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the tender emotions of pity and deep concern. So that when one considers this friendly part of our nature, without looking farther, one would think it impossible for man to look upon misery without finding himself, in some ineasure, attached to the interest of him who suffers it.—I say, one would think it impofsible--for thereare some tempers—how shalli describe them?-formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter insensibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow crea. tures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connexion at all with the species.
Of this character our Saviour produces two disgraceful instances, in the behaviour of a priest and a Levite, whom in this account he represents as coming to the place where the unhappy man was ;—both passing by without either ftretching forth a hand to assist, or uttering a word to comfort him in his distress.
And by chance there came down a certain priest! merciful God! that a teacher of thy religion should ever want humanity-or that
a man, whose head might be thought full of the one, should have a heart void of the other! -This, however, was the case before us—and though in theory one would scarce suspect that the least pretence to religion, and an open disregard to so main a part of it, could ever meet together in one person ;-yet in fact it is no fictitious character.
Look into the world how often do you behold a fordid wretch, whose strait heart is open to no man's affliction, taking shelter behind an appearance of piety, and putting on the garb of religion, which none but the merciful and compassionate have a title to wear. Take notice with what sanctity he goes, to the end of his days, in the same selfish tract in. · which he at first set out-turning neither to the right hand nor to the left but plods on
pores all his life long upon the ground, as if afraid to look up, left peradventure he should see aught which might turn him one moment out of that straight line where interest is carrying him; or if, by chance, he stumbles upon a hapless objectof distress, which threatens such a disaster to him like the man here represented, devoutly passing by on
the other side, as if unwilling to trust himself to the impressions of nature,' or hazard the inconveniencies which pity might lead him into upon the occasion.
There is but one stroke wanting in this pictire of an unmerciful man, to render the character utterly odious, and that our SAVIOUR gives it in the following instance he relates upon it. And likewise, says he, a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked at him. It was not a transient oversight, the hasty or illadvised neglect of an unconsidering humour, with which the best disposed are sometimes overtaken, and led on beyond the point where otherwise they would have wished to stop.No!-on the contrary, it had all the aggravation of a deliberate act of insensibility, proceeding from a hard heart. When he was at the place, he came, and looked at him,-confidered his misfortunes, gave time for reason and nature to have awoke-- saw the imminent danger he was in and the pressing necesity of immediate help, which so violent a case called aloud for ; and after all — turned aside, and unmercifully left him to all the distresses of his condition.
In all unmerciful actions, the worst of men pay this compliment, at least, to humanity, as to endeavour to wear as much of the appearlánce of it as the case will well let them ;fo that in the hardest acts a man shall be guilty of, he has some motives, true or false, always ready to offer, either to satisfy himself or the world, and, God knows, too often to impose both upon the one and the other. And therefore it would be no hard matter here to givela probable guess at what passed in the Levite's mind in the present case, and Thew, was it necessary, by what kind of casuistry he fettled the matter with his conscience as he paffed by, and guarded all the passages to his heart against the inroads which pity might attempt to make upon the occasion. But it is painful to dwell long upon this disagreeable part of the story; I therefore hasten to the concluding incident of it, which is so amiable, that one cannot easily be too copious in reflections upon it. And behold, says our SaviOUR, a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him and went to him bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine C 5
-set him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. I suppose it will be scarce necessary here to remind you, that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans an old religious grudge the worst of all grudges ! had wrought such a dislike between both people, that they held themselves mutually discharged not only from all offices of friendship and kindness, but even from the most common acts of courtesy and good manners.--This operated fo strongly in our SAVIour's time, that the woman of Samaria seemed astonished that he, being a Jew, should ask water of her who was a Samaritan :-so that, with such a prepossession, however distressful the case of the unfortunate man was, and how reasonably soever he might plead for pity from another man, there was little aid or confolation to be looked for from so unpromising a quarter. Alas ! after I bave been twice passed by, neglected by men of my own nation and religion, bound by so many ties to allift me, left bere friendless and unpitied both by a priest and a Levite, men whose profeffon and superior advantages of knowledge could not leave them in the dark in what manner they mould discharge this debt which my condition claims after this