Transcription of LocHum,255[2]et256[1]
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Because all who allow the joys of Heaven possible, pursue them not.       §38. Were the will determin’d by the views of good, as it appears
in Contemplation greater or less to the understanding, which is the
State of all absent good, and that, which in the received Opinion
the will is supposed to move to, and to be moved by, I do not see
how it could ever get loose from the infinite eternal Joys of Heaven,
once propos’d and consider’d as possible. For all absent good, by
which alone barely propos’d, and coming in view, the will is thought
to be determin’d, and so to set us on action, being only possible,
but not infallibly certain, ’tis unavoidable, that the infinitely
greater possible good should regularly and constantly determine
the will in all the successive actions it directs; and then we should
keep constantly and steadily in our course towards Heaven,
without ever standing still, or directing our actions to any other
end: The eternal condition of a future state infinitely out-weighing
the Expectation of Riches, or Honour, or any other worldly
pleasure, which we can propose to our selves, though we should
grant these the more probable to be attain’d: For nothing future is
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yet in possession, and so the expectation even of these may deceive
us. If it were so, that the greater good in view determines the will,
so great a good once propos’d could not but seize the will, and hold
it fast to the pursuit of this infinitely greatest good, without ever
letting it go again: For the will having a power over, and directing
the thoughts, as well as other actions, would, if it were so, hold the
contemplation of the mind fixed to that good.
But any great uneasiness is never neglected.       This would be the state of the mind, and regular tendency of the
will in all its determinations, were it determin’d by that, which is
consider’d, and in view the greater good; but that it is not so is
visible in Experience. The infinitely greatest confessed good being
often neglected, to satisfy the successive uneasiness of our desires
pursuing trifles. But though the greatest allowed, even everlasting
unspeakable good, which has sometimes moved, and affected the
mind, does not stedfastly hold the will, yet we see any very great,
and prevailing uneasiness, having once laid hold on the will, lets it not
go; by which we may be convinced, what it is that determines the
will. Thus any vehement pain of the Body; the ungovernable
passion of a Man violently in love; or the impatient desire of
revenge, keeps the will steady and intent; and the will thus deter-
mined never lets the Understanding lay by the object, but all the
thoughts of the Mind, and powers of the Body are uninterruptedly
employ’d that way, by the determinations of the will, influenced by
that topping uneasiness, as long as it lasts; whereby it seems to me
evident, that the will, or power of setting us upon one action in
preference to all other, is determin’d in us, by uneasiness: and
whether this be not so, I desire every one to observe in himself.
Locke Hum II, 21, §38, pp. 255-256