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Knowledge and Pleasure
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To which orationally will be added An Impartial Account of Booksin several Langıtages and of the Stute of Learningin
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Published Monthly according to Act of Partiament Byfobn Hinton at the Kingstrms in Verwgate Street, London.
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An Esay on the Happiness of moral Agents ; shewing the Reason
ableness and Necesīty of the Connection between their Behaviour and Happiness; and that Discipline is the only Means for bring. ing moral Agents voluntarily to pursue Virtue.
Of Systems poflible, if 'cis confeft
T is necessary to the very idea of creature as man; that is, a species to a perfect system, that there should fill the place which he possesses. And
be a proper subordination, a scale it is plain, that, as his place is immeriling by ealy and just degrees, of the diately above the brute, and below various rank's of creatures ; and, con the angelic nature, he could not porfequently, that there must be such a fibly have been formed otherwise than Numb. CVII.
he is. He could not be superior to liberty, it was possible he might be the animal rank, without having fo foolish, as to neglect his own inpowers and faculties superior to theirs. terest, and with open eyes run into It is that which gives him his superi- ruin and misery? What no reasonority over them : Nor could he have able being would chuse, let not prebeen inferior to the angelic order of fumptuous man blame his Maker for beings, without falling ihort of their not putting in his choice. If man is powers and faculties. It is the very what he ought to be, and placed thing which places him beneath them. where he ought to be, what has he Man, or whatever creature Mould to do, but think of filling his station have been made to fill up the charm with such propriety as is necessary for between the angelic and animal na. a reasonable being to study, who is tures, must have been exactly what desirous of atraining his own perfecwe find our species actually is; for, tion and happiness, in the only way without such a rank as man, the mo in which they are attainable ? ral system could not have been per If the perfect concurrence of rea. feet,' confequently, could not have fonable beings, as well as others, with been at all; for it is imposible that the divine scheme, was necessary to an absolute perfect author should pro- the very notion of a regular univerduce an imperfect work : So that there fal fyftem, with an universal Goveris no room to complain, that by cre nor at the head of it, it was to be ating man in such a station, that it expected, that the final happiness of was receffary he should be endowed such beings as should study to conwith nobler powers and faculties than form themselves habitually in difpothe brutes, he comes to be put into a fition and practice to the divine more elevated and more precarious scheme, should, by the positive ordiHa:e. It is true, that very few of nation of the Ruler of the world, be the brutes are likely to fall sort of closely connected with their characthe happiness destined for them, ha. ter and behaviour. And if it be imving but few chances of missing it, possible to conceive a plan of univerand being more effectually confined fal æconomy, laid by an universal to the track appointed them, than it and perfect mind, that should not be was proper such a creature as man suitable to his own necessary nature should be. But is not the immense and character, but founded in mere Superiority of happiness to which a arbitrary will; it is likewise impofhunan mind may, with proper at. Able to conceive a system in which totion, sise, a very great over-ba. the habitual conformiry of reasonable tance for all the cifadvantages our beings to the grand fcheme of the ípecies labours under, were there a universal Governor should not natu. thoufeed for one? Would any man, rally, and, as it were of itself, prowho had his choice before-hand, duce, happiness. The divine scheme whether he would be of the human of government is founded, not in aror the brute species, deliberarely bitrary will, but in the eternal and cbuse the latrer, in which he knew unchangeable recticude of the divine it was impoffible he should ever at nature. And, therefore, it is as much tain any contiderable degree of per- an impoffibility that it should be con. feciion and happiness, rather than the trary to what it is, oi that conformi. former, in which he was fure, if he ty to it nould finally produce any was not wanting to himself, he might thing but happiness, or, irregularity, rite to greatnels and felicity incon- any thing but misery ; as that the ceivable; would any rational crea- divine nature, which is necessarily cure make this absurd choice, mere. what it is, should have been otherly upon the consideration, that, if he wise. So that, till the time comes, was with a species endowed with when universal irregularity shall have