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the supposition of its having been the effusion of an enthusiastic mind.

The division under which the subject may be most conveniently treated, is that of the things taught, and the manner of teaching.

Under the first head, I should willingly, if the limits and nature of my work admitted of it, transcribe into this chapter the whole of what has been said upon the morality of the Gospel by the author of The Internal Evidence of Christianity ; because it perfectly agrees with my own opinion, and because it is impossible to say the same things so well. This acute observer of human nature, and, as I believe, sincere convert to Christianity, appears to me to have made out satisfactorily the two following positions, viz.

I. That the Gospel omits some qualities which have usually engaged the praises and admiration of mankind, but which, in reality, and in their general effects, have been prejudicial to human happiness.

II. That the Gospel has brought forward some virtues, which possess the highest intrinsic value, but which have commonly been overlooked and contemned.

The first of these propositions he exemplifies in the instances of friendship, patriotism, active courage; in the sense in which these qualities are usually understood, and in the conduct which they often produce.

The second, in the instances of passive courage or endurance of sufferings, patience under affronts and injuries, humility, irresistance, placability.

The truth is, there are two opposite descriptions of character, under which mankind may generally be classed. The one possesses vigour, firmness, resolution ; is daring and active, quick in its sensibilities, jealous of its fame,

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eager in its attachments, inflexible in its purpose, violent in its resentments.

The other, meek, yielding, complying, forgiving; not prompt to act, but willing to suffer; silent and gentle under rudeness and insult, suing for reconciliation where others would demand satisfaction, giving way to the pushes of impudence, conceding and indulgent to the prejudices, the wrong-headedness, the intractability of those with whom it has to deal.

The former of these characters is, and ever hath been, the favourite of the world. It is the character of great men. There is a dignity in it which universally commands respect.

The latter is poor-spirited, tame, and abject. Yet so it bath happened, that, with the Founder of Christianity, this latter is the subject of his commendation, his precepts, his example; and that the former is so in no part of its composition. This, and nothing else, is the character designed in the following remarkable passages : “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also: and whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain : love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use

, you and persecute you.” This certainly is not commonplace morality. It is very original. It shows, at least, (and it is for this purpose we produce it,) that no two things can be more different than the Heroic and the Christian characters.

Now the author, to whom I refer, has not only marked this difference more strongly than any preceding writer, but has proved, in contradiction to first


impressions, to popular opinion, to the encomiums of orators and poets, and even to the suffrages of historians and moralists, that the latter character possesses the most of true worth, both as being most difficult either to be acquired or sustained, and as contributing most to the happiness and tranquillity of social life. The state of his argument is as follows:

I. If this disposition were universal, the case is clear ; the world would be a society of friends. Whereas, if the other disposition were universal, it would produce a scene of universal contention. The world could not hold a generation of such men.

II. If, what is the fact, the disposition be partial; if a few be actuated by it, amongst a multitude who are not; in whatever degree it does prevail, in the same proportion it prevents, allays, and terminates quarrels, the great disturbers of human happiness, and the great sources of human misery, so far as man's happiness and misery depend upon man.

Without this disposition, enmities must not only be frequent, but, once begun, must be eternal : for each retaliation being a fresh injury, and, consequently, requiring a fresh satisfaction, no period can be assigned to the reciprocation of affronts, and to the progress of hatred, but that which closes the lives, or at least the intercourse, of the parties.

I would only add to these observations, that although the former of the two characters above described


be occasionally useful ; although, perhaps, a great general, or a great statesman, may be formed by it, and these may be instruments of important benefits to mankind, yet is this nothing more than what is true of many qualities, which are acknowledged to be vicious. Envy is a quality of this sort; I know not a stronger stimulus to exertion; many a scholar, many an artist, many a soldier, has been produced by it; nevertheless, , since in its general effects it is noxious, it is properly condemned, certainly is not praised, by sober moralists.

It was a portion of the same character as that we are defending, or rather of his love of the same character, which our Saviour displayed in his repeated correction of the ambition of his disciples; his frequent admonitions, that greatness with them was to consist in humility; his censure of that love of distinction, and greediness of superiority, which the chief persons amongst his countrymen were wont on all occasions, great and little, to betray. “They (the Scribes and Pharisees) love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren: and call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven; neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ ; but he that is greatest among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever shall exalt himself

, shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself, shall be exalted."* I make no further remark upon these passages, (because they are, in truth, only a repetition of the doctrine, different expressions of the principle, which we have already stated,) except that some of the passages, especially our Lord's advice to the guests at an entertainment,t seem to extend the rule to what we call manners ; which was both regular in point of consistency, and not so much beneath the dignity of our


* Matt. xxiii. 6. See also Mark xii. 39. Luke xx. 46; xiv. 7. + Luke xiv. 7.

Lord's mission as may at first sight be supposed, for bad manners are bad morals.

It is sufficiently apparent, that the precepts we have cited, or rather the disposition which these precepts inculcate, relate to personal conduct from personal motives; to cases in which men act from impulse, for themselves, and from themselves. When it comes to be considered what is necessary to be done for the sake of the public, and out of a regard to the general welfare, (which consideration, for the most part, ought exclusively to govern the duties of men in public stations,) it comes to a case to which the rules do not belong. This distinction is plain; and if it were less so, the consequence would not be much felt: for it is very seldom that, in the intercourse of private life, men act with public views. The personal motives, from which they do act, the rule regulates.

The preference of the patient to the heroic character, which we have here noticed, and which the reader will find explained at large in the work to which we have referred him, is a peculiarity in the Christian institution, which I propose as an argument of wisdom very much beyond the situation and natural character of the

person who delivered it.

II. A second argument, drawn from the morality of the New Testament, is the stress which is laid by our Saviour upon the regulation of the thoughts. And I place this consideration next to the other, because they are connected. The other related to the malicious passions; this to the voluptuous. Together, they comprehend the whole character.

Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,” etc.-" These are the things which defile a man."

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* Matt. xv. 19, 20.

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