uneasiness of violent Desire, and the Dejection of Mind, and abject Sorrow upon Disappointment, or upon their being exposed to the contrary Evils.
Further, Persons of irregular Imaginations are not soon reformed, nor their Associations of Ideas broke by every Experience of the Smallness of the Good in the admired Object. They are often rather set upon new Pursuits of the same kind, or of greater Variety of like Objects. So their experience of Disappointment, or of contrary Evils, does not soon correct their Imaginations about the Degrees of Good or Evil. The Loss of Good, or the Pressure of any Calamity, will continue to torment them, thro’ their vain Notions of these Events, and make them insensible of the real Good which they might still enjoy in their present  State. Thus the Covetous have smaller Pleasure in any given Degree of Wealth; the Luxurious from a splendid Table; the Ambitious from any given  Degree of Honour or Power, than Men of more moderate Desires: And on the other hand, the Miseries of Poverty, mean Fare, Subjection, or Contempt, appear much greater to them, than to the moderate. Experience, while these confused Ideas remain, rather increases the Disorder: But if just Reflection comes in, and tho late, applies the proper Cure, by correcting the Opinions and the Imagination, every Experience will tend to our Advantage.
The same way may our publick Desires be regulated. If we prevent confused Notions of Good, we diminish or remove many Anxieties for our Friends as well as our selves. Only this must be remembered, that weakening our publick Affections, necessarily weakens our Sense of publick Good founded upon them, and will deprive us of the Pleasures of the moral Sense, in reflecting on our Virtue.
4.Laying our account to meet with Evil, often lessens our Misery.4. We may lastly remark, “That the Expectation of any Pain, or the frequent Consideration of the Evils which may befal us, or the Loss of Good we now enjoy, before these Events actually threaten  us, or raise any Consternation in our Minds by their Approach, does not diminish our Joy upon escaping Evil, or our Pleasure upon the arrival of any  Good beyond Expectation: But this previous Expectation generally diminishes our Fear, while the Event is in suspence, and our Sorrow upon its arrival;” Since thereby the Mind examines the Nature of the Event, sees how far it is necessarily Evil, and what Supports under it are in its power: This Consideration may break vain Conjunctions of foreign Ideas, which occasion our greatest Fears in Life, and even in Death itself. If, indeed, a weak Minddoes not study to correct the Imagination, but still dwells upon its possible Calamities, under all their borrowed Forms of Terror; or if it industriously aggravates them to itself, this previous Consideration may embitter its whole Life, without arming it against the smallest Evil.
This Folly is often occasioned by that Delight which most Men find in the Pity of others under Misfortunes; those especially, who are continually indulged as the Favourites of Families or Company, being long enured to the Pleasure arising from the perpetual Marks of Love toward them from all their Company, and from their tender Sympathy in Distress: this often leads them even to feign Misery to obtain Pity,  and to raise in themselves the most dejected Thoughts, either to procure Consolation, or the Pleasure of observing the Sympathy of others. This peevish or pettish  Temper, tho it arises from something sociable in our Frame, yet is often the Fore‐runner of the greatest Corruption of Mind. It disarms the Heart of its natural Integrity; it induces us to throw away our true Armour, our natural Courage, and cowardly to commit our selves to the vain Protection of others, while we neglect our own Defence.[Back to Table of Contents]
A Comparison of the Pleasures and Pains of the several Senses, as to Intenseness and Duration.
[126/127] I. Having considered how far these Desires must necessarily affect us, and when they are the Occasions of Pleasure or Pain; since by the first general Observation, the Pursuits of their several Pleasures, and the avoiding their several Pains, may often be inconsistent with each other; let us next examine, which of these several Pleasures are the most valuable, so as to deserve our Pursuit, even with neglect of the others; and which of these Pains are most grievous, so as to be shunned even by the enduring of other Pains if necessary.
“The Value of any Pleasure, and the Quantity or Moment of any Pain, is in a compounded Proportion of the Intenseness and Duration.” In examining the Duration of Pleasure, we must include not only the Constancy of the Object, but even of our Fancy; for a Change in either of these will put an end to it.
The difficulty in comparing the several Pleasures, as to Intenseness.[127/128] To compare these several Pleasures and Pains as to their Intenseness, seems difficult, because of the Diversity of Tastes, or Turns of Temper given by Custom and Education, which make strange Associations of Ideas, and form Habits; from whence it happens, that, tho all the several kinds of original Senses and Desires seem equally natural, yet some are led into a constant Pursuit of the Pleasures of one kind, as the only Enjoyment of Life, and are indifferent about others. Some pursue, or seem to pursue only the Pleasures of the external Senses, and all other Pursuits are made subservient to them: Others are chiefly set upon the Pleasures of Imagination or internal Senses; social and kind Affections employ another sort, who seem indifferent to all private Pleasure: This last Temper has generally joined with it an high moral Sense, and Love of Honour. We may sometimes find an high Sense of Honour and desire of Applause, where there is indeed a moral Sense, but a very weak one, very much perverted, so as to be influenced by popular Opinion, and made subservient to it: In this Character the Pleasures of the external Senses, or even of the Imagination, have little room, except so far as they may produce Distinction. Now upon comparing the several Pleasures, perhaps the Sentence of the Luxurious  would be quite opposite  to that of the Virtuous. The Ambitious would differ from both. Those who are devoted to the internal Senses or Imagination, would differ from all the three. The Miser would applaud himself in his Wealth above them all. Is there therefore no disputing about Tastes? Are all Persons alike happy, who obtain the several Enjoyments for which they have a Relish? If they are, the Dispute is at an end: A Fly or Maggot in its proper haunts, is as happy as a Hero, or Patriot, or Friend, who has newly delivered his Country or Friend, and is surrounded with their grateful Praises. The Fly or Maggot may think so of itself; but who will stand to its Judgment, when we are sure that it has experienced only one sort of Pleasure, and is a stranger to the others? May we not in like manner find some Reasons of appealing from the Judgment of certain Men? Or may not some Characters be found among Men, who alone are capable of judging in this matter?
The Pleasures of a moral Kind proved superior, by the Testimony of the Virtuous.II. It is obvious that “those alone are capable of judging, who have experienced all the several kinds of Pleasure, and have their Senses acute and fully exercised in them all.” Now a high Relish for Virtue, or a strong moral Sense, with  its concomitant publick Sense and Affections, and a Sense of Honour, was never alledged to impair our external Senses, or  to make us incapable of any pleasure of the Imagination; Temperance never spoiled a good Palate, whatever Luxury may have done; a generous affectionate publick Spirit, reflecting on itself with delight, never vitiated any Organ of external Pleasure, nor weakened their Perceptions. Now all virtuous Men have given Virtue this Testimony, that its Pleasures are superior to any other, nay to all others jointly; that a friendly generous Action gives a Delight superior to any other; that other Enjoyments, when compared with the Delights of Integrity, Faith, Kindness, Generosity, and publick Spirit, are but trifles scarce worth any regard.*
By the Testimony of the Vicious.Nay, we need not confine our Evidence to the Testimony of the perfectly Virtuous. The vicious Man, tho no fit judge, were he entirely abandoned, since he loses his Sense of the Pleasures of the moral Kind, or at least has not experienced them fully, yet he generally retains so much of human Nature, and of the Senses and Affections of our  Kind, as sometimes to experience even moral Pleasures. There is scarce any Mortal, who is wholly insensible to all Species of Morality.
 A Luxurious Debauchee has never perhaps felt the Pleasures of a wise publick‐spirited Conduct, of an entirely upright, generous, social, and affectionate Life, with the Sense of his own moral Worth, and merited Esteem and Love; this course of Life, because unknown to him, he may despise in comparison of his Pleasures. But if in any particular Affair, a moral Species, or Point of Honour has affected him, he will soon despise his sensual Pleasures in comparison of the Moral. Has he a Person whom he calls his Friend, whom he loves upon whatever fantastick Reasons, he can quit his Debauch to serve him, nay can run the Hazard of Wounds and Death to rescue him from Danger? If his Honour be concerned to resent an Affront, will he not quit his Pleasures, and run the hazard of the greatest bodily Pain, to shun the Imputation of Cowardice or Falshood? He will scorn one who tells him, that “a Lyar, or a Coward, may be happy enough, while he has all things necessary to Luxury.” ’Tis in vain to alledge, “that there is no disputing about Tastes:” To every Nature there are certain Tastes assigned by the great Author  of all. To the human Race there are assigned a publick Taste, a moral one, and a Taste for Honour. These Senses they cannot extirpate, more than their external Senses:  They may pervert them, and weaken them by false Opinions, and foolish Associations of Ideas; but they cannot be happy but by keeping them in their natural State, and gratifying them. The Happiness of an Insect or Brute, will only make an Insect or Brute happy. But a Nature with further Powers, must have further Enjoyments.
Nay, let us consider the different Ages in our own Species. We once knew the time when an Hobby‐Horse, a Top, a Rattle, was sufficient Pleasure to us. We grow up, we now relish Friendships, Honour, good Offices, Marriage, Offspring, serving a Community or Country. Is there no difference in these Tastes? We were happy before, are we no happier now? If not, we have made a foolish Change of Fancy. An Hobby-Horse is more easily procured than an Employment; a Rattle kept in order with less trouble than a Friend; a Top than a Son. But this Change of Fancy does not depend upon our Will. “Our Nature determines us to certain Pursuits in our several Stages; and following her Dictates, is the only way to our Happiness. Two States may both be  happy, and yet the one infinitely preferable to the other: Two Species may both be content, and yet the Pleasures of the one, greater beyond all comparison, than those of the other.” The virtuous Man, who has  as true a Sense of all external Pleasure as any, gives the preference to moral Pleasures. The Judgment of the Vicious is either not to be regarded, because of his Ignorance on one side; or, if he has experience of moral Sentiments in any particular Cases, he agrees with the Virtuous.
Experience proves the same.III. Again, we see in fact, that in the virtuous Man, publick Affections, a moral Sense, and Sense of Honour, actually overcome all other Desires or Senses, even in their full Strength. Here there is the fairest Combate, and the Success is on the side of Virtue.
There is indeed an obvious Exception against this Argument. “Do not we see, in many Instances, the external Senses overcome the moral?” But the Reply is easy. A constant Pursuit of the Pleasures of the external Senses can never become agreeable, without an Opinion of Innocence, or the Absence of moral Evil; so that here the moral Sense is not engaged in the Combat.  Do not our* luxurious Debauchees, among their Intimates, continually defend their Practices as innocent? Transient Acts of Injustice may be done, contrary to the moral Sentiments of the  Agent, to obtain relief from some pressing Evil, or upon some violent Motion of Appetite: and yet even in these cases, Men often argue themselves into some moral Notions of their Innocence. But for a continued Course of Life disapproved by the Agent, how few are the Instances? How avowedly miserable is that State, wherein all Self‐Approbation, all consciousness of Merit or Goodness is gone? We might here also alledge, what universal Experience confirms, “that not only an Opinion of Innocence is a necessary Ingredient in a Course of selfish Pleasures, so that there should be no Opposition from the moral Sense of the Agent; but that some publick Affections, some Species of moral Good, is the most powerful Charm in all sensual Enjoyments.” And yet, on the other hand, “Publick Affections, Virtue, Honour, need no Species of sensual Pleasure to recommend them; nor even an Opinion or Hope of Exemption from external Pain. These powerful Forms can appear amiable, and engage our Pursuit thro’ the rugged  Paths of Hunger, Thirst, Cold, Labour, Expences, Wounds and Death.”
Thus, when a Prospect of external Pleasure, or of avoiding bodily Pain, engages Men into Actions really evil, the moral Sense of the Agent is not really overcome  by the external Senses. The Action or Omission does not appear morally evil to the Agent. The Temptation seems to extenuate, or wholly excuse the Action. Whereas when a Point of Honour, or a moral Species, makes any one despise the Pleasures or Pains of the external Senses, there can be no question made of a real Victory. The external Senses represent these Objects in the same manner, when they are conquered. None denies to the Virtuous their Sense of Pain, Toil or Wounds. They are allowed as lively a Sense as others, of all external Pleasure of every kind. The Expences of Generosity, Humanity, Charity and Compassion are allowed, even when yielded to Virtue, to be known to the full. But the moral Sense, weak as it often is, does not yield even to known external Pleasure, Ease or Advantage: but, where there is a depraved Taste, and a weak Understanding, private Advantage, or the avoiding of some external Evil, may make Actions appear innocent, which are not; and then the moral Sense gives no Opposition. All the Conquest  on such Occasions is only this, that private external Advantage surmounts our Aversion to Dishonour, by making us do Actions which others will censure, but we esteem innocent. In these Cases we generally fear only the Reproach of a Party,  of whom we have conceived an unfavourable Opinion.*
Nay farther: It was before observed, that “fantastick Associations of Ideas do not really increase the Pleasure of Enjoyment, however they increase the previous Desire. The want of such Associations does not abate the external Pain, tho it diminishes the previous Fear, or takes away some farther Fears which may attend the Pain.” So that a Man of the most correct Imagination does feel and know all the Goodin external Pleasure, and all the Evil in Pain. “When therefore the moral Sense, and publick Affections, overcome all sensual Pleasure, or bodily Pain, they do it by their own Strength, without foreign Aids. Virtue is never blended with bodily Pleasure, nor Vice with bodily Pain in our Imaginations. But when the external Senses seem to prevail against the moral Sense, or publick Affections, it is continually by Aidborrowed from the moral  Sense, and publick Affections themselves, or from our Sense of Honour.” The Conquest is over a weakned moral Sense, upon partial views of Good, not by external Pleasure alone, but  by some moral Species, raised by a false Imagination.
Set before Men in the clearest Light all external Pleasures, but strip them of their borrowed Notions of Dignity, Hospitality, Friendship, Generosity, Liberality, Communication of Pleasure; let no regard be had to the Opinions of others, to Credit, to avoiding Reproach, to Company: Separate from the Pursuit of Wealth all Thoughts of a Family, Friends, Relations, Acquaintance; let Wealth be only regarded as the Means of private Pleasure of the external Senses, or of the Imagination, to the Possessor alone; let us divide our confused Ideas,* and consider things barely and apart from each other: and in opposition to these Desires, set but the weakest moral Species, and see if they can prevail over it. On the other hand, let us examine as much as we please, a friendly, generous, grateful, or publick‐spirited Action; divest it of all external Pleasure, still it will appear the more lovely; the longer we fix our Attention  to it, the more we admire it. What is it which we feel in our own Hearts, determining as it were our Fate as to Happiness or Misery? What sort of Sensations are the most lively and delightful? In what sort of Possessions does the highest Joy and Self‐Satisfaction consist? Who has ever felt the Pleasure of a generous  friendly Temper, of mutual Love, of compassionate Relief and Succour to the distressed; of having served a Community, and render’d Multitudes happy; of a strict Integrity, and thorow Honesty, even under external Disadvantages, and amidst Dangers; of Congratulation and publick Rejoycing, in the Wisdom and Prosperity of Persons beloved, such as Friends, Children, or intimate Neighbours? Who would not, upon Reflection, prefer that State of Mind, these Sensations of Pleasure, to all the Enjoyments of the external Senses, and of the Imagination without them?*
Our Judgments in the Case of others proves the same.IV. The truth, in a Question of this nature, one might expect would be best known by the Judgment of Spectators, concerning the Pursuits of others. Let them see one entirely employed in Solitude, with the most exquisite Tastes, Odors,  Prospects, Painting, Musick; but without any Society, Love or Friendship, or any Opportunity of doing a kind or generous Action; and see also a† Man employed in protecting the Poor and Fatherless, receiving the Blessings of those who were ready to perish, and making the Widow to sing for  Joy; a Father to the Needy, an Avenger of Oppression; who never despised the Cause of his very Slave, but considered him as his Fellow‐Creature, formed by the same Hand; who never eat his Morsel alone, without the Orphan at his Table, nor caused the Eyes of the Poor to fail; who never suffered the Naked to perish, but warmed them with the Fleece of his Sheep; who never took advantage of the Indigent in Judgment, thro’ Confidence in his own Power or Interest; Let this Character be compared with the former; nay, add to this latter some considerable Pains of the external Senses, with Labour and kind Anxiety: which of the two would a Spectator chuse? Which would he admire, or count the happier, and most suitable to human Nature? Were he given to Castle‐building, or were he advising a Son, or a Friend, which of these States would he chuse or recommend? Such a Trial would  soon discover the Prevalence of the moral Species above all Enjoyments of Life.
Little Happiness in malicious Pleasures.V. There are a sort of Pleasures opposite to those of the publick Sense, arising from the Gratification of Anger or Hatred. To compare these Pleasures with those of Benevolence, we must observe what holds universally of all Mankind. The Joy, and Gaiety, and Happiness of any Nature, of which we have formed no previous Opinion,  either favourable or unfavourable, nor obtained any other Ideas than merely that it is sensitive, fills us with Joy and Delight: The apprehending the Torments of any such sensitive Nature, gives us Pain. The Poets know how to raise delight in us by such pastoral Scenes, they feel the Power of such pleasing Images: they know that the human Heart can dwell upon such Contemplations with delight; that we can continue long with Pleasure, in the View of Happiness of any Nature whatsoever. When we have received unfavourable Apprehensions of any Nature, as cruel and savage, we begin indeed from our very publick Affections, to desire their Misery as far as it may be necessary to the Protection of others.
But that the Misery of another, for its own sake, is never grateful, we may all find by making this Supposition: “That had we the  most savage Tyger, or Crocodile, or some greater Monster of our own Kind, a Nero, or Domitian, chained in some Dungeon; that we were perfectly assured they should never have power of doing farther Injuries; that no Mortal should ever know their Fate or Fortunes, nor be influenced by them; that the Punishments inflicted on them would never restrain others by way of example, nor any Indulgence shown be discovered;  that the first Heat of our Resentment were allayed by Time”—No Mortal, in such a Case, would incline to torture such wretched Natures, or keep them in continual Agonies, without some prospect of Goodarising from their Sufferings. What farther would the fiercest Rage extend to, if once the Tyrant, thus eternally confined from Mischief, began himself to feel Remorse and Anguish for his Crimes? Nay, did he continue without Reflection on his past Life, so as neither to betray Remorse nor Approbation, were Mankind well secured against his Temper, who would delight to load him with useless Misery?
If the Misery of others then be not grateful for itself, whence arises the Pleasure of Cruelty and Revenge? The Reason is plainly this: Upon apprehending Injury to our selves or others, Nature wisely determines  us to study Defense, not only for the present, but for the future. Anger arises with its most uneasy Sensations, as every one acknowledges. The Misery of the Injurious allays this furious Pain. Our Nature scarce leads to any farther Resentment, when once the Injurious seems to us fully seized with Remorse, so that we fear no farther Evils from him, or when all his Power is gone. Those who continue their Revenge further, are prepossessed with  some false Opinion of Mankind, as worse than they really are; and are not easily inclined to believe their hearty Remorse for Injuries, or to think themselves secure. Some Point of Honour, or Fear of Reproach, engages Men in cruel Acts of Revenge: But this farther confirms, that the Misery of another is only grateful as it allays, or secures us against a furious Pain; and cannot be the Occasion, by itself, of any Satisfaction. Who would not prefer Absence of Injury to Injury revenged? Who would not chuse an untainted Reputation, for Courage gained in a just War, in which, without Hatredor Anger, we acted from Love of our Country, rather than the Fame acquired by asserting our questioned Courage with furious Anger in a Duel, and with continued Hatredtoward the Person conquered? Who can dwell upon a Scene of Tortures, tho practis’d upon the vilest Wretch; or can delight either  in the Sight or Description of Vengeance, prolonged beyond all necessity of Self‐Defense, or publick Interest? “The Pleasure of Revenge then is to the Pleasures of Humanity and Virtue, as the flaking the burning, and constantly recurring Thirst of a Fever, to the natural Enjoyments of grateful Food in Health.”
Moral Evil compared with other Evils, appears greater. Causes of Mistake.VI. Were we to compare, in like manner, the Pains of the publick and moral Sense, and of the Sense of Honour, with  other Pains of the external Senses, or with the greatest external Losses, we should find the former by far superior. And yet nothing is more ordinary, than to find Men, who will allow “the Pleasures of the former Classes superior to any other, and yet look upon external Pain as more intollerable than any.” There are two Reasons for this Mistake. 1. “They compare the most acute Pains of the external Senses with some smaller Pains of the other Senses.” Whereas, would they compare the strongest of both Kinds, they would find the Ballance on the other side. How often have Parents, Husbands, Friends, Patriots, endured the greatest bodily Pains, to avoid the Pains of their publick and moral Sense, and Sense of Honour? How do they every day suffer Hunger, Thirst, and Toil, to prevent like Evils to those they love?  How often do Men endure, for their Party or Faction, the greatest external Evils, not only when they are unavoidable, but, when by counter‐acting their publick or moral Sense, or Sense of Honour, they could extricate themselves? Some Crimes appear so horrid, some Actions so cruel and detestable, that there is hardly any Man but would rather suffer Death, than be conscious of having done them.
 The second Cause of Mistake in this Matter, is this, “The avoiding moral Evil by the Sufferance of external Pain, does not diminish the Sense of the Pain; but on the other hand, the Motive of avoiding grievous Pain, really diminishes the moral Evil in the Action done with that design.” So that in such Instances we compare external Pain in its full strength, with a moral Pain of the lighter sort, thus alleviated by the Greatness of the Temptation.* To make a just Comparison, it should be thus: “Whether would a Man chuse to be tortured to Death, or to have, without any Temptation or Necessity, tortured another, or a dear Friend, or Child to Death?” Not whether a Man will betray his Friend or Country, for fear of Tortures, but “whether it be better voluntarily, and under no fear, to betray a Friend, or our Country, than to suffer  Tortures, or the Pain of the Gout or Stone equal to Tortures?” Upon such Comparisons as these, we should find some other Pains and Misery superior to any external Pain. When we judge of the State of others, we would not be long in suspense which of these Evils to  chuse as the lightest for those whom we* most regarded.
Publick Affections compared with our Desire of Virtue.VII. We have hitherto only compared on the one side the publick and moral Sense, and the Sense of Honour jointly, with the external Senses, the Pleasures of Imagination, and external Advantage or Disadvantage jointly. The reason of joining them thus must be obvious, since, to a Mind not prepossessed with any false Apprehensions of things, the former three Senses and Desires really concur, in exciting to the same Course of Action; for promoting the publick Good, can never be opposite to private Virtue; nor can the Desire of Virtue ever lead to any thing pernicious to the Publick: Had Men also true Opinions, Honour could only be obtained by Virtue, or serving the Publick.
But since there may be some corrupt partial Notions of Virtue, as when Men have inadvertently engaged themselves into  some Party or Faction pernicious to the Publick, or when we mistake the Tendencies of Actions, or have some Notions of the Deity,† as requiring some Actions  apprehended pernicious to the publick, as Duties to himself; in such cases there is room to compare our publick Sense or Desires with our moral, to see which is prevalent. The Pleasures of these Senses, in such cases, need not be compared; the following either the one or the other will give little Pleasure: The Pain of the counteracted Sense will prevent all Satisfaction. This State is truly deplorable, when a Person is thus distracted between two noble Principles, his publick Affections, and Sense of Virtue. But it may be inquired, which of these Senses, when counteracted, would occasion the greater Pain? Perhaps nothing  can be answered universally on either side. With Men of recluse contemplative Lives, who have dwelt much upon some moral Ideas, but without large extensive View of publick Good, or without engaging themselves to the full in the publick  Affections, and common Affairs of Life: The Sense of Virtue, in some partial confined View of it, would probably prevail; especially since these partial Species of Virtue have always some sort of kind Affection to assist them. With active Men, who have fully exercised their publick Affections, and have acquired as it were an Habit this way, ’tis probable the publick Affections would be prevalent. Thus we find that active Men, upon any publick Necessity, do always break thro’ the limited narrow Rules of Virtue or Justice, which are publickly received, even when they have scarce any Scheme of Principles to justify their Conduct: Perhaps, indeed, in such cases, their moral Sense is brought over to the Side of their Affections, tho their speculative Opinions are opposite to both.
The Moral Sense compared with the Sense of Honour.VIII. It is of more consequence to compare the publick and moral Senses, in opposition to the Sense of Honour. Here there may be direct Opposition, since Honour is conferred according to the moral Notions  of those who confer it, which may be contrary to those of the Agent, and contrary to what he thinks conducive to the publick Good.
To allow the Prevalence of Honour, cannot with any Person of just Reflection,  weaken the Cause of Virtue, since Honour presupposes* a moral Sense, both in those who desire it, and those who confer it. But it is enough for some Writers, who affect to be wondrous shrewd in their Observations on human Nature, and fond of making all the World, as well as themselves, a selfish Generation, incapable of any real Excellence or Virtue, without any natural Disposition toward a publick Interest, or toward any moral Species; to get but a “Set of different Words from those commonly used, yet including the same natural Dispositions,† or presupposing them,” however an inadvertent Reader may not observe it; and they are sufficiently furnished to shew, that there is no real Virtue, that all is but Hyppocrisy, Disguise, Art, or Interest. “To be honoured, highly esteemed, valued, praised, or on the contrary, to be despised, undervalued, censuredor condemned; to be proudor ashamed, are Words without any meaning, if we take away a moral  Sense.” Let this Sense be as capricious, inconstant, different in different Persons as they please to alledge, “a Sense of Morality there must be, and natural it must be, if the Desire of Esteem, Pride or Shame be natural.”
 To make this comparison between the publick and moral Senses on the one hand, and that of Honour on the other, ’tis to be observed, that all Aversion to Evil is stronger than Desire of positive Good. There are many sorts of positive Good, without which any one may be easy, and enjoy others of a different kind: But Evil of almost any kind, in a high Degree, may make Life intolerable. The avoiding of Evil is always allowed a more extenuating Circumstance in a Crime, than the Prospect of positive Good: to make therefore just Comparisons of the Prevalence of several Desires or Senses, their several Goods should be opposed to each other, and their Evils to each other, and not the Pleasures of one compared with the Pains of another.
Publick Affections, in their nearer Ties, frequently overcome not only the Pleasures of Honour, but even the Pains of Shame. This is the most common Event in Life,  that for some apprehended Interest of Offspring, Families, Friends, Men should neglect Opportunities of gaining Honour, and even incur Shame and Contempt. In Actions done for the Service of a Party, there can be no comparison, for Honour is often a Motive on both sides.
 ’Tis also certain, that the Fear of Shame, in some Instances, will overcome all other Desires whatsoever, even natural Affection, Love of Pleasure, Virtue, Wealth, and even of Life itself. This Fear has excited Parents to the Murder of their Offspring; has persuaded Men to the most dangerous Enterprizes; to squander away their Fortunes, to counteract their Duty, and even to throw away their Lives. The Distraction and Convulsion of Mind observable in these Conflicts of Honour, with Virtue and publick Affection, shews how unnatural that State is, wherein the strongest Principles of Action, naturally designed to co‐operate and assist each other, are thus set in Opposition.
’Tis perhaps impossible to pronounce any thing universally concerning the Superiority of the Desire of Honour on the one hand, or that of the Desire of Virtue and publick Goodon the other. Habits or  Custom may perhaps determine the Victory on either side. Men in high Stations, who have long indulged the Desire of Honour, and have formed the most frightful Apprehensions of Contempt as the worst of Evils; or even those in lower Stations, who have been long enured to value Reputation in any particular, and dread Dishonour in that point, may have Fear of Shame superior  to all Aversions. Men, on the contrary, who have much indulged good Nature, or reflected much upon the Excellency of Virtue itself, abstracted from Honour, may find Affections of this kind prevalent above the Fear of Shame.
To compare the moral Sense with the Sense of Honour, we must find cases where the Agent condemns an Action with all its present Circumstances as evil, and yet fears Infamy by omitting it, without any unequal Motives of other kinds on either side: Or when one may obtain Praise by an Action, when yet the Omission of it would appear to himself as considerable a Virtue, as the Praise to be expected from the Action would represent the Action to be. The common Instances, in which some, who pretend deep Knowledge of human Nature, triumph much, have not these necessary Circumstances.Duels no proper Instances. When a Man condems Duelling in his private Sentiments, and yet practices it, we have indeed a considerable  Evidence of the Strength of this Desire of Honour, or Aversion to Shame, since it surpasses the Fear of Death. But here on one hand, besides the Fear of Shame, there is the Fear of constant Insults, of losing all the Advantages depending upon the Character of Courage, and sometimes even some Species of Virtue and publick Good, in restraining an insolent  Villain: On the other hand is the Fear of Death. The moral Sense is seldom much concerned: for however Men may condemn voluntary Duelling; however they may blame the Age for the Custom, or censure the Laws as defective, yet generally, in their present Case, Duelling appears a necessary Piece of Self‐Defence against opprobrious Injuries and Affronts, for which the Law has provided no Redress, and consequently leaves Men to the natural Rights of Self-Defence and Prosecution of Injuries. The Case seems to them the same with that of Thieves and Night‐Robbers, who may be put to Death by private Persons, when there is no hope of overtaking them by Law. These are certainly the Notions of those who condemn Duelling, and yet practise it.
It is foreign to our present Purpose, to detect the Fallacy of these Arguments, in defence of Duels, as they are commonly practiced among us; when Men from a  sudden Anger, upon some trifling or imaginary Affronts the despising of which would appear honourable in every wise Man’s Eyes, expose themselves, and often their dearest Friends to Death, and hazard the Ruin of their own Families, as well as that of their Adversary; tho the Success in such Attempts can have no tendency to justify them  against the dishonourable Charge, or to procure any Honour from Men of worth.
Nor the Case of Lucretia.The magnified Instance of Lucretia* is yet less to our purpose. Some talk, as if “she indeed would rather have died than consented to the Crime; but the Crime did not appear so great an Evil as the Dishonour; to the Guilt she submitted to avoid the Shame.” Let us consider this renowned Argument. Was there then no Motive on either side, but Fear of Shame, and a Sense of Duty? If we look into the Story, we shall find, that to persuade her to consent, there conspired, beside the Fear of Shame, and of Death, which she little regarded, the Hope of noble Revenge, or rather of Justice on the Ravisher, and the whole Tyrant’s Family; nay, the Hopes of a  nobler Fame by her future Conduct; the Fear of suffering that contumely by force, which she was tempted to consent to, and that in such a manner as she could have had no Redress. All these Considerations concurred to make her consent. On the other side, there was only the moral Sense of a Crime thus extenuated by the most grievous Necessity, and by hopes of doing Justice to her Husband’s Honour, and rescuing her Country: Nay,  could she not have at once saved her Character and her Life by consenting; when in that virtuous Age she might have expected Secrecy in the Prince, since boasting of such Attempts would have been dangerous to the greatest Man in Rome?
It is not easy to find just Room for a Comparison even in fictitious Cases, between these two Principles. Were there a Person who had no Belief of any Deity, or of any reality in Religion, in a Country where his secular Interest would not suffer by a Character of Atheism; and yet he knew that the Profession of zealous Devotion would tend to his Honour: If such a Person could have any Sense of Morality, particularly an Aversion to Dissimulation, then his Profession of Religion would evidence the Superiority of the Sense of Honour;  and his Discovery of his Sentiments, or Neglect of Religion, would evidence the Ballance to be on the other side. I presume in Englandand Holland, we have more Instances of the latter than the former. ’Tis true, our Gentlemen who affect the Name of Freedom, may have now their Hopes of Honour from their own Party, as well as others.
The Adherence to any particular Religion by one in a strange Country, where it was dishonourable, would not be allowed a  good Instance of the Prevalence of a moral Species; it is a very common thing indeed, but here are Interests of another Life, and Regard to a future Return to a Country where this Religion is in repute.
The Pleasures of Imagination greater than those of external Senses.IX. The Pleasures of the internal Senses, or of the Imagination, are allowed by all, who have any tolerable Taste of them, as a much superior Happiness to those of the external Senses, tho they were enjoyed to the full.
Other Comparisons might be made but with less use, or certainty in any general Conclusions, which might be drawn from them.
 The Pleasures of Wealth or Power, are proportioned to the Gratifications of the Desires or Senses, which the Agent intends to gratify by them: So that, for the Reasons above offered, Wealth and Power give greater Happiness to the Virtuous, than to those who consult only Luxury or external Splendor. If these Desires are grown enthusiastick and habitual, without regard to any other end than Possession, they are an endless Source of Vexation, without any real Enjoyment; a perpetual Craving, without Nourishment or Digestion; and they may surmount all other Affections,  by Aids borrowed from other Affections themselves.
The fantastick Desires are violent, in proportion to the Senses from which the associated Ideas are borrowed. Only it is to be observed, that however the Desires may be violent, yet the obtaining the Object desiredgives little Satisfaction; the Possession discovers the Vanity and Deceit, and the Fancy is turned toward different Objects, in a perpetual Succession of inconstant Pursuits.
A Comparison of the several Pleasures as to Duration.X. These several kinds of Pleasure or Pain are next to be compared as to their Duration. Here we are not only to consider  the Certainty of the Objects occasioning these Sensations, but the Constancy of our Relish or Fancy.
1. The Objects necessary to remove the Pains of Appetite, and to give as grateful external Sensations as any others, to a Person of a correct Imagination, may be universally secured by common Prudence and Industry. But then the Sensations themselves are short and transitory; the Pleasure continues no longer than the Appetite, nor does it leave any thing behind it, to supply the Intervals of Enjoyment. When the Sensation is past, we are no happier for it, there is no pleasure in  Reflection; nor are past Sensations any security against, or support under either external Pain, or any other sort of evil incident to us. If we keep these Senses pure, and unmixed with foreign Ideas, they cannot furnish Employment for Life: If foreign Ideas come in, the Objects grow difficult and uncertain, and our Relish or Fancy full of Inconstancy and Caprice.
 2. In like manner, the Pleasures of the Imagination may be enjoyed by all, and be a sure Foundation of Pleasure, if we abstract from Property, and keep our Imagination pure. Such are the Pleasures in the Observation of Nature, and even the Works of Art; which are ordinarily exposed to view. But as these give less Pleasure the more familiar they grow, they cannot sufficiently employ or entertain Mankind, much less can they secure us against, or support us under the Calamities of Life, such as Anger, Sorrow, Dishonour, Remorse, or external Pain. If the monstrous or trifling Taste take place, or the Ideas of Property, they may indeed give sufficient Employment, but they bring along with them little Pleasure, frequent Disgusts, Anxieties, and Disappointments, in the acquiring and retaining their Objects.
 3. The publick Happiness is indeed, as to external Appearance, a very uncertain Object; nor is it often in our power to remedy it, by changing the Course of Events. There are perpetual Changes in Mankind from Pleasures to Pains, and often from Virtue to Vice. Our publick Desires must therefore frequently subject us to Sorrow; and the Pleasures of the publick Sense must  be very inconstant. ’Tis true indeed, that a general Good‐will to our kind, is the most constant Inclination of the Mind, which grows upon us by Indulgence; nor are we ever dissatisfied with the Fancy: the Incertainty therefore is wholly owing to the Objects. If there can be any Considerations found out to make it probable, that in the Whole all Events tend to Happiness, this implicit Hope indeed may make our publick Affections the greatest and most constant Source of Pleasure. Frequent Reflection on this, is the best Support under the Sorrow arising from particular evils, befalling our Fellow‐Creatures. In our nearer Attachments brought upon our selves, we may procure to our selves the greatest Enjoyments of this kind, with considerable Security and Constancy, by chusing for our Friends, or dearest Favourites, Persons of just Apprehensions of Things, who are subjected only to the necessary Evils of Life, and can enjoy all  the certain and constant Good. And in like manner, our Attachment to a Country may be fixed by something else than the Chance of our Nativity. The Enjoyments of the publick Sense cannot indeed secure us against bodily Pains or Loss; but they are often a considerable Support under them. Nothing can more allay Sorrow and Dejection of Mind for private Misfortunes, than good  Nature, and Reflection upon the Happiness of those we love.
4. The moral Sense, if we form true Opinions of the Tendencies of Actions, and of the Affections whence they spring, as it is the Fountain of the most intense Pleasure, so “it is in itself constant, not subject to Caprice or Change. If we resolutely incourage this Sense, it grows more acute by frequent Gratification, never cloys, nor ever is surfeited. We not only are sure never to want Opportunities of doing good, which are in every one’s power in the highest Degree;* but each good Action is Matter of pleasant Reflection as long as we live. These Pleasures cannot indeed wholly secure us against all kinds of Uneasiness, yet they never tend naturally to increase them. On the contrary, their general  Tendency is to lead the virtuous Agent into all Pleasures, in the highest Degree in which they are consistent with each other. Our external Senses are not weakned by Virtue, our Imaginations are not impaired; the temperate Enjoyment of all external Pleasures is the highest. A virtuous Conduct is generally the most prudent, even as to outward Prosperity. Where Virtue costs us much, its own  Pleasures are the more sublime. It directly advances the Pleasures of the publick Sense, by leading us to promote the publick Happiness as far as we can; and Honour is its natural and ordinary Attendant. If it cannot remove the necessary Pains of Life, yet it is the best Support under them. These moral Pleasures do some way more nearly affect us than any other: They make us delight in our selves, and relish our very Nature. By these we perceive an internal Dignity and Worth; and seem to have a Pleasure like to that ascribed often to the Deity, by which we enjoy our own Perfection, and that of every other Being.”
It may perhaps seem too metaphysical to alledge on this Subject, that other Sensations are all dependent upon, or related by the Constitution of our Nature, to something different from our selves; to a  Body which we do not call Self, but something belonging to this Self. That other Perceptions of Joy or Pleasure carry with them Relations to Objects, and Spaces distinct from this Self; whereas “the Pleasures of Virtue are the very Perfection of thisSelf, and are immediately perceived as such, independent of external Objects.”
Our Sense of Honour may afford very constant Pleasures by good Oeconomy: If  our moral Sense be not perverted; if we form just Apprehensions of the Worth of others, Honour shall be pleasant to us in a compound Proportion of the Numbers and Worth of those who confer it. If therefore we cannot approve our selves to all, so as to obtain universal Honour among all to whom we are known, yet there are still Men of just Thought and Reflection, whose Esteem a virtuous Man may procure. Their Dignity will compensate the Want of Numbers, and support us against the Pains of Censure from the Injudicious.
The Inconstancy of the Pleasures of Wealth and Power is well known, and is occasioned, not perhaps by Change of Fancy, for these Desires are found to continue long enough, since they tend toward the universal Means of gratifying all other Desires; but by the Uncertainty of Objects  or Events necessary to gratify such continually increasing Desires as these are, where there is not some fixed View different from the Wealth or Power itself. When indeed they are desired only as the Means of gratifying some other well‐regulated Desires, we may soon obtain such a Portion as will satisfy us. But if once the Endbe forgotten, and Wealth or Power become grateful for themselves, no farther Limits are to be expected: the Desires are insatiable, nor is there any  considerable Happiness in any given Degree of either.
The Durations of the several Pains considered.XI. Were we to consider the Duration of the several Pains, we may find it generally as the Duration of their Pleasures. As to the external Senses, the old Epicurean Consolation is generally just: “Where the Pain is violent, it shortens our Duration; when it does not shorten our Duration, it is generally either tolerable, or admits of frequent Intermissions;” and then, when the external Pain is once past, no Mortal is the worse for having endured it. There is nothing uneasy in the Reflection, when we have no present Pain, or fear no Return of it.
The internal Senses are not properly Avenues of Pain. No Form is necessarily the Occasion of positive Uneasiness.
 The Pains of the moral Sense and Sense of Honour, are almost perpetual. Time, the Refuge of other Sorrows, gives us no Relieffrom these. All other Pleasures are made insipid by these Pains, and Life itself an uneasy Burden. Our very Self, our Nature is disagreeable to us. ’Tis true, we do not always observe the Vicious to be uneasy. The Deformity of Vice often does not appear to those who continue in a Course of  it. Their Actions are under some Disguise of Innocence, or even of Virtue itself. When this Mask is pulled off, as it often happens, nor can any vicious Man prevent its happening, Vice will appear as a Fury, whose Aspect no Mortal can bear. This we may see in one Vice, which perhaps has had fewer false or fantastick Associations of favourable Ideas than any, viz. Cowardice, or such a selfish Love of Life, and Aversion to Death, or to the very Hazard of it, as hinders a Man from serving his Country or his Friend, or supporting his own Reputation. How few of our gay Gentlemen can bear to be reputed Cowards, or even secretly to imagine themselves void of Courage? This is not tolerable to any, how negligent soever they may be about other Points in Morality. Other Vices would appear equally odious and despicable, and bear as horrid an Aspect, were they equally stript of the Disguises of Virtue. A vicious Man has no other Security against the Appearances of this terrifying Form, than Ignorance or Inadvertence. If Truth break in upon him, as it often must, when any Adversity stops his intoxicating Pleasures, or Spectators use Freedom with his Conduct, he is render’d perpetually miserable, or must fly to the only Remedy which Reason would suggest, all possible Reparation of Injuries, and a new Course of Life, the Necessity of which  is not superseded by any Remedy suggested by the Christian Revelation.
The Pains of the publick Sense are very lasting. The Misery of others, either in past or present Ages, is matter of very uneasy Reflection, and must continue so, if their State appears in the whole absolutely Evil. Against this there is no Relief but the Consideration of a “good governingMind, ordering all for good in the whole, with the Belief of a future State, where the particular seeming Disorders are rectified.” A firm Persuasion of these Things, with strong publick Affections interesting us strongly in this Whole, and considering this Whole as one great System, in which all is wisely ordered for good, may secure us against these Pains, by removing the Opinion of any absolute Evil.
 The Pains arising from foolish Associations of moral Ideas, with the Gratifications of external Senses, or with the Enjoyment of Objects of Beauty or Grandeur, or from the Desires of Property, the Humour of Distinction, may be as constant as the Pains of the Senses from which these Ideas are borrowed. Thus what we gain by these Associations is very little. “The Desires of Trifles are often made very strong and uneasy; the Pleasures of Possession very  small and of short Continuance, only till the Object be familiar, or the Fancy change: But the Pains of Disappointment are often very lasting and violent. Would we guard against these Associations, every real Pleasure in Life remains, and we may be easy without these things, which to others occasion the greatest Pains.”
Some general Conclusions concerning the best Management of our Desires. With some Principles necessary to Happiness.
[165/167] We see therefore, upon comparing the several kinds of Pleasures and Pains, both as to Intention and Duration, that “the whole Sum of Interest lies upon the Side of Virtue, Publick‐spirit, and Honour. That to forfeit these Pleasures in whole, or in part, for any other Enjoyment, is the most foolish Bargain; and on the contrary, to secure them with the Sacrifice of all others, is the truest Gain.”
Constant Discipline necessary.There is one general Observation to be premised, which appears of the greatest Necessity for the just Management of all our Desires; viz. that we should, as much as possible, in all Affairs of Importance to our selves or others, prevent the Violence of their confused Sensation, and stop their Propensities from breaking out into Action, till we have fully examined the real Moment of the Object, either of our Desires  or Aversions. The only way to affect this is, “a constant Attention of Mind, an habitual Discipline over our selves, and a fixed Resolution to stop all Action, before a calm Examination of every Circumstance attending it; more particularly, the real Values of external Objects, and the moral Qualities or Tempers of rational Agents, about whom our Affections may be employed.” This Power we may obtain over our selves, by a frequent Consideration of the great Calamities, and pernicious Actions, to which even the best of our Passions may lead us, when we are rashly hurried into Action by their Violence, and by the confused Sensations, and fantastick Associations of Ideas which attend them: Thus we may raise an habitual Suspicion and Dreadof every violent Passion, which, recurring along with them continually, may in some measure counter‐ballance their Propensities and confused Sensations. This Discipline of our Passions is in general necessary. The unkindor destructive Affections, our Anger, Hatred, or Aversion to rational Agents, seem to need it most; but there is also a great Necessity for it, even about the tender and benign Affections, lest we should be hurried into universal and absolute Evil, by the Appearance of particular Good: And consequently it must be of the highest Importance to all, to strengthen as much  as possible, by frequent Meditation and Reflection, the calm  Desires either private or publick, rather than the particular Passions, and to make the calm universal Benevolence superior to them.
Resignation of sensual Pleasures.That the necessary Resignation of other Pleasures may be the more easy, we must frequently suggest to our selves these Considerations abovementioned. “External Pleasures are short and transitory, leave no agreeable Reflection, and are no manner of Advantage to us when they are past; we are no better than if we had wanted them altogether.”
In like manner, “past Pains give us no unpleasant Reflection, nor are we the worse for having endured them. If they are violent, our Existence will probably be short; if not, they are tolerable, or allow long Intervals of Ease.” Let us join to these a stoical Consideration; “that external Pains give us a noble Opportunity of moral Pleasures in Fortitude, and Submission to the Order of the whole, if we bear them resolutely; but if we fret under them, we do not alleviate the Suffering, but rather increase it by Discontent or Sullenness.” When external Pains must be endured voluntarily to avoid moral Evil, we must, as much as possible, present to our selves  “the moral Species itself,  with the publick Goodto ensue, the Honour and Approbation to be expected from all good Men, the Deity, and our own Hearts, if we continue firm; and on the contrary, the Remorse, Shame and Apprehension of future Punishments, if we yield to this Temptation.”
How necessary it is to break off the vain Associations of moral Ideas, from the Objects of external Senses, will also easily appear. This may be done, by considering how trifling the Services are which are done to our Friends or Acquaintances, by splendid Entertainments, at an Expense, which, otherways employed, might have been to them of considerable Importance. Men who are at ease, and of as irregular Imaginations as our selves, may admire and praise our Magnificence; but those who need more durable Services, will never think themselves much obliged. We cannot expect any Gratitude for what was done only to please our own Vanity: The Indigent easily see this, and justly consider upon the whole how much they have profited.
If the Wealth of the Luxurious fails, he is the Object of Contempt: No body pities him nor honours him: his personal Dignity was placed by himself in his Table,  Equipage and Furniture; his Admirers placed  it also in the same: When these are gone all is lost.
There is no Enjoyment of external Pleasure, which has more imposed upon Men of late, by some confused Species of Morality, than Gallantry. The sensible Pleasure alone must, by all Men who have the least Reflection, be esteemed at a very low rate: But the Desires of this kind, as they were by Nature intended to found the most constant uninterrupted Friendship, and to introduce the most venerable and lovely Relations, by Marriages and Families, arise in our Hearts, attended with some of the sweetest Affections, with a disinterested Love and Tenderness, with a most gentle and obliging Deportment, with something great and heroick in our Temper. The Wretch who rises no higher in this Passion than the mean sensual Gratification, is abhorred by every one: But these sublimer Sensations and Passions do often so fill the Imaginations of the Amorous, that they are unawares led into  the  most contemptible and cruel Conduct which can be imagined. When for some trifling transitory Sensations, which they might have innocently enjoyed along with the highest moral Pleasures in Marriage, they expose the very Person they love and admire to the deepest Infamy and Sorrow, to the Contempt of the World, to perpetual Confusion, Remorse, and Anguish; or, to what is worse, an Insensibility of all Honour or Shame, Virtue or Vice, Good or Evil, to be the Scorn and Aversion of the World; and all this coloured over with the gay Notions of Pleasantry, Genteelness, Politeness, Courage, high Enjoyment of Life.
Would Men allow themselves a little Time to reflect on the whole Effect of such capricious Pursuits, the Anguish and Distraction of Mind which these Sallies of Pleasure give to Husbands, Fathers, Brothers; would they consider how they themselves would resent such Treatment of a Wife, a Child, a Sister; how much deeper such Distresses are, than those trifling Losses or Damages, for which we think it just to bring the Authors of them to the Gallows; sure none but a thorow Villain could either practice or approve the one more than the other.
[171/173] A wise Man in his Oeconomy, must do much even in Complaisance to the Follies of others, as well as his own Conveniency, to support that general good Opinion which must be maintained by those who would be publickly useful. His Expences must be some way suited to his Fortune, to avoid the Imputation of Avarice. If indeed what is saved in private Expences, be employed in generous Offices, there is little danger of this Charge. Such a Medium may be kept as to be above Censure, and yet below any Affectation of Honour or Distinction in these matters. If one corrects his own Imagination in these things, he will be in no danger of doing any thing pernicious to please others. He is still in a State fit to judge of the real Importance of every thing which occurs to him, and will gratify the false Relish of others, no farther than it is consistent with, and subservient to some nobler Views.
Conduct necessary about the Pleasures of Imagination.II. To make the Pleasures of Imagination a constant Source of Delight, as they seem intended in the Frame of our Nature, with no hazard of Pain, it is necessary to keep the Sense free from foreign Ideas of Property, and the Desire of Distinction, as much as possible. If this can be done, we may receive Pleasure from every Work of Nature or Art around us. We enjoy  not only the whole of Nature, but the united Labours of all about us. To prevent the Idea of Property, let us consider “how little the Proprietor enjoys more than the Spectator: Wherein is he the better or the happier?” The Poet, or the Connoisseur, who judges nicely of the Perfection of the Works of Art, or the Beauties of Nature, has generally a higher Taste than the Possessor. The magnificent Palace, the grand Apartments, the Vistas, the Fountains, the Urns, the Statues, the Grottos and Arbours, are exposed either in their own Nature, or by the Inclination of the Proprietor, to the Enjoyment of others. The Pleasure of the Proprietor depends upon the Admiration of others, he robs himself of his chief Enjoyment if he excludes Spectators: Nay, may not a Taste for Nature be acquired, giving greater Delight than the Observation of Art?
Must an artful Grove, an Imitation of a Wilderness, or the more confined Forms or  Ever‐greens, please more than the real Forest,  with the Trees of God? Shall a Statue give more Pleasure than the human Face Divine?
Where the Humour of Distinction is not corrected, our Equals become our Adversaries: The Grandeur of another is our Misery, and makes our Enjoyments insipid. There is only one way of making this Humour tolerable, but this way is almost inconsistent with the Inclination itself, viz. “continually to haunt with our Inferiors, and compare our selves with them.” But if inconstant Fortune, or their own Merit do raise any of them to equal us, our Pleasure is lost, or we must sink ourselves to those who are still Inferior, and abandon the Society of every Person whose Art or Merit raises him. How poor a Thought is this!
The Pursuits of the Learnedhave often as much Folly in them as any others, when Studies are not valued according to their Use in Life, or the real Pleasures they contain, but for the Difficulty and Obscurity, and consequently the Rarity and Distinction. Nay, an abuse may be made of the most noble and manly Studies, even of Morals, Politicks, and Religion itself, if our Admiration and Desire terminate upon the Knowledge itself, and not upon  the Possession of  the Dispositions and Affections inculcated in these Studies. If these Studies be only matter of Amusement and Speculation, instead of leading us into a constant Discipline over our selves, to correct our Hearts, and to guide our Actions, we are not much better employed, than if we had been studying some useless Relations of Numbers, or Calculations of Chances.
There is not indeed any part of Knowledge which can be called entirely useless. The most abstracted Parts of Mathematicks, and the Knowledge of mythological History, or antient Allegories, have their own Pleasures not inferior to the more gay Entertainments of Painting, Musick, or Architecture; and it is for the Advantage of Mankind that some are found, who have a Taste for these Studies. The only Fault lies, in letting any of those inferior Tastes engross the whole Man to the Exclusion of the nobler Pursuits of Virtue and Humanity.
Concerning all these Pleasures of the Imagination, let us consider also “how little support they can give Men under any of the Calamities of Life,” such as the Treachery or Baseness of a Friend, a Wife, a Child, or the perplexing Intricacies  of our common Affairs, or the Apprehension of Death.
Ideas of Divinity arise from the internal Senses.III. Under this Head of our Internal Sense, we must observe one natural Effect of it, that it leads us into Apprehensions of aDeity. Grandeur, Beauty, Order, Harmony, wherever they occur, raise an Opinion of a Mind, of Design, and Wisdom. Every thing great, regular, or proportioned, excites Veneration, either toward itself, if we imagine it animated, if not animated, toward some apprehended Cause. No Determination of our Mind is more natural than this, no Effect more universal. One has better Reason to deny the Inclination between the Sexes to be natural, than a Disposition in Mankind to Religion.
We cannot open our Eyes, without discerning Grandeur and Beauty every where. Whoever receives these Ideas, feels an inward Veneration arise. We may fall into a Thousand vain Reasonings: foolish limited Notions of Divinity may be formed, as attached to the particular Places or  Objects, which strike us in the most lively  manner. Custom, Prejudice of Sense or Education, may confirm some foolish Opinion about the Nature or Cause of these Appearances: But wherever a superior Mind, a governing Intention or Design is imagined, there Religion begins in its most simple Form, and an inward Devotion arises. Our Nature is as much determined to this, as to any other Perception or Affection. How we manage these Ideas and Affections, is indeed of the greatest Importance to our Happiness or Misery.
The Apprehension of an universal Mind with Power and Knowledge, is indeed an agreeable Object of Contemplation. But we must form our Ideas of all intelligent Natures, with some Resemblance or Analogy to our selves: We must also conceive something correspondent to our Affections in the Divinity, with some moral Apprehensions of the Actions and Tempers of his Creatures. The Order of Nature will suggest many Confirmations of this. We must conclude some Worship acceptable, and some Expressions of Gratitude as our Duty. The Conceptions of the Deity must be various, according to the different Degrees of Attention and Reasoning in the Observers, and their own Tempers and Affections. Imagining the divine Mind, as cruel,  wrathful, or capricious, must be a perpetual Source of Dread and Horror; and will be apt to raise a Resemblance of Temper in the Worshipper, with its attendant Misery. A contrary  Idea of the Divinty, as good, and kind, delighting in universal Happiness, and ordering all Events of the Universe to this End, as it is the most delightful Contemplation, so it fills the good Mind with a constant Security and Hope, amidst either publick Disorders, or private Calamities.
To find out which of these two Representations of the Deity is the true one, we must consult the Universe, the Effect of his Power, and the Scene of his Actions. After what has been observed by so many ingenious Authors, both Ancient and Modern, one cannot be at a loss which Opinion to chuse. We may only on this occasion consider the Evidences of divine Goodness appearing in the Structure of our own Nature, and in the Order of our Passions and Senses.
Evidences of the Goodness of God in the Frame of our Senses and Affections.It was observed above, how admirably our Affections are contrived for good in the whole. Many of them indeed do not pursue the private Goodof the Agent; nay, many of them, in various Cases, seem to tend to his detriment, by concerning him violently in the Fortunes of others, in their  Adversity, as well as their Prosperity. But they all aim at good, either private or publick: and by them each particular Agent is  made, in a great measure, subservient to the good of the whole. Mankind are thus insensibly link’d together, and make one great System, by an invisible Union. He who voluntarily continues in this Union, and delights in employing his Power for his Kind, makes himself happy: He who does not continue this Union freely, but affects to break it, makes himself wretched; nor yet can he break the Bonds of Nature. His publick Sense, his Love of Honour, and the very Necessities of his Nature, will continue to make him depend upon his System, and engage him to serve it, whether he inclines to it or not. Thus we are formed with a View to a general good End; and may in our own Nature discern a universal Mind watchful for the whole.
The same is observable in the Order of our external Senses. The simple Productions of Nature, which are useful to any Species of Animals, are also grateful to them; and the pernicious or useless Objects are made disagreeable. Our external Sensations are no doubt often painful, when our Bodies are in a dangerous State; when they want supplies of Nourishment; when any thing external would be injurious to them. But if it appears, “that the general Laws  are wisely constituted, and that it is necessary to the Good of a System of  such Agents, to be under the Influence of general Laws, upon which there is occasion for Prudence and Activity;” the particular Pains occasioned by a necessary Law of Sensation, can be no Objection against the Goodness of the Author.
Now that there is no room for complaint, that “our external Sense of Pain is made too acute,” must appear from the Multitudes we daily see so careless of preserving the Blessing of Health, of which many are so prodigal as to lavish it away, and expose themselves to external Pains for very trifling Reasons. Can we then repine at the friendly Admonitions of Nature, joined with some Austerity, when we see that they are scarce sufficient to restrain us from Ruin? The same may be said of the Pains of other kinds. Shame and Remorse are never to be called too severe, while so many are not sufficiently restrained by them. Our Compassion and friendly Sense of Sorrow, what are they else but the Alarms and Exhortations of a kind impartial Father, to engage his Children to relieve a distressed Brother? Our Anger itself is a necessary Piece of Management, by which every pernicious Attempt is made dangerous to its Author.
[180/182] Would we allow room to our Invention, to conceive what sort of Mechanism, what Constitutions of Senses or Affections a malicious powerful Being might have formed, we should soon see how few Evidences there are for any such Apprehension concerning the Author of this World. Our Mechanism, as far as we have ever yet discovered, is wholly contrived for good. No cruel Device, no Art or Contrivance to produce evil: No such Mark or Scope seems ever to be aimed at. How easy had it been to have contrived some necessary Engines of Misery without any use; some Member of no other service but to be matter of Torment; Senses incapable of bearing the surrounding Objects without Pain; Eyes pained with the Light; a Palate offended with the Fruits of the Earth; a Skin as tender as the Coats of the Eye, and yet some more furious Pain forcing us to bear these Torments? Human Society might have been made as uneasy as the Company of Enemies, and yet a perpetual more violent Motive of Fear might have forc’d us to bear it. Malice, Rancour, Distrust, might have been our natural Temper. Our Honour and Self‐Approbation might have depended upon Injuries; and the Torments of others been made our Delight, which yet we could not have enjoyed thro’  perpetual Fear. Many such Contrivances we  may easily conceive, whereby an evil Mindcould have gratified his Malice by our Misery. But how unlike are they all to the Intention or Design of the Mechanism of this World?
Our Passions no doubt are often matter of Uneasiness to our selves, and sometimes occasion Misery to others, when any one is indulged into a Degree of Strength beyond its Proportion. But which of them could we have wanted, without greater Misery in the whole? They are by Nature ballanced against each other, like the Antagonist Muscles of the Body; either of which separately would have occasioned Distortion and irregular Motion, yet jointly they form a Machine, most accurately subservient to the Necessities, Convenience, and Happiness of a rational System. We have a Power of Reason and Reflection, by which we may see what Course of Action will naturally tend to procure us the most valuable Gratifications of all our Desires, and prevent any intolerable or unnecessary Pains, or provide some support under them. We have Wisdom sufficient to form Ideas of Rights, Laws, Constitutions; so as to preserve large Societies in Peace and Prosperity, and promote a general Goodamidst all the private Interests.
[182/184] If from the present Order of Nature, in which Goodappears far superior to Evil, we have just Presumptions to conclude the Deity to be benevolent, it is not conceivable “that any Being, who desires the Happiness of others, should not desire a greater Degree of Happiness to them rather than a less; and that consequently the whole Series of Events is the best possible, and contains in the whole the greatest possible absolute Good:” especially since we have no Presumption of any private Interest, which an universalMind can have in view, in opposition to the greatest Good of the whole. Nor are the particular Evils occurring to our Observation, any just Objection against the perfect Goodness of the universal Providence to us, who cannot know how far these Evils may be necessarily connected with the Means of the greatest possible absolute Good.
The Conduct of our publick Sense andAffections.IV. In managing our publick Sense of the State of others, we must beware of one common Mistake, viz. “apprehending every Person to be miserable in those Circumstances, which we imagine would make our selves miserable.” We may easily find, that the lower Rank of Mankind, whose only Revenue is their bodily Labour, enjoy as much Chearfulness, Contentment, [183/185] Health, Gaiety, in their own way, as any in the highest Station of Life. Both their Minds and Bodies are soon fitted to their State. The Farmer and Labourer, when they enjoy the bare Necessaries of Life, are easy. They have often more correct Imaginations, thro’ Necessity and Experience, than others can acquire by Philosophy. This Thought is indeed a poor Excuse for a base selfish Oppressor, who, imagining Poverty a great Misery, bears hard upon those in a low Station of Life, and deprives them of their natural Conveniences, or even of bare Necessaries. But this Consideration may support a compassionate Heart, too deeply touched with apprehended Miseries, of which the Sufferers are themselves insensible.
The Pains of this Sense are not easily removed. They are not allayed by the Distinction of Pains into real and imaginary. Much less will it remove them, to consider how much of human Misery is owing to their own Folly and Vice. Folly and Vice are themselves the most pityable Evils. It is of more consequence to consider, what Evidences there are “that the Vice and Misery in the World are smaller than we sometimes in our melancholy Hours imagine.” There are no doubt many furious  Starts of Passion, in which  Malice may seem to have place in our Constitution; but how seldom, and how short, in comparison of Years spent in fixed kind Pursuits of the Good of a Family, a Party, a Country? How great a Part of human Actions flow directly from Humanity and kind Affection? How many censurable Actions are owing to the same Spring, only chargeable on Inadvertence, or an Attachment to too narrow a System? How few owing to any thing worse than selfish Passions above their Proportion?
Here Men are apt to let their Imaginations run out upon all the Robberies, Piracies, Murders, Perjuries, Frauds, Massacres, Assassinations, they have ever either heard of, or read in History; thence concluding all Mankind to be very wicked: as if a Court of Justice were the proper Place of making an Estimate of the Morals of Mankind, or an Hospital of the Healthfulness of a Climate. Ought they not to consider, that the Number of honest Citizens and Farmers far surpasses that of all sorts of Criminals in any State; and that the innocent or kind Actions of even Criminals themselves, surpass their Crimes in Numbers? That ’tis the Rarity of Crimes, in comparison of innocent or good Actions,  which engages our Attention to them, and makes them be recorded in History; while incomparably more honest, generous,  domestick Actions are overlooked, only because they are so common; as one great Danger, or one Month’s Sickness, shall become a frequently repeated Story, during a long Life of Health and Safety.
The Pains of the external Senses are pretty frequent, but how short in comparison of the long Tracts of Health, Ease and Pleasure? How rare is the Instance of a Life, with one tenth spent in violent Pain? How few want absolute Necessaries; nay, have not something to spend on Gaiety and Ornament? The Pleasures of Beauty are exposed to all in some measure. These kinds of Beauty which require Property to the full Enjoyment of them, are not ardently desired by many. The Good of every kind in the Universe, is plainly superior to the Evil. How few would accept of Annihilation, rather than Continuance in Life in the middle State of Age, Health and Fortune? Or what separated Spirit, who had considered human Life, would not, rather than perish, take the hazard of it again, by returning into a Body in the State of Infancy?
[186 ] These Thoughts plainly shew a Prevalence of Good in the World. But still our publick Sense finds much matter of compassionate Sorrow among Men. The Many are in a tolerable good State; but who can be unconcerned for the distressed Few? They are few in comparison of the whole, and yet a great Multitude.
What Parent would be much concerned at the Pains of breeding of Teeth, were they sure they would be short, and end well? Or at the Pain of a Medicine, or an Incision, which was necessary for the Cure, and would certainly accomplish it? Is there then no Parent in Nature, no Physician who sees what is necessary for the Whole, and for the good of each Individual in the whole of his Existence, as far as is consistent with the general Good? Can we expect, in this our Childhoodof Existence, to understand all the Contrivance and Art of this Parent and Physician of Nature? May not  some harsh Discipline be necessary to Good? May not many natural Evils be necessary to prevent future moral Evils, and to correct the Tempers of the Agents, nay to introduce moral Good? Is not Suffering and Distress requisite, before there can be room for generous Compassion, Succour, and Liberality? Can there be Forgiveness, Returns of good for evil,  unless there be some moral Evil? Must the Whole want the eternally delightful Consciousness of such Actions and Dispositions, to prevent a few transient Sensations of Pain, or natural Evil? May there not be some unseen Necessity for the greatest universal Good, that* there should be an Order of Beings no more perfect than we are, subject to Error and wrong Affections sometimes? May not all the present Disorders which attend this State of prevalent Order, be rectified by the directing Providence in a future Part of our Existence? This Belief of a Deity, a Providence, and a future State, are the only sure Supports to a good Mind. Let us then acquire and strengthen our Love and Concern for this Whole, and acquiesce in what the governing Mind, who presides in it, is ordering in the wisest Manner, tho not yet fully known to us, for its most universal Good.
The Necessity of believing a future State. A future State, firmly believed, makes the greatest Difficulties on this Subject to vanish. No particular finite Evils can be looked upon as intolerable, which lead to Good, infinite in Duration. Nor can we complain of the Conditions of Birth, if the present Evils of Life have  even a probable hazard of everlasting Happiness to compensate them; much more if it be placed in our power certainly to obtain it. Never could the boldest Epicurean bring the lightest Appearance of Argument against the Possibility of such a State, nor was there ever any thing tolerable advanced against its Probability. We have no Records of any Nation which did not entertain this Opinion. Men of Reflection in all Ages, have found at least probable Arguments for it; and the Vulgar have been prone to believe it, without any other Argument than their natural Notions of Justice in the Administration of the World. Present Hope is present Good: and this very Hope has enlivened human Life, and given ease to generous Minds, under Anxieties about the publick Good.
This Opinion was interwoven with all Religions; and as it in many instances overballanced the Motives to Vice, so it removed Objections against Providence. The  good Influence of this Opinion, however it might not justify any Frauds, yet probably did more good than what might overballance many Evils flowing from even very corrupt Religions. How agreeable then must it be to every good Man, that this Opinion, were there even no more to be done, should be confirmed beyond question or doubt, by a well attested divine  Revelation, for the perpetual Security of the virtuous, and for the constant Support of the kind and compassionate? How gladly must every honest Heart receive it; and rejoice that even those who have neither Leisure nor Capacity for deep Reflection, should be thus convinced of it?
The Conduct of the unkind Affections.As to the Management of those Passions which seem opposite to the Happiness of others, such as Anger, Jealousy, Envy, Hatred; it is very necessary to represent to our selves continually, the most favourable Conceptions of others, and to force our Minds to examine the real Springs of the resented Actions. We may almost universally find, that “no Man acts from pure Malice; that the Injurious only intended some Interest of his own, without any ultimate Desire of our Misery; that he is more to be pitied for his own mean selfish Temper, for the want of true Goodness, and its attendant Happiness, than to be hated for his Conduct, which is really more pernicious to himself  than to others.* Our Lenity, Forgiveness, and Indulgence to the Weakness of others, will be constant Matter of delightful Consciousness, and Self‐Approbation;  and will be as probably effectual in most cases, to obtain Reparation of Wrongs, from an hearty Remorse, and thorow Amendment of the Temper of the Injurious, as any Methods of Violence.” Could we raise our Goodness even to an higher Pitch, and consider “the Injurious as our Fellow-Members in this great intellectual Body, whose Interest and Happiness it becomes us to promote, as much as we can consistently with that of others, and not to despise, scorn, or cut them off, because of every Weakness, Deformity, or lighter Disorder;” we might bring our selves to that divine Conduct, of even returning good for evil.
In like manner, our Emulation, Jealousy, or Envy, might be restrained in a great measure, by a constant Resolution of bearing always in our Minds the*lovely Side of every Character:† “The compleatly Evil are as rare as the perfectly Virtuous: There is something amiable almost in every one.” Could we enure our selves  constantly to dwell on these things, we might often bear patiently the Success of a Rival, nay, sometimes even rejoice in it, be more happy our  selves, and turn him into a real Friend. We should often find those Phantoms of Vice and Corruption which torment the Jealous, vanishing before the bright Warmth of a thorow good Temper, resolved to search for every thing lovely and good, and averse to think any evil.
Conduct of the moral Sense, and Sense of Honour.V. In governing our moral Sense, and Desires of Virtue, nothing is more necessary than to study the Nature and Tendency of human Actions; and to extend our views to the whole Species, or to all sensitive Natures, as far as they can be affected by our Conduct. Our moral Sense thus regulated, and constantly followed in our Actions, may be the most constant Source of the most stable Pleasure. The same Conduct is always the most probable Means of obtaining the Pleasures of Honour. If there be a Distinction between Truth and Falshood, Truth must be stronger than Falshood: It must be more probable that Truth will generally prevail; that the real good Tendency of our Actions, and the Wisdom of our Intentions will be known; and Misrepresentations or partial Views will vanish. Our Desire of Honour is not confined to our present State. The Prospect of future Glory is a strong Motive  of Action. And thus the Time, in which our Character may have the hazard of obtaining Justice, has no other Limits  than those of the Existence of rational Natures. Whereas, partial Notions of Virtue, and partial Conduct, have no other Foundation for Self‐Approbation, than our Ignorance, Error, or Inadvertence; nor for Honour, than the like Ignorance, Error, or Inadvertence of others.
That we may not be engaged into any thing contrary to the publick Good, or to the true Schemes of Virtue, by the Desire of false Honour, or Fear of false Shame, it is of great use to examine the real Dignity of those we converse with, and to confine our Intimacies to the truly virtuous and wise. From such we can expect no Honour, but according to our sincere Pursuit of the publick Good; nor need we ever fear any Shame in such a Course. But above all, did we frequently, and in the most lively manner, present to ourselves that great, and wise, and good Mind, which presides over the Universe, sees every Action, and knows the true Character and Disposition of every Heart, approving nothing but sincere Goodness and Integrity; did we consider that the time will come, when we shall be as conscious of his Presence, as we are of our own Existence; as sensible of his Approbation or  Condemnation, as we are of the Testimony of our own Hearts; when we shall be engaged in a Society of Spirits, stripped of these Prejudices  and false Notions which so often attend us in Flesh and Blood, how should we despise that Honour which is from Men, when opposite to the truest Honour from God himself?
The Desires of Wealth and Power.VI. Concerning the Desires of Wealth and Power, besides what was suggested above to allay their Violence, from considering the small Addition commonly made to the Happiness of the Possessor, by the greatest Degrees of them, and the Uncertainty of their Continuance; if we have obtained any share of them, let us examine their true Use, and what is the best Enjoyment of them.
What moral Pleasures, what Delights of Humanity, what Gratitude from Persons obliged, what Honour, may a wise Man of a generous Temper purchase with them? How foolish is the Conduct of heaping up Wealth for Posterity, when smaller Degrees might make them equally happy! when great Prospects of this kind are the strongest Temptations to them, to indulge Sloth, Luxury,  Debauchery, Insolence, Pride, and Contempt of their Fellow‐Creatures;  and to banish some noble Dispositions, Humility, Compassion, Industry, Hardiness of Temper and Courage, the Offspring of the sober rigid Dame Poverty. How often does the Example, and almost direct Instruction of Parents, lead Posterity into the basest Views of Life!
How powerfully might the Example of a wisely generous Father, at once teach his Offspring the true Value of Wealth or Power, and prevent their Neglect of them, or foolish throwing them away, and yet inspire them with a generous Temper, capable of the just Use of them!
Support against Death.Death is one Object of our Aversion, which yet we cannot avoid. It can scarcely be said, that “the Desire of Life is as strong as the Sum of all selfish Desires.” It may be so with those who enure themselves to no Pleasures but those of the external Senses.  But how often do we see  Death endured, not only from Love of Virtue, or publick Affections, in Heroes and Martyrs, but even from Love of Honour in lower Characters! Many Aversions are stronger than that to Death. Fear of bodily Pain, fear of Dishonour, which are selfish Aversions, do often surpass our Aversion to Death, as well as publick Affections to Countries or Friends. It is of the greatest Consequence to the Enjoyment of Life, to know its true Value; to strip Death of its borrowed Ideas of Terror; to consider it barely as the Cessation of both the Pains and Pleasures we now feel, coming frequently upon us with no more Pain than that of Swooning, with a noble Hazard, or rather a certain Prospect of superior Happiness to every good Mind. Death in this view must appear an inconsiderable Evil, in comparison of Vice, Self‐Abhorrence, real Dishonour, the Slavery of one’s Country, the Misery of a Friend.
The tender Regards to a Family and Offspring, are often the strongest Bands to restrain a generous Mind from submitting to Death. What shall be the Fate of a Wife, a Child, a Friend, or a Brother, when we are gone, are the frequent Subjects of grievous Anxiety. The Fortunes of such Persons often depend much upon us; and when  they do not, yet we are more anxious  about their State when we shall be absent.
Next to the Belief of a good Providence, nothing can support Men more under such Anxieties, than considering how often the Orphan acquires a Vigor of Mind, Sagacity and Industry, superior to those who are enfeebled by the constant Care and Services of others. A wise Man would desire to be provided with Friends against such an Exigency; Persons of such Goodness, as would joyfully accept the Legacy of a Child, or indigent Friendcommitted to their Protection.
Support against Death.If Death were an entire Endof the Person, so that no Thought or Sense should remain, all Goodmust cease at Death, but no Evil commence. The Loss of Goodis Evil to us now, but will be no Evil to a Being which has lost all Sense of Evil. Were this the Case, the Consolation against Death would only be this, frequently to look upon Life and all its Enjoyments as granted to us only for a short Term; to employ this uncertain Time as much as we can in the Enjoyment  of the noblest Pleasures;  and to prevent Surprize at our Removal, by laying our Account for it.
But if we exist, and think after Death, and retain our Senses of Good and Evil, no Consolation against Death can be suggested to a wicked Man; but for the virtuous, there are the best Grounds of Hope and Joy. If the Administration of the whole be good, we may be sure “that Order and Happiness will in the whole prevail: Nor will Misery be inflicted any farther than is necessary for some prepollent Good.” Now there is no Presumption, that the absolute Misery of any virtuous Person can be necessary to any good End: Such Persons therefore are the most likely to enjoy a State of perfect Happiness.
What is the natural State of Men.VII. To conclude: Let us consider that common Character, which when ascribed to any State, Quality, Disposition, or Action, engages our Favour and Approbation of it, viz. its being natural. We have many Suspicions about Tempers or Dispositions formed by Art, but are some way prepossessed in favour of what is natural: We imagine it must be advantageous and delightful to be in a natural State, and to live according to Nature. “This very Presumption in favour of what is natural, is a plain Indication that  the Order of Nature is good, and that Men are some [198 ] way convinced of it. Let us enquire then what is meant by it.”
If by natural we mean “that which we enjoy or do, when we first begin to exist, or to think,” it is impossible to know what State, Temper, or Actions, are natural. Our natural State in this Sense differs little from that of a Plant, except in some accidental Sensations of Hunger, or of Ease, when we are well nourished.
Some elaborate Treatises of great Philosophers about innate Ideas, or Principles practical or speculative, amount to no more than this, “That in the Beginning of our Existence we have no Ideas or Judgments;” they might have added too, no Sight, Taste, Smell, Hearing, Desire, Volition. Such Dissertations are just as useful for understanding human Nature, as it would be in explaining the animal Oeconomy, to prove that the Faetus is animated before it has Teeth, Nails, Hair, or before it can eat, drink, digest, or breathe: Or in a natural History of Vegetables, to prove that Trees begin to grow before they have Branches, Leaves, Flower, Fruit, or Seed: And consequently that all these things were adventitious, or the Effect of Art.
 But if we call “that State, those Dispositions and Actions, natural, to  which we are inclined by some part of our Constitution, antecedently to any Volition of our own; or which flow from some Principles in our Nature, not brought upon us by our own Art, or that of others;” then it may appear, from what was said above, that “a State of Good‐will, Humanity, Compassion, mutual Aid, propagating and supporting Offspring, Love of a Community or Country, Devotion, or Love and Gratitude to some governing Mind, is our natural State,” to which we are naturally inclined, and do actually arrive, as universally, and with as much uniformity, as we do to a certain Stature and Shape.
If by natural we understand “the highest Perfection of the Kind, to which any Nature may be improved by cultivating its natural Dispositions or Powers;” as few arrive at this in the Growth of their Bodies, so few obtain it in their Minds. But we may see what this Perfection is, to which our natural Dispositions tend, when we improve them to the utmost, as far as they are consistent with each other, making the weaker or meaner yield to the more excellent and stronger. Our several Senses and Affections, publick and private, with our Powers  of Reason and Reflection, shew this to be the Perfection of our Kind, viz. “to know,  love, and reverence the great Author of all things; to form the most extensive Ideas of our own true Interests, and those of all other Natures, rational or sensitive; to abstain from all Injury; to pursue regularly and impartially the most universal absolute Good, as far as we can; to enjoy constant Self‐Approbation, and Honour from wise Men; with Trust in divineProvidence,Hope of everlasting Happiness, and a full Satisfaction and Assurance of Mind, that the whole Series of Events is directed by an unerring Wisdom, for the greatest universal Happiness of the whole.”
To assert that “Men have generally arrived to the Perfection of their Kindin this Life,” is contrary to Experience. But on the other hand, to suppose “no Order at all in the Constitution of our Nature, or no prevalent Evidences of good Order,” is yet more contrary to Experience, and would lead to a Denial of Providence in the most important Affair which can occur to our Observation. We actually see such Degrees of good Order, of social Affection, of Virtue and Honour, as make the Generality of Mankind continue in a tolerable, nay, an agreeable State. However, in some  Tempers we see the selfish Passions by Habits grown too strong;  in others we may observe Humanity, Compassion, and Good‐nature sometimes raised by Habits, as we say, to an Excess.
Were we to strike a Medium of the several Passions and Affections, as they appear in the whole Species of Mankind, to conclude thence what has been the natural Ballance previously to any Change made by Custom or Habit, which we see casts the Ballance to either side, we should perhaps find the Medium of the publick Affections not very far from a sufficient Counter‐ballance to the Medium of the Selfish; and consequently the Overballance on either side in particular Characters, is not to be looked upon as the original Constitution, but as the accidental Effect of Custom, Habits, or Associations of Ideas, or other preternatural Causes: So that an universal increasing of the Strength of either, might in the whole be of little advantage. The raising universally the publick Affections, the Desires of Virtue and Honour, would make the Hero of Cervantes, pining with Hunger and Poverty, no rare Character. The universal increasing of Selfishness, unless we had more accurate Understandings to discern our nicest Interests, would fill the World with universal Rapine and War. The Consequences of  either universally abating, or increasing the Desires between the Sexes, the Love of Offspring, or the several  Tastes and Fancies in other Pleasures, would perhaps be found more pernicious to the whole, than the present Constitution. What seems most truly wanting in our Nature, is greater Knowledge, Attention and Consideration: had we a greater Perfection this way, and were evil Habits, and foolish Associations of Ideas prevented, our Passions would appear in better order.
But while we feel in ourselves so much publick Affection in the various Relations of Life, and observe the like in others; while we find every one desiring indeed his own Happiness, but capable of discerning, by a little Attention, that not only his external Conveniency, or worldly Interest, but even the most immediate and lively Sensations of Delight, of which his Nature is susceptible, immediately flow from a Publick Spirit, a generous, human, compassionate Temper, and a suitable Deportment; while we observe so many Thousands enjoying a tolerable State of Ease and Safety, for each one whose Condition is made intolerable, even during our present Corruption: How can any one look upon this World as under the Direction of an evil Nature, or even question a perfectly goodProvidence? How clearly does the  Order of our Nature point out to us our true Happiness and Perfection, and lead us to it as naturally as the several Powers of  the Earth, the Sun, and Air, bring Plants to their Growth, and the Perfection of their Kinds? We indeed are directed to it by our Understanding and Affections, as it becomes rational and active Natures; and they by mechanick Laws. We may see, that “Attention to the most universal Interest of all sensitive Natures, is the Perfection of each individual of Mankind:” That they should thus be like well‐tuned Instruments, affected with every Stroke or Touch upon any one. Nay, how much of this do we actually see in the World? What generous Sympathy, Compassion, and Congratulation with each other? Does not even the flourishing State of the inanimate Parts of Nature, fill us with joy? Is not thus our Nature admonished, exhorted and commanded to cultivate universal Goodness and Love, by a Voice heard thro’ all the Earth, and Words sounding to the Ends of the World?[Back to Table of Contents]
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.”40 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.41 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.[Back to Table of Contents]