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passions. We will examine secondly, the war prejudice a greater interest. Observe well this which they wage “ against the soul.” Our last expression, as far as may be without prejuthird part will inform you of the means of ab- dice to a greater interest. The truth of our staining from these fleshly lusts. And in the second reflection depends on this restriction. last place we will endeavour to make you feel 3. A being composed of two substances, one the power of this motive, "as strangers and of which is more excellent than the other; a pilgrims,” and to press home this exhortation being placed between two interests, one of of the apostle, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you which is greater than the other, ought, when as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly these two interests clash, to prefer the more lusts, which war against the soul.”
noble before the less noble, the greater interest I. In order to understand the nature of the before the less. This third principle is a third passions, we will explain the subject by a few clew to what St. Peter calls “lusts,” or paspreliminary remarks.
sions. Man has two substances, and two in1. An intelligent being ought to love every terests. As far as he can without prejudicing thing that can elevate, perpetuate, and make his eternal interest he ought to endeavour to him happy; and to avoid whatever can degrade, promote his temporal interest: but when the confire, and render him miserable. This, far two clash he ought to sacrifice the less to the from being a human depravity, is a perfection greater. “Fleshly lusts” is put for what is irof nature. Man has it in common with celes- regular and depraved in our desires, and what tial intelligences, and with God himself. This makes us prefer the body before the soul, a reflection removes a false sense, which the temporal before an eternal interest. That this language of St. Peter may seem at first to con- is the meaning of the apostle is clear from his vey, as if the apostle meant by eradicating calling these passions or“ Justs fleshly." What “Heshly lusts” to destroy the true interests of is the meaning of this word? The Scripture man. The most ancient enemies of the Christian generally uses the word in two senses. Somereligion loaded it with this reproach, because times it is literally and properly put for flesh, they did not understand it; and some super- and sometimes it signifies sin. St. Peter calls ficial people, who know no more of religion the passions “fleshly” in both these senses; in than the surface, pretend to render it odious the first, because some come from the body, as by the same means. Under pretence that the voluptuousness, anger, drunkenness; and in the Christian religion forbids ambition, they say it second, because they spring from our depravity. degrades man, and under pretence that it for- Hence the apostle Paul puts among the bids misguided self-love, they say it makes man works of the flesh both those which have miserable. A gross error! A false idea of their seat in the body, and those which have Christianity! If the gospel humbles, it is to in a manner no connexion with it.
( Now the elevate us; if it forbids a self-love ill-directed, works of the flesh are these, adultery, lasciviit is in order to conduct us to substantial happi- ousness, idolatry, heresies, envyings.” Acness. By “fleshly lusts,” St. Peter does not cording to this the “works of the flesh” are not mean such desires of the heart as put us on only such as are seated in the flesh (for envy aspiring after real happiness and true glory. and heresy cannot be of this sort,) but all de
2. An intelligent being united to a body, and praved dispositions. lodged, if I may speak so, in a portion of matter This is a general idea of the passions: but under this law, that according to the divers as it is vague and obscure, we will endeavour motions of this matter he shall receive sensa- to explain it more distinctly, and with this tions of pleasure or pain, must naturally love view we will show-first what the passions do to excite within himself sensations of pleasure, in the mind-next what they do in the senses and to avoid painful feelings. This is agreea--thirdly, what they are in the imaginationble to the institution of the Creator. He in- and lastly, what they are in the heart. Four tends, for reasons of adorable wisdom, to pre-portraits of the passions, four explications of serve a society of mankind for several ages on the condition of man. In order to connect the earth. To accomplish this design, he has so matter more closely, as we show you what ordered it, that what contributes to the support fleshly lusts” are in these four views, we will of the body shall give the soul pleasure, and endeavour to convince you that in these four that which would dissolve it would give pain, respects they “war against the soul.” The so that by these means we may preserve our- second part of our discourse therefore, which selves. Aliments are agreeable; the dissolution was to treat of the disorders of the passions, of the parts of our bodies is painful; love, hatred, will be included in the first, which explains and anger, properly understood, and exercised their nature. to a certain degree, are natural and fit. The 1. The passions produce in the mind a strong stoics, who annihilated the passions, did not attention to whatever can justify and gratify know man, and the schoolmen, who to comfort them. The most odious objects may be so people under the gout or the stone, told them placed as to appear agreeable, and the most that a rational man ought not to pay any re- lovely objects so as to appear odious. There gard to what passed in his body, never made is no absurdity so palpable but it may be made many disciples among wise men. This observa- to appear likely; and there is no truth so clear tion affords us a second clew to the meaning but it may be made to appear doubtful. A of the apostle: at least it gives us a second pre- passionate man fixes all the attention of his caution to avoid an error. By “fleshly lusts" mind on such sides of objects as favour his pashe does not mean a natural inclination to pre- sion, and this is the source of innumerable false serve the body and the ease of life; he allows judgings, of which we are every day witnesses love, hatred, and anger, to a certain degree, and authors. and as far as the exercise of them does not If you observe all the passions, you will find
they have all this character. What is vengeance mind is limited, his soul is in chains, his “fleshly in the mind of a vindictive man? It is a fixed passions war against his soul." attention to all the favourable lights in which Having examined the passions in the mind, vengeance may be considered; it is a continual let us consider them in the senses.
To comstudy to avoid every odious light in which the prehend this, recollect what we just now said, subject may be placed. On the one side there that the passions owe their origin to the Creais à certain deity in the world, who has made tor, who instituted them for the purpose of revenge a law. This deity is worldly honour, preserving us. When an object would injure and at the bar of this judge to forget injuries is health or life, it is necessary to our safety, that mean, and to pardon them cowardice. On the there should be an emotion in our senses to other side vengeance disturbs society, usurps affect a quick escape from the danger; fear the office of a magistrate, and violates the pre- does this. A man struck with the idea of sudcepts of religion. A dispassionate man, ex- den danger has a rapidity which he could not amining without prejudice this question, Ought have in a tranquil state, or during a cool trial I to revenge the injury I have received? would of his power. It is necessary, when an enemy weigh all these motives, consider each apart, approaches to destroy us, that our senses should and all together, and would determine to act so move as to animate us with a power of reaccording as the most just and weighty rea- sistance. Anger does this, for it is a collection sons should determine him: but a revengeful of spirits . . . . but allow me to borrow here jnan considers none but the first, he pays no the words of a modern philosopher, who has attention to the last; he always exclaims my admirably expressed the motions excited by the honour, my honour; he never says my religion passions in our bodies. “ Before the sight of and my salvation.
an object of passion,” says he, “the spirits What is hatred? It is a close attention to a were diffused through all the body to preserve man's imperfections. Is any man free? Is every part alike, but on the appearance of this any man so imperfect as to have nothing good new object the whole system is shaken; the in him? Is there nothing to compensate his greater part of the animal spirits rush into all defects. This man is not handsome, but he is the exterior parts of the body, in order to put wise: his genius is not lively, but his heart is it into a condition proper to produce such mosincere: he cannot assist you with money, but tions as aro necessary to acquire the good, or he can give you much good advice, supported to avoid the evil now present. If it happen by an excellent example: he is not either prince, that the power of man is unequal to his wants, king, or emperor, but he is a man, a Christian, these same spirits distribute themselves so as a believer, and in all these respects he deserves to make him utter mechanically certain words esteem. The passionate man turns away his and cries, and so as to spread over his counteeyes from all these advantageous sides, and at- nance and over the rest of his body an air tends only to the rest. Is it astonishing that capable of agitating others with the same pas he hates a person, in whom he sees nothing sion with which he himself is moved. For as but imperfection. Thus a counsellor opens men and other animals are united together by and sets forth his cause with such artifice that eyes and ears, when any one is agitated he law seeins to be clearly on his side; he forgets necessarily shakes all others that see and hear one fact, suppresses one circumstance, omits to him, and naturally produces painful feelings in draw one inference, which being brought for their imaginations, which interest them in his ward to view entirely change the nature of the relief. The rest of the spirits rush violently subject, and his client loses his cause. In the into the heart, the lungs, the liver, and the same manner, a defender of a false religion other vitals, in order to lay all these parts under always revolves in his mind the arguments that contribution, and hastily to derive from them seem to establish it, and never recollects those as quick as possible the spirits necessary for the wbich subvert it. He will curtail a sentence, preservation of the body in these extraordinary cut off what goes before, leave out what follows, efforts. "* Such are the movements excited by and retain only such detached expressions as the passions in the senses, and all these to a seem to countenance his error, but which in certain degree are necessary for the preservaconnexion with the rest would strip it of all tion of our bodies, and are the institutions of probability. What is still more singular is, our Creator: but three things are necessary to that love to true religion, that love, which, preserve order in these emotions. First, they under the direction of reason, opens a wide field must never be excited in the body without the of argument and evidence, engages us in this direction of the will and the reason. Secondly, sort of false judging, when we give ourselves they must always be proportional, I mean, the up to it through passion or prejudice.
emotion of fear, for example, must never be, This is what the passions do in the mind, except in sight of objects capable of hurting and it is easy to comprehend the reason St. us; the emotion of anger must never be, except Peter had to say in this view, “fleshly lusts in sight of an enemy, who actually has both war against the soul.”. Certainly one of the the will and the power of injuring our wellnoblest advantages of a man is to reason, to being. And thirdly, they must always stop examine proofs and weigh motives, to consider when and where we will they should. When an object on every side, to combine the various the passions subvert this order, they violate arguments that are alleged either for or against three wise institutes of our Creator. a proposition, in order on these grounds to The emotions excited by the passions in our regulate our ideas and opinions, our hatred and senses are not free. An angry man is carried our love. The passionate man renounces this advantage, he never reasons in a passion, his Malebranche, Recherche de la verite 1. 5. c. 3.
beyond himself in spite of himself. A volup- pleasures as religion allows him to enjoy: but tuous man receives a sensible impression from when his senses are agitated, his taste becomes an exterior object, and in spite of all the dic- dainty, and he thinks he may glut himself with tates of reason throws himself into a flaming food, drown himself in wine, and give himself fire that consumes him.
up without reserve to all the excesses of volupThe emotions excited by the passions in our tuousness. When his senses were cool and senses are not proporlional; I mean, that a tranquil, he thought it sufficient to oppose pretimorous man, for example, turns as pale at the cautions of prudence against the designs of an sight of a fanciful as of a real danger; he some enemy to his injury: but when his senses are times fears a phantom and a substance alike. agitated, he thinks, he ought to attack him, A man whose god is his belly," feels his fall on him, stab him, kill him. When he was appetite as much excited by a dish fatal to his cool, he was free; he was a sovereign: but now health as by one necessary to support his that his senses are agitated, he is a subject, he strength, and to keep him alive.
is a slave. Base submission! Unworthy slavery! The emotions exeited by the passions in our We blush for human nature when we see it in senses do not obey the orders of our will. The such bondage. Behold that man, he has as movement is an overtlow of spirits which no many virtues, perhaps, more than most men. reflections can restrain. It is not a gentle fire Examine him on the article of good breeding. to give the blood a warmth necessary to its He perfectly understands, and scrupulously circulation; it is a volcano pouring out its flame observes all the laws of it. Examine him on all liquid and destructive on every side. It is the point of disinterestedness. He abounds in not a gentle stream, purling in its proper bed, it, and to see the manner in which he gives, meandering through the fields, and moistening, you would say, he thought he increased his refreshing, and invigorating them as it goes: fortune by bestowing it in acts of benevolence. but it is a rapid flood, breaking down all its Examine him concerning religion. He rebanks, carrying every where mire and mud, spects the majesty of it, he always pronounces sweeping away the harvest, subverting hills and the name of God with veneration, he never trees, and carrying away every thing on all thinks of his works without admiration, or bis sides that oppose its passage. This is what attributes without reverence or fear. Place the passions do in the senses, and do you not this man at a gaming table, put the dice or the conceive, my brethren, that in this second re- cards in his hand, and you will know him no spect they war against the soul?”
more; he loses all self-possession, he forgets They " war against the soul” by the disorders politeness, disinterestedness, and religion, he they introduce into that body, which they ought insults his fellow-creatures, and blasphemes his to preserve They dissipate the spirits, weaken God. His soul teems with avarice, his body the memory, wear out the brain. Behold those is distorted, his thoughts are troubled, his temtrembling hands, those discoloured eyes, that per is changed, his countenance turns pale, his body bent and bowed down to the ground; eyes sparkle, his mouth foams, his spirits are in these are the effects of violent passions. When a flame, he is another man, no, it is not a man, the body is in such a state, it is easy to con- it is a wild beast, it is a devil. ceive, that the soul suffers with it. The union We never give ourselves up thus to our senses between the two is so close that the alteration without feeling some pleasure, and what is very of the one necessarily alters the other. When dreadful, this pleasure abides in the memory, the capacity of the soul is absorbed by painful | makes deep traces in the brain, in a word, imsensations, we are incapable of attending to prints itself on the imagination: and this leads truth. If the spirits, necessary to support us in us to our third article, in which we are to meditation, be dissipated, we can no longer consider what the passions do in the imagimeditate. If the brain, which must be of a nation. certain consistence to receive impressions of If the senses were excited to act only by the objects, has lost that consistence, it can recover presence of objects; if the soul were agitated it no more.
only by the action of the senses, one single They “ war against the soul” by disconcert- mean would suffice to guard us from irregular ing the whole economy of man, and by making passions; that would be to flee from the object him consider such sensations of pleasure as that excites them; but the passions produce Providence gave him only for the sake of en- other disorders, they leave deep impressions on gaging him to preserve his body as a sort of the imagination. When we give ourselves up supremne good, worthy of all his care and atten- to the senses, we feel pleasure, this pleasure tion for its own sake.
strikes the imagination, and the imagination They “war against the soul” because they thus struck with the pleasure it has found, rereduce it to a state of slavery to the body, over collects it, and solicits the passionate man to which it ought to rule. Is any thing more return to objects that made him so happy. unworthy of an immortal soul than to follow Thus old men have sometimes miserable reno other rule of judging than an agitation of mains of a passion, which seems to suppose a the organs of the body, the heat of the blood, certain constitution, and which should seem to the motion of animal spirits. And does not be extinct, as the constitution implied is no this daily happen to a passionate man? A man, more: but the recollection that such and such who reasons fairly when his senses are tranquil, objects had been the cause of such and such does he not reason like an idiot when his senses pleasures is dear to their souls; they love to are agitated? Cool and dispassionate, he thinks, remember them, they make them a part of all he ought to eat and drink only what is neces- their conversations; they drew flattering porsary to support his health and his life, at most traits, and by recounting their past pleasures to receive with thanksgiving” such innocent indemnify themselves for the prohibition, under which old age has laid them. For the , we are in this world, but imparts felicity by same reason it is, that a worldling, who has means of creatures, he has given these creatures plunged himself into all the dissipations of life, two characters, which being well examined by finds it so difficult to renounce the world when a reasonable man, conduct him to the Creator, he comes to die. Indeed a body borne down but which turn the passionate man aside. On with illness, a nature almost extinct, senses the one hand, creatures render us happy to a half dead, seem improper habitations of love certain degree, this is their first character: on to sensual pleasure; and yet imagination struck the other, they leave a void in the soul, which with past pleasure tells this skeleton, that the they are incapable of filling, this is their second world is amiable, that always when he went character. This is the design of God, and this inte it he enjoyed a real pleasure, and that, on design the passions oppose. Let us hear a the contrary, always when he performed reli- reasonable man draw conclusions, and let us gious exercises he felt pain; and this lively im- observe what opposite conclusions a passionate pression gives such a man a present aversion man draws. to religion; it incessantly turns his mind to- The reasonable man says, creatures leave a wards the objects of which death is about to void in my soul, which they are incapable of deprive him, so that, without a miracle of filling: but what effect should this produce in grace, he can never look towards the objects my heart, and what end had God in setting of religion with desire and pleasure.
bounds so strait to that power of making me We go farther. We affirm, that the disor- happy, which he communicated to them? IL ders of the passions in the imagination far ex- was to reclaim me to himself, to persuade me ceed those in the senses; the action of the that he only can make me happy; it was to senses is limited: but that of the imagination make me say to myself, my desires are eternal, is boundless, so that the difference is almost as whatever is not eternal is unequal to my degreat as that between finite and infinite, if you sires; my passions are infinite, whatever is not will pardon the expression. A man, who ac- infinite is beneath my passions, and God only tually tastes pleasure in debauchery, feels this can satisfy them. .pleasure, but he does not persuade himself that A passionate man, from the void he finds in he feels it more than he does: but a man, who the creatures, draws conclusions directly oppoindulges his fancy, forms most extravagant site. Each creature in particular is incapable ideas, for imagination magnifies some objects, of making me happy: but could I unite them creates others, accumulates phantom "upon all, could 1, so to speak, extract the substantial phantom, and fills up a vast space with ideal from all, certainly nothing would be wanting joys, which have no originals in nature. Hence to my happiness. In this miserable supposition it comes that we are more pleased with imagi- he becomes full of perturbation, he launches nary ideas, than with the actual enjoyment of out, he collects, he accumulates. It is not what we imagine, because imagination having enough to acquire conveniences, he must have made boundless promises, it gladdens the soul supertluities. It is not enough that my name with the hope of more to supply the want of be known in my family, and among my acwhat present objects fail of producing. quaintance, it must be spread over the whole
O deplorable state of man! The littleness of city, the province, the kingdom, the four parts his mind will not allow him to contemplate of the globe. Every clime illuminated by the any object but that of his passion, while it is sun shall know that I exist, and that I have a present to his senses; it will not allow him then superior genius. It is not enough to conquer to recollect the motives, the great motives, some hearts, I will subdue all, and display the that should impel him to his duty: and when astonishing art of uniting all voices in my fathe object is absent, not being able to offer vour; men divided in opinion about every thing it to his senses, he presents it again to his else shall agree in one point, that is, to celoimagination clothed with new and foreign brate my praise. It is not enough to have charms, deceitful ideas of which make up for many inferiors, I must have no master, no its absence, and excite in him a love more equal, I must be a universal monarch, and subviolent than that of actual possession, when he due the whole world; and when I shall have felt at least the folly and vanity of it. O horrid accomplished these vast designs, I will seek var of the passions against the soul! Shut the other creatures to subdue, and more worlds to door of your closets against the enchanted ob- conquer. Thus the passions disconcert the plan ject, it will enter with you. Try to get rid of of God! Such are the conclusions of a heart it by traversing plains, and fields, and whole infatuated with passion! countries; cleave the waves of the sea, fly on The disciple of reason says, creatures contrithe wings of the wind, and try to put between bute to render me happy to a certain degree: yourself and your enchantress the deep, the but this power is not their own. Gross, rolling ocean, she will travel with you, sail sensible, material beings cannot contribute to with you, every where haunt you, because the happiness of a spiritual creature.
If creawherever you go you will carry yourself, and tures can augment my happiness; it is because within you, deep in your imagination, the be- God has lent them a power natural only to witching image impressed.
himself. God is then the source of felicity, Let us consider, in fine, the passions in the and all I see elsewhere is only an emanation of heart, and the disorders they cause there.— his essence: but if the streams be so pure, What can fill the heart of man? A prophet has what is the fountain! If effects be so noble, answered this question, and has included all what is the cause! If rays be so luminous, morality in one point, “my chief good is to what is the source of light from which they draw near to God,” Ps. lxxiii. 28; but as God proceed! does not commune with us immediately, while The conclusions of an impassioned man are
directly opposite. Says he, creatures render mistake, even in things indifferent in them
merchant, he will tell you that nothing so much War against our reason, for instead of deriv- deserves the attention of mankind as trade, as ing, by virtue of a union to God, assistance acquiring money by every created thing, as necessary to the practice of what reason ap- knowing the value of this, and the worth of proves, and what grace only renders practica- that, as taxing, so to speak, all the works of ble, we are given up to our evil dispositions, art, and all the productions of nature. Hear and compelled by our passions to do what our the man of learning, he will tell you, that the own reason abhors.
perfection of man consists in literature, that War against the regulation of life, for instead there is a difference as essential between a of putting on by virtue of union to God, the scholar and a man of no literature, as between
easy yoke,” and taking up the “light bur- a rational creature and a brute. Hear the den" which religion imposes, we become slaves soldier, he will tell you that the man of science of envy, vengeance and ambition; we are is a pedant who ought to be confined to the weighed down with a yoke of iron, which we dirt and darkness of the schools, that the merhave no power to get rid of, even though we chant is the most sordid part of society, and groan under its intolerable weightiness. that nothing is so noble as the profession of
War against conscience, for instead of being arms. One would think, to hear him talk, justified by virtue of a union with God, and that the sword by his side is a patent for prehaving peace with him through our Lord eminence, and that mankind have no need of Jesus Christ,” Rom. v. 1, and feeling that any people, who cannot rout an army, cut heaven begun, “joy unspeakable and full of through a squadron, or scale a wall. Hear him glory," 1 Pet. i. 8, by following our passions who has got the disease of quality; he will tell we become a prey to distracting fear, troubles you that other men are nothing but reptiles without end, cutting remorse, and awful earn- beneath his feet, that human blood, stained ests of eternal misery.
every where else, is pure only in his veins. War on a dying bed, for whereas by being That nobility serves for every thing, for genius, united to God our death-bed would have be- and education, and fortune, and sometimes come a held of triumph, where the Prince of even for common sense and good faith. Hear life, the Conqueror of death would have made the peasant, he will tell you that a nobleman us share his victory, by abandoning ourselves is an enthusiast for appropriating to himself to our passions, we see nothing in a dying hour the virtues of his ancestors, and for pretonding but an awful futurity, a frowning governor, the to find in old quaint names, and in worm-eaten bare idea of which alarms, terrifies, and drives papers, advantages which belong only to real us to despair.
and actual abilities. As I said before, each III. We have seen the nature and the disor- family has it prejudico, every profession has its ders of the passions, now let us examine what folly, all proceeding from this principle, because remedies we ought to apply. In order to pre- we consider objects only in one point of view. vent and correct the disorders, which the pas- To correct ourselves on this article, we must go sions produce in the mind, we must observe to the source, examine how our minds were the following rules.
directed in our childhood; in a word, we must 1. We must avoid precipitance, and suspend review and reform even our education. our judgment. It does not depend on us to 3. In fine, we must, as well as we can, have clear ideas of all things: but we have choose a friend wise enough to know truth, and power to suspend our judgment till we obtain generous enough to impart it to others; a man evidence of the nature of the object before us. who will show us an object on every side, when This is one of the greatest advantages of an we are inclined to consider it only on one. I intelligent being. A celebrated divine has such a high idea of this that he maintains this
• Elie. Saurin. Reflex. sur la conscien. sect. 2. hyperbolical thesis, that “always when we | Malebranche.