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of the World, can never alter them without altering the nature of things ; cannot make that good which is hurtful, nor that hurtful which is good; which is all the Good and Evil which I know of: for whereas we distinguish between Moral and Natural Good and Evil, the only. difference between them is this, that Moral Good and Evil is in the Will and Choice, Natural Good and Evil is in the Nature of Things ; that which is good or hartful to our felves or others, is naturally good or evil; to love, to chuse, to do that which is good or hurtful to our selves or others, is morally good or evil, or is the good or evil of our Choice and Actions. If you
will but recollect your felves, you will all find, that you have no other Notion of Good or Evil but this. When you say, such a Man has done a very good or a very evil action, what do you mean by it? Do you not mean, that he has done something very good or very hurtful to himself or others When you hear that any man has done good or evil, is not the next question, What good, or what hurt has he done? And do you not by this mcan Natural Good or Evil ? Which is a plain evidence, that you judge of the Moral Good or Evil of Actions by the Natural Good or Evil' which they do.: And the essential difference between Moral good and evil, is founded on the essential difference between Natural good and evil ; and therefore is as unalterable as the nature of things.
This is evidenr from that universal Rule of Justice and Goodness, Whatsoever ye would that men facul2 do unto you!, do you that also unto them, which is an Appealto cur own sense and feeling for the
good and evil of our A&tions; which must there, fore signify the natural good and evil of them : We feel what is for our good or hurt ; and we defire men should do good to us, but that they should not hurt us; and therefore we must do good and no injury to them ; and this is the fum of the Law and the Prophets: The universal Rule of moral Justice and Goodness, which is to do that which is for the natural good of mankind, whatever our sense and experience tells us, is naturally good and beneficial to our selves : which would be a very imperfect Rule, if there were nog an inseparable connexion between Moral and Natural Good.
The not observing this, is the true reason why some men can form no Notion at all of moral Good or Evil , but thịnk Virtue and Vice to be *mere Arbitrary Notions, which have no Foundation in the Nature of Things; as indeed they can have none but only this, That Virtue is to love, and chuse, and do that which has a natural good in it, which is good to our selves or others; that Vice is to love, and chuse, and do that which has some natural Evil init, or which is hurtful to our selves or others : As for instance ; Charity which is one of the most excellent Virtues of the Christian Life, consists in doing every thing which is for the good of men; in fecding the Hungry, cloathing the Naked, relieving the Injured and Oppressed, the Fatherless and the Widow; in directing, advising, afisting, comforţing men in Difficulties and Distress, in forgiving Injuries; concealing Faults, judging Charitably, and in all such, other acts of Goodnefs as are greatly for the benefit of Mankind whereas the contrar
Vice does all the contrary Evils and Mischiefs, to the
great hurt and injury of men, and whoever considers this, must confess that moral Good and Evil is as real a thing as natural Good and Evil is ; and I suppose no man who has his senses about him, will deny that there is such a thing as natural Good and Evil; as for instance, Pain and Pleasure ; and then his same fenses will in abundance of instances tell him the essential difference between moral Good and Evil.
On the other hand, the true and only reason why men fo vastly differ in their Notions of moral Good and Evil, is because in many instances they are not agreed what natural Good and Evil is : Some men call nothing Good or Evil, but what is Good or Evil to their Bodies, such as Pain and Pleasure, and the causes and instruments of them, Health and Sickness,Riches and Poverty and the like. Others think,and with much greater reafon, that we should take our Souls into the account too; that whateveris for the ease and pleasure of our minds, whatever adorns and perfects a reafonable Nature, is a natural Good to men ; as Wisdom and Knowledge, and regular and wellguvern’d Appetites and Passions do; and therefore these are the foundation of moral Virtues too'; but whatever debases our Natures, and is a reproach to the Reason and Understanding of a man, whatever thrusts him down into the rank of brute Creatures, and either difturbs his ease, or changes the Pleasures of a Man for those of a Eealt are great natural Evils too, if the perfection and happiness cf Humane Nature be a natural Good; and therefore to chuse and to a& fuch things, is morally Evil.
This is enough to shew what moral Good and Evil is that it has a necessary relation to natural Good and Evil; and it were eafy here to prove, were it not too long a Digression, That all the Laws of the Gospel do either command what is for the good and happiness of Mankind, of every private man, and of publick Communities; or forbid such things as are hartful and prejudicial to them; but my present design will not suffer me to ftraggle fo far out of the way.
II. The second branch of this Argument is, That according to the general fenfe of
mankind, what is good ought to be rewarded, and what is wicked ought to be punished. "For the proof of this, I shall appeal in the first place to all civilized Nations who live under Laws and Government; for there is no such Nation but thinks fit' to restrain Wickedness by a públick Vengeance on those who commit it: Índeed their Laws and Punishments are not always the same, nor do they all punish the same Crimes, nor with the same Punishments; but all of them punish such Crimes as they think injurious to the Publick, which is the principal concernment of Civil Government; and inflict such penalties on them, as they judge proportioned to such Crimes, or fufficient to restrain the commission of them'; fome Capital, some Pecuniary Mulets, Confiscation of Goods, loss of Honour, Corporal Punishments, Imprisonment, Banishment, or some publick Marks of perpetual Infamy; which is a certain Argument, that the Wisdom of all Nations thinks icħe thae Wickedness should be punished ; that those who do Evil should suffer Evil ; and indeed
all Mankind is fo sensible of this, that there is not a greater Reproach to any Government, than the Impunity of Vice; nor a greater Glory to it, chan the strią and equal Administration of Jufice: · Where
publick Justice fails, as it does in a great many instances, we must next appeal to private Revenge, to understand what the sense of mankind is about the desert of Sin; for there is not a more natural, nor more eager Paffion in Human Nature ; all men naturally desire to return the Injury they suffer, upon the Heads of those who do it ; and account is no Injury, but a great act of Justice to do so. In many Nations fome private Injuries have been left to private Revenge and the Jewish Law it self perinitted a Retaliation of Injuries, an Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth, tho it did not permit the injured Perfon to take this Revenge himself, but made the publick Magiftate the Judge of it.
It may be you will wonder I should appeal to the impatient thirst and appetite of Revenge, to prove the sense of mankind, that Sin ought to be Punished; when private Revenge it self is a great Evil, and forbid by the Gospel of our Saviour : but for all that, Revenge is a natural Paffion, and speaks the furious rage and language of Nature, - that Sin ought to be punished. It is that paflion in - us which ministers to Punitive Justice, as a natural tenderness and compassion does to Charity; and therefore the Passion it self is not-sinful, tho the irregular čxercise cf it is : It is implanted in: : all Mankind, as the love of Justice is, but all men · must not execute Revenge, no more than every : man-can administer Justice; where every man is a