12c / 13a
12c / 13a
“It is just we should have a superior tenderness from a father, a wife, a child, or a friend; but there is a sort of affection which we owe to all mankind, as being members of the same family, of which God is the creator and father. let us illustrate this by the circular undulations which the fall of a stone causes on the surfis [surface] of a clear and tranquil water, the agitation in the center, by communicating itself afar off, forms a great number of trembling circles, the faintness of whose impression is in [the] proportion to the largeness of their circumstance till the last seems to escape from our sight, Here is an image of the different degrees of our affections. We love principally that which touches us the most nearly; and less and less, in proportion to the distance [.] We consider mankind, with relation to us, as divided into different classes; every one of which increasingly gradually, consists of great numbers than the former: we place ourselves in the smallest, which is surrounded by others more extended; and from thence distribute to the different orders of men which they contain, different degrees of affection, more or less strong, in proportion to the distance from us, in such a manner, as that the last has hardly any share of it.
“12c / 13a,” Reading the Commonplace, accessed October 4, 2023, http://readingthecommonplace.cassidyholahan.com/cms/items/show/68.