Erb Street West, Unit # 133, Waterloo, Ontario Canada, N2T 1H4
evident, that when we praise any actions, we regard only the motives
that produced them, and consider the actions as signs or indications
of certain principles in the mind and temper. The external performance
has no merit. We must look within to find the moral quality. This
we cannot do directly; and therefore fix our attention on actions,
as on external signs. But these actions are still considered as
signs; and the ultimate object of our praise and approbation is
the motive, that produc'd them.
virtuous motive is requisite to render an action virtuous. An
action must be virtuous, before we can have a regard to its virtue.
Some virtuous motive, therefore, must be antecedent to that regard.
short, it may be establish'd as an undoubted maxim, that no
action can be virtuous, or morally good, unless there be in human
nature some motive to produce it, distinct from the sense of its