Accordingly his treatment of external rights and duties, though decidedly inferior in methodical clearness and precision, does not differ in principle from that of Paley or Bentham, except that he lays greater stress on the immediate conduciveness of actions to the happiness of individuals, and more often refers in a merely supplementary or restrictive way to their tendencies in respect of general happiness.
Paley displays little or no spirituality of feeling; but this is a matter in which one age is apt to misjudge another, and Paley was at least practically benevolent and conscientiously attentive to his parish duties.
A charge of wholesale plagiarism from this book was brought against Paley in the Athenaeum for 1848.
School; the latter method, with considerably more divergence of view and treatment, was employed independently and almost simultaneously by Paley and Bentham in both ethics and politics, and is at the present time widely maintained under the name of Utilitarianism.
But Paley appears never to have contemplated those cases to which the rule of expediency does not apply, in which a people, as well as an individual, must do justice, cost what it may.
Less the archdeacon knew nothing of the German Paley professor, and would have cared nothing for him how ever well he had known him.
But the task is so judiciously performed that it would probably be difficult to get a more effective statement of the external evidences of Christianity than Paley has here presented.
In his Natural Theology Paley has adapted with consummate skill the argument which Ray (1691) and Derham (1711) and Nieuwentyt 1 (1730) had already made familiar to Englishmen.
He puts far greater stress than his predecessors upon the sympathetic pleasures, and thus quite avoids that appearance of mean prudential selfishness that is such a depressing feature in Paley and Bentham.