habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.? Tito, in George Eliot?s Romola, and Markheim in R. L. Stevenson?s story of that name, are instances of the gradual and almost imperceptible fixation in evil ways which results from seemingly slight original decisions of the will. See art, on Tito Melema, by Julia H. Gulliver, In New World, Dec. 1895:688 ? ?Sin lies in the choice of the ideas that shall frequent the moral life, rather than of the actions that shall form the outward life. The pivotal point of the moral life is the intent involved in attention. Sin consists, not only in the motive, but in the making of the motive.? By every decision of the will in which we turn our thought either toward or away from an object of desire, we set nerve- tracts in operation, upon which thought may hereafter more or less easily travel. ?Nothing makes an inroad, without making a road.? By slight efforts of attention to truth which we know ought to influence us, we may ?make level in the desert a highway for our God?( <234803>Isaiah 48:3), or render the soul a hard trodden ground impervious to ?the word of the kingdom? ( <401319>Matthew 13:19).
The word ?character? meant originally the mark of the engraver?s tool upon the metal or the stone. It came then to signify the collective result of the engraver?s work. The use of the word in morals implies that every thought and act is chiseling itself into the imperishable substance of the soul. J. S. Mill: ?A character is a completely fashioned will.? We may talk therefore of a ?generic volition? (Dewey). There is a permanent bent of the will toward good or toward evil. Reputation is man?s shadow, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, than he is. Character, on the other hand, is the man?s true self ? ?what a man is in the dark? (Dwight L. Moody). In this sense, ?purpose is the autograph of mind.? Duke of Wellington: ?Habit a second nature? Habit is ten times nature!? When Macbeth says: ?If ?t were done when ?t is done, Then ?t were well ?t were done quickly,? the trouble is that when ?t is done, it is only begun. Robert Dale Owen gives us the fundamental principle of socialism in the maxim: ?A man?s character is made for him, not by him.? Hence he would change man?s diet or his environment, as a means of forming man?s character. But Jesus teaches that what defiles comes not from without but from within ( <401518>Matthew 15:18), because character is the result of will, the maxim of Heraclitus is true: h+qov ajnqrw>pw| dai>mwn = man?s character is his destiny. On habit, see James, Psychology, 1:122-127.
D. Will and motives.
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