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Of Moral Action and the Characteristics of a Virtuous and Happy Life.
SECT. I. Of virtue as diftinguishable from the the effects of compulsory law. Page 315
SECT. IV. Of the characteristics of goodnefs or juftice.
SECT. V. Of the characteristics of temperance.
SECT. VI. Of the characteristics of fortitude.
SECT. I. Introduction.
SECT. II. Of the people confidered in refpect to numbers.
SECT. III. Of the manners or political character of the people.
SECT. IV. Of the wealth of the people.
Page 89. 1. 12. for states read stakes.
SECT. VI. Of the fame fubject continued.
SECT. VIII. Of liberty as it may be affected by the exercife of the legiflative power. 467
SECT. IX. Of the judicative power.
ERRATA.-V O L. II.
Ibid. Note, for ferva read feria; for defecerant
168. Note, for astringimus read astringimur.
414. 1. 6. for I read It.
442. 1. 26. dele being.
448. 1. 21. dele 2d, Or.
Page 319. Note, at bottom, dele Rex vixit male. 364. 1. 15. for principle read principal.
387. 1. 12. for will read well.
468. 1. 10. dele not, for as to read not to.
493. l. 12. for ties read duties.
509. 1. 25. for man read human.
MORAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE.
Of Moral Law, or the Distinction of Good and Evil, and its Syftematic Applications.
OF THE SPECIFIC GOOD INCIDENT TO HUMAN NATURE.
THE diftinction of phyfical and moral science has been stated PART II. in the former part of this work; the one being occupied in folv- CHAP. I. ing questions of theory or fact, the other in folving questions of right: But, notwithstanding the proposed method required that questions of fact, or mere explanation, should be confidered aVOL. II.
PART. II. part from queftions of estimation and choice; yet the good CHAP.1. of which man is fufceptible, and the evil to which he is expofed, having frequently occurred, as facts of the greateft importance relating to him; and the advancement of moral science itself having made a confiderable article in the hiftory of his purfuits and attainments; it was impoffible not to touch upon thefe fubjects, in laying the foundation of this more particular difcuffion, in which we are now to proceed.
Having, however, in the former part, chiefly attended to the facts conftituent of man's actual ftate, and ferving to form his capacity and give intimation of his future profpects; we are now, in the continuation of our method, come to a point at which the distinction of good and evil, and its applications, are the direct and immediate objects of our inquiry. But as in the past, where the statement of fact was the principal object, we could not always with-hold fome view to its confequence; fo now, although our principal object is to pursue the inference to be drawn from facts already ftated; yet, as we may, by referring to former obfervations, fometimes incur the charge of repetition; it is hoped that the favour, due to a fubject fo important, may plead in excuse of the necessary references, even if they should be repeated.
Science, in every application of the term, implies the knowledge of fome one or more general principles with their applications, whether in directing the will, or in explaining appearances, and connecting together our conceptions of things.
The fpecific principle of moral science is fome general expreffion of what is good, and fit to determine the choice of moral agents in the detail of their conduct.
To inveftigate fuch a principle relating to man, it will be necessary to recollect what is known of himself; and of the fitua- SECT. I. tion in which he is placed. Our information is to be collected from his experience of what is agreeable or difagreeable to him, and the refult will amount to a choice of that, on which he is chiefly to rely for his happiness, and to a caution against that, of which he is chiefly to beware as leading to mifery.
These first and principal points of choice or rejection being fixed, the lines of moral wisdom and precept will flow from them in every direction, whether leading to the difcernment of personal qualities, the foundations of law, manners, or political eftablifhments.
The distinction of good and evil originates in the capacity of enjoyment and fuffering. Infomuch that, without the intervention of mind, or fome feeling nature, all the varieties of matter and form befides, would be indifferent. Good Good may be defined, that which being enjoyed conftitutes happiness; and evil, that which being incurred conftitutes mifery.
Philofophers of old employed themselves chiefly in search of a fupreme good; and the term was familiar in the language of their times. We are told of two principal opinions which were entertained on this fubject. One, that pleasure, another, that virtue was the chief good. But as the patrons of the first could not propose to affert, that all pleasures were equal, no more could the other mean, that virtue was not a pleasure. They were agreed indeed in the general affertion, that what they termed virtue was the only fecure and true fource of enjoyment; but they defcrib