תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

which, however they may appear for a time, are upon the whole, evil or disagreeable; that therefore some Pleasures should be moderated, and others rejected; that some Labours should be undertaken, some Evil or Pain submitted to; That the whole of our Existence should be taken in, and the Consequences of things considered from first to last; and the Business of Happiness conducted by an uniform and consistent Scheme.

We see already, that this Duty, which upon its first Proposal, might strike us with Apprehensions of great Severity and Discipline, courts our Attention in the most amiable Form: 'Tis in other Words, Love your selves 'to the uttermoft, Deny your selves nothing, but what is upon the whole disadvantageous, nothing but what is destructive

of your highest Happiness. Now that we may proceed with some Distinctness in setting forth those

false

falle Goods, which are most apt to deceive us, and in which it is our Dury and Interest to deny our selves, I shall consider Man,

First, apart by himself, abstractedly from all other Relations, but those in which he stands to himself.

Secondly, I shall introduce him into Society, and consider him in his Relations to those of his own Kind.

Thirdly, I shall go on and consider him in his Relacions to his Maker.

First then, I shall consider Man apart by himself

, abstractedly from all other Relations but those in which he stands to himself.

A single or folitary Man, could have only these two kinds of Pleasure; that which we commonly call Sensual or Animal, the Pleasure he perceives in sustaining his Body and preserving his animal Life; The other Vol.l.

I

Con

Contemplative, the Pleasure which arises from reflecting on his own, and the Natures of things around him. As sensual Pleasures are evidently Means to an End, viz. the Preservation of the Body, so every single Man must as evidently perceive it to be his Duty and Interest, to use them in strict Subordination to this End: The Suitableness and Fitness of the several Kinds and Degrees of Nourishment, of Rest and Exercise, in the several Stages of Lisc, is not always to be measured by the Pleasure which attends the Use of them; We are not determined by Instincts, in this Case, as Brutes are for the most part, but must apply our selves to the superior Powers we are endued with. We must consult our Observation and Experience, and deny our felves the Use of those things, or such Degrees of them, which we have reason to think will be destructive of our Health, without

any

any regard to the Pleasure which may result from the Use of them.

As there is a natural Congruity betwixt the Appetites of the Body and their Objects, and many Pleasures arise from a righe Use and Application of them; so is there the same, betwixt the Mind and the Natures of Things. The Mind has its Pleasures in contemplating their Relations to Man and to each other, which Pleasures are far more lasting and exquisite, not to be cloy'd in a few Minutes, as the other. And hence it appears to be the Duty and Interest of every Man, to subordinate his animal Enjoyments, not only to the Preservation of his Body, their more immediate End, but also to the Pleasures of the Understanding: Surfeiting, Drunken-, ness and Sloth, are found upon the first Trial, not only to induce a Lassitude and Uneasiness upon the Body, but allo to dilable the Mind, to weaken

ics

I 2

ics Attention and Vigour. The same Reason which forbids us these grosser Irregularities, will hold in proportion against every way of providing for our Bodies, which, cho' it may not affect them with any immediate Violence, nor perhaps upon the whole, injure our Health, yet may, as to the time it engrosses, or in some other more remote and subtle manner, incroach upon the superior Pleasures of the Mind. The Preservation of our Being, is evidently our first Care, as it is the Foundation or Capacity of all Enjoyment. After this, the Connexion of Pleasures should be observed, and they should be prosecuted according to their Rank and Order. Let what will be said of every Man's being the best and only Judge of his own Enjoyments, our ill Husbandry and Misconduct in the Particulars before recited, can never be got over. As often as we pursue Pleasures which we know to be de

structive

« הקודםהמשך »