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AT DIFFERENT PERIODS, AND IN
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES :
OBSERVATIONS ON CHARITY,
ITS PROPER OBJECTS AND CONDUCT,
ITS INFLUENCE ON THE WELFARE OF NATIONS.
by John Dunean.
XICHARD CRUTTWELL, ST. JAMES’S-STRELT, WTH
AND SOLD BY
: COLLECTIONS ON CHARITY, &c.
UR duty towards our neighbour, the knowledge
of which is called the Science of Ethics, is founded on our duty towards God. From his conftia tution of our being we derive our sympathy, our benevolence, our sense of fitness, or of justice, or of truth; our prudence, our self-love, our reason, and what. ever else the partial views of theorists can poflibly assign as the fundamental principle of moral action. From his constitution of our being proceed all moral as well as all physical relations. We clearly perceive, no doubt, the relation between our lungs and the air, between our muscles and our bones, between those of the jaw and the teeth, between these and the organs of deglutition, of digestion, of secretion, of absorption; between veins and arteries, arteries and lungs, between all and the heart. The relations between perceptions and sensations, between the latter and appetites, between these and the affections of pleasure and displeasure, between those and memory, between memory and emotions, passions, habits, tempers, faculties, and energies, are not less manifest. Our necessary dependence on each other for our general well-being; the relations between appetites, emotions, and sexual attractions, between equally apparcuand qualities adapi.ion, of habit, a
beauty and love, between the love of parents and the love of children and of kindred, between the love of these and that of birth-place and of country, are equally apparent. Innumerable are the relations between wants and qualities adapted to satisfy them. Varieties of situation, of condition, of habit, are attended with various and even opposite wants; yet these supply to each class both impulse and facility to relieve those of another. The weak require the aid of the strong; but the continued gentle operation of the weak has often a value above force. The flow have need of the active; but deliberative perseve. rance may prevail over vehemence. The resolute needs the devices of the ingenious; the quick combiner, the calm scrutiny of the patient investigator.
The rich and the poor have very different wants, and possess mutual means of contributing to the wel. fare and happiness of each other.
Society is the pre-ordained and inevitable result of the reagencies of mutual wants. The inequality of conditions in society may be inferred, argumentatively, as the necessary consequence, or deduced, historically, as the known result of the inequality of bodily and mental powers.
The great Being who ordained those mutual wants by which reasoning creatures are impelled to social union, has also ordained the modes of action requisite to the production of that beneficial result which is sought to be attained by such union. It is generally expedient, that each should so contribute to promote the well-being of another, that the welfare of all may result froin such combined exertion. In what manner each may best exert his faculties to the promotion of the general welfare, in conformity to the laws of his Creator, natural or revealed, is a question extending to all moral relations; one branch