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knows, too often to impose both upon the one and the other. And therefore it would be no hard matter here to give a probable guess at what passed in the Levite's mind in the present case, and show, was it necessary, by what kind of casuistry he settled the matter with his conscience as he passed by, and guarded all the passages to his heart against the inroads which pity might attempt to make upon the occasion..... But it is painful to dwell long upon this disagreeable part of the story; I therefore hasten to the concluding incident of it, which is so amiable, that one cannot easily be too copious in reflections upon it.....And behold, says our SAVIOUR, a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.....and went to him....bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine....set him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. I suppose it will be scarce necessary here to remind you, that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans .....An old religious grudge....the worst of all grudges! had wrought such a dislike between both people, that they held themselves mutually discharged,not only from all offices of friendship and kindness, but even from the most common acts of courtesy and good manners. -This operated so strongly in our SAVIOUR's time, that the woman of Samaria seemed astonished, that he, being a Jew, should ask water of her, who was a Samaritan :- -So, that, with such a prepossession, however distressful the case of the unfortunate man was, and how reasonable soever he might plead for pity from another man, there was little aid or consolation to be looked for from so unpromising a quarter....... Alas! after I have been twice passed by, neglected by anen of my own nation and religion, bound by so many ties to assist me, left here friendless and unpitied both by a priest and a Levite, men whose profession and su
perior advantages of knowledge could not leave them in the dark, in what manner they should discharge this debt which my condition claims.....after this.....what hopes? what expectations from a passenger, not only a stranger,....but a Samaritan, released from all obligations to me, and, by a national dislike, inflamed by mutual ill-offices, now made my enemy, and more likely to rejoice at the evils which have fallen upon me, than to stretch forth a hand to save me from them?
It is no unnatural soliloquy to imagine : But the actions of generous and compassionate tempers baffle all little reasonings about them.... True charity, in the apostle's description, as it is kind, and is not easily provoked, so it manifested this character here;....for we find, when he came where he was, and beheld his distress,....all the unfriendly passions, which at another time might have rose within him, now utterly forsook him, and fled: When he saw his misfortunes....he forgot his enmity towards the man-dropped all the prejudices which education had planted against him, and, in the room of them, all that was good and compassionate was suffered to speak in his behalf.
In benevolent natures, the impulse to pity is so sudden, that,like instruments of music, which obey the touch....the objects which are fitted to excite such impressions, work so instantaneous an effect, that you would think the will was scarce concerned, and that the mind was altogether passive in the sympathy which her own goodness has excited. The truth is,....the soul is generally, in such cases, so busily taken up, and wholly engrossed by the object of pity, that she does not attend to her own operations, or take leisure to examine the principles upon which she acts.....So that the Samaritan, tho' the moment he saw him had compassion on him, yet, sudden as the emotion is represented, you are not to imagine that it was mechanical, but that there was a settled principle of humanity
and goodness which operated within him, and influenced not only the first impulse of kindness, but the continuation of it throughout the rest of 60 engaging a behavior.....And because it is a pleasure to look into a good mind, and trace out, as far as one is able, what passes within it on such occasions, I shall beg leave, for a moment, to state an account of what was likely to pass in his, and in what manner so distressful a case would necessarily work upon such a disposition.
As he approached the place where the unfortunate man lay, the instant he beheld him, no doubt, some such train of reflections as this would rise in his mind. "Good GOD! what a spectacle of "misery do I behold....a man stripped of his rai"ment....wounded....lying languishing before me "upon the ground, just ready to expire,....without "the comfort of a friend to support him in his last "agonies, or the prospect of an hand to close his "eyes when his pains are over. But perhaps "my concern should lessen, when I reflect on the "relations in which we stand to each other-that "he is a Jew, and I a Samaritan.—But are we not "still both men-partakers of the same nature— "and subject to the same evils ?-Let me change "conditions with him for a moment, and consider, "had his lot befallen me as I journeyed in the 66 way, what measure I should have expected at "his hand-Should I wish, when he beheld me “wounded and half dead, that he should shut up "his bowels of compassion from me, and double "the weight of my miseries, by passing by and "leaving them unpitied ?--But I am a stranger "to the man :-Be it so ;-but I am no stranger "to his condition-misfortunes are of no particu"lar tribe or nation, but belong to us all, and have "a general claim upon us, without distinction of "climate, country, or religion. Besides, tho' I "am a stranger-it is no fault of his that I do
"not know him, and therefore unequitable he "should suffer by it.-Had I known him, possibly "I should have had cause to love and pity him "the more-for aught I know, he is some one of << uncommon merit, whose life is rendered still 66 more precious, as the lives and happiness of "others may be involved in it: Perhaps at this "instant that he lies here forsaken, in all this "misery, a whole virtuous family is joy fully look"ing for his return, and affectionately counting "the hours of his delay. Oh! did they know "what evil had befallen him-how would they "fly to succor him!-Let me then hasten to sup ply those tender offices of binding up his wounds, "and carrying him to a place of safety-or, if "that assistance comes too late, I shall comfort "him at least in his last hour-and, if I can do "nothing else,-I shall soften his misfortunes, "by dropping a tear of pity over them."
It is almost necessary to imagine the good Samaritan was influenced by some such thoughts as these, from the uncommon generosity of his behavior, which is represented by our SAVIOUR as operating like the warm zeal of a brother, mixed with the affectionate discretion and care of a parent, who was not satisfied with taking him under his protection, and supplying his present wants, but in looking forwards for him, and taking care that his wants should be supplied, when he should be gone, and no longer near to befriend him.
I think there needs no stronger argument to prove how universally and deeply the seeds of this virtue of compassion are planted in the heart of man, than in the pleasure we take in such representations of it: And, tho' some men have represented human nature in other colors, (tho' to what end I know not), that the matter of fact is so strong against them, that, from the general propensity to pity the unfortunate, we express that sensation VOL. III. D
by the word humanity, as if it was inseparable from our nature. That it is not inseparable, I have allowed in the former part of this discourse, from some reproachful instances of selfish tempers, which seem to take part in nothing beyond themselves; yet I am persuaded, and affirm, it is still so great and noble a part of our nature, that a man must do great violence to himself, and suffer many a painful conflict, before he has brought himself to a different disposition,
It is observable in the foregoing account, that, when the priest came to the place where he was, he passed by on the other side. He might have passed by, you will say, without turning aside.❤ No; there is a secret shame which attends every act of inhumanity, not to be conquered in the hardest natures; so that, as in other cases, so especially in this, many a man will do a cruel act, who, at the same time, would blush to look you in the face, and is forced to turn aside, before he can have a heart to execute his purpose.
Inconsistent creature that man is! who, at that instant that he does what is wrong, is not able to withhold his testimony to what is good and praiseworthy.
I have now done with the parable, which was the first part proposed to be considered in this discourse; and should proceed to the second, which so naturally falls from it, of exhorting you,as our SAVIOUR did the lawyer upon it, to go and do so likewise But I have been so copious in my reflections upon the story itself, that I find I have insensibly incorporated into them almost all that I should have said here,in recommending so amiable an example; by which means, I have unawares, anticipated the task I proposed.-I shall therefore detain you no longer than with a single remark upon the subject in general, which is this :-It is observable in many places of scripture, that our