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greatness of our nature, and of its capacity of being put into relation with vast numbers, and with great interests. The approbation of God, and of those who judge in accordance with him, is no unsuitable motive for any. It is such an one as an apostle thought worthy of being presented. After enumerating a long list of the worthies of former times, he represents them as resting from their own conflict, and watching the progress of those who have succeeded them. “Seeing, therefore," says he, “we are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with patience the race set before us.” What we need, then, is to illuminate the desire of glory by the revelations of Christianity. Regarding ourselves, not merely as citizens of this world, but of the universe, and knowing that God is over all, and that there is somewhere a vast assembly of the good to whom our conduct either now is or shall be known, we may give to this principle of action
Such is the theatre on which we are to contend for the true glory and honor, and we are to do it in the only way in which success is possible, “by a patient continuance in well-doing.” In this race the success of one does not prevent that of another. All may enter the lists, and all may gain the prize.
In the last lecture we finished the consideration of what are usually termed the desires. These have no moral character. But desire is not excluded from the sphere of morals. It will go with us not only as an element of the affections, but in its own proper form; for there are really both natural and moral desires, as well as natural and moral affections.
The desires we have considered imply no previous exercise of the moral nature, and have for their object things without us; the moral desires imply a previous exercise of the moral nature, and have for their object our own moral states. A paramount desire for virtue is a virtuous desire, and a similar. desire for holiness is a holy desire. The object of the one class of desires is that we may have something, of the other, that we may be something. In either case, however, the desires respect not merely the well-being of the individual, but his capacity to minister to others through the affections; and it is to the consideration of these that we now pass.
As the appetites have for their end a perfect body, and the desires a perfect mind, — perfect up to that point, and as a condition for something higher, - so the affections, though ultimate to the individual, have, as a further end, a perfect society. They are that part of the constitution of man by which he is so put in relation with his fellows that society becomes possible.
And here we find the first difference between the affections and the desires. The object of the desires is things; the object of the affections is sentient beings, chiefly those that are rational and moral.
The affections differ from the desires, also, because they are disinterested. The desires receive and appropriate their objects to themselves. Their whole business is appropriation, whereas the affections flow from us. We bestow them and they appropriate nothing. There can be no interested affection.
A third difference is, that the affections are more complex. Affection is desire, and something more. It is impossible to have an affection for any one without having involved in it, and a part of it, a desire for his well-being. The affection itself, as distinguished from this desire, cannot be defined, and can be conceived only by being felt. It is among the ultimate and highest forms in which our humanity expresses itself.
But in analyzing the affections we are not to destroy them. This Brown has done. He makes no such class as the affections. The specific feeling of love, for instance, he classes with immediate emotions, and our wish for the happiness of those we love, with the desires. But this is like treating of oxygen and hydrogen separately, and then denying that there is such a thing as water. Water, which is one thing, is neither oxygen nor hydrogen, but the two united; and pity, which is also one thing, is neither a vivid emotion in view of distress, nor a desire to relieve it, but the two united; and neither can be regarded practically in any other way.
But we must notice here a peculiarity of that desire which is an element in love. As it is our own desire, its gratification must be a source of happiness to us. As it is a desire for the happiness of others, it must lead us to promote that, and it is impossible that we should thus
promote the happiness of others without promoting our own. Hence, some question the possibility of disinterested benevolence. We desire, they say, the happiness of others for the sake of our own. It is true that we are made happy in making them so, and an admirable provision for mutual and extended happiness it is; it is also true that we may exercise and cultivate this desire, or rather the affection of which it is a part, as we may any other, with the knowledge that it will thus make us happy; still the desire is for the happiness of others, and the moment it ceases to be that, — that disinterestedly, -- the affection itself is gone, and with it the very source of our happiness. A desire for our own happiness cannot be an element of affection, and when, for the sake of that, we pursue towards others such a course as affection would prompt, the whole source and character of our happiness, if we gain any, is gone. It may be from self-love and selfishness, but the pure happiness of affection it cannot be. The gold is become dim, or rather dross, and the most fine gold is changed.
The affections, regarded as a whole, further differ from the desires in being, as has been said, ultimate for man himself. They refer to society; but there is nothing within the man that is higher than they to which they minister. So far they are ends and not means. We rest in them. They react, indeed, on the inferior parts of the constitution, but do not serve them in the same sense in which they are served. Love, as involving not merely constitutional affection, but rational choice, is the highest
form in which our nature can manifest itself. There is in it a synthesis of affection and of will.
From these differences it is plain that in passing to the affections, taken as a whole, we enter another region and group, where we find elements that are wholly new. We come to that in the intelligent world which answers to heat and electricity and magnetism in the physical world, or rather to the one agent of which these may be but the varied manifestations. Heretofore, all has been appropriation, and has looked towards self. Here self is not forgotten in the arrangements of God, but must be by us. The desire that enters into love retains its power of good to us as a desire, but by thus entering loses its capability of being abused into selfishness. As an appropriating desire it is wholly lost. In becoming a desire for the good of others, it becomes disinterested. Of this, the possibility, as I have said, has been doubted by some. They do not believe that a son, knowing that he should inherit a large estate on the death of his father, dependent on his assiduity, could attend upon and cheer him through his final sickness purely from affection. They are in the same position as the heathen, who cannot conceive that the missionaries should come with the simple object of doing them good, whereas the whole glory of the missionary work is in its unselfishness. When that departs, it is shorn of the locks of its strength, and becomes like any other
But in this structure and action of affection simply find the paradox of our Saviour that he who would find his life must lose it. That is not peculiar to his religion. It has its basis in our nature. It is the condition on which any higher life of the affections is to be found. It is by losing all thought of himself that a man finds his own higher self. The ultimate happiness and good for