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Fellow-Creatures : There are likewise In-Serm. I.
stances of Persons without the due natural m
Affections to themselves; but the Nature of
Man is not to be judged of by either of
these, but by what appears in the common
World, in the Bulk of Mankind.

I am afraid it would be thought very
ftrange, if to confirm the Truth of this Ac-
count of Humane Nature, and make out
the Justness of the foregoing Comparison, it
should be added, that from what appears,
Men in Fact as much and as often contradict
that Part of their Nature which respects
Self, and which leads them to their own
private Good and Happiness; as they con-
tradict that Part of it which respects So-
ciety, and tends to publick Good: That there
are as few Persons, who attain the greatest
Satisfaction and Enjoyment which they
might attain in the present World ; as who
do the greatest Good to others which they
might do: Nay, that there are as few who
can be said really and in earnest to aim at
one, as at the other. Take a Survey of Man-
kind : The World in general, the Good and
Bad, almost without Exception, equally are
agreed, that Religion being out of the Case,
the Happiness of the present Life consists in

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a Man

Serm. I. a Manner wholly in Riches, Honours, sen

sual Gratifications; infomuch that one scarce hears a Reflection made upon Prudence, Life, Conduct, but upon this Supposition. Yet on the contrary, that Persons in the greatest Afluence of Fortune, are no happier than such as have only a Competency; that the Cares and Disappointments of Ambition for the most Part far exceed the Satisfactions of it; as also the miserable Intervals of Intemperance and Excess, and the many untimely Deaths occasioned by a dissolute Course of Life: These things are all seen, acknowledged, by every one acknowledged; but are thought no Objections against, though they expresly contradict, this universal Principle, that the Happiness ef the present Life consists in one or other of them. Whence is all this Absurdity and Contradiction? Is not the middle Way obvious ? Can any thing be more manifest, than that the Happiness of Life consists in Thele possessed and enjoyed only to a certain Degree; that to pursue them beyond this Degree, is always attended with more Inconvenience than Advantage to a Man's self, and often with extream Misery and Unhappiness. Whence then, I say, is all

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this Absurdity and Contradiction? Is it really Serm. I.
the Result of Consideration in Mankind,
how they may become most easy to them-
selves, most free from Care, and enjoy the
chief Happiness attainable in this World?
Or is it not manifestly owing either to this,
that they have not cool and reasonable Con-
cern enough for themselves, to consider
wherein their chief Happiness in the present
Life consists; or else if they do consider
it, that they will not act conformably to
what is the Result of that Consideration :
i. e. reasonable Concern for themselves, or
cool Self-love is prevailed over by Passion
and Appetite. So that from what appears,
there is no Ground to affert that cool Self-
love has any more Influence upon the Acti-
ons of Men, than the Principles of Virtue
and Benevolence have.

The Sum of the whole is plainly this.
The Nature of Man considered in his fin-
gle Capacity, and with respect only to the
present World, is adapted and leads him to
attain the greatest Happiness he can for him-
self in the present World. The Nature of
Man considered in his publick or social Ca-
pacity leads him to a right Behaviour in So-
ciety, to that Course of Life which we call

Virtue.

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Serm. I. Virtue. Men follow or obey their Nature

in both these Capacities and Respects to a certain Degree, but not intircly: Their Actions do not come up to the whole of what their Nature leads them to in either of these Capacities or Respects; and they often violate their Nature in both. i. e. As they neg. lect the Duties they owe to their FellowCreatures, to which their Nature leads them; and are injurious, to which their Nature is abhorrent: So there is a manifest Negligence in Men of their real Happiness or Interest in the present World, when that Interest is inconsistent with a present Gratification; for the sake of which they negligently, nay, even knowingly are the Authors and Instruments of their own Misery and Ruin. Thus they are as often unjust to themselves as to others, and for the moft Part are equally so to both by the same Actions.

SERMON

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ROM

M. ii. 14.
For when the Gentiles which have not the

Law, do by Nature the things contain-
ed in the Law, these having not the
Law, are a Law to themselves.

A

S speculative Truth admits of diffe- Ser. II. rent Kinds of Proof, so likewise mu

Moral Obligations may be shewn by different Methods. If the real Nature of any Creature leads him and is adapted to such and such Purposes only, or more than to any other ; this is a Reason to believe the Author of that Nature intended it for those Purposes. Thus there is no Doubt the Eye was intended for us to see with. And the more complex any Constitution

is,

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