« הקודםהמשך »
Our two governing and directive Powers are the Understanding, and the Will. The Discovery of Truth and the Enjoyment of Good employ our whole Capacity. And when these two Powers have their free Scope and Exercise, when they mutually assist and administer to cach other, the Whole is orderly and excellent: But if either takes upon it, to act without a due regard to the other, Dilorder and Misery, internal and external, must necessarily ensue.
How closely soever these two Powers are united, and, as it were, wedded together into one Spirit; and how much soever what is excellent and orderly depends upon their conjugal Harmony; yet we know, by tco fatal Experience, that they often separate, and pursue different and interfering Interests, and Pleasures; and that such a State is always attended with domestick Discord, intestine
Jars, and Self-upbraidings
. But when the Understanding is engaged in the Search of Truth; and Love is shed abroad in our Hearts; then it is that we are full of Grace and Truth; then it is that Righteousness and Peace kiss each other ; then are we the Temples of God who dwelleth between these Cherubims.
What has been hitherto said, by way of general Introduction only, will appear with sufficient Evidence from a particular Enquiry into the Import or Meaning of the Apostle's Words--Speaking the Truth in Love --- which I shall now proceed to make under the three following Heads.
First, I shall enquire what we are here to understand by speaking the Truth.
Secondly, What it is to speak the Truth in Love: And,
Thirdly, What the Connection between these two Branches may be, and their Consequences when they meet or are united together.
First then, the original Word (cand cúcles) which is here translated speaking the Truth, seems to be much more significant and comprehensive; it ought not to be limited to the At of the Tongue ; it more immediately relates to the Exercise of the Understanding, and signifies to pursue or search after Truth. It is
very evident, that the Particular in which we excel all the other Creatures upon the Earth is our Understanding. In every other thing we find one or other of them very superior to us. 'Tis this only that gives us the Preeminence in the Scale or Gradation of Beings. There is not one of those Powers, which we enjoy in common with the inferior Part of the Creation, but is attended with its special Advan
tages and Pleasures; and we are generally at full Liberty to exercise them without Reserve. Our Reason only (our chief Endowment, given us to preside over, to guide and regulate all the rest) has been denied the free Exercise of its Faculties, has been represented as a dangerous Power fitter to be extinguish'd than exerted. The Eye inay range through the infinite Variety of Objects provided for it; may continually entertain it self with new Wonders; may cali in the Asistances of Art to reach the more diftant, and to perceive the minute, objects; whilst the Mind of Man, tho' form'd for a nobler Light, for a more extensive and delightful Scene, has been check'd in its inost natural and important Searches; and Inaktivity as well as Darkness have been deem'd its most suitable Entertainment. But as this is, I thank God, far from being the Case of our Country at present,
I shall not pursue this Observation any further. Whatever Darkness worse than Egyptian, whatever fpiritual Blindnels, our superstitious Neighbours (those of the Church of Rome especially) still groan under, we of this Church and Nation, it must be allowed, have the free Exercise of this most valuable Branch of Liberty, and so far at least have Light in all our Dwellings.
But to proceed It is evident not only from our interrial Experience of the Peace and Perfe£tion of our Minds, and from what we daily see promoting or disturbing the external Order and Happiness of Society, but also from the Instructions left us by him, who was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that Moral and Religious Truths do above all others deserve our Attention and Diligence. For how easy would it have been for him, by whom God made the Worlds, and