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without a moral guide, lawgiver and witness, manifesting itself by some more or less obscure indications.

It is true, that the most excellent seat in the mind is liable to be usurped by many inferior principles struggling to obtain the mastery: for, in the breast of a single individual, principles are at work analogous to the turbulent and conflicting principles acting in a community; some attempting to deceive with plausible pretences; some to seduce with the allurements of pleasure, and to drown suspicion in the lap of ease; some secretly to undermine ; some violently to overturn,—all aiming their attacks at the very power that would keep them in order, and establish a beautiful harmony. And, so much liberty is given to the will of man, too often they carry on their machinations with effect; so that lawful dominion is subverted. And it is this state of anarchy-this subver-. sion of the moral principle, when good is put for evil, and evil for good, and when even reason itself is conspiring with, and heading the usurpation of, vice against virtue, that some philosophers have told us, we are to consider man is originally placed; and that he is constitutionally without any legitimate internal Ruler. As if it were argued, that because the reins of government were taken away, there had never been a lawful sovereign; or because the garden of the mind, like an uncultivated waste, from neglect, was overgrown with weeds, no good seed had ever been sown there. This would surely be considered

very inconclusive reasoning; and as inconclusive to maintain that any moral agent, obviously endowed by the constitution of his nature, with opposing principles, should nevertheless be unable of himself to discriminate between their effects, and to know the good fruits from the bad, by any light or law of his own mind. Certainly, upon the principles laid down by these philosophers, that virtue may pass current for vice, and vice for virtue, among whole societies of men, this internal knowledge must be rejected.

For, say they, where will you find those universal moral maxims, those innate practical principles, those clear self evident truths and propositions, which must necessarily be proved to exist, if man is to be directed by the light of his own mind? But, to this it may be answered, that every principle, talent, faculty, or power given to man to profit with, is given him at first only as a rudiment or seed. And this may be called the seed of Truth, though it be not, in the language of Watts, as a perfect proposition in the mind.

As a general rule pervading the natural and moral system, it may be observed, that, in the beginnings of all created things, endowed with capabilities of enlargement and improvement, it has pleased divine Providence to disclose nothing to human research, but general outlines and general tendencies. And though there be a general resemblance among mankind, both in lineaments and character, over all the world and in every age, yet there are individual, local,

and national peculiarities; so that two minds are not more exactly alike than two faces or two leaves. Now, with regard to the foundation of speculative and moral maxims, none of the original tendencies are laid down in precise and determinate rules, like an innate code of laws hung up for constant inspection, and applicable to every case of conduct, and to every outward situation of life, without labour and inquiry. The truths of Christianity itself were not ushered into the world in the form of a precise code of formal rules. The Gospel inculcated principles, not details, to reform the heart, more than to instruct the head. So far, the analogy of Christian doctrine to the natural and moral system is complete.

But though man does not receive from his Maker, either speculative or moral maxims, as rules of judgment and of conduct, like so many perfect innate propositions enforcing assent in his very infancy; yet he has received that constitution of mind which enables him to form to himself the general rules, or first principles on which religion and science must be built, when he allows himself those advantages of cultivation and exercise which every talent he possesses absolutely requires. And this is all that is pleaded for; and it is sufficient for the end. Nor is there any thing either mystical, or unphilosophical, or unscriptural in the notion. For if the proposition be not strictly innate, it arises from an innate power, which, in a sound mind, cannot form a proposition in any other way that will harmonize with enlightened reason and

purified moral sentiment, than in that to which the natural bias of the mind leads.


Moral Truth is not unfolded with universal clearness.

We come, then, to this fact, in the present state of man, acknowledged and to be deplored, proof enough of his natural weakness and need of helpthat the dictates of truth and knowledge of duty are not unfolded with universal clearness, nor imparted in all states of the mind and under all circumstances, with that convincing evidence which commands implicit assent, and wholly excludes error.

Truth, like an object before the natural eye, sometimes is seen dimly; sometimes it is distorted; sometimes other objects intervene; sometimes it is enveloped in darkness; sometimes the organ itself is blind, and cannot see; sometimes the reflecting orb of Reason eclipses the true light of the mind. These are conditions which attach to mortality—to frail and imperfect man; they belong to the infirmity of his nature-conditions to which not only the senses but the nobler faculties are liable, in this state of being.

Truth is a ray of practical wisdom, which man must not expect to see, in the storm of passion, nor in the lap of sensual indulgence, nor in the false light or mist of prejudice, nor in the darkness of ignorance,

nor under the veil of self-deceit, nor even in the dreams of enthusiasm the delicious extacy of fancy's brightest visions, nor on the mountains of speculation, where human reason tries its own strength in drawing it down as it were from the fountain of light itself.

Truth is found in the pure sunshine of the soul, in the low valley of humility, the retreat of calmness and peace, where all storms are at rest; by those only who seek it with earnestness and patience; by the simple in heart, who endeavour to subject their wills and affections to the will of their Maker. No man can command its presence; not even the best. And whoever hath it and uses it not to profit, possesses it to his condemnation. So that the mere knowledge of divine things, by whatever means obtained (even by the ministration of Angels) is worth nothing, if it is not obeyed. Is it possible then for man to find it by the exercise of a faculty, which in its pride and elevation, is ever more disposed to say like the haughty Assyrian, "By my own arm I have done it," than in prostrate meekness to petition for divine help-a faculty which, it need not be told, is often the first to challenge and doubt the appearance of Truth itself; so as almost to set itself in array against Omniscience, and to ask for demonstration when heart-felt evidence is all that in the nature of things can be offered ?

I speak of Truth - the living water from God's throne-the pure manna from heaven, food of an immortal spirit the ray of divine effulgence which can

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