« AnteriorContinuar »
BY DR. PRICE.
.' S E E M O N I.
OF THE SECURITY OF A VIRTUOUS COURSE.
HE THAT WA1KETH UPRIGHTLY WALKETH SURELY.
Th E S E words express one of the most important -of all maxims. They tell us, that in the practice of virtue there is Safety. Much higher praise may be bellowed upon it. We may say that with-it are connected peace, .honour, . dignity, the savour of -God, happiness wow, aud Eternal happiness hereafter: And we have reason enough to think this .true. "But whether true or not, it is at least true, -that there is sasety in it.
Christianity informs us, that good men will be -raised from death, to enjoy a glorious immortality, .through that Saviour of the world who tasted death for every man. But let the evidence for this be supposed precarious and unsatissactory. Let it be reckoned uncertain, whether a virtuous course will terminate in such insinite blessings under the divine government as christians are taught to expect: .Still there will remain sussicient evidence to *prove, A that that in all events it must be thcsafest, and therefore our u'is'Jl course.
I cannot better employ the present time, than in endeavouring to explain and illustrate this truth. But previously to this, it will not be amiss to make a sew observations on the character of the man who walks uprightly.
.Uprightness signisies the fame with integrity or sincerity. It implies a freedom from guile and the faithsul discharge of every known duty. An upright man' allows himself in nothing that is inconsistent with truth and right. He' complies with all the obligations he is under, and avoids every kind of prevarication and falsehood. He maintains an equal and uniform regard to the whole of righteousness. He hates alike all sin, and practises every part of virtue, from an unseigned attachment to it establislied in his foul. This is what is most effential to the character of an upright man. He is governed by no sinister ends, or indirect views, in the discharge of his duty. It is not the love' of 'fame, or the desire of private advantages, or mere natural temper, that produces his .virtuous conduct; but an affection to virtue as virtue; a sense of the -weight and excellence of the obligations of righteousness; and a zeal for the honour of God and the happiness of mankind. But to be a little more particular :—
Uprightness of character comprehends in it right
Conduct with respect to God, and man, and ourselves. The person I am describing, is, sirst of all, upright in all his tranfactions with God. His religion is not a hypocritical show and ostentation. lie'is that which he appears to be to his sellowcreatures. His religious acts are emanations from a heart sull of piety. He makes conscience of private as vvell. as public devotion, and endeavours to walk blameless in all God's ordinances. Jie attends. oiv religious services, not to.be seen of men, but from a sense of dutv and gratitude to his Maker; and, instead of making them a cover for bad designs, or compenfations for immorality, he makes them incentives to the discharge of all moral duties, and the means of rendering him more benevolent, amiable, and worthy.
Again. Uprightness implies faithsulness in all our tranfactions with ourselves. It is very common for men to impose upon themselves; to wink at ofsensive truths; and to practise unfair arts with* their own minds. This is entirely inconsistent with the character of an upright man. He endeavour* to be ^faithsul to himself in all that he thinks and does, and to divest his mind of all unreasonable, biaffes. He is fair and honest in all his inquiries and deliberations, ready to own his mistakes, and thanksul for every help to discover them. lie wishes to know nothing but what is true, and to practise nothing but what is right. He is open to convicAa tion,'