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ing as prevents them from ever overstepping the rule of prudence in future. In this latter case, they may be said to feel what is right; while in the former, they only knew it: it was knowledge, but knowledge without power.

The death of friends or relations, the sudden extinction of long cherished hopes or expectations, the loss of fortune, or any of the heavier calamities to which we are liable, will sometimes weigh down the mind, and change the current of its ideas. A still more imperative sense of the hand of fate is then impressed upon it; it may not lose its force and strength, or yet its fortitude, but it feels, and deeply feels within. itself that which before it regarded only in the light of a deduction of its reason.

It is this breaking down of the natural pruriency of the spirit, this intimate self-subduing conviction of the human mind, which leads us to the feet of that altar on which alone poor humanity will find repose and security.

The feeling which we speak of here is one indeed that produces that inmost prostration of mind which the constant sense of the presence of his Maker affords to a pious man: a

thorough feeling that there is one from whom he has received all he has, and to whom all that he can give is still too little. It is a feeling that equally prevails to destroy every idea of pride or vanity with regard to our achievements, as of our self-sufficiency with regard to our intellectual faculties: yet, so far is it from destroying our pleasures, that it may rather be said to add a new zest to every action of our existence, and even should we be tried by calamities, it is found to afford succour and help far beyond that which we can attain in any other quarter. It is a feeling that is capable of ensuring to man the greatest happiness of which his state is morally or physically competent to enjoy.

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CHAPTER VI.

Code of Reason, or abstract moral Code-its inefficiency, and other evils attendant upon its nature-Volney's System of Morality-Effect of the increase of Knowledge on the conduct of Mankind—Morality of the Philosophers—B. Franklin-Code of Reason ill adapted for the wants of an uncultivated Mind-Its inutility from want of feeling-Nature of an Oath.

WHAT then does the idea asserted by the philosophers in fact amount to?-simply to this-that we may enjoy good morality on human and rational grounds, without having recourse to supernatural aid. Their aim as to morality therefore, is ostensibly the same as that of the supporters of religion: all parties equally admit the necessary and inseparable connection between happiness and virtue; and all unite their several testimonies in favour of the general subservience of good moral conduct to the perfection of human nature.

The point in dispute may be considered as regarding chiefly the means which are neces

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sary to ensure the maintenance of virtue on the part of mankind, and promote its circulation as widely and as extensively as possible.

We cannot persuade ourselves, however, that in this point of view, the general plan of these philosophic moralists is likely in any way to prove efficacious. If they had been content with asserting that they could prove the superior excellence of good morality to bad morality, without the aid of revelation, we could not deny the fact: but they go farther, and, as appears on the first blush of the question, without any sufficient grounds. They reason on virtue as a science, they form abstract views of its nature, investigating and analysing moral laws in the same way that they would those of the physical world: and thence comes out a code of ethics, like a system of chemistry or mathematical science; causes and effects compared and demonstrated; and certain undeniable truths asserted; but, this is all: the motives to obedience are not given; and we have yet to learn, that to know and to do are the same.

If the aim of all these teachers is really to

secure good practical morality, why should they seek to attain it by a course so entirely different from that which is adopted in every other instance? Who ever heard of practical habits being acquired by the analysis of theoretical principles? Who ever thought himself seaman enough to take command of a ship under sail, because he had studied a mechanical treatise on the composition and resolution of forces? Who ever thought he could use the potter's wheel, because he knew the properties of the circle? Did any man ever yet become a poet, by studying Aristotle and Longinus ?— Why then should we expect that any man will become moral in his conduct, from merely making researches after the principles of morality. Such a course is contrary to our nature, and at direct variance to all the known and settled laws of the human mind.

When we investigate the abstract principles of morality, we ought only to feel as if endeavouring to discover the laws on which the Deity has constructed his great system, not as if we were thereby acquiring any thing positive or practical for ourselves. We should

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