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ternal, our owu happiness, enjoyment, satisfaction : whether we have or have not a distinct particular perception what it is, or wherein it consists. The objects of the latter are this or that particular external thing, which the affections tend towards, and of which it hath always a particular idea or perception. The principle we call self-love never seeks any thing external for the sake of the thing, but only as a means of happiness or good ; particular affections rest in the external things themselves. One belongs to man as a reasonable creature ; the other, though quite distinct from reason, is as much a part of human nature. That all particular appetites and passions are towards external things themselves, distinct from the pleasure arising from them, is manifest from hence, that there could not be this pleasure, were it not for that prior suitableness between the object and the passion ; there could be no enjoyment or delight from one thing more than another, from eating food more than from swallowing a stone, if there were not an affection or appetite to one thing more than another. Every particular affection, even the love of our neighbour, is as really our own affection as self-love ; and the pleasure arising from its gratification is as much my own pleasure, as the pleasure self-love would have, from knowing I myself should be happy some time hence, would be my own pleasure. And if, because every particular affection is aman's own, and the pleasure arising from its gratification his own pleasure, or pleasure to himself, such particular affection must be called self-love ; according to this way of speaking, no creature whatever can possibly act but merely from selflove ; and every action and every affection whatever is to be resolved up into this one principle. But then this is not the language of mankind, or, if it were, we should want words to express the difference between the principle of an action, proceeding from cool consideration that it will be to my own advantage ; and an action, suppose of revenge or of friendship, by which a man rups upon certain ruin to do evil or good to another. It is manifest the principles of these actions are totally different, and so want different words to be distinguished by ; all that they agree in is, that they both proceed from, and are done to gratify an inclination in a man's self. But the principle or inclination in one case is self-love ; in the other, hatred or love of another. There is then a distinction between the cool principle of selflove, or general desire of our own happiness, as one part of our nature, and one principle of action ; and the particular affections towards particular external objects, as another part of our nature, and another principle of action. How much soever therefore is to be allowed to self-love, yet it cannot be allowed to be the whole of our inward constitution ; because, you see, there are other parts or principles which come into it. Further, private happiness or good is all which self-love can make us desire, or be concerned about ; in having this consists its gratification : it is an affection to ourselves, a regard to our own interest, happiness, and private good ; and in the proportion a man hath this, he is interested, or a lover of himself. Let this be kept in mind; because there is commonly, as I shall presently have occasion to observe, another sense put upon these words. On the other hand, particular affections tend towards particular external things ; these are their objects : having these is their end : in this consists their gratification : no matter whether it be or be not, upon the whole, our interest or happiness. An action done from the former of these principles is called an interested action. An action proceeding from any of the latter has its denomination of passionate, ambitious, friendly, revengeful, or any other, from the particular appetite or affection from which it proceeds. Thus self-love as one part of human nature, and the several particular principles as the other part, are, themselves, their objects and ends, stated and shown.
From hence it is easy to see how far, and in what way, each of these can con. tribute, and be subservient to the private good of the individual. Happiness does not consist in self-love. The desire of happiness is no more the thing itself, than the desire of riches is the possession or enjoyment of them. People may love themselves with the most entire and unbounded affection, and yet be extremely miserable. Neither can self-love any way help them out, but by setting them on work to get rid of the causes of their misery, to gain or make use of those objects which are by nature adapted to afford satisfaction. Happiness or satisfaction consists only in the enjoyment of those objects, which are by nature suited to our several appetites, passions and affections. So that, if self-love wholly engrosses us, and leaves no room for any other principle, there can be absolutely no such thing at all as happiness, or enjoyment of any kind whatever; since happiness consists in the gratification of particular passions, which supposes the having of them. Self-love then does not constitute this or that to be our interest or good; but our interest or good being constituted by nature, and supposed, self-love only puts us upon obtaining and securing it. Therefore, if it be possible that self-love may prevail and exert itself in a degree or manner which is not subservient to this end, then it will not follow that our interest will be promoted in proportion to the degree in which that principle engrosses us, and prevails over others. Nay, further, the private and contracted affection may, for any thing that appears, have a direct contrary tendency and effect. And, if we will consider the matter, we shall see that it often really has. Disengagement is absolutely necessary to enjoyment: and a person may have so steady and fixed an eye upon his own interest, whatever he places it in, as may give him great and unnecessary solicitude and anxiety, and hinder him from attend ing to many gratifications within his reach, which others have their minds free and open to. Over-fondness for a child is not generally thought to be for its advantage: and, if there be any guess to be made from appearances, surely that character we call selfish is not the most promising for happiness. Such a temper may plainly be and exert itself in a degree and manner, which may prevent obtaining the means and materials of enjoyment, as well as the making use of them. Immoderato selflove does very ill consult its own interests; and, how much soever a paradox it may appear, it is certainly true, that even from self-love we should endeavour to get over all inordinate regard to, and consideration of, ourselves. Every one of our faculties has its stint and bound: our enjoyments can be but in a determinate measure and degree. The principle of self-love, so far as it sets us on work to gain and make use of the materials of satisfaction, may be to our real advantage ; but, beyond or besides this, it is in several respects an inconvenience and disadvantage. Thus it appears, that private interest is so far from being likely to be promoted in proportion to the degree in which self-love engrosses us and prevails over all other principles, that the contracted affection may be so prevalent as to disappoint itself, and even contradict its own end, private good.
“ But who, except the most sordidly covetous, ever thought there was any rivalship between the love of greatness, honour, power, or sensual appetites, and self-love ? No, there is a perfect harmony between them. It is by means of these particular appetites and affections that self-love is gratified in enjoyr hent, happiness, and satisfaction. The competition and rivalship is between self-love and the love of our neighbour : that affection which leads us out of ourselves makes us regardless of our own interest, and substitute that of another in its stead.” Whether there be any peculiar competition and contrariety in this case, shall now be considered. Self-love and interestedness was stated to consist in or be an affection to ourselves, a regard to our own private good : it is therefore distinct from benevolence, which is an affection to the good of our fellow-creatures. But that bonevolence is distinct from, that is, not the same thing with, self-love, is no reason for its being looked upon with any peculiar suspicion hecause every principle whatever, by means of which that self-love is gratified, is distinct from it: and all things which are distinct from each other are equally so. A man has an affection or aversion to another ; that one of these tends to and is gratified by doing good, that the other tends to and is gretified by doing harm, does not in the least alter the respect which either one or the other of these inward feelings has to self-love. We use the word property so as to exclude any other perscns having an interest in that of which we say a particular man has the property. And we often use the word selfi sh so as to exclude all regards to the good of others. And as it is taken for granted, in the former case, that the external good, in which we have a property exclusive of all others, must for this reason have a nearer and greater respect to private interest, than it would have if it were enjoyed in common with others ; so likewise it is taken for granted, that the principle of an action, which does not proceed from regard to the good of others, has a nearer and greater respect to self-love, or is less distant from it. But whoever will at all attend to the thing will see that these consequences do not follow. For as the enjoyment of the air in which we breathe is just as much our private interest and advantage now, as it would be if none but ourselves had the benefit of it ; so love of our neighbour has just the same respect to, is no more distant from, self-love, than hatred of our neighbour, or than love or hatred of any thing else. Thus the principles, from which men rush upon certain ruin for the destruction of an enemy, and for the preservation of a friend, have the same respect to the private affection, and are equally interested or equally disinterested : and it is of no avail, whether they are said to be one or the other. Therefore, to those who are shocked to hear virtue spoken of as disinterested, it may be allowed that it is indeed absurd to speak thus of it; uuless hatred, several particular instances of vice, and all the common affections and aversions in mankind, are acknowledged to be disinterested too. Is there any less inconsistence between the love of inanimate things or of creatures merely sensitive and self-love, than between self-love and the love of our neighbour ? Is desire of and delight in the happiness of another any more a diminution of self-love, than desire of and delight in the esteem of another ? They are both equally desire of and delight in somewhat external to ourselves ; either both or neither are so. The object of self-love is expressed in the term self; and every appetite of sense, and every particular affection of the heart, are equally interested or disinterested, because the objects of them all are equally self or somewhat else. Whatever ridicule therefore the mention of a disinterested principle or action may be supposed to be open to, must, upon the matter being thus stated, relate to ambition, and every appetite and particular affection, as much as to benevolence. And indeed all the ridicule and all the grave perplexity of which this subject hath had its full share is merely from words. The most intelligible way of speaking of it seems to be this : that self-love, and the actions done in consequence of it, are interested ; that particular affections towards external objects, and the actions done in consequence of those affections, are not so. But every one is at liberty to use words as he pleases. All that is here insisted npon is, that ambition, revenge, benevolence, all particular passions whatever, and the actions they produce, are equally interested or disinterested.
But since self-love is not private good, since interestedness is not interest, let us now see whether benevolence has not the same respect to, the same tendency toward, promoting private good and interest, with the other particular passions ; as it hath been already shown, that they have all in common the same respect to self-love and interestedness. One man's affection is to honour as his end, in order to obtain which I thinks no pains too great. Suppose another with such a singularity of mind, as to have the same affection to publio good as his end, which he endeavours rith the same labour to obtain. In case of success, gurely the man of benevolenge hath as great enjoyment as the man of ambition, they both cqually having the end their affections in the same degree tended to ; but, in case of disappointment, the benevolent man has clearly the advantage, since benevolence, considered as a principle of virtue, is gratificd by its own consciousness, i. e. is in a degree its own reward.
And as to these two, or any other particular passions considered in a further view as forming a general temper, wh'ch more or less disposes us for cnjoyment of all tic common blessings of life, distinct from their own gratification, does the benevolont inan appear less easy with himself, from his love to his neighbour ? Does lo less : elisia his being? Is there any peculiar gloom seated on his face ? Is his mand less open to entertainment, to any particular gratification ? Nothing is more manifest than that being in good humour, which is benevolence while it lasts, is itseli the temper of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Suppose, then, a man sitting down to consider how he might become most easy to himself, and attain the greatest pleasure he could ; all that which is his real natural happiness. This can only consist in the enjoyment of those objects which arc by nature adapted to our several faculties. These particular enjoyments make up the sum total of our happiness ; and they are supposed to arise from riches, honours, and the gratification of sensual appetites. Be it so; yet none profess themscives so completely happy in these enjoyments, but that there is room left in the mind for others, if they were presented to them : nay, these, as much as they engage us, are not thought so high, but that human nature is capable even of greater. Now there have been persons in all ages who have professed that they found satisfaction in the exercise of charity, in the love of their neighbour, in endeavouring to promote the bappiness of all they had to do with, and in the pursuit of what is just and right and good, as the general bent of their mind and end of their life ; and that doing an action of baseness or cruelty would be as great violence to their self, as much breaking in upon their nature, as any external force. Persons of this character would add, if they might be heard, that they consider themselves as acting in the view of an infinite Being, who is in a much higher sense the object of reverence and of love than all the world besides ; and, therefore, they could have no more enjoyment from a wicked action done under his eye, than the persons to whom they are making their apology could, if all mankind were the spectators of it; and that the satisfaction of approving themselves to his unerring judgment, to whom they thus refer all their actions, is a more continued settled satisfaction than any this world can afford. And, if we go no further, does there appear any absurdity in this? Will any one take upon him to say, that a man cannot find his account in this general course of life, as much as in the most unbounded ambition and the excesses of pleasure? Or that such a person has not consulted so well for himself, for the satisfaction and peace of his own mind, as the ambitious or dissolute man ? And though the consideration, that God himself will in the end justify their taste, and support their cause, is not formally to be insisted upon here ; yet thus much comes in, that all enjoyments whatever are much more clear and unmixed from the assurance that they will end well. Is it certain, then, that there is nothing in these pretensions to happiness ? especially when there are not wanting persons, who have supported themselves with satisfactions of this kind in sickness, poverty, disgrace, and in the very pangs of death ; whereas, it is manifest, all other enjoyments fail in these circumstances. This surely looks suspicious of having somewhat in it. Self-love methinks should be alarmed. May she not possibly pass over greater pleasures, than those she is so wholly taken up with ?
The short of the matter is no more than this—happiness consists in the gratification of certain affections, appetites, passions, with objects which are by nature adapted to them. Self-love may indeed set us on work to gratify thesc; but happiness or enjoyment has no immediate conncction with self-love, but arises from such gratification alone. Love of our neighbour is one of those affections. This, considered as a virtuous principle, is gratified by a consciousness of endeavouring to promote the good of others; but, considered as a natural affection, its gratification consists in the actual accomplishment of this endeavour. Now, indulgence of this affection, whether in that consciousness or this accomplishment, has the same respect to interest as indulgence of any other affection; they equally proceed from or do not proceed from self-love, they equally include or equally exclude this principle. Thus it appears, that benevolence and the pursuit of public good hath just the same respect to self-love and the pursuit of private good, with all other particular passions and their respective pursuits.
Neither is covetousness, whether as a temper or pursuit, any exception to this. For, if by covetousness is meant the desire and pursuit of riches for their own sake, without any regard to or consideration of the use of them, this hath as little to do with self-love as benevolence hath. But by this word is usually meant, not such madness and total distraction of mind, but immoderate affection to and pursuit of riches as possessions in order to some further end, namely, satisfaction, interest, or good. This, therefore, is not a particular affection or particular pursuit, but it is the general principle of self-love and the general pursuit of our own interest; for which reason the word selfish is by every one appropriated to this temper and pursuit. Now, as it is ridiculous to assort that self-love and the love of our neighbour are the same, so neither is it asserted that following these different affections hath the same tendency and respect to our own interest. The comparison is not between self-love and the love of our neighbour, between pursuit of our own interest and the interests of others; but between the several particular affections in human nature towards external objects, as one part of the comparison, and the one particular affection to the good of our neighbour, as the other part of it: and it has been shown, that all these have the same respect to self-love and private interest.
There is, indeed, frequently an inconsistence or interfering between self-love or private interest, and the several particular appetites, passions, affections, or the pursuits they lead to. But this competition or interfering is merely accidental, and happens much oftener between pride, revenge, sensual gratifications, and private interest, than between private interest and benevolence. For nothing is moro common than to see men give themselves up to a passion or an affection to their known prejudice and ruin, and in direct contradiction to manifest and real interest and the loudest calls of self-love. But the seeming competitions and interfering between benevolence and private interest relate much more to the materials or means of enjoyment, than to enjoyment itself. There is often an interfering in the former when there is none in the latter. Thus, as to riches; so much money as a man gives away, so much less will remain in his possession. Here is a real interfering. But, though a man cannot possibly give without lessening his fortune, yet there are multitudes might give without lessening their own enjoyment, because they may have more than they can turn to any real use or advantage to themselves. Thus, the more thought and time any one employs about the interests and good of others, he must necessarily have less to attend his own; but he may have so ready and large a supply of his own wants that such thought might be really useless to himself, though of great service and assistance to others.
The occasion of tl.o general mistake, that there is some greater inconsistence between endeavouring to promote the good of another and self-interest, than between self-interest and pursuing any thing else, is this, which hath been already hinted; that men consider the means and materials of enjoyment, not the enjoy