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direct one; and would much rather fail of success, than attain it by reproachful means.

He never shews you a smiling countenance, while he meditates evil against you in his heart. He never praises you among your friends; and then joins in traducing you among your enemies. You will never find one part of his character at variance with another. In his manners, he is simple and unaffected; in all his proceedings open and consistent. Such is the man of integrity spoken of in the text.

Let us now proceed to show, in what manner, and with what effect, integrity serves for the guide of his life.

Every one who has begun to make any progress in the world, will be sensible, that to conduct himself in human affairs with wisdom and propriety, is often a matter of no small difficulty. Amidst that variety of characters, of jarring dispositions, and of interfering interests, which take place among those with whom we have intercourse, we are frequently at a stand as to the part most prudent for us to choose. Ignorant of what is passing in the breasts of those around us, we can form no more than doubtful conjectures concerning the events that are likely to happen. They may take some turn altogether different from the course in which we have imagined they were to run, and according to which we had formed our plans. The slightest incident often shoots out into important consequences, of which we were not aware. The labyrinth becomes so intricate, that the most sagacious can lay hold on no clue to guide him through it: He finds himself embarrassed, and at a loss how to act. - In public and in private life, in managing our own concerns; and in directing

those of others, the doubt started by the wise man frequently occurs; Who knoweth what is good for man in this life? While thus fatigued with conjecture, we remain perplexed and undetermined in our choice; we are at the same time pulled to different sides, by the various emotions which belong to our nature. On one hand, pleasure allures us to what is agreeable; on the other, interest weighs us down towards what seems gainful.

Honour attracts us towards what is splendid; and indolence inclines us to what is easy. In the consultations which we hold with our own mind, concerning our conduct, how often are we thus divided within ourselves; puzzled by the uncertainty of future events, and distracted by the contest of different inclinations ?

It is in such situations as these, that the principle of integrity interposes to give light and direction. While worldly men fluctuate in the midst of those perplexities which I have described, the virtuous man has one Oracle, to which he resorts in every dubious case, and whose decisions he holds to be infallible. He consults his conscience. He listens to the voice of God. Were it only on a few occasions that this Oracle could be consulted, its value would be less. But it is a mistake to imagine, that its Responses are seldom given. Hardly is there any material transaction whatever in human life, any important question that holds us in suspense as to practice, but the difference between right and wrong will show itself; and the principle of integrity will, if we listen to it impartially, give a clear decision. Whenever the mind is divided within itself, conscience is seldom or never neutral. There is always one side or other to which it leans. There is always


one scale .of the balance, into which it throws the weight of some virtue, or some praise ; of something that is just and true, lovely, honest, and of good report. These are the forms, which rise to the observation of the upright man. By others they may be unseen, or overlooked ; but in his eye, the lustre of virtue out-shines all other brightness. Wherever this pole-star directs him, he steadily holds his course.

Let the issue of that course be ever so uncertain ; let his friends differ from him in opinion ; let his enemies clamour; he is not moved; his purpose is fixe . He asks but one question of his heart, What is the most worthy and honourable part? What is the part most becoming the station which he possesses, the character which he wishes to bear, the expectations which good men entertain of him? Being once decided as to this, he hesitates no

He shuts his ears against every solicitation. . He pursues the direct line of integrity, without turning either to the right hand or to the left. “ It is “ the Lord who calleth., Him I follow. Let him “ order what seemeth good in his sight.” It is in this manner that the integrity of the upright acts as their guide.


But as, upon a superficial view, it may appear hazardous to place ourselves entirely under such a guide, let us now proceed to consider what can be said in defence of this plan of conduct, and what advantages serve to recommend it. *. In the first place, I affirm, that the guidance of integrity is the safest under which we can be placed ; that the road in which it leads us is, upon the whole, the freest from dangers. Perfect immunity from

danger is not to be expected in this life. We can choose no path, in which we may not meet with disappointments and misfortunes. Our life, at the best, is a pilgrimage, and perils surround it. Against these perils, the men of the world imagine that craft and dexterity furnish the best defence; and if, in any instance, they over-reach the upright, they consider it as a manifest decision in favour of their plan. But, instead of resting on a few instances, let us take an extensive survey of the course of human affairs. Let us enquire who the persons are that, in all the different lines of life, have gone through the world with most success; and we shall find, that the men of probity and honour form by far the most considerable part of the list ; we shall find that men of plain understanding, acting upon fair and direct views, have much oftener prospered, than men of the deepest policy, who were devoid of principle. How few are the instances of persons who, by fidelity, worth, and stedfast adherence to their duty, have either lost their fortunes, or incurred general displeasure, in times when human affairs were proceeding in their ordinary train ? But how numerous and frequent are the examples of those whose prospects have been blasted, whose circumstances have been ruined, and their names sunk into contempt, by vice and dishonesty?

The man of the world aims at higher things, and more rapid success, than the man of moderation and virtue. But, at the same time, he incurs greater risks and dangers. No calculation of probabilities can insure safety to him who is acting a deceitful part. Amidst the unforeseen vicissitudes of the world, he has to dread not only disappointment to his

plans, but the miseries also which detected fallacies may bring on his head. He walks on the edge of precipices, where a single false step may be fatal. He follows a wandering light, which, if it fail of guiding him by a short path to the palace of ambition, lands him in the pit, or the lake. Whereas he who follows the guidance of integrity, walks in the high road on which the light of the sun shines. He sees before him the habitation of peace to which his steps are directed; and if he be longer in arriving at it, he is sure of neither wandering far astray, nor of meeting on his road with any forms of unusual

Let it be always remembered, that the principle of integrity which directs a good man, is far from excluding prudence in the conduct of life. It implies no improvident or thoughtless simplicity. On the contrary, it is closely connected with true wisdom. A man of enlarged capacity, and extensive views, is always upright. Craft is merely the supple. ment of inferior abilities. It characterises a narrow comprehension, and a little mind. — As the path of integrity is on the whole the safest path of conduct ; so,


In the second place, it is unquestionably the most honourable. Integrity is the foundation of all that is high in character among mankind. Other qualities may add to its splendour; but, if this essential requisite be wanting, all their lustre fades. Were I drawing the character of one who claimed the admiration of the world; and after I had ascribed to him eloquence, valour, and every endowment that is most shining and captivating, did I add, that he was a man of too much art to be trusted, I appeal to

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