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temptation. But, as I observed to you with regard to the first principles of morality, there is not a passion in the heart which, if not zealously watched over, will not raise a cloud between us and those hopes, and lead us to forget that this is not the scene of our reward, or of our glory. It is upon this account, that we are taught by our Saviour, to set a strict guard upon those deceitful enemies of our eternal peace, which wage incessant war against the soul. But if instead of combating we encourage them; if instead of endeavouring to subdue their power, we do all we can to increase its strength; how hopeless must be our situation! Whatever circumstances there may be in our lot which have a decided tendency to produce and to inflame these passions, must be considered as placing us in a state of peculiar danger, and therefore as demanding a
peculiar peculiar vigilance. Now I am afraid that we cannot even admit a doubt as to the tendency which the enjoyment of an uncommon portion of the things of this world has, in the point alluded to; and this chiefly arising from the inevitable operation of concomitant circumstances.
A cursory view of the passions that are represented in Scripture as disqualifying us for the kingdom of Heaven, will serve to convince you of the truth of this remark.
Pride, the source of all the malevolent passions, is represented throughout the New Testament as incompatible with the spirit of the tChristian .dispensation: it opposes itself to every Christian virtue, and is inimical to the cultivation of every Christian grace. It is therefore, with great propriety, represented as the enemy of the soul: and it is an enemy no less
deceitful deceitful than inveterate; for there is no describing the variety of forms which it assumes. It often lurks where least suspected, and converts even our very virtues into means of temptation. Whatever tends to increase our power, whether it be external or intellectual, personal or accidental, tends likewise to increase our pride. Nor is it by what augments our power as individuals that pride is only nourished; for so insatiable is its nature, that it appropriates to itself enough to feed on from sources the most remote.
Whatever we can by any means contrive to connect with the idea of self, however slender the connection, is eagerly seized upon, and made use of to give enlargement to that idea; for this is the invariable aim of pride. Hence arises all the eagerness of party. Hence the exaggerated importance given to the opinions that are adopted by the party we embrace: pride seizes upon all the power or influence which that party may acquire, and brings it home to the bosom of every individual of which it is composed, saying, "Lo! is it not thine own?" Nor does a consciousness of individual insignificance step forward to prevent the deception. Indeed, the more insignificant the individual, the more does it feel its want of that ad-' ventitious consequence which may at an easy rate be thus acquired.
I am sorry to say it, but truth obliges me to confess it as my opinion, that the spirit of party has owed most of its female champions to this very circumstance. The consciousness of weakness naturally inclines our sex to seek for aid from strength beyond its own; and did not pride .interpose, this conscious12 ness
lless would, under the Christian dispensation, lead to the happiest con* sequences: but, tempted by pride, we leave the safe course of humble duty, and boldly aspire to share in all the fame, and all the glory of some distinguished, or would be distinguished, party; and what we want in knowledge we make up in zeal. According as this party dictates, we applaud or we condemn. We embrace in the lump the opinions it espouses, and represent those who oppose them, not only as the enemies of our party, but as the enemies of God! and this perhaps on no better foundation than that they differ from us on points which we do not, nay, which we cannot, understand. If our capacity be very limited, and our ignorance be very great, we do not even wait to examine whether they really differ from-us or no; it is sufficient that