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they are essentially different from it, will be most ready to inpose 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, effentially 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 fufficient 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 system. He the more willingly agreed to this, that feve. ral instances have happened, of gentlemen, educated at this college, fignifying, that they thought they had received advantage, in many situations, by recollecting the advices given them at their graduation 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 considerable attention to the course of human affairs, earneftly withing 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 Chriftians.
are universally approved, and wbicla, impiety itself cannot fpeak against; such as truths 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 caft: 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 impreflion on young perfons, 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 abasement 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 confpire in obliging us to ręnounce it.
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 shail we admit that there is beauty and excellence, in it---confefling at the same time, that it does ro' eng to religion, and only fay, that though we wait this, we have many other and better quali ies in its place? To this I can never agree;
for every real excellence is consistent with every other; inay, every real excellence is adorned and illustrated by every other. Vices may
be inconlistent with each other, but virtúes never can. And, therefore, as magnanimity is an amiable and noble quality, one of the greatest ornaments of our nature, fo I affirm that it belongs only to true and undefiled religion, and that every appearance of the one, without the other, is not on ly defective, but falfe.
» The holy fcriptures, 'it is true, do chiefly insist upon what is proper to humble our pride, and to bring us to a just apprehension of our character and state. This was wife and just, becaufe of that corruption and misery into which' we are fallen ;. the contrary would have been unjuít: It is evidently more necessary, in the present state of human nature to restrain pride; than to kindle ambition. But as the fcripture points out our original dignity, and the true glory of our nature, fo every true penitent is there taught to aspire afi ter the noblest character, and to entertain the most exalted hopes. In the paffage 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 importanee of their privileges, which is a short but juft defcription of true and genuine greatness of mind.
My single purpose, from these words, at this time, is to explain and recommend magnanimity as a Christian virtue; and I wilh to do it in fuch a manner, as neither to weaken its lustre, nor ad. mit 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 it precepts of meekness, humility, and paffive fubinillion to injury, has destroyed that nobleness of sentiment, which rendered the ancients fo illuftrious, and gives so much majesty and dignity to the histories of Greece and Rome. In opposition to this, I hope to be able to flew that real greatnefs is infeparable from fincere piety, and that any defcet in the one, muft neceffarily be a difcernable blemish in the other. With this view, I will, first, give you the principles of magnanimiix in general, as a natural quality ; secondly, I , will shew what is necessary to give it real value, as á moral virtue ; and, thirdly, thew that it thines with the most perfect brightnefs as a Chrif1 ian grace; after, 'will improve the subject, by a practical application of what may be faid for your instruction and direction.i
First, then, let me state the principles of magnanjinity, 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 sensible qualities, fo there is a real character of greatness, or meaniness, applicable to the mind, distinct from its otlier qualities or powers. It is, however, I apprehend, a fimple
impreffion, which cannot be explained or further analized, but may eafily be felt, and is best illustrated by its effectsası Thefe may be summed up in the following particulars : ito magnanimity it belongeth to attempt; I. Great and difficult things; 2. To afpire after great and valuable porfeffions.; 3. To encounter dangers with resolution ; 4. To struggle against difficulties with perfeverance; and, 5. To bear fufferings with fortitude and patience." },
16. "It belongs to magnanimity to attempt great and difficult things. Those who, from a love of floth and eafe, neglect the exercise or improvement of their powers; and those who apply them with ever so great affiduity and attention, to things mean or of small confequence, are plainly destitute of this quality. We perceive a meanness and want of spirit in this respect, when particular perfons 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, lofes them through neglect, or deftrays them by the most grovelling fenfuality, we say he is aéting below himself. The coni trary of this, therefore, or the vigorous. exertion of all our powers, and particularly, the applica