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that ott is supported by those venerable versions, the Vulgate and Syriac Posterior, but forgets to tells us that the Sahidic, Coptic and Armenian read Kuple (the Ethiopic is ambiguous), and the old Syriac Xp158, so that the weight of the oriental versions (so important in such an inquiry) is against him. He rests on the evidence of Chrysostom, Basil, Athanasius, Epiphanius, and Ambrosius, but does not inform us that the true reading of the passages quoted from Athanasius, Basil, and Chrysostom, is doubtful; that in another place Chrysostom certainly quotes the text with Kupie; that Athanasius denies the expression “ blood of God” being found in Scripture, attributing it to the Arians; and that Chrysostom endeavours to account for the doctrine of our Saviour's deity not being taught in the book of Acts, which he need not have done if he had read @eš in this place.
Lastly, Mr. Bloomfield asserts, that
“ – if Luke wrote Oeß, we can account for the readings Kuple or Xpusē; but if Kupit, what could possibly induce any one to change it into sê, which, considering the words in immediate connexion with it, is an uncommon expression? Since, then, there has been wilful alteration, to whom are we to fay the charge of it? To the orthodox ? Certainly not; for they could take no exception at it. To the heterodox? Yes, surely; since they (i. e. the Pelagians, Nestorians, Arians, and others) could not but see the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from it in proof of the divinity of the Lord Jesus; and they, therefore, may be justly suspected of having made the alteration.”
Now, did it never occur to our learned annotator, that Kupíe being an ambiguous word, sometimes applied to the Deity and sometimes to men, very frequently to our Lord where even the most orthodox acknowledge that there is no reference to his divine nature, would naturally give rise to both the other readings as interpretations, without any supposition of fraud And when the difference can be easily accounted for without accusing any of wilful corruption, is not this the most probable as well as the most candid explanation And if we must suppose the corruption to be wilful, would not a reference to other cases lead us to suspect the orthodox as soon as any heretics ? Or what right has our author first to take it for granted that eâ is the genuine reading, and then argue that the orthodox are above suspicion because they could have no wish to alter it ? Could they have had no possible wish to alter Kupée ? Did the change of this word into @sê, whether wilfully made by them or not, answer 10 purpose of theirs ? For our parts, we are little disposed 10 suspect wilful corruption of the word of God in those who profess to reverence it, and to make it the standard of their faith. We do not accuse the orthodox of any such crime, though there are in this case far better grounds for suspecting them than the heterodox; but we feel confident that no one, whatever be his opinions, who has examined with any care the various readings of the New Testament, and understands any thing of the principles of criticism, can fail to conclude that Griesbach has here restored the sacred text in the exercise of his usual sagacity and impartiality, and that Mr. Bloomfield's attempt to defend the common reading only shews how prejudice and party feeling can mislead the judgment, and render useless the erudition even of those who are best accomplished for the work of criticism.
ON THE AGENCY OP FEELINGS IN THE FORMATION OF HABITS ;
AND ON THE AGENCY OF HABITS IN THE REGENERATION OF FEELINGS.
II. On the Agency of Habits in the Regeneration of Feelings. Having formerly ascertained the cause of the temporary deadness of the sensibility which sometimes attends the formation of habits, we now proceed to the pleasanter task of describing its renovation, and of tracing the progress of its purification.
It is well worth while to undergo the painful struggle which we have described as appointed to many ingenuous young minds, for the sake of experiencing the ever-growing delight which attends the development of emotions far more pure in their nature and exalted in their character, than the intense but short-lived feelings of youth. Devotion, in the purest state in which it can be cherished previous to the formation of habits of piety, yields but little enjoyment, compared with that which attends the further advancement of the mind. The high excitement which is felt by the inexperienced soul while undergoing the rapid changes of its emotions, the alternations of sunshine, lightnings, and thick clouds, may gladly be resigned for the calm delight of watching the day-spring from on high, as it increases more and more unto the perfect day. The steadfast hope, the cheerful trust, and still improving satisfactions, which are the natural rewards of devotional habits, far transcend, in their influence on our happiness, the highest fervours of an undisciplined piety. The manner in which these satisfactions spring up and grow within us may be easily explained.
When we are led by a sense of duty, rather than by inclination, to offer the services of devotion, that degree of pleasure which ever attends upon obedience to conscience will neutralize and perhaps overpower the pain arising from the consciousness of our deadness of feeling. Prayer is (as it has been no less truly than beautifully expressed)
“ A stream which, from the fountain of the heart,
Issuing, however feebly, nowhere flows
Without access of unexpected strength :" and the aid thus granted to our efforts (not a supernatural aid, but no less welcome from its being the offspring of association) affords encouragement and pleasure. Our pleasurable feelings become connected with the time, the place, and the service, and are easily excited again in similar circuma stances : so that if there were no hindrances to the process, our pleasures would increase in a rapid proportion with every act of devotion. There are, however, drawbacks, many and great, and worldly thoughts, consciousness of guilt, and a thousand adverse circumstances besides, intervene to check the flow of our devotion, and render our efforts painful and sometimes almost fruitless. Yet, if we steadily persevere, our advancement in piety will be sensible, and on the whole satisfactory. Our pleasurable emotions will overbalance the painful more and more continually: and as we become more able to see God in every thing, all the events of our lives, all the circumstances of our being, will lend their influence to feed “ this calm, this beautiful and silent fire,” which is destined at length to consume all that is
earthly and impure within us. Surely there can be no comparison between the devotional excitement of our youthful days, whose excess was invariably followed by a proportionate depression, and which in its best state was flickering and uncertain, and that confirmed state of habitual piety in which the soul is endowed with a heavenly strength to erdure, and a boundless capacity to enjoy : when every object glows with sunshine from another world, and every voice speaks in the music of a higher sphere.
In no instance is the influence of habit more evident in the renovation of feeling than in the exertion of benevolent principle. When the selfishness natural to childhood has so far given way as to allow of the exertion of benevolent principle, we sometimes feel dissatisfied with ourselves, because we perform acts of kindness from an impulse of conscience only, having our own peace of mind in view more than the good of the object of our care. This is assuredly a very imperfect kind of benevolence, yet it is one which all must practise before they can attain to any thing higher and better. Here, also, steady perseverance will overcome our difficulties. Various pleasures will arise from the gratitude of the object, the new interests thus opened to us, the consciousness of useful employment, and, perhaps, a large portion from the society and co-operation of friendship; and these pleasurable feelings, becoming asscciated with the act and the object, will render a repetition of such offices of kindness more an impulse of the inclination and less an effort of conscience continually, till we come to do good naturally, and without any express regard to our own peace of mind. By ihe same means we have transferred our personal interests to the objects of our care, and they consequently awaken in us the same sympathies which were formerly expended on ourselves. The pleasures of benevolence, however faint and imperfect at first, afford sufficient inducement to us to seek their continuance and extension ; new objects are found, and these introduce others, and so on; we are led to think less of ourselves and more of others perpetually, till we gain a glimpse of that glorious prospect which to some exalted spirits seems to have been realized even in this world, when the joys and sorrows of others become matters of as intimate concern to the mind as ever were its own in its most selfish days; and every thing that lives and breathes finds ready access to the open heart
, and a secure asylum in the expanded affections. Such was Howard : in childhood, selfish, no doubt, like other children ; in youth, impetuous and precipitate ; in mature age, calm, persevering, inflexible, in action; ingenuous and disinterested in character; simple and mild in manners ; in feeling, sensitive in the highest degree. In his career of benevolence, he set out from the same point as other men : by constant adherence to principle, by perseverance in virtuous action, bis affections became enlarged, and his sensibilities refined, till this part of his character became divine, purified from all corruption, and incapable of deterioration. What further encouragement do we need than an example like this? What further instruction ? What more abundant source of pure and grateful hope?
If any further exemplification of our leading fact were needed, it might be found in a variety of instances, whose moral import is not so great as those already adduced, or where the process tends to deteriorate the mind. If the fine arts were not cultivated, our emotions would be incapable of excitement if the most perfect specimens were to drop from the clouds; and it is by the study of them alone, that any individual mind can derive more than a low degree of pleasure from the contemplation of their grandest
achievements. To a child, one picture or statue is as good as another, except from causes foreign to the excellence of the work, as a resemblance to some beloved and familiar object, &c. But after a due degree of study, his feelings become warm and vivid to a remarkable degree, so that one piece excites disgust or contempt, while another awakens emotions of rapture, and he can gaze upon it hour after hour, and day after day, with renewed pleasure. Bring a sculptor and an Otaheitan savage together, to take a first view of the Apollo Belvidere, and compare the depth and extent of feeling which is excited in each. The one will gaze with mute delight till the evening darkness bas veiled every limb and feature, while the other will, after a slight and careless survey, gladly transfer his attention to a bunch of peacock's feathers, or a string of gaudy beads. Transport both men to the island home of the savage, and he will bend with awe and delight before his uncouth deities, while the artist feels nothing but disgust and contempt at the hideousness of their form and the absurdity of their proportions.
How remarkably bad habits tend to cherish malignant feelings, it is needless to point out, and where all sensibility appears to be extinguished by vice, it will usually be found that some outlet exists for the baleful fires which make a hell of the corrupted heart. And should it be objected, that men of depraved habits sometimes afford examples of a refined and exalted sensibility, it is replied, that, in such men, sensibility is usually morbid, and always partial; that it leaves the heart from which it sprung, and takes up its abode in the fancy, where it grows more and more sickly, and would, in course of time, expire. The poet who rouses our passions, awakens our sympathies, opens to us the hidden recesses of the soul, and unveils the secrets of nature, may, by the cultivation of pure habits of thought and action, obtain a still increasing power over the hearts of men. But if he should live in the frequent violation of moral laws, if he should habitually disregard the interests of others, concentrate his desires on the attainment of his own ends, and exercise his powers solely for the gratification of his pride, and with a view to the increase of his fame, his friends will soon discover that his sensibilities become less and less like those of other men. They will be disappointed to find that the affecting incidents of life which stir up emotions in their hearts, are regarded by him with carelessness and indifference; at the same time that he sends forth from his closet strains which cause many tears to start, and which kindle Games in many hearts more ingenuous than his own. In course of time, a change will be as evident to distant observers as to surrounding friends. Notwithstanding all the advantage he has gained over the public mind - the favourable prepossession, the long-standing admiration and affectionthe power and the fame for which he has sacrificed so much, will melt away; for bis appeals no longer reach the heart, and his illustrations are found to be too overstrained to engage the imagination, or to please the taste. If he live long enough to undergo the full punishment which here awai's the perversion of intellectual and moral powers, how awful is the warning! Yet all this might be as distinctly foreseen by an accurate observer of human nature, as that the vine would yield no golden clusters while its root was mouldering, or that the waters of the fountain would not retain their sweetness when the source had become bitter.
On the contrary, the powers are ever-growing, the sensibility still becoming more pure and lively, of the poet who has trained up his thoughts in unceasing devotion to God, and the diligent service of his race; and who has so caresully associated his emotions with reason and principle as to re
fuse the indulgence of them when no purpose of improvement or usefulness sanctions their excitement.
“ It were a wantonness, and would demand
Severe reproof, if we were men whose hearts
By reason, barren of all future good.” And he is right; for if we wish that our actions should be inseparable from virtuous feeling, we must be careful that emotions, however innocent, should not be encouraged to arise and pass away, without tending to the accomplishment of some moral purpose. When, by no agency of our own, emotions are excited, it is therefore our duty to refer them to some principle, to bring them to the support of some habit. The glories of a sunrise, the sublimity of the stormy ocean, the radiant beauties of the night, awaken spontaneous emotions : but it is our duty to perpetuate their intluence by looking through Nature up to Nature's God." In like manner, we should convert every pang and glow of conscience, every excitement of sympathy into the nourishment of our moral being: and for the result we may take the word of one who, in his address to Duty, shews that he has obeyed her call, and received her rewards.
“Stern Lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace ;.
And fragrance in thy footing treads." Having traced these facts back to their principles, there is a strong temptation to anticipate the operation of these principles on our future being, and their influence on the happiness of another state. But this would lead us into too wide a field. It is sufficient, for the present, to reflect that all beings and all circumstances may be, must be, made to minister to our spiritual life for good or for evil. "We are subject, during every moment of our existence, to influences which we cannot reject, but which will work good or harm within us, according to the dispositions with which they are received. If well received, this world of matter will gradually become to us a spiritual universe ; if the contrary, our own nature will become more abject than that of the brutes that perish, and infinitely further removed from happiness. In the one case, all things will minister to our peace; in the other, to our woe. In both it may be said, that “all things are ours :" let us be careful “ that we are Christ's,” and that, through him, we are God's.