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they have not enlisted themselves under the banner of our party. This infallibly excludes them from all share in our charity.
And is this the spirit of the Gospel? No. It is the effects of that pride with which the spirit of the Gospel is at utter variance.
The same unconquerable desire of giving an unnatural extension to our ideas of self, and which makes us anxious to grasp at every circumstance which can be turned to that account, induces us to consider all the wealth and power possessed by the family to which we belong, or to the friends to whom we are attached, as additions to our own importance. We even go back to the times that are past, and ransack the tombs of our ancestors for the same purpose, considering every discovery we make of their merit or grandeur, as adding
something something to ourselves. It is true, that when we are struck with any very evident incongruity between the apparent circumstances of any one, and the opinions they entertain of their own importance, it seldom fails to excite our ridicule.* But were
we we to permit ourselves to reflect more deeply, we should perceive, that the beggar who, while pining in all the misery of want, piques himself upon his high descent, is not in reality guilty of greater absurdity, than any human being, who is so far the dupe of pride, as to think highly of himself in whatever situation. The only
* Family pride has within the last half century been so completely vanquished by the pride of wealth, that ic is now only in the remoter parts of the kingdom to be found in its genuine state. An anecdote, which displayed it in colours sufficiently ludicrous, was lately related to me by a lady who frequently visited the island of Arran on the western coast of Scotland, of which the Duke of Hamilton is chief proprietor, and most of the inhabitants are of his name. Among these, an old couple, whose miserable hut bespoke the extreme of poverty and wretchedness, attracted the attention of my friend, and shared her bounty. On returning to the island, she found that the only daughter of these poor halfstarved creatures had, during her absence, the good fortune to be very well married; and the
first time she met the mother, she congratulated her on the circumstance. Janet, to her surprize, appeared extremely mortified. "Is your "Eon-in-law not then so rich as has been reu ported?" asked the lady. "O yes, madam, "he is very rich if that were all!" "Has he "not then a good character?" "Oh, the best "of characters! there's not a better young
"man in all Scotland — but for til that"
"He does not make a good husband, I suppose." "A good husband! Why, madam, he doats upon "my daughter! She may do any thing 6he likes. "But still it's a marriage I never can be pleased "with; for, after all, he is come of nobody! "Who ever heard of a Duke Mackalloss!!"
difference difference is, that in the case of the proud beggar, our own pride does not permit us to sympathize; because it sees nothing in him of which it can hope to make a property, nothing .that can add to its own stock. But with regard to the pride that is clothed in splendour, we are less willing to examine the basis of its pretences, than to turn them to our own advantage; and therefore we do not hesitate to pronounce them genuine, even in defiance of all that reason and religion have to urge.
Thus you must perceive that an elevated situation gratuitously offers to pride all the nourishment which is in an inferior station purchased at the expense of no small portion of labour and ingenuity; and at the same time, by affording gratification to the pride of others, is deprived of all that might give a salutary check to its impetuosity.
If pride naturally leads us to appropriate the power and influence of the party to which we are attached, as an aggravation of our own importonce, the great are from infancy exposed to the force of this temptation. They are brought up and live in the bosom of a party; and of a party which they know and feel to have more power and more influence than any other. They know they may, as individuals, be insignificant, — nay, despicable; but that still they will share in the power and influence of their order. Surely this is a dangerous situation for beings who ought to have no trust but in God; no hope but in the mercies of a crucified Saviour! How difficult to bring the pride