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ims, or interests of different forts of men, it fell out that what was thought praife-worthy in one place, efcaped not cenfure in another; and fo in different focieties, virtues and vices were changed; yet, as to the main, they for the most part kept the fame every-where. For fince nothing can be more natural, than to encourage with esteem and reputation that wherein every one

that this matter is now fo expreffed, as to show him there was no cause of fcruple.

Though I am forced to differ from him in those apprehenfions he has expreffed in the latter end of his preface, concerning what I had faid about virtue and vice; yet we are better agreed than he thinks, in what he fays in his third chapter, p. 78. concerning natural infcription and innate notions. I fhall not deny him the privilege he claims, p. 52. to ftate the question as he pleases, especially when he ftates it fo, as to leave nothing in it contrary to what I have faid: for, according to him, innate notions being conditional things, depending upon the concurrence of feveral other circumftances, in order to the foul's exerting them; all that he fays for innate, imprinted, impreffed notions (for of innate ideas he fays nothing at all) amounts at laft only to this: that there are certain propofitions, which though the foul from the beginning, or when a man is born, does not know, yet by affiftance from the outward fenfes, and the help of fome previous cultivation, it may afterwards come certainly to know the truth of; which is no more than what I have affirmed in my first book. For I fuppofe by the foul's exerting them, he means its beginning to know them, or else the foul's exerting of notions will be to me a very unintelligible expreffion; and I think at best is a very unfit one in this cafe, it misleading men's thoughts by an infinuation, as if these notions were in the mind before the foul exerts them, i. e. before they are known: whereas truly before they are kuown, there is nothing of them in the mind, but a capacity to know them, when the concurrence of those circumftances, which this ingenious author thinks neceffary in order to the foul's exerting them, brings them into our knowledge.

P. 52. I find him exprefs it thus; thefe natural notions are not fo imprinted upon the foul, as that they naturally and neceffarily exert themfelves (even in children and idiots) without any affiftance from the outward fenfes, or without the help of fome previous cultivation.' Here he fays they exert themselves, as p. 78. that the foul exerts them. When he has explained to himself or others what he means by the foul's exerting innate notions, or their exerting themselves, and what that previous cultivation and circumftances, in order to their being exerted, are; he will, I fuppofe, find there is fo little of controverfy between him and me in the point, bating that he calls that exerting of notions, which I in a more vulgar ftyle call knowing, that I have reafon to think he brought in my name upon this occafion only out of the pleasure he has to speak civilly of me; which I must gratefully acknowledge he has done wherever he mentions me, not without conferring on me, as fome others have done, a title I have no right to.

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finds his advantage, and to blame and difcountenance. the contrary; it is no wonder that esteem and discredit, virtue and vice, fhould in a great measure every-where correfpond with the unchangeable rule of right and wrong, which the law of God hath established: there being nothing that fo directly and visibly fecures and advances the general good of mankind in this world, as obedience to the laws he has fet them; and nothing that breeds fuch mifchiefs and confufion, as the neglect of them. And therefore men, without renouncing all fense and reason, and their own intereft, which they are so constantly true to, could not generally mistake in placing their commendation and blame on that fide that really deferved it not. Nay, even those men whose practice was otherwife, failed not to give their approbation right; few being depraved to that degree, as not to condemn, at leaft in others, the faults they themfelves were guilty of: whereby, even in the corruption of manners, the true boundaries of the law of nature, which ought to be the rule of virtue and vice, were pretty well preferred. So that even the exhortations of infpired teachers have not feared to appeal to common repute: "Whatsoever is lovely, whatfoever is of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praife," &c. Phil. iv. 8.

Its enforce

ments commendation and difcredit.

§. 12. If any one fhall imagine that I have forgot my own notion of a law, when I make the law, whereby men judge of virtue and vice, to be nothing else but the confent of private men, who have not authority enough to make a law: efpecially wanting that, which is fo neceffary and effential to a law, a power to enforce it: I think I may fay, that he who imagines commendation and difgrace not to be strong motives to men, to accommodate themselves to the opinions and rules of those with whom they converfe, feems little skilled in the nature or hiftory of mankind: the greatest part whereof he fhall find to govern themselves chiefly, if not folely, by this law of fashion; and fo they do that which keeps them in reputation with their company, little regard the laws of God, or the magiftrate. The penalties

penalties that attend the breach of God's laws, fome, nay, perhaps moft men, feldom feriously reflect on; and amongst thofe that do, many, whilft they break the law, entertain thoughts of future reconciliation, and making their peace for fuch breaches. And as to the punishments due from the laws of the commonwealth, they frequently flatter themselves with the hopes of impunity. But no man efcapes the punishment of their cenfure and diflike, who offends against the fashion and opinion of the company he keeps, and would recommend himself to. Nor is there one of ten thoufand, who is stiff and infenfible enough to bear up under the conftant diflike and condemnation of his own club. He must be of a ftrange and unufual conftitution, who can content himself to live in conftant difgrace and difrepute with his own particular fociety. Solitude many men have fought, and been reconciled to: but no-body, that has the leaft thought or fenfe of a man about him, can live in fociety under the conftant diflike and ill opinion of his familiars, and those he converfes with. This is a burden too heavy for human fufferance: and he must be made up of irreconcileable contradictions, who can take pleasure in company, and yet be infenfible of contempt and difgrace from his companions.

Thefe three laws the rules of moral good and


§. 13. These three then, firft, the law of God; fecondly, the law of politic focieties; thirdly, the law of fashion, or private cenfure; are those to which men variously compare their actions: and it is by their conformity to one of thefe laws that they take their measures, when they would judge of their moral recti- . tude, and denominate their actions good or bad. §. 14. Whether the rule, to which, as to a touchstone, we bring our voluntary actions, to examine them by, and try their goodness, and accordingly to name them: which is, as it were, the mark of the value we fet upon them: whether, I fay, we take that rule from the fashion of the country, or the will of a lawmaker, the mind is eafily able to obferve the relation

Morality is the relation

of actions to

thefe rules.



any action hath to it, and to judge whether the action agrees or disagrees with the rule; and fo hath a notion of moral goodness or evil, which is either conformity or not conformity of any action to that rule: and therefore is often called moral rectitude. This rule being nothing but a collection of feveral fimple ideas, the conformity thereto is but fo ordering the action, that the fimple ideas belonging to it may correfpond to those which the law requires. And thus we see how moral beings and notions are founded on, and terminated in these fimple ideas we have received from fenfation or reflection. For example, et us confider the complex idea we fignify by the word murder; and when we have taken it asunder, and examined all the particulars, we fhall find them to amount to a collection of fimple ideas derived from reflection or fenfation, viz. firft, from reflection on the operations of our own minds, we have the ideas of willing, confidering, purpofing before-hand, malice, or wifhing ill to another; and alfo of life, or perception, and felf-motion. Secondly, from fenfation we have the collection of those fimple fenfible ideas which are to be found in a man, and of fome action, whereby we put an end to perception and motion in the man; all which fimple ideas are comprehended in the word murder. This collection of fimple ideas being found by me to agree or difagree with the esteem of the country I have been bred in, and to be held by moft men there worthy praise or blame, I call the action virtuous or vicious: if I have the will of a fupreme invifible law-giver for my rule; then, as I fuppofed the action commanded or forbidden by God, I call it good or evil, fin or duty: and if I compare it to the civil law, the rule made by the legiflative power of the country, I call it lawful or unlawful, a crime or no crime. So that whencefoever we take the rule of moral actions, or by what standard foever we frame in our minds the ideas of virtues or vices, they confift only and are made up of collections of fimple ideas, which we originally received from sense or reflection, and their rectitude or obliquity confifts



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in the agreement or difagreement with those patterns prescribed by fome law.

§. 15. To conceive rightly of moral actions, we must take notice of them under this two-fold confideration. First, as they are in themselves each made up of fuch a collection of fimple ideas. Thus drunkenness, or lying, fignify fuch or fuch a collection of fimple ideas, which I call mixed modes: and in this fenfe they are as much pofitive abfolute ideas, as the drinking of a horfe, or speaking of a parrot. Secondly, our actions are confidered as good, bad, or indifferent; and in this respect they are relative, it being their conformity to, or difagreement with fome rule that makes them to be regular or irregular, good or bad: and so, as far as they are compared with a rule, and thereupon denominated, they come under relation. Thus the challenging and fighting with a man, as it is a certain pofitive mode, or particular fort of action, by particular ideas, diftinguished from all others, is called duelling: which, when confidered in relation to the law of God, will deferve the name fin; to the law of fashion, in fome countries, valour and virtue; and to the municipal laws of fome governments, a capital crime. In this cafe, when the pofitive mode has one name, and another name as it ftands in relation to the law, the distinction may as easily be observed, as it is in fubftances, where one name, v. g. man, is used to fignify the thing; another, v. g. father, to fignify the relation.

The denomi

nations of actions often mislead us. moral rec

§. 16. But becaufe very frequently the pofitive idea of the action, and its moral relation, are comprehended together under one name, and the fame word made ufe of to express both the mode or action, and its titude or obliquity; therefore the relation itself is lefs taken notice of, and there is often no diftinction made between the pofitive idea of the action, and the reference it has to a rule. By which confufion of these two distinct confiderations under one term, those who yield too easily to the impreffions of founds, and are forward to take names for things, are often misled in their judgment of actions. Thus the taking from ano


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