תמונות בעמוד

those sins of mine against light and man's redemption opened to my conscience to be very great, but view in an astonishing manner. I the sense I now had of the sinful. could not but dwell, and dwell, ness of ủny heart and nature, and upon the wonderful plan. I had the accursed fountain of iniquity been much taken up with the within me, seemed to exceed any thoughts of God's being glorified, of those particular sins formerly and I seemed to think of no way condemned. And whether my sin but by his taking vengeance on our was pardonable or not, lay with iniquities; and when I came to see little weight comparatively upon that he could be glorified in our me, for my great concern was that salvation, and that this was a way God might be glorified by me, even that pleased him, and his heart was if it should be in my damnation. much upon it'tis impossible to exBut as I said, suffering, or bearing press the workings of my thoughts, punishment for sin, comprehended the exercise and fervour of my my views of damnation-I read mind. I could then venture my much, conversed on religion much, soul upon Christ with all freedom. heard much preaching, and in- If I had had ten thousand souls, creased in doctrinal knowledge; I should have been astonishingly but I was much pressed with a pleased to have them all saved in sense of inward sin, and cried that glorious way. My thoughts much for relief; and all this time were then turned from glorifying I had no proper views of the way God by hell's torments, to glorifyof salvation by Jesus Christ. ing him by Jesus Christ. I was

About two months after the great much taken up with the fulness, shock by Mr. Tennant's preaching, sufficiency, and suitableness of I began to get views of Christ's Jesus Christ, to illustrate the diatonement for sin, and that God vine perfections in our salvation. could glorify himself in pardoning My soul seemed most cordially to a sinner through Jesus Christ. I acquiesce in this method of salvaread some authors on the harinony tion, and repeatedly, and from time of the divine attributes;* and how to time, to trust in, and rely upon a sinner might plead the merits of Jesus Christ for salvation. I had Christ against a law that cursed pleasing views of his kingly office, and condemned; and how a soul that he might subdue my inward might stand before the infinite jus. corruption, and slay my lusts, and tice of God, if appearing in, and did repeatedly rely upon bim, and pleading the satisfaction and merits plead his divine power for this pur. of Christ. These things broke in pose. I saw my need of all his upon my view with surprising light. offices, of prophet, priest and king, When I came to see that God could and could most cordially embrace be glorified and sinners saved, as him in all. No one text in the much so as if they were damned, Bible entertained me like 1 Cor. i. yea, in some respects more soit 30. “ But of him are ye in Christ astonished me, it filled me with Jesus, who of God is made unto us raptures of admiration; I could wisdom, and righteousness, and not but be amazed, and wonder- sanctification, and redemption." • The authors read are not specified

There was every thing that I want. in the narrative, but it is probable that ed. Many and many a spiritual Bates on "The Harmony of the Divine meal did that text afford me. I fed Attributes," and Stoddard's “Safety of upon it, from time to time, with appearing in the Righteousness of unspeakable delight. I saw Christ Christ,” were among them. These are two of the best books in the English lan

as the way to the Father, the way guage, for the perusal of an anxious sin to glorify him, the way into his ner, or a young convert.-Edit.

favour, the way to approach him,


and in that way I applied to him condemn myself and my state as with the greatest satisfaction—"Tis yraceless. Sometimes I would have impossible to express with what light, joy and comfort, for a week freedom I ventured my soul upon or two together, and then for as Christ in those views of things. long a time, I would be in darkBut so far as I can remember, the ness, doubts and fears. In this glory of God by Jesus Christ en manner I spent a great part of the gaged my thoughts, much more than three last years that I lived at colmy own salvation.

lege. Soinetimes I had raised, I had, at times, as I have said, clear, strong-almost or quite an great joy and unspeakable satisfac- enthusiastic sense of divine things, tion in trusting my soul with Jesus with raptures of joy; and I think i Christ; but in soine weeks, I lost never sunk quite so low as I somesome of my sense of divine things, times rose high. I never got into was dull, and my mind not so much dispondency and discouragement. engaged in duty as it had been. ( I always followed hard after dialso found my corruptions were not vine things, with hope of obtaining, dead-I felt some dreadful stir though I often condemned myself rings of them. These things secm as in a measure graceless. ed to alarm and considerably damp

(To be continued.) me. I judged my state by my frames-1 had not yet learned any better. When I was dead or dull, I condemned myself as being graceless, a hypocrite, and the like; and when I had a lively sight and sense Motive, Ultimate and Subordinate of spiritual things, then I had hope

Objects. of myself as being in a good state: We have some miscellaneous reand thus I altered hundreds of marks, which may as well be distimes in the space of two or three posed of in this place, since they years, while yet I fully believed will be of use in considering other the doctrine of the saints' perseve. mental operations. It may excite

When I was in darkness surprise and perhaps a smile with and dull, I feared my experience some, that we introduce these tohad all been short of saving grace; pics in discussions on mental scibut when I had a lively sight

of di- ence. But we think it will appear vine things, and could freely plead that the doctrine of motive, and the the merits of Christ, and venture character of ultimate and subordimy soul upon him, it would give me nate objects, have so intimate and satisfaction.

so important a connexion with the I had always a disposition to laws of mental operation, that their think my case bad. I had, some- discussion is appropriate and nehow, from my youth, been led to cessary. The laws and principles think it was proper and becoming - of human action cannot be fully to think meanly of myself-to cen- explained, without recurring to the sure and condemn myself—and I doctrine of motive, and the distincdid it to a great degree. I found tion between ultimate and subordifrom time to time, that my corrup- nate objects. Action always suptions were yet strong, and my na poses and necessarily implies an ture not sanctified as I hoped it agent, an object, and a motive. would be. I could not prevail The character of the agent is best against my spiritual enemies as I learned by his actions, and those would. These things were the are estimated by their objects and grounds of my doubts and fears, motives. In this statement we take and they made me often almost for granted one law of mind, which


we intend to examine and illustrate of the feelings. Good and bad men hereafter; that is, freedom. But have the same motives, not in chathat will be more intelligently ex. racter, but in name. The truth is, plained, after the topics placed at the pleasure is derived from totally the head of this article are dis- different objects, consequently its cussed. All that we now assume, nature and character are as different in reference to the subject, is that as its excitements or objects. What the human mind acts without any is said, therefore, of good and bad foreign violence or constraint. By motives, must apply to the objects, action we now mean choice, opera- or to the character of the motive, tion of the will. There cannot or pleasure, which always corresbe choice and nothing chosen, nor ponds with the character of the can there be choice without a mo objects. tive.

To this doctrine of motive it has The doctrine of motive, as it ex. been objected, that it represents all ists in fact, is very simply and men as supremely selfish. If every easily described; but there is com- man's pleasure is bis only motive to plexity and difficulty attending the action, then, it is said, all his actions subject, because it is confounded proceed from a principle of selfishwith ultimate object. In common ness. This is the strongest form style, the motive and excitement in which we have heard the objecare the same. The principal ob- tion stated: and if it were a just ject, or that which excites to a se- inference, it would annihilate all ries of actions, is called motive. benevolence, and we must talk of This is a substitution of terms, good and bad selfishness. In the which in popular discussions, leads view of those, who consider selfishto no erroneous result, because mo- ness the essence of sin, it would tive and ultimate object are inse- certainly seem very singular. But parably connected. The error is the objection is only an inference therefore common and venial; and from other premises, and unjustly scarcely any other substitution of assigned to this doctrine. We adterms would lead to less error in mit the justness of urging the abreasoning.

surdity of legitimate inferences, Motive, properly speaking, is from any doctrine against its truth. never an object of pursuit, but the But in this case, we deny the legifeeling, or expected feeling of the timacy of the inference. It is a heart. Pleasure is the motive with non sequitur. What is selfishness? all men, whether they be good or -It is seeking one's own interest bad. There can be no other motive exclusively, without regard to the with a rational mind than its own good of others, and often in opposipleasure, and that is always future. tion to it. But what is the selfish Present pleasure cannot be a mo. man's motive?-Undoubtedly it is tive to action, because no action is pleasure from the promotion of his performed without an object, and own exclusive interest; no matter ibat once gained, cannot become whether that interest be treasure, an excitement to future exertion. power, or fame. What is benevoThe history of the case is this: the lence?-It is doing good to others, ultimate object excites the feeling, for the sake of their best interest. and the feeling moves the will; But what is the benevolent man's but in order to be a motive to motive in promoting publick good? choice, the object must be future, --According to our view of the fact, and the enjoyment future. If it it is pleasure from the promotion of were otherwise, there would be no publick happiness or interest; and criterion by which to judge of cha this proves him to possess a beneracter; actions would be no index volent heart. He takes pleasure

in benevolent objects. But sup- ordinate objects should be well unpose he derives no pleasure from derstood, for several reasons which doing good to others, or in benevo. will appear in the sequel. lent objects, what is his motive? The objects of choice are indefiWill it be said that duty, or a sense nitely multiplied; and they sustain of obligation to God, is the motive; a great variety of relations to each then we ask, is it pleasant or pain: other in themselves, and in the voful, to honour God? If pleasant, luntary disposition of them by the then we say, the glory of God is the human mind. It is not our intenobject, and pleasure the motive. tion to examine any except ultiIf it be painful, or indifferent to mate and subordinate relations. It him, whether he honours God, we may be sometimes necesssary to ask for his motive: and moreover, show their relations to feelings, we ask for the character of that and speak of their character, as heart, which has no pleasure in suited to produce happiness or benevolent objects, or in the glory misery. of God? Whatever may be consi The terms, ultimate and subordered the doctrine of motive, few dinate, express the relation of suwill contend that such a heart is periority and inferiority in order, good.

time, plan, value, nature, dignity, We repeat, that the common importance, or whatever else to substitution of an object of choice which they are applied. The ground for motive does not so far mislead of this distinction, so far as we proas materially to weaken the force pose now to consider it, is in the of argument or illustration, pro- fact, that ultimate objects are chovided always that subordinate ob- sen for their own sake, and suborjects are never so used. But we dinate for the sake of those which think, the more distinctly and uni- are ultimate. There can be no formly our language corresponds choice without an ultimate object with fact, the better for science, to furnish the motive. According truth, and argument.

to the laws of volition, the will is One important use of this dis- always governed by the affections tinction between motive and object, of the heart: and all objects of vois to learn the true character of the lition are chosen either because heart. This fact, always under they are in themselves agreeable, stood, that pleasure is the motive, or because they are connected with if we can ascertain the objects those which are agreeable. Ultiwhich are chosen for their own mate objects must be loved for their sake, and know the character of own character, subordinate may those objects, we shall be certain be, in themselves, agreeable or diswhat is the ruling propensity of the agreeable. Objects may be ultiheart. This is the principle upon mate in relation to certain others which all investigations of charac- which are subordinate; yet they ter proceed in social relations, in may be subordinate when considerjudicial process, and in self-exami- ed in relation to some others. To nation. Contravene this doctrine illustrate this fact, take the case of of motive, and we lose the link that a merchant who trades for gain. binds the action to the heart. We · All his plans, toil and means, are have no method of ascertaining the employed with reference to that character. Men may be sometimes object; he provides his building, successful in concealing what are goods, and assistance; he buys, really their ultimate objects, but sells, and barters, calculates his when they are known, their charac- expenditures and income, with reter is ascertained.

ference to the increase of his wealth. The doctrine of ultimate and sub- But beyond this, it must be asked,

to what use does he appropriate they rise in view of certain objects. his gains? If it be to do good to or others, our rule of estimate is others, gain is subordinate; if it be the character of their ultimate obto hoard it up and gratify a miserly jects. This is always safe. There disposition, it is ultimate. Suppose inay be some difficulty in ascerhe employs it to promote the cause taining the ultimate objects of men, of Christ, and glorify God; then though we may be very familiarly however any one object in the se- acquainted with their general conries may be ultimate with reference duct. They may sometimes conto certain departments of opera- ceal the grand object which most tion, it is subordinate to the glory excites their feelings, and in this of God. The distinction is very sense, governs all their conduct. plain, and needs no further defini- That object may be so distant, retion or illustration.

quiring so many subordinate moveThe use and importance of this ments, and be so artfully concealed distinction deserve particular con- by contrary professions, that we sideration. It is important in judg. may be deceived. Besides, this reing of our own character. Suppose lation is not fixed; the disposition a inan sets himself to examine his of subordinate objects is according own moral estimate, the character to the mind's own decision; and of his heart; what must be the pro- sometimes it may not be possible cess? The character of the heart to make a subserviency where it is must be developed by the affec. intended, or to detect it when it tions; and these are to be known really exists. But after all the by their objects-We speak of difficulties in ascertaining charactheir nature, not of their degrees of ter, the ultimate object is the only strength or feebleness. Let him key by which it can be certainly ask himself what objects please him ascertained. for their own sake, and he may form Another use of this distinction, some correct estimate of his heart. is to develope character. If we But understanding the doctrine of have a knowledge of what ought to motive, and the distinction under be the ultimate objects of conduct, consideration, he may come more by a proper representation of those directly and more satisfactorily to objects, the feelings will be excited, the result. Let him ask himself and the conduct regulated accordwhat objects he chooses, because ing to them. There is no doubt they please him, and for no other that the glory of God should be the reason: He will find, connected ultimate object of all men. When, and intermingled, objects of choice, therefore, the appropriate illustrapainful and agreeable, subordinate tion of God's glory is presented one to another, and all to some higher before the mind, one of three things object; and at length he will come must be the effect; either the affecto that most dear to his heart, that tions will kindle with delight, and to which all others are subordinate. so the conduct will show a subordi. The ultimate object, once clearly nation in its promotion; or emotions ascertained, furnishes the key to of disgust will be discovered, which his heart's character.

tell the iniquity of the heart; or else But the use and importance of a cold indifference will show a calthis distinction appear more con- lousness of feeling, characteristick spicuously in judging of others' of a hard impenitent heart. Other characters than in our own case. illustrations inight be given, but We can better judge of our own feel- this is probably sufficient. ings than of others’, in some other The distinction is useful in eximportant respects, such as the plaining the principles of action, readiness and strength with which and in applications of truth to the

« הקודםהמשך »