The Dignity of Virtue amidst Corrupt Ladies & Gentlemen
Submitted By: Greg Rambo
The most excellent and honorable character which can adorn a man and a Christian is acquired by resisting the torrent of vice, and adhering to the cause of God and virtue against a corrupt multitude. It will be found to hold in general that they who, in any of the great lives of life, have distinguished themselves for thinking profoundly and acting nobly, have despised popular prejudices, and departed in several things from the common ways of the world.
On no occasion is this more requisite for true honor, than when religion and morality are concerned. In times of prevailing licentiousness, to maintain our blemished virtue and uncorrupted integrity in a public or private cause, to stand firm by what is fair and just amidst discouragement and opposition; despising groundless censor and reproach, distaining all compliance with public manners when they are vicious and unlawful; and never ashamed of the punctual discharge of every duty towards God and man. This is what shows true greatness of spirit and will force approbation even from the degenerate multitude themselves.
“This is the man “(their conscience will oblige them to acknowledge)” whom we are unable to bend to mean condescension’s. We see it in vain either to flatter or to threaten him; he rests on a principal within, which he cannot shake. To this man we may on any occasion we may safety commit our cause. He is incapable of betraying our trust, or deserting his friend, or denying his faith.
It is accordingly their steady inflexible virtue, their regard to principal superior to all custom and opinion, which peculiarly marked the character of those in any age, who have shown with distinguished luster; and has consecrated their memory to all posterity. It was this that obtained to ancient Enoch the most singular testimony of honor from heaven.
He continued to (walk with God) when the world apostatized from him. He pleased God and was beloved of him, so that living among sinners he was translated to Heaven without seeing death.
Yea, speedily was he taken away lest wickedness should have altered his understanding or deceit beguiled his soul.
When Sodom could not furnish ten righteous men to save it, Lott remained unspotted amidst the contagion. He lived like an angle among spirits of darkness, and the destroying flame was not permitted to go forth till the good man was called away by a heavenly messenger from his devoted city.
When (all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth), there lived Noah a righteous man, a preacher of righteousness. He stood alone and was scoffed by the profane crew. But they by the deluge were swept away while on him Providence conferred the immortal honor of being the restorer of a better race and the father of a new world. Such examples as these and such honors conferred by God on them who withstood the multitude of evil doers should often be present to our minds. Let us oppose them to the numbers of low and corrupt examples which we behold around us, and when we are in hazard of being swayed by such, let us fortify our virtue by thing of those who in former times shown like stars in the midst of surrounding darkness and are now shinning in the Kingdom of Heaven as the brightness of the firmament forever and ever.