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not be happy without the means of intoxication. But surely no man in his senses can believe that self-love is gratified by excessive drinking; or that brandy and tobacco* have any thing to do with rational felicity, except, perhaps, by their tendency to destroy it. There have been drunkards, who could persevere in their vile habits, even while they knew that ruin and death would be the consequence. Such men being really their own enemies, it would be a strange abuse of words to say, that they were actuated by self-love: and the same thing may be affirmed of all who are enslaved to ambition, covetousness, or sensuality.
286. It has been questioned, whether there be in man any principle of pure benevolence, which aims at the good of others only, without any view to the gratification of one's self? By doing good to others we do indeed most effectually gratify ourselves; for what can give a man more pleasure, than to reflect that he has been instrumental in promoting a fellow-creature's happiness! Yet every good man may be sensible, that he often does good, and wishes well, to others, without any
immediate view to his own gratification, nay, without thinking of himself at all. In fact, if we had not principles purely benevolent, we could not gratify ourselves by doing others good. Children have been known to sacrifice their inclinations to the
* I speak of them not as medicines but as luxuries.
happiness of those they loved, when they themselves believed that their own interest would, in every respect, suffer by doing so. It is not my meaning, that all children, or all men, are so disinterested ; I only say, that pure benevolence is to be found in human nature : a doctrine, which, though to many it may appear self-evident, has been much controverted; and which there are men in the world, who, judging of all others by them. selves, will never heartily acquiesce in.
287. It has also been made a question, whether there be in man a principle of universal benevolence ? But does not every good man wish well to all mankind and is not this universal benevolence? He who wishes harm to those who never offended him, or who cares not whether a fellow.creature be happy or unhappy, is a monster, and deserves not the name of a man. It is true, that every man, even in civilized society, is not capable of forming extensive views of things, or of considering the whole human race, or the whole system of percipient beings, as the objects of his benevolence. But in every good man there is a benevolent principle, which makes him wish well, and do good, to every one to whom he has it in his power to be serviceable ; and this sort of benevolence will do as much real good in the world, as benevolence universal. Accordingly our religion, which is suited to our general nature, and enjoins nothing as incumbent on all men, but what every man,
extensive or narrow views, of much or little know. ledge, may perform ;-our religion, I say, instead of recommending universal benevolence in the abstract, requires, that we do good to all men, as we have opportunity ; and commands us to love our neighbour as ourselves; declaring every man to be our neighbour who needs our aid, and to whom we have the means of giving it.
288. Concerning universal benevolence some have argued in this manner.- Benevolence arises < from love; and love from the view of agrecable
qualities in another. Now the good qualities of • others can be known to us in two ways only ; ' from personal acquaintance, or from information. « Of one whom we never saw or heard of, we • cannot know either the good qualities, or the
bad : him, therefore, we cannot love; but be6 nevolence is founded in love: therefore towards
such a person we cannot be benevolent. It fol• lows, that there can be no such affection as uni6 versal benevolence in human nature. This reasoning is good for nothing. Whether the principle in question be a part of our frame, is a query that relates to a matter of fact, and is therefore to be determined, not by argument, but by observation and experience. He who is conscious that he wishes well to all his fellow-creatures, is a man of universal benevolence; and I have no scruple to affirm, that every good man does so, and that to do so is in the power of every man.
289. Though one were to grant the premises of the foregoing argument, the conclusion would not follow: for, though we are not personally acquainted with every man upon earth, we know that all men possess certain agreeable qualities, for which we may and ought to love them. We know, that all men are percipient beings, are endowed with reason and speech, are animated with souls intelligent and immortal, are descended from our first parents, and are dependent on the same Great Being on whom we depend. On these ac. counts, a good man loves all mankind; and may,
, therefore, if benevolence arise from love, be benevolent towards all mankind. The very circumstance of our all inhabiting the same planet, and of being all liable to the same wants and infirmities, will naturally serve as a bond of endearment; for similarity of fortune never fails to attach men to one another.
290. Some passions are called unnatural, as envy, malevolence, and pride. The reason is, because they are destructive of good affections that are natural. We naturally love excellence whereever we see it; but the envious man hates it, and wishes to be superior to others, not by raising himself by honest means, but by injuriously pulling them down. It is natural to rejoice in the good of others; but the malevolent heart triumphs in their misery. It is natural for us to regard mankind as our companions and brethren; but the proud man
regards himself only, despising others as if they were beneath him. These unnatural passions are always evil; they make a man odious to his fellow-creatures, and unhappy in himself; and they tend to the utter depravation of the human soul. Anger and resentment may lead to mischief; but, if kept within the due bounds, are useful for selfdefence, and therefore not to be altogether suppressed. We may be angry without sin; and not to resent injury is the same thing as not to perceive it, which would be insensibility. Nay, on some occasions resentment and anger are further useful, by cherishing in us an abhorrence of injustice, and fortifying our minds against it. But pride, malevolence, and envy, can never be useful or innocent; to indulge them, even for a moment, is criminal.
291. The passions have long ago been divided into calm and violent. Of the former sort, commonly termed affections, are benevolence, pity, gratitude, and, in general, all virtuous and innocent emotions. Of the latter, are anger, hatred, avarice, ambition, revenge, excessive joy or sorrow, and, in general, all criminal and all immoderate emotions; which, in imitation of the Greeks, we may call passions, using the word in a strict sense. The former are salutary to the soul, the latter dangerous. Those resemble serene weather, accompanied with such gales and refreshing showers, as prevent stagnation, and cheer by