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his infirmities, failings, and obligations, on the one hand, and sensible, on the other, of what belongs to him as a being poffefsed of upright intentions, destined to glorious purposes, and honoured with inestimable privileges in the creation of God.
But must it not be owned, that Humility has been sometimes accompanied, in the presence of strangers and superiors, with an embarrassment, a perturbation, a terror, extremely prejudicial to success ? Have not bashful youths more especially. been sometimes fo depressed and chilled by their diffidence in the beginning, that they have never been able to furmount it, or its effects, as long as they lived? All this has, no doubt, happened, though the present is not an age in which it is likely to happen very often. The celebrated author before quoted, says, even of Modesty, that “ it has a natural tendency to “ conceal a man's talents; as impudence “ displays them to the utmost, and has
« been the only cause, why many have “ risen in the world under all the disad“s vantages of low birth and little merit.” But he ought to have distinguished between Modesty and want of firmness, between Humility and want of spirit. The one is a virtue; the other, a weakness: the one adds to a man's value; the other takes from its currency. There is a becoming resolution, an ingenuous confidence, in asserting, justifying, defending to the last, what the heart believes to be right and true, that is no way incompatible with an unassuming temper, or an unpretending manner.
It should likewise be observed, that: bashfulness in the extreme may be frequently the result of too anxious, an attention to one's self, too eager an aim to shine. or to please, too quick an apprehension of not appearing to sufficient advantage. He. is, in truth, the humblest man, who wears the garment of Humility with the least. consciousness, and the greatest ease. Vol. II.
It deserves to be added, that, however the empty and the forward may often fucceed, and sometimes divert, they never delight, they often disguft, and commonly at length sink into contempt, at least among persons of discernment. Such will seldom chuse to employ, in business of serious moment, those whose folly and conceit they may sometimes in a vacant hour suffer to amuse them. It is to the folid, the Ateady, the modest, that they will look for afsiftance in cases of importance.
Image to yourselves a youth of this character; and the following account you will, if I mistake not, generally find to be true. He may at setting out work his way fomewhat slowly, as the sober dawn rises by little and little, and softly steals upon the world. But, like it too, his progress will be sure : « his path,” to speak in the sublime language of Solomon, “ is “ as the morning light that thineth more
65 and more, unto the perfect day.” By real, increasing, unoftentatious worth he will silently gain real, increasing, unreludant regard. Free from Pride himself, he will not be apt to hurt the Pride of other men. He will not expofe his weak. nefs by attempting beyond his strength. He will improve on acquaintance, inftead of losing by it; and, in proportion as his merit is discovered, the beft people will be disposed to encourage it for its own fake, and to love him for not proclaiming it. By accepting their kindness as a favour, he will receive the more. Pride cannot stoop to own itself obliged; but Humility is full of gratitude; and gratitude is so very rare, that it is unspeakably pleasing. Who would not confer benefits on a deserving young man, that, instead of faucily confidering them as a debt to which he had a claim, places them with modefty and fenfibility to the credit of his benefactors ? His benefactors will grow in their friendship, when they perceive that he does not grow upon it; and perhaps they will help him forward with the greater zeal, that they are not afraid of his standing in their way.- What shall we say farther? He will do nothing impious, for he remembers his Creator; he will do nothing dishonourable, for he reverences his conscience; and he will do nothing insolent, because he respects mankind. But. who, that beholds such a behaviour, can forbear to approve it? Accordingly, earthand Heaven will smile ; men will patronise, angels will guard, and God will prosper him. Before honour “ is Humi-. « lity; and he that humbleth himself, “ fhall be exalted.”