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that the woman had the privilege of recrimination; and that an adulter. To the Editor of the Remembrancer, ous wife could not be convicted or punished, except upon condition of Sir, the husband's integrity.
WHEN I published the Treatise on Alethes concludes his view of the Human Motives, which you have Jewish doctrine of divorce with ai lately done me the honour of review, expression of surprize, that “ any ing, I had little intention of resumone acquainted with the Old Testa- ing a subject, of which all the prinment should select a passage of ciples, that I did not fully explain, Scripture under that dispensation, appeared to me either evident at on which to rest his opinion, that first sight, or to have been sufficientdivorces are unlawful." The text ly proved by other writers, whose of Malachi in the just interpretation works are generally known and acof its present authorized translation, cessible. Of the objections which does of itself justify the selection. I are made to those principles in your will not, however, conceal that in the very respectable journal, you are older translation, the words are ren. well aware that all the more considered, " If thou hatest her, put her derable must readily occur to almost away, saith the Lord of Hosts :” and every person who enters seriously on it is well observed in the marginal the study of morals. Yet I allow annotation; “not that he alloweth most willingly that, whenever any divorcement, but of two faults he objection is actually alleged by an sheweth wbich is the least.” The attentive reader or critic, it has a divorce-law of the Jews can never very different claim to regard, from be considered, but as a remedial pro- that which it has when it can be vision for the prevention of greater only anticipated : since, in most evils : and it is of importance to ob- cases, the reader or the critic may serve how the severity of the origi- be fairly expected to see more clearly ual law of adultery was mitigated. than the author himself, where any The crime was originally capital in real difficulty is to be found. I will the man and in the woman: the wo- therefore request that you will perman was then protected by the pre- mit me to avail myself of a few pages cautions of the law of the bitter in your two next Numbers, in order waters: and, lastly, if she found no to explain soise of the points at issue. favour in her husband's eyes, he had I hope to do this the more briefly the power of divorcing her. The and satisfactorily, because, notwith. greatest of all commentators upon the standing the many defects of my Jewish law hath taught us wiry this work, which I readily see and acprivilege was conceded, which he is knowledge, you have, with few exvery far from approving even in its ceptions, possessed yourself accumildest exercise : “ Moses for the rately of the meaning which I inhardness of your hearts wrote you tended it to convey. this precept: but from the begin I need not, I believe, wish the ning it was not so. What God hath principles I have advanced to be joined together, let no inan put tried by any more favourable rule, asunder.”
than that of the validity even of This sentence naturally introduces those points of system, which you the Christian doctrine of divorce, consider as liable to so many objecwhich must have been very imper. tions. I may premise, however, that fectly discussed, without ascertain the points you object to, though, I ing the state of opinion which pre- believe, both valid and highly im. viously obtained concerning adul- portant, and though incorporated tery.
in the very framework of my book, A, M.
do not comprize its main intention
and scope. The book is meant,
111. That I propose to limit ind with what success I cannot say, to judiciously, and in a way in which have more of a practical than of á it is not limited in Scripture, the theoretical character; and, though practical end and object of human I have assumed a sort of system for life, convenience, and for the sake of
IV. That, in proposing, as the getting regularly at conclusions, test of actions, the tendency to the which without some system I could formation of religious or moral chanot have reached so easily; the racter, I exclude other tests whichi topic on which I have dwelt most possess on our attention an equal largely, and to which I have ac. or a superior claim; and, moreover, counted every other as subordinate, that a test so vague as this tendency is the showing particularly, in how cannot have the practical use I as. great a degree, and in what manner, cribe to it. an habitual reference to religion V. That, in speaking of conought to enter into every human science, I lose sight of the obligavirtue, and into all our various en tion which we are under to refer all terprizes and pursuits; and on this our actions to the will of God. topic you must agree with me wholly. VI. That, in 'speaking strictly of Still, however, though it thus seems obligation, I maintain that the des to me that my Treatise is, as it was sire of happiness is the only motive intended to be, practical in the main, which obliges us to practise virtue; the sort of system to which you ob- though, in your opinion, to speak of ject forms a part of it, and the ob a man as obliged to pursue any jections you make must, if valid, be thing merely for his own benefit, is fatal.
nothing less than a contradiction in Your objections to the principles terms. I have advanced, may be included In answer to these objections, I in the six following propositions. hope to prove, All your other objections are, I Í. That the formation of religious think, technical, and only affect the character, which character may be plan of the Treatise, or the propriety justly described as consisting in a of the signification affixed in it to the proper state and regulation of our word motive. But I will not trouble motives, includes every condition of you with any defence of my plan, future happiness which is 'set beexcept so far as moral principles are involved in it.
II. That, without pretending that, The six propositions, into which in all respects, the plan I have I persuade myself that you will adopted is the best possible, (and I think your objections fairly distri. am aware that in some respects anobuted, are,
ther plan would be preferable,) I 1. That the formation of religious bave yet good reasons for treating of character, that character which I the Human Motives as the immehave laid down as consisting in a diate subjects of moral diseipline proper state and regulation of our and control. motives, is only a part, though an III. That, though I propose reimportant part, of the conditions of ligious character as the general ait future happiness which are set be or object of mankind, as that object
by the attaining of which we tulbil II. That it is an inconvenient ar. all the conditions of future happirangement, and one which may lead ness. I do not, any more than Seripmen into practical error, to regard ture does, propose any limitation of the motives, instead of the active their objects or ends: that though habits, as the immediate subjects of Scripture does not limit us to this moral discipline and control. object, it does propose it to us; and
that to propose it, as I have at no test can stand scrutiny, which tempted to do, in strict analogy to does not include the whole compass what is done in Scripture, may often of human duty. If the test therehave an eminent moral utility. fore which I have myself proposed,
IV. That to propose, as the test and which I have proposed as being of actions, in the way in which I inclusive of all others, be justly have proposed it, the tendency to liable to the objections you urge, Í the formation of religious character, am both ready and desirous to give is not to exclude, in any proper it up, and think that the sooner it case, other tests which are more is exploded the better: for, if the precise and specific; and that, how- system be partial as you suppose, I ever vague this test may be, it is fear I must not value myself on your both useful and necessary that we admission *, that it is still useshould have it.
But we have to exV. That, wherever means can be amine whether it be partial or not. found of learning what is the will of I. The first point then which I God, the acting conscientiously ac- have to prove is, “ that the formatually implies that reference of our tion of religious character, which action to God's will, which is the character may be justly described principle of which you suppose me as consisting in a proper state and to bave lost sight.
regulation of our motives, includes VI. That with respect to our every condition of future happiness obligation to practise virtue for the which is set before us.” sake of our own happiness, I have I may
here assume that by 'supnot either said or implied that the posing something else, besides this desire of happiness is the only mo. character, to be necessary as a contive which obliges us; and that, dition of man's acceptance with though the meanings of the word God, you can only mean that good obligation and of the word prudence actions, which are, no doubt, requiare, as I have repeatedly observed, site, are not included or comprevery distinct, a man may still be hended in this character. When under a real obligation to pursue a you say (p. 165) that “ motives thing, though merely for his own and even habits are not the whole benefit.
but half” of the conditions of hapIf I can prove all these positions, piness which the Gospel requires ; I believe I may flatter myself that you suppose, of course, the other the principles, which I have advanc- half to be actions. . And this is a ed are both consistent with, and summary and fair view of the case. leven explanatory of, those common "Or, at all events, if the character of principles of reason and revelation which I speak be proved to include to which we both of us profess to in it the performance of all the good appeal.
actions which are required of us, Let me say, however, before I you will readily allow that it must begin my proof, that the systematic include also every other imaginable error which you attribute to me, requisite. You speak (164) of the that of proposing, a partial object other requisites as consisting in disand test, is the very error which I positions and habits: but if the rehave been most studious to avoid. ligious character, or the religious In the second page of the preface, motive, be found to comprehend even I speak of the manifest evil, which actions, it must assuredly be allowis produced by imperfect theories of ed to comprehend dispositions and morals, as being the cause which habits also :—and that this is agree
led me to write my Treatise and able to your own view of the case is, zit has certainly been a leading purpose of the whole work to show that Christian Remembrancer,p. 163.
if I mistake not, evident from what named. From this statement it is you say, I prove therefore my own only the necessary inference, that if statement to be correct, if I prove all the motives be in their best state, that no action is good unless it flow all the goodness which man can at out of a good character, or a good tain is in fact attained, that all conmotive, and that the real attainment ditions of future happiness are-fulof the good character, or the real ex- filled. And this is the very point istence of the good motive, does re- for which I contead. ally imply and produce, in the same Thus too Scripture, for you measure in which the character is rightly suppose that I apprehend attained, or in which the motive precisely the same doctrine to be exists, the performance of all good implied in the declaration made by actions whatever. This is all that our Saviour *, that on the two comis or can be meant by saying that mandments to love God and our the motive or character always in- neighbour, “hang all the law and cludes or comprehends the act. the prophets," and in that of St.
But are not both these positions Pault, that all the commandments proved alınost as soon as they can of the second table “ are briefly be enumerated ? Actions, unless we comprehended this saying, 11 refer to the principle from which namely, “ thou shalt love thy neighthey flow, are all equally indifferent bour as thyself,"—it is almost superThe maxim universally recognized fuous to refer to commentators on in law, “Actus non facit reum, sed texts which, happily for us, are so mens rea,” is applicable with even intelligible as these. But how, in greater strictness in all cases which fact, are they explained by the contwill come to be pleaded before the mentators ? Why thus, and thus moral Judge of the universe, and the only, that in these two commandanalogous maxim, “Actus non facit ments is compendiously contained bonum sed mens bona,” is of the all that the law and the prophets same certain and undoubted vali- require in reference to our duty to dity. If it be otherwise, let some God and man: that they are the action be named, of which the sum of all the other commandments, moral import is not referrible to the and are proposed by our Saviour to moral principle which gives it birth, his hearers for the great rule and or let that principle be something principle of their conduct: that the else than a motive. But this is love of God is the original source plainly impossible.
and fountain from which all ChrisAnd so the position also that the tian graces flow, and that in fact the good motive must always imply or pro- love of our neighbour is deducible duce good actions is equally evident from the love of God 1. What else on the slightest reflection. A good is this than to say plainly that good tree always produces good fruit: there motives, and of these pre-eminently is no goodness in any barren tree. that great motive of the love of God Moral motives are in fact no motives which, as I have stated explicitly in at all, except in the degree in which my treatise ș, “ constrains to every they carry men to act. We know that thing which an enlightened prudence every man who is truly benevolent may dictato," imply all that I have will actually do good according to stated them to imply. his ability. To act agreeably to the I apprehend also that almost all divine command is a religious act, because the motive is obedience.
• Matt. xxi, 40. But we also know equally that the
Rom. xiii. 9. motive of obedience implies or produces acts of religion. And so in qnoted in the notes to the Family Bible:
* Whitby, Paley, Portens, and Sherlock, all other instances that can be Page 63.
Christians interpret similarly those of the other positions to which I am passages of Seripture, wbich speak now about to call your attention. of faith as an active principle of And that you will yourself see this, mind. In truth the argument of my I am the more willing to hope, betreatise suggested itself, while I was cause, admitting, as you seem to do engaged, very many years ago, dur(p. 165,) that “one or two of the ing the course of my professional Gospel rules may be said to emduties, in writing some sermons, brace and contain the rest;" that never intended for the public, on the “ the commands of religion," which connection between faith and good “ are delivered at one time in miworks. Of course I cannot enter nute detail,” are delivered " at anobere into any discussion which would ther in comprehensive summaries,” carry me into detail on this subject: I do not understand on what prinbut if you understand, as I am per- ciple you can deny that the relisuaded you do, that the true notion gious motives may be asserted to of a justifying faith, of the faith by comprize all conditions of future which only we are justified, in- happiness that are required of us. cludes in it that of a certain frame For if the precept to love God, to of mind, which alone can be pro which you refer, comprizes or comduetive of any works which Chris- prehends the whole law, and if, as tianity entitles us to call good, you I suppose you do not question, the must attribute, I think, to motive motive of the love of God which I and character the whole of the im- speak of, be the love or affection port which my treatise assigns to which this precept enjoins, I do not them. So also ja those much de- perceive how the extent of the mobated
passages in which St. James tive can be less than that of the and St. Paul have been thought to precept itself. differ, but which a judicious ex II. My second position is “ that pounder of their meaning may dis- without pretending that in all regcern easily to be quite consistent pects, the plan I have adopted is and intelligible. The former is the best possible, (and I am aware speaking of acts or effects: but that in some respects another plan then he pre-supposes a good motive. would be preferable,) I have yet The latter, where he speaks of the good reasons for treating of the good motive, manifestly presumes human motives at the immediate that it will be operative of good. subjects of moral discipline and conAnd though the precept delivered trol.” by St. James is the plainer and the I here admit that, on every prinmore popular statement, the prin ciple of calculation, the same conciple which is laid down by St. clusions will be inferred, whether Paul is admitted on all hands, and we treat of the action, or of the both by Arminians and Calvinists, motive, as being the subject of to be the more doctrinal and philo- moral discipline: for in treating of sophical
every moral action we always preI apprehend, therefore, that my sume the motive, in treating of every first position is fully proved, both motive we always assume the act." by these decisive authorities, and by I admit also that there are some the plain reason of the case. I am sorts of error, which will cloke » inclined to think also that you will themselves far more readily in selfyourself readily see that the various deceit, if men's calculate : ona considerations which have led you theory of their motives, that if they to differ from me on this essential draw any direct inferences from their I point, apply more properly to some acts." Matiy men" as you justly
say, (p. 167.) * will always think so * Art. xi. - tin that their feelings and motives' are il