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they shew us to what a measure of holiness some of our fellow creatures have attained; they show us the life and doctrine of the divine pattern of Christian purity: they are profitable to salvation through the influence of God's spirit: but this spirit they cannot give. What man, then, would not avail himself of every outward means to direct and instruct him in the concerns of highest interest;-the will of his Makerthe dispensations of Providence to the righteous and the wicked-the clear knowledge of his real state-the plan of salvation-the necessity and duty of obedience, patience, humility, purity of life and resignation—and the undoubted hopes of immortality? These were given to man by an extraordinary revelation; and it would be presumptuous to reject them.

But the knowledge of good and evil, in whatever way communicated to man, has been derived from the same eternal fountain of Purity and Wisdom. The channels have been different; but the source has been essentially the same, Whether instinctively revealed by Conscience, or excogitated by Reason, or promulgated on tables of stone, or displayed by the Gospel, this knowledge has been a revelation from God himself; varying only in the means and the degrees of accompanying light. For it has pleased divine goodness to measure out this light and knowledge from age to age, by effusions increasing both in brightness and fulness-each more perfect than the last, but agreeing fundamentally in the

principles-from the simplest moral intelligence to the last glorious dispensation by Jesus Christ.

So that it may be said, instinctive or natural moral emotions have handed this knowledge imperfectly to Reason, by the Light of Nature; Reason has acknowledged their fitness and congruity to the nature of man, and has secondarily proved the advantage of virtue and the disadvantage of vice; but primarily was never able to touch the heart from which both sprung, and to awake it into feeling: for Reason would be as competent to digest the laws of optics without an organ of vision, as to form the moral code without an implanted sense or principle of moral emotion. Under the Mosaic dispensation, the moral law was delivered more clearly and manifestly, with extraordinary signs of confirmation: and at last the light of the Gospel demonstrated, by unquestionable evidence, the true relation between man and his Maker, his immense distance in a natural state from the source of divine purity, his weakness and moral wants, and the only sure and effectual remedy.

Is it then of no consequence that man should be directed not only where to find his true guide and teacher, but how to approach him ?

It does not appear that he knows this from instinctive feeling; he cannot know it from unassisted Reason; but he sees the object and the path in Scripture. He sees what others have done and felt and known,— their experience in holiness,-the true temper of their minds,—the nature of their spiritual support, and the means of attaining it.


Illustrations of the foregoing Reasonings.

The following quotations are designed to illustrate some or other of the preceding remarks.

"Conscience," says Dr. Beattie, "like every other human faculty, and suitably to the whole analogy of animal and even of vegetable nature, arrives at maturity by degrees, and may either be improved by cultivation, or perverted by mismanagement.

"In our early years it is improved by moral precept and good example; and as we advance in life by habits of consideration, and a strict adherence to truth and our duty. By different treatment, by want of instruction, bad example, inconsiderate behaviour, neglect of duty, and disregard to truth, it may be perverted and almost destroyed. From this, however, we are not warranted to infer as some have done, that it is not a natural faculty, but an artificial way of thinking superinduced by education; nor suppose that opposite habits and opposite modes of teaching would have made us disapprove virtue and approve vice with the same energy of thought, wherewith we now disapprove vice and approve virtue. For let it be observed that even our outward senses may be made better or worse by good or bad

management. Even Reason itself is subject to the same law of habit, as the means of improvement or debasement-Yet it will not be said Reason is merely an artificial thing, a way of thinking superinduced by education."

Dr. Rush has the following remarks. "The low degrees of moral perception, that have been discovered in certain African and Russian tribes of men, no more invalidate our proposition of the universal and essential existence of a moral faculty in the human mind, than the low state of their intellects prove that Reason is not natural to man."-" It is with virtue as with fire. It exists in the mind, as fire does in certain bodies, in a latent or quiescent state. As collision renders the one sensible, so education renders the other visible.-There are appetites that are wholly artificial. There are tastes so entirely vitiated as to perceive beauty in deformity. Why under certain unfavourable circumstances may there not exist also a moral faculty, in a state of sleep, or subject to mistakes?—It would be as absurd to maintain, because olives become agreeable to many people from habit, that we have no natural appetites for any other kind of food, as to assert that any part of the human species exist without a moral principle, because in some of them it has wanted causes to excite it into action, or has been perverted by example.”

Dr. Price, in his excellent work on Morals, enforces similar ideas :

"In innumerable instances," says he, "the prac tical errors of men have arisen from their speculative errors: from their mistaking facts, or not seeing the whole of a case: whence it cannot but often happen that they will think those things right which if they had juster opinions of facts and cases they would unavoidably condemn."—" It is just as reasonable to expect disagreement and errors here, as in the application of the received principles of knowledge and assent in general. Nor would it be more extravagant to conclude, that men have not speculative reason, because of the diversity in their speculative opinions, than it is to conclude, they have no powers of moral perception, or that there is no fixed standard of morality, and no certain principles and rules for judging of it, because of the diversity in men's opinions, concerning the fitness or unfitness, lawfulness or unlawfulness of particular practices."—" It is not easy to determine how far our natural sentiments may be altered by custom, education and example.-Notions, the most stupid, may through their influence, come to be rooted in the mind beyond the possibility of being ever eradicated, antipathies given to objects naturally the most agreeable, and sensation itself perverted. It would be unreasonable to conclude from hence that all we are and think is derived from education.-Education and habit can give us no new ideas. The power and influence they have suppose somewhat natural as their foundation. Were it not for the natural powers by which we perceive

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