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ous be allowed, this follows of course. cnt than that the mind which loves hapand in proportion to the degree in which Purse be disinterested. In other words, it A partiality for its own enjoyment, or any Jaat of others. Its delight in the happiness A will be the same with that which it finds in out; so far as it is able to understand and reaWe cannot, I acknowledge, ei

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or feel the concerns of others in the same >ur own; and from this imperfection would arise, Jenevolence were perfect, a difference in our esti...nese objects, which so far as I see could not be But in cases not affected by this imperfect state unds, cases which even in this world are numerous, bad can in my view be alleged why the estimation wowd not be the same. In a more perfect state of being obable the number of such cases may be so enlarged comprehend almost all the interests of intelligent crea

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possible to exercise complacer.cy: than the love of such virtue. interested.

This love is an active principle.

By this I intend, that in its nature it controls all the facules in such a manner as to engage them supremely in the promotion of the great object in which it delights. Of this auth we have the most abundant proof in the scriptural exhibitions of the character of God, of the Redeemer, and of those saints whose history they record. God,' saith St John,

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A love.'' Every good gift,' saith St. James, and every perfoot gift, is from above; and cometh down from the Father of lights. Nevertheless,' saith St. Paul, he left himself not without witness; in that he did good, giving us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. Thou art good,' says David, and dost good; and thy tender mercies are over all thy works.' Jesus Christ,' says St. Peter, a man who went about doing good.' It is hardly necessary to observe, that the whole body of worthes presented to us in the Scriptures were in this respect follows of God, as dear children;' or that the same mind' was

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in them, which was also in Christ.' The Epistle of St. Paul particularly, and his whole history after his conversion, as given to us by St. Luke, are one continued proof that this was his ruling character. The love which exists' in word, and in tongue,' the Scriptures reprobate, and approve and enjoy that only which, in their emphatical language, exists' in deed and truth.' We hardly need, however, look to this or any source for evidence concerning this subject. Love in all cases, so far as our experience extends, prompts him in whom it exists to promote the happiness of the object beloved. So plain is this to the eye of common sense, that no person believes love to exist in any mind, which does not labour to accomplish happiness for the object which it professes to love. Thus a parent who neglects the happiness of his children is universally pronounced not to love them; and thus persons professing friendship for others, and inattentive at the same time to their welfare, are with a single voice declared to be friends in pretence merely. What is true in this respect of these natural affections, is altogether true of evangelical love. Its proper character is to do good as it has opportunity.

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6. This principle is the only voluntary cause of happiness. The benevolence of intelligent creatures is the same in 'kind with the benevolence of God; and for this reason is styled 'the image of God.' But the benevolence of God is the single original cause, the sole as well as boundless source of all the happiness found in the creation. In the great design of producing this happiness he has required intelligent creatures to co-operate with himself. Of their labours to this end their own benevolence is the only immediate cause. Benevolence therefore, in God and his intelligent creatures, considered as one united principle of action, is the only voluntary source of happiness in the universe. As therefore none but voluntary beings can produce nor even contrive happiness, and as no voluntary beings except benevolent ones are active to this end, it is plain that happiness is ultimately derived from benevolence alone, and but for its exertions would never have existed.

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7. This principle is one.

By this I intend that the same love is exercised by a virtuous mind towards God, towards its fellow creatures, and towards itself. The affection is one. The difference in its ex

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ercises springs only from the difference of its objects. Love is the fulfilling of the law;' that is, one affection, exercised towards God and towards man, is alternately the fulfilling both of the first and second commands. He who is the subject of one of these exercises is of course a subject of the other also. He who loves God loves mankind; he who loves mankind loves God. There are not two affections of the mind, in the strict and metaphysical sense, one of which is called love to God, or piety, and the other love to mankind, or benevolence: but there is one love, now exercised toward God, and now toward mankind.

II. I shall now proceed to prove the existence of this principle.

The evidence which I shall adduce for this purpose will be derived,

1. From the Scriptures.

2. From reason.

The first argument which I shall allege from the Scriptures is the moral law; Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; and thy neighbour as thyself.

I have already observed that benevolence, or love to happiness, or to intelligent beings as capable of happiness, is the object and the only object of the second of these commands. Should any doubt remain on this subject, it may easily be removed by the consideration that our Saviour has taught us to consider our enemies universally as included under the word 'neighbour.' The enemies of a good man, knowing him to be such, are always wicked men; and, having no holiness or evangelical virtue cannot, in the physical sense, be loved with complacency, or the love of virtue. The love of happiness therefore, or benevolence, is the principle especially if not not only enjoined in this law. Accordingly, our Saviour called the command, enjoining 'brotherly love,' that is, the love of his disciples toward each other, or, in other words, complacency, a new commandment.'

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As the moral law then enjoins especially the love of happiness, that is, benevolence, so it evidently enjoins this disposition in a proportion corresponding with that which has been insisted on in this Discourse. We are required in it to 'love God with all the heart; and our neighbour as ourselves. In

other words, we are required to exercise this love proportionally to the importance or greatness of the object loved: supremely towards that object which is supremely great and important, and equally towards those objects whose importance is equal.

With this view of the law perfectly accords our Saviour's practical comment on the second command: Whatever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.' In this command our own equitable wishes for good to be done to ourselves, are made the measure of the good which we are bound to do them.

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(2.) As another proof, I allege Luke vi. 32, 33, 35; ‹ For if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. But love ye your enemies; and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again: aud your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil.'

In these declarations of our Saviour it is manifest, first, that the love which he enjoins, is disinterested love; for it is productive of beneficence without reference to a reward. Secondly; we learn from them, that even this is not sufficient to constitute the disinterestedness of the Gospel: it is still further required, that the benevolence shall operate towards enemies, overcoming all hostility towards those, who hate us; requiring us, instead of being enemies, to become friends to our enemies; to render good for their evil, and blessing for their cursing. Unless we do this, we are elsewhere informed in the Gospel, that we are not and cannot be the children of our Father, who is in heaven.' Thirdly; we are taught that the disposition with which we do good to others for the sake of gaining good at their hands, or the spirit with which we do good merely to those who do good to us, that is, selfishness in its fairest and most reputable form, neither merits nor will receive a reward, and is only the spirit of publicans and sinners.'

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(3.) I allege as

another proof the declaration of the apostle. 1 Cor. xiii. 5, Love seeketh not her own.'

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In this declaration St. Paul has asserted the disinterestedness of evangelical love, not only in the most explicit manner,

but with the force peculiar to himself. Literally, he declares that love does not seek her own interest at all; but is so absorbed in her care for the common good, as to be wholly negligent of their personal concerns. This, however, I do not suppose to have been the meaning of the apostle. But he plainly intends, that this spirit is wholly destitute of any selfish character. Less than this it will I think be impossible to consider as meant by him in this passage.

With these three passages the whole volume of the Scriptures accords; and that these clearly determine the love required in the Gospel to be the love of happiness-proportioned to the importance of the object loved-and disinterested in its nature, the points relative to this subject which are chiefly disputed, cannot I think be denied without violence.

To this decisive voice of Revelation, reason adds its own unqualified testimony; as I shall endeavour to show in the following observations :—

1. The benevolence, which I have described is the only equitable spirit towards God and our fellow creatures.

That the interests of God are inestimably more valuable than our own, will not be questioned by any man. This being allowed, it can no more be questioned that they deserve incomparably more regard than our own. Nor can it any more be doubted that the interests of our neighbour are, at a fair average, equally valuable with our own. The fact, that they are ours, certainly adds nothing to their value. For what then, it may be asked, can they be more valuable than those of our neighbour? God unquestionably regards them alike ; and it will not be denied that he regards them equitably, and in the very manner in which we ought to regard them.

A public or common good therefore is more valuable and ought to be more highly regarded than the good of an individual, for this plain reason, that it involves the good of many individuals. This has ever been the only doctrine of common In free countries particularly, when men have had the power as well as the right to act according to their own judgment, a majority of votes has always constituted a law; obviously because a majority of interests ought ever to be preferred to those of a minority, and still more to those of an individual. On the same principle, laws which consult the general good

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