« ПретходнаНастави »
ed, by turning it quite upside dren to be insulted by sharp and down; which he had better not virulent tongues. When David hare done, than to feel the smart in his sore troubles was reviled afterwards which must needs at. and cursed by Shimei, one of the tend so rash an attempt. And basest of men, he said no more does not the fire of malicious than “let him curse, for the Lord topgues burn the fiercer, when hath bidden him." And what We seek to quench it by too has. other reason can be assigned for ty efforts ? And does it not even this, but that the Lord hereby convert that into juel, which seeks to preserve his children, was designed to diminish the lest they exalt themselves above flame?
measure, on account of such em. 11. A tongue that is set on inent gifts as have been cooferred fire of hell is like that serpent, upon them; and at the same which, as some tell us, brings time improve themselves more and forth seven other heads when you more in the practice of mutual cut off but one in order to destroy love, mildness, and humility, as it. Thus a wicked tongue is so the gospel requires ? What is far from being restrained by con- said by David of Sbimei, that he tradiction, that it will spread the vas bidden to curse his king, is farther by it, and broach seven expressed by Job in more generlies instead of one. Whereas he al terms : “He poureth con. that is deaf to popular fumours, tempt upon princes.” And and pot easily alarmed at every who is able to fathom here all the little noise, will not only better mysterious depths of divine judg. repel the darts. of malignant ments ? the carnal mind does tongues, but enjoy also a calm not like at all to be reviled, to and unshaken tranquillity both of be insulted, to be under-valued. soul and body, in the midst of all To become a fool in this world, the boisterous storms of the though it be recommended by an world; this being the sweet re. apostle as a mean for attaining Ward, which usually attends ą true wisdom; yet is it not liked patient and submissive frame of now a days, because it is too opa mind. This is a truly noble and posite 'to self.love.
Pride and magnanimous method to over- self love naturally adhere to us : come the worst of enemies, and pay, it is an evil which by carnal to get a full conquest at last over generation is woven, as it were, the most stubborn and untracta. into the very heart and interior
He that rejects faculties of the soul, whence it this heroic meekness of soul, sets taints all the actions proceeding himself entirely out of God's from it. Every one aspires now guard, and, whilst he endeavors after greatness and dignities, tin eagerly to save his name and rep- tles, and preferments. Every utation, must needs be more har. one loves now to be extolled, and rassed with perpetual alarms of to be much made of, to be es. malignant tongues, inflamed by teemed and admired. Alas! It the common enemy of souls. is this self-conceit, this natural
12. Besides this, there are self-love, which, having once some other particular reasons,
besotted mankind, propagates why the Lord permits his chil. now nothing but error and folly
in the whole world : It was this medicine, thereby to heal that self-love that ruined both Luci. sore of self-love fostering within, fer and Adam, and stript them and breeding abundance of oth entirely of the divine love and er spiritual diseases in mind. life wherewith once they were When the world thinks evil adorned.
against them, then God bring 13. This spirit of self-love good out of the evil, which is an being thus seated in the heart, it art only known by God. For continually alarms the soul, and as out of the most poisonous ser. engrosses all the faculties to it. pent an antidote is prepared self. None but those that are against poison itself; so God inspired with a heavenly courage, overrules the very worst of coun. can overcome the malignancy of sels, so as they shall turn to the an evil so strong and boundless, greatest good of his children, and so deeply rooted within. Thus “out of the eater comes But to facilitate this victory, the forth meat,” and out of the bitLord thinks as it were, with ter, sweetness ; all things being himself: " I will permit a viru. made to work together for good lent lying tongue to insult over to them that love God." For such an one, as I formerly per. instance, they are taught thereby mitted Satan to infest my ser. to practise one of the noblest of vants Job and Paul for their the works of charity, which is to greater humiliation.
This slan. 6 bless their enemies, and to pray dering tongue shall be his devil, for them who despitefully use his scourge, his plague, to buf. them.”
dot fet him constantly, and help to 15. He that has thus far got beat down that proud heart, that the conquest over the bent of his haughty look, that aspiring tem. corrupt nature, as to pray heartper, which without this restraint, ily for his enemies, is, methinks
, would at last carry all before almost arrived to the sublimest it.” Thus the Lord leaves noth. degree of true evangelical charity; ing untried to use the soul to that which alone is able to soften our excellent spirit of humility, and stubborn hearts into the mild to set due bounds to the impetu. and compassionate heart and ous acting of the spirit of self. mind of Christ, who also has set love, whereby men are now be. us a most blessed exemplar in this come allies to Lucifer, that great matter :“ Father, (said he,) for
. apostate spirit : who, endeav. give them; for they know not oring to have a will of his own, what they do."
And this ten opposite to that of his maker, der and sympathizing heart lost entirely his principality, and Christian must needs have, if ever that original integrity wherein he wishes to be in a condition to he was created at first.
pray for his enemies. True 14. However,
as the Lord love, wherever it is rooted in a is faithful on his side, and has no soul, there it will most certainly pleasure at all in the destruction, produce a tender commiseration but preservation of his creatures; towards enemies; who at the so he seeks also to convert the same time, whilst they hate men, venom of impious tongues thrown render themselves entirely unfit on his children, into a precions for any communion with God and
Christ, giving up their heart to the church in troubles and tri. the devil, that great hater of als. The same over-ruling wis. souls. And this may move every dom of God appeared for Dan. Christian to commiserate the fate iel, when by the virulency of his of such profligate wretches, who accusers, he was cast into the are not of God, but of their fa. den of lions, but most triumph. ther, the devil: And lest they antly exalted again by Divine should forever sink into the jaws Providence, for many good and of the devil, who here inspires noble ends; the enemies themthem with hatred, rage, and bit. selves being made to lay the terness, the Lord so earnestly foundation for his rise and great. commands his children to pray ness.
Mordecai had almost the for them, with this motive an- same providence. His ruin was nexed to the command: “That devised by the murdering tongue ye may be the children of your of proud Haman, but the Lord Father who is in heaven." returned his wickedness upon
16. What has been said of his own head, and the bloody the over-ruling power of God, machinations did but hasten the whereby he converts the venom destruction of the contriver. of lying tongues into a healing 17. Therefore " commit thy medicine, will more fully appear way unto the Lord : trust in him, from the following instances : and he shall bring it to pass. Joseph had never been exalted to He shall bring forth thy right. the dignity of being ruler over eousness as the light, and thy all the land of Egypt, had he not judgment as the noon-day.” fallen before under the malicious Only endeavor to be in constant lashes of a wanton tongue, and amity with the Lord your God, thereby been condemned to a and to love him with all your prison at last. However, wis. heart, and then he will direct dom did not leave him in bonds, your steps : For “ when a man's but brought him, at length, the ways please the Lord, he makes sceptre of the kingdom, and
even his enemies to be at peace power against those that oppres. with him." If the world be sed him. Had Moses not been permitted to stain your reputapersecuted by violent accusations tion here, and to detract from of his enemies, and obliged to your honor, what matters it, if flee from the face of Pharaoh, the Lord dignifies you with a he had not seen the Lord in the crown of eternal glory? It is he bush, after having led Jethro's that will deliver and honor you flock to the back-side of the de. at last; and it is he that will sert. For here by a wonderful give you both grace here, and sight he enjoyed, he was, as it glory hereafter. were, initiated into a new dis- 18. Another comfort in tri. pensation of life, which then rose als of this nature, may be drawn upon him. Thus did the spite. from the powerful influence the ful tongue of Doeg, the Edom- Lord has upon the hearts of all ite, and of other enemies of Da- men. It is he that looks upon vid, force many a comfortable all the inhabitants of the earth, psalm from the latter, now left from the firm place of his habiupon record for a support of tation. He alone fashions or
frames their hearts, and consid. malignant tongue, to swell high all ers all their works; and he will on a sudden, and by rage and fury not deliver you into the will of gain applause and admiration your enemies.
A man fumes every where: but then its down. often with rage and malice, and fal is as sudden again, as the rise is transported to that degree of was before. Calumny is like a fury and passion, as if he would fire, whose outrageous flame bear down all that comes in his mounts up to the very sky ; way : But a little while after, but then the want of fuel will you shall find, that, by an unex. soon make it go down again. pected turn of providence, the The reason is, because God, who man is altogether cooled again'; is the everlasting truth itself, his heat is allayed, and he is now hates a spirit of lies beyond any reduced to such a gentleness and thing : and this is the reason al. moderation of temper, as if he so, why all those that have rai. was become quite another man. sed their greatness, on
no other Nay, how often do we see that foundation than lying and self. the most profligate wretch, de. conceit, may indeed dazzle the signing nothing but spite and eyes of others with a glaring malice against a good soul, is lustre for a while; but when stopt in the midst of his passion. they now think themselves be ate pursuit, and with a sweet fixed in a stability not to be force and holy violence, as it shaken; then generally their ruwere, obliged not only entirely in is ready at hand, and the to drop his wicked design, but Lord's judgment destroys all. to bestow also tokens of favor Then the lying lips are put to and kindness upon the person silence, which spoke grievous whom he was to affront. Which things proudly and contemptu. certainly is an operation peculiar ously against the righteous." to the wisdom of God, who, by his Which text plainly shows, that secret and over-ruling power, of- pride and disdain of others, is ten renders abortive the most ma. wont to accompany a slandering licious project conceived against and lying tongue.
But 66 his children. Thus the Lord unto thee that dealest treacher. came to Laban, when incensed ously, for when thou shalt make against Jacob, and ordered him an end to deal treacherous. to speak not to him, either good ly, they shall deal treacher. or bad: And Esau, who bore ously with thee. For the rod of his brother no good will at all; the wicked shall not rest opon yet when he came within sight of the lot of the righteous ; lest the him, must needs run to meet him, righteous put forth their hands to embrace him, to fall on his unto iniquity.” Though a treach. neck, to kiss him, to weep erous man may go on a while in over him, and to receive him quest after more honor and with the most endearing expres. greatness ; yet shall
evil sions of love and kindness. hunt the violent man at last, and
19. It is the nature of a overthrow him.
LETTER FROM THE CELEBRATED
HON. THE COUNTESS OF HART
alone, I expect to stand justified MRS. ROWE,
before infinite purity and jus. tice.- How poor are my hopes, if I depended on those works,
which my vanity, or the partial. [Written the day before her death.]
ity of men have called good; MADAM,
and which if examined by divine This is the last letter you will purity, would prove, perhaps, receive from me, the last assur. but specious sins ! The best acance I shall give you on earth, tions of my life would be found of a sincere and stedfast friend. defective, if brought to the test ship; but when we meet again, of that unblemished holiness, in I hope it will be in the heights of whose sight the heavens are not immortal love and ecstacy. Mine clean. Where were my hopes, perhaps may be the glad spirit to but for a Redeemer's merit and congratulate your safe arrival to
atonement !--How desperate, the happy shores.
Heaven can how undone my condition ! witness how sincere my concern With the utmost advaniages I for your happiness is : thither I could boast, I should step back have sent my ardent wishes, that and tremble at the thought of you may be secured from the flat- appearing before the unblemished tering delusions of the world; Majesty !- Jesus ! What har. and, after your pious example mony dwells in thy name! Ce. has been long a blessing to man. lestial joy and ivmortal life are kind, may calmly resign your in the sound :-Let angels set breath, and water the confines of thee to their golden harps, let the unmolested joy.-I am now tak. ransomed nations for ever maging my farewell of you here; nify thee. What a dream is but it is a short adieu, with full mortal life! What shadows are persuasion that we shall soon all the objects of mortal sense ! meet again. — But oh! in what All the glories of mortality, my elevation of happiness !--In much beloved friend, will be what enlargement of mind, and nothing in your view at the aw. what perfection of every faculty! ful hour of death, when you What transporting reflections
must be separated from this lower shall we make on the advantages creation, and enter on the borof which we shall be eternally ders of the immortal world. possessed !—To Him that loved
Something persuades me this us, and washed us in bis blood, will be the last farewell in this shall we ascribe immortal glory, world; heaven forbid it should dominion, and praise for ever. be an everlasting parting! May This is all my salvation, all my that divine protection, whose hope. That name in whom the
care I implore, keep you stedfast gentiles trust, in whom all the
in the faith of christianity, and families of the earth are blessed, guide your steps in the strictest is now my glorious, my unfail
paths of virtue. Adieu, my most ing confidence. In his worth
dear friend, until we meet in the
paradise of God. * Afterwards Dutchess of Somerset ;
E. ROWE. the Lady to whom Mr. Thomson's Poem The SPRING, is inscribed. Vor. II. New Series.