|Author:||Malebranche, Nicolas, 1638-1715.|
|Title:||A treatise of morality in two parts / written in French by F. Malbranch, author of The search after truth ; and translated into English, by James Shipton, M.A.|
|Publication Info:||Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2011 April (TCP phase 2)
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A treatise of morality in two parts / written in French by F. Malbranch, author of The search after truth ; and translated into English, by James Shipton, M.A.
Malebranche, Nicolas, 1638-1715., Shipton, James,
London: Printed for James Knapton ..., 1699.
|Alternate titles:||Traité de morale. English|
Translation of Traité de morale.
Advertisement: p. - at end.
Reproduction of original in Union Theological Seminary Library, New York.
THE Author's LETTER TO MONSIEUR ****
THE CONTENTS OF THE FIRST PART.
THE CONTENTS OF THE SECOND PART. Of Duties.
A TREATISE OF Morality.
CHAP. I. Ʋniversal Reason is the Wisdom of God himself. All Men have some Communication with God. True and False, Just and Ʋnjust is the same in respect of all intelligent Beings, and of God himself. What Truth and Order is, and what we must do to avoid Error and Sin. God is essentially Just; he loves the Crea∣tures according as they are amiable, or as they resem∣ble him. We must be Perfect to be Happy; Vertue, or the Perfection of Man consists in a Submission to the immutable Order, and not in following the Order of Nature. The Error of some of the Heathen Philoso∣phers in this Matter, grounded upon their Ignorance of the simplicity and immutability of the Divine Conduct.
CHAP. II. There is no other Vertue but the Love of Order and Rea∣son. Without this Love all Vertues are false. We must not confound Duties with Vertues We may dis∣charge our Duties without Vertue. 'Tis for want of con∣sulting Reason that Men approve and follow damna∣ble Customs. Faith serves or conducts to Reason: For Reason is the supreme Law of all intelligent Be∣ings.
CHAP. III. The Love of Order doth not differ from Charity. Two sorts of Love, one of Ʋnion, and the other of Benevolence. The former is due only to Power, to God alone: The latter ought to be proportion'd to personal Merit, as our Duties to relative Merit. Self-love enlightned is not contrary to the love of Ʋnion. The love of Order is common to all Men. The Species of the love of Order, natural and free, actual and habitual. Only that which is free, habitual and ruling renders us just in the sight of God. Vertue consists in nothing but a free, habitual and ruling Love of the immutable Order.
CHAP. IV. Two fundamental Truths belonging to this Treatise. I. Acts produce Habits, and Habits Acts. II. The Soul doth not always produce the Acts of its ruling Habit. The Sinner may avoid committing any particular Sin, and the just Man may lose his Charity, because there is no Sinner without some love for Order, and no just Man without Self-love. We cannot be justified in the sight of God by the strength of Free-will. The means in general of acquiring and preserving Charity. The me∣thodus'd in the explication of these means.
CHAP. V. Of the Strength of the Mind. Our Desires are the occa∣sional Causes of our Knowledge. The Contemplation of abstract Ideas is difficult. The Strength of the Mind consists in an acquir'd Habit of enduring the Labour of Attention. The way to acquire it is to Silence our Sen∣ses, Imagination and Passions, to Regulate our Studies, and to Meditate only on clear Ideas.
CHAP. VI. Of the Liberty of the Mind. We should suspend our Assent as much as we can, which is the great Rule. By the Liberty of the Mind we may avoid Error and Sin, as by the Strength of the Mind we free our selves from Ig∣norance. The Liberty of the Mind, as well as the Strength of it, is a Habit which is confirm'd by use. Some instances of its Ʋsefulness in Physicks, Morality, and Civil Life.
CHAP. VII. Of Obedience to Order. The means of acquiring a firm and ruling Disposition to obey it. It cannot be done without Grace. How far the right use of our Strength and Liberty contributes toward it, by the Light it pro∣duces in us, by the contemptible Opinion it gives us of our Passions, and by the Purity which it preserves and establishes in our Imagination.
CHAP. VIII. The Means which Religion furnishes us with to gain and preserve the Love of Order. Jesus Christ is the occa∣sional Cause of Grace: we must call upon him with con∣fidence. When we come to the Sacraments, the actual Love of Order is chang'd inhabitual, in consequence of the permanent desires of •rist: The Proof of this Truth being essential to the Conversion of Sinners. The fear of Hell is as good a motive as the desires of eter∣nal Happiness. We must not confound the Motive with the End. The desire of being Happy, or Self-love, should make us conformable to Order, or obedient to the Law of God.
CHAP. IX. The Church in its Prayers Addresses its self to the Father by the Son, and why. We should Pray to the Blessed Virgin, Angels and Saints, but not as occasional causes of inward Grace. The Angels, and even the Devils have power over Bodies, as occasional causes. By this means the Devils may tempt us, and the Angels pro∣mote the efficacy of Grace.
CHAP. X. Of the Occasional Causes of the Sensations and Motions of the Soul which resist the Efficacy of Grace, either of Light or Sense. The Ʋnion of the Soul with God is immediate, not that of the Soul with the Body. An Explication of some general Laws of the Ʋnion of the Soul and Body, necessary for the right understanding the rest of this Treatise.
CHAP. XI. What kind of death we must die to see God, to be united to Reason, and to deliver our selves from Concupiscence. It is the Grace of Faith that gives us this happy death. Christians are dead to Sin by Baptism, and alive in Christ by his Resurrection. Of the Mortification of the Senses, and the use we should make of it. We should unite our selves to corporeal Objects, or separate our selves from them without loving or fearing them. But the surest way is to break off all Correspondence with them, as far as is possible.
CHAP. XII. Of the Imagination. This Term is obscure and confus'd. What it is in general. Several sorts of Imaginati∣on. Its effects are dangerous. Of that which the World calls Wit. That quality is very opposite to the Grace of Christ. It is fatal to those who possess it, and to those who esteem and admire it in others, tho' they have it not themselves.
CHAP. XIII. Of the Passions. What they are. Their dangerous effects. We must moderate them. The conclusion of the first Part.
A TREATISE OF Morality.
CHAP. I. Good Men often do wicked Actions. The Love of Order must be enlightned to make it regular. Three Condi∣tions requir'd to make an Action perfectly Vertuous. We should study the Duties of Man in general, and take some time every day to examine the Order and Circumstances of them in particular.
CHAP. II. Our Duties toward God must be refer'd to his Attributes, to his Power, Wisdom and Love. God alone is the true Cause of all Things. The Duties we owe to Pow∣er, which consist chiefly in clear Judgments, and in Motions govern'd by those Judgments.
CHAP. III. Of the Duties we owe to the Wisdom of God. It is that alone which enlightens the Mind in consequence of certain natural Laws, whose efficacy is determin'd by our Desires as occasional Causes. The Judgments and Duties of the Mind in relation to the universal Rea∣son.
CHAP. IV. Of the Duties which we owe to the divine Love. Our Will is nothing but a continual impression of the Love which God bears to himself, the only true Good. We cannot love Evil: But we may take that to be Evil, which is neither Good nor Evil. So we cannot hate Good: But the true Good is really the Evil of wicked Men, or the true cause of their Miseries. That God may be Good in respect of us, our Love must be like his, or always subject to the divine Law, Motions or Duties.
CHAP. V. The three Divine Persons imprint each their proper Cha∣racter on our Souls; and our Duties give equal Honour to them all three. Tho' our Duties consist only in in∣ward Judgments and Motions, yet we must shew them by outward Signs, in regard of our Society with other Men.
CHAP. VI. Of the Duties of Society in general. Two sorts of Socie∣ty. Every thing should be refer'd to the eternal So∣ciety. Different kinds of Love and Honour. The ge∣neral heads of our Duties toward Men. They must be External and Relative. The danger of paying inward Duties to Men. The Conversation of the World ve∣ry dangerous.
CHAP. VII. The Duties of Esteem are due to all Mankind, to the lowest of Men, to the greatest Sinners, to our Enemies and Persecutors: To Merits, as well as to Natures. It is difficult to regulate exactly these Duties and those of Benevolence, by reason of the difference of personal and relative Merits, and their various Combinations. A general rule, and the most certain one that can be given in this matter.
CHAP. VIII. Of the Duties of Benevolence and Respect. We should procure all Men the true Goods, and not relative Goods. Who it is that fulfills the Duties of Benevo∣lence. The unreasonable Complaints of worldly Men. The Duties of Respect should be proportion'd to the greatness of participated Power.
CHAP. IX. Of the Duties due to Sovereigns. Two Sovereign Pow∣ers. The difference between them. Their natural Rights. Rights of Concession. Of the Obedience of Subjects.
CHAP. X. Of the Domestick Duties of Husband and Wife. The Ground of these Duties. Of the Duties of Parents toward their Children, with relation to the Eternal and Civil Societies. Of their instruction in the Sciencies and Morality. Parents should give their Children a good example. They should govern them by Reason. They have no right to use them ill. Children owe Obe∣diene to their Parents in all Things.
CHAP. XI. The original of the difference of Conditions. Reason alone ought to govern, but Force is now necessary. The law∣ful use of Force is to make Men submit to Reason, ac∣cording to the Primitive Law. The Rights of Superi∣ours. The Duties of Superiours and Inferiours.
CHAP. XII. Of our Duties toward our Equals. We should give them the place they desire in our Mind and Heart. We should express our inward Dispositions in favour of them by our outward Air and Behaviour, and by real Services. We should yield them the Superiority and Pre-eminence. The hottest and most passionate Friend∣ships are not the most solid and durable. We should not make more intimate Friends than we can keep.
CHAP. XIII. A Continuation of the same Subject. If we would be be∣lov'd, we must make our selves amiable. The Qualities which make a Man amiable. Rules for Conversation. Of different Airs. Of Christian Friendship.
CHAP. XIV. Of the Duties which every Man owes to himself; which consist in general in labouring for his own Perfection and Happiness.
BOOKS sold by James Knapton, at the Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard.