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teem or moral approbation may result from reflections on public interest and utility. The necessity of justice to the support of society is the Sole foundation of that virtue ; and since no moral excellence is more highly esteemed, we may conclude, that this circumstance of usefulness has, in general, the strongest energy, and most entire · command over our sentiments. It must, therefore, be the source of a considerable part of the merit ascribed to humanity, benevolence, friendship, public spirit, and other social virtues of that stamp; as it is the Sole source of the moral approbation paid to fidelity, justice, veracity, integrity, and those other estimable and useful qualities and principles. It is entirely agreeable to the rules of philosophy, and even of common reason; where any principle has been found to have a great force and energy in one instance, to ascribe to it a like energy in all similar instances. This indeed is Newton's chief rule of philosophizing *.


to host a considerable it must, therefore

• Principia, lib. iä.



H AD every man fufficient sagacity to perceive, at all times, that strong interest, which binds him to the obfervance of justice and equity, and strength of mind sufficient to persevere in a Iteady adherence to a general and a distant interest, in opposition to the allurements of present pleasure and advantage; there had never, in that case, bten any such thing as government or political fociery, but each man, following his natural liberty, had lived in entire peace and harmony with all others. What need of positive law where natural justice is, of itself, a sufficient restraint? Why create magiftrates, where there never arises any disorder or iniquity? Why abridge our native freedom, when, in every instance, the utmost exertion of it is found innocent and beneficial? It is evident, that, if government were totally useless, it never could have place, and that the Sole foundation of the duty of Allegiance is the advantage, which it procures to society, by preserving peace and order among mankind.

When a number of political societies are erected, and maintain a great intercourse together, a new set of rules are immediately discovered to be useful in that particular situation; and accordingly take place under the title of Laws of Nations. Of this kind are, the facredness of the


person of ambassadors, abstaining from poisoned arms, quarter in war, with others of that kind, which are plainly calculated for the advantage of states and kingdoms, in their intercourse with each other.

The rules of justice, such as prevail among individuals, are not entirely suspended among political societies. All princes prétend à regard to the rights of other princes; and some no doubt, without hopocrisy - Alliances and treaties are every day made between independent states, which would only be so much waste of parchment, if they were not found, by experience, to have Jome influence and authority. But here is the difference between kingdoms and individuals. Human nature cannot, by any means, subsist, without the association of individuals; and that afsociation never could have place, were no regard !paid to the laws of equity and justice. Diforder, confusion, the war of all against all, are the necessary consequences of such a licentious conduct. But nations, can subsist without intercourse. They may even subsist, in some degree, under a general war: The observance of justice, though useful among themn, is not guarded by so strong a necessity as among individuals; and the moral obligation holds proportion with the usefulness. . All politicians will allow, and most philosophers, that Reasons of State may, in particular emergencies, dispense, with the rules of jusrice, and invalidate any treaty or alliance, where the strict, observance of it would be prejudicial, in a considerable degree, i to either of the contracting parties. But nothing less than the most extreme necessity, it is confeffed, can justify individuals in a breach of promise, or an invasion of the properties of others. In

In a confederated commonwealth, such as the Achæan republic of old, or the Swiss Cantons


. 255 and United Provinces in 'modern times; as the league has here a peculiar utility, the conditions

of union have a peculiar sacredness and autho· rity, and a violation of them would be regarded as no less, or even as more criminal, than any private injury or injustice. .

The long and helpless infancy of man requires the combination of parents for the fubsistence of their young; and that combination requires the virtue of Chastity or fidelity to the married bed. Without such a'utility, it will readily be owned, that such a virtue would never have been thought of*. ,

An infidelity of this nature is much more pernicious in women than in' men, Hence the laws of chastity are much stricter over the one sex than over the other. ...

These rules have all a reference to generation; and yet women paft child-bearing are no more supposed to be exempted froin them than those in the flower of their youth and beauty. General rules are often extended beyond the principle, whence they first arise; and this in all matters of taste and sentiment. It is a vulgar story at Paris, that, during the rage of the Miffiflippi, a hump-backed fellow 'went every day into the Rue de Quincempoix, where the Atockjobbers inet in great crowds, and was well paid for allowing them to make use of his hump as a desk, in order to fign their contracts upon it. Would the fortune, which he raised by this expedient, make him a handsome fellow; though ic be confeffed, that personal beauty arises very much from ideas of utility? The imagination is influenced by associations of ideas; which, though they arise at first from the judgment, are not easily altered by every particular exception that occurs to us. ' To which we may add, in the

. .... present See NOTE (X),

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