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avoidably that the differences, relations, and proportions of things both natural and moral, in which all unprejudiced minds thus naturally agree, are certain, unalterable and real in the things themselves ; and do not at all depend on the variable opinions, fancies or imaginations of men prejudiced by education, laws, customs, or evil practices and also, that the mind of man naturally and unavoidably gives its assent, as to natural and geometrical truth, so also to the moral differences of things, and to the fitness and reasonableness of the obligation of the everlasting Law of Righteousness, whenever fairly and plainly proposed." -Clarke's Evidence of Nat. and Rev. Relig. p. 44.




Of the Seeds of Vice.

IF Man has the seeds of good and evil in himself, it may be asked what are the native propensities or original principles from which vice and virtue proceed, and in what order are they developed?

As we argue on the presumption that he is not wholly a factitious being, we are bound to show that it is not necessary to look to any other source than his own heart, for the roots or fountains from which good and evil, in their various shapes and appearances, have their ramifications. It is rather too much for any one to assume, that, while man evidently displays the seeds of vice (or those principles which may lead to vice) original and inherent in his nature; he is indebted to his fellow-creature or to the deductions of his own reason, and not to the free bounty of Providence or nature for his incitements to virtue:

in other words, it is going far to say, that while he has evil propensities within, his good propensities must come by observation or from without.-Yet this is plainly the sum of the argument we are opposing. When we take a review of the Natural Appetites, Desires and Affections, we may easily discover that these classes of Active Principles have in themselves the germs of vice ;-illustrating that sacred Truth, that when man is tempted, he is not tempted of God, but of the lusts and desires of his own heart. For in all these things the Benevolent Parent of the Universe is fully justified.

I shall treat of the Appetites, Desires, and Affections, in order.

I. APPETITES. The Appetites were implanted for especial use in the physical economy; and all philosophers agree that without these natural impulses, reason would be incompetent to provide for the preservation of the individual and the continuance of


the species. But, by their abuse, these very appetites give rise to gluttony, drunkenness, and sensual indulgence in all its various modifications. In consequence of this, notwithstanding his higher endowments, man is brought down to a level with the brute: nay, he is sunk still lower; for he even uses his higher endowments as means to stimulate his appetites to unnatural excess, and prostitutes that which is noble to the vilest ends.

One of the Appetites does not indeed show itself at birth, nor for a long period afterwards. But it is

easy to perceive the wisdom of that institution, by which the stimulus of this Appetite is deferred to a suitable age; so that it shall not interfere with rational pursuits, nor add its influence too early in the passionate excitements of the mind.

And, although it is developed after so many years; it affords one decisive proof, that whatever emotions appear in the mind, are not always excited by education or outward circumstances. For, what could education effect, if the seeds of this animal propensity were not laid in the bodily organization? It is at the same time unquestionable, that effeminacy, luxury, and dissipation of thought, with a genial climate, may induce a premature developement; that is, Art may ripen, but it does not implant the seed

II. DESIRES. The Desires, as they are called, are active principles inherent in our nature which, as Locke observes, in regard to the love of Power, of Possession, and of Esteem or Commendation, appear almost from the cradle. The Desires do not take their rise from the body, nor do they operate periodically after certain intervals, and cease on the attainment of their objects. In these respects they differ from the Appetites. They are original instinctive impulses of the mind, and we cannot doubt that they were implanted for wise purposes. These purposes, however, it is not my business to point out. But although, from the impulse of these Desires, we may trace useful and important ends; it is no less true that, from the same origin, we may trace many evils.

Among the principal of these Desires we may reckon, 1. The Desire of Knowledge, or the principle of Curiosity. 2. The Desire of Power and of Possession. 3. The Desire of Esteem. 4. The Desire of Superiority, or the principle of Emulation.

On the first it is scarcely necessary to make a remark.

The second, or the Desire of Power, it is easy to see, when carried to excess, must prove a fruitful source of evil. It is in fact" the root of almost all the injustice and contention that so disturb human life." It is one of the first active principles that appear in children. The Love of Power is the root of Ambition and Strife: and the Love of Possession is the root of Avarice, Theft and Covetousness.

From the natural Desire of Esteem, which, Stewart observes, appears very early in infants, who long before they are able to reflect on the advantages resulting from the good opinion of others, and even before they acquire the use of speech, are sensibly mortified by any expression of neglect or contempt― from this Desire, (which, well used, raises the mind from low pursuits) when carried to excess, pride and vanity, and the love of fame, take their origin. Locke himself even admits, "That we are all even from our cradles vain and proud creatures."Thoughts on Education, p. 130.

The Desire of Superiority, or Emulation, is an ac

See Locke on Education, s. 105; and Stewart's Outlines of Moral Philosophy, part 2.

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