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dren, and between other near relatives, a virtuous love of our
town, or country, or nation. Yea, and a virtuous love between
the sexes, as there may be the influence of virtue mingled
with instinct, and virtue may govern with regard to the partic-
ular manner of its operation, and may guide it to such ends as
are agreeable to the great ends and purposes of true virtue.

Genuine virtue prevents that increase of the habits of pride
and sensuality, which tend to overbear and greatly diminish
the exercises of the forementioned useful and necessary prin-
ciples of nature. . And a principle of general benevolence
softens and sweetens the mind, and makes it more susceptible
of the proper influence and exercise of the gentler natural in-
stincts, and directs every one into its proper channel, and de-
termines the exercise to the proper mamer and measure,
derick guides all to the best purposes.

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In what respects Virtue or moral good is founded in

Sentiment ; and how far it is founded in the Reason and Nature of things. I


: THẠT which is called virtue; iş a certain kind of beautiful nature, form or quality that is observed in things. That form or quality is called beautiful to any one beholding it to whom it is beautiful, which appears in itself agreeable or comely to him, or the view or idea of w.bich is immediately pleasant, to the mind. I say, agreeable in itself, and immediately pleasant, to distinguish it from things which in themselves are not agreeable nor pleasant, but either indifferent or disagreeable, which yet appear eligible and agreeable indirectly for something else that is the consequence of them, or with which they are connected. Such a kind of indirect agreeableness or eligibleness in things, not for themselves, but for some thing else, is not what is called beauty. But

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when a form or quality appears lovely, pleasing and delightful in itself, then it is called beautiful; and this agreeableness or gatefulness of the idea is what is called beauty. It is evident therefore by this, that the way we come by the idea of sensation of beauty, is by immediate sensation of the grates fulness of the idea called beautiful ; and not by finding out by argumentation any consequences, or other things that it stands connected with ; any more than tasting the sweetness of honey, or perceiving the harmony of a tune,is by argumentation on connexions atid consequences. And this manner of being affected with the immediate presence of the beautiful idea depends not, therefore, or any reasonings about the idea, after we have it, before we can find out whether it be beautiful or not; but on the frame of our minds, whereby tảey are so made that such an idea, as soon as we have it, is grateful, or appears beautiful.

Therefore, if this be all that is meant by them who affirm virtue is founded in sentiment, and not in reason, that they who see the beauty there is in true virtue, do not perceive it by argumentation on its connexions and consequences, but by the frame of their own minds, or a certain spiritual sense given them of God, whereby they immediately perceive pleasure in the presence of the idea of true virtue in their minds, or are directly gratified in the view or contemplation of this object, this is certainly true.

But if thereby is Tréant, that the frame of mind, or inward sense given them by God, whereby the mind is disposed to delight in the idea or view of true virtue, is given arbitrariiy, so that if he had pleased he might have given a contrary sense and determination of mind, which would have agreed as well with the necessary nature of things, this I think is not true.

Virtue, as I have observed, consists in the cordial consent or union of Being to Being in general. And as has also been observed, that frame of mind, whereby it is disposed to relish and be pleased with the view of this, is benevolence or union of heart itself to Being in general, or a universally benevolent frame of mind : Because he whose temper is to love "Being in general, therein must have a disposition to apVOL. II.

3 L


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prove and be pleased with the love to Being in general... Therefore now the question is, whether God, in giving this temper tó a created mind, whereby it unites to or loves Being in general, acts so arbitrarily, that there is nothing in the nec-, essary nature of things to hinder but that a contrary temper: Tnight have agreed or consisted as well with that nature of things as this?

And in the first place I observe, that to assert this, would be a plain absurdity, and contrary to the very supposition...... For here it is supposed, that virtue in its very essence consists in agreement or consent of Being to Being. Now cera, tainly agreement itself to Being in general must necessarily agree better with general existence, than opposition and contrariety to it.

· I observe, secondly, that God in giving to the creature such a temper of mind, gives that which is agreeable to what is by absolute necessity his own temper and nature, For, as has been often observed, God himself is in effect Being in general; and without all doubt it is in itself full nécessary and impose. Sible it should be otherwise, that God should agree with him. self, be united with himself or love himself: And therefore, · when he gives the same temper to his creatures, this is more.: agreeable to his necessary nature, than the opposite temper : Yea, the latter would be infinitely contrary to his nature.

Let it be noted, thirdly, by this temper only can created. Beings be united to, and agree with one another. This appears, because it consists in consent and union to Being in general ;, which implies agreement and union with every particular Being, except such as are opposite to Being in general, or excepting such cases wherein union with them is by some means inconsistent with union with general existence. But. certainly if any particular created Being were of a temper to oppose Being in general, that would infer the most universal. and greatest possible discord; not only of creatures with their . Creator, but of created Beings one with another.

Fourthly, I observe, there is no other temper but this, that a man can have, and agree with himself or be without selfinconsistence, i.e. without having some inclinations, and. rel...

ishes repugnant to others. And that for these reasons.

Ers ery Being that has understanding and will, necessarily loves happiness. For to suppose any Being not to love happiness, would be to suppose he did not love what was agreeable to him ; -which is a contradiction : Or at least would imply. that nothing was agreeable or eligible to him, which is the same as to say, that he has no such thing as choice, or any faculty of will. So that every being who has a faculty of will must of necessity have an inclination to happiness. And therefore, if he be consistent with himself, and has not some inclinations repugnant to others, he must approve of those in: clinations whereby. Beings desire the happiness of Being in general, and must be against a disposition to the misery of Being in general : Because otherwise he would approve of opposition to his own happiness, For, if a temper inclined to the misery of Being in general prevailed universally, it is appareñt, it would tend to universal .misery. But he that loves a tendency to universal misery, in effect loves a tendency to his own miserys and as he necessarily hates his own misery, he has then one inclination repugnant to another. And be sides it necessarily follows from self love, that men love to be loved by others; because in this others loye agrees with their, own love. Byt if men, loved hatred to: Being in general, they would in effect love the hatred of themselves, and so would be inconsistent with themselves, having one natural in, clination contrary to another.

These things may help us to understand why thật spiritual and divine sense, by which those that are truly virtuous and holy, perceive the excellency of true , virtue, is in the sa: cred scriptures called by the name of light, knowledge, under: standing, &c. If this dišiņé sense were a thing arbitrarily given, without any foundation in the nature of things, it would not properly be called by such names. For, if there were no correspondence or agreement in such a sense with the nature of things any more than there would have been in a diverse or contrary sense, the idea we obtain by this spiritual sense could in no respect be said to be a knowledge or perception of any thing besides what was in our own minds. For this ideą


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would be no representation of any thing withont. But since
ir'is otherwise, since it is agreeable in the respects abovemen.
tioned, to the nature of things, and especially since it is the
representation and image of the moral perfection and excel-
lency of the divine Being, hereby we have a perception of
that moral excellency, of which we could have no true idea
without it. And it being so, hereby person's have that true
knowledge of God, which greatly enlightens the mind in the
knowledge of divine things in general, and does (as might be
shewn, if it were necessary to the main purpose of this dis-
course) in many respects assist persons to a right understand
ing of things in general, to understand which our faculties
were chiefly given us, and which do chiefty.concern'our inter-
cst';; and assists us to see the nature of them, and the truth
of them, in their proper evidence. Whereas, the want of
this spiritual sense, and the prevalence ofthose dispositions
that are contrary to it, tend to darken and distract the mind,
and dreadfully, to delude and comfound men's understandings.

"And as to that moral sense common to mankind, which
there is in natural conscience, neither can this. be truly said to
be no more than a sentiment arbitrarily given by the Creator,
without any relation to the necessary nature of things : But
is established in an agreement with the nature of things ; S0
as no sense of mind that can be supposed, of a contrary ma-
ture and tendency could be. This will appear by these two

1. This moral sepse, if the understanding be well informed, and be exercised at liberty, and in an extensive manner,"without being restrained to a private sphere, approves the very same things which a spiritual and divine sense approves ; and those things only : though not on the same grounds, nor with the same kind of approbation. Therefore, as that divine sense has been already shewn to be agreeable to the necessary nature of things, so this inferior moral sense, being so far correspondent to that, must also so far agree with the nature of things.

2. It has been shewn, that this moral sense consists in ap proving the, uniformity and natural agreement there is be=

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