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ample room for the exercife of wisdom, judgement, and prudence.

As I wish to deliver argument rather than panegyric, I shall treat of the morality of the gospel, in fubjection to these obfervations. And after all, I think it such a morality, as, confidering from whom it came, is most extraordinary; and fuch as, without allowing some degree of reality to the character and pretenfions of the religion, it is difficult to account for: or, to place the argument a little lower in the fcale, it is fuch a morality as completely repels the fuppofition of its being the tradition of a barbarous age or of a barbarous people, of the religion being founded in folly, or of its being the production of craft; and it repels alfo, in a great degree, the supposition of its having been the effufion of an enthufiaftic mind.

The divifion, under which the fubject may be moft conveniently treated of, is that of

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of the things taught, and the manner of teaching.

Under the first head, I should willingly, if the limits and nature of my work admitted of it, tranfcribe into this chapter the whole of what has been faid upon the morality of the gofpel, by the author of The internal evidence of Christianity; because it perfectly agrees with my own opinion, and because it is impoffible to fay the fame things fo well. This acute observer of human nature, and, as I believe, fincere convert to Christianity, appears to me to have made out fatisfactorily the two following pofitions, viz.

I. That the gospel omits fome qualities, which have usually engaged the praises and admiration of mankind, but which, in reality, and in their general effects, have been prejudicial to human happiness.

II. That the gofpel has brought forwards fome virtues, which poffefs the highest intrinfic


trinfic value, but which have commonly been overlooked and contemned.

The first of thefe propofitions he exemplifies, in the inftances of friendship, patriotifm, active courage; in the fenfe in which thefe qualities are ufually understood, and in the conduct which they often produce.

The fecond, in the inftances of paffive courage or endurance of fufferings, patience under affronts and injuries, humility, irrefiftance, placability.

The truth is, there are two oppofite defcriptions of character, under which mankind may generally be claffed. The one poffeffes vigour, firmnefs, refolution; is daring and active, quick in its fenfibilities, jealous of its fame, eager in its attachments, inflexible in its purpofe, violent in its refentments.

The other, meek, yielding, complying, forgiving; not prompt to act, but willing to fuffer


fuffer; filent and gentle under rudeness and infult, fuing for reconciliation where others would demand fatisfaction, giving way to the pushes of impudence, cònceding and indulgent to the prejudices, the wrong-headedness, the intractability of thofe with whom it has to deal.

The former of thefe characters is, and ever hath been, the favourite of the world. It is the character of great men. There is a dignity in it which univerfally commands respect.

The latter is poor-fpirited, tame, and abject. Yet fo it hath happened, that, with the founder of Chriftianity, this latter is the fubject of his commendation, his precepts, his example; and that the former is fo, in no part of its compofition. This, and nothing else, is the character defigned in the following remarkable paffages : "Refit not evil, but whofoever fhall fmite thee on the

right cheek, turn to him the other alfo;

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and if any man will fue thee at the law, and

take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke alfo; and whofoever fhall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain; love your enemies, blefs them that curfe you, do good to them that-hate you, and pray for them which despitefully ufe you and perfecute you." This certainly is not common place morality. It is very original. It fhews at leaft (and it is for this purpose we produce it) that no two things can, be more different than the Heroic and the Chriftian character.

Now the author, to whom I refer, has not only remarked this difference more firongly than any preceding writer, but has proved, in contradiction to firft impreffions, to popular opinion, to the encomiums of orators and poets, and even to the fuffrages of hiftorians and moralifts, that the latter character poffeffes the moft of true worth, both as being most difficult either to be acquired or sustained, and as contributing most to the happinefs and tranquillity of focial life. The ftate of his argument is as follows:

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