20 Pages

Lecture II

The Divine laws, or the laws of God, are laws set by God to his human creatures. As distinguished from sanctions annexed to human laws, the sanctions annexed to the Divine laws may be called religious sanctions. According to one of them, there are human actions which all mankind approve, human actions which all men disapprove; and the universal sentiments arise at the thought of those actions, spontaneously, instantly, and inevitably. God designs the happiness of all his sentient creatures. Some human actions forward that benevolent purpose, or their tendencies are beneficent or useful. Speaking generally, human conduct, including the human conduct which is subject to the Divine commands, is inevitably guided by rules, or by principles or maxims. Consequently, the application of the principle of utility to particular or individual cases would neither be attended by the errors, nor followed by the mischiefs, which the new objection in question supposes.