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and others still in a comprehensive prudence. Similar theories obtained among the ancients. Aristotle and Plato have been reproduced in the speculations of Clarke, Cudworth and Price; the Epicureans and Sophists in the Utilitarians, and the Stoics in Butler, Reid and Stewart. The import of the Apostle's advice, upon the supposition that he refers to these disputes, is interpreted to be;—think upon these speculations, bring them to the standard of the Divine testimony, try them by the doctrines which I have taught you, and whatsoever they contain in keeping with the genius and temper of Christianity, that appropriate and practise. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Ingenious and plausible as this exposition appears to be, it is not, I apprehend, sustained by the context. It is rather the dictate of fancy, than the result of sober and unbiassed criticism. The design of the Apostle, it rather seems to me, was to recapitulate several prominent heads of duty, to single out certain great characteristics of virtue, and to recom

mend every thing in which these characteristics were found. He is giving the outlines of an exemplary man, and accordingly seizes upon the fundamental elements of morality, those data of consciousness which every system must acknowledge-which constitute the touchstone and standard of all speculations. upon right,—and inculcates as duty every thing in which these elements essentially enter as constituents. The first is truth; whatsoever things are true. He assumes the inherent rectitude of veracity, its indispensable and eternal obligation, and enjoins upon his readers to cultivate a spirit that shall reverence and exemplify this obligation in the whole. extent of its application. He next signalizes dignity of character, the principle of selfrespect, which saves a man from the contempt of his fellows by protecting him from all that is little, or mean, or indecent in deportment. Whatsoever things are honest; rather whatsoever things are venerable, or truly honourable; whatsoever is calculated to command respect, or deserves veneration and estee.n.

Then comes the master-principle of justice, or righteousness, without which all pretensions to integrity are vain and unmeaning. This is the solid basis of an upright character: whatsoever things are just. It is not enough, however, that our words and actions should be exempt from censure the heart must be kept with all diligence-the streams must be healed at the fountain. The Apostle, accordingly, as his Master had done before him, insists upon inward purity, the regulation of the thoughts, appetites and affections, so as to prevent the contamination of aught that is unholy or defiling. Whatsoever things are pure. Under this head are obviously included temperance, chastity and modesty. The things that are lovely comprehend everything that is fitted to conciliate or express the sentiment of affection and esteem. It embraces such duties as benevolence, urbanity, courtesy, affability and sweetness of temper. Whatever, in other words, springs from love in us, and generates love in others. The things of good report, I am inclined to

think, have reference to those matters, indifferent in themselves, by means of which we can recommend our persons and our cause to the confidence and good-will of others. They not only require the ordinary duties of politeness, but exact compliance with innocent customs and harmless prejudices, where a failure to comply would expose us to unjust censures. They exclude repulsive austerity and studied singularity of manner, and every species of affectation or pretension. Here ends the specific enumeration; but as there might be virtues which are included under none of these heads, the Apostle, that he may omit nothing, extends his injunction to them. If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise—if there be any thing which a good man ought to observe-any thing right or praise-worthy, that cannot be reduced to any of these categories, it is to receive the Christian man's attention. His religion comprehends all duty.

This passage, then, according to the inter

pretation which has been given, exhibits the model of character which Christianity proposes to its followers, and which their Christian profession exacts of them, that they shall steadily endeavour to realize. It is the Apostle's picture of an exemplary man.

As a specimen of the richness and compass of Scripture morality, I shall single out the duty of Truth, and make it the subject of a series of discourses. Before entering upon them, however, I deem it not unimportant to make a few remarks upon the ethical teachings of the Scriptures, with a view to determine what there is that is peculiar to revelation, and what is the real nature and extent of our obligations to the Bible. This will lead us to a just estimate of secular morality, and, perhaps, impress us with a deeper sense of the priceless value of the Gospel. It is precisely because they do not comprehend the ethical relations of Christianity, that many of the educated men of the country undervalue its importance. If asked what it is, and what it proposes to do for

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