Recently, I read the following from Orestes Brownson’s review of The Scarlet Letter in 1850. Although I think he misreads Hawthorne, I’m fascinated by his description of the link between humility and virtue.
Mr. Hawthorne seems never to have learned that pride is not only sin, but the root of all sin, and that humility is not only a virtue, but the root of all virtue. No genuine contrition or repentance ever springs from pride, and the sorrow for sin because it mortifies our pride, or lessens us in our own eyes, is nothing but the effect of pride. All true remorse, all genuine repentance springs from humility, and is sorrow for having offended God, not sorrow for having offended ourselves.