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PART II. ed their virtues differently. Though to both it was a state of
tranquility and exemption from fear and forrow, this exemption was fuppofed by the one to be obtained by a feclufion from care, and by indifference to all the concerns of mankind, whether private or public. By the other, virtue was fuppofed to confift in the affectionate performance of every good office towards their fellow creatures, and in full refignation to providence for every thing independent of their own choice. Their different schemes of divinity clearly pointed out their oppofite plans of morality alfo. Both admitted the existence of God. But to one the deity was a retired effence enjoying itself, and far removed from any work of creation or providence *.
The other confidered deity as the intelligent principle of exiftence and of order in the univerfe, from whom all intelligence proceeds, and to whom all intelligence will return; whofe power is the irrefiftible energy of goodness and wisdom, ever present and ever active; bestowing on man the faculty of intelligence, and the freedom of choice, that he may learn, in acting for the general good, to imitate the divine nature; and that, in respect to events independent of his will, he may acquiefce in the determinations of providence." How great is the privilege of man," fays Antoninus," to have it in his power to do what God will approve, and "to receive with complacency whatever God fhall ordain."
In conformity with thefe principles, one fect recommended feclufion
* Omnis enim, per fe, divum natura, necefse 'ft
clufion from all the cares of family or state. The other recom- PART II. mended an active part in all the concerns of our fellow-creatures, CHAP. I. and the steady exertion of a mind, benevolent, courageous, and temperate. Here the fects effentially differed, not in words, as is fometimes alledged, but in the views which they entertained of a plan for the conduct of human life and the choice of their actions. The Epicurean was a deferter from the cause of his fellow-creatures, and might justly be reckoned a traitor to the community of nature, of mankind, and even of his country, to which he owed his protection.
The Stoic enlisted himself, as a willing inftrument in the hand of God, for the good of his fellow-creatures. For himself, the cares and attentions which this object required, were his pleafures; and the continued exertion of a beneficent affection, his welfare and his profperity.
It is by no means indifferent what opinions we shall entertain on these subjects. Good and evil are known or apprehended by us under a variety of denominations. And happiness or misery are fuppofed to be conftituted by the diftribution of these in our lot. If the things we term good be inconfiftent one with another, it is furely of confequence to the most unthinking mind to afcertain where the preference is due; and, when this point is determined, to avoid the distraction of a doubtful choice on any particular occafion. If, on the contrary, the objects stated under the denomination of good, when well understood, coincide in their effects, it is reasonable that we trace them to this point of coincidence, and reft the project of happiness or fafety, not on any partial and exclusive selection; but on the proper ufe and conduct of the whole.
The terms in common ufe under which we distinguish the fubjects of defire and averfion, are chiefly Pleasure and Pain, Beauty and Deformity, Excellence and Defect, Virtue and Vice, Profperity and Adverfity; or, in a form more comprehensive, and arifing from the distribution of these, Happiness and Misery. Under one or other of thefe titles we fhall probably find every conftituent of good or of evil; and, in following the track of ordinary experience or reafon, arrive at a final decifion of what is best for mankind, and establish a principle of estimation and choice, upon which to determine every question of right or propriety relating to the affairs of men.
Of Pleafure and Pain, or Things agreeable and difagreeable in general.
UNDER this title will occur to be mentioned pleasures and PART II. pains of mere sense, of affection and passion, of active exertion CHAP. I. and conduct. SECT. II.
Pleasure and pain, for the most part, are co-relative terms: Where any circumftance is pleasant, the privation of it is painful; and, conversely, where any circumstance is painful, exemption from it is pleasant. Upon this account, when we have specified the one, it will not always be neceffary to mention the other.
In the actual arrangements of nature, throughout the animal kingdom, things falutary are pleasant, and things pernicious are painful. Pleasure is made an inducement to the performance of those functions, which are required to prefervation or well being; and pain is employed as a warning to avoid the occafions of deftruction or harm.
When a certain end is obtained in the use of a pleasure, it is observed that the inducement to any farther exertion in that particular inftance is withdrawn; and attempts to prolong or continue the gratification, as they might be pernicious, so they are attended not only with fatiety, but even with disgust and pain.
As in this wife and beneficent inftitution of nature, to preferve her works, there are pleasures attending all the ordinary and falutary functions of animal life, there are pains, also, which attend whatever is pernicious to the animal frame; and the final cause or purpose is evidently the fame in both; that is, by inviting to what is falutary, by deterring from what is pernicious, to excite the languid animal to what is useful; and to rouse the fuffering animal to fuch efforts as may be effectual to remove the occafion of harm; and, in either way, to confult his fafety.
For this purpose, although the occafions of pain, like the occafions of pleasure, may be temporary, yet, as it is neceffary that the pain fhould continue until the cause of harm be removed, or even that the pain fhould increase while the cause of harm is increafing, or the danger to animal life is augmented; there appears to be a fufficient reafon why fufferings, incident to the animal frame, fhould in many inftances be of longer duration, and greater intensity, than the correfponding enjoyments or pleasures which are deftined to recommend the ordinary functions of life.
It appears, therefore, with refpect to animals in general, that the purpose of nature in the diftribution of fenfation, is to provide for the fafety of the individual, and the fucceffion of the fpecies, at the fame time that an establishment is made for enjoy