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mission of criminal and vicious actions ; and the reasonable exercise of this moral freedom causes the purest delight of the soul, and confers upon us the blessing of an easy and tranquil conscience.

הלוא אם תיטיב שאת ואם לא תיטיב Behold ! If thou actest •

well , thou canst raise לפתח חטאת רבץ ואליך תשוקתו ואתה תמשל

•12 thy eyes ; but if thou dost not act well, sin will rest at the door ; to thee is its desire, but thou canst rule over it.” (Gen. 4 ch. 7 v.)

5. What is called CONSCIENCE ?

That inward consciousness or knowledge of our having done right or wrong; the voice of God within us, which judges our words and actions. There is, namely, a law impressed in the hearts of all men, to approve of, and to exercise what is good, and to disapprove of, and to shun what is evil.* If then we are conscious of having acted properly, we shall experience comfort, joy, and contentment, and we have then a good and peaceful conscience. If we do wrong, the consciousness of our having done so, will occasion us anxiety and disquietude, for we have in this case a bad conscience. This disturbed feeling of the wicked is beautifully expressed by the prophet: · y' xsor ss upun 'o V3 D') d'yorni " The wicked are like

. .Diyos asbe yox disco the agitated sea, which cannot rest. There is no peace for the wicked, speaks my God.” (Isaiah, 57 ch. 20 v.)

2100309 p'78 nxi 77499798 Dixon “Even vice itself pursues

cannot any longer act from a free choice and with deliberation. Vice is the habitual inclination to transgress the divine precepts. . * We call him conscientious, who is ever mindful of the warning voice within, and accustoms himself to do nothing, without the consciousness of its being right.

3. What is meant by FREEDOM OF will?

Man, of his own free accord, can determine to do certain actions, or omit doing them, just as he may deem them right and useful, or wrong and injurious. The animal obeys merely its instinct, and strives solely to satisfy its natural impulses ; but man has the power to govern his desires (that is to say, his inclination for that which pleases his senses, and his aversion for those things which may happen to be disagreeable to them) through the force of his reason. Reason, therefore, teaches him to satisfy his inclinations no farther than he may deem them necessary for his preservation, and conducive to his spiritual and moral improvement. It is thus expressed in the Bible : ng D'OI0 nx Din 7305 inna ona “Behold! I lay before thee

•7777 nai nian ng 21077 this day: life and the (Deut, 30 ch. 15 v.)

good; death and the evil.” you anda yan 7°N 7993 Dida ron se “Be not like the horse

•7088anpa disas i'm and mule, which have no reason ; whose mouth must be governed by bridle and bit, lest they injure thee.” (Psalm 32, v. 9.)

4. Is this freedom of will of any importance to man?

Certainly; for this alone it is, which gives moral worth to man and his deeds ; because his actions and omissions can only in so far deserve praise or censure, reward or punishment, as he is at liberty to act after testing and reflection.

The application of this mental power in ruling his desiresthe government of himselfis of the utmost necessity to man ; for it is his duty to take the utmost care that his inclinations may not degenerate into passions,* and lead him to the commission of criminal and vicious actions ; and the reasonable exercise of this moral freedom causes the purest delight of the soul, and confers upon us the blessing of an easy and tranquil conscience.

* Passions are such desires, as have become so strong and lasting, that they disturb our peace of mind, and place our soul in a passive state, as she cannot any longer act from a free choice and with deliberation. Vice is the habitual inclination to transgress the divine precepts. . * We call him conscientious, who is ever mindful of the warning voice within, and accustoms himself to do nothing, without the consciousness of its being right.

הלוא אם תיטיב שאת ואם לא תיטיב Behold ! If thou actest •

לפתח חטאת רבץ ואליך תשוקתו ואתה תמשל

well, thou canst raise

12 thy eyes ; but if thou dost not act well, sin will rest at the door ; to thee is its de. sire, but thou canst rule over it.” (Gen. 4 ch. 7 v.)

5. What is called coNSCIENCE ?

That inward consciousness or knowledge of our having done right or wrong; the voice of God within us, which judges our words and actions. There is, namely, a law impressed in the hearts of all men, to approve of, and to exercise what is good, and to disapprove of, and to shun what is evil.* If then we are conscious of having acted properly, we shall experience comfort, joy, and contentment, and we have then a good and peaceful conscience. If we do wrong, the consciousness of our having done so, will occasion us anxiety and disquietude, for we have in this case a bad conscience. This disturbed feeling of the wicked is beautifully expressed by the prophet: : 'Nobress upon to 092'd'yorni " The wicked are like

Dyvus to be on disa the agitated sea, which cannot rest. There is no peace for the wicked, speaks my God.” (Isaiah, 57 ch. 20 v.) ..21000 Dp7% nei 7979778 D'HON “ Even vice itself pursues (Prov.

the sinners, and virtue already rewards the righteous.” 13 ch. 21 v.)

6. Does man possess these advantages immediately upon his entrance in the world?

No; for he is, at his birth, the weakest of all creatures ; his childhood is of the longest duration, and his faculties are but gradually developed. The Almighty rendered man's infancy thus feeble, that he might feel his wea kness and dependence, and learn to improve the powers of his mind through instruction, education, and practice. But even this very weakness of man's childhood, proves the more strongly his superiority over other animals, since he is capable of an ever progressive perfectibility.

7. As it is proper to infer the destination of any thing that is, the ulterior object of its creation-from its organization and qualities : how are we to judge in this respect from the great endowments and advantages of man?

The pre-eminent mental endowments, wherewith man is so peculiarly gifted; as also his reason, freedom of will, conscience, and the ever active impulse which spurs him on to reach higher perfections and greater happiness, clearly prove to us, though even there were no other indications of the fact, that he is destined to advance continually in perfection, wisdom, and virtue. It behoves us, therefore, as rational beings, to improve our mind, and employ all the knowledge we have acquired, to become virtuous, and to reach, through the practice of virtue, both temporal and endless happiness. bayo ha d'hupi yan1 278 120 1x Then only canst thou know

virtue, right and justice, • Dyg' the road to the really

טוב כי תבוא חכמה ברבך ודעת לנפשך

good: when wisdom has entered thy heart, and knowledge has become agreeable to thy soul.” (Prov. 2 ch.9 v.)

8. What do you call virtue?

Virtue is the active love of what is right, and the abhorrence of what is evil ; or, the readiness to practise the good cheerfully and willingly, and carefully to avoid the evil.

We call him virtuous, who, from pure love of the good, seriously endeavours to overcome his evil propensities, and to live always conformably to the expressed will of God.

9. But what gives to man the power and the knowledge of knowing the will of God, and of acting accordingly?

Religion, and the law, which was revealed by God. These give us a clear, lively, and impressive knowledge of the will of God, and confers upon virtue the power to achieve a victory over the passions. This knowledge of religion is necessary to enable us to become really virtuous.

For the desire of the human heart " כי יצר לב האדם רע מנעריו •

is evil from his youth.” (Gen. 8 ch. 21 v.)

Sensuality blinds a man to such a degree, that he may be led to consider the apparent, as a real and permanent good, and to fly an inconvenience of but short duration, as a real evil; so that he inconsiderately grasps only at the shadow of good, and thereby incurs real evil.

• nie upo 105 oun nipa '07787 “ Religion only is the source of life, she teaches to escape from the snares of destruction [death]." (Prov. 14 ch. 27 v.)

yon 7101 '07 87'7'ya dan unin 5* “ Be not wise in thine own estimation ! fear God and shun the evil.” (Prov. 3 ch. 7 v.)

179087718 Ovi Dy ynD'797 7x3 Without a revelation does a people grope in darkness (become wild); but if it lives according to the law, it is happy." (Prov. 29 ch. 18 v.)

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