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horrence, and fortify the fpectator in his averfion to fuch actions. When anger is immoderate, it cannot fail to produce the fame effect.
Final caufes of the more frequent emotions and paffions.
is a law in our nature, That we never act but by the impulse of defire; which in other words is faying, that paffion, by the defire included in it, is what determines the will. Hence in the conduct of life, it is of the utmoft importance, that our paffions be directed to proper objects, tend to juft and rational ends, and with relation to each other be duly balanced. The beauty of contrivance, fo confpicuous in the human frame, is not confined to the rational part of our nature, but is visible over the whole. Concerning the paffions in particular, however irregular, 'headstrong, and perverfe, in a flight view, they may appear, I propofe to fhow, that they are by nature modelled and tempered with admirable wisdom, for the good of fociety as well as for private good. This fubject is extenfive but as the nature of the present undertaking will not admit a complete difcuffion, it fhall fuffice to give a few obfervations in general
upon the fenfitive part of our nature, without regarding that strange irregularity of paffion difcovered in fome individuals. Such topical irre-. gularities, if I may use the term, cannot fairly be held an objection to the prefent theory: we are frequently, it is true, misled by inordinate paffion; but we are alfo, and perhaps not lefs frequently, misled by wrong judgement.
In order to a distinct apprehension of the prefent fubject, it must be premifed, that an agreeable caufe produceth always a pleasant emotion; and a difagreeable caufe, one that is painful. This is a general law of nature, which admits not a fingle exception: agreeableness in the cause, is indeed fo effentially connected with pleasure in the emotion, its effect, that an agreeable caufe cannot be better defined, than by its power of producing a pleasant emotion: and difagreeablenefs in the caufe, has the fame neceffary connection with pain in the emotion produced by it.
From this preliminary it appears, that in order to know for what end an emotion is made pleafant or painful, we must begin with inquiring for what end its cause is made agreeable or difagreeable. And with respect to inanimate objects, confidered as the causes of emotions, ma
of them are made agreeable in order to make us happy; and it proves invincibly the benignity of the Deity, that we are placed in the midft of objects for the most part agreeable. But this is not all the bulk of fuch objects, being of real
ufe in life, are made agreeable in order to excite our industry; witness a large tree, a well-dreffed fallow, a rich field of grain, and others that may be named without end. On the other hand, it is not easy to specify a difagreeable object that is not at the fame time detrimental: fome things are made difagreeable, fuch as a rotten carcass, because they are noxious: others, a dirty marsh for example, or a barren heath, are made difagreeable in order, as above, to excite our induftry. And with refpect to the few things that are neither agreeable nor difagrecable, it will be made evident, that their being left indifferent is not a work of chance but of wifdom: of fuch I shall have occafion to give several instances.
Because inanimate objects that are agreeable fix our attention, and draw us to them, they in that refpect are termed attractive: fuch objects infpire pleasant emotions, which are gratified by adhering to the objects, and enjoying them. Becaufe difagreeable objects of the fame kind repel us from them, they in that refpect are termed repulfive: and the painful emotions raised by fuch objects, are gratified by flying from them. Thus in general, with respect to things inanimate, the tendency of every pleasant emotion is to prolong the pleasure; and the tendency of every painful emotion is to end the pain.
Senfible beings confidered as objects of paffion, lead into a more complex theory. A fenfible being that is agreeable by its attributes, infpires
us with a pleasant emotion accompanied with defire; and the question is, What is naturally the gratification of this defire? Were man altogether felfish, his nature would lead him to indulge the pleasant emotion, without making any acknowledgement to the perfon who gives him pleafure, more than to a pure air or temperate clime: but as man is endued with a principle of benevolence as well as of felfifhnefs, he is prompted by his nature, to defire the good of every fenfible being that gives him pleasure; and the happiness of that being, is the gratification of his defire. The final caufe of defire fo directed, is illuftrious: it contributes to a man's own happiness, by affording him means of gratification, beyond what felfishness can afford; and at the fame time, it tends eminently to advance the happiness of others. This occafions a beautiful coalition of felf-love with benevolence; for both are equally gratified by promoting the good of others. And this confideration, by the way, ought to filence certain minute philofophers, who, ignorant of human nature, teach a difguftful doctrine, That to ferve others unless with a view to our own happiness, is weaknefs and folly; as if felf-love only, and not benevolence, contributed to our happiness. The hand of God is too visible in the human frame, to permit us to think seriously, that there ever can be any jarring or inconfiftency among natural principles, thofe especially of felf
love and benevolence, which regulate the bulk of our actions.
Next in order come fenfible beings that are in affliction or pain. It being difagreeable to behold a perfon in diftrefs, this perfon must raise in the spectator a painful paffion; and were man purely a selfish being, he would defire to be relieved from that pain, by turning from the object. But the principle of benevolence gives an oppofite direction to his defire: it makes him defire to afford relief; and by relieving the perfon from diftrefs, his paffion is fully gratified. The painful paffion thus directed, is termed fympathy; which, though painful, is yet in its nature attractive. And with refpect to its final caufe, we can be at no lofs: it not only tends to relieve a fellow-creature from pain, but in its gratification is greatly more pleasant than if it were repulfive.
We in the last place bring under confideration perfons hateful by vice or wickednefs. Imagine a wretch who has lately perpetrated fome horrid crime he is difagreeable to every fpectator; and confequently raifeth in every fpectator a painful paffion. What is the natural gratification of this paffion? I must here again observe, that fuppofing man to be entirely a selfish being, he would be prompted by his nature to relieve himself fron the pain, by averting his eye, and banishing the criminal from his thoughts. But man is not fo constituted; he is compofed of many principles,