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disappointed (and it is often disappointed) it is We have been so much accustomed to consider exasperated into malignity, and corrupted into extravagant self-estimation merely as a ridiculous envy. In this stage the vain man commences a quality, that many will be surprised to find it determined misanthropist. He detests that ex. treated as a vice, pregnant with serious mischief cellence he cannot reach. He detests his spe- to society. But to form a judgment on its cies, and longs to be revenged for the unpardon- influence on the manners and happiness of a able injustice he has sustained in their insensi- nation, it is necessary to look only at its effects bility to his merits. He lives upon the calamities in a family; for bodies of men are only collecof the world; the vices and miseries of men are tions of individuals, and the greatest nation is his element and his food. Virtue, talents, and nothing more than an aggregate of a number of genius, are his natural enemies, which he perse- families. Conceive of a domestic circle, in cutes with instinctive eagerness, and unremitting which each member is elated with a most extrahostility. There are who doubt the existence of vagant opinion of himself, and a proportionable such a disposition ; but it certainly issues out of contempi of every other; is full of little conthe dregs of disappointed vanity; a disease trivances to catch applause, and whenever he is which taints and vitiates the whole character not praised is sullen and disappointed. What wherever it prevails. It forms the heart to such a picture of disunion, disgust, and animosity a profound indifference to the welfare of others, would such a family present! How utterly that whatever appearances he may assume, or would domestic affection be extinguished, and however wide the circle of his seeming virtues all the purposes of domestic society be defeated ! may extend, you will infallibly find the vain man The general prevalence of such dispositions is his own centre. Attentive only to himself, must be accompanied by an equal proportion absorbed in the contemplation of his own per- of general misery. The tendency of pride to fections, instead of feeling tenderness for his produce strife and hatred is sufficiently apparent fellow-creatures as members of the same family, from the pains men have been at to contract a as beings with whom he is appointed to act, to system of politeness, which is nothing more than suffer, and to sympathise; he considers life as a a sort of mimic humility, in which the sentiments stage on which he is performing a part, and of an offensive self-estimation are so far dismankind in no other light than specialors. guised and suppressed, as to make them comWhether he smiles or frowns, whether his path patible with the spirit of society; such a mode is adorned with rays of beneficence, or his steps of behaviour as would naturally result from an are dyed in blood, an attention to self is the attention to the apostolic injunction : 'Let spring of every movement, and the motive to nothing be done through strife or vain glory; which every action is referred.
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others His apparent good qualities lose all their better than themselves.' But if the semblance worth, by losing all that is simple, genuine, and be of such importance, how much more usefu. Datural : they are even pressed into the service the reality! If the mere garb of humility be of of vanity, and become the means of enlarging such indispensable necessity, that without it its power. The truly good man is jealous over society could not subsist, how much better still himself, lest the notoriety of his best actions, by would the harmony of the world be preserved, blending itself with their motive, should dimi. were the condescension, deference, and respect, nish their value; the vain man performs the so studiously displayed, a true picture of the same actions for the sake of that notoriety. The heart ? good man quietly discharges his duty, and shuns The same restless and eager vanity which disostentation; the vain man considers every good turbs a family, when it is permitted, in a great deed lost that is not publicly displayed. The national crisis, to mingle with political affairs, one is intent upon realities, the other upon sein- distracts a kingdom; infusing into those intrusted blances: the one aims to be virtuous, the other with the enaction of laws, a spirit of rash innoto appear so. Nor is a mind intlated with vanity vation and daring empiricism, a disdain of the more disqualified for right action than just spe- established usages of mankind, a foolish desire culation, or better disposed to the pursuit of to dazzle the world with new and untried systruth, than the practice of virtue. To such a tems of policy, in which the precedents of antimind the simplicity of truth is disgusting. quity, and the experience of ages are only Careless of the improvement of mankind, and consulted to be trodden under foot; and into intent only upon astonishing with the appearance the executive department of government, a fierce of novelty, the glare of paradox will be preferred contention for pre-eminence, an incessant strugto the light of truth; opinions will be embraced, gle to supplant and destroy, with a propensity not because they are just, but because they are to calumny and suspicion, proscription, and Dew; the more flagitious, the more subversive massacre. of morals, the more alarming to the wise and We shall suffer the most eventful season ever good, the more welcome to men who estimate witnessed in the affairs of men to pass over our their literary powers by the mischief they pro- heads to very little purpose, if we fail to learn duce, and who consider the anxiety and terror from it some awful lessons on the nature and they impress as the measure of their renown. progress of the passions. The true light in Truth is simple and uniform, while error may be which the French revolution ought to be coninfinitely varied; and as it is one thing to start templated, is that of a grand experiment on paradoxes, and another to make discoveries, we human nature. Among the various passions need the less wonder at the prodigious increase which that revolution has so strikingly displayed, of modern philosophers.
none is more conspicuous than vaniiy; nor is it
lass difficult, without adserting to the national beinze reduced to the same level. We looks at charter of the people, 10 arcotint for its extra. his superiors without envy, and his inferes ordinary predominance. Political power, the without contempt; and when from this elevaiion most seducng object of ambition, never before he descends to mix in society, the conviction of circulated through so many hands; the prospect superiority, which must in many instances be of possession was never before presented to so feli, is a calm inference of the understandiny, many mmes. Mullitudes, who by their birth and no longer a busy, importunate passion of the und education, and not unfrequently by their heart. talenes, seemned destined to perpetual obscurity, * The wicked (says the Psalmist)—through the were, by the alternate rise and full of parties, pride of their countenance, will not seek after elevated into distinction, and shared in the func- Cod: God is not in all their thoughts." When hons of government. The short-lived forms of we consider the incredible vanity of the atheistipower and office glided with such rapidity cal sect, together with the settled malignity and Through successive ranks of degradation, froin unrelenting rancour with which they pursue the count to the very dregs of the populace, that every vestige of religion, is it uncandid to supthey seemed rather to solicit acceptance, than to pose that its humbling tendency is one principal bei prue contended for.* Yet, as it was still cause of their emnity; that they are eager in impossible for all to possess authority, though displace a Deity from the minds of men, that none We're willing to obey, a general impatience they may occupy the void ; to crumble the to break the ranks and rush into the foremost throne of the Eterual into dust, that they may ground, maddened and muriated the nation, elevate theinselves on its ruins, and that as their and overwhelmed law, order, and civilization, licentiousness is impatient of restraint, so their with the violence of a torrent.
pride disdains a superior ? If such be the mischiet's both in public and We mentioned a ferocity of character as one pravate life resulting from an excessive self-es- effect of sceptical impiety. It is an inconvetimation, it remains next to be considered, whe- nience attending a controversy with those with ther I'rovidence has supplied any medicine to whom we have few principles in common, that correct it for the retirenon on excellencies, we are ofien in danger of reasoning inconcluwhether real or imaginary, is always attended sively, for the want of its being clearly known with pleasure to the possessor; it is a disease and settled what our opponents admit and what deeply sented in our nature,
they deny. The persons, for example, with Suppose there were a great and glorious Being whom we are at present engaged, have disalways present with us, who had given existence, carded humility and modesty from the catalogue with numberless other blessings, and on whom of virtues; on which account, we have emwe depeerdered euch instant, as well for every ployed the more time in evincing their impresent enjoyment as for every future goou: portance : But, whatever may be thouglit of hu***P}\,*** we s av aneurred the just displed- mility as a virtue, it surely will not be denied, He of such a dins, by gratitude and diss that inhumanity is a most detestable vice; a abestaande, yet that in seat meny he had not vice however, which scepticism has a most powLast us out, but is us toe was withing to erful tendency to jotame. pielea and restore u ve OUL'Dies entreaty As we have already shown that pride hardens and suctie repetare; say, would not an has the heart, and that religion is te only effectual Dal sense of the present this Bv, seif antidote-the connexion between irreligion and Reputach for hardin 15.?", aui aa Humanity is in this view obvious. But there #22ely to recover Mis tumor, be tie mus Is aretirer light in which this part of the subject Tinti antidok tv pride! Bissentartiz! 2014 may be viewed, in our opin'on, much more imdureries made by lettin rretais and purtant, though seldom adverit i to. The supSuche 28 **** la pratiebeltof tija that man is a moral 0-1 accountable 13 meie llum in the first ruil ofrecis bens, destined to survive the struke of death
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bappiness are insignificant. The characteristic though this be its direct consequence, it extends difference is lost between him and the brute by analogy much further, since he who has creation, from which he is no longer distin- learned 10 sport with the lives of his fellowguished, except by the vividness and multiplicity creatures will feel but little solicitude for their of his perceptions.
welfare in any other instance; but, as the greater If we reflect on that part of our nature which includes the less, will easily pass from this to all disposes us to humanity, we shall find that, the inferior gradations of barbarity. where we have no particular attachment, our As the advantage of the armned over the unsympathy with the sufferings and concern for armed is not seen till the moment of attack, so the destruction of sensitive beings, are in pro- in that tranquil state of society in which law and portion to their supposed importance in the order maintain their ascendency, it is not pergeneral scale; or, in other words, to their sup- ceived, perhaps not even suspected, to what an posed capacity of enjoyment. We feel, for ex- alarming degree the principles of modern infiample, much more at witnessing the destruction delity leave us naked and defenceless. But let of a man, than of an inferior animal, because the state be convulsed, let the mounds of reguwe consider it as involving the extinction of a lar authority be once overflowed, and the still much greater sum of happiness. For the same small voice of law drowned in the tempest of reason he who could shudder at the slaughter of popular fury (events which recent experience a large animal, will see a thousand insects shows to be possible), it will then be seen that perish without a pang. Our sympathy with the atheism is a school of ferocity; and that having calamities of our fellow-creatures is adjusted to taught its disciples to consider mankind as liitle the same proportions; for we feel more power- better than a nest of insects, they will be prefully affected with the distresses of fallen great- pared in the fierce conflicts of party to tra nple ness than with equal or greater distresses sus- upon them without pity, and extinguish them tained by persons of inferior rank; because, without remorse. having been accustomed to associate with an ele- It was late before the atheism of Epicurus valed station, the idea of superior happiness, the gained footing at Rome; but its prevalence was loss appears the greater, and the wreck more ex- soon followed by such scenes of proscription, lensive. But the disproportion in importance be- confiscation, and blood, as were then unpa
weto man and the meanest insect, is not so great ralleled in the history of the world; from which as that which subsists between man considered the republic be never able to recover itself, as mortal and immortal ; that is as be'ween man after many unsuccessful struggles, exchanged as he is represented by the system of scepticism, liberty for repose, by submission to absolute and that of divine revelation : for the enjoy- power. Such" were the effects of atheism at ment of the meanest insect bears some propor- Rome. An attempt was made to establish 1100, though a very small one, to the present a similar system in France, the consequences happiness of man; but the happiness of time of winch are 100 well known to renuer it rebears none at all to that of eternity. The scep- quisite for us to shock your feelings by a tical system, therefore, sinks the importance of recital. The only doubts that can arise is, whehuman existence to an inconceivable degree. ther the. barbarities which stained the revoFrom these principles result the following im- lution in that unhappy country, are justly portant inference—that to extinguish human chargeable on the prevalence of atheism. Let life by the hand of violence, must be quite a dif- those who doubt of this recollect that the men ferent thing in the eyes of a sceptic, from what who by their activity and talents, prepared the it is in the eyes of a christian. With the sceptic minds of the people for that great change, Volit is nothing more than diverting the course of a taire, D'Alembert, Diderot, Rousseuu, and littie red Auid, called blood; it is merely les- others, were avowed enemies of revelation ; that sening the number by one of many millions of in all their writings the diffusion of scepticism fugitive contemptible creatures. The christian and revolutionary principles went hand in sees in the same event an accountable being hand, that the fury of the most sanguinary parcut off from a state of probation, and hurried, ties was especially pointed against the christian perhaps unprepared, into the presence of his priesthood and religious institutions, without Judge, to hear that final, that irrevocable sen- once pretending, like other persecutors, to extence, which is to fix him for ever in an unal- ecute the vengeance of God (whose name they terable condition of felicity or woe. The former never mentioned) upon his enemies; that their perceives in death nothing but its physical cir- atrocities were committed with a wanton levily comstances; the latter is impressed with its and brutal merriment; that the reign of atheism moral consequences. It is the moral relation was avowedly and expressly the reign of terror; which man is supposed to bear to a superior that in the full madness of their career, in the power, the awful idea of accountability, the in- highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the Huence which his present dispositions and actions temples of God, abolished his worship, and proare conceived to have upon his eternal destiny, claimed death to be an eternal sleep; as if by more than any superiority of intellectual powers pointing to the silence of the sepulchre, and the abstracted from these considerations, which in- sleep of the dead, these ferocious barbarians vest him with such mysterious grandeur, and meant to apologize for leaving neither sleep, coustitute the firmest guard on the sanctuary of quiet, nor repose, to the living. human life. This reasoning, it is true, serves As the heathens fabled that Minerva issued more immediately to show how the disbelief of a full armed from the head of Jupiter, so no future state endangers the security of life; but, sooner were the speculations of atheistical philo
sophy matured, than they gave birth to a fero- amours, made a formal apology for departing city which converted the most polished people from his principles, by submitting to its rein Europe into a horde of assassins; the seat of straints. The popular productions on the convoluptuous refinement, of pleasure, and of arts, tinent, which issue from the atheistical school, are into a theatre of blood.
incessantly directed to the same purpose. . Having already shown that the principles of Under every possible aspect in which infiinfidelity facilitate the commission of crimes, by delity can be viewed, it extends the dominion of removing the restraints of fear; and that they sensuality: it repeals and abrogates every law by foster the arrogance of the individual, while they which divine revelation has, under such awful inculcate the most despicable opinion of the sanctions, restrained the indulgence of the passpecies; the inevitable result is, that a haughty sions. The disbelief of a supreme omniscient self-confidence, a contempt of mankind, toge. Being, which it inculcates, releases its disciples ther with a daring defiance of religious re- from an attention to the heart, from every care straints, are the natural ingredients of the atheis. but the preservation of outward decorum; and tical character; nor is it less evident that these the exclusion of the devout affections, and an are, of all others, the dispositions which most for- unseen world, leaves the mind immersed in visicibly stimulate to violence and cruelty.
ble sensible objects. We may, therefore regard it as a maxim There are two sorts of pleasures, corporeal never to be effaced or forgotten, that atheism is and mental. Though we are indebted to the an inhuman, bloody, ferocious system, equally senses for all our perceptions originally, yet hostile to every useful restraint, and to every those which are at the furthest remove from their virtuous affection; that leaving nothing above us immediate impressions, confer the most elevation to excite awe, nor around us to awaken tender- on the character, since in proportion as they are ness, it wages war with heaven and with earth; multiplied and augmented, the slavish subjecits first object is to dethrone God, its next to de- tion to the senses is subducd. Hence the true stroy man.
and only antidote to debasing sensuality, is the There is a third vice not less destructive to possession of a fund of that kind of enjoyment society than either of those which have been al- which is independent of the corporeal appetites. ready mentioned, to which the system of modern Inferior in the perfection of several of his senses infidelity is favourable; that is unbridled sen- to different parts of the brute creation, the supesuality, the licentious and unrestrained indul. riority of man over them all consists in his supegence of those passions which are essential to rior power of multiplying hy new combinations the continuation of the species. The magnitude his mental perceptions, and thereby of creating of these passions, and their supreme importance to himself resources of happiness separate from to the existence as well as the peace and welfare external sensation. of society, have rendered it one of the first ob- In the scale of enjoyment, the first remove jects of solicitude with every wise legislator, to from sense are the pleasures of reason and sorestrain them by such laws, and to confine their ciety; at the next are the pleasures of devotion indulgence within such limits as shall best pro- and religion. The former, ihough totally distinct mote the great ends for which they were im- from those of sense, are yet less perfectly planted.
adapted to moderate their excesses than the last, The benevolence and wisdom of the Author of as they are in a great measure conversant with Christianity, are eminently conspicuous in the visible objects. The religious affections and laws he has enacted on this branch of morals; sentiments are, in fact, and were intended to be, for while he authorizes marriage, he restrains the the proper antagonist of sensuality; the great devagrancy and caprice of the passions, by for- liverer from the thraldom of the appetites, by bidding polygamy and divorce; and well know- opening a spiritual world, and inspiring hopes ing that offences against the laws of chastity and fears, and consolations and joys, which usually spring from an ill-regulated imagination, bear no relation to the material and sensible unihe inculcates purity of heart. Among innu- verse. The criminal indulgence of sensual pasmerable benefits which the world has derived sions admits but of two modes of prevention; from the Christian religion, a superior refine- the establishment of such laws and maxims in ment in the sexual sentiments, a more equal and society as shall render lewd profligacy impracti. respectful treatment of women, greater dignity cable or infamous, or the infusion of such prinand permanence conferred on the institution of ciples and habits as shall render it distasteful. marriage, are not the least considerable; in con- Human legislators have encountered the disease sequence of which, the purest affections, and the in the first, the truths and sanctions of revealed most sacred duties, are grafted on the stock of religion in the last, of these methods : to both of the strongest instincts.
which the advocates of modern infidelity are The aim of all the leading champions of infi- equally hostile. delity is to rob mankind of these benefits, and From the records of revelation, we learn that throw them back into a state of gross and brutal marriage, or the permanent union of the sexes, sensuality. In this spirit, Mr. Hume represents was ordained by God, and existed under difthe private conduct of the profligate Charles, ferent modifications in the early infancy of manwhose debaucheries polluted the age, as a just kind, without which they could never have subject of panegyric. A disciple in the same emerged from barbarism. For conceive only :chool had the unblushing effrontery to what eternal discord, jealousy, and violence stigmatize marriage as the worst of al mono- would ensue, were the objects of the tenderest polies; aod, in a narrative of his licentious affections secured to their possessor by no law
or tie of moral obligation : were domestic en- reprobated—virtue is limited to a passionate joyments disturbed by incessant fear, and licen- attachment to the general good. It is natural to iiousness inflamed by hope. Who could find ask, when all the tenderness of life is exsufficient tranquillity of mind to enable him to tinguished, and all the bands of society are unplan or execute any continued scheme of action, twisted, from whence this ardent affection for or what room for arts or sciences, or religion, or the general good is to spring ? virtue, in that state in which the chief earthly When this savage philosophy has completed happiness was exposed to every lawless invader; its work, when it has taught its disciples to look where one was racked with an incessant anxiety with perfect indifference on the offspring of his to keep what the other was equally eager to ac- body, and the wife of his bosom, to estrange himquire! It is not probable in itself
, independent self from his friends, insult his benefactors, and of the light of scripture, that the benevolent silence the pleadings of gratitude and pity; will Author of the human race ever placed them in so he, by thus divesting himself of all that is huwretched a condition at first; it is certain they man, be better prepared for the disinterested love could not remain in it long without being exter- of his species ?' Will he become a philanthrominated. Marriage, by shutting out these evils, pist only because he has ceased to be a man? and enabling every man to rest secure in his en- Rather, in this total exemption from all the feeljoyments, iš the great civilizer of the world: ings which humanize and soften, in this chilling with this security, the mind is at liberty to ex- frost of universal indifference, may we not be pand in generous affections, has leasure to look certain selfishness unmingled and uncontrolled, abroad, and engage in the pursuits of knowledge, will assume the empire of his heart; and that, science, and virtue.
under pretence of advancing the general good, Nor is it in this way only that marriage insti- an object to which the fancy may give innututions are essential to the welfare of mankind. merable shapes, he will be prepared for the vioThey are sources of tenderness as well as the lation of every duty, and the perpetration of guardians of peace. Without the permanent every crime? Extended benevolence is the last union of the sexes, there can be no permanent and most perfect fruit of the private affections; families : the dissolution of nuptial ties involves so that to expect to reap the foriner froin the exthe dissolution of domestic society. But do- tinction of the latter, is to oppose the neans to mestic society is the seminary of social affec- the eud; is as absurd as to attempt to reach the tions, the cradle of sensibility, where the first summit of the highest mountain without passing elements are acquired of that tenderness and hu- through the intermediate spaces, or to hope to manity which cement mankind together; and attain the heights of science by torgetting the which, were they entirely extinguished, the first elements of knowledge. These absurdities chole fabric of social institutions would be dis- have sprung, however, in the advocates of intisolsed.
delity, from an ignorance of human nature, suffiFamilies are so many centres of attraction, cieni to disgrace even those who did not style which preserve mankind from being scattered themselves philosophers. Presuming, contrary and dissipated by the repulsive power of selfish- to the experience of every moment, that the afness. The order of nature is evermore from fections are awakened by reasoning, and perparticulars to generals. As in the operations of ceiving that the general good is an incomparably. intellect we proceed from the contemplation of greater object in itself than the happiness of any individuals to the formation of general abstrac- limited number of individuals, they inferred notions, so in the developement of the passions in thing more was necessary than to exhibit it in like manner, we advance from private to public just dimensions, to draw the affections towards affections; from the love of parents, brothers, it, as though the fact of the superior populousaud sisters, to those more expanded regards ness of China to Great Britain, needed but to which embrace the immense society of human be known to render us indifferent to our domeskind.
tic concerns, and lead us to direct all our anxiety In order to render men benevolent, they must to the prosperity of that vast, but remote emfirst be made tender: for benevolent affections pire. are not the offspring of reasoning ; they result It is not the province of reason to awaken from that culture of the heart, from those early new passions, or open new sources of sensibility; impressions of tenderness, gratitude, and sym- but to direct us in the attainment of those obpaihy, which the endearments of domestic life jects which nature has already rendered pleasing, are sure to supply, and for the formation of or to determine among the interfering inclinawhich it is the best possible school.
tions and passions which sway the mind, which The advocates of infidelity invert this eternal are the fittest to be preferred. order of nature. Instead of inculcating the pri- Is a regard to the general good, then you will rate affections, as a discipline by which the reply, to be excluded from the motives of acmind is prepared for those of a more public na- tion ? Nothing is more remote from our intenture, they set them in direct opposition to each tion : but as the nature of this motive has in our other, they propose to build general benevolence opinion, been much misunderstood by some on the destruction of individual tenderness, and good men, and abused by others, of a different to make us love the whole species more, by description, to the worst of purposes, permit us loving every particular part of it less. In pur- to declare in a few words, what appears to us, to suit of this chimerical project, gratitude, hu- be the truth on this subject. mility, conjugal, parental, and filial affection, The welfare of the whole system of being, together with every other social disposition, are must be allowed to be, in itself, the object of all