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And therefore when we fpeak of moderation of our paffions, it is intended in relation of thofe things, about or upon which our paffions may be lawfully ufed or exercised, fo that they be kept within their juft bounds and meafures.
And fince all the objects of our paffions are either fomething that is good; or fo thought; as the objects of our love, joy, hope, or fomething that is evil, or fo esteemed; as the objects of our hatred, or anger, forrow, fear; the true measure of these affections or paffions is to be made according to the true measure of that good, or that evil that is the prefent object of my paffion. If the good or evil be great, it deferves a greater intention of that paffion or affection that is employed about them; if it be but little, the measure of my paffion or affection ought not to exceed it; if it doth, it becomes immoderate.
And hence it is that the fame paffion or affection may be, and indeed ought to be varioufly acted or intended about objects of the fame nature, yet under different degrees of good and evil: I may at the fame time have different objects of my love, different forts or kinds of good, and of different allays, fome more, fome lefs good, and my love may be extended to them, all at the fame time; but the degrees of my love are diverfified according to the diverfity of the degrees of good that each object hath, all circumftances, adjuncts and confequences being confidered. The like may be faid touching evils, that are the objects of my hatred, anger, forrow, or fear.
The moderation therefore of affection requires thefe things principally: 1. A right judgment or estimate of things good or evil, according to their true natures or degrees; for without this we fhall not only mistake in the degrees of good or evil, but even in their very natures: We fhall not only take the leffer good or evil for the greater, or the greater for the lefs; but we fhall be apt to mistake the things themselves, and call evil
a stronger exercise.
good, and good evil. Now it is certain, that according to the judgment that we have touching things good, or evil, and their values and degrees, accordingly are our paffions, and their extents and tranfports meafured out. If I judge or efteem that to be truly good, which indeed is not, I deliver over to it my affection of love, joy or hope and if I judge that to be a great and important good, which is but fmall or inconfiderable; yet according to the measure or proportion of such estimate, I measure out the degree of my love, joy, or delight in fuch good. A child will fet as great a rate, and confequently allow as great a meafure of his love or delight to a rattle, as a boy doth to his top and fcourge, or as a man doth to a diamond; all arifing from the variety of their judgment, or eftimate or the value of the thing. And the like may be faid of evils, and their feveral degrees, with relation to the paffions of hatred, forrow, or fear. 2. The fecond thing required to moderation, is a prudent, ftaid deliberation, before the paffion be put into motion, that fo the judgment be confulted touching the nature of the object; firft, whether it be good or evil; and then what degree of good or evil it hath: for be the judgment never fo good, yet if paffion run before it, and be precipitate upon the first and fudden apprehenfion of the thing propofed, or objected, and fo antevert the ufe of deliberation, and the ripening of the judgment, there muft neceffarily, or at leaft ordinarily follow either miftake or diforder, or immoderation in the paffion, of what kind foever; and then the mind is disturbed, and put into diforder fuddenly; 'tis difficult then to make a right judgment, or at leaft it comes too late, and many times after the mischief is done by the hafty and precipitate paffion, either without or at leaft within the mind, thus tranfported with paffion of any kind.
And therefore the general rule for moderation of all kind of paffions, is refolutely to prescribe to a man's felf this law; that before he any way gives leave to. ! outstrip.
his paffion, he will paufe and confider awhile, touching the object prefented, what it is, whether good or evil; and if either, then what degree or value it bears. And when once a man hath thus peremptorily refolved to give himself this law, and hath a little while inured himfelf to the practice of it, he will find it easy and familiar.
This will better appear in the feveral inftances of the feveral affections or paflions of the mind; principally in thofe of love and hatred, or anger, joy and forrow, hope and fear.
1. The affection of love, is the principal and govern, ning affection of the mind, and the root of all other paffions: For whatsoever I love, renders that hateful and difpleafing, which either prevents me from it, or deprives me of it; and fo occafions the paffions of hatred or anger: Whatfoever I love, makes me joyful or delighted in the enjoyment of it, or forrowful in the lofs or deprivation of it; and fo produceth joy and forrow: Whatfoever I love, I hope for, if abfent, or I fear the lofs or deprivation of it; and fo produceth hope and fear.
The object of this affection is fomething that is good, or fo apprehended: The greater that good is, the greater is the love of it: Therefore the chiefeft good draws out the chiefest love; and an infinite good and unmeafurable and boundless love: And fince Almighty God is the chiefeft and infinite good, there cannot be any immoderation or excefs of love to him: And therefore this moderation of our affection of love, hath no place in relation to my love of God, for I cannot love him too much. But this moderation of this affection principally refpects the good things of this world; as Wealth, Honour, Power, Reputation, Relations, Friends, Health of Body, Pleasures, and External Contentments, Recreations, Good Cloaths, Equipage and State, and fuch like.
Thefe good things of this life, have in themselves a juft measure of good, and therefore, according to that
measure of good that is in them; they referve a proportionable measure of our love; for external bleffings are really bleffings.
And among the feveral good things of this world, there are feveral ranks and degrees of good; fome are good, fome are better; and accordingly the proportion or meafure of love that I lend to them, is to be moderated and diftributed, and expreffed, according to the different degrees and ranks of good that we find in them, or the relation they bear to me; for inftance, I may love wealth, but fince wealth is but a useful inftrument directed to other ends as to fupport my life, my health, my relations, I am to love it lefs than thefe, because these are more valuable, and my wealth is only defirable or good to these ends and fubordinate uses.
Moderation of affection of love in relation to externals, confifts therefore principally in thefe things.
1. That we have a just estimate of the good that is in the thing that we fet our love upon, and that we do not over-value them, or expect that good to be in them that really is not; we must look upon them as they are; it may be they are fuch as have not a perfect fincere good in them, but a mixture of evil; or fuch as have not a ftable or permanent good in them, but are mutable or mortal, or fuch as have a good in them proportionate only to our prefent condition; and when our condition is altered, the good that is in them vanifheth: And if they be fuch, we must esteem them as fuch, and love them as fuch; and for the most part are all worldly things, health, wealth, friends, relations, nay our very lives.
2. That we look upon all the good that is in the world, as derived from the goodness of God, and infinitely below that good that is in him; and therefore all our love to them must be fubordinate to that love that we owe to God, and must be controled by it, and in all competitions mult give place unto it. Suppose I have great wealth and many relations, I may, nay in
reafon I ought to bear fome love to them; but I must remember it is but a derivative and a fubordinate good, and therefore I must love them with this referve and qualification, that if God pleafe to call for them, I muft quietly part with them; for as I have them under that condition, fo the love I owe to God, the fupreme good, engageth me to fubmit to his will, and to obey it; for if I love him beft, I must be pleased with what his will is pleafed; for I judge him the best good, and therefore his will the beft will; and the good pleafure of his will must be the rule of my fubjection, otherwife his love hath not the pre-eminence.
3. That we make a right, a due comparifon between good things of feveral kinds, and give that the preference in our love, which upon a due judgment ought to be preferred; and this concerns and principally discovers itfelf in the competition of feveral good things, and of our affections to them. The merchant loves his goods well, but in a ftorm, to fave his life, is content to throw his goods over-board. And the exercife of wifdom in this kind, principally confifts in the due weighing the feveral values of good things of feveral natures, and ranging of them in their feveral ranks; and alfo in the diligent confideration of the feveral circumftances that accompany feveral things: for many times fome good things that are in themselves preferable before others, receive an abatement and allay by circumstances; and others lefs preferable, receive an advance by the circumstances that attend them. 1. Therefore touching the different ranks of things themselves, in matters of my own private concernment. I am to prefer my foul, and the good thereof, before all my external advantages; for what shall a man give in exchange for his foul? I am to prefer the good of my health, beforet he good of my wealth. Again, in things relating to myself and others, I am to prefer the fafety of the state wherein I live, before my wealth, yea and before