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exciting moral habits, should be by judicious and discriminating kindness and benevolence. A similar progress of improvement is natural and congenial to every individual, in his passage through this world of trial.From the effects of that infant feeling, which at first can be deemed little more than the instinct of self preservation, we may trace the origin of the noblest and sublimest virtues. By the mere sensual impulse of the child, which looks to nothing with desire, but to that which supports life or gratifies appetite, the opening mind is taught to associate with its first and most pleasurable sensations, the bosom on which it has reposed, and from which it has been nourished. Thus are generated the most delightful of our early affections.-FILIAL Attachment GRATITUDE; directed first to the mother, and from her, extending to the family, and from thence, to all the connexions which are endeared to it.
The early impressions of self-interest, Their fur- given us for self-preservation, are gress. thus capable of being refined;
and of becoming rational and spiritual, as the progress of moral intellect is continued. In like manner, through the subsequent stages of life, our selfish feelings, matured by benefits, give birth to all the most excellent virtues. The kindness of a friend, gratifying at first only our self interest, leaves in the mind a pleasing recollection, which endears to us for ever the name and exercise of FRIENDSHIP. We are benefited by the liberality of others, and the seeds of GENEROSITY are planted in the breast. To OUR DEAR COUNTRY we are indebted for protection and preservation; and, from the delightful memory of that obligation, we derive PUBLIC SPIRIT. As the heart expands, and the circle of our pleasures and duties is enlarged, that kindness, which mere friendship had restricted to a few individuals, is extended to all our fellow creatures; and the whole world is admitted to the claim of brotherhood, by the acquired virtue of BE
By checking the base and unworthy
Increase of passions of envy, jealousy,'rage, and
avarice, and by cultivating friend
ship, generosity, candour, and disinterestedness, the variety of gratifications, associated with these excellent virtues, will increase their number and power;-and thus affections and habits will follow conduct and practice. The pleasure of a benevolent action will augment the desire of repeating it, will attach the mind to benevolence,and will gradually extinguish the malignant and selfish feelings.-Every interest we take in our friends, our benefactors, and others, -every effort we make to serve and assist them, every affectionate wish and intention them,―every we form for their benefit,-will promote in us all the kindly affections, and will afford the best evidence of our love and gratitude to
OUR HEAVENLY CREATOR.
That the social and intellectual virtues Conclusion flourish and increase,* whenever they acquire a place and interest in the
*This is beautifully exemplified by Bishop Hall, in a passage quoted in a note to the Report, No. 78.
human breast, has been frequentiy observed. Nor has it escaped notice, that the prevalence of these virtues doth naturally elevate the mind, to the contemplation of THAT SOURCE, from whence emanates all that is good or valuable. If filial attachment, gratitude, friendship, generosity, and benevolence, are generated by the benefits we have received from man, how much more powerful will be the attraction and influence of all our more sublime affections to THAT BEING, to whom we owe our existence, and every advantage and enjoyment we possess;-to THAT BEING, from whom we are constantly receiving unmerited benefits; and on whose favour depends all that can possibly concern us;-all our present pleasures and enjoyments, all our future hopes and expectations. These reflections will confirm the soul in habits of devotional piety, and thereby in
crease THE PREVALENCE OF THE MORAL SENSE.
They will unite the SELFISH, the SOCIAL, and the RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS;-so that while we are seeking our own happiness, and consulting our true interest, we shall raise the
mind to the most sublime and delightful contemplations, we shall purify the heart from the dross and corruption of our fallen nature, we shall increase and extend the scope of benevolence,and produce the rich harvest of every moral virtue, which can be acceptable, or beneficial, to our fellow
With every sentiment of esteem, respect, and personal regard,
I am, my Dear Sir,
March 28, 1805.
always truly yours,
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, Eso