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A. Some perhaps, then, are apt, congruous, and agreeable to its natural state?
B. They are.
A. Others are inapt, incongruous and disagree able?
B. They are.
A. It should seen then, if this be allowed, that to every individual Being, without the lealt exception, the whole mass of things external, from the greatest to the meanelt, stand in the relations of either agreeable, disagreeable, or indifferent?
B. So it appears.
A. But tho’ this be true in the general, 'tis yet as certain when we descend to particulars, that what is agreeable to one fpecies, is disagreeable to another; and not only so, but perhaps indifferent to a third. Instances of this kind are too obvious to be mentioned.
B. 'Tis evident.
A. Whence then this diversity ? It cannot arise from the Externals for water is equally water, whether to a man, or to a fish; whether, operating on the one, it suffocate, or to the other, it give life and vigour.
B. It is.'
A. So is fire the same fire, however various in its consequences; whether it harden or soften, give pleasure or pain.
B. It is,
A. But if this diversity be not derived from the Externals, whence can it be else? Or can it possibly be derived otherwise than from the peculiar constitution, from the natural state of every species itself?
B. It appears probable.
A. Thus then it is, that every particular species, is, itself to itsell, the measure of all things in the Universe - that as things vary in their relations to it, they vary too in their value and that if their value be ever doubtful, it can no way be adjusted, but by recurring with accuracy to the natural state of the fpecies and to these several relations, which such a state of course creates. B.' You argue justly.
To proceed then. Tho' it be true, that every fpecies has a natural state, as we have asserted; it is not true, that every species has a sense or feeling of it. This feeling or sense is a natural eminence or prerogative, denied to the vegetable and inanimate, and imparted, only to the animal. B. It is.
And think you, that as many as have this sense or feeling of a natural state, are alienated from it, or indifferent to it? Or is it not more probable, that they are well-affected to it?
B. Experience teaches us, how well they are all affected.
A. You are right. For what would be more absurd, than to be indifferent to their own welfare; or to be alienated from it, as tho’ 'twas foreign and unnatural
B. Nothing could be more.
A. But if they are well-affected to this their proper natural state, it should seem too, they must be well-affected to all those Externals, which appear apt, congruous and agreeable to it?
' B. They must.
A. And if so, then ill- affected or averse to such, as appear the contrary.
B. They must.
A. And to such as appear indifferent, indifferent.
B. They must,
A. But if this be allowed, it will follow, that in consequence of these appearances, they will think some Externals worthy of pursuit; some worthy of avoidance; and some worthy of neither.
? B. 'Tis probable, they should.
A. Hence then, another divifion of things external; that is, into pursuable, avoidable, and indifferent
a division only belonging to beings sensitive and animate, because all, below these, can neither avoid nor pursue.
B. They cannot.
A. If then Man be alloweit in the number of these sensitive beings, this division will affect Man or to explain more fully, the whole Mals of things externall will, according to this division, exist to the human species in the relations of pursuable, avoidable, and indifferent?
B. They will
A. Should we therefore desire to know what these things truly are, we must first be informed, what is Mans truly Natural Constitution. For thus, you may remember, 'twas settled not long fince — that every species was its own standard, and that when the value of things was doubtful, the species was to be studied; the relations to be deduced, which were consequent to it; and in this manner the value of things to be adjuşted and ascertained.
B. We have so agreed it.
A. I fear then, we are engaged in a more arduous undertaking, a task of inore difficulty, than we were at first aware of. But Fortuna fortes we must en deavour to acquit ourselves as well as we are able. That Man therefore has a Body, of a figure and internal structure peculiar to itself; capable of certain degrees of strength, agility, beauty, and the like; this I believe is evident, and hardly wants a proof.
B. I am willing to own it.
A. That he is capable too of pleasure and pain, is poffels'd of senses, affections, appetites and averfions; this also seems evident, and can scarcely be denied.
B. 'Tis admitted.
A. We may venture then to range Him in the tribe of animal beings.
B. We may.
A. And think you, without fociety, you or any Man could have be born?
B. Most certainly not.
A. Without fociety, when born, could you have been brou ht to inaturity ? B. Most certainly not.
A. Had your parents then had no social affections towards you in that perilous state, that tedious infancy, (so much longer than the longest of other animals) you must have inevitably perished thro’ want and inability.
B. I must.
A. You perceive then that to Society you, and every Man are indebted, not only for the beginning of being, but for the continuance.
B. We are.
A. Suppose then, we pass from this birth and infancy of Man, to his maturity and perfection Is there any age, think you, so self-sufficient, as that in it he feels no wants?
B. What wants do you mean?
A. In the first and principal place that of food; then perhaps that of raiment; and after this, a dwel ling, or defence against the weather,
B. These wants are surely natural at all ages.
A. And is it not agreeable to Nature, that they should at all ages' be supplied ?
A. And is it not more agreeable to have them well supplied than ill?
B. It is,
A. And most agreeable, to have thein best supplied ?
A. If there be then any one State, better than all others, for the supplying these wants; this state, of all others, must needs be most natural.