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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 may be occasionally useful, although, perhaps, a great general, or a great statesman, may be formed, 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. Neverthea less, 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 supe. riority, which the chief persons amongst his countrymen were wont, on all occasions, great and little, to betray. 6. 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

1; your father upon the earth,

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

for one is your


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vard, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all ncleanness; even so ye also outwardly appear righteous nto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniqui

Matt. xxiii. 25, 27. And more particularly that strong expression, (Matt. v. 28.) - Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart.”

There can be no doubt with any reflecting mind, but that the propensities of our nature must be subjected to regulation; but the question is, where the check ought to be placed, upon the thought, or only upon action. In this question our Saviour, in the texts here quoted, bas pronounced a decisive judgment. He makes the control of thought essential. Internal purity with him is every thing. Now I contend that this is the only discipline which can succeed; in other words, that a moral system, which prohibits actions, but leaves the thoughts at liberty, will be ineffectual, and is therefore unwise. I know not how to go about the proof of a point, which depends upon experience and upon a knowledge of the human constitution, better than by citing the judgment of persons, who appear to have given great attention to the subject, and to be well qualified to form a true opinion about it. Boerhaave, speaking of this very declaration of our Saviour, “ whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart," and understand. ing it, as we do, to contain an injunction to lay the check upon the thoughts, was wont to say, that our Saviour knew mankind better than Socrates." Haller, who has recorded this saying of Boerhaave's, adds to it the fol. lowing remark of his own:* “It did not escape the observation of our Saviour, that the rejection of any evil thoughts was the best defence against vice ; for, when a debauched person fills bis imagination with impure pic. tures, the licentious ideas which he recalls, fail pot to elim. ulate his desires with a degree of violence wbich he can. not resist. This will be followed by gratification, unless some external obstacle should preveot him from the commission of a sin, which he had internally resolved on." 56 Every moment of time (says our author) that is spent ia meditations upon sin, increases the power of the dangerous object which has possessed our imagination." I suppose these reflections will be generally assented to. II. Thirdly, had a teacher of morality been a

*Letters to his daughter.

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cerning a general principle of conduct, and for a short rule of life, and had he instructed the person who consulted him, “ constantly to refer his actions to what he believed to be the will of his Creator, and constantly to have in view, not his own interest and gratification alone, but the happiness and comfort of those about bim,” he would have been thought, I doubt not, in any age of the world, and in any, even the most improved state of morals, to have delivered a judicious answer; because, by the first direction, he suggested the only motive which acts steadily and uniformly, in sight and out of sight, in familiar occurrences and under pressing temptations; and, in the second, he corrected, what, of all tendencies in the human character, stands most in need of correction, selfishness, a contempt of other men's conveniency and satisfaction. In estimating the value of a moral rule, we are to have regard, not only to the particular duty, but the general spirit; not only to what it directs us to do, but to the character which a compliance with its direction is likely to form in us.

So, in the present instance, the rule here recited will never fail to make him who obeys it considerate, not only of the rights, but of the feelings of other men, bodily and mental, in great matters and in small, of the ease, the accommodation, the self-complacency of all with whom he has any concern, especially of all who are in his power, or de. pendent upon his will.

Now what, in the most applauded philosopher of the most enlightened age of the world, would have been deemed worthy of his wisdom, and of his character, to say, Saviour hath said, and upon just such an occasion as that which we have feigned.

6 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the first and great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Mat. xxii. 35–40.

The second precept occurs in St. Matthew, on another occasion similar to this, (xix. 16.) and both of them upon a third similar occasion in Luké, (X. 27.) In these two latter instances, the question proposed was, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

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Upon all these occasions, I consider the words of our Saviour as expressing precisely the same thing as what I have put into the mouth of the moral philosopher. Nor do I think that it detracts much from the merit of the answer, that these precepts are extant in the Mosaic code; for his laying his finger, if I may so say, upon these precepts; his drawing them out from the rest of that volu. minous institution; his stating of them, not simply amongst the number, but as the greatest and the sum of all the others; in a word, bis proposing of them to his hearers for their rule and principle, was our Saviour's own.

And what our Saviour had said upon the subject, appears to me to have fixed the sentiment amongst his followers.

St. Paul has it expressly, “if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;"* and again, " for all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

St. John, in like manner, “this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also.”I

St. Peter, not very differently, seeing that ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."S

And it is so well known, as to require no citations to verify it, that this love, or charity, or, in other words, regard to the welfare of others, runs in various forms through all the perceptive parts of the apostolic writings. It is the theme of all their exhortations, that with which their morality begins and ends, from which all their details and enumerations set out, and into which they return.

And that this temper, for some time at least, descended in its purity to succeeding Christians, is attested by one of the earliest and best of the remaining writings of the apostolical fathers, the epistle of the Roman Clement. The meekness of the Christian character reigns throughout the whole of that excellent piece. The occasion called for it. It was to compose the dissensions of the church of Corinth. And the venerable hearer of the apostles does not fall short, in the display of this principle, of the finest passages of their writings. He calls to the remembrance of the Corinthian church its former character, in which “ye were all of you (he tells them) humble minded, not boasting of any thing, desiring rather to be subject than to govern, to give

† Gal. v. 14. $ 1 John iv, 21. (1 Pet. i. 22. P

. Rom. xiii. 7:

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