"[T]he Relation we stand in to God, will irradiate the Mind with the Light of Wisdom, and ennoble it with the Liberty and Dominion of Virtue."

— Fordyce, David (bap. 1711, d. 1751)

Place of Publication
1748, 1754
"[T]he Relation we stand in to God, will irradiate the Mind with the Light of Wisdom, and ennoble it with the Liberty and Dominion of Virtue."
Metaphor in Context
But as Piety is an essential Part of Virtue, so likewise it is a great Support and Enforcement to the Practice of it. To contemplate and admire a Being of such transcendent Dignity and Perfection as GOD, must naturally and necessarily open and enlarge the Mind, give a Freedom and Ampleness to its Powers, and a Grandeur and Elevation to its Aims. For, as an excellent Divine† observes, "the Greatness of an Object, and the Excellency of the ACT of any AGENT about a transcendent Object, doth mightily tend to the Enlargement and Improvement of his Faculties." Little Objects, mean Company, mean Cares, and mean Business cramp the Mind, contract its Views, and give it a creeping Air and Deportment. But when it soars above mortal Cares and mortal Pursuits, into the Regions of Divinity, and converses with the greatest and best of Beings, it spreads itself into a wider Compass, takes higher Flights in Reason and Goodness, and becomes God-like in its Air and Manners. Virtue is, if one may say so, both the Effect and Cause of Largeness of Mind. It requires that one think freely, and act nobly. Now what can conduce more to Freedom of Thought and Dignity of Action, than to conceive worthily of God, to reverence and adore his unrivalled Excellency, to imitate and transcribe that Excellency into our own Nature, to remember our Relation to him, and that we are the Image and Representatives of his Glory to the rest of the Creation? Such Feelings and Exercises must and will make us scorn all Actions that are base, unhandsome, or unworthy our State; and the Relation we stand in to God, will irradiate the Mind with the Light of Wisdom, and ennoble it with the Liberty and Dominion of Virtue.
(pp. 148-9)
Searching "mind" in Liberty Fund OLL
At least 14 entries in ESTC (1748, 1749, 1754, 1758, 1761, 1763, 1765, 1769, 1775, 1783, 1786, 1793). First available in Dodsley's Preceptor in 1748, published posthumously in 1754. The Elements also appeared as an article in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Thomas Kennedy notes in the introduction to his edition: "Few essays of eighteenth-century moral philosophy can be said to have circulated so widely."

See The Elements of Moral Philosophy. In Three Books. 1. Of Man, and His Connexions. Of Duty or Moral Obligation. - Various Hypotheses Final Causes of Our Moral Faculties of Perception and Affection. 2. The Principal Distinction of Duty or Virtue. Man's Duties to Himself. - To Society. - To God. 3. Of Practical Ethics, or the Culture of the Mind. Motives to Virtue from Personal Happiness. - From the Being and Providence of God. - From the Immortality of the Soul. The Result, or Conclusion. By the Late Rev. Mr. David Fordyce. Professor of Moral Philosophy, and Author of the Art of Preaching, Inscribed to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. (London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley in Pallmall, 1754). <Link to ESTC>

See also The Preceptor: Containing a General Course of Education. Wherein the First Principles of Polite Learning Are Laid Down in a Way Most Suitable for Trying the Genius, and Advancing the Instruction of Youth. In Twelve Parts. Viz. I. On Reading, Speaking, and Writing Letters. II. On Geometry. III. On Geography and Astronomy. IV. On Chronology and History. V. On Rhetoric and Poetry. VI. On Drawing. VII. On Logic. VIII. On Natural History. IX. On Ethics, or Morality. X. On Trade and Commerce. XI. On Laws and Government. XII. On Human Life and Manners. Illustrated With Maps and Useful Cuts. 2 vols. (London: Printed for R. Dodsley, at Tully's-Head in Pall-Mall, 1748). <Link to ESTC> [The Preceptor was reprinted 1748, 1749, 1754, 1758, 1761-65, 1763, 1765, 1769, 1775, 1783, 1786, and 1793.]

Reading and searching The Elements of Moral Philosophy, in Three Books with A Brief Account of the Nature, Progress and Origin of Philosophy, ed. Thomas Kennedy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). [The Liberty Fund text is based on the 1754 edition.] <Link to OLL>
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.