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is a greater disservice to thy majesty, than to rob for rapine or to lie for advantage.

"Whensoever my prudence was successful, in the attainment of a good end, I ever gave thy name the glory and that in sincerity. I have known some men, (and if a man will observe his own heart, he will find it there also, unless it be strictly denied,) that will give God the glory of the success of a good enterprise, but yet with a kind of secret reservation of somewhat of praise for themselves, their prudence, conduct, and wisdom; and will be glad to hear of it, and secretly angry and discontented if they miss it; and many times give God the glory, with a kind of ostentation and vanity in doing so. But I have given thee the glory of it because of my very judgment, that it is due, and due only to thee. I do know that that prudence that I have comes from thee; and I do know that it is thy providential ordering of occurrences that makes prudential deliberations successful; and more is due unto thy ordering, disposing, fitting, timing, directing of all in seeming casualties, than there is to that human counsel by which it is moved or seems to be moved; the least whereof, if not marshalled by thy hand, would have shattered and broken the counsel into a thousand pieces. Thou givest the advice by thy wisdom, and dost second it by thy providence; thou dealest by us, as we do by our children, when we set them to lift up a heavy weight, and we lift with them; and we again are too like those children that think we moved the weight, when we moved not a grain of it.

"In reference to my health, I always avoided these two extremes: I never made it my idol, I declined not the due employment of my body in the works of charity or necessity, or my ordinary calling, out of a vain fear of injuring my health; for I reckoned my health given me in order to these employments. And as he is over careful, that will not put on his clothes, for fear of wearing them out, or use his axe, for fear of hurting it; so he gives but an ill account of a healthy body, that dares not employ it in a suitable occupation, for fear of hurting his health. Nor was I vainly prodigal of it, but careful in a due manner to preserve it. I would decline places of infection, if I had no special duties that brought me to them, also unnecessary journeys, exposing myself to unnecessary dangers, especially intemperance in eating and drinking.

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Touching my eminence of place or power in this world, this is my account. I never sought or desired it, and that for these

reasons. First, because I easily saw that it was rather a burden than a privilege. It made my charge and my account the greater, my contentment and my rest the less. I found enough in it to make me decline it in respect of myself, but not any thing that could make me seek or desire it. That external glory and splendour that attended it, I esteemed as vain and frivolous in itself, a bait to allure vain and inconsiderate persons, not valuable enough to invite a considerate judgment to desire to undertake it. I esteemed it as the gilding that covers a bitter pill, and I looked through the dress and outside, and easily saw that it covered a state obnoxious to danger, solicitude, care, trouble, envy, discontent, disquietude, temptation, and vexation. I esteemed it a condition, which, if there were any distempers abroad, they would infallibly be hunting and pushing after it; and if it found any corruptions within, either of pride, vain-glory, insolence, vindictiveness, or the like, it would be sure to draw them out and set them to work. And if they prevailed, it made my power and greatness, not only my burden but my sin; if they prevailed not, yet it required a most watchful, assiduous, and severely vigilant labour and industry to suppress them.

"When I undertook any place of power or eminence, first, I looked to my call thereunto, to be such as I might discern to be thy call, not my own ambition. Second, that the place were such as might be answered by suitable abilities, in some measure, to perform. Third, that my end in it might not be the satisfaction of any pride, ambition, or vanity in myself, but to serve thy providence and my generation faithfully. In all which my undertaking was not an act of my choice, but of my duty.

"In the holding or exercising these places, I kept my heart humble; I valued not myself one rush the more for it. First, because I easily found that that base affection of pride, which commonly is the fly that haunts such employments, would render me dishonourable to thy majesty and disserviceable in the employment. Second, because I easily saw great places were slippery places, the mark of envy. It was, therefore, always my care so to behave myself in them, as I might be in a capacity to leave them, and so to leave them, that when I had left them I might have no scars and blemishes stick upon me. I carried, therefore, the same evenness of temper in holding them, as might become me if I were without them. Third, I found enough in great employments, to make me sensible of the danger, trouble,

and cares of them, enough to make me humble, but not enough to make me proud and haughty.

"I never made use of my power or greatness to serve my own turns, either to heap up riches, or to oppress my neighbour, or to revenge injuries, or to uphold injustice. For, though others thought me great, I knew myself to be still the same, and in all things, besides the due execution of my place, my deportment was just the same as if I had been no such a man; for first, I knew that I was but thy steward and minister, and placed there to serve thee, and those ends which thou proposedst in my preferment, and not serve myself, much less my passions or corruptions. And further, I very well and practically knew, that place, and honour, and preferment, are things extrinsical, and form no part of man. His value and estimate before, and under, and after his greatness, is still the same in itself, as the counter that now stands for a penny, anon for sixpence, and then for twelve-pence, is still the same counter, though its place and extrinsical denomination be changed.


"I improved the opportunity of my place, eminence, and greatness, to serve thee and my country in it, with all vigilance, diligence, and fidelity. I protected, countenanced, and encouraged thy worship, name, day, and people. I did faithfully execute justice according to that station I had. I rescued the oppressed from the cruelty, malice, and insolence of their oppressors. cleared the innocent from unjust calumnies and reproaches. I was instrumental to place those in offices, places, and employments of trust and consequence, that were honest and faithful. I removed those that were dishonest, irreligious, false, or unjust, &c.

"Touching my reputation and credit, I never affected the reputation of being rich, great, crafty, or politic; but I. esteemed much a deserved reputation, of justice, honesty, integrity, virtue, and piety.

"I never thought that reputation was the thing primarily to be looked after in the exercise of virtue, for that were to affect the substance for the sake of the shadow, which had been a kind of levity and weakness of mind; but I looked at virtue, and the worth of it, as that which was the first desirable, and reputation, as a fair and useful accession to it.

"The reputation of justice and honesty, I was always careful to keep untainted, upon these grounds. First, because a blemish in my reputation would be dishonourable to thee. Second,


it would be an abuse of a talent which thou hadst committed to me. Third, it would be a weakening of an instrument which thou hadst put into my hands, upon the strength whereof much good might be done by me.


Though I have loved my reputation, and have been vigilant not to lose, or impair it, by my own default or neglect, yet I have looked upon it as a bitter thing, a thing that the devil aims to hit in a special manner, a thing that is much in the power of a false report, a mistake, a misapprehension, to wound and hurt; and notwithstanding all my care, I am at the mercy of others, without God's wonderful, overruling providence. And as my reputation is the esteem that others have of me, so that esteem may be blemished without my default. I have, therefore, always taken this care, not to set my heart upon my reputation. I will use all fidelity and honesty, and take care it shall not be lost by any default of mine; and if, notwithstanding all this, my reputation be soiled by evil, or envious men, or angels, I will patiently bear it, and content myself with the serenity of my own conscience.

"When thy honour, or the good of my country, was concerned, I then thought it was a seasonable time to lay out my reputation for the advantage of either, and to act with it, and by it, and upon it, to the highest, in the use of all lawful means. And And upon such an occasion, the counsel of Mordecai to Esther was my encouragement—Who knoweth whether God hath not given thee this reputation and esteem for such a time as this?""

In these striking selections from this excellent production, our readers will doubtless see reason for the belief, that no small influence was contributed thereby toward the formation of Washington's character. Here we might stop in the assurance that such a persuasion would be general. But we cannot forbear another quotation, because of the singular coincidence of its sentiments with those which are known to have distinguished the Father of his country. We cite the discourse in which the author treats « Of Wisdom and the Fear of God." His language is:

"Sincerity, uprightness, integrity, and honesty, are certainly true and real wisdom. Let any man observe it where he will, an hypocrite, or dissembler, or a double-hearted man, though he may shuffle it out for awhile, yet at the long run he is discovered, and disappointed, and betrays very much folly at the latter end; when a plain, sincere, honest man, holds it out to the very last; so that the proverb is most true, that Honesty is the best Policy.'

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Now the great privilege of the fear of God is, that it makes the heart sincere and upright, and even that will certainly make the words and actions so. For he is under the sense of the inspection and animadversion of that God who searches the heart; and therefore, he dares not lie, nor dissemble, nor flatter, nor prevaricate, because he knows the pure, all-seeing, righteous God, that loves truth and integrity, and hates lying and dissimulation, beholds, and sees, and observes him, and knows his thoughts, words and actions.

"Another great cause of folly in the world is, inadvertence, inconsideration, precipitancy, and over-hastiness in speeches or actions. If men had but the patience, many times, to pause but so long in actions and speeches of moment as might serve to repeat but the Creed or Lord's Prayer, many follies in the world would be avoided that do very much mischief, both to the parties themselves and others. And therefore, inadvertence and precipitancy in things of great moment, and that require much deliberation, must needs be a very great folly, because the consequence of miscarriage in them is of greater moment. Now the fear of God, being actually present upon the soul, and exerting itself, is the greatest motive and obligation in the world to consideration and attention, touching things to be done or said. .

"It mightily advanceth and improveth the worth and excellency of most human actions in the world, and makes them a nobler kind of a thing, than otherwise, without it, they would be. Take a man that is employed as a statesman or politician, though he have much wisdom and prudence, it commonly degenerates into craft, and cunning, and pitiful shuffling, without the fear of God; but mingle the fear of Almighty God with that kind of wisdom, it renders it noble, and generous, and staid, and honest, and stable. Again, take a man that is much acquainted with the subtler kind of learning, as philosophy for instance, without the fear of God upon his heart, it will carry him over to pride, arrogance, self-conceit, curiosity, presumption; but mingle it with the fear of God, it will ennoble that knowledge, carry it up to the honour and glory of that God, who is the author of nature, to the admiration of his power, wisdom, and goodness; it will keep him humble, modest, sober, and yet rather with an advance than detriment to his knowledge."

We should not have ventured to copy such long extracts from Sir Matthew Hale's Contemplations, even though they may with propriety be denominated Washington's Manual, so far as religion

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