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they are essentially different from it, will be most ready to impose on an uncautious and unsuspecting! mind. Therefore, if there is such a thing as a worldly virtue, a system of principles and duty, dictated by the spirit of the world, and the standard of approbation or blame with the men of the world, and if this is at bottom, essentially different from and sometimes directly opposed to the spirit of the gospel, it must be of all others, the most dangerous temptation, to persons of a liberal education and an ingenuous turn of mind.
This, if I am not mistaken, is really the case. There are fome branches of true religion which
thing that he thought of sufficient importance to find a place in it, and the length of the piece having become such as not easily to admit of its being all pronounced in one day, especially the day of commencement, he has been induced to publish it together with the fermon which accompanied it, when first prepared and reduced to a regular fyftem. He the more willingly agreed to this, that feveral instances have happened, of gentlemen, educat. ed at this college, fignifying, that they thought they had received advantage, in many situations, by recollecting the advices given them at their gra. duation for their conduct in life. He therefore now puts the whole into their hands, and into those of all who are willing to accept of it, as the fruit of , long experience and confiderable attention to the
course of human affairs, earnestly wishing that they may be useful and eminent as citizens, scholars, patriots ; and at the same time beseeching them, that in any or all of thefe characters, they may neither forget nor be ashamed to be Christians.
are universally approved, and which impiety it-'. felf cannot speak against; such as truth and integrity in speech, honesty in dealing, humanity and compaflion to persons in distress. But there are other particulars, in which the worldly virtue and the Christian virtue seem to be different things. Of these, I shall select one, as an example, viz. Spirit, dignity, or greatness of mind, This seems to be entirely of the worldly cast : it holds a very high place in the esteem of all worldly men ; the boldest pretensions are often made to
it, by those who treat religion with neglect, and · religious persons with disdain, or defiance. It is also a virtue of a very dazzling appearance ; ready to captivate the mind, and particularly, to make a deep impreffion on young persons, when they first enter into life. At the same time, the gofpel seems to stand directly, opposed to it. The humility of the creature, the abafement and contrition of the finner, the dependence and selfdenial of the believer, and above all, the shame and reproach of the cross itself, seem to conspire in obliging us to renounce it. + i
What shall we say then, my brethren ? Shall we say that magnanimity is no virtue at all, and that no such excellence belongs to human nature ? Or shall we admit that there is beauty and excellence in it--confessing at the same time, that it does ro e ng to religion, and only say, that though -we w lit this, we have many other and better quali izs in its place? To this I can never agree ;
for every real excellence is consistent with every other;' nay, every real excellence is adorned and illustrated by every other. Vices may be inconlistent with each other, but virtues never can. And, therefore, as -magnaniinity is an amiable and noble quality, one of the greatest ornainents of our nature, so I affirm that it belongs only to true and undefiled religion, and that every appearance of the one, without the other, is not ons ly defective, but falfen: s1' 57 i
The holy fcriptures, it is true, do chiefly infift upon what is proper to humble our pride, and to bring us to a juft apprehenfion of our character and state. This was wife and just, because of that corruption and misery into which we are fallen ;the contrary would have been unjust: It is evidently more neceffàry, in the present state of human nature to restrain pride; than to kindle ambition. But as the fcripture points out our ori. ginal dignity, and the true glory of our nature, fo every true penitent is there taught to aspire afi ter the nobleft character, and to entertain the most exalted hopes. In the passage which I have chosen as the subject of my discourse, you see the Apostle exhorts the Thessalonians to walk suitably to the dignity of their character, and the importance of their privileges, 'which is a short but juft defcription of true and genuine greatness of mind.
Y, Museo del My single purpose, from these words, at this time, is to explain and recommend magnanimity
minder single purt and recom
as a Christian virtue; and I wish to do it in fuch a manner, as neither to weaken its lustre, nor ada init any degree of that corrupt mixture, by which it is often counterfeited and greatly debased. Some infidels have in terms affirmed, that Chriftianity has banished: magnaminity, and by its precepts of meekness, humility, and paffive subinillion to injury, has destroyed that nobleness of sentiment, which rendered the ancientş, so illustrious, and gives so much majesty and dignity to the histories of Greece and Rome. In opposition to this, I hope to be able to fbew that real greatnefs is infeparable from fincere piety, and that any defcet in the one, must necessarily be a difcernable blemish in the other. With this view, I will, first, give you the principles of magnanimity in general, as a natural quality ; fecondly, I, will shew what is neceffary to give it real value, 25 å moral virtue; and, thirdly, thew that it hines with the most perfect brightness as a Chrifa tian grace; after, will improve the fubject, by a practical application of what may be faid for your instruction and direction.' is ; : . .
First, then, let me state the principles of magnaninity, in general, as a natural quality. I think it must be admitted, that as there is a real difference between bodies as to fize and bulk, as well as other fenfible qualities, so there is a real character of greatness, or meanness, applicable to the mind, distinct from its other qualities or powers. It is, however, I apprehend, a fimple
impression, which cannot be explained or further analized, but may easily be felt, and is best illuftrated by its effects. Thefe may be fummed up in the following particulars : to magnanimity it belongeth to attempt; I. Great and difficult things; 2. To afpire after great and valuable poffestions; 3. To encounter dangers with resolution; 4. To ftruggle against difficulties with perfeverance; and, 15. To bear fufferings with fortitude and patience." }},"
: 1. It belongs to magnanimity to attempt great and difficult things. Those who, from a love of
floth and eafe, neglect the exercise, or improve- ment of their powers; and those who apply them
with ever so great affiduity and attention, to things mean or of small consequence; are plainly destitute of this quality. We perceive a meanness and want of spirit in this respect, when particular per-. fons fall below their rank in life, or when, as is too frequently the cafe in any rank, they fall below human nature itself... When a prince, or other person of the first order and importance in human life; busies himself in nothing but the most trifling amusements, or arts of little value, me call it mean; and when any man, endowed with rational powers, loseşi them through neglect, ori deftrays them by the moft grovelling lenfuality, we say he is acting below himself. The coni trary of this, therefore, or the vigorous. exertion of all our powers, and particularly, the applica
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