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commends the virtues of others, it is but for the glory of God; and for the very same reason, he might speak of virtues of which he is conscious in himself, that God may have glory. A perfectly simple-hearted and guileless state of mind might naturally enough manifest itself in this manner. An egotistical spirit in another might, and doubtless would lead him to misunderstand such open heartedness and transparency of character. There would be nevertheless a radical difference in the spirit with which two such men would speak either of their own faults or virtues.

26. Simplicity is another attribute of selfishness.
By this term it is intended to express two things, to wit:
(1.) Singleness, unmixed or unmingled, and

(2.) That selfishness is always as intense as under the cir cumstances it can be. I will consider these two branches of the subject separately and in order.

(1.) Šelfishness is simple in the sense of uncompounded or


It consists, as we have repeatedly seen in ultimate choice or intention. It is the choice of an end, of course the supreme as well as the ultimate choice of the soul. Now it must be self-evident that no other and opposing choice can consist with it. Nor can the mind while in the exercise of this choice of an end possibly put forth any volitions inconsistent with it. Volitions are never and can never be put forth but to secure some end, or in other words, for some reason. If they could, such volitions would have no moral character because there would be no intention. Volitions always imply intention. It is therefore impossible that benevolent volitions should coexist with a selfish intention or that selfish volitions should coexist with a benevolent intention. Simplicity, in the sense of uncompounded or unmixed, must be an attribute of selfishness. This is evidently the philosophy assumed in the teachings of Christ and of inspiration."Ye can not serve two masters" (that is, certainly, at the same time) says Christ. And again: "Ye can not serve God and Mammon"-that is, of course at the same time. "Can a fountain at the same place send forth sweet water and bitter?" says James. Thus we see that the bible assumes and expressly teaches the philosophy here insisted on.

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(2.) Selfishness is always as intense as under the circumbe. can

It is a choice. It is the choice of self-indulgence as an ulti

mate end. Therefore, if it lounge, it is only because the pro

pensity to lounge at the time preponderates. If energetic, it is to secure some form of self-indulgence, which, at the time, is preferred to ease. If at one time it is more or less intense than at another, it is only because self-gratification at the time demands it. Indeed it is absurd to say that it is more in tense at one time than at another except as its intensity is in creased by the pressure of motives to abandon it, and become benevolent. If a selfish man give himself up to idleness, lounging, and sleeping, it is not for want of intensity in the action of his will, but because his disposition to self indulgence in this form is so strong. So if his selfishness take on any possible type, it is only because of the strength of his disposition to indulge self in that particular way. Selfishness lives only for one end, and it is impossible that that end while it continues to be chosen should not have the supreme control. Indeed, the choice of an ultimate end implies the consecration of the will to it, and it is a contradiction to say that the will is not true to the end which it chooses, and that it acts less intensely than is demanded by the nature of the end and the apprehensions of the mind in regard to the readiest way to realize it. The end is chosen without qualification or not at all as an ultimate end. The moment any thing should intervene that should cause the mind to withhold the requisite energy to secure it, that moment it would cease to be chosen as an ultimate end. That which has induced the will to withhold the requisite energy has become the supreme object of regard. It is palpably absurd to say that the spirit of self-indulgence should not always be as intense as will most indulge self. The intensity of the spirit of self-indulgence is always just what and as it is, because, and only because self is the most indulged and gratified thereby. If upon the whole self would be more indulged and gratified by greater or less intensity, it is impossible that that should not be. The presence of considerations inducing to benevolence must either annihilate or strengthen selfishness. The choice must be abandoned, or its intensity and obstinacy must increase with, and in proportion to increasing light. But at every moment the intensity of the selfish choice must be as great as is consistent with its nature, that is, with its being the choice of selfindulgence.

27. Total Moral Depravity is implied in selfishness as one

of its attributes.

By this I intend that every selfish being is at every moment as wicked and as blameworthy as with his knowledge he can be. To establish this proposition, I must

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(1.) Remind you of that in which moral character consists. (2.) Of the foundation of moral obligation. (3.) Of the conditions of moral obligation. (4.) Show the unity of moral obligation. (5.) The unity of virtue and of vice. (6.) How to measure moral obligation. (7.) The guilt of transgression to be equal to the degree of obligation.

(8.) Moral agents are at all times either as holy or as sinful as with their knowledge they can be.

(9.) Consequently, total moral depravity is an attribute of selfishness in the sense that every sinner is as wicked as with his present light he can be.

(1.) In what moral character consists.

It has been repeatedly shown that moral character belongs only to ultimate intention, or that it consists in the choice of an ultimate end, or the end of life.

(2.) The foundation of moral obligation.

1. Moral character implies moral obligation.
[2] Moral obligation respects ultimate intention.

[3.] Ultimate choice or intention is the choice of an ultimate end, or the choice of something for its own sake.

[4.] The foundation of the obligation to choose or intend an end or something for its own sake, must consist in the intrinsic value of the thing to be chosen.

[5.] The highest good or well-being of God and of the universe is of intrinsic and infinite value.

[6.] Therefore the highest well-being of God and of the universe of sentient beings is the foundation of moral obligation, that is, this is the ultimate end to which all moral agents ought to consecrate themselves.

(3.) Conditions of moral obligation.

[1] The powers of moral agency: Intellect, Sensibility, and Free Will.

[2] The existence and perception of the end that ought to be chosen.

(4.) Unity of Moral Obligation.

[1.] Moral obligation strictly belongs only to the ultimate intention.

[2.] It requires but one ultimate choice or intention.

3. It requires universally and only that every moral agent should at all times, and under all circumstances, honestly will, choose, intend the highest good of being as an end, or for its

own intrinsic value. Therefore moral obligation is a unit. (5.) Unity of virtue and vice.

[1] Virtue must be a unit, for it always and only consists in compliance with moral obligation, which is a unit.

[2.] It always and only consists in one and the same choice, or in the choice of one and the same end.

[3.] It has been fully shown that sin consists in selfishness and that selfishness is an ultimate choice, to wit, the choice of self-gratification as an end or for its own sake.

[4.] Selfishness is always one and the same choice or the choice of one and the same end.

[5.] Therefore, selfishness or sin must be a unit.

[6.] Or more strictly virtue is the moral element or attribute of disinterested benevolence or good willing. And sin or vice is the moral element or attribute of selfishness. Virtue is always the same attribute of the same choice. They are therefore always and necessarily units.

(6.) How to measure moral obligation.

[1] It is affirmed both by reason and revelation that there are degrees of guilt; that some are more guilty than others; and that the same individual may be more guilty at one time than at another.

[2.] The same is true of virtue. One person may be more virtuous than another when both are truly virtuous. And also the same person may be more virtuous at one time than at another, although he may be virtuous at all times. In other words, it is affirmed both by reason and revelation that there is such a thing as growth both in virtue and vice.

[3.] It is matter of general belief also that the same individual with the same degree of light or knowledge, is more or less praise or blameworthy as he shall do one thing or another; or in other words, as he shall pursue one course or another, to accomplish the end he has in view; or, which is the same thing, that the same individual with the same knowledge or light, is more or less virtuous or vicious according to the course of outward life which he shall pursue. This I shall attempt to show is human prejudice, and a serious and most injurious error.

[4.] It is also generally held that two or more individuals having precisely the same degree of light or knowledge, and being both equally benevolent or selfish, may nevertheless differ in their degree of virtue or vice according as they pursue different courses of outward conduct. This also I shall attempt to show is fundamental error.

We can arrive at the truth upon this subject only by clearly understanding how to measure moral obligation, and of course how to ascertain the degree of virtue and sin. The amount or degree of virtue or vice or of praise or blame-worthiness is and must be decided by reference to the degree of obliga


It is very important to remark here that virtue does not merit so much praise and reward as vice does blame and punishment. This is the uuiversal and necessary affirmation of reason and the plain doctrine of inspiration. The reason is this: Virtue is a compliance with obligation. Christ says, "When you have done all, say, we are unprofitable servants: we have done what it was our duty to do." To suppose that virtue is as deserving of reward as vice is of punishment were to overlook obligation altogether, and make virtue a work of supererogation, or that to which we are under no obligation. Suppose I owe you a hundred dollars. When I pay you I only discharge my obligation, and lay you under no further obligation to me, except to treat me as an honest man when and as long as I am such. This is all the reward which the discharge of duty merits.

But suppose I refuse to pay you when it is in my power. Here my desert of blame, as every body must know, and as the Bible every where teaches, is vastly greater than my desert of praise in the former case. The difference lies in this, namely, that virtue is nothing more than a compliance with obligation. It is the doing of that which could not have been neglected without sin. Hence all the reward which it merits is that the virtuous being, so long as he is virtuous, shall be regarded and treated as one who does his duty and complies with his obligations.

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But vice is the violation of obligation. It is a refusal to do what ought to be done. In this case it is clear that the guilt equal to the obligation, that is, the measure of obligation is the measure of guilt. This brings us to the point of inquiry now before us, namely, now is moral obligation to be measured? What is the criterion, the rule, or standard by which the amount or degree of obligation is to be estimated? And here I would remind you,

a That moral obligation is founded in the intrinsic value of the highest well-being of God and the universe, and,

b That the conditions of the obligation are the possession

of the powers of moral agency and light, or the knowledge of the end to be chosen.

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