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move they are irresistibly impelled, that they may obtain whatever is necessary for the supply of animal wants. Thus by the economy of nature action begins at an early period, and by whatever causes it may

afterwards be modified, whether it be guided by instinct as in brutes, or by observation as in man, in some degree or other it is requisite for the preservation of existence itself, and for the gratification of those desires which successively arise in the course of it, be they few or many, simple or complex. In regard to man, as he is not only endowed with a higher species of intelligence than other creatures, but with a freedom of choice, his sphere of exertion is more extensive. He wants indeed the strength of the ox and the fleetness of the horse, but shall this want be imputed to the parsimony of nature? No. It is a wise and gracious provision to call forth the various powers with which he is peculiarly invested; to put him upon bending the ox and the horse to his own purposes ; to make him the artificer of his own happiness ; to engage him in multiplied efforts, in diversified projects ; and in improvement indefinitely progressive.

Go to the mathematician, and he will tell you, that as many quadrupeds are formed to draw, man is so made as to sustain, or to carry, in a degree almost incredible to those who are unacquainted with mechanic powers. By standing in his natural and erect posture he keeps the column of his whole body directly under the pressure ; and what is evenly laid upon

his shoulders, would by a transverse position crush the strongest horse. Again, by the

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natural strength of his muscles, and the pliancy they gradually acquire from exercise, he can easily recover the centre of his gravity, and move forward with a load four or five times surpassing his own weight; such a load you will observe, as from the slightest change in that centre, must fall from any inanimate machine. By the same admirable contrivance for keeping the whole collective force of the bones directly under the burthen, two men can support a greater weight than, if it were divided, they could carry separately. Is not such a being then intended for labour ? And if to these bodily powers you add what the moralist is concerned to investigate, I mean the variety of man's taste and talents, the ardour of his curiosity, the progress of his habits, and the desire of making his condition better; then his intellectual as well as his corporeal faculties will convince you, that an inactive is to him an unnatural state.

But further—brutes without any distinct views of ends, are led at once to the use of means, and as those ends are few the means are unvaried. Man, on the contrary, is capable of discerning the end ; he not only employs means, but selects among them the more efficacious from the less ; and in making that selection he is under the guidance of the reasoning faculty, which gains new force from every new experiment. His knowledge indeed, as preceded by ignorance, seems as we are told at first, only a capacity for observation. But it is a capacity which every hour rouses into action. Without inquiring whether reflection be the distinction of his nature, man unavoidably reflects; and, reflecting, he forms those conceptions of things which mechanically recur to him when he proceeds to act. Here then observe the impartiality and beneficence of our Maker, which, however mortifying it may be to a narrow and a selfish pride, is most delightful to an honest and enlightened curiosity. If the laws of nature were wholly unknown to us in the relation of cause and effect, we could not argue from the past to the future; and reason, having no dependence upon its own precarious conclusions, nor any control

upon external objects, would be less useful than instinct. But the general effects of gravitation and elasticity are observed in situations where science has never been cultivated. When the untutored savage has exchanged the cave for a clumsy hut, and the skin for a course web, still it is a hut which his own hands have erected, it is a web which his own skill has woven; and before he could do either, he must have known the hard or the soft texture, the capacity of receiving cohesion and stability in the matter which he has employed. But where the arts have made a considerable progress, it is yet more discernible that what we can achieve is increased by what we can discover. The powers of nature are more and more unfolded to us, as the materials she has placed within our reach are mouldered into new forms, and applied to new purposes. Instinct is stationary, but reason progressive. It innovates upon nature, it refines upon art. Under the direction of it, even the savage and the civilized artificer become more dexterous by accumu

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lated experience, and both individuals and generations leave some improvement of labour to their posterity, from whom again it descends to other individuals and other generations, for additional improvement in endless succession.

As the time will not permit me to lay before you all the observations that I have thrown together in support of these propositions, I shall content myself with stating to you the result of them. The desire of pleasure, the dread of pain, the paucity of our instincts, the intenseness and multiplicity of our inclinations, the gradual evolution of our intellectual powers, the gradual increase of our intellectual acquisitions, all conspire in shewing that man is made for action: and that happiness is to be obtained by himself for himself, by his own will and his own faculties, exercised for the supply of his own wants, and for the gratification of his own desires.

In confirmation of the arguments that prove this, I would mention one comfortable and important truth, that labour is often its own reward. Even in the lower orders of animals, we perceive that in some of them inaction is not necessary for their happiness. They will bound from their pasture, and even abandon their young, in pursuit not of sustenance only, but of recreation from the ardour of the chace. They will put forth their fullest strength with no other apparent view than the pleasure of putting it forth. They are insensible to toil and danger, and in these tumultuous moments they seem to seize a joy yet more exquisite than where the ordinary cravings of the appetite are to be satisfied.

Thus in man

every corporeal exertion not pushed to extreme fatigue, and every intellectual from which malignity and terror are excluded, have been classed by philosophers among our agreeable sentiments.” The truth is, that all exercise may pass from an irksome to a pleasing state. Experience proves it to be useful; habit makes it easy; and ambition renders it delightful, in proportion as it may be arduous or rare.

Even they who neither toil nor spin cannot for ever remain at rest. They who are too proud to labour for hire, still are doomed to imitate the drudgery they affect to despise, in their hardy and voluntary amusements. Without the dread of shame or punishment, without the expectation of lucre or authority, they will display their strength and agility under a tacit conviction that labour is its own reward. But in employments of a more honourable kind, whether we engage in them from necessity, or convenience, or ambition, there is something congenial to the mind of man in the use of his powers—something pleasing to an honest pride, in the consciousness of possessing those powers-something interesting to our feelings, in the absence of those motives which, in common language, are distinguished by the name of interest.

To all these advantages of labour I will add a few others, which, though collateral, are not unimportant to us in our passage through life. Labour furnishes us with a fresh supply of strength and animal spirits-it diverts the sensual passions, and assuages the tempestuous-it catches by a sudden glance of

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