Adam Smith's Simplified Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 6, Section 2, Chapter 3: Universal Benevolence

Chapter 3: Universal Benevolence

44 Our effective good offices can very seldom be extended beyond our own country.


45 No matter how generous this universal benevolence is, it cannot be the source of solid happiness to anyone who is not thoroughly convinced that all the universe's inhabitants are under the immediate care of that great, benevolent, and all-wise Being.


46 The wise and virtuous man is always willing to sacrifice his own private interest for the public interest of his own particular order or society.


47 This magnanimous resignation to the universe's great Director is not beyond the reach of human nature.

No conductor of an army can deserve more unlimited trust, ardent and zealous affection, than the great Conductor of the universe.


48 The idea of that divine Being is certainly by far the most sublime of all the objects of human contemplation.


49 However, the administration of the universe and the care of the universal happiness of all rational and sensible beings is the business of God and not of man.

Next: Section 3: Self-command