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it is often refused to it by men of the world. Their notions of honour are apt to run in a very different channel. Wherever religion is mentioned, they connect it with ideas of melancholy and dejection, or of mean and feeble spirits. They perhaps admit that it may be useful to the multitude, as a principle of restraint from disorders and crimes; and that to persons of a peculiar turn of mind it may afford consolation under the distresses of life: but from the active scenes of the world, and from those vigorous exertions which display to advantage the human abilities, they incline totally to exclude it. It may soothe the timid or the sad: But they consider it as having no connection with what is proper to raise men to honour and distinction. I shall now endeavour to remove this reproach from religion; and to shew, that in every situation in human life, even in the highest stations, it forms the honour, as well as the happiness of


But first, let us be careful to ascertain what true religion is. I admit that there is a certain species of religion, (if we can give it that name), which has no claim to such high distinction; when it is placed wholly in speculation and belief, in the regularity of external homage, or in fiery zeal about contested opi

nions. From a superstition inherent in the human mind, the religion of the multitude has always been tinctured with too much of this spirit. They serve God as they would serve a proud master, who may be flattered by their prostrations, appeased by their gifts, and gained by loud protestations of attachment to his interest, and of enmity to all whom they suppose to be his foes. But this is not that wisdom to which Solomon ascribes, in the text, such high prerogatives. It is not the religion which we preach, nor the religion of Christ. That religion consists in the love of God and the love of man, grounded on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer of the world, the Intercessor for the penitent, and the Patron of the virtuous; through whom we enjoy comfortable access to the Sovereign of the universe in the acts of worship and devotion. It consists in justice, humanity, and mercy; in a fair and candid mind, a generous and affectionate heart; accompanied with temperance, self-government, and a perpetual re-gard in all our actions to conscience and to the law of God. A religious, and a thoroughly virtuous character, therefore, I consider as the same.

By the true honour of man is to be under

stood, not what merely commands external respect, but what commands the respect of the heart; what raises one to acknowledged eminence above others of the same species; what always creates esteem, and in its highest degree produces veneration. The question now before us is, From what cause this eminence arises? By what means is it to be attained?

I say, first, from riches it does not arise. These, we all know, may belong to the vilest of mankind. Providence has scattered them among the crowd with an undistinguishing hand, as of purpose to shew of what small account they are in the sight of God. Experience every day proves that the possession of them is consistent with the most general contempt. On this point, therefore, I conceive it not necessary to insist any longer.

Neither does the honour of man arise from mere dignity of rank or office. Were suchdistinctions always, or even generally, obtained in consequence of uncommon merit, they would indeed confer honour on the character. But, in the present state of society, it is too well known that this is not the case. They are often the consequence of birth alone.

They are sometimes the fruit of mere dependence and assiduity. They may be the recompence of flattery, versatility, and intrigue; and so be conjoined with meanness and baseness. of character. To persons graced with noble birth, or placed in high stations, much external honour is due. This is what the subordination of society necessarily requires; and what every good member of it will cheerfully yield. But how often has it happened that such persons, when externally respected, are, nevertheless, despised by men in their hearts; nay, sometimes execrated by the public? Their elevation, if they have been unworthy of it, is so far from procuring them true honour, that it only renders their insignificance, perhaps their infamy, more conspicuous. By drawing attention to their conduct, it discovers, in the most glaring light, how little they deserve the station which they possess.

I must next observe, that the proper honour of man arises, not from some of those splendid actions and abilities which excite high admiration. Courage and prowess, military re nown, signal victories and conquests, may render the name of a man famous, without rendering his character truly honourable. To many brave men, to many heroes renowned

in story, we look up with wonder. Their exploits are recorded. Their praises are sung. They stand as on an eminence above the rest of mankind. Their eminence, nevertheless, may not be of that sort before which we bow with inward esteem and respect. Something more is wanted for that purpose than the conquering arm and the intrepid mind. The laurels of the warrior must at all times be dyed in blood, and bedewed with the tears of the widow and the orphan. But if they have been stained by rapine and inhumanity; if sordid avarice has marked his character, or low and gross sensuality has degraded his life; the great hero sinks into a little man, What at a distance, or on a superficial view, we admire, becomes mean, perhaps odious, when we examine it more closely. It is like the colossal statue, whose immense size struck the spectator afar off with astonishment; but when nearly viewed, it appears disproportioned, unshapely, and rude,

Observations of the same kind may be applied to all the reputation derived from civil accomplishments; from the refined politics of the statesman; or the literary efforts of genius and erudition. These bestow, and, within certain bounds, ought to bestow, eminence and distinction on men. They discover ta

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