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cations of it in the features, the looks, the tone of the voice, or geftures of the body, ftrike every beholder with pleasure. The beauty, efpecially, of kind and humane, of charitable and generous deeds, has ever been felt and acknowledged by all mankind. In a word, all the various emanations of a kind and benign heart, in looks, in voice, in words, in attitudes, or actions, are pleafing to the view of every obferver. And hence it is, that the spirit of love, operating and displaying itfelf in the characters and manners of mankind, gives them their chief beauty and excellence. Where this is wanting, that artificial politenefs which is in fo high eftimation among the higher ranks of mankind, gives an apparent, rather than a real, grace and a-miablenefs to their manners. That politenefs which flows from real affection and humility will ever be found to be the moft genuine. It may, indeed, want fome of the exterior graces which arife from elegant attitudes and motions of the body, or from certain proprieties of voice and language: but as the effential part of politenefs confifts in attending to thofe things which may pleafe or be agreeable as far as is confiftent with truth and integrity, in avoiding either in words or in actions what may hurt or offend, and in laying afide frivolous officioufnefs and ftudied formality, unfeigned good-will and affection will engage to a more uniform and efDd 3 feQual
fectual practice of these things than any artificial rules and habits can poffibly do.
It must indeed be owned, that, confidering how ill affected men are frequently to one another, they would be infupportable to each other without a portion of that diffimulation which is a confiderable ingredient in the fafhionable politenefs of the world. If men were to fhew, without difguife, that envy or contempt, that averfion or malice, which, alas they too frequently have in their hearts, they could not poffibly bear with one another. It ferves, indeed, to maintain the peace and decency of fociety, that they mutually act a part, though far from the moft fincere one. But, furely, if men would, in good earnest, apply themselves to the exercise of that mutual love which Chriftianity enjoins, there would be little occafion for that habitual infincerity in artificial profeffions of good-will and humility, which make up fo great a part of what is called good manners or good breeding. If love without diffimulation really warmed our hearts, it would beautify our manners more effectually than all artificial rules without it can poffibly do.
Further, in the fecond place, the excellency of the principle of love will appear, if we confider, that it is not only a moft amiable, but also a moft powerful one. And indeed its power is fo great, that it is difficult to enu. merate or describe all its mighty effects. It is an established maxim, That love begets love; and
and the truth of this maxim is verified by uCuniverfal experience. If we show hearty goodzwill and affection to those with whom we con. szvérfe, or with whom we have any intercourfe,
we can scarce fail to receive the proper revi turns of good-will and kind difpofitions on
their part. Love without diffimulation conpre quers every heart. Its empire is in a manner
universal. Where it is known to be the ru.
ling principle of any character, it will gain the i hearts and applauses of thousands, nay of
millions of mankind, who never saw the perfon, nor were ever within the reach of his beneficence. But the mighty power of love appears, not only in winning the hearts of all men, when there is no resistance to be overcome arising from envy, resentment, or any of the malevolent passions ; but it appears more conspicuously in triumphing over illwill, resentment, and malice of the most confirmed and inveterate kind : “ For if we real“ ly, and from the bottom of our hearts, " love our enemies, (as our Saviour di" reets); if we bless them that curse us; if
do good to them that hate us; and if “ we pray for them that despitefully use us " and persecute us; we will gradually foften *' and melt their hearts." If we uniformly persevere in returning good for evil, the best offices for the worst, there is fcarce any hu- . man creature so hardened and obstinate as not to be mollified, and even reconciled, at laft. There is only one exception to this :
When the good man's meafures of conduct and course of action continue to oppose and thwart the worldly interefts, and ambitious views, of his adverfaries; in that cafe, the most steady exercife of the pureft and moft perfect goodnefs will have no effect. This was the state of things betwixt our bleffed Saviour and the rulers of the Jewish nation, and was the caufe that his inimitable and unconquerable goodnefs had no influence upon them. But when this is not the cafe, an uniform courfe of kindnefs and good offices, which carry demonftration along with them, that there are no remains of refentment at bottom, or no other wrong principle operating within, will fooner or later produce their effect, and beget love and efteem.
We may further add, as another proof of the mighty power of love, that when any one is called to the delicate and difficult office of admonishing and reproving others for their follies and vices, nothing but the workings of real affection appearing to the full conviction of the guilty perfon himself, can reconcile his mind to the reprover, and give real energy and efficacy to what he fays. The power of love, in fuch cafes, far furpaffes the power of the finest eloquence. When love manifeftly dictates the reproof, it will draw tears from the eyes of the profligate and abandoned, and even of the hardened in vice and profligacy, and make him conceive a higher degree of affection and esteem for
for the friendly adviser than ever he had before; and fometimes the fuccefsful execution of an office of this kind, proves the com. mencement of a friendship that lafts through life.
We may still add upon this head, that it is love which inspires the foul with generous and noble defigns, and with that refolution and fortitude which is neceffary to execute them. Thofe heroic actions which are recorded in hiftory, and which we read with admiration, have, for the most part, been the effects of the love of one's country, of particular friendship, or of an ardent zeal for fome important interefts of mankind. Thus heroifm, the truest heroifm, derives its chief excellence and ftrength from the fpirit of love.
Laftly, The mighty power of love displays itfelf in uniting and binding mankind together. A renowned leader in fcience or in arts, a fuperior of diftinguifhed virtues and talents in any important department in fociety, produces a wonderful union and harmony among his admirers and adherents. The warm attachment, for inftance, of all foldiers to a favourite general, or of all the fubjects to a beloved prince, what good-will, what unanimity of views, does it produce among the foldiers or fubjects? How does it make them forget their little animofities, and interfering interefts, and join heart and hand in the fervice of him who is the common object of their affection? In a word, love is that invifible,