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own loss, we grieve at their gain. In this manner emulation, envy, jealousy, and at length actual hatred, and malice, are produced in our hearts.
It is for this reason that gaming is unfavourable to benevolence, as well as other virtues, and high gaming exceedingly pernicious. For, in this case, every man's gain is directly produced by another's loss; so that the gratification of the one and the disappointment of the other must always go together. Indeed, upon the same just principle, all trade and commerce, all buying and selling, is wrong, unless it be to the advantage of both parties.
Malevolent difpofitions, besides that they are clearly contrary to the will of God, and the dictates of conscience, are the source of much pain and misery to ourselves. They consist of very uneasy feelings ; so that no man can be happy, or enjoy any satisfaction, while he is under the influence of them. Even the
pleasures of revenge are shocking to think of, and what a man must despise himself for being capable of relishing and enjoying; and, they are, in all cases, infinitely inferior to the noble satisfaction which a man feels in forgiving an injury.
There is a meanness in the former, but true greatness of mind, and real dignity in the latter, and the pleasure which it gives does not pall upon reflection. Besides, a disposition to do ill offices to others exposes a man to the hatred and ill offices of others. The malevolent man arms all mankind against him.
Anger, indeed, is in fome cases, reasonable ; as when it is directed against the vicious, and injurious, who are the pests of society; so that being enemies to such persons is being friends to mankind at large. But here great caution should be used, left this passion of anger should, as it is very capable of doing, degenerate into pure ill will towards those who are the objects of it. Nay we should never in
dulge to anger fo far as to cease to have the real good and welfare of the offender at heart, but be ready even to do our greatest personal enemies any kind office in our power, provided that the consequence of it would not be injurious to fociety. This, indeed, is what the law of universal benevolence plainly requires, as it strictly forbids the doing any unnecessary evil; and that evil is unnecessary, which the good and happiness of others does not require. If, therefore, we would appear to act upon this principle, we must be careful fo to conduct our resentment, that it may be manifeft, that it is with reluctance that we entertain sentiments of enmity.
If it be our duty to bear good will even to our enemies, much more should we exercise it to our real friends, and use our endeavours to make the most ample return for any kindness that they do to us. Indeed there is no virtue which has a stronger testimony in the consciences of all men,
than gratitude, and no vice is universally so hateful as ingratitude.
If the good of society be our object, there can be no question, but that veracity, with respect to all our declarations, and fidelity, with respect to all our engagements, is one of the most important of all social duties. All the purposes of society would be defeated, if falsehood were as common as truth among mankind; and in those circumstances all beneficial intercourse would soon cease among them; and, notwithstanding temporary inconveniences may sometimes arise from a rigid adherence to truth, they are infinitely overbalanced by the many superior advantages that arise from our depending upon the regard to it being inviolable.
Since an oath, or an appeal to divine being, is the most deliberate, and the most folemn of all the modes of asseveration, it ought to be the most scrupulously observed. There is not, in the nature of
things, any stronger guard against imposition and deceit, and therefore a person who has once perjured himself, deserves not only to be detested, and shunned, as the bane of society, but to be expelled out of it.
§ 5. Of the relative duties.
As we stand in a variety of relations to one another, and have much more opportunity of doing kind offices to some than to others, we cannot suppose that the divine being intended that our benevolence should be like his own, universal and impartiai. He stands in the same relation to all his creatures, and he is capable of attending to the wants of them all; whereas our beneficence is necessarily limited, and therefore should flow the most freely towards those whom we can most conveniently and effectually serve. Besides the good of the whole will be best provided for by every person making this a rule to himself; whereas, if every perF 2