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quent defences of ourselves to ust soon cease. Death stiffens the smooth tongue of flatteny, and blots out, with one stroke, all the ingenious excuses, which we have spent our lives in framing. At the marriage supper, the places of those who refused to come, were soon filled by a multitude of delighted guests. Tbe God of Heaven needs not our presence to adorn his table, for whether we accept, or whether we reject bis gracious invitation, whether those who were bidden taste or not of his supper, his house shall be filled. Though many are called and few chosen, yet Christ has not died in vain, religion is not without its witnesses, or heaven without its inhabitants. Let us then remember, that one thing is needful, and that there is a better part than all the pleasures and selfish pursuits of this world, a part which we are encouraged to secure, and which can never be taken away.

SERMON V.

JOHN XII. 43.

YOR TABY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORS THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD.

It is one of the distinguishing traits in the christian scheme of morals, that it no where enjoins the love of human estimation as a principle of action. Very rarely is the approbation even of good men, much less the applause of the many, mentioned as a desirable reward of good deeds. But if we only turn from the discipline and the precepts of the gospel to the systems of ancient and of modern education, what prodigious importance is given to a motive, of which, in the precepts of our Saviour, there cannot be found the trace of commendation. By the hope of honour and the fear of shame is many a child governed, many a school regulated, many a capacity exercised, and many a mature character affected and modified. So little has the real value of this principle been fairly weighed, that the love of human estimation is tenderly fostered in the infant, as soon as it is capable of attending to the opinions of those about it ; and the anxious parent never feels more delight, than upon perceiving the first pulse of ambition to beat in the heart of the child. The love of fame, thus early encouraged, has been called by one of the most sober of our satirists, the universal pas

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sion. By some moralists it has been recommended generally, as the spring of all that is great and glorious in character; by others it is restricted to particular spheres of action, and cautiously directed to certain valuable objects; by others it is discountenanced only when it rises to a ridiculous excess; but by the great moralist of the gospel it is passed over in silence, or mentioned only to be depreciated.

Let us, then, look narrowly into this principle, which insinuates itself so early, and with such honourable pretensions, which spreads through such a variety of character, which domineers with such authority, always in the weak, sometimes in the wise, always in the worldly, and too often in the saint. In this discourse we propose to consider, first, the nature of this passion, and some of the varieties of its operation ; secondly, we shall endeavour candidly to acknowledge all its real utility as a motive of action; thirdly, we shall mark out some of those limits within which it ought to be restrained; and fourthly, suggest some considerations, by wbich its influence on our own hearts may be diminished.

1. Let us attend to the nature of this passion, and the different modes in which it discovers itself. By the love of human estimation we mean every degree of regard to the opinion of the world, from the passion of glory, which mounts up into the fancy of the conqueror, to the dread of shame, which endeavours to hide itself in the heart of the coward. In some or other of its various modifications, it is perhaps inseparable from man as a social being. Besides the immense domain in which it exerts itself, its very entrance into the heart is the most insinuating and honourable. To know what others think of us, is one of the earliest employments of our curiosity. It is discovered in children, as soon as they begin to mix with their fellows. Then appear the little struggles for eminence, and the jealousy of attentions

paid to others. Presently, the heart, unsatisfied with love, looks out for applause; the eye begins to sparkle with the pride of dress, the ear is pampered with flatteries of foolieb friends, and expressions of injudicious praise which fall even from the lips of the wise, so that the desire of admiration grows even under the caresses of the parent. Soon comes the age of instruction. At the lap of the mistress, the little pupil is almost taught to speak by the love of disa tinction; and from this time forward the whole system of education is constructed on the application of this equivocal principle. All our arts of discipline, and all our schemes of tuition are calculated to excite instead of regulating emulation. If we can but make this passion effervesce in the youthful breast, our hopes brighten and our care is rewarded. Presently it begins to break out in vanity, which we mistake for knowledge; in garrulity and impudence, which we indulge as the symptoms of a forward capacity. Soon after, it discovers itself in the young man in the shape of honour. It begins to affect an excessive delicacy of reputation, and explodes in a passion at the touch of insolence, or at the applicarion of reproof. In some, it branches out in the love of show, and follows obsequiously the ever-changing dictates of fashion. Under the disguise of making what is called a good appearance in the world, it obtains its greatest triumph. Avarice is compelled sometimes to yield to the love of ostentation; and all our noble and ignoble propensities are sacrificed-at the shrine of credit in the world.

It follows us also into all the professions and occupations of life. It labours with tbe artisan in his shop, and there polishes and perfects the productions of bis industry; it retreats with the student to his closet, and there strikes out the scintillations of bis genius. In our hours of relaxation this principle is busy. It discovers itself perpetually in common con

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versation, in our petty contests for victory, in our elevated voices, in our eager display of wit, in the quick retort and noisy and disputatious triumph. Go out into the forum, and you will hear it baranguing elaborately with the utmost appearance of disinterestedness ; into the popular assembly, and you find it flourisbing in declamation In public life it shoots out into extravagances which are sometimes called greatness.

In the conqueror, for instance, it towers into the love of glory. It displays itself in deeds, at which tbe multitude stands aghast with astonishment, the political moralist is bewildered and besitates, deeds, about which the opinions of posterity may be divided according to their hereditary prejudices, but on which the christian in every age will dare to dook down with horror and contempt..

From tbis dazzling discovery of the love of buman estimation in the conqueror, descend and mark its influence among mankind in the less observed character of the dread of shame. Here you may see it keeping men back from the ordinances of the gospel; and there suppressing the acknowledgments which they owe to God in their families and in their closels, disturbing us with perpetual fear of being singular, and bringing even serious men insensibly down to the level of corrupt manners, which they cannot approve.

Is it true, then, that a passion of such powerful and various operation, as that we have now been considering, is no where recommended in scripture as a motive of action ? Are we no where referred to the opinion of the world, no where expostulated with from a regard 10 reputation ? Are there no appeals made by any of the messengers of God's will to our sense of shame, to our pride, to our ambition, to our vanity ? Certain it is, that such appeals are at least rarely to be met with. Our Saviour, indeed, appears to have thought it hazardous, in any degree,

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