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excite such impressions, work so instantaneous an effect, that you would think the will was scarce concerned, and that the mind was altogether passive in the sympathy which her own goodness has excited. The truth is—the soul is generally in such cases so busily taken up and wholly engrossed · by the object of pity, that she does not attend to her own operations, or take leisure to examine the principles upon which she acts.
How difficult you will find it to convince a miserly heart, that any thing is good which is not profitable ! or a libertine one, that any thing is bad, which is pleasant !
The proud man,
,-see!-he is sore all over : touch him-you put him to pain ; and though, of all othiers, he acts as if every mortal was void of sense and feeling, yet is possessed with so nice and exquisite a one himself, that the slights, the little neglects, and instances of disesteem, which would be scarce felt by another man, are perpetually wounding him, and ofttimes piercing him to the
Pride is a vice which grows up in society so insensibly,-steals in unobserved upon the heart upon so many occasions ;-forms itself upon such strange pretensions, and when it has done, veils itself under such a variety of unsuspected appear. ances,--sometimes even under that of Humility itself;-in all which cases, Self-love, like a false friend, instead of checking, most treacherously feeds this humour,-points out some excellence in every soul to make him vajn, and think more highly of himself than he ought to think ;-that upon the whole, there is no one weakness into which the heart of man is more easily betrayedor which requires greater helps of good sense and good principles to guard against.
O God! what is man!-even a thing of noughta 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 bim : see--it forces out his life, and freezes his blood and spirits.
Approach lis bed of state lift up the curtainregard a moment with silence
Are these cold hands, and pale lips, all that are
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 imperfections of man, which he cannot remedy, does nevertheless strike a damp upon human pride, much more must the considerations do so, which arise from the wilful depravations of his nature.
Survey yourselves a few moments in this lightbehold a disobedient, ungrateful, untractable, and disorderly set of creatures, going wrong seven times a day,-acting sometimes every hour of it against your own convictions, your own interests, and the intentions of your God, who wills and purposes 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 Syrach say, in that sarcastical remark of his upon it, That pride was not made for man--for some purpose, 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 unbecoming.
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-Thon 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-or 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 : humility calls no man down from his rank,—divests not princes of their titles; it is like what the clear obscure is in painting ; it makes the hero step forth in the canvass, and detaches his figure from the group in which he would otherwise stand con. founded for ever.
If thou art rich—then show 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 considering riches as they are, as talents committed to in 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 shouldst 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? | yould be proud of nothing that is uncertain :
Alaman was so, because he was admitted alone to queen Esther's banquet; and the distinction raised him,—but it was fifty cubits higher than he ever dreamed 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 borrowed *.
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 acci. dents, through disability of purchasing them by better means.
So great are the difficulties of tracing out the hidden causes of the evils to which this frame of ours is subject,—that the most candid of the profession have ever allowed and lamented how unavoidably they are in the dark.-So that the best medicines, administered with the wisest heads, shall often do the mischief they were intended to prevent.
* 2 Kings vi. 5.