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sion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." These, and many other expressions of a similar import, seem to testify a peculiar attachment to this peo ple, notwithstanding those enormities of conduct which are so frequently and so severely reprehended. Hence do these expressions appear to be inconsistent with that impartiality which our reason ascribes to the universal parent, by giving to this people an exclusive title to the divine favour, which they deserved not. The subject demands consideration.

When we were treating of the nature of Love, in a preceding volume, we considered it both as a principle and an affection. It was observed that the principle of love, respects an invariable predilection for good, seated in the mind of a percipient, who knows, or thinks that he knows, in what good consists, and in what respects it relates to well-being. When the principle is directed towards any particular object it becomes an affection; that is, the mind is well disposed towards the object, or strongly affected by it. This affection, as it respects others, may again be distinguished into the love of Benevolence, and of Complacency. The bene

volent affections may be extended to all sentient beings, whose susceptibility respecting good or evil is sufficient to excite them. True benevolence requires no other quality in the object, than his power of enjoyment, or exposure to sufferings. It may therefore be extended, not only to strangers, but to enemies, even to those whose demerits are great and conspicuous. It may sometimes be alarmed by the perception of the dangers to which a subject is exposed, in consequence of his demerits. In such cases its operations are exemplified by the affection of a wise and good parent, for a son who is precipitating himself into ruin, by the profligacy of his conduct: they are illustrated by the philanthropist, who consults the good of the most ignorant and depraved part of mankind; and they shine with peculiar lustre in the merciful man, who remits the punishment due to an offender, and forms plans for his welfare.

The case is very different in the love of Complacency. In this, some degree of merit is always presupposed. It can alone be excited by some kind of apparent worth; some real or supposed excellence. It rises or falls, augments or diminishes, according to obvious gradations in this scale.

The affection of Complacency may be much

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perverted, and it will have its partialities in weak minds. But these partialities proceed from a conception that pleasing and amiable qualities exist in the beloved object, to a greater degree than justice will allow. The slightest appearance of worth will thus be magnified, while every fault will be concealed or palliated. Where truth and reason preside over the affection, this partial fondness cannot be indulged. The manifestations of complacency will accompany real worth alone. It will always be withdrawn from obvious demerit, although it may leave Commiseration to operate with the greater 'force.

There is, however, one mode of manifesting complacency, exclusive of any distinguished merit in the object, which seems at first view to oppose the above statement. Peculiar favour is frequently shown to individuals, merely on account of their close connection with persons, whose · conduct or character have obtained our warm approbation. A liberal mind is disposed to confer

peculiar marks of favour upon those who are des-titute of every personal claim, in consequence 1 alone of the complacent affections entertained for their relatives and connexions. This prin


ciple is not only implanted in our nature, but is -highly respectable; although it is too often mis

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applied, through a total inattention to the particular object for which it was implanted. It has been frequently known, in human life, to confer exalted and permanent honours upon the worthless, simply because they had the advantage of being descended from worthy ancestors, to whom they were a disgrace; and upon descendants whose vicious courses may have been destructive of that good, which rendered their predecessors so worthy of complacential affection. By such mistakes, virtue and vice are strangely blended. The same rewards are given to the wicked as to the righteous; attempts are made literally to impute merit, and to transfer a worthy character to the unworthy, without changing their natures; which is to confound identities where there is no resemblance.

But the due application of this principle, is an exalted reward, and an encouragement to virtue.

The love of parents to their offspring is proximate to self-love; nay it is a species of selflove. It is the great object of good parents, through every stage of life, to promote the welfare of their progeny. For this they are often willing to sacrifice every personal enjoyment, and personal advantage. Nothing therefore can be more pleasing than the expectations, or per

ceptions, that the honours which they have been assiduous to merit, should, to a certain degree, be reflected upon their offspring. Parental fondness will also cherish the expectation, that the respect shown to their children, will be an encouragement to imitate the example which obtained it; and the worthy offspring of such parents, will be ambitious to acquire a real title to that which has been bestowed by courtesy, instead of becoming proud and supercilious, sleeping upon their laurels, or sullying them in the dirt.


The supreme Being, who has placed this principle of complacential benevolence in our bosoms, himself acts upon it; and he has set us an example, in what manner it can be invariably acted upon for good. In all those instances upon record, where favours have been extended to those whose personal merits have not attracted them, we may perceive that this extension of kindness, sometimes consists in appointing the successor of his approved servants to the honourable station of being the means, instruments, or mediums of conveyance of some essensential good to others, in preference to the instrumentality of those whose parents have not merited this honourable distinction; sometimes in acts of clemency to the undeserving, that the

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