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fatisfied with the definition of his predecessor, and endeavours to mend it. “ Virtue,” says Lord Shaftesbury, “is a fenfe of beauty, of harmony, of order, and proportion, an affection towards “the whole of our kind, or species.” “It is,"

. says Lord Bolingbroke, "only the love of ourselves." “ It is every thing that tends to preserve and per“ fect man,” fays Volney; and as “good reputation" has this tendency, it is in his account “ moral good."* “ It is whatever is useful in

“ society," says Mr. Hume ; and as “health, cleanliness, facility of expression, broad shoulders, and taper legs,” are of use, they are to be reckoned amongst the virtues. To this might have been added, a large portion of effrontery, as the last named writer affures us, it may be from his own experi

, ence, that “ Nothing carries a man through the “ world like a true, genuine, natural impudence.” Mr. Paine brings up the rcar, and informs us, “It “ is doing justice, loving mercy, and ....

endea“ vouring to make our fellow creatures happy." O Paine, had you but for once suffered yourself to be taught by a Prophet, and have quoted his words as they stand, you would undoubtedly have borne away the palm : but you had rather write nonfenfe than say any thing in favour of godliness.

It is worthy of notice that amidst all the difcordance of these writers, they agree in excluding the Divine Being from their theory of morals. They think after their manner; but God is not in all their thoughts. In comparing the Christian doe

* Law of Nature, p. 37.

# Enquiry concerning the principles of morals, $ 6, 7, 8.

Ellerg's Mural ard Political, EL. III. p. 15.

trine of morality, the sum of which is love, with their atheistical jargon, one seems to hear the voice of the Almighty, saying, Who is this that darkeneth counsel with words wiihout knowledge ? Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole of

man,

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The words of Scripture are spirit and life. They are the language of love. Every exhortation of Christ and his apostles is impregnated with this spirit. Let the reader turn to the twelfth chapter of the epiftle to the Romans, for an example, and read it carefully ; let him find, if he can, any thing in the purest part of the writings of deifts that is worthy of being compared with it. No ; .virtue itself is no longer virtue in their hands. It lofes its charms when they affect to embrace it. Their touch is that of the cold hand of death. The most lovely object is deprived by it of life and beauty, and reduced to a shrivelled mass of inactive forınality.

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Christianity furnishes motives to a virtuous life, which

Deifm either rejects, or attempts to undermine.

So long as our adversaries profess a regard

to virtue, and acknowledge with Lord Bolingbroke that “the gospel is in all cases one continued leffon of the strictest morality; of justice, of benevolence, and of universal charity,"* they must allow those to be the best principles which furnish the moft effectual motives for reducing it to practice.

* Works, Vol. V. p. 188,

Now there is not a doctrine in the whole compass of Christianity but what is improvable to this purpose. It is a grand peculiarity of the gospel, that none of its principles are merely speculative: each is pregnant with a practical use. Nor does the discovery of it require any extraordinary degree of ingenuity: real Christians, however weak as to their natural capacities, have always been taught by the gospel of Christ, that denying ungodliliness, and worldly lufts, they fbould live soberly, rightsously, and godly, in the present world.

Ancient philosophers have taught many things in favour of morality, fo far at least as respect jusa tice and goodness towards our fellow-creatures ; but where are the motives by which the minds of the people, or even their own minds, have been moved to a compliance with them? They framed a curious machine ; but who amongst them could discover a power to work it? What principles have appeared in the world under the names either of philofophy or religion, that can bear a comparison with the following ?God so loved the world, that he gave

his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life-Herein is love ; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our fins. Beloved, If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another-Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you Be ye followers, or imitators of God, as

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dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering, and a facrifice to God of a sweet-smelling favour-Ye are & chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye sbould few forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light-Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you ; and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promifes, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God- If there be therefore any confolation in Chrift, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies ; fulfil ye my jog, -be of one accord, of one mind : let nothing be done through Arife, or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves-Dearly beloved, I beseech you as frangers and pilgrims, abstain from febly lufts which war against the soul ; having your conversation honest among the gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works which they fball behold, glorify God in the day of visitation-re are bought with a price : therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's-The love of Chris conftraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again-The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat : the earth alfo, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Seeing

then that all these things ball be dissolved, What manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godlinefs, looking for, and kasting unto the coming of the day of God!-Hold fast that which thou haft ; let no man take thy crown !--To him that overcometh will I grant to sit down with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am fet down with my Father

ту in his throne. *

These are motives by which Christians in every age have been induced to practise that morality which Bolingbroke, Paine, and many others, while writing against Christianity have been compelled to applaud : but the far greater part of them are rejected by deifts; and what will they substitute of equal efficacy in their place ? The love of Christ constraineth us; but what have they to constrain them? Will felf-love, or the beauty or utility of virtue answer the purpose? Let history and observation determine.

It may be alleged, however, that deists do not reject the whole of these important motives ; for that some of them at least admit the doctrine of a future life, which, with the acknowledgement of one living and true God, may be thought sufficient for all the purposes of morality.

That the doctrine of a future life is of great importance in the moral system, is allowed ; but the

l greatest truth, if dissevered from other truths of equal importance, will be divested of its energy. A hand diffevered from the body might as well be represented as sufficient for the purposes of labour,

*** John, iii. 18. 1 John, iii. 10, 11. Eph. iv. 31, 32. V. 1, 2. Pet. ïi. 9. 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. vii. 1. Phil. ii. 1, 2, 3. i Pet. ii. 11, 12. I Cor, vi. 20. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. 2 Pet. iii. 10m 12. Rev. iii. 11, 21.

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