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instinct, and is not ascertained by any argument or reflection. But who is there that ever heard of such an instinct? Or is this a subject, in which new discoveries can be made? We may as well expect to discover, in the body, new senses, which had before escaped all mankind.

But farther, though it seems a very simple proposition, that nature, by an instinctive sentiment, distinguishes property, yet in reality we shall find, that there are required for that purposé ten thoufand different instincts, and these employed about objects of the greatest intricacy and nicest discernment. For when a definition of property is required, that relation is found to resolve itself into any poffeffion acquired by occupation, by industry, by prescription, by inheritance, by contract, &c. Can we think, that nature, by an original instinct, instructs us in all these methods of acquisition ?

These words too, inheritance and contract, stand for ideas infinitely complicated ; and to define them exactly, a thousand volumes of laws, and innumerable volumes of commentators, have not been found fufficient. Does nature, whose, instincts in men are all simple, embrace such complicated and artificial objects, and create a rational creature, without trusting any thing to the operation of his reason?

But even though all this were admitted, it would not be satisfactory. Positive laws can certainly transfer property. Is it by another original instinct, that we recognize the authority of kings and fenates, and mark all the boundaries of their jurisdiction ? Judges too, even though their sentence be erroneous and illegal, must be allowed, for the sake of peace and order, to have decisive authority, and ultimately to determine

property

property. Have we original, innate ideas of prætors and chancellors and juries? Who sees not, that all these institutions arise merely from the necessities of human society?

All birds of the fame species, in every age and country, build their nests alike: In this we see the force of instinct. Men, in different times and places, frame their houses differently: Here we perceive the influence of reason and custom. A like inference may be drawn from comparing the instinct of generation and the institution of property.

However great the variety of municipal laws, it must be confessed, that their great lines pretty regularly concur; because the purposes to which they tend, are every where exactly similar. In like manner, all houses have a roof and walls, and windows and chimnies, though infinitely diversified in their shape, figure, and materials. The purposes of the latter, directed to the conveniencies of human, life, discover not more plainly their origin from reason and reflection, than do those of the former, which point all to a like end..

I need not mention the variations which all the rules of property receive from the finer turns and connections of the imagination, and from the fubtilties and abstractions of lawtopics and reasonings. There is no possibility of reconciling, this observation to the notion of original instincts..

What alone will begei a doubt of the theory, on which I insist, is the influence of education and acquired habits, by which we are so accustomed to blame injustice, that we are not, in every instance, conscious of any immediate reflection VOL. II. Q0

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on the pernicious consequences of it. The views the most familiar to us are apt, for that very reason, to escape us ; and what we have very frequently performed from certain motives, we are apt likewise to continue mechanically, without recalling, on every occasion, the reflections which first determined us. The convenience, or rather necessity, which leads to justice, is so universal, and every where points so much to the same rules, that the habit takes place in all societies; and it is not without some scrutiny, that we are able to ascertain its true origin. The matter, however, is not so obscure, but that, even in common life, we have, every moment, recourse to the principle of public utility, and ask, What must become of the world, if such practices prevail ? How could society subfift under such disorders? Were the distinction or separation of possessions intirely useless, can any one conceive, that it ever should have obtained in society?

· Thus we seem, upon the whole, to have attained a knowlege of the force of that principle here insisted on, and can determine what degree of esteem 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, 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

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those other estimable and useful qualities and principles. 'Tis intirely agreeable to the rules of philosophy, and even of common reason; where any principle has been found to have great force and energy in one instance, to ascribe to it a like energy in all similar instances *.

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• This is Sir Isaac Newton's second rule of philosophizing. Principia, lib. 3.

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SECTION IV.

OF POLITICAL SOCIETY.

L A D every man sufficient sagacity to perceive, at all times, 11 the strong interest, which binds him to the observance of justice and equity, and strength of mind sufficient to persee vere in a steady adherence to a general and a distant interest, in opposition to the allurements of present pleasure and advantage: There had never, in that case, been any such thing as government or political society, but each man following his natural liberty, had lived in intire peace and harmony with all others. What need of positive laws, where natural justice is, of itself, a sufficient restraint? Why create magistrates, 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 ? 'Tis 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 im

mediately

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