Three sermons upon human nature. ed. by W. Whewell

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Page 54 - It is manifest, great part of common language, and of common behaviour over the world, is formed upon supposition of such a moral faculty ; whether called conscience, moral reason, moral sense, or divine reason ; whether considered as a sentiment of the understanding, or as a perception of the heart, or, which seems the truth, as including both.
Page xlii - There are two ways in which the subject of morals may be treated. One begins from inquiring into the abstract relations of things : the other from a matter of fact, namely, what the particular nature of man is, its several parts, their economy or constitution ; from whence it proceeds to determine what course of life it is, which is correspondent to this whole nature.
Page 66 - But some of great and distinguished merit have, I think, expressed themselves in a manner, which may occasion some danger to careless readers, of imagining the whole of virtue to consist in singly aiming, according to the best of their judgment, at promoting the happiness of mankind in the present state...
Page 65 - The fact then appears to be that we are constituted so as to condemn falsehood, unprovoked violence, injustice, and to approve of benevolence to some, preferably to others, abstracted from all consideration which conduct is likeliest to produce an overbalance of happiness or misery.
Page 49 - How many instances, in which persons manifestly go through more pains and self-denial to gratify a vicious passion, than would have been necessary to the conquest of it! To this is to be added, that when virtue is become habitual, when the temper of it is acquired, what was before confinement ceases to be so, by becoming choice and delight.
Page 66 - And therefore, were the Author of Nature to propose nothing to himself as an end but the production of happiness, were his moral character merely that of benevolence, yet ours is not so. Upon that supposition, indeed, the only reason of his giving us the abovementioned approbation of benevolence to some persons rather than others, and disapprobation of falsehood, unprovoked violence, and injustice, must be that he foresaw this constitution of our nature would produce more happiness than forming us...
Page 32 - But there is a superior principle of reflection or conscience in every man, which distinguishes between the internal principles of his heart, as well as his external actions ; which passes judgment upon himself and them; pronounces "determinately some actions to be in themselves just, right, good ; others to be in themselves evil, wrong, unjust; which, without being consulted, without being advised with, magisterially exerts itself, and approves or condemns him, the doer of them, accordingly...
Page xlv - Appetites, passions, affections^ and the principle of reflection, considered merely as the severnl parts of our inward nature, do not at all give us an idea of the system or constitution of this nature...
Page 12 - ... disapproves of another, and towards a third is affected in neither of these ways, but is quite indifferent. This principle in man, by which he approves or disapproves his heart, temper, and actions, is conscience ; for this is the strict sense of the word, though sometimes it is used so as to take in more. And that this faculty tends to restrain men from doing mischief to each other, and leads them to do good, is too manifest to need being insisted upon.

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