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humility, which implies not a concealment of pride, but an absolute conquest over the first risings of it which are felt in the heart of man.
And, first, one of the most persuasive arguments which religion offers to this end, is that which arises from the state and condition of ourselves, both as to our natural and moral imperfections. It is impossible to reflect a moment upon this hint, but with a heart full of the humble exclamation, “ O God! “ what is man !--even a thing of nought !"--a poor, infirm, miserable, short-lived creature, that passes away like a shadow, and is hastening off the stage where the theatrical titles and distinctions, and the whole mask of pride which he has worn for a day will fall off, and leave him naked as a neglected slave ! Send forth your imagination, I beseech you, to view the last scene of the greatest and proudest who ever awed and governed the world,see the empty vapour disappearing ! one of the arrows of mortality this moment sticks fast within him ! see! -it forces out his life, and freezes his blood and spirits !
-Approach his bed of state-lift up the curtain, -regard a moment with silence.
-Are these cold hands and pale lips all that is left of him who was canonized by his own pride, or made a god of by his flatterers ?
O my soul! with what dreams hast thou been bewitched ! how hast thou been deluded by the objects thou hast so eagerly grasped at !
If this reflection from the natural imperfection of man, which he cannot remedy, does nevertheJess strike a damp upon human pride, much more must the considerations do so which arise from the wilful depravations of his nature !
Survey yourselves, my dear christians, a few moments in this light !-behold a disobedient, ungrateful, intractable, and disorderly set of crea. tures, going wrong seven times in a day,--acting sometimes every hour of it against your own convictions--your own interests, and the intentions of your God, who wills and proposes nothing but your happiness and prosperity,what reason does this view furnish you for pride? How many does it suggest to mortify and make you ashamed ?-Well might the son of Sirach say in that sarcastical remark of his upon it. That pride was not made • for man ;'-for some purposes, and for some particular beings, the passion might have been shaped ; -but not for him.-Fancy it where you will, 'tis no where so improper,—'tis in no creature so unbe. coming.
-But why so cold an assent to so incontested a truth ?-Perhaps thou hast reasons to be proud :for Heaven's sake, let us hear them - Thou hast the advantages of birth and title to boast of,-or thou standest in the sunshine of court-favour,-or thou hast a large fortune,mor great talents,-or much learning, or nature has bestowed her graces upon thy person ;-speak,-on which of these foundations hast thou raised this fanciful structure ?-Let us examine them.
Thou art well-born :-then trust me, 'twill pollute no one drop of thy blood to be humble: humi. lity calls no man down from his rank,-divests not princes of their titles; it is in life what the clear obscure is in painting; it makes the hero step forth in the canvas, and detaches his figure from the group in which he would otherwise stand confound. ed forever.
If thou art rich,--then shew the greatness of thy fortune,or, what is better, the greatness of thy soul in the meekness of thy conversation ; condescend to men of low estate,-support the distressed, and patronize the neglected.-Be great; but let it be in considerinz riches as they are; as “tal& ents committed to an earthen vessel :"_that thou art but the receiver;--and that to be obliged, and to be vain too,-is but the old solecism of pride and beggary, which, though they often meet-yet ever make but an absurd society.
If thou art powerful in interest, and standest deified by a servile tribe of dependants,“why shouldest thou be proud--because they are hungry?Scourge me such sycophants : they have turned the heads of thousands as well as thine.
- But 'tis thy own dexterity and strength which have gained thee this eminence :-allow it :-but art thou proud that thou standest in a place where thou art the mark of one man's envy, another man's malice, or a third man's revenge ?-where good men may be ready to suspect thee, and whence bad men will be ready to pull thee down ?-I would be proud of nothing that is uncertain. Haman was so, because he was admitted alone to queen Esther's banquet; and the distinction raised him ; but it vas fifty cubits higher than he ever dreamt or thought of.
Let us pass on to the pretences of learning, &c. &c. If thou hast a little, thou wilt be proud of it in course : if thou hast much, and good sense along with it, there will be no reason to dispute against the passion : a beggarly parade of remnants is but a sorry object of pride at the best ;- but more so when we can cry out upon it, as the poor man did of his hatchet Alas! Master,—for it was borrow
It is treason to say the same of beauty,--whatever we do of the arts and ornaments with which pride is wont to set it off : the weakest minds are most caught with both ; being ever glad to win attention and credit from small and slender accidents, -through disability of purchasing them by better
In truth, beauty has so many charms, one knows rot how to speak against it; and when it happens that a graceful figure is the habitation of a virtuous soul ; when the beauty of the face speaks out the modesty and humility of the mind, and the justness of the proportion raises our thoughts up to the art and wisdom of the great Creator, some thing may be allowed it, and something to the embellishments which set it off ;-and yet, when the whole apology is read, it will be found at last, that beauty, like truth, never is so glorious as when it goes the plainest.
Simplicity is the great friend to nature ; and if I would be proud of any thing in this silly world, it should be of this honest alliance.
Consider what has been said ; and may the God of all mercies and kindness watch over your passions, and inspire you " with all humbleness of « mind, meekness, patience, and long-suffering." Amen.
* 2 Kings vi. 7.
MATTHEW XI. 29.
Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart ; and ye shall find
rest unto your souls.
The great business of maa, is the regulation of his spirit! the possession of such a frame and temper of mind as will lead us peaceably through this world, and in the many weary stages of it, afford us what we shall be sure to stand in need of,—“Rest « unto our souls."
-Rest unto our souls !tis all we want the end of all our wishes and pursuits : give us a prospect of this, we take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth to have it in possession : we seek for it in titles, in riches, and pleasures ;-climb up after it by ambition ;-come down again and stoop for it by avarice ;-try all extremes; still we are gone out of the way; nor is it till after many miserable experiments that we are convinced at last we have been seeking every where for it but where there is a prospect of finding it ; and that is, within ourselves, in a meek and lowly disposition of heart. This, and this only, will give us rest unto our souls :-rest from those turbulent and haughty passions which disturb our quiet ;rest from the provocations and disappointments of the world, and a train of untold evils too long to be