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On Christian Morals.
their origin and their nourishment. When we reflect upon the compromise
These two grand principles, we conof principle that too often appears in Works sider as the basis of the moral laws, prófessing to subserve the cause of Chris- not only of the inhabitants of our not to give offence, the whole counsel of globe, but also of those which govern God, by abstaining from delineating in their all intelligences throughout the vast true colours the many deviations of indivi- ' universe, in whatever world, or reduals, and of nations, from the Christian gion of infinite space, they may have standard of morality in their intercourse with each other: it is gratifying to meet
their physical residence, and as the with works which, shaking off the shackles bond which unites to the Supreme Inof the fear of man, expose these deviations telligence, and to one another, all hoin their various ramifications, whether ly beings in heaven and on earth. among professors, or profane, whether by
“ We would show the influence rations or by individuals, regardless of any other consequence than that of a derelic- and the special bearings which every tion of the duty enforced upon every man part of the economy of salvation, of by the Gospel of Christ. And it is with the blessings it exhibits, and of the peculiar pleasure that we hail the appear- character and work of the Mediator, ance of periodical Works, when they are conducted on this principle, of making eve
ought to have upon the sentiments, ry inferior motive succumb to the glory of the passions and affections of the reGod and the eternal good of man. Few noviated mind, in order to produce publications have so extended a circula
an unreserved obedience to the retion as the Magazine and Review; the poo pular form they assume, by making thein
quirements of the divine law; and to accessible to the middling and lower classes show the peculiar and additional as well as to the opulent, introduces them obligations under which fallen men to the social circle and to the fireside, and hence they are within the reach of persons salvation in those bodies and spirits
are laid, to glorify the author of their who are precluded by their avocations in life from a perusal of the more unwieldy which he hath redeemed. toine, the more elaborate works of the “For the purpose of expanding and learned and cf the philosopher.
Such a work The Christian Recorder elevating, in the human mind, the promises to be, so far as we are enabled to
· Love to God," we
principle of judge from the specimens it has pre- would direct the understanding to sented us with of its principles,-on which contemplate the grand operations of an opinion may be formed by the following Deity, in the distant spaces of the extracts from “ Some general Remarks on the Subject
of Christian Morality," in "A universe, which have a direct tenhistorical and critical notice of Dr. Chal- dency to inspire the soul with that mers's writings.” Their peculiar accord- true reverence which is always acance with the object of The Herald of companied with love and affection. Peace supersedes any apology for transplanting them into its columns.
At the same time, we would direct
it to a survey of all the wise and “Were we to attempt to sketch an benevolent arrangements of the Creoutline of a work on Christian Mo- ator in our sublunary system, not rality, we would commence at the only with regard to man, but also two general principles of the moral in reference to “ the beasts of the law, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy field, .” “the fowls of the air,” the God with all thy mind and heart,” insect tribes, and“ the fishes of the and “ Thou shalt love thy neigh- sea,” which all display the love of bour as thyself,” which we would God, and his incessant care in proplace at the foundation of the whole moting the happiness “of every superstructure of Bible morality. thing that lives." We would enter These we would view as the trunk into particular details on this topic, of the tree from which all the diver- for the purpose of showing, that, in sified and minute branches derive all our intercourses with our fellow
men, and with the inferior orders of in which they engage, and which sentient beings, we ought to be imi- afterwards displays itself in diabolitators of our heavenly Father in our cal energy, amidst the contests of benevolent care and attention to communities and nations. promote the comfort of every thing “ We would next glance at the that has life and feeling and intel- moral conduct of nations, and atligence; and also, in order to de- tempt to delineate the glaring acts of
monstrate, that, “He in whom we violence, rapine, revenge, cruelty, a live and move,” is ever attentive to and injustice, which they have com
our wants, and will, most assuredly, mitted upon unoffending tribes, and secure the eternal happiness of those upon each other, in opposition to who comply with the requisitions every law, human and divine, and of his will. For, although the higher to all the denunciations of the word
motives of obedience ought to be the of God. We would make the Diin principal incitements to duty, yet, vine law bear with its full force,
we ought never to overlook any cir- against war in all its injustice, horcumstance, however minute, which rors, and abominations; and would
has a tendency to bind our affections demonstrate, that the moral princie to the Supreme Intelligence, and to ples which ought to guide nations
the inferior order of beings with and communities and rulers, in their which we are surrounded.
conduct towards each other, are pre“We would next endeavour to make cisely the same as those which ought these principles and laws bear upon to direct the conduct of the meanest the modes and maxims, in regard individuals; and that human butto education, which prevail both in chery and rapine, when perpetrated public and domestic life. We would on an extensive scale, so far from enter into the family and domestic being less atrocious than the murcircle, and take a survey of all those ders and depredations committed by foolish and unchristian principles and the assassin and the robber, are only modes of conduct that are pursued so much more abominable in the by parents, and children, and ser- eyes of heaven, in proportion to the vants, which have an evident tendency mass of human misery they have to produce obstinacy, superstition, created.” dissimulation, hatred, envy, pride,
We here suspend our Extracts to oband disaffection in the minds of serve, that there is no notion more perni
We would enter the cious to the peace of nations, more subvillage school , the city boarding, obstructs the evangelizing of mankind and
versive of Christian morals, and which more schools, and the lecture-rooms of the spread of the Kingdom of the Rethe universities, and trace the false deemer, than that of the exemption of gomaxims, and the pagan sentiments
vernments from moral responsibility, from which are interwoven through the subjection to the reign of the Prince of Peace, whole course of modern education and energetically reprobates. But while we
an exemption which this writer so justly -the admiration which is attempt- can go the full length with him in considered to be excited towards barbarous ing all war as antichristian, and that those heroes, and the destroyers of man
who support it under any of its forms, so far
swerve from the Christian standard of mokind-the spirit of antichristian emu
rals, we are not prepared to place all such lation, revenge, and disaffection, on the same level of moral turpitude as which are indirectly fostered by
“the assassin and the robber;” though we many of their scholastic exercises
fear that in many instances, with reference
to the primary instigators of “human butand the spirit of contention and war
chery and rapine,” his scale of moral guilt fare, which is cherished by the books is too applicable. they read, the discipline by which “ Finally, as the most powerful they are trained, and the amusements motive to a vigorous prosecution of
the path of universal holiness, we quietness and assurance for ever.would exhibit the agency of the Eter- We would discuss such subjects fulnal Spirit on the minds of men,-of ly and fearlessly, “ without partialithat Spirit who “searcheth all things, ty and without hypocrisy,” without even the deep things of God," and winking at the moral delinquencies who “ worketh in us both to will of any man or set of men. For, and to perform his good pleasure.” Christianity knows no compromises, At the same time we would show or distinctions of birth, rank, or stathat, as in all the operations of na- tion, in its applications, and the eterture and providence, so in the moral nal principles of rectitude it displays world, the influences of this Divine will not bend a single iota to the preAgent are intimately connected with judices, humours or follies of any of active endeavours on the part of the sons of Adam." man, and that it is vain to expect the aid of his All-powerful Energy, unless we attend to the cautions, Telemachus ; or the Abolition of the exhortations, instructions and ordi
Gladiatorial Spectacles. nances which he has ordained for
In a letter on War to Francis I. "guiding our steps in the way of king of France, Erasmus mentioned peace.
.” “If thou criest after know- the butchery of the Gladiatorial ledge, and liftest up thy voice for Spectacles," and the way in which the understanding, if thou seekest her custom was abolished. as silver, and searchest for her as “Nothing (says Erasmus) can be for hid treasures, then shalt thou
more cruel and savage than single understand the fear of the Lord, and combats, and the butchery of gladiafind the knowledge of God.”
torial spectacles ; and yet our fore“We humbly conceive that it is by fathers were so delighted with the such instructions as those we have sight, that an example, the basest now suggested, combined with a lucid of all left us by the Heathens, took exhibition and application of the lead- such firm hold of the Christians, espeing Doctrines of Revelation, and not cially in the city of Rome, that they merely by a formal proving of doc- have not been able at this day to trines, and skimming over the sur- divest themselves entirely of this reface of our moral disease which has lick of Paganism. The abolition of tainted all the faculties of the soul, that species of combat, which they
-that the world is to be regenerated, distinguish by the name of tripartite, and “all iniquity (as ashanied) be we owe to one Telemachus. This made to stop its mouth” and hide good man left the East, and came to its head. And, we would most ear- Rome, where, entering the theatre, nestly recommend to the ministers of and seeing armed men rushing vioreligion a subject and a mode of lently, with an intent to kill each other, preaching, which, in many quarters, he leaped into the midst of them, has been too much neglected,-if exclaiming— What are you doing, they wish to he instrumental in giv- brothers ? why do you run headlong, ing such an impulse to the christian like two wild beasts, to each other's world, as will tend to usher in that destruction ?' glorious era when the knowledge of “ In short, while the good-natured the Lord shall cover the earth, when man was humanely endeavouring to righteousness and praise shall spring save the lives of the combatants, he forth before all the nations, when lost his own; for the people stoned the work of righteousness shall be him to death! So highly did the unpeace, and the effect of righteousness thinking rabble value this cruel diver
sion, which afforded an object to
Dr. Franklin's Views of War. stare at, " What was the consequence ? The
“ We make daily great improveEmperor Honorius, as soon as he ments in natural—there is one I wish heard of the transaction, issued orders to see in moral philosophy ;-the disto abolish the exhibition of gladiatorial covery of a plan that would induce combats. Now reflect a moment with and oblige nations to settle their disme, how base an amusement this was, putes without first cutting one anohow many thousand lives were lost
ther's throats. When will human by it; and you will immediately see
reason be sufficiently improved to see how much the world is indebted to the the advantage of this ? When will death of one individual. For a deed
men be convinced that even successo like this, Telemachus was deservedly ful wars at length become misfortunes canonized. But how much more richly to those who unjustly commenced would that man deserve this honour, them, and who triumphed blindly who should put an end to the conflicts in their success, not seeing all its of the great potentates, who lord it consequences? Your great comfort over this suffering world !”
and mine in this war, is, that we honestly and faithfully did every thing
in our power to prevent it.”- Letter 1. What intelligent Christian does to Dr. Price, Fe). 1780. not now look back with amazement and horror on the gladiatorial exhi
Imperial Policy bitions, in which men murdered one another to makesport for the multitude!
The Emperor of China, it is said, What an influence must such a custom but the
moment he is taken sick, their
gives his Physicians large salaries; have had on the minds and morals of the Romans! What barbarians must his health. By this wise policy it
salaries are suspended, till he recovers the inhabitants of Rome have heen, becomes the interest of the Physicians who could “ delight” in such murde
to exert all their skill to preserve the rous amusements ! But,
2. Will not Christians of future health of the Monarch, and speedily ages, in like manner, review. with to restore it, if it be interrupted. horror the history of our times! Peo
Is not this policy capable of brzing ple of the present day may have eyes transplanted, and applied to still more to see, in some particulars, the bar- important purposes ? Peace is 'nealth, barity of former ages; but are they not and War is a disease, in t'e body generally as blind as the Romans were politic. Let Rulers be re garded as to the inhumanity of their own customs ? Physicians ; give them grod salaries Wha better than gladiators are the during peace; but the moment the armies of Christian nations, who meet
war fever commences, 'let their salaries each other in a field of battle for mu
be suspended, till peace is restored. tual murder ? And for what more ra
On this plan the peace of nations tional'purpose do they generally meet, would perhaps suffer as little interthan that of sanguinary sport or ruption, as the health of a Chinese amusement? It would perhaps be Emperor. difficult to name a single war that has occurred in Christendom, which was Reflections upon the Conduct of not as perfectly needless, wanton, in- Human Life; with reference to human, and unprofitable, as a gla- Learning and Knowledge. diatorial exhibition; but it would be easy to name a hundred which were
REFLECTION III. as perfectly inhuman and useless, and Wherein the general conduct of huyastly more destructive,
man life is taxed with too imporVOL. 111:
tunate a pursuit of Knowledge in contributes not to that great end. general.
So that with these two necessary
limitations, the sense of it is plainly (Continued from page 116.)
this, That to man in this present 13. This therefore is the measure juncture, all knowledge which does to be always observed, in our pro- not contribute to the interest of his secution of knowledge. We are to after-state, is vanity and vexation study only, that we may be good, and of spirit. consequently to prosecute such know- 15. For to what purpose should ledge only as has an aptness to make
we study so much, since after all we us so, that which the apostle calls, can know so little ? Since our life is " The truth which is after godliness.' as much too short for enjoying that Whatever knowledge we prosecute little knowledge we have, as for combeside this, or further than it is passing what we would have; and conducive to this end, though it be, withal, since there lies no manner absolutely considered, never so ex- of obligation or necessity upon us to cellent and perfective of our under- do thus ? But (which is what I would standing, yet with respect to the most of all inculcate) to what purpresent posture and station of man, pose imaginable should we be so it is a culpable curiosity, an unac- vehement in the pursuit of learning, countable vanity, and only a more of any learning but what is of use to solemn and laborious way of being the conduct of
life, considering these idle and impertinent.
two things first, That it is but to stay 14. And this will be found, if well a little while, and we shall have all examined, to be nothing different that knowledge gratis, which we so from the censure of the wise preacher, unsuccessfully drudge for here, to the • I gave my heart to know wisdom,' neglect of more important exercises ; says he, and I perceived, that this and, secondly, That there is such an also is vanity and vexation of spirit.' absolute necessity of being good, and Not that he now first applied him that this short uncertain life is the self to the study of wisdom. No, he only time for it, which if neglected, had been inspired with that before, this great work must be undone for and by the help of it had discovered ever. Upon the former consideration, the vanity of all other things. But this studious bookish humour, is like that wisdom which saw through all laying out a great sum of money, to other things, did not as yet perceive purchase an estate which after one the vanity of itself. He therefore weak, dropping life will of course now gave his heart to know wisdom, fall into hand. Upon the latter, it is that is, to reflect upon it, and to con- as if a man that was riding post upon sider whether this might be excepted business of life and death, should, as from his general censure, and struck he passes through a wood, stand still out of the scroll of vanities. And to listen to the singing of a nightingale, upon deep reflection, he found that and so forget the only business of his it could not, and that even this also journey. was as much a vanity as any of the 16. It is most certain, the cases rest. Not that his proposition is to here supposed are as great instances be understood absolutely, but only of folly as can well be conceived. with respect to the present posture And yet (however it comes to pass of man. Neither can it be under that we are not sensible of it) it is stood of all knowledge even in this equally certain that we do the very life; some knowledge being neces- same, that we are too much concerned sary to qualify him for happiness in in the application; and that to most the next. It must therefore be un- of us it may be truly said, “Thou art derstood of all that knowledge, which the man!'