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THE FIRST VOLUME.
LETTER III. Same subject continued - Idea of accountable
ness - how first acquired -- Accountableness to God - The importance of this principle illustrated necessary to all — peculiarly necessary to the Great . . . . . 26
LETTER IV. A belief in the presence of God, a practical
principle necessarily connected with the idea of accountableness — The comfort arising from this belief in the presence of the Deity - Con. fidence which it inspires in God, as watehing over our temporal and eternal welfare • 43
LETTER V. Same subject continued - Advantages resulting
from the early cultivation of feelings and habits of devotion - Prayer - considered as a mean of fixing a sense of the Divine Presence in the mind - the reason why it sometimes fails in producing this eff.ct - Advantages of studying the works of God in the volume of creation Natural history recommended - - 55
LETTER LETTER VI.
Examination of the principles of truth and jus
tice — Tendency of the passions to mislead from truth — Belief in the presence of God the best security against being thus misled - Principles of houour, when founded merely on a regard to the opinion of thc world, how little to be depended on — A sense of the Divine Presence essential to the formation of a strict principle of justice - - - - 73
LETTER VII. Consideration of the objections commonly urged
against the practice of sincerity - Sincerity not incompatible with politeness — Of dissimulation in its various modifications - All dissimu, lation repugnant to moral rectitude - Of the obligation to justice and candour in forming an estimate of the merits of others — Of the tur. pitude of detraction and calumny - Of the perverse misrepresentations arising from misconception and inaccuracy of the spurious candour subversive of moral principle
Advantages attending the practice of charity i and forbearance - Of the common propensity
to receive impressions to the prejudice of others - various sources of this propensity in different characters — shewn to be inimical to moral improvement — Of the supposed disadvantages resulting from the opposite propensity - A tendency to receive favourable impressions of others, productive of the benevolent affections, and conducive to happiness — Of the obligation to make a proper use of influence — Of different degrees of influence — Of the personal influence common to individuals in every situation in life – Of the influence derived from birth, fortune, rank, talents, virtue — Of the relative duties attached to the acquisition of influence
- its important operation in society - Of the obligation to resist motives of a selfish nature - Personal satire — why objectionable – The practice of self-denial essential to a strict observance of the priociples of justice . 91
, LETTER VIII.
Importance of forming a correct standard of
moral rec'itude — Necessity of regulating the conduct by fixed principles — Imro al and unjust actions produced in feeble characters by the want of fixed principles — Illustratiur by a familiar narrative - - - - 121