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who hear or read them. The farther and best use of our meditations, their influence upon our own hearts and consciences, is lost in the presence of the other. In philosophy itself it is not always the same thing, to study a subject, in order to under. stand, and in order only to teach it. In morals and religion, the powers of persuasion are cultivated by those whose employment is public instruction; but their wishes are fulfilled, and their care exhausted, in promoting the success of their endeavours upon others. The secret duty of turning truly and in earnest their attention upon themselves, is suspended, not to say forgotten, amidst the labours, the engagements, the popularity, of their public ministry, and, in the best-disposed minds, is interrupted, by the anxiety, or even by the satisfaction, with which their public services are performed.
These are dangers adhering to the very nature our profession: but the evil is often also aug'ed by our imprudence. In our wishes to conwe are extremely apt to overstate our argu
We think no confidence with which we of them can be too great, when our inten. to urge them upon our hearers. This zeal dom, I believe, defeats its own purpose, ith those whom we address; but it always 's the efficacy of the argument upon our.
We are conscious of the exaggeration, or our hearers perceive it or not: and this ousness corrupts to us the whole influence
conelusion ; robs it even of its just value. istration admits of no degrees; but real life nothing of demonstration. It converses only moral evidence and moral reasoning. In
cale of probability is extensive ; and nent hath its place in it. It may not be ame thing to overstate a true reason, ince a false one: but since two ques. It themselves to the judgment, usualcether by their nature and importance, h side probability lies, and how much
it preponderates; to transgress the rules of fair reesound in either question, in either to go besood our own pereeption of the subjeet, is a simifor i uot an equal fault. In both cases it is a want of eau dour, which approaches to a want of verary. But ebat, in whieh its worst effect is seen; Bhabi at least, which it belongs to this discourse to Monier is in its so undermining the solidity of our presents that our own understandings refuse to rest upon thein : in vitiating the integrity of our own judgements: remering our winds, as well inoupable oi estimating the proper strength of moral to religious arguments, a unreasonably suspvious of their truth, and dull and insensible to the impression.
If dangers to our charaeter aceompany the el Preise of our publie pipistry, they co less attend ou the nature of our professional studies. I poon said, that literary trilling upon the Serin
has a tendency, above all other emples to harden the heart
. Ifby this maximik ed to leprove the exercise, to chess the pm, or to question the utility, of critical r. hes, when emploved upon the seat values, hot by me to be je equest tit mema sig og sanger, to states wat eet, te masim 93
it s pusdeel in this bar Nek the esu mand of less me ortamate enough to eles
settle a doubt, in the iner
pleased (anet justi ples utfris endeavours, his thougua
complaceney, and be
ner, by a patient appic
as made, as he ibu i studies; or even ed in them; be is, deems a religious ritic aıw the commer ved with the reflection,
if this book do indeer
convey to us the will of God, then is it no longer to be studied and criticised alone, but, what is a very different work, to be obeyed, and to be act. ed upon. At east, this ulterior operation of the mind, enfeebled perhaps by former exertions of quite another nature, does not always retain sufficient force and vigour to bend the obstinacy of the will. To describe the evil is to point out the remedy; which must consist in holding steadfastly within our view this momentous consideration, that, however laboriously, or however successfully, we may have cultivatived religious studies ; how much soever we may have added to our learning or our fame, we have hitherto done little for our salvation ; that a more arduous, to us perhaps a new, and, it may be, a painful work, which the public eye sees not, which no public favour will reward, yet remains to be attempted-that of insti. tuting an examination of our hearts and of our conduct, of altering the secret course of our behafnur, of reducing, with whatever violence to our
s, loss of our pleasures, or interruption of our its, its deviations to a conformity with those
of life, which are delivered in the volume es open before us; and which, if it be of ince enough to deserve our study, ought, sons infinitely superior, to command our her disadvantage incidental to the charachich we are now exposing the dangers, is ral debility that arises from the want of rained in the virtues of active life. This int belongs not to the clergy as such, beheir pastoral office affords as many calls,
many opportunities, for beneficent exers are usually found in private stations; but ngs to that secluded contemplative life, uen of learning often make choice of, or
ich they are thrown by the accident of tunes. A great part of mankind owe their les to their practice; that is, to that wonaccession of strength and energy which