When a man's eyes are sore his friends do not let him finger them, however much he wishes to, nor do they themselves touch the inflammation: But a man sunk in grief suffers every chance comer to stir and augment his affliction like a running sore; and by reason of the fingering and consequent irritation it hardens into a serious and intractable evil.
But virtue, by the bare statement of its actions, can so affect men's minds as to create at once both admiration of the things done and desire to imitate the doers of them. The goods of fortune we would possess and would enjoy; those of virtue we long to practise and exercise. We are content to receive the former from others, the latter we wish others to experience from us. Moral good is a practical stimulus; it is no sooner seen, than it inspires an impulse to practice, and influences the mind and character not by a mere imitation which we look at, but by the statement of the fact creates a moral purpose which we form.