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** Upon the whole, then, it seems undeniable, that non thing can bestow more merit on any human creature than the sentiment of benevolence in an eminent degree; and that a part, at least, of its merit arises from its tendency to promote the interests of our species, and bestow hap. piness on human society. We carry our view into the salutary consequences of such a character and disposition; and whatever has so benign an influence, and forwards so desirable an end, is beheld with complacency and pleasure. The social virtues are never regarded without their beneficial tendencies, nor viewed as barren and unfruitful. The happiness of mankind; the order of society, the harmony of families, the mutual support of friends, are always considered as the result of the gen. tle dominion over the breasts of men. ' '
How considerable a part of their merit we ought to ascribe to their utility, will better appear from future disquisitions *; as well as the reason, why this circum"stance has such a comand over our esteem and approba. pont. !!
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That Justice is useful to society, and consequently that part of its merit, at least, must arise from that consideration, it would be a superfluous undertaking to prove. That public utility is the sole origin of justice, and that reflections on the beneficial consequences of this virtue are the sole foundation of its merit; this proposition, being more curious and important, will better deserve our examination and inquiry.
Let us suppose, that nature has bestowed on the hu. man race such profuse abundance of all external conveni. encies, that, without any uncertainty in the event, without any care or industry on our part, every individual finds himself fully provided with whatever his most voracious appetites can want, or luxurious imagination wish or desire. His natural beauty, we shall suppose, surpasses all acquired ornaments : The perpetual clemency of the seasons renders useless all clothes or covering: The raw herbage affords him the most delicious fare ; the clear fountain, the richest beverage. No la. borious occupation required: No tillage : No navigation. Music, poetry, and contemplation form his sole business : Conversation, mirth, and friendship his sole amusement.
: It seems evident, that; jaosuchsal happy statey severy other social virtue would flourishmand deceiveni tenfold increase ; ; but the cautiousy jeałóųst virtúss of sjưstice would inever once have been dreamed of For what purpose make a partition of goods, where every one has already more than enough'? Why give rise to property, where there cannot possibly be any injury? Why.call this object mine, when,apon the seizing of it by another, I need but stretch out my hand to possess myself pfiwhat is equally valuabled Justice, in that case, being totally USELESS, would be an idle ceremonial, and could neyer possibly have place in the catalogue ofviftuescung
We see, even in the present necessitous conditioniof mankind, that, wherever any benefit:is kestowed by naturę in an unlimited abundance, we leave it always in .common among the whole human race, and make no subdivisions of fight and property. Water i and-air, though the most necessary of all objects, are not challenged as the property of individuals si nor.can any man commit injustice by the most lavisbruseand enjoyment of these blessings, In fertile extensive countries, with few inhabitants, land is regarded on the same footing. And no topic is so much insisted on by those who defend the liberty of the seas; as the unexhausted use of them in navigation. Were the advantages, procured by navigation, as inexhaustible, these reasoners had never had any adversaries to refute; nor had any claims ever been advangedoof a separate, exclusive dominion over the ocean. stes It mayvhappen, in some countries at some periods, that there be established a property in water, none in Lands if the latter be in greater abundance than can be used by the inhabitants, and the former be found, with dificultyadand in very small quantities. buzisins tilvi odt bor
? GENEsis, chap. xiii. and xxi.
· Again; suppose that, though the necessities of human ráce continue the same asiati present, yet the mind is so enlarged, and so replete with frienship and generosity, that every man has the utmost tenderness for every man, and feels no more concern for histown interest than for that of his fellowssy Itriseems evident, that the USE OY justice would, in this case, be suspended by such an extensive benevolence, nor would the divisions and barriers of property and obligation have ever been thought of. Why should I bind another, byià deed or promises to do me lány good office, when I know that he cis already prompted, by the strongest inclination, to seek my haps piness and would, of himself, perform the desired bervices except the hurt, he thereby receivesci bergteater thaps the benefit accruing to me.In which casezi dhe knows, that, from my innate humanity and friendship, It should be the first to oppose myself to his imprudent generosity. Why raise land-marks between my neighbour's field and mine, when my heart has made no division between our interests; but shares all_hịsi joys and sotrows with the same force and vivacity as ift originally my own? Every man, upon this sopposition, being a second self to another, would trust all his interests to the discretion of every man; without jealousy, without partition, without distinction. And the whole human race would form only one family where all would die in common, and be used freely, without regard to property;- but cautiously too, with as entire regard itobthe necessities of each individual, oas if our own sintetests were most intimately concerned arid 1.3 sd 31911yesít
In the present disposition !of the humánt health it would, pethaps, be difficult to find complete instances of such enlarged affections, but still we may observe, that the case of families approaches towards it; and the XIX