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and serious moments, to the universal and immutable light of Truth.
Rousseau thus forcibly expresses himself.
your eyes over all the nations of the world, survey all their histories; among so many absurd and inhuman forms of worship, among such a prodigious diversity of manners and of character, you will find every where the same ideas of justice and probity, every where the same notions of good and evil."-" There is therefore in the bottom of our souls an innate principle of justice and of virtue, by which, in spite of our peculiar maxims, we judge our own actions and those of others to be good or evil." In another place he justly says, "I know not for what reason men would attribute to the progress of philosophy the beautiful morality of our books; this morality, drawn from the Gospel, belonged to Christianity before it did to philosophy. The precepts of Plato are often very sublime; but how frequently does he err, and to what extent do his errors not reach? As to Cicero, can we believe, that, without Plato, this rhetorician would have discovered his duties? The Gospel alone, as to its morality, is always certain, always true, always perfect, and always consistent with itself."*
"Sense of right and wrong," according to Shaftesbury, "being as natural to us as natural affection itself, and being a first principle in our constitution and make; there is no speculative opinion, persuasion, or belief, which is capable immediately or directly to
#Pensées de Rousseau.
exclude or destroy it. That which is of original and pure nature nothing beside contrary habit and custom (a second nature) is able to displace. And this affection being an original one of earliest rise in the soul: -It's impossible that this can instantly, or without much force and violence, be effaced, or struck out of the natural temper, even by means of the most extravagant belief in the world."*
There appears to me to be great propriety in the following remarks from Dr. Beattie. "Truth is something fixed and determinate, depending not upon man, but upon the Author of Nature. The fundamental principles of truth must therefore rest upon their own evidence, perceived intuitively by the understanding."
Why should not our judgments concerning Truth be acknowledged to result from a bias impressed upon the mind by its Creator, as well as our desire of selfpreservation, our love of society, &c.? If those judgments be not instinctive, I should be glad to know how they come to be universal:-If those judgments be not instinctive, I should be glad to know how men find it so difficult, or rather impossible to lay them aside."+" Morality is founded on certain first principles."-" I do not say," observes Beattie in another place," that any particular moral principle is innate, or that an infant brings it into the world with him this would be as absurd as to say that an infant
Characteristics, vol. 2.
+ Beattie on Truth, part. 2. ch. 2.
brings the multiplication table into the world with him. But, I say that the moral faculty which dictates moral principles, and the intellectual faculty which ascertains proportions of quantity and number, are original parts of man's nature; which, though they appear not at his birth, nor for some time after, even as the ear of corn is not seen till long after the blade is sprung up, fail not, however, provided outward circumstances be favourable, to disclose themselves in due season."
* Beattie, Elements of Moral Science, part, 3. ch. 2,
ON THE SYSTEM OF LOCKE.
BEFORE I enter further into this subject, it may be proper to take a very general view of the fundamental principles in the system of Locke, as they are laid down in his Essay on Human Understanding. A work so celebrated, the first appearance of which might be said to form an era in the philosophy of the human mind, ought of necessity to claim our serious attention. But, independently of his work, and the great original genius of its author, the virtues of the man, and the piety of the Christian, are entitled to unqualified respect. That he accomplished much, is acknowledged by those who impugned his arguments; and that his system has many defects is admitted even by his friends. It is not, however, my object, neither is it my place, even if I were so qualified, to set forth his merits, or to expose his faults. But, as it will be necessary to make frequent reference to his principles, and as the consideration of them is intimately con
nected with the present argument, a short previous notice seemed indispensable. In the course of my speculations I shall pass no farther comments upon them than a desire to discover truth, wherever it can be found, and sincere conviction, may seem both to justify and to require. Yet I shall always endeavour to strengthen my own views by concurring opinions, rather than to exhibit them alone unsupported by authority; more especially when opposed to so grave an authority as that of Locke.
I must here, however, forewarn my reader, that, in entering upon some of the following speculations, with no other guide than human reason to direct, he will have to launch with me into a sea of unfathomable depth, clouded with more or less metaphysical obscurity, in which few real discoveries have yet been made by the unassisted light of nature. Yet, although we may have to steer our course by this feeble light, and may frequently be involved in perplexities and doubts in consequence, I am not without hope, that by keeping a constant eye to a better guide, we shall be enabled to make our way through conflicting tides of opinion, to escape from the darkness and uncertainty of outward speculation, and to discover a polar star, that will give us clear and steady light, and lead us at last to the haven of Truth.
Locke endeavours to show, that the human mind in its natural or ordinary state, has received no impressions originally from its Maker, and is therefore destitute of every kind of innate principle. Hence he