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irresistible eloquence for the accustomed gratification. But, when the son of misery is satiated with plenty, the torture of his expectation vanishes, the pleasure of gratification is no more.

But it is not so with the person who relieves him. He felt a supreme satisfaction in contributing to his necessity; and every recollection enhances the delight.

The sensations also are widely different in degree.

It is universally allowed, that parental fondness evidences itself much more powerfully than filial love.

Hence we may certainly conclude, that, in this instance, the pleasure of conferring favours is superior to the pleasure of receiv

ing them.

And, although, in strict propriety, no appeal can be made to an almost antiquated passion; yet a similar conclusion may pofsibly be collected from the animated language, in which the citizens of Sparta, and of Rome, expressed the fervour of their affection, for their country's cause. The happiness of the almighty is certainly as much superior to the happiness of his creatures, as his nature is superior, with respect to intrinsic excellence, and

power. And his happiness is therefore greater, because they receive from him whatever they enjoy, unable to repay it by a similar return of bounty, while he remains to endless ages the inexhaustible fountain of all good.

The indulgence of the benevolent affections forms our highest happiness also ; because the heart, which is actuated by them, is a stranger to perplexity and care.

Those tumultuous passions, in whose sad retinue are found disorder, confusion, and despair, are unknown where the gentler form of benevolence bears sway. Pride, avarice, anger,


revenge, bow down before her : they are hushed in soft repose; like the beasts of night, when the sun ariseth they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

When we consider the numerous wants and imperfections of our nature, we see the wisdom of providence, in implanting those seeds of soft compassion in our breasts, which soothe our mutual forro vs, at the same time


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that they are the sources of almost every blessing we enjoy.

The words of scripture, the practice of our heavenly teacher, confirm this voice of nature, and bind us with additional obligations to its observance.

The gospel, in every page, exhorts us, to suppress each rising paffion, which opposes itself to our neighbour's happiness, to sacrifice our own emolument to his advantage, and to subdue the hostile spirit of the inju-' rious person, by accumulated acts of undeserved kindness.

The great founder of our religion came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for mankind.

His disciples imitated this great example. And, when we reflect upon the constant tenor of their conduct; when we behold them calm and composed in the time of danger, unterrified by every form of persecution and distress, rejoicing themselves in-tribulation, exhorting others, to rejoice ; we must certainly conclude, that they felt a fincerer pleasure, a more warm and impafsioned satisfaction, in their works of beneII.



volence, in their labours of love, than if they had been gratified with the actual enjoyment of whatever wealth, and honour, and dominion could bestow.

It cannot be urged in opposition to the doctrine we would establish, that every

human action may be traced, until it be found connected with the love of pleasure, the love of

power, or the love of praise.

The love of pleasure animates to action; and experience proves, that the highest pleasure is found in the performance of those actions which are useful to our species.

The love of power is virtuous, when we attempt its acquisition, with a view of increasing our capacities of doing good.

Approbation and applause are the grateful tribute of mankind, in return for just and generous conduct. It is; therefore, a characteristic mark of a benevolent heart to be influenced by the love of honest praise. And the delight, arising from the indulgence of this passion, is itself a demonstration, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

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Every passion, therefore, in our constitution points out, that true enjoyment is only to be found in acts of social love.

And on this idea, happiness is surely in our power. We cannot indeed command the exercise of our neighbours kind affections in our favour, but we possess an unlimited power over our own.

Nor can it be urged as an objection to this theory, that religion frequently appeals to the selfish passions of our nature ; or with reason be asserted, that revelation, holding forth the gift of immortality, as the destined reward of our obedience, in fact annihilates the intrinsic excellence, and native dignity of every generous virtue, in the breast of each believer of the gospel.

It is readily allowed, that reward is only due to disinterested acts of virtue.

But the principle of every social, and difinterested affection is gradually formed in the heart, by a kind of mechanical process, and by the aid of motives, which differ widely from their generated effect,

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