Front Page Titles (by Subject) Corolary III - The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy
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Corolary III - George Turnbull, The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy 
The Principles of Moral and Christian Philosophy. Vol. 2: Christian Philosophy, ed. and with an Introduction by Alexander Broadie (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
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From the preceding reasonings it plainly follows, that all positive and ritual observances must be subordinate to the practice of moral virtues. The latter is the end, and the former can be considered only as<380> the means to the latter, and therefore are only valuable in proportion to their conduciveness to that end. This is too evident to be insisted upon. And it is the express doctrine of christianity concerning the few positive duties commanded or recommended by it.a Certain duties of a moral nature, that is, resulting from certain relations of beings to one another, may be only discoverable by revelation. But such duties cannot be called positive in any other sense, but that the discovery of the relation upon which they are founded, or from which they naturally and necessarily arise, is owing intirely to revelation, and could not have been made without it. The relation being known, the duties resulting from it are deducible from it by reason, in the same way that other duties are inferred from relations known without revelation, or by experience and reasoning from experience. And therefore the relation being known, such duties are moral duties, which differ from other moral duties in no other respect, but that the relations whence they result are not known in the same way that the relations are known whence other moral duties are inferred, but are relations made known to us merely by revelation. But it is sufficient to my purpose to have just suggested this observation; my design not being to enquire further into christianity, than to discover what it represents to us as the chief end of man; or in what it places the perfection of virtue and goodness. Now, our Saviour and his apostles often declare to us in the strongest terms, that they who place religion in any thing else but virtue deceive themselves: that nothing else can recommend us to the divine favour, or prepare us for eternal happiness in another life. Many passages to this effect have been already quoted, I shall therefore only add two more. “Lay apart, says St. James,a all filthiness and superfluity<381> of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls; but be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was; but whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, not being a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, that man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man amongst you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” And our Saviour himself expresly declares,b “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” The plain meaning of which assertion is, that all duties of a ritual nature and positive appointment are subordinate to moral duties, and only commanded for the present use of man, to be subservient and assisting to the more convenient practice of the duties of religion, of perpetual and indispensable obligation. That it must be so in the nature of things, is as evident as that the perfection of a reasonable creature must consist in the perfection of his moral powers; and that means to promote his perfection can only be of use or value in proportion as they contribute toward that end. And shall it be reckoned an absurdity in every case but that alone, which is of the greatest importance, to rest in the means?<382>
[a. ]See these few positive duties vindicated, in my Enquiry concerning the connexion between the doctrines and works of Jesus Christ.
[a. ]James i. 21, &c.
[b. ]Mark ii. 27.