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fessed good, without being concerned for it, or moved \ by it, if they think they can make up their happiness without it. Though as to pain, that they are always concerned for; they can feel no uneasiness without being moved. And therefore being uneasy in the want of whatever is judged necessary to their happiness, as soon as any good appears to make a part of their portion of happiness, they begin to desire it.
44. This, I think, any one may ob- Why the serve in himself and others, that the greater g"*^8*
• .•I j i i ° i Rood is not visible good does not always raise men's always dedesires, in proportion to the greatness it sired, appears, and is acknowledged to have: though every little trouble moves us, and sets us on work to get rid of it. The reason whereof is evident, from the nature of our happiness and misery itself. All present pain, whatever it be, makes a part of our present misery; but all absent good does not at any time make a necessary part of our present happiness, nor the absence of it make a part of our misery. If it did, we should be constantly and infinitely miserable; there being infinite degrees of happiness, which are not in our pos session. All uneasiness therefore being removed, a moderate portion of good serves at present to content men; and some few degrees of pleasure in a succession of ordinary enjoyments make up a happiness, wherein they can be satisfied. If this were not so, there could be no room for those indifferent and visibly trifling actions, to which our wills are so often determined, and wherein we voluntarily waste so much of our lives; which remissness could by no means consist with a constant determination of will or desire to the greatest apparent good. That this is so, I think few people need go far from home to be convinced. And indeed in this life there are not many whose happiness reaches so far as to afford them a constant train of moderate mean pleasures, without any mixture of uneasiness; and yet they could be content to stay here for ever: though they cannot deny, but that it is possible there may be a state of eternal durable joys after this life, far surpassing all the good that is to be found here. Nay, they cannot but see, that it is more possible than the attainment and continuation of that pittance of honour, riches, or pleasure, which they pursue, and for which they neglect that eternal state; but yet in full view of this difference, satisfied of the possibility of a perfect, secure, and lasting happiness in a future state, and under a clear conviction, that it is not to be had here, whilst they bound their happiness within some little enjoyment, or aim of this life, and exclude the joys of heaven from making any necessary part of it; their desires are not moved by this greater apparent good, nor their wills determined to any action, or endeavour for its attainment. , . .. •. .• ,. Why not be- §. 45. The ordinary necessities of our ing desired, lives fill a great part of them with the unit moves not easiness of hunger, thirst, heat, cold, wea. ewl • riness with labour, and sleepiness, in their constant returns, &c. To which, if, besides accidental harms, we add the fantastical uneasiness (as itch after honour, power, or riches, &c.) which acquired habits by fashion, example, and education, have settled in us, and a thousand other irregular desires, which custom has made natural to us; we shall find, that a very little part of our life is so vacant from these uneasinesses, as to leave us free to the attraction of remoter absent good. We are seldom at ease, and free enough from the solicitation of our natural or adopted desires, but a constant succession of uneasinesses out of that stock, which natural wants or acquired habits have heaped up, take the will in their turns: and no sooner is one action dispatched, which by such a determination of the will we are set upon, but another uneasiness is ready to set us on work. For the removing of the pains we feel, and are at present pressed with, being the getting out of misery, and consequently the first thing to be done in order to happiness, absent good, though thought on, confessed, and appearing to be good, not making any part of this unhappiness in its absence, is justled out to make way for the removal of those uneasinesses we feel; till due and repeated contemplation has brought it nearer to our mind, given some relish of it, and
raised in us some desire: which then beginning to make a part of our present uneasiness, stands upon fair terms with the rest to be satisfied; and so, according to its greatness and pressure, comes in its turn, to determine the will.
46. And thus, by a due consideration, Due consiand examining any good proposed, it is in deration our power to raise our desires in a due pro- rawe»desire. portion to the value of that good whereby in its turn and place it may come to work upon the will, and be pursued. For good, though appearing, and allowed ever so great, yet till it has raised desires in our minds, and thereby made us uneasy in its want, it reaches not our wills; we are not within the sphere of its activity; our wills being under the determination only of those uneasinesses which are present to us, which (whilst we have any) are always soliciting, and ready at hand to give the will its next determination: the balancing, when there is any in the mind, being only which desire shall be next satisfied, which uneasiness first removed. Whereby comes to pass, that as long as any uneasiness, any desire remains in our mind, there is no room for good, barely as such, to come at the will, or at all to determine it. Because, as has been said, the first step in our endeavours after happiness being to get wholly out of the confines of misery, and to feel no part of it, the will can be at leisure for nothing else, till every uneasiness we feel be perfectly removed; which, in the multitude of wants and desires we are beset with in this imperfect state, we are not like to be ever freed from in this world.
§. 47. There being in us a great many The power uneasinesses always soliciting, and ready to t0 suspend determine the will, it is natural, as I have Jj10nP(^nJU" said, that the greatest and most pressing deeiremakes should determine the will to the next ac- wayforcontion; and so it does for the most part, but "deration. not always. For the mind having in most cases, as is evident in experience, a power to suspend the execution and satisfaction of any of its desires, and so all, one after another; is at liberty to consider the objects of them, examine them on all sides, and weigh them with others. In this lies the liberty man has; and from the not using of it right comes all that variety of mistakes, errours, and faults which we run into in the conduct of our lives, and our endeavours after happiness; whilst we precipitate the determination of our wills, and engage too soon before due examination. To prevent this, we have a power to suspend the prosecution of this or that desire, as every one daily may experiment in himself. This seems to me the source of all liberty; in this seems to consist that which is (as I think improperly) called free-will. For during this suspension of any desire, before the will be determined to action, and the action (which follows that determination) done, we have opportunity to examine, view, and judge of the good or evil of what we are going to do; and when, upon due examination, we have judged, we have done our duty, all that we can or ought to do in pursuit of our happiness; and it is not a fault, but a perfection of our nature to desire, will, and act according to the last result of a fair examination. Tobede- §.48. This is so far from being a reterminedby straint or diminution of freedom, that it is tad 0Wn t tne very imProvement an(^ benefit of it; it
^ 'io n of an aKriri nrmonf if ie fVlA £>nfl nnrl ItflOisnore-' is not an abridgment, it is the end and straint to of our liberty; and the farther we are rehberty. moved from such a determination, the nearer we are to misery and slavery. A perfect indifferency in the mind, not determinable by its last judgment of the good or evil that is thought to attend its choice, would be so far from being an advantage and excellency of any intellectual nature, that it would be as great an imperfection, as the want of indifferency to act or not to act till determined by the will, would be an imperfection on the other side. A man is at liberty to lift up his hand to his head, or let it rest quiet; he is perfectly indifferent in either; and it would be an imperfection in him, if he wanted that power, if he were deprived of that indifferency. But it would be as great an imperfection if he had the same indifferency, whether he would prefer the lifting up his hand, or its remaining in rest, when it would save his head or eyes from a blow he sees coming: it is as much a perfection, that desire, or the power of preferring, should be determined by good, as that the power of acting should be determined by the will; and the certainer such determination is, the greater is the perfection. Nay, were we determined by any thing but the last result of our own minds, judging of the good or evil of any action, we were not free: the very end of our freedom being, that we may attain the good we choose. And therefore every man is put under a necessity by his constitution, as an intelligent being, to be determined in willing by his own thought and judgment what is best for him to do: else he would be under the determination of some other than himself, which is want of liberty. And to deny that a man's will, in every determination, follows his own judgment, is to say, that a man wills and acts for an end that he would not have, at the time that he wills and acts for it. For if he prefers it in his present thoughts before any other, it is plain he then thinks better of it, and would have it before any other; unless he can have and not have it, will and not will it, at the same time; a contradiction too manifest to be admitted!
§. 49. If we look upon those superior The freest beings above us, who enjoy perfect happi- agents are ness, we shall have reason to judge that they so deterare more steadily determined in their choice mme' of good than we; and yet we have no reason to think they are less happy, or less free than we are. And if it were fit for such poor finite creatures as we are to pronounce what infinite wisdom and goodness could do, I think we might say, that God himself cannot choose what is not good; the freedom of the Almighty hinders not his being determined by what is best.
§. 50. But to give a right view of this A constant mistaken part of liberty, let me ask, determina«*. Would any one be a changeling, be- J^"t00fahPur"cause he is less determined by wise consi- p"negg noP" "derations than a wise man? Is it worth abridgment "the name of freedom to be at liberty to of liberty.