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his professions and engagements. He never, in any affair, goes beyond the limits of justice and equity. He never deceives or over-reaches. He is true to his promises, and faithful to every trust reposed in him. All his gains are the gains of virtuous industry. All falsehood and lies, all low cunning and fraudulent practises are his abhorrence:-- In short; he maintains a strict regard to veracity in his words, and to honour in his dealings. He adheres stedfastly in all circumstances to what he judges to be rightest and best; and were it possible for you to look thro' his soul, you would see the love of goodness predominant within him. You would fee benevolence and piety governing his thoughts. You would see him, within the inclosure of his own breast, as honest and worthy as he is on the open stage of the world.
Such is the character of the man who walks uprightly. I am next to shew, you how surely he walks.
In order to acquire a just notion of this, it is proper we should take into confideration, first, the safety which such a person enjoys with respect to the happiness of the present life. Nothing is plainer than that, if we regard only our temporal interest, an upright course is the safest course. In order to be sensible of this, you should think of the troubles which men very often bring upon themselves by deviating from integrity. It is very difficult to go on for any time in dishonesty and falfhood, without falling into perplexity and distress. A man in such a course suspects every body, and is sufpected by every body. He wants the love and esteem of his fellow-creatures. He is obliged to be continually on his guard, and to use arts to evade law and justice. He walks in the dark along a crooked path full of snares and pits.-On the contrary,
, the path of uprightness is strait and broad. It is smooth, open, and easy. He that walks in it walks in the light,
and may go on with resolution and confidence, inviting rather than avoiding the inspection of his fellow-creatures. He is apprehensive of no dangers. He is afraid of no detection. He is liable to none of the causes of shame and disgrace. It is an advantage to him to be observed and watched. The more narrowly his conduct is examined, the more he will be loved and respected.
A person, for instance, who, in the affairs of trade, deviates from truth and honour, is likely to sink into great calamities. Wani, and trouble, and infamy often prove
his lot. Most of us have been witnelies of this. How many instances are there of persons who, forsaking the plain path of uprightness, have entangled themselves beyond the possibility of being extricated, and involved their families in the deepest misery ; but who, probably, had they been honest, would have escaped every difficulty, and passed through life easily and happily. We
know not, indeed, what we do when we
and satisfaction. He that keeps in it will at least avoid the pain of a reproaching conscience. He is sure of enjoying his own approbation ; and it may be expected that his worldly affairs will go on smoothly, quietly, and comfortably.
This puts me in mind of defiiing you to consider particularly, that an upright conduct is commonly the most sure way to obtain success in our worldly concerns. You will observe, that I say it is the most Jure way; not that it is the sortest. There are many more expeditious ways of getting money and acquiring fortunes. He that will violate the rules of justice, or break the laws of his country, or not scruple to
take false oaths, may easily get the start of an upright man, and rise in a little time to wealth and preferment. It is often in a man's power, by a base action, to introduce himself at once into ease and plenty. But wretched are those men who secure any worldly advantages by such methods. There is a canker at the root of their successes and riches. What they gain is unspeakably less than what they lose. It is attended with inward anguish, with the curse of heaven, and inconceivable future danger.-But though it must be thus acknowledged, that there are fborter ways to profit and success than by walking uprightly, there are certainly none so sure. Universal experience has proved that (agreeably to a common and excellent maxim) “ honesty is the best policy.” It may be flow in its operation; and, for this reason, many persons have not patience enough for it. But it is in the end generally certain. An upright man must recommend himself by