that declaration of his essential nature, as a pure spiritual intelligence, (who was therein made in the image of God,) which defined him to be “very good
Nor can we think of this good as a quality or attribute of humanity, without being conscious, if we reflect closely, of associating in our minds the idea that the being who personates it is for that reason free;
that for that reason he is rectus, straight
, conformed to the good as the rule, that is, right;
and that for the same reason he is under obligation — it is his duty
to act according to that rule.
Every instance of moral action that is good implies these ideas: it is free
, it is rectus, straight
, and it is done in accordance with duty
. In the same sense in which life, sense
, and motion
enter into and so form the comprehension of the creature, animal; so liberty, rectitude
, and duty
form the comprehension of moral good, so far as it applies to humanity.
These are distinct ideas.
Still they coincide, and either implies the others as correlatives.
Hence we say of a free
action that it is good
, implying that it is at the same time rectus
, and done in accordance with duty; and of an action in conformity to a proper rule, that it is good
, implying at the same time that it is free
, and done in accordance with duty;
and also of an action in compliance with duty
, that it is good
, implying that it is also free
, and straight, i. e.,