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consecrated affections, of the new creature miration-virtues in which there is a meet-
Let these examples serve to impress a gious principle; and that among other reareal and experimental distinction which sons, because a man may feel a value for obtains between two sets of virtues; be one of the attributes which belongs to this tween those which possess the single ingre- class of virtues, and have no value whatdient of being approved by God, while they ever for the other attribute. If justice be want the ingredient of being also accepta- both approved by God, and acceptable to ble unto men—and those which possessmen, he may on the latter property alone, both these ingredients, and to the observ- be induced to the strictest maintenance of ance of which, therefore, we may be carried this virtue-and that without suffering its by a regard to the will of God, without any former property to have any practical inreference to the opinion of men-or by a fluence whatever on any of his habits, or regard to the opinion of men, without any any of his determinations, and the same reference to the will of God. Among the with every other virtue belonging to this first class of virtues we would assign a second class. As residing in his character, foremost place to all those inward and there may not be the ingredient of godlispiritual graces which enter into the obe- ness in any one of them. He may be well dience of the affections--highly approved reported on account of them by men ; but of God, but not at all acceptable to the gene- with God he may lie under as fearful a ral taste, or carrying along with them the severity of reckoning, as if he wanted them general congeniality of the world. And altogether. Surely, it does not go to allethen, though they do not possess the ingre- viate the withdrawment of your homage dient of God's approbation in a way so from God, that you have such an homage separate and unmixed, we would såy that to the opinion of men, as influences you to abstinence from profane language, and at- do things, to the doing of which the law of tendance upon church, and a strict keeping God is not able to influence you. It cannot of the sabbath, and the exercises of family be said to palliate the revolting of your inworship, and the more rigid decrees of so-clinations from the Creator, that you have briety, and a fearful avoidance of every en- transferred them all to the creature; and croachment on temperance or chastity, given an ascendency to the voice of human rank more appropriately with the first than reputation, which you have refused to the with the second class of virtues; for though voice and authority of your Lawgiver in there be many in society who have no re- heaven. Your want of subordination to ligion, and yet to whom several of these him, is surely not made up by the respectful virtues are acceptable, yet you will allow, subordination that you render to the taste that they do not convey such a universal or the judgment of society. And in addipopularity along with them, as certain other tion to this, we would have you to rememvirtues which belong indisputably to the ber, that though other constitutional prinsecond class. These are the virtues which ciples, besides a regard to the opinion of have a more obvious and immediate bearing others, helped to form the virtues of the on the interest of society—such as the truth second class upon your character; though which is punctual to all its engagements, compassion and generosity, and truth. and the honour which never disappoints the would have broken out into full and flouconfidence it has inspired, and the compas- rishing display upon you, and that, just besion which cannot look unmoved at any of cause you had a native sensibility, or a nathe symptoms of human wretchedness, and tive love of rectitude; yet, if the first the generosity which scatters unsparingly ingredient be wanting, if a regard to the around it. These are virtues which God approbation of God have no share in the has enjoined, and in behalf of which man production of the moral accomplishmentbifts the testimony of a loud and ready ad- then all the morality you can pretend to, is
of as little religious estimation, and is as story, than to abandon the iniquities of his
But again. This view of the distinction works; and the antipathy is assuredly well between the two sets of virtues, will serve and warrantably grounded, when it is such to explain how it is, that, in the act of turn- a preaching as goes to reduce the importing unto God, the one class of them appears ance, or to infringe upon the simplicity, of to gather more copiously, and more con- the great doctrine of justification by faith, spicuously, upon the front of a renewed but along with this, may there not be recharacter, than the other class; how it is marked the toleration with which they will that the former wear a more unequivocal listen to a discourse upon one set of good aspect of religiousness than the latter; how works, and the evident coldness and disit is, that an air of gravity, and decency, like with which they listen to a discourse on and seriousness, looks to be more in alliance another set of them; how a pointed remonwith sanctity, than the air either of open strance against Sabbath breaking sounds in integrity, or of smiling benevolence; how their ears as if more in character from the it is, that the most ostensible change in the pulpit, than a pointed remonstrance against habit of a converted profligate, is that the commission of theft, or the speaking of change in virtue of which he withdraws evil; how an eulogium on the observance himself from the companions of his licen- of family worship, feels, in their taste, to be tiousness; and that to renounce the dissi- more impregnated with the spirit of sacredpations of his former life stands far more ness, than an eulogium on the virtues of frequently, or, at least, far more visibly, as the shop, or of the market-place; and that sociated with the act of putting on Chris- while the one is approved of as having tianity, than to renounce the dishonesties of about it the solemn and the suitable chahis former life. It is true, that, by the law of racteristics of godliness, the other is stigthe gospel he is laid as strictly under the matized as a piece of barren, heartless, heaauthority of the commandment to live righ-thenish, and philosophic morality? Now, teously, as of the commandment to live this antipathy to the preaching of the latter soberly.. But there is a compound cha- species of good works, has something peracter in those virtues which are merely culiar in it. It is not enough to say, that social; and the presence of the one ingre- it arises from a sensitive alarm about the dient serves to throw into the shade, or to stability of the doctrine of justification; for disguise altogether, the presence of the other let it be observed, that this doctrine stands ingredient. There is a greater number of opposed to the merit not of one particular irreligious men, who are at the same time class of performances, but to the merit of just in their dealings, than there is of irre- all performances whatsoever. It is just as ligious men, who are at the same time pure unscriptural a detraction from the great and temperate in their habits; and there- truth of salvation by faith, to rest our acfore it is that justice, even the most scrupu- ceptance with God on the duties of prayer, Jous, is not so specifical, and of course not or of rigid Sabbath keeping, or of strict and so satisfying a mark of religion, as is a so-untainted sobriety, as to rest it on the puncbriety that is rigid and unviolable. And tual fulfilment of all your bargains, and on all this helps to explain how it is, that when the extent of your manifold liberalities. It a man comes under the power of religion, is not, then, a mere zeal about the great to abandon the levities of his past conduct article of justification which lies at the botis an event which stands far more notice-tom of that peculiar aversion that is felt ably out upon him, at this stage of his his-1 towards a sermon on some social or hu
mane accomplishment; and that is not felt religious. The man who pays no homage
most strenuous cultivation. They must not
which are both acceptable to God, and ap- ings, he would try to make the odiousness proved of men.
of sin stand visibly out on every shade and * Let, therefore, every pretender to Chris- modification of dishonesty; and to assure tianity vindicate this assertion by his own them that if there be a place in our world, personal history in the world. Let him not where the subtle evasion, and the dexterous lay his godliness aside, when he is done imposition, and the sly but gainful concealwith the morning devotion of his family; ment, and the report which misleads an but carry it abroad with him, and make it inquirer, and the gloss which tempts, the his companion and his guide through the unwary purchaser-are not only currently whole business of the day; always bearing practised in the walks of merchandize, but, in his heart the sentiment, that thou God when not carried forward to the glare and seest me; and remembering, that there is not the literality of falsehood, are beheld with one hour that can flow, or one occasion general connivance; if there be a place that can cast up, where his law is not pre- where the sense of morality has thus fallen, sent with some imperious exaction or other. and all the nicer delicacies of conscience It is false, that the principle of christian are overborne in the keen and ambitious sanctification possesses no influence over | rivalry of men hasting to be rich, and the familiarities of civil and ordinary life. wholly given over to the idolatrous service It is altogether false, that godliness is a vir- of the god of this world, then that is the tue of such a lofty and monastic order, as place, the smoke of whose iniquity rises beto hold its dominion only over the solemni-fore Him who sitteth on the throne, in a ties of worship, or over the solitudes of tide of the deepest and most revolting abo prayer and spiritual contemplation. If it mination. be substantially a grace within us at all, it And here we have to complain of the will give a direction and a colour to the public injustice that is done to Christianity, whole of our path in society. There is not when one of its ostentatious professors has one conceivable transaction, amongst all the acted the hypocrite, and stands in disgracemanifold varieties of human employment, ful exposure before the eyes of the world. which it is not fitted to animate by its spirit. We advert to the readiness with which this There is nothing that meets us too homely is turned into a matter of general impeachto be beyond the reach of obtaining, from ment, against every appearance of seriousits influence, the stamp of something celes- ness; and how loud the exclamation is against tial. It offers to take the whole man under the religion of all who signalize themits ascendency, and to subordinate all his selves; and that, if the aspect of godliness movements ; nor does it hold the place be so very decided as to become an aspect which rightfully belongs to it, till it be of peculiarity, then is this peculiarity convested with a presiding authority over the verted into a ground of distrust and suspientire system of human affairs. And there- cion against the bearer of it. Now, it so fore it is, that the preacher is not bringing happens, that in the midst of this world down Christianity--he is only sending it lying in wickedness, a man, to be a Chrisabroad over the field of its legitimate ope- tian at all, must signalize himself. Neither ration, when he goes with it to your count is he in a way of salvation, unless he be ing-houses, and there rebukes every selfish one of a very peculiar people; nor would inclination that would carry you ever so we precipitately consign him to discredit, little within the limits of fraudulency; when even though the peculiarity be so very he enters into your chambers of agency, glaring as to provoke the charge of meand there detects the character of falsehood, thodism. But instead of making one man's which lurks under all the plausibility of hypocrisy act as a draw-back upon the your multiplied and excessive charges ; reputation of a thousand, we submit, if it when he repairs to the crowded market-would not be a fairer and more philosophiplace, and pronounces of every bargain, cal procedure, just to betake one's-self to over which truth, in all the strictness of the method of induction to make a walkquakerism, has not presided, that it is tainted ing survey over the town, and record an with moral evil; when he looks into your inventory of all the men in it who are so shops, and, in listening to the contest of very far gone as to have the voice of psalms argument between him who magnifies his in their family; or as to attend the meetarticle, and him who pretends to undervalue ings of fellowship for prayer; or as scruit, he calls it the contest of avarice, broken pulously to abstain from all that is quesloose from the restraints of integrity. He tionable in the amusements of the world; is not, by all this, vulgarizing religion, or or as, by any other marked and visible giving it the hue and the character of earth-symptom whatever, to stand out to general liness. He is only asserting the might and observation as the members of a saintly the universality of its sole preeminence over and separated society. We know, that even man. And therefore it is, that if possible of such there are a few, who, if Paul were to solemnize his hearers to the practice of alive, would move him to weep for the resimplicity and godly sincerity in their deal-1 proach they bring upon his master. But
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we also know, that the blind and impe-| poverty-and who look with the most tuous world exaggerates the few into the wakeful eye over all the sufferings and nemany; inverts the process of atonement cessities of our species--and who open altogether, by laying the sins of one man their hand most widely in behalf of the upon the multitude; looks at their general imploring and the friendless--and to whom, aspect of sanctity, and is so engrossed with in spite of all their mockery, the men of this single expression of character, as to be the world are sure, in the negociations of insensible to the noble uprightness, and the business, to award the readiest confidence tender humanity with which this sanctity and who sustain the most splendid part in is associated. And therefore it is, that we all those great movements of philanthropy offer the assertion, and challenge all to its which bear on the general interests of manmost thorough and searching investigation, kind-and who, with their eye full upon that the Christianity of these people, which eternity, scatter the most abundant blessings many think does nothing but cant, and over the fleeting pilgrimage of time-and profess, and run after ordinances, has aug- who, while they hold their conversation in mented their honesties and their liberalities, heaven, do most enrich the earth we tread and that, tenfold beyond the average cha- upon, with all those virtues which secure enracter of society; that these are the menjoyment to families, and uphold the order we oftenest meet with in the mansions of l and prosperity of the commonwealth.
a of the
DISCOURSE III. The Power of Selfishness in promoting the Honesties of mercantile Intercourse. "And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the
same." -Luke vi. 33.
It is to be remarked of many of those i particular testimony when it is rendered. duties, the performance of which confers The other is additional to my right-the the least distinction upon an individual, offering of a spontaneous good will which that they are at the same time the very I had no title to exact; and which, thereduties, the violation of which would con- fore, when rendered to me, excites in my fer upon him the largest measure of oblo- bosom the cordiality of a warmer acknowquy and disgrace. Truth and justice do ledgement. And yet, our Saviour, who not serve to elevate a man so highly above knew what was in man, saw, that much the average morality of his species, as of the apparent kindness of nature, was rewould generosity, or ardent friendship, or solvable into the real selfishness of nature; devoted and disinterested patriotism; the that much of the good done unto others, former are greatly more common than the was done in the hope that these others latter; and, on that account, the presence would do something again. And, we beof them is not so calculated to signalize the lieve it would be found by an able analyst individual to whom they belong. But that of the human character, that this was the is one account, also, why the absence of secret but substantial principle of many of them would make him a more monstrous the civilities and hospitalities of ordinary exception to the general run of character intercourse--that if there were no expectain society. And, accordingly, while it is tion either of a return in kind, or of a retrue, that there are more men of integrity turn in gratitude, or of a return in popuin the world, than there are men of very larity, many of the sweetening and cementwide and liberal beneficence—it is also true, ing virtues of a neighbourhood would be that one act of falsehood, or one act of dis-practically done away-all serving to prove. honesty, would stamp a far more burning that a multitude of virtues, which, in effect infamy on the name of a transgressor than promoted the comfort and the interest of any defect in those more heroic charities, others, were tainted in principle by a latent and extraordinary virtues, of which hu- regard to one's own interest; and that thus manity is capable
being the fellowship of those who did good, So it is far more, disgraceful not to be either as a return for the good done unto just to another, than not to be kind to him; them, or who did good in hope of such a and, at the same time, an act of kindness return, it might be, in fact, what our Samay be held in higher positive estimation viour characterizes in the text-the fellowthan an act of justice. The one is my right ship of sinners. --nor is there any call for the homage of al But if to do that which is unjust, is still