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cause bodies have solidity, cohesion, and gravitation towards the centre of the earth, therefore a weight suspended on the beam of a balance should have greater power to counter bal. ance a weight on the other side, when at a distance from the fulcrum, than when it is near. It implies no contradiction, that it should be otherwise : But only as it contradicts that beautiful proportion and harmony, which the author of nature observes in the laws of nature he has established. Neither. is there any absolute necessity, the contrary implying a contradiction, that because there is an internal mutual attraction of the parts of the earth, or any other sphere, whereby the whole becomes one solid coherent body, therefore other bodies that are around it, should also be attracted by it, and those. that are nearusi, be attracted most. But according to the order and proportion generally observed in the laws of nature, on“ of these effects is connected with the other, so that it is justiy looked upon as the same power of attraction in the globe of the earth, which draws bodies about the earth towards its centre, with ihat which attracts the parts of the earth themselves one to another; only exerted under different circumstances. By a like order of nature, a man's love to those that love him, is no more than a certain expression or effect of se f love. No other principle is needful in order to the effect, if nothing intervenes to countervail the natural tendency of self love. Therefore there is no more true virtue in a man's thus loving his friends merely from self love, than there is in seis love itself, the principle from whence it proceeds. So, a man’s being disposed to hate those that hate him, or to resent injuries donc him, arises from self love in like manner as the loving those that love us, and being thankful for kindness shewn us.
But it is said by some, that it is apparent, there is some other principle concerned in exciting the passions of gratitude and anger, besides self love, viz. a moral sense, or sense of moral beauty and deformity, determining the minds of all mankind to approve of, and be pleased with virtue, and to disapprove of vice, and behold it with displicence; and that their secing or supposing this moral beauty or deformity, in the
kindness of a benefactor, or opposition of an adversary, is the occasion of these affections of gratitude or anger. Otherwise, why are not these affections excited in us towards inanimate things, that do us good, or hurt? Why do we not experience gratitude to a garden, or fruitful field ? And why are we not angry with a tempest, or blasting mildew, or an overflowing stream? We are very differently affected towards those that do us good from the virtue of generosity, or hurt us from the vice of
envy and malice, than towards things that hurt or help uns, which are destitute of reason and will.....Now concerning this, I would make several remarks.
1. Those who thus argue, that gratitude and anger cannot proceed from self love, might argue in the same way, and with equal reason, that neither can these affections arise from love to others; which is contrary to their own scheme.
They say that the reason why we are affected with gratitude and anger towards men, rather than things without lise, is moral sense ; which they say, is the effect of that principle of benevolence or love to others, or love to the public, which is naturally in the hearts of all mankind. But now I might say, according to their own way of arguing, gratitude and ana ger cannot arise from love to others, or love to the public, or any sense of mind that is the fruit of public affection. For how differently are we affected towards those that do good or hurt to the public from understanding and will, and from a general public spirit, or public motive...... I say, how differently affected are we towards these, from what we are towards such inanimate things as the sun and the clouds, that do good to the public by enlightening and enlivening beams and refreshing showers ; ar mildew, and an overflowing stream, that does hurt to the public, by destroying the fruits of the carth ? Yea, if such a kind of argument be good, it will prove that gratitude and anger cannot arise from the united influence of self-love, and public love, or moral sense arising from the public affection.
For, if so, why are we not affected towards inanimate things, that are beneficial or injurious both to us and the public, in the same manner as to thein that are profitable or hurtful to both on choice and design, and from boneya olence, or malice ?
2. On the supposition of its being indeed so, that men love those who love them, and are angry with those who hate them, from the natural influence of self love ; it is not at all strange that the author of nature, who observes order, uniformity and harmony in establishing its laws, should so order that it should be natural for self love to cause the mind to be affected differently towards exceedingly different objects; and that it should cause our heart to extend itself in one manner towards inanimate things, which gratify self love, without sense or will, and in another manner towards Beings which we look upon as having understanding and will, like ourselves, and cserting these faculties in our favor, and promoting our interest from love to us. No wonder, seeing we love ourselves, that it should be natural to us to extend something of that same kind of love which we have for ourselves, to them who are the same kind of Beings as ourselves, and comply with the inclinations of our self love, by expressing the same sort of love towards us.
3. If we should allow that to be universal, that in gratitude and anger there is the exercise of some kind of moral sense (as it is granted, there is something that may be so called.) All the moral sense, that is essential to those affections, is a sense of DESERT ; which is to be referred to that sense of justice, before spoken of, consisting in an apprehension of that secondary kind of beauty, that lies in uniformity and proportion : Which solves all the difficulty in the objection..... This, or some appearance of it to a narrow private view, indeed attends all anger and gratitude. Others love and kindness to us, or their ill will and injuriousness, appears to us to deserve our love, or our resentment. Or, in other words, it seems to us no other than just, that as they love us, and do us good, we also should love them, and do them good. And so it seems just, that when others' hearts oppose us, and they from their hearts do us hurt, our hearts should oppose them, and that we should desire they themselves may suffer in like manner as we have suffered ; i. e. there appears to us to be a natural agreement, proportion, and adjustment between these things. Which is indeed a kind of moral sense or sense of a beauty in
moral things. But as was before shewn, it is a moral sense of a secondary kind, and is entirely different from a sense or relish of the original essential beauty of true virtue ; and
be without any principle of true virtue in the heart. Therefore doubtless it is a great mistake in any to suppose, all that moral sense which appears and is exercised in sense of desert, is the same thing as a love of virtue, or a disposition and determination of mind to be pleased with true virtuous beauty, consisting in public benevolence. Which may be further confirmed, if it be considered that even with respect to a sense of justice or desert, consisting in uniformity [and agreement between others actions towards us, and our actions towards them, in a way of well doing, or of ill doing) it is not absolutely necessary to the being of these passions of gratitude and anger, that there should be any notion of justice in them, in any public or general view of things ......as will appear by what shall be next.observed.
4. Those authors who hold that that moral sense which is natural to all mankind, consists in a natural relish of the beauty of virtue, and so arises from a principle of true virtue implanted by nature in the hearts of all..... They hold that true virtue consists in public benevolence. Therefore, if the affections of gratitude and anger necessarily imply such a moral sense as they suppose, then these affections imply some delight in the public good, and an aversion of the mind to public evil. And if this were so, then every time any man feels anger for opposition he meets with, or gratitude for any favor, there must be at least a supposition of a tendency to public injury in that opposition, and a tendency to public benefit in the favor that excites his gratitude. But how far is this from being true? As, in such instances as these, which I presume, none will deny to be possible, or unlike to any thing that ever happens among mankind. A ship's crew enter into a conspiracy against the master, to murder him, and run away with the ship and turn pirates ; but before they bring their matters to a ripeness for execution, one of them repents and opens the whole design ; whereupon the rest are apprehended and brought to justice. The crew
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are enraged with him that has betrayed them, and earnestly seek opportunity to revenge themselves upon him... .And for an instance of gratitude, a gang of robbers that have long in. fested the neighboring country, have a particular house whither they resort, and where they meet from time to time, to divide their booty or prey, and hold their consultations for carrying on their pernicious designs. The magistrates and officers of the country, after many fruitless endeavors to discover their secret haunt and place of resort, at length by some means are well informed where it is, and are prepared with sufficient force to surprize them, and seize them all, at the place of rendezvous, at an hour appointed when they understand they will all be there. A little before the arrival of the appointed hour, while the officers with their bands are approaching, some person is so kind to these robbers as to give them notice of their danger, so as just to give them opportunity to escape. They are thankful to him, and give him a handful of money for his kindness..... Now in such instances, I think it is plain, that there is no supposition of a public injury in that which is the occasion of their anger ; yea, they know the contrary. Nor is there any supposition of public good in that which excites their gratitude ; neither has public benevolence, or moral sense, consisting in a determination to approve of what is for the public good, any influence at all in the affair. And though there be some affection, besides a sense of uniformity and proportion, that has influence in such anger and gratitude, it is not public affection or benevolence, but private affection ; yea, that affection which is to the high-. est degree private, consisting in a man's love of his own person.
5. The passion of anger, in particular, seems to have been unluckily chosen as a medium to prove a sense and determination to delight in virtue, consisting in benevolence, natural to all mankind.
For, if that moral sense which is exercised in anger, were that which arose from a benevolent temper of beart, being no other than a sense or relish of the beauty of benevolence, one would think a disposition to anger should increase, at