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PROP. unreasonable passion or private interest would prompt
you, but what impartial reason would dictate to you to desire. For example, a magistrate, in order to deal equitably with a criminal, is not to consider what fear or self-love would cause him in the criminal's case to desire, but what reason and the public good would oblige him to acknowledge was fit and just for him to expect. And the same proportion is to be observed in deducing the duties of parents and children, of masters and servants, of governors and subjects, of citizens and foreigners, in what manner every person is obliged, by the rule of equity, to behave himself in each of these and all other relations. In the regular and uniform practice of all which duties among all mankind, in their several and respective relations, through the whole earth, consists that universal justice which is the top and perfection of all virtues : which, if, as Plato says,* it could be represented visibly to mortal eyes, would raise in us an inexpressible love and admiration of it; which would introduce into the world such a glorious and happy state as the ancient poets have attempted to describe in their fiction of a golden age; which in itself is so truly beautiful and lovely, that, as Aristotlet elegantly expresses it, the motions of the heavenly bodies are not so admirably regular and harmonious, nor the brightness of the sun and stars so ornamental to the visible fabric of the world, as the universal practice of this illustrious virtue would be conducive to the glory and advantage of the rational part of this lower creation; which, lastly, is so truly noble and excellent in its own nature, that the wisest and
* Δεινές γαρ αν παρείχες έρωτας, άντι τοίχλον εαυτής εναργες ειδωλον παgrízeto, 8c.-Plat. in Phæd.
Quæ si oculis cerneretur, mirabiles amores, ut ait Plato, excitaret sui.Cic. de Offic. lib. 1.
Oculorum est in nobis sensus acerrimus, quibus sapientiam non cernimus; quàm illa ardentes amores excitaret sui, si videretur ! Id. de fin. l. 2.
+"Αυτη μεν έν ή δικαιοσύνη, αρετή μεν εστι τελεία και 29' "Έσπερος 89' 'Eãos šow Saunaotóv.— Ethic. lib. 5. c. 3.
most considering men have always declared,* that PROP, neither life itself, nort all other possible enjoyments in the world, put together, are of any value or esteem in comparison of, or in competition with, that right temper and disposition of mind from which flows the practice of this universal justice and equity. On the contrary, injustice and iniquity, violence, fraud, and oppression, the universal confusion of right and wrong, and the general neglect and contempt of all the duties arising from men's several relations one to another, is the greatest and most unnatural corruption of God's creation that it is possible for depraved and rebellious creatures to introduce : As they themselves who practise iniquity most, and are most desirous to defend it, yet whenever it comes to be their own turn to suffer by it, are not very backward to acknowledge. To comprise this matter, therefore, in one word ; what the sun's forsaking that equal course, which now, by diffusing gentle warmth and light, cherishes and invigorates every thing in a due proportion through the whole system, and on the contrary, his burning up, by an irregular and disorderly motion, some of the orbs with insupportable heat, and leaving others to perish in extreme cold and darkness; what this, I say, would be to the natural world, that very same thing, injustice, and tyranny, iniquity, and all wickedness, is to the moral and rational part of the creation. The only difference is this; that the one is an obstinate and wilful corruption, and most perverse depravation of creatures made after the image of God, and a violating the
* Non enim mihi est vita mea utilior, quam animi talis affectio, neminem ut violem commodi mei gratia.--Cic. de Offic. lib. 3.
Detrahere aliquid alteri, et hominem hominis incommodo suum augere commodum, magis est contra naturam, quàm mors, quàm paupertas, quàm dolor, quàm cætera que possunt aut corpori accidere, aut rebus externis.--Id.
+ Και το παράπαν ζήν, μέγιστον μέν κακόν, τον ξύμπαντα χρόνον αθάνατον όντα, και κεκτημένον πάντα τα λεγόμενα αγαθά, πλήν δικαιοσύνης τε και ágerñs indons.-Plato de Leg. lib. 2.
PROP. eternal and unalterable law or reason of things, which
is of the utmost importance; whereas the other would be only a revolution or change, of the arbitrary and temporary frame of nature,
The second branch of the rule of righteousness, sal mutual with respect to our fellow-creatures, I said, was uni
versal love or benevolence; that is, not only the doing barely what is just and right in our dealings with every man, but also a constant endeavouring to promote, in general, to the utmost of our power, the welfare and happiness of all men. The obligation to which duty, also, may easily be deduced from what has been already laid down. For if (as has been before proved) there be a natural and necessary difference between good and evil, and that which is good is fit and reasonable, and that which is evil is unreasonable to be done; and that which is the greatest good, is always the most fit and reasonable to be chosen : Then, as the goodness of God extends itself universally over all his works through the whole creation, by doing always what is absolutely best in the whole; so every rational creature ought, in its sphere and station, according to its respective powers and faculties, to do all the good it can to all its fellowcreatures. To which end, universal love and benevolence is as plainly the most direct, certain, and effectual means, as* in mathematics the flowing of a point is to produce a line, or, in arithmetic, the addition of
* Universaliter autem verum est, quod non certius, fluxus puncti lineam producit aut additio numerorum summam, quam quod benevolentia effectum præstat bonum.-Cumberland. de Leg. Naturæ,
Pari sane ratione [ac in arithmeticis operationibus] doctrinæ moralis veritas fundatur in iminutabili cohærentia inter felicitatem summam quam
hominum vires assequi valent, et actus benevolentiæ universalis.--Id ibid.
23. Eadem est mensura boni malique, quæ mensura est veri falsique in propositionibus pronuntiantibus de efficacia motum ad rerum aliarım conservationem, et corruptionem facientium. Id. page 30.
numbers to produce a sum; or in physics, certain PROP. kind of motions to preserve certain bodies, which other kinds of motions tend to corrupt. Of all which, the mind of man is so naturally sensible, that, except in such men whose affections are prodigiously corrupted by most unnatural and habitual vicious practices, there is no duty whatsoever, the performance whereof affords a man so ample pleasure* and satisfaction, and fills his mind with so comfortable a sense of his having done the greatest good he was capable to do, of his having best answered the ends of his creation, and nearliest imitated the perfections of his Creator, and consequently of his having fully complied with the highest and principal obligations of his nature; as the performance of this one duty, of universal love and benevolence, naturally affords. But further; the obligation to this great duty may also otherwise be deduced from the nature of man, in the following manner. Next to that natural selflove, or care of his own preservation, which every one necessarily has in the first place for himself, there is in all men a certain natural affection for their children and posterity, who have a dependence upon them; and for their near relations and friends, who have an intimacy with them. And because the nature of man is such, that they cannot live comfortably in independent families, without still further society and commerce with each other; therefore they naturally desire to increase their dependences, by multiplying affinities, and to enlarge their friendships by mutual good offices, and to establish societies by
Angusta admodum est circa nostra tantummodo commoda, lætitiæ matria ; sed eadem erit amplissima, si aliorum omnium felicitas cordi nobis sit. Quippe hæc ad illam eandem habebit proportionem, quam habet immensa beatitudo Dei, totiusque humani generis, ad curtam illam fictæ felicitatis supellectilem, quam uni homini, eique invido et malevolo, fortuna bona possint suppeditare. --Id. ibid. page 214.
a communication of arts and labour, till, * by degrees, the affection of single persons becomes a friendship of families, and this enlarges itself to society of towns, and cities, and nations, and terminates in the agreeing community of all mankind: The foundation, preservation, and perfection of which universal friendship or society is mutual love and benevolence. And nothing hinders the world from being actually put into so happy a state but perverse iniquity, and unreasonable want of mutual charity. Wherefore, since men are plainly so constituted by nature, that they stand in need of each other's assistance to make themselves easy in the world, and are fitted to live in communities, and society is absolutely necessary for them, and mutual love and benevolence is the only possible means to establish this society in any tolerable and durable manner; and in this respectt all men stand upon the same level, and have the same natural wants and desires, and are in the same need of each other's help, and are equally capable of enjoying the benefit and advantage of society, it is evident every man is bound by the law of his nature, and as he is also prompted by thef inclination of his uncorrupted affections, to look upon himself as a part and member of that one universal body or community which is made up of all mankind, to think
* In omni honesto, nihil est tam illustre, nec quod latius pateat, quam conjunctio inter homines hominum, et quasi quædam societas et communicatio utilitatum, et ipsa charitas generis humani; quæ rata a primo satu, quo a procreatoribus nati diliguntur,pit sensim foras, cognationibus primum,
deinde totius complexu gentis humanæ.-Cic. de Finib. lib. 5.
+ Nihil est unum uni tam simile, tam par, quam omnes inter nosmetipsos sumus. Quod nisi depravatio, &c. sui nemo ipse tam similis esset, quam omnes sunt omnium.--Cic. de Legib. lib. I.
| Impellimur autem natura, ut prodesse velimus quamplurimis. Cic. de Finib. lib. 3.
$ Hominem esse quasi partem quandam civitatis et universi generis humani, eumque esse conjunctum cum hominibus humana quadam societate. Cic. Quæst. Academ. lib. 1.