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-The Goodness of God to the Poor. Universal Obedience necessary to Salvation. The true Ground of Justification. The Wisdom of suffering rather than sinning.--Christians, Sons of God.—The Laws of Religion not burdensome. Vol. III. Christ's Conversation with a rich
Man.--The poor. Widow's Mite.-The Folly of rash Confidence. - The Characters of the Hypocrite and the Penitent compared.-Christ's Conversation with the Woman of Samaria.—The Folly of rejecting Instruction. - The Criminality of uncharitable Judgment in imputing good Actions to bad Motives. The Parable of the unjust Steward.— The Parable of the Ten Talents.Christ's Treatment of the Woman taken in Adultery.- On the Perpetuity of the Christian Church.- The best Christians unprofitable Servants.The Wisdom of foreseeing and providing again t Difficulties and Dangers. -Mutual Condescension recommended by the Example of Christ.--The Folly of ambitious Desires.—Christ's last Conversation with his Apostles before his Crucifixion.--Christ's last Discourse to his Disciples.- Christ's last Discourse to his Apostlesa - The Institution of the Lord's Supper.The general Conclusions from the Gospel History concerning Christ.
Though Dr. E.'s sentiments on disputed points of divinity are not concealed, and thuugh in the last sermon, particularly, he exhibits his opinion of Christ and of the Christian religion, he must not be classed with controversial writers. His chief objects were to prevent misanthropy and selfishness; and to induce maukind to think will of each other, to love each other, and to act with kindness and generosity ove towards the other. The sermon on Psalm cxvi. 11. ' against thinking ill of the World,' is admirable in this view ; as is also that on Acts xx. 35. on Benevolence preferable to Selfishness. From each of these we shall make an extract. In the first, the prepcher says:
• The observations, which every man makes, and must necessarily make, upon the characters of others, are sufficient to justify him in concluding that human society is composed of good and bad men, as the same field produces both wheat and tares. Let any take a candid survey of that portion of human society which lies within the sphere of his own observation, and he must be very unfortunate indeed in his situation, if he do not find a sufficient number of good and worthy characters to rescue human nature from the reproach of universal depravity. If we sometimes meet with men wlio openly avow their dereliction of every principle of religion, and every moral obligation, and have the effrontery to confess that they know only one rule of conduct, that every man is to take care of himself without regarding what becomes of others; such men are rare monsters in the moral world, seldom seen, and when met with, only gazed at with astonishment and horror. If in the present artificial, and in many respects corrupt, state of society, false notions of honor are embraced which militate against the first principles of religion and virtue-and which, in some instances, under the imperious and irresistible authority of custom, prompt men to commit, or, which in moral estimation is the same thing, to attempt to commit, crimes from which the 11
feeling feeling and virtuous mind revolts with horror-it is to be considered that these absurd and mischievous notions prevail only in a small part of the community, and affect that part only occasionally, and partially; and that the generality of mankind are still content to acknowledge, in all cases, the supreme authority of conscience and of God. In the transactions of commercial life, can it be doubted that men commonly observe the law of honesty ; and that the violations of this law, which take place between the buyer and the seller, though frequent, are, after all, only occasional exceptions to a general rule? It is sometimes asserted, in proof of the general depravity of the world, that it is impossible, in the present state of things, tlrat a man of business who is strictly honest should prosper; and that, therefore, every man who wishes to make his way in the world, must bend his conscience to his situation, and relax in some measure the ties of moral obligation, by which in a purer state of society he might be more strictly bound. Without retorting upon those who make such assertions the uncandid insinuation, that they judge of the general character of the world by their own, we may be allowed to ask, whether it would be possille for society to subsist at all upon the supposition, that fraud and falschood were as common as truth and honesty are at present? What, in that case, would become of that mutual confidence which is the soul of commercial intercourse? Would not the general failure of integrity produce universal distrust? and what could arise from universal distrust but' universal confusion ? Bad as the world is, it is, then, not true; nor approaching to the truth, that all men are knaves, or that all men are liars.
• The fact on the present question is so clear, that the matter may be safely rested on an appeal to the most gloomy and discontented misanthrope, or to the inost severe and rigid judge of human characters. Where is the man who will not acknowledge, that though he may have been disappointed in many of his reasonable expectations from others, his connections with his fellow-creatures have afforded no proof that every man has been devising evil, and practising mischief against him? who, if he speak the truth, must honestly confess, that those around him have, or the whole, done him little injustice and shewn him much kindness. No one, who is not absolutely without friend or brother--who does not, in the midst of society, live as solitary and joyless as the torpid monk in his cell—who is not continually oppressed and wretched, through the injustice and cruelty of his brethren--can have any pretence for passing an unbounded censure on mankind.
• With respect to the generality of persons in the ordinary situations of life, I will be bold to assert, that their experience can afford them no plea for indulging such gloomy ideas of human life, or such splenetic feelings towards their species; and it deserves serious consideration, that the indulgence of such ideas and such feelings is highly injurious.'
The sermon on Benevolence, from the words of Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,'has this beautiful exordium;
• Among the treasures of wisdom transmitted from antient times to the present, none are more valuable than those moral maxims which express, in a few concise and pointed terms, weighty sentiments for the regulation of human life and manners. Many such are scattered through the writings of the ancient philosophers, historians, and poets; and it would be a labour of no inconsiderable utility to collect these precious fragmenis, and bring them into familiar use. While the common sayings of ordinary persons perish without regard, like water spilled on the ground which no one attempts to gather up, the pithy apophthegins of wise and excellent men should be carefully preserved, so like the dust of gold, or the least sparks of diamonds*.» others the pleasures of intellect or imagination. It is the hope of communicating pleasure to others which gives ardour to every pur. suit; and it is the satisfaction we feel in the communication of pleasure which repays every labour.'
• A beautiful specimen of this kind of sententious wisdom we have in the text; and it is a circumstance which may particularly recommend it to our attention, that it is a saying of our Saviour not to be found in the original records of his doctrine left us by the evangelists, but casually preserved by Luke in his history of the transactions of the apostles, as a quotation made by Paul in his farewell address to the church of Ephesus. Words of Jesus, in this manner rescued from oblivion, ought not to be overlooked or forgotten by his fol- ! lowers.
• Independently of this circumstance, the maxim—" It is more blessed (or more happy) to give than to receive," expresses an important sentiment which may well deserve a distinct and attentive consideration. The observation may be understood in the limited sense . in which it appears to have been quoted by the apostle, in reference to acts of charity for the relief of the necessitous; or it may admit of a more comprehensive interpretation, as expressing that “ law of Jove” which is the fundamental principle of christianity, and to instruct us that benevolence is productive of more happiness than selfishness. Let us contemplate the doctrine of the text under each of these aspects.'
In the prosecution of the discourse, the preacher observes;
• The stress which christianity lays upon the social virtues, and particularly the encouragement which it gives to the exercise of disinterested and universal benevolence, are among the highest proofs of its wisdom and excellence. The principle of benevolence is as deeply rooted in human nature as that of self-love; and it would be as absurd to leave the former as the latter out of a system of morals. Not only are we so dependent upon cach other, that no man can attain happimress without the assistance of his brethren, but we are so constantly in the habit of exercising reciprocal affcction, that attention to the gratification and welfare of others becomes an essential part of our cwn happiness. The first and greatest charm of life is society; and in society the principal part of our enjoyment arises from mutual offices and expressions of kindness. Scarcely any human being is so entirely wrapt up in himself as to find no part of his happiness in social communications. The pleasures of the festive board, and of public entertainments of every kind, arise in a great measure from joint partia cipation. The man of science pursues knowledge, the man of taste cultivates the fine arts, chiefly from the expectation of sharing witha
We could make a number of additional and more extensive extracts, for which we doubt not our readers would be thankful: but we have already exceeded our usual limits on such occasions as this, and must now refrain.
Art. XIII. A Third Dissertation on Fever. Part II. Containing
an Inquiry into the Effects of the Remedies, which have been employed with a view to carry off a regular continued Fever, without leaving it to pursue its ordinary Course. By George Fordyce, M.D. F.R.S. &c. 8vo.
35. 6d. sewed. Johnson. 1799. The remarks which we made, in our account of the
former parts of this publication *, apply so exactly to the present, that we may be allowed to offer a rather desultory view of it.
The author's scepticism with regard to the possible' good effects of general bleeding, in fevers, is surely carried to an injudicious length, when he attributes the origin of this remedy to the antient superstition of representative sacrifice. Surely all those who have themselves felt, or have witnessed in others, the distressing sensations of fullness and pain in the head, at the commencement of some fevers, will comprehend that the practice of drawing off a quantity of blood, from the most accessible and the safest part of the circulating system, might be suggested by more obvious analogies. We think that Dr. Fordyce has been extremely unfortunate in his attempts at drollery on this subject; and still more unlucky in his general argument: which, if it were admitted, would prove that blood-letting had never been found useful in any disease.
It must not be understood that we mean to defend the prac. tice of bleeding at the commencement of all fevers. Nothing could be more absurd than the establishment of such a rule: .but, in our opinion, Dr. Fordyce has erred on the contrary side. It is not difficult, however, to trace his leading objections to this method, tò Dr. Cullen's admirable paragraphs on blood-letting in fever, in his First Lines. The matter is certainly not improved by Dr. F.'s language.
The account of antimony, which succeeds that of bleeding, is introduced by a very tedious history of the substance. After having attacked Dr. Cullen's theory of the action of antimonials, the author concludes, as usual, by adopting his opinion * See M. Rev, vol. xxi. p. 91. and vol. xxviii. p. 422.