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If I

LENCE.

to build you up, and give your in- tend to secure my own. heritance among all them that are

wish well to apother for this rea, sanctified.” May you enjoy the son merely, it is evident that my divine presence both in private own welfare is the ultimate object. and public ; and may “the arms of This I call a selfish regard for the your hands be made strong by the happiness of another. But I

may right hand of the mighty God of also wish well to another for a difJacob.” Which are the passionate ferent reason. I may not see any desires and prayers of your affec- connexion between his welfare and tionate dying brother.

my own. There may be no such DAVID BRAINERD. connexion. But I may wish well

to him from a sincere regard for his happiness in itself considered.

I may have nothing else in vier From the Utica Repository. at the time but his welfare, and THOUGHTS ON DISINTERESTED BENEVO. may sincerely wish it secured for

its own sake. This is what I call It is not my purpose to enter in a disinterested regard. to a discussion as to the propriety Disinterested benevolence reof the term disinterested. I am gards the happiness of all beings fully persuaded that no one ever capable of enjoyment or suffering, makes objections to the term, who in proportion to its real worth, so is satisfied with the thing signified far as that is known. God has a by it. But if it were not so, a perfect knowledge of the real dispute about words is one in worth of his own happiness, and of which I am not at present inclined that, of every other being in the to engage.

And it is universally universe ; and no doubt he regards conceded that every man has a each exactly according to its real right to use any words he pleases, worth. The knowledge of creaprovided he explains them, and tures is imperfect; and the bounclearly shows, what he means by dary of their knowledge must be them. I will endeavour, therefore, the boundary of their regard ; for to state, as clearly as I can, what they cannot regard that of which I understand by disinterested be. they have no knowledge: It is the nevolence.

same to them as it it did not exBenevolence is good will, a wish, ist. ing well to another, a regard for If disinterested benevolence re. his happiness. It is obvious that I gards the happiness of all beings may wish well to another for two in proportion to its real worth, then reasons. I may wish well to anotb- every disinterested being regards er, because I suppose his welfare his own happiness according to its is so connected with my own, that importance, as well as that of the security of bis welfare, will others. And consequently, those

case,

sense

passages of scriptore, which ex- suffering the greater one. The press the regard God has to his exposing my health, by plunging own glory, and the regard saints into the water, or rushing through have to their own happiness, are the flames, is a less evil than that pot inconsistent with the doc- my helpless neighbour should be trine of disinterested benevolence. left to perish for want of my asThey only express a disioterested sistance; and no one hesitates as regard to each, according to its to what I ought to do in such a real worth.

I ought cheerfully to subIt is the nature of disinterested mit to the less evil, to deliver my benevolence, to give up a less neighbour from the greater. The good to secure a greater. Selfish- liberty and exemption from sufferness would lead me to give up a ing of the man who violates the less good of my own, to secure a wholesome laws of his country, is greater good of my own; but dis- a less good than the peace and orinterestedness leads me to give up der of the whole community; and a less good of my own, to secure no one hesitates, in this case, the greater good of another. The which ought to be given up to se. common

of mankind ac- cure the other. It was a less evil knowledges the obligation to do for the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer this in the common affairs of life. death on the cross, than would The life of a brute animal is of have resulted from the whole huless importance than the life of a man race being left to perish withman ; and where the one can be out an atonement, and no one secured by the sacrifice of the doubts that he did right in submitother, no hesitates which ting to the less evil, for the sake of ought to be done. The less good relieving others from the greater must be given up to secure the greater. It is a less evil for me All the divine conduct is directto part with some portion of what ed by disinterested benevolence. contributes to my comfort, than it God regards his own glory accordis for my neighbour to be in want ing to its real worth; and he reof the necessaries of life; and no gards the happiness of every crea. one doubts that I ought to submit ture, also, according to its real to the less evil, to exempt my worth. He has formed a plan neighbour from the greater. The which includes all events, and loss of my usual rest for one night which will ultimately secure the is a less evil to me when in health, highest possible sum of happiness than it is for my sick neighbour to in the intelligent universe ; and he be deprived of the necessary care is constantly employed in carrying and attention; and no one doubts that plan into execution. He rethat I ought to submit to the less gards his own glory more than hệ erilgio prevent my neighbour from does the good of any creatyre, of

one

one.

more,

upon them.

of all creatures; not because it is neighbour as bimself. He knows his own, but because it is worth that the bappiness of a brute ani.

But he does not disregard mal is worth something, and as a the good of any creature, even of merciful man, he 6 regardeth the the smallest insect which is capa- life of his beast.” But he is ble of the least degree of enjoy. always ready to give up a less ment or suffering. " His tender good to secure a greater. He is mercies are over all his works.” not only willing to give up a less He sees, however that the present good of his own to secure a greatcomfort of some of his creatures is er good of his own, which a selfish not so great a good as some nther man may do; but he is also wilgood which he can secure by giv. ling to give up a less good of his ing it up, and he does give it up, own, to secure a greater good to and brings a variety of calamities his neighbour.

He sees, also, that Disinterested Benevolence cannot the fature and eternal happiness be carried too far. If the principle of some of his creatures, is not so is admitted, all the consequences great a good as is some other good must be admitted. If it is right which he can secure hy giving it in small things, it is right alup, and he does give it up, and so in great things. If it is right dooms some of his creatures to at all, it is right when carried to suffer endless misery in hell. In its full extent.

If it is wrong all this, he acts wisely and benev- when carried to its full extent, it olently; for be never gives up a is entirely wrong. If it is my dugreater good to secure a less, but ty to be willing to give up the only a less, to secure a greater. smallest good of my own to secure

Moral goodness in creatures con- the sinallest greatergood to others, sists in disinterested benevolence. it is equally my duty to be willing There is in the good man, the to give up the greatest good of same mind that was in Christ Je- my own to secure a still greater sus, the same mind that is in God. good to others. And if it is wrong He feels as God feels, according to for me to be willing to give up the the measure of his knowledge. greatest good of my own to secure He regards the happiness of every a still greater good to others, it being according to its real worth, must be equally wrong for me to as far as he knows what is its real be willing to give up the smallest worth. He knows that the glory good of my own, to secure the of God is worth more than the smallest greater good to others, happiness of any creature, or of all The principle is the same, whethcreatures'; and he regards it more, er the good given up be greater He knows that the happiness of or smaller. If it is my duty to neighbour is as really valuable be willing to give up one degree

and he loves his of good of my own to secure ten

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his as his own i

degrees of good to others, it is e. may require them to be disposed qually my duty to be willing to of for eternity; as they do not give up ten degrees of good of know whether the glory of God my own' to secure a hundred de. may require their salvation to be grees of good others, or one secured or given up for ever, they thousand degrees of good of my ought to be willing to commit themown to secure ten thousand degrees selves to his wise and benevolent of good to others. And so on, disposal, and be willing that be without end. For, on the same should take them to heaven, or principle, it is my duty to be wil- send them to hell, as he shall see ling to give up one part, or anoth- most for his glory. er part, or every part, of my own I am aware that many are un. good, to secure a proportionably willing to adopt this conclusion.greater good to others. The But I see not how they can avoid priociple is the same in every case, it, but by denying disinterested beIt is my duty in all cases to be wil. Devolence altogether. Let us be ling to give up a less good of my consistent with ourselves. And it own to secure a greater good to we profess to believe in a disin. others; and if it should be all I terested religion at all, let us adhave, that does not alter the prin. mit all that is implied in it. But if ciple. The only thing to be con- we are unwilling to admit all that sidered is, that the good which I is implied in it, let us not proam willing to give up is a less fess to believe in a disinterest. good than that which is to be se- ed religion at all. Let us becured by it. If Paul supposed, come the open advocates of a according to the best of his knowl- selfish religion; a religion which edge that his own salvation was a is natural to every man ; a religless good than that of his breth- ion, which, not only does not reren, it was right for him to be wil. quire any change of heart, but is ling to be " accursed from Christ, totally inconsistent with any such for his brethren." And if we change as the Bible describes, in know, as we all do know, that the which old things pass away, and all glory of God is worth more than things become new. Selfishness, our salvation, we ought to regard certainly, is an old thing. All the it more, and be willing that God affections of the sinner are selfish; should give up oureternalsalvation, and if all the affections of the saint if he should see that his glory re- are selfish also, there is no radical quires its. And as all who do not difference between them; and the know themselves, to be christians, doctrine of regeneration is notbing do not know how the glory of God but a delusion.

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of age.

inre she SERMON. and the oldest. Children always

PROVERBS, xvi. 31.The hoary think their parents are old. Some head is a crown of glory, if it be think men may be called old found in the way of righteousness. at forty, or fifty, or sixty, and it

This is a wise saying of the wise is generally, if not universally man, which has no particular con- thoughi, that those are really old nection with what is said before who have arrived at seventy and it or what is said after it. It needs above seventy years no comments, for it is a plain de- There seems to be ao improprieclaration of a plain important truth. ty however, in calling any man

That piety is a peculiar orna- old, rather than young, who has ment to old people,

passed the meridian of life, which It is proposed to consider,

is commonly supposed to be at 1. Who may properly be called about forty-five. The scripture old people.

represents those as old, who have II. What is to be understood by gray bairs here and there upon their piety. And,

them. David considered this as a III. In what respects their pie- mark of his old age. “ Now when ty is their peculiar ornament. I am old and gray headed, O God,

1. We are to consider who may forsake me not.” The distinction properly be called old people. in ages has always been considerThis is a pbrase to which com. ed as an important distinction by mon use bas affixed no definite all mankind, who have marked it meaning. Old and young are re- by some peculiar symptoms or lative terms, and may admit of visible effects, which the different different siguifications. We often periods of life produce on the speak of some as young, of some body or mind. The young are as younger, and of some as young- fond of the distinction between

And on the contrary, we of- them and the old; and though the ten speak of the old, the older, old cannot deny the distinction,

est.

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