Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Not unto me! not unto me, O Lord, but unto thy name, be the praise."

On April 11, 1828, the Richmond Enquirer ran a column containing a short autobiography written by Edmund Pendleton and dated July 20, 1793. A distinguished figure in Virginia, Pendleton presided over Virgnia's ratification convention for the United States Constitution in 1788. Beginning with his account of his selection for this role, here are his reflections on the blessings of Providence (with echoes of Psalm 115, but in the first person):

In 1788, when a State Convention was to meet to consider a new proposed plan of federal Government, and all the officers of the State made eligible, my good old friends in Caroline again called me to their representation in Convention, and that respectable body to preside over them, indulging me with sitting in all my official duties, usually performed standing. Thus without any classical education--without patrimony--without what is called the influence of Family Connection, and without solicitation, I have attained the highest offices of my Country.

I have often contemplated it as a rare and extraordinary instance, and pathetically exclaimed, "Not unto me! not unto me, O Lord, but unto thy name, be the praise." In his providence He was pleased to bestow on me a docile and unsassuming mind, a retentive memory, a fondness for reading, a clear head, and upright heart, with a calm temper, benevolent to all, though particular in friendship with but few: And if I had uncommon merit in public business, it was that of superior diligence and attention. . . . 


Walsh, Kevin | Permalink