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doing right is better or preferable to doing wrong, as we perceive that right is not the fame thing as wrong; that to do right is com'mendable and worthy of a rational being, and therefore, ought in reason to determine his choice in it's favour ; and to do wrong is difreputable and unworthy of a rational being, and therefore, his choice ought always in reason to be determined against it; and the like. And, · Tho’ our reasoning faculty is absolutely necessary for the discovering the natural and essential difference in things, or to enable us to perceive it; yet this faculty does not make or constitute that difference. Things and actions are really distinct from, and one preferable to another, when considered abstractedly from, and independent of any power in us; and our discerning faculty does only enable us to perceive, but does not constitute that difference. So that the difference in things does not result from, nor depend upon, any particular constitution of the mind, but is founded in nature, and therefore will appear the same to all minds, in which a capacity of discernment resides, tho' differently constituted. Two and four are really distinčt and different in nature, and this difference must and will appear the Jame to every mind in which a capacity of difcernment resides, tho' differently constituted. Thus again, pleasure is in nature better and preferable to pain, and this difference must and will appear the fame to every mind,

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(however constituted) which is capable of per: ceiving what pleasure and pain is. The case is the same with respect to right and wrong, kind and unkind, and the like; these are not only different from, but also one preferable to another in nature; and our faculties do not constitute that difference, but only enable us to perceive it. And, as there is not an universal fameness in nature, but a real difference with respect to things and actions themselves; and, as there is not an universal indifference in nature, but a real difference with respect to the valuableness or preferableness of one thing or action to another, when they are brought into a comparison : fo that difference, in all fimple (tho it be otherwise in complex) cases is the object of simple perception only, and as fuch those prove themselves; that is, they appear evident to our preceptive faculty, and do not admit of any other kind of proof. If it should be asked, how can it be proved that two and two are equal to four ? that the whole is equal to all it's parts ? that acting right is different from, and preferable to acting wrong? and the like; the answer would be, that these are self-evident propofitions, that is, they appear evident to our discerning faculties, and as such they prove themselves, and do not admit of any other kind of proof. Again,

Secondly, as there is a natural and an essential difference in things; so that difference exhibits, if I may so speak, a reafon or rule of action to every moral agent. That is, as doing right is in nature better, and therefore, preferable to doing wrong; so this difference will always be a reason, (resulting from the nature of things) to every moral agent, why he should chuse to do right, and will be a reafon against, or why he should not chụse to do wrong. Again, as pleasure is in nature preferable to pain, the one being a natural good, the other a natural evil; so that difference affords a reason to every moral agent, to chuse to taste pleasure himtelf; and to chuse to, com

affords a reofon why, he should chuse to avoid pain himself, and cbuse to avoid communicating pain to others, when these are considered abstractedly from all other considerations. And, as there is a reason founded in nature for acting right, and a reason against acting wrong, a reason for communicating pleasure, and a reason against communicating pain ; fo to act agreeably to reason, in doing the former is what constitutes moral good, and to act against the reason of the thing in doing the latter, is what constitutes moral evil; moral good and evil, in every instance being nothing else but the acting agreeably with, or contrary to that reafon or rule of ačtion which is founded in, and results from the natural and essential difference in things; and all moral obligations are nothing else but the reason resulting from that difference why we should chuse to act this way, or that way, rather than their contraries. And, as those reasons for acting one way rather than

another

another are founded in nature, that is, they tesult from the natural and essential difference in things ; so they become a rule of action, which is equally obliging, to all intelligent beings capable of discerning that difference. And consequently, (in this sense of the word oblige,) God, as he is a moral agent, is in reason obliged to govern his actions by this rule. And,

As there is a reason or rule of action which is equally obliging to every moral agent; fo from hence it will follow that the reasonablenefs of an action ought to determine the will of every rational being, to the performance of that action, even tho' there be no other motive to it, and tho' there be a thousand temptations to excite to the contrary. For, whilft, (when all things are taken into the case,) it is reasona able that an action should be performed, it is impossible that any, even the strongest temptations, (how many so ever they be,) should make it reasonable to omit that action; because if that were the case, then, under these circumstances, it would not be a reasonable, or at least an indifferent, but an unreasonable action, and as such it does not come into the present question, except we can suppose an action to be both reasonable and unreasonable or indifferent at the same time, and under the same circumstances, which is a manifest contradiction. So that to suppose some other motives Thould take place, besides the reasonableness of an action, which may be more

than

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than a ballance to the many, and strong temptations, with which a reasonable creature may be surrounded, in order to engage his will for the choice of that action, and without which motives, the bare reasonableness of an action would not be more than a ballance to those temptations, is exceedingly wrong; because the reasonableness of an action is in itself, when considered abstractedly from all other motives, more than a ballance to all temptations, for otherwise it would not be a reasonable action. And it is a man's not following his reason in opposition to all temptations which renders himn justly condemnable to himself, and to every other reasonable being, and consequently, to his Maker as such. And, here I beg leave to observe to my reader, that the present question is, what ought in reason to determine the will of a being endowed with a reasoning faculty to the performance of a reasonable action, and not what is in fact sufficient for that purpose. And here, I say, that the reasonableness of an action ought in reason to determine the will of every such being for the choice of that action, but then it depends upon the pleasure of each individual whether it shall, in fact, be sufficient for this purpose, or not. And, this is the case of all other motives which may be fuperadded, it depends upon the pleasure of each individual whether, in faƐt, those motives shall be to him the ground or reason of action, or not. And therefore, we see, not only the unreasonable

ness

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