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heart of man, the rival and the greatest enemy of the love of God. It was, therefore, all-important for man to know how to regulate that love which he has for himself, and this is what Jesus Christ has taught him in a manner truly worthy of so great a Master. · After all that has been said hitherto, it is self-evident that the love, which man has for himself, cannot be in order, but as far as it is conformable to the nature of man, to the end of man, to the state or condition of man upon earth. We want · but good sense to acknowledge the truth of these principles.
CLXXXIX. First, mån, as we have said above, is composed of a spiritual and immortal soul, and of an organized body. As to his soul, he is the image of God; but as to his body, he differs but little from the brute. It is, therefore, the soul that keeps the first rank in man, the body has but the second. Now order, it will not be questioned, requires it that man should chiefly esteem and love in himself what is more excellent. Let his first care, therefore, be unremittingly to preserve and to perfect in his soul the divine resemblance: by what means? By the study and practice of wisdom. Let him be persuaded that he has no greater interest in this world than that of being faithful to God; upright, just, benevolent, mo- . derate, &c. in a word, as good as he can be, and that in this his true glory and happiness consist. This is what Jesus Christ commands us in these words: “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.»* Let man, however, love his body, but let him love it as subordinate to the soul; let him love it, if I am allowed the expression, but save the rights and the dignity of the soul. Let man preserve his body, but as an instrument which God has given to the soul for the exercise of virtue. Let him, therefore, much more fear to degrade his soul than to hurt his body. Let him even always be ready to deliver up his body to torments and to death, rather than to contaminate his soul with any crime. It is to make us under. stand this truth, that Jesus Christ commands us to bave the
* Math. v. 48.
prudence of the serpent.* This reptile, being attacked, ex-, poses his whole body to the blows, in order to save the head. It is after the same manner that man ought to make no account of the life of his body when he cannot preserve it but by forfeiting the purity of his soul. It is thus that man ought, according to the law of Jesus Christ, to love himself relatively to his nature. : CLXL. Next, man is made to serve God upon earth, and to possess him eternally in heaven. It is but by serving God and by serving him faithfully upon earth, that man can merit to possess God in heaven. These two things are absolutely inseparable. None shall possess God in heaven, but he who shall have served him faithfully upon earth. Whosoever shall have served God with fidelity upon earth, shall enjoy him in heaven. And here we must observe, that those that are rebels to God upon earth, shall not only be deprived of the recompense due to virtue, but shall moreover be punished with all those chastisements which the crime deserves. The gospel abounds with these truths, truths so consoling for the righteous, and so terrible for the wicked.g
Penetrated with these truths, the christian will conclude with
* Math. x. 16.
† “ He that loveth father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me, and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.". Math. x. 37.
"And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.” Math. xviii. 8.
- He that takes not up his cross and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” Math. x.38, 39.
I“Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee the crown of life." Apocal. ii. 10.
“ He that shall persevere unto the end, shall be saved.” Math. x. 22..
8 " Then shall he say to them also that shall be on his left hand : depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels."
“ And these (the wicked) shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting.” Math. xxv. 41. 46.
4 Who shall suffer eternal pains in destruction, from the face of the Lord, and
Jesus Christ, that, therefore, it avails man nothing to gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul; and from that moment, all his desires are directed towards heaven; he will occupy himself but with heaven; he will know no other good but virtue and the good works by which heaven is merited; no other evil than sin by which heaven is lost. He will ever be in the disposition to lose all his goods and to suffer all the evils of this world rather than to commit one mortal sin, which excludes him from heaven. It is to make his disciples feel all the force of these obligations that Jesus Christ said to them, “ lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth ; where the rust and the moth doth consume, and where thieves dig through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor the moth does consume, and where thieves do not dig through and steal."* “ If thy right eye cause thee to offend, pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should go into hell.”+
And if thy right hand cause thee to offend, cut it off and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish than that thy whole body should go into hell." -(Luke xii. 4.) “ And I say to you my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye him who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.”+ It is after this manner that man ought, in conformity with the law of Jesus Christ, to love himself with regard to his end.
CLXLI. Thirdly. In fine, man is created to live upon earth
from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints." II. Thess. i. 9, 10.
6.It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell, into the fire that cannot be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.” Mark ix. 42, 43. Math. iii, 12. Luke iii. 17.
“ Then shall the King say unto them that shall be on his right hand : come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Math. xxv. 34. * Math. vi. 19.
+ Math. v. 29.
I Luke xii. 4, 5.
in society with his fellow men : every man is, therefore, with regard to society, what a member is with regard to the body, and the society is, with regard to every man, what the body is with regard to one single member. Hence it results, that every man has a right to prefer his own temporal interest to the temporal interest of each one of his fellow-men, at least, in the case of an equality of interest; and that he is bound to prefer the general temporal interest of the society to his own personal interest in the same order. And this is what Jesus Christ commands us by these words: “Give to Cæsar what belongs to Cæsar," for, by Cæsar, in this place, we must understand him or those who represent the societies, and exer"cise power in their names, according to the different constitutions of these societies, the kings in monarchies, the magistrates in republics, the grandees in aristocracies. :
CLXLII. But man never owes the sacrifice of his eternal salvation, either to the temporal welfare of individuals, or to that of the society, because the salvation of one single man is infinitely above all the temporal goods of the whole society of man; because salvation is not in the order of those goods which belong to the civil society of man; in fine, because man can never make the sacrifice of his salvation, but by violating some point of the law of God; and it is self-evident, from plain good sense, that it is never lawful to do evil, in order that good may ensue; because, in fine, the first duty of man is to obey God, insomuch, that if a man were able, by one single sin, to prevent the destruction of all mankind, he ought not to commit it. Whence it follows moreover, that man ought not to make the sacrifice of his eternal salvation, even to bring about the eternal salvation of all mankind. Which supposition, however, is manifestly chimerical.
CLXLIII. Still as men are not only united together by the ties of temporal society; but nioreover by those of the spiritual society, and as they ought to love each other chiefly in relation to salvation and as future citizens of heaven, order demands, that every man, when there is need, sacrifice his own tempo. ral interest, and even his own life, not only for the eternal sal
tation of the society, but moreover for that of one single individual of his fellow-men: for it is evident, that the life of a man ought to be accounted for nothing in comparison with the salvation of another man. And this is what Jesus Christ has commanded us when he said, “ The commandment which I give you, is that you love each other as I loved you.” But Jesus Christ loved all men, and each of them in particular to such a degree as to die for their salvation.
Characteristics of the love which man owes to his fellow-crea.
tures according to the law of Jesus Christ.
CLXLIV. We read in the tenth chapter of St. Luke that, after Jesus Christ had declared that the second commandment of the law was this; “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” the teacher of the law, who had first interrogated him, put further this question to him, " And who is my neighbour ?” Jesus Christ answered him by that beautiful and ingenious parable of the charitable Samaritan, which is found in the same chapter, and the morality or natural consequence of which is, that every man ought to consider each one of his fellow-creatures as his neighbour. Thus, according to the law of Jesus Christ, every one is to love not only his parents, his relations, his friends, his benefactors, his fellow-citizens, but all men without exception, because there is none that was not created, as he himself is, to the image of God, none that was not redeemed, as he was, by the death of the Son of God. Every man, it is true, owes a predilection to those of his fellow-men, with whom, in the order of nature, in that of civil society, or in that of religion, he has more immediate and closer relations. But that predilection must not go so far as to exclude any of his fellow-creatures from his affection. It is on this account that Jesus Christ would have us pray each one in the name of all and for all, “ Our Father who art in heaven, do we say
* John xv. 12.