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reflection the bright and animating image of conscious improvement-it relieves the dull and cheerless languor of indifference-it lightens the oppressive weariness of slothfulness long indulged - it scatters the sullen gloom of melancholy-it soothes the piercing pangs of sorrow-it dissipates the wild illusions of fanaticism-and, by a sort of magic force, it chases
those groupes of hideous spectres that hover around the dark and dreary abodes of superstition and despair. To many of the evils I have enumerated in this dismal catalogue, the unemployed, the uncivilized, and the unenlightened part of mankind are more peculiarly exposed ; and therefore, if the institutions you patronize prevent or alleviate any one of such evils, great is the advantage to these children, and great, too, in heaven will be your reward.
Proceed we, in the second place, to shew the various profits derived from labour, and the mischiefs resulting from the want of it, in a state of society.
Hitherto we have considered man as an intelligent being, invested with certain powers for certain ends, and entrusted with his own happiness, dependent on his own exertions. But he is also a social being, who acts upon others, and who is himself acted upon by others—who has ideas of duty and right, and a part to undertake, which, as it should be well or ill sustained, will procure him esteem or blame, reward or punishment. Physically considered, man's personal efforts were intended to supply man's personal wants ; and therefore, by a principle of self-preservation, his felicity is made to de
pend on his own affections and his own actions rather than on any causes and effects extrinsic to himself, where the conditions of men are so unequal, and so little under the command of any individual. But in a moral point of view, he is so to control those affections and regulate those actions, that, in pursuing what is useful to himself, he may not do what is injurious to others; and while self-preservation branches out into a broader principle of self-love, and embraces the comforts and pleasures, as well as the necessaries of life, the conditions on which they are to be obtained produce new rules of action, and give new opportunities for acting, according to the relations in which we stand to our fellow-creatures.
Where, it may be asked, are the artificial wants supplied so amply as in society; or how, without society, could our artificial and adventitious desires be satisfied so exquisitely? Or rather, by what means could the desires themselves be generated, or what causes could be substituted for producing any enjoyments equal to those to which they are instrumental? Where is agriculture carried on with so much security, with so much ease, in such diversity of forms, or with such abundance of produce? Where could manufactures be wrought in such quantities, or for purposes so various and so useful? In the possible changes of the same materials, how could labour elsewhere acquire so much power, not only over those which nature has produced, but over those which art has changed from their primary form ? The same original powers of action are exercised in the social and in the unsocial state. But
they are exercised with more regular and with more permanent effects. The same capacity of forming habits is visible; but with an infinitely greater diversity of modification. The same passion operates for meliorating our condition ; but it operates through a wider compass, and with higher gratification. Hence our moral keeps pace with our intellectual improvement; hence, with the goodly fruits of labour, springs up a rich harvest of virtue—the love of order, a sense of justice, the admiration of excellence, the control of every turbulent passion, and the indulgence of every benevolent affection.
It appears then, that in society alone we can form an exact and complete calculation of man's capacity either as a rational or moral agent—either of his duty to labour, or of his happiness in the profit of labour : otherwise, the hand which now erects a palace would often be unable to rear a cottage; the head which investigates the laws of motion that pervade the whole planetary system, would scarcely be capable of tracing effects to causes in many ordinary productions of the earth ; the heart which glows with friendship, with patriotism, and with expanded philanthrophy, would be cold and contracted. But against these evils provision is made by that Creator, who (as we have seen) not only has furnished us with powers to act in society, but planted in our inmost souls the most rooted love of it; and who by this adaptation of sympathy to intellect has increased the felicity of individuals, and secured the order, the union, and the general improvement,
both of the natural and moral constitution of things, as relating to man.
Now, as in nature the powers of men are unequal, so in society their conditions too are unequal. But instead of disputing about the causes of that inequality, let us admit the fact; let us remember that, in moral improvement, rather than political expedients, are to be found its best correctives, and let us consider the duties resulting from it, as they regard the proposition in my text, that in all labour there is profit. Every one of
suppose, remembers the beautiful imagery in which St. Paul describes the Church of Christ by expressions borrowed from the component parts of the human body. And some of you, I apprehend, may without offence be informed, that nearly the same pertinent allusions are preserved in a charming fable of antiquity, and were employed by an antient Roman in quieting the fierce discontents, and confuting the clamorous complaints of an incensed populace. The eye, the hand, the feet, differ indeed in dignity ; but each of them has its appropriate use, and each has a relation to the other. Neither of them can say to the other, “I have no need of thee;" and neither, refusing to exercise its own particular functions, can have a right to assistance from the functions of the other. The eye must guide, the hands must work, the feet must walk, and from their united efforts results the wellbeing of the whole body. Let us apply this reasoning to the orders of society. If the poor furnish labour, the rich must pay the reward of labour: if the poor man derive his profit from the rich, the rich also derives his conveniences from the poor. And wide as may be the difference of their situations, neither the one nor the other can be so independent as to say, "I have no need of thee.” Such, too, is the state of society, that all orders of it may be engaged in some employment, and that without employment their happiness will be diminished. The poor man, if he labours not, must shiver with cold, must pine with hunger, and, to relieve merely his animal wants, he must have recourse to practices which endanger his character, his liberty, and his very existence. The rich man, if he be slothful, will lose much of the gratification of his artificial desires. He will be satiated with luxury-he will be weighed down with weariness-he will shrink from reflection-he will forfeit his own esteem, and that of the world-he will be compelled to dissipate his time in frivolous amusements, which unnerve and debase the mind, or in licentious excesses, which are followed by the loss of fortune, the loss of reputation, and the loss of health. Unequal as may be the poor and the rich man in their exterior condition, they are bound by this just and equal law, that without labour they cannot be happy.
There is, I know, an extravagant philanthropy which makes us look upon all the poor as objects of pity; and there is also an inconsiderate subtlety, which too often checks our indignation against the opulent voluptuary, because he diffuses wealth around him. Providence, it must be granted, educes good from our follies and our crimes, but this eventual good is no justification of the foolish and the