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must be the love of God and our neighbor, and not of other things. The law does not say, Thou shalt love right-truth -beauty or any thing else, with all thy heart and with all thy soul, but God and thy neighbor. This then is the End. Truth, beauty, virtue, and a multitude of things are relative goods and conditions of the ultimate good or of the universal satisfaction that results from all the demands of the being of God and of our neighbor being fully satisfied.
Whoever contends that there is more than one foundation of Moral Obligation should bereminded that one word expresses all that is required by the Moral Law. That word is LOVE, and this love respects God and our neighbor only. In other words whoever loves God with all his heart and soul, and mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself, fulfils the whole law. This is the Ultimate End-the good of God and our neighbor. That this love, if it consists in willing any thing to God and our neighbor, must consist in willing their highest well-being with all the necessary conditions and means thereof must be self-evident; for as I have said, these are the only things that are valuable to God or our neighbor, and to be under obligation to will any thing else than these to God and to our neighbor were absurd. When we have willed the highest well-being of God and our neighbor as an ultimate end, we have willed to them every good of which they are capable; and what more can we will to them? and if we refuse to will this, of what use is it to will any thing else?
Let this theory again be viewed in the light of some of the precepts of the gospel.-"Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." By this language, it is used in the Scriptures, we are to understand that God requires of us to aim at pleasing Him in all that we do. That is, we are to aim at satisfying God and meeting the demands of His Conscience, His Intelligence, His Sensibility and in short, so to demean ourselves as that He shall be perfectly satisfied with us. This satisfaction is His ultimate good. At this we should aim-at pleasing God, at satisfying God, so that He shall say, all that I want in respect to you, I have. This is what God requires us to will. He requires that we should live to please or gratify Him for the sake of the intrinsic value of his well-being or of His satisfaction. To love God-to consecrate ourselves to God-to do all to the glory of God, is to choose or intend in all our ways to please God; that is, to choose the pleasure, the gratification or satisfaction or well-being of God as the ultimate end to which we consecrate ourselves.
Let this question again be brought into the light of the example of God and of Christ. God no doubt has the same end in view which He requires us to have. Christ has also the same end in view that his Father has and that He requires us to have. But what end have they in view? God says, "I have created all things for myself." That is, He has exerted his almighty power in the creation of objects to realize the ideas of his own Reason for the sake of the satisfaction which necessarily results to Himself and to the universe from their realization. He pronounces the works of his hands "very good," that is, they are satisfactory to Him, they are good in such a sense that He is satisfied with them as the archetypes of his own ideas. In the contemplation of these archetypes He is satisfied. This satisfaction must be to Him an infinite good. Christ must have the same end in view.
The whole Moral Government of God as well as his providential government-in short, all creation, and providence, and government, physical and moral, show that God and Christ are endeavoring to realize the ideas of the good, the just, the merciful, the beautiful, the useful, the right, the perfect, and all those ideas in the realization of which they have so much satisfaction.
The good of creatures must enter into the end at which they aim. This is manifest from creation, and providence, and the Bible. To meet the demands of the nature and constitution of every being, is manifestly the tendency of things so far as we can understand them. These things are means of producing satisfaction in the minds of Moral Agents, and in "satisfying the wants of every living thing." Thus it is said, "Thou openest thy hand and satisfyest the wants of every living thing." This satisfaction of creatures is an ultimate good. Their virtue and every thing else but this satisfaction itself, is a condition and means of promoting it. The highest good then of the universe must be that at which God and all holy beings ought to aim and really do aim. Unless they aim at this, their aim can never meet the demands of the Intelligence of Moral Agents. If they do aim at this, the Intelligence cannot but be satisfied.
But to this philosophy it is objected,
1. That if the highest good or well-being of God and of the Universe be the sole Foundation of Moral Obligation, it follows that we are not under obligation to will any thing except this end with the necessary conditions and means thereof. That every thing but this end, which we are bound to will
must be willed as a means to this end or because of its tendency to promote this end. And this it is said is the doctrine of Utility.
To this I answer; The doctrine of Utility is, that the foundation of the obligation to will both the end and the means is the tendency of the willing to promote the end. But this is absurd. The doctrine of this discourse is not, as Utilitarians say, that the foundation of the obligation to will the End or the Means is the tendency of the willing to promote that end, but that the foundation of the obligation to will both the end and the means, is the intrinsic value of the end. And the condition of the obligation to will the means is the perceived tendency of the means to promote the end.
The end is to be willed for its own sake. The conditions and means of this end are to be willed for the sake of the end; that is, it is the intrinsic value of the end, that is the foundation of the obligation to will the conditions and means. The tendency of the means to promote the end is not, as Utilitarians say, the Foundation of the Obligation to will the means, but both the end and the means are to be willed for the same reason, to wit, the intrinsic value of the end. The obligation to will the means being only conditiona ted upon, but not found in their tendency to promote the end. This then is not the doctrine of Utility.
2. It is objected that if the good of being be the only Foundation of Moral Obligation, we should be indifferent in respect to the means, if the end could be obtained. But this, it is said, contradicts human consciousness. To this I answer, the end to be obtained is the satisfaction of universal mind, that results from having every demand of the being fully met. Now it is impossible that this satisfaction should exist unless these demands are met. To suppose then that the end can be obtained without these demands being met, is the same as to suppose that the end can be obtained without the natural and necessary conditions and means. This supposition is therefore an impossible supposition, and consequently inadmissi ble.
Again; if universal mind were perfectly satisfied so that there were no demand or want of any being that was not fully met, we should of course be satisfied, and well satisfied, and perfectly satisfied, on this supposition.
The philosohpy to which this objection is opposed teaches that the highest well being of God and of the universe is the ultimate, the absolute good of moral agents and
therefore that it is the foundation of Moral Obligation. It further teaches that the absolute and ultimate good of moral agents in its last analysis consists in mental satisfaction, enjoy ment, blessedness, happiness, and that this state of mind is conditionated upon the fact that every demand of every power of our being is fully met and satisfied. The objection is this, that if mental satisfaction, enjoyment, blessedness or happiness were but complete and universal, we should be indifferent, that is, that we should be satisfied as it respects the means and conditions of this satisfaction. That if the universal mind were satisfied it would be satisfied by whatever means. This is, to be sure, a truism. Or the objection amounts to this. If the highest well-being of God and of the universe of moral agents be the foundation of Moral Obligation, it follows that if this end is obtained and the highest well-being of God and of the universe be secured, we should be indifferent as it respects the conditions and means. In other words we should be indifferent whether it was accomplished by possible or impossible means. If the mental satisfaction do but universally exist it matters not whether the Intelligence, the Conscience or the Sensibility be satisfied. If that state of mind which can alone result from the fact that every demand of every power and susceptibility of our nature be fully met and satisfied, do but exist, it matters not whether any demand of our being is met, whether we are at all satisfied. Or again: If our nature is such that it can not be satisfied unless virtue be connected with happiness, and sin with misery, that is, unless misery exist in connection with sin, and happiness in connection with holiness, did happiness but exist it would be indifferent to us and we should be just as well satisfied did happiness exist in connection with sin and misery in connection with holiness as we now are. The objection is an absurdity and a contradiction. It overlooks that which is implied in the well being of God and of the universe.
3. "It is said that if the sole Foundation of Moral Obligation be the highest good of Universal Being, all obligation pertaining to God would respect his susceptibilities and the means necessary to this result. When we have willed God's highest well-being with the means necessary to that result we have fulfilled all our duty to Him."
To this I reply; certainly, when we have willed the highest well-being of God and of the universe with the necessary conditions and means thereof, we have done our whole duty to him: for this is loving Him with all our heart and our neighbor
as ourselves. The necessary conditions of the highest well-being of the universe, are that every moral being shouldbe perfectly virtuous and that every demand of the Intelligence and of the whole being of God and of the universe of creatures be perfectly met, so that universal mind shall be in a state of perfect and universal satisfaction. To will this is all that the Law of God does or can require.
4. It is said that "If the highest good of being be the Foundation of Moral Obligation, it would follow that if God's character were the opposite of what it is, we should be under the same obligation to Him that we are now." To this I answer:
(1.) It is not true. We are to will the highest wellbeing of God. This results from the meeting of every demand of his being. We are to will his perfect satisfaction as a good in itself. But it is impossible that we should will that He should be actually and perfectly satisfied except on the condition that He obeys the laws of his being. If He should not fulfill the laws of his being-if, for example, He should not conform his Will to the law of his Intelligence it would be impossible for us to will or be under an obligation to will that He should be actually and perfectly satisfied with Himself. We can not, therefore, be under an obligation to will the perfect and universal satisfaction or blessedness of God, except on condition that He is perfectly virtuous. We should not be under an obligation to will his actual well being and satisfaction were his character otherwise than what it is. But the demands of his being being met, He being perfectly virtuous and meeting every demand of his Intelligence, we are under an obligation, in view of this consideration, to will his actual, perfect, univer sal, eternal, infinite blessedness or satisfaction. It is not true,
as the objection affirms, that our obligation would be the same to God that it now is, whether his character were what it now is or not.
(2.) As a possible good we should be under obligation to will his highest well being with all the conditions and means thereof. But we should not be under obligation to will his highest well being as an actual good without the necessary conditions and means thereof; and therefore if He refused to fulfill the necessary conditions we should not be under obligation to will his actual satisfaction or blessedness. In one sense we should be under obligation to love God let his character be what it might, just as we are under obligation to love