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sist in moral worth or good desert. Moral worth or good desert is a result of obedience to law. It is not a state of mind it is merit. It is a quality or attribute of character. As it is not a state of mind, it can not be the ultimate and absolute good of being. It is good desert, and is not identical with the good deserved. It is a good and an indispensable condition of of the ultimate and absolute good, but can not be identical with it. As it does not consist in a state of mind, it is impossible that it should be the ultimate good. It is intrinsically meritorious or deserving of good, but not identical with the ultimate good. It is that to which the law and the lawgiver promise the ultimate good, but it is not the good promised.
Moral worth, merit, and good desert, can never have been the end proposed by the lawgiver. The law proposes to secure moral worth, not as an ultimate end, not as the ultimate and absolute good of the subject, but as a condition of his being rewarded with absolute good. The Lawgiver and the law propose ultimate and perfect satisfaction and blessedness as a result of virtue and of moral worth. This result must be the ultimate and absolute good.
The reason why virtue and moral excellence or worth have been supposed to be a good in themselves, and intrinsically and absolutely valuable, is, that the mind necessarily regards them with satisfaction. They meet a demand of the Reason and Conscience; they are the archetypes of the Ideas of the Reason and are therefore naturally and necessarily regarded with satisfaction, just as when we behold natural beauty, we necessarily enjoy it. We nat urally experience a mental satisfaction in the contemplation of beauty, and this is true whether the beauty be physical or moral. Both meet a demand of our nature, and therefore we experience satisfaction in their contemplation. Now it has been said that this satisfaction, is itself proof that we pronounced the beauty a good in itself. But ultimate good must, as we have said, consist in a state of mind. But neither physical nor moral beauty is a state of mind. Aside from the satisfaction produced by their contemplation, to whom or to what can they be a good? Take physical beauty for example, aside from every beholder, to whom or to what is it a good? Is it a good to itself? But it can not be a subject of good.. It must be a good only as and because it meets a demand of our being and produces satisfaction in its contemplation. It is a relative good. The satisfaction experienced by contemplating it, is an ultimate good. It is only a condition of ultimate
good. So virtue or holiness is morally beautiful. Moral worth or excellence is morally beautiful. Beauty is an attribute or element of holiness, virtue, and of moral worth, or right character. But the beauty is not identical with holiness nor moral worth any more than the beauty of a rose and the rose are identical. The rose is beautiful. Beauty is one of its attributes. So virtue is morally beautiful. Beauty is one of its attributes. But the beauty in neither case is a state of mind, and can not be an ultimate good. The contemplation of either and of both naturally begets mental satisfaction because of the relation of the archetype to the idea of our Reason. We are so constituted that beholding the archetypes of certain ideas of our Reason produces mental satisfaction. Not because we affirm the archetypes to be good in themselves; for often, to say the least, as for instance in the case of physical beauty, this cannot be, but because these archetypes meet a demand of our nature. They meet this demand, and thus produce satisfaction. This satisfaction is an ultimate good, but that which produces it, is only a relative good. Apart from the satisfaction produced by the contemplation of moral worth, of what value can it be? Can the worthiness of good, or the moral beauty be the end proposed by the lawgiver? Ör must we seek to secure moral worth in moral agents for the sake of the good in which it results? If neither the subject of moral excellence or worth nor any one else experienced the least satisfaction in contemplating it-if it did not so meet a demand of our being or of any being as to afford the least satisfaction to any sentient existence, to whom or to what would it be a good? If it meets a demand of the nature of a moral agent, it must produce satisfaction. It does meet a demand of our being, and therefore produces satisfaction to the Intelligence, the Conscience, the Sensibility. It is therefore necessarily pronounced by us to be a good. We are apt to say it is an ultimate good; but it is only a relative good. It meets a demand of our being and thus produces satisfaction. This satisfaction is the ultimate good of being. At the very moment we pronounce it a good in itself, it is only because we experience such a satisfaction in contemplating it. At the very time we say that we consider it a good in itself wholly inde pendent of its results, we only say so the more positively because we are so gratified at the time by thinking of it. It is its experienced results that is the ground of the affirmation.
[4.] It cannot be too distinctly understood that Right Char
acter, Moral Worth, Good Desert, Meritoriousness, or whatever you call it, can not be or consist in a state of Mind, and therefore it is impossible that it should be an ultimate good or intrinsically valuable. By Right Character, Moral Worth, Good Desert, Meritoriousness, &c., as distinguished from virtue, we can mean nothing more than that it is fit and proper and suitable to the nature and relation of things, that a virtuous person should be blessed. The Intelligence is gratified when this character is perceived to exist. This perception produces intellectual satisfaction. This satisfaction is a good in itself. But that which produces this satisfaction, is in no proper sense a good in itself. Were it not for the fact that it meets a demand of the Intelligence and thus produces satisfaction, it could not so much as be thought of as a good in itself any more than any thing else that is a pure conception of the Reason, such, for instance, as a mathematical line.
It is impossible that the Lawgiver or the Law should make obedience or the worthiness resulting from obedience, an ultimate end. God requires the highest good of the universe to be willed as an ultimate end. Now he requires the willing for the sake of the good willed. He aims and must aim at securing the good and not merely the willing. He must aim at securing the good, and not merely securing the willing or the worthiness resulting from willing. It is the end He aims at. The willing and the worthiness of willing are valuable only as the end willed is valuable. Were it not that the end is intrinsically valuable, the willing would not be so much as relatively valuable. It would have no value whatever. And but for the intrinsic value of the end willed, Good Desert would not result from willing it. Both the virtuousness and the meritoriousness of willing the end depends altogether upon the intrinsic value of the end. But for this, I say again, neither Virtue nor Merit could exist. Now it is absurd to make that an ultimate good and to affirm that to be intrinsically and ultimately valuable, whose whole value consists in its relations to an ultimate good.
[5.] The ultimate or absolute good can not consist in any thing external to Mind itself. Moral Agents are so constituted as to sustain certain correlations to things external to themselves, many of which things are necessary means and conditions of their well being. But none of these can be good or valuable in themselves. That is, nothing without the consciousness of being can be a good per se.
The Constitution of Moral Agents has three primary De
partments or Faculties as we have formerly seen, namely, the Intellect, the Sensibility, and the Will. All the demands of our being may be and must be made by one of these Faculties. The Intellect has its demands or wants. The Sensibility has its objects of desire, or its demands and wants. Our whole being is comprised in these three departments, and they sustain such correlations to each other and to the universe that the objects demanded by these powers or susceptibilities are indispensable conditions of our well-being or being satisfied. For instance, the Intellect demands knowledge of Truth; the Conscience demands obedience to Moral Law; the Sensibility demands those objects that excite its desires. These are only specimens of the demands or wants of our being. Our well-being or our highest good is, from the constitution of our Nature, conditionated upon the demands of our Nature being met and our wants supplied. These wants are numerous. Now the objects that are so correlated to us as to be the conditions of our blessedness, are not the ultimate and absolute good. Truth, for example, is a condition or means of our ultimate good, but it is not itself an ultimate good. To whom or what would it be a good were there no Intelligence to apprehend it? It meets a demand of the Intelligence, and is therefore a relative good. The same is and must be true of every thing that is so correlated to us as to meet a demand of our Constitution. The meeting of these demands, the supply of these wants produces mental satisfaction. This satisfaction is an ultimate good. But the things that produce it are only relative good.
It is possible that an ultimate good may be also a relative good. Thus the satisfaction or blessedness that constitutes the ultimate good may and does tend to perpetuate and increase itself. The contemplation by us of the joy of others may be, and often is, a means of increasing our own. In this case the ultimate good is both an ultimate and a relative good; that is, it is both an ultimate end and a means.
It is true also that a thing may meet a demand of our being and be at the same time a means and an ultimate end. Our Nature demands Satisfaction, Blessedness, Enjoyment. This is an ultimate demand. That which supplies or meets this demand is an ultimate good. The universal satisfaction of all the powers and susceptibilities of our Nature is the ultimate good of our being. This demand is only met by the ultimate and absolute good. All other demands are met by their appropriate objects, not one of which is an ultimate or absolute good,
but only a relative good. As these objects meet the demands of our Constitution they produce satisfaction; this satisfaction is an ultimate good. Did they not produce satisfaction they would not be a good in any sense. The Intelligence is met and the Reason is satisfied, that is, the things which it demanded, it has obtained, or they are accomplished.
Virtue, then, or obedience to Moral Law is in some sense a good to a Moral Agent, that is, it meets a demand of his Reason or Conscience. Moral Worth, also, or Right Character, is demanded by the Intelligence of every Moral Agent, and where Moral Worth is seen to exist, this demand of the Intelligence is met. So far that exists which it demanded; so that in this sense Moral Worth is valuable to a Moral Agent inasmuch as it meets a demand of his being. So all the objects of desire are valuable in the sense that they meet a demand of the Constitution.
But here an inquiry arises. Are these the ultimate good? I answer no, for this reason, that they are not, and cannot be regarded by the mind as ultimate. The universal intelligence demands Virtue or obedience to moral law, and when this is seen to exist the Intelligence is satisfied. For example; when the mind perceives any thing to which it sustains such a correlation that the thing is demanded by the mind, in other words, that it is a necessity of nature, the possession of the object satisfies the demand. When the Intelligence acquires the knowledge that it demands, it is satisfied. When the Conscience has that which it demands, or when that exists which the conscience demands, the conscience is satisfied. When the Sensibility possesses those objects of desire which it craved, the Sensibility is satisfied. Whenever the Intelligence perceives the concrete realization of those ideas of the Reason whose realization was demanded by the Intelligence, the Intelligence is satisfied. The mind continues to struggle after all the objects that are so correlated to it as to be demanded by any power of the mind, and it does not rest until that demand is met. As soon as the demand is met the mind rests and is satisfied. Now observe, those things after which the mind is struggling to meet its demands, are not the ultimate good of the mind that is thus struggling. When the mind has obtained the objects after which it struggles, and which it demands, it then rests-it is satisfied. And it matters not which of the powers of the mind makes the de mand, the power is not satisfied until the end is gained. And when the end is gained, thus far the mind is satisfied. A