« السابقةمتابعة »
lutely incompatible with the doctrines that are Now many things may be very expedient if death quoted in the preceding paragraph.
were annihilation, which may be very inexpedient These incongruities of principle are sometimes now: and therefore it is not unreasonable tu expect, brought into operation in framing practical rules. nor an unreasonable exercise of humility to act upoa In the chapter on Suicide it is shown that Scripture the expectation, that the divine laws may sometimes disallows the act. Here then we might conclude impose obligations of which we do not perceive the that there was “an end to all further deliberation;" | expediency or the use. “ It may so fall out," says
X, and yet, in the same chapter, we are told that suicide Hooker, " that the reason why some laws of God would nevertheless be justifiable if it were expedient. were given, is neither opened nor possible to be Respecting Civil Obedience he says, the Scriptures gathered by the wit of man." * And Pearson says, ** inculcate the duty" and “enforce the obligation;" “ There are many parts of morality, as taught by but notwithstanding this, he pronounces that the revela:ion, which are entirely independent of an aconly ground of the subjects' obligation" consists curate knowledge of nature." + And Gisborne, in Expediency.* If it consists only in expediency, the “ Our experience of God's dispensations by no means divine law upon the subject is a dead letter. In one permits us to affirm, that he always thinks fit to act chapter he says that murder would be right if it was in such a manner as is productive of particular exuseful; t in another, that “one word" of prohibition pediency ; much less to conclude that he wills us ** from Christ is final.” † The words of Christ can- always to act in such a manner as we suppose would not be final, if we are afterwards to enquire whether be productive of it.” I All this sufficiently indimurder is “ useful" or not. One other illustration cates that Expediency is wholly inadmissible as an will suffice. In laying down the rights of the ma- ultimute rule. gistrate, as to making laws respecting religion, he II. The doctrine is altogether unconnected with makes Utility the ultimate standard ; so that what. the Christian revelation, or with any revelation ever the magistrate thinks it useful to ordain, that from heaven. It was just as true, and the deductions he has a right to ordain. But in stating the sub- from it just as obligatory, two or five thousand years jects' duties as to obeying laws respecting religion, ago as now. The alleged supreme law of moralityhe makes the commands of God the ultimate stand- “ Whatever is expedient is right”-might have been ard. The consequence is inevitable, that it is right | taught by Epictetus as well as by a modern Christian.
for the magistrate to command an act, and right for But are we then to be told that the revelations from I the subject to refuse to obey it. In a sound system the Deity have conveyed no moral knowledge to of morality such contradictions would be impossible. man? that they make to act obligatory which was There is a contradiction even in terms. In one place not obiigatory before ? that he who had the fortune
“ Wherever there is a right in one person to discover that " whatever is expedient is right," there is a corresponding obligation upon others." || | possessed a moral law just as perfect as that which In another place, “ The right of the magistrate to God has' ushered into the world, and much more ordain and the obligation of the subject to obey, comprehensive ? in matters of religion, may be very different."P
IN. If some subordinate rule of conduct were Perhaps the reader will say that these inconsist- proposed-some principle which served as an auxi. encies, however they may impeach the skilfulness of liary moral guide- I should not think it a valid the writer, do not prove that his system is unsound, objection to its truth, to be told that no sanction of or that Utility is not still the ultimate standard of the principle was to be found in the written revelarectitude. We answer, that to a Christian writer tion : but if some rule of conduct were proposed as such inconsistencies are unavoidable. He is obliged, being of univ. rsuk.obligation, some moral principle in conformity with the principles of his religion, to which was paramount to every other-and I discoacknowledge the divine, and therefore the supreme vered that this principle was unsanctioned by the authority of Scripture ; and if, in addition to this, written revelation, I should think this wart of sanche assumes that any other is supreme, inconsistency tion was conclusive evidence against it: because it is must ensue. For the same consequence follows the not credible that a revelation from God, of which adoption of any other ultimate standard-whether one great object was to teach mankind the moral sympathy, or right reason, or eternal fitness, or na- law of God, would have been silent respecting a rule ture. If the writer is a Christian he cannot, with- of conduct which was to be an universal guide to. out falling into inconsistencies, assert the supremacy man. We apply these considerations to the doctrine of any of these principles : that is to say, when the of Expediency: Scripture contains not u word upon precepts of Scripture dictate one action, and a rea- the subject. soning from his principle dictates another, he must IV. The principles of Expediency necessarily proinake his election: If he prefers his principle, Chris- ceed upon the supposition that we are to investigate tianity is abandoned: if he prefers Scripture, his the future, and this investigation is, as every one principle is subordinate: if he alternately prefers knows, peculiarly without the limits of human sagathe one and the other, he falls into the vacillation city: an objection which derives additional forco and inconsistency of which we speak.
from the circumstance that an action, in order to be Bearing still in mind that the rule “to endeavour expedient, must be expedient on the whole, at the ito produce the greatest happiness in our power," is long run, in all its effects, collateral and remote." .objectionable only when it is made an ultimule rule, I do not knew whether, if a man should sit down the reader is invited to attend to these short consi- expressly to devise a moral principle which should derations.
be uncertain and difficult in its application, he could I. In computing human happiness, the advocate devise one that would be more difficult and uncertain of Expediency does not sufficiently take into the ac- than this. So that, as Dr Paley himself acknowcount our happiness in futurity. Nor indeed does ledges, “ It is impossible to ascertain every duty by he always take it into account at all. One defini. an inmediate reference to public utility."| The tion says,
“ The test of the morality of an act is its reader may therefore conclude with Dr Johnson, tendency to promote the temporal advantage of the that “ by presuming to determine what is fit and greatest number in the society to which we belong.” what is beneficial, they presuppose more knowledge • Mor, and Pol. Phil. B. 5, c. 3. + B. 2, c. 6.
• j.cles. Polity, B.3, s. 10. + Theo.'y of Morals: c. 3. B. 3. p.3, c. 2.
$ B. 6, p. 3, c. 10.
I'rinciples of Mor. Phil. S Mor.anc Pol. I'luil. B.230.8. | B. 2, c. 9.
B. 6, p. 3, c. 10.
| B. 6, c. 12.
of the universal system than man has attained, and access to the written expression of the Will of God: therefore depend upon principles too coinplicated and how, it may be asked, can that be the final standand extensive for our comprehension : and there can ard of right and wrong for the human race, of which be no security in the consequence when the premises the majority of the race have never heard ? Tb! are not understood."*
question is reasonable and fair. V. But whatever may be the propriety of investiga- We answer then, first, that supposing most mer ting all consequences “ collateral and remote,” it is to be destitute of a cominunication of the Divine Wii certain that such an investigation is possible only in it does not affect the obligations of those who de that class of moral questions which allowsa man time to possess it. That communication is the final law te sit down and deliberately to think and compute. Asit me, whether my African brother enjoys it or not respects that large class of cases in which a person Every reason by which the supreme authority of the must decide and act in a moment, it is wholly useless. law is proved, is just as applicable to those who do esThere are thousands of conjunctures in life in which joy thecommunication of it, whether that communicaa man can no more stop to calculate effects col- tion is enjoyed by many or by few; and this, so faz lateral and remote, than he can stop to cross the as the argument is concerned, appears to be a sufAtlantic: and it is difficult to conceive that any cient answer. If any man has no direct access to rule of morality can be absolute and universal, which his Creator's will, let him have recourse to “ eternal , is totally inapplicable to so large a portion of human fitnesses,” or to“expediency;" but his condition dort affairs.
not affect that of another man who does possess this VI. Lastly, the rule of Expediency is deficient in one of the first requisites of a moral law-obvious- But our real reply to the objection is, that the ness and palpability of sanction. What is the pro- who are destitute of Scripture, are not destitute of cess by which the sanction is applied ? Its advocates a direct communication of the Will of God. The say, the Deity is a Benevolent Being: as he is bene- | proof of this position must be deferred to a subse volent himself, it is reasonable to conclude he wills quent chapter; and the reader is solicited for the that his creatures should be benevolent to one an- present, to allow us to assume its truth. This direct other: this benevolence is to be exercised by adapta communication may be limited, it may be incomplete, ing every action to the promotion of the “universal but some communication exists; enough to assure interest" of man: “ Whatever is expedient is right:" them that some things are acceptable to the Supreme or, God wills that we should consult Expediency.- Power, and that some are not; enough to indicate a Now we say that there are so many considerations distinction between right and wrong; enough to placed between the rule and the act, that the prac- make them moral agents, and reasonably accountable tical authority of the rule is greatly diminished. It to our Common Judge. If these principles are true, is easy to perceive that the authority of a rule will and especially if the amount of the communication not come home to that man's mind, who is told, is in many cases considerable, it is obvious that it respecting a given action, that its effect upon the will be of great value in the direction of individual universal interest is the only thing that makes it conduct. We say of individual conduct, because it right or wrong. All the doubts that arise as to this is easy to perceive that it would not often subserve effect are so many diminutions of the sanction. It is the purposes of him who frames public rules of molike putting half a dozen new contingencies between rality. A person may possess a satisfactory assuranes the act of thieving and the conviction of a jury; and ( in his own mind, that a given action is inconsistent every one knows that the want of certainty of penalty with the Divine Will, but that assurance is not conis a great encouragement to offences. The principle veyed to another, unless he participates in the evi. too is liable to the most extravagant abuse-or rather dence upon which it is founded. That which is extravagant abuse is, in the present condition of wanted in order to supply public rules for human mankind, inseparable from its general adoption. conduct, is a publicly avouched authority; so that a “ Whatever is expedient is right," soliloquizes the writer, in deducing those rules, has to apply, ultimoonlight adventurer into the poultry-yard : " It mately, to that Standard which God has publicly will tend more to the sum of human happiness that sanctioned. my wife and I should dine on a capon, than that the farmer should feel the satisfaction of possessing it;" -and so he mounts the hen-roost. I do not say that this hungry moralist would reason soundly, but I say that he would not listen to the philosophy which
CHAPTER III. replied, “ Oh, your reasoning is incomplete : you must take into account all consequences collateral and remote; and then you will find that it is more expedient, upon the whole and at the long run, that
Foundation and limits of the authority of subordinate you and your wife should be hungry. than that henroosts should be insecure.”
It is happy, however, that this principle never can The written expression of the Divine Will does be generally applied to the private duties of man. not contain, and no writings can contain, directions Its abuses would be so enormous that the laws would for our conduct in every circumstance of life. If take, as they do in fact take, better measures for the precepts of Scripture were multiplied a hundred regulating men's conduct than this doctrine supplies. or a thousand fold, there would still arise a multiplicity And happily too, the Universal Lawgiver has not of questions to which none of them would specifically left mankind without more distinct and more influen- apply.... Accordingly, there are some subordinate tial perceptions of his will and his authority, than authorities, to which, as can be satisfactorily shown, they could ever derive from the principles of Ex- it is the Will of God that we should refer. He who pediency.
does refer to them, and regulate bis conduct by
them, conforms to the will of God. But an objection has probably presented itself to
To a son who is obliged to regulate all his actions the reader, that the greater part of mankind have no
by his father's will, there are two ways in which he may practise obedience-one, by receiving, upon each subject, his father's direct instructions ; and
SUBORDINATE STANDARDS OF RIGHT AND WRONG.
• Western Isles.
the other, by receiving instructions from those whom sacred or imperative in their obligation that does his father commissions to teach him.
not belong to duties of morality-many, who would may appoint a governor, and enjoin, that upon all perhaps offer up their lives rather than profess a questions of a certain kind the son shall conform to belief in a false religious dogma, but who would his instructions; and if the son does this, he as scarcely sacrifice an hour's gratification rather than truly and really performs his father's will, and as violate the moral law of love. It is therefore of strictly makes that will the guide of his conduct, as importance to remember that the authority which if he received the instructions immediately from his imposes moral obligations and religious obligations is parent. But if the father have laid down certain one and the same—the Will of God. Fidelity to God general rules for his son's observance, as that he is just as truly violated by a neglect of his moral shall devote ten hours a-day to study, and not less-laws, as by a compromise of religious principles. although the governor should recommend or even Religion and Morality are abstract terms, employed command him to devote fewer hours, he may not to indicate different classes of those duties which comply; for if he does, the governor, and not his the Deity has imposed upon mankind; but they are father, is his supreme guide. The subordination is all imposed by Him, and all are enforced by equal destroyed.
authority. Not indeed that the violation of every This case illustrates, perhaps, with sufficient pre- particular portion of the Divine Will involves equal cision, the situation of mankind with respect to guilt, but that each violation is equally a disregard moral rules. Our Creator has given direct laws, of the Divine Authority. Whether, therefore, some general and some specific. These are of final fidelity be required to a point of doctrine or of pracauthority. But he has also sanctioned, or permitted tice, to theology or to morals, the obligation is the an application to, other rules; and in conforming to same.
It is the Divine requisition which constitutes these, so long as we hold them in subordination to this obligation, and not the nature of the duty rehis laws, we perform his will,
quired; so that, whilst I think a Protestant does no Of these subordinate rules it were possible to more than his duty when he prefers death to a proenumerate many. Perhaps, indeed, few principles fession of the Roman Catholic faith, I think also that have been proposed as “ The fundamental Rules of every Christian who believes that Christ has proVirtue,” which may not rightly be brought into use hibited swearing, does no more than his duty when by the Christian in regulating his conduct in life: he prefers death to taking an oath. for the objection to many of these principles is, not I would especially solicit the reader to bear in so much that they are useless, as that they are un- mind this principle of the identity of the authority warranted as paramount laws. Sympathy" may of moral and religious obligations, because he may be of use, and “ Nature" may be of use, and “ Self- otherwise imagine that, in some of the subsequent love,” and “ Benevolence ;" and to those who know pages, the obligation of a moral law is too strenuwhat it means, “ Eternal fitnesses too."
ously insisted on, and that fidelity to it is to be Some of the subordinate rules of conduct it will purchased at “ too great a sacrifice" of ease and be proper hereafter to notice, in order to discover, enjoyment. if we can, how far their authority extends, and where it ceases. The observations that we shall have to
THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES. offer upon them may conveniently be made under these heads : The Law of the Land, The Law of The purpose for which a reference is here made Nature, The Promotion of Human Happiness or to these sacred subjects, is to remark upon the unExpediency, The Law of Nations, The Law of fitness of attempting to deduce human duties from Honour.
the attributes of God. It is not indeed to be affirm. These observations will, however, necessarily be ed that no illustration of those duties can be derived preceded by an enquiry into the great principles of from them, but that they are too imperfectly coghuman duty as they are delivered in Scripture, and nizable by our perceptions to enable us to refer to into the reality of that communication of the Divine them for specific moral rules. The truth indeed is, Will to the mind, which the reader has been requested that we do not accurately and distinctly know what to allow us to assume.
the Divine Attributes are. We say that God is merciful; but if we attempt to define, with strictness, what the term merciful means, we shall find it a difficult, perhaps an impracticable task; and especially we shall have a difficult task if, after the den.
nition, we attempt to reconcile every appearance CHAPTER IV.
which presents itself in the world, with our notions of the attribute of mercy. I would speak with reverence when I say that we cannot always perceive
the mercifulness of the Deity in his administrations, The reader is requested to regard the present chapter as paThe parenthesis is inserted here, because the
either towards his rational or his irrational creation. writer does not know where more appropriately to place it. So, again, in respect of the attribute of Justice,
who can determinately define in what this attribute consists ! Who, especially, can prove that the Almighty designs that we should always be able to trace his justice in his government ? We believe
that he is unchangeable; but what is the sense in Identical authority of moral and religious obligations. The
which we understand the term! Do we mean that Divine attributes_Of deducing rules of human duty from the attribute involves the necessity of an unchangea consideration of the attributes of God_Virtue: “Virtue is conformity with the standard of rectitude"--Motives of
ing system of moral government, or that the Deity action,
cannot make alterations in, or additions to, his laws
for mankind? We cannot mean this, for the evi. This identity is a truth to which we do not suffi- dence of revelation disproves it. ciently advert either in our habitual sentiments or Now, if it be true that the Divine Attributes, and in our practice. There are many persons who the uniform accordancy of the divine dispensations speak of religious duties, as if there was something with our notions of those attributes, are not suffi.
IDENTICAL AUTHORITY OF MORAL AND RELIGIOUS
ciently within our powers of investigation to enable Virtue, as it respects the meritoriousness of the us to frame accurate premises for our reasoning, it agent, is another consideration. The quality of ac is plain that we cannot always trust with safety to action is one thing, the desert of the agent is anour conclusions. We cannot deduce rules for our other. The business of him who illustrates mora conduct from the Divine Attributes without being rules, is not with the agent, but with the act. He very liable to error ; and the liability will increase must state what the moral law pronounces to be in proportion as the deduction attempts critical right and wrong: but it is very possible that an inaccuracy.
dividual may do what is right without any Virtue, Yet this is a rock upon which the judgments of because there may be no rectitude in his motives and many have suffered wreck, a quicksand where many intentions. He does a virtuous act, but he is not a have been involved in inextricable difficulties. One, virtuous agent. because he cannot reconcile the commands to exter- Although the concern of a work like the present minate a people with his notions of the attribute of is evidently with the moral character of actions, mercy, questions the truth of the Mosaic writings. without reference to the motives of the agent; yet One, because he finds wars permitted by the Al. the remark may be allowed, that there is frequently mighty of olul, concludes that, as he is unchangeable, a sort of inaccuracy and unreasonableness in the they cannot be incompatible with his present or bis judgments which we form of the deserts of other future Will. One, on the supposition of this un
We regard the act too much, and the intenchangeableness, perplexes himself because the dis- tion too little. The footpad who discharges a pistol pensations of God and his laws have been changed; at a traveller and fails in his aim, is just as wicked and vainly labours, by classifying these laws into as if he had killed him; yet we do not feel the same those which result from his attributes, and those degree of indignation at his crime. So, too, of a which do not, to vindicate the immutability of God. person who does good. A man who plunges into a We have no business with these things, and I will river and saves a child from drowning, impresses venture to affirm that he who will take nothing upon the parents with a stronger sense of his deserts than trust—who will exercise no faith—who will believe if, with the same exertions, he had failed. We in the divine authority of no rule, and in the truth should endeavour to correct this inequality of judgof no record, which he is unable to reconcile with ment, and in forming our estimates of human conthe Divine Attributes-must be consigned to hope- duct, should refer, much more than we commonly less Pyrrhonism.
do, to what the agent intends. It should habitually The lesson which such considerations teach is a be borne in min:!, and especially with reference to simple but an important one: That our exclusive our own conduct that to have been unable to exebusiness is to discover the actual present Will of cute an ill intention deducts nothing from our guilt; God, without enquiring why his will is such as it is, and that at that tribunal where intention and action or why it has ever been different; and without seck- will be both regarded, it will avail little if we can ing to deduce, from our notions of the Divine At-only say that we have done no evil. Nor let it be tributes, rules of conduct which are more safely and less remembered, with respect to those who desire nore certainly discovered by other means.
to do good but have not the power, that their Virtue is not diminished by their want of ability. I ought, perhaps, to be as grateful to the man who
feelingly commiserates my sufferings but cannot reThe definitions which have been proposed of Vir- | lieve them, as to him who sends me money or a phy. tue have necessarily been both numerous and vari- sician. The mite of the widow of old was estimated ous, because many and discordant standards of rec- even more highly than the greater offerings of the titude have been advanced; and Virtue must, in rich. every man's system, essentially consist in conforming the conduct to the standard which he thinks is the true one. This must be true of those systems, at least, which make Virtue consist in doing right.Adam Smith indeed says, that “ Virtue is excel
CHAPTER V. lence; something uncommonly great and beautiful, which rises far above what is vulgar and ordinary." By which it would appear that Virtue is a relative quality, depending not upon some perfect or permanent standard, but upon the existing practice of
The morality of the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispen.
sations-Their moral requisitions not always coincidentmankind. Thus the action which possessed no Vir
Supremacy of the Christian morality-of variations in the tue amongst a good community, might possess much Moral Law-Mode of applying the precepts of Scripture to in a bad one. The practice which “ rose far above"
questions of duty-No formul moral system in Scripture
Criticisin of Biblical morality--Of particular precepts and the ordinary practice of one nation, might be quite general rules--Matt, vii. 12.-1 Cor. x.31.-Rom. iii. 8.-Be. common in another : and if mankind should become nevolence, as it is proposed in the Christian Scriptures, much worse than they are now, that conduct would ve eminently virtuous amongst them which now is THE MORALITY OF THE PATRIARCHAL, MOSAIC, AND not virtuous at all. That such a definition of Virtue is likely to lead to very imperfect practice is plain ; for what is the probability that a man will One of the very interesting considerations which attain to that standard which God proposes, if his are presented to an enquirer in perusing the volume atmost estinate of Virtue rises no higher than to an of Scripture, consists in the variations in its moraindeterminate superiority over other men ?
lity. There are three distinctly defined periods, in Our definition of Virtue necessarily accords with which the moral government and laws of the Deity the Principles of Morality which have been ad. assume, in some respects, a different character. vanced in the preceding chapter: Virtue is confor- | In the first, without any systein of external inmity with the Standard of Rectitude ; which standard struction, he communicated his Will to some of our consists, primarily, in the expressed Will of God. race, either immediately or through a superhuman
messenger. In the second, he promulgated, through T. co. Hor, Sent.
Moses, a distinct and extended code of laws, ad
dressed peculiarly to a selected people. In the third, respect to the Jewish dispensation, there are some Jesus Christ and his commissioned ministers, deli. who regard the moral precepts which were delivered vered precepts, of which the general character was before the period of that dispensation, as imposing that of greater purity or perfection, and of which permanent obligations: they were delivered, it is the obligation was universal upon mankind.
said, not to one peculiar people, but to individuals of That the records of all these dispensations con- many; and, in the persons of the immediate survivors tain declarations of the Will of God, is certain : of the deluge, to the whole human race. that their moral requisitions are not always coinci. ment assumes a ground paramount to all questions dent, is also certain ; and hence the conclusion be. of subsequent abrogation. Now it would appear a comes inevitable, that to us, one is of primary autho- sufficient answer to say-If the precepts of the Parity ;-that when all do not coincide, one is para- triarchal and Christian dispensations are coincident, mount to the others. That a coincidence does not no question needs to be discussed; if they are not, always exist, may easily be shown. It is manifest, we must make an election; and surely the Christian not only by a comparison of precepts and of the ge. cannot doubt what election he should make. Could neral tenor of the respective records, but from the a Jew have justified himself for violating the Mosaic expross declarations of Christianity itself.
law, by urging the precepts delivered to the patriOne example, referring to the Christian and Jew. archs ? No. Neither then can we justify ourselves ish dispensations, may be found in the extension of for violating the Christian law, by urging the prethe law of Love. Christianity, in extending the ap. cepts delivered to Moses. plication of this law, requires us to abstain from that We indeed have, if it be possible, still stronger which the law of Moses permitted us to do. This motives. The moral law of Christianity binds us, it is in the instance of duties to our “ neighbour," not merely because it is the present expression of the as they are illustrated in the parable of the Samari- Will of God, but because it is a portion of his last
Thus, too, in the sermon on the mount: dispensation to man-of that which is avowedly not " It hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt only the last, but the highest and the best. We do love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy: but I say not find in the records of Christianity that which we iulito you, Love your enemies.”+ It is indeed some- find in the other Scriptures, a reference to a greater times urged that the words “ hate thine enemy,” and purer dispensation yet to come. It is as true of were only a gloss of the expounders of the law: but the Patriarchal as of the Mosaic institution, that Grotius writes thus—“ What is there repeated as “ it made nothing perfect," and that it referred us said to those of old, are not the words of the teach- from the first, to “ the bringing in of that better ers of the law, but of Moses; either literally or in hope which did.” If then the question of supremacy their meaning: They are cited by our Saviour as is between a perfect and an imperfect system, who liis express words, not as interpretations of them." I will hesitate in his decision ? If the authority of Grotius should not satisfy the There are motives of gratitude, too, and of affecreader, let him consider such passages as this: “ An tion, as well as of reason. The clearer exhibition Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the which Christianity gives of the attributes of God; congregation of the Lord. Because they met you its distinct disclosure of our imunortal destinies ; and hot with bread and with water in the way, when ye above all, its wonderful discovery of the love of our came forth out of Egypt. Thou shalt not seek their Universal Father, may well give to the moral law wace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever." with which they are connected, an authority which This is not coincident with, “ Love your enemies ; ” may supersede every other. or with, “ Do good to them that hate you;” or with These considerations are of practical importance; that temper which is recommended by the words, for it may be observed of those who do not advert “to him that smiteth thee on one cheek, turn the to them, that they sometimes refer indiscriminately otlier also."'ll
to the Old Testament or the New, without any other " Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know guide than the apparent greater applicability of a thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy precept in the one or the other, to their present need: namc,''-is not coincident with the reproof of Christ and thus it happens that a rule is sometimes acted to those who, upon similar grounds, would have called upon, less perfect than that by which it is the good down fire from heaven. ** “ The Lord look upon it pleasure of God we should now regulate our couand require it,”ft-is not, coincident with, “ Lord, duct. It is a fact which the reader should especially lay not this sin to their charge.”If “Let me see thy notice, that an appeal to the Hebrew Scriptures is vengeance on them,"$$—“ Bring upon them the day frequently made when the precepts of Christianity of evil. and destroy them with double destruction,” | || would be too rigid for our purpose. He who insists --is not coincident with, “ Forgive them, for they upon a pure morality, applies to the New Testament: know not what they do." PP.
he who desires a little more indulgence, defends him. Similar observations applying to Swearing, to Po. self by arguments from the Old. lygamy, to Retaliation, to the motives of murder and of this indiscriminate reference to all the dispen. adultery.
sations, there is an extraordinary example in the And as to the express assertion of the want of newly discovered work of Milton. He appeals, I coincidence:-.“ The law made nothing perfect, but believe, almost uniformly to the precepts of all, as the bringing in of a better hope did.” “ There is of equal present obligation. The consequence is verily a disannulling of the commandment going be- what might be expected-his moral system is not tore, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof." fit consistent. Nor is it to be forgotten, that in defend. If the commandment now existing is not weak and ing what may be regarded as less pure doctrines, he unprofitable, it must be because it is superior to that refers mostly, or exclusively, to the Hebrew Scripwhich existed before.
In all his disquisitions to prove the lawfulBut although this appears to be thus clear with ress of untruths, he does not once refer to the New
Testament.* Those who have observed the prodi. • Luke, x 30.
† Matt. v. 43. 1 Rights of War and l’eace. $ Deut. xxiii. 3, 4, 6.
gious multiplicity of texts which he cites in this (Jer. x. 25.
work, will peculiarly appreciate the importance of*
# 2 Chror, xxiv, 22. the fact.-Again: “ Hatred,” he says, “ is in some # Ats, vii. Co.
Matt. y. 39.
s Jer. xx. 12.
cases a religious duty.”+ A proposition at which *** licb. vii 19. tti llcb. vi. 13.
• Christian Doctrine, p. 560. + P. 611
Jar, xvii. 18.