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much as think at the time either of moral obligation or of the rightness of the choice. I choose the end with a single eye to its intrinsic value. Will any one say that this is not virtue, that this is not true and real obedience to the law of God? And here I must repeat in substance what I have said on a former occasion.
33. Obedience to the moral law does not imply that we should practically treat all interests that are of equal value according to their value. For example, the precept, Love thy neighbor as thyself, can not mean that I am to take equal care of my own soul and the soul of every other human being. This were impossible. Nor does it mean that I should take the same care and oversight of my own and of all the families of the earth. Nor that I should divide what little of property or time or talent I have equally among all mankind. This were,
(2.) Uneconomical for the universe. More good will result to the universe by each individual's giving his attention particularly to the promotion of those interests that are within his reach and so under his influence that he possesses particular advantages for promoting them. Every interest is to be esteemed according to its relative value, but our efforts to promote particular interests should depend upon our relations and capacity to promote them. Some interests of great value we may be under no obligation to promote for the reason that we have no ability to promote them, while we may be under obligation to promote interests of vastly less value for the reason that we are able to promote them. We are to aim at promoting those interests that we can most surely and extensively promote, but always in a manner that shall not interfere with others promoting other interests according to their relative value. Every man is bound to promote his own and the salvation of his family, not because they belong to self, but because they are valuable in themselves and because they are particularly committed to him as being directly within his reach. This is a principle every where assumed in the gov ernment of God; (and I wish it to be distinctly borne in mind as we proceed in our investigations, as it will on the one hand prevent misapprehension, and on the other avoid the necessity of circumlocution when we wish to express the same idea,) the true intent and meaning of the moral law no doubt is that every interest or good known to a moral being shall be esteemed according to its intrinsic value, and that in our efforts to promote good we are to aim at securing the greatest practica
ble amount and to bestow our efforts where and as it appears from our circumstances and relations we can accomplish the greatest good. This ordinarily can be done, beyond all question, only by each one attending to the promotion of those particular interests which are most within the reach of his influence.
WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEDIENCE TO THE MORAL LAW.
It has been shown that the sum and spirit of the whole law is properly expressed in one word, Love. It has also been shown that this love is benevolence or good willing; that it consists in choosing the highest good of God and of universal being as an ultimate end, or for its own intrinsic value; in a spirit or state of entire consecration to this as the ultimate end of existence. Although the whole law is fulfilled in one word, love, yet there are many things implied in the state of mind expressed by this term. It is, therefore, indispensable to a right understanding of this subject, that we inquire into the characteristics or attributes of this love. We must keep steadily in mind certain truths of mental philosophy. I will, therefore,
I. Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy which are revealed to us in consciousness, and
II. Point out the attributes of that love that constitutes obedience to the law of God; and as I proceed, I will call attention to those states of the Intelligence and of the Sensibility, and also to the course of outward conduct implied in the existence of this love in any mind, implied in it as necessarily resulting from it as an effect does from its cause.
I. Call attention to certain facts in mental philosophy as they are revealed in consciousness.
1. Moral agents possess Intelligence or the faculty of knowledge.
2. They also possess Sensibility, or Sensitivity, or in other words, the faculty or susceptibility of feeling.
3. They also possess Will, or the power of choosing or refusing in every case of moral obligation.
4. These primary faculties are so correlated to each other that the Intellect or the Sensibility may control the will, or the will may, in a certain sense, control them. That is, the will is free to choose in accordance with the demands of the intellect, or with the desires and impulses of the sensibility. It is free to be influenced by the impulses of the sensibility, or by the dictates of the intelligence, or to control and direct them both. It can directly control the attention of the intellect, and consequently its perceptions, thoughts, &c. It can indirectly control the states of the sensibility, or feeling facul ty, by controlling the perceptions and thoughts of the intelli
gence. We also know from consciousness, as was shown in a former lecture, that the voluntary muscles of the body are directly controlled by the will, and that the relation of outward action, as well as the states of the intelligence and the sensibility, to the action of the will, is that of necessity. That is, the law which obliges the attention, the feelings, and the actions of the body to obey the decisions of the will, is physical law or the law of necessity. The attention of the intellect and the outward actions are controlled directly, and the feelings indirectly, by the decisions of the will. The will can either command or obey. It can suffer itself to be enslaved by the impulses of the sensibility, or it can assert its sovereignty and control them. The will is not influenced by either the intellect or the sensibility, by the law of necessity or force; so that the will can always resist either the demands of the intelligence or the impulses of the sensibility. But while they can not lord it over the will through the agency of any law of force, the will has the aid of the law of necessity or force by which to control them.
Again: We are conscious of affirming to ourselves our obligation to obey the law of the intelligence rather than the impulses of the sensibility; that to act virtuously we must act rationally or intelligently, and not give ourselves up to the blind impulses of our feelings.
Now, inasmuch as the love required by the moral law consists in choice, willing, intention, as has been repeatedly shown, and inasmuch as choice, willing, intending, controls the states of the intellect and the outward actions directly by a law of necessity, and by the same law controls the feelings or states of the sensibility indirectly, it follows that certain states of the intellect and the sensibility and also certain outward actions must be implied in the existence of the love which the law of God requires. I say implied in it, not as making a part of it, but as necessarily resulting from it. The thoughts, opinions, judgments, feelings, and outward actions must be moulded and modified by the state of the heart or will.
Here it is important to remark that in common parlance, the same word is often used to express either an action or state of the will, or a state of the sensibility, or both. This is true of all the terms that represent what are called the christian graces or virtues, or those various modifications of virtue of which Christians are conscious and which appear in their life and temper.
Of this truth we shall be constantly reminded as we proceed in our investigations, for we shall find illustrations of it at every step of our progress. Before I proceed to point out the attributes of benevolence, it is important to remark that all the moral attributes of God and of all holy beings, are only attributes of benevolence. Benevolence is a term that comprehensively expresses them all. God is love. This term expresses comprehensively God's whole moral character. This love, as we have repeatedly seen, is benevolence. Benevolence is good willing, or the choice of the highest good of God and the universe as an end. But from this comprehensive statement, accurate though it be, we are apt to receive very inadequate conceptions of what really belongs to as implied in benevolence. To say that love is the fulfilling of the whole law; that benevolence is the whole of true religion; that the whole duty of man to God and his neighbor, is expressed in one word, love-these statements, though true, are so comprehensive as to need with all minds much amplification and explanation. The fact is, that many things are implied in love or benevolence. By this is intended that benevolence needs to be viewed under various aspects and in various relations, and its dispositions or willings considered in the various relations in which it is called to act. Benevolence is an ultimate intention, or the choice of an ultimate end. Now if we suppose that this is all that is implied in benevolence we shall egregiously err. Unless we inquire into the nature of the end which benevolence chooses, and the means by which it seeks to accomplish that end, we shall understand but little of the import of the word benevolence. Benevolence has many attributes or characteristics. These must all harmonize in the selection of its end, and in its efforts to realize it. Wisdom, justice, mercy, truth, holiness, and many other attributes, as we shall see, are essential elements or attributes of benevolence. To understand what true benevolence is, we must inquire into its attributes. Not every thing that is called love has at all the nature of benevolence. Nor has all that is called benevolence any title to that appellation. There are various kinds of love. Natural affection is called love. The affection that exists between the sexes is also called love. Our preference of certain kinds of diet is called love. Hence we say we love fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, &c. Benevolence is also called love, and is the kind of love, beyond all question, required by the law of God. But there is more. than one state of mind that is called benevolence. There is