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be confessed, is of a piece with the rest of that hopeful philosophy, which, having patched man up out of the four elements, attributes his being to chance, and derives all his actions from an unintelligible declination of atoms. And for these glorious difcoveries the poet is beyond measure transported in the praises of his hero, as if he must needs be something more than man, only for an endeavour to prove, that man is in nothing superior to beasts. In this school was Mr. Hobbes instructed to speak after the same manner; if he did not rather draw his knowledge from an observation of his own temper; for he somewhere unluckily lays down this as a rule, That « from the fimilitudes of thoughts and passions of
one man to the thoughts and passions of another, « whosoever looks into himself, and confiders what • he doth when he thinks, hopes, fears, &c. and
upon what grounds; he shall hereby read and
know what are the thoughts and passions of all o other men, upon the like occasions.'
Now we will allow Mr. Hobbes to know best how he was inclined ; but, in earnest, I should be heartily out of conceit with myself, if I thought myself of this unamiable temper, as he affirms, and should have as little kindness for myself as for any body in the world. Hitherto I always imagined, that kind and benevo- · lent propensions were the original growth of the heart of man, and, however checked and overtopped by counter inclinations that have since sprung up within us, have still some force in the worst of tempers, and a considerable influence on the best. And, methinks, it is a fair step towards the proof of this, that the most beneficent of all beings is He who hath an abfolate fulness of perfection in himself, who gave existence to the universe, and so cannot be fupposed to want that which he communicated, without diminishing from the plenitude of his own power and happiness. The philosophers before-mentioned bave
indeed done all that in them lay to invalidate this argument; for placing the gods in a state of the molt elevated blefledness, they describe them as selfish as we poor miserable mortals can be, and shut them out from all concern for mankind, upon the fcore of their having no need of us. But if he that fitterh in the heavens wants not us, we stand in continual need of him'; and surely, next to the survey of the immenfe treasures of his own mind, the most exalted pleasure he receives is from beholding millions of creatures lately drawn out of the gult of non-existence, rejoicing in the various degrees of being and happiness imparted to them. And as this is the true, the glorious character of the Deity; fo in forming a reasonable creature he would not, if poffible, suffer his image to pass out of his hands unadorned with a resemblance of himself in this most lovely part of his nature.
For what complacency could a minil, whose love is as unbounded as his knowledge, have in a work fo unlike himself? a creature that should be capable of knowing and conversing with a vast circle of objects, and love none but himself? What proportion would there be between the head and the heart of such a creature, its affections, and its understanding? Or could a fociety of fuch creatures, with no other bottom but self-love on wbich to maintain a commerce, ever flourish? Reason, it is certain, would oblige every man to pursue the general happiness, as the means to procure and establish his own; and yet if, besides this confideration, there were not a natural instinct, prompting men to delire the welfare and fa. tisfaction of others, self-love, in defiance of the ad. monitions of reafon, would quickly run all things in. to a state of war and confusion.
As nearly interest ed as the foul is in the fate of the body, our provident Creator saw it necessary, by the constant returns of hunger and thirst, those importunate appetites,
to put it in mind of its charge ; knowing, that if we should eat and drink no oftner than cold abstracted speculations should put us upon these exercises, and then leave it to reason to prescribe the quantity, we should soon refine ourselves out of this bodily life. And indeed, it is obvious to remark, that we follow nothing heartily, unless carried to it by inclinations which anticipate our reason, and, like a bias, draw the mind strongly towards it. In order, therefore, to establish a perpetual intercourse of benefits amongst mankind, their Maker would not fail to give them this generous prepossession of benevolence, if, as I have said, it were possible; and from whence can we go about to argue its impossibility ? Is it inconlistent with felf. love? Are their motions contrary? No more than the diurnal rotation of the earth is opposed to its annual; or its motion round its own centre, which might be improved as an il. Justration of self-love, to that which wbirls it about the common centre of the world, answering to universal benevolence. Is the force of self-love abated, or its interest prejudiced by benevolence? So far from it, that benevolence, though a distinct princi. ple, is extremely serviceable to self-love, and then doth most service when it is least deligned.
But, to descend from reason to matter of fact; the pity which arises en fight of persons in distress, and the satisfaction of mind, which is the consequence of having removed them into a happier ftate, are instead of a thousand arguments to prove such a thing as a disinterested benevolence. "Did pity proceed from a reflection we make upon our liableness to the same ill accidents we fee befal others, it were nothing to the present purpose; but this is alligning an artificial cause of a natural pallion, and can by no means be admitted as a tolerable account of it, because children, and persons nost thoughtJess about their own condition, and incapable of entering into the prospects of futurity, feel the most
violent touches of compassion. And then as to that charming delight which immediately follows the giving joy to another, or relieving his sorrow, and is, when the objects are numerous, and the kindness of importance, really inexpressible, what can this be owing to but a consciousness of a man's having done something praise-worthy, and expresive of a great foul? Whereas, if in all this he only facrificed to vanity and self-love, as there would be nothing brave in actions that make the most shining appearance, so nature would not have rewarded them with this divine pleasure; nor could the commendations, which a person receives for benefits done upon felfilh views, be at all more satisfactory, than when he is applauded for what he doth without design; because, in both cases, the ends of self-love are equal. ly answered. The conscience of approving one's self a benefactor to mankind, is the noblest recompence for being fo; doubtless it is, and the most interested cannot propose any thing so much to their own advantage; notwithstanding which, the inclination is nevertheless unselfish. The pleasure which attends the gratification of our hunger and thirst, is not the cause of these appetites; they are previous to any such prospect; and so likewife' is the delire of doing good; with this difference, that being seated in the intellectual part, this last, though antecedent to reason, may yet be improved and regulated by it, and, I will add, is no otherwise a virtue than as it is fo.
Thus have I contended for the dignity of that nature I have the honour to partake of, and, after all the evidence produced, think I have a right to conclude, against the motto of this paper, that there is such a thing as generosity in the world. Though, if I were under a mistake in this, I should say as Cicero in relation to the immortality of the soul, I I willingly err, and should believe it very much for the interest of mankind to lie under the same delis.
fion. For the contrary notion naturally tends to dispirit the mind, and links it into a meanness fatal to the god-like zeal of doing good : as, on the other hand, it teaches people to be ungrateful, by poffesfing them with a persuasion concerning their benefactors, that they have no regard to them in the benefits they beltow. Now he that banishes gratitude from among men, by so doing stops ' up the stream of beneficence. For though, in conferring kindneffes, a truly generous man doth not aim at a return, yet he looks to the qualities of the person obliged, and as nothing renders a person more unworthy of a benefit, than his being without all resentment of it, he will not be extremely forward to oblige such a
No. 589. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3.
Perfequitur fcelus ille fuum: labefaétaque tandem
Qvid. Met. l. viii. ver. 774.
Am so great an admirer of trees, that the spot
• of ground I have chosen to build a small feat upon, in the country, is almost in the midst of
a large wood. I was obliged much against my 6 will, to cut down several trees, that I might have
any such thing as a walk in my gardens ; but then I have taken care to leave the space between