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of each, and qualifying for the observance of each ; were we to conclude from the precise nature of this Samaritan's behaviour in the present instance, that he was a good man in the general sense of the word, and exemplary in the discharge of his other duties, as well as in that of feeling for distress, and sympathizing with a fellow-creature in need of relief: that we see in this benefactor of one poor Jew, a pious worshipper of God, an affectionate husband, a tender father, a faithful friend, a gentle master, a peaceful and obedient subject, a kind and benevolent neighbour.

In the description of his conduct, which takes up the sequel of the narrative, we have a lively illustration both of the passive impression which is wont to be produced on the sympathies of a common nature, by the sight of an object of distress, and of the active tendency, which is naturally the result of that impression, to seek to relieve the suffering which causes it. The Samaritan was moved with pity, on drawing near and beholding the situation of the wounded man; and to be touched with a sense of compassion, under such circumstances, was a spontaneous effect, which no one could help experiencing, who possessed but the common susceptibility of emotion, implanted in the constitution of human nature. His next impulse was to set about to relieve him; and the first natural effect even of the passive impression of sympathy, is active-prompting directly to the removal of the distress which produces itthough not less, perhaps, for the sake of the subject, than for that of the object of the sympathy: for the passive emotion of pity, under such circumstances, is painful and disagreeable; nor can that painfulness and disagreeableness be relieved, except with the removal of the causes which excite them; that is, except with the removal or mitigation of the distress.

To give effect, however, to the active tendencies of the passive emotion, requires the voluntary co-operation of the subject himself. It is as easy to stifle the impulse of pity, as to second and cherish it; and to get rid of the painfulness of the first impression, by turning away from the sight of the misery or suffering which produces it, as by endeavouring to afford it relief. The effects of the Samaritan's compassion were not the mere impulse of natural sympathy with distress; nor were the steps which he took to give his feelings vent, the efforts of one who desired to relieve himself, as quickly as possible, from a mere disagreeable sensation. Such a compassion must have been partial and transient; active indeed while it lasted, but liable to be speedily exhausted; spending itself on its first exertions, and dying away again as soon as born: whereas his was steady and permanent, and still as vigorous and elastic as ever, when the cause which originally produced it (were that any thing but the principle of duty, and the confirmed habit of benevolence itself) must long have ceased to operate.

He forgets, while intent on his charitable work in behalf of a suffering fellow-creature—the danger, to which his personal safety was exposed, by continuing to linger in such a vicinity as this: a danger, of which the spectacle before him would have been a sufficient warning to any whose personal safety, and not the necessities of another in distress, was his first consideration. He forgets too the urgency of his own affairs, which perhaps might not admit of delay while absorbed in the duties of humanity. He expends on the wounded man the oil and wine, doubtless provided for the necessities of his own journey; and if we cannot suppose, that after binding up his wounds and embalming his body, he would leave him as naked and exposed to the cold as before—he must have supplied him with clothing, as well as medicines, from his own stores. When he has restored him to some degree of strength, by this previous, judicious administration of the kind of relief which his situation most required-he places him on his own beast, and walks beside him on foot himself—not ashamed to appear and to act as his servant: and leading him gently along, supporting his weak and tottering frame, he brings him carefully to the first place where he might find both rest and refreshment-an inn, or lodging-place, for the accommodation of travellers and strangers d: he attends on him there through the night; nor is it until the morning, when he might naturally be so far recovered as not to require his personal presence with him any longer—that he thinks of committing him to the care of any other person. Even so, it is only for a time-because the necessity of his affairs requires him to pursue his journey; but he proposes when he returns, to see him, and to attend to him, again. To insure too, the good-will and

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d Inns, Tavdogeia or diversoria, though not so common every where anciently, as they are in modern times, yet were not wanting; especially on the great high-roads, where there was much passing and repassing of strangers. We read in the Acts of the Apostles, of the tres taberna and the Appii forum, as such places on the great via Appia, in the neighbourhood of Rome.


good treatment of the keeper of the inn, in behalf of the patient whom he leaves in his hands, he pays beforehand for all or part of the expenses which might be incurred by proper attentions to him, during his absence : and if more should be necessary, he promises to defray that too. These are a series of natural and consistent circumstances, every one of which bears the stamp of truth; forming altogether a consummate and beautiful picture—every stroke a characteristic feature of the portrait- and the whole delineation as pathetic and affecting, as artless and unostentatious.

Considered as furnishing the proper answer to the question, “ Who is my neighbour ?" the parable inculcates the moral lesson, that every man, who is so situated as to require the good offices of his fellowmen, without regard to place, to nation, to consanguinity, or to any of the ties which connect one man, or more, with a part of mankind more closely than with the rest—and therefore give some, as it would seem, a stronger claim on their sympathies, than is possessed by the rest-must be regarded and treated as their neighbour. It teaches us that in estimating the claims of our fellow-creatures upon our own benevolence, we must pay no regard to mere denominations—to mere accidental and individual distinctions—but attend only to the necessities of

e This sum in the original is expressed by two denaria, that is, about fifteen pence of our money. Such a sum was adequate in these times, to maintain a person six or seven days at least : which is longer than the Samaritan was likely to be absent. In a week's time a person might travel from one end of Judæa to another.

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the case and the reason of things. Are we disposed to allow that the relation of neighbourhood, between whomsoever it exists, conveys a right to receive, on the one hand, and imposes an obligation to bestow, on the other, such and such acts of kindness? would we respect that right, did we know to whom it belonged? would we comply with that obligation, were we certain to what it bound us, and in whose behalf? The parable instructs us, that this right is acquired by any one, who happens to need the assistance of others because of the exigencies of his own situation; that this obligation is entailed on any one, who has it in his power to give present relief where relief is seen to be wanted. The definition of neighbourhood, of its rights and its duties, as applicable to such and such parties reciprocally, is, mutually to stand in need of each other—mutually to be able to help each other. The claims of neighbourhood are therefore resolvable into the claims of a common humanity. The philanthropist as such, the prompt and considerate benefactor of all mankind, is, or will be when there is occasion, their truest and nearest neighbour. We are all neighbours of each other, because we are all fellow-men; we have all a right to the claims of neighbourhood one upon another, because we are all liable to stand in need one of another. Every man, at every time, is virtually a neighbour of the rest; and any man, at a given time, may actually be so: for no man in the present life can be entirely independent of his fellow-creatures, through the whole course of his existence; and no man, however independent of their good offices at one time, but may come to want them at another.

Nor is it in an extreme case merely, like that in

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