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a constitutional or phrenological benevolence, which is often mistaken for and confounded with the benevolence which constitutes virtue. This so called benevolence is in truth only an imposing form of selfishness; nevertheless it is called benevolence. Many of its manifestations are like those of true benevolence. Care, therefore, should be taken in giving religious instruction, to distinguish accurately between them. Benevolence, let it be remembered, is the obedience of the will to the law of the reason. It is willing good as an end, for its own sake, and not to gratify self. Selfishness consists in the obedience of the will to the impulses of the sensibility. It is a spirit of self-gratification. The will seeks to gratify the desires and propensities for the pleasure of the gratification. Self-gratification is sought as an end and as the supreme end. It is preferred to the claims of God and the good of being. Phrenological or constitutional benevolence is only obedience to the impulse of the sensibility-a yielding to a feeling of compassion. It is only an effort to gratify a desire. It is, therefore, as really selfishness, as is an effort to gratify any constitutional desire whatever.
It is impossible to get a just idea of what constitutes obedience to the Divine law, and what is implied in it, without considering attentively the various attributes or aspects of benevolence, properly so called. Upon this discussion we are about to enter. But before I commence the enumeration and definition of these attributes, it is important further to remark that the moral attributes of God, as revealed in his works, providence, and word, throw much light upon the subject before us. Also the many precepts of the Bible, and the developments of benevolence therein revealed, will assist us much as we proceed in our inquiries upon this important subject. As the Bible expressly affirms that love comprehends the whole character of God-that it is the whole that the law requires of man-that the end of the commandment is charity or love-we may be assured that every form of true virtue is only a modification of love or benevolence, that is, that every state of mind required by the Bible, and recognized as virtue is, in its last analysis, resolvable into love or benevolence. In other words, every virtue is only benevolence viewed under certain aspects, or in certain relations. In other words still, it is only one of the elements, peculiarities, characteristics, or attributes of benevolence. This is true of God's moral attributes. They are, as has been said, only attributes of benevolence. They are only benevolence
viewed in certain relations and aspects. only so many attributes of benevolence. be true of every holy being.
All his virtues are
II. I will now proceed, agreeably to my purpose, to point out the attributes of that love which constitutes obedience to the law of God.
As I proceed I will call attention to the states of the intelligence and of the sensibility, and also to the courses of outward conduct implied in the existence of this love in any mind-implied in its existence as necessarily resulting from it by the law of cause and effect. These attributes are,
1. Voluntariness. That is, it is a phenomenon of the will. There is a state of the sensibility often expressed by the term love. Love may, and often does exist, as every one knows, in the form of a mere feeling or emotion. The term is often used to express the emotion of fondness or attachment as distinct from a voluntary state of mind or a choice of the will. This emotion or feeling, as we are all aware, is purely an involuntary state of mind. Because it is a phenomenon of the sensibility, and of course a passive state of mind, it has in itself no moral character. The law of God requires voluntary love or good will, as has been repeatedly shown. This love consists in choice, intention. It is choosing the highest well-being of God and the universe of sentient beings as an end. Of course voluntariness must be one of its characteristics.
If it be voluntary, or consist in choice, if it be a phenomenon of the will, it must control the thoughts and states of the sensibility as well as the outward action. This love, then, not only consists in a spirit or state of consecration to God and the universe, but also implies deep emotions of love to God and man. Though a phenomenon of the will, it implies the existence of all those feelings of love and affection to God and man that necessarily result from the consecration of the heart or will to their highest well-being. It also implies all that outward course of life that necessarily flows from a state of will consecrated to this end. Let it be borne in mind that when these feelings do not arise in the sensibility, and when this course of life is not, then the true love or voluntary consecration to God and the universe required by the law, is not. These follow from this by a law of necessity. Those, that is, feelings or emotions of love and a correct outward life, may exist without this voluntary love, as I shall have occasion to show in its proper place; but this can not exist without
those, as they follow from it by a law of necessity. These emotions will vary in their strength as constitution and circumstances vary, but exist they must in some sensible degree whenever the will is in a benevolent attitude.
2. Liberty is an attribute of this love. The mind is free and spontaneous in its exercise. It makes this choice when it has the power at every moment to choose self-gratification as an end. Of this every moral agent is conscious. It is a free and therefore a responsible choice.
3. Intelligence. That is, the mind makes choice of this end intelligently. It not only knows what it chooses, and why it chooses, but also that it chooses in accordance with the dictates of the intelligence; that the end is worthy of being chosen, and that for this reason the intelligence demands that it should be chosen; and also, that for its own intrinsic value it is chosen.
Because voluntariness, liberty, and intelligence are natural attributes of this love, therefore the following are its moral attributes.
4. Virtuousness or rightness is an attribute of it. Moral rightness is moral perfection, righteousness, or uprightness. Virtuousness must be a moral element or attribute. The term marks or designates its relation to moral law and expresses its conformity to it.
In the exercise of this love or choice, the mind is conscious of uprightness or of being conformed to moral law or moral obligation. In other words, it is conscious of being virtuous or holy; of being like God; of loving what ought to be loved, and of consecration to the right end.
Because this choice is in accordance with the demands of the intelligence, therefore the mind in its exercise is conscious of the approbation of that power of the intelligence which we call conscience. The conscience must approve this love, choice, or intention.
Again: Because the conscience approves of this choice, therefore there is and must be a corresponding state of the sensibility. There is and must be in the sensibility a feeling of happiness or satisfaction, a feeling of complacency or delight in the love that is in the heart or will. This love, then, always produces self-approbation in the conscience, and a felt satisfaction in the sensibility, and these feelings are often very acute and joyous, in so much that the soul in the exercise of this love of the heart is sometimes led to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. This state of mind does
not always and necessarily amount to joy. Much depends in this respect on the clearness of the intellectual views, upon the state of the sensibility, and upon the manifestation of Divine approbation to the soul. But when peace or approbation of conscience, and consequently a peaceful state of the sensibility are not, this love is not. They are connected with it by a law of necessity, and must of course appear on the field of consciousness where it exists. These, then, are implied in obedience to the law of God. Conscious peace of mind and conscious joy in God must be where true love to God is.
5. Disinterestedness is another attribute of this love. By disinterestedness is not intended that the mind takes no interest in the object loved, for it does take a supreme interest in it. But this term expresses the mind's choice of an end for its own sake, and not merely upon condition that the good belongs to self. This love is disinterested in the sense that the highest well-being of God and the universe is chosen, not upon condition of its relation to self, but for its own intrinsic and infinite value. It is this attribute particularly that distinguishes this love from selfish love. Selfish love makes the relation of good to self the condition of choosing it. The good of God and of the Universe, if chosen at all, is only chosen as a means or condition of promoting the highest good of self. But this love does not make good to self its end; but good to God and being in general is its end.
As disinterestedness is an attribute of this love, it does not seek its own but the good of others. "Charity (love) seeketh not her own." It grasps the good of being in general, and of course, of necessity, secures a corresponding outward life and inward feeling. The intelligence will be employed in devising ways and means for the promotion of its end. The sensibility will be tremblingly alive to the good of all and of each, will rejoice in the good of others as in its own, and will grieve at the misery of others as in its own. It "will rejoice with them who do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." There will not, can not be envy at the prosperity of others, but unfeigned joy, joy as real and often as exquisite as in its own. Benevolence enjoys every body's good things, while selfishness is too envious at the good things of others even to enjoy its own. There is a Divine economy in benevolence. Each benevolent soul not only enjoys his own good things but also enjoys the good things of all others so far as he knows their happiness. He drinks at the river of God's pleasure. He not only rejoices in doing good to others, but
also in beholding their enjoyment of good things. He joys in God's joy and in the joy of angels and of saints. He also rejoices in the good things of all sentient existences. He is happy in beholding the pleasure of the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea. He sympa thizes with all joy and all suffering known to him. Nor is his sympathy with the suffering of others a feeling of unmingled pain. It is a real luxury to sympathize in the woes of others. He would not be without this sympathy. It so accords with his sense of propriety and fitness, that mingled with the painful emotion there is a sweet feeling of self-approbation, so that a benevolent sympathy with the woes of others is by no means inconsistent with happiness, and with perfect happiness. God has this sympathy. He often expresses and otherwise manifests it. There is, indeed, a mysterious and an exquisite luxury in sharing the woes of others. God and angels and all holy beings know what it is. Where this result of love is not manifested, there love itself is not. Envy at the prosperity, influence, or good of others, the absence of sensible joy in view of the good enjoyed by others, and of sympathy with the sufferings of others, prove conclusively that this love does not exist. There is an expansiveness, an ampleness of embrace, a universality and a Divine disinterestedness in this love that necessarily manifests itself in the liberal devising of liberal things for Zion, and in the copious outpourings of the floods of sympathetic feeling, both of joys and sorrows, as their occasions present themselves before the mind.
Impartiality is another attribute of this love. By this term is not intended that the mind is indifferent to the character of him who is happy or miserable; that it would be as well pleased to see the wicked as the righteous eternally and perfectly blessed. But it is intended that, other things being equal, it is the intrinsic value of their well-being which is alone regarded by the mind. Other things being equal, it matters not to whom the good belongs. It is no respecter of persons. The good of being is its end and it seeks to promote every interest according to its relative value. Selfish love is partial. It seeks to promote self-interest first, and secondarily those interests that sustain such a relation to self as will at least indirectly promote the gratification of self. Selfish love has its favorites, its prejudices, unreasonable and ridiculous. Color, family, nation, and many other things of like nature modify it. But benevolence knows neither Jew