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ELEMENTS 


or 


MORAL    PHILOSOPHY, 


AND  OF 


CHRISTIAN    ETHICS. 


BY 


DANIEL  DEWAR,  LLJ). 

MtNISTE/l    OF    TBE    TROM    CHOMCB    AND    F  A  R  i  9  B,  GLAB  OO  fT, 

AHD  LATX  PBOmiOB  OF  HOBAL  PHIMMOrHY  IV  THK   OKIVSBCXTY 
AMD   KI|IO*M  OOLLSai,  ABBBDHIT. 


IN  TWO  VOLUMES. 


:\v-v 


nV 


V 


Vol.  II. 


a  •  4 


»   »   .•     * 


LONDON: 
PRINTED  FOR  J.  DUNCAN,  PATERNOSTER-ROW ; 

BELL  h  BRADFUTS.  EDINBUROH;  AND  M.  OOLK,  GLASGOW. 


MDGGGZXVI. 


LONDON: 
PKINTBU  BY  WILLIAM  CLOWES, 
NottbuBbartaBd-MwI. 


•  •  * 


•  •  •  , 


•  •• 


••  •  • 

•  ■ 

•   •  • 


•  •  » 


•  • 


•  •  • 
•  •  •  • 


•  .  ••• 
',   , 

*       •     •  m 

*•  •  •.; 


CONTENTS  OP  VOL.  11. 


Book  III. 


ON  THE  GROUNDS  AND  PRINCIPLES  OF  MORAL 

OBLIGATION. 

PAOB 

Chaptbr  I. — The  lutimations  of  a  Supreme  Moral  Ooverament  to 

which  we  are  accountable        .  .  •  .1 

Chaptbr  II. — The  Moral  Government  of  God  discoverable  from  the 

Light  of  Nature  •  •  .  .4 

Chaptbr  III. — The  Moral  Government  of  God  is  bo  conducted  as  to 

lead  our  views  to  a  Future  State         .  .  .17 

Chaptbr  IV. — The  Distinctions  of  Right  and  Wrong,  Immufable 

and  Eternal  .96 

Chaptbr  V. — Of  the  Measure  or  Rule  of  Virtue  .    S4 

Chaptbr  VI. — The  Principle  of  Expediency  proved  to  be  False  and 
Untenable,  from  a  Consideration  of  the  Moral  Character  and 
Government  of  God     .  .37 

Chapter  VII. — ^The  Principle  of  Ezpediencj  proved  to  be  False» 

from  a  Consideration  of  the  Moral  Constitution  of  Man  .    48 

Chaptbr  VIII. — The  Principle  of  Expediency  proved  to  be  False, 
by  a  Consideration  of  the  Evils  of  which  its  Adoption  would 
neceftsarily  be  productive  .  .47 

Chapter  IX. — The  Principle  of  Expediency  proved  to  be  False, 

from  its  Opposition  to  Divine  Revelation        .  .  .61 

Chaptbr  X. — The  Principle  of  Expediency  not  countenanced  by 

the  Scripture  Doctrine  of  Reward       .  .  .  .55 

Chapter  XI. — The  Principle  of  Utility  proved  to  be  Untenable 
from  the  Incapability  of  Alan  to  discern  the  Consequences  of 
his  Actions      •  •  .   j60 

Chapter  XII.— On  the  different  Theories  of  Morals  .    63 


IV  C0t«TBNT8. 

PAOR 

Chapter  XIII. — Further  Intimations  of  the  ExiBtence  of  a  Supreme 
Moral  Government ;  and  the  natural  and  necessary  connexion 
between  Sin  and  Sufferings  .  .  .  .73 

Sbotion  I. — The  Terms  defined  .  .75 

Sbction  II. — Grounds  on  which  this  Connexion  is  founded       .    79 

Sbction  III. — ^Instances  in  which  this  Connexion  is  shewn      .    88 

Boor  IV. 
ON  THE  DUTIES  WE  OWE  TO  GOD. 


ChaptbrI. — On  the  Duty,— of  usingf  means  to  know  God,— of 

Loving  Him,^-of  Worshipping^  Him» — of  obeying^  His  Will         97 

Chapter  II.— -On  the  Love  of  God  ....  106 

Chaptbr  IIL — On  Obedience  to  the  Will  of  God. — ^the  Law  of  God 

the  Rule  of  this  Obedience  .  .  .  .114 

Chapter  IV.— On  the  different  Forms  of  Obedience  to  the  Law  of 

God  .  .  .196 

Section  I. — Obedience  to  the  Commands  of  God         .  .  126 

Section  II. — Obedience  to  God  considered  as  a  principle  of 
belief  in  the  truths  which  he  reveals    ....  191 

Section  III.~-Obedience  to  God  considered  as  an  act  of  cor- 
dial submission  ......  196 

Chapter  V. — God  alone  to  be  acknowledged  and  worshipped  as  God  145 

Chaptbr  VI.— The  Idolatry  of  Mankind  .152 

Section  I.— The  History  of  Idolatry    .  .  .  .154 

Section  II. — llie  Nature  of  Idolatry  ....  \eO 

Section  III. — The  cruel  and  impure  Rites  of  which  the  Idola- 
trous System  of  Worship  consbted     ....  162 

Section  IV.— The  Influence  of  Legislators  and  Philosophers 
in  extending  this  idolatrous  and  immoral  System  .  165 

Section  V. — The  Inexcusableness  of  Mankind  in  becoming, 
and  in  remaining,  Idolaters      .....  172 

Chapter  VII. — Humility      ......  183 

Chapter  VIII. — Reverence  of  God  .  .  .  ,  192 

Chapter  IX. — On  the  Nature  and  Guilt  of  Impiety  .  201 


CONTBNTS.  V 

PAGB 
CoAPTBft  X.— On  Vow«  .  -  906 

Cbaptbr  XI.—The  Time  and  Manner  in  which  God  is  to  be  wor- 

shipped  .  .  .  .913 

ChaptbrXIL— The  Moral  Obligation  of  the  Sabbath       .  .217 

Chaptbr  XIII.— l*he  Change  of  the  Sabbath  from  the  laat  to  the 

first  Day  of  the  Week  .  .838 

Chaptbr  XIV.*-On  the  Manner  in  which  the  Sabbath  should  be 

observed  .  .  ......  848 

Chaptbr  XV. — ^The  Necessity  of  Piety  to  God  to  the  Existence  of 
true  Virtue  and  Morality,  proved  by  the  State  of  the  Heathen 
World.  •  .849 

Chaptbr  XVI.— Piety  to  God  an  essential  Principle  of  true  Virtue    S70 

Chaptbr  XVII. — What  is  included  in  acting  from  a  supreme  Regard 

to  the  Glory  of  God     ......  875 

Chaptbr  XVIII. — Reasons  on  which  the  Doctrine  of  the  foregoing 

Chapter  is  founded      .  .  .  .  .  889 

Chaptbr  XIX. — On  the  Question,  What  are  the  Means  by  which 

the  Duty  enjoined  may  be  practised  ?  ...  896 

Book  V. 
ON  THE  DUTIES  WHICH  MEN  OWE  TO  ONE  ANOTHER. 

Chaptbr  I. — Introductory  Remarks  ....  899 

Chaptbr  If. — ^The  Rights  of  Men  deduced  from  Reason  and  Reve- 
lation .......  301 

Chaptbr  III. — On  the  Love  of  our  Neighbour  .  805 

Chaptbr  IV. — On  the  Extent  to  which  we  are  required  to  love  our 

Fellow-creatures         ......  308 

Chaptbr  V. — On  the  Nature  and  Properties  of  the  Love  we  owe  our 

Neighbour       .  .  .311 

Chaptbr  VI. — On  the  Way  in  which  Benerolence  is  to  be  exercised, 

so  as  to  be  productive  of  the  greatest  Good  to  Mankind  .  881 

Chaptbr  VI I. — Humanity  .....  887 

Chaptbr  VIII. — Gratitude  .....  SSty 

Chaptbr  IX.— Friendship  .....  383 

Chaptbr  X. — On  Patriotism  .....  848 


VI  CONTENTS. 

PAGK 

CHAPTsa  XL— On  Dilig^ence  in  our  proper  Galltngf  .  354 

Ghaptbr  Xli. — Charity  ;  or.  Christian  Bounty  .  .  357 

CuApTBR  XIII. — Charity ;  or.  Professional  Assistance  .  368 

Chaptbr  XIV.— On  the  Duties  of  Parents  and  Children  .  37D 

Chapter  XV. — On  Masters  and  Servants    ....  573 

Chapter  XVI. — The  Duty  of  refraining^  from  injuring  the  Persons 

or  Lives  of  others        ......  377 

Chapter  XVII. — The  Duty  of  avoiding^  whatever  has  a  direct  tend- 
ency to  abridge  human  life — Drunkenness  .  383 

Chapter  XVIII.— Property  .....  387 

Chapter  XIX. — ^In  what  does  the  Right  of  Property  consist  .  398 

Chapter  XX. — Indirect  Modes  in  which  the  Right  of  Property  is 

violated :  Idleness,  and  Prodigality     ....  401 

Chapter  XXI. — Direct  Methods  of  injuring  the  Property  of  others  407 

Chapter  XXII. — Gambling  .....  414 

Chapter  XXIII.— On  Tnith  and  Veracity  .480 

Chapter  XXIV. — On  the  Nature  and  Obligation  of  a  Promise      .  483 

Chapter  XXV. — On  the  Duties  of  Contract  which  relate  to  Com- 
mercial Barter  ......  489 

Chapter  XXVI. — Contract  relating  to  personal  Service  .  431 

Chapter  XXVII.— On  Falsehood  .  .434 


Chapter  XXVIIL— The  Evil  of  Falsehood 
Chapter  XXIX. — On  Slander 
Chapter  XXX. — Oaths       .... 
Chapter  XXXI. — Subscription  to  Articles  of  Religion 


.  449 

444 

.  458 

.  456 


Book  VI. 

ON  THE  DUTIES  WHICH  RESPECT  OURSELVES. 

Chapter  I. — Introductory  Remarks  ....  483 

Chapter  II.  —On  Moderation.         .....  464 

Chapter  III. — On  Contentment      .....  47^4 

Chapter  IV.— On  Worldly  Anxiety  .  •  .  .  488 


CONTENTS.  VU 

PAGE 

Chaptbr  v.— On  the  inordinate  Desire  of  Worldly  Enjoyment,  or 

Covetousness  ......  486 

Chaptbr  VI. — On  the  Love  of  Power  ;  or,  the  Principle  of  Ambition  498 

Chapter  VIL — Fortitude  .  .  ,  .  .  497 

Chaptbr  VIII. — On  the  Formation  of  Good  Habits  .  409 

Chaptbr  IX. — Prudence,  or  a  Suitable  Regard  to  Self-Happiness    500 

Chapter  X.T-The  Inquiry  concerning  Happiness,  continued  .  507 

Chapter  XL — ^Where  Happiness  is  twt  to  be  found  .  .510 

Chapter  XII. — In  what  the  true  Happiness  of  Man  consists  .  587 

Chapter  XIII. — The  Divine  Procedure  towards  Man  shews  in  what 

his  Happiness  consists  .....  585 

Book  VII. 

OF  RELATIVE  DUTIES  WHICH  RESULT  FROM  THE 
CONSTITUTION  OF  THE  SEXES. 

Chapter  L~On  the  Origin  of  Marriage  .589 

Chapter  II.— The  Nature  of  this  Institution,  and  the  Obligations 

implied  in  it     .......  541 

Chapter  III.— -The  Designs  of  this  Institution  .544 

Chapter  IV. — ^Fornication  .....  549 


Chapter  V. — Seduction 
Chapter  VL — Adultery 
Chapter  VII. — Polygamy 
Chapter  VIII.«— Divorce 


.  554 
.  556 
.  558 
.  561 


Book  VIH.  ^ 

y 

ON  THE  DUTIES  WHICH  ARISE  OUT  OF  THE  CONSTI- 
TUTION OF  CIVIL  SOCIETY. 

Chapter  I. — The  Origin  of  Civil  Government  .  559 

Chapter  II. — On  the  Support  whicli  Christianity  renders  to  Civil 

GoTemment     .......  571 

Chapter  III. — On  the  Duty  of  Rulers         ....  579 
Chapter  IV. — The  Duty  of  Subjects  •  .  .  ,  584 


THE  ELEMENTS 


OF 


MORAL  PHILOSOPHY, 


BOOK  III. 

on  THE  GROUNDS  AND  PRINCIPLBS  OF  MORAL 

OBLIGATION. 


Chapter  I. 

THE  INTIMATIONS  OF  A  SUPREME  MORAL  GOVERNMENT  TO 

WHICH  WE  ARE  ACCOUNTABLE. 

The  being  and  perfections  of  God  having  been 
proved,  it  follows,  that  he  is  the  proprietor  of  all 
things,  and  that  he  is  the  supreme  moral  governor 
of  all.    What  other  end  could  he  have  in  the  crea- 
tion of  all  things  than  the  manifestation  of  his  own 
perfections,  and  the  advancement  of  his  own  glory  ? 
That  this  end  might  be  attained,  he  has  placed 
on  our  world  a  being  endowed   with  a  capacity 
of  discovering   through  the  works  of  nature  their 
author  and  their  end,  and  of  giving  him  the  worship 
and  adoration  to  which  he  is  entitled ;  and  while  he 
has  given  him  dominion  over  the  inferior  animals,  he 
has  fixed  the  order  of  all  things  in  subserviency  to  his 
happiness. 

That  God  governs  the  world  is  as  dear  as  that  he 
is  its  author,  and  is  proved  by  the  same  means. 

Vol..  II.  B 


JE  On  the  Grounds  and  Principles 

Throughout  thq  kingdoms  of  animate  and  inanimate 
nature^  we  observe  an  order  so  fixed  and  uniform,  that 
we  confidently  recion  on  its  permanency.     According 
to  a  few  general  laws,  or  principles,  which  the  Lord 
and  Ruler  of  all  has  established,  are  the  varieties 
of  the  seasons  and  the  glories  of  nature  regularly 
produced.    The  sun  by  its  light  and  heat  is  at  once 
the  means  by  which  we  discern  objects,  and  the  cause 
of  moisture  and  of  vegetation.    Gravitation  by  its  uni- 
form action  preserves  the  planets  in  their  orbits,  gives 
adhesion  to  the  parts  of  the  globe,  and  stability  to  the 
artificial  structures  which  man  erects  on  its  surface ;  it 
is  the  cause  of  the  alternate  elevation  and  depression 
of  the  sea  in  the  phenomena  of  tides  ;  it  drains  the 
earth  of  its  superfluous  moisture  by  rivers ;  and  com- 
municates to  our  atmosphere  that  equal  pressure 
which  is  necessary  generally  to  our  bodies,  and  more 
especially  to  inspiration  in  breathing.    We  see  also 
among  the  tribes  of  the  inferior  animals  an  order 
established^  not  less  constant,  chiefly  occasioned  by 
those  instinctive  properties  and  tendencies  which  God 
has  implanted  in  their  nature,  and  to  which  they 
yield  unvarying  subjection.    These,  and  all  the  other 
phenomena  of  the  universe,  are  produced  by  the 
Creator  and  Preserver  of  all  things,  and  shew  him  to 
be  the  wise  and  supreme  ruler  and  governor  of  the 
works  which  he  has  formed.    To  the  seas  he  has 
set  a  bound  that  they  may  not  pass  over,  that  they 
tum  not  again  to  cover  the  earth.    ''  He  sendeth  the 
springs  into  the  valleys  which  run  among  the  hills : 
they  give  drink  to  every  beast  of  the  field.     He 
causeth  the  grass- to  grow  for  the  cattle,  and  herb  for 


of  Uorai  ObUgaHon.  8 

the  service  of  tnan ;  that  he  may  bring  forth  food  out 
of  the  earth — He  appointed  the  moon  for  seasons ;  the 
sun  knoweth  his  going  down.  Thou  makest  dark- 
nessy  and  it  is  night ;  wherein  all  the  beasts  of  the 
forest  do  creep  forth.  The  young  lions  roar  after 
their  prey,  and  seek  their  meat  from  God.  The  sun 
arisethy  they  gather  themselves  together,  and  lay  them 
down  in  their  dens.  Man  goeth  forth  unto  his  work 
and  to  his  labour  until  the  evening.  O  Lord,  how 
manifold  are  thy  works !  in  wisdom  hast  thou  made 
them  all :  the  earth  is  full  of  thy  riches.  So  is  this 
great  and  wide  sea,  wherein  are  things  creeping 
innumerable,  both  small  and  great  beasts.  These 
wait  all  upon  thee ;  that  thou  mayest  give  them  their 
meat  in  due  season.  That  thou  givest  them  they 
gather :  thou  openest  thine  hand,  they  are  filled  with 
good.  Thou  hidest  thy  face,  they  are  troubled ;  thou 
takest  away  their  breath,  they  die,  and  return  to 
tbek  dust.  Thou  aendest  fordi  thy  spirit,  they  are 
created :  and  thou  renewest  the  fece  of  the  earth. 
The  gbry  of  the  Lord  shall  endure  for  ever :  the  Lord 
ahail  rejoice  in  his  works." 

The  government  of  Qod  over  tlie  works  he  has 
made  is  adapted  to  their  nature,  properties,  and  de- 
signs. He  is,  therefore,  the  Supreme  Moral  Governor 
of  man,  whose  authority  he  is  bound  to  obey,  and  to 
whom*  he  is  accountable..  And  as  God  has  not  left 
himsdf,  in  any  department  of  his  works,  without  a 
witness  in  regard  to  his  being  and  perfections,  so 
neither  has  he  with  respect  to  his  moral  government ; 

but  has  given  intimations  of  it  sufficiently  numerous 

B  d 


4  On  the  Grounds  and  Principles 

and  powerful  to  leave  those  without  excuse  who 
comply  not  with  its  requirements.  It  will,  therefore^ 
be  my  endeavour  to  prove,  in  the  first  place,  that  the 
existence  of  the  moral  government  of  God  in  regard  to 
his  intelligent  creatures  is  clearly  discoverable  from 
the  light  of  nature ;  and  in  the  second  place,  that  this 
government  is  conducted  in  such  a  way  in  the  present 
life,  as  unavoidably  to  lead  our  views  to  the  certainty 
of  a  future. 


THE  MORAL  GOVERNMENT  OF  GOD  DISCOVERABLE  FROM 

THE  LIGHT  OF  NATURE. 

The  moral  government  of  God,  the  supreme  King  and 
Ruler  of  all,  is  clearly  discoverable  from  the  light  of 
nature.  When  I  speak  of  his  moral  government,  it  is 
scarcely  necessary  to  remark,  that  I  mean  that  go* 
Vemment  which  is  suited  to  creatures  possessed  dT 
intelligence  and  understanding,  liberty  of  dioice  and 
accountableness, — attributes  with  which  man  is  en^ 
dowed.  Being  endowed  with  these  valuable  qualities, 
by  which  he  is  constituted  head  of  the  visible  crea- 
tion, he  is  capable  of  obedience,  and,  therefore,  bound 
to  obey  the  divine  will,  wherever  discovered,  as  the 
expression  of  immutable  rectitude,  as  the  law  of  the 
universe,  and  as  the  spring  of  life,  and  order,  and 
happiness.  His  obligations  to  render  this  obedience^ 
^s  they  are  undoubted,  so  are  they  constantly  aocu* 


of  Moral  Obligation.  5 

mulatiDg,  ftcxn  the  continuance  of  his  being,  and  in 
the  possession  of  his  exalted  faculties,  from  the  varied 
and  boundless  kindness  of  God,  and  from  the  nume- 
rous motives  to  virtuous  conduct  which  his  present 
dscumstances,  as  well  as  his  future  prospects,  pre- 
sent This  holds  true  of  man,  even  when  enjoying 
nothing  more  than  the  light  of  nature.  For  though 
his  obligations  are  in  proportion  to  his  capacity,  to 
the  means  given  him  for  knowing  the  will  of  Ood, 
and  the  aids  he  possesses  in  its  performance ;  and, 
consequently,  are  greatly  increased  by  the  light  of 
the  gospel ;  yet,  this  light  does  not  diminish  or  im- 
pair the  obligations  which  previously  and  neces- 
sarily exist. 

It  is  clear,  from  more  considerations  than  I  can  at 
present  enlarge  upon,  that  mankind,  without  reve- 
lation, have  some  notions  of  the  authority,  nature, 
and  design  of  Gk)d*s  moral  government.  From  the 
constitution  of  their  own  mind  are  these  forced  on  their 
attention,  as  often  as  they  r^ect  on  the  perfection 
<^  God,  and  especially  cm  his  wisdom,  power,  free- 
agency  and  goodness.  The  admission  of  each  of 
these  attributes  as  belonging  to  him  follows  from 
the  admission  of  his  existence. 

Possessing,  as  the  Creator  of  all^  infinite  intelli- 
gence, he  must  be  unerring^  in  wisdom.  He  who  is 
•everywhere  present,  and  whose  intelligence  is  every- 
where co-existing  with  his  presence ;  whose  habitation 
is  eternity,  and  to  whom  all  the  possible  occurrences 
of  an  endless  duration  are  intimately  known ;  who 
pervades  and  surrounds  the  infinitude  of  space,  and 
has  in  his  view  all  beings,  events,  and  contingencies. 


6  On  the  Grounda  (md  Principles 

must  surely  be  possessed  of  ivisdom  and  understand* 
ing  to  a  degree  incomprehensible  by  us.  With  these 
perfections  he  is  not  only  acquainted  with  all  possible 
substances,  togetl^er  with  their  properties  and  powers, 
but  with  all  their  possible  relations,  and  the  effects 
which  in  these  relations  they  are  capable  of  producing: 
knowing,  therefore,  in  all  cases  what  is  best  to  be  dona, 
and  the  best  time  for  the  performance  of  all  things,  the 
creation  and  preservation  of  the  world  can  only  be 
considered  as  the  effects  of  supreme  and  unerring 
wisdom.  These  are  the  grounds  on  which  it  is  obvir 
ous  that  he  who  has  given  being  to  the  universe,  and 
who  conducts  it  to  that  consummation  which  he  alone 
comprehends,  possesses  wisdom,  which  in  point  oi 
extent  is  &r  beyond  the  limits  of  our  understandings 
and  which  in  itself  must  be  truly  infinite. 

His  power  is  also  unlimited.  The  omnipotence 
that  can  call  an  insect  from  nothing  into  life,  is  really 
as  incomprehensible  by  us  as  that  which  can  create 
and  suspend  in  space  a  thousand  systems  of  revolving 
worlds.  The  effect  of  the  one  exertion,  indeed,  is 
more  astonishing  and  magnificent ;  but  the  other  is 
not  less  illustrative  of  infinite  power.  The  will  c^ 
the  self-existent  Creator  is  power.  His  will,  and  bis 
win  alone,  forms  the  reasm  why  any  other  bdng 
besides  himself  exists  in  infinite  spaoe,  and  It  is  tb^ 
active  ^ergy  which  formed  and  sustains  all  things* 
He,  therefore,  is  omnipotent,  as  he  is  the  source  of  ^ 
the  ppwer  that  anywhere  exists.  There  can  be  no 
virtue  or  influence  in  any  cause  or  ageiit  but  what 
depends  oq,  and  has  proceeded  from  him»  the  JSupceaup 
Agent,  and  the  first  cause.    His  pleasure  ts^overejga 


of  Mord  ObUgatiatu  y 

and  irresistible :  for  he  doth  aocoxding  to  his  will,  ia 
the  army  of  heaven,  and  among  the  inhabitants  of  the 
earth ;  and  none  can  stay  his  hand,  or  say  unto  him* 
What  doest  thou  ?  He  commandeth  the  sun,  and  it 
riseth  not ;  and  seal^  up  the  stars :  he  alone  spread* 
eth  out  the  heavens,  and  treadeth  upon  the  waters 
of  the  sea.  He  doth  great  things  past  finding  out« 
yea,  and  marvellous  things  without  number.  Hell  is 
naked  before  him,  and  destruction  hath  no  covering. 
He  strctcheth  out  the  north  over  the  empty  plaoe» 
and  hangeth  the  earth  upon  nothing.  Lo,  these  are 
part  of  his  ways,  but  bow  little  a  portion  is  heard 
of  him !  But  the  thunder  of  his  power  who  can  un* 
derstand? 

The  Almighty  is  also  possessed  of  the  most  perfect 
liberty  of  action ;  that  is,  he  is  a  free  agent.     I  shall 
make  no  other  observation  in  proof  of  this  than  this 
single  remark,  that  the  existence  of  the  most  perfect 
liberty  of  action  is  essentia]  to  the  personality  (^  the 
Deity.    His  goodness,  therefore,  in  its  exercise  and 
communication,  is  ihe  goodness  of  a  being  infinitdy 
wise,   powerful,  free,   and  holy,  and   imparted  in 
accordance  with  the  laws  and  designs  ot  his  moral 
government.      We  are  thus    unavoidably  led  to  a 
perception  and  acknowledgment  of  his  moral  as  well 
as  lus  natural  perfections,  and  oxisequently  to  believe^ 
that  he  conducts  the  government  of  his  inteUigeot 
crratures  with  a  reference  to  their  moral  as  well  as  to 
their  physical  good.    His  love  to  moral  purity  and 
loveliness,  must,  from  the  boundless  excellency  of  his 
natuie,  and  from  his  intuitively  beholding  what  is 
rigfaty  be  infinite ;  and  therefore  we  are  warranted  in 


8  On  the  Grounds  and  Principles 


the  ooiKdusion,  that  He  who  rules  all  things  wisely 
and  wdl,  has  subjected  man  to  that  nx>ral  authority 
and  government  which  are  adapted  to  his  nature. 
This  is  necessary  to  secure  his  greatest  and  ultimate 
good ;  and  it  is  impossible  that  the  Deity »  pure,  axid 
powerfiil,  and  free,  who  views  with  the  i^probation 
or  disapprobation  of  a  righteous  Qovemor  and  Judge 
the  conduct  of  his  rational  o£bpring,  could  have  been 
restrained  by  any  internal  cause  or  external  circum- 
stance, from  appointing  it. 

This  conclusion  is  strengthened,  when  we  consider 
the  moral  agency,  the  capacities,  and  the  elevated 
rank  of  man  in  the  scale  of  being :  that  is,  a  free 
agent,  or  accountable  creature,  who  is  endowed  with 
intelligence  and  understanding,  with  a  sense  of  the 
desert  of  moral  good  and  evil,  of  approbation  and 
disapprobation,  reward  and  punishment,  with  a  liberty 
of  choice,  and  a  power  of  acting  according  to  that 
choice ;  and  who  wants  not  the  means  necessary  for 
the  practice  of  virtue,  and  for  abstaining  from  vice. 
Such  a  being  is  man ;  he  is  endowed  with  the  capacity 
of  perceiving  certain  actions  as  right  or  as  wrong,  as 
beautiful  or  the  contrary ;  and  as  conferring  merit  or 
demerit  on  the  agent.    He  has  the  feeling  of  pain  in 
the  recollection  of  evil  which  he  has  done,  and  of 
pleasure  and  self-approbation,  of  the  good  which  he 
has  performed.    There  is  within  him  a  power  which 
forces  him  to  pass  judgment  upon  himself  and  upon 
his  actions ;  which  pronounces  some  actions  to  be  in 
themselves  just,  right,  good;  others  to  be  in  them- 
selves, evil,   wrong,  unjust;    which,  without  being 
consulted,  without  being  advised  with,  magistenally 


of  Moral  ObHgoHon.  -9 


exerts  itsdf ;  and  approves  or  oondemns  the  doer  of 
them  a(xx>rdingly ;  and  which,  if  not  foictbly  stopped, 
naturatty  and  always  of  course  goes  on  to  anticipate 
a  higher  and  more  effectual  sentence,  whidi  shall 
hereafter  second  and  affirm  its  own.  This  is  the 
power  by  which  man  is  a  law  to  hiinseUl  Hie 
mighty  qperation  of  whidi  mi^es  tyrants  tremble 
in  the  midst  of  their  guards,  which,  in  the  doom  it 
previously  pronounced  in  Belshazzar's  breast,  almost 
conveyed  to  him  the  meaning  of  the  hand-writing  on 
the  wall,  and  which  by  its  peaceful  and  approving 
Toioe  has  cheered  the  loneliness  of  a  prison  to  pa- 
triots and  martyrs. 

Thus,  man  has  a  perception  of  the  qualities  of 
actions,  as  morally  right  or  wrong  in  consequence, 
not  of  arbitrary  appointment,  but  of  eternal  dis- 
tinctions, which  are  antecedent  to  all  law,  and  to 
which  laws  of  every  kind  owe  their  force  and  obli- 
gation. His  perceptions  of  right  and  wrong  denote 
the  qualities  of  actions  as  they  really  and  necessarily 
are,  and  not  what  they  are  in  virtue  of  an  arbitrary 
decree,  or  power,  or  enactment.  Does  not  this  moral 
constitution  with  which  man  is  endowed,  and  which 
he  cannot  violate  without  the  infliction  of  pain  and 
misery  on  himself,  shew  how  well  he  is  made  ac- 
quainted with  his  obligations  to  obey  the  authority  of 
God,  the  supreme  moral  governor  and  judge?  There 
are  certain  elementary  and  fimdam^xtal  principles  in 
morals  so  dioroughly  engraven  on  the  heart,  that 
mankind  in  all  circumstances  and  ages  axe  familiar 
with  them,  and  take  their  truth  for  granted ;  as,  for 
^uunple,  that  there  are  some  things  in  human  coddoct 


10  On  the  €hromuU  and  PtiMtplei 

that  merit  q>pfobEtioQ  and  praifle,  others  that  deserre 
lAwoe  a&d  punishment ;  that  different  degi^eB  either 
ef  ApfiTDbatioa  or  of  blame  are  due  to  different  actions ; 
that  we  may  he  hi^^y  culpable  in  omitting  what  w^ 
ought  to  have  done*  as  well  as  in  doing  what  we  ought 
wt ;  that  we  ought  to  perform  our  duty  so  far  as  we 
Inow  it ;  and  should  use  the  best  means  in  our  power 
fi>r  ijoforming  ourselves  concerning  it. 

It  ha$(  been  allied  as  an  objection  to  the  moral 
•Qdowmeots  and  accountableness  of  man,  or  rather,  to 
the  evAtenee  of  an  original  moral  faculty,  that  a 
diversity  of  opinion  has  prevailed  in  different  ages 
and  nations  in  regard  to  the  morality  of  particular 
aotions^  If  that  which  is  the  object  of  moral  appro- 
bation in  one  age  or  country,  be  the  object  of  dis- 
ajyprobation  in  another,  have  we  any  good  ground 
for  thinking:  that  there  is  an  inherent  faculty  in  our 
nature  by.  which  we  judge  of  actions  as  right  or 
wrwgf  and  of  their  doers  as  praise  or  blame  worthy  ? 
Are  we  not  aware  that  among  some  nations  it  has 
been  held  lawful  for  a  parent  to  sell  his  children  for 
riaves,  and  in  their  infancy  to  abandon  them  to  wild 
iMviBts ;  that  it  has  been  lawful  to  punish  children 
even.capitaUy  for  the  crime  of  their  parent ;  that  the 
murdering  of  an  enemy  in  cold  blood  was  once  a 
common  practice ;  and  that  human  sacrifices,  impious 
no  less  than  immoral,  were  of  old  very  general  ?  But 
these  facts  do  not  disprove  the  reality  of  cooscieoce 
aanatenl  to  man;  they  only  shew  that  it  has  heea 
at  diifereat  times,  and  in  diffiarent  countries,  re? 
strained  in  its  emrcise,  and  perverted  in  its  judg- 
meats.  .  Its   operatica  is  somewhat  perveited   in 


ofMorai  ObUgaHan.  11 

eeitain  cases  by  education,  which  has  eo  great  an 
influence  on  the  fixmation  of  our  optnioiui  and  pioral 
habits.  Its  decisions  are  rendered  less  clear  an4 
deeided  also  by  a  long*continued  cesielance  to  its 
admonitions,  and  by  erroneous  speculative  opinions. 
Jfo  one  doubts  the  close  connexion  between  the 
notions  which  we  imbibe  concerning  our  duty  and  Ibe 
manner  of  our  perfbrming  it.  When  I  consider  the 
errors  which  in  almost  every  country  are  blended  with 
the  most  important  truth,  and  the  gross  ignorance  and 
superstition  in  which  the  majority  of  so  many  nations 
ar^  involved,  in  place  of  being  suqmsed  t|iat  there  are 
deviations  io  their  moral  sentiments,  I  am  struck  with 
the  nearness  of  th^  uniformity,  and  cannot  but  regard 
it  as  a  conclusive  proof  of  conscience  being  an  original 
and  inherent  pQwer  in  th^  mind  of  man.  This  is  the 
monitor  which  God  has  superadded  to  reason,  whidi 
while  it  shews  us  the  essential  distinction  between 
what  is  right  and  wrong  in  actions,  between  viitob 
and  yioe,  reminds  us  of  the  high  and  glorious  purposes 
for  which  our  nature  has  been  foraied. 

A  being  thus  constituted,  it  is  obvious,  must  fee^ 
himself  to  be  the  subject  of  God's  moral  govenmient 
Capable,  as  be  is,  of  knowing,  loving,  and  obeying 
the  Creates,  and  of  reverencing  hia  glorious  perfect 
tjons,  he  is  the  only  creature  in  this  world  who  can 
shew  his  gmtitude  for  the  divine  goodness,  and  give 
rdigions  worship  and  adoration.  The  possession  of 
such  powers  prove,  that  while  a.  leading  end  of  every 
thing  around  him  is  to  secure  the  conveni^ioe  and 
happiness  of  man,  the  great  design  of  his  bdng  is,  to 
glarifj  the  Qod  that  made  him,  by  conformiBg  himself 


12  On  the  Grounds  and  Principles 

to  his  will,  submitting  to  his  law,  and  acquiesciDg  in 
his  appointments.  CSan  He  who  has  conferred  these 
powers,  to  be  employed  for  this  end,  be  indifferent 
whether  this  willing  obedience  be  given  him  ?  Does 
not  the  existence  of  such  powers  and  capacities  in 
our  nature  create  obligations  which  our  own  hearts 
tell  us  cannot  be  violated  vrith  impunity,  and  for  the 
discharge  of  which,  our  reason  and  our  feelings  inform 
us^  that  we  are  accountable  to  the  supreme  moral 
Governor  and  Judge  ? 

This  conviction  is  confirmed  when  we  observe, 
even  in  the  present  life,  the  existence  and  operation  of 
the  divine  moral  government.  The  authoritative 
dedsicms  of  conscience  within,  in  regard  to  the  qua- 
lities  and  awards  of  actions  as  virtuous  or  vicious,  are 
ratified  by  the  established  order  of  providence.  We 
find  in  actual  experience  that  conformity  with  the  will 
of  Qod,  whether  that  is  made  known  by  the  voice  of 
conscience,  or  in  any  other  way,  is  attended  with 
tranquillity  of  mind:  while  the  violation  of  it  is 
followed  by  remorse  and  misery.  As  the  exercise  of 
pure  and  benevolent  affections  gives  pleasure  and 
exhilarates  the  mind,  the  indulgence  of  evil  passions 
wounds  and  depresses  it.  He  who  made  us  for  the 
exalted  purposes  of  his  own  glory,  has  r^idered  it 
impossible  for  us  to  entertain  any  wrathful  passion, 
any  selfish  affection,  or  malignant  feeling,  without 
su&ring  a  proportional  privation  of  happiness ;  and 
accordingly,  the  man  who  lives  in  malice  and  envy, 
who  repines  at  the  prosperity  of  others,  or  who 
wishes  them  evU,  injures  his  own  peace. 

This  connexion  between  virtue  and  happiness. 


of  Moral  Obligation.  18 

and  between  evil  aflfections,  or  eyil  actions  and  the 
retributive  awards  of  divine  justice,  is  seen  in  the  daily 
history  of  mankind,  and  we  have  the  most  ample 
attestations  of  its  reality  within  our  own  personal 
observation  and  experience.  The  tendency,  as  every 
one  knows,  of  integrity,  uprightness,  industry,  and 
honesty,  is  to  secure  respect  and  comfort ;  while  the 
natural  tendency  of  the  opposite  is,  to  lead  to  wretch^ 
edness  and  want.  Profligacy  is  foUowed  by  remorse^ 
and  disease  and  embarrassment;  and  intemperance 
has  in  its  train,  peevishness,  an  impaired  constitutioOi 
and  a  premature  death.  Idleness  and  negligence 
bring  after  them  disorder  in  our  affidrs,  and  conse* 
quent  poverty  and  disgrace.  Oppression,  though 
surrounded  by  power,  generally  produces  its  own 
overthrow,  and  ambition,  though  it  sweeps  all  re- 
sistance before  it,  cannot  long  subdue  the  elements 
that  work  its  destruction.  The  whole  established 
arrangements  of  providence  are,  in  no  incoo** 
fiiderable  degree,  retributive,  as  they  secure  to  dif* 
ferent  virtues  appropriate  rewards,  aiid  to  difierent 
vices  appropriate  punishments.  So  fixed  and  perma- 
nent is  this  order,  that  parents  take  it  for  granted 
while  they  attempt,  in  die  education  of  their  childra), 
to  implant  those  principles  and  maxims  in  their  minds^ 
whidi  will  lead  them  in  fiiture  life  to  the  exercise  of 
integrity,  and  prudence,  and  industry.  This  divine 
system  of  moral  government  under  which  we  are 
placed,  though  not  complete,  and  though  in  some 
cases  it  would  seem  to  make  no  distinction  between 
the  righteous  and  the  wicked,  is  fiir  more  perfect  even 
now  in  its  retributive  awards,  than  we  are  sometimes 


14  On  ty  Oraundi  and  PrinctpUs 


ready  to  believe  ;*— as  k  is  oQDducted  impartially,  and 
without  respect  of  persoD8»~as  it  punishes  tioe  and 
rewards  virtue  in  the  same  way,  whoever  may  be  the 
individuals  by  whom  they  are  practised,-^a8  it  visits 
the  negUgence,  imprudence,  or  indolence  of  the  pious 
and  upright  with  poverty  and  distress,  while  it  secures 
to  the  industry  and  activity  of  the  wicked  abundance,-—' 
and  as  it  follows  sin  with  chastisement,  even  when 
the  persons  by  whom  it  is  committed  give  ample 
evidence  otherwise  of  their  general  integrity  and  up- 
rightness. 

In  the  distribution  of  the  light  and  darkness,  the 
happiness  and  misery  of  human  life,  it  is  dearly  shewni 
that  man  is  now  the  subject  of  the  supreme  moral 
government,  and  that  Ood,  who  neither  is»  nor  can 
be,  indifferent  to  his  conduct,  holds  him  accountable. 
Hoi  the  Orgeat  Lord  and  Rubr  of  all,  convinces  him  of 
thiSf  not  only  by  the  favourable  regard  with  which  he 
treats  the  virtuous,  but  by  the  marks  of  his  displea* 
sure  whidi  the  established  order  of  his  providence  has 
affixed  to  all  ungodliness  and  unrighteousness  of  men. 
To  shew  that  all  are,  to  some  extent,  blameable, 
having  failed,  and  come  short  of  the  great  end  of  tfa^r 
being,  it  is  appointed  unto  all  once  to  die.  This  ap* 
pointment  is  so  fixed  and  irreversible,  that  it  is  viewed 
as  one  of  the  ordinary  dispensations  of  the  divine 
government,  and  is  as  confidently  reckoned  on,  as  the 
return  of  the  seasons. 

The  truth  of  these  observations,  illustrative  ctf  the 
reality  of  the  supreme  moral  system  of  government  to 
which  man  is  subject,  is  confirmed,  when  we  consider 
the  design  and  necessity  of  human  government.    It  is 


of  M(3fraX  Obligatian.  IS 

the  ordination  of  providence  that  human  beings  diould 

be  placed  under  authority  from  the  period  of  their 

entrance  into  the  world  ;*— that  they  should  be  trained 

up  in  families,  where  they  are  taught  submission  (to 

parental  direction  and  control,  and  are  pr^red  to 

disdiarge  all  the  duties  and  relations  of  life  "witll 

propriety  and  attention.    They  are  also  under  civil 

government,  to  render  obedience  to  its  laws,  and 

enjoy  its  protection.     £very  such  government  is;  and 

necessarily  must  be,  both  from  the  constitution  of  man, 

and  from  the  course  and  order  which  God  has  esta* 

blished,  of  a  moral  nature ;  that  is,  its  avowed  and 

fundamental  principle  must  be,  the  reward  of  the 

righteous  and  the  punishment  of  the  wiclied,  the 

rendering  unto  men  according  to  their  works,  whether 

good  or  evil    Though  tiie  imperfection  of  man,  and 

of  an  his  institutions,  may  prevent  him  from  exactly 

proportioning  his  awards  to  the  personal  merits  dr 

draierits  of  those  whom  he  governs,  the  administra^ 

tion  of  his  government  must,  professedly,  at  least, 

be  carried  on  according  to  this  rule.    For  this  is 

beyond  the  power  of  tyranny  itself  long  and  with 

impunity  to  alter.     The  appointed  c6uite  of  nature 

and  providence,  fixed  and  regular  as  the  undianging 

ordinances  of  heaven,  renders  it  necessary  to  the  very 

existence  of  society,  that  vice,  as  such,  should  be  the 

object  of  punishment,  and  that  virtue,  as  such,  should 

be  the  object  of  protection  and  reward.    When  was  it 

ever  heard,  that  any  government,  the  most  oppressive 

and  unprincipled,  professed  to  encourage  the  vices  of 

falsehood,  injustice,  cruelty,  deceit,  and  dishonesty, 

and  to  proscribe  the  virtues  of  truth,  integrity,  and 


16  On  the  Prineiplet  of  Moral  Obligation. 

humaiiity?  Virtuous  peT8on&  have,  indeed,  been 
ponished  as  evil-doers,  and  wicked  men  have  been 
dken  rewarded ;  but  this  was  not  only  an  inversion  of 
Ifae  settled  order  of  things,  but  done  under  the  avowed 
assumption  of  punishing  the  bad,  and  of  rewarding  the 
good.  The  reality  of  the  eternal  distinction  between 
virtue  and  vice  was  necessarily  taken  for  granted 
by  Nero  and  Caligula  as  much  as  by  the  wisest  and 
the  best  of  governors;  since  without  this  assump- 
tion, laws  would  be  totally  void  of  authority  and 
sanction. 

The  inference  which  I  would  deduce  from  this  is, 
that  as  man  cannot  exist  in  society,  that  is,  in  reality, 
cannot  exist  at  all  in  this  world  without  being  the 
subject  of  moral  law  and  government,  it  is  clearly 
tnanifest  that  he  is  under  the  authoritative  obligations 
of  his  great  moral  Governor  and  Judge.  What  else  is 
the  govemm^it  of  parents  and  of  magistrates,  but  the 
divine  providence  and  authority  exercised  in  a  parti* 
cular  way,  intended  to  remind  those  who  are  subject 
to  it,  that  they  are  moral  agents,  formed  so  as  to  be 
instrumental  in  their  own  happiness  or  ruin,  and 
accountable  to  Ood  for  the  use  of  their  talents  and  the 
improvement  of  their  opportunities  ? 


**ita^ta^ta« 


17 


Ckaptkr  III, 

THE  MORAL  GOVERNMENT  OP  GOD  IS  SO  CONDUCTED  AS  TO 
LEAD  OUR  VIEWS  TO  A  FUTURE  STATE. 

The  moral  government  of  God  is  conducted  in  such  a 
way  in  the  present  life,  as  unavoidably  to  lead  our 
views  to  a  future  state  of  being.  The  reality  of  such  a 
state  is  impressed  on  the  mind  by  reflecting  on  the 
intellectual  and  moral  constitution  of  man,  by  which  he 
is  capable  of  indefinite  and  endless  improvement,  and 
fitted  for  enjoying  far  greater  happiness  than  falls  to 
bis  lot  in  the  present  life.  There  is,  besides,  nothing 
in  death  that  warrants  the  presumption  that  it  is  the 
entire  destruction  of  our  being.  The  organs  through 
which  the  soul  in  this  introductory  state  of  being  holds 
intercourse  with  the  material  world,  are  indeed  dis- 
solved ;  but  why  should  this  imply  the  extinction  of 
the  living  principle  of  thought  and  activity  ? 

The  greatness  of  the  transition  from  the  embodied 
to  the  disembodied  state,  leads  us  to  conjecture  that 
the  soul  in  making  it  will  undergo  a  mighty  change  ; 
but  to  infer  its  annihilation  from  this  circumstance,  is 
not  only  an  assumption  perfectly  gratuitous,  but  con- 
trary to  all  the  analogies  of  nature.  How  different  is 
the  state  of  the  same  identical  being,  as  to  capacity  of 
action,  exertion,  and  enjoyment,  in  the  course  of  the 
few  fleeting  years  of  mortal  existence?  Who  that 
witnessed  Newton  when  a  babe,  could  have  antici- 
pated the  day  when  he  should  describe  the  move- 
ments, and  measure  the  laws  of  other  worlds.    The 

Vol.  IL  C 


18  On  the  Moral  GovemmerU  of  God. 

various  and  wonderful  transformations  through  whidi 
animals  pass,  shew  that  it  is  possible  to  undergo 
them  without  the  destruction  of  the  living  principle. 

But  it  is  to  the  circumstances  in  which  mankind  are 
placed,  viewed  in  connexicn  with  the  moral  govern* 
ment  of  God»  that  I  would  now  direct  my  attention, 
as  suggesting  considerations  which  unavoidably  lead 
us  to  expect  a  future  state  of  being.  The  slightest 
survey  of  these  circumstances  will  convince  us  of  the 
impossibility  of  governing  the  world  without  a  belief 
in  the  reality  of  such  a  state.  Without  it  the  best 
code  of  laws  would  be  unavailing ;  and  so  necessary 
is  its  operation  to  the  order  and  existence  of  society, 
that  all  legislators,  ancient  and  modem,  have  wisely 
availed  themselves  of  it  as  an  useful  and  indispensa- 
ble auxiUary.  Knowing  that  no  human  sanction  has 
equal  efficacy  with  that  which  is  divine,  and  that  the 
fear  and  hope  of  things  obscurely  apprehended,  and 
hid  in  futurity,  take  a  strong  hold  on  the  heart  and 
imagination  of  man,  they  have  made  the  fundamental 
principles  of  religion  subservient  to  the  authority  of 
their  laws,  and  the  observance  of  their  institutions. 

It  was  reserved  for  modem  times  to  make  a  great 
and  memorable  experiment  on  the  practicability  of 
governing  mankind  without  any  reference  to  religion, 
to  God,  and  to  eternity.  But  the  ephemeral  trans- 
actions of  that  period  of  guilt  and  crime  have  passed 
away,  and  have  fumished  in  their  history  what  may 
admonish  future  generations  of  the  inutility  of  laws 
unsupported  by  the  principles  of  religious  belief.  If, 
indeed,  all  the  suggestions  of  conscience,  enlightened 
by  a  knowledge  of  the  divine  will,  and  acting  under 


On  the  Moral  Government  of  God.  10 

the  belief  of  a  judgment  to  come,  be  often  so  in- 
efficient in  restraining  from  vice,  and  in  stimulating  to 
virtue,  what  would  be  the  condition  of  society  if  every 
audi  restraint  were  removed,  and  men  were  to  look  to 
the  present  life  alone  for  their  rewards  and  punish* 
ments?  The  obvious  inference  from  this  fact  is,  that  if 
the  belief  of  a  future  state  be  so  necessary  to  the  order 
of  society,  and  the  moral  improvement  of  mankindr*^ 
this  necessity  is  evidence  in  favour  of  its  reality.  The 
God  of  infinite  wisdom,  power,  and  goodness,  who  is 
the  supreme  Lord  and  Ruler  of  all  things,  would  nol 
render  a  belief  in  a  future  existence  necessary  to 
society,  unless  the  object  of  this  belief  were  to  be 
realized.  The  suppositicxi  that  the  God  of  truth 
would  govern  the  world  by  a  delusion  is  repugnant 
to  every  notion  we  can  entertain  of  his  veracity  and 
perfisction,  and  derogatory  to  the  glories  of  his 
charact^. 

Besides,  a  future  state  of  being  seems  to  be  neces- 
sary to  the  display  and  vindication  of  divine  justice. 
The  equity  of  God  will  lead  him,  we  are  assured, 
to  proportion  with  perfect  exactness  the  happiness  or 
the  misery  of  his  creatures  to  the  degree  of  virtue  or 
of  vice  which  prevails  in  their  character.  But  no 
such  unvarying  and  ccnuplete  distribution  of  happiness 
and  misery  takes  place  in  the  present  state;  for 
virtuous  men  are  often  exposed  to  the  greatest  dis- 
tresses, while  the  wicked  sometimes  live  and  die  in 
prosperity.  It  is  no  sufficient  counterbalance  to  this 
inequality,  that  the  secret  satisfaction  accompanying 
the  exercise  of  virtue,  renders  a  good  man  happier  in 
his  most  calamitous  state,  than  it  is  possible  for  the 

c  2 


90  On  the  Moral  Government  of  God. 

wicked  to  be  in  his  greatest  prosperity ;  and  that 
without  any  future  reward,  the  pleasure  of  an  ap- 
proving conscience  in  any  situation,  is  not  only  a 
compensation  adequate  to  human  virtue,  but  far  more 
aiviable  than  the  highest  earthly  gratification. 

This  is  no  sufficient  counterbalance  to  the  unequal 
allotments  of  Providence,  because  the  support  and 
comfort  of  the  pious  in  their  afflictions  chiefly  arise 
firom  the  expectation  of  a  future  state  ;  and  since  this 
expectation  is  their  greatest  encouragement  to  main- 
tain their  integrity  under  every  trial,  we  cannot 
suppose  that  a  God  of  infinite  wisdom,  justice,  and 
goodness,  should  so  order  it,  that  a  principal  foun- 
dation of  virtue  should  be  groundless.  There  are, 
moreover,  su£ferings  so  extreme  which  the  pious  are 
occasionally  called  to  endure,  but  which  they  are 
enabled  to  bear  with  fortitude  and  resignation,  from 
the  lively  views  which  they  entertain  of  the  happiness 
of  that  eternal  state  from  which  death  and  sorrow 
shall  be  excluded.  Would  it  not  refiect  on  the  justice, 
faithfulness,  and  other  perfections  of  God,  if  no  such 
state  were  ever  to  arrive, — ^and  we  were  then  forced 
to  believe  that  the  Deity  places  his  rational  and 
virtuous  offspring  in  situations  in  which  no  doctrines 
of  religion  could  afford  consolation,  if  the  whole  truth 
were  known? 

Good  men,  besides,  in  seasons  of  calm  reflection, 
often  have  their  tranquillity  interrupted  by  perplexing 
doubts  and  fears  as  to  their  conformity  to  the  will  of 
God.  Their  disquieting  apprehensions  on  this  head 
are  generally  in  proportion  to  the  refinement  and  deli- 
cacy of  their  moral  feelings  and  perceptions.    Can 


On  the  Moral  GovemmetU  of  God.  81 

we  suppose  that  God  would  leave  their  minds  under 
such  distresses,  if  the  present  pleasure  of  virtue  were 
its  sole  reward.  On  the  supposition  that  there  were 
nothing  beyond  death,  the  man  who  has  lost  all 
shame  and  remorse  in  the  perpetration  of  the  greatest 
crimes,  has  a  much  larger  share  of  ease  of  mind  than 
the  man  of  virtue,  who  is  often  disquieted  by  the 
infirmities  incident  to  humanity,  and  by  the  conscious* 
ness  of  falling  short  of  the  high  standard  to  which  he 
aspires. 

These  considerations  lead  us  to  believe  that  God 
will  at  some  future  period  interpose  for  the  vindica- 
tion of  the  honour  of  his  government ;  and  that  every 
act  of  self-denying  virtue  performed  from  a  r^ard  to 
his  authority,  and  of  wilful  guilt  committed  in  rebellion 
against  him,  shall  receive  its  due  award.  They  shew 
what  are  the  verdicts  of  common  sense  concerning  the 
equity  of  a  judgment  to  come ;  and  while  they  place  this 
judgment  in  our  view,  entire  confidence  in  the  good- 
ness and  righteousness  of  God  will  readily  suggest  to 
our  minds  that  there  are  the  best  reasons  for  the  ine- 
qualities of  the  present  state*  It  is  not  to  be  won- 
dered at,  as  has  been  remarked,  that  God  should  not 
here  pour  down  golden  showers  on  the  heads  of  the 
righteous,  nor  send  fire  from  heaven,  as  angry  men 
would  have  him,  upon  every  provocation,  to  consume 
sinners.  This  life  is  not  a  time  of  reaping,  but  of 
sowing ;  not  of  judicial  approbatipn,  but  of  trial ;  not 
of  triumph,  but  of  combat ;  not  of  enjoyment,  but  of 
work ;  not  of  settlement,  but  of  travail ;  in  which  no 
man  should  expect  more  of  encouragement  than  is 
needful  to  support  him  in  his  way ;  should  look  to  rq-* 


J*  On  the  Moral  Government  of  God. 

ceive  wages  before  his  task  is  done :  to  get  the  prize 
before  he  has  gone  tlirough  the  race ;  or  to  enjoy  rest 
before  he  is  at  his  journey's  end 

A  reflection  on  the  wisdom  of  Ood  would  lead  us  to 
(he  same  conclusion  respecting  a  future  state  to  which 
we  arrived  by  the  consideration  of  his  justice.  We 
should  find  it  utterly  irreconcileable  with  infinite 
wisdom  to  suppose  that  the  soul  of  man,  after  attain- 
ing, as  it  frequently  happens,  to  no  inconsiderable 
degree  of  cultivation,  should,  in  the  full  maturity  of 
faculties,  capable  of  indefinite  improvement,  cease  to 
exist.  The  fond  desire,  the  longing  after  immortality, 
is,  like  the  belief  in  the  existence  of  the  Divinity,  uni- 
versal, and  ought  to  be  regarded  as  the  voice  of  the 
Deity  concurring  with  the  numerous  attestations  of  the 
high  destination  of  our  race,  and  directing  our  views 
to  that  eternity  of  which  he  has  constituted  us  the 
heirs.  This  desire,  united  to  the  faculties  and  endow- 
ments of  man,  viewed  in  connexion  with  the  circum- 
stances in  which  he  is  now  placed,  and  the  higher  and 
the  enduring  state  for  which  be  seems  designed,  war- 
rants the  belief  that  there  awaits  him  a  future  and  an 
endless  state  of  being. 

This  is  the  state  to  which  the  fears  of  the  wicked, 
as  well  as  the  hopes  of  the  righteous,  refer;  leading 
alike  our  thoughts  forward  to  that  final  day  in  which 
God  will  judge  the  world  in  righteousness,  and  in 
which  he  will  impartially  and  perfectly  render  to  every 
man  according  to  his  works :  to  them  who  by  patient 
continuance  in  well-doing  seek  for  glory,  and  honour, 
and  immortality,  eternal  life :  but  unto  them  that  are 
contentious,  and  do  not  obey  the  truth,  but  obey  unrigh^ 


On  the  Moral  Government  of  God.  33 

teousness,    indignation  and  wratb,  tribulation  and 
anguish,  upon  every  soul  of  man  that  doeth  evil. 

Such  are  the  conclusions  to  which  we  are  led  by 
the  light  of  nature.  The  conviction  of  an  immortality, 
of  a  state  in  which  the  rudiments  of  a  supreme  system 
of  moral  government,  observable  in  this  life,  will  be 
perfected,  is  forced  on  our  mind  by  reflecting  on  our 
own  intellectual  and  moral  constitution,  on  our  capa- 
cities and  endowments,  as  formed  in  the  image  of  Qod, 
for  his  worship  and  his  glory : — ^and  it  is  forced  on  us 
also  by  all  that  we  know  of  the  attributes  of  God, 
viewed  in  connexion  with  the  circumstances  in  which 
we  are  placed.  But  notwithstanding  the  strength  of 
the  evidence  by  which  our  belief  in  a  future  state  is 
supported,  how  greatly  are  we  indebted  to  that  day- 
spring  from  on  high  which  hath  visited  us,  to  give  light 
to  them  that  sat  in  darkness,  and  in  the  shadow  of 
death,  and  to  guide  our  feet  into  the  ways  of  peace. 
Without  this  Ught,  mankind  had  numerous  intimations 
from  reason  and  from  nature  of  the  reality  of  an  eter- 
nal existence  beyond  the  grave.  The  wisest  and  the 
best  of  the  philosophers  of  Rome  has  told  us  that  he 
believed  the  soul  to  have  her  native  seat  in  heaven ; 
and  that  it  is  with  reluctance  she  is  forced  down  from 
those  celestial  mansions  into  these  lower  regions 
where  all  is  foreign  to  her  divine  nature.  This  opi- 
nion, as  he  tells  us,  he  was  led  to  embrace,  not  only  as 
agreeable  to  the  deductions  of  reason,  but  in  just  defer- 
ence to  the  authority  of  the  noblest  and  most  distin- 
guished philosophers.  "  I  am  further  convinced,*'  says 
he,  "  in  my  belief  of  the  soul's  immortality,  by  the 
discourse  which  Socrates,  whom  the  oracle  of  Apollo 


S6  The  DiHtnctions  of  Right  and  Wrong 

preriously  encompassed.  There  is  in  a  single  sen- 
tence which  he  has  uttered,  while  it  takes  for  granted 
the  existence  of  evil  in  all  its  extent  and  magnitude, 
stronger  proofs  of  the  goodness  of  Qod,  and  ground 
for  greater  wonder  and  admiration,  than  the  starting 
of  the  universe  from  nothing  into  being,  fbesh  with 
beauty  from  the  hand  of  its  Creator.  "  God  so  loved 
the  world,  as  to  give  his  only  begotten  Son,  that  who- 
soever believeth  on  him,  should  not  perish,  but  have 
everlasting  life." 


Chaftee  IV. 


THE  DlflTINCriONS  OF  RIGHT  AND  WRONG  IMMUTABLE  AND 

ETERNAL. 

In  forming  man  after  his  own  image,  in  righteousness 
and  true  holiness,  God  has  rendered  him  capable  of 
approving  of  certain  actions  as  right,  and  of  other 
actions  as  wrong.  From  the  constitution  of  our 
nature,  we  cannot  but  mark  a  difference  between 
virtue  and  vice,  and  approve  of  the  one  as  morally 
good,  and  disapprove  of  the  other  as  morally  evil. 

Are  those  distinctions  of  right  and  wrong,  of  virtue 
and  vice,  which  are  thus  observed  and  felt  by  the 
human  mind,  founded  in  the  nature  of  things,  and 
consequently  immutable  and  eternal, — in  other  words, 
are  they  included  in  necessary  truth,  which  is  as 
independent  of  my  constitution,  as  the  equality  of  the 
three  angles  of  a  triangle  k)  two  right  angles  ?    This 


Immutable  and  Eternal.  Tt 

question  is  answered  in  the  negative  by  many  sceptical 
writers,  who  allege  that  the  distinctions  of  virtue  and 
vice  are  mere  perceptions  or  emotions  of  the  mind, 
and  have  no  existence  separate  from  it.  ^liere  are 
also  some  authors,  professedly  friendly  to  the  interests 
of  religion,  who  deny  the  immutability  of  moral  dis- 
tinctions, and  maintain  that  they  have  their  sole  ori- 
gin in  the  enactments  of  will  and  power. 

Of  this  description  is  Archdeacon  Paley,  who  has 
followed  some  writers  that  preceded  him  in  their 
most  dangerous  statements,  and  has  deduced  from 
these    statements   their   most    exceptionable  conse- 
quences.    Such  principles  as  the  following  are  at  the 
foundation  of  his  system  of  morals.      Whatever  is 
expedient  is  right.    It  is  the  utility  of  any  moral  rule 
alone  which  constitutes  the  obligation  of  it.    Actions 
are  to  be  estimated  by  their  tendency.    To  be  obliged 
to  do  an  action,  according  to  his  view,  is  to  be  urged  to 
it  by  a  violent  motive,  resulting  from  the  command  of 
another.    This  motive,  he  tells  us,  can  only  be  self- 
love, — as  we  are  under  no  obligation  to  do  any  thing 
which  does  not  contribute  to  our  interest ;  so  that,  on 
the  supposition  of  there  being  no  future  state,  an 
action  by  which  we  could  get  nothing  would  be  per- 
fectly indiferent  to  us.     What  makes  the  difference 
according  to  him  between  prudence  and  duty  is,  that 
in  the  one  case  we  consider  what  we  shall  get  or  lose 
in  this  world,  and,  in  the  other,  what  we  shall  get  or 
lose  in  the  next.     A  man,  therefore,  who  either  does 
not  believe  in  a  future  world,  or  who  does  not  carry 
his  views  to  it,  can  have  no  perception  of  duty. 

We  cannot  be  surprised  that  an  author  who  held 


88  The  Distinctions  of  RigJU^  and  Wrong 

principles  so  exceptionable  as  these,  should,  at  the 
same  time,  hold  notions  subversive  of  the  moral  obli- 
gation of  some  most  important  religious  duties,  and 
directly  calculated  to  overturn  all  public  securities  de- 
pending on  tests  and  subscriptions.  His  moral  phi- 
losophy has  contributed  much  to  the  prevalence  of  a 
loose  and  unscriptural  morality.  It  has  led  men  to 
disregard  the  law  of  God  as  tlie  only  measure  and 
rule  of  morals,  and  to  substitute,  in  room  of  it,  their 
own  views  of  expediency. 

Are  the  distinctions  of  right  and  wrong  necessary, 
immutable,  and  founded  in  tlie  nature  of  things  ? 

I  regard  this  question  as  fundamentally  important 
in  relation  to  the  interests  of  morality  and  religion. 
In  expressing  my  conviction  of  the  truth  of  the  aflSr- 
mative,  I  am  bound  to  believe  that  some  of  those  who 
hold  opposite  opinions  abhor  the  consequences  which, 
I  think,  are  fairly  deducible  from  them. 

In  affirming  that  moral  distinctions  have  a  real 
existence  independent  of  my  perception,— an  existence 
immutable  and  eternal,  to  which  law  owes  its  force 
and  authority,  I  conceive  I  am  maintaining,  and  not 
derogating  from,  the  glories  of  the  Deity.  For  he 
is  as  necessarily  holy  and  good  as  he  necessarily 
exists.  His  infinite  goodness  and  rectitude  form  his 
moral  attributes,  and  are  as  essential  and  unchange- 
able as  his  being.  His  power,  therefore,  though 
omnipotent,  is  bounded  in  its  exercise  by  his  holiness, 
justice,  goodness,  and  truth:  hence,  he  cannot  do 
what  is  at  variance  with  these  perfections :  he  cannot 
lie, — ^he  cannot  deceive, — he  cannot  fail  in  his  pro- 
qii^es.     From  the  necessary  perfection  of  hi^  nature. 


Immutabte  and  Etemat.  ftO 

he  cannot  compromise  a  single  iota  of  the  claims  of 
the  high  honours  of  the  Godhead. 

By  the  will  of  this  great  and  glorious  being  must  be 
understood,  not  any  thing  arbitrary,  but  the  act  of  a 
mind  possessing  infinite  intelligence  as  well  as  power, 
infinite  rectitude  as  well  as  goodness.  His  will  does 
not  create  moral  distinctions,  but  is  the  expression  of 
distinctions  which  eternally  and  unchangeably  exist, 
and  which  are  founded  in  his  own  nature.  The 
boundless  perfection  of  his  nature  is  not  the  eflfect  of 
his  will,  but  his  will  is  the  effect,  and  when  revealed, 
the  announcement  of  his  supreme  and  necessary 
moral  excellency. 

This  is  the  view  which  is  everywhere  given  of  God 
in  scripture.  His  name  (an  expression  well  known 
as  denoting  his  nature)  is  there  represented  as  excel- 
lent in  all  the  earth.  He  is  said  to  be  glorious  in 
holiness — excellent  in  working — to  be  righteous  and 
to  love  righteousness, — ^to  be  a  God  of  truth  and 
Without  iniquity, — ^to  exercise  judgment  and  righteous- 
ness in  the  earth ;  and  to  delight  in  these  things.  The 
same  passage  that  makes  known  his  almighty  power, 
declares  the  moral  excellences  of  his  nature,  and  the 
perfection  of  his  government.  "  Thou  hast  a  mighty 
arm :  strong  is  thy  hand,  and  high  is  thy  right  hand. 
Justice  and  judgment  are  the  habitation  of  thy  throne : 
mercy  and  truth  shall  go  before  thy  face."  Hence  the 
chief  ground  on  which  it  is  our  duty  to  love  the  Lord 
God  with  all  the  heart,  and  with  all  the  soul,  and  with 
all  the  mind,  and  with  all  the  strength. 

To  suppose,  then,  that  the  will  of  God  is  the  sole 
origin  of  the  distinctions  of  right  and  wrong,  shews 


A 


so  The  DMnctians  of  Right  and  Wrong 

that  the  framers  of  such  a  supposition  have  erroneous 
views  of  the  necessary  and  eternal  moral  excellences 
of  the  divine  nature.  If  such  distinctions  were  erected 
and  depended  on  mere  power  and  enactment,  would 
it  not  follow  as  a  consequence,  that  all  whidi  we 
approve  of  as  virtue,  uncontrollable  power  might 
present  to  our  view  as  vice, — that  we  might  be  com- 
manded to  love  and  imitate  the  conduct  of  a  malevolent 
friend,  and  to  hate  and  shun  the  example  of  angeUc 
virtue, — ^and  that  had  God  so  willed  it,  what  we  regard 
as  the  differences  between  moral  actions  would  have 

been  entirely  reversed,  and  good  would  be  put  for  evil, 
and  evil  for  good,  darkness  for  light,  and  light  for  dark- 
ness, bitter  for  sweet,  and  sweet  for  bitten  According 
to  this  scheme  there  is  no  justice,  no  truth,  no  benevo- 
lence, essentially,  in  God  or  in  the  universe ;  and  the 
attempt  of  ascertaining  what  are  the  moral  attributes 
of  the  Deity  is  rendered  unnecessary,  since  whatever 
he  is,  has  been  determined  by  an  act  of  his  will. 

How  contrary  this  is  to  scripture  and  to  enlightened 
reason,  it  is  needless  for  me  to  say.  That  revelation 
which  God  has  given  of  himself  represents  him  as 
possessing  unchanging  and  boundless  excellency, 
as  of  purer  eyes  than  to  behold  iniquity,  and  as 
righteous  in  all  his  ways,  and  holy  in  all  his 
works.  It  is  because  the  moral  excellences  of 
his  nature  are  infinite,  that  it  is  the  duty  of  every 
intelligent  creature,  antecedent  to  all  law  and  to  all 
enactment*  to  love  him  supremely ;  and  it  is  on  the 
same  ground  that  his  will  must  ever  be  the  expression 
of  what  is  holy,  and  just,  and  good.  He  is,  indeed, 
as  has  been  remarked,  so  absolute,  that  he  can  do 


Mi    t 


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£12  The  Distinctions  of  Right  and  Wrong 

We  are  formed  capable  of  perceiving  and  of  feeling 
moral  truth ;  but  it  is  truth  which  has  an  existence  in- 
dependently of  our  perceptions  and  feelings.  Every 
theory,  therefore,  which  represents  moral  distinctions 
as  having  no  existence  apart  from  the  mind  that  per- 
ceives them : — that  is,  that  teaches  us  to  regard  mora- 
lity as  altogether  a  matter  of  sensation  or  feeling,  ap- 
pears to  me  to  have  a  sceptical  and  dangerous  ten- 
dency. 

Nor  can  I  admit  that  the  theory  of  the  acute  and 
learned  Dr.  Brown  on  this  subject,  however  much 
guarded  by  its  author,  is  free  from  this  objection. 
While  he  discards  the  doctrine  of  moral  sense,  he  con- 
tends for  the  doctrine  of  moral  emotions ; — ^that  is,  he 
reduces  all  our  moral  perceptions  into  feelings  ;— a 
doctrine  which  appears  to  me  to  be  nearly  the  same  as 
that  which  he  rejects,  and  to  have  precisely  the  same  * 
tendency.  His  reasoning  in  support  of  moral  distinc- 
tions is,  indeed,  very  powerful,  accompanied  as  it  is 
with  the  eloquence  of  a  virtuous  and  generous  heart ; 
and*  the  words  in  which  it  is  concluded  shew  the 
concern 'which  he  felt  that  those  whom  he  instructed 
should,  on  this  most  important  topic,  receive  the 
truth  only.  "  We  have  now,"  says  he,  "  examined 
very  fiilly  the  great  question,  as  to  the  distinctions 
which  we  find  man  everywhere  to  have  made  of 
actions,  as  morally  right  or  wrong;  and  I  trust,  for 
the  sake  of  your  happiness  in  life,  at  least,  as  much  as 
for  the  accuracy  of  your  philosophy,  that  you  are  not 
inclined  to  withhold  your  logical  assent  from  the  doc- 
trine of  the  moral  distinction  of  vice  and  virtue,— a 


Immutable  and  Eternal.,  S3 

doctrine  which  seems  to  me  to  have'  every  character  of 
truth,  as  a  faithful  picture  of  the  phenomena  of  the 
mind ;  and  which  it  would,  therefore,  be  as  erroneous, 
as  it  would  be  miser able^  to  deny  ♦.'* 

My  objection,  then,  to  Dr.  Brown's  theory  is,  that 
it  appears  to  me,  not  as  subversive  of  morality,  to  use 
his  own  words  in  reference  to  a  different  theory,  but 
as  fixing  morality  on  a  basis  that  is  not  sufficiently 
firm ;  with  the  discovery  of  the  instability  of  wfaicht 
therefore,  the  virtues  that  are  represented  as  supported 
on  it,  might  be  considered  as  themselves  unstable ;  as 
the  statue,  though  it  be  the  image  of  a  god,  or  the 
column,  though  it  be  a  post  of  the  sacred  temple,  may 
fidi,  not  because  it  is  not  sufficiently  cohesive  and  firm 
in  itself,  but  because  it  is  too  massy  for  the  feeble 
pedestal  on  which  it  has  been  placed. 

Moral  truth  is  perceived  and  judged  of  by  the  un- 
derstanding, as  well  as  felt  and  loved  by  the  heart 
The  distinctions  which  relate  to  it  are  fixed,  immii« 
table,  and  eternal,  independently  of  any  perceptions 
and  feelings,  and  are  as  much  included  in  necessary 
truth,  as  that  three  angles  of  a  triangle  are  equal  to 
two  right  angles.  That  a  being  endowed  with  certain 
powers  is  bound  to  love  and  obey  the  Creator  and 
Preserver  of  all,  is  truth,  whether  I  perceive  it  or 
no;  and  we  cannot  conceive  it  possible  that  it  can 
ever  be  reversed. 

*  Brown*!  Lectares  on  Moral  Philosophy,  Vol.  IV.  p.  18. 


Vol.  It.  ^ 


84 


Of  THE  MEASURE,  OR  RULE  OP  VIRTUE. 

Br  the  will  of  God,  we  understand  the  determiiiatioii 
or  the  pleasure  of  Him  who  is  holy,  and  just,  and 
good,  and  whose  determinations  and  enactments,  there* 
fisie,  ar^  founded  in  justice  ami  in  judgment  Few 
will  deny  that  his  will  is  the  measure  or  rule  of  obM*^ 
gaticm  to  all  intelligent  and  aocountabte  creatures. 
While  this  is  manifested  to  us  in  various  ways,  it  n 
comprehensively  and  definitely  expressed  in  that  per- 
fect law  which  he  has  given  us,  as  the  measure  of 
virtue  and  the  rule  of  conduct. 

Before  proceeding  to  point  out  the  perfection  of  this 
law,  arising  from  its  intrinsic  excellency,  and  the  uni- 
venality  of  its  application,  and  to  prove  that  it  is  the 
only  ii^dlible  rale  to  man,  I  shall  make  a  few  obser* 
vationson  the  doctrine  of  expediency,  whidi,  according 
to  some,  fUmiriies  the  rule  and  the  standard  of  moral 
conduct. 

According  to  this  doctrine,  the  sole  measure  of  the 
right  or  the  wrong  of  every  action,  is  utility,  while,  at 
die  same  time,  the  ageut  is  the  sole  judge  of  Uiat 
utility.  In  modem  times  it  has  been  maintained,  if 
not  first,  at  least,  with  the  greatest  ability,  by  Mr. 
Hume,  and  afterwards  by  Dr.  Paley.  It  is  but  just, 
however,  to  remark,  that  while  they  are  agreed  as  to 
the  principle,  they  greatly  differ  as  to  the  source  from 
whence  it  is  derived,  and  the  grounds  on  which  its 


oUlfttiooB  are  maintained  :«~th6  latter^  oonBidering 
the  rule  as  praceeding  from  the  will  ci  Qod»  and  ea« 
ftraed  by  the  piospect  of  rewards  and  punishm^ita  in 
the  life  to  ocme :  while  the  former  viewH  it  merely  as 
suggested  by  nature,  and  as  bding  enforced  only  by 
the  present  consequenoes  of  adopting  or  disregard- 
ing it 

The  naethod  by  which  Dr.  Paley  attempts  to  derive 
his  rule  of  moral  obligation  from  the  will  of  God»  is 
extraooflly  plausible,  and  of  a  nature  well  adapted  to 
pioaare  for  it  a  favourable  reception  with  pious  minds. 
'*  God  Almighty,"  says  he,  ''  wills  and  wishes  the 
happiness  of  his  creatures :  and,  consequently,  those 
aotions  which  promote  that  will  and  wish  must  be 
agneiJsle  to  him;  and  the  contrary  :-~the  method  of 
eoming  at  the  will  of  God  concerning  any  action  by 
the  li^.of  nature  is,  to  inquire  into  the  tendeooy  dT 
that  aiBlion  to  promote  or  diminish  the  general  haps 
piBess>«^Bat  who  shall  judge  of  the  ^tpediency? 
Eresy  man  for  himself.  The  danger  of  error  and 
ainne  is  no  objection  to  the  rule  of  ezpediencj,  be- 
csBOSe  every  other  rule  is  liaMe  to  the  saaoe  or  greater; 
and  every  rule  that  can  be  propounded  on  the  subject^ 
nnst,  in  the  appUcation,  depend  on  private  judgmeot'* 
He  even  affirms,  that  every  moral  rule  is^  on  the 
ground  of  expediency,  in  particular  cases,  liable  to  be 
*^«vpfffffH  with:  so  that  on  sudi  occasions  it  may  be 
as  great  a  duty  to  supersede  the  rule,  as  it  is  on  others 
to  observe  it.  ''  Moral  Philosophy/'  continues  he, 
^'  cannot  pronounce  that  any  rule  of  morality  is  so 
rigid  aa-to  bend  to  .no  exceptions ;  nor,  on  the  other 
hand^  can  she  comprise  these  exceptions  within  any 

D2 


S6  Of  the  Meoiure,  or  Ride  of  Virtue. 

previous  description.  She  confesses  tiiat  the  obliga*^ 
tion  of  every  law  depends  upon  its  ultimate  utility ; 
that  this  utility  having  a  finite  and  detenninate  value^ 
situations  may  be  feigned,  and  consequently  may  pes* 
sibly  arise,  in  whidi  the  general  tendency  is  out- 
weighed by  the  enormity  of  the  particular  misdiief/' 

Mr.  Hume,  the  most  distinguished  advocate  of  the 
doctrine  of  expediency  in  modem  times^  and  from 
whom  Mr.  Paley  derived  it,  expresses  himself  in  re- 
gard to  it  in  the  following  terms,  in  his  Inquiry  con* 
earning  the  Principles  of  Morals.  ''  Are  not  justice, 
fidelity,  honour,  veracity,  allegiance^  chastity,  esteemed 
solely  on  account  of  their  tendency  to  promote  the 
good  of  society  ?  Can  it  possibly  be  doubted,  that  in- 
dustry, discretion,  frugality,  secrecy,  order,  perse- 
verance, forethought,  judgment,  and  that  whole  class 
of  virtues,  of  which  many  pages  could  not  contain  the 
eatalogue;  can  it.be  doubted,  I  say,  that  the  Usch 
dency  of  these  virtues  to  promote  the  interest  amek 
happiness  of  their  possessor,  is  the  sole  foundation  of 
their,  merit  ? — I  cannot  be  more  assured  of  any  truths 
which  I  learn  from  reason  and  argument,  than  that 
virtue  consists  altogether  in  the  usefulness  or  agree* 
ableness  of  qualities  to  the  person  himself  pos- 
sessed of  them,  or  to  others,  who  have  any  intercourse 
with  him*." 

The  doctrine  of  expediency  is  quite,  as  objeotimir 
able  in  the  hands  of  Dr.  Paley  as  it  was  in  those  of 
Mr.  Hume.  While  there  is  an  avowed  deieraioe  to 
the  will  of  God  and  to  the  authority  of  scripture,  there 
is  a  real  departure  from  both ;  and  views  of  utility,  of 


•  Inquiry  concerning^  the  Principles  of  Morelff.  Ed.  1751»  p.  ISJy  IW 


J 


Of  the  Meastmfj  or  Rule  of  Virtue.  87 

which  Utility  man  alone  is  to  be  the  judge,  are  sub- 
stituted in  room  of  the  dear,  determinate,  and  unal- 
texable  law  of  Ood.  I  shall  now  shortly  attempt  to 
prove,  that  the  principle  of  expediency,  as  furnishing 
the  rule  of  moral  conduct  to  man,  is  utterly  Mse  and 
untenable, — from  a  consideration  cf  the  moral  perfec- 
tions and  government  of  God, — ^from  the  moral  con- 
stitution of  man, — from  the  numerous  evils  of  which 
its  adoption  would  necessarily  be  productive, — ^from 
its  opposition  to  divine  revelation: — and  from  the 
incapability  of  man  to  discern  all  the  consequences  of 
his  actions. 


Chaptxb  VI. 

THE  PRINCIPLE  OF  EXPEDIENCY  PROVED  TO  BE  FALSE  AND 
UNT£NABI.E,  FROM  A  COMSU>£RAT10N  OF  THE  MORAL  CHA- 
RACTER AND  GOVERNMENT  OF  GOD; 

That  in  creating  the  world,  and  in  conducting  his 
government  in  regard  to  it,  the  object  of  the  Deity  is 
the  good  or  happiness  of  the  universe,  is  a  position  in 
whidi  all,  according  to  this  general  statement  of  it, 
will  readily  acquiesce.  It  is  highly  probable,  how- 
ever, from  the  deductions  of  reason,  and  it  is  fully 
established  by  Scripture,  that  in  connexion  with  this 
object  he  had  in  view  his  own  glory,  or  the  illustrious 
manifestation  of  the  fufaiess  of  the  divine  nature.  Not 
ouly  is  it  affirmed  in  the  sacred  writings,  that  this  is 
the  idtimate  end  for  which  the  world  was  created,  but 
it  is  declared  that  all  the  dispensations  by  which  he 
cbndiicts  Us  government  in  regard  to  it,  are  madQ 


98  7A#  Prineifle  of  EgpMenmf 

subservient  to  this.  The  great  event  to  which  our 
attention  is  there  so  constantly  directed,  the  redemp- 
tion of  the  world  through  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  is 
intended,  as  we  are  repeatedly  told,  for  the  fbrtheranoQ 
of  this  object.  ''  God  also  hath  highly  exalted  him, 
and  given  him  a  name  which  is  above  every  name ; 
that  at  the  name  of  Jesus  every  knee  should  bow,  <^ 
things  in  heaven,  and  things  in  earth,  and  things 
under  the  earth ;  and  that  every  tongue  should  confess 
that  Jesus  Christ  is  Lord,  to  the  glory  of  Qod  the 
Father:' 

In  promoting  the  good  of  that  universe  to  which  he 
has  given  being,  and  over  which  he  reigns,  he  promotes 
it  in  connexion  with  the  manifestation  of  the  moral 
excellencies  of  his  nature.  These  consist,  not  merely 
of  benevolence,  but  of  the  purest  rectitude ;  and  we 
are  taught,  by  revelation,  and  by  the  established  order 
of  providence,  that  neither  of  these  perfe(^i(»is  can  be 
exercised  in  a  way  which  would  compromise  the  ho- 
nour of  the  other.  While  we  are  assured  that  his 
tender  mercies  are  over  all  his  works ;  we  are  informed 
by  the  same  divine  authority,  that  *'  the  liord  is  rigbte^ 
ous  in  all  his  ways,  and  holy  in^Jl  his  works. '^  His  ob- 
ject, therefore,  cannot  be  the  happiness  of  the  creatures 
that  be  has  formed  in  his  own  image,  apart  from  their 
moral  improvement  He  designs  their  happiness,  bul 
it  is  in  connexion  with  their  moral  excell^acy,  and  the 
glories  of  his  righteousness  as  well  as  of  his  goodness. 

We  cannot,  indeed,  conceive,  that  a  being  of  mfinite 
purity  and  rectitude,  who  is  the  supreme  Ruler  of  his 
accountable  creatures,  as  well  as  their  Creator,  would 
make  their  hairiness,  in  whatever  wuy  th^j^  asigbt 


diooae  to  enjoy  it,  the  object  of  his  care,  withqiil 
nffitd  to  the  justice  and  judgment  by  which  hifl 
government  is  conducted.  As  the  Judge  <^  aU  he  must 
do  right,  though  hit  doing  so  involves  in  it  the  punieh- 
ment,  and  oonaequontly  the  misery  of  transgresaoni. 
We  approve  hia  procedure  in  such  a  case  as  in  itsd£ 
t^^t,  without  at  all  thinking  of  the  uaeful  consequeDcea 
that  may  result  from  it,  ''  We  have  an  immediate  ap-i 
probatkHi  c^  making  the  virtuous  happy*  and  discw* 
ragiqg  the  vicious,  abstracted  fh)m  all  consequeneea. 
Were  there  but  two  beings  in  the  univerae,  one  of 
whom  was  virtuous,  the  other  vicioua ;  or»  were  we  to 
ooDoeive  two  sucb  beiags,  in  other  respeeta  alike, 
governed  apart  from  the  rest  cf  the  world,  and  removod 
fbr  ever  from  the  notice  of  all  other  creatures ;  we 
shouki  still  approve  of  a  diffbreat  treatment  of  them : 
that  the  good  being  should  be  1^»  happy,  or  a  greatw 
suiexer,  than  his  evil  fellow^being,  would  appear  to  ua 
wrong*-** 

While  the  Deity  seeks  the  happiness  of  the  universe* 
ii  ia  in  subwiination  to  the  manifeatation  of  the  morajt 
gloriea  of  hia  nature,  and  in  connexion  with  thg  im-i 
prcwement  of  his  creatures  in  virtue.  The  esceiccise  of 
his  juatioe,  not  less  than  of  his  goodness,  ia  imjilied  in 
hia  government  of  intelligent  and  accountable  creatures^ 
He  could  neither  be  a  being  of  infinite  perfection,  nor 
a  ri^iteoua  moral  governor,  unless,  possessing  bound- 
less rectitude,  he  shewed  it  in  his  treatment  of  hia 
aubjecta;  but  mankind,  under  the  conviction  that  he 
ia  a  perfect  being,  and  a  righteous  governor  and 
judge,  confidently  rely  on  the  equity,  as  well  as  on 
the  benevdence,  of  his  procedure,  and  when  s^er^ 

*  Price*8  Review,  &c.  p.  S7. 


40  '     The  Principle  of  Etpedieney 

ing  from  the  injiwtioe  and  oppression  of  their  feUows, 
look  for  an  ample  adjustment  at  the  tribunal  of  the 
eternal  Judge, 

He  wills  and  wishes  the  happiness  of  his  creatures^ 
doubtless,  but  it  is  in  accordance  with  the  glorious 
ends  to  which  I  have  alluded.  All  that  we  know  of 
his  moral  government  in  this  world  confirms  the  truth 
of  this  position.  There  are  evils  innumerable  con- 
nected with  the  present  s^tate,  which  man  cannot  by 
any  efibrts  escape,  and  which  the  God  of  infinite  good- 
ness allows  to  impair  the  happiness  of  his  creatures. 
y  3re  it  true  that  he  wills  and  wishes  the  happiness 
of  mankind  apart  from  all  other  ends,  who  will  affirm 
that  his  will  and  his  wishes  are  accomplished  here ; 
**  Man  that  is  bom  of  a  woman  is  of  few  days  and 
full  <£  trouble."  The  inlets  to  sorrow  are  almost  as 
numerous  as  the  sources  of  enjoyment.  Is  it  main- 
tained, that  the  ultimate  design  of  the  Deity  in  these 
evils  is  the  happiness  of  his  creatures  ?  Be  it  so : 
two  things  are  clear  from  the  fact, — ^that  their  moral 
improvement  is  aimed  at,  and  is,  in  a  great  measure^ 
to  constitute  their  happiness, — and  that  though  we 
admit  that  utility  be  the  rule  by  which  the  Deity  con- 
ducts his  government,  it  is  a  rule  which  is  utterly 
unsuited  to  man.  How  can  he,  with  his  limited 
fiunilties,  and  with  his  comparative  ignorance  of  the 
nature  and  qualities  of  beings,  and  the  tendency  of 
actions,  be  capable  of  making  expediency  the  law  of 
his  conduct  ?  It  is  (»ily  for  Him  who  sees  the  end 
from  the  beginning,  to  know  aU  the  consequences  of 
a  single  action,  and  to  determine  the  way  in  vHiich 
the  good  of  that  universe  which  he  has  formed  shall  be 
secured. 


proved  to  be  False  and  Untenable.  A 

'*  When  Saint  Paul's  cathedral  wag  erected,  the 
architect  willed  and  wished  the  exedOenee  of  the  edi- 
fice.   Therefore  the  method  which  it  was  right  for 
the  workmen  individually  to  pursue,  if  they  were  at 
any  time  without  specific  instructions,  in  order  to  as* 
certain  his  will  respecting  any  proceeding,  was,  to 
inquire  into  the  tendency  of  that  proceeding  to  promote 
or  diminish  the  excellence  of  the  structure.    If  one  of 
the  masons  had  reasoned  in  this  manner,  and,  in  con- 
formity to  his  rule,  had  commenced,  at  his  own  dis- 
credon,  an  arch  in  one  place,  and  formed  the  rudiments 
of  a  dome  in  another ;  would  his  arguments  have  been 
acquitted  of  presumption,  and  accepted  by  the  archi- 
tect as  a  defence  of  his  conduct?    Would  he  have 
been  allowed  to  be  capable  of  ascertaining  the  will  ci 
Sir  Christopher  Wren  from  his  own  crude  ideas  of 
architectural  expediency*." 

But  as  Dr.  Paley  maintains  that  utility  is  the  rule 
c^  moral  conduct,  and  the  sole  ground  of  cbligatiooi; 
not  only  in  those  cases  in  which  revelation  is  silent, 
but  in  whkh  it  gives  the  most  positive  command^  it 
is  necessary,  in  order  to  shew,  how  untenable  and 
inconclusive  his  argument  is,  to  suppose  that  the 
mason  has  not  only  commenced  an  arch  and  projected 
a  dome  without  instriK^ions,  but  has  done  this  eoit^ 
traiy  to  his  instructions ;  that  he  vindicates  his  con- 
duct  by  a  repetition  of  his  former  d^moe,  and  justifies 
himself  in  the  words,  mtOaHs  mutandist  in  which  Dr. 
Paley  pursues  his  reasoning  at  the  commencement  of 
his  diapter  on  utility.    "  My  proceedings  are  to  be 
estimated  by  their  tendency.    Whatever  is  expedient 

«  QMmaam'B  PrincipleB  of  Moral  Phaofoplij,  p.  SO* 


TkB  f^mmph  of  Mgpedimey 

im  ri^  It  k  the  utililj  ohM  of  any  one  of  your 
ottkn  vAiak  coasiitiitM  the  obligation  of  it.  Shrmy 
mm  n  -to  joBlgai  of  tkam  for  btmself.  Cooaequenlly 
jour  diiMllttia  iMpec^ing  tbe  ansh  and  the  ciome, 
a|ipeariog  to  nte  inexpedient,  I  was  at  liberty,  and 
e*ea  eUiged  in  conscienoe^  to  disobey  them/* 


Chapter  VII. 

fO^  fVQVSPW  OP  BX?£0iENCY  PROVEP  TO  B£  FAUB,  FBOM 
A  CONSID^HATION  OF  THE  MORAL  CONSTITUTION  OF  MAN. 

It  is  not  enough  that  we  shew  the  incapability  of 
Hum,  aming  ftom  his  rery  limited  faculties,  and  iAs 
eumpftralive  ignoraiice,  to  make  utility  the  sole  rule 
of  his  conduct  We  shall  find,  that  by  recalling  to 
our  reoolleetion  what  has  been  already  noticed  concern- 
ing his  moral  powcfa  and  principles,  we  shall  be  led 
to  the  same  oonehisicm. 

We  am  so  formed  that  we  approve  or  disapprove  olf 
actions  as  ri^t  w  as  wrcmg,  as  praiseworthy  or  Mame- 
wwthy,  befere  a  thought  has  entered  our  mind  as  to 
&eir  teoidenoy.  The  deed  of  heroism  whidi  ca&s 
forth  our  approval  before  we  have  time  to  reflect  on 
the  ground  cm  which  our  approbation  is  bestowed,  and 
liie  act  erf"  seH^ievoticm  by  which  the  martyr  to  pure 
religiem  does  homage  to  his  Ood  and  his  conscience, 
immediately  commaid  themselves  to  our  hearts* 
Who  has  ever  withheld  his  admiration  from  L^onidas 
and  his  chosen  band,  till  he  has  thought  crf^  the  good 
which  their  example  in  aU  coming  ages  was  to  confer 


pr€V0d  #0  te  Fkke. 

OD  the  iradd  ?  Who  faaa  hetttated  to  approve  of  (he 
child  that  has  diminished  her  own  oomfiMrta,  ^id  im- 
paired bet  health,  in  ministering  to  a  sicsUy  parent^^ 
who  has  been  able  to  deny  his  apjHDobation  inosntMi- 
plating  such  virtue,  till  he  had  calculated  the  adwn* 
tages  that  were  to  arise  fiom  it? 

Belcure  the  truth  of  the  theory  of  utility  can  be 

proved^  the  moral  constitution  of  man  must  be  aheied. 

That  theory*  however  modified,  and  however  dis* 

guised,  goes  to  establish,  that  the  whole  of  morality  ia 

a  systraa  of  unmingled  selfiahne8s,->--«m  affidr  of  eMier 

profit  or  ]oss  to  ourselves  or  to  others.    In  this  ibm, 

aooordii^^y,  it  is  avowed  by  Maadeville*  who  maii^ 

taine  that  man  is  cononned  forhia  ownporsonal  grali^ 

fications,  and  cares  not  for  the  happiness  or  miaery  cf 

Qthers,*-*and  that  in  the  sacrifices  n^di  he  ssabBS  to 

promote  this  happiness,  he  is  only  in  pucanii  of  self^ 

gratification*    It  is  the  same  ayatMa  of  sdfidmees, 

though  its  greater  ptaosib&ity  has  procured  fiv  it  a 

reoejAkai  with  persons  of  undoubted  piety  nadpaitf, 

wbieh  J>r.  Paley  has  imeented  to  the  worid  in  his 

Moral  FhikMophy;  in  wfaidi  he  nuainteiins  ibat  the 

sole  obligation  to  virtue  consists  in  an  eicduaiYe  psgant 

to  Qur  cMd  indifVidual  etamity  of  happinesa;  and  that 

VO^  itself  oonaists  in  obedi^ice  to  the  will  of  ikm 

Siipreme  Bttng,*-^which  obedxense  is  to  be  givan^  not 

QQ  aeooiwil  of  the  infinite  moral  exeeUencass  and  peiw 

iaeliiHis  el  his  nalitm,  nor  because  of  his  craating  and 

pmerriiig  goodness*  but  merely  en  account  of  Ue 

pow^togive  OS  withhold  the  hai^iaeas  wfakh  is  our 

object. 


44  The  Principle  of  Expediency 

Of  this  systemt  it  has  been  well  remariced,  that, 
<<  while  the  selfishness  which  it  maintains  is  as  abso- 
lute and  unremitting)  as  if  the  objects  of  perscmid 
gain  were  to  be  fimnd  in  the  wealth,  or  honours,  or 
sensual  pleasures  of  this  earth ;  this  very  selfishness 
is  rendered  more  offensive,  by  the  noble  image  of  the 
Deity  which  is  continually  presented  to  our  mind,  and 
presented  in  all  his  benevolence,  not  to  be  loved,  but 
to  be  courted  with  a  mockery  of  affection.  The 
sensualist  of  the  common  system  of  selfishness,  who 
never  thinks  of  any  higher  object  in  the  pursuit  c^ 
the  little  pleasures  which  he  is  miserable  enough  to 
r^ard  as  happiness,  is  a  being,  even  in  the  brutal 
stupidity  in  which  he  is  sunk,  more  worthy  ci  esteem 
than  the  selfish  of  another  life;  to  whose  view 
God  is  ever  present,  but  who  views  him  always  only 
to  feel  constantly  in  their  heart,  that  in  loving  him 
who  has  been  the  dispenser  of  all  the  blessings  whidbi 
they  have  enjdyed,  and  who  has  revealed  himself  in 
the  glorious  character  of  the  diffusser  of  an  immortality 
of  happiness,  they  love  not  the  giver  himself,  but  only 
the  gifts  which  they  have  received,  or  the  gifts  that 
are  promised*/' 

That  there  is  a  dose  connexion  between  virtue  and 
happiness,  so  close  that  without  it  the  universe  would 
become  a  splendid  mansion  of  misery,  is  not  to  be 
doubted ;  and  it  is  chiefly  because  this  connexion  is 
&lt  and  observed  by  aU,  that  certain  writers  have 
been  led  to  maintain,  that  virtue  solely  consists  in 
utility,  or  in  its  tendency  to  happiness,  and  that  the 

^  Brown'8  Lectures,  Vol.  IV.,  p.  99< 


proved  to  be  False.  45 

kw  by  wUdi  we  axe  to  regulate  our  conduct,  is  to  be 
foood  in  what  appears  to  us  to  be  conducive  to  hap* 
piness.  They  have  been  led  to  embrace  this  opinion 
with  the  greater  confidence,  that  they  have  observed 
how  mudi  its  truth  holds  in  regard  to  men  invested 
with  public  offices,  and  public  trust.  Men  in  sudi 
eiicumstances  are,  doubtless,  bound* to  act  for  the 
good  of  the  community.  But  they  are  bound  so  to 
act,  because  it  is  their  duty  to  love  their  neighbours 
as  themselves,  to  respect  the  rights  of  others  as  they 
do  their  own,  and,  consequently,  to  promote  their 
hi^iness  to  the  extent  of  their  power  and  op* 
portonity. 

We  approve  or  disapprove  of  actions,  however,  nol 
because  of  their  tendency  to  happiness,  or  the  oon- 
trary,  but  in  consequence  of  the  niofal  coastitutidn  6t 
our.  Qaturd ;  which  coDstituttoh,  as  God  is  its  author, 
werdLreloTiBghid  as  foraiBhing  an  expression  of  his 
will.  ;  How  few  of  mankind  ever  think,  cfc  have  ever 
thought,  of  das  relation  between  virtue  and  happiness; 
Do  we  not  give  our  admiratkm  to  the  virtuous  patriot^ 
to  the  benefactors  of  our  race,  who  have  lov^  their 
race  more  than  their  own  ease  or  lives,  before  wa 
hwe  considered  the  good  whidi  they  were  instru- 
mental in  conferring?  Would  not  the  noUe  career  of 
Howaid  procure  for  him  a  phoe  in  the  grated  af- 
fectipns  of  every  human  heart,  irrespectively  of  the 
eoBsequenoes  which  are  to  flow  from  it,  and  before 
these  coaaequences  had  been  placed  in  the  view  6t 
the  mind?  He  who  has  formed  us  in  his  own  image 
has   not  rendered  it  necessary  for  us  to  observe 

and  to  estimate  tendencies  and  efiects^ 


46[  T%e  Prineifk  ^  SmptHeney 

previoiiBly  to  our  a|ppioviiig  of  aa  aotioii  M  right,  ot 
of  di9i^ioyiiig  of  it  as  wrmg:  and  being  conaoiout 
that  we  love  virtue  and  hate  vice  without  refereooe  to 
eoDflequences,  merely  because  they  are  virtue  and 
Tioe,  we  justly  infer»  that  it  is  not  on  aooount  of  theut 
wneeqii^iQes  that  virtue  is  tovely  and  vice  hatefiili 
that  the  one  produces  the  emotion  of  approbatioa  and 
the  other  <^  disapprobation. 

This  much  the  patrons  of  the  doctrine  of  expediency 
do  Tirtually  acknowledge,  when  they  admit,  as  all 
must,  that  there  is  a  material  difference  betwem  the 
views  and  fedings  vnth  whidi  we  contemplate  a 
steam-engine  and  the  virtuous  actions  of  a  monl 
agsnt  A  steamrongine  is  useful,  and  [so  is  a  virtuous 
living  agent;  but  the  admiration  which  we  bestow  on 
^  one  is  of  a  nature  far  dilBfeient  from  the  love  we 
give  to  the  other, ->Hi  drcumstanoe  wludi  Hume  aad 
his  feUowers  admitted,  and  in  the  admission  havo 
tiitiially  granted  the  fallacy  of  the  principis  on  which 
their  systraa  rests.  Even  acooiding  to  tiieir  own 
QOiMMsicn,  utility  is  not  the  sde  measure  and  ndeof 
Tirtue.  If  the  qualifications  requisite  to  coastitnle  a 
moral  agent  are  nedbssary  to  give  to  YoMmefiU  actioHS 
the  quaUties  which  awaken  our  feelings  of  right  and 
Irropg,  of  good  desert  and  ill  desert,  of  oonrse,  it  is 
these  qui^ties,  and  not  utility,  tluit  make  virtue  the 
ebpeot  qS,  our  moral  feve  and  approbation. 
'  The  doctrine  of  Paley,  therdbre,  whidi  r^nesente 
the  sole  motive  to  virtue  to  be  the  happiness  of  the 
agent  himself^  is  necessarily  fidse.  So  fkr  is  this 
finm  the  tru^  that  we  fiikl  by  appealing  to  our 
QoascieDoas*  that  mond  affents  rise  in  our  estimatiott 


^^^^^^^J  y^   ^^    W— J^  ■*  • 

jm  in  pMportioii  as  di^  ktoep  thg<nH>ilm  out  df  «g)tt 
k  tbe  gocxi  aotk»i8  they  pcsfixttL  The  mail  liho  do* 
gDdd  without  •¥»  thinkkig  of  \bm  adnnifegBB  whiah 
ha  todividiiaJiy  is  to  dcrife  fhm  it,  %e  ngnd  ms^  iat 
evwy  respect,  more  deserving  of  oar  bve  asd  ap 
probation,  than  he  who  does  good  itoin  saUnh  qq» 
striieiwtiOM,  Beneroleooe  is  pope  only  as  it  is  dis^ 
interested ;  and  it  is  only  as  it  is  pum  that  it 
our  giHJtitQde  or  admirstion. 


Cha»se  vni. 

THE  PRINCIPLE  OP  EXPEDIENCY  PROVED  TO  BE  FALSE,  BY  A 
CONfMOERATION  6P  TiiE  fiVlLS  OP  WHICH  fTS  A0OPTKM 
WOCJU)  NfiCEBSAEILY  B£  PROOUCnVE. 

Tbob  abuse  of  a  priooqile  is  entainly  tK>  v«iidofaj«> 
tion  to  its  legitiniBte  use;  favit  whenitcanbeaheMi 
fliat  it  has  a  natural  and  direct  taideobf  ta  predncS 
ttvils,  and  that  it  has  been  uiged  in  all  a^as  bf  dm 
eppMssots  and  scouigen  of  maakifld  in  finBfijiiuu 
of  tbsur  atrocities,  w<a  are  sanij  nquiiad  la  rsjsstil 
as  fiiniishii^  a  rule  of  moral  condaet. 

If  expediency  be  the  otiiy  ruk  of  action,  ml  if  ofwy 
man  is  to  judge  fc^  htnudlf,  oooeeftiing  the  uHBhf  of 
Ins  own  condoet,  may  not  the  pei3iiier,4he  b^tmf^  of 
the  inteieito  of  his  eoimlry,  Iha  fimatic,  and  the  assas 
sin,  be  perBuaded,  each  in  his  own  miad^  that  his  Bty 
tkxs  are,  in  their  oonsequeaces,  beneficial,  and  eo^ 
titled  to  rewaid?  ThtB  wmck  is  adsolitted  by  (ha 
great  advocate  of  expediency,  Mr.  Hume :  *'  Amihsg; 
to  the  imperfeot  way,  in  which  human  affiurs  are  am- 


Ift  The  Pnneiple  cf  Expediency 

ducted,  a  sensible  knave,  in  particular  incidents,  may 
tlnnk  that  an  act  of  iniquity  or  infidelity  will  make  a 
considenible  addition  to  his  fortune,  without  causing 
any  coogideiable  breadi  in  the  social  union  and  con- 
federacy. That  honesfy  u  the  best  poliof,  may  be  a 
good  general  rule ;  but  it  is  liable  to  many  excep- 
tions :  and  he,  it  may  perhaps  be  judged,  conducts 
himself  with  most  wisdom,  who  observes  the  g^ieral 
rule,  and  takes  advantage  of  all  the  exceptions*." 

This,  it  is  candidly  acknowledged,  is  the  use  to 
which  the  principle  of  utility  may  be  applied  by  a 
eeneible  knaoe.  To  prevent  this  natural  application  of 
it,  when  adopted  as  a  rule  of  conduct,  we  can  only  say 
in  the  words  of  Mr.  Hume,  "  If  his  heart  does  not 
rebel  against  such  pernicious  maxims,  if  he  feels  no 
reluctance  to  the  thoughts  cS  villany  and  baseness,  he 
has  indeed  lost  a  consideiaMe  motive  to  virtue ;  and 
we  may  expect,  that  his  practice  will  be  answerable 
to  his  speoulaticm !"  If,  however,  his  heart  does  not 
Mbel  against  such  pernicious  maxims,  but  if,  on  the 
oootiary,  he  persuades  himself  that  their  utility  in  re* 
gatd  io  him,  at  least,  proves  that  they  are  not  perni- 
cious, on  what  ground,  according  to  the  princ^^les  of 
expediency,  can  he  be  condemned,  for  making  his 
practice  agree  with  his  speculation  ? 

If  we  suppose  this  rule  to  be  adopted  by  men  pos- 
sessed of  sovereign  power,  whose  decisions  affect  the 
happiness  and  the  destiny  of  nations,  would  it  not 
prove  most  favouraUe  to  the  establishment  of  that 
system  of  policy,  however  pernicious,  to  which  they 
Inclined?    We  can  easily  perceive  that  a  virtuous 

•  Inqnirj  concerning  Morals,  p.  193. 


profoed  to  be  Fahe.  4W 

ruler,  misled  by  this  principle,  woidd  prosecute  plans, 
and  from  the  purest  intentions,  most  detrimental  to  the 
good  of  the  governed.     Without  principle,  but  etf- 
dowed  with  talents,  and  influenced  by  ambition,  a 
prince  would  find,  in  the  rule  of  expediency,  every 
thing  suited  to  his  views.    It  would  accommodate 
itself  to  every  variation  in  his  conduct  and  govern- 
ment.    Would  it  not  sup{>ly  him  with  a  reason  to  vin* 
dicate  every  act  of  injustice,  and  a  plausible  pretext  fbr 
every  stretch  of  power?    How  soon  might  he  b6  per- 
suaded of  the  utility  of  destroying  civil  and  reKgious 
liberty,  and  convinced  of  the  utUHy  of  sudi  a  measure ; 
and  having  power  to  effect  it,  why  should  he  not  thus 
exercise  it  ?    The  most  relentless  persecution,  on  this 
principle,  would  appear  to  its  author  as  an  act  of  duty. 
Expediency  has  been  alleged  in  justificaticm  of  tbe 
greatest  inhumanity  and  injustice.    It  has  been  acted 
upon  by  persecutors  and  tyrants  in  every  age  of  the 
world.    It  has  been  the  rule  of  conduct  to  all  wlio 
have  found  a  courtly  morality  convenient.  ^Tbe  Inqui- 
sition referred  to  it  for  its  vindication  in  the  cmdties 
whidi  it  inflicted^  and  in  the  fires  which  it  kiiidted> 
That  society  which  is  most  dangerous  to  the  stability 
of  thrones,  and  to  the  virtue  and  happiness  of  maof 
Mnd, — ^the  Jesuits, — ^have  made  this  the  fbundalioD  of 
their  pernicious  maxims,  their  intriguing  coiBuidbi> 
and  unchristian  ccxnpUances.     Its  general  adoplieii 
"  would  be,"  to  use  the  words  of  Mr.  Paley,  "  to 
commit  every  man's  life  and  safety  to  the  Sfdeen, 
fury,  and  &naticismof  his  neighbour ;  a  disposition  of 

afiairs  which  would  soon  fill  the  world  with  misery 
Vol.,  II.  i; 


iH  The  Principle  of  Bxpedtency 

and  oanfiision ;  and*  ere  longi  put  an  end  to  human 
society,  if  not  to  the  human  species." 

The  adoption  of  this  principle  in  private  life~*and 
it  is  adopted  in  too  many  instances~-would  be  pro- 
ductiye  of  the  greatest  vice  and  misery.  It  is  not  too 
aaich  to  affirm,  that  no  one  will  steadfastly,  and  in  op- 
positiim  to  his  apparent  interest,  love  the  things  that 
are  true,  and  honest,  and  just,  in  all  their  bearings  on 
human  life,  unless  the  principles  of  religion  be  so 
firmly  fixed  in  his  mind,  as  to  operate  like  active  sti* 
mulants,  impelling  to  the  practice  of  duty.  It  is  not 
enough  that  he  is  aware  of  the  utility  of  integrity  and 
honesty  to  society ;  for  though  he  daily  feels  the  ne« 
QOssity  of  these  virtues  in  the  character  of  others,  oc- 
casions will  occur,  when  the  desire  of  some  present 
advantage  will  induce  him  to  make  an  exception  in 
hiB  own  case,  and  when  no  ideas  of  expediency  will 
have  sufficient  force  to  counteract  the  influence  of 
lMq>tation« 

In  the  progress  of  life,  how  numerous  are  the  in- 
stances in  which  the  present  advantage  of  a  virtuous 
action  may  be  vary  doubtful ;  and  in  whidi  obvious 
loss  accompanies  the  onward  road  of  rectitude  and 
troth.  In  such  cases,  will  it  infallibly  preserve  us 
firom  deviating  from  the  path  of  duty,  to  know  that 
honesty,  on  the  whole,  is  more  usefbl  to  society  than 
fraud  ?  Or,  that  if  it  be  allowable  in  us,  for  private 
ends,  to  do  wrong,  there  can  be  no  reason  shewn  why 
the  same  advantage  ought  not  be  given  to  every  mem- 
ber of  the  community.  If  even  that  divine  religion 
i^idi  begins  its  operation  on  the  heart,  and  whidi 


praved  to  be  False.  SI 

brings  down  holy  and  powerful  influence  to  our  aid-^ 
a  religion  which  is  invested  with  the  terrors,  no  less 
than  with  the  milder  glories,  of  the  Loid«-— and  which 
possesses  every  principle  that  can  win  or  awe  the 
human  mind ;— if  such  a  reUgion  be  not  always  cf- 
fectucd  in  delivering  its  disciples  from  temptation, 
how  ineflBcient  must  the  doctrine  of  utiUty  prove  as 
a  rule  of  moral  obligation,  and  as  a  motive  to  its 
practice ! 


Chapteb  IX. 

THE  PRINaPLE  OP  EXPEDIENCY  PROVED  TO  BE  FALSE  FROM. 
ITS  OPPOSITION  TO  DIVINE  REVELATION. 

Thr  existence  of  such  a  Revelation  presupposes  its 
necessity  in  furnishing  mankind  with  a  rule  of  con- 
duct, as  well  as  a  guide  of  faith,  and  a  ground  of 
hope.  But  if  it  was  necessary  that  God  should  pre- 
scribe a  law  to  his  creatures,  by  which  they  should 
regulate  their  moral  feelings  and  actions,  it  follows, 
that  this  law  alone  must  be  the  test  and  criterion  of 
duty,  to  the  exclusion  of  every  principle  which  man 
may  be  disposed  to  substitute  in  its  room. 

This  conviction  is  strengthened,  when  we  observe 
the  manner  in  which  Ood  requires  us  to  observe  his 
law.  Is  there,  in  that  Sacred  Volume,  in  which  alone 
lus  will  on  this  subject  is  made  known,  any  statement 
from  which  it  might  be  inferred,  that  man  may  assume, 
in  a  single  instance,  the  liberty  of  dispensing  with  the 
explicit  and  eternal  statutes  of  Heaven  ?    How  often, 

E  2 


dS       The  Principle  of  Erpediency  proved  to  be  False 

on  the  contrary,  are  mankind  cautioned  against  the 
assumption  of  such  a  power,  as  a  dishonour  to  the 
Supreme  Legislator  of  the  universe,  and  fraught  with 
mischief  and  ruin  to  those  who  practise  it !  They  are 
commanded  to  make  their  miiKls  familiar  with  it^  to 
meditate  in  it  day  and  night — ^in  consideration  of  its 
divine  original,  and  because  it  is  a  full  and  infallible 
standard  of  duty.  ''  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  thy 
God  with  all  thine  heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul,  and  with 
all  thy  might.  And  these  words  which  I  command 
thee  this  day  shall  be  in  thine  heart :  and  thou  shalt 
teach  them  diligently  unto  thy  children,  and  shalt  talk 
of  them  when  thou  sittest  in  the  house,  and  when  thou 
walkest  by  the  way,  and  when  thou  liest  down,  and 
when  thou  risest  up.  And  thou  shalt  bind  them  for  a 
sign  upon  thine  hand,  and  they  shall  be  as  frontlets 
between  thine  eyes.  And  thou  shalt  write  them  upcm 
the  posts  of  thy  house,  and  on  thy  gates  *." 

Even  the  duties  of  benevolence,  the  limits  of  which 
cannot  be  so  precisely  defined  as  those  of  justice,  and 
of  the  manner  of  discharging  which  we  are,  therefore, 
left  in  some  measure  to  judge,  are  enforced,  and  are 
to  be  performed,  without  the  aid  of  the  principle  of  ex^ 
pediency.  The  Scriptures  teach  us  to  govern  our  de- 
termination, in  such  cases,  by  other  considerations — by 
a  sense  of  duty,  by  the  fear  and  love  of  God,  by  a  su- 
preme regard  to  his  glory,  and  by  the  conviction  of 
our  accountableness.  In  all  cases,  the  language  which 
they  speak,  and  the  principles  which  they  enjoin,  are 
indirect  opposition  to  Mr.  Paley's  opinion,  *'  that  there 
is  no  command  in  Holy  Writ,  however  plainly  ex- 

♦  P©ut,  vi.  5— ?9. 


from  its  Opposition  to  Divine  Revelation.  S3 

pressed,  however  forcibly  inculcated,  which  a  man  is 
not  permitted,  which  he  is  not  bound,  to  violate  when- 
ever his  blindness,  his  interest,  his  frenzy,  induce 
him  to  imagine  that  the  violation  will  ultimately  be 
productive  of  advantage." 

But  it  is  not  enough  to  state,  generally,  that  the 
principle  of  expediency  is  opposed  to  Scripture ;  it 
is  there  marked  with  unqualified  reprobation.     **  We 
be  slanderously  reported,  and  some  affirm  that  we 
say, — Let  us  do  evil  that  good  may  come;  whose 
damnation,"  adds  the  Apostle,  "  is  just*/'      Mr. 
Paley's  comment  on  these  woids  of  inspiration  may 
well  excite  astonishment ;  and  convince  the  reader  of 
the  dangerous  tendency  of  a  principle,  which  could 
lead  a  man  who  really  venerated  Divine  Revelation, 
to  write  concerning  one  of  its  most  explicit  announce- 
ments, in  a  manner  so  unguarded.     "  From  the  prin- 
ciples   delivered   in   this    and   the    two   preceding 
diapters,  a  maxim  may  be  explained^  which  is  in 
every    man's  mouth,  and  in   most  men's    without 
meaning,  viz.,  not  to  do  evil  that  good  mm/  come^-^that 
is,  let  us  not  violate  a  general  rule  for  the  sake  of  any 
particular  good  consequences  we  may  expect — ;which 
is  for  the  most  part  a  salutary  caution,  the  advantage 
seldom  compensating  for  the  violation  of  the  rule*." 

It  is,  besides,  no  slight  objection  to  the  principle  in 
question,  that  its  adoption  might  lead  to  the  rejection 
of  Christianity.  For,  if  utility  be  the  cmly  infallible 
criterion  df  the  divine  will,  does  it  not  follow,  that  in 
weighing  the  evidence  for  Revelation,  the  imbeliever, 
should  hQ  be  led  in  the  outset  to  conceive  that  the  re- 

*  Rom.  111.  8.  tV(4.Lp.81. 


£4       The  Principle  of  Expediency  proved  to  be  False 

ception  of  the  Gospel  would  not  promote  tbe  general 

happiness  of  mankind,  would  feel  it  to  be  his  duty  U> 

reject  it?  Though  he  should  be  convinced  that  tbe 

testimony  in  support  of  divine  Revelation  is  irre« 

fragable,  still,  on  his  principles,  he  would  be  bound  to 

pronounce  it  an  imposture, — Shaving  been  satisfied  by 

previous  investigation  that,  on  tbe  whole,  it  is  un-* 

faYOui:able  to  the  interests  of  mankind.     It  is  on  this 

ground,  accordingly,  it  has  ostensibly  been  rejected  by 

the  majority  of  philosophical  unbelievers.    How  could 

Rousseau,  for  example,  notwithstanding  his  occasicmal 

pretensions  to  the  contrary,  love  or  receive  that  religion 

respecting  which  he   says,  that  it   ''  preaches  up 

nothing  but  slavery  and  dependence  ?  The  spirit  of  i^ 

is  too  favourable  to  tyranny  for  her  not  always  to 

take  the  advantage  of  it.     Free  Christians  are  made 

to  be  slaves." 

Finally,  the  principle  of  expediency  is  directly  op- 
posed to  the  benevolence  which  the  Gospel  requires* 
The  most  marked  characteristic  of  this,  as  will  after- 
wards be  shewn,  is  disinterestedness.  The  love 
which  is  pure,  which  is  acceptable  to  God,  seeketh 
not  her  own.  The  Divine  Founder  of  our  religioii 
has  cc^manded  us  to  do  good,  without  any  selfish 
reference  to  the  return  which  our  benevolence  may 
bring  us.  "  If  ye  love  them  that  love  you,  virhat 
reward  have  ye?  Do  not  even  the  Publicans  the 
same  ?  And  if  ye  salute  your  brethren  only,  what 
do  ye  more  than  others?  Do  not  evei)  the  PubU^ 
cans  so." 

How  contrary  is  this  to  the  doctrine  inculcated  by 
the  patrons  of  expediency;  who  tell  us,  that  we 


frtm  iU  Oppodiion  io  Divine  Sm>e^^      .       40 

dhould  so  constaxitly  keep  io  view  in  our  aetioiis  ttae 
good  vfhidi  they  are  likely  to  procure^  that  we  ate 
warranted  to  break  the  most  express  commandiiieiitf 
of  Heaven,  when  we  think  that  the  advantage  is  of 
gu£Scient  magnitude  to  justify  the  vicdation. 


Chapter  X. 

THE  PRINaPLE  OF  EXPEDIENCY  NOT  COUNTENANCED  BY 
THE  SCRIPTURE  DOCTRINE  OF  REWARD. 

The  most  plausible  argument  in  favour  of  the  prin«> 
dple  of  utility,  an  argument  of  which  Paley  has  very 
folly  availed  himself,  is,  its  apparent  consiateiicy  with 
the  doctrine  of  scripture  concerning  the  reward  yto 
mised  to  genuine  faith  and  obedience. 

The  foUowing  are  a  few  out  of  many  passages  in 
which  mankind  are  commanded  to  seek  salvation,  and 
promiaed  eternal  life  as  the  reward  of  their  persevering 
pursuit.  "  Who  will  render  to  every  man  according 
to  his  deeds :  to  them  who  by  patient  continuance  ib 
weilpdoing,  seek  for  glory,  and  honour,  ^nd  imtnortality^ 
eternal  life :  But  unto  them  that  are  contentious,  and 
do  not  obey  the  truth,  but  obey  unrighteousness^  in« 
dignation  and  wrath,  tribulation  and  anguish,  upon 
every  soul  of  man  that  doeth  evil  ;'-*but  glory,  honour^ 
and  peace  to  every  man  that  worketh  good  * .  *•  "  We 
labour,  that  whether  present  or  abseiA,  we  may  be 
accepted  of  him.  For  we  must  all  appear  before  the 
jud^ent-seat  of  Christ ;  that  every  one  may  receive 


86      The  Principle  'of  Expediency  not  countenanced 

the  thkigB  done  in  his  body,  according  to  that  he  hath 
done,  whether  it  be  good  or  bad*/*  ''  I  press  toward 
the  mark  for  the  prize  of  the  high  calling  of  God  in 
Christ  Jesus  f." 

The  same  principle  is  recognised  in  those  appeals 
to  our  love  of  personal  happiness  which  are  so  abun« 
dant  in  scripture.  ''  Whosoever  will  save  his  life 
shall  lose  it ;  and  whosoever  will  lose  his  life  for  my 
sake  shall  find  it.  For  what  is  a  man  profited,  if  he 
shall  gain  the  whole  world,  and  lose  his  own  soul? 
Or,  what  shall  a  man  give  in  exchange  for  his  soul  %  V 
"  Be  not  afraid  of  them  that  kill  the  body,  and  after  that 
have  no  more  that  they  can  do.  But  I  will  forewarn 
you  whom  ye  shall  fear :  fear  him,  who  after  he  hath 
killed  hath  power  to  cast  into  hell ;  yea,  I  say  unto 
you,  fear  him  §/' 

But  in  what  does  the  principle  here  recognised  and 
recommended  difier  fi'om  utility  ?  Does  not  the  form^ 
as  well  as  the  latter  require  us  to  seek  by  strenuous 
and  persevering  exertion  a  personal  advantage,  a 
reward  of  the  greatest  magnitude  ?  According  to  the 
doctrine  of  expediency,  the  strength  of  an  obligation 
to  an  action  or  line  of  conduct  is  in  proportion  to  the 
gain  which  is  to  accrue  from  it.  "  We  can  be  obliged 
to  nothing,"  says  Paley,  "  but  what  we  ourselves  are 
to  gain  or  lose  something  by:  for  nothing  else  can  be 
a  violent  motive  to  us.  As  we  should  not  be  obliged 
to  obey  the  laws,  or  the  magistrate,  unless  rewards  or 
punishments,  pleasure  or  pain,  somehow  or  other, 
depended  upon  our  obedience ;  so  neither  should  we, 

•  2  Cor.  V.  9,  10.        t  Philip  iii.  U.         J  Matt.  xvi.  26. 

$  Luke  xii,  4,  5. 


by  the  Scripture  Doctrine  of  Iteward.  Iff 

without  the  same  reason,  be  obliged  to  do  what  |i 
right,  to  practise  virtue,  or  to  obey  the  conusaods  of 
God*-" 

When  it  is  recollected  what  the  doctrine  of  expedi- 
ency really  is, — ^that  it  resolves  the  virtue  or  worth  of 
moral  actions  into  their  tendency  to  procure  some  benefit 
to  ourselves  or  others, — ^that  it  rests  the  obligation  to 
obey  the  commands  of  God  on  the  gain  which  obedi^ 
ence  brings, — ^and  that  it  authorizes  us  to  violate  the 
most  express  laws  of  God,  when  we  can  induce  om:- 
selves  to  think  that  their  violation  will  bring  us  greater 
b^iefit  than  their  observance ;  it  is  surely  not  iieces* 
sary  to  make  many  observations  to  prove,  that  the 
promise  of  reward,  held  forth  in  the  gospel,  to  perse* 
vering  faith  and  obedience,  is  totally  different 

In  what  does  that  promised  reward  consist  ?  In  the 
case  supposed,  that  is,  in  regard  to  mankind,  it  con- 
sists in  deliverance  from  sin,  and  in  the  everlasting 
possession  of  all  the  happiness  of  whidi  our  nature  is 
capable.  To  be  perfecdy  virtuous,  is  to  be  perfectly 
meet  for  the  enjoyment  of  that  happiness  which  virtue 
ever  yields.  Is  not  this  a  good  of  incalculable 
value, — ^the  magnitude  of  which  is  to  be  estimated, 
not  merely  by  its  eternal  duration,  but  by  its  perpetual 
accumulation?  That  it  is  in  itself  an  object  of  su- 
preme desire,  and  that  it  justly  ought  to  be  so,  no  one 
can  doubt.  But  in  this  desire,  however  intense,  when 
indulged  aright,  there  is  nothing  selfish,  nothing  at 
variance  with  the  disinterested  love  of  God  and  of 
man  which  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law : — ^there  is  nothing 

•  Vol.  i.  p.  6a 


i 


by  the  Scripture  Doctrine  of  Reward.  Ift 

without  the  same  reason,  be  obliged  to  do  what  )a 
right,  to  practise  virtue,  or  to  obey  the  conmiaiids  oC 
God*." 

When  it  is  recollected  what  the  doctrine  of  expedi« 
&ICJ  really  is, — ^that  it  resolves  the  virtue  or  worth  of 
moral  actions  into  their  tendency  to  procure  some  b^aefit 
to  ourselves  or  others, — ^that  it  rests  the  oUigation  to 
obey  the  oHnmands  of  Ood  on  the  gain  which  obedi^ 
ence  brings, — ^and  that  it  authorizes  us  to  violate  the 
most  express  laws  of  €kxi,  when  we  can  induce  oinr*- 
selves  to  think  that  their  violation  will  bring  us  greater 
b^iefit  than  their  observance ;  it  is  surely  not  neces- 
sary to  make  many  observations  to  prove,  that  the 
prcmiise  of  reward,  held  forth  in  the  gospel,  to  perse* 
vering  faith  and  obedience,  is  totally  different. 

In  what  does  that  promised  reward  consist  ?  In  the 
case  supposed,  that  is,  in  regard  to  mankind,  it  con* 
sists  in  deliverance  from  sin,  and  in  the  everlasting 
possession  of  all  the  happiness  of  whidd  our  nature  is 
capable.  To  be  perfectly  virtuous,  is  to  be  perfectly 
meet  for  the  enjoyment  of  that  happiness  which  virtue 
ever  yields.  Is  not  this  a  good  of  incalculable 
value, — ^the  magnitude  of  which  is  to  be  estimated, 
not  merely  by  its  eternal  duraticxi,  but  by  its  perpetual 
accumulation  ?  That  it  is  in  itself  an  object  of  su- 
preme desire,  and  that  it  justly  ought  to  be  so,  no  one 
ui  doubt.  But  in  this  desire,  however  intense,  when 
iidulg^  aright,  there  is  nothing  selfish,  nothing  at 
Variance  with  the  disinterested  love  of  God  and  of 

an  which  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law : — ^there  is  nothing 

•  Vol.  i.  p.  6a 


00     The  Principle  of  Utility  proved  to  be  Untenable. 

pursue  in  all  things,  and  above  all  things.  This  is  to 
be  oar  ultimate  end  in  every  pursuit,  even  in  that  of 
everlasting  salvation.  In  acting  thus,  we  only  give  to 
God  what  he  is  entitled  to  receive,  the  supreme  love 
of  the  heart. 

But  how  opposite  is  this  to  the  scheme  of  utility, 
which  makes  our  own  individual  gain  to  be  every 
thing, — which  is  so  far  from  representing  the  glory  of 
God  as  an  object  of  superlative  importance,  that  it 
authorizes  us  to  violate  his  laws  when  we  can  persuade 
ourselves  to  believe,  that  we  shall  derive  greater  ad- 
vantage from  the  violation  than  from  the  observance — 
and  which,  in  place  of  pointing  to  Ood  as  the  first 
object  of  disinterested  regard,  maintains,  that  he  is 
on  no  other  ground  entitled  to  our  love  and  obedi- 
ence, than  in  consideration  of  the  evil  which  he  can 
inflict,  and  the  good  which  he  can  communicate  ? 


Chapter  XI. 

THE  PRINCIPLE  OF  UTILITY  PROVED  TO  BE  UNTENABLE  FROM 
THE  INCAPABILmr  OF  MAN  TO  DISCERN  THE  CONSEQUENCES 
OF  HIS  ACTIONS. 

That  the  consequences  which  follow  from  the  actions 
of  moral  agents  are  endless,  is  a  proposition,  the  truth 
of  whidifew  will  controvert.  Moral  evil,  no  less  than 
moral  good,  perpetuates  itself.  The  effects  of  a  sin^e 
good  action  may  readi  into  eternity.  It  is  only  a 
Being  of  infinite  understanding  who  can  know  the 
number  and  duration  of  those  results  to  which  one 
deed  of  beneficence  (dves  rise.    It  is  he  onlv  wlio  can 


^ 


The  Principle  of  Utiliiy  proved  to  be  UrUeruMe.      61 

estimate  all  the  evil  of  which  a  single  act  of  im* 
piety  and  immorality  may  be  productive. 

If,  \o  be  instrumental  in  the  restoration  to  virtue 
and  to  happiness,  of  a  being  destined  for  immortality^ 
is  a  measure  of  good  which  a  single  individual.may»  by 
his  exertions  or  example,  be  the  means  of  attaining ; 
an  individual  also  may,  by  his  exertions  or  example, 
be  the  means  of  producing  an  extent  of  moral  ruin 
which  the  conceptions  of  man  cannot  reach.  Hence 
Scripture  teaches  us  that  the  results  of  every  man's 
conduct  here  will  meet  him  in  the  day  of  final  retrilni- 
tion ;  and  that  his  eternal  condition,  either  of  happiness 
or  of  misery,  shall  be  fixed  accordingly.  ''  Whatso* 
ever  a  man  soweth,  that  shall  he  also  reap/' 

Nor  are  these  remarks  merely  applicable  to  those 
actions,  respecting  the  morality  or  immorality  of  whichi 
it  is  presumed,  there  cannot  exist  a  difference  of  opi- 
nion. Actions,  which  may  seem  trivial,  and  the  real 
character  of  which  as  to  right  or  wrong  may  appear 
doubtfial  to  those  who  have  not  divine  revelation  to 
guide  them,  may  be  productive  of  important  and  end- 
less consequences.  How  desirable,  how  necessary, 
is  it  for  moral  agents  to  have  an  infallible  rule  of  action 
prescribed  to  them  by  Him  whose  wisdom  and  know* 
ledge  are  infinite  ? 

But  if  we  cannot  foresee  all  the  consequences  of 
our  actions,  how  can  we  derive  from  the  principle 
of  ei^pediency  the  rule  to  direct  our  moral  conduct  ? 
"  Is  the  degree  of  expediency  which  we  can  dis- 
cern, in  any  case  such  as  to  justify  us  in  infening 
that  we  have  a  tolerable  insight  into  general  ex- 
p^iency?     Surely  no  one  will  answer  in  the  affir- 


at      The  PrincipU  of  UtUUsf  prm>ed  to  be  Untenable. 

Biative.  As  well  might  an  Ab^ysBinian  pretend  to 
delineate  the  whole  course  of  the  Nile,  in  consequence 
of  having  traced  the  windings  of  the  infiuit  river  for  a 
few  miles  contiguous  to  his  hut.  As  well  might  a 
fisherman  infer,  that  his  line,  whidi  has  readied  the 
bottom  of  the  credc  in  which  he  exercises  his  trade,  is 
capable  of  fathoming  the  depth  of  the  Atlantic. 

''  If  this  argument  wanted  confirmation^  it  might 
receive  it  from  a  view  c^  the  moral,  to  say  nothing  of 
the  natural,  government  of  the  world.  Even  though 
we  are  previously  convinced  that  the  great  object  of 
the  Almighty  is  the  happiness  of  his  creatures,  in  nu* 
meious  instances  we  see  very  imperfectly  how  the 
detail  of  his  operations  conduces  to  the  end  which  he 
has  in  view.  Sometimes  presumptuous  ignorance 
would  lead  us  to  imagine  that  we  perceive  circum- 
stances which  militate  against  it,  as  the  permission  of 
moral  evil ;  others,  wherein  there  is  an  appearance  of 
imperfection,  as  in  the  late  establishment  and  partial 
diffusion  of  Christianity  ;  and  numbers  which  seem 
indifferent  to  the  design  proposed,  or  neither  fully  nor 
directly  to  conduce  to  it.  If,  tlien,  we  are  so  far  from 
discovering  the  propriety  and  excellence  of  the  parts 
of  a  system,  which  we  are  certain  is  framed  in  exact 
conformity  to  the  staiidard  of  general  expediency,  we 
may  be  convinced  how  little  our  utmost  sagacity  can 
discover  of  the  ultimate  tendency  and  effects  of  our 
conduct ;  we  may  be  assured  that  we  are  wholly  im- 
qualified  to  determine  whether  those  actions,  which 
seem  to  further  the  particular  expediency  within  the 
reach  of  our  foresight,  would  or  would  not  conduce  to 
general  good ;  that  the  limited  knowledge  of  expe- 


Oft  the  differmt  Theonei  ofM0rok.  •• 

diency  attainable  by  the  wisest  of  meii  is  unfit  to  be 
adopted  as  the  basis  of  mwal  nsctitude ;  and  that  if  it 
were  adopted,  we  should  very  finequently  be  acting  in 
direct  opposition  to  the  will  of  Qod,  at  ^e  time  when 
we  had  fondly  persuaded  ourselves  that  we  were  Aost 
strrauously  employed  in  promoting  it*.'^ 


CflAPTEft   XZI. 
ON  THE  DIFFBRBNT  THEORIES  OT  MORAJLS. 

Having  shewn  the  grounds  and  principles  of  moral 
obligation,  and  having  attempted  to  prove  that  moral 
distinctions  are  immutable  and  eternal, — ^I  shall  ooa- 
dude  this  division  of  my  subject  with  a  few  observa- 
tions on  the  different  theories  of  morals. 

The  object  of  all  such  theories  is  to  account  for  the 
origin  of  cAir  moral  sentiments.  The  earliest  formed 
in  modem  times  is  that  of  Hobbes,  an  author  whose 
acuteness  and  genius  have  seldom  been  surpassed.  A 
favourite  dogma  with  him,  in  common  with  some,  of 
the  ancients,  was,  that  the  notion  of  the  being  and 
providence  of  God,  and  of  religious  worship*,  is  the 
e&ct  of  human  fear  and  weakness.  Yet,  he  else- 
where asserts,  that  the  mechanical  contrivance  of  the 
human  body  affords  so  dear  a  proof  of  a  wise  Maker, 
that  he  must  be  without  a  mind  who  does  not  admit  its 

«  Gisborna*!  Prioe^^lM  of  Moral  Philosophy. 


M  Ontke  different  Theofies  of  Morals. 

having  beea  made  by  a  Being  of  intelligence  *.  Our 
ideas  of  right  and  wrong,  of  justice  and  injustice,  have 
their  origin,  according  to  him,  in  the  institutions  of 
j^ests  and  l^slators,  that  is,  in  the  authority  of  po- 
litical enactment 

To  enter  on  the  refutation  of  this  theory » would  cxily 
be  to  repeat  what  has  been  already  stated.  If  the 
observations  formerly  made  are  not  sufficient  to  shew 
that  moral  distinctions  are  fixed  and  unchangeable,  I 
cannot  hope  to  produce  conviction  of  this  by  any  ad* 
ditional  illustrations. 

Who  does  not  remark  the  utter  impotency  of  all  the 
l^slators  of  the  world  in  changing  one  virtue  into 
vice,  or,  in  altering  the  essential  laws  of  right  and 
wrong  ?  Has  the  most  profligate  prince  ever  presumed 
to  declare  that  his  government  patronised  deceit, 
fraud,  cruelty,  and  oppression,  and  that  only  the  de- 
ceitful, the  fraudulent,  the  cruel,  and  oppressive,  were 
to  expect  protection  and  reward  ?  Has  the  tyrant  at 
the  head  of  his  mercenary  armies  acknowledged  that 
he  was  influenced  solely  by  unprincipled  ambition, 
atkl  that  he  led  them  to  the  field,  not  to  combat  for  the 
liberty  and  happiness  of  mankind,  but  to  rivet  more 
firmly  the  chains  of  the  conquerors  and  the  conquered? 

''  There  is,  indeed,  a  power,"  as  has  been  remarked, 
«*  by  which  princes  decree  justice ;  but  it  is  a  power 
above  the  mere  voice  of  kings — a  power,  which  has 
previously  fixed  in  the  breasts  of  those  who  receive 
the  decree,  a  love  of  the  very  virtue  which  kings,  even 
when  kings  are  most  virtuous,  can  only  enforce.  And 
it  is  well  for  man  that  the  feeble  authorities  of  this 

*  Hobb,  de  Homine,  1.  i,  c.  1, 


On  the  different  Theories  of  Morale.  65 

edrth  cannot  change  the  sentiments  of  our  hearts  with 
the  same  facflity,  as  they  can  throw  fetters  on  our 
hands.  There  would,  then,  indeed,  be  no  hope  to  the 
oppressed,  the  greater  the  oppression,  the  stronger 
motive  would  there  be  to  make  obedience  to  oppres- 
sion a  virtue,  and  every  species  of  guilt,  whidi  the 
powerful  might  love  to  exercise,  amiable  in  the  eyes 
even  of  the  miserable  victims.  All  virtue  in  such  cir- 
cumstances would  soon  perish  from  the  earth.  Nature 
has  not  thrown  us  on  the  world  with  such  feeble  prin- 
ciples as  these :  she  has  given  us  virtue  of  which  no 
power  can  deprive  us,  and  has  fixed  in  the  soul  of 
Him  whom  more  than  fifty  nations  obey,  a  restraint 
on  his  power,  from  which  the  servile  obedience  of  all 
the  nations  of  the  globe  could  not  absolve  him*." 

^  The  fundamental  doctrines  inculcated  in  the  political  wrilings  of 
H«ibbe«  are  contained  in  the  folloMrin^  propositions  ^-^AU  men  are  hy 
nature  equal ;  and  prior  to  i^ovemment,  they  had  all  an  equal  rif  hi  to 
enjoy  the  good  things  of  the  world.  Man,  too,  is  (according  to  Uobbes) 
by  nature  a  solitary  and  purely  selfish  anhnal ;  the  social  union  being  en* 
tirely  an  interested  league,  suggested  by  prudential  vieirs  of  personal  ad* 
vantage.  The  necessary  consequence  is,  that  a  state  of  nature  must  be  a 
state  of  perpetual  warfare,  xd  which  no  individual  has  any  other  means  of 
safety  than  his  own  strength  or  ingenuity ;  and  in  which  there  is  no  room, 
for  regular  industry,  because  no  secure  enjoyment  of  its  fruits.  In  con^ 
limiatitm  of  this  view  of  the  origin  of  society,  Hobbes  appeals  to  facta 
falling  daily  within  the  circle  of  our  owu  experience.  "  Does  not  a  man» 
(he  asks,)  when  taking  a  journey,  arm  himself,  and  seek  to  go  well  accom- 
panied? When  going  to  sleep,  does  he  not  lock  his  doors.  Nay,  evea 
in  his  own  house,  does  he  not  lock  his  chests  ?  Does  he  not  thert  as  much 
accuse  mankind  by  his  actions,  as  1  do  by  my  words.** 

For  the  sake  of  peace  and  security,  it  is  necessary  that  each  individual 
should  surrender  a  part  of  his  natural  right,  and  be  contented  with  such  a 
share  of  liberty  as  he  is  willing  to  allow  to  others ;  or,  to  use  Hobbes*8 
own  language,  *'  every  man  must  divest  himself  of  the  right  he  has  to  all 
things  by  nature ;  the  right  of  all  men  to  all  things  being  in  effect  no  better 
than  if  no  man  had  a  right  to  any  thing."  In  consequence  of  this  trans- 
ference of  natural  rights  to  an  individual,  or  to  a  body  of  individuals,  the 
multitude  become  one  person,  under  the  name  of  a  state  or  republic,  by 
which  person  the  common  will  and  power  ^are  exercised  for  the  coinmoa 

Vou  II,  ^ 


66  On  the  MfererU  Themes  ofMarabi 

NeuAj  allied  to  the  theory  which  would  resolve  ell 
our  notioiis  of  right  and  wrong  into  political  eoactmeat 
as  their  source,  is  that  of  MandeviUe^  whidi  repreMAts 
what  the  world  haa  agreed  to  call  virtue  as  the  mexe 
INToduction  of  political  skill,  the  sacrifk^  of  one  kind  of 
individual  gratification  for  the  sake  of  attaining  grati- 
fication of  another  kind^  namdy^  that  praise  for  whidi 
it  is  alleged  that  the  natural  appetite  of  man  is  m* 
satiable.  According  to  this  theory^  the  eaKercise  of 
virtue  exhibits  only  the  indulgence  of  human  firailty* 
and  the  practice  of  hypocrisy. 

That  which  gives  to  this»  and  to  all  similar  theories^ 
any  plausibility,  is  the  unquestionable  corruption  of 
human  nature,  which  so  often  exists  under  the  garb  of 
virtue,  and  which  is  so  apt  to  mingle  itsdf  with  all 
that  is  pndseworthy  in  man.  But,  to  admit  the  truth 
of  Mandeville's  doctrines,  were  to  admit  that  the 
nature  of  man  is  degraded  to  an  extent  fisur  beyrad 
what  either  Scriptore  or  reason  authoriaes  us  to  be- 
lieve.   This  theory  is,  besides,  fimdamentally  erro- 

defence.  The  ruling  power  cannot  be  withdrawn  from  those  to  whom  it 
hat  been  committed ;  nor  can  they  be  punished  for  misgoyenunent.  The 
interpretation  of  the  laws  is  to  be  sought*  not  from  the  comments  of  phi« 
losophers,  but  from  the  authority  of  the  ruler ;  otherwise  society  would 
^very  moment  be  in  danger  of  resolving  itself  into  the  discordant  elements 
of  which  it  was  at  first  composed.  The  will  of  the  magistrate*  therefore,  is 
to  be  regarded  as  the  ultimate  standard  of  right  and  wrongs  and  his  voice 
io  be  listened  to  by  erery  citizen  as  the  voice  of  coiiscience**-Pro/e«fOr 
Steweffs  Dweriution,  Uc.  p.  i.  p.  68. 

This  doctrin^.  which  Hobbes  revived,  was  held,  in  substaiice»  by  several 
of  the  ancient  philosophers.  Plato  speaks  of  some»  who  maintained  "  that 
the  things  which  are  accounted  just,  are  not  so  by  nature ;  for  that  men 
are  always  differing  about  them,  and  making  new  constitutions :  and  aa 
often  as  they  are  thus  constituted,  they  obtain  authority,  being  made  just 
by  art  and  by  the  laws,  not  by  any  natural  force  or  virtue."  (PitUo  i/# 
Leg.  L  10.)  The  same  doctrine  was  held  by  Aristippus,  Pyrrho^  and  in 
general  by  the  Sceptics. 


On  ike  differmt  Thmnei  of  Morak.  07 


neous,  inagmuch  as  it  ia  opposed  to  the  fixed  and  im* 
mutable  diatinctions  of  morality;  it  can  only  be 
viewed  as  a  satirical  representatioa  of  the  vices  of 
some  of  the  species :  it  tfaei^ore»  aeither  requiiw 
nor  merits  any  further  refutation. 

The  theory  of  Clarke  and  of  WoUaston  (for  tbe 
theory  supported  by  both  these  distipguished  wri- 
ters, though  somewhat  difforently  expressed,  is  radi- 
cally the  same)  is  of  an  opposite  description.  It  is 
the  system,  not  cmly  of  men  of  gmius,  but  of  men  who 
were  lovers  of  what  is  virtuous  and  noUe  in  our  oon- 
mon  nature.  Accordiqg  to  them,  virtue  consists  in  act- 
ing agreeably  to  the  fitness,  or  to  the  truth  of  things* 

It  is  undoubtedly  fit,  or  congruous,  that  a  moral  agent 
shoidd  act  virtuously,  and  it  ia  unfit  and  inoongnKM^ 
that  he  should  act  viciously ;  but  it  is  also  obvious 
that  there  is  ^fitness  in  all  that  takes  place  under  the 
natural  and  moral  government  of  Qod  for  prodnoiog 
certain  efifects*  There  is  in  vice  an  adaptation  to 
produce  misery,  as  there  is  in  virtue  to  produce  hap- 
piness, and  the  fitness  in  the  one  case  is  as  great  as 
that  in  the  other. 

This  theory  assiunes  what  its  authors  des^  it  to 
account  hx  and  explain, — the  origin  of  moral  distino- 
tkms.  To  say  that  virtue  consists  in  actipg  aeeoiding 
to  the  fitness  df  things,  is  only  saying,  that  virtue  con- 
sists in  acting  in  confonnity  wiUi  virtue,^ — a  position 
which  contains  nothing  original  or  new. 

The  authors  of  this  doctrine,  thougli  they  have  failed 
in  accomplishing  that  for  which  their  theory  was 
formed  and  set  forth,  have  had  the  meriti  by  the  iUus* 

trations  which  they  have  empfoyed  in  its  ^xpoaiUon*  of 

F  % 


68  On  ike  different  Theoriei  of  Morals. 

presenting  in  a  forcible  light,  the  arguments  which 
prove  that  man  is  now  placed  under  a  supreme  system 
of  moral  government.  Their  reasonings  also  have 
the  tendency  of  clearly  shewing  the  immutability  of 
moral  distinctions,  and  that  man  cannot  be  vicious 
without  being  criminal  and  miserable. 

It  ought  also  to  be  remariced,  that  while  they  have 
fallen  into  the  error  of  regarding  all  morality  as  the 
object  of  the  understanding  exclusively,  they  have 
avoided  the  opposite,  and  much  more  dangerous  error, 
of  considering  it  solely  as  matter  of  sensation  and 
feeling.  Morality,  as  has  been  already  shewn,  is  the 
object  both  of  that  moral  feeling  or  sense  with  which 
our  nature  is  endowed,  and  of  that  reason  which  is  the 
duef  diaracteristic  of  man.  ''  It  is  by  reason  that  we 
discover  those  general  rules  of  justice  by  which  we 
ought  to  regulate  our  actions ;  and  it  is  by  the  same 
fiu^ulty  that  we  form  those  more  vague  and  indeter- 
minate ideas  of  what  is  prudent,  of  what  is  decent,  of 
what  is  generous  and  noble.*' 

The  principle  of  Hume's  theory  of  morals  is  the 
doctrine  of  utility;  the  falseness  of  which,  as  the 
measure  and  rule  of  virtue,  has  been  already  fully 
shewn.  If  the  question  were,  Do  virtuous  actions 
conduce  to  the  happiness  of  their  authors  and  of 
mankind, — ^we  should,  without  hesitation,  answer  in 
the  affirmative.  It  is  quite  a  different  thing  to  assert, 
that  the  tendency  to  produce  this  happiness  is  the  sole 
ground  of  moral  distinctions. 

Mr.  Hume,  the  very  ingenious  advocate  of  this  doc- 
trine, has  himself  furnished  the  argument  by  which 
we  may  prove  it  to  be  untenable.    "  We  ought  not  to 


On  the^  different  Theories  of  Morah.  09 

imagine,"  says  he,  "  because  an  inanimate  object  may 
be  usrful  as  weU  as  a  man,  that,  therefore,  it  ou^t 
also,  according  to  this  system,  to  merit  the  appellation 
of  Tirtuous.  The  sentiments  excited  by  utiUty  are  in 
the  two  cases  very  different ;  and  the  one  is  mixed  with 
affection,  esteem,  approbation,  and  not  the  other." 

Now,  if  the  affection,  este^n,  and  approbation  with 
which  we  contemplate  the  moral  actions  of  moral 
agents,  are  not  excited  when  we  contemplate  the 
utility  of  a  steam-engine,  it  follows  that  virtue  is  not 
constituted  and  measured  by  mere  utility.  Actions 
are  not  accounted  virtuous  as  they  appear  to  be 
useful,  but  in  consequence  of  something  else  of  which 
usefulness  is  only  an  accompaniment.  It  is  thus 
evident,  that  ^'  moral  esteem  and  approbation  are  not 
commensurable  with  mere  physical  usefulness ;  but 
are  feelings  of  a  peculiar  class,  which  even  he,  who 
would  represent  actions  as  felt  to  be  virtuous  only 
because  they  are  regarded  as  physically  useful,  is 
obliged  to  pre-suppose.  Why  should  I  loye  that 
which  may  be  productive  of  benefit  to  all  the  indivi- 
duals of  the  world,  more  than  that  which  would  be 

,  * 

productive  of  similar  benefit  only  to  one  individual. 
Or,  to  put  a  question  still  stronger,  why  should  I  love 
that  which  would  be  of  advantage  even  to  one  indivi- 
dual, more  than  that  which  would  be  of  injury  to  every 
being  but  myself?  The  only  answer  which  can  be 
given,  even  according  to  the  theory  that  supposes  all 
virtue  to  consist  in  utility  is,  that  it  is  impossible  for 
me,  by  my  very  nature,  not  to  feel  approbation  of 
that  which  is  generally  useful ;  disapprobation  of  that 
which  is  in  its  general  consequences  hurtful" 


70  On  the  Hfireni  The&riH  ofMorali. 

Hence  ^  assumption  of  that  moral  feeling,  the 
origin  of  which  it  is  the  avowed  design  of  the  advocate 
of  Uie  theory  of  utility  to  account  for  and  explain. 

The  selfish  system  of  morals  is  only  a  modificaticxi 
of  the  theory  of  utility.  It  represents  each  indivi- 
dual as  acting,  not  for  the  general  good,  but  for  his 
own  personal  gratification  and  advantage.  The  re- 
marks which  have  been  made  on  this  system,  as 
advocated  by  Pdey,  are  sufficient  to  shew  its  futility. 
It  is  proved  by  our  moral  feelings,  and  by  the  testi- 
mony of  scripture,  to  be  false.  Of  all  the  modifications 
of  the.  selfish  system,  this  is  the  most  exceptionable, 
since  it  connects  the  excess  of  selfishness  with  the 
koage  of  Him  who  is  infinitely  good,  and  whose  ten- 
der mercies  are  over  all  his  works. 

The  last  system  of  morals  to  which  I  shall  allude  is 
that  of  Dr.  Smith,  as  expounded  in  his  theory  of  Moral 
Sentiments, — ^a  work,  the  fascinating  eloquence  of 
which  is  far  above  any  eulogium  t)f  mine.  In  its 
minor  details  and  illustrations,  it  is  perhaps  unrivalled 
in  the  depth  c^  thought  and  philosophical  beauty 
wfaidi  are  exhibited.  It  is  not,  however,  to  these 
but  to  its  leading  doctrine,  that  I  would  direct  the 
attmtion  of  the  reader. 

To  this  doctrine  I  alluded  when  treating  of  the  af- 
fi^etions.  We  do  not,  according  to  Dr.  Smith,  approve 
or  disapprove  of  actions  immediately  on  our  becoming 
aoquaint9<jl  with  their  nature  and  consequences.  It  is 
previously  necessary  that  we  sympathize  with,  or  enter 
into,  the  feelings  of  the  agent,  and  place  ourselves 
in  the  ciiwrnstances  of  him  who  is  the  object  of  the 
action.    If  we  can  folly  sympathize  with  the  agent. 


On  the  diferem  Theories  o/Mofnts.  H 

we  iq[»piOf  e  of  Ub  action  as  suitable  and  proper ;  if,  by 
piadqg  ourselves  ia  the  Ginnimstances  of  the  object  of 
tke  aetioD,  we  ean  sytnpatiiize  witk  bis  grateful  feel* 
iiigs,  we  eonaider  the  agent  as  possessiug  merit.  If 
we  ate  incapable  of  sympathising  with  the  agent,  we 
Tiew  the  actioQ  as  improper.  We  ooMider  him  worthy 
cf  reward  when  we  can  sympathise  with  the  gratitude 
of  ofhtts,  and  of  punishment  when  we  sympathna 
with  their  resentment.  In  a  woid,  the  merit  or  de* 
merit  of  the  agent  in  every  case,  accordfaig  to  this 
system,  can  only  be  disoovered  by  that  sympirthettc 
tendency  of  our  nature  which  enables  us  to  plaoe  oiff* 
sdvee  in  the  situation  (^  those  whom  his  action  has 
bttieftled  or  inju? ed. 

^  That  there  may  be  some  correspondence  of  sen- 
tinmits  between  the  spectator  and  the  person  prioci^ 
paUy  oofiovned,  the  spectator  must,  first  of  all,  ^idea- 
Toiir  as  much  as  he  can,  to  put  himself  in  the  situation 
of  the  other,  atid  tgt  bring  home  to  himself  every  little 
circumstance  which  can  possibly  aflect  him.  He  must 
adopt  the  whole  case  of  his  companion,  with  all  its  mi* 
autest  incidents ;  and  strive  to  render  as  perfect  as 
possiUe,  that  imaginary  change  of  situation  upon 
winch  hk  sympathy  is  feunded^/' 

The  great  error  of  this  theory  is,  that  it  tAes  for 
granted  the  existence  of  those  moral  feeKngs  d» 
cmgin  of  which  it  is  its  design  to  trace  io  that  sym- 
pathetie  process  just  described.  Had  we  not  been 
rendered  capable  by  theauthc^  of  our  bemg  of  judging 
pf  actions  as  right  and  wrong,  and  of  moral  agwts  as 

*  Theory  of  Moral  SentimeDts,  vol.  i.  p.  SI 


73  On  the  difefeni  Theories  of  Mcrak. 

virtuous  or  vicious,  meritorious  or  the  ccmtrary,  we 
could  not  derive  this  feeling  from  the  process  in  ques- 
tion. **  The  moral  sentiments  could  not  be  Regarded 
as  having  their  source  in  the  sympathy,  but  as  pre* 
ceding  it;  or  if  no  moral  sentiments  of  any  kind  pre* 
ceded  it,  the  sympathy  itself  could  not  a£ford  them — 
more  than  a  mirror,  >vhich  reflects  to  us,  from  the 
opposite  landscape,  the  sunny  hill,  the  rock,  and  the 
trees,  gleaming  through  the  spray  of  the  water-fall, 
could  of  itself,  without  any  external  light,  produce  all 
that  beautiful  variety  of  colour  with  which  it  delights 
our  vision. 

*'  Why  is  it  that  we  look  with  so  much  horror  on  those 
early  ages  of  persecution,  which  collecting  around  the 
victim  every  instrument  of  torture,  required  of  him 
only  a  few  grains  of  incense  to  be  thrown  before  a 
statue, — more  noble,  indeed,  than  the  imperial  mur- 
derer whom  it  represented,  but  still  only  a  statue,— 
tbe  effigy  of  a  being  of  human  form,  who  under  the 
purple  which  clothed  him  with  the  diadem,  and  the 
sceptre,  and  the  altar, — far  from  being  a  god,  was 
himself  one  of  the  lowest  things  which  God  had  made ! 
When,  placed  thus  between  idolatry  and  every  form  of 
bodily  anguish, — ^with  life  and  guilt  before  him,  and 
death  and  innocence, — ^the  hero  of  a  pure  faith  looked 
fearlessly  on  the  cross  or  on  the  stake,  and  calmly,  and 
without  wrath,  on  the  statue  which  he  refused  to  wc»r- 
ship,— <lo  we  feel  that  there  was  no  merit  in  the  mag* 
nanimity,  because  we  cannot  readily  discover  some 
gratitude  which  we  may  participate?  We  do  not 
think  of  any  thankfulness  of  man.     We  think  only  of 


Further  ItriimationSt  4^*  73 

Qod  and  viitue.^and  of  the  heroic  9uffisrer5  to  whom 
God  and  virtue  were  idl»  and  the  su^riiig  of  socb  a 
nothing^." 


M't.tn  ;^i 


Chapter  XIII. 

FURTHER  INTIMATIONS  OF  THE  EXISTENCE  OF  A  SUPREME 
MORAL  GOVERNMENT  j  AND  THE  NATURAL  AND  NECESSARY 
CONNEXION  BETWEEN  SIN  AND  SUFFERING. 

TuE  close  and  inseparable  connexion  between  sin  and 
sufiering,  so  forcibly  illustrated  by  the  experience  of 
mankind,  is  such  as  strikes  tlie  most  heedless  ob- 
server ;  and  renders  it  obvious  that  the  path  which 
self  love,  influenced  by  a  regard  to  personal  happiness, 
prescribes,  is  the  same  as  that  which  a  sense  of  duty 
enjoins.  Notwithstanding  what  a  few  speculative 
men  may  allege  to  the  contrary,  while  they  amuse  or 
exercise  their  powers  in  tracing  nearly  all  natural 
evil  to  the  necessity  of  general  laws,  producing  occa- 
sional inconvenience,  but  securing  a  preponderating 
good,  or  to  the  inevitable  imperfection  of  matter ;  we 
know  from  the  statements  of  revelation,  as  well  as  from 
the  justice  and  benevolence  of  God,  that  wherever 
suffering  exists  in  the  dominions  of  Him  whose  power 

and  goodness  are  infinite,  it  exists  as  the  consequence 

and  as  the  punishment  of  sin. 
There  is,  it  is  true,  considerable  inequality  in  the 

retributions  of  providence  in  the  present  state, — ^an 

inequality  which  illustrates  the  patience  and  goodness 

*  JBnMvn's  Lectures  oa  tbe  Plul.  of  the  Htlms^ii  |Hlind,  ?ol.  iv.  p.  ISTi— 1. 


T4  Furtkar  JhUimatims  ofm 

of  Ood,  and  whkh  is  designed  to  teadi  us  that  he  itas 
appointed  a  day  in  yAnA  he  wiH  judge  the  vndA  in 
righteousness,  and  render  unto  every  man  aceorAng 
to  his  works.  From  this  inequality,  and  from  the 
economy  of  mercy  imder  which  we  are  placed,  we 
learn  the  danger  of  rashly  interpreting  the  dispensa- 
tions of  God  to  man ;  and  the  impropriety  no  less  ci 
saying  concerning  him  who  is  peculiarly  tried,  that  he 
is  eminently  guilty,  than  of  pronouncing  him  who  is 
prosperous  to  be  distinguished  for  piety  and  rij^iteauB- 
ness.  While  all  suffering  proceeds  from  sin,  suffering 
is  now  employed  by  the  Mediator,  and  under  the 
constitution  of  grace,  for  attaining  various  moral  uses ; 
and  is  intended  as  trial  and  chastisement,  and  the 
means  of  maturing  the  graces  and  virtues  which  will 
fit  man  for  the  society  of  angels  and  of  just  men 
made  perfect.  Yet,  we  ought  to  be  well  convinced 
that  misery  in  any  and  in  every  form,  is  occasioned 
by  disobedience  to  the  will  of  God, — and  that  the 
state  of  suffering  into  which  the  original  apostasy 
brought  mankind,  is  greatly  aggravated  by  our  own 
actual  transgression.  Perhaps  we  do  not  remember 
so  practically  as  we  ought,  that  we  live  at  present 
under  a  dispensation  of  retributive  justice,  though 
mingled  with  mercy  ;  that  though  in  many  cases 
tiiere  may  seem  to  be  one  event  to  the  r^hteous 
and  the  wicked,  the  equality  is  more  in  appearance 
than  in  reality ;  and  that  if  our  views  of  the  Divine  go- 
vernment were  sufficiently  extended,  we  should  have 
ample  grounds  for  believing  that  the  connexion  now 
existing  between  sin  and  its  punishment,  and  obe- 
djfiiioe  and  ita  retwacd,  ia  so  gieafc  as  ta  be  •  Mar 


St^frenw  Mend  Oaoenmeni.  T5 

appnMKi  to  uBiformity.  This  uniformity  is  not  eom- 
jdelB  apd  invariable,  only  because  many  of  the  pend 
oansequMeea  of  sin  aie  for  a  season  at  least  sub- 
pended ;  but  it  is  sufficiently  so  to  oonvinoe  U8»  that 
sin  never  fails  to  find  out  the  sinner;  and  that  in 
doing  a  sinfiil  action,  or  in  indulging  an  evil  dispo- 
sitton,  we  are  preparing  sorrow  §x  ourselves,  and 
are  treasuring  up  wrath  against  the  day  of  wrath. 
We  do  not  learn  from  the  proeedure  of  Providence 
toward  mankind  the  lesson  which  it  is  designed  to 
teadi  us,  unless  we  are  more  thoroughly  convinced  of 
the  important  truUi,  that  suffering  and  death  are  the 
natural  and  the  necessary  eflbcts  of  sin.  **  Suppoee 
ye  that  those  Galileans  whose  blood  Pilate  had 
mingled  with  their  sacrifices,  were  sinners  above  all 
the  Galileans,  because  they  suffered  such  things  ?  I 
tell  you  nay;  but  except  ye  repent,  ye  shall  all 
likewise  perish.  Or,  those  eiglrteen  upon  whom  the 
tdwer  in  Siloam  fell,  and  slew  them,  tiunk  ye  that 
they  weve  simers  above  all  men  that  dwelt  in  J^nsa* 
lem  ?  I  tdU  you  nay ;  but  except  ye  repmt,  ye  shall 
all  Ucewise  perish.*' 

Section  I. — The  Terms  defined. 

What  is  meant  by  a  natural  and  necessary  con- 
nexion between  sin  and  suffering,  and  what  are  the 
grounds  on  which  this  connexion  is  founded?  Far  as 
our  observaticm  extends,  through  every  kingdom  ct 
nature,  amidst  an  endless  variety,  we  see  that  all 
things  exist  according  to  a  certain  order.  The  pro- 
mised revokitions  of  the  seasons,  the  seed-time  and 


76  Further  JntimoHons  of  a 

harvest^  and  cold  and  heat,  and  summer  and  winter, 
take  plaoe  in  a  regular  auccession;  and  in  oonse- 
quenoe  of  this  regularity  we  readily  believe  that  the 
same  laws  of  nature  whose  eSdds  are  unif<xin  in 
Europe,  operate  in  the  same  way  in  evwy  part  of  the 
globe.  Though  the  constitution  by  which  ev^its  are 
thus  conjoined  must,  as  the  appointment  of  infinite 
wisdom,  rest  on  the  best  possible  grounds,  we  can 
ccmceive  it  reversed,  so  as  to  present  the  same  events 
to  us  in  a  very  different  order.  The  same  remark 
applies  to  the  rites  and  ceremonies  of  the  Mosaic 
economy,  and  to  all  institutions  merely  positive,  which 
however  excellent  on  account  of  the  ends  whidi  they 
subserve,  and  however  binding  on  the  conscience  as 
enjoined  by  God,  might,  without  any  contradiction, 
be  conceived  otherwise.  But  there  are  certain  other 
things  united  together,  whose  disjunction  we  cannot 
conceive  possible.  It  is  impossible  that  the  blessed 
God  should  relinquish  any  attribute  of  his  nature ;  or 
that  his  law  should  be  otherwise  than  holy,  and  just, 
and  good  ;  or  that  any  creature  should  ever  become 
independent  of  him,  or  be  absolved  from  the  duty  of 
loving  and  obeying  him.  In  like  manner  is  it  im- 
possible that  any  being  formed  in  his  likeness,  and 
with  capacities  for  enjoyment  that  can  only  be  filled 
by  his  blissful  favour  and  presence,  should  be  happy 
after  it  has  apostatized  from  God,  and  has  ceased  to 
have  access  to  the  fountain  of  living  waters.  Does 
not  misery  follow  disobedience  to  God,  and  the 
voluntary  withdrawment  of  tlie  heart  from  him,  as  a 
natural  and  necessary  consequence ;  and  is  it  possi- 
ble for  the  sinner  by  any  mere  enactment  of  power,  of 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  Vt 

by  any  meaiift  whatever,  while  he  continues  a  rebsl 
against  God,  to  escape  this  consequence  ? 

It  is  trae,  we  do  not  see  in  the  present  life  all  the 
misery  that  necessarily  follows  the  commission  of  sin, 
because  mankind    are  placed  under  a  mediatorial 
economy,  and  because  of  the  patience  and  forbear- 
ance of  Him  who  maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evil 
and  the  good,  and  who  sendeth  rain  on  the  just  and 
on  the  unjust     But  we  know  that  the  animal  and  in* 
tellectual  enjoyments  with  which  mankind  in  the^r 
apostate  state  content  themselves,  are  fleeting;  that 
the  ci4)acity  for  deriving  any  share  of  happiness  from 
th^n  decays  with  the  decay  of  life ;  and  that  ev^i  at 
the   time   when   this    capacity  is  unimpaired,   and 
diose  enjoyments  most  abound^  one  such  view  of  the 
hdliness  and  perfec^on  of  the  eternal  God  as  would 
allow  the  light  of  truth  to  strike  upon  the  con8c»enoe» 
would  in  a  moment  dissolve  the  charm,  and  convert 
into  wormwood  and  gall  all  the  streams  of  earthly  en* 
joyment.    This  awful  disclosure  must  take  place  at 
death,  when  the  sinner  will  find  himself  surrounded 
with  the  perfections  of  that  great  and  holy  Lord  God, 
of  whose  character  and  government,  till  then,  he  has 
been  willingly  ignorant,  blazing  for  ever  around  him 
in  the  demonstration  of  their  avenging  justice,  and 
awakening  within  him  a  worm  that  will  never  die,  and 
a  fire  that  will  never  be  quenched : — ^in  an  eternity  so 
full  of  the  manifest  presence  of  God,  that  he  cannot  for 
a  momrat  fiee  from  him,  that  he  cannot  cease  to  think 
about  him,  that  God  cannot  in  all  the  glory  of  his  cha^ 
racter  but  be  fully  known  to  him^  and  in  an  eternity 


78  Fwther  IntimaiHoiu  of  a 

where  there  is  no  mixture  of  good  and  evU,  but  whore 
all  are  either  elevated  to  perfection  and  happinoas,  or 
remain  in  a  state  of  sin  and  misery  for  ever. 

But  while  sin,  by  a  natural  and  neoesaary  conae- 
<pienoe,  thus  leads  to  misery,  the  misery  of  which  it  is 
productive  is  greatly  increased  by  the  judicial  inflic- 
tions of  a  penal  kind  which  sin  deserves.    If  the  act 
d[  disobedience  to  the  will  of  Ood,  and  of  estrange- 
ment iiom  him,  does  involve  the  sinner,  independently 
of  any  interposing  power  from  without,  in  sonow  and 
in  suflbring,  how  inconceivably  must  the  sorrow  and 
Blaring  be  augmented  when  inflicted  as  the  ezpns- 
sion  of  divine  displeasure,  and  as  the  pimishment  of 
sin.    '*  Who  knoweth  the  power  of  thine  anger !  even 
a^ecording  to  thy  fear,  so  is  thy  wrath."   We  know  him 
that  hath  said,  '*  V^igeance  belongeth  unto  met  I  will 
recompense  saith  the  Lord  '    ''  It  is  a  fearftil  thing  to 
iall  into  the  hands  of  the  living  Qod."    The  natural 
consequences  of  sin,  consisting  in  the  loss  of  the  divine 
&vour,  in  remorse  and  horror  of  conscience,  in  hard- 
ness of  heart  and  blindness  of  mind,  and  in  the  cor- 
ruption of  the  whole  nature,  are  also  penal  conse- 
quences, and  are  alike  unavoidable  and  necessary  .-*- 
That   the   wfade   punishment  which   sin   deserves 
and  requires  is  infinite,  and  that  betweoi  suoi  and  itB 
adequate  punishment  there  exists  a  connexion  not  ar- 
bitrary, but  fixed  and  inseparable,  a  very  little  refleo* 
tion  on  the  character  of  Ood,  on  the  nature  of  sin,  and 
on  its  tendency  and  efl^ts  in  r^^ard  to  the  hcxionrs  of 
the  Deity,  and  the  interests  of  the  universe,  will 
us. 


Suptenm  Moral  QmmnmefU.  19 

SscTioif  II.— -Grounds  on  which  this  Cofmexion  is 

founded. 

He  against  whom  all  sin  is  oonunitted  is  the  Foun- 
tain of  infinite  purity  and  perfection ;  in  contrast  with 
the  br^htness  oi  whose  spotless  holiness  the  heavens 
are  uncLeaUt  and  the  resplendent  glories  of  dbenibims 
and  seraphims  are  obscured  and  darkened*  He  is 
of  purer  eyes  than  to  behold  eviU  and  cannot  look 
on  ink|uity.  Dwelling  in  the  light  of  his  uncreated 
and  eternal  purity,  all  moral  defilement  must  be 
io6mt/9iy  abhormot  in  his  si^ht.  In  his  nature,  thcr&> 
fora,  thwe  must  be  an  unalterable  (^position  to  sin ; 
indignation  in  the  ex/^x^ise  oi  his  hatred  against  it ; 
and  possessing  the  power  oi  making  his  displeasure 
felt  and  known,  idl  his  attributes  of  justice,  and  ^tnith, 
and  holiness,  the  honour  oi  his  greatness  and  majesty 
as  Ggd,  the  sanotions  of  his  law,  aaod  his  authority  as 
the  supreme  moral  Governor  and  Lawgiver  of  the 
universe,  leqpnie  that  he  shoukl  award  to  the  siniier 
the  desert  whidi  is  meet.  Siulted  as  Head  over  a&, 
and  as  the  conmion  Pannit  of  all  that  lives,  he  cannot 
safer  diat  to  go  unpunished  which  is  subveraive  of  the 
iatwests  of  all  his  dominions,  and  which,  by  difiiision, 
ndgtat  ultimately  destroy  the  happiness  of  every  cma* 
ture.  That  thb  is  the  direct  tendency  of  all  sin  is 
evident  from  its  nature  and  its  bearings  in  referenw  to 
God  and  to  aU  dependent  beings.  In  reganl  to  our- 
selves, it  defonna  the  ezoeUeacy  of  the  nature  whieh 
was  dsaigned  fer  immortality,  obliterates  the  holy 
image  of  God,  and  turns  into  an  instrument  of  rebel* 


80  Further  Jtnfimations  of  a 

lion  that  which  was  designed  to  be  for  glory  and 
honour.  In  regard  to  God  it  is  a  violation  of  his 
righteous  law,  and  a  denial  or  contempt  of  his  autho- 
rity,— it  is  an  assumption  of  the  independency  and 
right  to  govern  which  exclusively  belong  to  Him ; — 
it  is  a  slighting  of  the  power,  and  wisdom,  and  good- 
ness, and  truth  of  the  Deity,  it  is  a  virtual  imputation  of 
folsdiood  to  the  threatenings  of  his  displeasure  against 
transgression ;  and  it  is  the  exercise  of  a  deep-rooted 
hatred  to  his  character,  and  government,  and  throne. 
In  regard  to  the  universe,  sin  is  a  breach  of  its  order 
and  harmony ;  an  attempt  in  defiance  of  omnipotence 
to  subvert  its  prosperity  and  happiness,  to  spread  the 
revolt  that  has  covered  a  part  with  guilt  and  dishonour 
over  the  whole ;  to  involve  every  intelligent  beiiig  in 
a  course  of  apostasy  and  alienation  from  God,  and  all 
the  inhabitants  of  his  dominions  in  ruin  and  in  death. 
Every  single  act  of  transgression  implies  this  much, 
and  infinitely  more  than  our  earthly  and  impaired  un- 
derstandings can  comprehend,  and  must  surely  be  pro- 
nounced, even  by  us,  to  be  "  deserving  of  God's  wrath 
and  curse,  both  in  this  life,  and  in  that  which  is  to 
come."  Its  desert  is  thus  the  ground  which  renders 
the  connexion  between  sin  and  sufiering  so  fit,  inva- 
riable, and  necessary. 

If  sin  deserves  punishment,  it  is  but  meet  that  it 
should  be  punished  as  it  deserves.  If  the  spirit  of 
enmity  in  the  sinner  against  the  character  and  happi* 
ness  of  God  be  culpable  to  an  extent  inconceivable  to 
us,  is  it  not  proper  that  He  who  can  estimate  the  guilt 
of  a  rebel  against  Him  who  is  infinitely  holy  and  great, 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  81 

the   only  Potentate,  the  King  of  kings,  and  Lord  of 
lords,  should  award  the  adequate  punishment  ?    Does 
not  this  accord  with  the  dictates  of  conscience,  whose 
intimations,  though  they  cannot  inform  us  as  to  the  full 
desert  of  sin,  leave  no  doubt  that  its  least  desert  is  the 
loss  of  God's  favour,  and  the  infliction  of  suffering? 
The  sense  of  exposure  to  punishment,  arising  firom  a 
consciousness  of  guilt,   is  the  testimony  which  con* 
science  bears  to  the  justice  of  God,  and  the  judgment 
which,  in  spite  of  the  sinner,  it  pronounces  against 
him,  is  substantially  the  same  with  the  righteous  sen- 
tence which  the  law  of  God  delivers.     Thus,  every 
mouth  must  be  stopped,  and  the  whole  world  declared 
guilty,  and,  consequently,  liable  to  punishment  before 
God.     As  his  truth  renders  it  impossible  for  God  to 
lie,  and  his  hoUness  that  he  should  look  upon  iniquity, 
so  the  perfection  of  his  nature  disposes  him  to  punish 
sin,  and  demands  and  obliges  him  to  treat  the  offender 
according  to  his  desert.     This  is  the  pure  and  eternal 
justice  which  speaks  in  the  sentence  pronounced  on 
the  first  transgressors,  and  in  every  subsequent  threat- 
ening of  the  law,— the  justice  upon  which  the  throne 
and  government  of  God  are  founded,  which  forms  a 
bulwark  around  the  order  and  the  happiness  of  the  uni- 
verse,  which  nothing  that  worthless  rebels  could  ofier  ad 
an  atonanent,  even  were  they  willing  to  give  it,  could 
satisfy,  and  which  necessarily,  therefore,  gives  to  every 
soul  that  doeth  evil,  the  punishment  which  is  due. 
Hence  the  natural  and  necessary  connexion  between 
sin  and  suffering. 


Vou  It. 


est  Further  Intimations  of  a 

Section  III.  —  Instance<^  m  which  this  Connmon  is 

shewn. 

« 

I  shall  attempt  to  trace  this  connexion,  as  illustrated 
in  the  history  of  man  as  an  individual,  and  also  in  his 
social  capacity.  Here  we  have  evidence  sufficient  to 
convince  us,  not  only  that  this  connexion  exists,  but 
that  every  sin,  whether  indulged  in  the  heart,  or  in  the 
life,  is  followed  by  a  punishment  suited  to  its  own 
peculiar  character.  While  all  sins  have  qualities  in 
common,  and  have  the  same  principle  of  rebellion 
against  God  as  their  origin,  they  differ  in  the  circum^^ 
stances  of  their  commission,  and  in  their  degrees  of 
aggravation :  but  they  do  not  differ  more  from  each 
other  than  their  retributive  awards  are  also  different. 
Malice,  envy,  pride,  covetousness,  and  ambition, 
though  alike  in  the  misery  to  which  they  lead,  are 
in  some  respects  di£Eerent  in  their  nature  and  respec- 
tive consequences.  It  is  in  this  way  that  the  iniquity 
of  the  men  of  the  world,  and  the  backslidings  of  the 
disciples  of  Christ,  are  made  to  chastise  them,  and 
are  the  means  of  deepening  the  practical  conviction, 
that  happiness  is  only  to  be  retained  by  walking  in 
all  God*s  ordinances  and  commandments. 

In  the  first  place,  there  is  a  manifest  connexion  be- 
tween the  exercise  of  evil  affections  and  misery.  Sin 
has  often  the  dominion  in  the  heart,  while  there  is  no- 
thing  flagrant  in  the  life ;  and  the  mind  may  be  its  un- 
disturbed dwelling-place,  when  there  is  no  apparent 
immorality  in  the  conduct.  But  as  it  is  hateful  in  every 
form  and  in  every  place  to  the  eyes  of  a  holy  God,  so 
is  it  in  every  place  and  in  every  form  the  ground  of 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  88 

deep  crimination  and  of  punishment.  He  who  made 
us  for  the  exalted  purposes  of  his  own  glory,  has  ren- 
dered it  impossible  for  us  to  indulge  any  wrathful  pas- 
sion, any  selfish  afiection,  any  malignant  feeling,  with- 
out Buflfering  a  proportional  privation  of  happiness ; 
and,  accordingly,  the  man  who  repines  at  the  prosperity 
of  another,  or  who  wishes  evil  to  another,  disregards 
and  loses  the  peace  of  his  own  soul.  One  unsubdued 
and  sinful  passion  in  Haman  was  enough  to  render 
useless  to  him  all  the  wealth  and  honours  with  whidi 
Providence  had  surrounded  him.  *'  All  this  availeth 
me  nothing,  so  long  as  I  see  Mordecai  sitting  at  the 
King's  gate.'^  And  in  seeking  the  gratification  of  this 
evil  feeling,  he  fell  a  victim  to  the  righteous  retribution 
of  Providence.  If  the  description  c^  an  inspired 
apostle  of  the  state  of  mankind  be  just,  the  strictest 
and  the  most  philosophical  moralist  will  not  hesitate 
to  pronounce  it  to  be  a  state  of  misery ;  for,  if  tliey 
are  living  in  malice  and  envy,  hateful  and  hating  one 
another,  their  condition  of  necessity  must  be  that  of 
sufl^ring  as  well  as  of  depravity. 

In  any  situation,  the  man  who  yields  to  sinful  feel^ 
ingB  must  be  miserable.  Though  he  may  possess  all 
outward  means  of  happiness,  the  wealth,  friendship, 
and  reputation  of  the  world,  be  wants  that  within 
which  alone  can  constitute  these  external  advantages^ 
the  elements  of  his  enjoyment.  Those  around  him 
may  think  him  happy ;  but  they  cannot  see  the  soul^ 
and  are  unable  to  observe  the  workings  of  an  evil 
conscience  and  of  evil  passions.  There  is  no  peace^ 
saitb  my  God,  to  the  wicked.  Even  in  the  most  fear^ 
less  and  thoughtless  of  them  all  there  are  secret 

G  8 


84  Further  Intimations  of  a 

misgivings ;  there  are  present  disquietudes  of  mind 
which  they  cannot  suppress,  and  there  are  appre- 
hensions of  future  judgments  which  no  efforts  can 
avert  from  them.  Admitting  that  they  are  free 
from  malignant  passions  towards  others,  still  are  they 
under  the  dominion  of  some  affection,  which,  in  its 
restless  aim  at  gratification,  destroys  their  peace, — 
which  effectually  secludes  from  their  heart  all  the 
feelings  of  love  and  devotion  due  to  Qod  and  to  the 
concerns  of  eternity.  They  are  void  of  the  faith 
which  recognises  His  continual  presence,  and  which 
exercises  trust  in  the  Providence  that  clothes  the  grass 
of  the  field,  and  feeds  the  fowls  of  the  air ;  they  are 
destitute  of  the  love  that  casteth  out  fear,  and  which 
draws  away  the  heart  towards  objects  the  most  awful 
and  engaging :  they  are  totally  wanting  in  that  sub- 
mission to  the  divine  will  which  would  lead  them  to  be 
contented  with  the  things  which  they  have,  and  to 
view  all  the  events  of  their  lot  as  under  the  direction 
of  the  wisdom  that  cannot  err ;  and  they  are  without 
any  well-grounded  hope  in  relation  to  that  eternity 
which  is  so  near  them,  and  into  which  the  changes  of 
a  day  may  usher  them.  What  have  they  to  make  up 
for  these  privations?  They  have  their  consciences 
as  accusers,  and  some  feeling  of  envy,  or  ambition,  or 
malignity,  or  sensuality,  or  hatred  to  holiness,  to  agi- 
tate and  torment  them ;  they  have  His  face  against 
them  whose  word  is  pledged,  that  though  hand  join  in 
hand,  the  wicked  shall  not  be  unpunished ;  they  have 
the  denunciations  of  that  law  lying  upon  them,  whidi 
tells  them  that  none  of  its  violations  will  pass  with 
impunity :  they  have  to  bear  all  the  trials  of  life  with- 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  86 

out  the  oonsolatioDS  and  the  hope  of  religion;  and 
they  have  to  meet  death,  and  all  that  is  beyond  it,  ap- 
prehending that  their  portion  is  to  be  for  ever  with 
them  who  know  not  God,  and  who  obey  not  the 
Gospel. 

Are  these  the  fruits  which  men  reap  from  continuing 
in  sin  ?  Is  it  for  rewards  such  as  these  that  they  em- 
ploy all  their  wishes  and  efforts ;  that  they  live  in 
neglect  of  God,  of  their  souls,  and  eternity ;  that  they 
bow  down  themselves,  and  serve  the  idols  that  cannot 
save  them?  What  other  rewards  than  these  are  they 
entitled  to  promise  themselves?  Has  not  he  said, 
whose  word  should  be  credited,  that  the  soul  that  sin« 
neth  shall  die, — that  their  sin  shall  find  them  out,— 
that  it  shall  be  ill  with  the  wicked,  for  the  reward  of 
his  haixls  shall  be  given  him,  that  though  they  dig 
into  hell,  thence  shall  his  hand  take  them,  and  they 
climb  up  to  heaven,  thence  will  he  bring  them  down, 
and  that  he  will  set  his  eyes  on  them  for  evil,  and  not 
for  good.  In  what  single  instance  are  these,  the  say- 
ings of  the  God  of  truth,  not  verified  ?  Does  not  the 
constitution  of  nature,  does  not  the  order  of  that  provi- 
dence which  now  begins  the  distinction  between  the 
righteous  and  the  wicked, — a  distinction  which  here- 
after is  to  be  complete  and  eternal,  does  not  every  dis- 
pensation of  God  to  man,  fully  accord  with  the  asser- 
tion so  often  and  so  awfully  repeated,  that  sin  shall  find 
out  the  sinner,  and  that  sin  shall  not  go  unpunished. 

In  the  second  place,  the  connexion  between  sin  and 
suffering  is  seen  in  the  union  between  evU  actions  and 
the  retributive  awards  of  divine  justice.  The  history 
of  njankind  is  full  of  examples  illustrative  of  this 


86  Further  InHnuOians  of  a 

umon.    Disobedience  to  God  in  the  caae  of  our  first 
parents  was  followed  by  an  immediate  manifestation 
of  his  displeasure.     Besides  the  agony  that  aooom- 
panied  the  consciousneas  of  guilt,  they  were  excluded 
from  the  spot  which  the  stores  of  divine  goodness,  and 
the  enjoyment  of  the  divine  presence,  had  constituted 
a  paradise.     When,  in  a  few  generations  after  the 
fall,  the  depravity  of  mankind  increased  so  as  to  cover 
tiie  earth  with  violence  and  blood,  and  when  every 
imagination  of  the  thoughts  of  man's  heart  was  only 
evil  continually,  the  Lord  opened  the  windows  of 
heaven,  and  with  an  overflowing  flood  swept  away  the 
world  of  ungodly.     When  the  inhabitants  of  Sodom 
and  Gomorrha  had  deeply  degraded  our  common 
nature,  and  had  totally  efiaced  from  them  the  likeness 
of  Him  in  whose  image  they  had  been  created,  their 
cities  and  themselves  were  condemned  with  an  over- 
throw, and  are  set  forth  for  an  example,  sufiering  the 
vengeance  of  eternal  fire.    The  trials  and  sufierings  of 
individuals,  as  well  as  nations,  recorded  in  the  sacred 
volume,  were  adapted  as  appropriate  punishments  to 
the  sins  of  which  they  were  guilty.     If  Abraham  had 
discord  and  division  in  his  family,  were  they  not  the 
natural  desert, — the  penal  consequences  of  his  im- 
patience and  unbelief.     If  Jacob  was  repeatedly  de- 
ceived and  imposed  on,  and  had  thus  his  afflictions 
multiplied,  they  were  the  due  reward  of  that  impos- 
ture and  falsehood  of  which  he  to  his  venerable 
parent  had  himself  been  guilty.     If  Moses  was  kept 
out  of  the  land  of  promise  for  words  which  he  uttered 
in  the  warmth  of  passion,  it  was  a  just  retribution  for 
>e  fatal  efi^ts  of  his  anger  at  a  former  period  of  his 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  87 

life.  I  pass  over  the  cases  of  David  and  Solomon, 
and  of  the  kings  and  prophets  of  Israel  and  Judah, 
not  because  they  furnish  less  striking  illustrations  of 
the  natural  and  necessary  connexion  between  sin  and 
its  appropriate  punishment,  but  because,  for  the 
greater  part,  they  are  more  suited  to  private  reflection 
than  for  public  discussion.  Nor  shall  I  notice  at  any 
length  how  fully  the  principle  of  retributive  justice  is 
exemplified  in  the  history  and  sufferings  of  the  apostles 
of  our  Lord ;  how  he,  who  in  the  days  of  his  igno- 
rance and  unbelief  had  caused  the  disciples  to  be  beat 
in  the  synagogues,  was  himself  afterward  subjected  to 
the  same  species  of  trial ;  and  how  he  who  betrayed 
his  Master  betrayed  at  the  same  time  his  own  soul ; 
for  he  went  and  hanged  himself. 

The  doctrine  which  it  is  my  object  to  establish 

derives   ample  attestations  from  our  own  personal 

observation  and  experience.     Profligacy  is  followed 

by  remorse,  and  disease,  and  embarrassment ;  intern* 

perance  has  in  its  train  peevishness,  an  impaired 

constitution,  and  a  premature  death.     Idleness  and 

negligence  bring  after  them  disorder  in  our  afikirs^ 

and  consequent  poverty  and  disgracoi     Deceit  and 

imposture  cannot  succeed   always,  and  in  the^  end 

they  heap  dishonour  on  those  who  practise  them. 

Oppression,  though  surrounded  with  power,  generally 

produces  its  own  overthrow  ;  and  ambition^  Aough  it 

sweeps  all  resistance  before  it,  and  towers  to  the 

attainment  of  its  guilty  ends  over  the  liberties  and  die 

happiness  of  millions,  cannot  subdue  the.  elements 

that  will  work  its  destruction.     Prosperity,  when  it  is 

suffered  to  harden  the  heart,  and  to  deaden  all  its 


88  Further  Intimations  of  a 

susceptibilities  towards  God  and  man,  becomes  the 
means  of  punishment  to  those  who  enjoy  it;  and 
worldly  blessings,  therefore,  are  sometimes  given  as 
judicial  inflictions,  that  they  may  lead  to  severer 
and  more  overwhelming  judgments.  The  whole 
system  of  providence  is  to  a  certain  extent  retributive, 
securing  to  different  virtues  appropriate  rewards,  and 
to  different  sins  appropriate  punishments.  So  obvious 
is  this,  that  parents  take  it  for  granted  while  they  at- 
tempt, in  educating  their  children,  to  impress  their 
minds  with  those  principles  and  maxims  which  will 
lead  them  in  future  life  to  the  exercise  of  integrity, 
and  prudence,  and  industry.  The  system  of  retribution 
under  which  we  live  approaches  so  nearly  to  uniformity, 
that  it  operates  without  respect  of  persons, —that  it 
punishes  the  same  vices  and  rewards  the  same  virtues, 
whatever  otherwise  may  be  the  general  character  of 
the  persons  by  whom  they  are  practised — that  it 
visits  the  negligence  and  indolence  of  the  upright  and 
pious  with  poverty,  while  it  secures  to  the  industry 
and  activity  of  the  wicked  abundance, — and  that  it 
follows  sin  by  appropriate  chastisement,  even  when 
the  persons  by  whom  it  is  committed  give  ample 
evidence  otherwise  of  the  general  excellency  of  their 
character^. 

*  This  doctrine  is  ably  and  amply  illuBtrated  by  Barrow  and  BaUer. 
**  The  general  thing  here  insisted  upon  is,'*  says  Butler,  **  not  that  we  see 
a  great  deal  of  misery  in  the  world,  but  a  great  deal  which  men  bring 
upon  themselves  by  their  own  behaviour,  which  they  might  have  foreseen 
and  avoided.  Now,  the  circumstances  of  these  natural  punishments,  par* 
ticularly  deserving  our  attention,  are  such  as  these :  that  oftentimes  they 
follow,  or  are  iniicted,  in  consequence  of  actions,  which  procure  many 
present  advantages,  and  are  accompanied  with  much  present  pleasure  ;  for 
instance,  sickness  and  untimely  death  are  the  consequences  of  intemper- 
anoe,  though  accompanied  witil  the  higliest  mirth  and  jollity:  that  thougli 


Supreme  Marat  GavemmenL  89 

In  the  third  place,  the  natural  and  necessary  con- 
nexion between  sin  and  suffering  may  be  traced  in 
the  nature  and  effects  of  that  union  which  subsists 


ve  may  ims^^ne  a  constitution  of  nature,  in  which  these  natural  punish- 
ments, which  are  in  fact  to  follow,  would  follow,  imniediately  upon  such 
actions  being  done,  or  very  soon  after ;  we  find,  on  the  contrary,  in  our 
world,  that  they  are  often  delayed  a  great  while,  sometimes  even  till  longf 
after  the  actions  occasioning  them  are  forgot ;  so  that  the  constitution  of 
nature  is  such,  that  delay  of  punishment  is  no  sort  nor  degree  of  presump* 
tion  of  final  impunity :  that  after  such  delay,  these  natural  punishments, 
or  miseries,  often  come,  not  by  degrees,  but  suddenly,  with  violence,  and 
at  ouce :  that  as  certainty  of  such  distant  misery  following  such  actions  is 
never  afforded  persons,  so,  perhaps  during  the  actions,  they  have  seldom  a 
distinct  full  expectation  of  its  following: — but  things,  notwithstanding, 
take  their  destined  course,  and  the  misery  inevitably  foUowE  at  its  ap« 
pointed  time. 

"  Thus,  though  youth  may  be  alleged  as  an  excuse  for  mshness  and 
folly,  as  being  naturally  thoughtless,  and  not  clearly  foreseeing  all  the 
consequences  of  being  untrac table  and  profligate  ;  this  does  not  hinder 
but  that  these  consequences  follow,  and  are  grievously  felt  throughout  the 
whole  courne  of  mature  life.    Habits  contracted,  even  in  that  age,  are  often 
utter  ruin :  and  men*s  success  in  the  world,  not  only  in  the  common  sense 
of  worldly  success,  but  their  real  happiness  and  misery,  depends  in  a  great 
degree,  and  in  various  ways,  upon  the  manner  in  which  they  pass  their 
youth.     It  requires  also  to  be  mentioned,  that,  in  numberless  cases,  the 
natural  course  of  things  affords  us  opportunities  for  procuring  advantages 
to  ourselves  at  certain  tiroes,  which  we  cannot  procure  when  we  will;  nor 
ever  recal  the  opportunities,  if  we  have  neglected  them.     Indeed,  the  gene- 
ral course  of  nature  is  an  example  of  this.    If  the  husbandman  lets  his 
seed-time  pass  without  sowing,  the  whole  year  is  lost  to  him  beyond  re- 
covery.    In  like  manner,  though  after  men  have  been  guilty  of  fully  and 
extravagance,  up  to  a  certain  degree,  it  is  often  in  their  power,  for  in- 
stance, to  retrieve  their  affairs,  to  recover  their  health  and  character,  at 
least  in  good  measure  ;  yet  real  reformation  is,  in  many  cases,  of  no  avail 
at  all  towards  preventing  the  miseries,  poverty,  sickness,  infamy,  naturally 
annexed  to  foUy  and  extravagance,  exceeding  that  degree.    There  is  a 
certain  bound  to  imprudence  and  misbehaviour,  which  being  transgressed, 
then  remains  no  place  for  repentance  in  the  natural  course  of  things.    So 
that  many  natural  punishments  are  final  t)>  him  who  incurs  them,  if  con- 
sidered only  in  his  temporal  capacity  ;  and  seem  inflicted  by  natural  ap- 
pointment, either  to  remove  the  offender  out  of  the  way  of  being  further 
mischievous ;  or,  as  an  example,  though  frequently  a  disregarded  one,  to 
those  who  are  left  behind.     These  things  are  not  what  we  call  accidental, 
bat  proceed  from  general  laws,  by  which  God  governs  the  world,  in  the 
natural  course  of  liis  providence/* — Butlbr^s  Analogy,  p.  i.  ch.  ii» 


90  Further  Intimations  of  a 

between  the  whole  of  mankind  viewed  as  one  family, 
or  as  it  exists  in  the  numerous  branches  into  whidi 
this  family  is  divided.    That  all  mankind  are  re- 
garded and  treated  as  united  together  in  one  covenant, 
and  as  constituting,  therefore,  in  the  eye  of  the  law 
one  moral  person,  is  borne  out  not  less  fully  by  the 
economy  and  government  of  providence  than  by  the 
tenour  and  statements  of  revelation.     Every  thing 
around  us  announces  that  God  deals  with  us  as 
united  to  Adam  our  covenant  head ;  and  that  we,  and 
all  mankind,  in  consequence  of  our  fall  with  him,  have 
lost  communion  with  God,  "  are  under  his  wrath  and 
curse,  and  so  made  liable  to  all  the  miseries  of  this 
life,  to  death  itself,  and  to  the  pains  of  hell  for  ever." 
*'  By  one  man  sin  entered  into  the  world,  and  death  by 
sin,  and  so  death  has  passed  upon  all  men,  because 
all  have  sinned."    The  principle  of  sin  and  rebellion 
against  God,  to  which  he  gave  existence,  has  de- 
scended to  each  of  his  offspring  ;  this  forms  a  part  of 
that  inheritance  to  which  they  are  bom;   it  grows 
with  their  growth  and  strengthens  with  their  strength ; 
and  from  it  proceeds  that  moral  degeneracy  which 
characterizes  man  either  in  civilized  or  in  barbarous 
life.     Even  at  this  great  distance  we  are  involved  in 
the  sin  and  in  the  condemnation  of  our  first  progenitor ; 
and  cavil  as  we  may  at  the  procedure  of  God  towards 
our  world,  the  fact  is  undeniable,  that  we  are  naturally 
the  children  of  disobedience  and  of  wrath ;  that  the 
righteousness  which  adorned  our  nature  in  its  pri- 
meval state  is  not  ours ;  and  that  the  blessings  of 
OTiginal  innocency  and  uninterrupted  communion  with 
God  are  now  lost. 


Supreme  Mcni  Qevemment.  91 

Observe  how  the  same  principle  of  transference^ 

either  of  good  or  of  evil,  holds  in  all  the  relations  of 

life;  and  how  the  comparatively  innocent,  by  being 

associated  with  the  more  guilty,  are  involved  in  their 

punishment.    The  child  of  a  prodigal  and  profligate 

parent,  however  free  from  its  parent's  crimes,  may 

suffer  all  his  days  in  consequence  of  them.    The  man, 

who  voluntarily  forms  connexions  with  the  wicked, 

however  unwilling  he  may  be  to  be  considered  as  one 

of  them,  may  ultimately  share  in  their  calamities. 

''  He  that  walketh  with  wise  men  shall  be  wise ;  but 

a  companion  of  iooh  shall  be  destroyed."    How  do 

wicked  men  bring  down  judgments  on  the  families 

and  the  lands  with  which  they  are  coimected  as  well 

as  on  themselves.     The  judicial  inflicticm  of  plagues 

on  the  Egyptians  visited  many  helpless  childr^i  as 

well  as  their  parents.     When  the  Canaanites  were 

destroyed,  many  who  could  not  discern  between  good 

aHd  evil  perished  with  them.     When  Ood,  in  his  pro- 

vidence,  afflicts  any  land  with  famine  and  pestilence, 

the  children  suffer  as  well  as  those  of  mature  years* 

When  the  sins  of  a  people  provoke  God  to  remove  the 

Qospel  from  them,  the  souls  of  the  children  are  de* 

prived  of  blessings  on  account  of  sins  of  which  they 

were  not  personally  guilty.      When  the  heads  of  a 

&mily  are  void  of  industry,  economy,  and  sobriety,  all 

the  members  of  the  family  feel  the  effects.     But  the 

instances  are  endless  which  shew  that  the  punishment 

of  sin  is  diffusive,  and  that  it  generally  reaches  the 

interests  of  those  who  are  closely  connected  with  the 

persons  who  are  actually  guilty.     The  instruction 

whidi  this  constitution  of  things  conveys,  is,  that  all 


92  Further  Intimations  of  a 

are  by  nature  under  sin,  that  all,  therefore,  are  liable 
to  suffering  ;  but  that  they  are  particularly  liable,  who 
unnecessarily  associate  with  the  ungodly,  and  who 
enter  into  those  relations  of  life  with  them  which  re- 
quire a  constant  and  a  mutual  communication  of 
thought  and  feeling.  The  authoritative  injunction  of 
Him,  who  knows  us  far  better  than  we  know  ourselves, 
is,  "  Be  not  unequally  yoked  together  with  un- 
believers ;  for  what  fellowship  hath  righteousness  with 
unrighteousness?  And  what  communion  hath  light 
with  darkness? — Wherefore  come  out  from  among 
them,  and  be  ye  separate,  saith  the  Lord,  and  touch 
not  the  unclean  thing ;  and  I  will  receive  you,  and  be 
a  Father  unto  you,  and  ye  shall  be  my  sons  and 
daughters,  saith  the  Lord  Almighty." 

In  the  fourth  place,  even  in  those  cases  in  which 
the  connexion  between  sin  and  sufiering  cannot  be 
distinctly  traced  by  us,  we  are  quite  certain  from 
analogical  evidence  that  the  connexion  exists,  and 
that  in  every  case  sin  is  the  immediate  or  remote 
cause  of  suffering.  We  are  taught,  both  by  reason 
and  revelation,  to  consider  suffering  in  every  form  in 
which  it  may  exist  under  the  holy  and  righteous 
government  of  God,  as  the  consequence  of  sin.  It 
may  be  endured  on  account  of  the  sins  of  others,  or  it 
may  be  experienced  as  a  paternal  chastisement,  or 
it  may  be  inflicted  as  a  trial  of  faith  and  patience; 
but  it  is  originally  occasioned  by  sin,  and  its  univer* 
sality  is  a  proof  that  all  have  sinned  and  come  short 
of  the  glory  of  God.  Regarded  in  this  light,  what  a 
fearful  view  of  sin  is  afforded  by  the  aggregate  mass 
of  suffering  in  all  generations   from  Adam  to  the 


Supreme  Moral  Government.  9S 

present  day-.     When  we  look  back  to  the  desolations 

of  other  years  and  of  remote  ages, — ^to  the  millions 

that  the  flood  overwhelmed  in  a  moment, — ^to  the 

multitudes  whom  the  fire  from  heaven  hastened  to 

their  eternal  doom, — to  the  successive  and  sweeping 

judgments  of  the  Almighty  over  the  face  of  an  afflicted 

world, — to  the  daik  and  mysterious  providences  whidi 

marked  the  long  and  pre-eminent  sufferings  of  his 

own  servants, — ^to  the  vial  of  wrath  poured  on  the 

chosen  people,  and  which  has  rested  upon  them  and 

upon  their  children  in  all  the  lands  into  whidi  they 

have  been  carried  captive ; — when  I  look  back  to  the 

sufferings  of  apostles  and  of  martyrs,  who  were  made 

a  spectacle  to  the  world,  and  to  angels,  and  to  men, — ^to 

the  various  forms  of  oppression,  and  want,  and  disease 

and  death,  in  which  human  misery  has  been  trans^ 

mitted  to  us, — ^to  the  storms  and  whirlwind  of  moral 

desolation  with  which  the  species  has  had  to  contend 

ia  surviving  to  our  day; — when  I  look  at  the  great 

sum  of  wretchedness  which  exists  in  every  large  dty, 

and  in  the  metropolis  of  the  most  civilized  and  most 

truly  christian  country  on  earth; — ^at  the  numerous 

diseases,  bodily  and  mental,  which  no  human  skill  can 

remove  ; — when  I  think  of  the  sufferings  which  no 

human  eye  has  seen,  of  the  cries  of  distress  and 

anguish  which  no  human  ear  has  ever  heard,  and  of 

the  inexpressible  agonies  which  no  human  tongue  can 

ever  tell ; — when  I  consider  that  amidst  this  tide  of 

sin  and  of  suffering  there  stands  One  preeminent  in 

dignity  and  innocence,  who  stands  pre-eminent  and 

alone  in  the  extent  and  bitterness  of  his  suflferings,— 

who  though  he  traces  his  origin  to  heaven,  and  ex- 


94  Further  Intimations  of  a 

erdses  the  power  of  the  invisible  God,  appears  de- 
spised and  rejected  of  men,  a  man  of  sorrows  and 
acquainted  with  grief,  and  who  because  he  became 
the  substitute  and  representative  of  sinners,  is  treated 
as  though  he  were  guilty,  and  is  oppressed  and  af- 
flicted, and  cut  off  out  of  the  land  of  the  living, — 
when  I  consider  all  this,  I  see  before  me  the  most  im- 
pressive and  appalling  evidence,  that  there  exists  a 
natural  and  necessary  connexion  between  sin  and 
suffering,  and  that  the  wages  of  sin  is  death. 

The  connexion  which  we  thus  see  so  fully  esta- 
blished in  the  present  state  between  sin  and  suflfering, 
may  convince  us  that  the  evil  of  sin  is  infinitely  greater, 
and  its  desert  more  aggravated,  than  we  are  disposed 
to  believe.  If  our  fellow-creatures  choose  to  call  all 
that  we  tell  them  from  the  records  of  truth  visionary, 
if  they  pronounce  a  state  of  future  and  endless  misery 
to  be  irreconcilable  with  the  divine  goodness,  they 
cannot  deny  that  sin  has  already  occasioned  disease 
and  remorse,  and  complicated  miseries  and  death.  It 
has  torn  away  from  us  many  of  our  nearest  and  dearest 
friends ;  it  has  already  given  us  many  an  hour  of  anxiety 
and  sorrow ;  and  soon  will  it  produce  that  entire  disso- 
lution of  the  frame,  by  which  the  body  shall  return 
to  the  dust  whence  it  came,  and  the  spirit  to  God 
who  gave  it.  We  think  lightly  of  the  evil  and  demerit 
of  sin,  only  because  our  standard  of  judgment  is  de- 
fective or  altogether  erroneous;  we  know  not  the 
holiness  and  terrible  greatness  and  awful  majesty  of 
the  God  whom  we  have  offended ;  we  think  not  aright 
of  the  authority  and  spirituality  of  that  law  which 
extends  to  every  thought  of  the  heart ;  we  feel  not  the 


Suprewe  Moral  Government.  05 

obligations  under  which  the  very  gift  of  being,  not  to 
speak  of  the  blessings  that  have  been  so  constantly 
heaped  upon  us,  has  placed  us ;  we  appreciate  not  the 
value  of  that  remedy  which  is  commensurate  with  the 
guilt  and  misery  c^  man,  and  of  the  blood  which  was 
shed  to  procure  remission ;  and  we  believe  not  that 
all  the  declarations  of  the  Bible  respecting  the  future 
and  endless  punishment  of  sin  will  be  accomplished. 
We  know  not  all  the  evil  of  sin,  and  all  the  danger 
arising  from  it ;  but  we  may  know  from  its  effects, 
that  it  is  inseparably  connected  with  suffering, — that 
it  leads  to  a  state  of  endless  seclusion  from  the  foun- 
tain of  life  and  blessedness,  and  that  the  misery  in 
which  it  terminates,  is  indeed  the  second  death.  We 
are  not  only  called  to  be  the  observers  of  sufferings, 
but  to  feel  them  in  our  persons  and  families:  the 
health,  the  friends,  the  life  which  we  now  enjoy,  will 
soon  by  sickness  and  death  be  taken  away  from  us ; 
we  are  in  the  midst  of  the  dying  and  the  dead,  and 
the  place  which  now  knows  us  will  know  us  no  more 
for  ever.  *'  The  day  of  the  Lord  will  come  as  a  thief 
in  the  night;  in  the  which  the  heavens  shall  pass 
away  with  a  great  noise,  and  the  elements  shall  melt 
with  fervent  heat,  the  earth  also,  and  the  works  that 
are  therein  shall  be  burnt  up." 

If  any  consideration  could  still  farther  deepen  our 
convictions,  that  the  connexion  between  sin  and  suf* 
fering  is  fixed  and  necessary,  it  would  be  that  of  the 
means  that  have  been  employed  from  the  beginning, 
and  employed  with  so  little  effect,  for  delivering  man 
from  the  power  and  bondage  of  iniquity.  What  is  the 
history  of  God*8  procedure  and  ways  to  our  world. 


96  Further  Intimations^  8^c. 

but  a  history  of  the  wondrous  method  devised  for 
removing  the  guilt,  and  destroying  the  dominion,  and 
freeing  from  the  consequences  of  sin  ?  The  object  of 
this  gracious  plan  is  not  to  interrupt  or  dissolve  the 
connexion  between  sin  and  misery ;  for  this  is  neces- 
sary, and  fixed,  and  unalterable ;  so  much  so,  that  by 
no  enactment,  even  of  omnipotence,  can  it  possibly  be 
otherwise ;  so  much  so,  that  the  very  being  of  depra- 
vity, the  very  principle  of  rebellion,  must  be  utterly 
exterminated  from  the  nature,  before  a  just  liability 
to  suffering  and  death  can  cease.  For  the  purpose 
of  accomplishing  this  extermination,  has  Ood  made 
known  to  us  by  a  ministry  of  reconciliation;  a  new 
economy,  which  rests  on  the  atonement  and  lighteous* 
ness  of  Christ,  through  which  mercy  is  conveyed  to 
pardon,  and  grace  to  renew  and  to  help  us.  He  has 
Bent  his  own  Son  that  he  might  be  the  propitiation  for 
our  sins,  and  that  by  death  he  might  procure  redemp- 
tion for  them  that  obey  him ;  he  pours  down  his  Spirit 
to  apply  this  redemption  to  the  soul,  and  to  open  the 
blind  eyes,  and  to  turn  men  from  darkness  to  light, 
and  from  sin  unto  God ;  he  has  sent  us  the  word  of 
this  salvation  to  persuade  us  by  its  testimony  to  flee 
to  the  refuge  from  the  wrath  to  come ;  and  to  all  the 
means  of  grace,  he  has  added  the  dispensations  of  his 
Providence,  to  arouse  us  from  the  slumber  and  the 
stupor  of  sin,  and  to  constrain  us  to  embrace  that  only 
way  under  heaven  given  among  men,  whereby  we 
must  be  saved. 


BOOK  IV. 


ON  THE  DUTIES  WE  OWE  TO  GOD. 


Chaptee  I. 

ON  THE  DUTY,— OF  USING  MEANS  TO  KNOW  GOD,*-OP  LOVING 
HIM,— OP  WORSHIPING  HIM,'-OF  OBEYING  HIS  WILL. 

The  beingi  perfections,  moral  government  of  God, 
and  immortal  destination  of  man,  being  clearly  seen 
irom  the  things  that  are  made,  and  from  the  order  of 
providence,  we  shall  now  inquire  into  the  nature  and 
extent  of  those  duties  which  appear  to  be  binding  on 
man. 

What  are  the  grounds  on  which  an  intelligent  and 
accountable  being  is  bound  to  ove,  reverence,  and  obey 
God  ?  It  is  nearly  a  self-evident  proposition,  that  a 
being  of  infinite  perfection,  who  comprehends  in  him- 
self all  possible  excellency  and  goodness,  is  entitled 
to  esteem,  veneration,  worship  and  obedience.  These 
are  rights  which  it  is  as  impossible  for  him  to  alienate, 
or  for  us  with  impunity  and  blamelessly  to  violate,  as 
it  is  for  him  to  cease  to  be  self-existent  and  infinite, 
or,  for  us  to  be  dependent  creatures. 

I.  On  account  of  the  excellencies  and  attributes  of 
his  nature.  Necessarily  existing  from  everlasting  to 
everiasting,  the  King  eternal,  immortal,  invisible,  he  is 
omnipotent,  intelligent,  holy  and  good,  and  is  the  only 

VuL.  II.  H 


96  On  the  Duties  we  owe  to  Hod. 

fountain  of  all  loveliness  and  happiness.  Compre- 
hending in  himself,  and  to  a  boundless  extent,  all  that 
is  great  and  pure  and  excellent, — the  beauty  diffused 
over  the  creation,  is  but  the  reflection  of  the  beams  of 
his  ine&ble  brightness  and  glory.  He  is  the  founda- 
tion and  the  source  of  all  being  and  blessedness ;  from 
whom  all  is  derived,  and  on  whom  all  is  most  entirdy 
depending;  of  whom,  and  through  whom,  and  to  whom 
are  all  things.  On  this  ground  the  warm  devotion  of 
the  heart  is  his  right ;  and  to  withhold  from  him  its 
affiMtions  of  lovoi  gratitude*  and  adoration^  shtwe  a 
depraved  intendibility  to  moral  loveliness,  and  the 
formed  principle  of  rebellion  against  the  Lord  and 
Ruler  of  all. 

IL  He  is  entitled  to  our  love  and  obedience,  not 
only  on  account  of  what  he  is,  but  because  of  the 
way  in  which  he  exercises  his  perfections  and  govern- 
ment toward  us.  He  has  given  us  being,  and  con- 
ferred on  us  all  the  rich  and  varied  endowments  (^our 
nature ;  and  it  requires  no  othet  law  than  that  which 
arises  from  the  relation  we  bear  to  him  as  creatures  to 
their  Creator,  to  bind  us,  formed  as  we  are  with 
powers  of  reason  and  of  understanding,  to  love  the 
Lord  our  God  with  all  our  heart.  As  the  sole  Author 
of  the  gift  of  being,  he  has  an  unquestionable  right  to 
gratitude  in  return;  a  right  to  command  that  the 
capaaties  bestowed  should  be  employed  in  obedience 
to  himself;  and  that  in  the  exercise  of  our  faculties, 
and  in  conducting  our  pursuits,  we  should  consult  his 
will  as  our  only  rule,  and  as  our  chief  end.  W© 
cannot  but  feel  it  to  be  the  highest  privilege  and^Lory 
of  our  nature  humbly  to  adore  him*  and  that  to  be 


On  the  DuHm  we  ewe  to  God.  M 


allowed  to  aim  at  honouring  hinii  is  ind6ed  the  wos^ 
rity  of  our  own  efverlasting  good.  In  a  mind  capable 
of  knowing  him,  and  consequently  of  loving  him,  and 
of  feeling  i^preme  delight  in  whatever  relates  to  him^ 
there  must  be  something  feadidly  wrong,  if  the  love  of 
this  great  and  holy  Lord  God  is  absent  from  it ;  so  &f 
removed  from  it,  that  it  will  thiidc  of  any  other  object 
in  prefermoe,  and  will  strive  and  struggle  against  his 
will,  in  the  pursuit  and  in  the  accomplishment  of  its 
own. 

But  the  obligation  which  our  creation  has  laid  upon 
us  to  give  our  hearts  to  Ood,  and  to  be  the  willing 
instruments  in  furthering  his  glory,  is  c(»itinually  in*" 
creasing  by  the  prolongation  of  life,  and  by  the  suc- 
cessive supply  of  mercies  necessary  to  its  enjoyment 
CSan  we  live  oel  the  bounty  of  God,  and  deliy  him  our 
grateful  a£fection?  What  is  the  eod  for  whidi  His 
goodness  anticipates  our  wants,  and  surrounda  us  wifli 
its  unnumbered  blessings?  Is  it  not  that  our  hearU 
may  turn  in  love  to  the  God  who  oondescends  to  daim 
them,  and  who  nourishes  and  brings  us  up  as  chii^ 
dien?  Is  it  not  that  we  may  feel  that  He  whose 
goodness  gives  us  all  that  we  enjoy  is  himself  the 
supreme  and  everlasting  good,  and  that  we  are  deeply 
criminal  in  not  designedly  and  constantly  living  to  hi* 
praise?  In  neglecting  to  glorify  God,  we  are  Mvuig 
in  the  daily  violation,  not  only  of  the  obligatiooB 
which  arise  from  the  perfections  of  the  divine  natut^ 
and  from  the  laws  of  our  being,  but  are  resistiqg 
claims  to  our  love,  and  gratitude,  and  obedience^  nUf* 
menxis  as  the  moments  of  our  existence*  l%us,  we 
are  exhibiting  the  fearful  q>ectade  ci  mxeX  and 

HS 


.100  On  the  Duties  %oe  ou^  to  God. 

aooountable  creatures,  su{^rted  in  being  by  the  God 
whom  they  practically  disown,  and  carried  on  by  his 
power  and  beneficence  into  eternity,  while  they  are  in 
the  meantime  changing  his  truth  into  a  lie,  and  are 
worshipping  and  serving  the  creature  more  than  the 
Creator. 

The  duties  which  we  owe  to  God  may  be  compre- 
hended under  the  following  heads.  First,  an  humble 
attempt,  in  the  use  of  suitable  means,  to  form  just 
notions  of  his  nature  and  attributes :  Secondly,  the 
cherishing  of  pious  afifections  towards  him :  Thirdly, 
acts  of  public  and  private  worship:  Fourthly,  obe- 
dience to  his  will. 

I.  It  is  a  duty  which  we  owe  to  God,  humbly  to  at- 
tempt in  the  use  of  suitable  means,  to  form  just  con* 
ceptions  of  his  nature  and  attributes.  A  Being  of  infi- 
nite excellency,  and  who  has  given  us  all  that  we 
either  enjoy  or  hope  for,  is  surely  entitled  to  this 
homage.  We  cannot  adore  his  perfections  with  un- 
derstanding, unless  we  take  some  pains  in  ascer- 
taining what  they  are ;  and  he  who  is  a  Spirit,  and 
whose  infinitude  cannot  by  searching  be  found  out, 
requires  us  to  contemplate  him  in  whatever  way  he 
condescends  to  make  himself  known.  The  works  of 
the  Lord  are  great,  sought  out  of  all  them  that  have 
jdeasure  therein.  His  work  is  honourable  and  glo- 
rious ;  and  his  righteousness  endureth  for  ever.  The 
admission  of  his  being  and  perfections,  and  of  his  moral 
government  and  authority,  implies  that  we  are  bound 
to  acquaint  ourselves  with  God ;  and  that  the  noblest 
end  of  our  faculties  and  pursuits  is  to  know  something 
of  his  perfections  and  counsels.    This  is  necessary  to 


On  the  Duties  we  owe  to  God.  101 

our  having  suitable  views  and  itnpressions  of  our  duty 
and  final  destiny,  and  to  our  living  under  the  influence 
of  the  most  persuasive  motives  to  the  practice  of 
virtue ;  as  it  is  only  when  we  have  just  notions  of  his 
nature  and  attributes,  that  we  can  have  the  full  con- 
viction of  his  unalienable  right  to  the  first  and  the  best 
affections  of  our  hearts ;  and  that  we  shall  calmly  re- 
sign  ourselves  to  his  disposal,  confident  that  under  the 
guidance  of  his  power,  and  wisdom,  and  goodness^  all 
things  shall  be  made  to  work  together  for  our  good. 

II.  It  is  clearly,  from  the  light  of  nature,  our  duty  to 
cherish  pious  aflections  towards  God.  Independently 
of  his  claims  to  such  affections,  it  becomes  us  to 
cherish  them  on  account  of  the  peace,  and  purity,  and 
consolation,  which  their  exercise  yields  to  ourselves. 
The  contemplation  of  the  attributes  of  God  should 
awaken  corresponding  emotions  in  our  hearts, — emo- 
tions in  some  degree  suited  to  his  greatness  and  ado- 
rable perfections.  These  affections  consist  in  venera- 
tion of  his  infinite  and  incomprdiensible  greatness ; 
adoration  of  his  wisdom  and  power ;  love  of  his  good- 
ness and  mercy ;  gratitude  for  his  innumerable  and 
inestimable  benefits ;  a  disposition  cheerfully  to  obey 
all  his  laws ;  fear  in  the  apprehension  of  his  displea- 
sure ;  joy  in  the  hope  of  his  approbation ;  and  a  de- 
sire to  imitate  him  in  doing  good  to  others.  These 
are  the  affections  which  it  is  not  only  the  duty,  but  the 
honour  of  man  to  cherish ;— because  they  lead  his 
thoughts  towards  an  object  of  incomparable  sublimity 
and  loveliness ; — and  because,  in  proportion  as  they 
are  cherished  is  his  happiness  increased,  and  he  him- 
self advanced  in  the  scale  of  moral  excellence. 


102  On  the  Duties  we  owe  to  God. 

It  is  by  the  exercise  of  these  aflections  that  the 
truly  pious  man  shews  that  his  delight  is  supremely 
in  Gkxl.  He  is  the  object  of  his  highest  esteem  and 
veneration ;  whom  he  regards  with  the  love  which  a 
dutiful  child  feels  to  his  parent,  while  he  earnestly 
seeks  his  favour  as  constituting  his  happiness.  It  is 
this  which  forms  his  consolation  and  hope  in  adver- 
sity and  in  prosperity, — ^the  possession  of  it  gives  him 
peace  in  necessities  and  distresses,  and  the  want  of  it 
cannot  be  made  up  by  earthly  abundance.  When  we 
obtain  what  we  chiefly  love,  we  are  satisfied  even 
though  other  sources  of  comfort  should  be  withdrawn : 
and  when  He  who  is  all  perfection,  and  who  claims 
the  heart  as  his  abode,  is  enthroned  in  its  desires  and 
aSbctions,  the  glowing  language  of  revelation  is  not 
too  strong  to  express  all  that  we  feel  towards  him. 
*•  Whom  have  I  in  heaven  but  thee,  and  there  is  none 
upon  earth  that  I  desire  besides  thee?"  We  value 
wluttever  relates  to  him,  or  recalls  him  to  our  remem- 
brance ;  and  even  the  place  where  he  condescends  to 
be  wordiipped  becomes  sacred  and  endeared  to  us 
ftbm  its  being  associated  with  his  presence. 

In  proportion  as  we  esteem  or  love  any  one,  will  be 
the  uneasiness  felt  by  his  displeasure,  or  even  by  the 
suspicion  that  we  may  have  forfeited  his  regard.  It 
is  thus  that  the  man  of  true  piety  feels  in  relation  to 
God,  whose  favour  is  life,  and  whose  loving-kindness 
is  better  than  life.  The  apprehension  of  having  done 
what  has  offended  him,  and  what  may  have  provoked 
Wm  to  withdraw  the  light  of  his  countenance,  gives 
him  pain ;  and  when  he  finds  himself  in  darkness,  de- 
prived of  his  wonted  firmness  in  adversitVfCfaeerfiilness 


On  the  DmiM  ve  om»  to  God.  IW 


in.  ol«dfoQce,  mid  ooasolakioii  in  devotioii*  i»  it  not 
iMtu»}  fi»r  him  to  l)r«fttb«  his  desirQ»  in  iho  laofuoge 
in  whicli  holy  ww  of  old  «;Kpres«ed  similur  emotiuM? 
"How  long,  Lord,  wilt  thou  hid«  thy  Utt^i  Htdo 
not  thy  fiu^e  from  thy  servant,  for  X  mo  In  trouble ; 
turn  unto  vm  according  to  the  multitude  of  thy  tender 
mercies."  love,  as  hw  been  remarked,  will  render 
miph  a  condition  v^ry  sad  and  uneiMiy  to  us,  will  niake 
all'  other  d«l}ght«  insipid  and  distaeteM.  all  our  lilb 
will  beeowe  bitter  and  burdmsome  to  us :  neither,  if 
this  love  abide  in  us,  shall  we  regain  our  htppioess  of 
wind,  till  we  obtain  sonje  glimpse  of  Qod's  fevour, 

sowo  hope  of  being  reinstated  in  our  ppssessian  (if 

hjun. 
It  is  Ijhe  pewUw  charact^risiic  of  kindly  affection, 

that  it  prompts  us  to  seek  the  happiness  of  its  object ; 
and  our  desire  to  attain  this  end  is  in  proporticm  to 
the  strength  of  our  affeQtion,  We  owroot,  it  is  true, 
add  to  the  greatness*  the  honpur,  or  the  happiness  of 
the  nighty  God.  who  gives  us  life  and  brwth  and  aU 
things.  The  essentiaJi  glories  and  attributes  of  W» 
nature  cannot  be  affiwted  by  the  virtues  or  nim  of  bis 
creatures-  Our  goodness  oannot  extend  to  \m,  who  is 
in  himself  perMt,  wid  who  is  the  fowfttaio  of  aJJ  goed- 
pess.  Put  there  are  interests  i»  tbo  world  whieh  be 
^^,05^^  with  himself,  w>d  which  are  peculiarly  his 
pwju  hfr  speaks  concerning  these  fts  if  he  wew  d»- 
lil^iM4  with  their  pKWWty,  and  grieved  by  the  war 
dwjtyof  those  who  oppwe  them-  The  virtue  and  ^pp 
.^mm  of  his  iutelUgent  preatwes  a»  the  object  of  We 
oeie }  the  ,dispens?tiops  of  providencft  we  ordered  «o 
Mto«dyaae».tNRi  ^  *J»W©  wl»  give  tohimflie 


1M  Oh  the  Dutiet  we  owe  to  God» 

Bupicnne  ajifection  which  he  daims,  set  their  hearts  on 
the  promotion  of  the  same  ends,  and  ^os  become 
workers  together  with  God.  All  that  bears  the  im- 
press of  his  authcxity,  they  revere ;  all  who  are  in- 
vested with  his  moral  image  they  esteem  and  regard ; 
and  in  dcang  good  unto  all  men,  as  they  have  opportu- 
nity, they  shew  that  they  are  the  children  of  their 
Father,  who  maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evil  and  the 
good,  and  sendeth  rain  on  the  just  and.  on  the  unjust. 
Thus  do  they  shew  their  good  will  and  gratitude  to- 
wards Qod. 

It  is  scarcely   necessary  to  observe  that  we  are 
bound,  by  the  light  of  nature,  to  love  God  supremely. 
If  it  be  our  duty  to  love  God,  it  is  obviously  our  duty 
to  love  him  above  every  other  object ;  to  love  him 
with  all  our  heart  and  soul  and  mind  and  strength. 
The  same  reasons  which  render  it  incumbent  on  us  to 
cherish  towards  him  the  best  and  the  purest  affections 
of  our  nature,  render  it  a  duty  to  give  him  in  every 
case  the  preference.    If  true  morality  requires  that  we 
should  have  some  regard,  some  benevolent  aflFection  to 
our  Creator,  as  weU  as  to  his  creatures,  then,  it  must 
require  that  the  chief  regard  should  be  paid  to  him.— 
that  our  veneration  and  esteem  for  the  excellences'  of 
the  creature  should  be  inferior  to  our  veneration  and 
esteem  for  the  perfections  of  the  Creator  ;-that  we 
should  pursue  his  favour  with  far  greater  earnestness 
•tod  perseverance  than  the  applause  of  men.— that  the 
dear  annunciations  of  his  will  shouW  be  obeyed 
(whether  they  lead  to  self-denial  or  to  suflering)  befor^ 
tho  most  approved  maxims  of  the  worW ;  and  that 
when  hi*  authority  comes  in  compeUtion  wilh  any 


On  the  Dtfties  toe  owe  to  God.  106 

Other  aotkority,  we  heditate  not  to  give  to  that  of  God 
our  immediate  and  decided  obedience.  All  this  is  as 
obvious  from  the  Kght  of  reason  as  any  principle  of 
morality  can  be ; — ^for  it  is  not  more  manifest  that  a 
being  of  infinite  perfection  and  goodness  is  to  be  loved, 
than  that  he  is  to  be  loved  with  the  whole  heart, — 
that  every  other  being  is  to  be  loved  and  obeyed  in 
subordination  to  him, — and  that  every  interest  and 
pursuit  are  to  subserve  his  glory.  The  first  of  all  the 
commandments,  said  the  great  Teacher  from  heaven, 
is,  ^*  Hear,  O  Israel,  the  Lord  our  God  is  one  Lord : 
and  thou  sbalt  love  the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy 
heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul,  and  with  all  thy  mind, 
and  with  all  thy  strength.'' 

This  is  the   standard  of  nature  and  reason:   and 

yet,  how  few,  eiven  in  christian  lands  can  bear  to  be 

tri^  by  this  rule?  Their  tastes  are  cultivated,  and 

their    opinions   and  habits    are    formed,   and  their 

sdiemes  devised  and  pursued,  as  if  there  were  no  Gbd, 

and  no  divine  authority  to  consult.    They  live  without 

any  internal  religion,  and,  if  we  except  a  few  easy 

and  customary  forms,  cannot  say  of  themselves,  that 

they  have  done  one  action  which  they  would  not  have 

done,  if  there  were  no  God ;  or,  that  they  have  ever 

sacrificed  any  passion,  any  present  enjoyment,  any 

inclinaticm  of  their  minds  to  the  restraints  and  pro* 

Ubitions  of  religion ;  *^  with  whom  indeed,  religious 

motives  have  not  weighed  a  feather  in  the  scale 

against  interest  or  pleasure."     What  effort  do  they 

make  to  render  their  enjoyments  and  pursuits  ac^ 

ceptable  to  the  Holy  and  Mighty  Being,  from  whoste 

piesence  they-  oanaot  flee?  Have  they  not  lived  and 


106  Oniht  hem  €f  Go4. 

acted  as  if  there  existod  no  obligatioQ  ta  OQuform 
themselves  to  the  will  of  Qod ;  and  as  if  the  thought 
qi  ponsulting  his  will  in  their  pleasures  and  employ* 
giants  were  obtrusive. 


Chapter  II. 

ON  THE  LOVE  OF  GOD, 

I40VE  to  God,  and  to  the  areatures  which  he  has 
formed  in  his  image,  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law.  inas<- 
much  as  it  is  the  principle  on  which  all  its  enaotme nU 
are  founded*  and  is  essential  to  the  right  discharge  of 
every  duty.  Love  to  Grod  is  at  the  foundation  of  all 
vital  religion,  and  of  all  true  virtue  and  morality; 
and  hence  the  reply  of  our  Lord  to  the  inquiry,  Whi^ 
is  the  first  commandment  of  all  ?  The  first  of  all  the 
eommandments  is,  "  Hear,  O  Israel ;  the  Lord  our 
God  is  one  Lord  ;  and  thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  ttiy 
God  with  all  thy  heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul,  and  with 
all  thy  mind,  and  with  all  thy  strength:"  this  is  the 
first  and  great  commandment*  And  the  second  is  liipe 
unto  it.  Thou  shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself. 
On  these  two  commandments  hang  all  the  law  Rn4  iJM 
prophets*." 

The  love  which  we  owe  to  Gpd  is  the  samo  io 
nature  with  that  which  we  owe  to  all  created  ioteHi*- 
gent  beings.  In  the  one  case,  the  object  13  a  JS^ing 
of  infinite  perfection,  and  boundjiess  in  the  moral  ex- 
cellences  of  his  nature ;  who  is  bttsides  our  Creator, 
preserver,  and  benefactor,  from  whom  we  receive  life^ 

«  M^k  jdi.  SK-«1.   M aith.  XK&  flS«40. 


On  the  Lwe  cf  God.  107 

and  breath,  and  all  things  ;  in  the  other,  the  objocts 
are  creatures  of  necessarily  dependent  existence, 
whose  moral  worth  is  limited,  and  mingled  with 
numerous  imperfections.  They  are,  of  course,  to  be 
loved  in  subordination  to  Him,  from  whom  we  cannot 
withhold  the  supreme  love  of  our  heart  during  every 
period  of  our  being,  without  extreme  injustice  and 
criminality.  The  law  which  measures  the  extent  to 
which  this  afifection  ought  to  exist,  declares  that  it 
should  occupy  the  whole  heart  and  soul  and  mind 
and  strength ;  that  is,  that  it  should  rule  and  regulate 
all  our  powers  and  Acuities  in  an  entire  and  voluntary 
dedication  of  ourselves  to  the  glory  of  God. 

Love  to  God  includes  in  it,  complac^icy  in  the 
perfection  of  his  character,  good  will  to  him,  or  d^gfat 
in  his  happiness,  and  gratitude  to  him  as  the  source 
of  every  blessing. 

I.  The  boundless  perfection  of  the  divine  nature 
and  character  is  that  which  God  himself  views  with 
complacency,  and  which  he  regards  as  his  glory. 
This  constitutes  the  ridies,  the  fulness  of  the  divine 
nature,  the  moral  excellences  in  which  God  rejoices, 
and  which  he  unfolds  to  the  universe  as  entitling  him 
to  the  supreme  and  continued  affection  of  every 
creature.  To  the  request  of  his  servant,  ^*  Shew  me 
thy  gbry,"  he  repUed,  '*  I  will  make  all  my  goodness 
pass  before  thee,  and  I  will  proclaim  the  name  of  the 
Lord  before  thee.  And  the  Lord  desc^ided  in  the 
cloud*  and  stood  with  him  there,  and  proclaimed  the 
name  of  the  Lord-^^-^the  Lord,  the  Lord  God,  mercifiil 
and  graobus,  longniuffering,  and  abundant  in  goodness 
Mid  truth,  keeping  mercy  for  thousands,  forgiving 


108  On  the  Love  of  God. 

iniquity  and  transgression  and  sin,  and  that  will  by 
no  means  clear  the  guilty."  There  is  here  an  assem- 
blage of  all  possible  moral  excellences,  and  each 
infinite  in  its  extent— one  sun  of  moral  glory,  which 
no  man  can  approach  unto,  and  which  no  man  hath 
seen,  in  all  its  bright  effulgence,  nor  can  see. 

The  intelligent  being  who  does  not  love  this  bound- 
less perfection  must  be  depraved.  It  is  the  object 
which  every  pure  mind  contemplates  with  com- 
placency and  joy.  It  awakens  and  draws  to  itself 
that  affection  of  delight  and  admiration  which  the  law 
dedares  should  fill  the  whole  heart  and  soul ;  and  in 
the  exercise  of  which  God  is  loved  as  a  being  in- 
finitely pure  and  lovely.  Its  expression  is  those 
words  of  the  Psalmist,  in  which  he  seems  to  feel  the 
inadequacy  of  language  to  give  utterance  to  the 
emotion  of  his  soul ; — **  Whom  have  I  in  heaven  but 
thee,  and  there  is  none  upon  earth  that  I  desire 
besides  thee.**  This  love  of  complacency  in  the  moral 
excellences  of  God,  I  consider  as  essential  to  true 
virtue,  or  rather  I  would  say,  it  is  the  essence 
of  it. 

II.  Good  will  to  God,  or,  delight  in  his  happiness, 
is  included  in  that  love  which  is  due  to  God.  This  is 
inseparably  connected  with  complacency  and  delight 
in  his  moral  excellences.  It  bums  with  intense 
fervour  in  many  a  mind  not  accustomed  to  analyze  its 
own  feelings  and  operations.  That  we  cannot  render 
God  greater,  or  wiser,  or  happier  than  he  is  in  him- 
self, is  most  certain ;  but  that  circumstance  does  not 
make  it  less  binding  on  every  intelligent  creature  to 
dbenshthe  affectioa  of  good  will,  or  c^  ben^vdentjoy 


On  the  Love  of  God.  109 

ia  his  happiness.  On  reflection,  it  will  appear,  that 
the  very  greatness  and  perfection  of  God  are  reasons 
why  his  happiness  should  be  far  more  valued,  far 
more  desired  and  delighted  in,  than  that  of  any 
created  being.  If  we  feel  it  to  be  right  that  every 
intelligent  being  should  be  happy  in  proportion  to  his 
moral  worthy  ought  we  not  supremely  to  desire,  and  to 
rejoice  in,  the  happiness,  the  immortal  blessedness, 
of  Him,  who  is  infinitely  good,  and  just,  and  faithful, 
and  true,  who  is  the  fountain  of  virtue  and  of 
goodness  ? 

In  the  exercise  of  this  affection  of  good  will  to  Ood, 
we  rejoice  that  he  reigns,  that  his  all-sufficiency  can 
secure  his  own  glory  and  blessedness  in  union  with 
the  happiness  of  that  universe  over  which  he  rules. 
We  are  also  grieved  when  we  observe  the  beings 
whom  he  has  formed  in  his  image,  and  capable  of 
loving  Him,  the  glorious  source  of  all  virtue,  and  of 
loving  his  image  wherever  it  is  reflected,  living  in  the 
neglect  of  Him,  violating  his  commandments,  and 
thus  frustrating  the  noble  designs  for  which  they  have 
been  called  into  existence.  In  so  far  as  their  efibrts 
would  avail,  tliey  voluntarily  employ  them  in  de- 
priving God  of  his  glory,  of  his  happiness,  of  his 
supreme  authority,  of  his  awful  sovereignty.  Nor  can 
I  help  thinking  that  it  was  this  view,  chiefly,  that  so 
deeply  affected  the  mind  of  our  Lord,  when,  coming 
near  unto  Jerusalem,  he  wept  over  it. 

III.  Gratitude  to  God,  as  the  source  of  every  bless- 
ing, is  included  in  that  love  which  is  due  from  us  to 
God,  and  which  the  law  declares  should  fill  the  whole 
heart  and  soul.    We  are  so  formed  that  we  are  sen* 


110  On  the  Lave  of  God. 

sibly  affected  with  ben^tg  conferred  either  upon  our- 
selves or  our  connexicxis,  when  they  manifestly  pro- 
ceed from  the  kindness  of  the  donor.  It  is  from  the 
boundless  beneyolence  of  his  nature  that  God  gives  us 
life,  and  breath,  and  all  things ;  deliverance  from 
pres^it  evil,  enjoyment  of  present  good,  and  the  hope 
of  future  blessedness ;  and  is  he  not  justly  entitled  to 
the  most  fervid  gratitude  of  which  we  are  capable  ? 
When  we  reflect  on  his  varied  and  multiplied  merdes, 
freely  given  during  every  moment  of  our  lives,— ^on 
his  bounty  in  granting  us  the  continued  use  of  the 
powers  of  our  nature,  and  in  surrounding  us  with 
friends,  and  innumerable  objects  to  excite  wad  to  ex- 
ercise our  pleasurable  feelings,  we  may  well  bless  the 
Lord  with  all  our  souls,  and  call  upon  all  that  is  within 
us  to  be  stirred  up,  to  bless  and  magnify  his  holy 
name. 

But  when  we  think  of  the  new  and  endearing  dia<* 
racter  in  which  Grod  has  revealed  himself  to  us,  as  the 
God  of  salvation, — on  the  unspeakable  gift  which  he 
has  given  as  the  expression  of  his  love, — and  on  the 
blessings  oi  incalculable  value  which,  through  this 
medium,  he  is  now  communicating,  and  which  he  has 
declared  it  to  be  his  purpose  to  communicate  through 
eternity,  we  must  surely  judge  that  he  is  entitled  to 
all  the  grateful  affection  which  we  can  ever  feel,  and 
which,  by  our  devotedness  and  obedience  to  his  will, 
we  can  ever  shew* 

Thus  does  the  law  of  God,  the  only  infallible  stand- 
ard of  duty,  require  that  we  love  the  Lord  our  God 
with  all  the  heart,  and  mind,  and  soul,  and  strength ; 
that  is>  that  we  exercise  this  love,  in  the  various 


On  the  Lim  of  Ood.  Ill 


Jl£/» 


^ns  of  it  that  have  now  been  mentioned,  to 
as  to  rule  and  regulate  the  various  powers  of  nature 
duriii^  the  whole  of  our  being. 

I  do  not  see  any  thing  in  this  demand  whioh  our 
own  OQBBCiences  will  not  pronounoe  to  be  rif^  and 
reasonable^  Who  will  deny  that  He,  who  is  the  per* 
ftotion  of  all  moml  excellaacy,  the  fountain  of  all  the 
bufl^,  the  beauty,  and  the  blessedness,  in  the  uni* 
verse^  ought  to  be  the  constant  object  of  supreoae  love 
and  oomplaoency,  of  supreme  good  will  and  gratitude? 
What  ate  our  beings  our  virtue^  add  happiness^  or  those 
of  the  whole  universe,  in  comparison  of  His  ?  "  Behold* 
the  nations  are  as  a  drop  of  a  buoketi  and  are  oouDtcd 
as  the  small  dust  of  the  balance:  all  nations  before 
him  are  as  nothing ;  and  they  are  counted  to  him  less 
than  nothing,  and  vanity.  To  whom  then  will  ye 
likto  Gkxi?  or  what  likeness  will  ye  compare  unto 
him  V*  To  Pifiise,  in  the  slightest  degree,  to  this  great, 
and  pure,  and  lovely  Being,  that  love  which  he  claims, 
is  to  frustrate,  in  so  far  as  this  refusal  goes,  the  chief 
design  for  which  all  beings  have  been  called  into  ex- 
istttictf 4  It  is  to  give  to  what  is  limited  and  depend*^ 
ent  the  affections  which  He  requires,  whose  glories  are 
boundless,  whose  being  is  independent,  and  who  is, 
fipcm  everlasting  to  everlasting,  Ood. 

It  is  Only  by  allowing  the  love  d£  Ood  thus  to  fill 
and  to  abide  in  our  hearts,  that  we  are  possessed  of 
moral  exteUence,  or  that  any  of  our  actions  can  be  pio^ 
nounced  to  be  truly  virtuous.  If  that  love,  which  is  the 
flilfliing  of  tiie  law,  be  absent  from  the  mind  in  regard 
to  Ood,  how  c&n  it  exist  and  operate  in  the  mind  in  re^ 
tptet  to  our  ftltow-<areatures  ?  And,  on  the  other  hands 


lia  04  the  Lo9s  of  God. 

''  If  a  man  say,  I  lore  God,  and  hateth  his  brother,  he  is 
a  liar;  for  he  that  loveth  not  his  brother  whom  he  hath 
seen,  how  can  he  love  God  whom  he  hath  not  seen  ?** 
The  love  of  God  and  of  our  neighbour  is  the  same 
afiection  in  nature,  but  exercised  in  regard  to  differ- 
ent objects,  and  is  not  only  essential  to  virtue,  but  is 
the  very  principle  which  gives  to  any  being  or  action 
the  qualities  of  virtue.  To  require  this  love  to  God, 
and  to  the  creatures  that  he  has  formed  in  his  image,  to 
the  extent  specified  in  the  divine  law,  is  to  require 
beings  endowed  with  understanding  and  will  to  be 
virtuous  beings,  voluntarily  to  co-operate  with  their 
Creator  in  the  advancement  of  that  glory  and  happi- 
ness for  which  all  things  exist,  and  to  secure  to  them- 
selves the  true  and  lasting  enjoyment  of  which  their 
nature  is  capable. 

This  is  what  God  demands ;  and  does  not  his 
demand  accord  with  the  uncorrupted  capabilities  of  the 
human  mind  ?  Are  there  not  desires  in  man,  essen- 
tially  connected  with  his  nature  in  every  state,  but  in 
his  state  of  apostacy  and  of  darkness,  which  lead  it 
as  directly  to  God  as  its  cxily  portion,  as  the  desires 
accompanying  hunger  and  thirst  lead  us  to  seek  their 
gratification  from  the  food  which  Providence  has 
adapted  for  us.  They  elevate  the  soul,  in  the  ex- 
ercise of  holy  affection  and  complacency  to  Him  that 
made  it,  prompting  it  to  view  in  his  perfection  and 
all-sufiiciency,  its  great  and  lasting  good  ;  to  regard 
all  enjoyments  as  the  expression  of  his  favour ;  and 
even  to  prefer  sufferings  to  these  enjoyments^  should 
it  be  the  will  of  God  to  appoint  them.  *'  As  the  hart 
panteth  after  the  water-brook0>  so  patMetii  my 'Mai 


On  the  Love  af  God.  118 

after  thee,  O  'God.  My  soul  UdiBteth  for  Qod»  for 
the  liviog  God ;  when  shall  I  oome  and  appear  before 
God  ?  Because  thy  loving  kindness  is  better  than  life, 
my  lips  shall  praise  thee." 

It  is  clear,  then,  that  man  is  holy  and  happy,  only 
in  proportion  as  he  obeys  this  first  and  great  com* 
mandment  of  the  law,  to  love  the  Lord  God  with  all 
the  heart,  and  with  all  the  soul,  and  with  all  the 
mind,  and  with  all  the  strength.  Nor  is  it  any  valid 
objection  to  this  position,  that  he  may,  in  the  present 
state,  have  some  gratification  while  his  heart  is 
alienated  from  God,  and  opposed  to  his  authority ; — 
and  that  while  his  mind  is  in  this  state  of  enmity 
against  God,  and  not  caring  either  about  the  know- 
ledge or  the  doing  of  his  will,  he  may  be  drawing  a 
considerable  share  of  enjoyment  from  those  inferior 
springs  which  the  goodness  of  the  Creator  has  com- 
manded to  flow.  For,  these  enjoyments  are  in  their 
nature  fleeting ;  the  capacity  of  deriving  any  share 
of  happiness  decays  with  the  decay  of  life ;  and  even 
at  the  time  when  this  capacity  is  unimpaired,  and 
when  those  enjoyments  do  abound,  one  such  view  of 
the  holiness  and  perfection  of  the  eternal  God,  and 
of  the  obligation  of  giving  him  the  love  of  the  heart,  as 
would  allow  the  light  of  truth  to  strike  upon  the  con- 
science, would  in  a  moment  dissolve  the  charm. 

He  cannot,  ¥rithout  disregarding  his  duty  and  hap- 
piness, without  becoming  a  rebel  against  God  the 
sovereign  ruler  of  the  universe,  without  relinquishing 
a  part  in  the  employments  of  every  virtuous  being, 
and  without  frustrating,  in  so  far  as  his  individual 
effi»rts  and  example  will  avail  to  that  end,  the  glorious 

Vol.  II.  I 


lU  On  Obedience  to  th^  Witt  of  God. 

purposes  of  Ms  beingi — hb  cannot,  without  these 
effiscts,  cease  to  love  the  Lord  Gkxl  to  the  extent  and 
in  the  manner  prescribed  by  his  law.  I  shall  not 
attempt  to  strengthen  this  position,  by  a  repres^Aftation 
of  the  consequences  which  must  follow  the  absence  of 
love  to  QxA  and  to  one  another  in  the  myriads  of 
intelligent  beings  who  inhabit  the  dominions  of  the 
only  living  and  true  Godi-^Hior  of  the  lamentatiodt 
and  misery,  and  wde,  that  would  overspread  the 
oreation,  the  wretched  abode  of  beings  living  in 
maUoe  and  in  envy,  hateful  and  hating  one  another. 


Chapter  til. 


ON  OBGDnSNCfi  fO  THIS  WILL  OF  OOD  .-^THB  LAW  OF  QOD 

THE  RULE  OF  THIS  OBEDIENCE. 

Thb  first  and  the  natural  expression  of  love  to  Qod  is, 
obedience  to  his  will.  It  is  of  the  nature  of  love  to 
prompt  to  a  compliance  with  the  will  of  the  beloved 
object.  What  pleasure  does  an  affectionate  child  feel 
in  fulfilling,  I  shall  not  say  the  commands,  merety,  of 
a  parent,  but  his  wishes ;  and  how  eagerly  does  he 
watdi  for  opportunities  to  shew  his  gratitude  and 
veneratuxL 

In  like  manner,  love  to  Ood  will  lead  to  a  volun- 
tary and  cheerful  obedience  to  his  will*  If  the  heart 
be  filled  and  occupied  with  this  afiection,  what  puie 
enjoyment  is  felt  in  complying  cofdially  with  all  God's 
commandments !  Its  language  will  be,  *'  O  how  love 
I  thy  law  I  It  is  my  meditation  all  the  day,    My  soul 


On  Obedience  to  the  WiU  of  God.  lU 

breaketh  for  the  longing  that  it  hath  unto  thy  judg. 
maits  at  all  times." 

'Ua  us  inquire,  in  the  first  place,  ooncemlilg  tfa« 
rule  of  that  obedience  which  we  owe  to  God,  aiid» 
secondly,  into  the  diflerent  fbrms  of  whidi  thi»  db«^ 
dience  consifits^ 

By  obedience  to  the  will  of  God  w«  tnMa  tlw 
whole  of  our  duty  as  accountaUe  creatmrei.  EVerf 
duty,  whether  its  direct  object  be  God^  our  Mow^ 
creatures,  or  ourselves,  is  a  duty  which  W6  owe  tt>  God| 
whose  right  is  announced  by  ^ery  man's  tiotidOieti6@4 
His  will  is  the  rule  and  the  stonddrd  of  right  kSA 
wrong,  dnd  of  moral  action  *  and  oil  this  ground  Al(Md 
we  are  entitled  to  pronounee  that  morality  eiitremely 
defective  which  does  not  emanate  from  the  principle 
of  love  to  God.  Virtue  is  pure  and  elevated  In  {k)f< 
portion  as  it  springs  from  this  life-giving  sdutoe^  NO 
sacrifice  is  acceptoble,  which  is  not  kindled  by  thii 
heavenly  fire ;  no  o£feting  sweety  which  is  ndt  Ji6as()n^ 
by  this  holy  salt. 

I  allow,  indeed,  that  by  the  dpdfation  df  infeiloiP 
motives  some  ejLtefior  tiftues  m&y  bd  6h6fish^  that 
are  highly  useful  to  society  '-^-^that  a  feense  of  hcmoUfi 
by  its  restraints  and  stimulants,  may  do  much  ;'^that 
a  regard  to  social  order  may  lead  to  the  cultivaf i6n  6f 
certain  habits  Which  are  of  great  Value  id  thd  06in» 
munity ;— that  the  tefinemdnt  of  a  cultiv&ted  under- 
standing may  give  to  the  manners  the  polish  and 
correctness  of  good  breeding ; — and  that  d  mere  rd* 
gard  to  reputation  will  have  its  weight  in  inducing 
Some  to  observe  the  decencies  of  human  life.  The 
operation  of  these  principles,  singly  or  oombinedi 

I  8 


116  On  Obedience  to  the  Will  of  God. 

may,  in  Ae  entire  absence  of  religious  motives,  pro- 
duce much  that  is  conducive  to  the  order  and  happi* 
ness  of  society ;  but  as  it  all  proceeds  from  principles 
vrboBG  origin  is  earthly,  and  which  have  no  imme- 
diate relation  to  the  will  or  law  of  God,  it  possesses 
nothing  of  the  nature  and  sanctity  of  true  virtue,  and 
is  compatible  with  a  state  of  heart  alienated  from 
God,  and  with  a  life  which  makes  no  practical  ac- 
knowledgment of  him  in  the  world.     If  love  be  the 
ftdfiUing  of  the  law,  its  absence  leaves  the  action 
void  of  intrinsic  moral  value.    Nor  can  the  partial 
and  imperfect  discharge  of  one  duty  compensate  for 
the  neglect  of  another,  which  is  enjoined  with  equal 
clearness,  and  by  the  same  authority. 

So  closely  and  essentially  is  morality  connected 
with  the  principles  of  religion,  that  the  former  is 
necessarily  defective  where  the  latter  is  deficient  or 
enoneous.  Every  doctrine  of  religion,  if  it  does  not 
give  rise  to  cbrresponding  duties,  suggests,  at  least, 
its  own  peculiar  motives.  From  the  admission  of 
the  being  and  attributes  of  one  only  living  and  true 
God,  we  deduce  numerous  and  important  obligations. 
From  this  great  and  fundamental  truth  we  justly  infer, 
that  we  are  all  the  children  of  one  Almighty  Parent, 
and  that  the  relations  which  in  consequ^ice  we  bear 
to  him  and  to  one  another,  devolve  on  us  many 
duties  of  justice  and  benevolence;  which,  if  we 
neglect  or  violate,  we  offend  against  God  as  well  as 
against  our  fellow-creatures. 

There  is  no  greater  mistake  than  to  imagine  that, 
we  can  be  truly  virtuous  in  the  discharge  of  one  dass 
of  duties,  while  we  neglect  another ;  that  we  can 


On  Obedience  to  the  Witt  of  God.  117 

love  6od»  and  at  the  same  time  disobey  his  oon^ 
xnandments ;  or,  love  our  fellow-creatures,  and  live 
without  Ood.    If,  as  I  maintain,  the  love  which  is  the 
fulfilling  of  the  law  is  in  every  case  the  same  aSdtidoa 
of  mind — ^the  same  in  relation  to  God,  and  in  relation 
to  man,  and  different  in  no  other  way  than  that  the 
objects  in  regard  to  which  it  is  exercised  are  differ* 
ent,  it  follows  as  a  necessary  consequence,  that  there 
can  be  no  true  virtue  where  there  is  not  an  aiming  at 
universal  obedience.    If  the  bias  of  the  heart  be  in 
any  measure  opposed  to  this  single  affection  or  state 
of  mind,  to  this  principle  which  is  inclusive  of  all  law, 
and  from  which  all  true  obedience  proceeds,  the 
whole  man  is  wanting  in  the  same  proportion  in  hdi- 
ness  or  real  virtue.    This  universal  obedience  has  its 
foundation  in  religion,  is  directed  by  the  will  of  God» 
and  animated  by  the  hope  of  his  fitvour ;  while  that 
which  proceeds  from  other  principles,  is  only  the  sem- 
blance of  virtue, — it  is  vanity,  or  pride,  or  interest,  or  a 
generosity  of  disposition.   The  pleasures  of  true  virtue 
are,  like  itself,  divine,  both  in  their  original,  and  in 
their  issue ;  they  begin  and  end  in  God.    They  are  de- 
rivative and  dependent,  and  like  the  light  which  loses 
its  lustre,  and  its  very  being,  when  separated  from 
the  glorious  fountain  that  feeds  it,  they  dedine  and 
die  when  it  is  attempted  to  enjoy  them  without  God. 
In  affirming  that  the  will  or  law  of  God  is  the 
measure  and  rule  of  virtue,  I  am  not  to  be  understood 
as  maintaining  that  the  distinctions  between  right  and 
wrong,  between  virtue  and  vice,  are  created  by  mere 
will  or  law,  or  enactment*.    These  distinctions  aie 

•  See  the  Chapter  QD  this  subject  10  tlie  precediof  Book. 


118  On  Ohedieme  to  thfi  JFiU  of  God. 

^tOBBl  and  iimnutaUe,  founded  in  the  eternity  and 
isunutability  of  the  divine  nature,  md  foTm  the 
ground  on  which  lnw  fmd  will,  in  order  to  be  ob- 
ligatory, muat  rest.  It  is  they>  and  not  the  xnere 
possession  of  supreme  power,  that  give  to  the  Deity 
the  right  to  copoimand  the  love  and  obedience  of  his 
creatures  ;-^a  right  which  exists  anterior  to  every 
enaotment,  and  the  existause  of  whidi  is  attested  by 
the  oonscimoeB  of  the  beings  to  whom  the  law  is 
addressed. 

llie  law  of  Qod  is  the  explicit  announcement  of  the 
nature  and  extent  of  those  obligations  devolving 
upon  men,  which  had  previously  existed,  and  would 
have  existed  though  no  such  announcement  had  been 
made.  Its  authority  is  not  at  all  affected  by  the 
way  in  which  it  is  made  known  to  us, — that  being 
the  same,  whether  it  is  ascertained  from  a  survey  of 
Ike  established  avder  of  the  universe,  an  analysis  of 
the  powers  of  our  moral  constitution,  or  by  divine 
Mvelation.  If  we  aie  only  satisfied  that  the  vqice 
which  speaks  is  a  voice  fbom  heaven,  we  are  bound 
to  listen  and  obey,  whatever  be  the  medium  through 
wUch  it  reaches  us. 

^^  It  is  not  an  uncertain  or  mutable  thing ;  it  doth 
not  depend  upon  my  thinking  or  not  thinking  of  it 
Whethw  I  thmk,  c^  think  not,  whether  I  sleep  or 
wttke,  if  God  is,  and  I  am,  sudi  obligations  must  lie 
upoa  me  necessarily  and  unalterably ;  that  is,  such 
nally  is  the  statf  of  things  betweei)  God  and  me, 
that.  I  cannot  but  be  under  such  obligations.  It  is 
vain,  therefore,  to  suppose  that  the  law  in  these  le- 

specta  ia  ^  arbitrary  and  cfaangfmble  thing.   It  is  nq 


On  Ob^dikn^  to  tkfi  Will  of  Qod.  \M^ 

more  cbangeable  than  the  essantial  references  mnat 
be  b^weeu  God  aud  me,  while  be  eiuati,  anci  J  exist ;, 
so  that  I  cannot  make  the«e  obligations  to  be  by  my. 
thinking  of  themi  nor  can  I  unthink  them  into  nothing. 

*'  When  we  therefore  read  of  the  law  of  nature  as  a 
law  written  in  us,  as  the  Apostle's  ejiLpression  is,  it 
supposes  it  to  have  been  in  existence  before  it  was 
written.  Those  mutual  references  between  God  and 
MS  had  a  pre^existencet  whether  there  be  any  SMcb 
impression  upon  me  or  no ;  if  it  remain,  or  if  it  be 
blotted  out,  that  doth  not  nullify  the  obligations  be* 
twoen  me  and  my  Maker-  Cicero  calls  it,  Ntm 
mripta  Hd  nata  /^,  a  law  born  with  us ;  which  results 
from  the  very  existence  of  such  a  creature,  of  such  a 
nature,  related  to  the  Supreme  Being  aB  his  ofifspring. 
or  that  hath  immediately  been  raised  up  out  of  nothing 
by  him  V 

The  law  of  Qod,  then,  is  the  expression  of  His  will 
who  is  infinitely  holy  and  wise,  just  and  good ;— it  is 
nothing  else  than  the  measure  and  rule  of  that  obe- 
dience which  the  nature  of  Ood  and  man  make  neces- 
sary from  the  one  to  the  other.  The  obligation  to 
render  this  obedience  arises  from  the  relations  neces- 
sarily subsisting  between  a  created  and  dependent 
moral  agent,  and  the  great  Crestor  and  self-existent 
liord.  The  law  which  he  gives  to  lus  creatures  is  tb« 
standard  and  directory,  as  to  the  nature  and  extent 
ef  that  Ipve  and  service  which  were  previously  i^d 
necessarily  due,  This,  which  is  termed  the  moral 
law>  was  originally  written  on  the  heart  of  man»  as 
well  as  announced  to  him  in  Paradise.    It  was  afier-^ 

r  j^^i^  w«rk9»  f4.  T*  pt  1»U  WK. 


1M>  On  Obedience  to  the  WiU  of  God. 

wards  issued  by  the  Sovereign  Ruler  from  Sinai,  and 
there  written  on  two  tables  of  stone.  Though  imme- 
'  diately  given  to  the  Jews,  it  was  not  more  binding  on 
them  than  on  the  whole  human  race :  for  it  is  in  its 
nature  and  principles  fixed,  unalterable,  and  eternal 

Different  from  this  was  the  law  which  was  given  at 
the  same  time  to  Israel,  which  was  partly  ceremonial, 
and  partly  judicial,  which  was  partly  typical  and  de- 
signed to  point  to  the  good  things  to  come,  and  partly 
related  to  them  as  a  nation.  This  consisted  of  a 
multitude  of  arbitrary  enactments,  or  what  the  Apostle 
terms,  the  law  of  commandments  contained  in  ordi- 
nances. They  were  positive  institutions,  and,  apart 
frcxn  the  authority  that  enjoined  them,  indi£ferent  But 
they,  in  virtue  of  this  authority,  instantly  changed 
their  nature;  and  their  observance  or  non-obser- 
vance,  became  moral  or  immoral,  in  consequence  of 
their  being  appointed  by  Him,  who  is  infinitely  good, 
and  wise,  and  powerful,  and  to  whose  laws,  wise  and 
good  as  they  must  always  be,  we  owe  a  perfect  and 
an  unceasing  obedience.  They  were,  however,  in 
force  only  during  the  good  pleasure  of  him  that  en- 
joined them,  and  were  abrogated  with  the  destruction 
of  the  Jewish  polity.  Under  that  economy  they  served 
most  important  ends,  both  as  to  the  faith  and  the  obe- 
dience of  the  worshippers,  to  which  it  is  unnecessary 
in  this  place  to  make  any  more  specific  allusion. 

But  the  moral  law  is,  like  the  nature  of  God,  and 
as  the  expression  of  those  obligations  which  arise  out 
of  the  relations  subsisting  between  God  and  man, 
fixed  and  unchangeable.  It  was  announced,  ex- 
plained, and  enforced,  at  sundry  times  and  in  di^ 


On  Obedience  to  the  Will  of  God.  181 

ferent  ways ;  but  the  duties  whidi  it  enjoins  were 
always  and  necessarily  obligatory.  This  law  is  a 
perfect  rule  of  the  spiritual  and  moral  obedience  which 
God  is  entitled  to  receive,  and  whidi  he  requires  from 
man,  and  to  the  divine  excellency  of  which  the  sacred 
writer  beautifully  refers,  when  he  says,  "  The  law  of 
the  Lord  is  perfect,  converting  the  soul ;  the  testimony 
of  the  Lord  is  sure,  making  wise  the  simple/'  This, 
because  its  authority  is  universal,  is  impressed  on 
the  heart  and  conscience,  is  known  in  some  measure 
by  the  light  of  nature,  and  the  works  of  which,  if  a 
man  do,  he  shall  live  in  them. 

This  law,  issuing  as  it  does,  from  the  Ood  of  in- 
finite perfection,  must  itself  be  perfect.    It  must  be 
an  infallible  measure  and  rule  of  virtue,  and  admi- 
rably adapted  to  answer  the  ends  of  a  directory  and 
standard  of  moral  obligation.    Its  perfection  appears, 
I,  From  considering  it  as  the  very  image  or  tran- 
script of  the  moral  character  of  God.     The  laws  of 
any  government  will  always  afibrd  some  discovery  of 
the  spirit  by  which  it  is  characterized,  and  of  the  wis- 
dom and  benevolence  of  the  governor.    The  laws  of 
God,  we  are  entitled  to  presume,  will  indicate  his 
diaracter,  as  they  will  of  course  enjoin  that  which  he 
loves,  that  which  infinite  wisdom  and  holiness  ap- 
prove, and  prohibit  that  which  he  hates.     Whatever 
his  nature  is,  as  to  purity,  and  wisdom,  and  goodness, 
that  also  his  law  must  be  in  regard  to  the  same  quali- 
ties;   since  it  is  obviously  impossible  that  he  can 
command  his  creatures  to  do  what  is  opposed  to  him- 
self, what  is  repugnant  to  his  wishes  and  his  will. 
But  the  character  of  God  is  the  perfection  of  all 


1»  On  Obedience  to  the  WiU  of  God. 

possible  moral  excellence;  moral  ej^cellence*  there- 
fore»  must  be  the  object  of  his  love ;  and  the  k^w 
which  he  gives  to  his  intelligent  creatures,  is  the  ex- 
pressicHi .  of  it  It  is  the  image  of  his  wisdom  aiul 
truth,  rectitude  and  goodness,  perfect  in  itself,  as  it  is 
the  representation  of  that  God,  who  is  righteous  in  aU 
his  ways,  and  holy  in  all  his  works.  In  this  way  wq 
are  to  understand  the  language  of  inspiration  which 
describes,  ''  The  statutes  of  the  Xx)rd  are  right,  re* 
joidng  the  heart ;  the  commandment  of  the  Lord  1^ 
pure,  entightening  the  eyes.  The  fear  of  the  Lord  is 
clean,  enduring  for  ever  ;  the  judgments  of  the  Lord 
are  true  and  righteous  altogether.  More  to  be  desired 
are  they  than  gold,  yea,  than  much  fine  gold ;  sweeter 
also  than  honey,  and  the  honey-comb.  Moreover,  by 
them  is  thy  servant  warned ;  and  in  keeping  of  then) 
there  is  great  reward." 

II.  The  perfection  of  the  divine  law,  as  the  measure 
and  the  rule  of  virtue,  appears'  from  its  simplicity  and 
comprehensiveness; — characters  by  which  it  is  ad- 
mirably adapted  to  the  capacity  of  mankind  in  all 
their  diversified  circumstances.  It  is  so  simple  that 
the  two  precepts  which  embody  it  must  be  universally 
understood ;  and  it  is  so  comprehensive  that  the  sum 
of  all  its  precepts  is  expressed  by  one  word — Lpve. 
The  affection  of  mind,  which  this  word  denotes,  in- 
cludes in  it  the  whole  duty  of  man-^-that  which  he 
owes  to  God,  to  his  neighbour,  and  himself; — ^and  the 
varied  duties,  which  the  members  of  the  family  of  (jod 
in  the  several  worlds  they  inhabit  are  bound  to  perform. 
That  law  is  indeed  perfect,  and  is  the  emanation  of 
boundless  perfection^  which  expresses  in  f^w  words^ 


On  Obedience  to  the  Witt  of  God.  US 

universally  understood,  easily  remembered,  the  whde 
duty  c^  man  in  time  and  in  eternity, — of  man  in  af- 
fluence or  in  poverty,  in  rude  or  in  civilized  life,  in 
every  condition,  and  under  all  variety  of  disprasa- 
ti(X)a ;  and  which  thus  briefly  and  comprehensively  eiir 
presses,  not  the  duty  of  man  only,  but  of  all  created 
intelligences.  It  is  the  rule  by  which  they  guide  their 
affections  and  actions,  in  the  varied  spheres  in  whidi 
they  move,  and  in  the  observance  of  which  peace  and 
joy  are  secured  throughout  the  dominions  of  Ood 

Contrast  this  divine  directory  of  moral  conduct  with 
the  intricate,  voluminous,  and  very  imperfect  laws  of 
man ;  and  we  cannot  fail  to  have  the  most  lively  con* 
viction  of  the  perfection  of  that  law,  whidi  points  out 
so  clearly,  so  fully,  and  so  minutdy,  the  whole  duty 

of  man. 

in.  This  perfection  farther  appears  from  a  oon* 
sideration  of  the  ends  which  it  is  designed  to  attain. 
These  are  the  best  that  can  be  attained,  and  such  as 
God  proposes  to  himself  in  the  government  of  the 
universe.  These  ends  are,  his  own  glory^  the  im- 
provement of  his  creatures  in  every  moral  excellency, 
and  the  happinesa  of  the  whole  fiunily  of  intelligent 
beings. 

That  the  law  of  God  is  calculated,  as  it  is  designed, 
to  attain  those  ends,  is  clear  from  the  nature  of  what 
it  requires.  It  commands  us  to  give  to  God  the  first 
place  in  the  affiscticms  of  the  heart  ;--*4o  let  his  love 
fill  the  whole  mind  and  soul,  and  regulate  every 
tbou^t,  and  desire,  and  faculty.  If  the  nature  an 
perfections  of  God  be  an  object  of  supreme  delight 
and  oomplaoency  to  God  himself,  and  if  the  manifes- 


124  On  Obedience  to  the  Witt  of  God. 

tation  and  the  communication  of  his  fulness  be  the 
end  for  which  all  things  are  made,  ought  not  the  same 
end,  that  is,  the  glory  of  God,  to  be  the  voluntary  aim  of 
all  created  beings  ?  But  voluntarily  to  aim  at  this,  is 
to  love  the  Lord  our  God  with  all  the  heart,  and  soul, 
and  mind,  and  strength ; — it  is  to  make  the  doing  of 
what  the  law  requires  the  business  of  every  day,  and 
the  ultimate  end  of  our  life. 

In  proportion  as  we  keep  this  end  in  view,  and  are 
animated  with  that  love  which  is  the  fulfilling  of  the 
law,  do  we  possess  moral  excellency,  or,  in  other 
words,  are  we  virtuous  beings.  When  we  love  what 
Gbd  loves,  and  hate  what  he  hates,  we  bear  his  image ; 
we  resemble  him  in  the  moral  excellences  of  his  na- 
ture. It  is  thus  only  that  we  advance  in  the  attain- 
ments and  in  the  dignity  of  true  virtue,  and  possess 
that  character  which  God  will  regard  with  approba- 
tion. Nor  is  it  necessary  to  add,  that  it  is  in  this 
way  only  we  are  instrumental  in  promoting  our  own 
real  and  lasting  happiness,  and  in  contributing  to  the 
peace,  joy,  and  harmony  of  the  universe.  Such  is  the 
divine  perfection  of  this  rule  of  moral  conduct,  that  it 
directs,  to  the  attainment  of  all  these  objects,  all  the 
glorious  ends  for  which  our  being  has  any  value,  and 
for  which  that  vast  empire  over  which  God  presides 
has  been  called  into  existence. 

IV,  But  the  perfection  of  the  divine  law  will  still 
further  appear  from  a  view  of  its  unalterable  authority 
and  obligation.  An  important  part  of  human  legis- 
lation is  to  amend,  and  often  to  abrogate  laws,  pre- 
viously enacted,  but  which  experience  has  proved  to 
be  &ulty,  either  from  defect  or  excess,  and  eyen  to  be 


On  Obedienbe  to  the  Will  of  God.  125 

subversive  of  the  designs  of  legislation,  the  virtue  and 
happiness  of  mankind.  Even  the  positive  instttu^ 
tioos,  appointed  by  infinite  wisdom  and  goodness  for 
important,  though  temporary  ends,  are  annulled  and 
set  aside  when  these  ends  are  accomplished.  But 
the  moral  law,  as  it  is  the  expression  of  those  obli- 
gations which  co-exist  with  the  existence  of  moral 
beings,  is  unalterable  and  eternal.  It  is  the  enact- 
ment of  Him  who  sees  the  end  from  the  beginning,  by 
whose  wisdom  and  goodness  it  has  been  framed,  and 
who  through  this  medium  reflects  the  image  of  his 
intelligence,  and  purity,  and  beneficence,  to  the  un- 
derstandings and  hearts  of  his  creatures  and  subjects. 
If,  therefore,  the  moral  excellences  of  his  nature  are 
unchangeable,  the  law  which  is  founded  on  them,  and 
which  is  the  reflection  of  them,  must  also  be  un- 
changeable. 

It  cannot  be  altered  for  the  better,  because  it  is  the 
image  of  Him  who  is  perfection,  that  which  his  wis- 
dom and  goodness  afiirm  to  be  due  from  man  to  God, 
from  man  to  his  neighbour,  from  man  to  himself,  as  a 
moral  agent  and  an  immortal  being.    If  any  change 
were  to  be  effected  in  it,  it  must  be  a  change  for  the 
worse ;  and  then,  it  would  of  course  cease  to  be  what 
it  is,  the  law  of  the  Lord  which  is  perfect,  the  very 
expression  of  those  moral  excellences  which  he  loves, 
of  those  obligations  which  necessarily  exist.    Unless 
it  be  a  true  expression  of  these  moral  excellences,  of 
these  obligations,  it  is  a  false  and  imperfect  repre- 
sratation  of  what  God  is,  of  what  God  is  entitled  to 
receive,  of  what  God  requires ;  such  a  representation 
cannot  proceed  from  the  God  of  truths  whose  wisdom, 


196  On  Obedience  to  the  Law  of  God^ 

holiness,  and  goodness,  are  infinites  May  we  not, 
therefore,  affirm  in  the  words  of  our  Lord,  that  heaven 
and  earth  shall  socmer  pass  away,  than  one  jot,  or  one 
titde  of  the  law  shall  fail? 


Chapter  IV. 

ON  THE  DtFFEKENT  FORMS  OP  OBEDIENCE  tO  THE  LAW  OP 

GOD. 

Having  pointed  out  the  measure  and  rule  of  man's 
obedience  as  a  moral  agent  and  accountable  being, 
let  us  inquire  into  the  nature  of  that  obedience  which 
he  is  bound  to  render.    This  obedience  has  a  refe- 
rence to  the  commands  which  God  enjoins,  to  the 
truths  which  he  reveals,  and  to  the  dispensations 
which  he  appoints.    In  the  first  case  he  is  to  obey, 
in  the  second  to  believe,  in  the  third  to  submit.    In 
all  the  moving  principle  is,  that  love,  which  is  the 
essence  of  virtue,  and  the  fulfilling  of  the  law.    In 
every  case  it  is  obedience  to  God  proceeding  from 
love  to  him,  difiering  only  as  the  objects  in  reference 
to  which  it  is  exercised  are  different. 


Section  I. — Obedience  to  the  Commands  of  God. 

I  shall  not  repeat  the  grounds  of  this  obedience— ^ 
grounds  which  are  fixed  and  unchangeable  as  the 
moral  excellences  of  God,  and  as  are  the  obligations 
which  necessarily  arise  from  the  relations  subsisting 


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J  28  On  Obediende  U>  the  Lau>  of  God. 

die."    That  our  obedience  to  the  commandments  of 
God  be  acceptable,  it  is  necessary, 

I.  That  it  should  proceed  from  love  to  him.  This, 
as  revelation  teaches  us,  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law. 
We  cannot  conceive  that  law  to  be  honoured  and  duly 
obeyed,  where  there  is  not  an  intentional  subjection 
to  the  great  Lord  and  Ruler  of  all,  arising  from  a  con- 
viction of  his  infinite  moral  excellences,  complacency 
in  the  perfecticm  of  his  character,  zeal  for  his  glory, 
and  gratitude  for  his  unnumbered  benefits.  If  the 
heart  be  properly  affected  towards  God,  as  possess- 
ing in  himself  all  worth,  and  beauty,  and  blessedness, 
as  the  only  all-sufficient  and  everlasting  portion  of  the 
soul,  how  easy  and  delightful  will  it  be  to  give  him 
the  love  and  the  obedience  which  are  his  due. 

II.  It  is  further  necessary  that  this  obedience  should 
proceed  from  a  deep  and  practical  sense  of  God's  au- 

'thority  over  us.  Without  this,  the  service  which  we 
render  will  not  be  a  reasonable,  and,  consequently,  not 
an  acceptable,  service.  It  is  under  the  influence  of 
this  abiding  conviction,  that  our  subjection  to  the  will 
of  God,  in  place  of  being  a  transient  act  of  the  mind, 
will  be  a  fixed  and  practical  h^it,  a  consecration  of 
heart  and  soul  to  his  glory ;  a  principle  operating  not  at 
distant  intervals,  but  like  the  afiection  of  a  dutiful 
child  to  its  parent,  or  the  constant  obedience  of  a  faith- 
ful servant  to  his  master. 

III.  We  must  have  respect  in  our  obedience  to  all 
God's  commandments.  The  perfect  obedience  which 
one  of  these  commandments  claims,  is  claimed  by 
them  all ;  and  the  wilful  violation  of  one  of  them  is  a 
virtual  violation  of  the  principle  upon  which  they  are 


On  Obediente  to  the  Law  of  God.  Iftd 

all  founded,  and  a  dishonour  to  the  authority  by  whidi 
they  are  all  enacted.  This  is  what  is  meant  by  the 
Apostle,  when  he  says,  "  He  that  is  guilty  in  one  point 
is  guilty  of  all."  Along  with  the  desire  to  know  al' 
the  will  of  God,  there  must  be  the  desire  to  practise 
his  will  as  far  as  it  is  known.  This  is  an  unambigu- 
ous mark,  by  which  sincere  and  universal  obedi- 
ence may  be  distinguished  from  that  which  is  stinted 
and  partial.  "  I  am  thy  servant,*'  says  the  faithful 
servant  of  God ;  "  give  me  understanding  that  I  may 
know  thy  testimonies.  I  love  thy  commandments 
above  gold,  yea,  above  fine  gold.  Therefore  I  esteem 
all  thy  precepts  concerning  all  things  to  be  right ;  and 
I  hate  every  false  way.*'  There  is  in  his  mind  a 
deep  conviction  that  all  the  will  of  God  is  good,  and 
holy,  and  wise, — that  his  authority  is  right,  and  ought 
to  be  obeyed, — and  that  all  the  commandments  which 
this  divine  authority  may  enjoin,  ought,  because  it 
enjoins  them,  to  be  cordially  fulfilled. 

These  are  some  of  the  characters  of  that  obedience 
which  we  are  bound  to  render  to  the  law  of  God  To 
deepen  our  convictions  of  God's  unquestionable  right 
to  receive  and  to  demand  it,  and  of  our  unalterable 
obligations  to  render  it,  we  should  reflect  aa  such 
questions  and  statements  as  the  following : 

Has  not  the  God,  whose  moral  excellences  are 
boundless,  tl^  Creator,  Preserver,  and  Governor  of  all 
things,  a  title  to  nde  the  creatures  whidi  he  has 
formed  capable  of  knowing,  loving,  and  serving  him  ? 
What  are  the  attributes  requisite  to  give  a  supreme 
right  to  our  unreserved  obedience,  which  are  not  founl 
in  the  God  that  made  us,  and  who  claims  us  as  his  ?  Is 

Vol.  IL  K 


IM  On  Obediende  to  tike  Lem  of  God, 

he  dot  pddsessed  of  infinite  knowledge  and  wisdom,  to 
diflcem  and  to  arrange  the  plans  that  may  beet  sub* 
serve  the  good  of  the  universe?  Is  he  not  the  fountain 
bf  goodness^  and  in  the  exercise  of  his  bounty  dif- 
fiising  his  tender  roerdes  over  all  his  works  ?  Is  he 
not  hdy  and  righteous,  and  therefore  inoapable  of 
doing  wroDgi  or  of  acting  partially  towards  his  crea- 
tures ?  Is  he  not  the  God  of  all  poweri  and,  therefore, 
aUe  to  ddiver  and  to  defend  those  that  trust  in  himl 
Is  he  not  most  perfiKA,  and  aU*sufficient ;  and,  therefore^ 
removed  beyond  the  possibility  of  governing  his  sub^ 
jects  by  deceit  or  ii\justice?  Is  he  not  our  com- 
passionate  Father^  who  has  nourished  us  and  brought 
us  up  as  e^dren»  and  who  rules  us  for  our  profit, 
thi^  we  may  be  the  partakers  of  his  h(^ness  ?  Do  we 
not  feel  that  in  voluntarily  acting  in  obedience  to  him* 
we  are  acting  in  ccHifonnity  to  the  noblest^  the  only 
valuable  purposes  for  which  we  have  been  made^ 
while  we  are  improving  in  the  endowments  oS  per- 
scNis  virtuous  and  happy  ?  Does  not  our  experience, 
as  well  ae  our  ccHisoience»  proclaim,  that  to  disobey  the 
leaM  ^  God's  ccmunandments,  is  to  rebel  against  his 
authority^  to  displease  Him,  whose  displeasure  can^ 
not  be  counterbalanced  by  the  whole  worldi  to  lole 
our  peace,  add  fill  the  mind  with  painful  apfNre* 
hensi(HiB  1 

These^  we  are  assured^  are  the  deserts  and  the 
0(mse4u^nces  of  a  single  act  df  disobedience.  When 
ooibfaiitted  l^  our  first  parents,  this  act  entailed  suffer- 
ing and  miswy  on  their  posterity ;  and  sin  in  theoi 
and  in  their  ofispring  has  spnead  desolation  and  death' 
ovbr  the  worid.    But  the  God  of  truth  has  solemi^y 


assured  us,  that  we  see  but  a  few  cf  the  oonsequeMM 
of  sin  in  the  present  Ufe»*^that  lamorae  ofoopsdeao^ 
and  disease^  and  wretchedness,  and  the  dissohitioQ 
of  the  body,  are  only  its  first  fimitsr-thal  it  kadi 
to  the  worn  tiial  dieA  not»  and  to  the  fire  that  eaanol 
be  quieDched,*^4D  a  punishmral  that  is  everiastn^^ 
fiom  the  presence  of  the  Lord^  uod  fioss  the  g^kvy 
of  his  power. 

Section  II.-— Oiedtence  to  Qod  considered  as  a  principle 
of  belief  in  the  truths  which  he  reocals. 

Another  form  of  that  obedience  urindi  we  owe  to 
Ood  is,  a  bdief  in  the  doctrines  which  be  is  pleased 
to  rereal.  We  cannot  be  more  bound  to  obey  hie 
precepts,  than  we  are  bound  cordially  to  credit  aH 
that  his  testimony  seals  as  truth.  IImw  is  no  lmg» 
room  fiir  hesitation  or  doubt  when  we  are  satidled  dUft 
it  is  Qod  who  speaks.  To  reject  his  testimony  is  to 
do  the  highest  dishonour  to  Gtod,  it  is  to  make  him 
*'  a  liar."  That  it  is  the  duty  of  all  men  to  betieMi 
all  the  doctrines  whidi  God  reveals  as  his  tmth,  is 
dear  from  the  following  consideratknB* 

I.  Because  Qod  commands  aB  men  to  beUtfVtf  flie 
doctrines  of  divine  revelation.  The  right  on  his  part 
to  command  our  belief  is  not  more  manifest  tiiaa  is  the 
duty  on  ours  to  obey.  '*  This  is  his  commalidiMM 
that  we  believe  on  the  name  of  his  Son  JeSus  Christ' 
Repent  and  believe  the  Gospel.  Believe  on  Uie 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  thou  sbalt  be  saved.  Go  ye 
into  all  the  world,  and  preach  the  Gospel -to  every* 

KS 


IftI  On  obedience  to  ike  Law  of  God. 

oreatnre ;  he  that  befieveth,  and  is  baptized,  shall  be 
samd,  and  he  that  believeth  not,  shall  be  condemned/' 

That  whidi  is  the  object  of  a  command  from  God 
is  obedience  in  moral  and  accountable  creatures. 
Can  we  diarge  the  righteous  Lord  and  Ruler  of  all 
with  demanding  from  us  more  than  is  meet,  or,  that 
wfaidi  wei  afe  physically  incapable  of  rendering  ?  Do 
not  his  warnings,  threatenings,  and  admonitions, 
imply  that  man  is  accountable  for  his  belief,  and 
that  he  is  just  as  much  bound  to  believe  what  God 
reveals,  as  to  do  what  God  commands?  Were  it 
otherwise,  why  should  he  be  exhorted*  to  search  the 
Seriptures,  to  prove  all  things,  and  to  hold  fast  that 
which  is  good?  Why  should  the  Jews  have  been 
cdminated  by  our  Lord  for  not  believing  his  word, 
and  threatened,  as  the  consequence  of  unbelief,  with 
heavy  judgments  both  in  this  life,  and  in  that  which 
is  to  come  ?  Why  should  unbelief  in  the  Gospel  be 
rapresented  as  the  greatest  crime*  as  incurring  the 
BKMt  aggravated  guilt,  and  the  most  feaiful  condem- 
nation? 

IL  The  duties  of  believing  what  God  reveals,  and  of 
receiving  it  in  the  manner  which  he  prescribes,  are 
the  natural  and  immediate  effects  of  love  to  him  ;  so 
ttat,  if  it  be  a  duty  to  love  God,  it  is  a  duty  equally 
obvious  and  binding  to  believe  his  word.  We  are 
bound  to  love  God  supremely,  because  he  is  infinitely 
woithy  of  being  beloved ;  but  the  attributes  of  infinite 
moral  excellency  which  he  possesses,  and  which  render 
us  criminal  should  we  refuse  him  the  love  of  our 
heart,  render  iss  not  less  criminal  should  we  disbelieve 


On  ObedienceJo  tkeLawof  GdL  183 

and  reject  his » testimony.  If,  as  a.Being  of  perfect 
nxml  exoellence,  he  is  moire  than  worthy  of  omr  lote, 
he  is,  :a8  a  Being  of  perfect  Bioral  exceUeoce,  more 
than  worthy  of  our  credit  and  confidence;  andon  no 
principle  can  it  be  proved,  that  it  is  the  duly  of  ;maa 
to  love  God,  without  proving  at  the  same  time,:  and  by 
the  same  arguments,  .that  it  is  the  duty  of  noan  to  b^ 
lieve  the  whole  truth  of  God. 

To  be  consistent,  therefore,  those  who  deny  fiutli 
to  be  a  moral  duty,  due  as  an  act  of  obedience  fiom 
man  to  his  Maker,  must  deny  it  to  be  a  duty.in.maft 
supremely  to  love  Him  that  made  him ;  and,  00118&- 
quently,  must  deny  the  reasonableness  and  audiority 
of  the  law  of  God,  and  the  moral  agency  of  man. 

IIL  That  man  is  aooountaUe  for  his  belief^  and  is 
physically  capable  of  r^idering  this  act  of  obedience 
to  God,  is  implied  in  the  greater  part  of  theJih 
tercourse  of  life.  It  is  implied  in  courts  of  law,  m 
the  eagerness  which  is  shewn  in  presenting  evidenos 
on  both  sides  of  a  question,  in  such  a  way  as  to  in- 
fluence the  opinions,  that  is,  the  belief  of  the  jurors. 
It  is  implied  in  the  fiict,  that  mankind  r^ard  the  slan- 
derer as  culpable.  But  why  should  he  be  jeckcoe^l 
culpable,  if  he  is  not  accountable  for  his  belief  since 
he  may,  and  perhaps  with  truth,  allege,  that  ^he 
thought  and  spoke  under  the  conviction  that  what  he 
uttered  was  true  1  Is  it  not  daily  taken  for  granted, 
in  the  transactions  of  human  life,  that  man  is  bound 
to  form  his  judgments  according  to  truth ;  that  is,  that 
as  a  being  possessed  of  understanding  and  will,  he  is 
accountable  to  God  for  the  use  which  he  makes  of 
these  faculties  in  the  opinions  which  he  entertains  ? 


IV,  B?€ffy  fliiii  is  ooobcioob  tiiat  he  is  a  fiee  agent 
in  believiiig  or  io  disbeUeving,  and,  oonsequeolly, 
ftels  liiat  belief  in  the  teetimony  of  Oodisanaet  cf 
cbedienoe  wbkh  he  is  bound  to  r^vier.  As  we  9St 
la  no  case  reqaiied  to  beliefre  beyond  the  w^ght  cf 
evidencef  so  an  we  capable,  in  every  case  in  which 
our  fiuth  is  required,  of  wd^iing  the  suffidency  of 
evidence.  More  espedaUy  does  this  lemaric  hold 
true,  in  r^aid  to  the  varied  and  ample  testimony 
which  attests  divine  levdation.  Tlie  majority  of 
maokind,  indeed,  cannot,  from  want  of  opportunity,  in- 
vestigate the  body  of  evidence  on  whidi  the  truth  and 
divine  authcnrity  ol  Christianity  rests ;  but  they  are 
quite  capable  of  knowing,  from  their  excell^icy, 
suitableness,  and  teixl^icy,  whether  the  doctrines  be 
of  <3od.  Hiey  may  also  discover  ircNn  the  rich  pit>^ 
vision  which  the  gospd  makes  for  dieir  spiritual  ne« 
eesttties,  whether  it  has  proceeded  from  the  Father 
of  fights,  from  whom  oometh  down  every  good  and 
perfect  gift.  In  this  way  they  may  have  the  witness 
in  themsdves. 

Is  not  every  man,  whatever  be  his  talents  or  op- 
portxmities,  bound  to  bring  the  gospel  to  this  experi- 
mental test  ?  If  this  be  the  duty  of  afl,  it  must  be 
fte  duty  of  an  to  believe.  Capable  as  they  are  of 
distinguishing  the  truth  and  divine  authority  of  re- 
vdadon,  tiiey  are  capable  of  receiving  it,  and  conse- 
quenliy  of  giving  it  that  entertdnment  which  God 
demands  for  it. 

V.  The  mind  in  believing  or  disbelieving,  wherevwf 
the  passions  are  concerned,  is  very  much  infiuenced 
by  iSbQ  state  of  the  heart.     We  know  from  histc^y. 


Om  ObpiUmae  te  ike  Imp  q/  Qod.  UK 

obflorvatifla,  aad  •xpeiieiiM,  thai  it  yieldB  er  vitb- 
hoUauiaBt,  in  aveiy  audi  case,  not  so  iBUch  acooidr 
iig  to  the  wei^  of  evideooe,  aus  aopoiritng  to  tbedi9r 
jMMiitioiui  eallad  into  extfcifie.  But  fluf aly  it  wiU  not 
be  dopiod  by  any,  save  those  vfae  degrade  the  natuw 
of  fliaJi  into  Ae  level  of  a  meiE  ipflflhw'rfli  oontfi- 
vanee,  that  ve  are  acoountfthle  to  God  for  the  diep^ 
sitions  which  we  entertain ;  and  that  should  we  atlov 
our  fiMiingB  and  wiahaa  so  &r  to  influencie  us  in  a  ease 
ef  deep  and  of  eternal  nummt^  M  to  biaa  the  undeiL- 
atanding  against  the  \\^  of  tmth,  pr  against  the  use 
cf  those  means  by  whu^h  this  light  might  shine  ioto 
our  hearts*  we  are  chargeable  with  great  guUt  befixe 
Ood,  and  in  the  estimaticxi  of  our  own  xxmscienoa. 

la  it  not,  however,  to  an  evil  state  of  heart,  an4 
even  to  epnoity  against  Gfod»  that  the  Scriptujsaa 
aaeribe  the  unbelief  of  ^iouers  in  the  glorious  gospel  ? 
De  they  not  affirm  that  th§  wiU  is  disindined  to  give 
it  a  fiiveuiral^e  reception*  and,  themfive,  the  miiyi 
makes ehcaea  of  darjkneeii  rather  than  light?  ^^  Ye 
wiUmtcmm  unto  mp  that  ye  might  have  iib.  How 
oaji  ye  beiiwie,  who  ao^iw  honour  om  i^ianolher, 

and  seek  not  the  honour  that  cometh  from  God  only? 
The  carnal  mind  is  enmity  against  God,  and  is  not 
sufa|e^  to  the  law  df  God,  aeilher  indeed  can  be  *«" 

VI.  Faith,  as  aai  Mt  of  the  bmnan  mind,  is  repre- 
sented throughout  the  Scripture  as  in  a  high  degree 
viituaua  and  pmiseworthy,  and  iinhelief  in  the  testi* 
moBf  of  Ood  aa  e^emely  ocimiBal.  Faith  ia  them 
sat  fiirth  aa  ui  act  of  ohedienoa,  aa  jthe  confiqi wc»  of 
the  he^it  given  to  God,— as  a  principle  whicA  ia 

^  St.  John,  ▼.  44.    RflOU  Till,  a 


iS6  X)h  ObedieHde  to  the  Law  of  God. 

essential  to  the  exercise  of  trae  virtue,— which  con* 
tiols  and  regulates  the  afiections  and  desires,  and 
^ves.to  what  is  yet  future  and  unsem  the  reality  of 
what  is  present  and  observed.  But  unbelief  is  ex- 
hibited as  the  opposite  oS  this,  as  a  withholding  fnxn 
Ood  the  love  and  confidence  of  the  heart,  as  a  denial 
of  the  truth  of  God,  and  direct  rebellion  against  his 
authority. 

AU  its  criminality  it  is  impossible  for  us  to  estimate. 
It  sets  aside  as  imwc^thy  of  credit  and  of  confidence 
the  testimony  whidi  Ood  has  given  of  his  Son,  and, 
therefore,  to. use  the  language  of  Scripture,  makes 
God  a  liar.  It  is  the  act  and  indication  of  a  mind 
in  immediate  hostility  to  his  character,  his  truth,  and 
purposes.  It  is  a  wilful,  and  therefore  most  wicked, 
rejection  of  an  unspeakable  gift,  the  expression  of 
infinite  wisdom,  love,  and  power.  Its  immediate 
efiect  is,  to  shut  out  the  light  of  God  fi*om  the  mind, 
to  exclude  from  the  efiicacy  of  the  propitiation  of 
Christ,  to  bar  the  heart  against  the  influences  which 
can  soften  and  renew  it,  and  to  prepare  for  a  final  and 
eternal  separation  from  the  gracious  presence  of  God. 


Section  JH.'-^Obt^&enct  to  God  considered  as  an 

act  of  cordial  subnUasion. 

This  form  of  obedience  to  the  will  of  God  is  ex- 
pressed by  the  words  submission,  and  resignation : — 
a  duty  peculiarly  required  from  sinful  creatures,  whose 
mortal  career  is  characterized  as  of  few  days,  and 
full  of  trouble. 


On  Obedience  to  the  Law  of  God.  187 

As  to  the  nature  of  this  duty,  it  should  be  remaikedt 
that  it  consists  not  in  a  submission  to  erils,  but  to  the 
wise  and  gracious  will  of  God  in  theiriq[>pointment. 
We  may,  very  consistently  with  the  most  dutiful  ac« 
quiescence,  have  a  lively  sense  of  the  extent  of  the 
afflictions  which  we  are  called  to  endure ;  and  it  is 
not  improper  in  us  to  wish,  and  to  use  .all  lawful 
methods,  to  escape  them.  We  may  feel  the  deepest 
distress  from  our  sufferings,  and  earnestly  pray  fon 
deliverance  from  them,  and  yet  be  truly  resigned  to 
the  wiU  of  God.  We  have  a  most  instructive  example 
of  this  in  the  case  of  our  Lord  himself  in  the  garden 
of  Gethsemane,  when  being  in  agony  his  sweat  was 
as  it  were  great  drops  of  blood  falling  down  to  the 
ground ;  he  fell  on  his  face,  and  prayed,  *'  O  my 
Father,  if  it  be  possible  let  this  cup  pass  from  me ; 
nevertheless,  not  as  I  will,  but  as  thou  wilt. "  He 
deprecated  the  sufierings  which  wqre  approadiing 
him,  and  the  pain,  and  the  ignominy  of  the  cross ; 
but  notwithstamiing  he  perfectly  submitted  to  the  will 
of  his  Father. 

In  true  submission,  then,  there  may  be  a  very 
lively  sense  of  sufferings,  and  great  anguish  expe. 
rienced  under  them,  while,  at  the  same  time,  the  heart 
cordially  acquiesces  in  the  good  pleasure  joi  God. 
Indifference  to  them,  were  this  possible,  is  incompati- 
ble with  the  exercise  of  this  duty.  For  all  afflictions, 
whatever  be  the  source  from  whidi  they  immediately 
spring,  are  the  expressions  of  the  will  of  God  in  his 
government  of  this  world ;  and  indifference  in  any 
case  to  the  expressions  of  his  will,  especially  when 
these  immediately  relate  to  ourselves,  must  be  highly 


IM  Om  Obedmue  to  tke  Lmtof  G«d. 


1 1 II  .  »  «   I  < 


and  nnfiil  m  us.  '^  My  son,  despise 
not  tlKXi  the  chaalettiDg  of  tiie  Loid»  aor  fiu&t  i^iiMn 
thou  art  vebuked  of  him.'*  It  was  the  oooaplaiot  of 
the  pitphet  that  Israel  disngaided  the  disciplioe  and 
nsbukes  of  the  Almighty.  ''  O  Lord,  thou  hast  stradi 
dieoi,  but  they  have  not  grieved ;  thou  hast  QODSumed 
ihein»  but  they  refused  to  reoeive  oorreoticHi:  they 
have  made  thsir  fiboes  harder  than  a  rodc^  tbey  have 
nfiised  to  return." 

In  a  ooidial  submission  to  the  dispensations  of 
God,  because  they  are  of  his  appointment,  there  is  an 
approval  of  the  understanding,  arising  from  the  oon* 
viotion  that  all  which  God  does  is  good,  as  well  as 
holy  and  just ;  and  that  though  he  cause  gri^,  yet 
will  he  have  compassion  according  to  the  multitude  of 
his  mercies;  for  he  doth  not  affliet  willingly,  nor 
grieve  the  children  of  men.  There  is  a  subjection  of 
the  heart  and  will  to  God  in  the  diedidine  of  his  pro* 
vidence,  and  an  ordering  of  the  affiKtions  and  t^nper 
of  mind  in  aooordanoe  with  the  frowning  aspect  of 
the  divine  government.  If,  says  the  peraon  who  is 
thus  truly  resigned,  I  shall  find  fiivDur  in  his  eyes, 
he  will  mnore  this  painfial  visitation ;  but  if  ke  ehall 
say,  I  have  m  d^ght  in  thee,  behold  here  I  am,  let 
him  do  to  me  as  seems  good  m  his  sight. 

Il  is  seavcely  necessary  to  prove  that  nsignatiott 
is  an  act  of  obedience  whidi  man  ts  bound  to  render 
unto  God.    Gottsidw, 

I.  Ifis  unquestionable  right  to  dispose  of  us,  and 
of  ours.  He  is  die  sovereign  Lord,  Ruler,  and  Pio^ 
prietor  of  all  things,  who  has  given  us  being,  and 
who  ccntinues  to  beetow  on  us  life^  and  breath,  and 


a&  thiiigs.  It  U  not  mom  manifettijr  our  duty  to 
oboy  bis  law  «b  die  nle  of  our  thcngbts,  fetUngt^  and 
actJooB,  than  it  is  to  sabmit  to  his  protideaCial  govern- 
nieirt,  as  futnishiog  the  rulo  of  our  (Mnfiicts,  hopes; 
and  sufieriqgs.  Our  right  to  ail  that  we  oali  oun  is 
fcundad  on  his  favour ;  and  the  resorapticNi  of  any 
part  of  it  ouglit  sundy  to  be  newed  irith  humliAs 
aubnuMioa,  and  even  with  the  ftame  <£  thankfidnms. 
Thifi  oobsideralion  led  Job,  when  deprived  of  all  fab 
coBoAxtB^  with  oomposure  and  aoquiesoenoe  to  say, 
'^  Naked  oaine  I  into  the  worlds  and  naked  difldl  I 
ntum  thither:  the  Lord  gave,  and  the  Lord  hath 
taken  away ;  blessed  be  the  name  of  the  LonL^'  The 
siiffbier,  wboi  under  the  influenpe  of  this  calm,  sub- 
missive, and  heavenly  state  of  mind,  hears  the  voice 
of  Ood  addressing  him  amid  his  diatresses  and  be- 
navements,  ''  Be  still,  and  iaiow  that  I  am  God. 
Where  wast  thou  when  I  laid  the  feundations  of  the 
etfdi?  Declare  if  thou  hast  understanding.  What 
art  dKNi,  to  express  a  muimur  at  any  of  my  dispeasai- 
tions,  or  to  tUnk  of  questioning  the  entire  reotitode 
of  any  part  of  my  procedure?  I  will  do  what  I  wfll 
wifli  mine  own.** 

n.  Reflect  further  on  ^  iofiatte  purity  and  recti* 
tode  of  God,  and  we  cannot  doiAit  the  duty  of  the 
mo0t  entire  «abmission  to  His  will*  His  government 
is  conducted^  judgment  and  in  justice;  and  he 
cannot,  in  9xrj  part  of  his  procedure  towards  the  sub- 
jeots  of  his  vast  empire,  do  any  thing  unworthy  of 
bouncfless  rectitude  and  goodness. 

With  regard  to  us  be  does  not  and  cannot  ii^re 


liO  On  Obedience  to  the  Law  of  God* 

us;  fi^  y^  have  incurred  the  penalty  of  transgressofs, 
and  pur  suflEerings  are  less  than  our  iniquities  deserve. 
<*  Wherefore  doth  a  living  man  complain,  a  man  for 
the  punishment  of  his  sins  ?*'  Surely,  it  is  meet  to 
be  said  unto  Ood»  ''  I  will  not  ofi^id.any  more.  It 
is  of  the  Lord's  mercies  that  we  are  not  consumed, 
and  because  his  compassions  fail  not"  With  just 
yiews  of  the  character  of  God  as  holy  and  righteous, 
and  of  the  unalterable  obligation  and  authc»:ity  of 
his  law,  and  of  oiu:  own  deserts,  we  shall  see  mudi 
mercy  accompanying  our  severest  sufierings,  and  we 
shall  be  disposed  to  say,  '*  I  will  bear  the  indignatioQ 
of  the  Lord,  because  I  have  sinned  against  him.  I 
will  submit  cheerfully  to  his  will,  and  patiently  wait 
for  him.*' 

IIL  We  must  also  regard  his  fatherly  love  in  our 
afflictions.  This  consideration  will  greatly  tend  to 
reocmcile  us  to  the  most  painful  events  of  our  lot ; 
since  it  will  teach  us  to  regard  them  all  as  not  only 
proceeding  from  the  hand  of  a  Father,  but  of  a  Father 
whose  love  to  us  has  been  shewn  by  unnumbered 
blessings,  and  by  an  unspeakable  gift.  Can  we 
doubt  as  to  the  light  in  whidi  we  ought  to  view  our 
privations  and  sufferings,  when  he  himself  has  told 
us  in  his  word,  '^  If  his  children  forsake  my  law,  and 
walk  not  in  my  judgments  ;  if  they  break  my  statutes, 
and  keep  not  my  commandments,  then  will  I  visit 
thdf  transgressions  with  the  rod,  and  their  iniquity 
with  stripes.  Nevertheless,  my  loving-kindness  will 
I  not  utterly  take  from  him,  nor  suffer  my  faithfulness 
to  fail.    Whom  the  Lord  loveth  he  chasteneth,  and 


On  ObMenee  to  the  Law  of  God.  141 

scourgetfa  e?ery  son  wfaom  he  reoeiveth.  If  ye  ei^ 
dure  chastening,  God  dealeth  with  you  as  with  sons ; 
fcr  what  son  is  he  whom  the  father  chasteneth  not?" 

When  we  consider,  then,  that  however  severe  may 
be  our  sufferings  they  proceed  from  love,  and  are 
des^ned  in  mercy  to  soften  and  purify  our  disposi- 
tions, to  deaden  our  sensibilities  to  earth,  and  to  make 
them  nx>re  alive  to  heaven,  we  have  a  powerful  motive 
to  induce  us  to  exercise  the  most  contented  and  sub- 
missive frame  of  mind  under  the  will  of  God.  What 
reason  have  we  to  feel  otherwise,  when  we  are  already 
assured,  not  only  of*  the  origin,  but  of  the  final  issue 
of  pain,  and  sorrow,  and  death  ?  Hiese  are  among 
the  things  that  work  together  for  good  to  them  that 
love  God.  Their  light  affliction  which  is  but  for  a 
moment  worketh  out  for  them  a  far  more  exceeding, 
even  an  eternal  weight  of  glory. 

There  are  three  things  which  we  shall  find  most 
helpM  to  us  in  the  discharge  of  the  great  duty  of 
submission  to  the  will  of  God. 

I.  Aheart  full  of  love  to  God.  We  can  bear  mudi 
fifom  a  beloved  object,  which  we  could  not  endure 
from  the  same  person  had  we  viewed  him  with  mere 
indififereuce,  and  still  less  had  there  been  any  hostile 
bias  in  our  mind  against  him.  On  this  principle^ 
trials  and  bweavements  irritate  the  feelings  of  the 
wicked,  and  awaken  their  complamings  lEmd  mtirmuni 
against  the  wisdom  and  goodness  of  the  providential 
government  of  God.  They  are  fitly  compared  to  a 
bofiock  unaccustomed  to  the  yoke.  Judging  from  the 
apparent  effects  of  their  afflictions,  we  might  ask,  why 


149  On  Obedience  to  ike  Law  of  God. 

should  ye  be  stricken  any  more,  for  ye  wUi  revolt 
loore  and  more  ? 

It  is  otherwise  with  those  who  love  God«  There  is 
that  aflSbction  in  their  hearts  to  their  heavenly  Father, 
which  assures  them  that  all  his  ways  miist  be  mercy 
and  truth  towards  them;  and  that  beyond  the  doud 
which  now  throws  its  sbadow  around  them^  is  the 
light  of  God's  countenances  the  eternal  sunrfiine  d 
hiB  &vour  and  presence.  Loyii^,  as  they  do»  the 
Lcxd  Godi  how  easily  can  they  trust  in  his  wiadom 
and  love,  wexk  when  theijr  sorrows  abound,  and  oonfi* 
dently  hope  for  deliverance,  as  well  as  for  increasing 
ocxiformity  to  the  divine  will  and  likeness. 

H.  A  prudent  anticipation  of  the  evils  which  are 
inoidrat  to  the  present  state.  We  know  not  all  the 
evils  which,  in  passing  onwards  to  a  better  world,  we 
shall  be  called  to  endure ;  but  we  know  that  it  is 
^ypointed  for  all  men  once  to  die.  We  must  go 
the  way  whence  we  shall  not  return.  Before  we 
reach  the  termination  of  our  earthly  cpur0e«  there 
inay  be  before  us  trials  of  whidi  we  are  now  little 
aware,  arising  frcxn  bereavement  of  friends,  from 
suffimngs  in  our  property,  in  our  health,  in  our 
reputation.  Would  it  not  be  well  for  us  at  all  times 
to  think  (^  our  liability  to  these,  and  many,  other 
evils?  Would  it  not  b0  wise  in  us  to  conceive 
ourselves  visited  with  such  aflUctic»is?  But,  espe- 
cially  would  it  not  become  us  to  rem^nber  our  latter 
ends  and  thus,  as  the  Apostle  expresses  it,  to  die 
daily?  In  this  case,  when  sickness  and  death 
actually  arrived,  we  should  not  fedi  as  if  some  strange 


On  OMUmM  to  tk0  Laid  of  God.  148 

thing  had  happened  unto  us;  but  we  should  be  able 
to  welcome  thmn  as  events  for  whidi  we  had  long 
made  preparation.  Having  been  accustomed  to  con^ 
template  them,  we  should  be  better  able  to  say  whea 
called  to  ^ooounter  them^ — Into  thy  hands,  O  my 
hearenly  Father,  I  commit  my  spirit.  I  resign  my* 
self  to  thy  guidance,  to  thy  ditqposal>  to  thy  bound- 
less love  and  mercy  in  Christ  Jesus. 

in*  Fervent  prayer.  This  has  been  found  in  ^« 
perience  to  be  the  most  effectual  means  of  commtmi-> 
eating  the  peace  of  Qod  which  passeth  all  understand- 
ing.  It  cabns  th«  mind  under  sufierings^  whether 
they  arise  from  out  feUow^creatuies,  or  fiom  the  im» 
middiate  visitation  of  Ood.  It  reminds  us  where  we 
are  to  seek  for  comfort  and  support,  to  whom  we  are 
to  look  and  to  cry  far  deliverance,  that  God  is  our 
refuge  and  our  lArength,  and  a  very  present  help  in  the 
time  of  trouble.  The  example  has  been  left  us  by 
the  faithfiil  in  every  age^  who  when  their  bearts  were 
overwhelmed  within  them,  had  recourse  to  the  Bjock 
that  is  higher  than  they,  and  every  one  of  whom  had 
always  good  reason  to  say,  *'  I  love  the  Lord,  because 
he  has  heard  the  voice  of  my  supplioations.  Return 
unto  thy  rest,  O  my  soul,  far  the  Lord  hath  dealt 
bountifully  with  thee."  Above  all,  the  example  has 
been  left  us  by  our  blessed  Lord,  who  when  in  agony 
prayed  frequently  and  still  more  earnestly  to  God. 

In  exercising  unr^erved  submission  to  the  divine 
will,  then,  we  should  remember,  that  it  is  the  will  of 
our  sovereign  Lord,  who  has  an  indisputable  right  to 
govern  us,  and  an  absolute  power  to  dispose  of  us, 
and  respecting  whom  we  should  ever  say,  **  It  is 


144  On  Obedience  id  the  Law  of  God. 

the  Lord,  let  him  do  to  me  as  it  seems  good  to  him.'* 
It  is  the  will  of  our  best  Friend,  who  loves  us  far 
better  than  we  love  ourselves ;  *'  who  is  concerned 
for  our  welfare  as  his  own  dearest  interest ;  who  by 
innumerable  experiments  hath  demonstrated  an  ex- 
cess of  kindness  to  us ;  who  in  all  his  dealings  with 
us  purely  doth  aim  at  our  good,  never  charging  any 
duty  on  us,  or  dispensing  any  event  to  us,  so  much 
vnth  intent  to  exercise  his  power  over  us,  as  to  ex- 
press his  goodness  towards  us ;  who  never  doth  afflict 
or  grieve  us  more  against  our  will,  than  against  his 
own  desire, — ^never,  indeed,  but  when  goodness  itself 
calleth  for  it,  and  even  mercy  doth  urge  thereto ;  to 
whom  we  are  much  obliged  that  he  vouchsafeth  to 
govern  and  guide  us,  our  service  being  altogether  un- 
profitable to  him,  his  governance  exceedingly  bene- 
ficial to  us.  Doth  not  such  a  will  deserve  regard  ? 
May  it  not  demand  compliance  from  us  ?  To  neglect 
or  infiringe  it,  what  is  it  ?  Is  it  not  palpable  folly  ? 
Is  it  not  foul  disingenuity  ?  Is  it  not  detestable  in- 
gratitude*?" 

*  BarroVs  Diioottne  on  Submissioii  to  the  Divine  WiD,  r.  iii.  p.  BS. 


\ 


14S 


CUAPTKR   V. 

GOD  ALONE  TO  BE  ACKNOWLEDGED  AND  WORSHIPPED 

AS  GOD. 

The  law  requires,  as  we  have  seen,  that  supreme  love 
to  Ood  should  rule  and  regulate  the  affections  and 
faculties  of  our  nature.  The  first  and  natural  ex^ 
pression  of  love  is  obedience  to  the  will  of  God,  in  all 
the  precepts  which  it  enjoins,  in  all  the  doctrines  which 
he  reveals,  and  in  all  the  dispensations  which  he  ap^ 
points.  In  the  exercise  of  love  we  are  further  led  to 
make  God  alone  tlie  object  of  our  adoration  and  wor« 
ship ;  and  to  acknowledge  him  as  our  God,  and  give 
him  the  glory  due  unto  him,  to  the  entire  exdusion  of 
whatever  might  claim  the  place  and  the  honour  of 
Deity.  The  first  commandment,  accordingly,  is, 
*•  Thou  shalt  have  no  other  gods  before  me." 

This  is,  in  fact,  a  modification  of  the  great  com* 
mandment  of  the  law,  which  requires  us  to  love  the 
Lord  God  with  all  our  heart,  and  soul,  and  mind,  and 
strength.  In  commanding  us  to  have  no  other  gods 
before  him,  we  are  to  understand  the  great  Lord  and 
Ruler  of  all  as  enjoining  us  to  give  to  him  the  aflfec* 
tion,  and  reverence,  and  service  which  are  his  due ; 
while  we  are  never  to  dishonour  him  by  substituting^ 
however  partially,  any  other  object  in  his  room.  We 
are  to  acknowledge  him  as  our  only  Lord  God,  by 
entertaining  towards  him  suitable  affections,  and  by 
that  sincere,  devoted,  and  universal  obedience,  which 
we  are  bound  to  render.    We  are  to  own  him  in  the 

Vol.  II.  Ii 


146  God  eJane  to  b^  acknowledged 

infinitely  pure  and  holy  character  in  which  he  has 
made  himself  known, — ^in  his  spirituality,  omnipre- 
sence, omniscience,  wisdom,  and  power, — ^in  all  the 
moral  perfections  of  his  nature, — ^as  God  the  Creator, 
Preserver,  and  Redeemer  ;-^whom  akme  we  are  to 
worship  and  glorify  as  God,  by  giving  him  the  homage 
of  our  whde  hearts,  by  ei^rcising  the  affiK^tions  of 
love,  trust,  resignaticm,  and  dependence,  in  regard  to 
him,  and  by  making  him  our  ultimate  end  in  all 
things. 

T^is  duty  so  very  obviously  arises  out  of  the  rela- 
ti(xis  which  man  bears  to  God,  that  a  law  expressly 
enjoining  it  might  seem  supeifluoua  Is  it  possible 
for  human  beings  to  confound  the  CSreator  with  the 
creature ;  the  God  of  all  perfection,  with  a  created, 
finite,  and  dqp^Klent  beings  or  to  give  to  the  one  the 
homage  vrtiicfa  is  exclusively  due  to  the  other?  Es- 
perience  proves  that  this  is  not  only  possible,  but  that 
such  is  the  proneness  df  mankind  to  idolatry,  and  to 
substitute  objects  of  supreme  regard  and  esteem  in 
room  of  God^  that  they  have  not  been  preserved  from 
thia  foUy  and  abomination  by  the  powerful  motives 
and  threatenings  df  Revelation.  They  have  given  to 
the  meanest  of  his  works  the  viforship  and  service 
which  are  due  to  God;  and  thus  have  been  guilty  of 
eonduct  which  includes  in  it  almost  every  sin*  Nor 
are  idolaters  exclusively  chargeable  with  tUs  wicted* 
ness ;  but  all  who  give  to  any  object  that  supreme 
devoted  regard  which  alone  belongs  to  God, — the 
sensual,  the  covetous,  the  ambitious,  and  pro&ne^r-* 
pay,  all  who  bestow  on  what  is  lawfully  beloved  an 
and  supreme  adibction. 


and  worMpped  oi  Qod*  \4n 

The  violation  of  the  duty  enjoiiied  in  this  ^^«wf«^ftnij|^ 
io^ei  a  denial  of  the  perfection  of  Qod;  a  wUk* 
hoidiiig  from  him  that  which  is  his  due;  and  a  suIk 
stitutioD  of  the  creature  in  his  room. 

L  It  is  a  denial  of  the  perfeoticHis  of  Qod.  It  is  a 
practical  falsdiood  in  regard  to  his  being,  afatBghty 
power,  omniscience,  CHnnipresence,  and  all  the  moral 
ezceUenoes  of  his  nature.  It  is,  what  the  Apostto 
terms,  changing  the  troth  of  God  into  a  lie«  Do  they 
admowledge  him  to  be  what  he  is,  the  only  Uting  and 
trae  Qod,  the  fountain  of  being  and  of  ha{qpine8%  who 
giro  their  homage  and  their  hearts  to  idols?  Is  not 
tins  to  commit  the  two  great  evils  mentioned  by  the 
prophet,  to  forsake  God,  the  fountain  of  living  waters, 
and  to  hew  out  unto  themsdves  broken  dstems  that 
can  hold  no  water?  Is  it  not  a  denial  of  his  orsatiqg 
and  preserving  power,  of  his  supreme  authority  as  the 
only  moral  governor  and  judge,  of  his  bounty  in  si;^ 
plying  the  wants  ci  every  thing  that  lives,  and  of  his 
sovereign  right  to  command  the  obedienoe  of  his  evea* 
tures,  and  to  do  what  be  will  with  his  own?  For  a 
creature  voluntarily  to  act  thus  towards  the  Creator^ 
towards  God,  the  centre  and  the  sum  of  all  perfectioa 
and  blessedness,  is  doing  the  highest  dishonour  (o 
Him  of  whidi  he  is  capable* 

II.  It  is,  in  addition  to  a  dMial  of  Ms  peifedioniir 
a  witUiolding  from  him  that  which  is  his  due,  and  thai 
which  he  claims.  No  right  can  be  more  manifiisti 
and  none  more  unalienable,  than  that  of  Ood  to  the 
love  of  the  heart,  to  the  voluntary  obedienoe  of  the  life, 
to  direct  and  govern  his  creatures  according  to  his 
good  pleasure.    He  is  pleased  with  their  kwe  and 

LS 


14B  God  alone  to  be  adknowledged 

obedience,  as  they  are  the  means  of  promoting  his 
^ory ;  and  he  is  displeased  and  dishonoured  when 
their  love  and  obedienoe  are  withheld.  **  A  son 
honoureth  his  father,  and  a  servant  his  master :  if 
then  I  be  a  father,  where  is  mine  honour,  and  if  I  be 
a  master,  where  is  my  fear?  saith  the  Lord  of  hosts/* 
Every  breach  of  the  duty  enjoined  in  the  first  com- 
mandnient^  is  a  wil&l  refusal  of  the  honour,  worship, 
and  fear,  which  every  intelligent  being  is  bound  to 
render  unto  God.  When  we  consider  how  worthy 
God  is  of  being  beloved,  on  account  of  the  boundless 
ezoeUenoes  of  his  nature,  the  unnumbered  benefits 
whidi  every  moment  he  bestows,  and  of  which  He 
akme  can  be  the  author,  and  that  true  and  permanent 
happiness  is  to  be  enjoyed  only  in  obeying  his  com- 
mandments, tilie  act  of  withholding  from  him  the  love 
and  homage  which  are  his  due,  is  full  of  wickedness 
and  onminahty. 

III.  But  it  is  an  aggravation  of  this  ccmduct,  that  it 
elevates  a  mere  creature  to  the  place  of  God.  How- 
ever exalted  that  creature  may  be,  it  is  nothing  more 
than  a  dependent,  finite  being,  without  power,  or  good- 
ness^ or  happiness,  but  as  they  come  to  him  from  God. 
To  give  him  rebgious  homage,  or  even  to  give  him 
that  supreme  regard  and  reverence  which  God  claims 
aa  his,  is  to  afiirm  that  he  is  more  excellent,  more 
deserving  of  the  love  and  confidence  of  the  heart,  than 
is  the  Lord  and  Creator  of  all.  It  is  to  deny  divine 
perfections  to  God,  and  falsely  to  impute  them  to  a 
weak  and  fallible  creature ;  it  is  to  withhold  from  God 
the  love  and  the  acknowledgment  which  are  due  to 
him,  and  to  give  them  to  some  object  raised  into  hi^ 


'    and  worshipped  at  God.  140 

room.  Is  there  not  in  this  a  complication  oi  baseness* 
falsehood,  injustice,  and  ingratitude,  far  beyond  the 
power  of  human  language  adequately  to  express? 
What  are  the  evils  which  this  sin  does  not  include? 
It  is  practical  atheism ;  it  is  adding  impiety  to  the 
guilt  of  denying  the  being  and  attributes  of  God ;  and 
it  is  saying  to  the  Almighty,  Depart  from  us,  for  we 
will  not  own  nor  serve  thee^  and  we  desire  not  the 
knowledge  of  thy  ways. 

But  we  are  not  only  bound  to  make  God  alone  the 
object  of  our  adoration  and  worship;  we  are  to  render 
him  this  adoration  and  worship  in  the  way  which  he 
prescribes.  The  design  of  the  second  commandment 
is  to  make  this  known  to  us.  The  first  prohibited  the 
acknowledgment  of  false  Gods ;  the  second  prohibits 
the  worshipping  of  idols,  and  even  the  professed  wor- 
shipping of  the  true  God  through  the  medium  of  idois. 
*'  Thou  shalt  not  make  unto  thee  any  graven  image, 
nor  any  likeness  of  any  thing  that  is  in  heaven  above* 
or  that  is  in  the  earth  beneath,  or  that  is  in  the  water 
under  the  earth.  Thou  shalt  not  bow  thyself  down  to 
them,  nor  serve  them ;  for  I,  the  Lord  thy  God,  am  a 
jealous  God,  visiting  the  iniquity  of  the  fathers  upon 
the  children,  unto  the  third  and  fourth  generation  of 
them  that  hate  me ;  and  shewing  mercy  unto  thou- 
sands of  them  that  love  me  and  keep  my  command- 
ments." 

Though  this  commandment  consists  in  a  prohibition, 
the  duty  implied  in  it  is  as  fully  enjoined  as  though  it 
were  expressly  mentioned.  That  is,  that  God  is  to 
be  worshipped  spiritually,  according  to  his  nature:  and 
attributes.    It  is  that  which  our  lord  points  out  as 


IBO  God  alpne  to  be  acknouftedged 

being  required  in  aoieptable  worshippers :  "  The  hour 
aomethi  and  now  is,  when  the  true  womhippers  ibaJl 
worabip  the  Father  in  sinrit  and  in  truth ;  for  the 
Fditber  Bedcetb  such  to  worship  him.  God  is  a  spirit : 
and  they  that  worship  him  must  worship  him  in  9piAi 
and  in  truth.'' 

That  spiritual  worship  <xily  is  that  which  is  suitable 
Id  Ood,  may  be  inferred  from  the  light  of  nature. 
That  he  is  infinite  in  the  perfections  of  his  nature, 
and  therefore  not  materiali  is  known  just  as  clearly 
as  that  he  is  God.  But  if  he  is  spiritual  in  his  natuie, 
and  infinite  in  his  perfections,  the  only  worship  which 
is  suitable  to  him,  and  which  he  can  accept  from  his 
inteUigrat  creatores,  is  that  of  the  understanding  and 
the  heart  It  is  not  more  manifest  that  it  is  our  duty 
to  worship  him  at  all,  than  that  it  is  our  duty  to  give 
him  tliat  kind  <^  worship  which  his  nature  and  ours 
rendw  necessary,  the  one  from  the  other.  Besides, 
we  are  surely  bound  to  offer  unto  God  the  best  that 
we  are  capable  of  giving. 

This,  accordingly,  is  what  he  has  always  com* 
maoded  to  be  given  him ;  under  the  patriarchal  and 
Idiofiaic  economy,  not  less  than  under  the  gospel  dis- 
pensaticoi.  The  rites  prescribed  in  the  worship 
were  various,  but  so  indispensably  requisite  were  the 
love  and  homage  of  the  heart,  that,  without  them, 
the  observance  of  the  outward  ordinances  was  re- 
garded as  hypocrisy.  Hence  the  terms  in  which  God 
speaks  by  the  prophet  Isaiah  of  those  institutions 
which  he  himself  had  appointed,  when  observed  in  a 
vain  and  formal  manner,  and  not  as  the  medium  of 
eonveyiog  th$  devout  aflfoction,  esteem^  reverence,  and 


and  worshipped  as  God.  ISl 

gmtitncb  of  tiie  whole  soul.  **  To  what  purpose  is 
the  nmlthMde  of  your  sacrifioes  unto  me,  satth  the 
LokI  ?  I  am  fiill  of  the  bumt-oflferiiigB  of  nunap  and 
the  fill  of  fed  beasts ;  and  I  delight  not  in  the  Uood 
of  buUockSt  or  of  kmbs,  or  of  he^^oats.  Bring  no 
more  vain  oblations ;  incense  is  an  abomination  unto 
me;  the  new  moons  and  sabbaths,  the  calling  of 
assemblies,  I  cannot  away  with ;  it  is  iniquity,  even 
the  solemn  meeting.  Your  new  moons,  and  your 
appointed  feasts,  my  soul  hateth ;  they  are  a  trouble 
unto  me;  I  am  weary  to  bear  them."  It  is  in  allu- 
sion to  the  same  heartless  and  hypocritical  worship, 
that  God  says,  by  the  prophet  Hosea, ''  Ephraim  com- 
passeth  me  about  with  lies,  and  the  house  of  Israel 
with  deceit." 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  remark,  that  in  spiritual 
worship  the  whole  soul  is  engaged,  the  understand- 
ing and  the  heart,  in  sincerely  and  actively  adoring, 
loving,  and  honouring  God.     Those  affections  are 
called  into  exercise,  which  are  suitable  in  the  contem- 
plation and  worship  of  the  Most  High.    Admiration 
of  his  glorious  excellencies  and  perfections,  thankful- 
ness in  the  recollection  of  his  unnumbered  benefits, 
delight  and  complacency  in  his  all-sufiidency  as  the 
chief  good  and  portion  of  the  soul,  the  deepest  re- 
verence of  his  character,  attributes,  and  procedure, 
humility  and  self-abasement  in  the  presence  of  the 
High  and  the  Lofty  One,  whose  name  is  holy,  and 
whose  habitation  is  eternity,  and  in  all,  an  affectionate 
ccxicem  for  the  glory  of  God.    It  is  with  similar 
views,  affections,  and  designs,  that  the  inhabitants  of 
heaven  express  their  adoratjops:  ''  Thou  art  worthy* 


15S  The  IdMalry  of  Mankind. 

O  Loid,  to  receive  honour,  glory,  and  power;  for 
thou  hast  created  all  things,  and  for  thy  pleasure  they 
are  and  were  created.  Blessing,  honour,  glory,  and 
power  to  him  that  sits  upon  the  throne,  and  to  the 
Lamb  for  ever  and  ever."  "  We,"  says  the  Apostle, 
speaking  of  himself  and  of  his  fellow-disciples  in 
Christ  Jesus,  **  we  are  the  true  circumcision,  which 
worship  Qod  in  the  spirit,  and  rejoice  in  Christ  Jesus, 
and  have  no  confidence  in  the  flesh." 


Chaftee  YI. 


THE  IDOLATRY  OP  MANKIND. 


Though  in  the  second  commandment  the  prohibition 
of  the  worship  of  idols,  and  even  the  use  of  images 
in  the  worship  of  God,  be  most  explicit,  we  learn 
from  authentic  history,  as  well  as  from  the  states 
ments  of  Revelation,  that  mankind  have  been  prone 
to  idolatry.  "  They  changed  tlie  glory  of  the  uncor- 
ruptible God  into  an  image  made  like  to  corruptible 
naan,  and  to  birds,  and  four-footed  beasts,  and  creep- 
ing things.  Who  changed  the  truth  of  God  into  a  lie, 
and  worshipped  and  served  the  creature  more  than 
the  Creator,  who  is  blessed  for  ever,  amen*." 

Every  survey  of  the  heathen  world  has  confirmed 
the  entire  truth  of  this  statement.     It  may,  indeed, 

*  Rom.  i.  SI,  S& 


ne  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  168 

Mem  extraordinary  that  nations  ^o  had  attained  to 
the  utmofit  improvement  of  the  human  understanding, 
whose  devotedness  to  science,  and  skill  in  the  fine  and 
ornamental  arts  were  unrivalled,  should  continue, 
during  many  ages,  in  the  neglect  of  the  living  and 
true  God,  and  in  the  grossest  idolatry  and  immorality. 
This  is  the  more  surprising,  when  we  consider,  that  a 
revelation  of  the  character,  perfections,  and  will  of 

_  « 

Ood  was  originally  made  to  the  human  race ;  that  its 
substance  must  have  been  carried  with  them  over  the 
earth  after  their  dispersion  on  the  plains  of  Shinar, 
and  conveyed,  by  tradition,  in  a  form  more  or  less  per- 
fect, to  their  posterity ;  and  that  the  impressions  thus 
made,  the  lessons  which  the  frame  and  order  of  nature 
and  the  course  of  providence  continually  suggested, 
were  calculated  to  confirm  and  preserve.     For  we 
have  the  authority  of  an  Apostle  for  maintaining  that 
the  being  and  character  of  God  are  made  manifest  by 
the  constitution  of  the  universe,  and  the  moral  govern- 
ment of  the  world.    "  The  invisible  things  of  Him 
fifom  the  creation  of  the  world  are  clearly  seen,  being 
understood  by  the  things  that  are  made,  even  his 
eternal  power  and  godhead.    Who  in  times  past  suf- 
fered all  nations  to  walk  in  their  own  ways.    Never- 
theless he  left  not  himself  without  witness ;  in  that  he 
did  good,  and  gave  us  rain  from  heaven,  and  fruitful 
seasons,  filling  our  hearts  with  food  and  gladness." 

With  these  advantages,  their  apostacy  from  God 
we  are  bound  to  consider  as  wilful.  The  Apostle, 
indeed,  tells  us,  that  they  did  not  like  to  retain  God 
in  their  knowledge;  that  they  are  without  excuse. 


IBi  The  Idolatry  of  Mankind. 

because  that  whan  tbey  knew  Qod  they  gJionSed  him 
not  as  Qod,  neitha  were  thankful ;  but  became  vain 
in  their  imaginations,  and  their  foolish  heart  was  dark- 
ened. Being  void  of  love  and  reverence  £6r  his 
character  and  perfections,  they  did  not  honour  himt 
either  by  their  profession,  or  by  their  practice,  or 
by  any  ejQforts  to  bring  others  to  give  him  homage ; 
they  lived,  in  the  enjoyment  of  bis  bounty,  in  insensi- 
bility and  ingratitude ;  they  amused  themselvea  with 
idle  speculations,  by  which  they  were  wly  still  wof^ 
bewildered,  and  confirmed  in  error  and  ignorance ; 
and  assuming  the  air,  the  tone,  and  the  garb  c^ 
wisdom,  tbey  were,  in  regard  to  all  religioua  and 
moral  truth  and  duty,  in  reality  fix)ls.  ''  Tbey  walk,'* 
says  the  Apostle  in  another  passage,  '*  in  the  vanity 
of  their  minds,  having  the  understanding  darkened, 
being  alienated  from  the  life  of  God,  throu^  tb« 
ignorance  that  is  in  them^  because  of  the  blindness  d[ 
their  heart ;  who  being  past  feeling  have  givea  them- 
selves over  unto  lasciviousness,  to  work  all  unclean- 
ness  with  greediness." 


Section  I. — The  History  of  Idolatry, 

Let  us  consider  the  history  and  extent  of  idolatry- 
The  communications  that  were  repeatedly  made  to 
men  concerning  the  perfections  of  God,  and  the  way 
of  salvation  through  the  promised  Deliverer,  must 
have  preserved  the  human  race,  during  the  earlier  ages 
of  the  world,  in  the  knowledge  of  the  living  and  true 


The  IdokOry  of  Mankind.  155 

God.  Thou^  Buperstitiow  practices  may  have  pre- 
vailed before  the  flood,  it  does  not  appear  that  idola- 
try, strictly  speaking,  had  existence  till  some  centu- 
ries after  that  catastrophe.  It  is  probable  that  it 
began  in  the  adwation  of  the  heavenly  bodies,— the 
6UD,  moon,  and:  stars,  as  we  find  in  the  early  period 
in  which  Job  lived,  that  these  were  recognised  as 
objects  of  worship.  ''  If  I  beheld  the  sun  when  it 
shined,  or  the  moon  walking  in  brightness ;  and  my 
heart  hatfa  been  secretly  enticed,  or  my  mouth  hath 
kissed  my  hand ;  this  also  were  an  iniquity  to  be 
punished  by  the  judge,  for  I  should  have  denied  the 
God  that  is  above*" 

The  splendour  and  usefulness  of  the  sun  and  moon 
led  the  Chaldeans  and  Assyrians,  among  whom  their 
wondiip  began,  to  regard  them  as  peculiarly  mani- 
festing the  divine  goodness.     It  is  supposed  that  a 
further  step  in  this  species  of  idolatry  was  the  adop- 
tion of  the  notion,  that  the  heavenly  bodies  were  either 
inhabited  by  superior  intelligenoes,  or  were  themselves 
living  beings,  and  exerted  something  like  a  mediatorial 
influence  with  the  Deity.    They  were  at  length  fully 
deified ;  and  those  who  retained  any  idea  of  the  Su- 
preme God,  thought  him  too  far  above  them  to  be  the 
object  of  devotion.    This  worship  of  the  host  of  hear 
ven  prevailed  over  a  great  part  of  the  world,  both  in 
ancient  and  in  modem  times ;  and  has  not  been  con- 
fined to  any  stage  of  civilization,  or  to  any  rank  in 
society. 

♦  Job,  txxL.  s«— «• 


166  The  Idolafry  of  Mankind.     ' 

Another  species  of  idolatry,  and  which  probably 
began  at  an  early  period,  was  the  worship  of  deified 
mortals.  It  is  not  unlikely  that  of  these  Noah  was 
the  first.  The  traditions  respecting  a'  man,  who,  on 
account  of  his  aotiinent  piety  had  been  delivered  from 
the  deluge  that  had  swept  away  the  human  race,  and 
had  been  preserved  by  a  miraculous  interposition  to 
be  the  father  of  mankind,  would  lead  posterity  to 
reverence  him,  and,  as  ignorance  increased,  to  adore 
him.  They  would  soon  associate  others  with  him  in 
this  honour,  who  had  been  the  inventors  of  things  useful 
and  necessary  to  human  life,  and  who  had  been  bene- 
factors to  the  nations.  Being  thus  exalted  to  the 
rank  of  gods,  they  had  those  attributes  ascribed  to 
them,  and  that  religious  homage  .paid  to  them,  which 
belong  only  to  the  living  and  true  God.  The  Greeks 
and  Romans,  and  other  pagan  nations,  raised  the  chief 
of  their  idol  deities  to  the  place  of  the  Supreme  Di- 
vinity, and  represented  their  Jupiter,  to  whom  the 
poets  ascribed  indecent  actions,  as  the  father  of  gods 
and  king  of  men,  and  as  exercising  universal  dominion. 
They  thus  shewed,  that  while  they  retained  some 
notion  of  the  true  God,  they  perverted  and  corrupted 
it ;  and  changed  his  truth  into  a  lie,  by  giving  a 
ialse  representation  of  his  being  and  perfections^  and 
worshipped  and  served  the  creature  more  than  the 
Creator. 

The  natural  consequence  of  deifying  men,  and  of 
regarding  one  distinguished  individual  as  their  chief, 
to  whom  they  ascribed  the  titles  and  attributes  of 
God,  was,  that  their  deities  were  represented  as  pos- 


The  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  157 

sessed  of  divine  excellences,  andof  the  base  passions 
and  vices  of  mortals.  What  must  have  been  the  state 
of  morals,  when  among  the  multitude  of  the  gods 
there  was  not  one  of  wh(»n  some  scandalous  thing 
might  not  be  related ;  and  when  even  Jupiter,  their 
head,  was  guilty  of  actions  •  that '  ought  not  to  be  so 
much  as  named?  Is  not  the  statement  of  the  fact  a 
comment  on  the  language  of  the  Apostle  regarding 
the  heathen  world ; — ^that .  when  they  knew  God  they 
glorified  him  not  as  God ;  but  became  vain  in  their 
imaginations,  and  their  fodish  heart  was  darkened, — 
and  changed  the  truth  of  God  into  a  lie  ? 

They  advanced,  however,  in  their  idolatrous  wor- 
ship still  &rther  than  this.     They  constituted  the 
images  and  hieroglyphic  symbols  of  their  deities 
gods.     The  sun  and  the  host  of  heaven  were  not 
always  visible,  and  as  they  imagined  fire  denoted 
them,  they  gave  to  this  element,  in  several  eastern 
nations,  divine  homage.     Many  of  the  lower  animals, 
which  were  at  first,  perhaps,  used  as  signs  or  em- 
blems of  the  wisdom,  power,  or  goodness  of  God, 
became  objects  of  worship.     Thus  the  Egyptians 
placed  the  sheep,  the  goat,  the  hawk,  the  crocodile, 
the  cat,  and  dog,  among  the  number  of  their  gods. 
The  very  statues  and  images  which  were  raised  to 
their  deities  shared  divine  honours  with  them.     This 
was  not  done  among  the  rude  and  the  savage  mer^y, 
but  by  the  Athenians  and  Romans.    Nor  is  there  a 
stronger  proof  necessary  of  the  length  to  which  this 
species  of  idolatry  was  carried  at  Athens,  than  the 
circumstance  which  is  recorded  of  Stilpo  the  philo- 
sopher.    He  was  brought  before  the  tribunal  of  the 


188  The  IdoUOry  of  Mankind. 

Areopagus  for  saying,  that  the  statue  of  Minerva  was 
not  a  god;  and  though  he  endeavoured  to  defend 
himself  by  alleging  that  it  was  not  a  god  but  a  god- 
desSf  he  was  commanded  to  leave  the  city« 

Thus  they  began  to  ascribe  divine  excellences,  and 
to  pay  divine  honours,  not  to  persons  merely,  but  to 
things  ;-HU)  that  innumerable  objects  of  nature  were, 
on  one  ground  or  other,  personified  and  deified.  Nay, 
80  entirely  weie  their  IboUsh  hearts  darkened,  that 
they  oc3Q8tituted  the  abstract  qualities  of  things,  gods ; 
and  in  their  proneness  to  polytheism^  they  extended 
this  honour  sometimes  to  pernicious,  as  well  as  to  useful, 
properties  and  affections.  They  erected  temples,  and 
gare  religious  homage  to  the  gods  of  fortitude,  health, 
concord,  victory,  liberty,  and  the  like*  The  passionSf 
the  diseases,  fears,  and  evils,  to  which  mankind  are 
subject,  were  deified,  and  had  &nes  consecrated  to 
their  honour.  There  was  scarcely  any  thing  in  nature, 
however  mcmstrous,  but  some  heathen  nations  wor- 
diipped  as  a  god  ;*— so  that,  to  use  the  language  of 
the  learned  Dr.  Cudworth,  ''  in  deifying  the  things  of 
nature  and  parts  of  the  world,  they  called  every  thing 
by  the  name  of  Ood,  and  God  by  the  name  of  every 
thing."  They  changed  the  glory  of  the  uocomiptihte 
Ood  info  an  image  made  Uke  to  corruptible  man,  and  to 
birds,  and  to  four-footed  beasts,  and  creeping  things. 

Hence  the  multitude  of  thdr  gods  was  endless ;-' 
gods  celestial  and  terrestrial,  who  presided  over  dift^ 
tinct  tribes,  and  cities,  and  groves,  and  rivers^  and 
fixmtains.  These  they  ranked  in  various  orders,  but 
they  conceived  that  to  all  of  them  religious  worship 
was  due.    ^en  to  those  of  them  wh<»n  they  regarded 


Tke  IddfUry  of  Mankind.  150 


as  evil  beings,  they  gave  divine  honours.    Hutarch, 
a  hi^y  respectable  philosopher  and  historian,  men* 
ticnis  certain  festivals  and  sacrifices  in  which  some 
revolting  rites  were  practised,  instituted  br  the  pleas* 
ing  of  evil  and  malignant  dem(ms#  and  averting  their 
wraths    The  same  fact  is  attested  by  Porfdiyry,  who 
distinguished  himself  as  a  bitter  enemy  of  Christi- 
anity ;— «nd  the  testimony  of  both  aiferds  a  comment 
on  the  assertion  of  the  Apostle,  that  ''  the  things 
which  the  Gentiles  sacrificed,  they  sacrificed  to  devilsj 
and  not  to  Qod." 

The  extent  of  idol  worship,  and  the  similarity  of  the 
system  of  idolatry  in  all  the  countries  in  which  it  has 
beoi  practised,  are  truly  amazing.  From  these  oir^ 
cumstances,  some  learned  writers  have  been  led  to 
trace  it  up  to  the  plains  of  Shinar,  and  to  maintain 
that  it  issued  from  thence,  and  accompanied  the  prch 
gress  of  the  human  race  over  the  globe.  Whatever 
truth  there  may  be  in  this  opinion,  the  history  of  man- 
kind amply  proves,  that  man,  without  the  light  of 
revelation,  is  prone  to  idolatry,  and  to  give  to  the 
creature^  or  to  the  deifications  of  bis  own  mind,  the 
worship  which  ia  due  to  Ood.  This  proneness  had 
widely  shewn  itself  so  early  as  the  time  of  Abrahami 
when  it  was  necessary  to  separate  that  patriaxch  and 
his  posterity  after  him,  to  preserve  the  knowledge  of 
the  diaracter  and  will  of  Ood.  With  the  excepticm  of 
this  highly-favoured  people,  idolatry  spread  over  all 
nations ;  and  at  the  commotic^nent  of  the  Christian 
ara,  and  long  before,  filled  the  world. 


160  The  Idclatty  of  MankincL 

Section  II. — The  Nature  of  Idolatry. 

I  shall  make  a  few  remarks  on  its  nature.  Idolatry 
consists  either  in  the  worship  of  Grod  through  the  me- 
dium of  visible  symbols,  or  in  ascribing  divine  excel- 
lence to  idols,  and  giving  them  religious  worship  as 
gods.  It  has  been  maintained  by  some  learned  men, 
and  especially  by  Dr.  Cudworth,  that  it  was  in  the 
former  way  only  that  idolatry  prevailed  over  a  great 
part  of  the  heathen  world ;  and  that  under  the  names 
of  idol  deities  the  living  and  true  God  was  worshipped. 

It  is  highly  probable,  if  not  quite  certain,  that 
idolatry  took  its  rise  in  this  way.  We  cannot  imagine 
that  mankind  would  make  the  transition  at  once  from 
the  worship  of  the  King  eternal,  immortal,  invisible, 
the  only  wise  God,  to  a  state  in  which  they  considered 
the  host  of  heaven,  and  blocks  of  wood  and  stone,  the 
fit  objects  of  adoration.  When  the  children  of  Israel 
said  respecting  the  golden  calf,  which,  at  their  request, 
Aaron  had  made,  "  These  be  thy  gods,  O  Israel,  which 
brought  thee  up  out  of  the  land  of  Egypt,"  it  is  im- 
possible for  us  to  conceive,  that  after  the  extraordi- 
nary proofs  that  were  afforded  them  of  the  eternal 
power  and  godhead  of  the  self-existent  Jehovah,  they 
could  believe  that  a  molten  image  was  endued  with 
the  properties  and  excellences  of  the  Divinity.  It  is 
nearly  certain,  that  they  meant,  and  could  only  mean, 
that  this  image  was  the  visible  symbol  of  that  God 
who  had  delivered  them  from  Egyptian  bondage,  and 
hitherto  conducted  them  through  the  wilderness.  In 
the  same  way,  it  is  probable,  idolatry  in  every  case 
took  its  rise. 


The  IdUairy  of  Mankind.  161 

But  it  IB  very  certain  also  that  the  worship  whidi 
might  originally  have  been  intended  for  the  true  Ood, 
and  addressed  to  him  through  the  idol,  was  formerly 
paid  to  the  idol  itself.  So  much  was  this  the  case,  that 
the  noticxi  of  the  true  God,  as  there  is  the  most  ample 
evidence  for  believing,  .was  almost  obliterated  during 
many  ages  in  the  heathen  world.  They  literally  con* 
stituted  innumerable  objects  in  nature,  and  the  works 
of  their  own  hands,  the  gods  whom  they  worshipped. 
Those  who  retained  an  obscure  and  imperfect  idea  of 
one  Supreme  Being,  united  with  it  foolish  errors 
which  completely  neutralized  its  eSed  on  their  minds. 
They  either  thought  him  too  far  removed  from  them  to 
be  worshii^ed  by  mortals,  or  confounded  him  .with 
the  chief  of  their  hero  divinities,  and  gave  to  that 
same  Jupiter,  whose  history  it  would  pollute  the  mind 
to  hear,  the  divine  honour  due  to  God.  Mankind 
peopled  every  region  with  false  deities ;  among  whom 
they  divided  the  government  of  the  world ;  some  of 
whom  were  deemed  supreme  in  their  several  districts; 
but  all  of  the  same  nature  and  kind. 

It  was  in  this  way  they  changed  the  truth  of  God 
into  a  lie.  The  whole  system  was  a  practical  false- 
hood on  the  being,  power,  wisdom,  and  goodness  of 
God.  At  Athens,  and  still  more  at  Rome,  whose 
policy  it  was  to  give  a  place  to  the  deities  of  the 
nations  whom  they  conquered  among  those  of  the 
empire,  you  behold  a  most  refined  people,  paying 
divine  homage  to  representations  of  God  the  most 
fodish  and  false.  He  is  the  living  God,  but  their 
deities  were  devoid  of  life, — He  was  the  Maker  of  all 
things,  but  they  were  non-entities,  and  could  produce 

Vol.  II.  M 


Jia  IdoUOry  of  Mankind. 

jMdung  ;^^hn-  gives  to  all  life,  and  breath,  and  all 
things,  but  they  were  dumb  idols,  and  could  nfit 
profit  those  who  trusted  in  them.  ''  The  idols^  cf  ihe 
heath«i  are  silver  and  gold,  the  work  of  men's  hands^ 
They  have  mouths,  but  they  speak  not ;  eyes  have 
they,  but  they  see  not ;  they  have  ears,  but  they  hear 
not ;  noses  have  they,  but  they  smell  not ;  they  have 
hands,  but  they  handle  not ;  feet  have  they,  but  they 
walk  not ;  neither  speak  they  through  their  thioaL 
They  that  make  them  are  like  unto  them;  so  is 
•very  one  that  trustetb  in  them.'*  To  substitute  such 
vanities  in  rocxn  of  that  Qod  who  is  possessed  of  all 
perfigction,  and  that  to  an  infinite  degree^-— who  is  a 
spirit,  and  who  requires  his  worshippers  ''  to  worship 
Um  in  spirit  and  in  truth/'— ^bo  is  hdy ,  and ''  of  purer 
eyes  than  to  behold  iniquity/'— who  is  most  bountifid, 
and  whose  "  tender  meroies  are  over  all  his  works,"— 
whose  universal  presence  fills  all  space,  and  Whos^ 
habitatton  is  etermty,-*— was  an  undervaluing  of  the 
l^rious  Majesty  of  heaven,  and  nothing  less  than  a 
practical  denial  of  his  being  and  attributes ;  but  let 
us 


Section  HI. — The  cruel  and  impure  Rites  of  wheh 
the  idolatrous  Sf/stem  of  Worship  consisted. 

The  mode  and  the  means  by  which  tlie  living  God 
was  to  be  worshipped  Were  all  made  known  by  reve- 
lation. From  the  ritual  instituted  by  divine  appoint- 
ment, comprehending  prayers  and  praises,  sacrifices 
tmd  oblations,  the  heathen  derived  the  notion  of  some 
of  the  ceremonies  by  which  they  paid  religious  teor- 


Tke  Udainf  pfMMcihd.  MB 

Bhip  to  thoir  d«hies.  The  whde  system  ww  teued 
Ba  as  to  strnke  the  denaes,  and  adspbed  to  the  humtti 
tmnd  ia  a  state  of  utter  darkness  and  dqfnravity. 

In  their  religious  festivals^  which  were  oaMirafesd 
ia  honour  of  their  gods,  their  deities  were  lepMMOMd 
as  paformtiig  the  most  innocnal  aisticois*  These 
actions  were  ascribed  to  Jupiteri  the  diief  of  tlwir 
deities^  as  well  as  to  the  interior  gods.  The  Btmk 
gods,  as  8t.  Austin  observes,  were  laughed  at  in  the 
theatres  and  adored  in  the  temples.  Rites  llie  most 
fix)liBh  and  immoral  were  used  in  tlieif  worship^  wbich 
were  prescribed  by  the  laws,  established  by  aattaat, 
and  countenanced  by  the  magistrates.  The  offiMhig 
of  human  sacrifices,  which  i^pean  to  .have  besii 
general  o?efr  the  pagan  world,  was  one  of  theie.  Thtt 
it  pieTdiled  among  the  Britons,  Qermans^  and  Oauls, 
we  are  assured  by  the  testimonies  of  Cflwar  «nl 
Tadtn&  Among  the  Romans  this  inhuman  praobes 
prevailed  so  late  as  the  time  of  the  Emperor  AnkiaMi 
Nor  can  thetie  be  given  a  more  revditiqg  proof  of  itt 
prevalence  amoxig  this  dislinguisbed  peoplSi  than  th*t 
when  Rome  was  taken  by  the  Oaute^  the  most  ad^ 
vanced  in  age  and  in  honour  gathered  thexnselires 
together  in  the  Forum,  and  aftcpr  beii^devMed  by  Hm 
pontiff^  consecrated  themselves  to  the  Infenud  gocto. 
In  Mejuco  alone  it  has  been  supposed  that  not  leM 
than  tw^ty  thousand  human  beings  were  annuaDj 
sacrificed.  In  some  nations  numerous  iniuits  were 
devoted    to  destruction    in   honour  of   their  ged 

Molodi. 

In  addition  to  this  most  iidiuman  praetice,  tbefe 
were  other  cruel  rites  used  in  the  worship  of  the  gods. 

MS 


IM  Tke  Iddatry  of  Mankind. 

The  priests  of  Baal,  as  we  leani  from  the  first  book 
of  Kings,  *'  cried  akxid,  and  cut  thecaselves  after  their 
manner  with  knives  and  lancets  till  the  blood  gushed 
out  upon  them*."  At  Sparta  they  whipped  boys, 
often  till  they  died,  on  the  altar  of  the  goddess  Diana. 
This  is  not  the  place  to  notice  the  indecent  and  im- 
moral practices  which  were  observed  over  the 
heathen  world,  and  especially  in  the  dvilized  nations, 
in  honour  of  their  gods  and  goddesses.  But  these 
practices,  together  with  the  gross  and  general  de- 
pravity of  manners  which  the  system  of  idol  worship 
produced,  furnish  an  illustration  of  the  Apostie's 
statement;  "wherefore  God  also  gave  them  up  to 
undeanness  through  the  lusts  of  their  own  hi^Eurts,  to 
dishonour  their  own  bodies  between  themselves." 

The  grossest  impurity  of  manners,  the  violation  of 
every  precept  in  the  decalogue,  was  sanctioned  by 
custom,  if  not  enjoined  by  law.  Theft  was  permitted 
in  Egypt  and  in  Sparta.  Infants  that  were  weak  or 
imperfect  in  form  were  exposed  and  put  to  death  by 
the  authority  of  the  legislator  Lycurgus.  Humanity, 
in  the  sense  in  which  we  understand  that  term,  was  in 
a  great  measure  unknown.  There  was  no  provision 
made  for  the  poor,  the  destitute,  and  helpless.  Nor 
is  the  account  which  has  been  transmitted  to  us  by  the 
page,  of  history  of  the  sensuality  and  depravity  that 
pervaded  the  heathen  world,  diflFerent  from  that  which 
is  recorded  by  the  apostle  Paul  in  the  conclusion  of 
the  first  chapter  of  the  Epistle  to  the  Romans.  Even 
as  they  did  not  like  to  retain  God  in  their  knowledge, 
"  God  gave  them  over  to  a  reprobate  mind,  to  do  those 

•  1  KinfiTi  xviii.  21—41, 


The  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  16ff 

things  which  are  not  oonvenient ;  being  filled  with  all 
unrighteousness,  fornication,  wickedness,  covetous- 
ness,  maliciousness;  full  of  envy,  murder,  debate, 
deceit,  malignity,  whisperers,  backbiters,  haters  of 
God,  despiteful,  proud,  boasters,  inventors  of  evil 
things,  disobedient  to  parents,  without  understanding, 
covenant  breakers,  without  natural  affection,  im*- 
placable,  unmerciftil." 

Section  IV. — The  Influence  of  Legislators  and  Philoso^ 
phers  in  extending  this  idolatrous  and  immoral  System. 

They,  it  is  alleged,  were  not  idolaters  themsefltes,^^ 
that  their  doctrines  to  a  considerable  extent  counter- 
acted the  tendency  of  idolatry, — and  that  the  mys- 
teries which  were  so  generally  established,  and  to 
whidi  the  initiated  only  were  admitted,  were  ex- 
pressly designed  to  preserve  the  knowledge  of  the 
one  true  God. 

I  shall  prove  that  these  suppositions  are  unfounded ; 
and  that  the  philosophers  and  legislators  of  antiquity 
were  the  supporters  and  patrons  of  idolatry. 

It  must  be  admitted  that  they  were  placed  in 
circumstances  in  which,  whatever  might  have  been 
their  own  views  of  truth  and  duty,  they  had  it  little  in 
their  power  to  influence  effectually  the  notions  of  the 
multitude.  They  wanted  the  sanction  of  divine  au- 
thority to  enforce  their  instructions ;  they  were  not  the 
authorized  ministers  of  religion  on  whom  it  devolved  to 
explain  the  doctrines  relating  to  the  gods  and  to  their 
worship ;  their  opinions,  besides,  on  these  matters  were 
so  obscure,  and  so  much  at  variance  with  each  other. 


m  Tk0  IMaUr^  of  Mankind. 

1kat<lieir€i!KA,  bud  they  b^m  commuiiicfltod  boyood 
dw  W9ll9  of  tb^  w^ioote»  could  only  bp  to  bawUder,  ifi 
jixiead,  they  would  have  way  effect  whatever,  Thqrt 
Iheiefere,  despised  the  people  as  incapable  of  mider-r 
iitandiDg  their  speculatiiHis,  or  of  profiting  by  thraa. 
'*  Philosophy/'  to  uee  the  language  of  one  of  the  most 
aninent  of  their  number,  '*  is  content  with  a  few- 
judges  ;  it  designedly  shuns  the  multitude,  and  is  by 
them  suspected  and  disliked ;  so  that  if  any  man  should 
set  himself  to  vilify  all  philosophy,  he  might  do  it 
with  the  approbation  and  applause  of  the  people  *." 

Philosophers,  accordingly,  so  framed  the  vehicle  in 
which  their  instructions  were  conveyed,  and  in  general 
so  wrapped  the  doctrines  dT  divine  things  in  &bles,  that 
they  proved  of  no  use  in  enUghtening  the  people.  With 
the  exception  of  Socrates,  who  adopted  a  more  &miUar 
fitmin,  their  pcofiissed  aim  was,  not  the  religious  and 
moral  improvement  of  mankind,  but  the  exercise  and 
display  of  their  own  genius,  and  the  gratification  and 
je^yphuse  of  a  few  leaumed  men.  In  truth,  scarcely  one 
of  them  had  any  thing  to  ccHnmunicate  on  religion 
which  would  have  been  at  all  profitable  to  the  people. 
One  of  tibe  most  numerous  sects  maintained  the  abso- 
hite  impossibility  of  conung  to  the  knowledge  of  the 
titath  in  any  ease,  and  employed  all  the  force  of  their 
ijQgenuity  and  eloquence  to  invalidate  the  proof  of  the 
baing  of  God.  Otfaers>  while  they  allowed  that  there 
us  different  degrees  of  probability  in  evidence,  con* 
tnded  tlmt  we  cannot  certainly  know  or  understand 
any  thing,  and  that,  therefore,  we  should  ke^  our 
minds  ia  a  state  of  scepticism  ooocdraing  all  things, 


Tk0  IMatry  o/Mtmkind.  Wt 

Srai  tbe  Stoics,  wfawe  yntimamHB  to  oMtaunty  w&m 
higfanrt.  apd  who  in.  some  things  ooois  aeanst  to  tbs 
tmlb,  aoknowleclgad,  that  the  natures  of  thii^  Ms  so 
ooiseied  from  us»  that  all  things  seem  oneertaia  and 
incxxapr^misible. 

In  confirmation  of  these  i^marks,  it  may  be  ob* 
serred,  that  soeptiotsm  and  atheism,  in  Greeee  and 
lUnne,  kept  p^ce  with  the  progress  of  philosq[>hy,  and 
that  the  morld  was  soraen^at  advanced,  before  speou^i^ 
laiive  men  began  to  controvert  or  deny  the  existenee 
and  agency  of  Qod.  Aristotle  mentions,  that  all  4ie 
philosophers  before  his  time  asserted  that  the  woii4 
wasmadebya£k^rmie3eing;  and  consequently  thai 
diey  beliemd  in  the  exist€»oe  of  an  intelhgent  Creator 
and  Governor  of  all  things.  Yet,  after  his  time,  nw 
know  that  the  most  thorough  soepticism  in  teguA 
to  this  fiindamental  doctrine  of  all  religion  was  eateiv 
taiaed  by  men  of  science  and  lettem.  From  prudwtiai: 
considerations,  they  attempted  to  conceal  from  the  mul- 
titude the  real  nature  and  tendency  of  their  atheistiesi 
schemes,  by  ppetending  a  regard  fw  the  gods  and  for 
their  worship  {  bat  the  covering  was  so  traosparent, 
that  Ae  imposition  couW  not  have  succeeded,  had  ilot 
the  people  been  immeraed  in  inconceivable  ignorance.^ 

When  the  Romans  imported  the  philosophy  of 
Cheeee,  they,  at  the  same  time,  imported  the  soep-^ 
tkiem  and  atheism  that  atttoded  it  Intent  upon  con*- 
qmst  and  mittCary  gkiry  in  the  eariier  periods  ef  their 
history,  they  remained  unacquainted  with  science  tilt 
ii«ar  the  decline  of  the  consular  government.  While 
their  greatest  men  employed  their  powers,  not  in  spe- 
culation, but  in  studying  the  arts  of  war,  they  probably 


10S  The  Idolathf  ofManUnd. 

never  qaestioDed  the  divine  origin  of  their  worship, 
and  ocsuideied  themsdves  bound  to  yield  a  conecien* 
tioue  obedience  to  the  civil  and  religious  institutioDB 
of  their  country.  During  the  first  hundred  and  seventy 
years  of  the  Commonwealth,  they  strictly  obswved  the 
law  of  Numa,  whidi  forbade  them  to  make  any  image 
or  statue  of  the  divine  Being  in  the  form  of  man  or 
beast, — and  taught  them  that  it  is  impious  to  repre« 
sent  things  divine  by  what  is  perishable,  and  that  we 
can  have  no  conception  of  Qod  but  by  the  understand- 
ing *•  But  in  proportion  as  they  became  a  literary 
people  by  their  intercourse  with  the  Greeks,  were  their 
idol  deities  indefinitely  multiplied,  and  their  learned 
mesa  atheistical  in  their  opinions,  and  immoral  in  their 
practice.  *'  Professing  themselves  to  be  wise  they  be- 
came fools,*'  and  were  instrumental  by  their  tenets  and 
by  their  example  '*  in  changing  the  glory  of  the  uncor- 
ruptible Qod  into  an  image  made  like  to  corruptible 
mauj  and  to  birds,  and  four-£x>ted  beasts,  and  creep- 
ii^  things/" 

But  it  will  be  said,  that  there  were  philosoidiiers 
both  in  Greece  and  Rome  of  juster  views,  and  a 
purer  character, — who  entertained  the  sublimest  senti- 
ments concerning  the  being,  attributes,  and  provi- 
dence of  God.  It  can  be  shewn,  however,  that  they, 
in  place  of  enlightening  and  improving  the  people, 
gave  the  sanction  of  their  example,  and  their  names, 
in  confirmation  of  the  established  idolatry ; — and  so 
mingled  truth  and  error  together,  as  to  become  the 
efficient  suppcnrters  and  advocates  of  idol  worship. 
The  most  enlightened  of  them,  not  excepting  ev«x 

•  Plttimb  in  Numa. 


The  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  169 

Socrates,  spoke  of  the  Divinity,  and  that  to  their  dis- 
ciples, when  we  should  expect  the  greatest  accuracy, 
in  the  {Jural  form: — ^they  represented  the  gods  as  the 
creators,  preservers,  and  benefactors  of  mankind, — as 
seeing  and  hearing  all  things,  and  as  being  every- 
where present : — and  thus,  I  think,  clearly  prove,  that 
they  understood  the  Divine  natiu*e  to  be  peculiar  and 
appropriate,  not  to  one  god  only,  but  to  many  gods, 
who  in  common  possessed  it,  and  to  whom  the  titles 
and  the  characters  of  the  Divinity  belong. 

Their  views  of  the  Divinity,  besides,  were  such  as 
could  not  fail  to  encourage,  if  not  apparently  to  justify, 
the  people  in  giving  religious  worship  to  a  multitude 
of  gods.     Without  alluding  to  all  their  erroneous  opi- 
nions on  this  subject,  there  was  one,  which,  more  than 
any  other,  seemed  to  make  idolatry  a  duty,  and  fur- 
nished the  most  plausible  arguments  in  its  favour, — 
namely,  that  the  soul  of  the  world  is  God.    This  opi- 
nion was  very  general  among  the  Heathen  philoso- 
phers, and  was  the  chief  ground  of  the  polytheism  of 
the  whole  Pagan  world ;  concluding,  as  they  did,  that 
because  God  was  all  things,  and  all  things  God,  he 
ought  to  be  worshipped  in  all  the  parts  and  objects  of 
nature.     The  Stoics,  in  particular,  were  most  strenu- 
ous supporters  of  this  tenet, — maintaining  that  the 
mind  which  governs  the  world  passeth  through  every 
part  of  it,  as  the  soul  doth  in  us ;  or,  as  the  poet  has 
expressed  it, — » 

Ail  are  bmt  parts  of  on©  stupendous  whole. 
Whose  body  nature  is,  and  God  the  soul ; 
That  chang'd  througli  all,  and  yet  m  all  the  same, 
Great  in  the  earth  as  in  ihe  ethereal  flame ; 


im  Th  Uatnny  0f  Manlcimt. 

WafQui  m  Ae  mo,  rtftntk^i  in  tbe  hr^n^^ 

G\ow^  in  the  stars,  apd  blossoms  in  the  trees  ; 
Lives  through  all  life,  extends  through  all  extent, 
Sptea^  imdiviiiedy  operates  unspent  *• 

In  conformity  with  this  doctripe,  we  find  some  of  the 
Stoics,  after  proving  the  existence  and  providence  of 
God,  from  the  beauty  and  order  of  the  works  that  are 
rstade,  gravely  maintaining  that  the  world  is  an  animal, 
— ^reasonable,  wise,  and  happy,  and  therefore  is  God. 
On  this  principle,  whatever  parts  of  the  universe  they 
cl}pse  to  deify,  were  parts  of  God,  and  therefore  en- 
titled to  feligious  worship.  They  themselves  also, 
and  their  fellow-creatures,  were  parts  of  the  divinity, 
a  notion  which  tended  to  produce  that  pride  and  self- 
sufficiency  for  which  the  Stoics  were  so  highly  dis- 
tinguished. On  this  absurd,  but,  to  minds  darkened 
and  vain  in  their  imaginations  most  plausible,  ground, 
did  the  wisest  and  the  best  philosophers  of  antiquity 
advocate  the  system  of  polytheism  and  idol  worship— 
a  system  which  is  so  totally  at  variance  with  what  we 
deem  the  light  of  nature,  which  was  composed  of  rites, 
foolish,  indecent,  and  cruel,  and  which  sanctioned  the 
grossest  licentiousness  and  immorality.  Need  we 
wonder  that  an  apostle  should  think  it  necessary  to 
caution  the  disciples  of  Christianity  to  bewarre  lest  any 
man  should  spoil  them  through  philosophy  and  vain 
deceit? 

The  history  of  the  ancient  world  does  not  furnish 
us  with  a  single  example  of  a  philosopher  who  at- 

•  I  am  far  frosn  wisMii^  to  briDg  affaiast  tke  poet  Ite  charge  of  Spi- 
noeism  and  Pantheism.  I  have  ^oted  his  lines,  because  thej  are  suscepti  • 
ble  of  fmmishing  aa  illnttratton  of  the  ifKtrm  of  the  4ninui  Mundi  to 
thoM  who  are  iiiiactiHAM  w  iU  U.    SwjNote?. 


toaptad  to  torn  rmm  frpm  tlie  won^  of  iitiiCe**. 
8t«tiia0*  ami  dumb  idol«,  to  tbut  of  the  Uving  aod  true 
Qod,     The   ficeuMtioii  with  which  Socrates  w^a 
ebu^,  and  which  led  to  his  oondenmiution  and  deaths 
urns  not,  that  he  disBuaded  the  peojde  fcom  worship* 
fing  the  gods  app(»i)ted  by  law^  but  that  he  hims^ 
did  not  esteem  those  to  be  gods  which  the  city  of 
Athens  rc^aided  as  sudi,  and  that  he  iirixoduced  other 
new  gods.    It  is  mwtifying  to  relate*  that  this  greafi 
man  on  the  day  of  Ms  death,  alluded  to  a  hymn  whidt 
he  had  ccxnposed  in  his  priscm-hoase  to  the  idol  Apollo. 
The  doctrine  which  he  and  all  other  philosophers  hdd. 
was»  that  all  men  should  worship  the  gods  of  their  re* 
spectif e  countries :  nor  did  they  forget  to  reduce  thia 
maxim  to  practice,  when  they  assumed  the  character 
of  legislators,  by  prescribing  to  the  people  the  giving 
of  religious  homage  to  a  multitude  of  deities.    When 
we  remember  that  every  man  in  those  times  -who  had 
any  pretensions  to  letters,  in  all  the  ranks  and  oflteei 
of  life,  whether  in  the  senate  or  at  the  bar,  in  tibe  anny 
or  upon  the  throne,  was  a  disciple  of  one  of  the  phi- 
losophical sects,  and,  consequently,  the  advocate  for  the 
established  system  of  polytheism  and  idolatry, — ^that 
this  system  was  interwoven  with  the  civil  constitution 
of  every  government  in  the  world  but  one,  and,  there- 
fore, had  the  power  of  the  prince  and  the  magistrate 
in  its  eupport,— 4hat  it  had  the  aid  and  the  iniuence 
of  a  priesthood  that  was  neithw  unconcerned  nor  <Ma- 
inttteated  as  to  its  continuanc©,-'-and  that  the  whole 
of  mankind  wM?e  its  auxiliaries  in  the  feelings  of  veaen 
mtion  for  that  supposed  sanctity  whidi  it  awakened^ 
and  in  the  base  a|id  potent  pasfiions  fier  which  it  iur^ 


1 72  TAe  Idolatry  of  Mankind. 

nished  gratification,  we  may  form  some  feeble  con- 
ception of  the  extent  of  that  darkness  that  covered  the 
earth  when  our  Lord  appeared,  and  of  the  gross  dark- 
ness that  covered  the  people.  Yet,  it  was  against 
this  system,  advocated  by  philosophers,  entwined 
around  the  throne  of  princes,  authorized  by  the  laws, 
aiforced  by  Uie  magistrate,  venerable  from  age,  cap- 
tivating to  the  senses,  and  having  in  its  favour  the 
flill  flow  of  public  opinion,  that  the  apostles  of  Christ 
went  forth,  unpatronised,  unprotected,  with  no  power 
to  shield  them  but  that  of  God,  with  no  advantages, 
but  the  endowments  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  with  no  wea- 
pon but  eternal  truth,  and  with  no  less  an  aim  than 
the  entire  subversion  of  idolatry  over  the  world,  by 
turning  men  from  darkness  to  light,  and  from  the 
dominion  of  Satan  to  the  service  of  the  living  and  true 
God.  Their  success  proves  that  they  were  in  reality 
what  they  professed  to  be,— the  servants  of  the  Most 
High  God,  commissioned  to  shew  unto  men  the  way 
of  salvation. 


Section  Y.—The  Inexcusableness  of  Mankind  in  be- 
coming, and  in  remaining.  Idolaters. 

This  is  repeatedly  intimated  by  the  Apostle  Paul; 
and  their  inexcusableness  is  stated  as  the  ground  of 
their  having  been  given  up  to  judicial  blindness  and 
insensibility.  Because  that  which  may  be  known  of 
God  is  manifest  in  them;  for  God  hath  shewed  it 
unto  them ;  so  that  they  are  without  excuse.  Their 
inexcusableness  appears  from  the  advantages  which 
all  mankind  derived  from  the  ^ly  revelation  which 


The  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  ITS 

God  made  ooiiQerning  himself,  and  the  wfty  in  wbioh 
be  is  to  be  worshipped ;  from  the  manifold  attesta* 
tions  of  his  being,  perfections,  and  providence  which 
the  constitution  of  nature,  and  the  order  and  govern* 
ment  c^  the  world,  afford;  and  from  the  standifig 
memorial  of  the  character  and  majesty  of  the  living 
Gfod,  exhibited  to  the  nations  in  the  selection  and 
distinct  preservation  of  the  Jewish  people,  in  the 
enjoyment  of  his  ordinances  and  laws.  On  these 
grounds  it  can  be  proved,  that  at  no  time  did  God 
leave  himself  without  a  witness;  that  the  apostasy 
of  mankind,  from  the  knowledge  and  worship  of  God 
to  polytheism  and  idolatry,  arose  from  tlie  alienation 
and  corruption  of  the  heart ;  and  that  as  it  was  wil» 
M,  it  was  therefore  most  culpable. 

They  had  advantages  from  tlie  early  revelation 
which  Qod  made  of  himself,  and  of  the  way  in  whidi 
he  is  to  be  worshipped.     After  the  fall  there  was  a 
series  of  divine  communications  made  to  Adam,  and 
Noah,  and  others,  the  full  benefit  of  which  the  whole 
human  race  enjoyed  previously  to  their  dispersion  over 
the  globe.    In  these  communications  the  el^nents  of 
what  afterwards  was  more  fully  revealed  were  made 
known  to  them, — the  holiness  and  mercy  of  Qod ;  the 
fallen  and  guilty  condition  of  man ;  the  forgiveness 
and  reconciliation  with  God  which  they  might  obtain; 
the  way  of  salvation  through  that  great  Deliverer, 
styled  ''  the  seed  of  the  woman,"  who  should  come  into 
the  world  to  redeem  them ;   and  the  efiicacy  of  his 
death,  typified  by  the  institution  of  sacrifice.    These 
principles  of  divine  truth  the  family  of  mankind  car- 
ried with  them  when  they  separated  on  the. plains  of 


174  l%e  Jdotafff  of  Mankind. 

Shinan  and  went  fotHi  en  the  right  and  on  tite  Idl 
to  inhabit  that  earth  which  the  bounty  of  the  Cre* 
ator  had  given  them.  It  would  tb^i  be  their  duty, 
and  doubtleas  many  performed  it,  to  transmit  &e 
knowledge  of  divine  thingd  thua  obtained  to  their 
posterity,  that  the  generation  to  come  might  know 
them,  even  the  cfaildr^i  which  should  be  bom^  wh6 
should  arise  and  declare  them  to  their  diildren ;  that 
Aey  might  set  their  hope  in  Qod,  and  not  Ibrget  the 
works  of  Qod,  but  keep  his  commandments.  The 
knprasaion  of  them  would  be  cherished  with  ddlght 
and  studious  diligence  by  all  who  had  any  sense  of 
their  value ;  and  through  them  the  way  of  salvaticm 
would  be  made  known  in  regions  where  the  writt^ 
record  of  the  will  of  God  may  not  yet  have  reached. 
These  impressions  should  have  been  maintained,  if 
not  deepenedi  by  the  legible  characters  of  powef, 
wisdom,  and  goodness,  exhibited  in  the  works  of 
Greation,  and  in  tiie  older  of  providence.  That  the 
consideration  of  these  works,  and  cf  this  order,  sug- 
gests  the  idea  of  the  universal  presence,  and  the 
boundless  benignity  of  the  Lord  and  sovereign  Ruler 
of  all,  has  scarcely  ever  been  disputed,  and  cannot 
be  denied.  *•  The  heavens  declare  the  glory  of  God, 
and  the  firmament  sheweth  forth  bis  handhf  work." 
The  oonstitution  of  man,  in  his  corporeal  and  mentd 
frame^  without  proceeding  to  the  e^amimtion  of  the 
earthy  the  elements,  and  the  lower  animals,  aflfords 
numerons  and  ever-recurring  proems  that  the  Ahnighty 
Maker  is  infimte  in  intelligence,  and  that  there  is  no 
searching  of  his  understanding.  The  invisible  things 
of  Him  from  the  creation  of  the  workl  are  clearly 


tke  Idolatry  of  MarAind.  Vt8 


seen,  beiiig  tmderstood  by  the  things  that  are  mid«, 
even  his  eternal  power  and  godhead. 

In  addition  to  these  advantages,  whidi  were  oott'* 
ferred  on  the  whole  family  of  mankind  for  preserving 
them  in  the  knowledge,  fear,  and  worship  rf  God,  the 
Lotd,  in  separating  the  Jewish  people,  and  in  con* 
tinuing,  during  a  series  of  ages,  to  make  discoveri^sl 
tf  his  character  and  will,  gave  another  preservative 
from  idolatry.  Placed  by  divine  Providence  in  thd 
centre  of  the  habitable  globe,  the  light  with  which 
they  were  favoured  was  designed  to  issue  forth  frotn 
them,  and  illuminate  the  world.  Their  constitution, 
laws,  ordinances,  and  worship,  were  framed  so  as  to 
lead  them  to  the  acknowledgment  and  adoration  of 
the  living  and  true  God,  and  of  him  only.  They 
had,  besides,  for  upwards  of  a  thousand  years,  a 
succession  of  prophets,  inspired  by  God,  and  quali- 
fied to  act  under  his  authority,  in  giving  dear  revela- 
tions of  his  will,  in  arousing  the  attention  of  the 
people  to  his  providence  and  care,  and  in  conveying 
instructions,  reproofs,  remonstrances,  and  denuncia- 
tions. Their  inspiration  was  proved,  and  their  mis- 
sion accredited,  by  miraculous  displays  of  the  power 
and  glory  of  God.  That  the  human  race  might  derive 
some  adoantage  at  least  from  their  divine  communi- 
cations, the  people  to  whom  they  were  immediately 
addressed  were  not  only  in  a  central  situation,  and 
in  direct  contact  with  the  great  empires  of  the  world, 
but  were  abo  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Tyre  and  Sidoft, 
the  emporiums  of  the  earth,  whose  ships  went  to  the 
most  distant  countries.  The  peculiarity  of  their 
government  and  worship,  and  of  those  laws^  by  which 


176  The  Idobttry  of  Mankind. 

they  were  k^t  distinct  fkom  other  natioos,  as  well  as 
of  that  special  providence  which  made  them  the  object 
of  its  care,  could  not  fail  to  make  them  the  general 
subject  of  notice,  of  remark,  and  of  inquiry. 

Besides,  though  for  important  ends  they  were  kept 
distinct  from  other  nations,  they  had  frequent  inter- 
course with  them,  and  were  required  to  receive  all 
who  would  consent  to  forsake  idolatry,  and  worship 
the  living  and  true  God.  To  shew  that  a  leading 
design  of  all  that  God  had  done  for  them  was  to 
spread  the  knowledge  of  God  over  the  earth,  Solomon, 
in  the  dedication  of  the  temple,  alludes  to  this  efiect 
"  Concerning  a  stranger,  that  is  not  of  thy  people 
Israel,  but  cometh  out  of  a  far  country  for  thy  name's 
sake ;  for  they  shall  hear  of  thy  great  name,  and  of 
thy  strong  hand,  and  of  thy  stretched  out  arm ;  when 
he  shall  come  and  pray  toward  this  house,  hear  thou 
in  heaven  thy  dwelling-place,  and  do  according  to  all 
that  the  stranger  calleth  to  thee  for :  that  all  people 
of  the  earth  may  know  thy  name,  to  fear  thee,  as  do 
thy  people  Israel ;  and  that  they  may  know  that  this 
house  which  I  have  builded  is  called  by  thy  name*." 
Their  correspondence  with  foreigners  was  extensive 
in  the  reign  of  Solomon,  whose  wisdom  excelled  the 
wisdom  of  all  the  children  of  the  east  country,  and 
all  the  wisdom  of  Egypt,  "  And  there  came  of  all 
people  to  hear  the  wisdom  of  Solomon,  from  all  kings 
of  the  earth,  which  had  heard  of  this  wisdom  f."  These 
illustrious  foreigners  would  be  instructed  while  at 
Jerusalem  in  the  law  of  Grod,  and  would  carry  with 

♦  8  Chron.  vi.  88,  33.  t  1  Kings  x,  ;84.    2  Chro».  ix.  23. 


The  Idolatry  of  Mankind.  1T7 

them  to  their  respective  countries  the  knowledge  of 
God  as  the  Creator  and  Preserver  of  the  world,  and 
the  moral  Governor  and  Judge  of  all  men. 

To  ensure  the  extended  disseminaticm  of  this  know* 
ledge,  Israel  and  Judah  were  sent  into  captivity»  and 
lived  during  many  years  around  the  metropolis,  and 
some  of  them  in  the  palace,  of  that  mighty  monardi, 
whose  empire  reached  over  the  greatest  portion  of 
the  habitable  globe.  That  their  residence,  during 
their  captivity,  in  Babylon  and  Assyria  was  not  in 
vain,  we  learn  from  the  language  in  which  the  decrees 
of  Nebuchadnezzar,  Darius,  Cyrus,  and  Artaxerxes, 
kings  of  Persia,  are  couched,  in  which  they  acknow* 
ledge  the  God  of  Israel  to  be  the  God  of  the  whole 
earth,  whose  dominion  is  over  all,  and  who  doth 
among  the  armies  of  heaven,  and  the  inhabitants  of 
the  world,  that  which  seemeth  good  in  his  sight. 
After  the  return  of  the  tribes  of  Judah  and  Benjamin 
to  Jerusalem,  many  thousands  of  all  the  tribes  of 
Israel  remained  in  a  state  of  dispersion  over  the 
globe,  and  were  in  the  midst  of  many  people  as  a 
dew  from  the  Lord,  as  the  showers  upon  the  grass. 
A  Jewish  historian  afiirms,  that  there  were  not  less 
than  a  million  of  them  in  Alexandria  and  in  other 
parts  of  Egypt,  where,  by  the  favour  of  Alexander 
the  Great,  they  enjoyed  many  privileges  and  immu- 
nities, were  allowed  to  be  governed  by  their  own 
laws,  and  to  exhibit,  in  the  midst  of  idolaters,  the 
character,  the  worship,  and  the  ordinances  of  the 
living  God;  and  that  their  religious  advantages 
might  be  more  generally  and  effectually  shared  by 
the  whole  family  of  men,  a  translation  was  made  of 

Vol.  II.  N 


178  Th0  IdolcJry  of  Mankind. 

the  sacred  scriptures  into  the  Greek,  then  the  language 
of  the  civilized  world,  about  two  hundred  years  before 
the  christian  sra.  We  are  informed  by  authentic 
history,  that  the  Jews  about  that  period,  and  subse- 
quent to  it,  were  dispersed  in  all  lands,  so  that  there 
was  not  a  people  upcm  earth  which  had  not  some 
portion  of  tlieir  nation  among  them. 

So  numerous  and  varied  were  the  means  which  Qod 
employed  for  bearing  witness  to  his  own  being  and 
perfections,  and  for  preserving  mankind  in  the  know- 
ledge  and  worship  of  himself.  In  all  the  ways  which 
have  been  mentioned  is  the  Apostle's  statement  con- 
firmed-**that  that  which  may  be  known  of  God  was 
manifest  in  them ;  for  God  had  shewed  it  unto  them. 
They  could  not  plead  ignorance,  then,  as  an  apdogy 
for  their  idolatry ;  for  they  enjoyed  many  means  of 
obtaining  divine  knowledge,  and  of  being  convinced 
of  the  folly  and  deep  criminality  of  worshipping  and 
serving  the  creature  to  the  neglect  of  the  Creator.  Iq 
their  iddatry  and  immorality  they  acted  in  direct  op- 
position to  the  law  written  on  the  heart,  to  the  light 
of  nature,  and  to  the  numerous  revelations  which  God 
gave  of  himself,  and  of  his  will,  and  of  which  they 
ought  not  to  have  been  ignorant  They  were  there- 
fore without  excuse,  and  merited  the  judicial  blind' 
ness  to  which  they  were  given  up,  and  that  wrath  from 
heaven  which  is  revealed  against  all  ungodliness  and 
imrighteousness  of  men. 

We  learn  from  this  subject,  in  the  first  place,  the 
deep  depravity  and  guilt  of  mankind.  These  are  the 
fXHUce  of  that  polytheism  and  idolatry,  that  impi^y 
and  immorality,  which  so  nearly  covered  the  wdid.  To 


The  Iddaby  of  MmMad.  1V9 

see  a  being  who  has  been  fanned  in  the  image  of  God^ 
with  capajcities  and  powers  by  whidi  he  is  fitted  to 
Imow,  loTe,  worship,  and  serve  the  glorioiis  Creator, 
Preserver,  and  Buler  of  all,  pay  religious  honnge  to 
cats,  dogs,  r^iles,  to  blocks  of  wood  and  of  stone,  to 
the  stars  of  heaven,  to  the  earth  or  the  eleaieDts»  is 
surely  the  most  humbling  spectacle  that  can  be  wifc* 
nessed,  and  shews  the  length  to  whidi  fallen  man  hae 
departed  from  the  fountain  of  light,  and  truths  and 
blessedness.  Yet  of  this  practice,  and  during  may 
ages,  nearly  all  mankind  were  guilty--4he  enlightened 
and  the  illiterate,  kings,  heroes,  philosophers,  and  aU 
ranks  of  the  people.  They  pensisted  in  iU  notwitb- 
standing  the  mimerous  intimations  that  w^e  given 
them  of  the  folly  and  criminality  of  their  conduct,  and 
proved  how  wiUinj^y  they  alienated  their  hearts,  their 
thoughts,  their  worship  and  obedience,  from  the  God 
of  all  perfection.  They  lived  dishonouring  him,  as  if 
he  were  not,  and  were  without  him  in  the  world.  Hcnr 
wonderftil  the  goodness  and  the  patience  of  God» 
who  ceased  not  to  shower  down  his  blessings  on  an 
apostate  and  rebellions  race,  and  to  give  them  rain 
fiom  heaven,  and  fruitfid  seasons,  fflling  their  hoaits 
with  food  and  gladness !  It  was  in  this  condUicn  of 
impi^y,  of  guilt,  and  moral  itiin,  that  mankind  were 
placed,  at  the  very  time  when  a  IXvine  Messenger 
fitxn  heaven  announced  to  the  inhabitants  6S  Palestm^ 
those  heart-dieering  and  memorable  words,  **  God  so 
loved  the  world,  as  to  give  hk  only-begottfin  Son,  that 
whosoever  believeth  on  him  should  not  periidi,  but 
have  everlasting  life.    Foty  Qod  s^t  not  Ms  Son  into 

N  S 


180  The  Idolatry  of  Mankind. 

the  world  to  condemn  the  world,  but  that  the  world 
through  him  might  be  saved." 

We  learn  from  this  subject,  in  the  second  place, 
the  necessity  of  Divine  Revelation,  and  of  that  great 
salvation  from  sin  and  death  which  it  brings  to  light. 
The  actual  condition  of  mankind,  wherever  the  light 
of  revelation  is  not  enjoyed,  affi>rds  incontestible  proof 
of  this.  This  condition,  as  we  have  seen,  is  as  hope- 
less as  it  is  helpless.  The  aid  of  mere  man,  of  the 
vrisest,  the  best,  and  the  most  exalted  of  men,  was 
proved  to  be  vain.  The  light  of  reason  and  of  nature, 
in  regard  to  religion,  was  hid  by  the  gross  and  pal- 
pable darkness  in  which  all  were  enveloped.  A  race 
of  immortals  were  living  without  any  certain  know- 
ledge of  their  immortality ;  and  beings  formed  for 
finding  happiness  in  God,  as  the  chief  good,  were  all 
wandering  from  him,  and  in  the  consciousness  of  their 
guilt  and  misery,  all  crying,  who  will  shew  us  any 
good  ?  How  necessary  was  it,  then,  if  mankind  were 
ever  delivered  from  this  condition,  that  God  should  in- 
terpose, return  again  in  kindness  and  compassion  to 
the  world  that  had  forsaken  him,  and  dispel  the  thick 
gloom  that  covered  it  by  the  glorious  brightness  of 
the  manifestation  of  himself  t 

He  hath  done  so :  he  has  sent  his  Son  to  be  ''  a  light 
to  lighten  the  Gentiles,  and  to  be  the  glory  of  his 
pec^le  Israel. "  He  has  wrought  out,  by  his  obedience 
and  death,  a  great  salvation  for  us,  and  as  the  con- 
sequence, invites  all  men  to  return  to  him,  assuring 
them  of  his  readiness  to  pardon,  and  that  he  is  in 
Christ  Jesus  reconciling  the  world  to  himself,  and  not 


The  IdohUry  of  Mankind.  181 

imputing  unto  men  their  trespasses.  '^  The  people' 
that  walked  in  darkness  have  seen  a  great  light; 
they  that  dwell  in  the  land  of  the  shadow  of  death, 
upon  them  hath  the  light  shined.'*  Whenerer  the 
revelation  from  heaven  goes,  may  we  address  the 
&voured  inhabitants — *'  Arise,  shine,  for  your  light  is 
come,  and  the  glory  of  the  Lord  is  risen  upon  you." 

In  the  third  place,  we  learn  from  this  subject,  that 
if  idolaters  were  inexcusable  under  the  light  of  nature, 
much  more  inexcusable  are  idolaters  under  the  light 
of  the  Gospel.  And  yet,  as  early  as  the  fifth  and 
sixth  centuries  were  efforts  made  to  revive  and  r^ 
establish  the  idolatrous  system.  I  need  not  speak  rf 
the  attempts  of  the  Emperor  Julian,  who  had  becQ 
educated  in  the  christian  religion,  but  who  afterwanJs 
apostatized  fi-om  it,  and  who  employed  his  learning, 
his  talents,  his  artifices,  and  his  power,  for  suppressing 
the  doctrine  of  Christ,  and  re-establishing  the  ancient 
idolatry.  Nor  need  I  say,  that  in  the  beginning  of  the 
eighth  century  the  Pope  of  Rome  ordained  by  law  that 
idolatrous  worship  should  be  ofiered  throughout  the 
papal  dominions.  Hence  the  bloody  and  continued 
persecutions  which  assailed  those  who  refused  to  ac- 
knowledge a  system  which  is  as  much  opposed  to  the 
light  of  nature,  as  it  is  to  the  light  of  the  OospeL 
Henoe  the  diflBculties,  the  cruelties,  the  imprisonment 
and  death,  which  the  reformers  from  popery  had  to 
encounter  all  over  Europe,  and  in  no  country  more 
violently  than  in  our  native  land.  Often  in  cold,  and 
in  multiplied  necessities  and  distresses,  did  they  meet 
on  the  sides  of  the  mountains,  and  under  the  vault 
of  heaven,  to  hear  the  word  of  God,  and  to  convey 


IM  The  Id^htty  rf  Mankind. 

to  their  posterity  the  Imritage  of  God's  teBtimonies. 
Through  tears^  and  at  the  expense  of  their  blood,  that 
heritage  has  reached  us,  and  we  eqjoy  the  blessedness 
of  the  people  who  know  the  joyful  sound.  Let  us  value 
OMT  inestimable  privil^es,  and  not  yield  to  an  idola- 
trous  and  antichristian  diurdi  that  has  fundamentally 
departed  fiom  the  doctrines  of  the  Prophets  and  the 
Apostles — that  has  blasphemously  assumed  to  itself 
the  prefogatives  of  God,~that  still  plaoes  itself  in 
dlireet  and  avowed  opposition  to  the  light  and  the 
tixGulation  of  the  gospel, — and  that  inculcates,  with  all 
its  might  and  its  authority,  the  worship  of  images. 
Let  us  ke^  oursdves  from  idds,  and  Uius  shew  our 
gratitude  to  God>  and  to  the  great  and  good  men,  on 
Ite  fruits  of  whose  labours  and  suffmngs  we  have 
entemL  '<  Stand  &Bt  in  the  liberty  wherewith  Christ 
has  made  you  free,  and  be  no  more  ^tangled  with 
the  yoke  of  bondage."  Let  us  give  the  sujureme  love 
of  our  hearts,  our  worship,  and  obedience,  to  the 
God  and  the  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  through 
whose  tender  mercy  the  **  day-spring  from  on  high 
bath  visited  us,  to  give  light  to  them  Uiat  sit  in  dark- 
ness and  in  the  shadow  of  death,  and  to  guide  our  fiset 
into  the  way  of  peace." 


188 


Chapter  VII. 

HUMILITY. 

Tbe  duty  which  is  by  hnplioatkm  enjoined  in  the  tUM 
oommandmmt,  is  the  revwcnce  of  Qod ;  andtheaia 
prohibited  is  the  opposite  of  this  duty,-*-*40ipiaty,  and 
piofaneness.  The  eicevcise  of  reverence  of  the  diiiQe 
Qharacter  and  perfections  is  essentially  oonneeked  wkh 
the  love  of  Gfod.  It  is  awakened  in  the  mind  by  the 
ccmtraiphition  of  the  attributes  and  works  of  the  Ak 
mighty*  Humility  is  its  kindred  afibction*  and  is 
produced  by  a  just  estimate  of  ourselves,  of  our  con^ 
ditioD  and  attainments.  We  shall^  tiiereforei  proeeed 
to  a  consideraticm  of  the  nature  of  hnmility,  wi^cb 
may  be  placed  among  the  duties  we  owe  to  Qed» 
stnoe  without  it  there  can  be  no  true  reverence  of  his 
character 

Humility  is  a  relative  term,  and  implies  a  comparison 
of  ourselves  with  objects  above  us.  It  proceeds  from  a 
just  estimate  of  our  own  oonditi<m  and  diarocter  as 
dependent,  weak,  and  sinfiil  creatures.  Does  pnd» 
become  the  highest  created  being,  who  depends  every 
moment  on  Him  whose  nature  and  perfections  are  in- 
finitely removed  from  him  ?  Far  less  does  it  become 
man,  yAoat  foundaticm  is  in  the  dust,  whose  path, 
though  it  should  conduct  him  to  wealth,  and  rank,  and 
honour,  speedily  terminates  in  the  grave.  What  is  he 
m  relation  to  Qod?  A  sinner,  a  rebel  against  the 
of  heavM,  against  whom  the  sentence  is 


184  HtmUUy. 

passed*  '*  Dust  thou  art,  and  unto  dust  thou  shalt  re- 
turn :*'  so  that  he  may  say  to  corruption,  **  Thou  art 
my  father ;  and  to  the  worm,  Thou  art  my  mother  and 
my  sister." 

When  we  consider  the  character,  condition,  and  at- 
tainments  of  men,  we  see  much  ground  for  lowliness 
i£  mind,  but  none  for  pride.    Are  we  not  entirely  de- 
pendent upon  God  and  upon  one  another  for  the  bless- 
ings and  enjoyments  of  human  life  ?    What  elevation 
of  rank,  what  accumulaticxi  of  property,  can  exempt 
men  from  a  dependence,  for  much  of  their  daily  com- 
fort, on  their  fellow-creatures?    Or,  are  our  attain- 
ments in  knowledge  and  virtue  such  as  should  inspire 
us  with  self-gratulation  ?    How  deplorable  has  been 
the  condition  of  mankind  in  all  ages,  when  destitute  of 
fhe  light  of  revelation !     How  profound  has  been  their 
ignorance  concerning  things  the  most  necessary,  and 
things  the  most  awfully  important !    They  have  lived 
without  God,  worshipped  the  host  of  heaven,  have 
deified  their  fellow-creatures,  and  even  the  most  loath- 
some reptiles :    and  even  where  the  light  of  truth 
shines,  how  reluctant  are  human  beings  to  admit  it, 
and  to  put  off  the  works  of  darkness,  and  to  walk  as 
children  of  light !    They  are  most  sinful  and  rebellious 
in  regard  to  God,  they  are  often  deceitful,  slanderous, 
^ivious,  and  oppressive  in  regard  to  one  another,  bxA 
they  are,  in  regard  to  themselves,  foolish,  enslaved, 
and  miserable.     The  termination  of  this  career  of 
folly  and  guilt,  in  so  far  as  this  world  is  concerned,  iA 
the  grave. 

Surely,  then,  the  man  who  takes  a  just  view  of  his 
character  and  condition ; — of  his  chariacter  as  a  Victor 


HumUity.  185 

of  the  law  of  God,  and  as  meriting  his  dispteasure,*— 
as  prone  to  error  and  to  sin,  and,  therefore,  to  the 
neglect  of  the  means  of  his  true  happiness ;  and  of 
bis  condition  in  aU  its  relations  to  God,  to  his  fellow- 
creatures,  to  eternity,  and  to  himself,  must  feel  his 
own  unworthiness  and  nothingness,  and,  consequently, 
must  be  humble.  When  he  looks  to  the  purity  of 
that  God  whose  loye  should  regulate  every  feeling  of 
his  heart,  and  to  the  extent  and  the  authority  of  that 
law  of  which  he  is  the  subject,  and  compares  with 
this  the  tenor  of  his  thoughts  and  of  his  life,  can  any 
other  feeling  arise  in  his  heart  than  that  of  the  man; 
''  who,  standing  afiir  off,  would  not  lift  up  so  inudi  as 
his  eyes  to  heaven,  but  smote  upon  his  breast,  saying, 
God  be  merciful  to  me  a  sinner !" 

The  arrogance  which  leads  a  being  who  depends 
every  moment  for  his  health,  his  reason,  his  comfort, 
his  exbtence,  on  the  will  of  another,  and  who  can  by 
no  artifices  clear  himself,  even  to  his  own  satisfaction, 
from  the  charge  of  sin,  to  say  to  his  feliow-creatures, 
''Stand  by,  for  lam  holier  than  thou,"  is,  indeed, 
founded  on  extreme  ignorance,  as  it  is  on  presump* 
tion.  This  arrogance,  which  is  so  natural  to  man, 
and  which  he  is  so  apt  to  cherish  ftom  the  most  trifling 
drcuznstances, — circumstances  which  distinguish  him 
from  those  who  are  lower  than  himself,  not  in  moral 
worth,  but  in  external  rank  and  situation  in  society ; 
is  reprehended  in  language  of  peculiar  severity  by 
our  Lord,  and  represented  as  forming  a  barrier  to  an 
entrance  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 

Christian  humility  is  recommended  to  us  by  many 
consideratione,*— by  its  being  pleasing  to  God,-*by 


188  HmHitg. 

itopioiDiiwiieyiathocbanieterofllm^^ 
Muunple  we  are  to  fQUow,'^-4>7  the  necessary  put 
which  it  fyaoA  in  the  Coundaticxi  of  all  real  exeeUeocei--*- 
by  its  being  indispensably  requisite  to  the  £sithfid 
discharge  of  all  our  dutie8,*-aad  by  its  being  the 
only  dharaeter  that  in  truth  aoooids  with  our  coDditioo. 
I.  Humility  is  pleasing  to  Qod.  He  is  pleased 
with  it  as  the  invariable  aooompaniment  and  indica« 
tion,  or,  rather^  as  forming^  a  part,  of  that  holiness 
which  is  the  reflection  of  his  own  moral  exoellenoes. 
<<  Be  dothed  with  humility ;  for  God  resisteth  the 
proud,  and  giyeth  grace  to  the  humble."  *'  Thus  saith 
the  High  and  Lofty  One  that  inhabiteth  eternity,  whose 
name  is  Holy ;  I  dwell  in  the  high  and  holy  place, 
with  him  also  that  is  of  a  contrite  and  humble  spirit, 
to  revive  the  spirit  of  the  humble,  and  to  revive  the 
heart  of  the  contrite  ones.'*  It  is  they  only  that  he 
can  view  with  favour  and  approbation,  who  think  justly 
of  him  and  of  themselves ;  who  feel  deeply  their  owo 
sinfiilness,  and  the  greatness  of  his  mercy ;  and  who 
look  to  him,  not  as  if  they  had  a  claim  of  right  to  ac- 
ceptance before  him,  but  as  hoping  that  he  may  grant 
them  forgiveness.  This  disposition,  produced,  as  it 
always  is,  by  a  view  of  the  character  of  Ood,  is  itself 
the  germ  of  all  the  excdlence  to  which  man  can  ever 
attain ;  and  is  so  pleasing  to  the  all-perfect  and  most 
glorious  God,  that  he  takes  up  his  abode  in  the'  hesrt 
in  which  it  has  a  place.  He  marks  its  possessory 
amid  outward  obscurity  and  privation,  as  bearmg  in 
some  degree  that  divine  image  in  whidi  man  wsfl 
originally  formed ;  and  he  dwells  with  him  as  his 
God,  to  cheer,  to  sustain^  and  to  si^ve  him* 


MmMi^.  in 


II.  Humility  uk  further  reconaiifindfid  to  us  by  its 
prcBUBency  in  tho  character  of  the  Redeemeri  whoso 
example  we  are  to  follow.      His  eondesoensioD  in 
uadertakiiig  and  in  finishing  his  mighty  work  is  so 
great,  that  the  mind  is  filled  with  admiration  and 
astonidmieDt.    Is  it  possible  that  He  who  is  dedaved 
to  be  the  image  of  the  invisible  God,  whose  nature 
and  attributes  are  divine,  should  leave  the  glories  of 
heaven,  should  come  down  to  a  world  of  revolt  and 
misery,  should  appear  among  us  in  the  form  of  man, 
should  exercise  a  ministry  of  unwearied  patience  and 
compassion,  should  endure  the  contradiction  of  sinnerSi 
should  be  mocked,  scourged,  condemned,  and  cruci« 
fled  i    This  is  indeed  humbleness  of  mind  that  has 
no  oomparison,  and  the  extent  of  which  infinitely  sur<- 
passes  our  comprehension  :-<^yet  it  is  proposed  for 
our  imitation  in  tiie  measure  of  which  we  are  capable. 
**  Let  nothing  be  done  through  strife  or  vain-glory ; 
but  in  lowliness  of  mind  let  each  esteem  another  better 
than  himsdf     Look  not  every  man  on  his  own  things, 
but  every  man  also  on  the  things  of  others.    Let  this 
mind  be  in  you  which  was  also  in  Christ  Jesus :  who 
being  in  the  fonn  of  Ood,  thought  it  not  robbery  to  be 
equid  with  God ;  but  made  himself  of  no  reputation, 
sad  took  upon  him  the  form  of  a  servant,  and  was 
made  in  the  likeness  of  man,  and  being  found  in 
&8hion  as  a  man,  he  humbled  himself,  and  became 
ebedient  unto  death,  even  the  death  of  the  cross/* 

Mark  the  whole  of  his  life,  the  circumstances  in 
which  he  conducted  his  ministry,  his  condescension  to 
Buffering  humanity  in  its  varied  forms,  his  compassion 
to  the  penitent,  his  readiness  to  succour  and  to  save 


188  Humility. 

even  a  dying  malefactor,  and  we  must  see  with  what 
truth  and  propriety  he  describes  himself  as  meek  and 
lowly  of  heart.  Can  we  in  any  degree  be  conformed 
to  his  image,  or  be  entitled  to  the  name  of  his  dis- 
ciples, without  some  of  that  humbleness  of  mind  which 
marked  his  advent,  his  life,  his  ministry,  and  his 
death? 

III.  This  virtue  is  further  recommended,  by  the 
consideration  that  it  is  the  necessary  foundation  of  all 
real  excellence.  This  is,  indeed,  so  obvious,  that  it  is 
become  a  common  remark,  that  humility  is  the  accom- 
paniment of  great  intellectual  and  moral  endowments ; 
while  pride  is  the  characteristic  of  ignorance  and 
superficial  attainments.  Would  not  the  feeling  of 
pride  arrest  the  progress  of  an  archangel  in  his  bright 
and  interminable  career  of  improvement,  and  not 
only  prevent  him  from  reaching  that  height  of  moral 
glory  which  is  before  him,  but  cast  him  down,  as  it 
did  the  angels  of  light,  into  moral  darkness  and 
ruin  ?  Who  has  ever  risen  to  high  excellence  among 
men,  who  has  not  been  remarkable  for  his  humility  ? 

Such  a  person  must  have  lowly  views  of  himself, 
just  because  he  sees  things  as  they  are ;— elevated 
above  the  horizon  of  others,  he  has  a  fuller  discovery 
of  the  progress  he  has  yet  to  make  in  knowledge, 
wisdom,  and  holiness ; — ^and  measuring  himself  by 
the  standard  of  excellence  on  which  he  fixes  bis 
gaze,  he  feels  the  utter  insignificance  of  his  actual 
attainments.  ''  It  is  in  this  way  that  the  very  religion 
which  ennobles  man,  leads  him  not  to  pride,  but  to 
humility.  It  elevates  him  from  the  smoke  and  dust 
of  earth ;  but  it  elevates  him  above  the  darkness,  that 


Humility.  189 

he  may  see  better  the  great  heights  that  are  above 
him.  It  shews  him,  not  the  mere  excellence  of  a  few 
frail  creatures,  as  fallible  ^as  himself,  but  excellence, 
the  very  conception  of  which  is  the  highest  effort  that 
can  be  made  by  man;  exhibiting  thus  constantly, 
what  it  will  be  the  only  honour  worthy  of  his  nature 
to  imitate,  however  faintly, — ^and  checking  his  mo- 
mentary pride,  at  every  step  of  his  glorious  progress, 
by  the  brightness  and  the  vastness  of  what  is  still 
before  him. 

"  It  is  in  this  way  we  are  to  account  for  that 
humility  which  is  so  peculiarly  a  part  of  the  christian 
diaracter,  as  contrasted  with  the  general  pride  which 
other  systems  either  recommend  or  allow.  The 
christian  religion  is,  indeed,  as  has  been  often 
sarcastically  said,  by  those  who  revile  it,  the  religion 
of  the  humble  in  heart ;  but  it  is  the  religion  of  the 
humble,  only  because  it  presents  to  our  contemplation 
a  higher  excellence  than  was  ever  before  exhibited  to 
man.  The  proud  look  down  upon  the  earth,  and  see 
nothing  that  creeps  upon  its  surface  more  noble  than 
themselves.  The  humble  look  upward  to  their 
God*." 

He,  then,  who  would  make  progress  in  excellence 
of  any  kind,  but  more  especially  in  the  excellences 
of  christian  virtue ;  who  would  appear  fully  arrayed  in 
all  the  graces  of  the  christian  life,  must  be  clothed  with 
humility.  He  will  not  aim  at  the  prize  of  his  high- 
calling  of  God  in  Christ  Jesus,  unless  he  sensibly 
feels  his  deficiency,  and  that  he  has  not  yet  attained, 
neither  is  already,  perfect.    The  opportunities  given 

*  Brown*g  Lectures  on  the  Philos.  of  the  Hum.  Mind,  vol.  iii.  p.  318. 


i|L90  HumiUiy. 

him  will  be  misimproved,  the  talents  conferred  will  be 
neglected,  and  he  will  pass  onwards  to  the  end  of  Iife» 
proud  and  8elf*sufficient,  and  without  those  attainmente 
by  which  alone  human  beings  are  qualified  to  take 
part  in  the  society  of  the  celestial  world.  To  illus- 
trate the  necessity  of  this  self-renunciation,  this 
lowliness  of  heart,  Jesus,  when  asked,  ''  Who  is  the 
greatest  in  the  kingdom  of  heaven?"  called  a  little 
child  unto  him,  and  set  him  in  the  midst  of  them,  and 
said,  "  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  except  ye  be  converted, 
and  become  as  little  children,  ye  shall  not  enter  into 
the  kingdom  of  heaven.  Whosoever,  therefore,  shall 
humble  himself  as  this  little  child,  the  same  is  greatest 
in  the  kingdom  of  heaven.'* 

IV.  Humility  is  indispensably  requisite  to  the 
discharge  of  our  duties*  Without  it,  how  can  we 
practise  those  which  we  owe  to  God  ?  How  can  we 
obey  his  oommandments,-without  the  mitire  subjection 
to  his  will  and  authority  which  is  essential  to  all 
obedience  ?  How  can  we  believe  his  troth,  under  the 
influence  of  the  pride  of  reason  and  of  knowledge  ? 
How  can  we  submit  to  his  dispensations  with  lofty 
and  unjust  views  of  what  is  due  to  ourselves  ?  How 
can  we  aspire  to  a  higher  confonnity  to  the  divine 
image,  when  we  are  so  well  satisfied  with  the  degt^ 
of  excellence  which  we  have  attained  ? 

Nor,  with  the  absence  of  this  christian  virtue,  shall 
we  be  less  deficient  in  our  duties  to  our  feUow* 
creatures.  These  should  emanate  from  the  lore  of 
benevolence*  or  of  good  will  and  compassion ;  ^^^ 
pride  prevents  the  existence  and  operation  rf  **^ 
afiection,  and  incapacitates  the  mind  from  fonniog  ^ 


HumUity.  191 

fair  estimate  of  the  rights  of  others.  The  proud  man 
may  be  upright  in  his  dealings,  just  because  he  is  too 
proud  to  be  otherwise ;  but  will  he  esteem  others 
better  than  himself,  and  view  their  claims  with  the 
kindness  and  the  candour  whidi»  by  the  law  of  love, 
and  by  the  law  of  God,  he  is  bound  to  do  ?  Does  not 
{M'ide  give  rise  to  implacable  and  revengefial  fedings, 
and  produce  misery  in  families  and  in  nations? 

As  little  is  it  possible,  without  humility,  for  a  man 
to  diadiarge  aright  the  duties  whidi  he  owen  himself. 
How  can  he  practise  self«examination  and  true  re« 
pentance?  How  can  he  take  heed  to  his  immortal 
interests,  when  he  is  void  of  that  state  of  mind  by 
which  he  can  value  and  pursue  aright  the  redemption 
of  the  soul? 

y.  Humility  alone  accords  with  our  ccmdition. 
Without  alluding  again  to  our  dependence,  helpless* 
ness,  and  sinfiilness,  I  may  notice  that  pride  is  un* 
suited  to  our  absolute  insignificance  and  ignorance. 
Of  the  parts,  the  structure,  the  designs  of  that  universe 
in  the  midst  of  which  we  are  placed,  we  know  com- 
paratively nothing.  Yet  even  the  traces  c^  power, 
intelligence  and  wisdom,  of  power  so  vast,  of  wisdom 
80  wonderful  and  unerring,  observable  throughout 
this  work  of  God,  are  such  as  make  us  feel  the  very 
limited  nature  of  our  faculties,  and  the  condescension 
of  the  great  Lord  and  Ruler  of  all  in  consulting  our 
happiness.  *'  When  I  consider  the  heavens,  the 
work  of  thy  fingers,  the  moon  and  the  stars,  whidi 
thou  hast  ordained ;  what  is  man  that  thou  art  mindfiil 
of  him,  and  the  son  of  man  that  thou  visitest  him?" 


192 


Chapter  VIII. 


REVERENCE  OF  GOD. 


Rbvbrence  of  God  is  that  state  of  mind  which  is  na- 
turally produced  by  a  view  of  his  greatness  and  ma* 
jesty,  as  infinitely  powerful,  wise,  holy,  just,  and 
good;  and  is  to  be  distinguished  from  that  servile 
torm^iting  fear  which  is  the  accompaniment  of  de- 
spair. The  reverence  of  which  I  speak,  is  a  filial 
affection,  involved  in  the  exercise  of  that  love  which  is 
the  fulfilling  of  the  law,  and  proceeding  from  just  con- 
ceptions of  the  character  of  God,  as  a  Being  of  bound- 
less purity  and  justice,  as  well  as  of  mercy  and  good- 
ness. It  is  to  be  exercised  in  regard  to  his  titles,  his 
attributes,  his  word,  his  ordinances,  his  works,  and 
every  thing  by  which  he  makes  known  his  character 
and  will 

That  this  affection  is  involved  in  the  exercise  of 
love  to  God,  and  forms  an  essential  element  in  the 
formation  of  a  virtuous  character,  must  be  apparent 
from  a  slight  consideration  of  the  nature  of  God  and 
the  nature  of  man,  and  the  relations  which  the  one 
be^rs  to  the  other.  What  intelligent  being,  however 
exalted,  can  contemplate  the  awful  perfections  of  Him 
whose  glories  no  eye  hath  fully  seen,  or  can  see, 
without  the  deepest  awe?  The  seraphim  are  repre- 
sented as  covering  their  faces  with  their  wings,  as 
they  stand  in  the  posture  of  humility  and  reverence 
before  his  throne,  and  respond  one  to  another,  saying, 


On  Reverence  of  God.  193 

"  Holy,  holy,  holy,  is  the  Lord  of  hosts ;  the  whole 
earth  is  full  of  his  glory.*'  Is  it  not  meet  tliat  man,  so 
weak  and  sinful,  should  habitually  entertain  the  same 
holy  fear  in  reference  to  God,  in  his  character,  per- 
fections, and  government  ?  Is  it  possible  for  him  to 
have  just  apprehensions  of  God,  in  the  perfection  of 
his  character,  as  glorious  in  holiness,  as  well  as  rich 
in  mercy,  and,  at  the  same  time,  not  to  be  awed  by 
his  presence,  nor  to  feel  reverence  and  godly  fear  in 
regard  to  him  ?  Or,  is  it  desirable  that  a  being,  so 
forgetful  as  man  is  of  the  high  and  holy  ends  of  his 
existence,  should  ever  be  freed,  even  were  it  possible, 
from  the  fear  of  that  God  who  is,  indeed,  his  father, 
but  who  is  also  his  supreme  moral  governor  and 
judge? 

So  closely  allied  is  the  fear  of  God  to  the  love  of 
God,  that  the  one,  and  especially  in  the  Old  Testa- 
ment, is  put  for  the  other,  and  is  used  frequently  to 
denote  that  moral  and  religious  character  which  is  the 
object  of  divine  approbation.     ''  Happy  is  the  man 
that  feareth  alway :   but  he  that  hardeneth  his  heart 
shall  fall  into  mischief.    I  will  put  my  fear  into  their 
hearts,  and  they  shall  not  depart  from  me.    The  fear 
of  the  Lord  is  the  beginning  of  wisdom.     The  fear 
of  the  Lord  is  a  fountain  of  life."     In  the  New 
Testament,  the  exercise  of  mind  implied  in  this  ex- 
pression is  repeatedly  mentioned  as  essential  to  the 
Christian  character.     **  Pass  the  time  of  your  so- 
journing here  in  fear.     Work  out  your  salvation  with 
fear  and  trembling.     Let  us  therefore  fear,  lest,  a 
promise  being  left  us  of  entering  into  his  rest,  any  of 
you  should  seem  to  come  short  pf  it.    Having,  there- 

VOL.  II.  o 


194  On  Reverence  of  God. 

fore>  these  promises,  dearly  beloved,  let  us  cleanse 
ourselves  frcnn  all  filthiness  of  the  flesh,  and  of  the 
spirit,  perfecting  hdiness  in  the  fear  of  God." 

From  these,  and  many  similar  passages,  it  appears 
that  the  fear  or  reverence  of  God  enjoined,  is  an 
affection  of  mind  totally  different  from  painful  ap* 
prehension  and  desponding  dread ; — ^that  it  is  essen- 
tial to  true  and  acceptable  worship;— that  it  is  not 
only  conducive,  but  necessary  to  true  obedience  and 
progressive  holiness ;— that  it  is  not  (xly  compatible 
with  the  highest  delight  and  confidence  of  God  in  this 
world,  but  ess^itial  to  the  glory  and  happiness  of 
heaven ; — and  that  it  is  the  source  of  true  fidddty  and 
fortitude,  and  the  evidence  of  real  piety. 

I.  It  is  an  affection  of  mind  totally  different  from 
painful  apprehension  and  desponding  dread.  The 
object  of  fear  to  sinful  mortals  is  often,  at  the  same 
time,  the  object  of  hatred.  A  successful  and  powerful 
rival  is  sometimes  disliked  while  he  is  feared.  When 
the  awful  perfections  of  God  are  contemplated  with- 
out love  to  his  character,  the  feelings  excited  are 
alienaticm  and  dread.  It  is  thus  that  they  are  afiected, 
who  are  said  to  believe  in  God  and  tremble. 

Nor  is  the  fear  of  the  sinner,  when  first  awakened 
to  behold  the  majesty  of  God,  and  to  a  sense  of  his 
guilt,  free  from  painful  apprehensions.  His  view, 
however  imperfect,  of  the  power,  wisdom,  and  espe- 
cially of  the  holiness  of  God,  of  the  rectitude  of  his 
moral  government,  of  the  authority  of  his  law,  and  of 
his  own  transgressions,  suggests  to  him  guilt  which 
he  has  incurred,  concerns  of  awful  moment  which  he 
has  neglected,  and  the  just  displeasure  of  the  great 


On  R§wrene0  of  Ood.  \%s 

and  holy  Lord  God  as  the  oontequenoe.  Under  this 
feeling,  Paul  the  prisoner,  as  he  reasoned  ooneeming 
rigfateouaness,  temperance,  and  Judgment  to  tiome, 
made  Felix,  his  judge,  tremble.  Under  the  influence 
of  the  same  emotion  has  the  question  often  been 
asked,  <«  What  shall  I  do  to  be  saved?"  It  is  easy  to 
see  why,  in  fallen  and  guilty  beings^  this  species  of 
fear  should  precede  filial  reverence.  It  does  ndt 
always  nor  necessarily  issue  in  this  holy  affection ; 
but  it  does  so  in  every  case  in  whidl  it  ^adri  to  true 
repentance,  and  the  love  and  the  obediende  of  Qod. 

That  godly  fear,  which  we  style  the  reverence  ef 
God^  in  place  of  having  any  thing  in  it  of  alienation 
and  distrust,  is  inseparably  connected  with  delight  in 
his  greatness  and  glory,  with  the  most  earnest  desire 
to  please  him,  and  with  a  willing  subjection  to  his 
auttiority.  This  pleasing,  solemn  awe  is  felt  whM  his 
character  is  contemplated  by  all  who  truly  love  him  ^-^ 
it  is  felt  in  the  survey  of  wbtt^Ver  brings  his  glorious 
perfections  to  the  view  of  the  mind, — in  Icfoking  t6 
the  heavens  which  declare  his  glory,  aild  to  the  firma- 
ment which  sheweth  forth  his  h^dy^work ;  to  the 
intelligence,  power,  wisdom,  and  goodness,  which  the 
beauty,  order,  and  magnificence  of  nature,  so  impres- 
sively disclose  ;-~to  the  operation  of  his  vital  pres^ice 
in  the  wonders  of  his  providential  govenunelit ; — ^to  his 
word,  which  so  much  more  fidly,  and  under  far  more 
endearing  characters,  reveals  him  ;'*— and  in  the  ob- 
servance of  the  instituted  ordinances  of  his  worship, 
in  which  we  are  said  to  draw  near  unto  God.  In  a 
word,  when  God,  in  his  character,  his  works,  and  his 

ways,  is  the  object  of  our  contemplation,  it  must  be 

o  s 


196  On  Reverence  of  God. 

as  natural  for  us  to  think  of  Him  with  the  profoundest 
reverence,  if  our  hearts  be  right  with  him,  as  it  is  for  a 
dutifiil  child  to  respect  an  aged  and  venerable  parent. 
Nor  can  we  refrain  from  feeling  what  is  uttered  in  the 
language  of  heaven,  "  Who  shall  not  fear  thee,  0 
Lord,  and  glorify  thy  name  ?  For  thou  only  art  holy." 
II.  Reverence  of  the  character  and  perfections  of 
God  is  essential  to  true  and  acceptable  worship.  The 
mind,  indeed,  is  not  fit  to  draw  near  to  God,  and  to 
ofifer  him  the  homage  which  is  suited  to  his  nature 
and  attributes,  unless  it  is  affected  with  solemn  awe 
in  his  presence.  Unless  the  worshipper  is  thus 
aflfected,  his  worship  is  neither  profitable  to  himself 
nor  pleasing  to  God.  ''  I  will  be  sanctified  in  them 
that  come  nigh  me,  and  before  all  the  people  I  will  be 
glorified."  Wherefore,  saith  the  Apostle,  "  Let  us 
have  grace,  whereby  we  may  serve  him  acceptably, 
with  reverence  and  godly  fear ;  for  our  God  is  a  con- 
suming fire."  "  As  for  me,'*  says  the  Psalmist,  "  I  will 
oome  into  thy  house  in  the  multitude  of  thy  mercies ; 
and  in  thy  fear  will  I  worship  toward  thy  holy  temple." 
Nor  should  we  here  forget  that  remarkable  passage  of 
the  Prophet  Isaiah,  in  which  God,  after  alluding  to 
his  own  majesty  and  glory,  promises  his  peculiar  fa- 
vour to  the  fearer  of  his  name  and  of  his  law.  "  Thus 
saith  the  Lord,  the  heaven  is  my  throne,  and  the  earth 
is  my  footstool :  where  is  the  house  that  ye  build  unto 
me,  and  where  is  the  place  of  my  rest  ?  For  all  those 
things  hath  mine  hand  made,  and  all  those  things  have 
been,  saith  the  Lord ;  but  to  this  man  will  I  look,  even 
to  him  that  is  poor,  and  of  a  contrite  spirit,  and  trem- 
bkth  at  my  word." 


On  Reverence  of  God.  197 

To  worship  God  with  rewrence  is  to  think  of  him, 
and  to  address  him,  with  awe  of  the  power  that  has 
given  being  to  all  things,  and  which  can  create  and 
can  destroy, — of  the  boundless  wisdom  that  designed 
the  work  of  creation,  and  the  nobler  work  of  human 
redemption, — of  the  goodness  which  is  over  all  his 
works,  and  which  supplies  the  wants  of  every  living 
thing, — of  the  patience  whidi  endures  with  much  long- 
suffering  the  provocations  of  the  wicked,  and  which 
gives  to  the  children  of  disobedience  time  for  repent- 
ance,— of  the  mercy  that  pardons  the  penitent,  but 
that  pardons  him  through  an  atonement  of  infinite 
value.  Nor  is  it  possible  for  this  profound  awe  to 
be  absent  from  the  mind  in  our  approaches  unto  Qod, 
did  we  think  aright  of  the  greatness  and  the  spotless 
purity  of  Him  who  fills  heaven  and  earth  with  his 
presence,  and  of  the  myriads  of  exalted  spirits  who 
continually  minister  before  him,  and  celebrate  his 
glories.  Were  the  vision  opened  up  to  the  eye  of  our 
faith,  and  could  we  see,  however  dimly,  the  glories  of 
the  King  eternal,  immortal,  and  invisible,  we  should 
wonder  at  His  condescension,  and  be  ready  to  ex- 
claim with  the  deepest  humiUty  and  reverence.  Will 
God  in  very  deed  dwdl  with  men  upon  the  earth  ? 

III.  It  is  not  only  conducive,  but  essentially  neces- 
sary to  true  obedience,  and  to  progressive  holiness. 
The  great  motive  to  obedience  to  the  will  of  God,  and 
that  vrithout  which  all  others  would  be  of  no  avail, 
is  love :  but  love,  even  when  perfect,  though  it  casts 
out  the  fear  that  hath  torment,  implies  and  requires 
the  reverential  fear  of  God.  This  latter  principle 
pQ69ess(^  a  power  that  adapts  it  to  our  nature  and 


108  On  Reverence  of  Ood. 

drcumstanoes,  and  is  neosssary  to  impel  U8  forward 
with  aeal  and  watchfulness  in  the  path  of  righteous- 
ness. Hence  the  terms  in  which  Solomon  sums  up 
the  conclusion  of  the  whole  matter :  '^  Fear  Qod,  and 
keep  his  commandments ;  for  that  is  all  that  oonoem- 
eth  man.  For  Qod  shall  bring  every  work  into  judg- 
ment, with  every  secret  thing,  whether  it  be  good, 
or  whether  it  be  evil/'  Here  the  inspired  writer 
assumes,  tliat  the  fear  of  Ood  established  in  the 
heart,  would  operate  as  a  preventive  to  sloth,  im- 
piety, and  unrighteousness,  and  would  prompt  to  an 
universal  obedience  to  the  commandments. 

The  light  in  which  God  makes  himself  known  to  us 
in  the  Scriptures,  is  well  calculated  to  awe  as  well  as 
to  dieer  the  soul.  He  has  shewn  himself  to  be  the 
Ood  of  love ;  but  he  has  given  a  demonstration  at  the 
same  time  of  his  holiness  and  justice.  It  is  afl&imed, 
of  the  same  glorious  God  that  he  delighteth  in 
mercy,  and  that  his  wrath  is  revealed  from  heavm 
against  all  ungodUness  and  unrighteousness  of  men ; 
that  he  is  a  consuming  fire,  and  that  it  is  a  fearful 
thing  to  fall  into  his  hands.  Is  not  this  combination 
of  diaracter  harmoniously  displayed  in  the  Cross  of 
Christ  ?  Do  we  qot  there  behold  free  and  unbounded 
mercy  to  the  sinner,  and  unsparing  wrath  against  sin, 
eternal  love  bestowii\g  an  unspeakaUe  gift,  and  jus- 
tice by  the  most  awfiil  inflictioii  vindicatmg  its  honour? 

Hence  the  union  of  fear  and  love  in  the  mind  of 
every  believer, — ^an  union  which  is  maintained  by 
every  view  of  the  divine  character,  by  the  promises 
and  threatenings,  the  invitations  and  warnings,  of  the 
Holy  Scriptuies, — and  an  union  which  exerts  a  haiq)y 


On  Reverence  of  God.  199 

influence  in  keeping  in  continued  exercise  all  the  chris- 
tian graces,  and  producing  all  those  apparently  oppo- 
site dispositions  which  characterize  the  humble,  watch- 
jRiI,  self-diffident,  resigned,  and  spiritually-minded  dis- 
ciple of  Christ  He  is  reminded,  that  while  his  sin  is 
pardoned,  its  wages  is  death ;  that  this  death  was  in^ 
flicted  in  all  its  bitterness  on  that  divine  person  who 
obeyed  and  suffered  in  his  rocmi ;  and  that  in  no  way 
can  he  escape  final  condemnation,  but  by  continuing 
in  the  &ith  and  holiness  of  the  gospel  to  the  end.  At 
every  period,  even  the  most  advanced  of  his  course, 
is  the  caution  appUcable :  if  we  sin  wilMy.  after  we 
have  received  the  knowledge  of  the  truth,  there  re- 
maineth  no  more  sacrifice  for  sin,  but  a  certain  fearful 
loddng  for  of  judgment  and  fiery  indignation,  which 
shall  devour  the  adversaries. 

Not  only  is  the  whole  scheme  of  divine  truth  thus 
adapted  to  inspire  and  to  keep  alive  in  the  mind  a 
godly  fear,  but  the  representations  which  are  given 
of  the  righteous  and  the  wicked,  shew  its  necessity^ 
to  continued   and    progressive  obedience.    Of  the 
latter,  it  is  said,  that  they  have  not  the  fear  of  God 
before  their  eyes ;  of  the  former,  that  they  fear  God, 
and  esdiew  evil.    What  is  the  character  given  of  the 
unjust  judge,  who  neglected  the  duties  of  his  office  ? 
That  he  feared  not  God,  nor  regarded  man.    Obadiab, 
that  benevolent  and  heroic  individual,  who  hid  a  hun- 
dred and  fifty  of  the  prophets  of  the  Lord  fix>m  the  per- 
secuting Jesebel,  is  described  as  one  that  feared  the 
Lord  greatly.    If,  in  a  word,  this  principle  were  to  be 
removed  from  the  mind,  we  cease  to  be  safe,  whatever 
were  our  previous  attainments,  just  because  we  cease 


200  On  Reverence  of  God. 

to  be  watchful*  and  zealously  conoemed  to  stand  per- 
fect and  complete  in  all  the  will  of  God. 

IV.  (xodly  fear  is  not  only  compatible  with  the 
highest  delight  and  confidence  in  God,  but  is  so  essen- 
tial to  the  holiness  of  a  dependent  being,  that  it  will 
abide  for  ever  in  heaven.  That  the  first  part  of  this 
proposition,  namely,  its  compatibility  with  the  highest 
delight  and  confidence  in  God,  is  true,  is  proved  by 
the  abundant  testimony  of  revelation.  How  elevated 
are  the  strains  in  which  the  Psalmist  expresses  his 
joy  and  confidence  in  God ;  and  yet  it  is  in  the  Book 
of  Psalms  that  we  are  commanded  to  serve  the  Lord 
with  fear,  and  to  rejoice  with  trembling.  None  of 
the  inspired  writers  seem  farther  removed  beyond 
the  experience  of  ordinary  Christians,  in  the  liveliness 
with  which  he  anticipated  heavenly  felicity,  and  in 
the  lofty  and  unqualified  terms  in  which  he  speaks  of 
the  assurance  of  his  hope  than  the  Apostle  Paul ;  and 
yet  he  unites  himself  with  his  fellow-disdples  when  he 
addresses  them  in  the  language  of  caution,  "  Let  us^ 
therefore,  fear,  lest  a  promise  being  lefl  us  of  entering 
into  his  rest,  any  of  you  should  seem  to  come  short  of 
it — ^I  keep  under  my  body,  and  bring  it  into  subjec- 
tion ;  lest,  that  by  any  means,  when  I  have  preached 
to  others,  I  myself  should  be  a  cast-away." 

That  reverence  of  the  character  of  God  animates 
all  pure  beings  throughout  the  universe,  and  wiU  con* 
tinue  for  ever  with  the  worshippers  of  heaven,  is  a 
position  which,  after  the  observations  already  made, 
requires  no  proof.  This  reverence  will  become  more 
profound  by  every  additional  discovery  of  the  glory 
of  God.    While  the  manifestation  of  his  awf«l  Mft' 


On  the  Nature  and  Guilt  of  Impiety.  201 

jesty  will  fill  the  wicked  with  terror,  it  will  be  viewed 
with  love,  as  well  as  with  holy  fear,  by  the  pure  in* 
habitants  of  the  celestial  world. 

V.  The  fear  of  God  is  the  only  source  of  true  forti* 
tude.  While  the  fear  of  man  brings  a  snare,  and 
incapacitates  for  the  firm  and  faithful  discharge  of 
duty,  the  fear  of  God  inspires  us  with  intrepidity, 
and  makes  us  fearless  of  danger  and  of  death,  so 
that  we  win  his  favour.  With  this  principle  fixed  in 
the  heart,  we  estimate  things  according  to  their  true 
value,  and  justly  conclude,  that  it  will  profit  us  nothing, 
though  we  should  gain  the  whole  world,  were  we  to 
acquire  it  with  his  frown,  on  whose  judgment  our 
being  and  our  happiness  depend.  **  I  say  unto  you, 
my  friends,  be  not  afraid  of  them  that  can  kill  the 
body,  and  after  that  have  no  more  that  they  can  do : 
but  I  will  forewarn  you  whom  you  shall  fear,  fear  him 
which,  after  he  hath  killed,  hath  power  to  cast  into 
hell :  I  say  unto  you,  fear  Him." 


Chapter  IX. 

ON  THE  NATURE  AND  GUILT  OF  IMPIETY. 

The  sin  prohibited  in  the  third  commandment,  is  the 
vice  opposed  to  reverence  of  God,  or  impiety  and 
pro&nation.  *'  Thou  shalt  not  take  the  name  of  the 
Lord  thy  God  in  vain ;  for  the  Lord  will  not  hold  him 
guiltless  that  taketh  hid  name  in  vain. " 


MS  Ontke  Nature  a$ul  Otdlt  of  ImpUhf. 

Numerous  are  the  ways  in  which  impiety  is  shewn, 
and  this  command  violated.  It  is  impious  to  use  the 
name  of  Ood  lightly  or  irreverently,  and  without 
necessity.  All  the  forms  of  cursing  and  swearing 
in  common  language,  are*  therefore,  obvious  indica* 
tions  of  a  pro&ne  mind.  Perjury,  or  false  swearing, 
because  the  person  guilty  of  it  is  usually  mcve  deli* 
berate  in  its  commission,  is  impiety  in  its  most  ag- 
gravated and  awful  extent.  It  is  to  be  feared,  that 
wh6n  oaths  are  so  frequently  required,  as  the  laws  of 
most  nations  demand,  this  crime,  so  insulting  to  the 
omniscience  and  omnipresence  of  Qod,  is  often  com- 
mitted. 

This  command  is  also  violated,  when  God  is  not 
seen  nor  glorified  in  his  worics ;  and  when,  in  place 
of  being  referred  to  his  power,  and  wisdom,  and  good- 
ness, they  are  vilified,  and  ascribed  to  chance  or  fate. 
The  mind  that  can  survey  the  glories  of  heaven,  and 
the  ever-varying  and  stupendous  works  of  that  uni- 
verse in  the  midst  of  which  we  are  placed,  without 
the  profoundest  reverence  for  that  eternal  God  who 
is  the  author,  the  mover,  and  the  preserver  of  all, 
may,  indeed,  be  charged  with  a  feeling,  if  not  impious, 
at  least  closely  akin  to  it. 

But  the  word  of  God  is  that  in  which  he  has  more 
clearly  and  fully  displayed  his  character,  perfections, 
and  purposes.  It  particularly  reveals  the  plan  of 
redeeming  love  and  mercy,  through  the  atoning  sacri* 
flee  of  Christ.  This  word,  therefore,  he  has  magni* 
fled  above  all  his  name ;  that  is,  it  is  a  richer  dis- 
covery of  himself,  and  of  his  ways,  than  is  elsewhere 
to  be  seen  in  his  works ;  and  so  highly  does  he  value 


On  the  NaUtre  and  QuOt  of  Impiety.  MS 

it»  that  he  fulfils  all  that  it  announoes,  that  he  is 
pleased  with  the  reverential  mind  of  him  ^o  trem- 
Ues  at  it,  and  that  heaven  and  earth  shall  sooner  pass 
away  than  that  one  jot,  or  one  tittle  of  it^  shall  fail. 

But  how  is  this  word  treated  and  entertained  by 
multitudes  of  those  to  whom  it  is  sent  ?  Numbers 
not  only  reject  it,  but  reject  it  with  derision  and  soom. 
How  o&jsa  is  it  made  the  subject  of  jest,  and  intro* 
duced  in  conversation,  and  in  writing,  for  the  purpose 
of  exciting  a  laugh !  Others  impiously  lay  it  aside 
as  unworthy  of  their  study,  and  conduct  themselves 
towards  it  as  if  it  were  not  certain  truth,  as  if  it  re- 
vealed not  things  of  the  very  deepest  concernment, 
as  if  it  were  all  a  cunningly-devised  &ble,  without 
authority  and  without  foundation.  Should  such  per* 
sons  attend  the  instituted  ordinances  of  divine  wor- 
ship, they  carry  their  irreverence  along  mth  them, 
and  feel  not  awed  by  the  majesty  of  His  presence 
who  is  the  object  of  worship,  nor  concerned  to  draw 
near  unto  him  with  that  state  of  mind  in  which  a 
creature,  and  more  especially  a  sinful  creature^  should 
^pproadi  unto  Oqd. 

The  aggravation  of  this  sin  is,  that  it  is  a 
attack  upon  God :  it  is  known  rebellion  against 
authority.  His  name,  bis  titles,  his  diq)ensations» 
his  laws,  his  word,  his  day,  are  lightly  treated  and 
abused,  because  they  are  God's.  Has  not  the  Lord 
aaid,  that  he  will  not  hold  them  guiUlesB  who  are 
chargeable  with  this  crime  1  May  they  not  expect  to 
be  visited  by  Him  with  the  punishment  they  deserve, 
and  to  be  hereafter  held  up  to  shame,  and  to  ever-- 
lasting  contempt  1 


904  On  ike  Nature  and  Guilt  of  Impiety. 

How  often  are  they  who  are  guilty  of  this  vice,  left 
in  this  life  to  the  hardening  influence  of  sin, — ^to  be 
the  corrupters  of  those  with  whom  they  may  associate, 
— to  the  judgments  of  God  here,  and  to  a  still  more 
fearful  punishment  hereafter?  Shun  it,  and  those 
who  practise  it,  as  you  would  the  pestilence,  as  you 
would  the  greatest  calamity  that  can  befall  you ;  shun 
it  as  you  value  the  peace  of  your  own  minds ;  and  if 
you  have  a  remaining  wish  to  revere  the  awful  Majesty 
of  heaven,  remember  that  there  is  a  period  approach- 
ing that  will  make  us  all  feel  deeply  serious,  and 
when  we  shall  wish  to  call  on  that  holy  name  which 
thousands  so  irreverendy  take  upon  their  lips. 

"  Infidelity,"  says  Paley,  "  is  served  up  in  every 
shape  that  is  likely  to  allure,  surprise,  or  beguile  the 
imagination ;  in  a  fable,  a  tale,  a  novel,  a  poem ;  in 
interspersed  and  broken  hints,  remote  and  oblique 
surmises;  in  books  of  travels,  of  philosophy,  of 
natural  history ;  in  a  word,  in  any  form  rather  than 
the  right  one, — ^that  of  a  professed  and  regular  dis- 
quisition. And  because  the  coarse  buffoonery,  and 
broad  laugh,  of  the  old  and  rude  adversaries  of  the 
Christian  faith,  would  offend  the  taste,  perhaps,  rather 
than  the  virtue  of  this  enlightened  age,  a  graver  irony, 
a  more  skilful  and  delicate  banter,  is  substituted  in 
their  place.  An  eloquent  historian,  beside  his  more 
direct,  and  therefore  fairer,  attacks  upon  the  credi- 
bility of  the  Evangelical  story,  has  contrived  to  weave 
into  his  narration  one  continued  sneer  upon  the  cause 
of  Christianity,  and  upon  the  writings  and  characters 
of  its  ancient  patrons.  The  knowledge  which  this 
author  possesses  of  the  frame  and  conduct  Qf  the 


On  Vofi>s.  a05 

human  mind,  must  have  led  him  to  observe,  that  such 
attacks  do  their  execution  without  inquiry.  Who  can 
refute  a  sneer  ?  Who  can  compute  the  number,  much 
less,  one  by  one,  scrutinize  the  justice  of  those  dis- 
paraging insinuations,  which  crowd  the  page  of  this 
elaborate  historian?  Wliat  reader  suspends  his 
curiosity,  or  calls  off  his  attention  from  the  principal 
narrative,  to  examine  references,  to  search  into  the 
foundation,  or  to  weigh  the  reason,  propriety,  and 
force,  of  every  transient  sarcasm  and  sly  allusion,  by 
which  the  Christian  testimony  is  depreciated  and 
traduced;  and  by  which,  nevertheless,  he  may  find 
his  persuasion  afterwards  unsettled  and  perplexed  *!** 


Chaptee  X. 

ON  vows. 

This  may  be  the  proper  place  for  shortly  inquiring 
into  the  nature  and  lawfulness  of  engagements  or 
vows  made  unto  God. 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  premise,  that  the  right 
of  God  to  command  the  love  and  obedience  of  his  in- 
telligent creatures,  does  not  rest  on  any  stipulation 
on  their  part  to  yield  what  he  requires.  This  arises 
from  the  infinite  excellency  of  his  nature,  and  is  com- 
mensurate with  that  excellency, — and  from  the  rela- 
tions he  bears  to  us,  as  Creator,  Preserver,  and  Moral 
Governor.   The  obligation  of  obeying  a  Being  who  is 

•  Mor.  Phil.  V.  ii.  p.  104. 


a06  On  Vom. 

thus  infinite  in  worth,  and  who  is  the  source  of  all 
that  is  estimable,  and  all  that  is  desirable  in  the  uoi* 
Terse,  begins  with  the  commencement  of  intelUgent 
and  moral  existence,  and  only  ceases  with  the  extinc- 
tion of  this  existence* 

Nor  is  the  obligation  which  thus  necessarily  accom- 
panies sudi  an  existence  diminished  or  altered,  by  our 
not  admowledging  it ;  or  by  our  refuwig  to  recognise 
it.  Were  this  the  case,  the  more  wicked  and  wilful 
in  wickedness  any  one  would  become,  the  less  would 
he  be  bound  to  obey  the  will  of  Gkxl :  so  that  the  con- 
duct of  those  angels  who  kept  not  their  first  estate 
woukl  be  less  sinfUl  than  that  of  man.  The  obliga- 
tions to  give  to  God  the  supreme  love  of  the  heart,  and 
to  do  his  commandments,  are  unalterable ;  and  though 
their  force  may  be  increased  by  the  continued  multi- 
plication of  mercies,  they  cannot  be  dissolved  by  our 
ceasing  to  recognise  them. 

Yet,  such  a  solemn  recognition  of  our  obligations 
to  love  and  serve  Grod,  as  deeply  aifects  the  heart, — 
such  a  recognition  as  implies  that  our  consent  is  given, 
and  that  our  seal  and  signature  are  appended,  is  ac- 
ceptable to  God,  and  may  be  profitable  to  us.  The 
three  following  may  be  mentioned  as  obvious  advan- 
tages which  result  from  such  a  transaction. 

I.  We  are  thus  called  to  survey  our  obligations, 
and  to  deepen  their  impression  on  the  heart.  As  often 
as  Israel  were  led  to  renew  their  engagements  to  be 
the  Lord's,  the  character  and  perfections  of  God  were 
set  forth  before  them,  and  they  were  reminded  of  the 
goodness  and  truth  which  he  had  shewn  them.  Such 
an  exercise  is  calculated  to  be  profitable  to  beings 


On  Vow.  Wt 

who  aie  so  prone  to  forget  the  God  that  made  them^ 
and  lightly  to  esteem  the  rock  of  their  salvation.  All 
have  need  of  frequently  recalling  to  their  minds4he 
obh'gations  by  which  they  are  bound  to  gbrify  Ood^ 
and  of  recounting  the  mercies  by  which  he  ia  calling 
them  to  the  love  of  himself  and  of  holiness.  WiU  not 
sudb  a  review  bring  their  Mures  in  duty  to  lig^  tend 
to  cherish  the  feelings  of  repentance,  and  be  produo* 
ti ve  of  resolutions  of  new  obedience  % 

TL  In  solemnly  recognising  our  obligations  to  love 
and  serve  God ;  that  is»  in  entering,  as  it  were,  into 
covenant  with  God,  our  faculties  as  moral  and  account* 
able  agents  are  exercised.  We  voluntarily  bind  our^ 
selves  to  fulfil  those  obligations  which  devolve  upon 
us  as  the  creatures  and  as  the  servants  of  God ;  and 
we  thus  declare,  that  we  consider  his  law  to  be  holy# 
and  just,  and  good.  One  of  the  most  prominent  parts 
of  a  vow  or  engagement  made  to  God,  and  that  which 
renders  it  pleasing  to  the  eye  of  christian  contempla^ 
tion,  is,  that  it  is  voluntary, — a  voluntary  recognition 
of  all  that  is  great  and  holy  in  religion ;  of  God,  in  his 
being  and  perfections,  of  his  will  as  the  only  law,  and 
of  his  glory  as  the  ultimate  end : — Our  sayii^,  not 
feignedly,  but  in  sincerity  and  truth,  "We  choose 
thee,  O  God,  as  our  only  Lord  and  Ruler ;  as  our  God 
to  adore,  and  love,  and  serve  thee ;  and  we  voluntarily 
give  ourselves  up,  with  aU  that  we  are  and  have,  to  be 
employed  in  furthering  thy  glory/' 

III.  It  may  be  the  means  of  increasing  our  dili* 
gence  and  hc^iness.  Prone  as  we  are  to  forget  our 
highest  interests,  is  it  not  desirable  to  avail  ourselves 
of  every  motive,  consistent  with  the  vrill  of  God,  that 


208  On  Vows. 

may  stimulate  us  to  a  perseverance  in  well-doing? 
How  often  has  the  backslider  been  brought  to  repent- 
ance by  reflecting  on  his  own  former  professions  and 
voluntary  engagements  ?  When  every  other  consider- 
ation has  failed  to  awaken  the  conscience,  it  has  been 
found  that  the  recollection  of  promises  deliberately 
and  solemnly  made,  has  aroused  from  the  stupor  of 
sin,  and  has  been  the  means  of  bringing  the  sinner  to 
himself.  If  there  be  not,  then,  any  thing  in  the  nature 
of  covenant  engagements,  at  variance  with  the  Scrip- 
tures, we  must  surely  infer  their  expediency  and  law- 
fulness, from  the  salutary  effects  which  they  are  so  well 
calculated  to  produce. 

But,  it  is  alleged,  by  way  of  objection,  that  though 
such  engagements  were  lawful  under  the  Old  Testa- 
ment dispensation,  they  are  not  so  under  the  New  ;— 
that  it  is  voluntarily  placing  ourselves  in  circumstances 
in  which  we  may  contract  guilt ; — ^that  the  forming  of 
covenant  engagements  is  at  variance  with  the  self- 
difBdence  and  the  deep  humility  which  ought  ever  to 
bie  cherished ; — and  that  by  entering  into  them,  many 
are  chargeable  with  hypocrisy.  Let  us  briefly  con- 
sider these  objections  in  their  order. 

I.  It  is  alleged  that  covenant  engagements,  or  vows, 
though  they  were  lawful  under  the  Old  Testament 
dispensation,  are  not  so  under  the  New.  That  they 
were  practised  under  the  former  economy  by  the  most 
eminent  servants  of  God,  cannot  be  denied  ;  and  their 
lawfulness,  therefore,  must  be  assumed ;  but  it  is  sup- 
posed that  they  are  not  so  under  the  more  spiritual 
institution  of  the  Gospel 

In  this  objection,  it  is  taken  for  granted,  that  there 


On  Vowi.  SOD 

is  a  greater  diflference  between  the  two  dispensations 
than  there  really  is.  Though  different  in  the  external 
admidistration,  they  are,  as  it  regards  the  substance 
of  religion  and  morals,  essentially  the  same.  The 
same  way  of  salvation,  which  was  then  made  known 
through  the  medium  of  types  and  sacrifices,  is  now 
disclosed  in  clearer  language:  nor  was  it  less  neces- 
sary then  to  be  renewed  and  sanctified  by  divine  in- 
fluence, and  to  walk  by  the  faith  of  unseen  realities^ 
than  it  is  under  the  present  economy.  Since  the  fall 
of  man,  there  has  been  but  one  method  of  recovery 
revealed ;  the  world  has  been  placed  under  the  same 
supreme  system  of  redeeming  mercy ;  there  has  been 
the  same  foundation  of  hopefor  the  penitent ;  and  the 
object  of  the  ordinances  of  religion,  in  all  ages,  has 
been  the  formation  of  the  same  pure  and  holy  character. 
If  the  ceremonial  law  was  abrogated  by  the  coming 
of  Christ,  it  was  because,  from  its  very  nature,  as 
shadowy  and  figurative,  its  continuance  was  unneces- 
sary ;  but  there  is  nothing  in  vows  of  dedication  to 
God  more  peculiar  to  one  age  than  to  another.  That 
they  are  compatible  with  very  high  degrees  of  spiri- 
tuality and  holiness,  we  learn  from  the  example  of 
Joshua,  and  the  people  of  Israel,  in  his  day.  He 
was  himself  eminently  pious,  and  the  generation  in 
which  he  lived  was  distinguished  by  its  zeal  for  the 
divine  glory,  and  obedience  to  the  divine  will ;  and 
before  they  entered  into  covenant  with  God,  they  used 
suitable  means  for  enlarging  their  conceptions  of  his 
holiness,  and  rendering  this  act  of  worship  deeply 
devotional  and  spiritual.    With  this  case  upon  record. 

Vol.  II.  P 


810  On  Vow. 

we  may  conclude  that  the  objections  to  vows  of  dedi- 
cation in  the  service  of  Qod,  on  the  ground  of  their 
being  opposed  to  the  simplicity  and  spirituality  of  the 
Gospel  dispensation,  is  unfounded. 

Is  it  alleged,  that  the  circumstances  of  the  Jewish 
people  were  materially  different  from  those  of  every 
other  nation;  inasmuch  as  they  were  the  chosen  and 
peculiar  people  ci  God|  and  that  they  were  enjoined  to 
do  tliat  which  it  would  be  criminal  in  others  to  attempt? 
I  grant  that  they  were  owned  and  treated  as  the  pecu- 
liar people  of  God, — that  they  were  under  his  special 
guidance^  and  acted  by  his  [commission ;— that  they 
were  commanded  to  cut  off  the  Canaanites,  and  to 
destroy  every  Israelite  who  should  aim  at  establishing 
idolatry.  In  these  particulars,  especially  in  regard  to 
the  destruction  of  the  Canaanites,  and  the  power  that 
was  vested  in  the  magistrate  to  prevent  schism,  the 
rules  by  which  we  judge  of  the  conduct  of  others  are 
not  applicable  to  them. 

But  do  not  all,  or  nearly  all,  the  inhabitants  of  the 
lands  where  Christianity  prevails,  profess  to  be  the 
people  of  God ;  having  been  dedicated  to  him  in  bap- 
tism ?  May  they  not,  in  full  consistency  with  every 
scriptural  principle,  voluntarily  enter  into  covenant 
engagements  to  be  entirely  devoted  to  the  will  and 
the  glory  of  God  ? 

II.  It  is  objected  to  vows  of  dedication  in  the  ser- 
vice of  God,  that  by  laying  ourselves  under  the  obli- 
gations implied  in  them,  we  voluntarily  place  our* 
selves  in  circumstances  in  which  we  may  contract 
guilt.    It  is  alleged,  that  the  fall  of  our  first  parents. 


Oh  Vmu.  ftll 

who  were  required  to  enter  into  covenant  with  Qod» 
should  admonish  us  to  beware  how  we  come  under 
similar  engagements. 

If  we  vow  to  do  that  which  is  not  lawful ;  or,  if  wt 
imagine  that  we  shall  merit  eternal  life  by  any  cove* 
nant  engagement  of  our  own^  our  conduct  i8»  of  couxs^ 
attended  with  guilt,  and  must  lead  to  mii»ery.  But  I 
see  not  how  we  are  put  into  the  way  of  oommitting  sin^ 
by  solemnly  recognising  a  commanded  duty,  and  by  de« 
termining,  through  divii^  grace,  to  perform  it.  In  our 
scriptural  confession  of  God  and  of  the  Redeemer,— 
and  all  are  commanded  publicly  to  profess  their  faith 
in  Ood  their  Saviour,— do  we  not  own  him  to  be  our 
God,  and  express  our  obligations,  to  be  devoted  to 
him,  sincerely,  exclusively^  and  for  ever  ?  What  is 
this,  but  to  form  those  voluntary  engagements,  whidi 
are  vows  of  dedication  to  God,  and  whichi  in  the 
language  of  Scripture,  may  be  termed,  entering  into 
covenant  with  him?  Are  we  to  refrain  from  this  act» 
lest,  at  some  future  period,  we  should  be  guilty  <^ 
backsliding,  and  thus  commit  sin  ? 

in.  It  is  affirmed  that  the  makii^  <tf  vows  (^dedi* 
cation  unto  God  is  at  variance  with  the  self-diffidence 
and  deep  humility  which,  as  d^endent  and  errii^ 
creatures,  we  should  ever  dierisb.  HoWs  it  is  asked, 
can  we  promise  what  we  shall  be  in  future,  when  we 
have  an  experience  c^  the  deceitfulness  of  the  heart, 
and  when  we  are  so  well  assured  that  we  cannot  cal* 
culate  on  our  own  steadfastness  for  a  single  day  ? 

To  this  it  may  be  answered,  that  thou^  we  know 
well  our  own  weakness  and  corruption,  yet  we  know, 
ttthe  same  time,  what  weou^t  to  be,  and  what,  by 

PS 


ftlft  On  Vom. 

the  grace  of  God,  it  is  our  duty  to  resdive  to  be.  In 
engaging  to  perform  our  duty,  we  take  into  account 
the  influences  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  which  are  given 
freely  to  them  that  ask  him;  and  which,  while  we 
work  out  our  salvation,  are  promised  to  work  in  us, 
both  to  will  and  to  do,  of  God's  good  pleasure. 
When  we  voluntarily  vow  to  be  faithful  in  his  ser- 
vice,— ^to  renounce  every  attachment  opposed  to  our 
duty  to  him, — and  to  hcxiour  him  in  the  use  of  every 
talent  we  possess, — ^we  do  it'  on  a  ground  far  more 
stable  than  the  strength  of  any  creature, — ^the  ample 
promises  of  the  God  who  cannot  lie. 

IV.  It  is  alleged,  that  by  making  vows  of  dedica- 
tion unto  God,  many  become  chargeable  with  hypo- 
crisy. If  there  be  any  weight  in  this  objection,  it 
was  as  applicable  to  Israel  in  the  days  of  Joshua,  as 
to  us ;  for^  doubtless^  there  were  many  among  that 
people,  who  were  merely  led  by  a  regard  to  the 
opinion  of  others,  and  peihaps  by  a  glow  of  feeling 
produced  by  temporary  circumstances,  to  give  their 
consent  to  the  covenant  that  was  made.  Are  we  to 
suppose,  that  because  there  were  persons  influenced 
by  such  motives,  and  whose  professions  were  at 
variance  with  the  state  of  their  hearts,  the  whole 
transaction  was  wrong,  and  that  Joshua  ought  to  have 
refiised  it  his  countenance  ? 

If  we  cannot  come  to  this  conclusion  without  im- 
peadiing  the  divine  wisdom,  of  course  the  objection, 
in  every  similar  case,  becomes  invalid  and  groundless. 
All  that  is  implied  in  personal  or  public -dedication  to 
the  fear  and  service  of  God,  is  the  duty  of  every  one ; 
it  is  what  God  has  an  unalienable  right  to  demand 


Manner  in  which  God  is  to  be  worshipped.        213 

from  U89  and  what  cannot  be  withheld  without  expo- 
sure to  punishment.  The  recollection  of  their  owu 
professions  may  lead  those,  who  spoke  with  feigned 
lips  in  making  them,  to  reflect  seriously  on  their  in-, 
consistency  and  hypocrisy. 

Is  it  not  the  duty  of  Christian  rulers  to  use  their 
influence  in  bringing  all  to  engage  themselves  to  serve 
God  ?  If  their  persuasion  should  lead  some  to  con* 
form  only  in  appearance,  while  their  hearts  are  op- 
posed to  their  professions,  the  guilt  of  this  inconsis- 
tency and  hypocrisy  rests  with  the  dissemblers,  and 
with  them  only.  They  were  invited  to  do  that  which 
they  are  bound  to  do  without  any  invitation, — to  give 
themselves  up  unreservedly  to  God,  to  choose  him  as 
their  only  Lord  and  Redeemer,  and  to  engage  to 
walk  in  the  way  of  his  commandments. 

It  is  certainly  better  not  to  vow  unto  the  Lord,  than 
to  vow,  and  notto  fulfil.  But  do  not  they  incur  guilty 
and  will  not  their  end  be  destruction^  who  keep  aloof 
from  every  act  that  would  imply  an  engagement  to 
love  and  serve  God,  who  live  without  him  in  the  world, 
and  who  never  recognise  his  moral  government  and  au- 
thority till  confronted  with  them  at  his  judgmentrseat? 


CHArTX&  XI. 

THE  TIME  AND  MANNER  IN  WmCH  GOD  IS  TO  BE 

WORSEflPPED. 

It  is  dear  that  God  is  the  only  object  of  religious 
worship  and  adoration ;  and  that  as  he  alone  is  God, 
he  ak)ne  ia  entitled  to  the  reverence  and  homage  due 


fI4  The  Time  and  Manner 

ftom  the  created  and  dependent  being  to  the  self- 
existent  and  infinitely-perfect  Creator. 

Bat  if  it  be  proper  that  we  should  exercise  love, 
and  Teneration,  and  gratitude  to  God,  it  must  be 
right  for  our  own  sakes,  were  there  no  other  reason, 
that  our  emotions  should  be  expressed  in  words ;  and 
these  emotions,  because  they  may  have  an  useful 
influence  upon  others,  and  because  all  are  alike  bound 
to  cherish  them,  must  be  publicly  acknowledged,  and 
therefore  enunciated  in  articulate  speech.  Hence,  the 
duty  of  social  worship. 

Man  is  so  formed  as  to  be  capable  of  influencing 
the  feelings  of  others*  and  to  be  susceptible  of  being 
influenced  himself  by  the  expression  of  theirs.  Is 
there  any  one  occasion  more  necessary  for  him  to 
observe,  in  turning  this  law  of  his  nature  to  good 
account,  than  in  pouring  forth  the  feelings  of  the 
heart  in  the  worship  of  that  Grod  whom  it  is  the  glory 
and  happiness  of  man  to  know,  love,  and  obey? 
There  is  also  a  commm  rdation  subsisting  between 
mankind  and  the  Almi^ty  Father  of  us  all.  He  is 
the  Creator,  Rreserver,  and  Benefactor  of  all  alike. 
How  innumerable  are  the  Uessings  whidi  we  have 
received,  and  which  we  are  continually  receiving  from 
him ;  blessings  which  we  receive  in  common,  and 
which  in  common  we  enjoy !  When  to  these  we  add 
the  glorious  discoveries  of  Revelation,  and  the  gifts 
of  human  redemption,  our  obligations  to  unite  together 
in  the  thankful  acknowledgment  of  the  divine  favour, 
in  aixppticalion  for  its  oontinuMice,  and  in  ooo&aflioxi 
^  our  unworthiness,  are  veiy  obvious. 

hi  piooif  of  tiie  dti^  of  social  wossliip,  it  may  ftf^* 


in  idkkh  Gixl  u  to  he  worshipped,  S15 

ther  be  justly  remarked,  that  mankind,  in  consequcsice 
of  the  faculties  of  reason  and  of  understanding  with 
wfaidi  they  are  endowed,  and  of  their  being  placed  at 
the  head  of  the  visible  creation^  are  bound  publicly 
to  express  their  homage  to  the  Creator  and  Lord  of 
all.  While  all  his  works,  by  reflecting  his  power,  and 
wisdom,  and  goodness,  seem  to  hymn  his  glories, 
should  not  the  family  of  man  assemble  to  shew  forth 
his  praise  ?  Can  they  otherwise  approve  their  love 
and  loyalty  to  their  suprane  sovereign  Lord  and 
Ruler?  Besides,  has  not  the  performance  of  this 
duty  a  direct  tendency  to  unite  mankind  still  more 
closely  in  the  bonds  of  fraternal  aflection,  and  to  lead 
an  to  regard  each  other,  as  the  children  of  the  same 
Great  Parent,  and  with  the  kindness  due  to  the  par- 
takers of  the  same  common  nature  ? 

Finally,  if  there  were  no  public  worship,  the  great 
mass  of  mankind  would  not  worship  God  at  all.  It 
is  chiefly  by  means  of  such  an  institution,  that  a  sense 
of  religion  is  maintained  on  the  mind  of  the  multi- 
tude ;  or,  that  the  great  principles  upon  which  all  re- 
ligion is  founded  are  kept  in  memory.  These  truths 
are  obvious  to  any  one  who  will  compare  the  religious 
and  moral  attainments  ci  a  people,  among  whom 
public  worship  is  maintained,  with  those  of  the  people 
among  whom  it  is  partially  or  altogether  unknown. 

On  these,  and  on  other  grounds',  it  appears  to  me, 
that  reason  points  out  the  public  worship  of  God  to 
be  a  duty, — a  duty  which,  because  all  are  bound  to 
perform,  none  can  neglect,  without  sinning  against 

God. 
It  follows  that  a  portion  of  time  must  be  appro- 


216        Manner  in  toMck  God  is  to  be  worshipped. 

priated  for  the  discharge  of  this  solemn  duty.  But 
by  whom  is  this  time  to  be  fixed  ?  Were  this  left  to 
the  understanding  and  ccMivenience  of  each  individual, 
would  it  not  be  productive  of  great  confusion  ?  Or, 
were  it  merely  enjoined  by  human  authority,  could  it 
have,  generaUy,  the  same  effect  on  the  conscience  ? 
How  desirable,  and  even  necessary,  that  it  should  be 
determined  by  Him  whose  authority  is  supreme,  and 
who  perfectly  knows  what  portion  of  his  time  man 
should  Impropriate  to  the  sacred  purposes  of  comme- 
morating the  glories  and  goodness  of  God,  and  of 
promoting  his  own  holiness  and  happiness* 

This,  accordingly,  is  done  in  the  fourth  command- 
ment, which  was  delivered  in  circumstances  of  awfiil 
solemnity,  by  the  sovereign  Lord  and  Ruler  of  the 
universe.  "  Remember  the  Sabbath-day  to  keep  it 
holy :  six  days  shalt  thou  labour,  and  do  all  thy  work ; 
but  the  seventh  day  is  the  Sabbath  of  the  Lord  thy 
God ;  in  it  thou  shalt  not  do  any  work,  thou,  nor  thy 
son,  nor  thy  daughter,  thy  man-servant,  nor  thy  maid- 
servant, nor  thy  cattle,  nor  the  stranger  that  is  within 
thy  gates :  for  in  six  days  the  Lord  made  heaven  and 
earth,  the  sea,  and  all  that  in  them  is,  and  rested  the 
seventh  day :  wherefore  the  lord  blessed  the  sabbath- 
day,  and  hallowed  it** 


217 


Chaptee  XII. 

THE  MORAL  OBLIGATION  OF  THE  SABBATH. 

As  it  has  been  alleged  that  the  Sabbath  was  a  Jewish 
instituticMi  exdusivelyt  and  that  therefore  the  obliga* 
tion  to  its  observance  is  not  perpetual  and  universal, 
it  is  proper  that  we  should  first  direct  our  attention 
to  the  consideration  of  this  point.  The  inquiry  is 
obviously  of  great  importance,  since  it  is  nothing  less 
than  this  :-*-*Is  the  fourth  commandment  a  moral  pre* 
cept»  universally  binding  on  mankind  ;  or  is  it  merely 
a  positive  requirement,  designed  to  answer  some  use- 
ful ends  under  the  Mosaic  economy,  but  abrogated 
with  the  abolition  of  the  Jewish  polity? 

It  appears  to  me,  that  it  is  of  a  mixed  nature ;  that 
it  is  moral  in  as  far  as  it  relates  to  the  sacred  rest  of 
the  Sabbath ;  and  that  it  is  positive  in  regard  to  the 
particular  day  of  the  week  on  which,  by  divine  ap- 
pointment, this  rest  is  to  be  enjoyed.    Hie  duties  fo 
be  perfonoed  on  this  day  are  of  a  mwal  nature,  and 
therefore  universally  binding :  they  are  approved  by 
reason  and  conscience,  as  arising  out  of  the  relations 
which  man  bears  to  God ;  but  the  day  on  which  these 
duties  are  discharged,  being  altogether  fixed  by  the 
will  of  the  Supreme  Moral  Governor,  may  be  oon- 
sidjved  as  possessing  the  character  of  a  positive  in- 
stitution, which  may  be  changed  by  the  same  authority 
that  has  enjoined  it    This  distinction  is  observable 
in  the  language  used  in  reference  to  the  institution  of 
the  Sabbatk^    ''  In  8i&  days  the  Lord  made  heaven 


818  Moral  Obligation  of  the  Sabbath. 

and  earth,  the  sea,  and  all  that  in  them  is,  and  rested 
the  seventh  day;  wherefore  the  Lord  blessed  the 
Sabbath«^y,  and  hallowed  it.'^  Here  we  are  told, 
that  the  Ix>ni  blessed,  not  the  seventh  day,  but  the 
Sabbath,  that  is,  as  the  word  signifies,  the  sacred 
rest  to  be  enjoyed  on  that  day.  This  rest,  which  is 
of  a  moral  nature,  God  has  blessed  to  his  people. 

Raving  made  this  explanatory  remark,  I  proceed  to 
prove  that  the  Sabbath  is  of  perpetual  and  universal 
obligation. 

I.  It  was  not  peculiar  to  the  Jewish  dispensation, 
but  instituted  immediately  after  the  creation ;  as  we 
read  in  Gen.  ii.  1 ,  3 :  ^  Thus  the  heavens  and  the 
earth  were  finished,  and  all  the  host  of  them.  And 
on  the  seventh  day  God  ended  his  work  whidi  he 
had  made.  And  God  blessed  the  seventh  day,  and 
sanctified  it ;  because  that  in  it  he  had  rested  from 
all  his  work,  which  God  created  and  made."  Accord- 
ing to  the  obvious  meaning  of  this  passage,  the 
Sabbath  was  held  on  the  first  day  after  the  creation 
was  ended, — ^held  on  this  day  by  the  Creator  himself, 
and  of  course  by  the  first  parents  of  the  human  race 
in  a  state  of  innocency. 

The  reason  assigned  for  the  sancti&ation  of  the 
seventh  day  is,  that  God  rested  on  that  day  firom  aH 
his  work  which  he  created  and  made ;  a  reason  surely 
not  of  a  temporary  or  local  nature,  but  extending  to 
the  whole  human  race  alike.  The  ends  of  its  insti- 
tution, as  alluded  to  in  this  passage,  a  cessation  from 
labour,  a  commemoration  of  the  works  of  creation, 
together  witii  other  duties  of  devotion,  are  not  less 
univeraal.    We,  therefore,  inf^  that  an  ordinance 


Mard  Obligaticm  of  the  Sabbath.  S19 

which  was  instituted  immediately  after  the  creation  of 
the  world,  and  for  reasons  and  ends  whidh  have  the 
same  relation  to  all  mankind,  is  of  perpetual  obliga- 
tion. This  conclusion  is  unavoidable,  if  it  be  ad- 
mitted that  the  Sabbath  was  instituted  at  the  ban- 
ning of  the  world. 

Those  writers,  accordingly,  who  deny  the  moral 
obligation  of  the  Sabbath,  maintain  that  it  was  not 
instituted  at  the  early  period  referred  to,  but  that  it 
had  its  origin  when  the  law  was  given  to  the  Jews. 
The  chief  reason  by  which  they  support  this  opinion, 
is  the  alleged  silence  respecting  the  observance  of 
the  day,  previously  to  the  gathering  of  manna  in  the 
wilderness. 

This  is,  indeed,  slender  ground  on  which  to  found 
an  argument ;  and  were  it  not  maintained  by  a  writer 
of  Paley's  respectability,  the  time  bestowed  in  no- 
ticing it  would  be  idly  employed.    For,  if  there  be 
no  mention  of  the  observance  of  the  Sabbath  during 
the  patriardial  age,  neither  is  it  once  mentioned  in 
the  histories  of  Joshua,  the  Judges,   Samuel  and 
Saul,  that  is,  during  a  period  of  about  five  hundred 
years.    It  needs  not  surprise  us,  that  in  the  brirf 
notices  recorded  of  the  persons  who  lived  between 
Adam  and  Moses,  there  should  have  been  so  great  a 
silenoe  oonoeming  the  Sabbath,  since  we  know  that 
things  occurred  daring  that  period  of  which  the  sacred 
historian  makes  no  mention.    Have  we  not  the  best 
ground  for  believing  that  those  sacrifices  were  first 
infldtnted  in  the  antediluvian  i^es  which  typified  the 
Atoning  sacrifice  of  the  Rede^ider ;  though  as  to  the 
time  9Sod  UMner  of  their  institutionf  we  have  no  in- 


)t20  Morei  Obligation  of  tie  Sabb(M, 

foraiation?  Are  we  not  assured  by  the  Apostle 
Jude,  that  Enoch  prophesied  of  the  second  coming 
of  our  Lord,  with  ten  thousand  of  his  saints,  to  exe- 
cute judgment  upon  all,  and  to  convince  all  that  are 
ungodly  of  their  ungodly  deeds ;  while,  but  for  the 
testimony  of  this  Apostle,  the  circumstance  would 
have  been  altogether  unknown  to  us  ? 

We  maintain,  however,  that  there  are  aDusioos, 
both  in  the  sacred  and  profene  history  of  the  period 
in  question,  to  the  instituticwi  of  the  Sabbath.    There 
is  a  reference,  as  it  appears  to  me,  to  the  division  of 
time  into  weeks,  by  the  Sabbatical  institution,  in  the 
conduct  of  Noah  whUe  in  the  ark.    "  It  came  to  pass 
at  the  end  of  forty  days,  that  Noah  opened  the  win- 
dow of  the  ark  which  he  had  made ;  and  he  sent  forth 
a  raven,  which  went  forth  to  and  fro,  until  the  waters 
were  dried  up  from  off  the  earth.    Also  he  sent  forth  a 
dove  from  him,  to  see  if  the  waters  were  abated  from 
off  the  face  of  the  ground ;  but  the  dove  found  no 
rest  for  the  sole  of  her  foot,  and  she  returned  unto 
him  mto  the  ark,  for  the  waters  were  on  the  foce  of 
the  whole  earth :  then  he  put  forth  his  hand,  and  took 
her,  and  pulled  her  in  unto  him  into  the  ark.    And 
he  stayed  yet  other  sieven  days ;  and  again  he  sent 
forth  the  dove  out  of  the  ark;  and  the  dove  came  in 
to  Urn  in  the  evening ;  and  lo.  in  her  mouth  was  an 
oUveleaf  pluckt  off:  so  Noah  knew  that  the  waters 
were  abated  from  off  the  earth.    And  he  stayed  yet 
other  seven  days,  and  sent  forth  the  dove,  which  re- 
tum«i  not  again  unto  him  any  more."    I  think  it  is 
manifest  that  the  aUusion  here  is  to  the  hebdomadal 
pyde.which  God  established  immediately  after  his 


Moral  Obiigaiian  of  the  Sabbath.  9S1 

work  of  creatioik  Nor  is  it  less  clear  from  the  fol- 
lowing paragraph  in  the  history  of  Jacob,  that  this 
divistoQ  of  time  was  viewed  as  a  matter  of  coarse, 
and,  consequently,  had  been  fixed  previously  to  the 
era  at  which  that  patriarch  lived.  **  Fulfil  her  week, 
and  we  will  give  thee  this  also  for  the  service  which 
thou  shalt  serve  with  me  yet  seven  other  years.  And 
Jacob  did  so,  and  fiilfilled  her  week:  and  he  gave 
hun  Rachel,  hid  daughter,  to  wife  also.'* 

The  counting  of  time  by  weeks  was  common  among 
all  ancient  nations.  This,  as  a  fixed  division,  was 
known  to  the  Indians,  Syrians,  Chaldeans,  Egyptians, 
the  Greeks,  and  the  Romans,  as  well  as  to  every 
other  people  of  whom  we  have  any  record.  The 
seventh  day  is  said  to  be  holy  by  Homer,  Hesiod, 
and  Callimachus;  and  Josephus  and  Philo  affirm, 
that  the  seventh  day  is  a  festival  to  every  nation ;  and 
that  no  city  of  Ghreeks  or  Barbarians  can  be  found, 
which  does  not  acknowledge  a  seventh  day's  rest 
from  labour.  How  can  this  authenticated  fact  be 
accounted  for,  but  on  the  supposition  that  the  Sabbath 
was  instituted  at  the  time  referred  to  in  the  book  of 
Genesis,  namely,  '*  When  the  heavens  and  the  earth 
were  finished,  and  all  the  host  of  them?'* 

It  may,  besides,  with  propriety  be  maintained,  that 
the  institution  of  the  Sabbath  at  this  early  period  is 
rendered  highly  probable  by  the  account  given  us  in 
the  Scriptures  of  the  distinguished  piety  of  the  pa- 
triarchs. They  walked  with  God ;  they  obtained  a 
good  report  through  faith ;  they  obeyed  the  voice  of 
the  Lord,  and  kept  his  charge,  his  commandments, 
his  statutes,  and  his  laws.    Is  it  not  highly  probable 


tM  Mmi  ObUgatioH  of  tie  SaUatk. 


i  •  .  i  ii>:m 


that  the  Sabbath  was  one  of  these  divine 
meats  which  they  observed ;  especially  as  we  know, 
ifom  ezperienoe*  how  necessary  the  observanos  of 
this  holy  institution  is  to  the  maintenanoe,  as  well  as 
to  the  progress,  of  true  religion  in  the  heart  of  manl 
If  He,  who  knows  how  essential  the  return  of  the 
Sabbath  is  to  the  recovery  and  the  furtherance  of  holi- 
ness  in  sinful  beings,  has  commanded  than  not  to 
forsake  the  assembling  of  themselves  tog^her,  is  it 
likely  that  he  would  have  left  mankind,  till  the  age  of 
Moses,  without  an  institution  so  necessary  to  the 
moral  and  religious  purposes  of  their  being  ? 

But  it  ia  further  maintained  by  Paley  in  suj^rt  ci 
the  opinion,  that  the  Sabbath  was  exclusively  a  Jew* 
ish  institotioD,  and  that  it  had  no  existence  till  the 
Mosaic  economy ;  that  the  passage  in  the  beginning  of 
the  second  diapter  of  Genesis  is  intnxiuced  into  the 
narrative  by  way  of  anticipation,  and  that  the  account 
of  the  origin  of  this  institution  is  to  be  found  in  the 
sixtemth  chapter  of  Exodus,  at  the  twenty-second 
verse.  We  there  read :  ''  And  it  came  to  pass,  that 
on  the  sixth  day  they  gathered  twice  as  much  bread, 
two  omers  for  one  man ;  and  all  the  rulers  of  the 
congregation  came  and  told  Moses.  And  he  said 
untd.them.  This  is  that  whidi  the  Lord  hath  said,  to- 
morrow is  the  rest  of  the  holy  Sabbath  unto  the  Lord : 
bake  that  which  ye  will  bake  to^ay,  and  seethe  that 
ye  will  seethe ;  and  that  which  remaineth  over,  lay  up 
for  you,  to  be  kept  until  the  morning.  And  they  laid 
it  up  unto  the  morning  as  Moses  bade.  And  Moses 
said.  Eat  that  to-day,  for  to-day  is  a  Sabbath  unto  the 
l43vd :  to-day  ye  shall  not  fixkl  it  in  the  field.    Six 


Moral  ObUgatian  of  tkaSabbatk.  W8 

days  ye  shall  gather  it;  but  on  the  seventh  day,  which 
is  the  Sabbath,  in  it  there  shall  be  none.  And  it  came 
to  pass  that  there  went  out  some  of  the  people  on  the 
seirenth  day  fivto  gather,  and  they  found  none.  Aod 
the  Lord  said  unto  Moses,  How  long  re&se  yeto  keqp 
my  statutes  and  my  laws  ?  See,  fw  that  the  Lord  hath 
given  you  the  Sabbath,  therefore,  he  giveth  you  on  the 
sixth  day  the  bread  of  two  days :  abide  ye  every  man 
in  his  place ;  let  no  man  go  out  of  his  place  on  the 
seventh  day.  So  the  people  rested  on  the  sev^oth 
day," 

On  the  reading  of  this  pas8ag^,  the  first  thing  that 
occurs  to  the  mind  is,  not  certainly  that  the  Sabbath 
was  a  new  institution  with  which  the  Jews  were  &X' 
meiiy  unacquainted,  but  that  the  division  of  time  into 
weeks  was  well  known  to  them.  Moses  and  the 
elders  speak  of  the  days  of  the  week,  and  not  of  the 
days  of  the  month ;  and  they  speak  of  this  hebdo* 
madal  cyde  as  a  thing  perfecdy  familiar  to  the  peoplot 
But  how  could  this  be,  if  the  Sabbath  was  only  then 
first  instituted  ? 

The  next  thing  that  spikes  the  unbiassed  reader  in 
this  passage  is,  that  the  people,  aware  that  the 
seventh  day  was  the  Sabbath,  gathered  of  their  own 
accord  twice  as  much  of  the  manna  as  they  were 
wont  to  gather,  lest,  by  deferring  it  till  the  morrow, 
they  might  break  the  rest  of  the  Sabbath.  This  im- 
pression is  strengthened,  when  we  remember  that  they 
had  been  previously  commanded  to  gather  daily  of 
the  manna  only  what  was  sufficient  for  the  daily 
supply  of  themselves  and  families. 

In  the  address  of  Moses  to  the  elders,  he  evidently 


«84  Moral  Obligation  of  the  Sabbath. 

takes  for  granted  that  they  were  previously  acquainted 
with  the  institution  of  the  Sabbath.  *'  This  is  that 
which  the  Lord  hath  said.  To-morrow  is  the  rest  of 
the  holy  Sabbath  unto  the  Lord/*  The  Israelites, 
during  their  bondage  in  Egypt,  perhaps,  might  have 
been  negligent  in  their  observance  of  the  Sabbath ; 
and  perhaps  in  some  cases  they  might  have  been  in- 
capable of  obeying  the  commandment ;  and  therefore 
might  have  had  less  perfect  knowledge  of  the  proper 
day  on  which  it  should  be  sanctified ;  but  that  they 
were  familiar  with  the  institution  itself,  is  abun- 
dantly manifest  from  the  very  passage  which  Paley 
adduces  in  proof  of  their  ignorance.  Do  they  shew 
any  surprise,  or  make  any  inquiry,  when  Moses 
reminds  them  of  the  sanctity  of  the  Sabbath  ?  They 
might  have  been  in  some  doubt  as  to  the  proper  day, 
from  the  imperfect  reckoning  of  time  which  they  had 
kept  in  their  servile  condition ;  but  their  whole  conduct 
is  like  that  of  persons  who  had  the  most  perfect  know- 
ledge of  the  existence  of  the  institution. 

The  other  passages  quoted  to  prove  that  the  Sabbath 
is  of  Jewish  origin,  from  Ezekiel  and  Nehemiah*,  in 
which  it  is  said,  "  Moreover,  also,  I  gave  them  my 
Sabbaths ;"  and,  "  Thou  madest  known  unto  them  thy 
holy  Sabbath,"  are  perfectly  consistent  with  the  views 
I  have  already  given.  The  Lord,  when  he  had  chosen 
the  posterity  of  Abraham  to  be  a  peculiar  people  to 
himself,  enjoined  them  to  observe  commandments 
which  had  been  previously  enacted,  and  which  were 
binding  on  the  whole  human  race  as  well  as  upon 
them.    They  were,  indeed,  laid  under  additional  ob- 

*  Ezek.  xx«  !?•    Neliem.  ix.  14. 


Moral  Obligation  of  the  Sabbath.  22S 

ligations  to  give  a  willing  obedience  to  the  whole  will 
of  Ood ;  and  these  obligations,  arising  from  their  re* 
demption  from  Egyptian  bondage,  and  from  the  other 
blessings  conferred  upon  th^n»  might  be  adduced 
as  so  many  supplementary  motives  to  their  walking 
in  all  the  ordinances  and  conmiandments  of  God. 
In  the  same  way  we  are  urged  by  the  love  of  Christ, 
by  the  worth  of  his  precious  blood,  by  the  encourage* 
ment  held  out  to  us  from  the  promised  influence  of  the 
Spirit,  and  by  all  other  christian  motives,  to  obey 
those  laws  which  are  binding  on  us  as  intelligent  and 
accountable  creatures,  and  which  we,  and  the  whole 
human  race,  should  be  bound  to  obey,  though  there 
had  been  no  discovery  of  the  plan  of  redeeming 
mercy. 

It  is  in  this  way  we  are  to  understand  the  passages 
in  which  the  children  of  Israel  are  urged  to  observe 
the  Sabbath,  not  merely  in  consideration  of  its  being 
intended  to  commemorate  the  work  of  creation,  but  as 
it  was  the  instituted  sign  of  their  redemption  from 
£^ypt,  and  of  their  being  in  a  covenant  relation  with 
God.  All  these  motives  are  conjoined  in  the  pas- 
sages which  I  am  about  to  quote  from  the  thirty-first 
chapter  of  Exodus,  at  the  sixteenth  verse ;  and  from 
the  fifth  chapter  of  Deuteronomy,  at  the  twelfth  verse. 
"  Wherefore  the  children  of  Israel  shall  keep  the 
Sabbath,  to  observe  the  Sabbath  throughout  their 
generations,  for  a  perpetual  covenant.  It  is  a  sign 
between  me  and  the  children  of  Israel  for  ever :  for 
in  six  days  the  Lord  made  heaven  and  earth,  and  on 
the  seventh  day  he  rested,  and  was  refreshed.  Keep 
the  Sabbath  day  to  sanctify  it,  as  the  Lord  thy  God 

Vol.  II.  Q 


Me  Mond  Obligatitm  of  the  Sabb<ak. 

hath  ixHomanded  thae.  Six  days  A^li  thou  labour 
and  do  all  thy  work:  but  the  seventh  day  is  the 
Babbath  of  the  Lord  thy  God:**^aiid  remember  that 
thou  wast  a  servant  in  the  land  of  Egypt*  and  that  the 
Lord  thy  Ood  brought  thee  out  thence  through  a 
mighty  hand  and  by  a  stretched-out  arm :  therefore 
the  Lord  thy  God  oommanded  thee  to  keep  the  Sab- 
bath day/' 

Upon  these  passages  it  is  remarked  by  those  who 
maintain  that  the  Sabbath  is  exclusively  a  Jewish  in- 
btitution»  that  ''  it  does  not  seem  easy  to  understaod 
how  the  Sabbath  could  be  a  sign  between  God  and  the 
people  of  Israd,  unless  the  observance  of  it  was  pecu- 
liar to  that  people,  and  designed  to  be  so."  To  me, 
I  confess,  nothing  seems  easier  to  be  undenstood^ 
The  Sabbath  was  a  sign  between  God  and  his  people, 
inasmuch  as  it  was  the  token  of  his  special  &vour  to 
them  in  mdcing  them  his  people  ;  and  it  was  a  sign, 
because  their  observance  of  this  institution,  primarily 
intended  to  commemorate  the  creation  of  the  wodd, 
distinguished  them  as  the  worshippers  of  the.  true 
God.  "  I  gave  them  my  Sabbaths  to  be  a  sign  be- 
tween me  and  them ;  that  they  may  know  that  I  am 
Jehovah,  who  sanctify  them.*'  But  that  this  use  of  the 
Sabbath  did  not  make  it  cease  to  be  a  memorial  of 
God  a^  the  creator  of  all  things,  is  evidait  from  the 
reason  annexed  to  the  passage  in  which  the  Sabbath 
is  characterized  as  a  sign  between  God  and  his  people : 
"  In  six  days  the  Lord  made  heaven  and  earthy  and 
on  the  seventh  day  he  rested,  and  was  refreshed." 

Thus  the  original  design  of  the  Sabbath  remained. 
Its  beiilg  made  a  sign  front  God  to  his  chosen  people^ 


tlo  more  implies  that  this  instttutioa  had  iio  ex»liaiiG« 
before  it  was  thus  applied^  tliail  it  pntes  tkit  the  raiib 
bbw  had  not  a  bmng  previous  to  its  appropriation  as 
a  sign  of  the  covenatit  made  with  Nobh.  If  its  being 
fixed  on  as  a  sign  between  God  and  his  peq^e  were 
sufficient  evidence  to  prove  that  tfafe  obligation  of  the 
SabbaUi  was  lo^al  and  temporary,  it  would  fbllow  that 
Ute  two  great  commandmaits  of  the  law,  love  to  God 
iand  to  our  neighbour^  were  also  Icfcal  and  temp(kfeur|^ 
in  thei)r  obligation  >  since  in  th«  book  of  Deuteronomy ^ 
the  sixth  chapter^  and  eighth  vers^  Mostes  says  to 
Isteel,  ''  Thou  shdt  bind  them  for  a  sign  on  thiae 
faandi"  The  diildren  of  Israel  #sre  Ui^ped  to  thA  ob- 
servance of  the  Sabbath  fhm  the  cobbidferatidn  of  iti( 
being  a  sign  between  God  and  thma^  and  of  its  being 
b  teemotial  of  their  deliveraiice  from  Egypt ;  just  as 
we  ate  urged  to  the  observance  of  this,  and  of  €A 
other  divinely^instituted  onUhances,  from  the  consi- 
deration, that  we  have  not  been  rede^ned  with  coO 
niptible  things^  as  silver  and  gold^  but  with  the  pre* 
Cious  blood  df  Christy  as  of  a  lamb  without  blemish 
and  without  spot :  but,  as  with  the  Jews,  the  primary 
end  for  which  the  Sabbath  was  appointed^  renlainefd 
just  &s  before  any  supplementary  uses  had  been  iadded 
to  it,  so  does  it  continue  with  us.  These  uses  to 
which  it  is  applied,  and  which  so  Uappily  harmonize 
with  its  design,  in  place  of  diminishing  its  oUigation» 
(miy  surest  new  and  powerfid  motives  to  its  devout 
observance. 

In  proof  that  the  Sabbath  was  exdusively  a  Jewish 
institution,  it  is  further  argued,  that  the  apostle  Paul 
oonsiders  it  as  a  part  oi  the  Jewish  htUaK  and  not 

Q2 


Moral  OUigatian  of  the  Sabbath. 

binding  upon  Christians.  The  passage  on  whidi 
this  opinion  is  founded  is  in  CoL  ii.  16»  17.  "  Let 
no  man,  therefore,  judge  you  in  meat,  or  in  driiik, 
or  in  respect  of  an  holy  day,  or  of  the  new  mooo, 
or  of  the  Sabbath  days ;  which  are  a  shadow  of 
things  to  come,  but  Uie  body  is  of  Christ."  In 
reply  to  this,  it  is  maintained,  that  this  passage  re- 
fers to  the  holidays  of  the  Jews,  which  were  styled 
Sabbaths ;  or,  if  this  be  denied,  it  may  be  affirmed 
that  the  allusion  is  to  the  seventh  day,  and  not  to  the 
Christian  Sabbath ;  as  this  is  never  in  the  New  Tes- 
tament called  the  Sabbath,  but  the  first  day  of  the 
week,  and  the  Lord's  day.  The  Judaizing  teachers 
insisted  aa  the  Gentile  converts  observing  the  seventh 
day  as  the  Sabbath ;  but  its  observance  on  that  de^ 
was  abrogated  along  with  the  ceremonial  and  judicial 
law  of  the  Jews,  which,  as  ceremonial  and  typical, 
was  the  *'  shadow  of  things  to  come."  Believers, 
thierefore,  who  kept  holy  the  first  day  of  the  week,  in 
remembrance  of  Christ's  resurrection,  were  not  to  be 
condemned,  or  to  disquiet  themselves  about  the  cen- 
sorious judgments  of  others,  in  regard  to  their  con- 
duct in  this  matter. 

It  is  said,  by  those  who  allege  that  the  Sabbath 
was  merely  a  part  of  the  Jewish  ritual,  and  abrogated 
with  it,  that  its  observance  was  not  one  of  the  articles 
enjoined  by  the  Apostles  upon  the  Christian  Gentiles, 
in  Acts  XV.  To  this  no  better  answer  can  be  given, 
than  that  neither  were  they  commanded  to  abstain 
from  theft,  murder,  lying,  coveting,  impiety,  and 
idolatry. 

Finally,  it  is  affirmed  in  support  of  the  same 


Moral  Obligatian  of  the  Sabbath.  9S9 

opinion,  that  the  Sabbath  is  not  expressly  enjoined 
in  the  New  Testament.  It  is  very  explicitly  de« 
clared  in  the  New  Testament,  that  the  Sabbath  was 
instituted  at  the  close  of  the  Creation :  **  For  he 
spake,  in  a  certain  place,  of  the  seventh  day,  on  this 
wise ;  and  Grod  did  rest  on  the  seventh  day  from  all 
his  works  *  "  The  observance  of  the  Lord's  Day,  in 
deference  to  the  prepossessions  of  the  Jews,  was  in- 
troduced gradually.  In  place  of  announdng,  from 
the  beginning  of  their  ministry,  the  abolition  of  the 
seventh  day  as  the  Sabbath,  the  Apostles,  while  they 
observed  the  first  day  of  the  week,  embraced  the  op- 
portunity which  was  afforded  them  of  preaching  the 
gospel  on  the  Jewish  Sabbath.  The  Jewish  service 
was  not  attacked,  neither  were  the  ordinances  peculiar 
to  the  Christian  dispensaticni  n^lected. 

''  When  the  Apostles  came  to  declare  in  form,  that 
the  Jewish  worship  was  to  cease,  the  minds  of  the 
church  were  so  well  prepared  to  receive  this  declara- 
tion, that  it  was  carried  into  a  general  execution. 
Difficulties  and  divisions  arose,  indeed,  about  this  sub< 
ject,  in  several  churches,  particularly  about  circum* 
cision ;  and  produced  a  course  of  serious  contention* 
What  would  have  been  the  case,  had  this  part  of  the 
system  been  begun  at  an  earlier  period  ?    About  the 
Qiristian  Sabbath  no  dispute  appears  to  have  existed 
during  the  three  first  centuries.     All  the  churefaes 
appear  to  have  adopted  it,  and  to  have  neglected  the 
Jewish  Sabbath  without  any  difficulty.    Was  aat  this 
method  of  introducing  so  important  a  change  dictated 
by  true  wisdom  V* 

•  Heb.  i?.  4. 


T^  hnv^  I  |ffove4  %t  the  Sabbath  k  not  a  Ioo«l 
vnf^  teBtpoTfur;  ip^Uto^Q ;  ttmt  U.  was  n(H  pecuUar  to 
^  Jewish  (tisj^^MM^iu  \>^  «^p!poinV9d  at  the  dose  olT 
tl^  Qi^eation,  \s>,  Qof^^inepipra^  tIMi  perfections  oS.  Gq4 
m  ^«  Creator  \  and  tlliat  i^  ol^)Jigation,  there^re^  i^ 

pitipemal  and  umv^al 

11.  I^e  pwpvelMIJ  oC  th9  Sat>t>ati])  is  fuither  proved 
by  tJto  p^aee  yrludb  the  fcm^  eomirandnoeat  boLds  Iq. 
^e.  X)99atQ6uet  ai4  by  ^q  geperid  Mid  eon^piebeih 
aive  Wv».  in  wbi<^  tl^9  eipffmnaodmeat  is  exp^esied. 

The  summaty  of  tide.  ^w>]r<d  Uiw>  ooQtawed  i^  ^ 
te|i  oowmaodment^  was  proeUm^d  ifith  aw^  so- 
Isnutity  on  Moiwt  SUfKri*  by  the  ^yerieign  Lord  and 
Rule?-  pf  tbe  wiiYerse.    Slo.  nwoe^tic  was  tt^.  scene, 

aooon^piaaved  by  awoke  and  okouda.  and  tbunder  anci 

lightnings,  that  t]pie  IsmeUWia  ^i^efe  QvenvMmed  with 
tervor.  The  mond  law,  which  on  ^s  occasion  the 
Ahn^hty  deUvered  with  an  audible^  yoicew  was  written 
his  own  finger  on  two  tables  of  stone.  It  w««. 
on  sud»  tahlee,  donbtleas*  to  denote  its  pei;- 
petual  ebligatioa  W\  ftiith^  ta  distinguish  H  i^m, 
meie  national  and  temporary  statutes,  it  exdnsiyriy 
was  pnt  within  thfe  ark.  under  that mevoy-^set^t  whlcl^ 
^ff^  a  typ^  Qf  Ohrlst,.  ^  whom  the  \m  \m.  \f^^ 
inagi#«d  and  m^^  hc^KMnrabie. 
$^ow,  ie*  m^  ^^  what  wasi  the  d^gn  oC  aft  tM>e. 

<^P«WiSrtances,~of  the  $plendoi«r  and  aa^jestf^y  <rf  ^a| 
S(oen$>  at  yrhich  not  only  aU  Israel  trembled,  hwt  in  t)»e» 
^ev  of  which  even  Mosea  himself  exceediletgly  Ibaseck 
a^  quaked*— of  writing  these  conuvanchne^  » 
second  time  upon  tables  of  stone  by  the  fing^  s>% 
God ;  and  of  afterv^anfe  depeeiting  them  in  the  ark. 


M^ni  ObligcMan  of  the  SabboOk  tSl 

the  sswbol  of  the  DLvine  presmee?  The  desiga 
surely  w^»  to  ippwt  out  the  superior  iiuportance,  and 
the  pevpetuity  and  umv^rsal  obligation^  of  the  moral 
Itmx  Md  thua  to  distioguiBh  it  from  every  other  pait 
(^  tfa^  lio9ai€  ri^. 

But  the  fourth  oominaiidment  is  embodied  in  Hm 
law»  and  is^  delivered  in  a  niatiner  as  absojlute  as  any 
of  the  commaDdments  with  which  it  is  united.  Unless 
it  fiffots  a  part  of  the  moral  law,  which  is  luuversal 
and  etermd  in  its  obligation,  why  was  it  delivered 
9X00%  with  it,  and  in  circumstances  of  so  very  peculiajr 
a  nature  ?  Unless  its  observance  be  of  the  greajtest 
importance  to  the  holiness  and  happiness  of  man« 
why  should  it  alone  be  pre&ced  with  the  solemn  ad- 
monition, **R«nemberl"  Or  why,  unless  it  be 
bioding  on  the  whole  human  race»  were  the  foreigners 
amoQg  the  Jews»  even  those  whp  bad  not  mbmitted 
\Q  the  peculiar  rites  of  the  Jewish  religion^  con- 
manded  to  observe  it  ?  And  it  daims  oujr  notice,  that 
thi9  ordinmce  was  obligatory  on  ^trang^s,  of  what- 
ever descriptiqn,  who  were  within  their  gales»  eym 
upon  those  who  w^e  not  allowed  to  eat  of  the.  Passr 
ov^r.  Why  should  this  di^tinctiQU  have  bemxxuidft 
by  the  Sovereign  L^slator,  unless  it  be  to  shew» 
that  the  one  institution,  being  appointed  b<m  the 
b^gMming.  waa  to  subserve  designs,  in  which,  the 
wl^oje  feinily  of  A<fcm  are  alike  interested;  white 
the  other,  being  intended  to  comuKmorate  a  pajticur 
1«  event  in  the  history  of  the  Jews.,  was  restrirted 
to  them,  and  to  all  who  should  identify  themselves 
with  thew,  by  embracing  aU  the  articles  of  their 
religion. 


Moral  Obligation  of  the  ScAbath. 

But  the  argument  for  the  moral  and  perpetual  obli- 
gation of  the  fourth  commandment,  arising  from  its 
forming  a  part  of  the  ten  commandments,  Paley  at- 
tempts to  answer,  by  alleging,  that  the  distinction 
between  moral  and  positive  precepts  was  unknown 
to  the  simplicity  of  ancient  language. 

In  reply,  I  would  ask,  was  not  this  distinction  well 
known  to  Him  who  wrote  the  Decalogue  with  his  own 
finger  on  two  tables  of  stone  ?  Was  it  not  written 
with  the  design  of  being  useful  to  all  who  should 
afterwards  hear  it,  or  read  it?  Or  why  were  Israel 
conmianded,  when  they  had  passed  over  Jordan,  to 
inscribe  this  law  very  legibly  upon  two  pillars  of 
stone,  but  to  shew  that  it  was  a  matter  in  which  all 
were  equally  and  deeply  concerned?  '*  Therefore,  it 
shall  be,  when  ye  be  gone  over  Jordan,  that  ye  shall 
set  up  these  stones,  which  I  command  you  this  day ; 
and  thou  shalt  write  upon  the  stones  all  the  words  of 
this  law  very  plainly  *." 

The  objection  which  I  am  now  combating,  takes 
for  granted,  that  the  Decalogue  was  announced  and 
written  by  Moses  in  the  same  way  as  he  announced 
and  wrote  ^e  national  and  ceremonial  laws  of  the 
Jews ;  an  opinion,  which  the  slightest  consideration 
will  shew  to  be  totally  unfounded. 

The  ceremonial  law  was  communicated  through  the 
mediation  of  Moses,  and  was  by  him  written  in  a 
book,  and  placed  beside  the  ark :  the  Decalogue  was 
spoken  by  the  voice  of  God,  and  twice  written  widi 
his  finger  on  tables  of  stone,  amid  scenes  of  awful 
grandeur  and  majesty,  and  afterwards  put  within  the 

♦  JOeuter.  xxvii.  1, — 8, 


Moral  ObligaHon  of  the  Sabbath.  SSS 

ark.  "  TMs/'  says  Moses,  addressing  Israel,  *'  the 
Lord  spake  unto  all  your  assembly  in  the  Mount, 
out  of  the  midst  of  the  fire,  of  the  cloud,  and  the 
thick  darkness,  with  a  great  voice ;  and  he  added  no 
more.  And  he  wrote  them  on  two  tables  of  stone, 
and  delivered  them  unto  me."  For  what  other 
reason,  than  to  point  out  its  superior  importance, 
and  perpetual  obligation,  was  this  distinction  made 
b^ween  the  communication  of  the  moral  and  of  the 
ceremonial  law? 

Our  Lord  himself  has  also  distinguished  them,  not 
merely  by  giving  an  exposition  of  the  ten  command- 
nients  in  his  sermon  on  the  Mount,  but  in  his  reply  to 
the  young  Ruler,  who  asked  him  what  good  thing  he 
should  do,  that  he  might  inherit  eternal  life ;  and  to 
the  Scribe,  who  inquired.  Which  is  the  first  and  great 
commandment  ?  Our  Lord,  by  alluding  in  both  cases 
to  the  Decalogue  only,  has  decidedly  shewn  that  it 
differs  both  in  its  nature  and  in  the  rank  which  it 
holds  from  those  laws  which  were  merely  national  and 
positive.  He  elsewhere  affirms,  that  however  much, 
by  subsequent  revelations,  it  might  be  explained  or 
enforced,  nothing  could  be  added  to  it,  and  nothing 
taken  from  it ;  and  that  it  is  more  stable  and  perma- 
nent than  the  laws  of  the  material  world,  or  than  the 
frame  of  the  imiverse.  "  Verily  I  say  unto  you.  Till 
heaven  and  earth  pass,  one  jot  or  one  tittle  shall  in  no 
wise  pass  from  the  law,  till  all  be  fulfilled." 

Testimony  of  a  similar  nature  is  borne  by  the 
apostle  Paul  to  the  authority  and  perpetual  obligation 
of  the  ten  commandments,  or  moral  law.  In  the  thir- 
teenth chapter  of  the  Romans,  after  reciting  the  five 


eommaa^A  of  tbe  seorad  table  of  the  law»  he  add^, 
''  Aiwt  if  the^e  \>e  aay  other  conuDOiidmwt,  it  is 
\^rifi&j  ooDipreheiyied  in  Ibi9  saying,  Oftnely*  Tim 

dwk  k>¥e  tky  neighbor  b»  tbyaelC''  !(a  whfAt  bui^ 
gmge  couki  he  moxe  we<|i»iyQCf^y  shev  tito^the  Se- 
edlqgue  ta  a  summary  c^  th^  ynhdh  manal  taw^  and  is, 
^eom  ito  very  natura,  to  be  distij^uiBhed  fitooi  all  otbef 
QPipmandiuenta  ?  lie  eUewheie^  says,  thiat*  the  #h 
gommandinept  is  the  first  ooipgwKiment  with  pio- 
mise*.  But  were  there  not  oommandB,  with  promues 
aaaexed  to  then»  giv^  to  the  patriarchi^  befcnre  the 
law  was  delivered  on  Sinai  ?  The  ^h  comniandm^ 
tterefore,  oouid  only  be  called  the  &rst  conunandmeot 
with  promise^  as  being  the  first  in  the  Decalogue  thai 
was  so  distinguished.  Poes  not  the  circuQistajBpe  of 
the  Apo9t}e  s  styling  the  I>eca)pgtt€b  ''  The  Commaod- 
m^Bi^f!*  by  way  of  emipenpei  shsm  the  place  which 
^ey  held  k^  his  estimation,  and  that  he  regarded  them 
aa  iHiiding,  npt  upon  Jews  oaerdy,  but  upcm  the  Om 
tpAe  converts,  to  whom  he  vow  addressed  higgidetf  T 

I\L  The  moral  and  perp^ual  obligation  of  the 
Sabbath  is  proved  by  the  ends  which  it  was  desired 
to  answer.  These  shew,  that  the  fourth  coiHnaodr 
m^t,  in,  so  figp  aa  it  relates  to  the  cost  or  msf!^  pur- 
poses of  the  Sabbatjb^i^  is  of  a  s^ic^y  m»»\  mature, 
mi  craseqiKoitly,  that  ilt  is  unajlterab^  i«  Hs  obUg^* 
tsion.  Its  leading  ends  osrtainly  aie,«-*^  give  an  op- 
portunity to  yiankind  of  resting  from  laboai-^rf^f  ao- 
kaowledgiBg  and  commemorating  the  perfections  of 
God  as  the  Cxeajtor  of  the  universe, — of  increasiag  in 
hfidjuQeas  while  man  remaiiied  in  a,  state  of  innpceoGei— 


and  DOW  4i4  he  ia  in  a  fitlWn  condition,  of  using  the 
af^ointad  mmxm  of  raooTering  the  hoUneas  and  happi- 
oeas  whieh  have  been  \osA.  Thiwgh  tha  Sabibath  hay 
hew  applied  to  other  uaea,  in  entife  aoooirdanee  with 
thas«.  it  wUl  he  admitted  that  the«e  are  ita  gfeat  and 
pmary  deaigos. 

fi«t  do  not  these  purposes,  ooncem  alike  the  vhoka 
human  race?  Is  it  not  the  duty  of  all  to  hnaw,  love, 
and  woiihip  Clod,  and  to  adwawledgei  his  petfections 
of  wifldom,  power,  and  goednesa,  in  the  work  of  erear 
Xiaa'i  Are  not  aU  alike  interested  in  regainii^  th^ 
primeval  puritj  and  dignity  of  our  nature ;  and^th^rar 
icire»  Vowd  to  use  the  appobited  means,  aod  in  the 
best  manner,  Ibr  attainii^  this  eud^  But  that  this  end 
could  not }»  attained  without  the  ohservanee  of  the 
Sabbath  m  clear  from  the.  history  of  mankind.    In 

proportion  as  it  is  neglected,  irreli^U  aod  iWBKh 
rality  preveil. 

Of  suoh  vast  io^rtanee  are  the  purposKp  i4^  the 
Sabbath  is  desired  to  server  that  the  olm^^sm  €if  th9 
ibwih  (xxmnandment  is  qeoeesary  to  the.  fulfilment,  of 
the  other  sine.  I&t  net  tt^t  preeept,  then^  en^inently  d 
ai»oial  M^to^t  thfit  epjoioa duties  wht^^ 
up6A  aU  1^9^  imd  the  ne^ept  of  w|««h  leadik  to  imt 
piety,,  and  ipt  all  i«pi:al»i(il?  If  veUgion  b«  ^  a  meial 
f^WQr^if  itsi  practice)  be^  eblig«K>r}r  on  mau,  thm  ia 
th«  c^pperyaq^  of  the  Ihwth  coinn)andment»  accpiding 
tQ  the  ends  pf  its  inititqlioAi,  a  moml  duty  of  the 
highest  ovder.  It  coUkl  not,  therefore,  be  of  a  mere 
local  aiyl  tempore  nature ;  and  sooner  shall  heanen 
wd  earth  pass  ftw^y.  than  thai^  it  should  ^  or  he 


836  Marcd  OUigatian  of  the  Sabbath. 

IV.  The  moral  and  perpetual  obligation  of  the  Sab- 
bath is  further  proved  by  those  passages  in  the  Pro- 
phets, in  whidi  its  observance  under  the  Gospel  dis- 
pensation is  set  forth.    There  are  allusions,  unques- 
tionably, to  the  Sabbath,  and  to  its  duties,  in  the 
following  passages  ;  in  which  the  inspired  writers  are 
to  be  understood  as  declaring  the  fact,  that  this  insti- 
tution should  have  a  place  in  the  kingdom  of  the  Mes- 
siah.   In  the  fifty-sixth  chapter  of  Isaiah,  at  the  sixth 
verse,  we,  read :  ''  Also  the  sons  of  the  strangers,  that 
join  themselves  to  the  Lord,  to  serve  him,  and  to  love 
the  name  of  the  Lord,  to  be  his  servants ;  every  one 
that  keepeth  the  Sabbath  from  polluting  it,  and  tak^ 
hold  of  my  covenant,  even  them  will  I  bring  to  my 
holy  mountain,  and  make  them  joyful  in  my  house  df 
prayer:   for  my  house  shall  be  called  an  house  of 
prayer  for  all  people." 

That  this  passage  relates  to  gospel  times  is  dear, 
from  the  tenour  of  its  language,  and,  indeed,  is  uni- 
versally admitted.    Yet  the  Sabbath  is  spoken  of  as  an 
institution  sacredly  observed  by  the  strangers,  or  the 
Gentiles,  who  should  be  introduced  into  the  churdi  of 
Christ.    If  this  be  the  word  of  Him  who  sees  the  end 
from  the  beginning,  and  whose  counsel  shall  stand, 
and  who  shall  do  all  his  pleasure,  it  must  be  under- 
stood as  predicting  the  observance  of  the  Sabbath  in  all 
coming  ag^.     How  remarkably  has  the  prediction 
been  fulfilled  in  the  calling  of  the  Gentiles,— in  the^ 
exertion  of  that  mighty  power,  and  chiefly  on  the 
Christian  Sabbath,  by  yfbict  the  people  have  been 
made  willing,— and  in  the  spiritual  worship  which 
has  been  presented  on  this  holy  day  by  the  sons 


Moral  OhUgation  of  the  Sabbath.  9S7 

of  the  stranger  who  have  joined  themselves  to  the 
Loid! 

In  Psahn  cxviii.  19 — ^26,  we  thus  read.    "  Open 
to  me  the  gates  of  righteousness ;  I  will  go  into  them» 
and  I  will  praise  the  Lord ;  this  gate  of  the  Lord  into 
whidi  the  righteous  shall  enter.    I  will  praise  thee ; 
for  thou  hast  heard  me,  and  art  beoome  my  salvation. 
Hie  stone  which  the  builders  refused^  is  become  the 
head  stone  of  the  comer.    This  is  the  Lord's  doing, 
it  is  marvellous  in  our  eyes.    This  is  the  day  which 
the  Lord  hath  made,  we  will  rejoice  and  be  glad  in  it. 
Save,  now,  I  beseech  thee,  O  Lord ;  O  Lord,  I  be- 
seech thee,  send  now  prosperity.'*    The  testimony  of 
infallible  expositors    assures  us  that  this  passage 
contains  a  prediction  concerning  the  humiliation,  the 
rejection,  the  glory,  and  kingdom  of  the  Messiah. 
The  expression,  "  this  is  the  day  the  Lord  hath 
made,"  can  only  signify,  as,   indeed,  it  has  been 
universally  understood  as  signifying,  the  day  on  which 
the  Saviour  rose,  which  his  resurrection  had  con- 
secrated as  a  holy  Sabbath  of  spiritual  duty  and  en- 
joynmit  to  his  disciples  in  all  generations.     It  has 
been  so  observed  by  them ;   and  the  correspondence 
between  the  prediction  and  the  fulfilment  is  not  less 
striking  in  this  than  in  the  prophecy  formerly  quoted. 
V.  The  moral  and  perpetual  obligation  of  the  Sab- 
bath is  iiirther  proved  by  the  language  of  our  Lord 
^nd  his  Apostles.    I  forbear  quoting  the  passages  in 
whidi  our  Lord  is  supposed  to  allude  to  the  ob- 
servance of  the  Christian  Sabbath.     Nor  shall  I  here 
adduce  the  evidence  which  proves  that  the  Disciples 
held  sacred  the  first  day  of  the  week  as  a  Sabbath  to 


SM  Tke  Change  o/  ike  SMathfrcm 

tbe  l4>id.  The  Allusioti  of  th^  A^postle  John  tothis 
day  is  dedsive  op^  this  subject.  **  I  was  in  the  S|^t 
mi  the  Lord's  day  ;"*--the  luttHe  by  whidi  the  )>Ti- 
mitive  CSiuich  designated  the  Ghristtan  Sabbaths 

Thus  have  I  proved  that  th6  Sabbath  is  of  tooral 
and  perpetual  obligation ;  and  consequently  that  the 
neglect  or  violaticm  of  it*  in  regard  to  the  purposes  for 
which  it  has  be^i  instituted^  is  a  breach  of  the  most 
important  moral  duty. 


Chapter  XIII. 

THE  CHANGE  OF  THE  SABBATH  FROM  THE  LAST  TO  THE 

FIRST  DAY  OF  TIlE  WEEK. 

If  the  Sabbath  be  of  perpetual  oUigation^  how  has  it 
cKxne  to  pass  that  th6  day  has  been  dianged  frcxn  the 
last  to  the  first  day  of  the  wedc  ? 

In  replying  to  this  question,  we  must  bear  in  mind, 
what  has  already  been  remariLcd,  namely,  that  it  is 
that  which  constitutes  the  Sabbath,  and  not  the  day 
oa  whidi  it  is  held,  that  is  of  moral  and  perpetual 
oMigation.  It  was  the  Sabbath,  and  not  the  day, 
that  God  blessed  and  sanctified.  T^e  day  might 
havd  been  any  one  in  the  week,  as  w^  as  the 
seventh,  had  it  pleased  God  to  appoint  it.  Tliere 
was  indeed  a  propriety  in  selecting  the  last  day  of 
the  w^eek,  because  it  was  the  first  which  shone  upon 
the  world  after  God  had  finished  the  work  of  creation. 
Yet  it  is  evident,  that  God  might  at  a  subsequent 


thehgtUAtflirilDag€f0ie9l^eek.  ^ 

pmod  disMcittte  the  fiabbaitll  fbam  tMs  day,  ^oiM 
circumstances  arise  to  render  it  expediadt ;  mA 
dutf  tl»  i&9tituti(Xi  might  be  applied  to  pitfpoees 
additiooal  to  thone  whidi  appear  to  hare  beed  atl'' 
ffiiunced  in  its  original  appointment  Sudi  a  change 
m^ed  no  alteration  in  the  Sabbath  as  ti  moral  pre- 
cept or  institute;  thia  cbiuige  only  respected  that 
which  altogedrar  d^ndefd  on  tb6  will  of  the  legislator, 
the  day  on  vrtiich  this  unalterable  ordinance  was  to 
be  ofa^erred,.  The  institution^  without  being  abrd- 
gatedt  mi^  surely  be  made  to  comm^norate  ano^ 
ther  oi  die  wonderful  woiks  of  Ood,  in  additida  Id 
the  original  creation. 

Hie  Sabbath  for  the  best  reasons  has  been  trans- 
ferred ftom  the  seventh  to  the  first  day  of  the  weeki 
Tins  transference  took  place  in  oonsideration  of  its 
being  the  day  oa  whidi  the  Saviour  rose  fVom  the 
dead ;— on  whidi  it  was  proved  that  he  had  finished 
that  glorious  work,  in  comparison  of  the  greatness 
of  whidi  the  former  creation  should  not  b6  mentioned, 
nor  come  into  mind^    To  comm^norate  this  work  of 
redeeming  love  and  meitoy,  to  which  deatidn  and 
providence  were  to  be  made  subservient,  it  vras  meet 
that  the  Sabbath  should  become  a  perpetual  me- 
morial of  it.    This  woik»  or  as  it  is  sometimes  styled^ 
"  The  New  Creation,"  is  held  up  by  Prophets  and 
Apostles,  and  by  God  himself,  to  the  view  of  the 
universe,  as  affoiding  the  richest  discovery  of  his 
glory,  and  as  a  grouiKl  of  etemsd  rejoicing  to  all  holy 
beings.    •*  Sing,  O  heavens ;  for  the  Lord  hath  done 
it :  shout  ye  lower  parts  of  the  earth ;  break  forth  into 
singing,  ye  mountains^  O  fwest,  and  every  tree  there- 


840  TTie  Change  of  the  Sabbath  from 

in :  for  the  Lord  hath  redeemed  Jacob,  and  glorified 
himsdf  in  Israel  *." 

If  it  was  expedient  that  the  Sabbath  should  com- 
memorate the  deliveranoe  from  Egypt,  is  it  not  meet 
that  it  should  now  be  a  memorial  of  that  great  re- 
demption from  sin  and  death,  in  which  all  mankind 
are  alike  interested  ?  If,  for  the  glory  of  the  Divine 
Redeemer,  all  things  were  made,  all  things  are  ordered* 
is  it  not  fit  that  to  the  commemoration  of  his  love  and 
power  should  be  dedicated  the  weekly  Sabbath ;  and 
that  thus,  the  views  of  his  disciples  should  be  su- 
premely directed  to  him,  whom  all  are  conmianded  to 
honour,  even  as  they  honour  the  Father  ?  He  who  is 
adored  and  worshipped  as  Redeemer,  is  the  same 
person  who  is  adored  and  worshipped  as  Creator. 
The  great  fact  is  still  commemorated  in  the  observance 
of  the  Sabbath,  ''  That  in  six  days  the  Lord  made 
heaven  and  earth,  the  sea,  and  all  that  in  them  is,  and 
rested  the  seventh  day." 

That  the  Sabbath  has  thus  been  changed  by  divine 
authority  from  the  last  to  the  first  day  of  the  week, 
we  learn  firom  the  recorded  practice  of  the  Apostles 
and  first  christians.  Immediately  after  the  resurrec- 
tion of  our  Lord,  while  they  were  assembled,  and  the 
doors  of  the  house  vvere  shut  for  fear  of  the  Jews, 
Jesus  came,  and  stood  in  the  midst  of  them,  and  said, 
"  Peace  be  unto  you."  On  the  first  day  of  the  follow- 
ing week,  he  appeared  among  them  in  like  manner, 
and  saluted  them  in  similar  terms.  It  was  on  the 
first  day  of  the  week  also  that  the  disciples  were  as- 
sembled with  one  accord  in  one  place  at  the  feast  of 


the  laii  to  the  first  Day  of  the  Week.  841 

Pentecost,  wherf  the  Holy  Spirit  signified  his  appro- 
val by  the  communication  of  his  gifts  and  influences. 
It  was  on  the  first  day  of  the  week,  the  christian 
Sabbath,  that  the  disciples  at  Troas  came  together  for 
to  break  bread ;  that  is,  to  eat  the  Lord's  supper : 
a  mode  of  expression,  which  shews  that  it  was  the 
established  custom  of  the  followers  of  the  Redeemeiif 
to  observe  the  Sabbath  on  the  first  day  of  the  week. 
"  Upon  the  first  day  of  the  week,"  says  the  Apostle 
Paul  to  the  Corinthians,  "  let  every  one  of  you  lay  by 
him  in  store  as  God  hath  prospered  him."  The  ob- 
vious reason  why  this  collection  was  to  be  made  for 
the  poor  saints  at  Jerusalem  on  the  first  day  of  the 
week,  rather  than  on  any  other,  was,  that  it  was  the 
day  on  which  the  disciples  of  Christ  assembled  toge* 
ther  for  divine  worship. 

Nor  should  it  be  forgotten,  in  a  summary  of  the 
evidence  on  this  head,  that  the  Apostle  John  tells  us, 
that  he  was  "  in  the  spirit  on  the  Lord's  day* :"  a  mode 
of  expression  which  he  uses  incidentally ;  and  thus 
evidently  shews,  that  it  was  the  well-known  name  of 
that  day  on  which  the  disciples  assembled  for  the 
worship  of  God,  and  which  was  held  sacred  to  the 
Redeemer. 

I  shall  take  no  further  notice  of  the  testimony  of 
ancient  uninspired  writers  concerning  the  authority 
for  the  change  of  the  Sabbath,  than  to  say,  that  it  is 
very  abundant. 

Nor  do  I  think  it  unnecessary  to  mention  the  divine 
blessing  which  has  been  so  manifesdy  annexed  to  the 
observance  of  the  christian  Sabbath.      It  has  been 

•  Rev.  i.  10. 
Vol.  U.  R 


$49  On  the  Manner  in  which 

rendered  the  effectual  means  of  preserving  the  powe? 
ajid  the  practice  of  true  religion  in  the  world ;  of  Qa- 
larging  the  boundaries  of  the  church ;  and  of  minister* 
|ng  to  the  edification  and  comfort  of  the  pious  and 
excellent  c^  the  human  race.  So  necessary  is  tho 
sanctificatioQ  of  this  day  to  the  interests  of  morality, 
that  these  interests  flourish  or  decline  just  in  propor^ 
tioa  to  the  manner  in  which  it  is  observed. 


Chapter  XIV. 

ON  THE  MANNER  IN  WHICH  THE  SABBATH  SmOULD  BE 

OBSERVED. 

If  the  Sabbath,  as  has  been  proved,  is  of  moral  and 
perpetual  obligation,  it  is  dear  that  all  are  bound  to 
observe  it  according  to  the  designs  of  its  institution. 
It  is  intended  to  comm^norate  the  work  of  creating 
power,  and  more  especially,  the  work  of  redeeming 
love  and  mercy ;  to  give  to  maUi  and  to  the  inferior 
animals,  in  the  service  of  man,  a  season  of  repose ; 
and  to  furnish  the  opportunity,  returning  periodically, 
of  preparing  for  a  state  of  future  being  and  Uesaed* 
ness. 

It  is  needless  to  remark,  that  we  are  bound  to  ab« 
stain  from  the  commission  of  sin  on  this,  as  on  other 
days,  whether  of  thought,  of  word,  or  of  action. 

That  we  are  bound  to  abstain  from  all  Worldly 
business,  is  clear,  from  the  express  words  d*  the  sta^ 
tute ;  *'  Six  days  shalt  thou  labour  and  do  all  thy 
work ;  but  the  seventh  is  the  Sabbath  of  the  Lord  thy 


the  Sabbath  should  be  observed.  t48 

God ;  in  it  thou  shalt  not  do  any  work. "  There  is  hero 
an  express  prohibition  against  all  secular  pursuits. 
Nor  can  any  part  of  that  seventh  portion  of  our  time, 
which  God  commands  us  to  devote  to  him,  be  given 
to  any  mere  worldly  avocation,  without  a  violation  of 
the  sanctity  of  the  Sabbath,  and,  ccmsequently,  with* 
out  dii^onour  to  the  authority  of  heaven.    Though  the 
temporal  sanction  by  which  its  observance  was  en* 
forced  under  the  Jewish  dispensation  does  not  now  re« 
main,  the  former  existence  of  such  a  sanction  in  refer- 
ence to  this  commandment,  shews  the  importance 
which  the  Supreme  Legislator  of  the  universe  attadied 
to  it     "  Ye  shall  keep  the  Sabbath,  therefore,  for  it 
is  holy : — ^whosoever  doeth  any  work  therein,  that  soul 
shall  be  cut  off  from  amongst  his  people/* 

When  it  is  so  obvious  that  all  woildly  employments 
whatever  are  prdiibited,  it  is  unnecessary  to  make  ah 
enumeration  of  what  comes  within  the  prohibition. 
Commercial  transactions,  writing  or  answering  letters 
on  business,  travelling,  requiring  clerks  and  depen* 

dants  to  give  their  attention  to  worldly  concerns, — 

* 

may  be  mentioned  as  violations  of  the  Sabbath,  which, 
though  often  practised,  are  in  direct  contradicfion  to 
the  commandment. 

Nor  does  this  couHnandment  merely  prohibit  an 
outward  attention  to  worldly  employments ;  it  is  vio^ 
lated  by  worldly  thoughts  and  conversation.  The' 
service  whidi  God  requires,  and  which  he  will  accept, 
is  that  of  the  heart.  It  is  clearly  impossible  for  us  ta 
observe  the  day  holily  and  profitably,  that  is,  accord- 
mg  to  the  spiritual  designs  of  its  institution,  without 
a  fimning  of  the  heart  to  the  great  duties  to  be  prac* 

RS 


944  On  ike  Matm^  in  \thieh 


"  If  thou  turn  away  thy  foot  fixMn  the  Sabbath, 
from  doing  thy  pleasure  on  my  holy  day ;  and  call  the 
Sabbath  a  delight,  the  holy  of  the  Lord,  honourable ; 
and  shalt  honour  him,  not  doing  thine  own  ways,  nor 
finding  thine  own  pleasure,  nor  speaking  thine  own 
words :  then  shalt  thou  delight  thyself  in  the  Lord^" 
;  Kor  is  it  less  manifest,  that  we  are  bound  to  abstain 
fix)m  all  secular  pleasures  on  the  Sabbath.  Those  in- 
Qoc^it  amusements  and  indulgences  which  we  may 
Tery  properly  allow  ourselves  at  other  times,  are  not 
lawful  on  this  day,  just  because  they  are  inconsistent 
with  the  serious  and  solemn  thoughts,  the  spiritual 
affoctions  which  we  ought  to  cherish,  and  the  religious 
duties  in  which  we  should  engage.  Whatever  has  a 
direct  tendency  to  divert  our  minds  from  the  holy  pur- 
poses of  the  day,  and  to  unfit  us  for  its  exercises,  such 
as  frivolous  conversation,  journeying,  tlie  perusal  of 
books  of  a  secular  nature,  the  giving  or  receiving  en- 
^rtainments,  we  are  bound,  as  we  regard  the  authority 
of  heaven,  to  shun. 

Pinally ,  we  are  to  abstain  from  wasting  the  hallowed 
hours  of  the  Sabbath  in  idleness.  If,  on  ordinary  oc- 
casions, we  are  commanded  to  be,  not  slothful  in  busi- 
ness, but  fervent  in  spirit,  serving  the  Loid,  it  is 
flurely  incumbent  on  us,  on  that  day  which  God  has 
consecrated  to  himself^  to  serve  him  with  a  holy  ac- 
tivity of  mind,  and  to  call  upon  our  souls,  and  upon 
all  that  is  within  us  to  be  stirred  up  to  bless  and  mag- 
2)ify  the  name  of  the  Lord. 

The  duties  which  we  are  to  perform  on  the  Sabbath 
are,  generally,  all  such  as  are  of  a  religious  nature. 

h  Those  of  public  worship.    We  learn  with  what 

♦  Isa.  Iviii.  13, 14. 


the  Sabbath  should  be  observed.  9M 

fervour  and  delight  good  men  of  old  engaged  in  this 
duty,  from  the  Scriptural  recx^  which  has  been  trans* 
tnitted  to  us  of  their  pious  aspirations.  **  How  ami- 
able are  thy  tabernacles,  O  Lord  of  hosts !  My  soul 
longeth,  yea,  even  fainteth  for  the  courts  of  the  Lord : 
my  heart  and  my  flesh  crieth  out  for  the  living  Qod. 
Blessed  are  they  that  dwell  in  thy  house :  they  will 
be  still  praising  thee.  A  day  spent  in  thy  courts  is 
better  than  a  thousand.  I  had  rather  be  a  door-keeper 
in  the  house  of  my  God,  than  to  dwell  in  the  tents  of 
wickedness  ♦•" 

That  all  are  bound  to  assemble  together  for  the 
worship  of  God  on  the  Christian  Sabbath,  is  clear^ 
not  only  from  the  example  of  the  members  of  the 
Jewish,  and  of  tlie  Divine  Founder  and  of  the  Apostles 
of  the  Christian  church,  but  from  the  language  of  the 
New  Testament.  '*  Let  us  consider  one  another,  to 
provoke  unto  love  and  to  good  works :  not  forsaking 
the  assembling  of  ourselves  together,  as  the  manner 
of  some  is  f  .'*  Nor  will  they  who  revere  the  au^ 
thority  of  Christ  seek  for  any  other  authority  for  the 
performance  of  this  duty,  than  what  is  implied  in  his 
own  gracious  promise :  '*  Where  two  or  three  are 
gathered  together  in  my  name,  there  am  I  in  the 
midst  of  them  X-^* 

Wlien  we  consider,  in  connexion  with  this  direct, 
authority  for  public  worship,  the  numerous  advantages 
derived  from  it,  which  cannot  be  enjoyed  without 
it,  we  are  surely  entitled  to  affirm,  that  the  person 
who  neglects  it  is  violating  a  most  important  and  a 
most  manifest  obligation. 

f  PfliiliD,  IxxxiT*  t  Heb.  X*  Si,  25.  {  Matt,  xviii.  Sa 


S46  On  He  Marnier  in  which 

Prayer  is  an  essential  part  of  public  worship,  oon* 
sisting  of  adoration^  thanksgiving,  and  confession.  It 
is  true,  the  hearer  of  prayer  knows  our  thoughts  afar 
off,  that  he  is  already  acquainted  with  the  sins  to  be 
confessed,  and  with  the  wants  to  be  supplied ;  and  it 
can  be  no  office  of  prayer,  therefore,  to  add  to  his 
knowledge,  or  to  change  his  purpose.  But  if  it  be 
desirable  and  necessary  that  creatures  so  dependenti 
and  helpless,  and  sinful,  should  entertain  a  lively  sense 
of  their  dependence,  and  helplessness,  and  sinfulness, 
what  means  can  be  so  likely  to  keep  alive  this  im- 
pression, as  the  frequent  and  devout  adcnowledgment 
cf  mercies  received,  and  the  humble  offering  of  peti« 
tions  for  blessings  required  ? 

But  the  divine  testimony,  as  to  the  duty  and  effi« 
cacy  of  prayer  is  decisive.  ''  Ask,  and  it  shall  be 
given  you;  seek,  and  ye  shall  find.  Pray  without 
ceasing.  Be  careful  for  nothing,  but  in  every  thing. 
by  prayer  and  supplication,  with  thanksgiving,  let 
your  requests  be  made  known  unto  G6d.  I  exhort, 
Aerefore,  that  first  of  all,  supplications,  prayers, 
intercessions,  and  giving  of  thanks,  be  made  for  all 
men ;  for  kings,  and  for  all  that  are  in  authority,  that 
we  may  lead  a  quiet  and  peaceable  life,  in  all  godli- 
ness and  honesty ;  for  this  is  good  and  acceptable  in 
the  sight  of  God  our  Saviour." 

Praise  is  another  part  of  public  worship,  due  ftom 
us  to  our  Creator,  Preserver,  and  Redeemer.  It  is  au- 
thorized by  Scripture, — by  the  practice  of  the  Church 
in  every  age,— and  by  the  representation  which  is 
given  of  the  worship  of  heaven.  "  O  come,"  says 
the  inspired  Psalmist,  "  let  us  sing  unto  the  Lord ; 


the  Sabbath  should  be  observed.  9,Vi 

let  US  make  a  joyful  noise  unto  the  Rock  of  our  sal- 
vation. Let  us  come  before  his  presence  with  thanks- 
giving, and  make  a  joyful  noise  unto  him  with  psalms. 
Let  the  word  of  Christ  dwell  in  you  richly  in  all 
wisdom;  teaching  and  admonishing  one  another  in 
psalms^  and  hymns,  and  spiritual  songs,  singing  with 
grace  in  your  hearts  to  the  Lord." 

The  hearing  of  the  word  read  and  preached,  and 
the  celebration  of  the.  ordinances  of  baptism  and  of 
the  Lord's  Supper,  are  also  important  parts  of  the 
worship  of  the  Christian  church ;  and  to  be  attended 
to  in  reverential  obedience  to  that  divine  authority  by 
which  they  are  enjoined. 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  remark,  that  in  order  to 
perform  any  of  these  duties  of  public  devotion  really 
and  acceptably,  they  must  be  performed  heartily,  and 
as  unto  the  Lord. 

n.  The  private  duties  of  the  Saibbath  are  family 
worship,  and  individual  and  secret  prayer.  .  These, 
indeed,  are  the  daily  duties  of  every  famUy  and  in- 
dividual. Yet,  the  Lord's  day  is  not  sanctified  with- 
out them:  they  are  to  be  performed  in  connexion 
with  self-examination,  and  the  instruction  and  cate« 
chising  of  children  and  of  servants.  The  hallowed 
leisure  which  this  day  affords  us  is  to  be  diligently 
improved  in  the  discharge  of  all  those  offices  by  which 
the  spiritual  and  eternal  interests  of  ourselves,  and  of 
those  intrusted  to  our  charge,  may  be  promoted. 

in.  Works  of  mercy  and  necessity  are  to  be  per- 
formed on  the  Sabbath.  These  were  admitted  under 
the  Jewish  as  well  as  under  the  Christian  dispensation. 
"  I  will  have  mercy  and  not  sacrifice,"  said  our  Lord 


S4S         On  the  Manner  in  whieh  the  Sabtaihi  &c. 

in  reference  to  this  very  subject.  His  own  dedaratioOi 
that  the  Sabbath  was  made  for  man,  and  not  man  for 
the  Sabbath,  sanctions  the  performance  of  the  works 
in  question. 

Be  it  remarked,  however,  that  a  work  of  necessity 
is  that  which  could  not  be  provided  against  by  ordi- 
nary foresight  and  attention ;  which  cannot  be  de- 
ferred till  another  day ;  and  which,  from  its  obvious 
urgency,  gives  no  encouragement  to  the  violation  of 
the  Sabbath.  A  work  of  undoubted  necessity  and 
mercy  is  a  duty  and  not  an  indulgence. 

There  is  no  commandment  enforced  by  more 
numerous  motives  than  this.  It  is  enjoined  by  the 
authority  of  Heaven ;  sanctioned  by  the  example  of 
God,  who  rested  on  the  seventh  day,  and  by  that  of 
our  Lord,  who  rose  from  the  dead,  and  rested  on  the 
Christian  Sabbath ;  recommended  by  the  important 
nature  of  the  spiritual  duties  to  be  practised  ;  and  by 
its  direct  subserviency  to  our  growing  meetness  for 
everlasting  life.  It  is  the  necessary  and  the  appointed 
ordinance  of  heaven,  for  enlightening,  sanctifying, 
comforting,  and  saving  fallen  beings,  and  which  fur- 
nishes them  on  earth  with  an  emblem  of  the  repose 
and  enjoyment  of  another  world.  With  what  joy  and 
thankfulness  should  we  hail  the  return  of  the  Sabbath, 
given  in  infinite  mercy  to  the  human  race  by  their 
Creator  and  Redeemer.  "  This  is  the  day  the  Lord 
hath  made ;  we  will  rejoice  and  be  glad  in  it." 


«49 


Chaptbe  XV. 

THJE  NECESSITY  OF  PIETY  TO  GOD  TO  THE  EXISTENCE  OP 
TRUE  VIRTUE  AND  MORALITY,  PROVED  BY  THE  STATE  OF 
THE  HEATHEN  WORLD. 

If  the  statements  of  Scripture  which  represent  a  de- 
parture from  God, — a  violation  of  our  duty  to  Him  to 
be  the  source  of  all  sin,  be  well  founded,  it  will  follow, 
that  wherever  ignorance  of  God,  or  idolatry  prevails, 
gross  immorality  will,  at  the  same  time,  abound. 
That  it  did  keep  pace  with  idolatry,  and  that  the  whole 
heathen  world  was  deeply  debased  by  it,  the  Apostle 
Paul  aflSrms.  *'  Being  filled  with  all  unrighteousness, 
fornication,  wickedness,  covetousness,  maliciousness ; 
full  of  envy,  murder,  debate,  deceit,  malignity ;  whis- 
perers, backbiters,  haters  of  God,  despiteful,  proud, 
boasters,  inventors  of  evil  things,  disobedient  to 
parents,  without  understanding,  covenant  breakers, 
without  natural  afiection,  implacable,  unmerciful; 
who  knowing  the  judgment  of  God,  that  they  which 
commit  such  things  are  worthy  of  death,  not  only  do 
the  same, but  have  pleasure  in  them  that  do  them*/* 
The  truth  of  this  humbling  account  of  the  gross 
depravity  and  immorality  of  the  Gentile  world  is  in- 
controvertible. It  would  be  so,  though  there  had  been 
no  other  proof  than  that  which  is  furnished  by  the  in- 
spired record  before  us.  But  the  evidence  arising  from 
other  sources  goes  to  attest  the  reality  of  the  revolting 
and  ?iffecting  condition  held  up  to  our  view  by  the 

•  Rom.  i.  29—32. 


250  The  Necessity  of  Piety  to  God. 

Apostle's  statement.  When  we  consider  that  this  was 
the  state  of  the  whole  world,  with  the  exception  of  the 
Jews,  and  perhaps  a  few  other  individuals, — ^that  they 
were  totally  estranged  in  heart  and  in  life  fxooi  the 
love  and  obedience  of  that  holy  and  glorious  Being 
that  made  them, — ^and  that  they  were  living  in  the 
neglect  of  the  most  important  duties,  in  the  indulgence 
of  every  evil  passion,  and  in  the  practice  of  all  man- 
ner of  wickedness  and  impurity,  we  have  an  appalling 
discovery  of  the  entire  apostacy  of  man,  and  that  all 
have  sinned  and  come  short  of  the  glory  of  Grod. 

The  advantages  which  they  enjoyed,  and  to  which 
we  have  adverted,  of  knowing  the  character,  perfec- 
tions, and  will  of  God,  and  of  loving  and  obeying  himy 
they  had  misimproved,  and  were  now  sunk  in  igno* 
ranee  and  immorality  so  gross,  that  their  extent 
is  ahnost  incredible  and  inconceivable  to  us.  The 
law  which  was  originally  written  on  their  hearts,  and 
which,  in  so  far  as  it  went,  was  an  authorized  rule  of 
moral  obligation,  they  had,  by  their  extreme  impiety 
and  depravity,  in  a  great  measure  obliterated;  and 
the  conscience  also  which  bears  witness,  and  which 
approves,  or  censures  and  condemns,  was  darkened, 
perverted,  and  nearly  silent.  To  this  height  of  un- 
godliness and  unrighteousness  had  they  reached  when 
our  Lord  appeared ;  the  earth  was  filled  with  rapacity, 
fraud,  violence  and  blood ;  and  there  scarcely  remained 
in  many  countries  as  much  virtue  as  is  necessary  to 
prevent  an  entire  dissolution  of  the  bonds  by  which 
society  is  held  together.  In  this  account,  which  the 
Apostle  gives  of  the  state  of  the  Gentile  world,  we 
notice— 


T%e  Neeessitff  of  Piety  to  God.  281 

I.  Their  impiety.  They  are  described  as  not 
liking  to  retain  God  in  their  knowledge, — as  haters  of 
God, — as  changing  the  truth  of  God  into  a  lie,  and 
worshipping  and  serving  the  creature  more  than  the 
Creator.  The  pure  and  holy  character  of  God,  the 
spirituality  of  that  worship  which  he  requires,  the 
rectitude  of  his  law,  were  far  from  being  pleasing 
objects  of  contemplation  to  their  depraved  hearts. 
Their  a£fections  were  alienated  from  the  God  of  truth 
and  holiness ;  they,  therefore,  gave  religious  homage 
to  a  multitude  of  idol  deities;  and  framed  such  a 
system  of  worship  as  encouraged  them  in  their  un- 
godliness and  unrighteousness.  They  did  so  in 
opposition  to  the  light  of  their  conscience,  to  the  great 
truths  concerning  the  being  and  providence  of  God 
which  were  inculcated  by  the  view  of  the  constitution 
and  order  of  the  world,  to  the  doctrines  of  revelation 
transmitted  to  them  by  tradition,  and  lo  the  standing 
memorial  afibrded  to  mankind  of  the  perfections  and 
the  moral  government  of  God,  in  the  history,  preserva-^ 
tion,  ordinances,  and  laws  of  &e  Jewish  nation.  They 
substituted  non-entities  in  room  of  the  living  and 
true  God ;  impure  and  foolish  rites  in  place  of  his 
holy  worship;  and  pleased  themselves  with  gods 
whose  character  accorded  with  their  own,  who  laid  no 
restraints  on  their  corrupt  desires,  but  allowed  them 
to  work  all  uncleanness  with  greediness. 

Hie  most  marked  feature  in  this  impiety  is,  that  it 
arose  from  hatred  to  God.  This  is  the  origin  which 
the  Scriptures  assign  to  the  apostacy  of  man  from  the 
God  that  made  him.  A  principle  of  enmity  has  been 
introduced  into  his  heart,  which  shews  its  operaticm  m 


862  The  Necemiy  ofPietif  to  God. 

the  Jews  as  well  as  in  the  Qentiles»  and  whichj  while 
it  discovered  its  strength  in  both,  by  their  proneness 
to  forsake  and  forget  God,  produced  that  system  of 
idolatry  and  immorality  that  filled  the  world  with 
spiritual  darkness  and  death.  To  them  all  might  fitly 
be  applied  the  language  in  which  Isaiah  described  the 
depravity  and  guilt  of  the  Jews, — *'  Hear,  O  heavens, 
and  give  ear,  O  earth ;  for  the  Lord  hath  spoken ; — I 
have  nourished  and  brought  up  children,  and  they 
have  rebelled  against  me.  The  ox  knoweth  his 
owner,  and  the  ass  his  master's  crib ;  but  Israel  doth 
not  know,  my  people  doth  not  consider.  Ah,  sinful 
nation,  a  people  laden  with  iniquity,  a  seed  of  evil 
doers,  children  that  are  corrupters;  they  have  for- 
saken  the  Lord,  they  have  provoked  the  Holy  One  of 
Israel  unto  anger,  they  are  gone  away  backward : — ^ 
the  whole  head  is  sick,  and  the  whole  heart  faint 
From  the  sole  of  the  foot  even  unto  the  head  there  is 
no  soundness  in  it;  but  wounds,  and  bruises,  and 
putrifying  sores*." 

It  is  a  mistake  to  suppose,  that  the  principle 
of  depravity  in  the  human  heart  which  gave  rise  to 
the  gross  impiety,  polytheism,  and  idolatry  erf  the 
heathen  world,  is  at  all  different  from  that  evil  bias  of 
the  carnal  mind  which  is  enmity  against  God,  and  i& 
not  subject  to  his  law.  The  alienation  of  tlie  mind 
from  God  is  not  the  peculiar  characteristic  of  any  age 
or  of  any  portion  of  our  race,  but  of  every  age,  and  of 
all  mankind.  It  shews  its  operation  in  man  under 
the  profession  of  true  religion  as  well  as  of  false,  and 
in  all  the  stages  of  his  existence,  from  his  cradle  to 
bis  grave.     It  is  more  palpable  in  the  barrier  which 

•  Isa.  i.  4 — 6. 


The  Necekniy  of  Piety  to  God.  t58 

it  raises  up  between  the  presence  of  Grod  and  the  soul 
in  the  system  of  idolatrous  worship ;  but  it  is  not  less 
real  in  the  multitude  of  nominal  christians  who  live 
without  God  in  the  world.  Their  idols  are  those  of 
the  heart, — the  gratifications  of  sense  and  of  intellect : 
tbey  seek  their  happiness,  not  in  God,  but  in  running 
the  career  of  ambition,  or  in  earning  a  reputation  of 
benevolence  and  usefulness,  or,  in  the  enjoyments  of 
domestic  life.  They  are  not  gross  transgressors,  it 
may  be,  of  the  law  of  God,— they  are  not  avowed  un- 
believers in  his  word, — ^they  are  not  iiabitual  neglect* 
era  of  the  forms  of  worship  by  which  he  is  honoured; 
but  does  the  &vour  of  God  form  an  element  in  their 
happiness  ?  How  often  through  the  week,  and  through 
the  year,  do  their  hearts  and  affections  rise  towards 
Him  who  is  alone  adequate  to  be  the  strength  of  our 
hearts,  and  our  portion  for  ever  ? 

II.  The  immorality  of  Uie  Gentiles  was  the  natural 
consequence  of  their  impiety  and  idolatry.  It  is 
religion  that  makes  known  to  man  the  rule  of  moral 
duty,  and  that  presents  the  most  powerful  motives  to 
its  practice.  It  is  this  that  prescribes  it  in  all  its 
extent,  and  enforces  it  by  divine  authority.  But 
in  the  impure  and  cruel  rites,  and  foolish  cere- 
monies that  constituted  the  worship  of  the  gods, 
what  doctrine  was  there  to  be  believed,  and  what  law 
was  there  enjoined,  which  could  be  of  the  smallest 
use  in  regulating  and  directing  moral  conduct.  The 
dBce  of  their  priests  was  not  to  teach  men  to  live 
virtuously,  but  what  gods  they  were  to  worship,  what 
sacrifices  they  were  to  offer,  and  in  what  manner  the 
rites  were  to  be  observed.    Their  religion  had  no 


M4  Th0  Nece^rihf  of  Piety  to  Qo(L 

relatioD  to  the  state  of  the  heart,  or  to  the  practice  of 
the  life,  in  any  other  way  than  to  cherish  and  deep^i 
their  depravity,  by  exhibiting  to  them  in  the  objects  of 
their  worship  the  grossest  impurity  and  immorality. 
The  very  practices  by  which  they  worshipped  the  gods 
were  in  many  instances  of  an  immoral  nature,  and 
had  a  direct  tendency  to  encourage  vice  and  liom- 
tioosness. 

The  darkness  and  irreligion  thus  produced,  iniu- 
enced  every  thing,  with  which,  as  kiihan  beings  and 
moral  agents,  they  were  connected.  It  led  them  to 
shew  thdir  blindness  in  regard  to  the  very  elements 
of  moral  truth  and  duty,  and  to  call  evil  good,  and 
good  evil ;  to  put  darkness  for  light,  and  light  for 
darkness ;  to  put  bitter  for  sweet,  and  sweet  for  bit- 
tsr.  Hence,  their  civil  laws  and  constituti(»is  were,  in 
many  instances,  directly  at  variance  with  moral  obli* 
gation,— permitting,  if  not  enjoining,  the  indulg^ace 
of  sensual  passion,  and  tending^  to  stifle  every  s^iti- 
ment  of  me^  and  compassion  in  the  human  breast 
Hiis  remark  might  be  very  fully  iUustrated  and  proved 
by  a  reference  to  the  laws  and  customs  of  the  most 
civilized  heathen  nations,  many  of  whidi  were  revolt- 
ing to  humanity,  and  contrary  to  the  first  principles  of 
morals. — But  I  observe,— 

III.  That  their  immorality  was  the  consequence  of 
the  blindness  and  impenitence  to  which  Ood  gave 
them  up,  on  account  of  their  extreme  impiety  and 
idolatry.  This  fact,  so  awfid  in  its  nature,  as  the 
severest  infliction  of  divine  wrath,  is  twice  asserted  in 
one  chapter^  *'  Wherefore  God  also  gave  them  up  to 
undeanness  through  the  lusts  of  their  own  hearts,  to 

*  Rom.  i. 


mN0O0tHt^  of  Pi0tf  to  God.  VU 


•  •  I  i-Jl 


thmr  own  bodies  between  ih&mdyw  :*-aad 
eyen  as  they  did  not  like  to  retain  God  in  their  know* 
ledge»  God  gave  them  over  to  a  reprobate  mind,  to  do 
tbosa  things  which  aer  not  convenient/' 

This  doctrine,  bq  oft^aa  alluded  to  in  scripture,  is 
quite  accordant  with  our  views  of  the  holiness  and  jus^ 
tioe  of  God.  Is  he  on  any  ground  bound  to  strivQ 
with  the  conscience  of  the  sinner  after  he  wilfuUy  per^ 
sevei^s  in  blindness  and  iznpeniteiioe  ?  When  moral 
agents  have  miatmproved  their  advantages,  and  done 
dishonour  to  the  government  and  majesty  of  God,  is  it 
not  meet  that  they  should  be  allowed  to  act  according 
to  the  bias  of  their  own  hearts  ?  Is  it  unjust  in  God 
to  withdraw  those  divine  influences  fiom  them  wliidi 
they  have  resisted,  which  they  have  never  sought,  and 
of  which  they  are  anxious  to  be  quit?  In  infinite 
mercy  he  bears  long  with  them,  exercising  his  pa* 
tienoe  and  feigiveness,  and  asks,  virith  the  oompas* 
sionate  tenderness  of  a  parent  towards  his  chidren, 
— **  O  Ephraim,  what  shall  I  do  unto  thee  ?  O  Judah, 
what  shsU  I  do  uiHo  thee  ?  for  your  goodness  is  as  a 
morning  doud,  and  as  the  early  dew  it  goeth  away^ 
How  shall  I  give  thee  up,  Ephraim?  How  shall  I 
ddiver  thee,  Israel ;  how  shall  I  make  thee  as  Admah ; 
how  shall  I  set  thee  as  ZebcHm  ?  Mine  heart  is  turned 
within  me,  my  repentings  are  kindled  together." 

But  we  know  there  is  a  limit  at  which  God  gives 
ftumers  up  to  the  lusts  of  their  own  hearts,  and  when, 
as  it  were,  he  commands  the  means  and  ordinances  of 
his  grace  to  let  them  alone.  '*  My  spirit  shall  not  al« 
ways  strive  with  man  ;  my  people  would  not  heark^i 
to  my  voice,  and  Israel  would  none  of  me.    So  1 


ftSS  The  Necessity  of  Piety  to  God. 

gave  them  up  unto  their  own  hearts*  lusts ;  and  they 
walked  in  their  own  counsels."  This  was  the  state 
of  incurable  insensibility  into  which  many  seem  to 
have  fallen  in  the  days  of  our  Lord,  and  which  occa- 
sioned the  tears  of  the  Saviour,  accompanied  with  the 
memorable  words, — '*  If  thou  hadst  known,  at  least 
in  this  thy  day,  the  things  that  belong  to  thy  peaoe, 
but  now  they  are  hid  from  thine  eyes/* 

The  Gentiles,  by  their  misimprovement  of  the 
means  with  which  they  were  favoured,  by  the  dis- 
honour done  to  the  perfections  and  government  of 
Qod,  in  changing  his  truth  into  a  lie,  and  in  worship- 
ping and  serving  the  creature  more  than  the  Creator, 
brought  down  upon  themselves  the  greatest  of  judg- 
ments. As  they  rejected  God,  even  while  copiously 
showering  his  blessings  upon  them,  he  rejected  them. 
He  gave  them  over  to  a  reprobate  mind.  The  word 
rendered  reprobate  signifies,  to  be  disapproved,  re- 
jected, cast  away,  and  is  used  in  reference  to  that 
part  of  metals  which  is  drossy  and  worthless.  The 
natural  consequence  of  a  soul  being  rejected  of  God  is 
its  becoming  midisceming,  void  of  judgment,  and 
morally  insensible.  How  greatly  the  heathen  nations 
were  destitute  of  discernment  in  religious  truth,  and 
how  wofully  their  moral  feelings  were  impaired  and 
blunted,  the  history  of  their  impiety,  idolatry,  and 
shocking  depravity,  clearly  proves.  We  cannot  help 
wondering  how,  with  the  understanding  and  reason 
with  which  man  is  endowed,  they  were  capable  of 
acting  as  if  they  had  been  totally  void  of  both,  in 
deifying  birds,  and  beasts,  and  the  works  of  their  own 
hands. 


T%e  Necemtjf  of  Piety  to  God.  267 

As  the  consequence  of  their  having  been  given  over 
to  an  insensible  mind,  they  did  those  things  which 
are  not  convenient;  that  is,  those  things  which  are 
not  befitting  or  becoming  their  rational  powers,  the 
relations  in  whidi  they  stand  to  God,  their  Creator, 
moral  Governor,  and  Judge,  and  their  high  destina- 
tion as  immortal  beings.  This  is  a  form  of  expression 
used  to  denote  what  is  most  enormous  and  detestable ; 
and  intimates  that  the  passions  in  which  the  heathen 
indulged,  and  the  immoralities  which  they  freely  com- 
mitted, were  of  a  nature  the  most  monstrous  and  inhu- 
man. They  laboured  to  efSsice  every  trace  of  the 
glorious  Original  from  which  they  sprung,  to  cut  off 
their  connexion  with  the  living  and  true  God,  and 
while  gratifying  the  lusts  of  their  own  hearts,  to  pro- 
mote the  designs,  and  to  do  the  works  of  the  devil. 
But  let  us  notice — 

IV.  The  actual  extent  of  their  immorality.  To 
their  impiety  in  not  only  neglecting  the  duties  which 
they  owed  to  God,  but  in  doing  dishonour  to  his 
perfections  and  government,  I  have  already  alluded. 
Where  love  to  God  is  wanting,  and  an  earnest  endea- 
vour to  give  Him  that  worship  and  obedience  which 
his  law  requires,  there  is  an  inlet  to  all  depravity,  and 
an  incapacity  to  discharge  aright  the  duties  which  we 
owe  our  neighbours  and  ourselves.  The  heathen 
nations,  accordingly,  were  filled  with  all  unrighteous- 
ness, fornication,  wickedness,  covetousness,  malicious- 
ness ;  full  of  envy,  murder,  debate,  deceit,  malignity, 
— ^and  all  the  other  vices  and  crimes  which  the  apostle 
enumerates  in  this  catalogue.    They  were  not  only 

Vol.  IL  S 


«»  The  Necesiitff  of  Ptetjf  to  God. 

guilty  of  these  vices  and  crimes,  but  they  V9ete  filed 
with  them. 

Tlus  gross  and  universal  depravity,  we  are  taaglA» 
by  the  highest  authority,  to  trace  to  the  cortupti<» 
of  the  heart  •*  Out  of  the  heart  proceed  evil  thoughts, 
murders,  adulteries,  fornications,  thefts,  false  witness, 
blasphOTiies."  In  the  heathen  world  many  of  the 
restraints  which  are  laid  on  this  fountain  in  the  lands 
where  the  light  of  revelation  shines  were  withdrawn^ 
and  it  therefore  sent  forth  without  obstruction  its 
polluted  streams.  Here,  fallen  man  shewed  himadf 
in  bis  natural  character,  as  alienated  from  God,  as 
darkened  in  his  understanding,  and  corrupted  in  his 
heart,  the  servant  of  sin,  the  subject  and  the  slave  of 
Satan^  the  very  vassal  of  his  lusts  and  pleasures,  the 
child  of  disobedience,  and  the  despiser  of  the  riches 
of  the  divine  goodness  and  forbearanoe.  The  gods 
which  he  worshipped,  the  affections  which  he  ex- 
hibited, the  deeds  which  he  wrought,  the  kingdom 
which  he  advanced,  shewed  how  widely  and  exclu- 
sively the  pnnce  of  this  world  had  established  his 
dominion  over  him. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  dwell  on  every  particular 
emimerated  by  the  apostle.  We  shall  sdept  a  few  of 
the  crimes  stated,  and  shew  that  the  most  civilized  of 
the  heathen  nations  were  generally  guilty  of  them, 
and  encouraged  to  their  practice  by  the  constitutions, 
laws,  customs,  and  opinions  that  prevailed  among 
them.  They  were  authorised  by  their  rdigion  itnd 
their  laws,  and  committed  without  reserve  by  their 
legislators  and  frfulosophers. 


The  Neceiriiy  of  Piety  to  God.  889 

The  Apostle  begins  with  unrighteousness,  or  injus- 
tice, because  he  had  already  taken  notice  of  the  sins 
committed  agaihst  the  first  table  of  the  law,  and  was 
now  about  to  detail  the  ofiences  against  the  second. 
Hence,  nearly  all  that  follows  may  be  explained  as 
denoting  a  species  of  injustice  committed  in  regard  to 
others  and  ourselves.  Unrighteousness  is  the  generic 
term,  which  comprehends  under  it  the  various  kinds  of 
it  that  are  afterwards  mentioned, — ^fornication,  whidi 
refers  to  the  violation  of  chastity ;  wickedness,  to  a 
delight  in  mischief,  and  a  dispositicm  to  injure  others 
by  craft';  covetousness,  to  violence  and  oppression  in 
regard  to  property ;  maliciousness,  to  that  ill*will  that 
prcxnpts  to  revenge ;  envy,  to  the  honour  and  proch 
perity  of  others  ;  murder,  to  the  injury  done  to  their 
lives ;  debate  or  contrition,  to  a  disregard  to  their 
peace  or  their  opinions ;  deceit,  to  the  seeming  to  be  in 
regard  to  them  what  in  reality  we  are  not ;  malignity, 
to  indifference  as  to  their  misery,  or  even  delighting 
in  the  production  of  it ; — vviusperers,  it  is  supposed, 
are  those  who  secretly  speak  evil  of  persons  when 
they  are  present ;  and  backbiters,  as  distinguished 
from  them,  are  those  who  both  speak  evil  of  others  to 
their  &ce,  and  circulate  slanders  and  calumnies  to 
ruin  their  characters.  The  term,  "  haters  of  Qod,*' 
refers  not  only  to  their  enmity  to  the  laws  and  per- 
fections of  the  holy  and  the  living  God,  but  to  the 
violence  and  persecutions  with  which  they  fdOiowed 
all  who  attempted  to  honour  and  serve  him.  Their 
disposition  towards  the  Jews,  and  their  treatment  of 
the  first  Christians,  furnish  illustrations  of  the  trutk 

s  2 


960  The  Necemijf  of  Piety  to  God. 

with  whidi  the  Apostle  had  in  this  respect  described 
them.  The  expression  "  despiteful"  may  be  rendered 
insolent,  and  refers  to  their  unjust  and  violent  oppres- 
sion of  their  inferiors  and  others.  They  were  also 
proud,  boastful,  inventors  of  evil  things,  and  em- 
ployed  their  ingenuity  in  discovering  new  methods  of 
dishonouring  God,  and  of  indulging  in  cruelty  and 
sensual  gratifications.  They  were  disobedient  to 
parents,  without  understanding,  and  acted  as  if  they 
were  incapable  of  discerning  between  truth  and 
error,  between  good  and  evil.  They  were  covenant- 
breakers,  without  natural  affection,  implacable,  un- 
merciful They  did  these  things,  at  least  their  legis- 
lators, priests,  and  philosophers,  did  these  things,  and 
encouraged  others  in  their  practice,  while  they  knew 
that  they  were  deserving  of  condemnation  and  death. 
In  place  of  acting  agreeably  to  the  knowledge  which 
they  possessed,  they  stifled  their  convictions,  gave 
way  without  restraint  and  without  concealment  to  the 
^ost  criminal  passions,  and  honoured  and  deified  those 
who  had  been  grossly  guilty  of  them. 

But  that  we  may  have  a  more  vivid  impression  of 
the  eoormity  of  the  crimes  committed  in  the  heathen 
world,  that  is^  by  the  whole  world  of  mankind  except 
the  Jews,  it  is  necessary  to  illustrate  at  greater  length 
two  or  three  of  the  particulars  included  in  the  Apo- 
stle's enumeration.  I  shall  say  nothing  more  of  their 
undeanness  and  impurity  than  that  they  were  uni- 
versally abandoned  to  it,  and  sunk  to  the  extreme  of 
corruption  both  in  their  notions  and  practice.  As  to 
their  murderous  and  unmerciful  disposition,  their  pub- 


The  Necessity  of  Piety  to  God.  9Si 

lie  and  piivate  history,  in  as  far  as  we  are  acquainted 
with  it,  furnishes  the  most  ample  evidence.  The  ccoi^ 
duct  of  the  Lacedemonians  towards  their  slaves,  who 
were  regarded  as  the  common  property  of  the  state, 
and  whom  any  one  might  injure  with  impunity,  is  re* 
volting  to  every  feeling  of  humanity.  To  prevent  them 
from  growing  too  numerous  or  powerful,  it  was  a  part 
of  their  policy  to  massacre  them,  on  certain  occasions, 
in  cold  blood,  and  without  the  slightest  provocation.  At 
one  time,  two  thousand  of  them,  whom  they  had  armed 
for  the  defence  of  the  state,  and  by  whose  fidelity  they 
were  materially  assisted  in  bringing  the  war  in  which 
they  were  engaged  to  a  conclusion,  were  deliberately 
and  cruelly  destroyed.  Nor  did  the  Romans  treat 
their  slaves  with  greater  humanity.  They  very  fre^ 
quently  sent  those  who  were  sick,  or  infirm,  or  old, 
into  an  island  in  the  Tyber,  where  they  were  left  to 
perish.  It  is  affirmed  by  respectable  historians*  that 
they  sometimes  ordered  them  to  be  drowned  in  fish*, 
ponds,  that  the  fish  might  be  more  delicate. 

I  shall  say  nothing  of  the  cruelty  and  carnage  that* 
accompanied  their  wars,  undertaken  from  ambition, 
and  conducted  without  a  regard  to  justice ;  nor  of  the 
indiscriminate  slaughter  which  so  often  followed  on 
their  taking  a  city ;  nor  of  the  custom  of  ordering  the 
most  distinguished  of  their  prisoners,  after  employing 
them  to  grace  their  triumphal  entrance,  to  be  put  to 
death.  Their  public  amusements,  which  were  attended 
by  all  ranks,  and  by  the  most  illustrious  females,  are 
sufficient  to  convict  them  of  being  what  the  Apostle . 
styles  them,  murderers  and  unmercifiil.      In  their. 


T%e  Neemity  of  Piety  to  God. 

gladiatory  shows,  they  beheld  human  bemgs  fight 
with  each  other,  or  with  wild  beasts,  till  hundreds 
were  killed  before  them.  When  we  rem^nber  that 
these  diversions  were  exhibited  on  almost  all  public 
occasions,  and  provided  to  the  multitude  by  all  who 
wished  to  acquire  or  retain  popularity, — ^that  they 
were  frequent  in  aU  parts  of  the  Roman  empire,  and 
eagerly  sought  after  by  all  classes,  we  may  form  some 
notion  of  the  extent  to  which  inhumanity  prevailed^ 
and  of  the  number  of  lives  that  were  sacrificed  for 
pleasote.  It  is  estimated  that  a  greater  number  of 
men  was  killed  in  these  cruel  sports,  throughout  the 
jKDvinces,  than  was  slaughtered  in  war. 

That  the  heath^i  in  general,  and  the  more  refined 
of  them  in  particular,  were  often  led  to  subdue  their 
natural  affisction,  and  to  exhibit  on  many  occasions  a 
total  want  of  it,  is  clear,  from  the  mode  in  whidi 
parents  treated  their  children,  and  in  which  parents, 
in  their  turn,  were  dealt  with  by  their  own  offis^nring. 
Among  the  Lacedemonians,  the  father  was  obliged  by 
the  laws,  to  bring  his  child  to  be  examined  by  the 
men  of  his  tribe ;  and  if  after  viewing  the  infant  they 
found  it  weakly  or  deformed,  they  caused  it  to  be 
destroyed.  The  Romans  were  allowed  by  law,  to 
destroy  all  their  female  children  but  the  eldest;  and 
it  appears  that  parents  of  the  best  character  availed 
theoBBelves  of  this  permission.  Eminent  philosophers, 
Plato,  Anstotle,  and  others,  prescribed  or  approved 
this  unnatural  practice.  Thus  were  mankind  taught 
by  law  and  by  phitosophy,  to  offer  violence  to  one  of 
the  strongest  and  best  affixtions  of  the  heart,  and  to 


Tk&  NeeMiig  dfPiei^  to  God.  f68 

reckon  that  the  taking  away  of  the  lives  of  their  chil* 
dren  was  not  a  crime.  In  like  manner  was  it  the 
custom  in  several  ancient  nations  for  children  to  ex- 
pose  or  destroy  their  sick  or  aged  parentSi  under  the 
pretence  that  this  was  better  for  diem  than  to  wait  for 
their  natural  death.  I  shall  lay  no  stress  on  Nero*s 
murdering  his  mother  Agrippina»  because  Nero  was 
a  monster  of  depravity ;  but  the  reader  of  ancient  his- 
tory will  meet  with  numerous  examples  to  prove,  that 
the  heathen  nations  shewed  a  deficiency  in  natural 
affection. 

They  were  also  implacable.  They  were  strangers 
to  that  disposition  to  forgive  those  who  injure  us, 
wbidi  the  Gospel  inculcates.  Some  of  their  philoso- 
phers considered  it  pusillanimous  not  to  retaliate ;  and 
in  practice,  all  exhibited  the  spirit  of  revenge.  They 
would  not  aUow  that  forgiving  mercy  could  form  any 
part  of  a  perfect  character.  They  were  not  less  de- 
ficient in  general  benevolence.  With  what  cruelty 
and  barbarity  did  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  especially 
the  Ibnner,  treat  all  other  nations !  And  how  com- 
mon Was  it  for  the  Gentiles,  both  as  nations^  and  as 
individuals,  to  be  covenant-breakers,  to  be  deceitful, 
&lse,  and  fraudulent,  indifferent  as  to  the  means,  pro- 
vided they  could  attain  their  end.  The  most  virtuous 
and  the  wisest  of  their  philbsophers  taught  them,  that 
lying  is  lawfiil  when  it  is  profitable,  and  consequently 
led  them  to  make  light  of  their  most  solemn  engage- 
ments. 

It  is  somewhat  remarkable,  that  with  all  this  de- 
pravity they  should  have  been  distinguiiAed,  more 


S64  The  Necwlty  of  Piety  to  God. 

especially  their  learned  men,  for  their  pride  and  adC- 
sufficiency .  They  were  accustomed  to  speak  of  them* 
selves  as  being  on  an  equality  with  the  gods,  and  in 
one  thing  to  excel  even  the  gods,  their  being  wise  and 
good  by  their  own  choice.  What  can  be  conceived 
more  boastful  and  assuming  than  the  following  strain 
of  a  stoical  philosopher :  ''  I  am  excellent  in  wisdom ; 
I  have  performed  many  difficult  labours ;  I  have  van-* 
quished  pleasures ;  I  have  vanquished  riches ;  I  have 
vanquished  ambition;  I  have  wrestled  against  and 
subdued  cowardice  xmd  flattery.  Fear  and  intem* 
perance  have  nothing  to  say  against  me ;  sorrow  is 
afraid  of  me.  For  the^e  things  am  I  crowned  by  my* 
self,  as  being  my  own  master,  and  under  my  own  com* 
mand.  I  shall  not  build  altars  to  others,  but  others  to 
me. "    I  would  now  observe, 

I.  That  this  survey  of  the  impiety,  idolatry,  and 
gross  immorality  of  the  heathen  world  shews  the 
universal  depravity  of  mankind.      It  is  true,  the 
Apostle  has  only  hitherto  applied  his  charge  of  uni- 
versal depravity  to  the  Gentiles ;  but  we  should  be 
entitled  to  conclude,  (even  though  he  had  not  proved 
the  same  charge  against  the  Jews  in  the  following 
chapter,)  that  the  corruption  which  pervaded  the  whole 
heathen  world,  was  the  corruption  which  is  natural  to 
man.     A  cause  whose  operation  was  so  invariable, 
whose  effects  reached  every  individual  and  all  classes, 
and  which  were  exhibited  in  the  most  monstrous  ido- 
latry and  immorality,  must  be  universal.    It  was  not 
confined  to  any  age  or  country,  but  common  to  all, — 
acquiring  greater  strength  as  mankind  advanced,— 


The  Necessity  of  Piety  to  God.  286 

pfompting  them  to  effiioe  from  their  nature  all  that  yet 
remained  of  the  image  oC  Him  that  made  them, — and 
converting  a  world,  which  the  voice  of  the  Creator  had 
ODce  pronounced  to  be  very  good,  into  the  theatre  of 
impiety  and  crime,  and  wide-spreading  ruin  and  death. 
These,  though  only  some  of  the  evidences,  incontrover* 
tibly  prove,  that  all  mankind  are  fallen  and  apostate, — 
that  they  are  in  a  state  of  rebellion  against  God, — ^that 
they  are  exposed  to  his  displeasure,  and  under  his 
righteous  condenmation, — and  that  every  mouth  must 
be  stopped,  and  all  the  world  become  guilty  before 
God  •*  What,  then,  are  we  better  than  they  ?  No, 
in  no  wise ;  for  we  have  before  proved  both  Jews  and 
Gentiles,  that  they  are  all  under  sin,  as  it  is  written, 
there  is  none  righteous,  no,  not  one.  There  is  none 
that  understandeth,  there  is  none  that  seeketh  after 
God.  They  are  all  gone  out  of  the  way,  they  are  to- 
gether become  unprcfitable;  there  is  none  that  doeth 
good,  no,  not  one*.'* 

Numerous  and  revolting  as  were  the  vices  and 
crimes  which  filled  the  heathen  world,  they  were 
only  streams  issuing  from  the  polluted  fountain  of 
human  nature.  The  heart  which  is  their  source  we 
carry  along  with  us ;  and  the  highest  authority  has 
declared  this  heart  to  be  deceitful  above  all  things, 
and  desperately  wicked ; — to  be  enmity  against  God, 
and  not  subject  to  his  law.  And  the  alarming  con- 
sideration that  we  are  tlius  depraved, — ^that  we  have 
spiritually  and  morally  undone  and  destroyed  our- 

*  Rom.  iii.  10-— 90. 


•66  The  Neeeniiy  of  Pietg  to  Goi. 

Helves,*— that  we  have  brougbt  down  upon  us  the 
wrath  of  that  God  from  whose  presence  and  power  no 
swiftness  can  flee, — ^the  consideration  should  awaken 
us  to  earnest  concern  and  inquiry. 
.  IL  The  depravity  and  guilt  of  nonuoal  diristians 
are  not  less  aggravated  than  were  those  of  the  hea- 
then. Some,  indeed,  have  made  it  the  ground  of  an 
objection  to  the  divine  authority  of  Christianity,  that 
its  efficacy  has  not  been  made  more  manifest  in  re* 
straining  iniquity.  They  allege  that  crimes  as  atro* 
cious  have  been  committed  under  its  profession  as 
have  ever  been  perpetrated  under  the  darkness  of 
heathenism.  Admitting  it  were  so,  what  ooukt  it 
prove  against  the  truth  and  divine  authority  of  a  re- 
ligion which  denounces  the  wrath  of  Ood  against  all 
ungodliness  and  unrighteousness  of  men ;  and  which 
teaches  its  disciples  by  the  most  powerful  obliga* 
tions  and  motives  to  deny  all  ungodliness  and  worldly 
lusts,  and  to  live  soberly  and  righteously  in  the 
world? 

The  existence  of  so  much  impiety  and  unrighteous- 
ness, fraud  and  oppression,  under  the  light  of  the 
Qospei,  prove,  indeed,  the  universal  corrupticni  of  hu- 
man nature ;— <x>rruption  which  continues  and  abounds 
in  resistance  to  its  invitationsi  prc^nises,  warnings, 
and  threateningsr^and  which,  though  its  gross  abomi- 
nations  are  forced  by  our  laws  and  customs  into  datfc 
recesses,  sufficiently  shews  its  dominion  and  inve- 
teracy. But  how  much  more  aggravated  is  the  guilt 
of  those  who  give  way  to  it  under  our  advantages, 
than  that  of  the  heathen !     The  light  of  revelation 


The  Neeeuiisf  of  IH0t^  to  Ood.  Wl 

enablefi  us  clearly  to  read  that  same  book  of  nature 
which  was  opea  to  them»  but  which  seems  to  bare  been 
hid  in  obscurity.  We  haye  afforded  to  us  a  bright 
discovery  of  the  unity,  character,  and  perfections  of 
the  living  and  true  Qod ;— of  what  he  is,  as  the  Lord 
God  merciful  and  gracious,  and  abundant  in  goodness 
and  truth ;  and  we  have  a  still  more  intimate  and 
affecting  manifestation  of  his  glory  in  the  person  of 
his  own  Son,  who  is  the  image  of  the  invisible  Gkxl, 
the  brightness  of  his  Father's  glory,  and ;  the  express 
image  of  his  person.  This  divine  Beiog  gives  us  the 
knowledge  of  God,  not  by  words  only,  but  by  actions, 
by  his  assumption  of  human  nature,  by  his  taking 
upon  him  the  form  of  a  servant,  by  his  life  of  obe* 
dience  to  the  will  of  God, — ^and  by  his  humbling  him- 
self, and  becoming  obedient  unto  death,  even  the  death 
of  the  cross.  He  presents  to  our  view  the  excellency 
and  suitableness  of  his  offices  as  a  Saviour,  and 
offers  us  that  great  salvation  from  sin,  and  death, 
which  he  has  wrought  out.  His  large  and  unlimited 
invitations  oS  meTcy  are  adapted  to  the  guilt  and  help^ 
lessness  of  a  rebellious  and  perishing  worM.  ''  I  come 
not  to  call  the  righteous,  but  sinners  to  repentance. 
The  son  of  man  is  come  to  seek  and  to  save  that  which 
was  lost.  Him  that  cometh  unto  me,  I  wiU  in  no  wise 
cast  out.*' 

But  have  these  manifold  mercies  been  improved  1 
How  many  are  there,  who,  thou^  restrained  by  public 
opinion,  and  by  the  laws,  from  those  excesses  which 
were  common  among  the  Gentiles,  are  filled  with  all 
unrighteouaness,  and  prove  that  their  hearts  and 


268  Tke  Necemty  of  Piety  to  God. 

lives  are  away  from  the  love  and  the  obedience  that 
are  due  to  God !  There  are  none  among  us  who  wor- 
ship idols  of  wood  and  stone ;  but  how  many  are  there 
who  live  without  God ; — who  feel  a  painful  restraint 
in  being  subject  to  his  authority; — ^who  prosecute 
their  business  or  their  pleasure  as  if  he  were  not 
entitled  to  be  consulted,  and  as  if  he  had  no  right  to 
interfere  with  their  pursuits, — and  who,  in  their  whole 
lives,  are  practically  saying  unto  God, ''  Depart  from 
us ;  for  we  desire  not  the  knowledge  of  thy  ways. 
What  is  the  Almighty  that  we  should  serve  him,  and 
what  profit  should  we  have  if  we  pray  unto  him  ?" 
'  How  numerous  are  they  in  christian  lands,  and 
among  ourselves,  who,  though  they  do  not  worship 
idols  in  the  same  way  as  the  heathen,  agree  with  them 
in  overlooking,  neglecting,  and  dishonouring  the  living 
and  true  God !  Are  there  none  who  are  haters  of  God, 
and  as  the  evidence  of  it,  live  in  the  total  neglect  of 
prayer,  who  despise  the  ordinances  of  religion,  who 
flee  from  all  that  bears  the  signature  of  heaven,  as  they 
would  from  an  enemy,  and  whose  unconstrained  habits 
of  criminal  self-indulgence  leave  them  neither  leisure 
nor  inclination  to  commune  with  the  mighty  God  who 
gives  them  life,  and  breath,  and  all  things?  Lest  they 
should  be  reminded  of  this  state  of  moral  insensibility ; 
lest  any  circumstance  should  awaken  in  their  hearts 
any  feeling  of  gratitude  to  Him  whose  mercies  con- 
tinually sustain  them,  they  arrest  not  the  course  of  their 
pleasures,  and  but  as  little  as  possible  of  their  busi- 
ness on  the  day  which  God  has  commanded  us  to  re- 
member and  keep  holy.    They  willingly  forget  God, 


The  Necmity  of  Piety  to  God.  S69 

and  flee  from  every  symbol  of  his  presence.  They 
not  only  live  without  God  in  the  world,  but  retire  from 
the  means  that  might  awaken  their  consciences,  and 
convince  them  of  their  sin. 

^  III.  It  appears  from  this  subject  that  man — every 
man,  stands  in  need  of  a  great  and  mighty  Saviour. 
Into  what  an  abyss  of  depravity,  and  guilt,  and  misery 
has  he  fallen !  How  delusive  and  pernicious  is  the 
notion  which  many  persist  in  entertaining,  that  they 
have  still  something  about  themselves  to  which  they 
may  ding — that  their  virtues  when  weighed  with  their 
vices  preponderate, — ^that  God  is  not  so  severe  as  to 
deal  rigorously  with  his  creatures  on  account  of  their 
imperfections, — and,  therefore,  that  they  have  cause 
to  soothe  their  minds  with  the  hope  that  all  is  well  with 
them.  I  would  tell  them  from  the  word  of  God,  not 
only  that  they  are  sinners,  but  that  in  their  natural 
state,  and  while  unregenerate,  their  hearts  and  their 
lives  are  full  of  sin,  and  that  their  whole  course  is  a 
continued  dishonour  to  God.  Could  we  convince  them 
of  this;  and  that  their  condition  is  as  much  that  of 
helpless,  and  lost,  and  ruined  creatures,  as  that  of  the 
Gentiles  who  were  filled  with  aU  unrighteousness,  how 
would  they  at  once  relinquish  every  hope  of  obtaining 
acceptance  on  the  footing  of  their  own  merits,  and  with 
what  earnestness  would  they  inquire  what  must  they 
do  to  be  saved  ? 

IV.  This  survey  of  the  state  of  the  heathen  world  also 
teaches  us  that  piety  to  God  is  essential  to  morality. 


S70 


Chapter  XVI. 

PIETY  TO  GOD  AN  ESSENTIAL  PRINCIPLE  OF  TflUB 

VIRTUE. 

Undebstanding  and  will  are  necessary  to  constitute 
a  being  a  moral  and  an  accountable  agent.  These 
qualiiScations  form  their  possessor  the  subject  of  praise 
or  blame,  of  reward  or  punishment  Without  intelli- 
gence, an  agent  could  not  act  with  a  designed  reference 
to  law,  or  propose  an  object  to  himself  in  his  conduct ; 
and  without  will,  or  liberty  to  act,  and  of  refraining 
fipom  acting,  he  cannot  be  accountable. 

That  the  will  of  Gkxl  is  the  only  rule  of  moral  feel- 
ing and  conduct  has  been  already  shdwn.  But  there 
remains  a  question  of  great  importance  for  our  con- 
sideration, namely,  what  is  the  end  which  we  are 
bound  to  propose  to  ourselves  in  all  our  conduct ;  or, 
in  other  words,  what,  in  order  to  constitute  our  actions 
virtuous,  must  be  our  leading  design  in  their  perform- 
ance ? 

It  is  quite  obvious,  that  before  we  can  decide  as  to 
the  morality  of  an  action,  we  must  ascertain  the  nature 
of  the  principle  from  which  it  proceeds.  It  may,  as 
to  its  outward  form,  be  good  and  beneficial,  and  yet 
the  agent  in  its  performance  be  totally  void  of  a  vir- 
tuous principle.  The  doings  of  an  individual  who  is 
gratifying  his  pride,  or  ambition,  or  selfishness,  may 
be  highly  conducive  to  the  welfare  of  the  community; 
though,  it  must  be  evident,  they  have  nothing  in  them 
of  true  virtue.    "  If  two  individuals  were  to  expose 


to  Chd  an  eUeniialf  ^c.  flTl 

th^diBelveB  to  the  same  peril,  and  if  we  could  be  made 
to  understand,  that  the  one  had  no  other  motive  for 
this  apparently  generous  exposure,  than  the  wish  of 
securing  a  certain  amount  of  happiness  to  hiznself,  at 
some  time,  either  near  or  remote ;  the  other,  no  motive 
but  thai  of  saving  a  life  which  was  dearer  to  him  than 
his  own ; — the  action  in  both  cases  is  the  same,—- but 
in  which  case  would  our  fiselings  of  moral  i^[^robati(»i 
more  8tr(xigly  arise  ?" 

''  The  miser,  whose  sordid  parsimony  we  scorn, 
exhibits  in  his  whde  life,  at  least,  as  mudh  mortifica- 
tion of  sensual  appetite,  as  the  most  abstemious  her- 
mit,  whose  voluntary  penance  we  pity  and  almost  re- 
spect The  seeming  patriot,  who,  even  in  the  pure 
nuiks  of  those  generous  guardiims  of  the  public  who 
sincerely  defend  the  freedom  and  happiness  of  the 
land  which  they  love,  is  a  patriot,  perhaps,  most  un- 
willingly, because  he  has  no  other  prospect  of  sharing 
that  public  corruption  at  whidi  he  rails,  will  still  ex^ 
pose  the  corruption  with  as  mudi  ardour  as  if  he  truly 
thought  the  preservation  of  the  liberty  of  his  country 
a  more  desirable  thing  than  an  office  in  the  treasury. 
If  we  were  to  watdi  minutely  the  external  actions  of 
a  very  skilful  hypocrite  for  half  a  day,  it  is  possible 
that  we  might  not  discover  one,  in  which  the  secret 
passion  within  burst  through  its  disguise ;  yet,  if  we 
had  reasc»i  before  to  regard  him  as  a  hypocrite,  the 
very  closeness  of  the  resemblance  of  his  actions,  in 
every  external  circumstance,  to  those  of  virtue,  would 
only  exeite  still  more  our  indignation*.'* 

The  action  ift  either  virtuous  or  vicious  just  as  the 

*  Brown* 8  Lectoret,  toI.  iii.  p.  575. 


278  'Piety  to  God  an  etieritid 

mind  of  the  agent  is  virtuous  or  vicious  in  its  perfor- 
mance. The  action  takes  its  character  from  the  mo- 
tives and  dispositions  which  lead  to  its  accomplish- 
ment This  is  a  fiindamental,  and  I  may  add,  an  in- 
controvertible axiom  in  morals. 

What  are  the  motives  and  dispositions  which  are 
necessary  to  constitute  an  agent  and  his  conduct  vir- 
tuous ?  Love  to  God  and  to  our  fellow-creatures  is 
all  that  the  divine  law  requires,  and,  consequently, 
when  exercised  to  the  extent  which  is  due,  is  suflSdent 
to  render  us  pure  and  holy,  or  rather,  is  itself  purity 
and  holiness ;  but  as  God  claims  to  be  loved  with 
the  whole  heart,  and  above  all  other  objects,  his  glory 
must  be  the  leading,  the  chief  end  which  we  propose 
to  ourselves  in  our  pursuits  and  conduct.  It  is  only  when 
a  moral  agent  voluntarily  aims  at  this  as  the  great 
purpose  of  his  being,  and  designs  its  advancement  in 
all  that  he  does,  that  he  fulfils  the  end  for  which  he 
was  made,  or,  in  other  words,  that  he  is  truly  virtuous. 

It  is  not  necessary  here  to  define  what  is  meant  by 
the  glory  of  God.  It  is  the  ridbies,  the  infinite  fulness 
of  the  divine  nature,  which  God  himself  contemplates 
with  complacency,  and  which,  we  are  assured,  is 
closely  connected  with  his  blessedness.  He  has  mani- 
fested the  inexhaustible  riches  of  his  power,  wisdom, 
justice,  goodness,  and  mercy,  in  giving  being  and 
happiness  to  the  universe ;  and,  more  especially,  in 
the  restoration  of  being  and  happiness  in  a  peculiar 
way  to  sinful  creatures.  The  excellences  of  God, 
either  in  himself,  or  as  displayed  to  the  view  of  in- 
telligent beings,  are  his  glory,  in  comparison  of  which, 
the  whole  creation  is  less  than  nothing,  and  vanity. 


Principle  of  ail  true  Virtue.  971S 

Revelaticm  affirms  that  this  is  the  ultimate  end  for 
which  all  things  have  been  made ;  which  the  dispen- 
sati(xis  of  providence  are  to  subserve ;  and  whidi  tlM 
new  creation,  the  work  of  redeeming  merc^,  is  de- 
signed to  illustrate.  ''  Thou  art  worthy,  O  Lord,  to 
recdtve  glory,  and  honour,  and  power :  for  thou  hast 
created  all  things,  and  for  thy  pleasure  they  are  and 
were  created."  Every  part  of  the  divine  procedure, 
whether  it  be  the  exercise  of  creating,  of  preserving, 
or  of  redeeming  power  and  goodness,  has  for  its  final 
otgect  the  manifisstation  and  the  furtherance  of  the 
glory  of  Qod.  This  is  the  object  for  which  man  has 
been  so  richly  endowed,  and  which  he  is  commanded 
vohmtarily  to  promote.  This  design  he  is  ever  to 
keep  in  view  in  the  minutest  parts  of  his  conduct 
**  Whether  ye  eat,  or  drink,  or  whatsoever  ye  do,  do 
all  to  the  glory  of  God. — ^Ye  are  bought  with  a  price, 
therefore  glorify  God  in  your  body  and  in  your  spirit; 
which  are  God*s.-^Let  your  light  so  shine  before  men, 
that  they  may  see  your  good  works,  and  glorify  your 
Father  who  is  in  heaven." 


CHAtTEa  XVIL 

WHAT  IS  INCLUDED  IN  ACTING  FROM  A  SUPREME  REGARD  TO 

THE  GLORY  OF  GOD. 

If  it  be  the  duty  of  man  to  have  a  supreme  regard  in 

all  his  conduct  to  the  glory  of  God,  it  may  be  asked, 

what  is  in(^ided  in  his  acting  thus,  or  what  are  the 

things  implied  in  his  being  influmoed  by^this  as  a 
Vol.  IL  T 


9(1$  WhtU  is  included  in  acting  firm  a 


]atdn4i  pnnoiple  ?  It  i9  clear,  that  it  impliei  lov^  to 
Qodr^an  uniform  referrace  to  his  will  as  our  nile,*^ 
fusd  ft  deigned  subserviency  to  his  glory  as  our  end. 

I.  liove  to  Qod  is  essratially  necessary  to  our  b«ing 
properly  affected  with  a  concern  for  his  glory ;  so  mudi 
flpi  tltat  the  possession  of  it  in  the  degree  required^ 
would  ensure  the  exercise  of  the  principbs  of  a  pure 
AOd  holy  conduct.  When  the  heart  is  filled  and  regu«^ 
lated  by  the  love  of  delight  and  complacency  in  Qod 
M  the  most  holy  and  the  best  of  Beings  ;-*-*and  of  good 
will  \Q  him  as  infinitely  deserving  of  aU  the  benevdeat 
§ai  reverential  affection  of  which  we  are  capable  ;-*^ 
Ud  of  gratitude  to  him  as  the  Author  of  our  bmng,  of 
our  pow^ps,  of  our  mercies»  and  of  the  eternity  of  hap« 
piitess  which  he  has  taught  us  to  look  for  ^-it  is  need* 
tess  to  say,  that  the  honour  of  God,  in  his  ofaarader, 
jHUthority,  and  government,  will  exert,  as  a  prindple 
of  aQtini,  an  entire  supremacy  over  the  man.  Wha(t» 
wdeed,  is  zeal  for  the  divine  glory  but  lov«  to  Ood, 
ill  some  measure  ccMrresponding  to  the  infinitude  of 
his  excellences,  and  of  his  claims,  and  leading  to  a  oor^ 
dial  co-operation  with  him  in  advancing  the  happiness 
of  the  universe  ?  In  proportion  as  this  love  predomi- 
nates, will  the  motives  and  dispositions  be  pure,  and 
the  nature  and  conduct  be  virtuous. 

II.  The  supremacy  of  the  principle  in  question,  im- 
plies an  uniform  reference  to  the  will  of  Qod  as  out 
rule.  This  alone  is  the  infallible  standard  and  mea- 
wxe  of  all  virtuous  feeling  and  conduct.  It  is  only 
1>y  an  appeal  to  this,  therefore,  that  we  can  aso^tain 
.wbetl^er  our  dispositions  and  actions  come  under  thi» 


S9^mma  Regard  to  the  Ohry  of  God.  tKT! 

Before  we  feel  concern  in  the  honour  of  any  one, 
there  must  be  a  similarity  of  views,  and  some  con* 
fonnity  of  will.  We  cannot  glorify  Grod  unless  his 
will,  in  whatever  way  that  is  revealed,  be  the  delight 
of  our  heart»  and  the  rule  of  our  lives.  All  outward 
services,  though  they  may  unintentionally,  on  the  part 
of  the  agent,  tend  to  the  furtherance  of  the  divine 
glory,  or  be  overruled  for  its  advancement,  are,  of 
course,  nothing  in  his  sight,  without  the  inward  prin« 
dple  of  obedience.  Without  this,  to  give  charactdr  to 
the  action,  the  possession  of  the  most  amiable  dis- 
position, and  the  constitutional  benevolence  of  a  whole 
life,  will  not  vindicate  us  from  the  charge  of  living 
without  God.  If  there  be  not  in  the  heart  an  habitual 
desire  to  submit  to  the  will  of  God  as  our  Maker  and 
Owneri  and  to  obey  him  as  our  great  Lord  and  Go* 
vemor,  and  to  rest  in  Him  as  our  ultimate  end  and 
object,  we  are  neglecting  the  design  of  our  being,  and 
consequently  are  not  acting  virtuously* 

The  man  who  believes  that  the  will  of  God  is  wise 
and  good,  and  who  places  himself  and  all  that  CDd<- 
cems  him  for  time  and  eternity  at  its  disposal,  regU'^ 
lates  his  powers,  talents,  relations,  and  prospects,,  ac^ 
cording  to  its  decisions.  He  endeavours  to  bring  the 
thoughts  and  affections  of  his  heart,  and  the  whole 
course  of  his  life  into  obedience  to  this  authority ;  and 
aims  both  at  the  doing  and  the  suffering  all  that  it  may 
please  God  to  appoint  for  him.  In  consequence  of 
Uiis  habitual  reference  to  the  divine  will,  he  lives  as 
in  the  immediate  presence  of  God,  and  looks  t6  bis 
glory  as  the  ultimate  end  of  all  that  he  does. 

IIL  Before  we  can  supremely  seek  the  advance^ 

T  S 


J78  What  is  included  in  acting  from  a 

meat  of  the  glory  of  God,  there  must  be  an  intentional 
ooDsecration  of  ourselves  to  this  object.  It  is  to  the 
Toluntary  oo-operation  and  service  of  moral  agents, 
directed  to  this  end,  that  God  attaches  any  value ;  be- 
cause that  alone  renders  themselves  and  their  ser- 
vices virtuous.  That  in  all  their  doings  there  should 
be  a  designed  subserviency  to  God  and  to  his  glory, 
IS  clear,  both  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  and  from 
the  language  of  Scripture.  "Whether  ye  eat,  or 
drink,  or  whatsoever  ye  do,  do  all  to  the  glory  of  God. 
— Whatsoever  ye  do  in  word  or  deed,  do  all  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  giving  thanks  to  God  and  the 
Father  by  him. — Glorify  God  in  your  bodies  and  spi- 
rits, which  are  his.'' 

We  may  receive  credit  from  a  fellow-creature,  when 
our  conduct  accords  with  his  inclinations,  though  we 
never  seriously  designed  to  please  him ;  but  we  can- 
not so  impose  on  a  Being  who  claims  the  heart  as  bis 
right,  and  whose  onmisdence  discerns  how  far  this 
daim  is  complied  with.  The  actions  which  cannot 
please  an  earthly  friend,  as  proofs  of  affection,  when 
he  knows  that  they  were  neither  begun  nor  ended 
with  any  design  of  pleasing  him,  cannot  be  acceptable, 
when  performed  in  a  similar  manner  to  God. 

Are  not  those  actions  truly  virtuous,  it  will  be  asked, 
which  proceed  from  the  moral  feelings  of  our  nature, 
even  though  they  should  not  be  performed  with  an  im* 
mediate  view  to  the  authority  and  glory  of  God?  Is 
not  the  action  of  the  dutifld  child,  who  instinctively 
exerts  its  strength  in  relieving  the  necessities  of  an 
aged  parent,  though  in  performing  this  duty  it  should 
never  think  of  the  will  of  the  Deity,  pleasing  in  the 


fupreme  Regard  to  the  Glory  of  God.  SI9 

si^t  of  Him  who  has  commanded  children  to  honour 
their  father  and  mother  ?  Is  not  the  conduct  of  the  man, 
who  yields  to  the  gentle  emotions  of  hmnanity ,  by  has^ 
tening  to  the  house  of  mournings  to  console  and  ani* 
mate  the  su£ferers»  in  conformity  to  the  will  of  God  and 
agreeable  to  him»  though  the  authority  of  God  should 
not  have  been  in  all  his  thoughts  I  Does  the  most  vir- 
tuous being  on  earth  think  of  the  Almighty,  of  hid 
will  as  his  rule>  and  of  his  glory  as  his  ultimate  end, 
every  time  he  performs  a  beneficent  action  ?  Is  this 
compatible  with  the  weakness  of  humanity  %  Could 
it  have  been  uniformly  practised  by  prophets  and 
apostles  ? — ^In  reply  to  this,  I  remark, — 

That  there   are  certain  afiections  in  our  nature 
which  are  common  to  us  with  the  inferior  animals. 
To  these  I  have  already  alluded,  and  do  not  intend 
to  recur  to  them.    The  exercise  of  some  of  them 
is  doubtless  most  beautiful,  whether  in  the  human 
species,  or  in  the  brute  creation.     They  have  a  soft- 
ening  iuAuence  upon  man ;  and  though  they  are  not 
entitled  to  the  sacred  name  of  virtue,  when  the  actions  to 
which  they  lead  are  performed  apart  from  intelligence 
and  design,  they  may  be  considered  as  important  auxi* 
Uaries  to  it.    It  is  not  possible  to  witness  the  fondness 
with  which  the  young  of  all  animals  are  regarded  by 
those  who  have  been  instrumental  in  giving  them 
being,  without  interest.   The  mother,  when  she  hangs 
sleepless,  night  after  night,  over  the  cradle  of  her  sick 
infant,  even  though  she  does  not  think  for  a  single 
moment,  that  it  is  for  the  good  of  mankind,  and  agree- 
able to  the  will  of  heaven,  that  she  should  act  thns^ 
(Joes  what  is  in  itself  most  lovely  and  pleasing,  just 


•8Q  Ifka  ir  indudtd  in  MHngfrcm  0 

baoBttse  she  is  exhibiting,  in  her  patience  and  tender^ 
noaSt  the  strength  of  an  aSection  which  the  great 
Parent  of  all  has  rendered  natural.  Why  should  it  be 
thought  Strange  that  a  woman  could  forget  her  suck- 
ing child,  that  she  should  not  have  compassion  on  the 
son  of  her  womb,  if  there  be  not  instinctive  feelings 
in  human  nature  which  lead  to  an  opposite  conduct? 
"  When  we  enter  some  wretched  hovel,  and  see  that 
wretdiedneas,  which  is  so  much  more  dreadful  to  the 
ey6  of  him  who  beholds  it,  than  to  the  ear  of  him  who 
ia  tdd  in  his  splendid  apartment,  that  there  is  misery 
upon  the  earth ; — when  we  look  through  the  darkness 
to  which  there  is  no  sunshine,  on  some  comer,  darker 
atiU,--*  where  the  father  of  those  who  have  strength  only 
to  hang  over  him  and  weep,  is  giving  to  them  his  last 
blearing,  which  is  all  tliat  remains  to  him  to  give,"  do 
we  not,  from  instinctive  compassion,  as  if  led  by  the 
band  of  Him  that  made  us,  hasten  to  afford  whatever 
relief  is  in  our  power?  The  exercise  of  this  com* 
passion  is  pleasing  as  it  is  beneficial ;  but  if  it  be  not 
under  the  direction  of  intelligence  and  design,  on  what 
ground  is  it  better  entitled  to  the  name  of  virtue  than 
the  exercise  of  similar  affections  in  the  lower  animals? 
*•  But  the  question  is,*'  say  they  who  oppose  the 
^trine  which  I  am  attempting  to  establish,  ''  not 
whether  it  be  virtue  to  confcH*m  our  will  to  that  of  the 
Deity,  when  that  will  is  revealed  to  us,  or  clearly 
implied^-^for  of  this  there  can  be  no  doubt  It  is, 
whether  there  be  not  in  our  nature,  a  principle  of 
monk  approbatiKXi^  from  which  our  feelings  of  obltga* 
tioiu  virtue,  and  merit  flow  ^  and  which  operates,  not 
independently  of  the  divine  will,  indeed,  ibr  it  was  the 


suprtfM  Regard  to  the  Olory  of  God.  Mt 

divine  wiU  that  implanted  in  us  this  tery  prineiple^-^ 
but  without  the  necessary  oonsideration,  at  the  tim0^ 
of  the  expression  of  the  divine  will ;  and,  conse* 
quently,  without  any  intentional  oonformity  to  it  of 
disobedience.  The  mother,  though  she  should,  at  thd 
moment,  forget  altogether  that  there  is  a  Ood  in 
nature,  would  still  turn  with  moral  horror  fkm  the 
thought  of  murdering  the  little  prattler  who  is  spcMhig 
at  her  knee ;  and  who  is  not  more  beautiful  to  h»  eye 
by  external  charms  and  graces,  than  beautiful  to  her 
heart  by  the  thousand  tendernesses  which  every  day 
ftnd  almost  every  hour  is  developing ;  while  the  cfafildi 
who,  periiaps,  has  scarcely  heard  that  there  is  a  Ood, 
or  who,  at  least,  is  ignorant  of  any  will  of  God,  in  oon^ 
fbrmity  with  which  virtue  consists,  is  still,  in  his  very 
ignorance,  developing  those  moral  feelings  whidi  are 
supposed  to  be  inconsistent  with  such  ignorance.  Of 
all  the  mothers,  who  at  this  moment,  on  the  earth,  ari 
exercised,  and  virtuously  exercised,  in  maternal  du- 
ties  around  the  cradles  of  their  infants,  there  is,  per^ 
haps,  not  one  who  is  thinking,  that  Ood  has  com* 
manded  her  to  love  her  oflspring,  and  to  perform  for 
them  the  many  offices  of  love  that  are  necessary  for 
preserving  the  lives  which  are  so  dear  to  her.  iTie 
expression  of  the  Divine  WiU,  indeed,  not  only  gives 
us  new  and  nobler  duties  to  perform, — ^it  gives  a  new 
and  nobler  delight  also  to  the  very  duties  which  our 
nature  prompts ; — but  still  there  are  duties  which  out 
nature  prompts ;  and  the  vidation  of  which  is  felt  as 
moral  wrong,  even  when  God  is  known  and  worships 
ped,  only  as  a  demon  of  power,  still  less  benevdeM 
than  the  very  barbarians  who  howl  around  his  altar  in 


WicU  is  included  in  acting  from  a 

Ibeir  savage  sacrifioe.  But  for  the  principle  of  monl 
ai^robatioa  which  the  Divine  Being  has  fixed  in  our 
nature,  the  expression  of  his  will  would  itself  have  no 
§noral  power,  whatsoever  physical  pain  or  pleasure  it 
Might  hold  out  to  our  prudent  dioioe*." 

To  this  I  answer,  that  the  exercise  of  these  mateTnal 
affections,  to  which  there  is  here  an  allusion,  is  always 
pleasing,  because  they  are  pleasurable  in  the  v^ry 
exercise,  and  because  the  want  of  them  is  unnafcural 
and  HKinstrous ;  but  if  virtue  be  the  product  of  the 
understanding  and  will,  and  confer  praise  or  blame, 
merit  or  demerit,  on  the  agent,  I  see  not  on  what 
ground  the  mere  instinctive  exercise  of  those  aflfecticms 
which  are  common  to  us  with  the  lower  animals,  should 
be  dignified  with  that  sacred  appellation.  There  is 
virtue  in  the  exercise  of  our  feelings  and  fitculties  ooij 
when  they  are  intentionally  made  subservient  to  the 
great  axxl  ultimate  end  of  our  being. 

There  are,  indeed,  moral  feelings  and  principles  in 
human  nature,  otherwise  man  would  not  be  a  moral 
agent,  and,  consequently,  would  be  incapable  of  obey- 
ing the  will  of  God.  From  his  original  endowments, 
he  would  exhibit  the  great  outlines  of  character 
belonging  to  a  moral  and  accountable  bdng,  though 
he  were  totally  ignorant  of  God,  and  of  the  relations 
which  he  bears  to  him ;  but  his  yielding  to  the  moral 
ix  other  instincts  of  his  nature,  as  he  yields  to  any 
animal  in^ulse,  without  design  and  without  end^ 
whatever  amiability  it  gives  to  his  outwaid  deport- 
ment, does  not,  as  it  appears  to  me,  confer  upon  him 
teue  moral  worth.    That  is  only  to  be  acqu^ped  by 

*  Brown's  bctures,  voL  ir.  p«  lOS^ 


supreme  Regard  to  the  Glcry  of  CM. 

the  vchmtary  and  intentional  act  of  an  intellig<nt 
being,  peifonned  with  a  view  to  a  suitable  end.  ''  Ne 
aflbction  whatsoever  to  any  creature,  which  ia  not 
dependent  on,  nor  subordinate  to»  a  propensity  oi  the 
heart  to  God,  the  Supreme  and  Infinite  Beings  can  be 
of  the  nature  of  true  virtue.  '* 

My  meaning  is  not,  that  in  every  good  ot  virtuou* 
action  which  the  dudstian  perfonns,  he  tlunks,  while 
perfonning  it,  on  God,  and  on  hia  authority.  Such  ia 
the  imperfection  of  human  nature,  that  many  of  thoas 
labours  of  love,  whidi,  we  are  assured,  are  acceptable 
to  God  through  Jesus  CShrist,  are  performed  without 
an  immediate  reference  to  the  divine  will,  which  has 
enjoined  them.  Whether  the  incapacity  of  imme* 
diately  att^vling  to  the  will  and  gilory  of  God  in 
every  action  that  man  performs,  is  owing  to  the 
limited  nature  of  his  faculties,  or  to  the  moral  impw • 
fecticHis  of  his  nature,  it  is  unnecessary  to  determine ; 
the  feet  is  unquestionable. 

As  he  who  enters  on  a  journey  for  the  sakeof  his 
friend,  afibrds  evidence  by  every  stqp  which  he  ad- 
vances, of  the  love  which  he  bears  to  him,  even  when 
his  frigid,  and  the  purpose  for  which  he  began  his 
journey,  are  not  always  in  his  thoughts ;  so  he  who 
has  conscientiously  devoted  himself  to  God,  in  the 
way  of  his  appointment,  who  subordinates  his  actions 
and  his  pursuits  to  his  glory,  and  who  endeavours 
habitually  to  feel  that  love  which  he  requires,  indi- 
cates throughout  the  tenour  of  his  conduct,  the  govern- 
ing power  of  those  principles  of  self-dedication  to  the 
divine  will,  and  supreme  r^ard  to  the  divine  autho- 
rity, which  distinguish  the  truly  virtuous.    Hiere  is  a 


m  JPhat  ti  induded  in  acHngfir^m  0 


fyitA  purpose  in  the  mind^  whioh  is  streiigtliemKl  by 
frequent  renewal,  of  acting  as  under  the  inmiedialo 
inspection  of  God,  and  of  emj^oying  tateets,  <^^M»tu«^ 
nittes,  and  necessary  though  wotldly  avocfttioBS,  agree* 
My  to  his  will,  and  to  the  furtherance  of  his  pniise« 

"  The  outward  conformity/'  observes  the  celebrated 
Howe,  ^'  abstractly  considered,  can  never  be  thought 
diaracterisdcal  and  distinguishing  of  the  heirs  of 
blessedness.  The  worst  of  men  may  perfonn  the 
best  of  outward  duties.  The  most  glorious  boasted 
virtues,  if  they  grow  not  fh>m  the  proper  root,  loye  to 
God,  are  but  8|dendid  sins*." 

It  is  no  objection  to  this  doctrine,  that  thece  is  is 
human  nature  a  prindple  of  moral  approbation,  a 
sense  of  right  and  of  wrong,  which  leads  to  certain 
actions  useful  to  individuals  and  to  society.  For^ 
this  pritidple  of  moral  approbation,  or  consdeDoe^ 
operates,  and  often  very  powerfully,  in  minds  in  which 
there  is  no  true  virtue.  Is  there  not  firequently  the 
most  painflil  remorse,  arising  from  a  vivid  perception 
of  duty  and  obligation,  and  a  sense  of  the  desert  of 
him  who  violates  them,-^where  there  is  no  hatred  of 
sin,  and  no  love  of  holiness  ?  It  is  not  necessary  that 
the  disposition  of  the  heart  should  be  virtuous  in  order 
to  feel  the  injustice,  and  to  see  and  fear  the  conse«- 
quence,  of  being  opposed  to  the  authority  of  heaven. 
Of  these  the  wicked,  even  in  this  life,  have  often  such 
lively  perceptions  as  to  make  the  thoughts  of  flod^ 
and  judgment,  and  eternity,  insupportable  to  them. 

IX)es  not  revelation  teadi  us,  that  there  is  a  day 
approachbg,  in  whidi  all  shall  stand  before  the  judg- 

»  Howe^s  Works,  Td.  lii.  p.  156. 


supfeme  JUgard  to  th$  Ohry  of  God.  MS 

iMnt*Beat  of  God,  vrben  the  judge  shall  so  oonvidM 
siDners  of  the  evil  of  their  sins,  that  their  mouths  wifl 
be  8to{^ped,  and  their  own  conscience  will  second  and 
approve  the  justice  of  their  dreadfiil  sentence  ?  But 
how  different  will  this  approval  be  from  that  of  true 
virtue,  which  loves  and  fears  God,  and  delights  in  his 
holiness  ?  Tliey  have,  indeed,  an  overwhelming  sense 
of  the  righteousness  of  God,  and  of  the  desert  of  trans* 
gression;  but  they  have  as  strong  an  aversion  to 
holiness,  and  as  great  an  aptitude  and  longing  for 
the  practice  of  sin  as  before.  If  the  exercise  of  the 
principle  of  moral  approbation  and  disapprobation, 
or  conscience,  implied  the  possession  of  virtue,  then 
would  they  be  virtuous  whose  consciences  shall  be 
awakened  on  that  great  and  terrible  day  of  the  Loi^ 
to  the  most  perfect  discharge  of  their  duty.  We 
know,  on  the  contrary,  that  the  measure  of  their  ini^ 
qnity  will  then  be  full,  and  that  their  depravity,  «s 
well  as  their  guilt,  will  exclude  them  from  Uie  blissfill 
presence  of  God. 

We  are  exceedingly  apt  to  mistake  the  sensibility 
of  the  principle  of  moral  approbation,  or,  of  con^ 
soience»  for  true  virtue,  because  the  workings  of  this 
presiding  power  of  our  nature  shew,  that  the  mind  is 
not  thc»x>ughly  hardened.  Experience  teaches  us,  that 
the  tendency  of  sin  is  to  deaden  its  sensibilities ;  and 
when  we  observe  evidence  of  its  being  in  exercise, 
approving  of  certain  actions  as  virtuous,  an^^  other 
actions  as  vicious,  we  are  apt,  without  further  inquiry, 
to  take  for  granted  the  existence  of  virtue. 

This  is  the  natural  operation  of  the  moral  ftculty  ; 
and  has  nothing  more  of  virtue  in  it  than  the  natural 
(^latlons  of  th9  understandittg,  €»:  <^the  thtxaoity,  Mr 


What  is  included  in  (U^ngfram  a 

of  the  principle  oi  association*  or  of  any  other  of  the 
powers  with  which  the  Creator  has  endowed  us.  It 
is  indeed  called  the  moral  &culty,  and  the  moral 
sense ;  but  this  does  not  necessarily  infer  that  its  pos- 
sessor is  a  holy  and  virtuous  being ;  it  cxily  signifies 
that  he  was  originally  formed  for  virtue,  and  has  the 
capacity  of  beocxning  virtuous.  AU  that  we  can  justly 
infer  from  its  lively  exercise  is,  that  the  person  who  is 
its  subject  has  not  reached  that  extreme  wickedness 
which  stupifies  and  deadens  the  conscience. 

Besides,  it  should  ever  be  kept  in  mind,  that  the 
afiecticxi  or  state  of  mind  which  we  call  virtuous  is 
essentially  one  and  the  same.     The  love  of  God,  and 
of  our  neighbour,  is  the  same  pure  affection,  diflfereod^ 
only  in  r^ard  to  the  different  beings  who  are  its 
ol^ects.    But  can  this  affection  have  any  place  in  him 
who  does  not  love  God  supremely,  who   does  not 
iotaitionally  make  his  vrill  his  rule,  and  whose  ulti- 
mateend  in  all  things  is  not  his  glory?    If  he  is  void 
of  love  towards  the  greatest  and  infinitely  the  best 
Being,  he  must  be  destitute  of  virtuous  affection 
towards  his  fellow-creatures,  that  is,  destitute  of  all 
true  virtue.     He  may  have,  from  mere  selfishness,  or 
finom  some  other  motive,  equally  worthless,  thought  on 
the  duties  which  he  owes  to  his  neighbour,  and  he 
may  have  acted  in  conformity  to  his  thoughts ;  but  as 
he  has  lived  to  the  exclusion  of  God,  and  has  not  only 
neglected  the  duties  which  he  owes  him,  but  has  dis- 
enlarged  those  which  he  owes  to  man  without  ccmse- 
crating  them  by  a  regard  to  the  divine  glory,  have  not 
the  actions  of  his  life,  however  useful  to  society,  been 
p^rfonned  with  views  and  principle©  as  entirely  voir. 
Gppnected  with  the  name  and  aiithnritir  nf  Omi  >&  if 


mpreme  Regard  to  the  Glc/ry  ofGed.  f8T 

these  had  no  real  existence  ?  We  cannot  bring  our- 
selves  to  believe,  that  he  gives  to  God  the  first  place 
in  his  heart,  who  lives  willingly  unmindful  of  him, 
who  acts  as  if  he  were  not,  who  regards  the  annun- 
ciation of  his  will  as  a  disagreeable  interference,  and 
who  wishes  to  shun  his  presence  as  he  would  an 
unwelcome  obtruder ;  and  if  he  loves  not  God,  nei- 
ther, whatever  be  the  decencies  of  his  outward  charac- 
ter, does  he  love  his  neighbour  as  himself. 

It  does  not  in  the  slightest  degree  aflfect  the  truth  of 
this  statement,  that  mankind  act,  and  are  apparently 
virtuous,  under  the  influence  of  those  afiections  and 
principles  which  God  has  implanted  in  human  nature, 
though  there  be  no  intentional  conformity  to  the  divine 
will.  Does  it  prove  that  they  are  virtuous,  that  in 
place  of  opposing,  they  yield  to  instinctive  affections 
of  their  nature,  and  that  under  the  direction  of  these 
impulsive  feelings,  they  perform  many  actions  truly 
lovely  and  useful  ?  From  the  mere  force  of  natural 
afiection,  which  the  Creator  for  wise  ends  has  im- 
pressed on  the  mind  of  man,  parents  love  their  chil- 
dren, and  children  love  their  parents.  From  instinct 
mankind  are  led  to  pity  those  whom  they  see  in  dis- 
tress, and  thus  become  humane  from  the  exercise  of 
mere  natural  feeling.  Excited  by  this  feding,  the 
tear  of  sensibiUty  flows  from  the  same  eye,  whidi 
could  behold  with  malice  and  envy  the  prosperity  of 
him  whose  sufferings  awaken  compassion.  Had  it 
proceeded  from  the  affection  of  pure  benevolence,  it 
would  have  led  not  only  to  pity  the  distressed^  and  to 
relieve  him,  but  to  rejoice  in  whatever  tended  to  die 
furtherance  of  his  happiness. 


fm  Whaiuinekid$d  in  acting  from  a 

Mod  would  not  so  generally  confound  the  mere 
operations  of  natural  instincts  and  afikctions  with  true 
virtue,  were  it  not  that  there  is  often  a  near  resem-^ 
Uanoe  between  them.  Both  are  pleasing  in  their 
exercise  to  the  possessor,  and  beneficial  to  mankinds 
The  efiect  of  both  is  to  diminish  the  sum  of  human 
wickedness  and  misery.  The  direct  tendency  of 
natural  affection,  of  natural  compassion,  and  of  the 
operation  of  natural  conscience,  is  to  restrain  sin,  to 
soften  the  habits  and  manners,  and  very  greatly  to  add 
to  human  enjoyment  None  can  question  that  the 
immediate  tendency  of  the  exercise  of  virtue  is  to 
produce  the  same  results,  and  to  a  much  greater 
extent. 

We  are  apt,  from  another  cause,  to  confound  the 
operation  of  natural  affection  with  true  virtue,  and  to 
oallthe  former  by  the  name  of  the  latter ;  our  natural 
affiK^ons  and  principles,  when  exercised  under  the 
influence  of  supreme  love  to  Qod,  and  regard  to  his 
glory)  become  truly  virtuous.  All  the  instinctive 
feelings  of  human  nature,  the  love  of  parents  to  chil- 
dren»  and  of  children  to  parents,  of  relations,  neigh*- 
hours,  kindred,  and  country,— compassion  to  the  dis- 
tressed, gratitude  to  benefactors,  and  the  exercise  oi 
conscience  as  a  directing  and  governing  power,  are 
BDW  holy «  Let  this  single  affection  of  love  to  Qod  be 
introduced  into  the  mind,  and  it  gives  a  new  character 
to  all  the  acts  of  the  will,  to  all  the  feelings  of  the 
heart,  and  to  the  operation  of  the  instinctive  principles 
pf  our  nature.  It  was  doubtless  to  this  important 
change,  which  philosophy  no  less  than  religion  de 
dares  to  be  necessary,  that  the  Apostle  alluded,  when 


supreme  Regard  to  He  CUory  of  G^d.  $8$ 

he  said, — **  If  any  man  be  in  CSirist  he  is  a  new 
creature:  old  things  are  passed  away;  behold,  ali 
things  are  become  new." 

But  that  there  is  nothing  of  real  virtue  in  the 
operation  of  natural  instincts  and  afEections  is  very 
obvious.  That  only,  it  must  be  allowed  by  all,  is  vir- 
tuous which  proceeds  from  virtuous  principle.  The  eflfect 
cannot  be  of  a  nature  different  from  the  cause.  The 
stream  does  not  possess  qualities  more  excellent  than 
the  fountain.  Mere  natural  and  instinctive  aJSection» 
however  varied  may  be  its  results,  however  beautiful, 
and  useful,  and  necessary,  is  totally  different  in  na- 
ture from  that  product  of  the  will  and  the  understand* 
ing,  acting  with  a  reference  to  the  noblest  otageots, 
which  we  call  virtue. 

'*  If  God  has  given  to  man  a  power  which  we  catt 
conscience,  the  moral  faculty,  the  sense  of  duty,  by 
which,  when  he  comes  to  years  of  understanding*  he 
perceives  certain  things  that  depend  c»i  his  will  to  b^ 
his  duty,  and  other  things  to  be  base  and  unworthy ; 
if  the  notion  of  duty  be  a  simple  conception  of  its 
own  kind,  and  of  a  di&rent  nature  from  the  concept 
tions  of  utility  and  agreeableness,  of  interest  or  repu* 
tatioa ;  if  this  moral  faculty  be  the  prerogative  of  man, 
and  no  vestige  of  it  be  found  in  brute  animals;  if  it 
be  given  us  by  God  to  regulate  all  our  animal  a&e- 
ticms  and  passions ;  if  to  be  governed  by  it  be  the 
glory  of  man  and  the  image  of  God  in  the  soul,  and  to 
disregard  its  dictates  be  his  dishonour  and  depravity : 
I  say,  if  these  things  be  so,  to  seek  the  foundatbn  of 
morality  in  the  affections  which  we  have  in  common 
with  the^brutes,  is  to  seek  the  living  among  the  dead. 


990  What  is  included  in  acting  from  a 

and  to  change  the  glory  of  man,  and  the  image  of  God 
in  his-  soul,  into  the  similitude  of  an  ox  that  eateth 
grass. 

"  A  dog  has  a  tender  concern  for  her  puppies ;  so 
has  a  man  for  his  children.  The  natural  auction  is 
die  same  in  both.  But  why  do  we  impute  moral  vir- 
tue to  the  man  on  account  of  this  concern,  and  not  to 
the  dog  ?  The  reason  surely  is,  that  in  the  man  the 
natural  affection  is  accompanied  with  a  sense  of  duty, 
but  in  the  dog  it  is  not.  Hie  same  thing  may  be  said 
of  all  the  kind  afiections  common  to  us  with  the  brutes. 
They  are  amiable  qualities ;  but  they  are  not  moral 
virtues  ♦." 

*•  Whatever  we  do,  we  should  perform  it,'*  says  the 
profound  and  eloquent  Barrow,  *'  with  this  formal  rder- 
ence,  as  his  servants,  from  conscience  of  the  duty  we 
owe  to  him ;  with  intention  therein  to  serve  him,  in 
expectaticm  of  a  reward  only  from  him. — So  that  St 
P^ul  enjoins  us,  that  whatever  we  do,  we  perform  it 
heartily*  as  to  the  Lord,  and  not  to  men,  knowing  that 
from  the  Lord  we  shall  receive  the  teoompence  of  the 
inheritance. — In  fine,  all  our  actions  should,  in  our 
intention,  be  works  of  religion,  dedicated  to  God's 
service  and  honour ;  sacrifices,  as  it  were,  of  grati* 
tude  and  homage  to  God ;  so  they  ought  all  to  be 
offered  up  in  the  name  of  Jesus  f." 

*•  To  constitute  true  christian  virtue/*  sajrs  Dr. 
Beattie,  "  good  afiections,  disposing  to  good  actions, 
and  accompanied  too  with  a  sense  of  duty,  are  not 
sufficient  without  the  aid  of  another  principle,  and 

^  Reid  s  Ebm jB ;  Etsaj  t.  chap.  r.  toL  ilL  p.  495» 

tVol.liLp.r 


svprenu  Regard  to  the  Gtory  ofOod.  980 

that  is  piety.  Tlie  love  of  God  ought  continually  to 
predominate  in  the  mind,  and  give,  to  every  act  of 
duty,  grace  and  animation.  Christians  do  what  is 
right,  not  only  because  good  afi^tions  prompt  them 
to  it,  and  because  their  conscience  declares  it  to  be 
incumbent;  but  also  because  they  consider  it  as 
agreeable  to  the  will  of  God,  to  please  whom  is  ever 
their  supreme  desire*." 


Chaptee  XVIII. 

REASONS  ON  WHICH  THE  DOCTRINE  OF  THE  FOREGOING 

CHAPTER  IS  FOUNDED. 

Thus  it  appears  that  the  glory  of  God  is  the  ultimate 
object  which  he  has  in  view  in  all  his  works» — ^in  the 
creation  and  preservation  of  the  universe.  It  also 
appears  to  be  the  ultimate  object  of  reference  to  all 
moral  agents, — to  the  attainment  of  which  they  are 
bound  to  consecrate  themselves.  That  this  ought  to 
be  their  chief  end  in  all  their  conduct  appears  to  me 
evident  from  the  following  considerations. 

I.  Because  it  is  the  end  which  God  proposes  to 
himself  in  all  his  works.  Scripture,  the  only  sourceu 
whence  we  derive  information  on  this  head»  does 
indeed  speak  of  the  communication  of  happiness  as 
his  ultimate  end.  There  are  numerous  expressions 
which  seem  to  intimate  that  God's  object  in  imparting 
his.  goodness  is  the  happiness  of  his  creatures.  **  The 

•  Bc«ttie*8  Mond  Science. 
You  n.  U 


too  Reoions  on  which  the  Doetrine  of 

Lord  did  not  set  his  love  upon  you,  nor  choose  you, 
because  ye  were  more  in  number  than  any  p6ople> 
for  ye  were  the  fewest  of  all  people:  but  because  the 
Lofd  loved  you. — God  so  toved  the  world,  that  he 
gave  his  only-begotten  son,  that  whosoever  believeth 
in  him,  shoidd  not  perish,  but  have  everlasting  life/* 
To  shew  the  unbounded  delight  and  complacency 
with  which  God  regards  the  felicity  of  his  people,  it  is 
said, — **  The  Lord  thy  God  in  the  midst  of  thee  is 
mighty  ;  he  will  save,  he  will  rejoice  over  thee  with 
joy ;  he  will  rest  in  his  love,  he  will  rejoice  over  thee 
with  singing." 

These  declarations,  which  shew  forth  the  pleasure 
which  God  takes  in  the  happiness  of  his  creatures, 
are  perfectly  consistent  with  the  position,  that  his 
ultimate  end  in  all  his  works  is  his  own  glory.  For 
lifhat  is  the  glory  of  God  ?  It  was  before  observed, 
that  it  is  the  riches,  the  infinite  fulness  of  the  divine 
taature,  consisting  in  infinite  knowledge,  holiness,  and 
hairiness.  That  whidi  is  more  especially  called  tlie 
^ory  of  Gbd  is  the  manifestation  of  these ;  and  par- 
ticularly the  communication  of  them  to  the  creatures 
whom  he  has  formed  in  his  own  image.  "  The  com* 
munication  of  his  knowledge  is  diiefly  in  giving  the 
knowledge  of  himself;  the  communication  of  his  vir- 
tue or  holiness,  is  principally  in  communicating  the 
love  of  himself ;  and  the  communication  of  God'e  joy 
and  happiness  consists  chiefly  in  communicating  to 
the  creature  that  happiness  and  joy  which  consists  in 
ig  in  God,  and  in  his  glorious  excdlency ;  for 
ix  joy  God's  own  happiness  does  {^incipally 
t.    In  these  things,  knowii^  God's  exceUency, 


t  • 


the  foregoing  Chapt$r  ufomuUd*  m 

loviog  Gkxi  for  it,  and  rejddng  in  it ;  and  in  thb  ex* 
ercise  and  expression  of  these,  oonsiats  Ood*8  honoar 
and  praise.  Tiiese  are  the  sum  of  that  emanation  of 
divine  fulaess,  called  in  Scripture,  the  glory  of  Qod. 

''  Thus,  we  see  that  the  great  end  of  Ood's  works, 
which  is  so  variously  expressed  in  scripture,  is  indeed 
but  one ;  and  this  one  end  is  most  properly  and  com* 
preh^isively  called,  the  glory  of  God  Though  God 
in  seeking  this  end  seeks  the  creature*s  good;  yet« 
therein  appears  his  supreme  regard  to  himself.  The 
emanation  or  communication  of  the  divine  fulness,  can* 
sisting  in  the  knowledge  of  God,  love  to  him,  and  joy 
in  him,  has  relation  indeed  both  to  God  and  the  erea* 
ture.  They  have  relation  to  God  as  their  object ;  ibr 
the  knowledge  communicated  is  the  knowledge  of 
God ;  and  the  love  conmiunicated  is  the  love  of  God  ; 
and  the  happiness  communicated  is  joy  in  God.  Ih 
the  creature's  knowing,  loving,  rejoicing  in,  and  prais* 
ing  God,  the  glory  of  God  is  both  exhibited  and  ao« 
knowledged ;  his  fulness  is  received  and  returned! 
The  refulgenoe  shines  upon  the  creature,  and  is  n^ 
fleeted  back  to  the  luminary.  The  beams  of  glory 
come  from  God,  are  something  of  God,  and  are  re^ 
funded  back  again  to  their  original.  So  that  the 
whole  is  of  God,  and  in  God,  and  to  God ;  and  he  Is 
the  beginning,  and  the  middle,  and  the  end  ^.'' 

No«r,  it  is  clearly  the  will  of  God,  lliat  all  the  crea- 
tures to  whom  he  has  given  the  capacity  of  know^ 
ing,  loving,  and  serving  him,  should  voluntadly  co^ 
operate  with  himself  in  seeking  and  in  advancing  the 
same  end.    It  is  not  enough  that  he  can  overrule  aH 

^  Gad*!  Cidff  End  tn  Crea^n:  Bdmunffl  IforkSi  tol. !.  p.  5S8L 

u  s 


Reai(mi  an  which  the  Doctrine  of 

events  and  agencies  so  as  ultimately  to  accomplish  his 
own  purpose, — ihBt  he  can  make  even  the  wrath  of 
man  to  praise  him.  For  the  virtue  of  intelligent 
beii^  consists  in  loving  God,  in  delighting  in  his 
excellences,  and  in  willingly  proposing  to  themselves 
as  their  chief  object,  that  which  Ood  has  dedared  to 
be  his.  He,  therefore,  in  commanding  them  to  be 
Sdlow-workers  together  with  Gkxl,  is,  in  other  words, 
commanding  them  to  be  holy  and  virtuous  creatures, 
by  pursuing  and  attaining  the  great  ends  of  their 
being. 

As  Gkxl  shews  the  holiness  of  his  nature  by  his 
actings,  by  his  woriss,  by  the  manner  in  which  he  ex- 
emses  and  manifests  his  attributes,  so  are  his  crea- 
tures virtuous  only  as  they  are  voluntary  imitators  of 
him.  It  is  in  this  way  that  they  are  capable  of  being 
followers  of  him,  and  that  he  commands  their  obe- 
dience. ''  Be  ye  holy ;  for  I  am  holy.  Be  ye  there- 
fine  fi^owers  of  God,  as  dear  children ;  and  walk  in 
love,  as  Christ  also  hath  loved  us,  and  hath  given 
himself  for  us.*'  It  is  only  as  they  obey  this  great 
law  of  their  being, — a  law  which  is  enforced  by  all 
the  rdations  in  which  they  stand  to  God,-— by  a  re- 
view of  the  great  purposes  for  which  they  have  been 
fisnned  in  his  glorious  iniage,*~that  they  honour  and 
glorify  God. 

Every  thing  is  perfect  only  as  it  answers  the  end 
for  which  it  was  made.  Man  was  made,  man  is  pre- 
served, and  was  redeemed,  that  he  might  volwUarUy 
co-operate  with  his  Maker  in  furthering  his  glory. 
Unless  he  intentioEiaUy  does  so,  he  fells  from  the  rank 
which  has  been  asst^ied  him  in  the  scale  of  moral 


ike  foregoing  Chapier  isfminded. 

beings ;  he  beoomes  depraved,  and  a  rebel  ajpuiiBt  tfie 
mighty  God  who  is  the  &ther  of  his  spirit,  the  former 
of  his  body,  the  owner  of  his  talents,  interests,  and 
property,  of  all  that  he  is,  and  of  all  that  belongs  to 
him. 

n.  It  is  by  a  voluntary  cooperation  with  Qod  in 
seeking  what  he  has  declared  to  be  his  honour  and 
glory,  that  mankind  can  be  instrumental  in  furthering 
their  own,  and  the  general  happiness.    No  man  can  be 
virtuous  but  as  he  is  intentionally  and  willingly  so ; 
and  no  one  can  be  truly  happy  but  as  he  is  hdy* 
Now,  as  there  can  be  no  doubt,  that  the  great  end  of 
God*s  moral  government  is  the  happiness  of  his  vast 
empire,  in  connexion  with  his  own  blessedness  and 
glory,  it  is  clear  that  we  can  only  be  virtuously  in- 
strumental in  promoting  this  happiness,  by  making 
his  will  in  every  case  our  rule,  and  his  honour  our 
chief  design.     If  we  are  only  unintentional  instra- 
ments  of  advancing  his  glory,  we  place  ourselves  on 
a  level  with  the  lower  animals  who  act  from  instinct, 
and  who,  in  complying  with  the  instinctive  affections 
of  their  nature,  fulfil  the  appointmmit  which  the  will 
of  heaven  has  assigned  to  them.    We  not  csdy,  in  this 
case,  are  not  virtuous,  but  by  pursuing  other  ends 
than  those  of  God's  glory,  and  by  yielding  to  a  supre* 
macy  different  from  his,  a  principle  of  dislike  and 
enmity  gathers  strength  in  the  heart,  and  we  are 
placed  in  the  fearful  situation  of  those  who  are  q>- 
posed  to  the  will,  the  authority,  and  the  honour  of 
Qod. 

While  the  obligations,  arising  from  creati<xi  and 
providence,  are  numerous  to  engage  us  in  the  ezer- 


JBi  BMiom  on  fMch  the  Doctrine^  ^. 

eise  of  intentionally  glodfying  God,  the  redemption 
of  tfad  oro38  presents  motives  to  this  the  most  touch* 
ing  and  urgent  This  is  a  restoraticm  of  our  being 
alter  it  had  been  forfeited  by  sin,  and  bought  for  ua 
by  the  sufferings  and  death  of  God's  own  Son,  and 
ooaveyed  to  us  as  the  fruit  and  as  the  reward  of 
his  sacrifioe.  It  is  a  covenant  of  mercy  offering  par« 
don  and  reconciliation  to  rebels,  and  a  delivemnce 
fidm  wrath  by  a  substitution  of  the  Son  of  the  Highest 
in  their  room.  It  is  a  proclamation  from  the  Lord 
and  Sovereign  of  the  universe,  announcing  that  *'  Gkxi 
k  in  Christ  reconciling  the  world  unto  himself,  and 
not  imputing  unto  men  their  trespasses/'  On  those 
who  embrace  the  offered  mercy,  tlie  most  powerfbl 
obligation  is  laid  to  live  to  the  glory  of  their  reconciled 
Ckxl,  and  to  shew  forth  the  pndses  of  Him  who  hath 
called  them  out  of  darkness  into  his  marvellous  light 

The  questions  for  our  consideration  are.  Whether 
are  we  heartily  devoted  to  the  Redeemer,  and  are  we 
Uvinig  to  ourselves  or  to  him  7  On  the  solution  of  these 
questions,  our  everlasting  state  will  be  decided  in  the 
judgment  of  the  great  day.  We  cannot  see  his  fkoe 
in  peace,  nor  enter  into  his  kingdom,  if  we  do  not  now 
moat  willingly  give  to  God  the  supremacy  and  the 
pre-eminence,  if  we  do  not  submit  My  and  coxdially 
to  his  sovereignty,  and  if  we  do  not  engage  in 
sarvioe  with  our  first  and  our  best  alfections. 


ms 


CHAPtXft  XIX. 

ON  THE  QUESmON,  WHAT  ARE  THE  MEANS  BY  WHICH  THE 
Dtmr  ENJOINED  MAY  BE  PRACTISED  > 

Tbb  question  which  is  naturally  suggested  to  the  ra«< 
fleeting  mind  by  the  foregoing  observadons  is.  Whet 
are  the  means  whidi  I  shcnild  employ  for  enabling  mm 
to  do  all  to  the  glory  of  God? 

I  shall  not  attempt  a  fiill  solution  of  this  questioiii 
but  must  satisfy  myself  with  a  few  observations,  wJndi 
may  aid  our  inquiries  on  the  subject* 

I.  We  should  accustom  ourselves  to  refer  every 
event  and  every  blessing  to  God.  This  is  what,  m 
general  hinguage,  all  profess  to  do :  it  is  of  importance 
that  the  habit  should  be  formed  which  is  implied  isk 
this  acknowledgment.  As  the  truth  is  unqueedcxiFi 
able,  why  should  we  not  give  it  that  influence  over  cut 
thoughts,  feelings,  and  pursuits,  which  it  is  entitled 
to  bold,  and  which  it  is  our  privilege  to  yield  to  it? 
In  every  mercy,  in  every  trial,  let  us  observe  the 
hsnd  of  God,  in  whom  we  live,  and  move,  and  have 

our  being* 
IL  Let  us  do  every  thing  for  God.    Let  every  work 

be  undertaken,  every  plan  formed,  with  a  designed 
subserviency  to  his  will,  and  refemce  to  his  f^ory^ 
Our  SMular  avocations  will  thus  be  consecrated  to 
their  noblAst  ends  by  religion;  and  we  shall  aeeat* 
torn  ourselves  to  do  every  thing,  and  to  vahie  every 
thiogi  oolj  as  it  »  calculated  to  advance  the  hooonr 


996  On  the  Question,  What  are  the  Means  by 

of  God.  Our  doing  every  thing  for  the  great  end  of 
our  being  will  thus  become  habitual  to  us ;  and  we 
shall  feel  it  to  be  as  ''  our  meat  and  drink  to  do  the 
will  of  our  heavenly  Father.'* 

III.  Let  us  be  regular  in  the  offices  of  devotion. 
In  these  offices  we  more  particularly  realize  the  pre- 
sence of  God,  and  have  a  more  sensible  impression 
<^our  being  in  the  view  of  Him  who  is  invisible.  The 
fitequent  and  regular  recurrence  of  such  an  impression 
must  have  the  tendency  of  keeping  us  in  mind  of  the 
purposes  of  our  being,  and  of  our  acoountableness  to 
God  for  the  use  of  every  talent.  It  will  also  be  the 
means  of  counteracting  the  effect  which  the  world  is 
so  much  calculated  to  produce  on  the  mind ;  and  of 
su^esting  that  the  favour  of  God  should  be  the  object 
of  otir  supr^ne  solicitude. 

IV.  Let  the  offices  of  devotion  be  discharged,  not 
merely  regularly,  but  aright.  They  cannot  be  per- 
foimed  aright  without  lively  impressions  of  the  per- 
fections of  God,  and  of  the  only  way  in  which  we  are 
authorized  to  worship  him.  ''  God  is  a  Spirit,  and 
they  that  worship  him  must  worship  in  spirit  and  in 
truth."  Hence  the  duty  of  cherishing,  and  more 
especially  in  devotional  exercises,  such  afifections  as 
are  suitable  to  the  greatness,  holiness,  and  mercy  of 
God.  It  is  only  in  this  way  that  our  r^ularity  in  the 
offices  of  devotion  will  be  usefiil  in  leading  us  to  do  all 
things  to  the  glory  of  God. 

V.  Let  us  habitually  cherish  a  sense  of  our  depen- 
dence upon  God,  and  of  our  obligations  to  him.  It  is 
the  absence  of  this  sense  of  dependence  and  of  obliga- 
tion that  makes  the  duty  of  keeping  the  glory  of  God 


which  the  Duty  eagoined  may  be  practised  t         C97 

in  view  in  every  thing,  so  difficult  to  practice.  Where- 
aSy  if  we  constantly  felt,  that  we  are  indebted  to  God 
for  all  that  we  now  have,  or  hope  to  enjoy,  and  that 
by  no  services  can  we  ever  express  all  that  we  owe  to 
him,  might  we  not  justly  expect  that  we  should  more 
readily  think  of  the  glory  of  God  as  the  ultimate  end 
of  our  actions  ? 


BOOK  V. 


ON  THE  DUTIES  WHICH  MEN  OWE  TO  ONE  ilNOTHER, 


CSAYTU  L 

INTRODUCTORY  REMARKS. 

Though  all  the  duties  which,  as  moral  agents,  we  are 
bound  to  perform,  are  duties  which  we  owe  to  God, 
inasmuch  as  we  discharge  them  in  obedience  to  his 
will,  and  in  subserviency  to  his  glory,  they  admit  dl 
dassi&ation  according  to  their  immediate  objects. 

The  duties  of  the  second  class,  or  those  which  we 
owe  our  feIlow<creatures,  may  be  classed  under  the 
following  heads:  benevolence;  justice;  the  obliga« 
tions  involved  in  the  constitution  of  mankind  as  male 
and  female;  and  those  which  arise  from  the  insti- 
tution of  society.  Moralists,  and  more  especially 
writers  on  jurisprudence,  have  called  the  duties  of 
benevolence  indeterminate,  because  force  cannot  be 
employed  to  ensure  their  practice ;  while  they  have 
styled  those  of  justice  determinate,  because  we  may 
use  force  to  secure  ourselves  against  their  violation: 
It  should  be  remembered,  however,  that  many,  per- 
haps the  ^eater  part  of  our  duties,  in  order  to  be  per- 
fermed  ar^t,  must  be  discharged  under  the  combined 
operation  of  beaerdleiioe  and  justice.     The  obliga- 


800  Introductory  Remarks^ 

tions  that  arise  out  of  the  benevolent  feelings  and 
principles  of  our  nature,  are  just  as  binding,  since 
they  are  enjoined  by  the  authority  of  conscience  and 
of  God,  as  those  which  are  founded  upon  right  and 
equity.  Has  not  a  benefactor  a  right  to  a  return  of 
gratitude  from  those  on  wh(xn  he  bestows  his  gifts  ? 
Yet  he  has  no  power  to  force  the  person  whom  he 
has  obliged  to  render  it.  Benevolence,  as  well  as 
justice^  requires  that  children  be  affectionately  edu- 
cated by  their  parents,  and  that  parents  be  treated 
with  kindness  and  reverence  by  their  children ;  but  if 
these  claims  be  resisted,  how  are  they  to  be  enforced  ? 
,  **  The  terms  right  and  duty,  are,  in  the  strictest 
sense,  in  morality  at  least,  corresponding  and  com- 
mensurable. Whatever  service  it  is  my  duty  to  do  to 
any  one,  he  has  a  moral  right  to  receive  from  me.  I 
do  not  speak  at  present,  it  is  to  be  remembered,  of 
the  additional  force  of  law  as  applied  to  particular 
moral  duties,  a  force  which  it  may  be  expedi^it 
variously  to  extend  or  limit,  but  of  the  moral  duties 
alone ;  and  in  these,  alike  in  every  case,  the  moral 
duty  implies  a  moral  right,  and  the  moral  right  a  moral 
duty.  The  laws,  indeed,  have  made  a  distinction  of 
our  duties,  enforcing  the  performance  of  some  of  th^n, 
and  not  enforcing  the  performance  of  others ;  but  this 
partial  interference  of  law,  useful  as  it  is  in  the  highest 
degree  to  the  happiness  of  the  world,  does  not  alter 
the  nature  of  the  duties  themselves,  which,  as  resulting 
from  the  moral  nature  of  man,  preceded  every  legal 
institution*." 
''  Though  he  is  not  answerable  to  men  if  he  refuses 

*  Brown's  Lecl«i«f,  toL  ir.  p.  094. 


Introductory  Remarks.  801 

to  confer  upon  them  those  benefits  which  he  has  a 
discretionary  right  to  bestow  or  withhold,  he  is  ac- 
countable for  that  refusal  to  his  God,  For,  every 
opportunity  of  doing  good  to  one  of  his  fellow-crea- 
tures without  being  obliged  to  omit  some  other  duty 
of  equal  or  superior  importance,  is  an  opportunity 
afforded  him  of  serving  his  Maker,  and  thus  promot- 
ing his  own  final  happiness ;  and  he  is  bound  never 
to  neglect  that  primary  end  of  his  being*/' 


Chapteb  II. 

THE  RIGHTS  OP  MEN   DEDUCED  FROM   REASON  AND 

REVELATION. 

The  rights  of  men  are  derived  firom  the  will  of  God ; 
and  their  nature  and  number  are  pointed  out  by  those 
relations  which  exist  between  man  and  God,  between 
man  and  his  fellow-creatures,  and  between  man  and 
that  moral  happiness  and  eternity  for  which  he  is 
designed.  It  is  God  who  has  constituted  him  what 
he  is,  a  being  endowed  with  reason  and  conscience, 
capable  of  being  instrumeiital  in  his  own  happiness 
or  misery,  of  being  the  object  of  moral  approbation 
or  disapprobation,  and  of  knowing,  loving,  and  serv- 
ing God.  By  him  is  he  placed  in  his  present  circum- 
stances, in  the  bosom  of  the  family  of  mankind,  the 
greater  part  cf  which  he  has  never  seen,  with  a  great 
part  of  which  he  has  only  a  casual  connexion,  and 
with  some  members  of  which  he  has  that  union  and 

^  Giiborne*8  PriDciples  of  Hon  Phil.  p.  106, 


808  The  RigkU  cf  Mm  d&duced 

intercourse  Vf^idx  invokes  the  most  important  obli- 
gations. 

What  are  the  original  rights  of  mankind,  and  how 
are  they  to  be  ascertained  ?  The  knowledge  of  these 
is  necessary  to  furnish  a  rule  by  which  men  are  to  re- 
gulate  their  conduct  in  regard  to  others,  and  to  direct 
themselves  in  the  use  and  disposal  of  that  which  is 
their  own. 

That  every  man  has  originally  a  right,  by  the  will 
of  God,  to  life — ^to  freedom  from  personal  injury  and  re- 
straint— to  as  much  of  the  unappropriated  productions 
of  the  earth  as  are  necessary  to  his  subsistence — to 
accept  from  others  such  rights  as  they  are  authorized 
to  transfer  to  him, — is  a  position  so  dear  as  to  require 
neither  proof  nor  illustration  in  its  support.  Nor  can 
it  reasonably  be  doubted,  that  every  man  is  authorized 
to  defend  his  own  rights,  and  the  rights  of  those  who 
are  under  his  protection,  by  the  use  of  requisite  force 
against  an  aggressor — ^to  obtain  restitution  or  indem- 
nification in  the  case  of  an  injury  sustained, — and  to 
waive,  abridge,  or  alienate  any  of  his  alienable  rights 
at  his  discretion.  I  have  said  alienable  rights,  because 
it  is  dear  that  there  are  certain  rights  which  aro  un* 
alienable.  Thus»  a  man  may  give  away  his  prqperty, 
but  he  cannot  part  with  his  right  over  his  own  know* 
ledge,  thoughts,  and  responsibility :  he  cannot  give  up 
his  right  to  judge  for  himself  in  matters  c^  consdenoe^ 
nor  divest  himself  of  his  acoountableness  as  a  moral 
agent  He  is,  of  course,  accountable  in  piopoftioa  to 
his  talents  and  opportunities ;  but  from  the  constitution 
of  his  nature,  he  is  in  every  situation  accountabla 

Are  there  any  cases  in  which  man  is  authorized  to 


from  R$aMi  mA  Revektion.  000 

de]^Ye  aoothet  of  the  gifts  whidbi  God  ha»  given  to 
hinit  or  to  restrain  him  in  the  eDJoyment  of  them? 
Aoooidiog  to  Mr.  Oisbome,  and  in  his  opinion  I  en- 
tirely ooncur»  he  is  authorized  to  do  so,  when  he  pro- 
oeeds  in  such  deprivation  and  restraint  so  far,  and  so 
fiir  only,  as  is  necessary  for  the  defence  of  the  gifts  of 
Ood  to  himself,  or  in  defence  of  the  gifts  of  Ood  to 
^hose  whom  he  is  bound  by  natural  ties  to  protect*  or 
those  by  whom  his  aid  is  soUcited,  against  attadu  un- 
authorized by  God:  or,  when  he  proceeds  to  audi 
dq^iriyaiion  or  restraint  in  consequence  of  the  consent 
of  the  individual  suffering  it. 

^'  He  may  conclude,  that  for  important  purposes  he 

is  invested  with  a  right  to  employ  the  powws  of  which 

he  is  possessed  in  defending  himsdf  against  every 

kind  of  injury ;  whether  it  be  likely  to  arise  ftom 

famine  or  from  nakedness,  from  the  violmioe  of  a 

savage  animal,  or  from  the  unwarranted  attacks  of  a 

savage  of  his  own  species.    And  since  he  can  in  no 

caae  defend  the  divine  gifts  committed  to  his  chaigt, 

without  depriving  the  aggressor  of  some  of  his  nitf  uml 

powers,  or  restraining  him  in  the  use  of  them;  the 

arguments   which  justify  him  in  defendii^  hias^ 

against  an  unauthorized  attack,  evidently  justify  such 

deprivation  or  restraint,  as  far  as  may  be  necessary 

for  his  defence.     He,  therefore,  who  by  invading  the 

rights  of  another,  has  met  with  resistance,  and  has 

thereby  lost  any  of  the  gifts  ccxiferred  upon  him,  his 

property,  his  health,  his  limbs,  or  his  life,  must  impute 

the  loss  wholly  to  himself.     He  runs  upon  a  weapon 

pointed  against  him  by  the  hand  of  God*." 

«  QialKinie't  Pkindplet  of  Mor.  Phil*  p.  sa 


804  The  Rights  of  Men  deduced^  SfC. 

The  end  for  which  men  are  invested  with  rights  is, 
that  they  may  be  enabled  to  fulfil  the  design  of  their 
being,  by  promoting  their  own  happiness  in  confor- 
mity to  the  will  of  God.  This  end,  therefore,  ought 
to  be  the  great  object  of  their  pursuits,  to  which  every 
habit  and  employment  should  be  made  subservient. 
By  neglecting  this,  though  they  should  abstain  from 
infringing  on  the  rights  of  others,  they  are  chaigeable 
with  sinning  against  God.  "  Every  man  sins  against 
God,'*  to  use  the  words  of  the  author  already  quoted, 
'*  who  does  not  act  in  such  a  manner  with  respect  to 
the  use,  defence,  and  disposal  of  his  rights,  as  he  is  of 
opinion  will,  on  the  whole,  fulfil  most  efiectually  the 
purposes  of  his  being." 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  remaric,  that  these  prin- 
ciples are  sanctioned  by  Scripture,  which  teadies  us 
that  in  God  we  live,  and  move,  and  have  our  being, — 
that  from  the  Father  of  lights  cometh  down  every  good 
and  perfect  gift,— Hhat  we  are  bound  to  use  his  gifts 
for  the  purposes  for  which  they  are  given,  namely, 
the  advancemrat  of  our  own  final  welfare,  and  that  of 
other8,**^and  that  every  man  must  render  an  account 
of  the  talents  with  which  he  is  intrusted  at  the  tri- 
bunal of  God. 


805 


Chapter  III. 

ON  THE  LOVE  OP  OUR  NEIGHBOUR. 

As  love  is  the  source  and  the  animatixig  principle  of 
the  duties  which  we  owe  to  God,  so  is  it  the  source 
and  the  animating  principle  of  the  duties  which  we 
owe  to  our  fellow-creatures.  "  Thou  shalt  love  the 
Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy  heart,  and  with  all  thy  soul^ 
and  with  all  thy  mind,  and  with  all  thy  strength :  this 
is  the  first  commandment.  And  the  second  is  like, 
namely  this,  Thou  shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thy- 
self. Owe  no  man  any  thing  but  to  love  one  another: 
for  he  that  loveth  another  hath  fulfilled  the  law.  For 
this.  Thou  shalt  not  commit  adultery.  Thou  shalt  not 
kill.  Thou  shalt  not  steal,.  Thou  shalt  not  bear  false 
livitness.  Thou  shalt  not  covet,  and  if  there  be  any 
other  commandment,  it  is  briefly  comprehended  in  this 
saying,  namely.  Thou  shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thy- 
self. Love  worketh  no  ill  to  his  neighbour :  therefore 
love  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law.'' 

By  *'  thy  neighbour"  we  are  to  understand  every 
intelligent  creature  who  is  capable  of  being  happy, 
or  of  receiving  benefit  from  us.  The  term,  of  course, 
includes  all  mankind,  enemies  as  well  as  friends ;  as 
is  shewn  by  our  Lord  in  the  parable  of  the  good  Sa- 
maritan. To  the  question,  Who  is  my  neighbour? 
our  Lord  replied  in  a  way  to  make  the  feelings  of  tile 
inquirer  give  a  decision  opposed  to  his  prejudices. 

The  paraUe  employed  for  this  purpose  is  peculiarly 
Vol.  n.  X 


306  On  the  Love  of  our  Neighbour. 

instructive  and  beautiful;  and  is  so  obvious  in  its 
meaning,  and  so  forcible  in  its  conclusion,  as  to  render 
all  comment  superfluous.  The  story  has  all  the  mi- 
nuteness, all  the  local  allusi(m,  of  a  narration  founded 

on  facts. 

In  the  parable,  a  certain  man,  who  was  a  Jew,  is 
represented  as  travelling  from  Jerusalem  to  Jericho, 
find  falling  into  the  hands  of  robbers,  who,  after  strip- 
ping and  wounding  him,  left  him  half  dead.  While  in 
tills  helpless  condition,  there  passed  by  him  one  who 
could  have  no  prejudices  against  him  on  account  of 
iiift  country^  and  whose  priestly  office  should  have  led 
him  to  have  compassion  on  the  distressed,  and  to  re- 
lieve them.  But  when  he  saw  him  he  passed  by  cm 
tlie  other  side.  There  next  followed  a  Levite,  a  maft 
of  professed  sanctity,  and  who  ought  to  have  had  pity 
<3»  a  Mow-creature ;  but  he,  though  he  came  and 
4cKdted  on  him,  passed  by  on  the  other  side.  Bot& 
trwe  the  ministers  of  religion,  who  were  under  obli- 
gation, from  their  office,  to  perform  works  of  charity 
^d  mercy,  and  who  could  not  palliate  their  infaif'- 
m^ty  by  alleging  that  the  sufferer  was  a  Samaritati 
or  a  Heathen. 

,  At  length  a  Samaritan  came  that  way,  between 
•irl)om  and  the  Jews  there  existed  an  hereditary  hos- 
tility, but  who,  when  he  saw  him,  had  compassion  on 
Mm,  and  bound  up  his  wounds,  pouring  in  (m1  and 
wine,  and  set  him  on  his  own  beast,  and  brought  him 
to  an  mn,  and  took  care  of  him.  Here  was  llie  exer- 
^e  of  the  k>ve  which  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law.  In 
Jilace  of  calculating  on  the  hinder ance,  the  trouble,  the 
expense,  which  would  be '  occasioned  by  vraiting  to 


OnikeLcifeofQurNinghbaHr.  -mt 

iidp  this  Mow-creature  in  distress,  the  Samaritan 
was  moved  with  compassi<xi»  and  acted  agreeably  to 
its  dictates. 

The  parable  is  so  framed  as  to  produce  the  ccx^ 
viction  intended,  and  to  force  the  inquirer  to  acknow^ 
ledge,  contrary  to  his  prevailing  prejudices,  that  all 
his  fellow-creatures  were  lus  neighbours.  This  hei^^r 
bourhood  is  founded  on  the  common  relation  whidi 
subsists  between  all  mankind  as  branches  of  oite 
stock,  as  partakers  of  the  same  nature,  as  having  the 
same  capacity  for  immortal  happiness,  and  as  being 
mutually  dependent  on  each  other. 

Thus,  it  appeans,  that  all  mankind  are  our  neighs 
bours,  and  that  we  are  bound,  to  the  extent  of  cw 
power  and  opportunity,  to  do  good  unto  all  men.  In* 
leUigeut  beings,  of  whatever  nature,,  who  are  capaWe 
of  happiness,  are  the  objects  of  our  benevolent  wishes, 
and  did  pur  efforts  reach  them,  of  whatever  exertions 
we  could  make  in  advancing  their  welfare. 

That  we  are  bound  to  extend  our  benevolence  and 

forgiveness  to  our  enemies,  is  not  less  clear,  as  the 

duty  is  expressly  enjoined  by  our  Lord  and  his  Apo- 

sdes.     "  Ye  have  heard  that  it  hath  been  said.  Thou 

shalt  love  thy  neighbour,  (that  is,  according  to  the 

sense  in  which  the  Pharisees  understood  this  term* 

our  friends,)  and  hate  thine  enemy.     But  I  say  unto 

yea,  Love  your  enemies ;  bless  them  that  curse  you^ 

do  good  to  them  that  hate  you;  and  pray  for  tbefai 

that  despiteftilly  use  you  and  persecute  you :  that  ye 

inay  be  the  childrea  of  your  Father,  who  is  in  )amt 

ven :  for  he  maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evii».  aM 

on- the  good ;  s^d  sendeth  rain  on  the.  just  and^ijRt  the 

xs 


808  Onike  Extent  to  wkick  w are 

unjust*.  For  if  ye  love  them  that  love  you,  what 
thank  have  ye  ?  For  sinners  also  love  those  that  love 
than.  But  I  say  unto  you,  love  ye  your  enemies ; 
and  do  good,  and  lend;  hoping  for  nothing  again ; 
and  your  reward  shall  be  great ;  and  ye  shall  be  called 
the  children  of  the  Highest  f.  If  thine  enemy  hun- 
ger, feed  him ;  if  he  thirst,  give  him  drink;  for  in  so 
doing  thou  shalt  heap  coals  of  fire  on  his  head.  Be 
not  overcome  of  evil,  but  overcome  evil  with  good  X*** 
These,  and  other  similar  passages  of  Scripture,  are 
decisive  as  to  the  duty  of  extending  our  benevolence 
and  foigiveness  to  our  enemies.  If  any  one  scriptural 
attestation  to  the  importance  of  this  duty  could  be 
supposed  stronger  than  another,  I  would  aUude  to  the 
petition  in  that  form  of  prayer  which  Christ  taught  his 
disciples :  ''  Forgive  us  our  debts,  as  we  forgive  our 
debtors.'' 


Chaptse  IV. 

ON  TmS  EXTENT  TO  WHICH  WE  ARE  REQUIRED  TO  LOVE 

OUR  FELLOW^REATURES 

The  rule  which  is  to  regulate  the  nature  and  extent  oi 
our  benevolence,  is  ccmtained  in  these  words :  ''  Thou 
ahalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself." 

The  meaning  of  this  language  is,  that  our  love  to 
others  is  to  be  the  same  in  kind,  and  similar  in  d^ee 
with  that  wfaidi  we  bear  to  ourselves. 

♦  Matt  T.  4a,  lie.  tLiawvi.as.  }  Aon.  zO.  flO^  f  1. 


required  to  lave  our  FeUcuHTeatures.  M9 

It  is  to  be  the  same  in  kind :  not  the  same  in  natuie 
as  that  inordinale,  selfish,  and  sinful  afi^tion,  with 
which  mankind  so  generally  regard  themselves  and 
their  interests  ;  but  the  same  as  that  with  which  they 
ought  to  love  themselves.  In  this  way»  by  appealing 
to  our  own  hearts,  we  can  ascertain  the  nature  of  liie 
feelings  which  we  should  indulge  to  others,  and  the 
light  in  which  we  should  view  their  happiness.  Our 
feelings  and  conduct  towards  them  are  to  be  regu- 
lated by  the  great  law  of  love.  "  Whatsoever  ye 
would  that  men  should  do  unto  you,  do  ye  even  so 
unto  them,  for  this  is  the  law  and  the  prophets  */* 

We  very  sincerely  desire  our  own  well-being,  and 
feel,  often  inordinatefyi  anxious  for  our  own  health, 
credit,  safety,  and  success.  We  are  affected  with 
sorrow  at  our  losses  and  disappointmrats,  and  re- 
joice when  we  are  prosperous.  We  should  bear  a 
like  affection  to  our  neighbours,  who  are  capable  of 
the  same  enjoyment  with  ourselves,  who  occupy,  as 
partakers  of  the  same  nature,  the  same  rank  in  the 
scale  of  being,  and  who  are  the  children  of  the  same 
good  and  almighty  Parent. 

Loving  our  neighbour  as  ourselves  also  impUes^ 
that  we  are  to  love  him  generally  to  the  same  extent 
or  degree.  I  say  generaUt/^  that  we  are  to  love  him 
to  the  same  extent  or  degree ;  for,  by  the  constitution 
of  our  nature,  which  is  to  us  the  expression  of  the  will 
of  God,  we  are  led  to  regard  the  duty  as  peculiar,  of 
paying  regard  to  ourselves,  and  to  those  who  are  ours. 
Besides,  we  certainly  owe  "very  different  dqprees  of 
t^ffection  tp  omr  fellow-creatures,  according  to  their  te- 

•   •    • 

*  Matt.  %ii.  IS. 


fid  On  the  Extent  to  which  ue  are 

i^pective  worth,  and  usefulness,  and  the  relation,  near 
at  remote,  in  whidi  they  stand  to  us.  We  are  to  do 
good  unto  all  men,  as  we  have  opportunity,  but  espe- 
cially, that  is,  particularly,  to  those  who  are  of  the 
llpusehold  of  faith. 

^  I  would  therefore  understand  the  word  As,  in  the 
commandment,  as  denoting  similitude,  rather  than 
perfect  equality.  We  are  to  love  all  with  a  benevo- 
l^it  afi^ticxi,  the  same  in  kind  with  that  which  we 
bear  to  ourselves;  and  in  general  and  in  indefinite 
Iknguage,  the  same  in  degree.  We  may,  with  con- 
siderable accuracy,  define  the  extent  to  which  we  are 
bound  to  love  our  neighbour.  We  should  be  as  desir- 
ous of  benefiting,  and  as  unwilling  to  injure,  any  human 
being,  as  we  are  sincerely  solicitous  to  do  good  to  our- 
sdves,  and  wishfiil  to  escape  evil :  we  should  be  as 
ready  to  love  what  is  truly  lovely,  to  commend  what 
is  commendable,  to  compassionate,  to  excuse,  and  to 
preserve,  in  their  diaracter,  interests,  and  connexions, 
every  feBow-creature,  as  we  are  to  exercise,  and  to 
do  these  things  in  regard  to  ourselves. 

This  is  what  the  divine  law  demands,  and  what  in 
reason  and  equity  is  due.  We  are  the  same  with 
omer  human  beings,  in  their  capacity  of  enjoyment, 
in  their  relation  to  God,  in  their  power  of  being  in- 
strumental in  their  own  and  in  others*  happiness,  in 
their  destination  to  eternity,  and  in  all  that  is  truly 
stable  and  substantial.  We  difier  fhvn  them  only  in 
tilings  that  are  fleeting  and  circumstantial ;  things  in 
which  the  same  individual,  at  difierent  periods  of  Ms 
life,  may  difer  from  himself,  wifliout  any  dtnotinutiiH} 
of  affection  for  himsdT  and  for  his  interests.    Is  not 


required  to  km  ow  FeUow^eaiutfs.  fi}^ 

our  love,  ther^ore,  as  much  due*  to  our  neighbour  a|i 
it  is  to  ourselves,  however  much  his  external  drcudi- 
stanoes  may  be  different  from  ours  ?  In  the  judg- 
ment of  an  impartial  spectator,  he  may  appear,  ift 
regard  to  all  that  is  imperishable  in  man,  the  endowr 
ments  of  virtue  and  knowledge,  not  less  entitle4  to 
love  than  we.  If  our  love  to  ourselves  is  just  an4 
equitable  only  as  it  is  prcqportioned  to  our  wortbt  on 
what  ground  can  we  withhdd  it  from  others  who  are 
possessed  of  an  equal,  if  not  of  a  superior  degree  ^ 
e?(QelleDcy  ? 

Laying  aside  every  claim  to  regard  on  the  giwnd 
of  moral  worth,  we  are  bound  to  entertain  wd  tp 
shew  kindness  and  good-will  to  all  human  bwv8>— 
to  take  pleasure  in  their  happiness,  just  as  we  do  u^ 
pur  own,  and  to  do  all  in  our  power  to  promote  it 
We  must  be  sensible  that  thus  much  is  due  to  them  a^ 
fellow-creatures,  since  we  should  expect,  however 
wretdied  might  be  our  condition,  this  degree  pf  b9n^ 
volexx:e  ficom  others* 


Chaptek  V. 

ON  THE  NATURE  AND-  PROPERTIES  OP  THE  LOVE  WE  OWK 

OUR  NEIGHBOUR, 

T^B  Ipyq  whiclj  is  due  from  us  tp  God  cowpreheudSr 
lis  has  been  shewn,  delight  or  complacency  id  God^ 
gpod-wi^i  towards  him,  and  gratitude  for  his  m^jcmf 
Wherever  a  fellow-creature  is  possessed  of  virtue. 


ilt  On  the  Nature  and  Properties  of 

«nd  189  at  the  same  time,  our  benefactor,  our  love  to 
iiim,  in  order  to  come  up  to  the  requirement  of  the 
iaw,  must  be  that  of  complacency  and  gratitude,  as 
•well  as  of  benevolence.  These  feelings  are  dosdy 
BUied  to  each  other. 

I.  The  love  which  we  owe  to  our  fellow-creatures  is 
fnre-eminaitly  characterized  by  delight  in  their  happi- 
ness. Its  essence  is  a  benevolent,  heartfelt  desire  to 
promote  their  real  welfare.  The  ndnd  in  which  it 
dwells  glows  with  good-will  to  the  whole  creation ; 
and  in  regard  to  all  mankind,  sincerely  wishes  that 
Ifaeir  health,  virtue,  quiet,  and  prosperity,  may  be 
increased,  and  continued. 

Love  will  lead  us  to  extend  kindness  and  forgive- 
ness to  our  enemies ;  compassion  to  those  who  are 
«ven  void  of  all  moral  excellency  ;  and  to  do  good  to 
«very  creature  to  the  extent  of  our  power  of  benefit- 
ing them.  Its  object  is  happiness,  happiness  suited 
to  the  nature  and  faculties  of  sentient  and  intelligent 
beings  ;  and,  therefore,  it  must  necessarily  desire  the 
weal  of  every  human  creature,  as  well  as  use  suitable 
means  for  securing  and  promoting  it. 

n.  I/)ve  to  our  neighbour  implies  that  we  duly 
value  those  who  are  included  under  this  term.  "  He 
that  is  void  of  wisdom,"  saith  the  wise  man,  "  de- 
spiseth  his  neighbour*/'  The  foUy  of  this  conduct 
consists  in  treating  that  as  despicable  which  is  not 
really  so ;  and  which,  however  faulty,  is,  by  the  divine 
law,  the  object  of  our  good-will  and  compassion.  Are 
not  all  mankind  alike,  not  only  the  creatures  of  God, 
but  formed  in  his  image?    Are  they  not  all  endued 

♦  ProT.  ii.  ».  ' 


the  Love  we  owe  our  Neighbour.  01S 

mtb  an  immortal  spirit,  and  physically  capable  cf 
everlasting  happiness  ?  Are  they  not  all  the  objects  of 
His  care  and  bounty,  whose  tender  mercies  are  over 
all  his  works  ?  ''  Why  dost  tliou  set  at  noi:^ht  thy 
brother?  For  we  shall  all  stand  before  the  judgmmit 
Mat  of  Christ  f." 

If  we  value  man  according  to  what  he  is,  even 
though  fallen,  and  to  what  he  is  capable  of  becoming; 
*--and  stiU  more,  if  we  value  him  in  any  prq^KXTtioii* 
able  measure  to  the  love  which  God  has  shewn  hiiii> 
we  shall  never  think  that  ,any  fellow-creature  is  too 
low,  or  too  guilty,  to  be  the  object  of  our  beoevdeno^* 
We  shall  honour  that  nature  of  which  we  oursdvee 
are  partakers,  by  feeling  and  acting  aright  as  to  its 
happiness,  by  relieving  its  distresses,  and  adorning  it 
with  virtue,  if  it  be  in  onr  power  to  do  so. 

IlL  Love  to  our  fdlow-creatures  implies  suitable 
activity  in  promoting  their  happiness.  It  will  lead, 
us  to  shew  it,  not  by  words  cmly,  but  by  actions.  It 
will  pervade  and  regulate  the  whole  conduct,  .and 
operate  as  a  constant  and  powerful  principle  of  bene- 
ficence. It  will  produce  in  our  character  a  resem- 
blance to  Him  who  went  about  doing  good ;  and  to 
our  Father  in  heaven,  whose  overflowing  gpodoess 
maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evil  and  on  the  good* 
and  sendeih  rain  on  the  just  and  on  the  unjust 

This  is  a  characteristic  of  love  known  and  f^lt  by 
aU.  This  affection  directly  seeks  the  happiness  of  its 
object ;  and  pronpts,  of  course,  to  the  use  of  thoqe 
meam  by  which  this  may  be  secured.  It  is  on  this 
ground  we  may  affirm  that  its  possessor  will  invar 

*  RooL  sdr.  10. 


•U  On  tie  Nature  and  Properties  6f 

liftbly  be  a  bene&ctor,  that  he  will  do  good  in  all  the 
ways  in  which  he  has  opportunity.  His  diffusive  and 
iufaatantial  beneficence  is  well  described  in  these 
lyierds  ;-^^^  I  delivered  the  poor  that  cried,  and  the 
findierlessi  and  him  that  had  none  to  help  him ;  the 
blessing  of  him  that  was  ready  to  perish  came  upoB 
me,  and  I  caused  the  widow^s  heart  to  sing  for  joy*  I 
ymiM  eyes  to  the  blind,  and  feet  was  I  to  the  lame ;  I 
was  a  fiuher  to  the  poor,  and  the  cause  which  I  knew 
not  I  seaiched  out  V 

*'  Love/*  says  the  Apostle  Paul,  **  worketh  no  ill  to 
hia  neighbour ;  therefore  love  is  the  fulfilling  of  the 
law/'  To  refrain  from  voluntarily  injuring  our  fellow- 
eieatures  is  only  a  negative  firuit  of  this  affectioa  i 
audi  yet,  of  what  importance  ig  even  this  to  the  hap^ 
piness  of  mankind.  Love  will  prevent  us  from  saying 
er  doing  any  thing  to  the  injury  of  our  neighbour's 
MputatioU)  person,  property,  peace,  and  privil^es ; 
md  in  proportion  a^  it  operates,  will  the  evils  by 
which  these  are  assailed  cease  and  disappear  fixxn  the 
wcMdd.  '*  Hiis  is  the  wiU  of  God,  that  no  man  go 
beyrad,  and  defraud  his  brother  in  any  matter ;  be* 
oansethat  the  Ijord  is  the  avenger  of  all  suchf  / 

But  l0ve  is  not  satisfied  by  abstaming  fix>m  doing 
ii^ury;  it  seeks  the  happiness  of  its  objects,  axd 
therefore  prompts  to  the  performance  of  every  office 
O^kindnees.  How  toudhingly  is  its  influence,  in  this 
respect,  lUiiaitrated  by  the  ocmdescension  and  generous 
hileiposition  of  Him  who  made  himself  of  no  repota^ 
tkm,  and  took  upon  him  the  form  of  a  servant,  and 
bctoame  obedient  unto  <le(tth,  even  the  death  of  the 

•  Job  zziz.  IS^l^.  t  1  ThwB.  if,  6. 


He  L<m  we  ow  wt  Neigh^^w^  HI 

eroas !  Hie  glorified  itthabitftnti  of  b^av^n.  M}un%t«(| 
by  love,  are  the  willing  ministers  of  tboM  who  sboQ 
be  heira  of  salvation;  To  tba  9amQ  operative  itnd 
influential  principle,  we  trace  the  self'deaial*  and  suf^ 
feringB,  and  sacrifices  of  those  great  and  holy  mmi 
who,  in  the  service  of  mankind,  counted  pot  their  own 
lives  dear  unto  themselves.  It  was  love  that  animated 
their  zeal,  their  prayers,  their  unwearied  laboi)n>  ui 
promoting  the  real  and  eternal  wel&re  of  tholit  who 
rewarded  them  with  stripes*  and  bonds,  and  lint 
prisonments. 

In  proportion  as  we  are  under  its  ooutrol,  will  tlui 

law  of  kindness  prompt  and  r^ulate  every  part  of 

our  conduct.     We  shall  be  ready  with  our  OOURle* 

nance,  our  advice,  our  prayers,  our  aasistance,  and 

our  sympathy ;  happy  in  being  the  instrumwaM  fd 

doing  good  to  those  whom  the  Great  Lord  of  all 

has  Tendered  capable  of  receiving  it     So  ^ssm^ 

tial  is  this  affection  to  the  right  discharge  of  the  dvrties 

we  owe  our  fellowKsreatures,  that  no  duty  can  \m 

t)erformed  well  without  it.^-*^''  lliough  I  bestow  all  mf 

goods  to  feed  the  poor,  and  though  I  give  my  body  to 

be  burned,  and  have  not  love,  it  pmfiteth  me  nothing. 

Love  suflfereth  long,  and  is  kind;  bve  eovietb  not; 

love  vaunteth  not  itself,  is  not  puffed  up,  doth  not 

behave  itself  unsemoly,  s^keth  not  her  own,  is  not 

easily  provdced,  thinketh  no  evil;  mjoketfa  opt  in 

iniquity,  but  rejoicelh  in  the  truth ;  beareth  a^  tiungib 

believeth  all  things,  faopeth  aH  thmgs,  ttdi»slfa  all 

things.    Love  never  fiuleth;  but  whedier  there  he 

propheose^t  thqr  fM  f^ ;  whetiier  there  be  tongues. 


Slff  On  the  Nature  and  Properties  of 

they  shall  cease;  whether  there  be  knowledge,  it 
shall  vanish  away*." 

If  this  principle  were  implanted  universally  in 
the  heart  of  man,  that  selfishness  which  now  prompts 
him  to  pursue  what  he  reckons  an  advantage,  at  the 
expense  of  the  lives,  the  property,  the  peace  of  his 
fellow-creatures,  would  cease  to  operate ;  and  influ- 
enced only  by  love,  he  would  seek  their  happiness 
by  sudi  means,  and  in  such  a  way,  as  love  will  sug- 
gest. He  would  seek  to  please  them  only  for  their 
good ;  and  by  the  exercise  of  genuine  kindness,  in  his 
manners,  his  words,  his  actions,  and  his  intercourse 
with  others,  would  be  the  source  of  felicity  to  all 
around  him. 

IV.  A  marked  characteristic  of  the  love  we  owe  to 
our  neighbour  is,  its  disinterested  nature.  "  Love 
seeketh  not  her  own. — If  ye  love  them  which  love 
you,  what  reward  have  ye  ?  Do  not  even  the  publi- 
cans the  same  ?  And  if  ye  salute  your  brethren  only, 
what  do  ye  more  than  others?  Do  not  even  the  public 
cans  so  ?  But  I  say  unto  you.  Love  your  enemies,  bless 
them  that  curse  you,  do  good  to  them  that  hate  you, 
and  pray  for  them  which  despitefuUy  use  you,  and 
persecute  you ;  that  ye  may  be  the  children  of  your 
Father  which  is  in  heaven ;  for  he  maketh  his  sun  to 
rise  on  the  evil  and  on  the  good,  and  sendeth  rain  on 
the  just  and  on  the  unjust.  Be  ye  therefore  perfect, 
even  as  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven  is  perfect  f*^' 

These,  and  many  other  passages  of  Scripture  shew, 
Aat  the  love  required  by  the  divine  law  is  totally  free 

•  1  Cor.  xiiL  3—8.  t  Matt.  r.  44-^6. 


tke  Laoe  we  aite  our  Neighbaur.  tVt 

from  selfishness;  that  it  leacU  those  in  whom  it  dwelb 
to  do  good  to  all,  without  any  reference  to  the  persoiud 
recompense  that  may  be  gained  in  return;  and  to 
labour  in  overcoming  the  hostility  of  enemies  by  con- 
tributing disinterestedly  to  their  happiness.  It  is  the 
pure  love  of  happiness,  the  fixed  desire  that  every 
creature  capable  of  virtuous  enjoyment  may  possets 
it.  How  little  human  beings,  even  the  best,  are 
under  the  control  of  this  heavenly  principle,  it  is  un* 
necessary  to  say. 

Y.  The  love  of  our  neighbour  is  essentially  allied 
to  the  love  of  Qod,  and  is  subordinate  to  it  Our 
Lord,  after  repeating  the  first  great  commandment  of 
the  law,  adds, ''  the  second  is  like;  namely  this,  Thou 
shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself."  But  in  what 
way  is  the  seccmd  like  the  first,  if  it  be  not  that  the 
affection  required  in  both  is  the  same  in  nature  ?  We 
are,  indeed,  to  love  the  Lord  our  Ood  so  far  beyond 
any  other  object,  that  even  our  natural  afiections  must 
be  indulged  in  subordination  to  this.  ''  He  that  loveth 
fisither  or  mother  more  than  me,  is  not  worthy  of  me,'' 
said  the  Saviour ;  ''  and  he  that  loveth  son  or  daughter 
more  than  me,  is  not  worthy  of  me."  But  this  implies 
nothing  at  variance  with  the  position,  that  the  love  c^ 
God  and  of  our  neighbour  is  the  same  virtuous  afieo* 
tion,  exercised  in  reference  to  different  objects. 

In  loving  God,  the  mind  is  aflected  with  delight  in 
his  moral  excellency,  joy  in  his  happiness,  and  gra- 
titude for  his  mercies :  in  loving  our  fellow-creatures, 
there  is,  at  least,  pleasure  felt  in  their  happiness,  and 
the  desire  of  promoting  it.  This  affection  is  so  essen- 
tially the  same,  that  it  is  impossible  for  the  same  indi- 


SB  On  ike  Nature  and  Properties  of 


to  exercise  it  towaids  Qod,  and  not  exercise  h 
Jtowards  his  feUow*creatures ;  or  truly  and  disinte- 
restedly to  love  his  fellow-creatures,  and  not  love  Qod. 
No  mind  that  is  not  really  virtuous  can  at  all  exercise 
it;  and  if  it  be  truly  exercised  towards  Ood>  the 
greatest  and  the  most  glorious  Beings  it  will  unquea- 
ti<mably  be  exercised  towards  created  intelligent 
t>e!ng8. 

VI.  Hence  the  connexion,  close  and  indissdnUe, 
between  piety  and  virtue,  between  religion  and  mo- 
rality. The  one  never  does,  and  never  can  exist,  in 
the  absence  of  the  other.  Hence  also  the  true  spring, 
the  animating  principle,  of  all  social  virtue,  and  of  all 
Ihose  great  and  important  duties  which  man  owes  to 
man.  Without  this«  indeed,  there  may  be  much  of 
that  external  morality,  which  the  order  of  human 
Society  requires,  produced  by  views  of  expediencyi 
honour,  and  custom ;  but  it  will  be  void  of  that  which 
gives  to  the  action  its  virtuous  character,  the  inward 
spirit  and  life,  the  love  which  is  the  fulfilling  ci  the 
law.  It  will  be  variable  and  unstable ;  fall  very  far 
short  of  the  true  standard  of  moral  excellency ;  and 
will  be  mischievous  in  its  operation  and  consequenoes. 

That  the  morality  produced  by  the  principles  wbidi 
I  have  mentioned,  expediency,  honour,  and  custcxb, 
and  other  principles  of  a  similar  description,  must  be 
variable  and  unstable,  will  not  be  questioned  by  any 
sound  moralist.  If,  according  to  the  principles  of 
expediency,  every  man  is  allowed  to  judge  for  him- 
self whether  it  be  more  useful  to  obey  or  to  disobey ; 
and  if  this  judgment  is  formed  under  the  immediate 
Influence  of  hopes  and  fears,  in  the  bustle  of  hum^n 


the  Lot>e  we  owe  our  Neighbaur.  Mft 

life,  and  in  the  hour  of  temptation,  can  it  be  affirmM, 
that  his  moral  conduct  will  not  bend  and  accommodate 
itself  to  the  shifting  circumstances  in  which  he  is 
placed  ?  Or  should  his  principle  of  action  be  honour 
or  custom,  which  wiH  lead  him,  of  course,  constantly 
to  look  to  the  changing  opinions  of  his  Mow-creatures, 
to  human  estimation  as  his  great  rule  and  ultimate 
end,  his  morality  will  fluctuate  with  the  fluctuation  of 
fashion  and  feeling  around  him. 

But  though  it  were  not  liable  to  this  and  other  excep- 
tions, it  falls  very  far  short  of  the  true  standard  of  mo- 
ral feeling  and  conduct.  That  action  alone  is  morally 
good  which  proceeds  from  a  morally  good  princi|d6« 
Expediency  is  not  of  this  description,  since  its  direct 
tendency  is  to  set  loose  from  the  authority  of  con- 
science, to  fUmish  a  law  different  and  opposite  from 
the  immutable  law  of  God,  and  to  suggest  a  pretext 
for  the  commission  of  crime  both  in  public  and  private 
life.  Neither  does  honour  possess  this  character;  fbr 
that  teaches  us  to  refer  to  the  opinion  and  decision  of 
man,  and  not  to  God ;  and  to  regard  with  indifference 
some  of  the  grossest  immoralities,  such  as  pride, 
revenge,  drunkenness,  and  impurity. 

These  principles  are  widely  injurious  in  their  ope- 
ration and  consequences.  The  readiness  with  whidi 
man  embraces  any  doctrine,  whidi  allows  him  to 
make  an  occasional  surrender  of  duty  and  consdenoe 
to  present  gratification,  renders  every  false  system  of 
morals  extensively  pernicious.  The  direct  tend^icy 
of  every  such  system,  is,  to  lower  the  standard  of 
morals,  to  represent  more  or  less  the  indulgence  of 
those  evil  propensities  which  do  not  immediately  iiit^- 


800  On  the  Nature  and  Properties  of 


fete  with  the  order  and  existence  of  human  society 
as  venial;  to  remoye  restraints  from  the  passions; 
and  generally  to  enfeeble  the  obligation  of  moral  truth 
and  duty.  As  the  consequence,  there  is  in  the  mind  of 
the  multitudes  by  whom  such  principles  are  adopted, 
either  singly,  or  in  combination,  an  indistinctness  of 
moral  perception,  and  erroneous  views  of  the  extent 
and  authority  of  moral  obligation.  The  mischievous 
effects  which  result  from  the  operation  of  errors  of  so 
grave  a  characten^are  incalculable,  both  in  respect  to 
the  feelings  and  conduct  of  the  individuals  subjected 
to  it,  and  of  the  community  of  which  they  form,  so 
great  a  part 

The  love  of  Qod  and  of  man,  on  the  other  hand,  is  a 
pure,  disinterested,  and  powerful  principle  of  moral 
conduct,  which  maintains  the  desire  and  the  effort  of 
making  all  happy,  constantly,  consistently,  and  uni- 
versally operative,  producing,  without  regard  to  con- 
sequences, a  willing  obedience  to  Gkxi,  and  genuine 
benevolence  to  man.  The  morality  of  which  it  is  the 
spring,  being  regulated  by  the  word  of  God,  by  that 
undianging  law  which  is  a  transcript  of  the  divine 
holiness,  is  of  a  different  nature  from  the  fluctuating, 
accommodating,  and  lax  morality  which  is  the  effect 
of  worldly  principles.  It  forbids  every  sinful  in- 
dulgence,  prpscribes  every  passion,  cherishes  every 
virtue,  gives  to  conscience,  enlightened  by  heavenly 
truth,  its  legitimate  supremacy,  and  it  presents  the 
harmony  and  happiness  of  the  universe  as  object?  to 
which  we  are  ever  to  devote  our  labours  and  ener- 
gies. It  teaches  us  to  make  all  our  conduct,  and  all 
our  pursuits,  whether  they  immediately  affect  our« 


the  LoPe  we  owe  our  Neighbour.  9KL 

selves  or  others,  acts  of  obedience  unto  God,  whose 
authority  is  in  all  things  our  rule,  and  whose  glory  it 
is  our  privilege  to  promote.  It  thus  leads  us  **  to 
deny  all  ungodliness  and  worldly  lusts,  and  to 
soberly,  righteously,  and  godly,  in  this  present  woild 


Chaptse  VI. 

ON  THE  WAY  IN  WHICH  BENEVOLENCE  IS  TO  BE  EXEBCiSBD, 
SO  AS  TO-BE  PBODUCTIVE  OF  THE  GREATSSF  CSOOD  TO 
BfANKIND. 


It  has  been  maintained  by  certain  writers,  that  as 
we  are  bound  to  love  our  neighbor  with  the  same 
pure  and  disinterested  affection  which  we  bear  to 
ourselves,  we  are  bound  to  express  our  love  to  all 
in  tl^  same  manner.  It  is,  therefore,  say  they,  wrong 
to  appropriate  exclusively  to  our  own  use  blessings 
which  the  law  of  love  makes  common  to  all;  or  to 
make  that  particular  provision  for  our  families  whidi 
should  be  given  freely  to  the  members  of  the  family 
of  mankind.  As  it  is  our  duty  to  love  others  as  our* 
selves,  ought  we  not  to  share  with  them  in  comment 
whatever  good  we  may  procure  by  our  talents  and 
industry  ?  Without  this,  what  is  our  Iovjb  but  empty 
profession,  and  does  it  not  consist  merely  in  word  and 

in  tongue? 

'  In  reply  to  this  sophistical  objection,  which,  if  (cl^ 
k)wed  out,  would  fill  the  world  with  anarchy  and 
misery,  by  annihilating  those  means  and  institutions 
whidi  Providence  has  ordained  for  cherishing  virtue 

Vol..  u.  Y 


wbA  cheeking  vice*  for  inoreasiiig  hunuo  Iwiq^nnew 

and  aUeviatixig  huioan  evil,  I  remark, — 

.  I.  That  tfao  law  which  enjoioK  u»  to  loye  ov 

•jwgjhbQur  as  ouiBolves,  is  a  law  designed  to  regulate 

*t]te  moral  fMliugs  and  conduct  of  inflecting  and  iotol- 

ligent  beings  in  regard  to  their  fellow-creatures.    In 

obeying  this  law,  that  is*  in  loving  others  as  them- 

selyes,  they  are  not  only  allowed,  but  required  to  act 

in  the  exercise  of  their  best  judgment,  and  in  that 

way  in  which  the  great  object  of  loye,  hiunan  happi- 

oMfif  may  be  most  effectually  promoted.    Sbould 

the  oonvietions  of  judgment  and  experience  on  this 
subject  be  confirmed  by  the  decision  of  the  only 
wiM  Gk)d»  ib»  Supreme  Ruler  and  legislator,  tbe|i9, 
of  «ounie»  would  be  no  room  for  besitati(»i  as  to 
the  bMt,  the  only  method  of  following  out  tb^  law  of 
love.  That  dB(^Qa  iirom  the  first  creation  of  tawr 
kind  yru  given ;  it  hat  been  explained  imd  wfixcad 
by  aubaecyient  revelations ;  and  its  wisdom  and  b^ie- 
ficwoe  are  amply  oQnfirmed  by  the  history  of  Hib 
hmmn  twie.    I  oNierve,  therefor^.'^ 

XL  That  according  to  the  decisis  of  divine  autbo* 
n|y,  fl0  well  aa  of  bumsa  enperience,  the  bappwen 
of  mankindis  best  secured  by  their  Uving  in  frroitim 
U  is  unnaoessary  to  mention  idl  the  purposes  intoixtod 
to  be  aooemplished  by  this  institution  i  but  it  is  obvious 
Ukat  one  great  object  designed  to  be  attained  by  it  is» 

the  religious  education  and  improvement  of  ^lildreiL 
The  great  Lord  and  Ruler  of  all  trains  .i9>  imder  fliis 
eystem  of  discipline,  the  inteUigent  and  aooouirtable 
beings  whom  he  forms,  and  thus  prepares  thras  for 
the  duties  and  trials  of  life,  and  for  giving  a  chtaiiiil 


so  09  to  tf94w9  Good  to  Mankind.  8W 

ob^dieoeA  to  hii  lawst  wbethor  immediately  emti^d 
by  IdsmifM  or  enjoinod  by  bumaa  suithority.  Tbff 
hMd$  of  families  are  thus  peculiarly  constituted  tb^ 
oervanta  of  God ;  he  rules  through  their  iustnimeiir 
tality  the  little  axmnunity  over  which  they  i^eside ; 
he  makes  them  kiqgs  arid  priests  to  their  owq  house^ 
bold ;  and  he  intrustp  th^n  with  a  diflurge  endmred 
ta  them  by  ^  the  ties  irf'oature,  and  of  infiQite  mjgdiff 
tauoe  both  in  relation  to  this  world  and  the  next. 

It  is  in  families  also  that  the  natural  affections  aip 
cherished— those  affeotions  whicb  softm  human  nir 
tvire,  wbieh  are  the  source  of  so  much  happiness,  and 
which  are  such  important  auxiliaries  to  whatever  i? 
good  in  man.  Had  there  been  no  such  institution, 
m4  had  human  beings  been  so  ciimimstanoed  that 
the  tender  ties  of  kindred  oould  not  be  formed,  the 
parental,  filial,  fmtemal,  and  other  affections  whiolL 
•re  called  natwaU  could  have  had  no  existenoe. 
Dark  and  Q^serable  must  have  been  the  oondition 
of  a  Mw  world,  with  iidiabitants  destitute  of  piire 
benevolence,  and  at  the  same  time  wanting  in  thoae 
instinctive  feelii^  and  a£Sbctions  which,  in  the  absence 
of  a  lugher  principle,  are  essential  to  the  existence  9f 
socMiy* 

In  consequence  of  their  living  in  fiusilies  else, 
twankind  are  capable  of  prosemting  thear  worldly 
business  with  the  greatest  effibct.  That  whidi  is  tbp 
business  of  all  is  seldom  done  by  any*  To  enaUe  u^ 
to  apply  our  powers  successfully,  we  find  it  necessary 
to  limit  our  attention  to  some  definite  object  FamUies 
can  easily  and  effectually  conduct  the  government  of 
their  mspactive  establishments,  and  lonbraee,  vitbobt 

YS 


9M  On  the  Exercise  of  Benevolencef 

* 

embarrassment,  that  diyision  of  human  affiurs  which 
ialls  to  their  management  But  let  this  arrangement 
be  annihilated,  let  there  be  no  divisicxi  of  mankind 
into  families,  no  separate  economy,  no  suitable  allot- 
ment of  business,  and  the  immediate  consequence 
would  be  universal  waste,  prc^gacy,  and  ruin. 

in.  It  is  the  ordination  of  Providence,  that  every 
individual  should  have  an  immediate  and  pressing 
inducement  to  labour. — Without  this,  it  is  demoD- 
Btrable  that  mankind  would  never  have  made  any 
advance  in  improvement  of  any  kind ;  that  conse- 
quently, we  must  have  wanted  the  acquirements,  the 
industry,  the  arts,  the  institutions,  whidi  gladden  and 
adorn  human  existence.  Without  an  inducement, 
and  sttdi  an  immediate  and  pressing  inducehmit,  as 
otxnes  home  to  the  understanding  and  heart  of  all,  to 
labour  in  all  the  ways  in  which  man  can  benefit  him- 
sdf  or  others,  it  is  certain  that  the  earth  wouki  remain 
uncultivated,  that  the  world  would  soon  be  thinly 
peopled,  and  that  the  few  inhabitants  on  its  sur&ce 
would  be  idle,  ignorant,  and  miserable. 

But  this  immediate  and  pressing  inducem^t  to 
Tolontary  labour  is  only  to  be  found  in  that  peculiar 
interest,  which,  from  the  constitution  of  his  nature, 
man  feels  in  that  which  he  calls  his  own.  He  is 
formed  to  love  others ;  but  he  is  also  so  formed,  that 
he  cannot  but  love  himself,  and  value  what  he  reckons 
conducive  to  his  happiness.  He  is  also  so  made,  that 
those  who  are  united  to  him  by  a  family  relation, 
who  are  the  objects  of  his  natural  affections,  he  con- 
siders as  his  own,  as  himself,  whose  well*being  he 
feels  himself  bound  to  promote.  '  It  is  ftom  thence  he 


was  to  produce  Good  to  Mankind.  MS 

derives  the  most  powerful  motives  to  laborious  and 
painful  exertion ;  and  that  he  is  prompted  to  such  a 
uniform  exercise  of  his  talents  and  energies,  as  makes 
him  a  voluntary  benefactor  to  his  fellow*creatures. 
Hence  I  notice, — 

IV.  That  genuine  disinterested  benevolence  regards 
those  as  its  first  objects,  who,  from  proximity,  rela- 
tionship, or  moral  worth,  have  peculiar  claims.  ''  Do 
good,"  says  the  Apostle, ''  unto  all  men,  as  ye  have 
opportunity,  but  especially  to  those  who  are  of  the 
household  of  faith."  If  it  be  the  desire  of  that  bve 
which  is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law  to  do  the  greatest 
good  possible,  and  this  surely  must  be  the  dictate  c£ 
genuine  disinterested  benevolence,  then,  every  man 
must  begin  at  home,  with  the  members  of  his  own 
family,  with  the  poor,  the^  ignorant,  the  wretched,  in 
his  vicinity,  with  the  division  of  the  church  of  Christ 
with  which  he  is  connected,  with  his  kindred  and 
country.  By  sighing  over  the  thraldom  and  misery 
of  distant  nations,  and  by  neglecting  the  wants  of 
those  within  our  reach,  we  are  wasting  our  benevo- 
lence,  if  benevolence  it  can  be  called,  on  those  whom 
we  cannot  benefit,  and  leaving  unoccupied  the  im- 
portant  sphere  of  duty  and  of  usefulness  in  which 
Providence  invites  us  to  move.  We  attempt  to  in- 
vert  that  order  which  the  ordination  of  heaven  has 
fixed  for  the  exercise  of  our  benevolence,  and  the 
discharge  of  its  duties  ;  and,  thus,  it  would  seem  that 
we  would  fain  improve  on  the  plans  of  infinite  wis- 
dom and  goodness^  as  if  we  were  wiser  and  more 
compassionate  than  He  who  formed  us. 
In  exact  proportion  as  we  exercise  true  benevdence 


•    On  ihe  EtercUe  of  Beneffclence^ 

to  those  within  our  reach,  is  it  proved  that  we  should 
flhew  it  to  those  at  a  distance,  provided  it  were  in 
our  power  to  do  so.  It  is  thus  only,  and  not  by  Use- 
less lamentations  over  distant  distresses,  and  fdle 
declamation  concerning  the  perfectibility  of  human 
nature,  that  we  cherish  that  love  which  is  the  tfue 
spring  of  all  social  virtue.  It  is  comparatively  few  of 
the  human  race  that  we  can  personally  benefit ;  for 
file  rest  we  can  only  shew  our  benevolence  by  our 
wishes  and  prayers,  and  by  contributing,  ad  we  have 
opportunity,  to  the  difiusion  of  that  glorious  Oospgl 
which  is  the  declaration  of  peace  on  earth,  and  good- 
will towards  men.  It  was  thus  that  good  men  of  old 
acted,  while  they  expressed  their  earnest  desires  for 
the  happiness  of  the  whole  family  of  mankind :  *•  God 
be  merciful  unto  us  and  bless  us,  and  Cause  his  face 
to  shine  upon  us ;  that  thy  way  may  be  known  Upon 
earth,  thy  saving  health  among  all  nations/' 

"  There  is  a  scale  of  benevolent  desire,  which  cor- 
responds with  the  necessities  to  be  relieved,  and  our 
power  of  relieving  them ;  or,  with  the  happiness  to  be 
aflbrded,  and  our  power  of  affowling  happiness.  How 
liiany  opportunities  have  we  of  giving  delight  to  those 
who  live  in  our  domestic  circle,  which  would  be  lost 
before  we  could  diffuse  it,  to  those  who  are  distatit 
ftom  us !  Our  love,  therefore,— ouf  desire  of  giving 
happiness,— our  pleasure  in  having  given  it,  are 
stronger  within  the  limits  of  this  sphere  of  dally  and 
hourly  intercourse,  than  beyond  it.  Of  those  Who  are 
beyond  this  sphere,  the  individuals  most  familiar  to  US 
are  those  whose  happiness  we  must  always  kflOW 
better  how  to  promote,  than  the  happiness  of  stan- 


so  09  to  prodnte  Good  to  Mankind.  MT 

gets,  with  whosd  partieulaf  habits  and  indinatioiiB  we 
are  little,  if  at  all  acquainted.  Id  it  possible  to  p«tw 
ceiv6  this  general  proportion  of  our  desire  of  giving 
happinesBi  in  its  various  degrees,  to  the  means  whidi 
we  possess^  in  various  circumstances,  of  ailbidiog  it* 
without  admiration  of  an  arrangement  so  simple  in 
the  principles  ft'om  which  it  flows,  or  at  the  same 
time  so  efifectual,^-H5m  aitangement  which  e^ilMttf 
proofs  of  goodness  in  our  very  wants,  of  wisdom  in 
our  very  weaknesses,  by  the  adaptation  of  those  to  each 
other,  and  by  the  ready  resouroes  whioh  want  and 
weakness  find  in  these  afiections  which  evdrywliers 
sutround  them,  like  the  presence  and  protection  of 
Ood  himself  •." 


Chaptee  VII. 


HUMANITY. 


This  is  the  necessary  fruit  of  benevolence ;  and  will 
spring  forth,  wherever  benevolence  has  its  abode.  It 
consists  of  a  variety  of  minute  and  kindly  offices, 
which  necessarily  vary  with  the  varying  circumstanoea 
of  human  life.  It  is,  when  genuine,  the  effect  of  the 
prltocipte  of  beneficence,  and  not  merely  of  natural 

aflection. 

TThis  virtue,  which  softens  and  adorns  all  our  social 
Virtues,  shews  itself,  not  only  by  a  r^ard  to  the  wants, 
but  by  a  deference  to  the  feelings  of  others.    The 

*  Broim*!  Lectures,  vd.  iil  p.  MS. 


Humanity. 

iadividual  in  whose  boeom  the  gentle  virtues  of  hii- 
manity  abide,  glows  with  good-will  to  every  living 
thing;  he  remembers  that  the  path  which  leads  to  the 
tomb  is  already  sufficiently  darkened  by  the  shadow 
of  deatfi,  though  he  should  not  unnecessarily  aggravate 
the  glo(»n; — and  that  while  he  and  his  fellow-candi- 
dates for  eternity  are  within  a  few  paces  ol  the  boim* 
dary  whidi  will  unite  or  separate  them  for  ever,  he 
ought  to  shew  them  all  the  kindness  in  his  power  wbUe 
advancing  thither. 

In  many,  the  wish  to  promote  the  happiness  of 
mankind  by  a  kind  and  courteous  demeanour,  dis* 
covers  itself  cxily  at  distant  intervals,  and  on  great 
occasions.  They  seem  to  feel  only  when  affliction 
makes  a  loud  appeal  to  them ;  or  when  they  are  sur* 
rounded  with  spectators  to  applaud  their  beneficent 
exertions ; — ^forgetting  that  the  happiness  of  man  is 
made  up,  not  by  a  few  acts  of  generosity,  but  by  the 
frequent,  and,  in  many  cases,  undefinable  offices  of 
daily  life ;— and  that  the  continued  exercise  of  hu- 
manity,  and  the  endearing  tones  of  affection,  are  pro- 
ductive of  far  more  substantial  good,  than  the  sacri- 
fice of  a  splendid  fortune  without  them. 

Humanity  is  exercised  towards  the  lower  anim^, 
as  well  as  in  regard  to  mankind.  "  A  righteous  man,** 
tb»tjs,  a  virtuous  humane  man,  <*  will  regard  the  life 
of  his  beast"  His  love  to  universal  happiness  will 
shew  itself  in  his  kind  and  gentle  treatment  of  the 
whole  animated  creation.  In  this  respect,  he  will 
derive  the  rule  of  his  conduct  from  the  description 
which  the  pen  of  inspiration  gives  of  the  bounteous 
conduct  of  the  Parent  of  all,  in  regard  to  all  the  crea- 


Humamtg.  810 


tures  to  which  he  has  given  being.  ''  The  eyes  of  all 
wait  on  thee ;  and  thou  givest  them  their  meat  in  due 
season.  Thou  openest  thine  hand,  and  satisfiest  the 
desire  of  every  living  thing." 

''  It  is  no  more  than  the  obligation  of  our  very  birth 
to  practise  equity  to  our  kind ;  but  humanity  may  be 
extended  through  the  whole  order  of  creatures,  even 
to  the  meanest.  History  tells  us  of  a  wise  and  polite 
nation  that  rejected  a  person  of  the  first  quality,  who 
stood  for  a  judiciary  ofiBce,  only  because  he  had  been 
observed  in  his  youth  to  take  pleasure  in  teasing  and 
murdering  of  birds.  And  of  another  that  expelled  a 
man  out  of  the  senate,  for  dasliing  a  bird  against  the 
ground  which  had  taken  shelter  in  his  bosom*  I  re- 
member an  Arabian  Author,  who  has  written  a  trea- 
tise to  shew  how  far  a  man  supposed  to  have  sub- 
sisted in  a  desert  island,  without  any  instruction,  or  so 
much  as  the  sight  of  any  other  man,  may,  by  the  pure 
light  of  nature,  attain  the  knowledge  of  philosophy 
and  virtue.  One  of  the  first  things  he  makes  him 
observe  is,  that  universal  benevolence  of  nature  in  the 
protection  and  preservation  of  its  creatures.  In  imi- 
tation of  which  the  first  act  of  virtue  he  thinks  his  self- 
taught  philosopher  would  of  course  fall  into  is,  to  re- 
lieve and  assist  all  the  animals  about  him  in  their 
wants  and  distresses  '^.^ 

*  Ouaidian,  vol.  iii.  No.  SI. 


dso 


Chapte*  VIII. 


GRATITUDE. 


Thsre  are  certain  dispositions  and  their  contraries, 
such  as  humility  and  pride,  gratitude  and  unthank* 
fidness,  which,  in  their  immediate  exercise,  may  be 
directed  either  towards  Qod  or  towards  man.  The 
same  depravity  of  mind  from  which  ingratitude  to  a 
fellow-creature  originates,  produces  ingratitude  to  Ood, 
our  great  and  constant  Benefactor.  This  is  one  reason 
why  it  has  always  been  regarded  with  abhorrence. 

Such  is  the  benevolence  of  our  Creator,  that  he  has 
connected  pleasure  with  the  communication  and  with 
the  reception  of  good.  The  very  exercise  of  ben^- 
cence  is  happiness, — ^happiness  both  to  the  giver  and 
the  receiver.  There  are  awakened  in  the  heart  of  the 
reoipient,  the  emotions  of  love  to  the  benefactor,  the 
wish  for  his  happiness,  and  the  desire  of  rendering 
him  some  service  for  its  promotion.  ''  He  whose 
generous  life  is  a  continued  diffusion  of  happiness, 
may  thus  delight  himself  with  the  thought,  that,  in 
diffusing  it,  he  has  been,  at  the  same  time,  the  dif- 
fiiser  of  virtue, — at  least,  of  wishes  which  were  virtue 
for  the  time,  and  required  nothing  to  convert  them  into 
bendSlcence,  but  the  means  of  exercising  them." 

The  exercise  of  beneficence  creates  obligations  on 
the  part  of  the  benefactor,  as  well  as  on  that  of  the 
object  of  his  bounty ;  though,  doubtless,  the  principal 
dass  of  duties  devolve  on  the  recipient.    Tlie  giver 


Gratitude.  $Sl 

must  bestow  his  favours  with  disinterested  benevo- 
lence^ — ^with  a  kindness  that  flows  from  a  generous 
heart; — and  without  abusing  that  power  which  he 
acquires,  by  often  reminding  the  person  whom  he  has 
obliged  of  the  very  great  value  of  the  favours  con- 
ferred. Should  he  bestow  his  gifts  for  the  purpose 
df  afterwards  exercising  a  malevolent  control,  in  ex- 
acting services  which  it  is  unreasonable  to  pay,  and 
in  cruelly  torturing  the  unfortunate  objects  of  his 
professed  liberality,  he  can  have  no  ground  to  com- 
plain of  the  want  of  gratitude,  since  gratitude,  in 
the  way  in  which  he  expected  it,  was  never  really 
due. 

The  duties  of  the  obliged  are  very  obvious.  Nature 
teadies  them  to  love  those  who  do  them  good,  espe- 
cially when  this  good  is  manifestly  done  from  pure 
and  disinterested  motives.  It  also  points  out  to  them 
the  obligation  of  guarding  their  reputation,  and  of 
promoting  their  interests  ;  and,  generally,  of  doing  all 
in  their  power,  without  compromising  moral  principle, 
to  extend  their  happiness.  Christianity  very  flilly, 
by  the  great  facts  on  which  it  rests,  by  the  leading 
motives  which  it  presents,  by  incidental  allusions,  and 
by  numerous  examples,  recognises  these,  as  the  duties 
"which  spring  from  gratituda  "  We  love  him,  (God) 
because  he  first  loved  us.  The  love  of  Christ  con- 
straineth  us,  because  we  thus  judge,— that  He  died 
for  all,  that  they  which  live  should  not  henceforth  live 
unto  themselves,  but  unto  him  which  died  for  them, 
and  rose  again  ♦.'*  **  The  Lord  give  mercy  unto  the 
bouse  of  Onesiphorus ;  for  he  oft  refreshed  me,  and 

•  8  Car.  ▼.  14  15, 


88S  GraMude. 

was  not  ashamed  of  my  chain :  but,  when  he  was  in 
Rome,  he  sought  me  out  very  diligently,  and  found 
me.  The  Lord  grant  unto  him  that  he  may  find  mercy 
of  the  Lord  in  that  day  *." 

Hence,  then,  the  great  evil  of  ingratitude :  an  evil 
which  consists  in  the  violation  of  the  natural  feelings 
of  the  human  heart,  which,  because  they  are  truly 
natural,  are  an  intimation  to  us  of  the  will  of  God 
This  intimation  is  ratified  by  the  unequivocal  au- 
thority of  revelation.  To  love  those  who  love  them» 
it  considers  to  be  so  common  to  mankind,  that  this 
affection  is  exercised  by  those  who  have  scarcely  any 
other  virtue  f .  To  be  void  of  it,  mankind  have  con- 
sidered in  all  ages  as  the  extreme  of  human  depravity. 
They  have  classed  the  ungrateful  with  the  most  atro* 
cious  criminals. 

Mr.  Paley  places  the  evil  of  ingratitude  on  the 
wrcxig  foundation, — ^the  inexpediency  of  its  practice 
in  reference  to  society.  "In  this,"  says  he,  "the 
mischief  of  ingratitude  consists.  Nor  is  the  mischief 
small ;  for  after  all  is  done  that  can  be  done,  towards 
providing  for  the  public  happiness,  by  prescribing 
rules  of  justice,  and  enforcing  the  observation  of  them 
by  penalties  op  compulsion,  much  must  bs  left  to  those 
offices  of  kindness,  which  men  remain  at  liberty  to 
exert  or  withhold.  Now,  not  only  the  choice  of  the 
objects,  but  the  quantity,  and  even  the  existence  of 
this  sort  of  kindness  in  the  world,  depends,  in  a  great 
measure,  upon  the  return  which  it  receives.** 

Undoubtedly,  there  are  many  who  exercise  kind- 
ness, or  the  appearance  of  kindness,  from,  interested 

•  8  run.  i.  16—18.  t  Mi^ti.  r.  4a. 


OraHiude.  888 

inotives,  and  from  the  return  of  gratitude  whidi  they 
expect  to  receive.  Is  it,  however,  for  a  writer  on 
morals,  to  recommend  this  conduct  to  mankind  ?  I^ 
in  giving  of  our  property  to  the  poor,  we  must  be- 
stow, if  we  bestow  aright,  not  with  a  view  to  oomr 
pensation  in  the  gratitude  which  it  may  procure  us, 
but  from  a  sense  of  duty,  we  are, surely  bound  to  dis- 
charge  all  the  obligations  of  benevdence  on  the  same 
principle.  We  ought  to  exercise  beneficence  to  all 
men  as  we  have  opportunity ;  and  we  ought  to  feel, 
and  to  shew  ourselves  grateful  to  our  ben^ustors: 
but  we  should  act  thus  in  both  cases,  because  it  is  our 
duty,  enjoined  by  the  will  of  God,  and  the  performance 
of  which  is  well-pleasing  to  him. 

Ingratitude,  doubtless,  like  the  manifestation  of  de* 
pravity  in  every  form,  is  productive  of  sin  and  misery. 
But  no  man  who  is  beneficent  on  principle,  that  is, 
who  is  virtuously  beneficent,  will  be  checked  in  bis 
virtuous  course,  by  discovering  the  baseness  and  ma- 
lignity of  those  whom  he  has  benefited.  ''  I  say  unto 
you.  Love  your  enemies,  bless  them  that  curse  you, 
do  good  to  them  that  hate  you, — ^that  ye  may  be  the 
children  of  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven.*' 


CHAPTSa  IX. 


FRIENDSHIP. 


It  has  been  supposed  that  the  existence  of  friendship 
is  incompatiblQ  with  the  exercise  of  universal  bene* 


yolenoe;  and  that  on  thi9  ground  the  Scriptures  toe 
aUeot  raspectiug  it  *. 

*  <'W«|iwelvf  tlwiiiipriiprielyoriimld0gH(Ue^ 

lejpjdatioQ.  It  is  the  duty  of  e?^ry  man  to  cultiFate  the  dbpoeitioiif  which 
kad  to  friendghip,  the  love  of  his  gpecies,  admiration  of  virtiie,  leg^aid  to 
^  Wi$gt  flf  othen.  gmMad^.  hwnilitj,  tHang  with  tiit  moal  intaibl^ 
adherence  to  probitj  and  truth.  Wherever  these  exist,  friendship  will  be 
^e  natural  result ;  but  It  will  result  as  a  felicity  rather  dian  a  duty ;  and 
U  to  bo  pl«cfld  amoiig  the  rvwirdf  of  virtue,  rather  thiM  its  pbligiUlfiis^ 
Happiness  is  not  to  be  prescribed,  but  to  be  enjoyed.  Were  friendship 
inculcated  as  a  matter  of  Indispensable  obligation,  endless  embarrassment 

WmH  ^riseip4e^n9ii>i«g:  «*  wliAt  period  the  rel^tio^  shall  cammp^m  > 
whether  with  one  or  with  more ;  and  at  what  stage,  in  the  progress  of 
mutual  attraction,  at  what  point,  the  feelings  of  reciprocal  regard  shall  be 
deemed  to  reach  the  mftnrity,  whidi  entitles  them  to  ihfi  sacred  naeie  ^f 
friendship.'  The  laws  of  piety  and  virtue  are  coeval  with  our  existeoo^ 
considered  as  reasonable  and  accountable  creatures.  Their  authority  is 
fanM  en  ipuButable  relations,  the  duties  resulting  fnmi  which  ve  cayor 
ble  of  being  clearly  conceived  and  exactly  defined ;  but  he  who  shoi^ld 
nndertahe  to  prescribe  to  the  subtle  and  mysterious  impulses  which  invite 
Msceplible  mi|i4s  to  friendship,  wouk)  find  h{9>ielf  engaged  In  aa  #ttfmpt 
as  hopeless,  as  to  regulate  the  motions  of  the  air  which  '  bloweth  where 
it  Ksteth/ 

"Slit  though  the  eqltivation  of  friei«lship,  for  the  i^asoea  ali^/^f- 
signed,  is  not  made  the  subject  of  precept,  but  is  left  to  grow  up  of  itself 
tinder  the  general  culture  of  reason  and  religion,  it  is  one  of  Ae  fairest 
IPMbietiQPB  of  the  hiunun  seil,  the  ooidial  of  lifei  the  len^tir^  of  our  eer» 

rows,  and  the  multiplier  of  our  joys  ;  the  spurce  equally  of  animation  aotf 
ef  repoie.  He  who  is  destitute  of  this  blessing,  amidst  the  greatest  erew4 
«id  pressnie  of  society,  is  doomed  to  solitude ;  and  howprer  sarrooiided 
with  flatterers  and  admirers,  however  armed  with  power,  and  rich  in  the 
endowmeota  of  nature  and  of  fortune,  has  no  resting  place.  The  moat 
elevated  station  in  life  affords  no  exemptiofi  from  those  agitatftou  f^id 
disquietudes  which  can  only  be  laid  to  rest  on  the  bosom  of  a  friend.  He 
who  has  made  the  acquisition  of  a  judicious  and  sympathizing  friend,  may 
be  said  to  have  doubled  his  mental  resources :  by  associating  an  equal, 
perhaps  a  superior  mind,  with  his  own,  he  has  provided  the  means  of 
strengthening  his  reason,  of  perfecting  his  counsels,  of  discerning  and 
correcting  his  errors.  He  can  have  recourse  at  all  times  to  the  judgment 
and  assistance  of  one,  who,  with  the  same  power  of  discernment  with  him* 
self,  comes  to  the  decision  of  a  question  with  a  mind  neither  harassed  with 
the  perplexities,  nor  heated  with  the  passions,  which  so  frequently  dhsciue 
the  perception  of  our  true  interests.  Next  to  the  immediate  guidance  of 
God  by  his  Spirit,  the  counsel  and  encouragement  of  virtuous  and  en- 
lightened  friei^  afford  the  most  powerful  fid,  in  the  encounter  ef  te«f* 
tation  and  in  the  career  of  duty."  (A  Sermon  occasioned  by  the  denth  of 
Hw  Rev.  Mm  Ryhvad^  D.D.,  by  Rebeit  Hall,  M.A.) 


BiA  tliis  stqppoeitioii  i»  not  weU^founded.  It  is 
possible  to  love  our  neighbour  as  ourselves,  mul  nt 
Uie  same  time  entertain  that  love  and  esteem  towai4s 
individualB  which  constitute  iriendfihip.  From  the 
different  dispositions  and  temperaments  ef  maolUfldt 
it  would  appear  to  be  the  design  of  ProYidenoe>  that 
friendship  should  be  formed,  in  eonsequeoce  (^  per* 
tons  of  kindred  minds  associating  together. 

The  Scriptures  abound  with  the  most  baauttfiil  at- 
amples  of  the  tenderest  and  closest  frienddup.  How 
could  the  strength  and  durability  of  friendship  tae 
more  touchingly  exemplified  than  in  the  ease  of  David 
and  Jonathan  ?  Their  several  interviews  present  to 
ua  the  eiercise  of  deep  and  disinterested  a£BMStioit« 
<'  The  soul  of  Jonathan  was  knit  with  the  soul  of 
I)aYid,  and  Jcwatban  loved  him  as  his  own  soid- 
Then  Jonathan  and  Pavid  made  a  covenant,  because 
he  loved  him  as  his  own  soul.  And  Joaathun  stripped 
himself  c^  the  robe  that  was  upon  him,  and  gavtt  it  to 
Pavidt  and  his  garments^  even  to  his  swoid,  and  tP 
his  bow,  and  to  his  girdle." 

With  rogard  to  the  alleged  sUenoe  of  the  Oosp^  a^ 
to  friendship,  it  may  be  remarkedt  thai  its  Piviiie 
Author  c(xnmv4ed  his  disciples  to  love  tide  another 
with  a  pure  and  disinterested  affectiont  voA  that  the 
direct  tendency  of  his  religion  is  to  produoe  and  mainr 
tain  among  all  truly  virtuous  persons  a  friendship  ef 
the  most  generous  and  exalted  nature,  to  flourish  with 
now  and  undecaying  vigour  in  a  happier  w<Hrld,  ^'  A 
new  commandment  I  give  unto  you,  that  ye  love  ooe 
another ;  as  I  have  loved  you»  that  ye  also  love  cHie 


886  FHendihip. 


By  this  shall  all  men  know  that  ye  are  my 
disciples,  if  ye  have  love  one  to  another*/'  Is  not 
friendsliip  the  natural  and  necessary  result  of  the 
exercise  of  the  fraternal  affection  here  enjoined  ?  The 
eSect  of  obedience  to  this  commandment  must  be  our 
enjoying  the  intimate  acquaintance,  the  counsdi  and 
advice,  the  love  and  confidence  of  those  whom  we 
choose  as  our  personal  friends.  If  our  Lord  himself 
fiivoured  some  with  his  friendship,  as  in  the  case  of 
the  disciple  whom  he  loved,  and  the  pious  family  at 
Bethany,  it  cannot  be  wrong  in  us  to  cultivate  the 
same  feelings,  and  to  seek  the  same  enjoyments. 

**  Our  Divine  Lawgiver  shewed  his  wisdom,  equally 
in  what  he  enjoined,  and  what  he  left  unnoticed.    He 
knew  exactly, — what   no  Pagan  philosopher   evest 
knew, — ^where  to  be  silent,  and  where  to  speak.    It 
was  not  his  intention,  it  was  indeed  fkr  bebw  his 
dignity,  to  say  fine'  things  upon  popular  subjects ; 
jdeasing  perhaps  to  a  few,  but  utterly  useless  to  the 
bulk  of  mankind.    His  object  was  of  a  much  more 
important  and  extensive  nature;    to  incub»te  the 
'fisitu  humble,  practical  duties  of  piety  and  morality ; 
the  duties  that  were  of  universal  concern  and  indis- 
pensable obligation,  such  as  were  essentially  necessary 
to  our  well-being  in  this  life,  and  our  everlasting  hap- 
piness in  the  next.    Now,  the  warmest  admireni  of 
friendship  cannot  pretend  to  raise  it  into  a  duty  of  this 
high  nmk.    It  is  a  delightful,  it  is  an  amiable,  it  is 
often  a  laudable  attachment ;  but  it  is  not  a  necessaty 
requisite,  either  to  the  present  welfttre  or  future  salva- 

•  John  ziii.  84^  35. 


FriendtMp.  397 

tioQ  of  mankiiid  in  general,  and,  consequently,  is  not 
of  sufficient  importance  to  deserve  a  distinct  place  in 
the  diristian  system  *." 

A  faithful  friend  is  beyond  all  value  ;  as  the  delight 
of  true  friendship  is  one  of  the  purest  and  most  exalted 
pleasures.  We  are  led  by  the  constitution  of  our  na- 
ture, no  less  than  by  the  circumstances  in  which  we 
are  placed,  to  form  this  relation^  and  to  desire  this 
enjoyment ;  and  it  is  well  when  we  choose  those  as 
our  friends  who  have  qualities  of  temper  and  of  moral 
worth  which  constitute  them  fit  objects  of  our  love. 

I.  It  is  our  duty  to  exercise  judgment  and  dis- 
crimination in  the  selection  of  friends.  This  may  not 
be  necessary  in  regard  to  those  common  acquaintances 
which  we  make  in  the  intercourse  of  human  life,  and 
who  because  our  intercourse  consists  in  the  inter* 
change  of  civilities  merely,  possess  scarcely  any  in- 
fluence on  our  character  and  happiness.  But  if  friend-* 
ship  be,  what  it  has  been  very  happily  termed,  "  an 
alliance  of  heart  with  heart, — if,  in  giving  our  sorrow 
or  projects  to  be  shared  by  another,  we  are  to  partake, 
in  our  turn,  his  sorrows  or  designs,  whatever  they 
may  be, — ^to  consider  the  virtue  of  him  whom  we 
admit  to  this  diffusion  with  us  of  one  common  being, 
and  to  yield  our  affection,  only  as  we  discover  the 
virtue  which  alone  is  worthy  of  it,  is  almost  the  same 
thing  as  to  ccxisult  our  own  virtue/' 

If  we  are  desirous  that  our  friendship  should  be 
lasting,  that  the  happiness  which  it  yields  should 
alHde  with  us  under  the  calamities  as  well  as  under 
the  sunshine  of  human  life,  it  becomes  us  to  take 

*  Bishop  PorteuB*8  Sermoiu,  toI.  i.  p.  4S8. 
Vol.  II.  Z 


808  Eriendihip. 

good  heed  to  the  dispositions  and  diaracter  of  those 
whom  we  make  our  friends.  Can  they  be  faithfiil 
friends  to  us  who  are  unfriendly  to  their  own  virtue 
and  happiness ;  whose  habitual  imprudence,  or  whose 
habitual  vice,  surrounds  them  with  misery  ?  Ought 
we  not  also  to  hesitate  in  receiving  to  the  entire  love 
and  confidence  of  friendship  persons  of  a  peevish, 
discontented,  and  8uiq>icious  turn  of  mind  ? 

n.  When  we  have  selected  our  friends,  we  Aaold 
cherish  towards  them  all  tenderness  and  fidelity  of 
afiection.  The  tenderness  with  which  we  should  treat 
their  feelings  and  character,  and  even  their  very  fil- 
ings, will  appear  by  recollecting  the  manner  in  whidi 
we  ourselves  are  affected  by  the  conduct  of  our  friends 
in  regard  to  us.  We  feel  very  sensibly  any  unkind- 
ness  in  words  or^ictions  from  them ;  when  we  would 
have  disregarded  much  worse  conduct  in  persons  in- 
different  to  us.  ^'  It  was  not  ^n  enemy  that  reproadied 
me ;  then  I  could  have  borne  it :  neither  was  it  he 
that  hated  me  that  did  magnify  himself  against  me ; 
then  I  would  have  hid  myself  from  him.  But  it  was 
thou,  a  man  mine  equal,  my  guide,  and  mine  acquaint- 
ance. We  took  sweet  counsel  together,  ftnd  walked 
unto  the  house  of  Ood  in  company." 

The  mutual  confidence  which  is  requisite  to  friend- 
ship renders  fidelity  indispensable.  He  who  is  inca* 
pable  of  retaining  in  his  own  bosom  the  communica- 
tions which  friendship  confides  to  him,  either  from 
imbecility,  or  from  the  vanity  of  shewing  that  he 
knows  what  is  unknown  by  others,  may  be  very 
learned,  and  very  amiable,  but  he  is  wanting  in  one 
of  the  most  essential  qualifications  of  a  desirable 


FHendMp. 

friend.    When  he  whom  we  call  our  friend  is  worthy 

of  that  name,  when  we  are  assured  that  he  desenrea 

our  full  confidence,  we  have  a  pleasure  in  telling  him 

our  joys  and  sorrows,  our  hopes  and  fears,  and  in 

unbosoming  our  whole  souL    It  is  with  great  trtitfay 

therefbre,  that  the  Roman  moralist  says,— ^'  If  you 

think  any  one  your  friend  in  whom  you  do  not  put 

the  same  confidence  a6  in  yourself,  you  know  not  thd 

real  power  of  fiiendship.     Consider  long,  whether  the 

individual  whom  you  view  with  regard  is  worthy  of 

being  admitted  to  your  bosom ;  but  wh^i  you  hxm 

ju(%ed  and  found  him  truly  worthy,  admit  him  to  your 

rery  heart.     You  should  so  live,  indeed,  as  to  trust 

nothing  to  your  conscience,  whidi  you  woidd  not  trust 

to  your  enemy ;  but  at  leaet,  to  your  friend,  let  aU 

be  open.    He  will  be  the  more  feithfiil,  as  your  conft* 

dence  in  his  fidelity  is  more  compfete." 

III.  CXir  interest  in  the  happiness  of  our  friends 
should  be  sufiiciently  deep  to  produce  in  us  a  readiness 
and  a  pleasure  to  serve  them,  when  it  is  in  our  power 
to  do  so.  The  genuineness  of  our  friendship  must  be 
shewn,  not  by  words  and  professions  merely,  but  hf 
deeds  of  substantial  kindness.  If  it  be  our  duty,  i^hould 
the  providence  of  God  call  us  to  it ^  to  lay  down  our 
lives  for  the  brethren ;  it  cannot  be  doubted  that  we 
are  bound  to  comfort  them  in  affliction,  and,  shotdd 
their  circumstances  require  it,  and  ours  afford  it,  to 
give  them  pecuniary  assistance.  If  we  expect  when 
we  are  in  distress  to  hear  the  soothing  voice  of  friend- 
ship,—that  voice  which  it  gives  us  pleasure  to  hear, 
even  when  our  friend  cannot  relieve  us, — affection  vriU 

teach  us  to  express  our  sympathy  with  hito,i  and 

zs 


/ 

S40  Priehdshtp. 

willingly  to  give  our  influence  or  property,  as  he  may 
require  it,  to  promote  his  well-being. 

IV.  We  owe  our  friends  also  a  lively  interest  in 
their  moral  and  reUgious  improvement.    This  is  in- 
deed the  chief  of  the  duties,  and  perhaps  the  most 
difl&cult  to  discharge,  of  any  involved  in  a  virtuous 
friendship.    But  to  Christians,  who  consider  their 
being  as  conmiencing  when  this  fleeting  life  has 
passed  away,  and  who  hope  to  enjoy  that  nobler 
being  where  all  imperfection  shall  be  unknown,  the 
value  of  friendship  is  enhanced,  as  it  promises  to 
survive  this  perishable  existence.    Its  bonds  become 
firmer  just  as  we  can  look  with  humble  confidence 
beyond  this  passing  scene,  to  the  regions  into  which 
distrust  and  suspicion  never  enter,  where  love  and 
friendship  hold  an  eternal  sway. 

With  the  wish  that  our  friendship  may  thus  be 
immortal,  it  must  be  our  duty,  not  merely  to  correct 
the  faults  of  our  friend,  but  to  aim  by  such  means  as 
afiection  will  suggest,  at  cherishing  his  virtues,  and 
increasing  the  sum  of  those  moral  excellences  which 
are  the  object  of  our  love.  Do  we  hesitate  in  the  dis- 
charge of  this  duty  from  the  fear  of  offending  ?  ''He 
whom  we  truly  offend  by  such  gentle  admonitions  as 
friendship  dictates,  is  not  worthy  of  the  friendship 
which  we  have  wasted  on  him ;  and  if  we  thus  lose 
his  friendship,  we  are  delivered  from  one  who  could 
not  be  sincere  in  his  past  professions  of  regard,  and 
whose  mockery,  therefore,  we  might  afterwards  have 
had  reason  to  lament.  If  he  be  worthy  of  us,  he  vrill 
not  love  us  less,  but  love  us  more ;  he  will  fed  that 
we  have  done  that  which  it  was  our  duty  to  do ;  and 


Friendship.  S41 

we  shall  have  the  double  gratification,  of  witnessing 
the  amendment  which  we  desired,  and  of  knowing  that 
we  have  contributed  to  an  effect,  whidi  was  almost 
like  the  removal  of  a  vice  from  ourselves,  or  a  virtue 
added  to  our  own  moral  character*." 

V.  The  dissolution  of  friendship  involves  the  dis* 
charge  of  certain  duties.  Should  it  cease  in  any  par- 
ticular case  before  death,  we  are  bound,  even  when  we 
have  discovered  the  worthlessness  of  the  object  to 
which  we  had  given  our  esteem  and  affection,  to 
remain  faithful  to  whatever  trust  was  reposed  in  us 
while  our  friendship  lasted.  Nor  is  there  any  dii^n- 
sation  from  this  obligation,  unless  it  be  when  our 
character  is  attacked  by  the  person  whose  secret  we 
keep,  and  when  in  our  own  defence  and  vindication 
we  are  forced  to  make  a  disclosure. 

Should  our  friendship  be  dissolved  by  death, 
there  are  still  duties  which  devolve  upon  us  who 
survive.  Our  friend  is  removed  from  us;  but  his 
removal  makes  it  our  duty  to  cherish  his  memory,  and 
to  hope  for  a  renewal  of  our  friendship,  where  there  is 
no  more  sorrow,  nor  pain,  nor  separation,  nor  death. 
*'  The  name  of  our  friends,**  as  an  eloquent  French 
writer  remarks,  "  their  family,  have  still  claims  on  our 
affection,  which  it  would  be  guilt  not  to  feel.  They 
should  live  still  in  our  heart,  by  the  emotions  which  sub- 
sist there, — on  our  memory,  by  our  frequent  remem- 
brance of  them, — in  our  voice,  by  our  eulogiums, — 
in  our  conduct,  by  our  imitation  of  their  virtues." 

Mutual  confidence  is  never  for  a  moment  to  be  in- 
terrupted between  friends^  whether  in  jest  or  in  ear- 
nest ;  for  nothing  can  heal  the  wounds  which  are  made 

•  Brown*t  Leciuies,  voL  iv.  p.  841 


84A  On  PatrioHim. 

by  deoeii.  A  friend  must  neyar  be  fc»rsaken  in  ad- 
versity ;  nor  for  any  infirmity  in  human  nature,  eroept- 
ing  only  invincible  depravity. 


Chapter  X. 

ON  PATRIOTISM. 

The  love  of  his  country,  and  of  its  institutions,  is  as 
natural  to  roan,  as  is  the  love  of  those  who  are  en- 
dsai^  to  him  by  his  earliest,  his  most  pleasing,  and 
most  permanent,  associations.  He  impresses  some- 
thing of  himself,  of  hi^  joys  and  sorrows,  his  hopes 
and  fears,  on  the  objects,  whether  animate  or  inani- 
mate, which  surround  his  youth,  or  with  whidi  be 
holds  intercourse  in  maturer  years.  Nor  is  it  possible 
&r  him,  at  a  more  advanced  period  of  life,  to  hAdd 
the  house,  the  glen,  the  rocks,  the  woods,  that ''  met 
his  earliest  view,"  without  experiencing  the  freshness 
of  new  existence,  from  the  vivid  rdlection  of  the 
images  of  his  former  self*. 

*  It  has  bf ea  filUgcd  by  unbelieyera,  as  a  defect  ia  the  moralitjr  of  the 
ffospelj  that  it  peg^leeta  to  inculcate  pj^triatiam  $uul  friendship.  In  reg^t^ 
to  the  first  of  these,  it  seems  a  sufficient  reply,  that  thoug^h  an  attachment  to 
QDr  oountry  at  audi»  is  Bot  expressly  enjoined  In  the  Nev  Testament*  tltf 
duties  whicb  result  (rom  the  relation  in  which  Christians  stand  te  their 
rulers,  are  prescribed  with  great  perspicuity,  and  enforced  by  very  solenui 
lanefioAS ;  and  if  the  reciprocal  duties  of  princes  and  magiiiratel  tre  not 
enjoined  with  ^qual  expUpitness  (as  could  not  be  expected  in  writings 
where  they  are  not  addressed)  the  desigfu  of  their  appointment  is  defined 
in  such  a  DMumer,  as  leaves  tlian  at  no  lost  to  perceiTe  wiiat  it  is  they 
owe  to  the  community,  Put  vrhere  these  duties  are  fi^thfully  dischsi^gfed 
by  each  party,  the  benefits  derived  from  the  social  compact  arc  bo  justly 
appreciated,  and  so  deeply  felt,  that  the  love  of  country  is  less  ^Mfi  ^ 
defect  than  to  excess.  In  all  well-ordered  polities^  if  we  may  }^^i^  ^^ 
the  experience  of  past  ages,  the  attachment  of  men  to  their  country  is  io 
danger  of  becoming  an  absorbing  pnocip}^  jftijyyij||-  «ot  merely  a  fofget- 


On  Pahrioiim.  84S 

The  houBe  of  our  earlier  years,  the  field  oyer  which 
we  walked  with  a  friend,  the  mountaia's  brow  which 
we  have  climbed  with  those  we  love,  the  tree  whose 
branches  shaded  us  from  the  sun,  the  spot  on  whidi 
we  heard  a  parent  pronounce  his  parting  blessing, — 
are  objects  which  can  never  afterwards  be  witnessed 
without  emotion.  It  is  to  the  influence  whidi,  in  con- 
sequence of  the  principle  of  association,  sudb  objects 
and  scenes  have  on  the  human  mind,  that  I  chiefly 
ascribe  the  desire  which  all  who  have  been  called 
away  to  other  climes,  feel  sometime  to  revisit  their 
native  land. 

In  all  my  wanderings  round  this  world  of  care, 
In  all  my  griefs, — and  God  has  given  my  share, — 
I  still  had  hopes  my  latest  hours  to  crown. 
Amidst  these  humble  bowers  to  lay  me  down  ;— 
And  as  a  hare  whom  hounds  and  horns  pursue, 
Pants  to  the  place  from  whence  at  first  he  flew,— * 
I  s^U  had  hopes,  my  long  yezations  past, 
Here  to  return, — and  die  at  home  at  last. 

We  are  alsp  s^isibly  affected  by  scenes  that  have 
been  distioguished  by  the  residence  of  persons  whose 


of  prhnte  intereflt»  but  of  tiie  immatable  daims  of  humanity  and 
justice.    lu  the  most  Wrtuous  times  of  the  Roman  republic,  their  country 
vas  the  idol,  at  whose  shrine  her  greatest  patriots  were  at  all  times  pre- 
psred  tQ  offot  whole  hecatombs  of  human  victims :  the  interest  of  other 
nations  W^t^  PP  farther  regarded,  than  as  they  could  be  rendered  subser- 
vieatto  the  s^atification  of  her  ambition ;  and  mankind  at  large  were  con- 
sidered Si  posiesaisgf  no  rights,  but  such  as  might  with  the  utmost  pro- 
priety be  merged  in  that  devouring  vortex.    Tfith  all  their  talents  and 
their  grandeur,  they  were  unprincipled  oppressors,  leagued  in  a  deter- 
mined conspiracy  against  the  liberty  and  independence  of  mankind.    In 
the  eyes  of  an  enlightened  phiUuithroplst,  patriotism,  pampered  to  such  an 
excess,  loses  the  name  of  virtue  ;  it  is  the  bond  and  cement  of  a  guilty 
confederation.    It  was  worthy  of  the  wisdom  of  our  great  legislator  to 
decline  the  express  inculcation  of  a  principle  so  liable  to  degenerate  into 
excess,  and  to  content  himself  with  prescribing  the  virtues  which  are  sure 
tQ  d^v^op  it,  as  far  as  is  consistent  with  the  dictates  of  univenal  benevo- 
lence.   (A  Sermon  occasioned  by  the  death  of  the  ]^er,  John  P>yland» 
D.D.,  by  Robert  Hall  M.A.) 


S4A  On  Patftoiim. 

memory  we  love  and  admire.  ''  Movemur  eoim,  nesdo 
quo  pacto,  locis  ipsis,  in  quibus  eorum,  quos  diligimus, 
aut  admiramur  adsunt  vestigia."  ''  The  scenes  them- 
selves may  be  little  beautiful ;  but  the  delight  with 
which  we  recollect  the  traces  of  their  lives,  bl^ads  it* 
self  insensibly  with  the  emotions  which  the  scenery 
excites ;  and  the  admiration  which  these  recollections 
ajQToid,  seems  to  give  a  kind  of  sanctity  to  the  place 
where  they  dwelt,  and  converts  every  thing  into  beauty 
which  appears  to  have  been  connected  with  them. " 

From  such  principles  of  human  nature  arises  the 
love  of  our  native  land,  its  inhabitants  and  institu* 
tions ;  and  when  this  love  is  pure  and  fervent,  and 
exercised  in  consistency  with  a  due  respect  to  the 
rights  of  all  mankind,  it  is  the  virtue  of  patriotism. 
If,  as  has  been  shewn,  it  be  the  will  of  God,  that  our 
benevolence  should  first  and  chiefly  be  expressed  to 
those  in  our  vicinity,  to  those  who  are  connected  with 
us  in  a  family  relation,  and  by  the  ties  of  kindred, 
neighbourhood,  and  union  of  interest,  as  living  under 
the  same  government,  the  duty  of  patriotism  is  clearly 
established.  We  can  cherish  this  regaxd  to  our 
country  compatibly  with  the  claims  of  all  men  to  our 
sympathy  and  benevolence;  and  we  are  giving  the 
best  proofs  of  our  sincerity  in  praying  for  the  temporal 
and  eternal  happiness  of  the  whole  human  race,  by 
zealously  discharging  the  duties  connected  with  the 
sphere  in  which  we  move. 

It  cannot  be  alleged  that  Christianity  does  not  give 
direct  countenance  both  by  example  and  by  precept 
to  the  virtue  of  patriotism.  Did  not  its  Divine  Foun- 
der exemplify  this  virtue,  by  coming  first  to  his  own ; 
in  the  meekness  and  patience  with  which,  notwith. 


On  Pafriotum.  MS 

standing  their  ocHitempt  and  opposition,  he  persevered 
in  going  about  to  do  them  good ;  in  the  grief  with 
which  he  wept  over  the  impending  destruction  of 
Jerusalem ;  and  in  the  commission  which  he  gave  his 
apostles  to  make  the  first  ofier  of  salvation  to  the  in- 
habitants of  that  devoted  city. 

The  influence  and  genius  of  Christianity  are  directly 
productive  of  public  spirit  and  social  virtue.  If  it 
lead  all  who  sincerely  embrace  it  to  the  practice  of  a 
pure  and  elevated  morality  in  private,  there  can  be 
no  doubt  of  its  tendency  to  cherish  the  kindlier  feel- 
ings of  the  heart,  and  of  its  inclining  them  to  do  good 
unto  all  men,  as  they  have  opportunity.  The  asto- 
nishing facts  on  which  it  is  founded,  cannot  be  credited 
without  producing  in  the  mind  a  lively  sympathy  with 
the  condition  of  others ;  and  they  bring  to  operate 
upon  us  so  many  and  such  powerful  motives,  not 
merely  to  do  the  things  that  are  just,  but  to  do  the 
things  that  are  generous,  as  can  only  be  resisted  by 
those  who  harden  themselves  against  their  authority 
and  influence.  How  numerous  are  the  arguments 
employed  by  the  writers  of  the  New  Testament  to 
induce  us  to  be  kind  and  tender-hearted  towards  all 
men,  to  contribute  to  the  relief  of  their  necessities,  to 
sympathize  with  them  in  their  afflictions,  and  to  take 
a  friendly  interest  in  their  prosperity !  How  fully  did 
they  illustrate  their  exhortations  in  the  disinterested- 
ness of  their  own  conduct,  in  their  submission  to 
labour  and  peril,  and  in  that  relinquishment  of  ease 
and  life,  which  has  constituted  them  the  benefactors 
of  distant  ages  and  generations ! 

It  were,  indeed,  singular,  if  a  religion  which  is 


S46  On  PeOrioHm. 

founded  on  mercy,  ^icfa  breathes  good-will  to  man, 
and  which  was  at  first  promulgated  by  persons  who 
devoted  themselves  to  the  good  of  mankind,  had  not 
been  productive  of  a  greater  measure  of  public  and 
social  virtue  than  has  ever  existed  where  its  influ^ice 
and  authority  are  unknown.  It  has  oft^i  had  its 
patriots,  who  endeavoured  to  exalt  their  country,  not 
on  the  subjugation  and  distresses  of  neighbouring 
nations,  but  by  promoting  the  happiness  of  their  own ; 
and  who  submitted  to  all  the  privations  and  sufferings 
that  tyranny  could  inflict,  that  they  might  enjoy  and 
transmit  to  their  offspring  the  choicest  privilege  of 
freedom, — the  privilege  of  worshipping  God  with  an 
unfettered  conscience.  Even  Mr.  Hume  allows  that 
to  certain  individuals  who  were  deeply  imbued  vnth 
the  spirit  of  Christianity,  and  who  were  animated  by 
views,  large,  generous,  and  noble,  the  nation  owes  its 
liberty ;  perhaps  its  learning,  its  industry,  commerce, 
and  naval  power. 

There  are  deeds  of  patriotism  connected  vrith  the 
modern  history  of  our  own  country,  which  are  stand- 
ing memorials  of  the  effect  of  christian  benevolence 
on  public  virtue  and  happiness.  There  is  an  act  of 
legislative  justice  to  injured  Africa,  in  abolishing  the 
infemous  traffic  in  human  beings,  which  I  hesitate 
not  to  ascribe  to  the  growing  influence  of  this  prin- 
ciple in  directing  public  opinion.  The  flow  of  benefi- 
cence proceeding  from  this  divine  source  has  scarcely 
left  any  means  untried  for  meliorating  the  condition 
of  the  poor ;  it  has  erected  asylums  for  almost  every 
form  of  human  misery,  and  for  all  the  children  of  the 
needy ;  it  has  extended  itself  to  the  abodes  of  guilt 


On  Patriotism.  94ft 

and  crime,  and  has  attonpted  to  put  within  the  readh 
of  the  prisoner,  all  the  comforts  that  are  compatible 
with  the  daims  of  justice ;  and  it  has  even  reached  the 
inferior  animals,  by  procuring  for  them  gentler  treat«> 
ment,  and  constituting  them  objects  of  legal  protection. 
When  I  consider  that  this  benevolence  has  been  ex-» 
erased  in  the  midst  of  great  luxury  on  the  one  hand, 
and  under  the  pressure  of  extraordinary  public  bur- 
dens on  the  other ;  and  that  it  receives  in  its  embrace 
all  whom  it  has  the  power  of  benefitting,  without  dis- 
tinction of  nation  or  of  colour, — I  am  forcibly  im« 
pressed  with  the  belief  of  the  profitableness  of  Chris- 
tianity for  '*  the  life  that  now  is,  as  well  as  for  that 
which  is  to  come.'* 

It  has  often  been  observed,  that  even  among  the 
dvilized   nations    of  antiquity,   where  luxury  had 
erected  her  most  costly  edifices,  and  where  we  might 
have  supposed  the  refinements  of  taste  and  of  science 
would  have  improved  the  condition  of  the  more  help<^ 
less  brandies  of  the  community,  there  is  no  evidence 
that  there  existed  one  charitable  institution,    lliere 
was  nothing  in  heathenism  that  could  suggest  to  the 
mind  the  model  of  pure  and  devated  patriotism,  far 
less  that  could  cherish  the  kindly  and  generous  afiec- 
tbns  of  human  nature ;  and  with  deities  subject  to  all 
the  vices  which  a  polluted  imagination  might  ascribe 
to  them,  and  uninfi)rmed  as  to  the  future  destinies  of 
man,  how  could  they  be  otherwise  than  depraved  in 
tbemfidves,  and  unconoemed  with  regard  to  the  hap- 
piness or  Bufl^ngs  of  others  ?    While  all  above  and 
beyond  them  was  hid  in  darkness,  they  had  no  scale 
to  measure  the  distance  that  intervened    between 


848  On  Patriotism. 

themselyes  and  the  beasts  that  perish ;  they  had  no 
surer  guides  than  the  lights  of  reason  to  point  out  to 
them  that  immortality  which  raises  to  a  sublime  im- 
portance the  meanest  individual  of  the  species;  they 
wanted  all  the  powerful  motives  to  beneficence  which 
are  combined  with  the  redemption  of  the  cross ;  and 
being  lefl  to  the  feebleness  of  their  own  eflforts,  they 
have  illustrated,  on  an  extended  scale,  the  hardness 
and  selfishness  of  the  human  heart,  when  unsanctified 
by  the  influences  of  revelation.  In  their  patriotism, 
accordingly,  they  had  little  regard  to  the  rights  and 
happiness  of  any  other  nation  but  their  own. 

The  patriotic  spirit  ought  to  be  the  spirit  of  all ; 
and  it  may  be  as  pure  and  as  fervid  in  the  breast  of  a 
peasant,  as  in  that  of  a  prince.  To  love  his  country 
with  a  generous,  disinterested  affection  is  the  duty  of 
man,  whatever  be  his  rank  or  station  in  society.  In 
reference  to  this,  no  man  should  feel  at  liberty  to  live 
to  himself,  or  to  die  to  himself.  The  duty,  however, 
which  he  owes  to  his  country,  will  vary  with  the  cir- 
cumstances in  which  he  is  placed,  and  the  times  in 
which  he  lives.  But  in  every  case  a  patriot  is  dis- 
tinguished by  a  generous  disinterestedness,— incor- 
ruptible integrity,— undaunted  firmness,— and  a  zea- 
lous concern  for  the  advancement  of  the  cause  of 
virtue,  learning,  and  religion. 

I.  He  is  characterized  by  a  generous  disinterested- 
ness. His  benevolence  is  pure  and  enlaiged :  he 
attaches  a  due  value  to  his  own  interests ;  but  he  re- ' 
gards  them  as  subordinate  to  those  of  his  country  and 
of  the  public.  He  can  sacrifice,  and  when  duty  calls, 
does  sacrifice,  his  honour,  emolument,  ease,  ai^d  repu- 


On  PattioHsm.  349 

tation,  for  the  purpose  of  benefitting  his  native  land, 
and  of  securing,  or  of  gaining  blessings  to  his  country- 
men. There  have  been  patriots  in  the  British  par- 
liament, who  have  receded  from  their  own  undoubted 
rights,  who  have  forborne  to  urge  any  particular 
claims  of  their  own,  at  a  time  when  they  were  suffer* 
ing  for  conscience*  sake,  that  they  might  secure  the 
peace  and  prosperity  of  their  country.  Such  unequi- 
vocal disinterestedness  confers  dignity  on  human 
nature,  and  claims  our  admiration.  It  is  only  in  pro- 
portion as  it  influences  our  public  conduct,  in  our 
attempts  to  promote  the  good  of  our  country,  that  we 
are  in  truth  patriots. 

II.  A  patriot  is  distinguished  by  incorruptible  in- 
tegrity.   Without  this  his  affected  zeal  for  the  public 
good  is  but  base  hypocrisy :  it  is  only  the  artful  pur- 
suit of  place  and  power,  without  the  principle  and  the 
character  by  which  they  are  merited.     But  possessing 
integrity,  he  will  seek  the  noblest  ends  by  the  best 
means ;  and  will  neither  do  evil  himself,  nor  counte- 
nance the  doing  of  it  in  others,  even  though  it  should 
appear  to  be  conducive  to  the  prosperity  of  his  country. 
By  no  power,  by  no  interest,  by  no  temptation  will 
he  be  awed  or  allured  into  a  compliance  with  mea- 
sures of  iniquity  ;  but  will  bear  his  testimony  against 
them  by  his  voice,  by  his  influence,  and  by  his  con- 
duct.    Acting  in  obedience  to  the  authority  of  con- 
science and  of  God,  he  will  not  shrink  from  any  duty 
of  this  nature,  when  called  to  its  performance;  and 
however  painful  to  himself,  he  will  risk  the  offending 
of  persons  of  the  highest  rank,  and  the  most  powerfid 


S0(r  On  Patriirtisfn. 

conndxionB,  rather  than  coimiye  at  the  inflicticm  of  an 
injury  on  his  country. 

III.  A  patriot  is  characterized  by  undaunted  firm* 
ness.  This  qualification  is  necessary  to  him  who 
would  confer  any  great  good  on  others.  It  has  rarely^ 
perhaps  never,  happened  that  undoubted  patriots  had 
not  to  struggle  with  much  opposition  and  discoutage- 
ment»  and  sometun«  with  danger.  They  have  had  to 
contend  against  the  indolence  suid  indifierenoe  of  scxne, 
and  the  selfish  and  interested  views  of  others ;  and 
could  they  be  deterred  by  contempt  and  ridicule,  or 
by  any  personal  fears>  they  would,  in  the  gr^it  ma- 
jority of  cases,  have  soon  relinquished  their  effi>rts  for 
the  good  of  their  country.  But  it  is  the  tendency  of  dis- 
interested and  enlarged  b^ievol^ice  to  raise  the  imiid 
above  considerations  of  personal  inconvenience  and 
hazard ;  and  to  stimulate  to  steadfast  and  unmoveable 
exertions  in  advancing  the  interests  of  the  commumty  • 
Fearless  in  the  midst  of  perils,  undaunted,  though 
surrounded  by  the  worldly-minded  and  the  unprin* 
cipled,  he  is  not  "terrified  even  into  a  mc^nentary 
dereliction  of  his  purpose,  nor  into  a  transient  cold- 
ness in  the  pursuit  of  his  object." 

His  is  the  firmness  of  principle,  of  self-denial,  of  a 
willingness  to  submit  to  privations,  and  to  endure 
hardships,  to  ensure  the  safety,  the  honour,  and  the 
prosperity  of  his  native  land.  It  is  the  firmness  of 
virtue,  sustained  by  trust  in  God,  and  a  nrind  con- 
scious of  its  own  rectitude. 

IV.  The  patriot  is  distinguished  by  a  zealous  con- 
cern for  advancing  the  cause  of  lejorning,  virtue,  and 


On  P&truOim.  Ml 

religion.  The  patriotism  that  has  no  regaid  to  dus 
cause,  and  no  aim  at  its  promotion,  is  spurious ;  be- 
cause the  real  and  permanent  well-being  of  mankind 
is  essaottially  connected  with  it.  It  must  have  religion 
for  its  basis,  its  rule,  and  its  great  and  ultimate  end. 

Here  I  cannot  but  remark,  that  the  philosophic  scep- 
ticism of  modem  times  is  far  more  barren  of  disin- 
terested and  public  virtue,  and  more  fruitful  of  the  vices 
that  are  hostile  to  social  happiness,  than  any  form  of 
Mse  religion,  or  than  all  the  forms  of  &Jse  religion  com- 
bined. Paganism  presented  some  standard  of  right  and 
wrong,  however  defective  and  vicious ;  if  it  did  not 
discover  to  man  the  immortality  that  awaits  him,  it 
made  no  effort  to  remove  the  apprehensions  of  a  future 
state  of  retribution ;  but  infidetity,  after  attempting  to 
prove  that  there  is  no  Gxxl,  and  that  we  are  account- 
able to  no  higher  powers  than  those  which  are  visible, 
aims  at  shrouding  in  everlasting  night  all  that  lies 
beyond  the  grave.  What  is  there  in  this  to  check  the 
selfishness  of  the  human  heart,  or  that  can  lead  to  the 
achievement  of  any  thing  great,  and  generous,  and 
heroic  ?  What  would  be  the  state  of  that  society  in 
which  such  a  system  became  generally  prevalent  ? 

No  man  is  deserving  of  the  entire  confidence  of  his 
country,  who  does  not  appear  to  be  infiuenced  by  the 
fear  of  God ;  because  there  is  the  greatest  probability 
that  his  real  motives  are  far  different  from  those  whidi 
are  avowed ;  and  because  he  will  employ  whatever 
power  he  may  obtain  in  the  encouragement  of  selfish, 
ambitious,  or  profligate  persons.  A  professed  regard 
to  the  interests  of  religion  and  virtue  is  the  least  we 
can  demand  from  any  man,  in  whatever  rank  or  station 


SfiC  On  Fatriotiim. 

he  may  be  placed,  who  expresses  a  concern  fbr  tbe 
weal  of  the  community,  and  who  assumes  the  character 
of  a  reformer  or  benefactor.    He  may  declaim  loudly 
against  abuses,  and  suggest  what  he  may  cafi  im- 
provements, but  his  patriotism  is  not  pure,  nor  to  be 
relied  on,  if  he  shews  no  disposition  to  make  t£he 
measures  which  he  would  adopt  subserve  the  advance- 
ment of  undefiled  religion.     He  may,  without  sodi 
dispositions,  be  made  the  instrument  of  signal  good  to 
his  country,  by  Him  who  can  overrule  all  things  fix 
the  promotion  of  his  own  beneficent  designs ;  but  tfais 
does  not  divest  him  of  the  character  of  a  mere  selfish 
politician,  destitute  of  true  benevolence  and  patriotism. 
To  these  remarks  I  have  only  to  add, — 
V.  That  every  man  who  aims  sincerely  at  pio- 
moting  the  good  of  his  country  and  of  mankind  has 
ample  ground  of  encouragement  to  persevere  in  his 
labours.     He  may,  as  has  been  noticed,  meet  with 
opposition  and  calumny  from  the  timid,  the  selfish, 
the  seditious,  and  unprincipled ;  but  he  may,  notwith- 
standing, by  his  patriotic  exertions,  be  the  instrumeot 
of  incalculable  good  to  his  country.    If  he  be  justly 
reckoned  a  benefactor  to  his  nation,  who  opens  new 
markets  to  the  products  of  its  industry,  and  who  in- 
creases the  sources  of  its  wealth,  has  not  he  an  equal 
claim  to  the  same  character,  whose  disinterested  and 
upright  example  is  the  source  of  virtue  to  all  aiound 
him,  and  who,  by  a  single  improvement  in  the  Jaws, 
or  the  institutions,  civil,  religious,  or  literary,  of  his 
native  land,  enlarges  the  happiness  of  his  people  to 
distant  generations  ?    If  the  amendment  of  a  single 
legislative  enactment,  if  the  redress  of  a  single  politi- 


On  Patriotism.  f^ 

cal  grievance,  **  may,  in  its  ultimate  e£^t8,  be  the 
producer  of  all  which  we  admire  in  the  thousand  acts 
of  individual  patriotism, — ^the  opener  of  fields  of  in« 
dustry, — ^the  diffuser  of  commerce, — ^the  embellisher 
of  a  land, — ^the  enlightener  and  blesser  of  those  who 
inhabit  it,"— *what  encouragement  has  every  man 
whom  Providence  has  placed  in  influential  situations 
to  be  steadfast  and  unmoveable  in  his  exertions  for  the 
public  good.  We  may  with  propriety  address  to 
them  the  language  of  the  Apostle,  ''Be  not  weary  in 
well  doing ;  for  in  due  time  ye  shall  reap,  if  ye  faint 
not." 

Eivery  true  patriot  will  find  encouragement  from  the 
review  of  past  ages.  He  will  remark  that  a  single 
individual  has  often  been  the  instrument,  even  when 
surrounded  by  false  friends,  and  active  and  inveterate 
enemies,  of  saving  his  country  from  impending  ruin. 
He  will  learn  from  the  annals  of  almost  every  nation 
what  one  pure  patriot  may  efiect;  and  especially 
may  he  learn  from  the  annals  of  our  own,  what  every 
christian  patriot  may,  by  the  blessing  of  Heaven,  hope 
to  attain.  It  may  not  be  appropriate,  perhaps,  to 
allude  to  Howard,  because  a  nation  presented  too 
narrow  a  sphere  for  his  philanthropy;  he  devoted 
himself  to  the  alleviation  of  human  sufferings  over  the 
globe.  But  I  may  refer  to  President  Forbes,  who, 
when  the  liberties  and  the  religion  of  his  country  were 
in  danger,  succeeded,  aknost  unaided  and  alone,  by 
his  talents  and  his  fortune,  in  their  preservation ;  and 
who  afterwards,  witli  a  humanity  worthy  of  his  prin- 
ciples, exerted  the  influence  of  his  office  and  repu- 

Vol.  II.  2  A 


854  On  Diligence  in  our  proper  Calling. 

tation,  in  mitigating  the  punishment  of  the  miflguided 
men  who  had  opposed  themselves  to  the  authority  oi 
the  government. 


CaA?TE>  XI* 

ON  DILIGENCE  IN  OUR  PROPER  CALLING. 

T^is  duty  may  be  placed  either  under  the  head  of 
justice  or  of  benevdence,  according  to  the  particular 
light  in  which  we  view  it.  It  is  enjoined  in  relation 
to  both  by  the  Apostle  Pa;ul.  In  the  following  pas- 
sage he  connects  it  with  justice,  or  that  regard  which 
is  due  from  us  to  the  rights  of  others :  "  We  besoech 
you,  brethren,  that  ye  study  to  be  quiet,  and  to  do 
your  own  business,  and  to  work  with  your  own  hands, 
as  we  commanded  you :  that  ye  may  walk  honestly 
toward  them  that  are  without,  and  that  ye  may  have 
lack  of  nothing*."  He  elsewhere  enforces  the  prac- 
tice of  the  same  duty  from  a  principle  of  benevolence : 
"  Let  him  that  stole  steal  no  more :  but  rather  let  him 
labour,  working  with  bis  hands  the  thing  which  is 
good,  that  he  may  have  to  give  to  him  that  needeth  f-" 
I  shall  have  occasion,  in  a  subsequent  part  of  this 
work,  to  notice  the  evils  of  idleness.  In  the  mean 
timer,  I  remark,  that  christian  benevolence,  or  a  true 
regard  to  the  happiness  of  others,  wiU  lead  us  to 
practice  the  duty  of  being  quiet,  and  of  diligently 
attending  to  our  proper  business.     So  true  is  this 

♦  1  Theas.  iii.  H.  t  Ephes.  ir.  29. 


On  Diligence  in  our  proper  Calling.  9Si 

observation,  and  so  important  a  part  of  that  character 
which  is  formed  by  the  influences  of  the  christian 
religion,  is  industry  in  our  proper  calling,  that  wherever 
it  has  been  enjoyed  uumingled  with  superstition*  there 
have  been  growing  improvement  and  prosperity. 

I  am  aware  that  industry »  like  any  other  active 
principle,  consists  chiefly  in  habit ;  and  that  whem 
this  habit  has  not  been  formed  in  early  life,  it  may  not 
be  easy  to  attain  it  afterwards.  It  was  probably  for 
this  reason  that  the  Apostle  began  his  exhortation  to 
dilig^ice  in  business  with  the  word,  Study :  imply** 
ing,  doubtless,  a  reluctance  to  be  overcome  ia  steadily 
practising  the  duty  enjoined.  Does  not  the  same 
remark,  however,  hold  true  in  regard  to  many  other 
virtues  which  we  are  commanded  to  cherish  ?  It  is 
not  without  difiSculty  that  the  intemperate  man  becomes 
sober,  the  fretful  patient,  the  proud  humble,  and  the 
implacable  kind  and  merciful ;  yet  we  know  that  our 
religion  disowns  for  its  disciples  the  intemperate,  the 
proud,  and  the  implacable;  and  that  it  assures  us 
that  such  persons  cannot  enter  into  the  kingdom  of 
God. 

If  the  habit  of  diligence  in  business  were  not,  in 
some  cases,  of  more  difficult  attainment  than  the  con- 
trary, there  would,  in  such  cases,  be  nothing  virtuous 
in  industry ;  but  so  much  stress  does  the  New  Tes-> 
tament  lay  on  the  active  fulfilment  of  the  duties  of  our 
vocation,  that  it  refers  the  authority  which  enjoins  it 
to  the  will  of  God.  Its  precepts  on  this  head  are 
applicable,  I  conceive,  to  us  all,  whether  employed  in 
manual  or  in  mental  labour ;  and  we  are  acting  not 
less  against  the  spirit  than  the  explicit  declarations  of 

2  A  9 


356  On  Diligence  in  our  proper  Calling  < 

the  oracles  of  God,  if  we  are  neglecting  any  of  tlie 
gifts  with  which  we  are  intrusted,  or  are  deficient  in 
a  zealous  discharge  of  the  offices  which  we  occupy. 

"  We  command  you,  brethren,  in  the  name  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  that  ye  withdraw  yourselves  fixun 
cyery  brother  that  walketh  disorderly,  and  not  after 
the  tradition  he  received  of  us :  for  we  behaved  not 
ourselves  disorderly  among  you ;  neither  did  we  eat 
any  man's  bread  for  nought ;  but  wrought  with  labour 
and  travail  night  and  day,  that  we  might  not  be  charge- 
able to  any  of  you.  For  even  when  we  were  with 
you,  this  we  commanded  you,  that  if  any  would  not 
work,  neither  should  he  eat.  For  we  hear  that  there 
are  some  among  you  which  walk  disorderly,  working 
not  at  all,  but  are  busy  bodies.  Now  them  that  are 
such  we  command  and  exhort,  by  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  that  with  quietness  they  work,  and  eat  their 
own  bread* '* 

Numerous  and  obvious  are  the  advantages  which 
reisult  from  the  practice  of  this  duty.  But  that  which 
I  have  at  present  more  particularly  in  my  view  is, 
the  ability  which  we  thus  acquire  to  discharge  some 
of  the  most  important  duties  of  benevolence.  We 
flms  are  capable,  not  only  of  meeting  every  claim  of 
justice,  but  of  giving  to  him  that  needeth.  And  if 
the  happiness  of  giving,  or  the  blessedness  which 
accompanies  the  exercise  of  active  benevolence,  be 
greater  than  that  which  can  be  enjoyed  in  receiving, 
ought  not  every  individual,  however  obscure  or  humble 
his  rank,  to  aspire  to  the  attainment  of  this  felicity  ? 
He  is  thus  elevated  in  his  sphere  of  duty ;  and  in 

•  SThess.  ir.  6— 11. 


Charity ;  or^  Christian  Bounty.  S5Y 

becoming  the  voluntary  instrument  of  diffusing  the 
bounty  of  the  Great  Parent  of  all,  he  increases  the 
sum  of  his  own  virtue  and  happiness. 


Chapter  XII. 

CHARITY;    OR,  CHRISTUN  BOUNTY. 

So  important,  as  an  effect  of  that  love  which  is  the 
fulfilling  of  the  law,  is  ahnsgiving,  that  it  is  generaUy 
designated  by  the  name  of  charity.  The  duty  of  dis- 
tributing to  the  poor  and  needy  according  to  our 
ability  and  opportunity,  is  so  obvious  from  the  light 
of  nature,  so  congenial  to  those  feelings  of  sympathy 
and  compassion  which  the  Creator  has  implanted  in 
the  human  heart,  and  so  clearly  established  and  fre- 
quently enforced  by  revelation,  that  it  has  never  been 
questioned.  ''  Thou  shalt  surely  give  him,  and  thine 
heart  shall  not  be  grieved  when  thou  givest  unto  him : 
because  that  for  this  thing  the  Lord  thy  God  shall 
bless  thee  in  all  thy  works,  and  in  all  that  thou  put- 
test  thine  hand  unto.  For  the  poor  shall  never  cease 
out  of  the  land :  therefore  I  command  thee,  saying, 
thou  shalt  open  thine  hand  wide  unto  thy  brother,  to 
thy  poor  and  thy  needy  in  the  land*."  "  Charge  them 
that  are  rich  in  this  world,  that  they  be  not. high 
minded,  nor  trust  in  uncertain  riches,  but  in  the.  living 
God,  who  giveth  us  richly  all  things  to  enjoy ;  that 
they  do  good,  that  they  be  rich  in  good  works,  ready 

*  Deut.  xv/10.  IJ. 

»  * 


S58  Ckofity;  or,  Chriittan  B&unty. 

to  distribute,  willing  to  communicate,  laying  up  in 
store  for  themselves  a  good  foundation  against  the 
time  to  come,  that  they  may  lay  hold  on  eternal  life  *." 

The  account  which  Divine  Revelation  gives  of  the 
principles  on  which  the  last  judgment  will  be  con- 
ducted, is  decisive  on  this  subject.  *'  Then  shall  the 
King  say  unto  them  on  his  right  hand^  Come,  ye 
blessed  of  my  Father,  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared 
for  you  from  the  foundation  of  the  world ;  for  I  was  an 
hungered,  and  ye  gave  me  meat :  I  was  thirsty,  and 
ye  gave  me  drink :  I  was  a  stranger,  and  ye  took  me 
in :  naked,  and  ye  clothed  me :  I  was  sick,  and  ye 
visited  me :  I  was  in  prison,  and  ye  came  unto  me. — 
Then  shall  he  say  also  to  them  on  the  left  hand,  De* 
part;  from  me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting  fire  prepated 
for  the  devil  and  his  angels :  for  I  was  an  hungered, 
Mid  ye  gave  me  no  meat :  I  was  thirsty,  and  ye  gave 
me  no  drink :  I  was  a  stranger,  and  ye  took  me  not 
»:  naked,  and  ye  clothed  me  not :  sick,  and  in  priscxi, 
Md  ye  visited  me  not  f . " 

It  is  not  necessary,  for  my  present  purpose,  to  take 
notice  of  the  various,  and  some  of  them  very  difficult, 
points,  connected  with  this  important  subject.  I  shall 
confine  myself  to  the  two  following  questions :  First, 
to  what  extent,  and  in  what  manner,  is  it  our  duty  to 
give  of  our  property  to  die  poor  ?  and,  secondly,  who 
aie  the  persons  to  whom  we  oaght  to  administer 
charity  ? 

First,  To  what  extent,  and  in  what  manner,  is  it  our 
duty  to  give  of  our  property  to  the  poor  ? 

It  will,  I  believe,  be  readily  allowed,  that  we  are 

♦  1  Tim.  vi.  17.  t  Matt.  xxv.  34—44. 


Charity ;  or^^  ChrisHan  Bounty.  Sd9 

bound  to  give  to  the  extent  of  our  ability.  But  how 
is  each  to  ascertain  what  his  ability  really  is  ?  The 
income  may  be  relatively  great,  but  the  expenditure 
may  be  necessarily  great  also.  Without  any  improper 
conformity  to  Uie  corrupt  maxims  and  fashions  of  the 
world,  our  expenses  must  bear  some  near  proporticm 
to  what  the  usages  of  society  have  rendered  becoming 
in  the  rank  in  which  we  are  placed.  Can  we,  with 
decency,  greatly  retrench,  or  without  incurring  the 
imputation  of  penuriousness  ? 

Every  man  must  judge  for  himself  on  this  point : 
but  in  forming  his  judgment,  let  him  remember,  that 
it  is  clearly  his  duty  to  make  his  charity  bear  a  pro^ 
portion  to  his  income ;  and  that  he  ought  so  to  regu- 
late his  expenditure,  that  it  may  never  interfere  with 
the  sum  which  is  sacredly  allotted  to  charitable  pur- 
poses. It  should  not  satisfy  his  conscience  that  he  can, 
without  any  apparent  extravagance,  consume  his  whole 
income ;  and  that  he  finds  at  the  end  of  the  year  that 
little  as  he  has  given  away,  he  has  giv^  as  much  as 
he  can  afford  It  may  be  so :  but  let  him  seriously 
ask  himself,  whether  he  has  induded  charity  in  tb^ 
necessary  expenditure  of  the  year,  ^'as  an  artide 
to  be  increased  vnth  every  augmentation  of  his  reve- 
nue ;  and  as  an  artide  never  to  be  sufiered  inten- 
tionally to  fall  short  of  a  definite  proportion  of  that 
revenue." 

"  Remember  also,  that  the  scriptural  measiu^e  of 
your  obligation  to  bounty  is  your  reasonable  ability, 
not  your  artificial  inability.  The  duty  of  opening 
your  hand  wide  to  your  brother,  to  the  poor  and  to 
the  needy,  is  not  to  be  escaped  by  encircling  your 


860  Charity ;  Cfy  Christian  Bounty. 

hand  with  voluntary  ligatures,  and  then  shewing  to 
how  small  a  compass  only  it  can  be  expanded. 
Reduce  the  external  trappings  of  your  station^  be  it 
higher  or  lower,  within  the  narrowest  limits  which 
decency  of  appearance  will  authorize.  Renounce 
every  extravagant  indulgence ;  be  sparing  in  law&d 
gratifications  which  entail  expense.  The  foundation 
of  christian  bounty  must  in  part  be  laid  in  christian 
self-denial*." 

It  has  been  often  remarked,  and  the  &ct  is  un- 
doubted, that  the  poor  and  the  inferior  ranks  of  society 
in  general  contribute  much  more  liberally  in  propor- 
tion to  their  income,  for  the  relief  of  the  indigent, 
than  the  rich.  How  readily,  in  many  cases,  do  they 
bestow  their  time,  a  share  of  their  food,  and  a  mite 
out  of  their  earnings,  on  the  destitute,  the  sick,  and 
the  aged  in  their  neighbourhood !  Let  those  who 
are  in  affluent  circumstances  learn  from  their  example 
how  much  more  liberal  they  might  be,  and  ought  to  be, 
in  comparison  of  from  what  they  actually  are.  Might 
they  not  devote  a  much  larger  share  of  their  property 
to  charitable  uses  without  encroaching  on  any  neces- 
sary comfort,  or  reasonable  indulgence,  without  being 
prevented  from  providing,  with  christian  moderation, 
for  the  future  comfort  of  their  children,  and  without 
aflfecting  that  expenditure  which  is  suitable  to  the 
decent  maintenance  of  that  rank  in  which  Providence 
has  placed  them  ? 

With  regard  to  the  manner  in  which  charity  should 
be  exercised,  it  is  clear  that  before  what  we  give 
away  can  with  propriety  be  called  by  this  nam?*  i\ 

•  Gwborne'B  Christian  Morality,  p.  188. 


Charity ;  or,  Christian  Bouniy.  861 

must  be  a  voluntary  and  disinterested  ofiering.  What 
is  wrung  from  us  through  importunity,  or  bestowed 
grudgingly,  or  from  interested  motives,  is  not  charity. 

''  £very  man,  acxx)rding  as  he  purposeth  in  his 
heart,  so  let  him  -give ;  not  grudgingly,  or  of  neces- 
sity ;  for  God  loveth  a  cheerful  giver."  If  we  give 
with  true  benevol^ice,  we  shall  give  willingly  and 
cheerfully,  in  obedience  to  the  will  of  God,  and  from 
the  pleasure  of  doing  good,  and  communicating.  On 
a  christian  mind,  the  motive  suggested  in  Scripture  to 
the  practice  of  this  duty  is  most  powerful : — **  Herein 
is  love,  not  that  we  loved  God,  but  that  he  loved  us, 
and  sent  his  Son  to  be  the  propitiation  for  our  sins. 
Beloved,  if  God  so  loved  us,  we  ought  also  to  love  one 
another." 

To  exercise  charity  efficiently,  we  must  exercise  it 
appropriately  and  with  discrimination.  We  must  en- 
deavour to  distinguish  who  are  fit  objects  of  christian 
bounty,  and  adapt  the  relief  we  administer  to  the 
nature  of  their  wants  and  circumstances.  While  we 
cherish  our  instinctive  compassion,  as  implanted  in 
our  nature  for  the  best  ends,  we  must  accustom  our- 
selves to  act,  not  under  the  humane  impulse  of  the 
moment,  but  under  the  influence  of  judgment,  and 
fixed  principle ;  and  shew,  by  the  manner  in  which 
we  give  away,  that  it  is  not  from  carelessness  as  to 
the  possession  of  property,  nor  from  good  nature 
merely,  but  from  the  desire  of  doing  good. 

In  administering  our  charity  appropriately,  it  may 
be  necessary  for  us  oflen  to  give,  not  money,  but 
food,  clothing,  education,  moral  and  religious  instruc- 
tion, consolaticxi,  advice,  patronage.    The  kind  ot 


S6S  Charity ;  or,  Christian  Bounty* 

relief  which  we  offer  must  vary  with  the  exigences  of 
the  case.  If  our  brethren  are  in  want,  our  charity 
must  be  of  a  nature  to  furnish  a  supply ;  if  they  are 
in  ignorance,  we  must  give  them  the  means  of  know- 
ledge ;  if  they  are  in  sickness,  the  most  acceptable 
aid  which  we  can  afford  them  may  be  medicine,  or 
medical  skill.  '*  If  a  brother  or  sister  be  naked,  and 
destitute  of  daily  food,  and  one  of  you  say  unto  them. 
Depart  in  peace,  be  warmed  aiki  filled;  notwith- 
standing ye  give  them  not  those  things  which  are 
needful  to  the  body ;  what  doth  it  profit?" 

Our  charity,  too,  in  order  to  be  pure,  must  be  free 
fi-om  ostentation.  It  is  this  vitiating  principle,  and 
not  the  publidty  of  the  act,  which  our  Lord  condemns 
in  the  rule  which  he  has  laid  down  for  the  regulation 
of  our  conduct  in  the  distribution  of  our  bounty. 
**  Take  heed  that  ye  do  not  your  alms  before  men,  to 
be  seen  of  them ;  otherwise  ye  have  no  lewani  of 
your  Father  which  is  in  heaven ;  therefore,  when  thou 
doest  thine  ahns,  do  not  sound  a  trumpet  befoie  thee, 
as  the  hypocrites  do  in  the  synagogues  and  in  the 
streets,  that  they  may  have  glory  of  men.  Verily,  I 
say  unto  you,  they  have  their  reward."  But  that  it  is 
quite  possible  to  give  from  pure  motives,  and  yet  to 
give  publicly,  is  clear,  from  another  direction  of  our 
Lord;  ''Let  your  light  so  shine  before  men,  that 
they  may  see  your  good  woiics,  and  glorify  your 
Father  which  is  in  heav^i."  It  has  been  suggested^ 
I  think,  vnth  considerable  propriety,  as  a  rule  of  con- 
duct in  reference  to  private  and  public  charity,  that 
when  our  bounty  is  beyond  our  fortune  and  station> 
that  is»  when  it  is  more  than  coukl  be  expected  from 


Chmtg ;  ofy  CkrisHan  Bamdy.  868 

us,  our  charity  should  be  private,  if  privacy  be  pracd* 
cable :  wh^i  it  is  not  more  than  mi^t  be  expected,  it 
may  be  public.  To  this  general  rule  diere  may,  for 
good  leascmS)  be  many  exceptions.  And  it  should  be 
mmembered  that  our  bounty,  whether  bestowed  in  pri* 
vate  or  in  public,  in  order  to  be  conformable  to  the 
laws  of  christian  morality,  must  be  given  from  a  seiiSQ 
of  duty,  and  in  obedience  to  the  will  cf  Qod. 

This  is  being  charitaMe  upon  system,  and  according 
to  a  formed  plan.  It  is  to  consider  ourselves  as  stew* 
ards  of  what  the  Great  Proprietor  of  all  things  has 
intrusted  to  our  dmrge ;  and  bound  regulariy  to  dis- 
tribute  among  the  poor  and  necessitous  a  portion  of 
his  bounty^  What  have  we  that  has  not  been  given 
us  from  above?  It  is  the  will  of  the  divine  Donor 
that  a  portion  of  what  he  has  bestowed  upon  us  we 
should  be  in  the  haUt  of  freely  giving  away.  Henoe, 
in  reference  to  systematic  charity,  the  excdiency  of 
the  apostolic  rule ; — a  rule  vehich  has  been  observed 
from  time  immemorial  in  the  Churdi  of  Scotland: 
*'  Upcm  the  first  day  of  the  week  let  every  one  of  you 
lay  by  in  store,  as  God  hath  prospered  him."  To 
collect  for  the  poor  at  the  churdMloors  on  every  fixst 
day  of  the  week,  is  to  afford  to  all  the  opportunity  of 
being  charitable  upon  plan,  and  to  oijoy  the  greater 
blessedness  of  giving  to  that  of  receiving. 

Finally,  charity  to  the  poor,  in  order  to  be  pure  and 
acceptable,  must  proceed  from  love  to  God  and  man: 
This,  as  we  have  already  seen,  is  the  animating  prin* 
ciple  of  all  virtuous  conduct.  It  is  the  more  necessary 
to  scrutinize  our  motives  in  alms-giving,  because  this 
is  often,  it  is  to  be  apprehended^  extended  under  the 


864  Chariiy:  or 9  Christian  Bounty. 

influenoe  of  views  and  feelings  which,  however  ami« 
able  some  of  them  may  be,  do  not  come  up  to  the 
standard  of  virtue.  Multitudes,  doubtless,  give  of 
their  property  to  the  poor,  from  natural  compassion, 
and  constitutional  generosity ;  from  a  desire  to  acquire 
the  esteem  of  others,  and  perhaps  from  the  belief  that 
actions  of  this  nature  merit  for  them  a  happy  inmior- 
tality.  It  is  unnecessary  to  repeat  that  no  action  is 
truly  virtuous  which  is  not  performed  from  a  sense  of 
duty,  from  love  to  God^  and  in  obedience  to  his 
authority. 

There  is  indeed  no  conduct  that  secures  more  gene« 
rally  the  esteem  of  others  than  a  generous  attention 
to  suffering  humanity.  Its  excellency  and  usefulness 
are  admired  by  all.  And  as  reputation  gives  us  an 
influence  over  our  fellow-men,  and  thereby  enables  us 
to  do  greater  good  in  our  day  and  generation,  it  is 
desirable  to  possess  it  But  we  are  to  seek  it  as  a 
means,  and  not  as  an  ultimate  end :  we  are  to  do  our 
duty  to  the  extent  of  our  opportunity,  from  pure  and 
disinterested  benevolence,  and  leave  the  consequence 
to  Him  whose  wisdom  and  goodness  will  amply  pro- 
vide for  our  happiness. 

If  we  are  charitable  from  this  motive,  our  aUns  and 
our  prayers  shall  come  up  for  a  memorial  before  God. 
— "  Remember  the  words  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  how  be 
said,  It  is  more  blessed  to  give  than  to  receive.'* 
"  Blessed  is  he  that  considereth  the  poor:  the  Lord 
will  deliver  him  in  time  of  trouble.  The  Lord  will  pre- 
serve  him  and  keep  him  alive,  and  he  shall  be  blessed 
upon  the  earth:  Thou  wilt  not  deliver  him  into  the 
wiU  of  his  enemies.    The  Lord  will  strengthen  him 


Charity ;  or^  Christian  Bounty.  365 

upon  his  bed  of  languishing.     Thou  wilt  make  all  his 
bed  in  his  sickness." 

Thus,  it  appears,  that  the  obligation  of  giving  to 
the  poor  is  enforced  by  express  and  repeated  exhort* 
ations  to  liberality  in  the  sacred  Scriptures, — ^by  the 
revered  sayings  of  Him  who  has  pronounced  it  to  be 
more  blessed  to  give  than  to  receive,-— and  by  the 
motives  suggested  to  our  instinctive  compassion  by 
the  numerous  wants  and  sufiferings  of  human  nature. 

Obvious,  however,  as  this  duty  is,  it  must  be  dis- 
charged, in  order  to  answer  the  end  in  view,  vrith  dis- 
cretion, and  under  those  restrictions  which  reason  and 
revelation  suggest.  Though  all  the  possessions  of 
the  rich  were  lavished  on  the  poor  for  the  supply  of 
their  immediate  necessities,  indigence,  and  its  attend- 
ant evils,  might  not  only  continue,  but  would  probably 
be  increased  by  the  donation. 

Alms  must  be  given  in  such  a  way,  that  neither  the 
giver  nor  receiver  may  be  injured.  We  must  be 
satisfied  that  we  give  to  the  extent  of  our  ability,  and 
that  we  do  not  go  beyond  that  extent ;  and  that  we 
have  wherewith  to  discharge  all  the  claims  of  justice, 
while  we  exercise  liberality  to  the  needy.  Our  alma 
must  be  given  in  such  a  manner,  and  in  such  cases 
only,  as  that  distress  may  not  be  relieved  at  the  ex- 
pense of  virtue  and  industry ;  and  that  we  may  not 
by  a  thoughtless  and  mistaken  bounty  be  accumu- 
lating the  evils  which  we  had  hoped  to  remove,  and 
frustrating  the  designs  of  his  Providence  who  has 
connected  laborious  exertion  with  the  present  lot  of 
human  nature.  The  injunctions,  "  give  to  him  that 
asketh  of  thee," — and,  "  if  any  man  will  not  work. 


886  Charity ;  or^  ChrUHm  Bounty. 

neither  should  he  eat/'  rest  on  preciseLy  the  same 
authority ;  and  we  are  not  at  liberty  to  encourage  a 
violatian  of  the  one,  by  what  we  may  reckon  an  obe- 
dieiace  to  the  other. 

Secondly,  who  are  the  persons  to  whom  we  ought 
to  administer  charity  ?  All  who  suffer,  or  who  are 
liable  to  suffer,  from  ignorance,  disease,  want,  or  any 
other  cause,  and  whose  sufferings  we  have  it  in  our 
power  to  alleviate  or  remove.  Nor  do  I  think,  that 
we  are  at  liberty,  in  every  case,  to  reject  even  com- 
mon beggars.  In  this  class  there  may  be  some  who 
are  unable  to  labour,  and  who  are,  at  the  same  time, 
destitute  of  friends  and  of  a  home.  By  what  rule  of 
christian  morals  is  it  allowable  to  leave  such  persons 
to  perish  ?  When  it  is  quite  dear  that  only  the  idle, 
the  healthy,  and  the  vicious  solicit  our  alms  in  this 
way,  we  may  be  excused  from  contributing  to  their 
support,  since  the  effect  of  our  charity  will  be,  to  per- 
petuate idleness  and  vice.  It  must  always  be  our 
duty  to  relieve  hunger  and  nakedness,  by  imparting, 
as  we  are  able,  food  and  clothing;  and  to  provide 
lodging,  medicine,  and  medical  skill  for  the  sick 
poor. 

Hence,  the  manifest  obligation  of  contributing 
liberally  to  hospitals,  infirmaries,  and  houses  of  re- 
covery and  of  refuge.  And  as  religious  education, 
irrespective  of  its  influence  on  the  spiritual  interests 
of  man,  is  a  preventive  of  indigence,  as  it  leads  to 
an  honest  and  persevering  industry,  we  are  efficiently 
exercising  charity  when  we  apply  a  share  of  our  pro- 
perty in  its  promotion. 

We  should  be  led  to  a  selection  of  the  objects  of 


d^orihf ;  or,  CkritHan  Bounty.  867 

our  beneficence  by  such  circumstances  as  these ;  their 
having  become  unable  to  work,  or  aged,  in  our  &er« 
vice;  their  connexion  with  the  christian  congrega- 
tioi,  parish,  and  qeigU>ourhood  to  which  we  belong ; 
their  general  industry  and  fidelity  in  labouring  to 
siqpply  their  own  necessities,  though,  from  affliction, 
or  wai^  of  employment,  they  are  reduced  to  poverty ; 
and  their  piety,  liqprightness,  and  modesty.  Their  be* 
ing  of  the  household  of  faith  gives  them  the  strongest 
claims  to  our  christian  love  and  liberality.  Whatever 
is  done  for  their  comfort,  our  blessed  Lord  regards 
as  done  to  himself.  A  cup  of  cold  water  given  to 
them,  because  they  are  his  disciples,  shall  in  no  wise 
lose  its  reward  *. 

It  is  no  uncommon  thing  for  persons  to  excuse  them- 
selves from  giving  to  the  poor,  on  the  ground, — 

I.  That  their  liberality  does  not  procure  them  a 
return  of  gratitude.  Though  this  were  true,  which,, 
as  it  respects  the  great  majority  of  cases,  I  do  not 
admit,  it  only  shews  that  those  who  urge  it  as  an 
objection  have  erroneous  views  of  duty  and  of  charity. 
We  must  give,  if  we  give  aright,  not  with  a  view  to 
gratitude,  but  from  a  sense  of  duty.  The  charac- 
teristic of  true  charity  is,  that  it  is  disinterested,  pro- 
ceeding from  pure  benevolence.  "  If  ye  love  them 
which  love  you,  what  reward  have  ye?  Do  not  even 
the  publicans  the  same?  And  if  ye  salute  your 
brethren  only,  what  do  ye  more  than  others?  Do 
not  even  the  publicans  so  ?  Be  ye  tlierefore  perfect, 
even  as  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven  is  perfect ; — 
for  he  maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evil  and  on  the 

•  Matt.  X.  49. 


368  Charity ;  or^  Profesnonal  Amstance. 

good|  and  sendeth  rain  on  the  just^  and  on  the  un- 
just*." 

II.  They  are  liable  to  be  imposed  on.  The  answer 
to  this  objection  was  stated,  when  I  pointed  out  the 
duty  of  exercising  charity  with  judgment  and  discri- 
xnination.  Let  us  not  disobey  the  will  of  God,  im- 
pair our  own  benevdent  feelings,  and  withhold  relief 
from  those  who  really  require  it,  because  there  is  a 
possibility  of  our  occasionally  being  deceived. 


Chapter  XIII. 

CHARITY  5  OR,  PROFESSIONAL  ASSISTANCE, 

The  most  valuable  charity  to  the  poor,  because  it  is 
often  the  most  appropriate  and  permanently  available, 
is  professional  assistance.  There  are  maladies  of  the 
mind  which  no  contribution  of  property  can  alleviate ; 
and  how  can  benevolence  be  exercised  to  greater  ad- 
vantage than  in  the  bestowment  of  medical  ^11  and 
medicine,  for  the  purpose  of  restoring  health  to  the 
person  on  whose  labour  and  life  the  family  depend  for 
bread? 

I.  The  ministers  of  religion,  in  the  benevolent  ex- 
ercise of  their  sacred  profession,  have  it  in  their 
power  to  bestow  the  noblest  charity.  In  removing 
ignorance,  in  rertifying  error,  in  declaring  the  disease, 
in  pointing  out  the  remedy,  in  leading  to  repose  with 
humble  confidence  on  the  sure  foundation  of  trust,  and 

•  Matt.  V.  45—48. 


Charity ;  or  Professional  Assistance,  8G9 

in  directing  the  hopes  to  that  immortal  happiness  which 
will  not  deceive  our  expectations, — ^they  may  do  the 
greatest  good  to  their  fellow-creatures.  The  sanctity 
of  their  office  and  character,  and  the  disinterestedness 
of  their  conduct,  give  them  great  influence  over  the 
poor,  and  make  them  welcome  visitants  to  their  dwell- 
ing-places. In  communicating  spiritual  instruction 
and  consolation  to  the  mourner,  the  bereaved,  the 
destitute,  and  the  dying,  they  are  exercising  true 
charity,  and  in  a  way  appropriate  to  the  wants  of  the 
persons  to  whom  they  minister. 

When  to  this  they  add,  the  oversight  of  the  schools, 
especially  of  the  poorer  classes  in  their  neighbour- 
hood ;  and,  as  in  Scotland,  take  the  principal  charge 
of  the^distribution  of  the  funds  destined  to  the  support 
of  the  poor,  they  discharge  a  work  of  benevolence  of 
a  nature  the  most  important  to  their  fellow-creatures 
and  to  their  country. 

II.  Medical  men  have  it  also  in  their  power  to  be- 
stow charity  very  extensively  on  the  poor,  by  affording 
them  medicine  and  the  benefit  of  their  professional 
skill  when  necessary.  To  the  honour  of  this  profession, 
its  members  very  generally  are,  in  this  way,  instru- 
ments of  incalcidable  good,  by  the  time  and  attention 
which  they  gratuitously  bestow.  In  the  discharge  of 
their  duty  they  have  numerous  opportunities  of  witness- 
ing families  whose  laborious  industry  had  hitherto  kept 
them  from  indigence,  but  who,  in  consequence  of  the 
continued  illness  with  which  they  are  visited,  are  fast 
falling  from  that  place  in  society  which  they  have  most 
laudably  struggled  to  maintain.  To  hasten  to  their 
relief,  by  humanely  prescribing  to  them,  and  cheering 

Vol.  II.  «  B 


870  On  the  Duties  of  Parents  and  Children. 

them  with  the  hope  of  recovery,  is  one  of  the  noblest 
works  of  charity,  and  one  which  medical  gentl^mien 
ar^  frequently  accustomed  to  perform. 

III.  Lawyers,  and  country  gentlemen,  by  season- 
able counsel,  may  prevent  litigation  among  the  poor ; 
jVkI  th\is  preserve  th^m  from  probable  ruin.  This  is, 
in  regard  to  them,  a  duty  of  humanity  and  benevo- 
lence. Its  dioch^rge,  indeed,  requires  time  and 
pe^^enc^  s  but  the  peace  and  reconciliation  which  may 
be  produced  by  it,  and  the  saving  of  property,  and 
perhaps  of  morals,  are  objects  of  great  importance  in 
the  estimation  of  every  man  who  thinks  aright.  The 
interposition  oi  advice  and  friendly  suggestion  on  the 
part  of  those  who  possess  the  con£dence  of  the  poor, 
may  be  the  means  of  saving  them  from  the  necessity 
of  directly  contributing,  at  a  future  period,  to  sup^dy 
their  wants. 


Chapter  XIV. 

ON  THE  DUTIES  OF  PARENTS  AND  CHILDREN. 

Let  us  now  proceed  to  consider  the  duties  of  justice. 
These  are  far  too  numerous  to  be  noticed  in  detail. 

» 

Some  of  those  which  will  fall  to  be  treated  upder  a 
subsequent  head,  ought  to  be  slightly  noticed  here — 
such  as  the  r^ative  duties.  Parents,  for  example, 
are  not  only  stimulated  by  the  parental  feelings  to 
provide  for  their  children,  but  they  are  required  to  do 
so  by  the  demands  of  justice,  TTiey  are  the  natural 
guaf di^s  of  their  oflfepring ;  and  reason  and  revela- 


On  the  Duties  of  Parents  and  Children.  S71 

tiou  suggest  the  obligation  of  watching  over  their  help- 
less years,  and  of  training  them  up  in  the  nurture  and 
admonition  of  God.    There  are  also  certain  duties 
due  from  the  children  to  the  parents,  for  the  faithful 
performance  of  which  there  is  not  only  provision  made 
in  the  filial  afiections ;  but  in  maturer  years,  the  claims 
of  justice  powerfully  plead  for  their  fulfilment.     To 
them  they  are  indebted  for  the  preservation  and  pro- 
tection of  their  lives  during  the  years  of  helplessness 
and  childhood; — ^to  them,  and  especially  to  one  of 
them,  they  owe  the  growth  and  gradual  develoinnent 
of  the  kindlier  sympathies  of  their  nature ; — ^to  them 
they  are  obliged  for  the  elements  of  that  education 
by  which  they  are  preparing,  a  have  been  already 
prepared,  for  usefulness  and  happiness  in  society ; — 
and  to  them,  above  all,  is  due  their  gratitude,  if  they 
instructed  them  in  the  fisar  of  God,  and  ceased  not,  by 
their  exertions  and  their  prayers,  to  point  out  the  way 
to  everlasting  happiness.     Hence  the  terms  in  which 
the  authoritative  injunction  of  revelation  is  enforced ; 
''  Children,  obey  your  parents  in  the  Lord ;  for  this  is 
right.    Honour  thy  father  and  mother,  that  it  may  be 
well  with  thee,  and  that  thou  mayest  live  long  on  the 
earth." 

The  natural  affections,  as  well  as  the  Scriptures, 
establish  the  duty  of  parents  to  maintain  their  childrea. 
"  If  any  provide  not  for  his  own,  especially  for  those 
of  his  own  household,  he  hath  denied  the  faith,  and  is 
worse  than  an  infidel*." 

They  are  also,  for  the  same  reasons,  bound  to  give 
them  such  a  training  or  education,  as  may  fit  them  for 

•  1  Tim.  V.  8. 

S  B  S     * 


372  On  the  Duties  of  Parents  and  Children. 

passing  comfortably  and  creditably  through  the  sequel 
of  life.  If  they  are  to  acquire  subsistence  by  manual 
labour,  they  ought  betimes  to  be  inured  to  restraint, 
and  to  be  provided  with  regular  employment*  If  they 
are  to  depend  on  the  exercise  of  their  talents  in  a  pro- 
fession, it  is  criminal  in  the  parents  to  withhold,  from 
avarice,  the  means  of  procuring  that  knowledge,  and 
those  accomplishments,  that  will  fit  them  for  entering 
on  its  duties  with  a  fair  prospect  of  success.  Nor  are 
they  less  blameable,  should  they  allow  them  to  con- 
sume that  time  in  foolish  amusements,  which  should 
be  devoted  to  studies  necessary  to  their  future  honour 
and  usefulness. 

It  may  be  more  difficult  to  ascertain  the  extent  to 
which  parents  are  bound  to  make  pecuniary  provision 
for  the  future  wants  of  their  children.  It  is  clear  diat 
this  ought  not  to  be  prosecuted  at  the  expense  of  the 
claims  of  justice,  and  of  charity,  reasonably  propor- 
tioned to  our  income.  It  has  been  remarked  by  all 
who  have  been  much  conversant  with  the  world,  that 
with  regard  to  sons  especially,  a  good  education,  and 
virtuous  and  industrious  habits,  give  them  a  far  better 
chance  of  this  world's  happiness,  than  the  possession 
of  a  large  capital  at  the  outset  of  their  course.  And 
with  regard  to  the  superior  enjoyment  of  acquiring  a 
fortune,  above  to  the  getting  of  it  already  provided 
by  others,  there  can  be  no  question. 

The  duty  of  parents  making  provision  for  the  virtue 
of  their  children  is  of  a  still  higher  order.  This  can- 
not be  done  effectually  without  the  union  of  example 
with  precept.  Should  the  child  make  the  discovery 
that,  the  parent  in  his  admonitions  is  only  acting  a 


On  Masters  and  Servants.  373 

part, — and  he  will  sooner  or  later  make  the  discovery 
when  such  is  actually  the  case, — ^he  will  receive  his 
admonitions  as  he  would  ''  hear  the  same  maxims 
from  the  mouth  of  a  player.  And  when  once  this 
opinion  has  taken  possession  of  the  child's  mind^  it 
has  a  fatal  effect  upon  the  parents'  influence  in  all 
subjects ;  even  those,  in  which  he  himself  may  be 
sincere  and  convinced.  Whereas  a  silent,  but  ob« 
servable  regard  to  the  duties  of  religion,  in  the  parent's 
own  behaviour,  will  take  a  sure  and  gradual  hold  of 
the  child's  disposition,  much  beyond  formal  reproofs 
and  chidings^  which  being  generally  prompted  by 
some  present  provocation,  discover  more  of  anger 
than  of  principle,  and  are  always  received  with  a  tem- 
porary alienation  and  disgust*.*' 


Chapter  XV. 


ON  MASTERS  AND  SERVANTS. 


The  mutual  relation  of  masters  and  servants  also  gives 
rise  to  certain  duties  of  justice.  Both  parties  enter 
into  stipulations,  and  both  are  laid  under  obligations. 
Those  who  serve  enter  into  engagements  with  their 
employers,  which  they  are  bound  with  readiness  and 
submission  to  fulfil.  They  are  exposed  to  tempta- 
tions peculiar  to  their  station, — a  culpable  negligence 
in  the  business  they  have  undertaken,  dishonesty  in 

*  Se6  the  Chapter  on  the  Datiei  of  ParentB  and  Children  in  Personal 
and  Familjr  Relipon. 


874  On  MaHers  and  ServafOs. 

purioiniiig  their  master's  property,  or  a  disrespectful 
conduct  towards  him ;  and  it  requires  a  deep  sense 
of  religion  to  maintain  an  undeviating  consistency 
amid  these  and  many  other  allurements  to  what  is 
wrong.  But  the  virtue  cf  resisting  and  overcoming 
such  temptations,  in  proportion  to  the  difficulty  of  its 
acquirement  and  exercise,  will  be  approved  and  re- 
warded by  Him  who  looks  with  the  same  impartial 
eye  on  all  his  creatures,  and  who  will  judge  every 
man  according  to  his  works.  The  victory  won  in 
such  a  situation  by  a  truly  christian  servant  over  the 
evil  feelings  of  envy  and  discontent,  is  fiir  greater 
in  the  estimation  of  Him  who  weigheth  the  spirits, 
than  that  of  those  whose  moral  trial  is  less  severe,  and 
who  are  less  assailed  by  incentives  to  sin.  Christian 
servants  are  required  to  be  faithful  in  the  discharge 
of  their  engagements^  not  so  much  from  the  consider- 
ation that  their  neglect  or  violation  may  be  punished 
as  a  breach  of  justice,  as  from  the  higher  motives  of 
the-fear  of  God,  and  the  authority  of  Christ.  "  Ser- 
vants," says  the  Apostle  Paul>  ^^  be  obedient  to  them 
that  are  your  masters  according  to  the  flesh,  in  sin- 
gleness of  heart,  as  unto  Christ ;  not  with  eye-ser- 
vice as  men«p]easers ;  but  as  the  servants  of  Christ, 
doing  the  will  of  God  from  the  heart ;  with  good  will 
doing  service,  as  to  the  Lord  and  not  to  men ;  know- 
ing that  whatsoever  good  thing  a  mem  doeth,  the  same 
shatt  he  recdve  of  the  Lord,  whether  he  be  bond  or 
free* 

Masters,  also,  have  duties  to  perform  to  their  ser- 
vantSt  which,  by  the  laws  of  justice,  they  are  bound 
to  discharge.    There  are  temptations  to  n^Iect  their 


On  Masters  and  Servants.  378 

fulfilment,  at  least,  to  neglect  their  uniform  and  com- 
plete fiilfilment.     From  the  power  over  others  which 
is  giyen  and  assumed,  will  there  not  be  an  inducement 
U)  ask  more  from  them  than  they  can  reasonably  per- 
form ;  to  bear  towards  thetn  an  unfeeling  demeanour, 
to  disregard  with  unchristian  apathy  their  moral  and 
religious  wants?      Are  not  masters  sometimes   in 
danger  of  placing  before  their  servants,  by  their  ex- 
ample and  otherwise,  temptations  to  a  neglect  of  duty, 
to  dishonesty,  and  to  the  indulgence  of  a  disrespect- 
ful conduct  towards  their  superiors  ?    **  They,"  it  has 
been  remarked,  "  are  capable  of  enjoymfent,  like  our- 
selves ;  and  there  are  many  enjoyments  of  which  we 
may  legally  deprive  them,  by  the  constraints  to  which 
they  have  submitted  themselves,  according  to  the 
commdn  usage  of  such  personal  contracts — ^but  whidi 
are  not  incompatible  with  the  fulfilment  of  all  their 
duties  to  us ;  and  which  it  would  therefore,  morally, 
be  as  wrong  to  prevent,  as  it  would  be  to  prevent  a 
similar  amount  of  enjoyment,  when  the  power  of  pre- 
venting it  was  not  legally  ours.    He  who,  to  the  ut- 
most of  his  power,  converts  the  freedom  of  domestic 
service  into  slavery — who  allows  no  liberty— no  re- 
creation, no  pleasure,  which  he  can  interdict,  has  all 
the  guilt  of  a  tyrannical  master  of  a  slave ;  or  rather, 
has  a  guilt  that  exceeds  the  guilt  of  such  oppression, 
because  it  is  an  oppression  that  is  exercised  in  a  land 
of  freedom.     Every  indulgence,  therefore,  which  does 
not  interfere  with  the  domestic  duties,  and  which  does 
not  tend  to  vitiate  the  character,  is  a  duty  which  the 
master  owes.    "  Masters,  give  unto  your  servants  that 
which  is  just  and  equal ;  knowinjg  that  ye  also  have  a 


S76  On  Masters  and  Servants, 

master  in  heaven,  and  that  there  is  no  respect  of  per- 
sons with  him." 

In  a  word,  should  we  at  any  time  feel  uncertain  as 
to  some  of  the  duties  which  we  owe  as  children  and 
parents,  as  masters  and  servants,  as  teachers  and 
taught, — as  inferiors,  superiors,  and  equals ;  or,  though 
not  uncertain  as  to  their  nature,  yet  reluctant  to  per- 
form them,  we  have  only  to  imagine  ourselves  in 
the  situation  of  others,  with  their  views  and  feelings 
made  our  own,  and  we  shall  find  that  our  self-love  will 
powerfully  enforce  the  daims  of  benevolence  and  jus- 
tice.    That  inordinate  regard  to  our  own  interests 
and  gratifications,  which,  by  perverting  our  views  iu 
judging  of  the  rights  of  our  neighbour,  forms  the  chief 
obstacle  in  the  way  of  our  duty  towards  them,  is  thus 
brought  to  plead  on  their  behalf ;  and  having  been 
led  to  decide  for  them  with  the  same  scrupulous 
fidelity  which  we  would  have  employed  for  ourselves, 
we  cannot,  without  doing  violence  to  our  own  con- 
victions, do  otherwise  than  act  agreeably  tQ  our  de- 
cisions.   All  things  whatsoever  ye  would  that  men 
should  do  to  you,  do  ye  even  so  to  them  *• 

*  See  the  Aathor*8  work  on  Personal  and  Family  Religion,  chap.  iii. 
iv.  V. 


877 


Chapter  XVI. 

THE  DUTY  OP  REFRAINING  FROM  INJURING  THE  PERSONS 

OR  LIVES  OP  OTHERS. 

It  is  difficult  to  enumerate  the  various  ways  in  which 
man  can  mflict  an  injury  on  man,  and  in  which,  con- 
sequendy,  he  transgresses  the  will  of  his  Maker,  and 
violates  the  obligations  of  eternal  justice.  He  is 
clearly  bound  to  respect  the  life,  property,  and  charac- 
ter of  others — ^his  promises,  asseverations  or  oaths, 
contracts,  subscriptions  to  articles  of  belief,  made  in 
reference  to  them,— and  their  virtue  and  happiness. 

We  begin  with  the  consideration  of  our  obligations 
to  abstain  from  injuring  the  persons  or  lives  of  others. 
The  divine  law  has  clearly  defined  this  duty,  and  en« 
forced  its  observance  by  the  most  awful  sanctions. 
*'  Thou  shalt  not  kill.  Surely  your  blood  of  your 
lives  will  I  require ;  at  the  hand  of  every  beast  will  I 
require  it,  and  at  the  hand  of  men ;  at  the  hand  of 
every  man's  brother  will  I  require  the  life  of  man. 
Whoso  sheddeth  man's  blood,  by  man  shall  his  blood 
be  shed ;  for  in  the  image  of  God  made  he  man." 

God  alone  is  the  giver  of  life ;  he  gives  the  law  to 
guard  its  preservation ;  and  in  no  case  can  it  be  in- 
nocently taken  away  when  he  does  not  grant  the  per- 
mission. Though  he  has  given  to  man  a  dominion 
over  the  inferior  animals,  this  power  would  not  entitle 
him  to  deprive  them  of  life,  unless  the  great  Lord  and 
Ruler  of  all  had  so  defined  it.    This  is  allowed  him 


878  The  Duty  of  refiaining  from 

in  the  two  following  cases :  first,  when  he  intends  to 
use  them  for  food.     **  The  fear  of  you,  and  the  dread  of 
you  shall  be  upon  every  beast  of  the  earth,  and  upon 
every  fowl  of  the  air,  upon  all  that  moveth  upon  the 
earth,  and  upon  all  the  fishes  of  the  sea ;  into  your 
hand  are  they  delivered.     Every  moving  thing  that 
liveth  shall  be  meat  for  you ;  even  as  the  green  herb 
have  I  given  you  all  things/'    Secondly,  when  they 
are  destructive  and  dangerous.    That  we  are  at  liberty 
to  deprive  them  of  life  in  such  circumstances,  is  clear 
firom  the  passage  now  quoted,  and  from  the  inherent 
right  of  every  man  to  defend  his  person  and  property. 
With  these  exceptions,  we  are  bound  to  refirain  from 
injuring  the  lives,  or  impau*ing  the  enjoyments  of  the 
lower  animals  ;  and,  consequently,  to  avoid  all  those 
brutal  modes  in  which  this  defenceless  part  of  the 
creation  is  distressed  and  tortured.    We  cannot  but 
condemn^  as  immoral  in  its  nature  and  tendency,  a 
practice  to  whidi  children  are  sometimes  habituated, 
that  of  exercising  the  most  wanton  cruelty  to  animals, 
and  of  employing  their  ingenuity  in  inflicting  sufferings. 
Irrespectively  of  the  amount  of  suffering  whidb  they 
thus  create,  merely  for  their  amusement,  the  pfactice 
is  calculated  to  deaden  every  better  feeling,  and  fit 
them  for  perpetrating  hereafter,  on  a  wider  theatre, 
deeds  of  criminal  selfishness,  iidiumanity,  if  not  of 
still  greater  atrocity.    If  it  be  the  characteristic  of  a 
righteous  man  that  be  regardeth  the  life  of  Ins  beast, 
we  cannot  but  consider  the  contrary  conduct  as  the 
mark  of  the  unfeeling  and  the  wicked. 

As  there  are  exceptions  to  the  general  law  con- 
cerning life-preservation  with  respect  to  the  infenc^r 


injuring  the  Persomi  c/r  Lives  of  others.  879 

animals,  so  are  there  in  regard  to  man.  His  life  may 
be  taken  away  when  it  is  clearly  necessary  for  our 
own  defence.  In  such  a  case  reason  suggests  that  we 
are  to  preserve  our  own  life,  though  it  be  at  the 
expense  of  that  of  another.  But  revelation  gives  the 
warrant  in  explicit  terms.  '^  If  a  thief  be  found  break- 
ing up,  and  be  smitten  that  he  die,  there  shall  no 
blood  be  shed  for  him/'  By  parity  of  reiason  we  are 
justifiable  in  all  similar  cases  to  defend  ourselves  and 
our  families.  Hence,  the  only  ground  on  which  war 
is  justifiable.  If  individuals  have  the  right  to  defend 
themselves  from  the  assassin,  and  the  robber,  this 
right  surely  does  not  cease  when  they  are  assailed  by 
a  nation  in  their  lives  and  property.  They  can  only 
repel  such  an  assault  collectively ;  and  they  are  acting 
in  conformity  with  the  divine  law,  when  they  unite, 
and  use  suitable  means  for  such  a  repulsion. 

The  life  of  man  may  be  also  taken  away  when  he 
commits  crinies  worthy  of  death.  There  is  a  crime 
to  which  the  law  of  God  has  explicitly  aflSxed  this 
punishment.  '*  Whoso  sheddeth  man's  blood,  by  man 
shall  his  blood  be  shed/'  It  has  been  doubted  whe-^ 
ther  it  be  just  or  expedient  to  annex  death  to  any 
other  offence.  That  it  is  so,  appears  to  me  clear 
from  the  fact,  that  the  Jewish  law  connected  this 
punishment  with  other  crimes  besides  murder, — such 
as  adultery,  filial  stubbornness,  and  idolatry, — a  cir- 
cumstance which  proves  at  least  that  there  may  be 
cases  in  which  it  is  lawful  to  visit  various  offences 
with  this  last  and  heaviest  award.  But  this  can 
only  be  allowable  when  it  is  quite  manifest  that 
00  inferior  punishment  is  adequate.    AH,  therefore. 


880  The  Dutjf  of  refraining  from 


iii:i  iiu^i 


who  have  in  every  age  of  the  world  been  d 
to  suffer  under  tyranny  and  oppression,  and  by  the 
forms  of  law  have  been  put  to  death  for  maintaining 
a  good  conscience,  have  been  deprived  of  life  contrary 
to  the  divine  law,  and  are  considered  by  the  Supreme 
Judge  as  murdered. 

Conscience,  seconding  the  sentence  of  the  law, 
announces  to  the  murderer  the  fearful  nature  of  his 
crime.  "  The  Almighty  Creator  and  Preserver  of 
man  has  provided  against  the  frequency  of  this  crime, 
by  rendering  the  contemplation  of  it  something,  from 
which  even  the  most  abandoned  shrink  with  a  loathing 
which  is,  perhaps,  the  only  human  feeling  that  still 
remains  in  their  heart ;  and  the  commission  of  it  a 
source  of  a  wilder  agony  of  horror  than  can  be  borne, 
even  by  the  gloomy  heart  which  was  capable  of  con- 
ceiving the  crime.  When  we  read  or  hear  of  the 
assassin,  who  is  driven  by  the  anguish  of  his  own 
conscience,  to  reveal  to  those  whom  most  he  dreaded, 
the  secret  which  he  was  most  anxious  to  hide — 
addressing  himself  to  the  guardians,  not  of  the  mere 
laws  which  he  has  offended,  but  of  the  individual 
whom  their  protection,  at  that  moment  which  is  ever 
before  his  memory,  was  too  powerless  to  save:— 
when  we  think  of  the  number  of  years  that  in  many 
instances  of  this  kind  have  elapsed,  since  the  mortal 
blow  was  given,  and  of  the  inefficacy  of  time,  which 
efibces  all  other  sorrows,  to  lessen  that  remorse,  which 
no  one  suspected  to  be  the  cause  of  the  wasting  of 
the  cheek,  and  the  gloomy  melancholy  of  the  eye, — 
can  we  fail  to  regard  a  spectacle  like  this,  as  an 
awful  testimony  to  the  goodness  of  that  Almiffhtv 


injuring  the  Persons  or  Lives  of  others.  881 

Protector  of  the  world,  who  proportions  the  internal 
restraints  of  conscience,  to  the  iniquity  that  needs  to 
be  restrained,  and  to  the  amount  of  evil  that  would 
flow  from  it,  if  unrestrained — and  who,  seeming  to 
leave  the  life  of  every  individual  at  the  mercy  of  every 
arm,  has  secured  for  it  a  defence,  in  the  very  bosom 
of  him  whose  hand  was  already  almost  raised  to 
give  the  blow*." 

The  actions  in  which  this  crime  is  involved  doubt* 
less  participate  of  its  guilt.  Of  this  description  are 
all  those  actions  in  which  there  is  shewn  a  criminal 
disregard  to  human  life,  even  though  the  direct  object 
should  not  be  to  take  it  away.  To  form  or  to  connive 
at  plans  for  the  death  of  others,  or  even  to  wish  it, 
renders  us  liable  to  the  charge  of  this  most  heinous 
crime.  The  indulgence  of  the  evil  passions  that  lead 
to  it,  as  the  divine  law  teaches  us,  such  as  unreason- 

« 

able  anger,  envy  and  hatred,  are  evils  of  the  same 
nature.     '^  Ye  have  heard  that  it  was  said  by  them  of 
old  time.  Thou  shalt  not  kill ;  and  whosoever  shall  kill 
shall  be  in  danger  of  the  judgment :  But  I  say  unto 
you,  that  whosoever  is  angry  with  his  brother  without 
a  cause,  shall  be  in  danger  of  the  judgment ;  and  who- 
soever shall  say  to  his  brother,  Raca,  shall  be  in  dan- 
ger of  the  council ;  but  whosoever  shall  say,  Thou 
fool,  shall  be  in  danger  of  hell  fire."    He  that  hateth 
his  brother  is  a  murderer.    By  unkindness,  ingra- 
titude, faithlessness,  improper  restraints  and  severity, 
and  by  oppression,  may  we  participate  in  the  guilt 
of  that  greatest  of  crimes,  the  shortening  of  the  lives 
of  others. 

•Brown 8 Lectares,  toL  17. p.  191. 


882  The  Dutjf  of  refraining  ficm 

Duellers,  unquestionably,  are  chargeable  with  this 
guilt.  Their  design  is  to  gratify  mortified  pride  by 
unwarrantably,  and  in  express  ocxitradicticxi  to  the 
divine  command,  taking  away  life.  It  has  the  addi- 
tional aggravation  of  being  committed  deliberately, 
under  the  influence  of  revengeful  and  implacable 
feelings,  and  without  those  excuses  whidi  the  mur- 
derer in  many  cases  can  ofier  in  extenuation.  He 
perpetrates  the  deed,  perhaps,  under  the  agitation  of 
extreme  passion ;  but  the  duellist  coolly  aims  at  the 
life  of  a  feU6w*creature,  and  exposes  bis  own.  To 
avoid  the  imputation  of  cowardice,  does  he  thus 
shew  himself  to  be  a  very  coward,  by  not  daring  to 
bear,  what  many  christian  martyrs  have  borne  before 
him,  the  scorn  and  reproach  of  the  world,  and  by 
deserting  the  post,  the  friends,  the  duties,  which  God 
has  assigned  him.  In  general,  too,  the  persons  who 
are  chargeable  with  this  crime  are  educated,  have  the 
means  of  being  acquainted  with  the  atrocious  enor- 
mity of  murder  in  every  case,  and  of  knowing  that  in 
them  it  is  most  deeply  aggravated,  inasmuch  as  they 
aim  at  taking  away  life  cootrary  to  the  feelings  of 
humanity,  to  the  unbiassed  vcnce  of  reason  and  of  con- 
science, to  the  requirements  of  law,  and  to  the  com- 
mand of  the  Eternal  God. 

In  short,  in  whatever  light  the  crime  of  dueUiog  is 
viewed,  whether  as  a  deliberate  violati(m  of  the  law  of 
God,  an  oS&ace  against  our  fellow*creature,  and  as 
most  pernicious  in  its  tendency  and  consequences,  it 
must  b  pronounced  a  foul  and  atrocious  murder. 
And  what  is  the  express  injunction  of  God  regarding 
the  person  chargeable  with  this  iniquity  ?    "  Ye  shall 


injuring  the  Fencm  or  jMet  of  others.  88S 

take  no  satisfaction  for  the  life  of  a  murderer,  whidx  is 
guilty  of  death :  but  he  shall  surely  be  put  to  death. 
Ye  sNl  not  pollute  the  land  wherein  ye  are;  for 
blood,  it  d^fileth  the  land ;  and  the  land  cannot  be 
deansed  of  the  blood  that  is  shed  th^r^in,  but  by  the 
Uood  of  him  that  shed  it" 


Chapter  XVII. 

THE  DUTY  OF  AV0U>1NG  WHATEVER  HAS  A  DIRECT  TENDENCY 
TO  ABRIDGE  HUMAN  LIFE— DRUNKENNESS, 

The  duty  of  abstaining  frcHn  injuring  the  person 
or  life  of  our  felJow*(»:eatures  extends  to  all  the 
means  that  have  a  direct  tendency  to  abridge  human 
existence.  One  oS  these  is  druidcenness,— a  crime, 
the  guilt  of  which  may  be  estimated  by  the  evils 
immediate  ai^  remote  which  it  produces.  Thie  habit, 
like  all  other  habits,  is  formed  gradually,  and  ad- 
vances from  occasional  acts  of  inebriety  to  fre- 
quent and  regular  intoxication.  The  circumstances 
which  lead  to  its  formation,  or  rather  which  present 
ever-recurring  inducements  to  its  formation,  are 
obvious,— such  aa  example,  unrestrained  access  to 
strong  drink,  evij  company,  and,  in  some  cases,  de- 
pression of  spirits,  from  which  relief  is  sought  in  a 
stimulant,  the  frequent  use  of  which  aggravates  the 
malady.  When  the  mind  loses  its  usual  tone  and 
energy  by  unexpected  calamities,  by  the  loss  of  repu- 
tation, of  friends,  or  of  property ;  by  disappointment 
in  favourite  pursuitisf,  how  often  is  there  recourse  to 
strong  drink,  as  affording  a  temporary  remedy ! 

The  evU  and  odiousnew  Qf  this  sin  appear  by  the 


384  The  Duty  ofrefTainingfrom 

thorough  degradation  of  the  man  who  is  subject  to  it. 
For  the  time,  the  faculties  which  distinguish  him  from 
the  inferior  animals  are  merged  beneath  the  nature  of 
the  brute ;  and  divested  of  reason  and  conscience,  he 
is  unfitted  for  the  discharge  of  any  one  of  the  functions 
of  an  intellectual,  a  moral,  and  an  immortal  being.  In 
this  debased  condition,  without  understanding,  with 
excited  passions,  what  deeds  of  atrocity  is  he  not 
capable  of  committing!  What  may  he  not  suflfer 
self  in  his  person,  exposed  to  the  most  extreme  dan- 
ger, in  which  life  is  pflen  lost !  What  loss  may  he 
not  sustain  in  his  property,  from  those  who  are  ever 
ready  to  seize  upon  their  fellow-creatures  as  their 
prey !  How  wasteful  to  his  property  is  the  indulgence 
of  that  habit  which  he  has  formed  ?  How  ruinous  and 
disgraceful  to  himself,  his  connexions,  and  depend- 
ants !  Is  he  a  parent  ?  How  melancholy  is  the  spec- 
tacle which  his  children  are  doomed  to  witness  in  the 
person  of  that  being  whom  nature  teaches  them  to 
venerate !  Is  he  a  son,  the  object  of  parental  fondness, 
the  person  who  was  looked  to  as  the  stay  and  the  hope 
of  his  family?  What  disappointment  and  su£fering 
does  he  inflict  on  those  whom  he  should  feel  anxious 
to  preserve  from  pain,  and  whom  he  is  bound  to 
cherish  and  to  honour !  Deserted  by  friends,  ejected 
from  situations  of  trust,  with  the  loss  of  reputation, 
the  waste  of  property,  he  is  rapidly  advancing  to 
poverty,  disease,  and  deaths 

How  great  is  the  guilt  with  which  the  drunkard  is 
.chargeable  in  the  misimprovement  of  his  talents,  the 
loss  of  his  usefulness,  and  the  wide  and  lasting  misery 
which  in  many  cases  he  brings  on  himself  and  his 
family.    Though  he  should  not  succeed  in  making  the 


The  Duty  of  avoiding  Drunkenness.  886 

other  members  of  it  drunkards  like  himself,  he  squan- 
ders the  property  which  would  furnish  them  with 
comfort  and  respectability, — and  the  tendency  of  his 
example  is  to  make  his  children  irreligious  and  im^ 
moral.  He  withholds  from  them  instruction,  and 
government,  and  encouragement;  and  he  himself 
leads  the  way  to  the  chambers  of  hell.  His  career 
is  usually  terminated  by  self-destruction,  or  violent 
death ;  while  his  soul,  has  long  been  hardened  in  sin, 
and  its  condition  rendered  hopeless.  Of  all  the  me- 
lancholy examples  of  the  woful  consequences  of  evil 
habits  long  indulged,  to  be  found  in  the  history  of 
mankind,  I  know  not  one  more  truly  deplorable,  more 
burdened  with  guilt,  more  hardened  beyond  the  effi- 
cacy of  means,  and  more  apparently  given  up  to 
reprobation,  than  the  confirmed  drunkard. 

What  are  the  means  of  avoiding,  or  of  being  deli- 
vered from  this  awful  vice?  We  must  be  on  our 
guard  against  the  causes  that  naturally  lead  to  it.  It 
has  been  rem^ked  that  when  the  habit  of  drunken* 
ness  is  formed  it  is  of  all  evil  habits  the  most  dif* 
ficult  to  be  broken.  In  this  case,  entire  abstinence, 
or  entire  and  eternal  ruin  is  the  only  alternative. 
The  companions,  the  example  that  lead  to  it,  and  if 
possible,  the  very  place  on  which  the  habit  has  been 
formed,  should  be  forsaken. 

The  evil  that  drunkenness  is  producing  over  the 
world,  and  in  our  own  land,  is  incalculable.  It  is 
impairing  the  health,  wasting  the  property,  and  ex- 
cluding from  education  and  knowledge  thousands  of 
mankind.  It  is  rendering  idle  and  profligate  those 
on  whose  industry  and  economy  families  are  depend* 

Vou  11.  2  c 


^886  The  DtOif  of  avoiding  Drunkenness. 

ing  for  bread;  and  making  those  habitations  that 
would  otherwise  be  nurseries  of  virtue,  the  abode  of 
<X)ntention,  vice,  and  misery.  How  much  it  is  re- 
tarding the  progress  and  the  triumphs  of  the  gof  peL 
it  is  unnecessary  for  me  to  say.  It  seems  more  than 
any  other  vice  subservient  to  the  purposes  of  that  evil 
Spirit,  who  i$  described  as  a  murderer  from  the  be- 
ginning, as  a  liar  and  the  father  of  lies ;— and  who  by 
this,  as  by  other  artifices,  prevents  the  light  of  the  glo- 
rious gospd  of  Gkxi  from  shining  into  the  mind.  The 
amount  of  evil  that  issues  from  it  in  a  large  city,  in 
the  ruin  of  health,  the  waste  of  life,  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  soul,  is  greater  than  the  correspcniding 
good  which  the  friends  of  religion,  and  the  ministers 
of  the  gospel,  with  their  combined  labours  and  eflSMrts, 
can  accomplish. 

Of  such  vast  importance,  and  so  numerous  are  the 
obligations  included  in  the  duty  of  obeying  the  divine 
command  in  holding  life  sacred.  It  is  an  easy  and 
natural  extension  of  it  to  apply  it  to  the  life  of  the 
soul ;  and  to  infer  from  it  the  obligation  of  doing  all  in 
our  power  to  place  the  means  by  which  this  life  is 
ccnveyed  within  the  reach  of  our  fellow-^cK^tures.  If 
we  are  to  care  for  the  body,  can  we  be  innocent  if  we 
neglect  the  health  and  the  happiness  of  the  immortal 
part,— the  soul?  Is  it  not  to  this  that  our  chief 
attention  should  be  continually  directed,  as  that  which 
is  to  live  when  the  body  moulders  in  the  dust,  and 
which  is  capable  of  happiness  or  of  misery  for  ever  ? 
**  What  shall  it  profit  a  man,  though  he  should  gain 
the  whole  world,  and  lose  his  own  soul ;  or  what  shall 
a  man  give  in  exchange  for  his  soul?"    It  was  to 


The  Duty  of  apoiding  Drunkenness.  un 

impart  this  eternal  happiii9Bs  to  man^  that  God  hag 
instituted  an  economy  of  grace^  that ''  He  has  so  loved 
the  world  as  to  give  his  only  begotten  Son,  that  whoso- 
ever believeth  in  him  should  not  ^mh  but  have  ever- 
lasting life.''  While  he  commanda  not  to  impair  or 
to  injure  the  life  of  the  body,  he  enjoins  not  to  disre* 
gard  that  better  life  which  he  bestowsy  and  to  main 
dboioe  of  that  good  part  that  shall  never  be  taken 
from  us. 


■i^* 


Chaftbb  XYIII. 

property, 

We  are  required  by  the  law  written  on  the  heart,  not 
less  than  by  the  law  wfaidi  was  written  on  taUes  of 
stone,  to  refrain  from  injuring  the  property  of  others, 
'*  Thou  shalt  not  steal,*'  is  the  authoritative  opmmand 
of  heaven ;  which  evidently  requires  the  lawful  pn> 
curing  and  furtiiieriDg  the  wealth  and  ()tttward  estate 
of  ourselves  and  others ;  and  forbids  whatsoever  doth 
or  may  unjustly  hinder  our  own  or  our  neighboinr's 
wealth,  or  outward  estate.  To  take  our  neighbour's 
property,  therefore,  and  to  turn  it  to  our  own  use, 
without  his  consent,  is  unjust  and  sinful. 

We  can  much  mc^e  easily  trace  the  origin  and  pro- 
gress of  property  than  satisfy  ourselves,  at  least  in 
some  cases,  of  the  justice  or  expediency  of  the  tenure 
by  which  it  is  held.  ^That  one  man  should  retain 
possession  of  what  is  more  than  adequate  for  the 

maintenance  of  a  thousand,  while  th^e  are  many 

scs 


888  Property. 

around  him  who  are  scarcely  able  to  procure  a  sub- 
sistence, is  an  order  of  things  which  at  first  view 
seems  as  little  consonant  to  our  reason  as  it  is  to  our 
feelings.  "  You  see  the  ninety-nine  toiling  and  scrap- 
ing together  a  heap  of  superfluities  for  one,— ^d 
this  one  too,  oftentimes  the  feeblest  and  the  worst  of 
the  whole  set,-~a  child,  a  madman,  or  a  fool ; — getting 
nothing  hr  themselves  all  the  while,  but  a  little  of  the 
coarsest  of  the  provision  which  their  own  industry 
produces;  looking  quietly  on,  while  they  see  the 
fruits  of  all  their  labours  spent  or  spoiled ;  and  if  one 
of  the  number  take  or  touch  a  particle  of  the  hoard, 
the  others  joining  against  hin^,  and  hanging  him  for 
the  theft." 

It  surely  is  necessary  that  reasons,  ample  and  suffi- 
cient, should  be  assigned  to  justify  this  seemingly 
harsh  inequality.  Such  reasons  do  exist,  and  their 
suflSciency  will  presently  be  made  to  appear. 

Every  man,  doubtless,  has  a  right  to  the  fruits  of 
his  own  labour.  To  deprive  him  of  any  part  of  this 
without  an  equivalent  is  unjust.  For  if  it  were  allow- 
able to  take  away  a  share  of  the  fruit  of  his  industry, 
without  an  equivalent,  the  order  and  designs  of  human 
society  would  be  frustrated; — ^men  would  rob  from 
i>ther8  that  to  which  they  have  no  good  claim : — ^pro- 
perty, being  wasted  by  the  idle  and  the  profligate^ 
woukl  soon  disappear^  and  the  most  fertile  parts  of 
the  earth  would  become  a  barren  wilderness.  The 
authority  of  the  Supreme  Legislator  and  Proprietor 
decides  the  question;  and  gives  to  every  man  the 
exclusive  right  to  that  which  he  has  acquired  by  his 
ingenuity  or  labour. 


Froperftf.  889 

But  without  a  reasonable  degree  of  security  in  thd 
enjoyment  of  property,  who  would  undergo  the  toil 
and  the  trouble  necessary  to  its  attainment  ?  Who 
would  relinquish  that  indolence  which  is  so  natural  to 
man,  and  steadily  pursue  a  course  of  industrious  exer* 
tion  ?  The  history  of  society  shews  that  the  prospect 
of  wealth  is  not  of  itself  a  motive  sufficiently  powerful, 
unaccompanied  with  the  security  which  law  and  regu- 
lar government  aiford.  Hence  the  necessity  as  well 
as  the  origin  of  laws  for  securing  to  the  rightful  owner 
the  undisturbed  possession  of  his  property.  In  pro- 
portion as  such  laws  are  impartially  enforced  will 
industry  and  all  its  fruits  increase  and  multiply.  In 
confirmation  of  this  remark  many  illustrations  might 
be  given  from  the  history  of  every  civilized  people, — 
proving  that  in  the  most  fertile  countries  the  inha- 
bitants may  be  poor  and  indolent  and  wretched,  while 
on  a  less  genial  soil,  they  may  be  active,  and  rich, 
and  happy. 

*'  Perhaps  there  is  no  part  of  Europe/'  says  a  dis- 
tinguished traveller,  **  more  fruitful  than  the  Yalteline, 
and  yet  there  is  no  country  in  which  the  peasants  are 
more  wretched.  The  first  and  principal  cause  is  the 
form  of  government*."  *'  What  a  contrast/'  says 
Brydone,  an  intelligent  traveller,  **  is  there  between 
this  (Sicily)  and  the  little  uncouth  country  of  Swit- 
zerland. To  be  sure  the  dreadful  consequences  of 
oppression  can  never  be  set  in  a  more  striking  oppo- 
sition to  the  blessings  and  charms  of  liberty.  Swit- 
zerland, ihe  very  excrescence  of  Europe,  where  nature 
seems  to  have  thrown  out  all  her  cold  and  stagnating 

♦  Coxe. 


Ma  Property. 

humours;  fiill  of  lakes,  marshes,  and  woods,  and  sur- 
rounded by  immense  rocks,  and  everlasting  moun- 
tains of  ice,  the  barren  but  sacred  ramparts  of  Uber^: 
•—Switzerland,  joying  every  blessing  where  every 
blessing  seems  to  have  been  denied;  whilst  Sidly, 
covered  by  the  most  luxuriant  hand  of  nature,  wh»e 
heaven  seems  to  have  showered  down  its  ridiest 
blessings  with  the  utmost  prodigality,  groans  under 
the  most  abject  poverty,  and  with  a  pale  and  wan 
visage  starves  in  the  midst  of  plenty.  It  is  liberty 
alone  that  works  this  standing  miracle.  Under  her 
plastic  hands  the  moimtains  sink,  the  lakes  are 
drained,  and  these  Ttxks,  these  marshes,  these 
woods." 

I  shall  only  adduce  another  illustration,  from  Dr. 
Clarice's  Travels,  to  shew  how  much  the  human  cha- 
racter is  degraded,  and  the  design  of  society  frustrated 
by  the  insecurity  of  property,  whether  it  arise  from 
the  weakness  or  from  the  oppression  of  the  govetn- 
m^it.  "  In  Circassia,'^  he  observes,  "  that  the  sower 
scattering  the  seed,  or  the  reaper  who  gattiers  the 
sheaves,  are  constantly  liable  to  an  assault ;  and  the 
implements  of  husbandry  aie  not  more  essential  to 
the  harvest  than  the  carbine,  the  pistol,  and  the 
sabre.**  Of  the  isle  of  Cyprus,  he  says,  **  the  soil 
everywhere  exhiUted  a  white  marly  day,  said  to  be 
exceedingly  rich  in  its  nature,  although  neglected. 
The  Greeks  are  so  oppressed  by  their  Turkish  mas- 
ters, that  they  dare  not  cultivate  the  land ;  the  harvest 
would  instantly  be  taken  away  from  tfa^n  if  they  did. 
Their  whole  aim  seems  to  be,  to  scrape  together 
barely  sufficient,  in  the  eounse  of  the  whole  year,  to 


Property*    '  891 

pay  their  tax  to  the  Governor.  The  omission  of  this  is^ 
punished  by  torture  or  by  death :  and  in  case  of  their 
inability  to  supply  the  impost,  the  inhabitants  fly  from 
the  island.  So  many  emigrations  of  tins  sort  happen 
during  the  year,  that  the  population  of  Cyprus  rarely 
exceeds  60,000  persons,  a  number  formerly  insuf^ 
ficient  to  have  peq>led  one  of  its  towns.*' 

These  r^oniarks,  suggested  by  a  survey  of  the  actual 
condition  of  European  nations,  shew  that  unless  pro- 
perty is  secured  to  the  rightful  owners, — that  is,  to 
the  persons  by  whose  industry  and  labour  it  is  ax> 
quired,  mankind  would  remain  inactive  and  degraded. 
It  is  not  so  much  wealth,  as  the  secure  possession  of  it, 
that  forms  the  incentive  to  persevering  exertion  and 
enterprise. 

It  was  observed,  that  it  was  labour  originally  that 
constitutes  the  right  of  property.  Though  in  an  early 
stage  of  society  ail  the  members  of  the  community 
possessed  all  things  in  common,  it  would  soon  be 
found  that  all  would  be  more  active,  and,  conse- 
quently, that  there  would  be  a  much  greater  abun* 
dance  acquired,  if  each  were  allowed  to  have  an 
exchisive  property  in  the  fruits  of  his  own  industry. 
The  banter,  tl»  fisher,  the  herdsman  would  become 
more  careful  and  dexterous,  when  they  found  that  their 
subsistence  depended  on  their  success; — and  their 
industry  would  be  stimulated,  not  merely  by  the  pros- 
pect of  food,  but  by  the  consequence  which  they  would 
gradually  assume  in  the  community,  from  their  power  of 
procuring  a  greater  supply  of  the  necessaries  of  life. 
This  would  introduce  a  degree  of  inequality  in  cir- 
cuipstaQces;  and  this  inequality,  from  the  operation 


892  Property. 

of  the  same  cause  being  gradually  on  the  increase, 
would  render  it  necessary  to  appropriate  the  houses 
and  land  which  at  first  were  enjoyed  in  common.  On 
general  grounds  it  would  seem  that  in  this  division  he 
would  have  the  best  right  to  a  field  by  whom  it  was 
first  cleared  and  cultivated ;  and  he  who  built  a  house 
would  have  an  exclusive  right  to  possess  it.  But  the 
circumstances  in  which  the  children  of  such  parents 
came  into  the  world  were  very  difierent  from  those  in 
which  their  fathers  were  placed ;  and  this  change  of 
circumstances  would  give  rise  to  a  new  set  of  laws 
regulating  the  succession  of  property.  The  parents 
had  laboured,  and  the  accumulation  of  their  property 
was  the  result  of  their  labour ;  but  to  whom  should 
this  property  descend,  but  to  those  whom  Providence 
has  rendered  so  entirely  dependent  on  their  protection? 
The  principles  of  equity,  then,  as  well  as  the  most 
comprehensive  views  of  general  expediency,  would 
allot  the  field  which  the  father  by  his  labour  had 
made  fertile  to  the  son. 

Many  are  the  advantages  which  arise  from  the  insti- 
tution of  property,  and  even  from  that  inequality  which 
it  occasions;  and  though  the  number  of  inconve- 
niences  may  be  unnecessarily  augmented  among  a 
people  who  have  arrived  at  a  high  degree  of  civiliza- 
tion, the  benefits  which,  on  the  whole,  accompany  this 
order  of  things,  are  essential  to  the  progressive  im- 
provement  and  happiness  of  mankind.  Without  the 
institution  of  property, — 

I.  None  could  ever  enjoy  abundance.  This  were 
true  if  our  earth  were  as  fertile  as  paradise.  For,  on 
the  supposition  that  th^r?  were  no  exclusive  and  indi- 


Property.  893 

vidual  right,  the  fruit  would  be  gathered  before  it 
came  to  maturity,  and  animals  killed  before  they  were 
fit  for  food :  for^  who  would  protect  what  was  hot  his 
own ;  or,  who  would  economize,  when  all  the  stores  of 
nature  were  open  to  him  ?  There  would  be  a  strange 
mixture  of  plenty,  waste,  and  famine.  Paley  illus- 
trates this,  by  remarking,  that  in  this  country,  where 
the  only  common  property  consists  in  hedge-nuts  and 
blackberries,  they  are  seldom  allowed  to  ripen. 

But  in  truth,  our  earth  produces  comparatively  little 
without  cultivation.  And  who  would  labour  to  make 
it  fruitful  unless  they  were  assured  of  being  allowed 
to  share  in  its  fruits  ?  What  husbandman  would  sow 
if  he  were  deprived  of  the  hope  that  he  should  also 
reap  ?  And  what  would  be  the  consequence  of  such 
an  order  of  things,  but  that  the  scanty  and  miser- 
able population  would  be  reduced  to  the  extremest 
want? 

II.  Without  the  institution  of  property,  the  fruits 
and  conveniences  of  industry,  which  are  so  essential 
to  the  improvement  of  the  species,  could  have  had  no 
existence.     The  division  of  labour,  which  has  tended 
to  elevate  man  as  a  moral  and  intellectual  being,  is 
but  one  of  these  fruits ;  and  yet,  how  many  comforts 
does  this  put  within  the  reach  of  the  poorest  inhabi- 
tant of  a  civilized  country.    The  accommodation  of 
those  in  the  lowest  ranks  of  life,  as  is  forcibly  ob- 
served by  Dr.  Adam  Smith,  is  the  product  of  the 
united  industry  of  many  people.     "  Without  the  as- 
sistance and  co-operation  of  many  thousands,  the 
very  meanest  person  in  a  civilized  country  could  not 
be  provided,  even  according  to  what  we  very  falsely 


804  Ftopmiy 

imagine  the  easy  and  sim|^e  manner  in  wluch  he  is 
oommonly  aocommodated.  Compared,  indeed,  with 
the  more  extnvagant  luxury  of  the  great,  his  aooom- 
modation  must,  no  doubt,  appear  extremely  simple  and 
easy ;  and  yet  it  may  be  true,  perhaps,  that  the  ac« 
commodation  of  an  European  Prmoe  does  not  always 
80  much  exceed  that  of  an  industrious  and  frugal 
peasant  as  the  accommodation  of  the  lattw  exceeds 
that  of  many  an  African  King,  the  absolute  master  of 
the  lives  and  liberties  often  thousand  naked  savages." 
If  there  had  been  no  appropriation  of  property,  all 
men  must  have  continued  to  till  the  ground,  that  they 
might  procure  a  scanty  and  insecure  subsistence :  there 
could  have  been  no  part  of  the  produce  of  the  earth 
reserved  for  mere  intellectual  labourers ;  and  thus  the 
poets,  philosophers,  and  legislators,  who  have  exalted 
our  common  nature,  would  not  have  had  the  oppor* 
tunity  of  transmitting  to  succeeding  generations  the 
lights  of  genius  and  of  science. 

These  are  thy  blessings.  Industry !  rough  power ! 
Whom  labour  still  attends,  and  sweat,  and  pain; 
Yet  the  kind  source  of  every  gentle  art, 

And  all  the  soft  civility  of  life. 

O  waste  of  time  !  till  Industry  approach'd 
And  rous'd  him  from  his  miserable  sloth ; 
His  faculties  uufolded;  pointed  out 
Where  lavish  nature  the  directing  hand 
Of  art  demanded ;  show'd  liim  how  to  raise 
His  feeble  force  by  the  mechanic  powem. 
To  dig  the  mineral  from  the  vaulted  earth. 
On  what  to  turn  the  piercing  rage  of  fire, 
On  what  the  torrent,  and  the  gathered  blast ; 
Gave  the  tall  ancient  forest  to  his  axe ; 
Taught  him  to  chip  the  wood  and  hew  the  stone, 
Till  by  degrees  the  finished  fabric  rose  ; 
Tore  from  his  limbs  the  bldod*ponut«d  fiir, 


Property.  mt^ 

And  wrapt  him  in  the  woolly  vestineiil  marm  ;<^- 

Nor  stopp'd  at  barren  bare  necessity ; 

But  still  advancing  bolder,  led  him  on 

To  pomp,  to  pleasure,  elegance,  and  grace  ;— 

Set  science,  wisdom,  glory  in  his  tiew, 

And  bade  him  be  the  lord  of  all  below. 

If  the  institiition  of  property  has  produced  e&cto  so 
numerous  and  valuable,  we  mmt  believe  that  its 
existence  is  owing,  not  to  casual  circumstances,  but 
to  th6  will  of  God ;  and  it  would,  therefore,  be  sun 
prising,  if,  in  a  revelation  of  his  will,  there  should  be 
no  mention  of  an  ordinance  so  ess^tial  to  the  laoral 
improvement  and  happiness  of  man.    Of  the  ten  com- 
mandments of  the  law,  one  has  an  ^dtisive  reference 
to  the  right  of  property ;  and  enjoins  the  duty  of  re- 
fraining from  appropriating  to  ourselves  the  {property 
of  OUT  neighbours.    From  other  parts  of  the  sacred 
Tolume  we  learn,  that  there  is  much  implied  in  the 
performance  of  this  duty, — ^that  we  are  bound  to  shun 
fraud  in  all  its  forms, — and  every  art  by  which  we 
might  injure  either  directly  or  indirectly  the  property 
of  others.    The  precept  obviously  prohilnts  the  de« 
tenti(Hi  in  whole  or  in  part  of  the  hire  of  the  labourer, 
the  acquisition  of  gain  by  base  and  unlawful  means, 
and  the  reception  of  bribes  in  the  discharge  of  im- 
portant trusts.     Among  the  ofiences  which  exclude 
from  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  the  unrepented  commis- 
sion of  injustice  in  relation  to  the  property  of  otbess 
is  enumerc^d :  ''  Know  ye  not  that  the  uwighteous 
shall  not  inherit  the  kingdom  of  Gkxl  V 

However  painfully  the  inequalities  arising  out  of 
the  institution  of  prq[>erty  m^  press  on  some  indivi- 
dualsi  there  are  d)vious  considerations,  besides  its 


996  Property^ 

being  the  declared  will  of  God,  to  induce  them  cheer- 
fully to  acquiesce,  and  steadfastly  to  practise  the  things 
that  are  ju9t  and  honest.  Though  they  have  nothing 
to  depend  on  but  their  industry,  while  many  around 
them  have  been  bom  to  fortunes,  they  surely  cannot  fare 
woree  than  if  these  fortunes  had  not  been  made  by  the 
savings  of  successive  generations.  Would  they  have 
been  better  fed  or  more  comfortably  clothed  if  man- 
kind had  possessed  all  things  in  common ; — and  if  in 
place  of  having  moved  onwards  to  the  habits  and  the 
accommodations  of  civilized  life,  they  had  continued 
to  nestle  in  the  cavern,  and  to  cover  themselves  in  the 
skins  of  animals  ?  Do  they  complain  that  they  have 
nothing,  while  others  by  their  superabundance  are 
elevated  above  manual  labour  ?  Let  them  remember 
that  but  for  the  institution  of  property,  and  that  con- 
sequent  inequality  of  circumstances  which  necessarily 
accompanies  it,  this  surplus  could  never  have  exist- 
ence ; — there  could,  therefore,  have  been  no  fund  for 
rewarding  industry ;  all  would  be  on  the  same  level 
of  penury  and  wretchedness ;  all  would  often  be  in 
want,  and  none  would  have  permanent  plenty ;  all 
would  be  poor,  and  none  could  possibly  become  rich. 
The  poorest  among  us  would  be  poorer  than  they  now 
are,  with  the  additional  inconvenience  of  finding  their 
industry  of  little  use  to  them,  while  all  around  them 
presented  a  scene  of  misery. 

The  children  of  the  poorest  parents  in  a  civilized 
country  are  bom  to  no  inconsiderable  inheritance ; — 
to  an  inheritance  of  far  greater  value  than  that  of  an 
African  Prince — the  absolute  master  of  the  lives  and 
liberties  of  ten  thousand  naked  savages.    How  si;- 


Property.  897 

perior  is  their  habitation,  their  food,  their  clothings 
and  their  attendance,  from  what  they  could  have  had 
if  the  rights  of  property  had  never  existed.  In  such  a 
country  as  our  own,  where  the  blessings  of  an  ele- 
mentary  education  are  within  the  reach  of  all,  and 
where  the  restrictions  on  trade  are  slender  and  few, 
every  naan  has  the  fair  prospect  of  obtaining,  as  the 
reward  of  his  industry,  a  sufficiency  for  himself  and 
his  family.  He  who  has  health  to  labour,  and  who 
has  the  opportunity  of  selling  his  labour  to  the  best 
advantage,  has  it  in  his  power  to  place  himself  above 
indigence.  Nor  will  it  be  doubted,  that  he  who 
obtains  this  blessing  as  the  reward  of  his  labour,  has 
much  greater  happiness  in  its  acquisition,  than  he 
whose  fortune  has  been  accumulated  by  others ; — so 
that  in  place  of  repining  at  what  he  might  otherwise 
regard  as  an  unequal  distribution  of  Providence,  he 
has  much  ground  for  thankfulness  that  the  preponde* 
ranee  of  substantial  enjoyment  is  so  decidedly  in  hi^ 
favour. 

The  duty  of  acting  with  honesty  towards  the  pro- 
perty of  others,  and  of  cultivating  a  contented  state  of 
mind,  may,  on  these  grounds  alone,  be  enforced.  But 
revelation  suggests  nuiny  other  views  to  reconcile  us 
to  the  practice  of  this  duty.  It  teaches  us  that  the 
providence  of  God,  which  ruleth  over  all,  makes  man 
the  special  object  of  its  care ;  that  He  who  feeds  the 
raven  when  he  cries,  and  clothes  with  beauty  the 
grass  of  the  field,  will  support  him  under  necessities 
and  distresses,  and  supply  the  means  for  their  re^ 
moval ;  and  that  the  trials  and  sufferings  of  the  pre- 
^nt  state  are  overruled,  for  promoting  his  real  and 


In  what  doei  the  Bight  of  Property  eonntt  ? 

eyerlaating  good.  It  teachei  us  to  lock  for  our  diirf 
happiness  to  higher  sources  of  enjoyment  than  this 
wadd  can  aflford;  while  it  presents  to  the  oontempla- 
tion  of  our  faith  a'new  heaven  and  a  new  earth, 
*'  where  there  shall  be  no  more  death,  neither  sorrow 
nor  trying,  neither  any  more  pain ;  the  fi3nner  thinga 
having  passed  away/' 


CHArasB  XIX. 

IN  WHAT  DOES  THE  RIGHT  OF  PROPERTY  fcONSIST  ? 

DiFPBKEHT  solutions  have  been  given  of  the 
In  what  does  the  right  of  property  consist? — and  they 
all  appear  to  contain  a  portion  of  truth.  That  prin- 
ciple, doubtless,  affords  the  just  solution  whidi  unites 
these  together,  and  to  which,  as  a  general  law,  they 
are  referrible. 

Some  moralists  are  of  opinion,  that  the  right  of 
property  consists  in  what  tnay  be  called  the  general 
consent  of  mankind ; — ^that  when  a  particular  person 
was  allowed  to  occupy  a  piece  of  grouiKl,  others,  by 
tacit  consent,  relinquished  their  right  to  it ; — tha  as 
the  piece  of  ground  belonged  to  mankind  collectively, 
they,  when  they  permitted  the  first  peaceable  occupier 
to  remain  on  it,  ceased  to  have  any  claim  on  it.  This 
opinion  resolves  itself  into  the  right  of  possession ;  a 
right,  which,  for  the  greater  part,  it  is  expedient  to 
consider  as  valid  in  a  civilized  country. 

Others  are  of  opinion,  and  of  this  number  is  Lod:e, 
that  each  man's  labour  is  his  own  exdusively :  that 


In  ukai  do»  the  Right  ofProperliff  comiftt 

by  oocupyiog  a  piece  of  ground,  a  man  inseparaUy 
mixes  his  labour  with  it ;  by  which  means  it  aftar* 
wards  becomes  his  own,  as  it  cannot  be  taken  £rom 
him  without  depriving  him,  at  the  same  tiaie»  of  some- 
thing which  is  indisputaUy  his.  To  distinguish  this 
right  froai  that  of  possession,  I  would  call  it  the  right 
of  labour.  This,  as  Paley  observes, .  is  a  fair  groimd» 
where  the  value  of  the  labour  bears  a  considemble 
proportion  to  the  value  of  the  thing ;  or,  where  the 
thing  derives  its  diief  use  and  value  from  the  labour. 
Thus,  game  and  fish,  thou^  they  be  common  whilst 
at  laige  in  the  woods  or  water,  instantly  become  the 
property  of  the  person  that  catches  them ;  because 
an  animal,  when  caught,  is  mudi  more  valuable  than 
when  at  liberty  ;  and  this  increase  of  value,  which  is 
inseparable  from,  and  makes  a  great  part  of,  the  whole 
value,  is  strictly  the  property  of  the  fowler  or  fish- 
erman,  being  the  produce  of  his  personal  labour. 

A  third  opinion  on  this  subject  is,  that  as  God  has 
provided  liberally  for  the  wants  of  all  his  creatures* 
he  has  given  leave  to  eadi  to  take  what  his  necessities 
may  require ;  and  that  by  virtue  of  this  grant  a  man 
may  appropriate  what  he  needs  without  asking  or 
waiting  for  the  consent  of  others.  This  opinion  is 
just  only  in  cases  in  which  the  things  that  I  want  are 
unappropriated.  For,  though  the  God  of  nature  has 
provided  an  ample  feast  for  all  his  chikiren,  I  caimot 
sit  down  and  eat,  if  it  has  been  already  appropriated 
before  I  come  into  the  world,  unless  I  can  offer  the 
possessors  what  they  will  consider  as  an  equivalent. 

Admitting  that  these  opinions  afforded  a  perfect 
solution  of  the  question,  **  In  what  is  the  right  of  pro- 


400        In  what  does  the  Right  of  Property  eondst  ? 

perty  founded  ?"  they  would  be  of  little  use  in  vindi- 
cating our  present  claims  of  property  in  land,  unless  it 
were  more  probable  than  it  is»  that  our  estates  were 
actually  acquired  at  first  in  some  of  the  ways  which 
these  accounts  suppose;  and  that  a  regular  regard 
had  been  paid  to  justice  in  every  succeeding  trans- 
mission  of  them  since*. 

Without  any  further  analysis  of  this  subject,  we  are 
prepared,  by  the  difierent  views  that  have  been  taken 
of  it,  to  give  our  assent  to  the  general  position,  that  all 
right  is  founded  on  the  will  of  God,  and  that  this  will, 
in  relation  to  property,  is  in  general  expressed  by  the 
law  of  the  land.  If  we  have  shewn  that  tlie  intentions 
of  God  with  regard  to  the  fruits  of  the  earth  could  not 
be  fulfilled  in  any  other  way  than  by  establishing  the 
right  of  property,  we  have  in  reality  shewn  that  it  is 
his  will  that  it  should  be  established ;  and  if  we  have 
succeeded  in  proving  that  the  eflforts  and  the  feelings 
to  which  property  gives  rise  are  essentially  connected 
with  the  progress  of  reason,  and  the  happiness  of  man- 
kind, there  can  be  no  doubt,  that  it  is  the  will  of  God 
that  this  right  should  be  universally  recognised. 

If  these  principles  be  just,  it  follows,  that  the  right 
to  an  estate  does  not  at  all  depend  on  the  manner  or 
justice  of  the  original  acquisition,  nor  upon  the  justice 
of  each  subsequent  change  of  possession.  The  law 
of  the  land,  which  is  the  ordinance  of  God  not  less 
than  the  institution  of  property,  must  be  regarded  as 
in  this  case  the  rule  of  right. 

*  See  Pale/8  Moral  Philofiophjr* 


401 


»  • 


Chapteb  XX. 

INDIRECT  MODES  IN  WHICH  THE  RIGHT  OF  PROPERTY  IS 
VIOLATED :  IDLENESS,  AND  PRODIGALITY. 

The  command  which  gives  to  every  one  an  exchwive 
right  to  that  property  which  is  his  own»  is  violated  in 
a  variety  of  ways ;  by  indirect  as  well  as  by  direct 
means* 

We  shall  begin  with  the  consideration  of  the  in 
direct  means  of  doing  injustice  to  others  in  their  pro- 
perty. Of  these,  idleness  presents  itself  foremost  to 
our  contemplation.  This  does  Jinjury  to  the  property 
of  others,  by  preventing  us  from  giving  them  their 
due  ;  and  it  does  injury  to  ourselves  and  to  the  mem- 
bers of  our  family,  by  depriving  them  of  the  comfort 
and  respectability  which  otherwise  they  would  enjoy. 
''  I  went  by  the  field  of  the  slothful/'  says  Solomon, 
''  and  by  the  vineyard  of  the  man  void  of  understand-* 
ing,  and  lo !  it  was  all  grown  over  with  thorns ; 
and  netdes  had  covered  the  face  thereof;  and  the 
stone  wall  thereof  was  broken  down.  Then  I  saw 
and  considered  it  well.  I  looked  upon  it,  and  re** 
ceived  instruction.  Yet  a  little  sleep,  a  little  slumber, 
a  little  folding  of  the  hands  to  sleep.  So  shall  thy 
poverty  come  as  one  that  traveUeth,  and  thy  want  as 
anarinedman." 

In  idleness  there  is  a  misimprovement.  of  time,  a 
waste  of  talents,  and  a  neglect  of  the  varied  advan-! 
tages  which  providence  puts  within  our  reach^  If 
industry  and  labour  be  the  source  of;  wealth,  do  we 

Vol.  II.  «  D 


4QS  Idleness  and  Prodigdity. 

not  inflict  an  injury  on  ourselves,  on  our  families,  and 
on  all  who  have  claims  upon  us,  when  we  yield  to 
indolence  ?    Slothfulness  castetb  into  a  deep  sleep ; 
and  an  idle  soul  shall  sufifer  hunger.     Besides  the  in- 
canvefniences  to  wMdi  he  subjects  himself  ^d  his 
dependants  in  their  scanty  food  and  clothing,  and  un- 
€oia^brtabk  lodging,  be  etposes  htmseif  to  many  temp- 
t4ti<»iB.    Without  supposing  him  to  yiald  to  the  tomp^ 
latiGii  of  patting  forth  his  hand  to  stMl,  he  will  be 
constantly  liable  to  do  so ;— and  being  withott  any 
usefid  engagement,  he  will  naturally  associate  with 
the  seditious  and  the  profligate.    He  might  learn  from 
the  inferior  animals  the  criminality  of  his  conduct  in 
mglectuig  the  improvement  of  the  trust  committed  td 
him*    ''  Go  to  the  ant  thou  sluggard;  consider  her 
ways,  and  be  wise:  which  having  no  guide,  over- 
seer, or  ruler,  provideth  her  meat  in  the  summer,  and 
gathereth  her  food  in  the  harvest.** 

The  evil  of  idleness,  and  the  duty  of  industry,  in 
the  disciples  of  Christ,  are  dearly  taught  in  the  New 
Testament.  "  For,  even  when  we  were  with  you," 
says  the  Apostle,  addressing  the  Thessalonians, ''  this 
we  commanded  you,  that  if  any  would  not  work, 
neither  should  he  eat»  For  we  hear  that  there  are 
some  whidi  walk  among  you  disorderly,  working  not 
at  all,  but  are  busybodies.  Now,  them  that  are 
such)  we  conmiand  and  exhort  by  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  that  with  quietness  they  work,  and  eat  their 
own  bread.""  Tlie  duty  of  niaking  provision  for  our- 
selves and  dependants,  by  an  industrious  prosecution 
of  our  calling,  is  repeatedly  enforced  by  the  same 
authority.     ^*  If  any  provide  not  for  his  own,  and 


especially  fer  those  oS  his  own  hoDse*  he  h^b  46Q|s4 
the  faith,  and  is  worse  than  an  infidel"  The  gqp^ 
works  and  ahns  deeds,  of  which  Porcaa  w£^s  full,  s^y) 
the  ooats  and  the  garments  which  she  had  ma/ie,  ax^ 
alluded  to  as  proofs  of  that  industry  whioh  was  oth^t 
mental  to  her  christian  profession*  Nor  does  any 
situation  in  life  exempt  us  from  the  oxwdae  of  thin 
habit :  ^'  Whatsoever  thy  hand  findeth  to  do,'  do  i^ 
with  thy  might."  The  habit  of  active  and  persevering 
industry  will  thus  be  formed,  and  will  lead  us»  almost 
without  effi)rt,  to  derive  our  happiness  from  th^  im* 
provement  of  our  talents  ;-f-from  the  redemption  of 
time  ;«-^from  the  usefulness  of  our  lives ; — and  froQ| 
the  extent  in  which  we  are  instrumental  in  acopm? 
plishing  the  beneficent  designs  of  Providence^  SMid  19 
doing  good  to  oth^s.  It  will  foster  that  spirit  of 
honourable  indep^dence  which  is  so  oHiducive  to 
ofxr  virtue  and  happiness,  and  which  id  sp  compatibly 
with  all  the  decorum  and  loveliness  of  christian  hu? 
mility. 

Prodigality  is  another  means  of  sinfully  wasting 
property.  It  is  somewhat  difficult  to  define,~rsinp9 
it  has  a  relation  to  the  circumstances  in  which  we 
are  placed,  and  to  our  capability  of  spending,  withr 
out  encroaching  on  the  rights  of  justice,  and  the 
duties  of  charity.  Mere  waste,  without  relation  to 
circumstances,  must  be  wrong  in  itself;  though  the 
criminality  is  doubtless  aggravated  whira  it  is  a  direct 
dissipation  of  that  to  which  our  femilies  are  entitled 
to  lode  for  comfort  and  respectability,  and  our  ere* 
ditors  for  payment  of  their  just  claims. 

A  man  may  be  termed  prodigal  when  he  is  incon- 

2D  9 


404  Idten^  and  Prodigality. 

diderate  and  injudicious  in  the  management  of  his 
afiairs ;  when  he  parts  with  his  property  without  a 
fair  equivalent ;  and  when  he  so  profusely  squanders 
what  is  his  own  that  he  soon  will  have  recouise  to 
what  belongs  to  others.  The  feelings  and  habits  in 
which  this  vice  takes  its  rise,  though  different  in  dif- 
ferent individuals,  are  such  as  ought  not  to  be  in- 
dulged. They  are  chiefly  vanity  and  pride  under 
Tark)U8  modifications,  awakening  the  love  of  display, 
and  the  desire  for  expensive  gratifications.  The  pro- 
digal having  entered  on  his  career  of  folly,  is  stimu- 
lated in  die  pursuit  by  competitors  alike  foolish  as 
himself,  who  are  are  all  eager  to  outstrip  each  other 
in  show,  in  extravagance,  in  the  idle  and  criminal 
consumption  of  property. 

What  are  the  consequences  to  which  this  vice  leads, 
and  in  which  it  usually  terminates?  There  is  of 
course  a  n^id  decline  of  property — a  recourse  to  all 
the  shifts  and  artifices  which  ingenuity  can  devise  to 
elude  creditors,  and  to  keep  up  appearances ;  till  at 
lengthy  when  the  evil  cannot  be  any  longer  postponed, 
ruin  spreads  itself  around.  This  ruin  is  not  confined 
to  the  prodigal  himself;  his  family  and  inmiediate 
dependants  share  it  with  him.  They  are  by  his 
tneans  precipitated  from  a  station  of  comfort  and 
respectability  to  a  state  of  indigence  and  obscurity. 
After  having  defrauded  tradesmen  of  their  property, 
by  withholding  from  them  payment  of  their  labour,  or 
their  goods, — after  having  borrowed  without  possess- 
ing the  power,  or  perhaps  the  intention  to  pay, — ^after 
having  injured,  if  not  involved  in  deep  calamity,  all 
tv^m  by  deceit  he  bad  induced  to  support  his  extra- 


IdieneBS  and  Prodigalxtjf.  405 

vaganoe^ — ^he  is  deserted  by  those  who  had  profited 
by  bis  criminality,  excluded  from  the  confidence  of 
society,  deprived  of  influence  and  usefulness,  and 
doomed  to  sufier  the  bitter  reflection,  that  he  has  been 
Pithless  to  his  stewardship,  and  has  brought  accumu- 
lated distresses  on  himself  and  on  others. 

In  this  situation,  and  even  before  he  had  reached 
it,  how  numerous  are  the  temptations  to  which  he  is 
exposed !  He  has  been  long  faithless  to  his  engage^ 
ments,  just  because  his  own  conduct  rendered  it 
impossible  for  him  to  fiilfil  them.  His  promises  which, 
at  first,  were  broken  with  self-crimination  have  been 
so  often  violated,  that  they  are  of  no  value  with  others, 
while  their  breach  scarcely  gives  pain  to  himself. 
He  now  has  recourse  to  direct  and  deliberate  false-^ 
hood,— to  obtain  by  deceit  and  swindling  what,  but. 
for  himself,  he  might  have  obtained  by  the  most 
honourable  means.  Detected,  repulsed,  desjHsed,— 
under  the  influence  of  painful  recollections,  of  mOTti- 
fied  pride»  and  almost  of  despair,  he  has  recourse  to 
strong  drink  for  relief  firom  his  distresses.  The 
repetition  of  the  stimulus  strengthens  the  habit, — 
till  at  length  the  career  is  completed  in  frequent 
drunkenness,  and  perhaps  terminated  in  self-destruc« 

tion. 

The  guilt  and  misery  cf  such  a  course  are  incal- 
culable. If  the  person  who  runs  it  has  been  bom  to 
affluence,  to  power,  and  to  be  the  instrument  of  puttii^ 
the  means  of  virtue  and  of  happiness  within  the  readi 
of  thousands,  how  much  has  he  lost  in  wasting,  in 
piodigality  and  profligacy,  the  important  talents  with 
which  Providence  had  intrusted  him  ?    Ebjoying  by 


4108  Idknesi  atiU  Prodiigality. 

» 

inheritttice,  peifaaps»  tbe  name  of  a  family  that  had 
weight  over  tbe  land,  and  the  possession  of  whidi 
placed  him  cxi  vantage  ground  far  above  his  fel* 
lows, — with  a  fortmie  adequate  tx)  sustain  it  in  stimu- 
lating industry,  in  relieving  distress,  in  patronising 
merit,  and  in  difilising  blessings, — ^he  has  crimiiudly 
thrown  away  his  superior  advantages,  has  destroyed 
tbe  respectability  with  wfaidi  tbe  honours  of  many 
generations  had  surrounded  him,  and  has  subjected 
himself,  m  the  state  into  which  he  has  fallen,  to  many 
mortifications.  In  the  oidinary  ranks  of  life,  the  evils 
Occasioned  by  continued  prodigality  are  fiu:  greater 
thaU)  without  a  minute  examination,  we  are  apt  to  be 
aware  of.  Besides  those  which  terminate  in  the  pro- 
digal himself,  he  becomes  the  source  of  misery  and 
disgrace  to  all  who  are  connected  with  him.  As  the 
head  of  a  fsunily,  he  has  brought  want  and  wretched- 
ness on  his  wife  and  children.  After  having  loc^ 
neglected  their  moral  and  religious  int^ests,  and 
fived  befi:^^  them  without  prayer  and  without  God ; 
after  having  allowed  his  offspring  (if  he  has  not 
directly  encouraged  them)  to  form  notions  and  habits, 
from  their  observmghis  profuse  expenditure,  which  are 
quite  unsuited  to  their  real  circumstances ;— they  are 
awakened  to  the  sad  survey  of  calamities  for  which 
their  previous  training  had  but  ill  prepared  them,  and 
Whidi  the  Vices  of  a  parent  have  heaped  upon  tfaenti. 
We  could  not  Ikil  of  forming  the  most  vivid  impress 
sion  of  the  odtou^ess  of  tiiese  vices,  did  we  person- 
dly  witness  the  "poverty  and  distress  which  follow,— 
a  mbther  whose  heart  has  been  already  broken,  sighing 
WW  miseries  which  fehe  feid  partly  fcweseen,  toot 


ldhm$  and  FrddigoMhf,  m 


wihidi  s}w  could  not  pi^veott — cbiktrisa  fibput  tp  {lepAt 
rate  uwder  dreumataaces  &r  diifaraot  from  thoe* 
which  th^  had  anikupnted ;  and  who^  li  tbay  mei4 
not  with  relief  in  the  compassion  of  friendsi  are  aeof 
Y0ry  hdipleasly  to  eocovot^  the  snares  and  temp- 
tatioQS  of  the  world. 


^^^m/^^-umm'mr'm^mm^'^'^ 


Chapter  XXI. 

omeCT  MJB?rHOD8  OP  INJUMNG  THE  PROPERTT  OF  OTHEM* 

iJUvii^o  said  so  ttudi  on  the  indirect  means  by  which 
property  is  injured,  and  the  obligatjx>ns  of  justice  w 
this  reaped  violated,  I  shall  now  proceed  to  the  coor 
aideratiop  of  the  dii^e^  flaethods  by  which,  in  this  way, 
w^  traiMsgress  the  law  of  Qod*  These,  though  nume^ 
rousy  are  reducible  to  two  head^ — Fraud  and  Oam^ 
bluag. 

It  is  -difficult  to  notice,  in  a  short  oompass,  th9 
varjkstts  ways  in  whieh,  by  fraudulent  practices,  W9 
may  ii^inre  the  property  of  others.  The  chief  of  the^i 
may  be  included  under  the  foUowiiig  p^^rticidar^,*^ 
trospass^-^taking  the  property  of  others  by  deceijt  and 
flwreprosentation<**-reoOTing  paymept  lor  servioea 
wbipb  ha^  not  been  readcred— contraction  <}ebt9 
without  perceiving  any  xaeans  of  paying  th«m. 

L  To  trespass  on  the  property  of  others  )s  obr 
viouBly  a  violation  of  Uie  <4>tigatiQP8  of  justice.  W# 
aw  tfhargpfihl^  with  thiao&noe  when  we  waJUc  tfaroi^ 


406  Direet  Method  of  injuring 

the  property,  of  others.  Delinqu^icies  of  this  nature 
are  ofiten  committed  among  the  crowded  population 
df  a  large  city,  sometimes  thoughtlessly,  but  always 
blameably. 

II.  The  taking  the  property  of  others  by  deceit  and 
misrepresentation  is  better  entitled  to  the  denomi^ 
nation  of  fraud,  and  is  a  much  more  extensive  system 
of  robbery.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  in  the  trans- 
actions of  commerce  any  thing  like  this  should  ever 
be  found, — and  that  one  of  the  most  effectual  means 
for  advancing  the  civilization  and  happiness  of  man 
should  be  so  oft^i  accompanied  with  the  exercise  of 
the  basest  passions  of  human  nature. 

The  price  of  any  thing,  whether  it  be  labour  or  the 
product  of  labour,  is  its  marketable  value ;  and  in 
selling  it  we  are  entitled  to  ask  an  equivalent  for  it  to 
the  amount  of  this  value,  whatever  it  may  be.    But 
We  cannot  without  injustice  attempt  to  get  more  by 
misrepresentation  and  concealment.     Should  we  im- 
pose, merely  because  the  person  we  deal  with  is 
incapable  of  detecting  and  exposing  the  cheat  that  is 
practised  on  him«  we  so  far  forfeit  the  characta  of 
honesty  by  violating  its  fundamental  principle.    We 
^d  falsehood  to  fraud  when  we  attempt  to  pasa  for 
sound  what  is  deteriorated.    This  is  a  crime  of  a 
nature  resembling  that  of  which  they  are  guilty  who 
traffic  in  base  coin.    It  is  aiming  by  deceit  to  take 
property  from  others  for  which  we  give  no  fidr  and 
adequate  equivalent.    Nor  is  there  a  more  aggra- 
vated species  of  this  crime  than  that  of  knowii^y 
using  fidse  weights  and  measures.    I  say  knowing^, 
for  it  is  possible  that  in  some  few  cases  this  injustice 


the  Property  of  others.  409 

may  be  committed  from  inattention ;  but  m  the  great 
majority  of  cases  it  is  done  from  design.  Than  this 
there  is  no  sin  more  characteristic  of  a  heart  utterly 
hardened,  as  it  so  materiaUy  affects  the  comforts  of 
those  who  have  little  more  than  the  necessaries  of  life* 
and  ftom  whose  little  pittance  it  is  the  extreme  of 
cruehy  and  inhumanity  to  abstract. 

There  is  a  fraud  often  practised  in  this  country, 
immoral  in  its  nature,  tendency,  and  consequences, 
which  many  do  not  reprobate  with  the  severity  which 
it  merits :  I  allude  to  smuggling.  The  delusion  which 
lulls  asleep  the  moral  feelings  of  multitudes  in  regard 
to  this  evil  is,  that  they  consider  it,  in  the  particular 
instances  which  fall  under  their  observation,  a  deduc- 
tion from  the  national  revenue  too  minute  to  claim 
attention;  not  recollecting,  that  were  the  practice  to 
become  general,  it  would  prove  the  destruction  of 
one  entire  branch  of  public  revenue ;  a  proportion- 
able increase  of  the  burden  upon  other  branctes ;  and 
the  ruin  of  all  fair  and  open  trade  in  the  artide  smug- 
gled. But  this  reasoning,  conclusive  as  it  is,  and  shew- 
ing it  to  be  the  imperious  duty  and  interest  of  every 
honest  man  and  good  subject  to  suppress  every  species 
of  illicit  traffic,  is  not  necessary  to  those  who  obey  the 
authority  of  revelation.  ''  For  this  cause  pay  ye  tri- 
bute also ;  for  they  are  God's  ministers,  attending 
continually  upon  this  very  thing.  Render,  therefinre, 
to  all  their  does :  tribute  to  whom  tribute  is  due ;  cus- 
tom to  whom  custom ;  fear  to  whom  fear ;  honour  to 
whom  honour*/' 

IIL  The  receiving  payment  for  services  contracted 

.  •  Ram*  €b«  ziib  7--*9;   :' 


410  Dkea  Method  0fi9^unng 

for,  but  which  in  reality  are  not  renckred,  i»  uolh^ 
gpecies  c(  fraud.  The  cues  which  come  under  this 
head  are  oum^ous, — extending  to  every  breach  of 
contract,  whether  in^ed  or  expressly  nu^le  When 
a  person  receives  a  eomnuaejoa  from  anoUMSTi  be  19 
feet  ^9gages  to  bestow  the  same  care,  attentU»,  and 
diligence  on  it,  as  if  it  were  his  own ; — aware  that  it 
was  en  this  condition  he  was  intrusted  with  it  This 
holds  true  of  the  domestic  servant  who  is  made  ac- 
quainted with  the  nature  <^the  service  esqpeeted  from 
Um,  and  which  he,  by  und^laking  it,  proDEasea  to 
rendec  Should  he  ijUeptkmally  fail*  he  leodivies 
wages  whidi  he  has  not  earned  cmd  is  guiky  (4 
ddiberate  fraud 

Hie  same  remark  is  appUcaUe  to  ageota  of  ev^ 
description, — ^to  all  who  are  in  situations  of  tru0t,«*4o 
tile  advocate  who  engines  to  (dead  the  cause  of  his 
djent,— to  the  medical  man  who  promisee  to  give  the 
fidl  advantage  of  his  dull  to  his  patisiit,— 4o  the 
teacher  who  undertakes  to  make  his  pupils  aoquainted 
with  certain  branches  of  knowledge,~4uid  above  all  to 
the  diristian  preacher  and  pastor,  who  is  expected  to 
be  under  the  u^Jueoce  of  the  most  elemted  motives, 
and  who  binds  himsdf  by  ties  4he  most  sacoedto  dis- 
charge faithfully  the  duties  of  his  high  vooatiw. 
These,  and  several  other  offices,  cannot,  fioai  theif 
very  nature,  and  from  the  confidence  which  tf  jxfoaed 
in  l^e  character  and  conduct  of  individttal  perfiona, 
be  performed,  in  onlinary  ctrcumatanoea,  by  deputy^ 
Who  would  intrust  his  business  to  an  agent  a:  a& 
adrocate,  or  his  health  to  a  phyisiciaa,  or  his  children 
to  a  teacher,  or  Inspfopevty  ^  reputation  to  tbe 


i^  Property  of  ^tkm.  .  ill 

arbhratitm  of  a  jiK^e»  wbo  emi^yed  others  to  per^ 
fytm  those  duties  for  which  they  receive  remunerar 
tion?  It  was  our  estimation  of  their  principies,  talents, 
and  integrity,  that  led  us  to  select  them ;  and  it  is 
only  on  the  understanding  that  they  give  us  the 
advantage  of  these  endowments  in  their  personal  ser« 
vioes,  that  we  solicit  the  diadiarge  of  their  lec^eotive 
offices,  and  pay  them  their  reward.  Sboidd  they  in 
this  vespect  ML  in  answering  our  eiqpectattons,  tbey 
are  chargeable  with  a  breadi  of  contract  not  less  than 
i£  Ihe  stipulation  had  beea  previously  committed  to 
writing,  and  are  guilty  of  the  fraud  of  receiving  pay^ 
ment  for  services  whidi  they  have  not  lendeied. 

It  is  no  answer  to  this  to  say,  that  if  the  senwea 
are  really  rendered,  though  it  should  foe  by  deputy, 
no  injury  is  done.  Heir  employers  gave  them  no 
discretionary  powM«  They  were  engaged  in  con- 
sideration of  their  character---oa  &e  understanding 
that  they  would  perform  the  duty  intrusted  to  then 
personally,  and  to  the  best  of  their  ability  and  jodg- 
metit,«*-and  they  are,  therefore,  not  at  liberty  to  «&<• 
diarge  it  in  any  other  way. 

I  am  aware  that  a  diffisrent  doctrine  is  held  in 
England,  practically  at  least,  regaiding  miaistOTi  of 
the  gospd.  Nan-resideooe  is  there  allowed  them, 
and  in  certain  cases  sanctioned  by  law.  I3ie  arga« 
meat  by  whidiit  is  attempted  to^fead  this  pradtioe 
18,  Ihat  the  officiating  curato  disdmrges^  efvery^duty 
wliudi  his  principaA,  were  he  present,  would  be  bomift 
to  discharge,  and  in  a  manner  iequa%  bendfik^ial  to 
the  paindi.  :Bttt  this  ucgomeM,  wen  ^bmgh  it  -weve 
valid  to  the  extent  aitteged,  wdd  cndy  be  urged  when 


41S  Direct  Method  of  injuring 

the  principal  is  absent  from  ill  health,  or  when  ren* 
dering  extraordinary  service  to  the  cause  of  religion ; 
in  all  other  cases  it  is  palpably  untenable. 

I  shall  answer  it  in  the  words  of  Paley :  ''  When  a 
man  draws  upon  this  fiind  (the  revenues  of  the  diuich) 
whose  studies  and  employments  bear .  no  relation  to 
the  object  of  it,  and  who  is  ho  further  a  minister  of  the 
christiisin  religion  than  as  a  cockade  makes  a  soldiers 
it  seems  a  misapplication  little  better  than  a  robbery. 
And  to  those  who  have  the  management  of  such  mat- 
ters I  submit  this  question,  whether  the  impoverish- 
ment of  the  fund,  by  converting  the  best  share  of 
it  into  annuities  for  the  gay  and  illiterate  youth  of 
great  families,  threatens  not  to  starve  and  stifle  the 
little  clerical  merit  that  is  left  among  us  V* 

But  though  in  our  church*  non-residence  is  not 
permitted,  may  it  not  be  feared  that  there  are  minis- 
ters within  its  pale  who  receive  remuneration  for 
services  which  are  carelessly  and  stintedly  per- 
formed ?  Even  on  the  principles  of  justice,  by  which 
they  are  bound  to  render  the  stipulated  equivalent 
for  what  they  receive,  are  they  found  guilty.  May 
the  number  who  are  influenced  to  a  zealous  dis- 
charge of  the  arduous  duties  of  their  holy  vocation 
by  purer  and  higher  motives  than  worldly  consider- 
ations, be  greatly  increased !  May  we  all  act  more 
in  the  spirit  of  the  exhortation ;  ''  Feed  the  flock 
of  God  which  is  among  you,  taking  the  oversight 
thereof,  not  by  constraint,  but  willingly ;  not  for  filthy 
lucre»  but  of  a  ready  mind ;  neither  as  being  lords  over 
God's  heritage,  but  being  ensamples  to  the  flock. 

*  ThoCliwcliof8eoaii4 


the  Prapertjf  of  others.  418 

And  when  the  chief  shq^herd  shall  appear,  ye  shall 
receive  a  crown  of  glory  that  fadeth  not  away*/* 

IV.  Another  species  of  fraud  is  the  contracting  of 
debts  without  perceiving  any  means  of  paying  them^ 
The  christian  rule  of  duty  on  this  head  is,  *'  Owe  no 
man  any  thing."  But  multitudes,  in  neglect  or  in  viola^ 
tion  of  this  rule,  involve  themselves  in  debts,  with- 
out duly  considering  whether  they  shall  possess  at  any 
future  period  the  means  of  discharging  them ;  and 
thus  take  from  others  that  property  for  which  they  may 
never  have  it  in  their  power  to  render  an  equivalent. 
It  is  no  sufficient  answer  to  this,  that  from  the  nature 
of  the  commercial  speculations  in  which  many  are 
engaged,  it  is  impossible  for  them  to  be  fully  ac- 
quainted with  their  own  circumstances.  For  that  man 
is  evidently  chargeable  with  dishonesty  who  buyt 
from  another,  and  becomes  his  debtor,  without  sudi 
grounds  as  would  satisfy  any  upright  and  reasonable 
person,  that  he  has  the  means  and  the  prospect  of 
being  able  to  pay.  Without  such  a  conviction  founded 
upon  good  grounds,  to  contract  debts  is  nothing  less 
than  to  defraud.  That  the  case  supposed  admits  of 
various  degrees  of  aggravation  is  conceded ;  but  iq 
all  its  varieties  it  is  directly  opposed  to  integrity  and 
justice. 

I  shall  say  nothing  here  of  the  crime  of  withholding 
a  part  of  our  property  from  our  creditors,  and  of 
attempting  to  discharge  our  debts  with  a  sum  far  less 
than  their  value ;  because  such  conduct  is  palpably 
and  grossly  iniquitous  and  unjust. 

I  shall  merely  add,  that  if  we  consult  the  quiet 

♦  1  Peter  ch.  v,  ^—4. 


414  OmMmg* 

of  our  ownioiiidif  tbecreditof  the  cteiatiaiiprafeMnoo* 
our  interest  and  usefulness  in  the  woiid^  wa  shidl 
study  to  owe  no  man  any  thing. 


Chj^ftxe  XXII* 

GAMBUNG. 


CUmbung  is  the  other  direct  method  by  whidi  we 
injure  the  property  of  others.  This  cherishes,  and 
calls  into  exercise,  the  desire  to  acquire  what  others 
possess,  and  thus  leads  to  the  violation  of  the  law  of 
Gkd*  There  are  but  two  possible  methods,  as  it  has 
been  remarked,  by  which  we  can  acquire  property  fiom 
ethers  honestly  ;*-<either  by  free  gift ;  or  by  rendering 
an  equivalent  for  what  we  receive.  In  gambling  it  is 
obtained  in  neither  of  these  ways.  The  gambler  may 
lay  his  account  with  losing  a  certain  sum,  but  not  with 
freely  giving  it  away  ;  and  the  only  equivalent  which 
he  obtains  is  the  chance,  as  it  is  called,  of  depriving 
another,  contrary  to  his  intention,  of  a  part  of  his 
property. 

There  is  sometimes  an  attempt  made  to  defend  this 
practice  on  the  score  of  amusement.  It  is  besides, 
alleged,  that  every  man*s  property  is  his  own,  and 
that  if  he  chooses  to  gratify  himself,  by  hazarding  it 
in  whole  or  in  part,  he  has  a  right  to  do  so.  The 
thief,  the  swindler,  the  robber  take  the  money  of 
others  without  their  consent ;  whereas,  the  gamble 
wins  it  with  the  consent  of  the  owner. 

To  this  it  may  be  replied,  that  no  amusement  is 


lawful  which  is  immoral  in  its  nature  and  tendency: 
Every  man  doubtless  has  an  exclusive  right  to  the  use 
of  his  property ;  but  every  man  also  is  a  steward,  and 
is  accountable  to  the  Lord  and  Proprietor  of  all  fi>r  tiie 
way  in  which  he  employs  it.  As  it  is  manifestly  the 
design  of  Ood  that  the  gifts  which  he  bestows  should 
be  expended  in  useful  and  beneficent  purposes,— -ill 
difiiisinghappiness, — and  in  accomplishingthe  greatest 
good  of  which,  from  the  means  we  possess,  we  are 
capable ; — we  are  not  at  liberty  to  appropriate  them  to 
other  ends,  or  foolishly  to  waste  them.  Good  men 
may  sometimes  be  mistaken,  and  lose  property  ill 
the  pursuit  of  ends  which  they  deem  useful  or  be- 
neficent, but  which  afterwards  appear  to  have  oc- 
casioned an  idle  and  profitless  waste ; — ^but  they  can- 
not deliberately  dispose  of  it  for  unworthy  purposes, 
and  far  less  for  encouraging  vice.  It  is,  indeed, 
charity  in  many  cases  to  give  alms  to  the  guilty, — 16 
those  who  have  reduced  themselves  to  veretchedness 
by  their  crimes ; — ^but  who  would  ever  lay  his  account 
with  losing  his  money,  from  the  desire  that  the  pro- 
fessed gambler  might  obtain  it  as  charity?  The  pro- 
fessed gambler  is  a  man  who  associates  with  the 
avowed  enemies  of  religion, — who  harbours  in  his 
bosom  the  very  basest  passions  of  human  nature, — 
and  is  generally,  if  not  always,  a  gross  and  continued 
sensualist.  Who  that  has  any  just  sense  of  the  ac- 
count he  must  render  of  the  use  of  all  that  providence 
intrusts  to  his  charge,  would  willingly  place  any  part 
of  his  property  at  the  disposal  of  such  a  character  as 
this? 

Besides,  it  is  not  true,  as  is  alleged,  that  the  gam- 


«I6  GigmbUni. 

bier  takes  the  property  of  another  with  the  consult  oi 
the  owner.  In  every  case,  at  least,  when  property  rf 
any  serious  amount  is  at  stake,  each  party  in  the 
game  designs  to  win  frcxn  his  antagonist,  and  not  to 
lose  his  own.  Nor  would  he  hazard  his  own  at  all, 
but  that  it  is  necessary  for  him  to  do  so,  in  order  to 
get  possession  of  that  which  is  not  his.  To  engage  in 
the  game  with  the  certain  knowledge  of  losing  is  con- 
duct with  which  no  sane  man  is,  or  can  be  diaige- 
able.  The  money  lost,  therefore,  is  lost  contrary  to 
the  wish,  the  design,  and  consequently  to  the  ccmsent 
of  the  persons  losing ;  while  the  winner  holds  it  by  no 
better  tenure,  according  to  the  laws  of  morality,  than 
the  thief  or  the  robber. 

The  gambler,  therefore,  is  guilty  of  a  direct  violation 
of  the  law  of  God,  in  plundering  the  property  of  others, 
and  reducing  them  to  poverty  and  wretchedness  ;  and 
proves  himself  by  such  conduct  to  be  void  of  piety, 
benevolence,  or  humanity.  He  is  a  source  of  evil  by 
his  example,  as  well  as  by  his  actions  ;  a  corrupter  of 
youth*  stealing  from  them  not  their  property  only,  but 
what  is  infinitely  more  valuable,  their  virtue  and  their 
happiness ;  and  doing  all  in  his  power  to  prevent  their 
retreat  from  the  road  that  inevitably  leads  to  present 
and  eternal  ruin. 

Gambling — to  what  extent  of  criminality  and  misery 
does  it  not  lead  its  votaries  ?  It  opens  up  a  way  into 
the  hearts  of  those  who  come  fully  within  its  influence 
to  the  fiends  of  hell  to  take  up  their  abode,  and  hurry  f 
them  along  to  crimes  of  darker  and  still  darker  hue, — to 
robbery  and  murder, — till  at  length  the  earthly  course 
of  guilt  is  ofijen  terminated  by  suicide,  and  the  libe- 


Gambling.  417 

rated  spirit,  utterly  depraved,  becomes  the  eternal 
associate  of  spirits  as  wretched  and  hopeless  in  de- 
pravity as  itself.  How  much  would  be  gained  to  the 
high  interests  of  man  were  this  source  of  moral  waste 
and  destruction,  which  has  turned  many  a  youth 
originally  generous  into  an  unfeeling  seducer,  a  cruel 
and  relentless  oppressor,  a  fraudulent  member  of  so- 
ciety, a  remorseless  assassin,  a  self-tormented  and 
miserable  suicide— entirely  removed  from  our  land, 
and  still  more  severely  denounced  by  the  strongest 
prohibitions  and  penalties  of  law  ? 

Here,  I  would  venture  to  make  a  remark  in  regard  to 
all  games  of  chance.  The  evil  of  card  and  dice  playing, 
and  similar  amusements,  does  not  fully  commence 
till  money  is  staked.  Then,  however  small  may  be 
the  sum,  it  is  gambling,  and  is  generally  productive  of 
the  evil  passions  to  which  gambling  gives  rise.  The  re- 
ligious community,  partly  from  the  conviction  of  its 
being  a  profitless  waste  of  time,  and  partly,  from  a  well 
founded  dread  of  the  habits  it  may  engender,  especially 
in  the  young,  and  the  consequences  to  which  such  ha- 
bits may  gradually  lead,  very  wisely  disallow  in  their 
families  all  such  amusements.  For  similar  reasons^ 
as  well  as  for  others  derived  from  considerations  of 
humanity,  and  of  their  responsibility  to  Ood  for  the 
disposal  of  their  time  and  talents,  they  disapprove 
of  horse-racing,  bull-baiting,  prize-fights,  and  all  such 
sources  of  attraction  to  the  idle,  the  dissipated,  and 
the  fraudulent.  To  those  who  have  the  wish  to  main- 
tain consistently  this  religious  character,  would  I  say 
in  the  language  of  the  Apostle,  "  Be  not  ye  partakers 

Vol.  II.  2  £ 


41$  Gambling. 

with  them.  For  ye  were  Bometime  darktiessp  but 
now  are  ye  light  in  the  Lord  ;  walk  as  the  children  of 
light ;  proving  what  is  acceptable  to  the  Lord.  And 
have  no  fellowship  with  the  unfruitful  works  of  dark- 
ness, but  rather  reprove  them/' 

L  The  importance  of  forming  industrious  and 
economical  habits.  Such  habits  are  closely  allied  to 
our  virtue,  usefiilness,  respectability  and  happiness. 
Among  whom  is  that  Gospel  which  is  the  power  of 
Ood  unto  salvation  chiefly  successful  in  making  its 
deep  and  saving  impression  ?  It  is  not  anuHig  the  idle 
and  the  profligate,  who  seldom  give  it  any  attention, 
and  n^nain  at  a  distance  from  its  spirit  and  its  oom* 
fort.  It  has  been  remarked  by  an  eminent  writer, 
that  of  all  the  thoroughly  idle  men  he  has  ever 
known,  only  one  appeared  to  have  been  converted ; 
and  from  the  era  of  his  conversion  he  became  indus* 
trious  and  diligent. 

Hence  the  duty  of  parents  to  train  up  their  diildren 
to  habits  of  industry  and  of  economy.  Should  they 
succeed  in  their  endeavours  to  form  such  habits  in  the 
little  ones  whom  Ood  has  intrusted  to  their  care,  they 
will  leave  them,  though  they  should  be  unable  to  give 
them  any  thing  else,  a  valuable  inheritance.  Let 
young  persons  improve  the  morning  of  their  days,  by 
forming  the  habit  of  doing  diligently  and  with  their 
might,  whatever  they  engage  in ;  and  of  deriving 
their  happiness,  not  ftom  competing  with  feds,  and 
in  rudtting  with  them  the  career  of  folly,  but  in  the 
fevour  of  GkxJ,  in  the  approbation  of  conscience,  in  the 
active  exertion  of  their  faculties,  and  in  punctual 


Gambling.  419 

attention  to  useCul  employment.  This  habit  will 
prove  96  serviceable  in  their  spiritual  as  in  their 
worldly  concerns  ;  and  they  will  thus  be  most  likely 
to  advance  to  true  honour  here,  and  to  the  enjoyment 
of  glory  and  happiness  hereafter. 

2.  From  the  observations  now  made  we  learn  the 
extent  of  true  morality.  The  christian  moralist  who 
often  inculcates  the  duties  of  religion — who  gives 
to  the  law  of  God  its  right  interpretation,  by  point- 
ing out  its  infinite  purity,  spirituality,  and  unalter- 
able authority,  is  objected  to  by  two  classes ; — by 
the  Antinomians  who  turn  the  grace  of  God  unto 
licentiousness;  and  by  those  who  rely  on  certain 
good  works  as  the  ground  of  acquittal  and  of  ac- 
ceptance before  God. 

But  the  first  of  these  classes  object  to  the  frequent 
inculcation  of  duty,  because  the  duty  does  not  suit  their 
habits,  their  hearts,  and  their  lives ; — because  they  are 
in  reality  strangers  to  the  spirit  and  the  power  of  that 
Gospel  to  which  they  profess  to  give  the  preference, 
but  which  has  been  ushered  into  our  world,  not  to 
destroy  the  law  but  to  fiilfil ; — ^and  because  they  are 
destitute  of  the  principle  of  love  to  God  and  man,  on 
which  every  enactment  of  the  law  is  founded.  The 
second  of  these  classes,  those  who  rely  on  certain 
good  works  for  acceptance  with  their  Maker,  object  to 
the  christian  teacher,  on  the  opposite  ground,  that 
he  dwells  too  much  on  the  peculiar  doctrines  of  the 
Gospel.  But  when  he  expounds  the  law,  and  shews 
how  essentially  difierent  it  is  from  the  heartless, 
varying,  hypocritical  morality  of  the  world,  he  is  not 


420  Gdmbling. 

less  than  before  the  object  of  censure.  He  id  now 
accused  of  being  too  strict— of  being  righteous  over- 
muchy — of  condemning  innocent  amusements — of 
teadxing  a  morose  system  of  morality. 


Chaptee  XXIII. 

ON  TRUTH  AND  VERACITY. 


Such  is  the  importance  of  truth  to  the  order,  the 
virtue,  and  the  happiness  of  tlie  universe,  that  one  of 
the  precepts  of  the  decalogue  is  a  prohibition  of  its 
violation.  ''  Thou  shalt  not  bear  false  witness 
against  thy  neighbour."  ,  Truth  signifies  an  accord- 
ance with  the  real  state  of  things,  whether  in  the 
natural  or  moral  world.  It  very  frequently,  as  in  the 
ninth  commandment,  denotes  veracity  in  speaking  the 
truth ;  and  also  fidelity  in  the  fulfilment  of  our  pro- 
mises and  contracts. 

The  great  importance  of  truth  to  us,  or,  of  our  being 
acquainted  with  the  real  state  of  things  in  the  natural, 
but  more  especially  in  the  moral  world,  is  sufficiently 
obvious.  Some  knowledge  of  the  laws  of  the  natural 
world  is  essential  to  the  existence  of  the  human  race ; 
and  the  collective  experience  of  mankind,  in  this  re- 
spect, is  an  invaluable  treasure  bequeathed  to  every 
fiucceeding  generation. 

But  truth  in  the  moral  world,  that  is,  our  knowing 
God  as  he  is,  in  his  nature,  character,  and  perfec- 
tions,— and  the  relations  which  we  bear  to  him  and  to 
each  other ,^ — our  knowing  the  actual  procedure  of  his 


On  Truth  and  Veracity.  421 

moral  government,  in  as  far  za  that  immediately  re*" 
lates  to  our  holiness  and  happiness,  is  so  necessary, 
that  there  can  be  no  foundation  of  virtue  and  no  true 
obedience  without  it.  It  is  this  only  that  forms  the 
means  of  sanctification,  of  comfort,  and  of  hope^  that 
enriches,  purifies,  and  saves  mankind ;  and  in  pro^- 
portion  as  the  glory  of  God,  and  the  salvation  and 
progressive  improvement  of  immortal  beings,  are 
valuable,  is  the  real  worth  of  moral  and  religious  truth. 
It  is  on  this  ground  that  they  only  are  blessed  who 
know  the  joyful  sound ;  that  the  Saviour  prays,  "  sane- 
tify  them  through  thy  truth,  thy  word  is  truth  •." 

Truth,  then,  is  essentially  necessary,  in  the  first 
place,  to  the  mutual  confidence  of  intelligent  beings. 
It  is  only  in  proportion  as  we  can  rely  on  the  veracity 
of  others  that  we  can  place  trust  in  them.  It  is  because 
there  cannot  be  a  suspicion  entertained  concerning  the 
truth  of  God,  that  is,  concerning  his  veracity,  that  he 
is  the  object  of  confidence  to  all  the  ends  of  the  earth. 
Could  a  doubt  be  admitted  as  to  the  truth  of  his  tes- 
timony, of  his  promises,  and  of  his  laws,  his  requi- 
sitions might,  from  fear  of  punishment,  be  complied 
with,  but  they  could  not  from  love  be  obeyed.  It  is 
truth  that  surrounds  his  government  with  glory  and 
majesty,  and  that  renders  his  character  the  subject 
of  delightful  contemplation  and  confidence.  It  is  be- 
cause he  is  a  God  of  truth,  and  without  iniquity,  that 
he  is  the  rock,  the  foundation  of  trust  to  the  universe, 
and  that  all  his  ways  are  judgment. 

Truth  is  requisite,  in  the  second  place,  to  the  virtue 
pr  holiness  of  intelligent  beings.    It  is  at  once  the 

*  John  x?ii.  17. 


422  On  Truth  and  Veracity. 

evidence  of  their  holiness,  and  the  means  of  its  pro- 
duction.  A  being  without  truth,  is  a  being  without 
virtue  and  respectability ;  corrupt  in  himsdf,  and  a 
isource  of  corruption  to  all  around  him.  It  is  by  truth 
only,  moral  and  religious,  that  man  is  enlightened, 
purified,  and  prepared  for  a  nobler  existence.  Il  is 
because  the  law  of  the  Lord  has  this  character  of  per- 
fection, that  it  has  eflScacy  to  convert  the  fioul.  It  is 
in  consequence  of  his  word  being  the  truth,  that  it 
forms  an  infallible  directory  to  our  faith  and  conduct, 
and  leads  to  the  practice  of  all  righteousness. 

Truth,  in  the  third  place,  is  necessary  to  the 
happiness  of  all  intelligent  creatures.  The  pleasures 
which  arise  from  its  discovery  are  pure  and  endless. 
There  are  pleasures  of  imagination,  doubtless,  be- 
cause he  who  has  formed  us  has,  in  infinite  goodness 
and  wisdom,  multiplied  the  sources  of  our  enjoyment ; 
but  even  such  pleasures,  without  material  detriment 
to  our  virtue  and  happiness,  must  not  spring  frcxn 
falsehood,  though  they  may  proceed  from  fiction. 
That  enjoyment  only  is  lasting  which  issues  from 
the  knowledge  of  truth,  and  especially  of  that  truth 
which  relates  to  the  character  and  government  of 
God,  to  the  mediation  of  the  Redeemer,  to  the  salva- 
tion of  man,  and  to  the  immortality  of  glory  and 
blessedness  which  the  Gospel  reveals.  Such  glorious 
themes,  so  immediately  allied  to  all  that  concerns  us 
as  sentient  and  accountable  creatures,  must  deeply 
interest,  purify,  and  convey  never-failing  gladness  to 
the  heart. 

Hence  the  importance  of  veracity.  It  is  by  com- 
munication chiefly  that  we  come  to  the  knowledge  of 


On  IVuth  and  Veracity.  4M 

truth.  It  ifi  very  much  by  the  experience  and  iii^ 
formation  of  others  that  our  faculties  are  dereloped 
and  improved ;  that  we  are  capable  in  any  measure 
of  interpreting  the  works  of  nature  and  providence ; 
that  we  know  any  thing  of  Him  that  made  us ;  and  of 
our  own  origin^  duties,  and  destiny.  How  dependent 
are  mankind  on  each  other's  veracity,  in  regard  to 
their  daily  transactions;  their  food,  dothing,  and 
medicine ;  their  education  and  instruction ;  theit 
tranquillity  and  happiness;  and  their  success  and 
ufie&dness !  Than  this  no  disposition,  no  duty,  can 
be  of  greater  importance  to  man  in  the  various 
stages  of  his  existence,  as  a  sentient,  intellectual, 
moral  and  religious  being;  and  no  crime  can  be 
greater  in  magnitude,  or  more  ruinous  in  its  conse- 
quences, than  its  violation.  The  enemy  of  all  good^ 
the  head  of  apostate  angels,  is  diaracterized  as  the 
vicdator  of  truth,  a  liar  and  the  father  of  lies.  Take 
away  veracity  from  the  universe,  and  yoa  annihilate 
love*  friendship,  virtue,  and  happiness;  and  with 
millions  of  beings,  the  whole  creation  becomes  an  in* 
supportable  solitude. 


Chapter  XXIV. 

ON  THE  NATURE  AND  OBUGATION  OF  A  PROMISE. 

It  has  been  truly  remarked,  that  **  it  is  a  prerogative 
of  man,  that  he  can  communicate  his  knowledge  of 
facts  by  testimony,  and  enter  into  engagements  by 
promise  or  contract.  Ood  has  given  him  these 
powers  by  a  jpart  of  his  constitution,  which  distin- 


4iM        On  the  Nature  and  Obligation  of  a  Promise. 

guishes  him  from  all  brute  animals.  And  whether 
they  are  original  powers,  or  resolvable  into  other 
original  powers,  it  is  evident  that  they  spring  up  in 
the  human  mind  at  an  early  period  of  life,  and  are 
found  in  every  individual  of  the  species,  whether 
savage  or  civilized. 

"  For  we  see  that  children,  as  soon  as  they  are  ca- 
pable  of  understanding  declarations  and  promises,  are 
led  by  their  constitution  to  rely  upon  them.  They  are 
no  less  led  by  their  constitution  .to  veracity  and  can- 
dour on  their  own  part.  Nor  do  they  ever  deviate  from 
this  road  of  truth  and  sincerity,  until  corrupted  by 
bad  example  and  company.  This  disposition  to  sin- 
cerity in  themselves,  and  to  give  credit  to  others, 
whether  we  call  it  instinct,  or  whatever  name  we 
give  it,  must  be  considered  as  the  effect  of  their  con- 
stitution*." The  question,  whether  the  disposition 
to  speak  truth,  and  to  give  credit  to  the  declarations  of 
others,  be  an  original  principle  in  the  human  mind, 
or,  merely  the  eSect  of  association  and  experience, 
I  do  not  consider  of  such  importance  as  to  merit  a 
particular  consideration. 

No  obligation  can  be  stronger  than  that  whidi 
attaches  to  the  fulfilment  of  a  declaration  or  promise  ; 
and  the  man  who  feels  not  its  force,  irrespective  of 
the  effect  which  a  character  for  fidelity,  or  the  opposite, 
will  have  on  his  rank  in  human  estimation,  is  already 
deeply  depraved.  We  are  led  by  the  constitiition  of 
our  nature  to  prefer  truth  to  falsehood,  and  sincerity  to 
deceit ;  nor  is  it  till  some  evil  affection  is  awakened 
and  some   pernicious  example  followed,  that  this 

•  Rcid'8  Works,  v.  ui.  p.  546. 


On  the  Nature  and  ObligaHon  of  a  Promiee.      *  4tfi 

order  is  inverted,  and  that  the  path  of  open  veracity 
and   honesty  is  relinquished.     At  a    more  mature 
period  of  life,  in  addition  to  the  testimony  of  con- 
science  concerning  the  obligations  of  truth  and  fide- 
lity, we  have  powerfid  motives  to  a,  sacred  observance 
of  them,  arising  from  views  of  utility.     The  authority 
of  God  on  this  subject  is  decisive :  ''  Lord,  who  shall 
abide  in  thy  tabernacle,  who  shall  dwell  in  thy  holy 
hill  ?  He  that  walketh  uprightly  and  worketh  righteous- 
ness, and  speaketh  the  truth  in  his  heart."   ''  Without 
are  murderers,  and  idolaters,  and  whosoever  lovdth 
and  maketh  a  lie."    ''  All  liars  shall  have  their  part  in 
the  lake   which  bumeth  with  fire  and  brimstone; 
which  is  the  second  death*."    "  When  an  individual, 
by  an  engagement,  has  transferred  to  his  neighbour 
one  of  the  gifts  which  God  had  bestowed  upon  him, 
the  latter  has  the  same  right  to  it  which  the  original 
proprietor  had  before  the  transfer ;  and  if  it  be  with- 
held from  him  he  has  the  same  right  to  use  force  for 
the  recovery  of  it  as  for  the  recovery  of  any  other 
article  of  his  property." 

Moralists  and  casuists  have  thought  it  necessary 
to  ascertain  the  sense  in  which  promises  are  to  be 
interpreted.  This  appears  to  me  to  be  a  superfluous 
task,  since  it  is  not  more  manifest  that  a  promise  is 
obligatory,  than  that  it  is  obligatory  in  the  sense  in 
which  the  promiser  knew,  at  the  time,  the  promisee 
received  it.  The  expectation  excited  by  the  pro- 
mise is  nothing  more  than  the  promiser  was  aware  of; 
and  to  this  extent  he  is  clearly  bound  to  fulfil  his 
word.    He  has  knowingly  and  voluntarily  conveyed 

4*  Rev.  xxii.  15.  xxt.  8.  t 


M6      .On  Mf  NiUure  and  (MigcUian  of  a  PrcmUek 

to  another  person  a  right  to  itt  performatioe>  which  he 
cannot  violate  without  injustice. 

*'  Temures,"  says  Paley,  in  illustration  of  this  posi- 
tion, **  promised  the  garris(»i  of  Sebastia,  that  if  they 
would  surrender,  no  blood  should  5$  shed.  The  garri* 
son  surrendered ;  and  Temures  buried  them  all  alive. 
Now  Temures  fulfilled  the  promise  in  one  sense* 
and  in  the  sense  too  in  which  he  intended  it  at  the 
time ;  but  not  in  the  sense  in  which  the  garriscm  of 
Sebastia  actually  received  it,  nor  in  the  sense  in 
which  Temures  himself  knew  that  the  garrison  re* 
oeived  it ;  which  last  sense  was  the  sense  in  which  he 
was  in  conscience  bound  to  have  performed  it*." 

If  we  knowingly  and  voluntarily  by  signs  merely, 
not  less  than  by  language,  awaken  expectation  in 
another,  that  is,  if  our  conduct  towards  any  person 
be  such  as  designedly  on  our  part  to  produce  a  natural 
expectation  on  his,  we  are  as  much  bound  by  the  laws 
of  morality  to  fulfil  this  expectation,  as  if  it  had  been 
excited  by  a  promise  in  words.     It  beoxnes  all, 
therefore,  as  they  value  their  own  peace  and  respecta- 
bility of  character,  and  more  especially  does  it  become 
those  of  a  warm  temperament,  an  ardent  and  generous 
disposition  of  mind,  to  deliberate,  to  weigh  well  the 
import  df  their  words,  before  making  a  promise,  lest 
they  be  led  by  surprise,  or  goodnature,  or  impor* 
tunity,  to  encourage  expectations  which,  without  doing 
injustice  to  themselves,  or  to  their  &milies,  or  to  the 
interests  of  the  community,  they  may  not  be  able  to 
fulfil.    When,  from  whatever  cause,  such  promises 
are  made,  we  find  ourselves  placed  in  trying  ciicum- 

*  M«td  Phil.  V.  i.  p^  isr. 


On  the'  Nature  and  Obligation  of  a  Promise.        ^ 

BtanceB, — ^trying  to  our  virtue  and  happiness;  atid 
though  the  result  may  not  impair  our  integrity,  it 
may  greatly  affect  the  estimation  in  which  we  are  held, 
and  consequendy  our  power  of  doing  good. 

Another  question  of  which  moralists  and  casuisttf 
have  thought  it  requisite  to  attempt  a  sdution  is,  In 
what  cases  are  promises  not  binding  ?  To  this  it  may 
briefly  be  replied,  that  man  is  morally  bound  to  Mfil 
hiB  engagements,  whether  the  person  to  whom  the  pro- 
mise was  made,  or  with  whom  the  contract  was  entered 
into,  has  any  power  to  enforce  the  fulfilment.    He  can 
only  be  released  from  his  obligation  by  a  physical 
incapabiUty  of  performing,  or  by  the  previous  unlaw- 
fulness of  the  stipulation  into  which  he  has  entered. 
He  may  and  he  ought  to  feel  the  sinfulness  of  having 
promised,  or  engaged  to  perform,  what  by  no  exertions 
on  his  part  he  can  possibly  accomplish  ;  but  he  can 
have  no  ground  for  moral  disapprobation  for  not  doing 
that  which  to  him  is  impossible.     If  he  Was  aware  of 
this  impossibility  at  the  time  that  he  made  the  engage- 
ment, he  is  very  criminal,  inasmuch  as  he  has  fraudu- 
lently awakened  expectations,  knowing  that  it  was 
beyond  his  power  to  gratify  them. 

If  it  be  impioral  in  us  to  perform  a  certain  action, 
it  cannot  be  lawful  for  us  to  do  it ;  and  consequently, 
we  are  not  bound  to  do  it,  merely  because  we  have 
entered  into  an  engagement  to  that  e£S9ct.  We  may, 
and  it  is  very  proper  that  we  should  suffer  from 
remorse,  for  having  promised  or  contracted  to  do  what 
was  in  itself  sinful  in  us  in  any  circumstances  to  per- 
form ;  but  we  can  feel  none  in  consequence  of  our 
non-perfonnance.    We  have  just  cause  to  regret  our 


4te       On  the  Nature  and  ObHgation  of  a  Promite. 

error ;  but  to  fulfil  our  engagement  couW  only  furnish 
an  additional  ground  of  self-condemnation.  The 
criminality  of  such  pnHnises  and  engagements  lies  in 
making  them;  the  sincerity  of  our  repentance  is 
proved  by  breaking  th«n. 

A  memorable  example  of  an  unlawful  promise  and 
oath  we  have  in  the  case  of  Herod.    He  promised  to 
his  daughter-in-law,  "  that  he  would  give  her  what- 
soever she  asked,  even  to  the  half  of  his  kingdom." 
There  was  nothing  exceptionable  in  the  terms  in  which 
Herod  made  this  promise.    It  is  presumed  that  he 
had  a  right  to  give  away  the  half  of  his  kingdom. 
But  he  could  have  none  to  take  away  the  lives  of  inno- 
cent human  beings.     So  far,  therefore,  from  being 
bound,  by  his  oath  to  comply  with  the  unlawful  de- 
mand  of  Herodias,  he  was  laid  under  the  strongest 
moral  obhgation,  for  the  reasons  already  assigned, 
to  resist  and  refuse  it. 

It  may  be  proper  here  to  remark,  that  a  promise 
or  engagement  may  be  highly  criminal,  from  the  time 
and  manner  in  which  it  was  made,  and  the  dispositions 
m  which  rt  originated,  and  yet  it  may  be  unlawful  to 
Dreak  it  Cases  of  this  nature,  it  is  presumed,  are  of 
rare  occurrence ;  but  as  the  question  involved  in  it 
was  thought  to  be  of  sufficient  importance  to  merit  a 
dissertauon  from  a  most  distinguished  casuist  of  a 
former  age.  it  is  meet  that  I  should  aUude  to  it 

"  A  certain  person,  in  the  lifetime  of  his  wife,  who 
was  then  sick,  had  paid  his  addresses,  and  promised 
marriage,  to  another  woman  ;-the  wife  died :  and 
toe  woman  demanded  performance  of  the  promise. 
The  man.  who.  it  seems,  had  changed  his  mind. 


On  the  Nature  and  ObUgaHon  of  d  Promise.       4fed 

either  felt  or  pretended  doubts  concerning  the  obli* 
gation  of  such  a  promise,  and  referred  his  case  to 
Bishop  Sanderson,  the  most  eminent  in  this  kind  of 
knowledge  of  his  time.  Bishop  Sanderson,  after 
writing  a  dissertation  on  the  question,  adjudged  the 
promise  to  be  void.  In  which,  however,  upon  our 
principles,  he  was  wrong ;  for  however  criminal  the 
affection  might  be,  which  induced  the  promise,  the 
performance,  when  it  was  demanded,  was  lawful*." 

Are  extorted  promises  binding?  They  are  so  in 
every  case  in  which  the  thing  promised  is  lawful, — 
that  is,  when  the  promise  is  of  that  nature  that  it  may 
be  performed  without  infringing  on  my  duty  to  God, 
to  my  neighbour,  or  to  myself.  If  the  extorted  pro- 
mise refers  to  what  is  in  itself  unlawful,  of  course  it 
ought  not  to  be  performed. 


Chaptek  XXV. 


ON  THE  DUTIES  OF  CONTRACT  WHICH  RELATE  TO  COMMER- 

CIAL  BARTER. 

A  CONTRACT  differs  from  a  prwnise,  in  its  being  the 
mutual  and  voluntary  engagement  of  two  parties,  in 
which  each  comes  under  an  obligation  to  the  other, 
and  each  reciprocally  acquires  a  right  to  what  is  pro- 
mised by  the  other. 

The  observations  made  in  the  former  chapter,  as  to 
the  sense  in  which  a  promise  is  to  be  interpreted,  and 
the  cases  in  which  promises  are  not  binding,  will 

*  Paley*8  Mor.  Phil.  v.  i.  p.  135. 


MO  On  the  Duttfi  of  CcnifWi 

be  found  gd&tf  ally  a|)plkable  to  ooi^ 


be^i 


ready  advanced  conGeroing  the  importaisoe  oi  veracity 
aod  fidelity  to  the  virtue,  industry,  and  happiness  of 


If  that  provision,  by  which  human  bdngs  are  enabled 
to  barter  what  they  do  not  want  for  a  commodity 
which  they  require,  be  infinitely  important  to  the  com- 
fort and  moral  improvement  of  the  race,  then  is  every 
act  of  infidelity  in  regard  to  commercial  bargains  a 
direct  attack  on  the  industry,  civilization,  and  happi- 
ness of  man.  The  individual  guilty  of  it,  not  only  sins 
against  God,  by  violating  an  explicit  cc»nmandment, 
but  does  what  in  him  lies  to  frustrate  the  ends  of  his 
government,  by  weakening  the  support  of  public  con- 
fidence, and  reducing  human  society  to  a  state  of 
anarchy,  idleness,  and  misery. 

He,  therefore,  who  does  not  honestly  use  his  best 
exertions  to  fulfil  the  engagements  he  has  entered 
into,  is  deserving  of  punishment.  From  the  difficulty 
of  distinguishing  between  mere  misfortune  and  frau- 
dulent insolvency,  it  sometimes  happens  that  the  inno- 
cent may  suffer  the  disgrace  due  to  the  guilty.  But 
this  is  an  evil  for  which  perhaps  in  this  world  there 
is  no  remedy.  If  infidelity  to  commercial  engage- 
ments be  a  crime  which  very  deeply  affects  the  most 
valuable  interests  of  mankind,  it  is  right  that,  like 
other  crimes  against  human  society,  it  should  be 
punished ;  though  the  general  infliction  of  punishment 
on  this  class  of  delinquents  may  in  some  very  rare 
instances  fall  on  individuals  who  ought  to  escape. 
The  great  facility  with  which  a  dishonest  man  may  in 


r$lai$  to  Oommereial  BwrUr.  101 

this  yfrvy  do£haud  othen  of  their  property,  and  by 
which  he  may  irrecoverably  alienate  it,  forms  m% 
additional  reason  why  a  severe  punishment  should  be 
affixed  to  the  ctime. 

*'  Any  alteration  in  the  laws,  which  eould  disttn-* 
guish  the  degrees  of  guilt,  or  convert  the  services  of 
the  insolvent  debtor  to  some  public  profit,  might  be  an 
improvement ;  but  any  considerable  mitigatioa  of 
their  rigour,  under  colour  of  relieving  the  poor,  wouid 
increase  their  hardships.  For  whatever  deprives  the 
creditor  of  his  power  of  coercion,  deprives  him  of  his 
security ;  and  as  this  must  add  greatly  to  the  difiicQlty 
of  obtaining  credit,  the  poor,  especially  the  lower  sott 
of  tradesmen,  are  the  first  who  would  sufier  by  sucb 
a  regulation.  An  advocate,  therefore,  for  the  interests 
of  this  important  class  of  the  community,  will  deem 
it  more  eligible,  that  one  out  of  a  thousand  should 
be  sent  to  gaol  by  his  creditors,  than  that  the  nine 
hundred  and  ninety*nine  should  be  straitened  and 
embarrassed,  and  many  of  them  lie  idle  by  the  want 
of  credit" 


Chaptke  XXVI. 

CONTRACT  RELATING  TO  PERSONAL  SERVICE. 

Tn«RB  is  a  species  of  contract  which  deserves  a  sepa- 
rate and  particular  notice,  on  account  of  the  associa- 
tions to  which  it  gives  rise,  and  the  duties  involved  in 
it, — ^I  mean  that  which  relates  to  personal  service.  In 
the  land  of  free  men  all  service  is  of  course  performed 


4HK  CofOraci  rdoHng  to  petsanal  Sendee. 

by  Yolantary  contract  There  is  a  bartering  of  time, 
and  liberty,  and  stipulated  labour,  f<^  maintenance 
and  a  pecuniary  recompense.  The  master  and  ser- 
vant become  morally  bound  to  discharge  to  each 
other  the  peculiar  offices  which  they  engaged  to  per- 

fiirm. 

While  in  every  case  the  master  is  bound  to  treat  his 
servants  with  justice  and  humanity,  their  treatment 
as  to  diet,  accommodation,  the  quantity  of  work  re- 
quired, and  general  indulgence,  must  be  regulated, 
somewhat  at  least,  by  custom.  This  much  is  implied 
in  the  contract  by  which  the  one  has  become  bound  to 
the  other.  But  on  no  account  are  they  at  liberty  to 
allow  immorality  and  irreligion  among  their  servants. 
On  the  contrary,  it  is  their  duty  to  use  the  power 
which  is  intrusted  to  them  for  the  moral  and  religious 
improvement  of  those  whom  Providence  has  placed 
so  near  them,  and  on  whose  fidelity  their  comfort  so 
greatly  depends.  Will  they  not  view  with  esteem 
and  moral  regard  persons  who  may  have  rendered 
them  more  than  they  stipulated  for^ — who  have  given 
them,  not  merely  a  faithful,  but  an  affectionate  ser- 
vice,—who  have  wept  for  their  distresses,  watched 
them  in  sickness,  and  rejoiced  in  their  prosperity? 
All  this  may  reasonably  be  expected  from  them  in 
consequence  of  the  operation  of  natural  affection,  and 
a  reverential  obedience  to  the  law  of  God ;  who  as- 
sures them  that  all,  whatever  be  the  rank  which  they 
hold  in  society,  stand  in  the  same  relation  to  him,  and 
that  the  offices  which  they  are  required  in  their  various 
spheres  to  perform,  are  to  be  regarded  as  done  to 
him.    "  Servants^be  obedient  to  them  which  are  your 


Contract  relating  to  pergonal  Serriee.  4i& 

masters  according  to  the  flesh,  widi  fear  and  tpeai- 
blmg ;  in  singleness  of  your  heart  as  unto  Christ ; 
not  with  eye-service,  as  men*{deaser8,  but  as  the  ser^^ 
vants  of  Christ,  doing  the  will  of  God  from  the  heart ; 
with  good  will  doing  service  as  to  the  Lord,  and  not 
to  men ;  knowing  thiU;  whatsoever  good  thing  any  man 
doeth,  the  same  shall  he  receive  of  the  Ziord,  whether 
he  be  bond  or  free  *." 

But  if  this  affectionate  and  dutiful  conduct  may 
reasonably  be  expected  from  our  domestics,  though 
not  expressed  in  the  ccHitract,  there  are  duties  also 
devolving  on  masters  which  are  not  discharged  when 
they  have  given  the  diet,  lodging,  and  pecuniary  re- 
compense for  which  they  stipulated.  These,  it  may 
not  be  very  easy  to  define ;  nor  is  it  necessary  to  those 
who  bear  in  mind  the  great  christian  rule  of  duty,  and 
who  make  it  their  study  to  act  upon  it.  ''All  things 
whatsoever  ye  would  that  men  should  do  to  you,  do 
ye  even  so  to  them."  They  are  like  us,  rational  and 
accountable  creatures,  who  stand  in  the  same  com- 
mon  relation  with  ourselves  to  the  Creator  and  moral 
governor  of  the  universe,  who  are  susceptible  of  the 
pleasures  and  pains  of  humanity,  and  who,  after  this 
fleeting  life  has  passed  away,  are  to  begin  an  immortal 
existence. 

We  owe  them,  then,  as  much  indulgence  as  is  com- 
patible  with  their  virtue,  and  our  reasonable  expect- 
ation  of  service  from  them ; — ^forgiveness  of  their 
imperfections,  remembering  our  own  frailty  and  lia- 
bility to  err ;— encouragement  when  it  is  obviously 
their  aim  to  please  us  ; — but  above  all,  we  owe  them 

Vol.  II.  9  P 


moral  and  rdUgkiiia  indtrUction,  and  snelt  an  example 
«a  Will  cheoish  and  not  chock  their  viriues.  '*  He  vAo, 
afiAF  living  under  the  liuiie  roof  with  us  lor  yean»  quits 
piif  dOOT  without  the  amiable  qualides  widi  vdiieh  he 
§mt  eatetod  iUHi-^efery  pun  wish  potUuled,  and  new 
MMts  of  li<M&tJiwene8S  fymtd,  while  aU  Haai^  xmaasA 
of  aarly  hahiti  is  a  littfo  remwse^  dtafc  m  booh  over* 
whelmed  in  the  turbulence  of  vulgar  diisipatioDr-* 
quite  us  poorer  aiidaa  a  mete  human  being,  farhMver 
kk  the  soale  of  dignity,  than  when,  with  cQl  his  (dbwa* 
Mh  ^iwkwtadoesa^  he  had  Tirtiies  wbkdi  it  has  been  our 
ni4ferbue«  or  rather  our  guiM,  to  destroy*/' 


UMJ 


Chapter  XXVll. 

ON  FALSEHOOa 


tsf  proportibn  to  Ae  importance  of  truth  to  the  confi- 
dence, virtue,  and  happiness  of  intelligent  beings,  is 
the  criminality  of  lying,  or  of  falsehood. 

A  lie  is  a  wilful  violation  of  the  truth,  or  a  false 
fledaration  of  facts  voluntarily  made.  Of  course,  he 
incurs  the  guik  of  falsehood,  who,  in  his  statement, 
intends  to  deceive,  though  in  the  end  his  dedaration 
fnay  be  found  accordant  with  truth ;  on  the  other 
hand,  he  must  be  considered  innocent,  who,  after 
impartial  examination,  states  what  he  believes  to  be 
true,  though  his  statement  should  turn  out  to  be  with- 

bulfoundation. 

« 

♦  For  a  fuUer  view  of  the  Duties  of  Masters  and  Scrvante7««f  Per- 
ional  and  Family  ReligioD,  chap,  iiu 


"#6  am  guiltgr  of  &lsehood  whea  we  raibly  d«cl«n 
vAmt  is  not  trae ;  though  oar  ignoraiiee  of  its  ftisoi 
hood  arises  fiom  sinful  inattmlioa.  We  ought  to 
have  had  a  deeper  impression  of  the  impcrtaaoe  of 
truth,  and  we  Should  have  given  the  ^nifa^ect  a  mace 
foil  investigation  before  we  had  ventured  to  aflbrm  aay 
iSiing  respecting  it  Our  erroneous  avennenls  may, 
in  their  consequences,  be  as  injurious  as  ddlbeiata 
fids^oods. 

We  are  also  chargealdie  with  lyir^  when,  with  ea 
intention  to  deceive,  we  profess  to  give  the  wlioto 
truth,  but  at  the  same  time  conceal  a  pEUtt  of  it.  Diat 
We  are  influenced  by  the  spirit,  ^kI  incur  the  guilt  of 
fidsehood,  in  this  case,  when  the  party  to  whom  the 
tommunicatian  is  made  has  a  right  to  know  the  whole, 
truth,  will  not  be  doubted.  Or,  even  though  the  peru 
son  to  whom  the  declaration  is  made  should  have  no 
moral  or  legal  ri^t  to  know  the  whole  truth,  if  we 
profess  to  give  the  whole,  we,  by  our  {Nrofeswxi^ 
biiid  ourselves  to  act  accordingly. 

Should  we,  in  our  declarations  or  narratives,  intpio^ 
tionally  misrepresent,  or,  though  our  misrapi^senia- 
tion  should  be  merely  the  effect  of  a  biassed  and  parr- 
tial  examination  of  the  facts,  we  are  justly  charges^ 
with  falsdiood.  Controversialists  and  historian  are^ 
in  this  way,  blameable,  when,  to  s»ve  a  purpose, 
they  give  such  a  view  of  facts,  and  decorated  with 
such  embellishments,  as  must  necessarily  c^vey  an 
erroneous  impression  to  the  mind  of  the  reader.  The 
criminality  incurred  by  such  conduct,  appears  to  me 
to  be  of  a  nature  more  aggravated  than  that  of  coaunon 
lying,  both  because  the  persons  to  wh6m  it  relates  aie 

SF  s 


48ft  On  Falsehood. 

veil  educated,  and  because  the  consequ^K^es  of  their 
miBrepresentation  are  geiieraUy  more  permanently  in- 
jurious to  the  Virtue  and  happiness  of  mankind. 

Finally,  thi6  breach  of  a  promise  or  engagement  is 
obviously  a  lie.  It  is  affirmed  by  a  popular  moralist^ 
on  good  grounds,  that  every  lie  is  a  breach  of  pro- 
mise ;  for  whoever  seriously  addresses  his  discourse 
to  another,  tacitly  promises  to  speak  the  truth,  be- 
cause he  knows  that  the  truth  is  expected.  To  make 
a  promise,  intending  not  to  fulfil  it,  is  a  falsehood  of 
a  coknplicated  and  aggravated  nature ;  and  under  the 
Boleolnity  of  an  oath,  indicates  the  deepest  depravity. 

I  do  not  think  it  necessary  here  particularly  to 
notice  what  have  been  called  pious  frauds,  or  the  doing 
of  evil  to  produce  good,  more  especially  to  subserve 
the  cause  of  religion.    Admitting  that  the  doing  of 
good  is  the  real  motive  of  the  persons  who  think  them- 
selves at  liberty  on  this  ground  to  deviate  from  moral 
lules,  an  Apostle  declares  that  they  are  liable  to  just 
and  awful  condemnation.     Who  has  given  them  a 
dispensation  to  depart  from  the  eterpal  laws  of  right 
and  wrong  ?  Even  granting  that  the  excellency  of  the 
end  in  view  could  palliate  the  sin  of  this  departure,  are 
they  quite  jcertain  that  their  motive  in  accomplishing 
ike  action  is  unexceptionable  ?    Is  it  not  possible,  is 
it  not  pflobable,  wherever  there  is  a  wish  to  do  evU, 
even  though  the  professed  design  should  be  to  glorify 
God^  that  the  wish  has  originated  in  an  evil  bias  of 
liie  heart  ?    Bu|;  ^supposing  the  good  which  is  realized 
to  be  equal  to  that  which  expectation  anticipated, — 
juid  supposing  that  this  good  is  productive  of  exten* 
juy^iiafipiness  to  mankind,  will  this  circumstance  do 


On  Falsehood.  4S7 

away  with  the  sin  of  direct  disobedience  to  Godt  fait 
for  creatures  shortsighted  and  dependent  as  we  are,  to 
venture  on  the  violation  of  his  laws,  firom  the  presump^ 
tuous  hope  of  producing  greater  good  by  their  viola- 
tion than  by  their  observance?  In  every  case  the 
transgression  of  his  law  is  sin,  and  the  wagea  of  sip 
is  death. 

Are  there  any  falsehoods  which  are  not  lies,  that  is^ 
which  are  not  criminal?  Mr.  Paley  answers  thiK 
(question  in  the  affirmative. 

I.  "  Where  no  one  is  deceived  ;  which  is  the  caw 
in  parables,  fables,  novels,  jests,  tales  to  create  mirth, 
ludicrous  embellishments  of  a  story,  where  the  declared 
design  of  the  speaker  is  not  to  inform,  but  to  divjsnrt ; 
compliments  in  the  subscription  of  a  letter,  a  servant's 
denying  his  master,  a  prisoner's  pleading '  not  guilty/ 
an  advocate  asserting  the  justice,  or  his  belief  of  the 
justice,  of  his  client's  cause.  In  such  instances,  no 
confidence  is  destroyed,  because  none  was  reposed ; 
Ho  promise  to  speak  the  truth  is  viola;ted,  because 
none  was  given,  or  miderstood  to  be  given." 

Of  the  greater  number  -of  cases  here  specified,  I 
would  say,  that  there  is  no  falsehood  eith^  im^died 
or  expressed ;  that  they  are  objects  of  imagination 
merely,  and  not  of  belief ;  and  that  when  they  ceasie 
to  hold  this  position,  and  are  addressed  to  the  intdlect 
as  realities,  they  are  no  longer  innocent. 

A  servant's  denying  his  master  ought  not  to  bis 
coupled  with  a  prisoner's  pleading  'not  guilty,'  or  an 
advocate's  asserting  the  justice  of  his  client's  cause ; 
because  the  former  cannot  by  any  rule  of  christian 
morality  be  justified,  were  it  for  nothing  else  than  the 


4li  On  Falsehood. 

comlpting  tendency  of  the  practice  in  quegtion :  while 
{he  lattef  cases  may  be  vindicated  on  the  ground  that 
no  man  is  obliged  to  criminate  himself,  and  tbat  the 
known  signification  of  his  pleading  'not  guilty/  is,  that 
he  does  not  acknowledge  himself  to  be  guilty.  Every 
man  under  the  imputation  of  crime,  whether  innocent 
or  guilty,  has  a  right,  in  this  country,  to  insist  upon 
being  tried  according  to  law :  in  pleading  *  not  guiity,' 
fae  simply  demands  this  right ;  and  his  innoc^ice  is 
to  be  presumed  until  the  contrary  is  proved  by  l^al 
evid^ice. 

However  difficult  it  may  be,  in  some  cases,  for  a 
conscientious  advocate  to  discharge  his  professional 
duties  without  impairing  his  moral  feelings,  or  de- 
parting, in  any  degree,  from  the  laws  of  morality,  tlie 
difficulty  is  not  insuperable.  If  every  man  be  entitled 
to  the  advantage  of  law,  and  if  no  man  ought  to  be 
condemned  but  by  legal  evidence,  he  discharges  a 
most  important  duty, — ^important  in  r^ard  to  our 
lives  and  liberties, — yvht  employs  his  talent  and 
acquirements  in  obtaining  kgal  justice  for  his  client. 
He  may  present  his  case  in  the  most  favourable  light 
of  which  it  is  capable,  without  any  vidation  of  truth. 

n.  Mr.  Paley  also  affirms,  that  "  falsehoods  are  not 
lies,  that  is,  are  not  criminal,  where  the  person  to 
whckn  you  speak  has  no  right  to  know  the  truth ;  or, 
more  properly,  when  little  or  no  inconvenience  results 
fybmthe  want  of  confidence.** 

But  has  not  every  man  to  whom  we  profess  to  com* 
municate  the  truth,  aright  to  know  it?  We  tacitly 
promise  to  speak  the  truth  to  every  person  whom  wc 
seriously  address ;  and  thus  we  give  him  a  rigirt  to 


On  Fahebood.  MO 

koow  it,  ia  so  far  as  we  profbBS,  or  lead  faiin  to  ber 
lieTe»  thai  we  mean  to  impart  to  him  the  desired  iiw 
fonnatixxu  We  are,  therefore,  not  at  liberty,  con* 
sittendy  with  justice,  to  use  any  stratagems  to  deceive 
SD  enemy,  which  are  opposed  to  any  promise  of  sint 
cerity,  mther  expressed  or  implied. 

The  other  &rm  in  which  this  rule  id  presented  is, 
if  possible,  still  more  ohjeotionable :  it  is  fiaunded  oo 
the  principle  of  expediency ;  and  allows,  or  rather 
authorizes  us,  to  utter  falsehoods  as  oflen  as  we  can 
induce  ourselves  to  believe  that  little  inconvenience 
will  result  from  the  want  of  confidence.  Can  we  con- 
ceive any  maxim  more  antiscriptural,  or  more  immoral 
in  its  tendency?  It  is  substituting  as  the  rule  of 
moral  conduct,  in  room  of  the  will  of  God,  our  own 
limited  and  partial  views  of  the  consequences  of  ad* 
tioas.  Will  not  human  beings,  in  applying  thiB  rule, 
think  as  much  of  the  eonvenienoe  whioh  the  £dsehood 
will  yield  to  themselves,  as  of  the  ixiccHivenieDce  whidi; 
will  r^ult  to  others  ?  Will  not  the  disadvantage  to 
others  diminish  in  their  estimation  in  proportion  to 
the  magnitude  of  the  advairtage  \Rdiich  the  uttering  of 
the  Msehood  will  bring  to  tiiemselves  ? 

'^  Bat  when  a  man  has  once  accustomed  hiaiself/'" 
as  Dr.  Dwight  reinarks,  "  to  vXX&t  falsdiood  so  long^ 
as  to  render  the  practice  familiar,  all  that  i^[^ehen- 
siveness  dl  guilt,  that  ready  susceptibility  of  alarm  at 
the  appearance  <^  erimmality,  wfaiqt  ccmstitotes  ^ 
(Mef  safety  <^  man  in  the  moment  of  temptation,  will; 
be  extinguished.  The  mind  vrill  be  no  longer  agitaded 
at  the  thou^  of  sin,  nor  awake  to  the  sense  of  dai^r. 
He,  who  has  uttered. the  first  falsehood  under  the' 


410  The  JEM(  of  Falsehood. 

influence  often  degrees  of  temptation,  will  as  readily 
utter  the  second  under  the  influence  of  eight ;  the 
third  of  six ;  the  fourth  of  four ;  the  fifth  of  two ;  and 
the  sixth  without  any  temptation  at  all.  The  ob- 
liquity of  his  judgment  will  now  prevent  him  from: 
discerning,  that  others  suffer  any  inconvenience  from 
his  conduct  In  this  manner,  any  man  living  biay 
easily  become,  in  a  short  time,  a  confirmed  liar." 


Chapter  XXVIII. 


THE  EVIL  OF  FALSEHOOD. 


Perhaps  lying,  when  it  has  become  a  habit,  may  be 
traced,  in  almost  every  instance,  to  an  error  of  educa- 
tion, arising  from  the  carelessness,  or  the  bad  ex- 
ample, (^parents  and  guardians.  How  often  do  they 
who  have  the  charge  of  young  children,  deceive  them 
by  making  promises  to  them  which  they  never  mean 
iseriously  to  perform,  and  by  uttering,  and  that  daily; 
direct  falsehoods,  with  the  view  of  persUadmg  thain; 
to  do  what  is  disagreeable  to  them !  Is  it  necessary 
that  they  shixild  take  medicine :  however  bitter  and 
unpalatable,  it  is  declared  to  be  sweet  and  pleasant. 
Is  it  wished  that  they  should  conduct  themselves  with 
quietness  and  propriety  before  strangers :  rewards  are 
promised  them  which  are  never  bestowed.  And  thus, 
firom  their  infancy,  are  they  accustomed  to  deceit  and 
felsehood  in  those  whom  they  love  and  revere-  Is  it  to 
be  wondered  at,  that,  in  the  sequel  of  their  liv?Si  they 


The  Evil  ofFtdsekood.  Ui 


should  imitate  an  example  by  which  th^  have 
taught  to  think  lightly  of  the  evil  of  falsehood  ? 

What  they  are  thus  taught  by  example^  they  ard 
often  tempted  to  do  by  fear  of  punishment.  There 
are  parents  who  iierer  correct  their  diildren  bui 
in  anger,  whose  punitive  discipline  is  conducted  iil 
fury,  and  who  think  that  they  discharge  their  dutjc 
when  they  have  visited  every  delinquency  With  a  se* 
vere  infliction.  To  escape  this  chastisement;  which  is 
so  indiscreetly  administered,  a  lie  is  told ;  another 
crime  is  conunitted;  and,  hv  the  same  reason,  the 
falsehood  is  repeated ;  till  by  the  repetition  of  the  act; 
the  habit  is  fully  formed;  and  the  child,  in  all  proba* 
bility,  advances  into  life  without  truths  and  without 
principle. 

The  temptations  to  the  violation  of  truth  are  nu-, 
merous, — as  numerous  as  are  the  temptations  to  dis- 
honesty and  fraud.  But,  perhaps,  there  is  not  a  more 
fertile  source  of  falsehood  than  party  spirit  and  con- 
tention. How  contrary  this  spirit  is  to  that  charity 
which  ''  rejoiceth  not  in  iniquity,  but  which  rejoiceth 
in  the  truth,"  is  shewn  by  the  misrepresentation  and 
calumny  which  are  so  eagerly  propagated  by  oppos- 
ing parties,  in  their  contention  for  victory.  How  care** 
fuUy ,  then,  should  we  guard  against  that  state  of  mind 
which  incapacitates  us  for  judging  with  fairness  and 
candour  of  the  conduct  of  others,  and  which  might 
incline  us  to  take  pleasure  in  circulating  reports  to 
their  disadvantage ! 

It  has  already  be^i  noticed,  that  in  proportion  as 
truth  is  of  importance  to  the  confidence,  virtuci  and 
happiness  of  mankind,  is  falsehood  criminal  and  in- 


Mi  JhfEmlof  FaUehooi. 

jnfiduft.  But  in  viewii^  it  arigfat*  we  omst  regasd  it 
as  evil  in  ittdf,  as  a  sin  against  Qod»  as  o|>po8ed  to 
tile  infinite  parity  and  rectitade  <^  fau  nature,  as  a 
diafaonour  to  Ms  perfections  and  diaiact^,  and  abso* 
lately,  and  in  aU  its  fimns,  forbidden  by  Hiol  The 
Scriptures  do  not  fiimish  the  d^htest  indulgence  to 
the  praotiee,  whatever  be  the  plea  uiged  in  its  justifi- 
cation.  On  the  contrary,  they  dedare,  that  whosoever 
lov^  and  maketh  a  lie,  ''shall  in  no  wise  enter  into 
(he  kingdom  of  God ;"  and  that  ''he  who  will  saveluB 
Kfer*  toy  tile  violation  of  trutii,  '*  shallloee  it;*'  and 
that  ^  he  who  shall  lose  his  life*'  for  the  sake  of  his 
adherence  to  truth, "  shall  find  it/* 

The  natural  and  necessary  consequences  of  folae- 
hood  are,  indeed,  such  as  shew  the  magnitude  of  dds 
crime  as  a  source  of  mischief  and  of  misery.    It  is  the 
parent  of  numerous  vices ;  the  chief  instrument  by 
which  plausible  but  unprincipled  men  subvert  the 
liberties  of  nations ;  and  the  means  by  whidi  op- 
pressors and  tyrants  rule  over  an  enslaved  peq)le. 
In  reviewing  the  history  of  the  world,  we  cannot  but 
remark,  that  falsehood  has  been  more  widely  nnnous 
to  the  interests  of  mankind  than  war  or  pestil^ice— 
tiiat  it  is  the  principal  obstacle  against  iniiich  the 
lovers  of  their  country  have  had  to  contend,  and  by 
which  they  have  often  been  deceived,  and  their  be- 
nevolent designs  frustrated ;— that  by  its  aid,  the  anti- 
diristian  power  gradually  arose,  and  at  length  esta- 
blished its  dominion  over  Christendom ; — ^and  that  it 
constitutes  the  greatest  impediment  over  the  world,  in 
the  various  forms  which  it  has  assumed,  to  the  pro- 
gress and  universal  difihsion  of  divine  truth. 


The  Eml  cfEodmiio^dL 

Hcfir  niiiKius  this  crime  ig  to  ti»  torapdral  aad 
cqpiritital  interests  of  individuals,  it  is  uimeoessary  io 
say.  Who  is  there  who  is  not  very  much  depmdeotiw 
his  l^ell-beitig  on  tiie  information  which  he  recetitev 
from  oth^ts ;— on  the  veracity  oS  his  agent,  in  what^ 
ever  way  be  employs  him  ;--on  the  diar^iotm  whidi  it 
giveti  of  the  servants  by  those  on  whose  alteatatida 
he  has  received  them  into  bis  family  ;--Hm  the  truth 
of  those  recommendations  <m  the  weight  of  whaoh  ha 
intrusts  his  health  and  life  to  a  physkian ; — the  i&« 
struetion  of  his  diildren  to  a  tutor  ;-^and  the  eomiirt 
and  edification  of  himself  and  his  £smiily  to  a  mimster 
of  religion  ?  Is  he  deceived  in  these  reiqpects  by  a  fidscr 
fhend  or  neighbour  ?  how  great  is  the  misdiief  whidi 
he  experiences  from  falsehood ! 

In  ord^  fiilly  to  trace  the  consequences  of  lyings  we 
must  view  them  as  they  affect  the  highest  interest  of 
men,  for  time  and  eternity.  It  is  by  this  means  that 
evil  spirits  effect  their  designs,  hostile  to  the  virtue 
and  happiness  of  mankind.  When  the  mind  is  filled 
with  fascinating  error,  truth  is  refused  an  entrance. 
If  by  truth  alone  the  soul  is  sanctified  and  saved,  how; 
melancholy  is  the  thought,  that  its  exclusion  is  accom- 
panied with  guilt,  and  followed  with  irretrievable  mi- 
sery !  "  If  our  gospel  be  hid,  it  is  hid  to  them  that 
are  lost:  in  whom  the  Ood  of  this  world  hath  blinded 
the  minds  of  them  which  believe  not,  lest  the  light  of 
the  glorious  gospel  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of 
God,  should  ^ne  unto  them.^ 

It  is  unnecessary  to  point  out,  at  any  length,  ffae 
effects  of  falsehood  on  the  temporal  and  eternal  in- 
terests of  4fae  individual  who  practises  it.    It  is  not 


441  I^  Eml  of  FaUehood. 

till  he  has  bbooihe  thoroughly  hardened  and  unprin* 
cipled,  that  he  is  freed  from  the  painful  remonstrances 
of  his  own  conscience ; — from  a  sense  of  the  degrading 
coDdition  into  which,  by  the  unanimous  voice  of  man* 
kind)  he  is  consigned  If  he  has  not  yet  proceeded 
thus  ftr^  and  is  not  known  and  shunned  as  a  liar,  he 
is,  at  least,  suffering  from  the  fear  of  detection;  and  it 
is  likely  that  he  may  conceive  it  necessary,  in  order 
to  shidd  him  firom  exposure,  to  tell  many  other  false* 
hoods.  The  farther  he  advances,  the  more  he  finds 
himself  involved  in  deceit ;  tiie  probability  is^  that  he 
wiU  ^continue  in  his  course  till  his  iniquity  is  brought 
to  lights  till  he  has  lost  all  credit  and  reputation ;  and 
it  is  wdl  if  he  does  not  still  piersevere  in  the  path  of 
destruction,  and  become  one  of  those  who  shall  here- 
after arise  to  shame  and  everlastiiig  contempt 


Chamer  XXIX. 

ON  SLANDER. 


The  next  species  of  falsehood  is  slander;  or  that  con- 
duct by  which  it  is  unjustly  attempted  to  lessen  and 
ruin  the  reputation  of  others. 

In  the  race  of  human  life,  it  often  happens  that  our 
passions  and  our  apparent  interests  would  lead  us  to 
detract  from  the  moral  and  intellectual  merits  of  a 
rival ;  and  even  when  we  are  restrained  by  principle 
and  conscience  from  the  arts  of  defamation,  there  may 
be  a  secret  satisfaction  felt  in  seeing  him  lowered  in 
public  estimation-    Tbero  is  no  situation  in  which  we 


i 


are  free  froin.  this  temptnUon  to  iojuBtk^*  boOftUM 
there  is  np  situation  in  which  the  feelings  of  niftttoQ 
and  envy  may  not  cerate;  and  in  yfhkih  W4  pmf 
not  see  pthers  of  our  own  ^nk  and  standipg*  fitt 
mor^  supcpssfui  and  prosperous  than  we.    There  ie» 
besides^  in  every  one  so  mudi  partiality  to  hiaiae}f« 
which  while  it  leads  him  tp  fix  his  view  chi^y  oi^ 
his  own  peirsonal  merits,  and  to  magnify  them  in  hia 
own  estimation,  prevents  him  from  suffici^tly  ac- 
knowledging the  worth,  and.  qualifications  of  pther?,  . 
Of  all  this  a  good  man  will  soon  be  satisfied,  fiPCHn 
his  own  experiesice ;   and  he  will  endeavow  to  gaaB[jl 
against  this  injustice  by  judging  pf  the  pretensiijHis  oi 
a  rival,  or  even  of  an  enemy,  as  he  would  haye  donei 
had  there  been  no  interference  bet]B7een  his  claims  ai)4 
theirs*     In  other  words,  he  will  endeavour  to  do  jus- 
tice to  their  merits ;  and  to  bring  himself  to  love  and 
honour  the  goodness  and  genius  which  have  eclipsed 
his  own.    Nor  will  he  retire  in  disgust  from  the  raoe, 
because  he  has  been  outstripped  by  others ;  but  will 
redouble  his  exertions  in  the  service  of  mankind :  re^ 
collecting  that  if  Providence  has  been  more  bountifiil 
to  others  than  to  him,  he  has  left  open  to  all  the  thea^ 
tre  of  virtue  ;  whence  the  merits  of  individuals  are 
determined,  not  by  their  actual  attainm^its,  but  by 
the  use  and  improvement  which  they  make  of  those 
advfmtages  which  their  situation  has  afibrded  them  *• 
When  we  are  tempted  to  depreciate  the  worth  and 
talents  of  others,  we  should  recollect,  that  we  not  gdIj 
do  injustice  to  our  fellow-creatures,  but  ofier  an  afiront 
to  Qod ;  and  that  in  allowing  ourselves  to  feel  a  secret 

•  St(irart*8  Outiimt. 


4ie  Oaaimdef. 


^\^^ 


H.    f,    y-  \l%   I 


sfioD  ill  thoBe  events  that  may  lower  their  repa- 
tation,  or  cticumscribe  their  usefolnees,  we  act  k 
opposition  to  <he  prinoipleg  of  truth  and  benoTolenoe. 
These  ia  no  mdividual  witti  whose  aitaatioa  are  not 
comifloted  some  duties  and  adrantages;  and  when,  in 
any  ease,  we  injimouBly  atteoipt  to  lessen  his  reputa- 
tion, we  aregoilty  of  an  act  of  baseness  and  injustice, 
ef  a  natnre  far  men  aggfatated  than  if  we  had  par- 
hmied  his  property. 

Who  would  not  fedl  alarmed  at  the  thought  of  in* 
earring  the  criminality  of  narrowing  the  usefulness,  and 
ef  dimimgAiing  the  happiness,  of  a  single  indiridoal, 
however  slender  his  tal^]^,  or  obscure  his  condition? 
Are  not  cur  own  iaflures  in  duty  sufficiently  numinous 
wittiout  implicaling  ourselves  in  the  responsibilities  of 
others?  Shall  we  degrade  our  common  nature  by 
peevishly  detracting  from  the  gifts  and  graces  with 
iAMsk  God  has  adorned  and  tfistinguished  any  of  his 
creatures  ?  Do  we  not  consult  our  own  happiness  by 
dierishing  that  charity  which  suflfereth  long  add  is 
kind,  whidi  envieth  not ;  which  vaunteth  not  itsdf, 
#hidi  is  not  puifed  up, — ^which  tiunkedi  no  eVil,  which 
rejoicedi  not  in  iniquity,  but  rejoiceth  in  the  trutht 

If  it  be  our  dirty  to  exercise  candour,  in  forming  an 
<jq[Hnion  of  the  diaracter  and  abilities  of  others,  it  is 
surely  meet  that  we  shouM  put  the  most  favoumble 
eonstiruction  on  their  intentions,  and  allude  with 
charitable  feeling  to  their  motives.  These  are  so  far 
removed  from  our  observation,  that  we  can  only  asoer* 
tain  their  nature  from  their  elfects ;  and  even  here  we 
are  so  tiable  to  mistake,  that  we  are  bound  to  speak 
of  them  under  the  impression  that  the  heart  is  known 


16  Qod  abfie.  We  ought  to  do  so,  becaitte  it  it  pro* 
bable,  from  many  confiidemtioii8,  that  the  iatentims^ 
eren  in  cases  aj^arently  doubtful,  may  be  food^  or, 
at  leasts  not  ao  bad  as  we  might  iaoi^iie.  When  we 
siabeadiie  allowance  for  a  &lae  oonoc^on  of  fitfta ; 
fior  profudices  formed  through  the  infiuenoe  of  pnfaal* 
ii^  fashioDs;  for  habits  insensibly  contracted  in  eaily 
years,  and  whidi  it  is  so  difficult  wholly  to  fdinqutsh 
at  a  subsequent  period  of  life ;  we  slnil  find  that  ^e 
motivea  of  others  are  not  so  blameworthy,  SEt  least, 
generally,  as  we  are  apt  to  suppose. 

Admitting,  however,  that  they  are  bad,  and  that 
th^  proceed  bom  malice^  it  beton^  to  Him  whose 
prerogative  it  is  to  judge  the  heart,  to  dedara  that 
they  are  so.    We  moTe  out  of  our  sphere,  when  we 
presume  to  meddle  with  ihe  peculiar  province  of  the 
Almighty :  nor  can  we  be  guilty  of  injustice  in  this 
way  to  others,  without  diminishing  the  sum  of  our 
own  enjoyment.    There  is  not  a  more  unequivocal 
mark  of  our  being  under  the  infiuence  of  improper 
feelings  ourselves,  than  a  dispositicxi  to  attribute  bad 
designs  to  others ;  smd  there  c^ainly  can  be  no  state 
of  mind  less  amiable  in  itsdf,  or  more  unfavouraUe 
to  tranquillity  and  happiness.    It  becomes  us  to  guard 
against  its  indulgence,  not  only  as  it  leads  us  to  vio-* 
late  a  duty  which  we  owe  to  our  neighbour,  but  as  it 
debases  our  own  feelings,  and  injures  our  own  peace. 
**  Why  dost  thou  judge  thy  brother?  Or  why  dost 
thou  set  at  nought  thy  broths  ?  We  shall  all  stand 
before  the  judgment^«eat  of  Christ.     So,  then,  every 
one  of  us  shall  give  an  account  of  himself  to  Qod.  Let 
us  not  therefore  judge  one  another  any  more ;  but 


jud^  ithis  raifaeir,  that  no  man  pat  a  stumbUng-blod: 
pr  an  pQcapion  to  fall,  in  his  brother's  way.'' 

Wfs  are  chargwble  with  slaniter  when  we  fabricate 
lljea  pf  ialsphood  to  lessen,  and,  if  possible,  to  de- 
stroys thg  reputation  of  others,  or  when  we  take 
pl^asiioe  in  rehearsing  such  tales,  though  we  are  not 
^^  ^thors.    Those  who  put  mich  tales  into  circu- 
IfllMfiL  may  be  much  Toore  blamable  than  the  in- 
yeQtorp,  jinasmuch  as  they  lend  them  the  weight  of 
^eir  diaracter  and  influence.     They  are  not  the 
forgers ;  but  they  are  the  persons  who  give  the  for- 
g^rie^  currency,  and  without  whose  instrumentality 
they  would  remain  innoxious.     Their  motive  is  often 
malicious  ;  proqeeding  from  a  disposition  to  interfere 
in  tl^  CQpoems  of  others ;  pr,  from  the  wish  to  lower 
them  beneath  their  accustomed  level,  that  they  them- 
sdves  xnay  rise  in  the  same  proportion.   What  conduct 
can  be  more  base^  more  expressive  .of  depravity  of 
heart,  or  more  ruinous  to  the  peace  of  society  ?  They 
are  accordingly  ranked  in  Scripture  with  the  most 
criminal  of  mankind.     ''  Thou  shalt  not  go  up  and 
down  as  a  tale-bearer  among  thy  peoidle ;  neither 
shalt  thou  stand  against  the  blood  of  thy  neighbour*." 
"  Let  none  pf  you  suffer  as  a  murderer,  or  as  a  thief, 
or  as  an  evil  doer,  or  as  a  busybody  in  other  men's 
matters  f." 

Nor  is  the  criminality  of  the  slanderer  diminished 
by  the  circumstance,  that  the  tale  put  into  circulation 
is  true.  His  guilt  may  be  just  as  great  as  if  it  were 
false ;  his  motive  is  not  less  base  ;  and  his  conduct 
in  its  consequences  may  be  more  mischievous.     Who 

•  Lcv.xix.  16.  1 1  Pet.  i7. 15. 


On  Slander.  449 

has  giren  me  a  title  to  publish  to  the  world  that  failing 
of  my  neighbour  which  I  alone  have  discovered  ?  The 
disclosure  of  it  may  impair  his  usefulness  and  happi^ 
ness  for  life;  while  its  concealment  could  have  in« 
Jured  no  one ;  and  his  activity  and  talents,  exerted 
under  the  purifying  influence  of  repentance,  might  be 
employed  with  greater  benefit  to  mankind.  I  become 
the  instrument  of  ruin  to  him  and  to  his  family,  c^ 
sorrow  to  his  friends  and  connexions ;  and  I  ac- 

« 

complish  this  without  necessity,  without  subserving 
any  end  of  justice  or  of  benevolence,  without  profit 
to  myself,  and  without  any  pleasure  but  that  of  a 
deeply  depraved  heart. 

We  become  accessory  to  the  crime  of  the  slanderer 
when  we  patiently  listen  to  him.  Did  we  habitually 
repel  with  indignation  the  first  whisper  unfavourable 
to  the  reputation  of  our  neighbour,  we  should  at  once 
deserve  and  obtain  the  gratitude  of  the  person  whose 
character  we  vindicated,  and  arrest  the  progress  of 
the  slanderer.  But  mankind  too  generally  seem  to 
feel  a  secret  satis&ction  in  listening  to  the  recital  of 
what  is  censurable  in  their  fellow-creatures ;  as  if 
their  self-approbation  rose  in  proportion  as  others* 
were  made  to  fall ;  or,  as  if  that  censorious  spirit 
which  is  so  natural  to  ihem  was  regaled  by  an  account 
of  the  real  or  imputed  failings  of  the  species.  Thus 
encouragement  is  given  to  the  destroyers  of  character 
and  reputation,  and  to  the  producers  of  suspicion  and 
discord  among  mankind. 

The  object  of  the  slanderer  is  the  destruction,  not 
of  property,  nor  of  life,  but  what  is  far  dearer  and 
more  valuable  than  either ; — character  and  reputation. 

Vol.  II.  2  O 


/ 


450  Oh  Slander. 

Our  reputation  is  high  or  low,  aooording  to  the  place 
which  we  hold  in  human  estimation.  It  altog^her 
restfi  on  the  good  opinion  and  aflfections  of  others.  It 
is  justly  more  precious  to  every  man  than  silver  and 
gold,  and  as  a  source  of  enjoyment,  second  only  to 
the  approbation  of  conscience*  To  be  beloved  by 
others,  and  to  feel  that  we  are  not  unworthy  of  being 
thus  beloved,  are  diief  elements  in  the  happiness  of 
man.  But  it  is  the  object  of  the  slanderer,  and  the 
direct  tendency  of  his  conduct,  to  deprive  us  of  this 
happiness. 

Our  character  also,  for  trustworthiness,  depends 
upon  the  good  opinion  of  others.  Without  this  charac- 
ter, the  great  majority  of  persms  could  not  procure  a 
subsistence.  It  is  necessary  in  aU  the  offices  of 
human  life,  and  in  all  the  departments  of  the  business 
of  this  world  It  must  therefore  be  dear  to  every  man 
whose  means  of  living  and  of  supporting  himself  and 
his  &mily,  almost  ^itirely  rest  on  his  reputation  for 
honesty  and  integrity.  Deprive  him  of  this  reputation, 
that  is,  succeed  in  making  the  world  believe  that  he  is 
void  of  principle,  and  unworthy  of  confidence,  and 
you  take  bread,  comfort,  and  respectability  from 
himself  and  his  dependents.  But  is  it  not  the  object 
of  the  slanderer — ^at  least,  is  it  not  the  tendency,  and 
may  it  not  be  the  eflTect  of  his  most  criminal  practice, 
to  accomplish  this  ? 

Further ;  our  chief  instrument  for  usefulness  in  the 
world,  is  the  hold  which  we  have  upon  the  good 
opinions  and  affections  of  our  fdlow-creatures.  It  is 
just  in  proportion  to  the  estimation  in  which  they 
hold  us,  that  we  have  power  to  influence  others,  and 


Ml.jSfciikfa^  ilMl 


to  fi^vaaoa  the  teuiponl  itikl  etenial  ioUiMto  ()f  miA; 
Deprive  any  individual  of  this  moral  fttren^^  aa^ 
what  good  can  hie  achieve ?  InthemidBtofcrowdthe 
k  solitary ;  no  man  regards  hitn ;  and  it  maif  eiom 
prove  a  hinderanee  to  what  is  hi^y  beneficial,  thai  k 
Was  he  who  first  proposed  it.  To  be  lodoosd  talWt 
boodition  is  indeed  a  most  grievous  calamity*.  J£lbm 
cshief  design  of  man  during  Ids  residence  on  eaitii*  B 
to  ^orify  Gkxl^  by  suggesting  and  countenancing  deedtf 
of  benevolence  and  patriotisnh  ftnd  by  doing  gdbd  t6 
the  extent  df  his  opportunity  ^ — and,  if  in  the  exerdati  «f 
this  power  he  experiences  pure  atid  pte^tual  oijc^i* 
m€«it|~what  ii  the  wickedness^  sUid  what  the  alOu^ 
nality,  of  the  person  who  Succeeds  in  whole  oar  m  part 
in  frustrating  this  design  of  the  Creator,  and  in  d^ 
staroying  the  means  which  would  have  increased  tiie 
tirtue  and  liappiness  of  mankind  ? 

Our  reputation  also  is  in  many  eases  an  usefid  vhv 
stndnt  upon  us.    I  do  not  say  that  in  the  absdnce  <£ 
every  better  motive,  the  conduct  and  actions  prd«^ 
ceeding  from  this,  are  entitled  to  the  name  of  tirtudL 
But  if  character  be  an  ihstrutnent  by  which  we  osaj 
glorify  God,  and  increase  the  happiness  of  mkOg  it 
must  be  lawful  to  desire  it,  to  guard  against  the  loss 
of  it  when  acquired,  and,  in  certain  circumstances,  to 
refrain  from  things  which  in  themselves  are  neither 
moraQy  good  or  evil,  merely  from  regard  to  our  repu- 
tation.   In  very  many  cases,  mankind  are  restrained 
from  doing  what  is  bad,  and  encouraged  in  the  per- 
fiNrmante  of  what  is  good,  by  a  concehi  for  their  repu* 
tation.    It  is  the  object  of  the  8Umle»r  to  remover 
this  rtistraint^  to  take  away  this  stimulw,  and  to  lAfftf 

SOS 


'4m  OnSld^idef. 

the  evil  paBi^B  of  his  felloWB  wider  scope  in  the 
pioductioD  of  sin  and  misery. 

The  mischief  which  he  produces  is  great,  in  pro- 
povtton  to  the  respectability,  the  usefulness^  and  the 
eounenoe  of  the  persons  whom  he  attadcs.  Are 
they  ministers  of  the  gospel,  whose  influence  chie&y 
rests  on  their  personal  reputation  and  character? 
What  a  barrier  may  he  be  inMrumental  in  raising  up, 
to  render  inefficient  all  efforts  to  win  and  save  souls. 
Are  they  magistrates  wh(Nn  he  attacks,  whose  cba- 
iacter  should  be  unsullied,  and  a  great  pait  of  whose 
usefobiess  rests  on  the  estimation  in  whidi  they  are 
hM?  Then  the  slander  is  the  means  of  producing 
greater  misdiirf  than  he  can  be  aware  of,  till  he 
appear  before  the  tribunal  of  the  eternal  Judge. 

Finally,  the  slanderer  is  under  the  frown,  and  ex- 
posed to  the  indignation  of  Almighty  God.  ''  Lord 
yAid  shall  abide  in  thy  tabernacle  ?  Who  shall  dwell 
in  thy  holy  hill  ?  He  that  walketh  uprightly,  and  work- 
eth  |i|^iteou8ness,  and  speaketh  the  truthin  his  hearL 
He  that  backbiteth  not  with  his  tongue,  nor  doth  evil 
to  his  neighbour,  nor  taketh  up  a  report  against  his 
neigfibour/' 


Chapteb  XXX. 

OATHS. 


Tub  forms  in  which  oaths  have  been  administered 
have  been  various  in  different  ages  and  nations. 
AflMtg  the  Jews,  the  juror  lifted  up  his  right  band, 


while  he  repeated  the  customary  woidi»  of  the  oath«, 
•— «  form  which  is  retained  in  Scotland.  .  . 

Mr.  Paley  remarks,  and  I  entirely  concur  in  his 
opinion,  that  in  no  country  in  the  world  are  the  fcrms 
of  oa^s  worse  contrived,  eidier  to  convey  the  mean?' 
ing,  or  to  impress  the  obligation  of  an  oath,  than  in 
England.  "  The  juror  with  us,*'  says  he,  "  after 
repeating  the  promise  or  affirmation  which  the  oath  is 
intended  to  confirm,  adds, '  So  help  me  Qod :'  or,  more 
frequently  the  substance  of  the  oath  is  repeated  to  the 
juror,  by  the  officer  or  magistrate  who  administers  it^ 
adding  in  the  conclusion,  *  So  help  me  God.' .  The  jittor 
while  he  hears  or  repeats  the  words  of  the  bath,  holds 
his  right  hand  on  a  bible,  or  other  book,  containiiig 
the  four  gospels.  This  obscure  and  elliptical  fornf, 
together  with  the  levity  and  frequency  with  which  it 
is  administered,  has  brought  about  a  general  inad* 
vertency  to  the  obligation  of  oaths ;  which,  both  in  a 
religious  and  political  view,  is  much  to  be  lamented.'* 
There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  requiring  of  oaths  our 
so  many  frivolous  occasions  has  a  great  tendency  to 
diminish  the  sense  of  significancy  and  solemnity  ia 
the  minds  of  the  people.  A  pound  of  tea  caOnot 
travel  regularly  from  the  ship  to  the  consumer,  with*, 
out  costing  half  a  dozen  oaths  at  least ;  and  the  same* 
security  for  the  due  discharge  of  their  office,  namdy; 
that  of  an  oath,  is  required  from  a  churdiwarden,  and. 
an  archbishop,  a  petty  constable  and  the  chief  jusfim 
of  Eo^^and.  The  cause  of  public  morals  requires  a 
considerable  change  in  the  manner  and  in  the  firo^: 
queoc^  with  which  oaths  are  adminisjtered.  . 

•  Piahn  14i.   . 


,    Tl»  gteat  JMtonuity  0f  aa  oath  (X)ii&^ 

I.  InitsbeixiganappealtotheOmnisoieiiceofGod. 
It  is  ddiberately  caUing'  ilpon  him  to  whom  the  heart 
ta  known,  to  witness  the  truth  of  what  is  affinoed.  If 
en  no  ocxasioD  his  name  should  be  im>noiiiio6d  but 
witib  the  piofouiidest  leverenoe,  it  should  be  with 
deep  seriousness,  and  only  on  such  oocasions  as  the 
ends  of  justice  imperiously  require*  that  we  venture 
to  swear  by  his  being  and  perfections. 

IL  It  18  a  refiarence  to  his  decision  in  the  judgment 
of  the  great  day.  *  This,  indeed,  is  expressed  in  the 
Jhnod  of  oath  administered  in  Scotland.  The  nature 
ef  an  oath  implies  it.  We  hereby  most  solannly  sig^ 
ttify  our  belief,  not  only  that  Gtod  is  the  witness  of  our 
thoughts  and  our  conduct,  but  that  he  will  punisdi 
with  awful  severity  those  who  in  defiance  of  aH  the 
sanctions  <yf  religion,  and  of  the  retributive  justice  of 
God,  declare  falsehood.  The  vi(^tion  of  truth  in 
such  civeumstances  is  a  contempt  of  God,  and  indicates 
the  extreme  of  human  depravity. 

m.  An  oath  is  the  last  moans  to  which  mankind 
ean  have  recourse,  to  ascertain  eadi  other's  veraei^. 
In  this  view  <'  men  verily  swear  by  the  greater :  and 
an  oath  Ibr  conftrmatioii,  is  an  end  of  att  strife." 
Ihfdij  of  necessity  must  give  greater  credit  to  it  than 
to  a  baee.  affirmation,  fnan  die  greater  solemnity  of 
tbe  cireumslanoes  attending  it,  and  firom  their  havii^ 
nothing  better  beyond  to  which  they  can  trust.  Per^ 
jttiy,  therefore,  is  the  most  aggravated  crime,  since  it 
is  not  <mly  a  contempt  of  God;  but,  in  its  cansequenoea, 
strikes  at  the  property  and  life  of  man,  and  at  thc^ 
very  existence  of  society. 


Oaths.  4&8 

There  are  some  professing  christians  who  are  of 
opinion  that  the  taking  of  oaths  in  evidence,  or  for 
any  purpose  whatever,  is  unlawful.  In  vindication  of 
their  views  they  allege  the  language  of  our  Lord : 
''  Ye  have  heard  that  it  hath  been  said  by  them  of  old 
time»  Thou  shalt  not  forswear  thyself,  but  shalt  per- 
form unto  the  Lord  thine  oaths.  But  I  say  unto  you 
swear  not  at  aU ;  neither  by  heaven,  for  it  is  God's 
throne ;  nor  by  the  earth,  for  it  is  his  footstool :  neither 
by  Jerusalem,  for  it  is  the  city  of  the  great  King. 
Neither  shalt  thou  swear  by  thy  head,  because  thou 
canst  not  make  one  hair  white  or  blade.  But  let  your 
communication  be  yea,  yea ;  nay,  nay ;  for  whatso* 
ever  is  more  than  these  cometh  of  evil  ♦.*' 

This  language  is  obviously  a  prohibition  of  vain 
and  imauthorized  swearing,  and  does  not  at  all  relate 
to  judicial  oaths.  The  persons  whom  it  immediately 
censures  are  profane  swearers.  Our  Lord  himself 
when  examined  upon  oath  in  the  presence  of  the 
high'priest  made  no  objection  to  answer  the  questions 
proposed  to  him.  The  Apostle  Paul  repeatedly  uses 
the  form  of  an  oath:  "  I  call  God  for  a  record  upon 
my  soul,  that  to  spare  you,  I  come  not  as  yet  to 
Corinth." 

«  MaU.  chap.  r.  ad--3a 


^^. 


456 


Chapter  XXXI. 

SUBSCRIPTION  TO  ARTICLES  OF  REUGION. 

Every  religious  society,  or  church,  has  an  unquestioii* 
able  right  to  determiae  that  its  own  creed  shall  be  the 
creed  which  all  who  may  be  admitted  to  share  its  privi- 
leges shall  profess  to  receive.  The  articles  axlmitted 
into  this  creed  may  be  too  numerous,  or,  some  of  them 
may  even  be  erroneous ;  but  if  a  voluntary  society  dioose 
to  adopt  them,  who  has  a  right  to  hinder  ?  and  if  they 
adopt  them  as  the  expression  of  their  own  religious 
belief,  may  they  not  require  that  all  who  shall  be  ad- 
mitted into  communion  with  them  shall  be  of  the  same 
sentiments  ?  This  remark  holds  true,  more  especially 
in  regard  to  those  who  are  proposed  as  candidates  for 
the  sacred  office. 

**  The  inquiry  concerning  subscription,"  says  Paley, 
*'  will  be,  quis  imposuit,  et  quo  anino  ?  The  bishop  who 
receives  the  subscription,  is  not  the  imposer,  any  more 
than  the  crier  of  a  court,  who  administers  the  oath  to 
the  jury  and  witnesses,  is  the  person  that  imposes  it; 
nor,  consequently,  is  the  private  opinion  or  interpreta- 
tion of  the  bishop  of  any  signification  to  the  subscriber, 
one  way  or  the  other.  The  compilers  of  the  Thirty- 
nine  Articles  are  not  to  be  considered  as  the  imposers 
of  subscription,  any  more  than  the  framer  or  drawer 
up  of  a  law  is  the  person  that  arrests  it.  The  L^isla* 
ture  of  the  13th  Elizabeth  is  the  imposer,  whose  inten- 
tion the  subscriber  is  bound  to  satisfy. 


Suiscriptian  to  ArtieUs  of  ReUgian.  4a 

,  ''  They  who  oontend  that  nothing  less  can  jusltff 
subscription  to  the  thirty-nine  articles,  than  the  actuid 
bdief  of  each  and  every  separate  proposition  con* 
tained  in  them,  must  suppose,  that  die  legislature  ex* 
pected  the  consent  of  ten  thousand  men,  and  that  in 
perpetual  succession,  not  to  one  controverted  propo* 
sition,  but  to  many  hundreds.  It  is  difficult  to  con- 
ceive how  this  could  be  expected  by  any  who  ob« 
served  the  incurable  diversity  of  human  opinicm  upon 
all  subjects  short  of  demonstration."  He  adds,  that 
the  authors  of  the  law  intended  to  exclude  from  offices 
in  the  diurch,  all  abettors  of  popery ;  Anabaptists ; 
and  Puritans. 

While  this  distinguished  author  restricts  his  obser- 
vations to  the  articles  of  religious  bdief  of  the  Church 
of  England,  they  are  susceptiUe  of  any  latitude ;  and 
in  the  few  remarks  which  I  shall  oflfer,  I  shall  consider 
them  as  more  or  less  applicable  to  the  confessions  6i 
faith  of  every  church. . 

I.  I  agiee  with  Mr.  Paley  in  thinking,  that  the 
opinion  or  interpretation  of  the  ofl&;ial  person  who  re« 
ceives  our"  subscription  to  articles  of  religious  belief, 
should  have  no  wei^  with  the  subscriber.  I£s  sen* 
timents  may  be  different  from  the'  obvious  and  only 
meaning  of  that  *'  form  of  words"  which  he  requires  us 
to'  sign'  as  the  confession  of  our  faith.  His  opimon, 
therefore,  should  be  received  by  us  only  as  an  opinion, 
iHiidi,  if  founded  in  truth,  we  are  to  reoeiVe,  aiid  if 
erroneous,  we  riiould  rqect.  We  are  to  use  proper 
means  for  the  correct  understanding  of  the  formula 
under .  consideration ;  and  for  ascertaining  its  con* 
formity  to  the  decUines  of  divine  revelation.    Should 


tile  nJBult  be,  a  ooiiyiottoil  that  it  is  ekher  in  iviiole  or 
in  part  ftmdamentally  opposed  to  the  oradles  of  Qod, 
or  even,  if  we  are  nciJuUy  satiigAed  of  its  tnith/I  own 
I  oannot  discover  an  what  grpund,  ooDsieteatly  with  a 
good  conscienoe,  we  can  solemnly  dedare  our  belief 
in  it. 

II.  According  to  Paley's  view,  articles  of  religi- 
otts  bdief  can  scarcely  in  any  case  answer  the  end 
for  which  they  are  framed.  In  his  apprehensicxiy  the 
meaning  of  these  articles  is  of  no  moment  to  those 
who  may  be  called  to  subscribe  them;  since  their 
attrition  is  to  be  exclusively  occupied  with  die  views 
of  those  by  whom  they  have  been  enacted. 

In  regard  to  the  thirty-nine  articles,  it  matters  not 
though  we  should  never  have  seen  them,  if  we  can 
only  ascertain  what  were  the  motives  with  which  the 
parliament  of  the  thirteenth  of  Elizabeth  enjoined  sub* 
seription  to  them  as  the  condition  of  admission  into 
the  offices  of  the  church.    With  respect  to  the  con* 
fession  of  faith  of  the  C!hurch  of  Scotland,  we  need 
not  give  oiyrsdves  the  trouble  of  reading  it ;  since  our 
only  business  is  with  the  intentions  of  the  l^shture 
fay  which  it  received  the  sanction  of  the  state.    But 
i&  it  not  probable  that  there  may  be  as  great  a  diflhr* 
ence  a&  to  the  intentions  of  the  l^islatne,  as  dieze  is 
about  the  meaning  of  the  different  articles  whidi  the 
coofossioQ  contains  3 

Air.  P^y  telb  us,  that  the  paifiamMt  of  En^and 
designed  by  the  thirty-nine  articles  to  exdiide  fiom 
eiiees  in  the  dmrch,— all  abettocs  of  popwy ;  Ana- 
baptists; and  Puritans.  This  may  be  true,  thou^ 
it  benot  the  whole  truth.    May  it  not  stall  be  eskedi 


SiOsiription  to  ArikUi  ifRdigim. 

is  tlii9  off  that  tbey  iHtended  b;  Bubaeriptioii  to  timMi 
artides  ?  Is  there  nothing  more  than  this  induded  in 
that  part  of  his  Migeoty's  dedaration  prefixed  to  tilM 
articles*  in  whidi  it  is  ordained,  that  ^<  no  man  h^v^ 
aft^r  sliall  either  print  or  preach  to  draw  the  aflidea 
aside  any  way»  but  shall  submit  to  it  in  the  plain  and 
fidl  meaning  thereof ;  and  shall  not  put  his  own  senaa 
or  comment  to  be  the  meaning  of  the  article,  but  shall 
take  it  in  the  literal  and  grammatical  sense?'  Doea 
not  this  language  intimate,  that  our  business  is  neb 
with  the  intentions  of  the  legislature,  but  with  the 
literal  and  grammatical  sense  of  the  words  whidh  we 
are  required  to  subscribe  ?  Does  it  not  plainly  teaeb 
us,  that  the  only  intention  of  the  l^islature  with 
which  we  are  concerned  is^  that  we  take  the  words 
whidi  they  have  prescribed  in  their  obvious  and  literal 
acceptation  ?  The  design  of  the  legislature  by  these 
artides,  as  it  is  set  fordi  in  the  declaration  alluded  tOj 
was  for  the  avoiding  of  diversities  of  (pinions,  and 
Sdt  establishing  of  consent  touching  true  religion :  but 
this  design  is  frustrated  if  m«i  are  to  subscribe  them 
without  cegard  to  their  meaning,  and  to  "  convert  them 
into  articles  of  peace." 

IIL  Upon  Paley^s  principlee.  subscription  to  arti^ 
des  of  faith  should  not  be  required  by  any  chuveh 
as  the  condition  of  admission  into  its  offices.  1^ 
reasoning  against  a  literal  interpretation  of  the  tbirty<^ 
nine  articles,  in  so  far  as  it  proves  any  thing,  tendato 
the  oonduBion  that  subscription  to  aconiessiou  of  ftith 
is  in  every  case  improper ;  and  I  would  have  oon^ 
sidaied  it  more  candid  to  have  made  a  fiaak  avowal 
pf  a  OQDsecpenee  wUob  he  must  have  feresean  as 


4m  Suktcriptum  to  Artides  of  Rdigim. 


1  -  fc  ^  :*:  • 


«  •  r  '  ^^  n  • 


ily  resD^ng  from  his  ptehuses.  ''  Tliey  who 
says  he,  *'  that  nothing  less  can  justify 
subscription  to  the  thirty-nine  articles,  than  the  actual 
belief  of  eadi  and  every  separate  proposition  contained 
in  them,  must  suppose,  that  the  legislature  expected 
die  consent  often  thousand  men/ and  that  in  perpetual 
succession,  not  to  one  controverted  proposition,  but  to 
many  hundreds.  It  is  difficult  to  conceive  how  this 
could  be  expected  by  any  who  observed  the  incurable 
diTersity  of  human  opinion  upon  all  subjects  short  of 
demonstration." 

This  reasoning,  in  as  far  as  it  proves  any  thing, 
proves  too  much ;  for  if  human  opinion  on  all  subjects 
short  of  demonstration  has  an  incurable  diversity,  will 
not  this  diversity  prevail  with  regard  to  what  Mr. 
Paley  considers  to  be  the  intentions  of  the  legislature 
in  excluding  from  the  offices  of  the  church  ?  Artides 
of  belief,  according  to  this  view,  must  in  every  case  be 
improper,  since  there  will  always  be  a  diversity  of 
opinion  among  mankind  on  subjects  that  admit  only 
of  moral  or  probable  evidence. 

In  this  opinicm  I  cannot  concur.  For,  though  it 
were  admitted,  that  the  articles  whidi  form  the  terms 
of  communion  in  the  reformed  churches  are  too  com- 
plex, and  that  they  embrace  as  fundamental,  what, 
among  sincere  believers  in  Christianity,  may  &irly 
be  the  subject  of  diversity  of  opinion ;  still  I  should 
contend,  that  as  there  are  first  principles  in  all  human 
science,  so  there  must  be  in  religion  dem^rtary 
trutlis,  which,  though  better  understood  at  one  time 
than  at  another,  are  in  all  ages  and  for  ever  the  same. 
Science,  because  it  is  susceptible  of  inqiiovenient, 


Suhicripiian  to  Ariktes  of  BeKgioH.  481 

must  be  subject  to  diange,  and  the  system  of  diemis- 
try  whicii  may  suit  the  present  age  may  be  qtdte  anti- 
quated in  less  than  half  a  cratury ;  but  the  doctrines 
of  both  natural  and  revealed  religion,  because  they 
are  immutable  truth,  are  unalterable. 

Is  it  objected  to  creeds  and  confessions,  that  they 
arrest  the  progress  of  knowledge,  and  are  a  hinderance 
to  the  human  mind  in  the  freedom  of  its  inquiries? 
Does  not  this  objection  take  for  granted,  that  diristian 
theoli^y  varies  in  difikent  ages  like  those  sciences 
which  owe  their  existence,  as  well  as  their  progress, 
to  human  discovery?  A  system  of  doctrine,  which 
has  been  designed  not  to  amuse  but  to  save  mankind, 
and  which  has  its  origin  in  the  revelation  whidi  God 
has  given  to  man,  must  be  the  san^  in  all  ages.  Some 
of  its  truths  m^y  be  more  distinctly  apprehended,  and 
more  impressively  felt  at  one  time  than  at  another ; 

but  they  are  in  themselves  essentially  and  always  the 
same,  and  among  the  things  most  surely  believed  by 
all  who  hold  "^  the  Faith  once  delivered  to  the  saints." 
In  this  respect  the  nineteenth  century  has  no  superi- 
ority over  the  first ;  and  the  most  distant  and  enlight- 
ened age  will  be  sanctified  and  saved  by  the  same 
discoveries  of  truth  and  mercy  which  gladdened  the 
hearts  of  patriarchs  and  prophets,  and  for  the  excel- 
lency of  the  knowledge  of  which  apostles,  and  martyrs, 
and  confessors,  counted  all  things  but  loss.  The 
revelation  which  God  has  given  of  himself  and  of  his 
counsels,  has  long  ago  been  completed ;  and,  there- 
fore, there  can  be  nothing  added  to  its  great  and 
fundamental  doctrines.  The  denunciation  is  fearful 
against  him  who  makes  the  attempt :  ''  Though  we, 


462  Subicr^^hn  to  Articles  0/ R^igtcii. 

or  aa  angel  fiom  bflaveD*  preadbed  any  other  goipd 
unto  you  than  that  which  we  preached  unto  yoQ»  oarthmi 
that  which.ye  have  received^  let  him  be  aocurBed*/' 

IV.  The  doctrine  of  Paley  authorizes  us  to  Aoomiit 
an  act  which,  on  the  principles  of  commoai  hones^t  is 
unjustifiable.  It  allows  us  solemnly  to  dedare,  that 
we  believe  what  in  fact  we  do  not  believe.  Should 
not  the  man  who  would  thus  act  in  the  intercourse  and 
transactions  of  human  life  forfeit  the  reputation  of  up- 
ri^^ess  ?  Paley  maintained  his  view  of  subscripticHi 
to  the  thirty-nine  articles  cm  the  principle  of  6xpe« 
diency» — a  principle,  which  as  was  formerly  noticed, 
the  oppressors  and  soourgers  of  mankind  have  ever 
professed  to  follow. 

.  J[  take  leave  of  this  subject  by  remaiking,  thai  what- 
ever opinion  ipay  be  formed  respecting  the  propriety 
of  making  articles  of  belief  terms  of  communion  in  a 
christian  church,  every  principle  of  equity  and  up- 
rightness forbids  us  to  subscribe  to  a  confession  of 
faith,  unless  we  can  bcnAfide  declare,  that  it  is  sub- 
stantially the  expression  of  what  we  believe. 

•  Oal.  i.  d. 


BOOK  VI. 


ON  THE  DUTIES  WHICH  RESPECT  OURSELVES. 


Chaptbk  I. 


INTRODUCTORY  REMARKS. 


Man,  doubtless,  is  laid  under  the  most  sacried  obli- 
gations to  feel  concerned  for  his  own  moral  improve- 
ment  and  happiness,  and  to  use  all  proper  means  to 
aecute  and  promote  thorn.    These  are  duties  whidhfae 
owes  to  himself;  and  the  violation  of  which  is  peeu- 
liaily  aiminal  in  hiin,-~since  he  thus  bo  far  frustrates 
the  glorious  design  of  his  being,  by  rendering  himseif 
unfit  for  disdiatging  his  obligations  eithcor  to  God  or 
to  man.    Is  it  not  in  proportion  as  he  takes  pains  in 
enlightening  his  understanding  and  conscieoce,  that 
he  is  capable  of  clearly  and  readily  discerning  tiie 
will  of  God,  and  of  forming  just  and  enlarged  concept 
tions  of  the  rule  of  duty  ?    Is  it  not  in  proportion  to 
his  diligence  in  cukiyating  the  purest  and  best  fedings, 
and  in  forming  the  best  habits,  that  he  rises  in  the 
scdie  of  moral  excellency  ?    Is  he  not  bound,  there« 
fore,  by  ties  which  it  is  guik  and  misery  to  dissolve, 
to  improve  the  means  and  opportunities  with  which 
Providence  favours  him  for  advancing  in  the  attain-* 
ments  of  piety  ^  righteousness,  and  true  holiness  ? 


4M  On  Moderatiali. 

The  obligatioDS  which  mote  immediatdy  terminate 
on  himself,  and  which  may  therefore  be  styled  the 
duties  which  he  owes  himself,  may  be  classed  mtder 
the  heads  of  moderation  and  contentment,  fortitude 
and  a  diligent  attention  to  the  formation  of  good 
habits,  and  prudence,  or  a  suitable  regard  to  his  own 
happiness :  we  shall  also  notice  scxne  of  the  evils  op- 
posed to  these. 


Ckaptek  II. 

ON  MODERATION. 


MoDBRATiON  and  contentment  are  in  themse&Tes 
nearly  allied,  involvtng  the  same  views,  and  implying 
the  exeKise  of  the  same  virtuous  dispositions  and 
habits.  The  person  who  is  truly  tempende,  fifom  a 
practical  knovdedge  of  the  will  of  God  in  referoice  to 
the  chief  ends  of  his  being,  is  contented  widi  the 
divine  dispensations,  persuaded  that  they  are  all  di- 
rected by  infinite  wisdom  and  benevolence,  and  shall 
issue  in  great  and  eternal  good.  The  chief  elements 
of  his  happiness  are  within,  in  peace  of  conscience, 
the  favour  of  God,  and  in  the  hope  of  everlasting 
felicity ;  he  is  therefore  freed  fnnn  tjbe  pain,  and  dis- 
appdntment,  and  misery,  of  pursuing  and  substitotiiig 
shadows  for  realities,  and  of  repining  at  the  difficulties 
and  trials  incident  to  bis  lot. 

The  duty  of  temperance  or  moderation  is  stioogly 
recommended  to  us  by  the  light  of  nature ;  and  this 
recommendation  revelation  enforces  by  the  wei^t  of 


On  Moderation.  4flS 

its  authority.  It  enjoins  its  difidples  to  let  their 
ittodemtion  be  known  unto  all  men ;  to  avoid  anxiety 
for  the  provision  of  the  future ;  to  be  painfully  so- 
licitous for  nothing ;  but  to  live  iu  the  exercise  of  trust 
in  God ;  and  to  have  ccxitinual  recourse  to  Him  by 
prayer  and  sopplici^ons  with  thanksgiving. 

Temptations  to  the  neglect  of  this  duty  are  nume- 
rous. There  are  many  tendencies  in  human  nature 
which  would  lead  us  to  overlook  its  fulfilment.  There 
are  those  desires  which  moralists  term  acquired,  whose 
operation  is  oflen  at  variance  with  the  dictates  and  the 
rules  of  temperance.  The  desire  of  wealth  attaches  an 
undue  value  to  riches,  and  presents  to  our  view  the 
gaudiness  and  pcHnp  of  earthly  grandeur,  as  highly 
conducive,  if  not  essential,  to  a  great  share  of  enjoy* 
ment.  We  have  imbibed,  fVom  our  earliest  years, 
prejudices  and  prepossessions  which  have  gradually 
acquired  strength  and  vigour  from  the  working  of 
passion  within,  and  from  the  habitual  pursuits  of  va* 
nity  from  without,  till  at  a  more  mature  period  of  life 
their  influence  is  so  completely  confirmed,  as  to  bias 
and  pervert  the  affections  and  judgment,  and  turn 
away  the  heart  from  the  truth. 

If  this  remark  be  true,  to  no  inconsiderable  extent, 
of  mankind  in  general,  how  unquestionably  is  it  so  of 
him  who  has  been  nursed  in  the  lap  of  luxury — whose 
wishes  were  no  sooner  formed  than  gratified — who 
has  grown  up,  surrounded  by  all  the  symbols  of  wealth 
and  £aishion,  and  who  is  lal  by  the  circumstances  of 
his  lot,  almost  without  reflection,  to  believe  that  life  is 
not  worth  the  possession  unaccompanied  with  these 
its  adventitious  decorations.    How  natural  for  him  is 

Vol.  II.  2  H 


4m  0n  Mtdemioi' 

it  to  tlHiik  <iiat  he  is  in  the  pwMH  of  happineM  wfa^ 
he  is  <nily  in  the  pursuit  of  the  outwarol  ftvm  with 
which,  in  his  eeitimation.  it  is  indissiohddy  coiuMCted ; 
and  to  imagine  thatf  in  attaining  the  htmnvB  and  the 
wealth  of  the  wodd,  he  is  seouring  for  hioeelf  some  <if 
the  surest  and  most  copitous  sources  <^  happinaBS. 
It  is  not  till  much  has  be«i  learned  and  sttffaced  that 
such  a  person  is  praoticaUy  convinoed  of  the  inutility 
of  aH  external  drcunistaiioeB  in  communicating  rdal 
satisfaction ;  and  that  he  has  reoo^iise  to  those  per- 
manent sounjes  of  enjoyment  whiph  are  so  laiiGh 
within  the  reach  of  all,  but  which  all  are  so  prone  to 
overlodc. 

My  meaning  is  not,  that  either  reason  or  revelation 
teaches  us  that  all  externsl  drcumstancies  are  atika  in 
refer^ice  to  our  nature,  or  9X^  equally  iavonrable  to 
happiness; — that  we  am  possess  the  same  mental 
tranquiUity  in  extreme  indigepoe  ^s  in  comparative 
abundance, — under  the  pressure  oi  sickness  and  of 
gu£ferings«  as  in  the  full  flow  and  yigour  of  health.  It 
becomes  us  thankfully  to  receive^  and  temperately  to 
use  lawful  means  to  secure  and  to  eqoy  the  things 
which  are  necessary  for  our  present  sustenance  and 
comfort ;  and  we  act  sinfully  when  we  attach  to  them 
a  value  which  they  do  not  possess,  and  puwie  them 
with  the  concern  and  the  estimation  due  to  that  which 
constitutes  our  highest  good. 

The  obligation  to  cultivate  the  habit,  and  pmctice 
the  duty  of  temperance  and  contentment,  implies  the 
existence  and  operation  of  that  powerful  principle  of 
our  nature  which  leads  all  men  to  seek  their  own 
happiness ;  since  one  of  the  grounds  oa  wlMoh  we  are 


(MhMffmimh  m 


PBl^£m  Mwem  oicKjor^ftipii  ^  our  preB^ pt  w^ 

Mkim»t^  goo^  It  is  not  t>Q(9U)8e  t^«  are  aay  ipd^ 
WSgd,  to  ymtm  Iiappiqiesa  .t})^^  ^  WVV  pcPiN^  <^ 
tiiQ  want  <^  it ;  but  bec^uae  mafiy,  either  firom  ygpo- 
nuiQ^  or  from  the  abs^gce  of  6elf-govemm9Qt»  ^ict^ec^ 
the  Qultivation  of  that  religious  mA  moral  cig^^aoy 
ia  connexion  with wbi(^  it  cw  b^  att^ipedi;  fi)K|  w^ 
while  they  eagerly  grasp  at  fancied  ec^oyg^eotf  pre*; 
cip&tale  themselves  into  al)solHte  a^id  itrpni^at)]^^ 
woe.  He  who  is  ijatimfttely  apqwinied  witfji  t^ 
weaJmesaes  of  cur  frame,  who  has  ftraoed  it  si)fu;w^ 
tiblfi  of  so  much  enjoyment,  who  has  |(iv$in  usf  ^SkYf^ 
by  which  to  regulate  our  powers  and  capacities,  hw 
comoiandBd  us  to  live  soberly^  wA  righteously^  afld 
godly, — to  be  so  temperate  in  the  use.of  thiqgs  lawfi4# 
and  in  the  exercise  c^our  desires  aad  afi^eoMonSt  that 
our  moderation  may  be  seen  of  all  men.  714s  mode* 
ration  is  to  be  used  in  reference  to  bodily  enjoyments } 
to  sorrow  tot  the  loss  of  friewto  or  <^  property ;  and 
to  the  indulgence  of  the  desires  and  afieqtion^  of  the 
mind* 

First,  we  are  to  e:«;i»cise  temperance  in  pur  jbo^ily 
gratifications*  Much  of  what  we  owfi  \o  oumriyes  aa 
latiiQpml  and  accountable  beings  is  imch^ed  ^n  this 
view  of  moderation ;  and  as  thei;e  is  no  part  of  out 
duty  of  more  difficult  performanoe^  so  there  is  upn(9 
that  requires  more  continued  ^elf-denial  in.  its  practice* 
The  mere  gratification  of  thpse  appetites  which  tos 
wise  and  beneficent  ends  are  connected  with  pur 
bodily  fpame,  cannot  in  itself,  and  apart  from  other 

Q(«gid9raUoiu»^  be  either  {vaise  or  blame  worthy^ 

8HS 


408  Oh  jMbMWitoii. 

ykCMUs  6r  TiciMs.  Bul^'  as  w^  tui^  Mdowed  wilk 
tiiese  appetites  in  eoffimom  with  the  ittferiM'-  aitirndSt 
itis  oBviouBly  ft  degradotkm  of  our  natui^,  HiB  -wM  as 
a  tidation  <^  the  authmity  of  God  and  of  our-  eon^ 
sdenoe,  to  seek  any  prineipal  share  of  our  ha^^iiieea 
in  their  indulgence.  To  dieck  these  tendendeB  irtm 
Ifaey  would  go  beyond  the  boundiyry  which  wama  and 
fe?dUdion  have  fixedi«-Mto  shun  er^n  the  entioeoieota 
of  pleasure  lest  they  should  tempt  us  to  deviate  ftom 
tile  onward  path  of  duty,  and  sucoessMly  to  combat 
fhe  influence  of  evil  company  and  example, — is  the  tti* 
tmph  of  religion  over  the  turbulent  desires  of  hunMn 
hatiHe.  That  this  triumph  may  be  attained^'  it  is 
necessary  to  be  temperate  in  the  lawful  use  c^  bodiJy 
gratification ;  and  never.to  go  to  the  extreme  point,  iMt 
we  should  be  tempted  at  any  time  to  go  beyiMidit* 

iSeeondly,  temperance  or  self-govemment  iasfdies 
moderation  in  the  indulgence  of  sorrow  on  account  <tf 
the  loss  of  friends  or  of  pretty.  Reason  indeed 
suggests  this.  Noextmsieofsorrowcanbeofavialin 
restorii^  to  us  the  blessings  of  which  by  the  providence 
of  God  we  are  deprived ;  and  it  becomes  us,  evai  on 
this  ground,  to  restrain  those  painfol  emotimis  whidi 
bereavements  naturally  awaken.  But  christismity  m* 
forces  this  duty  on  higher  grounds,  and  by  the  most 
persuasive  and  powerful  motives.  It  was  while  the 
bdievers  of  Philippi  were  enduring  many  evils  irom 
their  pagan  relaUiWB,  who  injured  their  p^Bons  and 
property,  that  they  were  reminded  by  apostolic  au- 
thority of  the  duty  of  modemtion.  We  have  the  means 
of  knowing  that  they  and  their  brethren  in  the  faith 
were  exea^ry  in  its  practice.    For  thev  eadurad  a 


r 


grtet  fiiglrt  of  afflybliam ;  paitly  wfailsfc  tbey  wexemadif 
aganAg stock,  both  by  reprooches  and  afiUcUras;  and 
pertly  whilst  tbey  beoame  oGoq^ioiis  of  ^theia  that 
were  so  used ;  and  took  joyfully  the  spKnling  of  their 
goDcia,  kiKming  in  theiogelyefi  that  tbey  had  in  heaYOD 
a  bettor  ^»Dd  an  jenduiiiQg  siibatance. 
..  Th&^me  other  lossea  beaides  those  of  propertyr-* 
and  whidi  sewn  much  more  calculated  to  dry  up  thf 
aprmgs  of  human  happiness.    To  persons  of  sensibir 
lky»  ^nksit  paw  is  so  great  as  that  which  i^  felt  i^  thq 
death  of  those,  whom  they  love?  When  bereayed  of  deaf 
and  vahiable  friends,  whose  presence,  because  it  haa 
been  long  asssociated  with  their  habitual  feelingi^  apd 
with  the  everrrecurring  objects  on  whidi  these  S&dix^ 
seem  to  be  impressed^  how  natural  is  it  lor  them  to 
give  way  to  die  sorrow  that  overwhelms  the  miixi!^ 
and  which  has  been  so  appropriately  demxnioated 
the  sonow  that  wc^dieth  death!   How  melancholy 
must  have  been  our  situation  under  such  circum- 
stances,  were  we  totally  ignorant  of  the  character  of 
that  Diviiie  Being  into  whose  hands  we  resign  our 
j^pirits ;  or  if  we  had  no  intimation  of  the  gloriojus 
immortality  that  awaits  us.    If,  when  called  to  wit<- 
naas^the  final  departure  of  the  friend  of  our  hearty 
flunounded^  it  may  be,  with  the  interesting  group  for 
whose  hairiness  that  friend  feels  as  intensely  as  for 
hie  own,  no  light  appeared  to  illuminate  the  dark 
vaUey  of  the  shadow  of  death,  we  were  obliged  to 
pronounce  in  the  bitterest  agony,  "  farewell  for  ever," 
how  truly  wretched  would  have  been  our  condition  I 
rWere  siKdi  the  forlorn  situation  of  man  at  the  term)- 
jutioii  of  hie  mortal  career^  we  might  almost  oonoeiir^ 


fj^  Oh  M99^filH0k* 

{hat  the  best  ititetiotas  df  his  nature,  arid  all  the 
tender  susoeptifeiKties  with  tvbich  he  is  endowed, 
had  bfeen  given  hitti  ttierely  ttt  inctease  the  poignancy 
of  his  ai^ish. 

On  a  subject  so  intimately  connected  witti  the  moral 
improvement  and  happiness  of  man,  God  has  not  left 
us  to  derive  our  consolation  from  mere  inference — 
ftotti  the  intimations  respecting  our  immortality  whidi 
flie  knowledge  of  his  perfections  arid  moral  govern* 
inent,  and  of  our  hature  and  faculties  might  suggeA. 
He  has  shewn  us  the  path  of  life ;  and  by  ihe  un- 
bounded  prospe6t  opened  lip  before  us,  he  has  raised 
our  expectations  to  an  eternal  weight  of  glory.  It 
was  for  this  joy  that  was  Set  before  them,  that  the 
itnaityr  and  confessor  seemed  to  exult  in  the  flames, 
and  meekly  to  endure  all  the  arts  of  inflicting  suffering 
iemployed  by  their  tormentors ;  and  animated  by  the 
firmest  laith  in  the  goodness  of  God,  and  in  the  truth 
of  his  promises,  death  itself  ceased  to  be  an  object  of 
terror.  **  O  death,  where  is  thy  sling  ?  O  grave, 
where  is  thy  victory  ?  Thanks  be  to  God,  who  giveth 
us  the  victory  through  our  Lord  Jesus  CSirist. "  The 
twilight  that  intervenes  between  lime  arid  dtfemily 
does,  indeed,  possess  a  melancholy  gloom ;  but  it  will 
only  retaain  till  the  curtain  that  conceals  the  glorioym 
Sunshine  of  immortality  is  withdrawn.  Then  sfn  aiid 
sorrow  and  separation  shall  cease ;  and  there  iAall  be 
no  more  death,  neither  any  more  pain;  the  fcamet 
things  having  passed  away. 

Thirdly,  in  temperance,  or  self-government  is  in- 
cluded moderation  in  indulging  the  desires  df  the 
mind,    feome  df  these  are  natural,  as  the  desires  cf 


On  ModeraUm.  471 

knbwMife,  efteem»  socw^f  power,  and  bappiiiMs ; 
others  «(re  a^q^ired,  ais  the  deeire  of  weahh,  and 
its  ccmcomitatits,  A  ccmsiderable  part  of  true  mo- 
rtify consists  in  the  proper  regulation  of  these 
desires,  and  in  seeking  their  gratification  only  in 
subordination  to  the  divine  authority,  and  to  the 
higher  ends  of  our  being.  Out  of  the  heart,  we  are 
assured,  proceed  the  issues  of  life ;  according  to  the 
aflbctkns  and  desires  habitually  entertained  there, 
\nXL  be  the  tenor  of  die  conduct ;  and  no  reformation, 
therefore,  can  be  effectual  whidi  aims  not  at  the 
thorough  melioration  of  the  inward  as  well  as  the  out*- 
ward  man.  '^  Either  make  the  tree  good  and  his 
fruit  conrupt :  for  the  tree  is  known  by  his  fruits.  A 
good  man  oi:^  of  the  good  treasure  of  his  heart  bringv- 
eth  forth  good  things  ;  and  an  evil  man  out  of  the  evil 
treasure  bringeth  forth  evil  things." 

Even  desires  whidi  are  in  themselves  lawful,  must 

be  indulged  under  the  restraints  of  conscience,  and  the 

direction  of  the  purest  and  the  best  motives.    Unless 

reduced  to  this  subjection,  they  ynil  always  be  prone 

to  mislead,  and  in  many  cases  they  will  go  beyond 

the  bouniaries  of  virtue.     Can  the  man  who  is  ever 

fixing  \m  thoughts  on  the  honour  of  the  world,  who 

indnlga  himself  in  ambitious  views  and  projects,  and 

whose  &ocy  dwells  on  the  fleeting  visions  which  the 

love  of  fame  and  of  distinction  calls  into  existence, 

have  the  moderation  or  the  hardihood  to  withstand 

temptation,  when  it  addresses  itself  to  the  weakness 

and  the  corruption  of  his  nature  ?   Will  he  who  makes 

gdd  his  hope,  and  who  has  said  to  the  fine  gold, 

thou  art  my  confidence,  who  has  consecrated  his  best 


47S  Oft  MoiUraHim. 


thou^ts  to  the  loYe  of  wooey,  and  i^bo  ometts  Im 
happiness  with  its  attainment,  be  likely  to  imtat  the 
snares  which  so  invariably  aooompany  the  imaoderate 
desire  of  wealth  ?  Though  the  habitual  and  inon&iate 
indulgence  of  a^n  affection  should  not  discover  tbe 
strength  it  has  acquired  by  any  ioimocality  of  conduot, 
it  is  not,  ther^re,  innocent  in  the  sight  of  God.  He 
requires,  what  he  is  entitled  to  receive^  the  m^vor 
macy  of  the  heart ;  and  no  idd  should  sit  upon  that 
throne  which  he  claims  as  his  own.  In  cesistiqg  this 
daim,  in  yielding  to  the  dominion  of  any  inordUnate 
desire, — such  as  the  love  of  wealth,  or  of  hoDOur»  or 
of  rank,  or  even  to  a  painful  anxiety  as  to. the  means 
of  subsistence,  we  dishonour  God,  and  reflect  censure 
on  the  providential  arrangements  of  that  compassioDiite 
parent,  whose  tender  m^cies  are  over  all  his  works* 
and  who  is  the  never-failing  refuge  of  his.  peof^ 

How  numerous  are  the  motives  to  uiige  us.  to  the 
practice  of  temperance  in  the  various  ways  whiehhave 
now  been  mentioned.  The  consideration  of  thehmlth 
and  the  hairiness  whidbi  its  exerdse  aeoiires,  is  no 
trifling  inducement.  -Did  we  only  consider  the  in- 
estimable  value  of  this  advantage,  it  sams  scatcely 
possible  that  we  could  resist  the  force  of  so  palpable  a 
motive.  Did  we  remember  how  much*  from  the  oomtt^ 
tution  of  our  nature,  our  happiness  depends  oo  a 
simple  reliance  upon  God,  and  on  a  oourae  of  adioa 
conformable  to  his  will,  we  should,  for  our  own  sakes, 
be  temperate,  not  only  in  the  outward  act,  but  ja  the 
indulgence  of  the  afifections  and  desires  of  the  mind. 
How  soon  may  the  schemes  which  gratify  ambition, 
or  cherish  the  inordinate  wish  foe  wealth,  or  that 


On  Mod»aH<m.  478 

foBter  the  love  of  distillation  and  superiority,  be  frus* 
trated,  and  leave  their  projectors  overwhehned  with 
misery  and  disappointment :  while  those  who  exercise 
nioderati<xi  in  all  things,  and  who  ^ideavour  to  devise 
and  to  act  agreeably  to  the  will  of  Ood,  by  placing 
their  supreme  affections  on  the  portion  that  can  never 
forsake  them,  have  the  peace  of  God  amid  all  the  trials 
and  the  dianges  of  the  world.  They  shall  be,  to  use 
the  beautiful  and  expressive  language  of  revelatioUi 
''  like  trees  {danted  by  the  rivers  of  wators,  that  bring 
fi»rUi  tiieir  frait  in  their  aeasbn,  and  whose  leaves  do 
not  wither/'  They  look  for  their  haj^Mness  to  sources 
that  are  independent  of  change ;  they  albw  their  de- 
sires to  be  unchecked  only  in  reference  to  objects  that 
camiot  disaf^oint  them ;  they  have  intrusted  to  the 
care  of  omnipotence  all  that  is  necessary  for  their  ac- 
commodation on  earth,  and  all  that  is  reqpsite  to  com- 
plete their  happinlsss  in  eternity;  and  should  they 
meet  with  reverses  in  their  lot,  they  cannot  be  greatly 
depressed  by  evils  which  are  incapable  of  impairing 
their  incorruptible  and  unfading  inheritance.  Thus, 
from  tlmr  trust  in  God,  from  the  iralue  they  attach  to 
his  k>ve  and  approbation,  are  they  pr^>ared  to  say,  in 
the  subdued  tone  of  suUime  devotion ;  ''  Although 
the  ig-tvee  shall  not  Uosscxn,  neither  shall  fruit  be  in 
the  vine,  the  labour  of  the  olive  should  fail,  and  the 
fields  shall  yidd  no  meat ;  the  flock  shall  be  cut  off 
from  the  fold,  and  there  shall  be  no  herd  in  the  stalls, 

•  * 

yet  I  wiU  rejoice  in  the  LcHrd,  I  will  joy  in  the  God  of 
my  salvation/' 


«94 


Chapter  III. 


ON  CONTENTMENT. 


The  influence  of  oontentment  on  the  religioae  and 
moral  state  of  the  heart,  as  well  as  on  the  manner  in 
which  man  discharges  the  duties  whieh  he  owes  to 
man,  places  it  high  in  the  rank  of  virtues.  It  is  en« 
joined  on  varioas  grounds  in  die  Scriptures :  "  God- 
liness with  contentment  is  great  gain.  For  we  brought 
nothing  into  this  world,  and  it  is  certain  we  can  carry 
nothing  out.  And  having  food  and  raiment,  let  us  be 
therewith  content  ^. — Be  content  with  sudi  things  as 
ye  have ;  for  he  hath  said,  I  will  never  leave  thee,  nor 
forsake  thee  f." 

Contentment  is  a  state  of  mind  resting  faan  reli- 
gion, and  is  to  be  distinguished  from  mere  indifference, 
from  gaiety  of  disposition,  and  from  good-humour.  In 
order  to  exercise  this  virtue,  it  is  not  necessary  that 
we  should  feel  indifferent  to  the  ^vils  connected  with 
the  circumstances  in  which  we  are  {daced.  Ok  the 
contrary,  it  implies  the  existence  of  events  not  in 
themselves  agreeable  to  us ;  but  to  which  we  ffed  it 
to  be  our  duty  to  reconcile  our  minds,  by  moderating 
our  desires  after  unattainable  good,  and  by  bearmg 
with  equanimity  and  resignation  our  difficulties  and 
trials.  Without  the  combination  of  these  two  exer- 
cises of  mind, — moderation  in  our  desires  for  earthly 
enjoyment,  and  a  sustaining  of  the  burden  which  Pro- 

•  1  Tim.  vi.  6—8.  t  Heb.  xiii.  5. 


On  CkmtMMmh  ITI 

videnoe  is  i^eased  to  ky  ttpon  us  vilh  pataeiioe  and 
didttfidiiess,  there^canfoe  no  ooiiletiftDeiit.-^^TIdB  iitaifo 
of  mind  is  enferoed  and  Tecomniendod,  by  the  consc^^ 
deration  of  the  virtues  included  in  its  exercise ;  of  Ibe 
cause  from  whidi  its  opposite,  discratekiti  proceeds; 
of  the  imsdediate  advaij^es  which  it  briogs  the  pos^ 
sessor ;  of  the  perishable  liature  of  all  earthly  ei^oy"^ 
ments^  and  the  enduring  and  etem«^  hiqppiaesB  of 
heaven. 

I.  CTontentment  is  enforced  atid  reoommdnded  by. 
tl»  consideration  of  thd  virtueb  which  are  inohided  fa' 
its  exerdse.  It  implies  a  frtune  of  niind  so  tirtaotui; 
that  itis  possessor  is  at  peace  with  fafaoself.  This  is ' 
an  esstitttial  pre-requisitie  to  a  ccmtarted  heatt,  without 
which  therci  could  not  be  satisfaotioti  on  eaMh^-^no, 
nor  in  heaven.  While  the  conscieDce  frowns,  and 
direate  to  a  fearfiil  looking-for  of  judgihent^  how  can 
an|r  outward  drcunistances  please,  atid  how  oaiii  thd 
mind  be  peaceftil  and  sermb?  It  must  be  capiible  of 
looMng  to  God  with  delight,  to  the  fiiture  with  hope; 
and  to  itself  with  tranquillity,  befoiife  it  can  experience 
the  happiness  oi  contentment. 

Bnt,  besides  this^  there  mbst  be  audi  a  coimctira  of 
the  infiaite  ^nceUeney  of  the  divine  govenimsnt;  and 
sudh  a  humble  hope  of  being  interested  in  the  divine 
favour,  as  will  lead  to  a  cheerful  acquiescence  in  aii  thd 
dispensaticns  of  God.  Hie  oonvicticxi  thai  the  supreme 
government  under  which  we  are  placed,  though  it  nmy 
occaaiDnally  seem  to  us  surrounded  with  clouds  and 
dadtness,  and  though  the  scenes  through  which  we  are 
called  to  pass  be  often  perplexing  and  distressrog,  is 
in  benevolence,  as  w^  as  in  justice  and  iti 


li:^lf.i[;J 


ITS  Om  OmtlmUment^ 

wkadcm  ik  ticcemuy  to  A»^f08^^  Has 

yiem,  therefose,  of  the  pmradui'e  of  Gfod  is  pifedented 
to  us  under  a  variety  of  mpeoXB  in  Scripture;'  and 
is  presented  lor  ^  purpose^  of  b^ibg  oMbsapkAeA 
wAk  joy  and  gratitude.  "The  Lord  reigneth;  let 
^  eardi  i^oioe ;  let  Ae  imiltitude  of  ides  be  j^ad 
tiiereof.  Clouds  and  daiicness  are  rojund  about  him : 
righteousness  and  judgment  are  the  habitation  df  his 
throne. — ^Thy  kingdom  is  an  everlasting  kingdom, 
and  thy  dominion  ebdureth  throu^out  all  generations. 
The  Lord  iipholdetk  aH  that  &il,  and  raiseth  up  all 
those  that  be  bowed  down.  The  eyes  of  all  wait 
wpad  thee ;  and  thou  giyest  them  their  mea^t  in  due 
season.  Thou  opmest  thine  hand,  and  satiitfest  the 
desire  of  every  living  thing.  l%e  Ii>rd  is  righteous 
in  all  his  ways,  and  fady  in  all  his  works.*' 

Nor  is  it  less  necessary  that  we  should  h^Te  a 
hund^te  hcqpe  of  being  interested  in  the  favciur  of  Gtod: 
This  hqpe  is  well  founded  only  when  it  restS'  on  the 
mercy  of  God  revealed  and  ofiered  through  a  liedi* 
ator.    From  this  is  derived  a  poweiful  motive  to  a 
cheerfiil  acquiescence  in  the  dfspmsations  of  Cbd, 
however  trying  they  may  be.    We  are  assusod  by  the 
most  incontrovertible  proofs,  that  our  euffsrings  nre 
not  inflicted  arbitrarily,  but  justly  and  meffcifuUy;  fat 
the  purpose  of  promoting  the  divine  glory  and  our 
eternal  good.     Nor  can  we  ever  doubt  this,  wide 
we  believe  that  a  gift  of  unspeakable  excsHeocy  and 
vakie  has  already  been  coiiferred,^^-K)f  &r  gxeattt  in? 
tiinsic  value  than  the  hairiness  of  immortality ;  that, 
consequently,  Grod  does  not  afflict  willitagly,  norf^re 
thechiUlreiiofitten;  and  that  all  the  iUl  we^odnrd 


fturm  a  neoMsary  ptttof  tliat  disapUne  by  wfaMi  Ha 
is  {iMparitig  hid  d^ildfen  for  a  nobler  state  of  being. 
Though  time  ills  caimot  be  shunned,  they  are  all 
\xsd0t  the  woKxAy  and  arise  by  the  appointmeat  of  oinr 
heavttdy  Father.  Coming  fnxn  Hbi,  and  allotted 
to  U8  by  his  msfdbm  and  mei^y,  shall  we  nmnnur 
uqdCT  them  ?  ''  What?  Shall  we  rebeiye  good  at  the 
hand  of  God,  and  shaU  we  not  receive  evil  1" 

With  &is  view  of  the  dispensations  of  Ood  towaids 
us,— -of  the  equity  and  goodness  by  which  they  are 
all  directed,  we  shall  be  disposed  to  fedl  cheerful  and 
contented  under  them,  whatever  be  their  immediate 
complexion*  However  dark  and  inexplicable,  we 
know  that  th^  are  made  to  subserve,  the  real  and 
idtimate  happiness  of  them  that  love  God  ;«*-aiid  that 
the  period  will  come,  when  even  we  ourselves  ShaU 
see  that  they  have  been  merdfidly  as  wdU  as  wisely 
oideted. 

Our  feeUngs  of  acquiescence  will  be  strengthened 
by  the  oonvicticn  of  oqr  personal  imworthiness.  If 
we  are  sinners,  if  we  have  violated  the  law  of  oar 
Maker,  what  claim  have  we  to  his  goodness  ?  If  we 
are  not  sinners,  resignation  is  so  i^  from  being  a 
duty,  that  we  ought  to  feel  indignant  at  the  injustice 
which  is  done  us  in  the  afflictions  which  we  are  re- 
quired to  endure.  If  we  are  not  lunners,  we  have  not 
deserved  these  sufferings ;  and  if  we  have  not  de- 
served them,  there  is  injustice  in  their  infliction. 

But  who  can  deny  his  having  violated  the  com* 
mandments  of  Ood  ?  With  the  conviction  that  he  has 
done  so,  must  not  every  man  confess,  whatever  be  the 
nature  or  number  of  hia  trials,  that  his  suffitrings  are 


fTi  <MC$m0»tnmt' 


bev  and  VMJi^y  of  bis  qiercies^  has  he  nol  ao^ 
ground  ix  grtuteful  ttdmiration  at  the  goodnees  of 
Qkidt  Will  jQot  bis  fediugg  ^Mrrespoad  to  those  of 
the  pubriafdi}  when  he  cnddi  "  I  am  not  worthy  of  the 
lisast  c^  all  the  oiefeies,  and  of  all  the  tmtht  iriudi 
tiiou  bast  shewed  imto  thy  servaat"  In  the  language 
recorded  in  aix>tfa6r  part  of  the  saored  volunae,  will  be 
Bbt  eKprdss  his  thaokfulness  to  the  bountifiil  giyer  of 
all  good?  ''  ^ss  the  Lord,  O  my  soul;  and  all  that 
is  witUn  me  Mess  bis  holy  name.  Bless  the  Loid, 
O  miy  soul,  and  foiget  not  all  his  benefits :  who  for- 
givethall  ibine  iniqiaties;  who  healeth  all  thy  dis- 
eases; who  redeemeth  thy  life  from  destruction ;  who 
oiowneth  ^ee  with  lovingtkindness  and  tendtf  mer- 
eie&" 

*  li.  ContoEitmmit  is  reocxnaiended  by  a  oonsid^a- 
tion  of  the  causes  from  which  its  opposite,  disoooteot, 
pMBoeds.  l^ese  are  such  as  noi  good  masL  woidd  wish 
to  indulge»  and  the  asc^idency  of  i/vhidi  is  inoompa- 
tihle  with  a  vijftuous  state  of  mind.  They  are,  in^ati- 
tHde,  envy » IbUy ,  selfishness,  and  presumptbn. 

IHsooitfrat  9pi:inga  from  ingratitude  to  G«d  our  con- 
stant BeneftK^tar.  We  overlook  the  being,  the  powers, 
the  numerous  susc^tibilities  of  enjoyment  which  he 
baa  bestowed  upcm  us ;  the  guardianship  whi|ch  he 
Qontiaually  exercises  in  regard  to  us ;  an^l  because 
one  thing  is  witUi^,  to  which  we,  ptfhaps,  attach 
an  undue  vake^  or  because  a.  gift  of  which  we  had 
keg  the  use  is  resumed,  we  repine  at  his  dealings 
as  thoQgh  they  were  ui^ust.    Or  perhaps  the  object 

of  desire  Is  still  more  fervently  wished  ipr#  that  it  is 


Man  fM  tbe  pommBiOD  d*  fnaAaj.  fiad  fpnQpi¥a4  to 
contjributo  to  l^s  biippuiesg^  la  this  (ssm  oi^  moh 
mttriog^  Against  Provideooe  ar^  uocreascd  by  envying 
the  supcesB  or  prosperity  of  our  ncughbour. 

Do  we  not  by  this  canduct  ckargf  Qod  fooiiaUgi 
Does  it  xiot  imply  that  we  ai;e  wiser  than  He; — that 
if  we  had  had  the  distribution  of  the  gifts  lof  prgh 
.yidenoe^  they  should  have  been  more  advaitfggecsaaly 
disposed  of  than  by  the  present  arrangement  2  Hofir 
seifidit  how  cKiminal^  how  presumptuoosi  is  the  sta;t^ 
of  mind  from  which  such  conduct  originates  1  We«  the 
creatures^  the  servants  of  the  Lord  God  Ahoigbty^ 
arraign  the  procedure  of  our  supreme  moral  governor 
and  judge,  and  fiad  fault  with  the  station,  the  serv^, 
the  reward,  which  he  assigns  to  us.  Has  he  nc^  fm 
unqueslionable  right  to  dispose  of  us  and  of  ows  jwt 
as  it  pleaseth  him  ?  Is  it  not  lawful  for  Hi^t  tp  4o 
whitt  he  will  with  his  own  ?  ''  Shall  he  that  oont^ndaAiL 
with  the  iUmighty  instruqt  him :  He  that  reproveth 
God  let  him  answer  it." 

Oi;^ht  it  not  to  lead  us  to  subdue  every  feeding  of 
discontent,  and  to  resist  the  operation  of  tt^ose  ^\(ii 
passions  from  which  it  orjiginates,  to  refl^  on  the 
unhappmess  which  necessarily  aocompanies  it«  Does 
not  ejqperien^e  tell  us,  that  the  posse^ipn  -of  .t^ 
:db}ect  of  our  wishes,  in  no  case  -secures  j^>  U3  tipp 
happiness  which  we  had  anticipated?  If  t^,  pjn 
which  we  have  now  set  our  indiaatipus  is  attainable, 
our  exertions  are  far  more  likely  to  be  e^^ctive 
in  attaining  it  without  discontent  than  with  it.  This 
disturbs  the  mind,  and  incapacitates  it  for  the  iull  and 
prudential  exercise  of  its  energies. 


'  480  Oh  ChHt€HtM&HU 

'  In  a  word,  \mw  odious  must  discontent  appear,  and 
how  truly  base  must  we  ourselves  acknoi^Iedge  the 
ingratitude,  the  envy,  the  selfishness,  the  presianption 
to  be,  from  whidi  it  proceeds,  when  we  compare  our 
own  lot  with  that  of  thousands  around  us.  They 
tiso  are  the  servants  of  Qod,  and  have  equal  daima  to 
H&  bounty  that  we  have.  Yet  how  many  are  the 
^blessings  which  we  enjoy  that  have  not  been  com- 
municated to  them.  Is  it  property  that  we  are  sdi- 
citous  to  obtiun  ?  How  many  persons  are  there  in  the 
same  rank  of  life  poorer  than  we  ?  Is  it  promotioii  we 
long  to  obtain  ?  Has  not  Providence  done  already  for 
us  more  in  this  way  than  for  many  who  entered  the 
worid  witii  equal  prospects  ?  Is  it  honour,  is  it  office, 
are  they  connexions  we  are  in  search  of?  Let  us  look 
abroad  on  the  worid,  and  feel  ashamed  that  we  should 
murmur  for  the  want  of  what  many  persons  miMre 
deserving  than  we  are  destitute  of,  and  whidi,  did  we 
possess  them,  would  contribute  little  to  our  happiness. 

III.  Contentment  is  recommended  to  us  by  the 
consideration  of  the  iomiediate  advantages  whidi  it 
brings  the  possessor.  It  is  (he  source  oi  continual 
peace  and  serenity  of  mind ;  it  prcxluces  a  dieerfiil 
acquiescence  in  the  dispensations  of  providence,  what- 
ever they  may  be ;  and  because  it  moderates  the 
desires  to  attainable  good,  it  preserves  us  from  much 
vexation  and  disappointment.  A  contented  person 
is,  therefore,  eminently  happy ;— happy  in  enjoying 
the  undeserved  gifts  of  his  Heavenly  Father ; — and 
happy  in  fulfilling  the  duties  of  that  station,  and  of 
those  relations,  whidi  God  has  assigned  to  him. 

Nor  is  he  less  a  source  of  happiness  to  all  who  are 


On  Contentnwit  Ml 

near.  him.  His.  presence  communicates  delight  and 
confidence.  His  thankful,  serene,  and  peaceful  spirit, 
dif^ses,  itself,^  as  it  were,  around  him ;  aad  he  thus 
alleviates,  both  in  regard  to  himself  and  others,  those 
calamities  which  none,  in  the  present  chequered  scene, 
can  escape.  He  experiences  the  truth  of  the  apostolic 
declaration,  that ''  godliness  with  contentment  is  great 
gain." 

IV.  Contentment  is  recommended  to  us  by  the 
consideration  of  the  perishable  nature  of  all  earthly 
^ijoyments,  and  the  enduring  and  eternal  happiness 
of  heaven.  Worldly  good  is  almost  always  estimated 
above  its  real  value ;  and  hence  the  inordinate  de* 
sire  with  which  it  is  pursued,  and  the  vexation  and 
disappointment  with  which  the  pursuit  is  accompanied. 
Nor  is  it  possible  that  real  contentment  can  be  ^c- 
perienced,  tiJl  this  kind  of  good  is  seen  in  its  true 
light,  and  treated  according  to  its  real  nature ; — ^tiU 
our  desires  for  its  enjoyment  are  so  moderated,  that 
we  shall  expect  from  it  that  gratification  only  which 
the  will  of  God  has  designed  it  to  impart. 

All  earthly  good  is  limited,  fieeting,  perishaUe: 
but  the  Gospel  sets  before  us  good  of  another  nature, 
which  is  unlimited,  enduring,  and  eternal, — ^which 
yields  the  purest  satisfaction  even  in  anticipation,  and 
which  accumulates  in  the  possession ; — and  which,  in 
the  very  pursuit,  is  happiness.  He  only  is  truly  con- 
tented who  has  fixed  his  heart  on  this  as  his  portion ; — 
who  enjoys  all  temporal  blessings  with  thankfulness  to 
his  Heavenly  Father,  but  who  thinks  not  of  mur* 
muring  when  they  are  resumed  or  withheld, — and  who 
expects  to  realize,  after  a  few  years  shall  have  elapsed. 

Vol.  U.  81 


the  tnrth  of  th6  promiAft,  "  Eye  hftth  Ati  seeti)  ttof  wr 
hMtd,  n^ittiet  hftve  enteied  into  the  heart  of  tuu^i  tiifc 
thingd  which  Qod  hftth  pirepared  for  Hbtm  thit  )6ftt 
him*.'* 


Chapter  IV. 

ON  WORLbLY  AWClfity, 

THShB  are  three  evils  whioh  tie  opposed  to  oooMiit- 
taMOU  BxA  whibh  of  course  are  productive  of  iftUdi 
discoatmt ;  these  I  shall  Oolisider  in  their  order  i-^-thej 
are  worldly  anxiety ;  the  inocdinate  d^sif  e  of  Ivorldly 
tajoymeDtt  or  oovetousness ;  and  the  love  di  powttr, 
or  the  principle  of  aiabition. 

Worldly  anxiety  is  a  harassing  ooncem  either  fear 
our  own  oonkfort,  or  the  comfort  of  those  who  are 
justly  dear  to  us.  It  may  be  partly  deoasioned  by 
the  experience  ot  the  apprehrasioti  of  trials*  We 
fsel  that  we  are  continually  liable  to  aflBifelibnS,  losses* 
and  disappointments^  whibh  we  canntfc  pOMibly 
escape.  We  are  naturally  led  to  make  every  ettrtMb 
to  avoid  their  recurrence  in  fiiture^  As  well  fe«  to 
obtain  that  measure  of  warkily  good  ^sdi  wii  cte- 
oeiVe  to  be  necessary  to  an  exemption  ftom  somd  %>i 
the  moBt  painfol  of  them.  We  are  e^oremely  dwiroiis, 
it  aaay  be,  to  make  provision  for  the  objects  of  our 
afi3ction,-*a  feeling  whidi,  when  indulged  in  modera- 
tion, is  in  itself  amiable  and  laudable^  but  which,  when 

with  undue  fervour  and  fi^equeney^  pro- 

♦  lCor.ii.9. 


On  ffMJfy  Ai^ei^^  M0 


kkeei  an  aaxiouB  fianie  6f  mind.  Sspeeially  is  thit 
dtb  ciae,  When  tiid  land  and  otwnding  pfOTidsnw  ttf 
Qtid  is  OTbiloDked,  or  wbeii  there  is  not  hni^oit  q6A^ 
fidenoe  tepoeed  in  it. 

It  ib  mmecesss^  tb  point  out^  id  any  lengthy  lh$ 
iblly  and  eii^fulnesi  of  this  tem|)er  of  mihd.  It  is 
fodibft^  isanoe  it  is  ahxiety  respecting  what  is  in 
Itself  uncettaih^  fleeting^  and  what,  however  Inxgdf 
poteeiftod^  must  be  eooin  and  for  etet  parted  mA^ 
and  also  becansd  it  is  utterly  unavaifing  to  the  Sl>- 
tainmeni  of  that  Which  is  so  much  desired.  **  Whidh 
trf  you  by  taking  thought  can  add  to  hid  statufe 
one  cubit?  If  then  ye  be  not  able  to  do  that  tfaih|; 
which  is  teastji  Why  take  ye  thought  for  the  re^t*' 
It  is ,  sinful*  beeauBe  it  disturbs  and  perplexes  Ihe 
mii^d,  unqualifies  for  the  prudent^  BviccetssfUli  and 
axaseptable  diMharge  of  duty^  and  sinc^  it  tends  to 
ODHfimk  thai  distnist  in  Ood,  in  his  protecting  g(ocxl- 
ness  and  oate,  froita  Whioh,  at  first/  it  chiefly  pfo- 
ceeded.  It  often  inmtei  i&  discontent,  to  Whi<^, 
iti  e?ety  stage  d*  its  pf ogtefts,  it  is  i^AMy  aUifld ; 
while  it  awakens  the  ingratitude,  envy,  st^fishileto, 
and  pir«8Uffit[)tion,  wbi6h  the  humati  heart  is  so  phMb 
tb  ibdulge.  Had  i%  tm  A  pernicious  i^iebce  Ha 
ihe  temper,  the  peade,  the  domestid  quief,  t)f  tlie 
person  under  its  influehcs  ?  Do^s  it  not  eipod«$  hMi 
to  Ihe  tempiatfon  of  uhdervahii&g  th«  ifitere6t§  6f 
Oihirili  and  t4  uditig  iihWArratitable  meittis  td  gaih 
fioMdSsioii  bf  What  bad  glVeii  him  so  much  eond^ifi, 
and  which  he  estimates  so  highly? 

Bdl^  it  Btey  ^  asked,  is  intense  &tdd6ty  shiful 
in  all  cireufttetoneeili  and  in  refefefloe  to  dl  things? 

SIS 


4M  On  WoMlg  Atiinet^. 

Is  there  no  occasion  oft  which  even  a  painful  and 
harassing  anxiety  may  be  lawfully  indulged?  To 
this  question  the  Scriptures  give  an  exfAidt  reply. 
''  Be  careful  for  nothing :  but  in  every  thii^  by 
prayer  and  supplication  with  thanksgiving,  let  your 
requests  be  made  known  unto  Qod.  And  the  peace 
of  God,  which  passeth  all  understanding,  shall  keep 
your  hearts  and  minds,  through  CSirist  Jesus*." 
Our  Saviour  has  given  a  direction  similar  to  that 
of  the  Apostle.  ''  Take  no  thought  fx  the  morrow : 
the  morrow  shall  take  thought  for  the  things  of 
itself.  I  say  unto  you,  take  no  thought  for  your 
life,  what  ye  shall  eat,  or  what  ye  shall  drink ;  nor 
yet  for  your  body,  what  ye  shall  put  onf  .'* 

This  reiterated  command  £^ews  that  worldly 
anxiety  is  prohibited  in  all  circumstances.  The 
diief  reason  assigned  for  .the  prohibition  is,  that 
God  takes  charge  of  the  creatures  that  he  has 
made; — ^that  he  feeds  the  fowls  of  the  air,  and 
that  therefore  he  will  feed  us,—- that  he  clothes  the 
grass  of  the  field,  and  that  therefore  he  will  surely 
clothe  those  whom  he  has  endowed  with  life  and 
understanding.  "  Therefore  take  no  thought,  say- 
ing. What  shall  we  eat,  or  what  shall  we  drink, 
or  wherewithal  shall  we  be  clothed  ?  (For  after  all 
these  things  do  the  Gentiles  seek:)  For  your 
Heavenly  Father  knoweth  that  ye  have  need  of  all 
these  things.  But  seek  ye  first  the  kingdom  of  God, 
and  his  righteousness ;  and  all  these  things  shall  be 
added  unto  you." 

The  same  inspired  volume  which  contains  pro- 


On  fForldljf  Anseieiy.  4W 

hibitioQS  against  wordly  anxiety,  pr^ents  to  us  a 
remedy  under  those  evils,  by  the  fear  of  which  it 
is  occasioned.  We  are  commanded,  in  everything^ 
to  trust  in  God,  to  apply  to  him  for  support  and 
relief,  and  to  address  our  supplications  to  him  with 
the  fervour,  the  constancy,  and  ccxxfidence  of  those 
who  regard  him  as  the  hearer  of  prayer.  The 
state  of  mind  which  this  exercise  requires,  and 
which,  when  engaged  in  with  proper  motives,  it 
always  produces,  is  opposed  to  a  feverish,  harassing 
anxiety:  while  it  is  favourable  to  the  serenity, 
the  joy,  and  hope  which  result  from  the  lively  faith 
of  the  Gospel.  In  making  our  request  known  unto 
God  by  prayer  and  supplications  with  thanksgiving, 
can  we  fail  to  experience  the  peace  which  is  pro- 
mised,— ^the  peace  which  arises  from  a  firm  beli^ 
a  humble  reliance,  in  the  power,  goodness,  faith- 
fulness, and  overruling  providence  of  God :  the  con- 
viction, that  he  ever  watches  over  us,  that  he  ever 
pities  us ;  that  whatever  can  befall  us  shall  take 
place  only  by  his  appointment  or  permission;  and 
that  all  the  dispensations  through  which  we  may 
be  called  to  pass,  shall,  if  we  love  him,  be  made 
to  work  together  for  our  good. 

How  essential  to  our  happiness  and  usefulness 
is  this  peace,  which,  if  we  shall  only  use  the  pre- 
scribed means  of  obtaining,  we  may  fully  enjoy! 
Its  worth,  its  influence  on  our  moral  feelings  and  cha-^ 
racter,  as  well  as  the  source  from  which  it  proceeds^ 
entitles  it  to  the  description  which  the  Apostle  Paul 
has  given  of  it, — •'  The  peace  of  God,  that  passeth 
all  unc^ersti^ding,  and  that  keeps  the   heart  an4 


On  ^crtdlf  JlfUMty* 

ttind,  througii  Christ  Jesus."  With  this  heftTmly 
prineiple,  soothing  our  sorrows,  moderating  our  d&- 
BireSi  and  elevating  our  hopes,  we  are  happy  in  oar^ 
selves,  and  are  the  means  of  giving  happiness  to 
others :  we  are  not  only  freed  from  a  fertile  sonroe  of 
temptation,  but  have  ever  present  with  us  the  motives 
and  the  frame  of  mind  favourable  to  the  exeieise  of 
righteousness,  kindness^  and  truth.  So  dose  is  the 
connexion  between  the  possession  of  christian  ccm- 
fentment  and  the  practice  of  morality. 


Chaptee  V» 

QN  THB  IffOBDmATE  DESIRE   OP  WORLDLY  EHJOYtSJSHT,  0» 

COVETOUSNESS. 

This  is  another  of  the  evils  which  are  opposed  to  con- 
tentment. It  is  closely  allied  to  worldly  anxiety ;  so 
much  so,  indeed,  that  it  seems  impossible  to  indulge 
the  one,  without  giving  way,  in  some  measure,  to  the 
other. 

It  is  not  unlawful  to  desire  worldly  good,  when  the 
desire  is  indulged  within  the  bounds  of  christian  mo- 
deration.  Even  when  that  good  is  in  the  possession 
of  others,  we  may,  without  sin,  desire  it,  provided  it 
be  lawful  in  the  owners  to  part  with  it,  and  provided 
also,  that  we  are  willing  to  give  an  equivalent.  It  is 
the  inordinate  desire  of  this, — that  is,  such  a  desire  as 
is  unreasonable,  as  is  unsuited  to  the  principles  and 
prospects  of  a  christian,  as  surpasses  the  real  value 
of  the  object  wished  for,  and  is  {accompanied  with 


Qm  CkmHatmm.  MV 


Mixiflfty  and  diBqaietttde^-^it  is  this  wliich  is  maUL 
It  is,  thevoEEire,  prabitHted  in  its  earliest  flpristg  in  the 
hMfft:  **  Tboa  shalt  not  oovet  thy  neighbour's  housBp 
thou  ehsk  not  cofet  thy  neighbour's  wife,  near  his  man*i 
Mnruit,  nor  his  maidi^seryant,  nor  his  ox,  nor  hia  ass, 
nor  wiy  dnng  that  is  thy  nrig^bour's  */'-*^^  But  they 
that  will  be  ridi  fall  into  temptation  and  a  snare,  and 
into  qiany  foolish  and  hurtful  lusts,  which  drown  men 
in  destruotioii  and  perdition."  ^^  For  the  love  of  money 
is  the  root  of  all  evil:  which  while  some  covetedafier, 
they  have  erred  from  the  faith,  and  pierced  themselves 
through  with  many  sorrows.  But  thou,  O  man  of 
God,  flee  these  things ;  and  fi^w  after  righteousness, 
godluiess,  fiiith,  love,  patience,  meekness  f /' 

In  all  ranks  and  circumstances  of  society,  man  is 
exposed  to  teipptations  to  indulge  this  evil  deuw. 
Property  securei  to  its  possessor,  influence,  splendid 
aeoommodation  and  equipage,  luxury,  and  the  objects 
of  his  wishes  generally,  in  so  far  as  these  are  limited 
to  earthly  good.    Hence,  its  acquisition  is  sought 
after,  by  men  of  all  professions,  and  from  the  hi^iest 
to  the  lowest  of  the  community.     Is  it  not  natural  for 
those  who  have,  at  any  time,  e;xperienc6d  embarrass- 
ment from  a  deficiency  of  this  commodity,  anxiously 
to  provide  againrt  a  recurrence  of  similar  difl&nilties  Y 
It  procures  to  the  young  indulgences  to  whi^di  youth 
attache  so  much  value ;  to  those  engaged  in  the  bu^y 
scenes  of  life,  weight  and  authority  amcmg  their  asso* 
dates;   and  to  the  aged  the  attention  and  respect 
which  age  of  itself,  unaccompanied  with  the  posaessi<m 
of  prqperty,  sometimes  fitils  in  securing.    Can  we 

•  Ezol  XX.  17.  1 1  Tim.  Yi.  9—11. 


488  On  Covetcusn^ss. 

wander  that  an  instrument  by  which  we  can  work  so 
many  changes, — which  so  effectually  alters  our  con* 
dition  in  regard  to  others,  and  the  condition  of  others 
in  regard  to  us,^ — ^and  which  all  may  lawfully  exert 
themselves  to  obtain, — can  we  wonder  that  all  sfaoukl 
be  in  danger  of  pursuing  it  eagerly,  inordinately,  and 
sinfully  ? 

The  guilt  of  covetousness  is  afi&rmed  by  the  Aposde 
Paul,  when  he  declares  that  it  is  idolatry,  an  ali^ia- 
tion  of  heart  and  of  affection  from  God,  which  ex- 
cludes from  the  kingdom  of  Christ  and  of  Gkxi.  He 
also  declares  it  to  be  the  root  of  all  evil,  the  parent 
of  almost  every  sin,  the  spring  of  private  and  public 
mischief  and  misery.  When  the  love  of  money 
has  acquired  possession  of  the  heart,  it  hardens  and 
shuts  it  against  the  admission  of  every  softening  and 
generous  feeling, — it  steals  it  away  from  every  pure  and 
spiritual  object, — and  leaves  no  room  for  the  holy  pre- 
sence  of  that  God  who  condescends  to  dwell  with  men. 
Religion  apart,  it  often  produces  the  most  extraordi* 
nary  and  almost  incredible  transformations  on  human 
character;  converting  the  warm  and  affectionate  friend 
of  our  youth,  who  wept  when  we  wept,  and  who  re- 
joiced when  we  rejoiced,  into  the  cold  and  unfeding 
misanthropist,  who  is  alike  indifferent  to  all  that  can 
create  light  or  make  darkness,  and  who  wraps  himself 
up  in  the  narrow  covering  of  his  own  selfishness. 

Covetousness  is  a  vice  more  general  than  any  other, 
and  is,  perhaps,  more  frequently  the  occasion  of  secret 
and  open  apostacy  from  the  purity  of  religion.  Under 
the  mask  of  frugality,  a  laudable  economy,  and  the 
desire  of  making  a  competent  provision  for  a  family,  it 


On  CdMoumeu.  49 

may  be  strengthening  its  position  in  the .  citadel  of 
the  heart,  and  producing  a  wide  separaticm  between 
God  and  the  souL  While  there  remains  a  semblfiftoe 
of  devotion  and  the  wonted  regularity  in  observing 
its  ordinances,  this  enemy  may  have  acquired  a  firm 
possession ;  and  so  complete,  at  length,  may  its  mas- 
tery become,  that  the  man  under  its  influence  shi^ 
lose  every  susceptibility  of  either  spiritual  or  generous 
emotion. 

The  poor  are  as  liable  to  indulge  this  vice  as  .  the 
rich.  It  does  not  consist,  either  in  the  act  of  acquiring, 
or  of  possessing  wealth,  but  in  placing  the  heart  upqa 
it ;  and  that  all  are  too  apt  to  yield  to  it^  is  amfdy 
attested  by  the  consciences  of  all,  and  by  the  dedara* 
tions  of  the  sacred  oracles. 

Covetousness  leads  to  the  commission  of  almost 
every  crime :  it  is,  as  the  Apostle  declares,  the  root 
of  all  evil.  The  Scriptures  hold  up  to  our  view  its 
debasing  influence  on  Balaam,  who  loved  the  wages 
of  unrighteousness :— on  Judas,  who,  for  thirty  pieces 
of  silver,  sold  his  Divine  Master:— on  Demas,  who 
deserted  the  ministry  of  the  gospel,  having  loved  thia 
present  world:— on  Demetrius  and  his  associates, 
who,  for  the  sake  of  gain,  zealously  supported  a  sys- 
tem of  idolatrous  superstition.  What  instigates  the 
murderer,  in  defiance  of  the  authority  of  Ood  and  of 
his  own  conscience,  to  take  away  the  life  of  a  fellow- 
creature  ?  It  is  the  inordinate  desire  of  property.  To 
the  same  cause  we  may  trace  all  the  crimes  of  the 
persons  who  render  gaols  and  bridewells  necessary  ;^-- 
thefty  swindling,  robbery,  forgery,  smuggling,  perjury. 


406  CM  OlMMtotitMir. 

How  pemidomly  is  the  influance  (tf  this  vies  felt  in 
mmj  situatioa  of  life  1  The  poor,  in  puticuhur,  an 
often  painfidly  made  to  feel  it,  by  the  medium  of 
wkked  balances,  and  decmtfid  weighU:  the  rich,  in  the 
avarieiouB  and  unprincipled  oonduot  of  dependants, 
and  those  to  whom  they  intjruBt  their  buainetfl:  the 
young,  in  the  worldly  views  and  feelings  <tf  their 
parents,  who  pay  &r  greater  regard  to  the  weakh  of 
the  persons  with  whom  they  lead  them  to  form  pw* 
manent  eonnezions,  than  to  their  moral  and  religious 
worth;  and  the  aged,  in  the  interested  conduct  of 
those  around  them,  whose  eyes  are  OHitinually  fixed 
on  Hhe  advantages  they  are  to  derive  fiiom  their  death. 
It  is  oovetousness  that  hardens  the  heart  of  the  op- 
pressor, and  makes  it  insensible  to  the  ories  and  the 
tears  of  die  hapless  victims  of  his  inhumanity  and 
cruelty.  What  calamity  can  happen,  either  in  private 
or  public  life,  which  this  vice  does  not  aggravate,  if  it 
does  not  originate? 

But  in  yielding  to  this  passion,  do  not  mankind 
give  way  to  an  illusion?  How  unsatisfectory  and 
fleeting  is  all  the  good  which  gold  can  purchase?  He 
who  possessed  it  in  rich  abundance,  and  who  pro- 
cured by  it  all  the  gratifications  which  it  can  affind, 
has  confessed,  that  all  is  vanity  and  vexaticm  of  spirit. 
ESven  when  attained  almost  to  the  limit  of  our  wiriies, 
hew  uncertain  is  the  possession  I  "  Ridies  make 
themselves  wings,  and  fly  away."  Though  the  pos- 
session  should  be  retained  till  death,  how  awfel  is  the 
fixture  and  eternal  condition  rf  the  perscxi  who  has 
given  his  heart  to  mammon  I    After  having  spent  a 


feraigb,  mxious,  eaftUy  life,  in  the  n^eok of  aUtiie 
great  puYposes  Ibr  which  life  is  bestowed,  what  is  hie 
reward  ?  He  may  have  aooumulated  riches }  mid  in 
this  he  gained  the  end  of  his  pursuit :  but  he  ''  shall 
not  inherit  the  kingdom  of  Ood/*  Gold  is  thus  pur- 
chased at  a  price  of  incalculable  magnitude.  Though 
the  whole  world  were  grained,  it  is  at  the  expense  of 
the  soul :  **  and  what  shall  a  man  give  in  exchange  for 
bis  soldi" 

The  effectuid  way  of  shutting  out  froqi  our  boarts 
the  love  of  the  world,  is  habitually  to  cherish  the  love 
of  God.  Were  we  ever  endeavouring  to  enlarge  our 
conceptions  of  his  power,  love,  and  all-sufficiency  ;— 
of  the  comparative  worthlessness  of  whatever  would 
alienate  our  a^ections  from  bim ; — and  of  the  true 
and  eternal  happiness  to  which  he  has  called  us  to 
aspire,  we  should  feel  ourselves  more  at  liberty  to  run 
in  the  way  of  the  commandments.  ''  Love  not  the 
world,  neither  the  things  that  are  in  the  world.  If  any 
man  love  the  world,  the  love  of  the  Father  is  not  in 
him.  For  all  that  is  in  the  world,  the  lust  of  die  flesh, 
and  the  lust  of  the  eyes,  9nd  the  pride  of  life,  is  not  of 
the  Father,  but  i^  of  the  world.  And  the  world  piu^s- 
eth  away,  and  the  lust  thereof:  but  he  that  doeth  the 
will  of  God  abideth  for  ever*.*'  To  thi?  apostolic 
exhortation  I  will  add  that  of  a  di^tipguieihed  pro* 
phet ;  "  Beware,  lest  when  thy  herds  and  thy  flocjcs 
multiply,  and  thy  silver  and  thy  gold  is  multiplied,  find 
all  that  thou  hast  is  multiplied,  then  thine  heart  be 
lifted  up,  and  thou  forget  the  Lprd  thy  God ;  and  thou 
say  in  thine  heart.  My  power,  and  the  might  of  mme 

•  1  Jolm  fi.  i«— so. 


4flA  On  Catetouinett. 

haad  bath  gottoi  me  this  wealth.  But  thou  shalt  re- 
member Uie  Lord  thy  God;  for  it  is  he  that  giveth 
thee  power  to  get  wealth  *.** 


Chaptee  VI. 

ON  THE  LOVE  OF  POWER;  OR,  THE  PRINaPLE  OF  AMBmON. 

This  is  another  of  the  evils  which  are  directly  opposed 
to  the  virtue  and  happiness  of  man.  Ambition  is  the 
inordinate  desire  of  distinction  generally »  and,  con- 
sequently, of  those  things  by  which  distinction  is 
obtained.  It  consists  in  the  love  of  greater  power, 
and  in  the  effort  to  obtain  it,  than  is  actually  pos- 
sessed. The  desires  from  which  this  passion  origi- 
nates are  restless,  importunate,  and,  when  long  in- 
dulged, absorb  every  other  feeling,  and  engross  the 
whole  mind.  Their  sinfulness  appears  by  the  dis- 
satisfaction and  disobedience  whicli  they  indicate 
in  regard  to  God ;  their  pernicious  influence  on  the 
character  and  happiness  of  the  individual  who  ia- 
jdulges  them ;  and  the  misery  of  which  they  are  pro- 
jductive  in  reference  to  society. 

I.  Ambition  shews  dissatisfaction  and  disobedience 
in  regard  to  God.  He  has  allotted  to  all  the  situation 
which  each  occupies,  the  enjoyment  which  it  yields, 
and  the  respect  which  it  secures.  Being  infinitely 
wise  and  good,  this  arrangement  of  his  wisdom  and 
goodness  must  be  the  best.    But  is  it  not  an  impeadi* 

♦  Peut  viii.  1 1—17. 


On  lK&  LoP0  cf  Power.  4)i 

ment  ci  this  wisdom,  and  a  disparagem^st  of  his 
goodnessi  to  give  way  to  impatience  and  disoonteni; 
And  inordinately  to  desire  the  station,  the  influence, 
the  blessings  possessed  by  others?  Is  not  this,  par- 
tially at  least,  to  withdraw  our  allegiance  from  God, 
and  to  assume  ah  independence  inconsistent  with  our 
character  and  circumstances  as  creatures  ?  It  was  by 
indulging  the  wish  to  b^oome  as  gods,  and  to  know 
good  and  evil,  that  sin  was  first  introduced  into  the 
world ;  and  it  is  by  cherishing  inordinate  desire,  that 
sin,  in  every  case,  originates. 

It  is  unnecessary  to  say  how  incompatible  ibid 
spirit  is  with  the  power  and  the  practice  of  true'  rc^ 
ligion.  When  it  stakes  possession  of  the  heart,  dke 
love  and  fear  of  God  are  exduded ;  and  a  coarse  of 
disobedience  to  the  divine  authority,  and  of  reb^on 
against  God,  is  already  entered  upon. 

II.  Let  us  notice  the  pernicious  influence  of  aiD* 
bition  on  the  virtue  and  happiness  of  the  man  who 
indulges  it.  The  fedings  of  which  it  consists,  and 
to  which  it  gives  rise,  are  directly  opposed  to  both* 
These  are  dissatis&ction,  envy,  hatred,  selfishness,-*** 
feelings  which  it  becomes  more  difficult  to  gratify,  the 
more  they  are  cherished. 

How  can  the  man  who  aims  at  setting  himself  loose 
from  the  direction  and  government  of  Gcd, — and  every 
ambitious  man  does  so,-^rea8onably  hope  to  secure 
to  hiniself  happiness  ?  Is  the  object  of  his  wishes 
pditical  power: — though  he  should  bbtain  all  thi^ 
he  now  ventures  to  desire,  when  he  had  reached  the 
summit  to  which  his  view  is  now  limited,  wouki  he 
not  wish  to  dimb  the  still  higher  ^uinence  beyood; 


and  thai,  after  h*  Itad  aioMidaiL  liU  he  b*d  feadttd 
tha  hiflilst  pinnacla  to  Which  he  dtred  to  aspin, 
tbould  he  not  fieal  aa  diasatilitfad  as  6t««  or^  fitther, 
more  diasatiafiad  than  ttveri  with  the  natw^  add  the 
Aauunt  t£  hie  anjoymanta?  What  thoa^  ha  lOae^ 
not  to  be  a  BMoaidi  maralyi  but  to  be  the  aov«<ign 
cf  many  mdDaidiSi  and  the  poeasfleor  (tf  many  cfowAs 

and  niany  reahns»  where*  ot  how  could  his  aihbitinA 
b«  gcatifad  When  he  had  subdued  the  wteld,  and 
when  thete  ramainad  for  him  no  othmr  wbiU  td  auV 
due? 

Is  his  ultiaat^  end  litarary  fame  :o^tbis  aaeaAs  a 
4M>Uer  dbjeet  than  the  former,  and  one  fiDdiii  which*  in 
the  estimation  of  mai^,  greater  satiafoctiott  might  bfe 
derived.  But  in  reality,  it  is  not  less  criminid,  and 
not  laks  injurious  to  the  happiness  of  the  inditiduid 
who  derotes  himsdf  to  it,  Though  he  shoohl  auooeed 
in  atquirii^;  oslebrity  in  the  district  in  whidk  h^  re- 
aides^  or  evtti  in  the  Idngdoai  to  Which  he  beicDga, 
or  tfafon^  the  whole  of  the  ciTiliaed  wotld*  what  ia 
tfns  totfaaw^ersel  Woidd  he  not  find,  oftet  fa*  had 
gained  the  Uj^MBt  Uterary  repiitationt  that  the  anjby- 
ment  ^Amk  be  had  promised  to  reap  from  it  bad 
duded  him,  and  that  all  watf  raaity  wad  yextttian  of 
qifiit 

Tha  diosatlaOuHiiin  of  the  ambitioiis  mail  onac  in- 
CUBSo  in  prafMrtion  aa  he  admnosa  in  his  earsM',  ba- 
caiiMk  boiw«9et  aadoeasftilf  there  wiU  be  Wealth  and 
powerwhidi  he  maaoit  tmitu  The  Mag  a  tattuA 
<wutd  «oi  «D|^  hia  l^gdofli,  becaii8#  h»  eoY«c«d  ftae 
tideyiiMi  of  eoa  «f  Ida  aubjdoia.  The  ddf»ti«b  HamoA, 
WlHtt  tfa*  PWiiM  MttHMl^  IMd«  hli  |itiiie4^^ 


0n  tie  Lo90  df  Jhm&. 

and  who  InmI  hoQoursi  tuid  ^fiacn^  and  {Nrofinoea  at 
hiti  di«poiidi  wab  dUcoittaiited  and  miiarablo^  txmAj 
beoAiMie  an  obsoiir^  J^w  rafiiMd  to  pay  him  hMiiaga. 
*'  Tli6  qu6€Hi  did  let  no  ttati  oooie  in  with  ite  king 
Unto  the  banquet,  that  she  had  pire][)ar6d|  but  luyidf, 
and  tx^mortow  am  I  invited  unto  hef  i  also,  with  tte 
king.  Vet  all  thia  availeth  me  nothing,  eo  long  an  I 
aee  Mordecai,  the  Jew,  aitimg  at  thd  king's  gaia»'* 

tn.  L^  us  observe  the  evils  <^  which  atnbitiM  la 
always  prtxiuctive.  Within  the  nafKmest  limits  in 
Whidbi  it  is  dierished,  it  leads  the  individual  under  ita 
control  to  sacrifice  his  principle,  his  p6ao6,  and  hia 
fiiture  and  eternal  well-being.  His  heaM  is  away 
fihom  God ;  and  whatever  be  the  object  m  whidb  ft  te 
fisted,  it  is  the  idol  to  which  he  gives  his  homagCi^  a&d 
{ix>m  whidi  he  promises  to  derive  his  happiness. 

When  indulged  on  a  more  extended  iseale,  how 
minous  is  its  influ^ce  on  the  best  interests  of  matt- 
kind!  Does  it  aim  at  litetary  honour  and  dittitta- 
tioA  t-^how  often  has  ambition,  in  this  Way,  soogltt 
its  object  at  the  expense  of  troth ',  by  diii^Araghig)  if 
not  denying  the  character,  the  government,  amd  lite 
ptovidenceofOod;  by  vilifying  the  revelation  wiMi 
he  has  given  of  his  will,  and  of  his  men^M  deaigot; 
and  by  fiattering  the  vanity,  and  stimulating  the  SMi* 
duality  and  corruption  of  man !  ft  is  ttoM  gaiky  ftria- 
ciple  that  has  filled  the  world  with  a  apedes  of  BieM- 
tute  with  which  it  is  dangerous  to  be  acifMuMeA, 
which  is  the  vehicle  of  infidelity  inafl  (ts  fottts  ofM^ 
finement  and  coarseness,  and  which  addresses  itself 
in  sarcasm,  in  wit,  in  ridicule,  in  polluting  insinua- 
tion, to  the  passions  of  the  reader.    It  exists  under 


406  On  tfie  Lave  ofPtneer. 

Ilie  garb  of  history,  of  poetry,  of  philosophy,  and  of 
jferiodical  journals ; — ^assailing  the  highest  int^ests 
of  man  as  a  moral,  a  rdigious,  an  immortal  being. 

Does  ambition  seek  political  distincticm  and  power: 
-^ow  destructive  has  it  been  in  this  way  in  alls^es  of 
the  world!  Animated  and  carried  along  by  this 
principle,  to  what  madness  and  crime  has  it  led  in- 
dividuals both  in  ancient  and  in  modem  times  !  How 
many  thousand  human  beings  have  been  sacrificed  to 
gratify  the  ambition  of  a  single  Caesar !  If  we  beheld 
hamlets  and  cities  in  ruins,  the  means  of  subsistence, 
the  domestic  enjoyments  of  multitudes  wasted,  and 
war  spreading  misery  and  death  over  the  &ce  of  that 
world  on  which  the  Creator  lavishes  his  bounty,  we 
should  only  witness  some  of  the  evils  which  cruel  and 
hard-hearted  ambition  voluntarily  produces. 

Nor  let  us  deceive  ourselves  by  thinking  that  in  our 
humble  station  we  are  beyond  the  reach  of  its  in- 
fluence. There  is  no  principle  that  has  so  wide  a 
dontrd  over  mankind.  Paltry  as  the  object  may  be 
which  we  covet,  and  to  which  we  give  the  homage  of 
oiUr  heart,  it  will  prove,  should  we  love  it  to  the 
ki^lect  of  God  and  of  our  true  interests,  our  certain 
and  everlasting  ruin.  While  many  are  ever  saying, 
Who  will  shew  us  any  good — ^may  it  be  the  un- 
feigned language  of  our  hearts,  "  Ix>rd  lift  thou  up 
upon  us  the  light  of  thy  countenance.  Whom  have 
I  in  heaven  but  thee?  and  there  is  none  upon  earth 
that  I  desire  besides  thee." 


497 


Chapteb  VII« 


FORTITUDE. 


Another  of  the  duties  which  we  owe  to  ourselves  is 
the  cultivation  of  fortitude ;  or  that  virtue,  in  the  ex« 
ercise  of  which  we  are  enabled  to  conduct  ourselves 
with  propriety  in  regard  to  the  difficulties  and  dangers 
of  life ;  so  as  neither  to  betray  ourselves  by  unreason- 
able fear,  nor  rashly  to  put  ourselves  in  the  way  of 
evil.  It  is  by  fortitude  that  we  can  guard  frcHn  in- 
jury those  rights  which  the  Creator  has  given  us,  and 
employ  them  in  advancing  the  great  end  of  our  being ; 
it  is  by  the  self-command  which  proceeds  from  it 
that  we  can  prepare  to  meet  the  evils  which  threaten 
us  at  a  distance;  and  it  is  the  same  virtue  which 
keeps  the  mind  from  sinking  under  present  and  un- 
avoidable calamities,  and  animates  it  to  endure,  with 
patience  and  resignation  to  the  will  of  God,  what  it 
can  neither  control  nor  remove.  No  man  can  be 
truly  virtuous  who  is  not  in  some  degree  courageous ; 
since  all  the  evils  of  life, — ^pain,  and  poverty,  loss  of 
property,  of  friends,  or  of  reputation,  and  all  the  al- 
lurements of  unlawful  pleasure