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natural evil: so that difference affords a reason to every moral agent, to chuse to taste pleasure himself, and to chuse to communicate . pleasure to others; and it likewise affords a reason why he should chuse to avoid pain himself, and chuse to avoid commụnicating pain to others, when these are considered abstractedly from all other confiderations. And, as there is a reason founded in nature for the acting right, and a reason against the acting wrong, a reason for the communicating of pleasure, and a reason against the communicating of pain: fo to act agreeably to reason in doing the former, is what constitutes moral good; and to act against the reason of the thing in doing the latter, is what constitutes moral evil: moral good and evil in every instance being nothing else, but the acting agreeably with, or contrary to that reason or rule of action which is founded in, and results from the natural and essential difference in things: and all moral obligations are nothing else, but the reasons resulting from that difference, why we should chuse to act this way, or that way, rather than their contraries. And, as those reasons for acting one way rather than another, are founded in nature; that is, they result from the nacural and effential difference in things; so they become a rule of action which is equally obliging to every moral agent ; that is, to every agent capable of discerning that

difference; and consequently in this sense of the word oblige,) God as he is a moral agent, is obliged to govern his actions by this rule. And,

As there is a reason or rule of action, which is equally obliging to every moral agent: fo from hence it will follow, that the reasonableness of an action, ought to determine the will of every rational creature to the performance of that action; even cho', there be no ocher motive to it; and tho', there be a thousand temptacions to excite to the contrary. For, whilst (when all things are taken into the case) it is reasonable that an action should be performed, it is impossible that any, even the strongest temptations (how many soever they be,) should make it reasonable to omit that action ; because if that were the case, then, under these circumstances, it would not be a reasonable, or at least an indifferent, but an unreasonable action; and as such, it does not come into the present question ;. except we can fuppose an action to be both reasonable and unreasonable or indifferent at the same time, and under the same circumstances, which is a manifest contradiction. So that, to suppose some other motives should take place besides the reasonableness of an action, which may be more than a balance to the many and strong temptations with which a realonable creature may be lurrounded, I

e surrounded; in

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order to engage his will for the choice of that action, and without which motives, the bare reasonableness of an action would not be more than a balance to those tempo tations, is exceedingly wrong: because the reasonableness of an action, is in itself when considered abstractedly from all other mor tives, more than a balance to all tempta. tions ; for otherways it would not be a reaSonable action. And, when an action appears to be reasonable ; that, ought in reason to determine the will of every reasonable creacure, for the choice of that action, suppofing no other motive intervened to invite him to it, and suppofing ten thousand tempo tations invited him to the contrary. And, it is his not following his reason in oppo fition to those temptations, which renders him juftly condemnable to himself, and to every other reasonable being; and confiquently to his maker as such. And, here I beg leave to observe to my reader, that the present question is, what ought in reason to determine the will of a being endowed with a reasoning faculty, to the performance of a reasonable action; and not, what is in fact sufficient for this purpose. And here I say, that the reasonableness of an action, ought in reason to determine the will of every such being, for the choice of that action: but then, it depends upon the pleasure of each individual, whether it shall in fact be sufficient for this purpose or nori And, this is the case of all other motives which may be superadded; it depends upon the pleasure of each individual, whether in fact those motives shall be to him the ground and reason of action or not. And therefore we fee that, not only the unreasonableness of an action, but all other motives which may be added to it, viz. the hopes and fears of this world, and the hopes and fears of che world to come, are not sufficient in fact to restrain some men from unreasonable actions. And,

As the reasonableness of an action, ought to determine the will of every rational being, for the choice of that action, supposing no other motive be superadded, and supposing many temptations invite to the contrary: so upon this, the equity and certainty of a future judgment is founded, and not upon any divine revelation concerning it. For, as there is a natural and an essential difference in things, and a rule of action resulting from that difference, which every moral agent is in reason obliged to govern his actions by; and, as there is planted in man, a capacity or power which enables him to discern that difference, and it is left to his choice, to act either agreeably with, or repugnant to reason, and thereby to be either a benefactor or a plague to the intelligent world: so, from hence arises che equity and

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Teasonableness of God's calling such creatures to an account (when they have finished their course in this world) and rewarding the virtuous, and punishing the vicious parts of our species, according as they have rendered themselves the futable and proper objects of either. I say, the equity and reasonableness of such a procedure, results from the natural and che essential difference in things, and not from any divine declaration concerning it: be'cause it must and will be the same in this respect, whether God had made any declaration that he will judge and deal thus with mankind or not. And tho', the divine promises and threatnings, are secondary and farther motives to a moral agent, to per. form a reasonable action; as his future interest is concerned in the case; yet the reasonableness and equity of a future judgment, and of that rule of action by which we shall be judged, does not result from nor depend upon those promises and threatnings, but from the natural and essential difference in things; and therefore, are and mult be the same, whether God had given any promises and threatnings or not. The rule of action which moral agents are to govern their behaviour by, is founded in reason, and as such, it ought to be made the measure of our actions, whether God had given any threatnings or promises con

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