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I earnestly entreat the Reader to pause awhile, and to join with me in reflecting on the preceding Aphorism. It has been my aim throughout this work to enforce two points: 1. That Morality arising out of the reason and conscience of men, and Prudence, which in like manner flows out of the understanding and the natural wants and desires of the individual, are two distinct things. 2. That morality with prudence as its instrument has, considered abstractedly, not only a value but a worth in itself. Now the question is (and it is a question which every man must answer for himself) "From what you know of yourself; of your own heart and strength; and from what history and personal experience have led you to conclude of mankind generally; dare you trust to it? Dare you trust to it? To it, and to it alone? If so, well! It is at your own risk. I judge you not. Before Him, who cannot be mocked, you stand or fall. But if not, if you have had too good reason to know, that your heart is deceitful and your strength weakness: if you are disposed to exclaim with Paul--the Law indeed is holy, just, good, spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin: for that which I do, I allow not; and what I would, that I do not!--in this case, there is a Voice that says, Come unto me; and I will give you rest. This is the voice of Christ: and the conditions, under which the 148 promise was given by him, are that you believe in him, and believe his words. And he has further assured you, that if you do so, you will obey him. You are, in short, to embrace the Christian Faith as your religion--those truths which St. Paul believed after his conversion, and not those only which he believed no less undoubtingly while he was persecuting Christ, and an enemy of the Christian Religion. With what consistency could I offer you this volume as aids to reflection, if I did not call on you to ascertain in the first instance what these truths are? But these I could not lay before you without first enumerating certain other points of belief, which though truths, indispensable truths, and truths comprehended or rather pre-supposed in the Christian scheme, are yet not these truths. (John i, 17).

While doing this, I was aware that the positions, in the first paragraph of the preceding aphorism, to which the numerical marks are affixed, will startle some of my readers. Let the following sentences serve for the notes corresponding to the marks:

¹ Be you holy: even as God is holy.--What more does he require of thee, O man! than to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord thy God? To these summary passages from Moses and the Prophets (the first exhibiting the closed, the second the expanded, hand of the Moral Law) I might add the authorities of Grotius and other more orthodox and not less learned divines, for the opinion that the Lord's Prayer was a selection, and the famous passage [The hour is coming, &c. John v. 28, 29], a citation by our Lord from the Liturgy of the Jewish Church. But it will be sufficient to remind the reader, that the apparent difference between the prominent moral truths of the Old and those of the New Testament results from the latter having 149 been written in Greek; while the conversations recorded by the Evangelists took place in Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic. Hence it happened that where our Lord cited the original text, his biographers substituted the Septuagint Version, while our English Version is in both instances immediate and literal--in the Old Testament from the Hebrew Original, in the New Testament from the freer Greek translation. The text, I give you a new commandment, has no connection with the present subject.

² There is a current mistake on this point likewise, though this article of the Jewish belief is not only asserted by St. Paul, but is elsewhere spoken of as common to the Twelve Tribes. The mistake consists in supposing the Pharisees to have been a distinct sect, and in strangely over-rating the number of the Sadducees. The former were distinguished not by holding, as matters of religious belief, articles different from the Jewish Church at large; but by their pretences to a more rigid orthodoxy, a more scrupulous performance. They were, in short (if I may dare use a phrase which I dislike as profane and denounce as uncharitable), the Evangelicals and strict professors of the day. The latter, the Sadducees, whose opinions much more nearly resembled those of the Stoics than the Epicureans (a remark that will appear paradoxical to those only who have abstracted their notions of the Stoic philosophy from Epictetus, Mark Antonine, and certain brilliant inconsistencies of Seneca), were a handful of rich men, Romanized Jews, not more numerous than Infidels among us, and holden by the people at large in at least equal abhorrence. Their great argument was: that the belief of a future state of rewards and punishments injured or destroyed the purity of the Moral Law for the more enlightened 150 classes, and weakened the influence of the laws of the land for the people, the vulgar multitude.

I will now suppose the reader to have thoughtfully reperused the paragraph containing the tenets peculiar to Christianity, and if he have his religious principles yet to form, I should expect to overhear a troubled murmur: How can I comprehend this ? How is this to be proved? To the first question I should answer: Christianity is not a theory, or a speculation; but a life;--not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process. To the second: Try it. It has been eighteen hundred years in existence: and has one individual left a record, like the following? "I tried it; and it did not answer. I made the experiment faithfully according to the directions; and the result has been, a conviction of my own credulity." Have you, in your own experience, met with any one in whose words you could place full confidence, and who has seriously affirmed:--"I have given Christianity a fair trial. I was aware, that its promises were made only conditionally. But my heart bears me witness, that I have to the utmost of my power complied with these conditions. Both outwardly and in the discipline of my inward acts and affections, I have performed the duties which it enjoins, and I have used the means which it prescribes. Yet my assurance of its truth has received no increase. Its promises have not been fulfilled: and I repent me of my delusion!" If neither your own experience nor the history of almost two thousand years has presented a single testimony to this purport; and if you have read and heard of many who have lived and died bearing witness to the contrary: and if you have yourself met with someone, in whom 151 on any other point you would place unqualified trust, who has on his own experience made report to you, that he is faithful who promised, and what he promised he has proved himself able to perform: is it bigotry, if I fear that the unbelief, which prejudges and prevents the experiment, has its source elsewhere than in the uncorrupted judgment; that not the strong free mind, but the enslaved will, is the true original infidel in this instance? It would not be the first time, that a treacherous bosomsin had suborned the understandings of men to bear false witness against its avowed enemy, the right though unreceived owner of the house, who had long warned it out, and waited only for its ejection to enter and take possession of the same. I have elsewhere in the present work explained the difference between the understanding and the reason, by reason meaning exclusively the speculative or scientific power so called, the

or mens of the ancients. And wider still is the distinction between the understanding and the spiritual mind. But no gift of God does or can contradict any other gift, except by misuse or misdirection. Most readily therefore do I admit, that there can be no contrariety between revelation and the understanding; unless you call the fact, that the skin though sensible of the warmth of the sun, can convey no notion of its figure or its joyous light, or of the colors which it impresses on the clouds, a contrariety between the skin and the eye; or infer that the cutaneous and the optic nerves contradict each other.

But we have grounds to believe, that there are yet other rays or effluences from the sun, which neither feeling nor sight can apprehend, but which are to be inferred from the effects. And were it even so with regard to the spiritual sun how would this contradict 152 the understanding or the reason? It is a sufficient proof of the contrary, that the mysteries in question are not in the direction of the understanding or the (speculative) reason. They do not move on the same line or plane with them, and therefore cannot contradict them. But besides this, in the mystery that most immediately concerns the believer, that of the birth into a new and spiritual life, the common sense and experience of mankind come in aid of their faith. The analogous facts, which we know to be true, not only facilitate the apprehension of the facts promised to us, and expressed by the same words in conjunction with a distinctive epithet; but being confessedly not less incomprehensible, the certain knowledge of the one disposes us to the belief of the other. It removes at least all objections to the truth of the doctrine derived from the mysteriousness of its subject. The life, we seek after, is a mystery; but so both in itself and in its origin is the life we have. In order to meet this question, however, with minds duly prepared, there are two preliminary inquiries to be decided; the first respecting the purport, the second respecting the language, of the Gospel.

First then of the purport, namely, what the Gospel does not, and what it does, profess to be. The Gospel is not a system of theology, nor a syntagma of theoretical propositions and conclusions for the enlargement of speculative knowledge, ethical or metaphysical. But it is a history, a series of facts and events related or announced. These do indeed involve, or rather I should say they at the same time are, most important doctrinal truths; but still facts and declaration of facts.

Secondly of the language. This is a wide subject. But the point, to which I chiefly advert, is the necessity of thoroughly understanding the distinction between analogous 153 and metaphorical language. Analogies are used in aid of conviction: metaphors, as means of illustration. The language is analogous, wherever a thing, power, or principle in a higher dignity is expressed by the same thing, power, or principle in a lower but more known form. Such, for instance, is the language of John iii, 6. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. The latter half of the verse contains the fact asserted; the former half the analogous fact, by which it is rendered intelligible. If any man choose to call this metaphorical or figurative, I ask him whether with Hobbes and Bolingbroke he applies the same rule to the moral attributes of the Deity? Whether he regards the divine justice, for instance, as a metaphorical term, a mere figure of speech? If he disclaims this, then I answer, neither do I regard the words, born again, or spiritual life, as figures or metaphors. I have only to add, that these analogies are the material, or (to speak chemically) the base, of symbols and symbolical expressions; the nature of which is always tautegorical, that is, expressing the same subject but with a difference, in contra-distinction from metaphors and similitudes, which are always allegorical, that is, expressing a different subject but with a resemblance.**

Of metaphorical language, on the other hand, let the following be taken as instance and illustration. I am speaking, we will suppose, of an act, which in its own nature, and as a producing and efficient cause, is transcendant; but which produces sundry effects, each of which is the same in kind with an effect produced by a cause well known and of ordinary occurrence. Now when I characterize or designate this transcendant act,

**See the Statesman's Manual, p. 230, 2nd edit. Ed. 154 in exclusive reference to these its effects, by a succession of names borrowed from their ordinary causes; not for the purpose of rendering the act itself, or the manner of the agency, conceivable, but in order to show the nature and magnitude of the benefits received from it, and thus to excite the due admiration, gratitude, and love in the receivers; in this case I should be rightly described as speaking metaphorically. And in this case to confound the similarity, in respect of the effects relatively to the recipients, with an identity in respects of the causes or mode? of causation relatively to the transcendant act or the Divine Agent, is a confusion of metaphor with analogy, and of figurative with literal; and has been and continues to be a fruitful source of superstition or enthusiasm in believers, and of objections and prejudices to infidels and sceptics. But each of these points is worthy of a separate consideration: and apt occasions will be found of reverting to them severally in the following aphorisms, or the comments thereto attached.

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