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tures, and to love and admire these, and not to look within, except to correct what may be wrong, and to admire there, as elsewhere, indications of the divine wisdom and good
How, then, can that be the highest good of man which, if he really had it, he would think of only as the man who has healthy lungs thinks of his breathing? No doubt worthiness is conditional, and in a moral being necessarily so, for blessedness. But the word, though it may be used absolutely, naturally carries with it an indication of something beyond itself. A worthiness of what? Of approbation? And why not of the blessedness there is in and through that worthiness and that approbation ?
In this and similar cases the ultimate appeal must be to consciousness. To that I appeal, only wishing the statements to be so made that the consciousness may apprehend distinctly the elements with which it is dealing.
In speaking hitherto of activities and their results, language has been used in its ordinary sense, as applied to outward things. It will be observed, however, that in the region of mind and of consciousness the results are themselves activities. There is, therefore, a sense in which it may be said that the activity is the blessedness. The difference is, that what we call activities here are those which are inaugurated and controlled by the will, while what we call results are those emotions and feelings which follow from the other, by the appointment of God. We do not, therefore, in this connection, regard ends as anything outward, but identify ends and activities.
KINDS OF GOOD. - SUSCEPTIBILITIES AND POWERS. GOOD AS HIGHER
AND LOWER. - FORCES AND FACULTIES-THEIR SUBORDINATION. -- THE
LAW OF LIMITATION. METHODS OF ADDITION AND OF DEVELOPMENT.
NATURAL AND CHRISTIAN LAW OF SELF-DENIAL.
In the last lecture two questions were answered. The first was, What ought man to do ? and the second, Why ought he to do it? Man ought to attain the end for which he was made; and he ought to do it because of the intrinsic worth of that end. In answering these questions we considered the nature of an end as related to rational activity, and also the nature of good as necessarily included in an ultimate end.
We now proceed to answer the third question proposed, which is, How ought man to attain the end for which he was made ? There is a sense in which this question may be resolved into the first; for, if we know, in the fullest sense, what to do, we also know how to do it.
But convenience and the common use of language justify the division now made.
In answering the above question we shall naturally examine the different forms of activity of which man is capable, and their resulting forms of good, that we may thus find for each faculty the law and measure of its activity. But this may be done with more advantage if we first discriminate between different kinds of good; and if we also find a criterion by which we may distinguish that which is higher from that which is lower.
As has been said already, there are as many kinds of good as there are forms of normal activity ; but these forms of activity may be divided into two great classes broadly distinguished.
Man has powers, and he has susceptibilities. By his powers he acts upon external nature; by his susceptibilities external nature acts upon
him. Once awakened, the powers act, not simply because they are acted upon, but of their own proper activity. The susceptibilities have no activity of their own except as they are acted upon. In the activity of the susceptibilities the movement is from without inward ; in that of the powers it is from within outward. In the one we receive; in the other we give.
When the susceptibilities are acted upon by their appropriate stimuli, the result is pleasure. So far as this term is employed distinctively, this is the form of enjoyment indicated by it, and is that which is sought by those who are called “ lovers of pleasure.” It has an inlet through each of the senses. It is the product of warmth, and food, and of the various kinds of nervous stimulation. That the production of this is an object in nature, is obvious from the number and variety of those arrangements by which sensitive beings receive pleasure from the objects around them. In this respect the works of God call for our grateful study. Particularly is the human organism admirable for this in its complex and wonderful adjustment to external nature.
But in this enjoyment there is no necessary activity of any rational or moral power. The right relation being established, man is no further active than as he has the vitality and susceptibility which must be the condition of any pleasure.
SUSCEPTIBILITIES AND POWERS.
Between this form of enjoyment and that from the activity of the powers the differences are radical. And,
1st. The law of habit, mentioned by Butler, by which passive impressions become weaker as they are longer continued, applies only to the susceptibilities and the resulting pleasure. “It is,” says Paley, “a law of the machine for which we know no remedy, that the organs by which we receive pleasure are blunted and benumbed by being frequently exercised in the same way. There is hardly any one who has not found the difference between a gratification when new and when familiar, nor any pleasure which does not become indifferent as it grows habitual.” It is, on the other hand, the law of the powers that they gain strength by activity, become more masterly, and more and more capable of being the source of a high joy and blessedness.
Here, then, is a radical contrast between the good from the susceptibilities and from the powers. The one is like a vessel full and sparkling at first, but gradually wasting away and becoming vapid; the other is like a fountain whose waters well up the more freely the more they overflow.
A second difference is to be found in the rank of these two forms of good.
Pleasure is a good in itself, and so an ultimate end; but for the most part it is also a means to something beyond itself. This is especially true of legitimate pleasure. It seems to have been intended as an inducement to the performance of acts which are to have remote consequences of which the agents themselves are often either ignorant or regardless. The pleasure of the child, and of the man too, in eating, and in muscular movement, is the inducement to do that which is necessary for the upbuilding of
the body, but for which they generally have no care.
On the other hand, the good from the activity of the powers, as in loving and in worshipping, is an end in itself, and has no reference to anything beyond itself.
There is a third difference. We always feel ourselves at liberty to forego the enjoyment of pleasure, and respect ourselves when we do this for the sake of the good which comes from the activity of the powers, but never the re
These two are often, and to some extent naturally, opposed, and it is a part of the conflict of life to keep pleasure within its proper limits.
We have thus, from our susceptibilities, a good which we may call pleasure. From the activity of our powers, voluntary and moral, we have a good higher and different in kind, for which we need a distinctive name, but which we will here call happiness. This will differ with the powers, intellectual, æsthetic, moral, spiritual, which are in exercise. By these, taking cognizance practically, æsthetically, scientifically of the works of God, apprehending the character and wants of man, being brought into relation to the attributes and character of God, man is capable not only of the appropriate enjoyment from such cognitions, but also of putting forth in love all the activity of his nature for the good of the whole. What of good there may
be from these can be known only by experience, but clearly it need be limited only by our capacity.
My own belief is that that part of our nature through which we have the highest good lies open to the direct action of the Spirit of God, as the susceptibilities do to that of the objects around us; that thus we may apprehend him directly; and that in his response to this, in love, man is capable of a good that is ineffable, and may be called “fulness of joy,” or blessedness. The capacity for this I