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corruption, and bring them into captivity to the worst of passions: in which miserable condition, tiey may be so absurd as to be proud of themselves : jut certainly they are no objects of envy to us. They may despise our lot; but we have all the reason in the world to pity them ; aud so long as we are under the influence of pity, we shall not be disturbed with anger.

We are farther to consider, that evil doers are not only mortal, but worse. The man who is execut:d is more miserable than he who dietb in the course of nature. Besides the evil of mortality, the evil of vengeance awaits a bad man; and while he is whetting the weapon of malice, a sword of judgmert, which he doth not see, is hanging over him, ready :o drop upon his head. The eye of God is upon his ways, though not in his thoughts; and when the measure of his sins is filled up, he shall be rooted out. While he is counselling for himself, or against þetter men, the Lord, who sees what he is upon ard that his day is coming, is represented as laughing his confidence to scorn: knowing, that instead of prevailing against the just, he is sharpening a sword which will be turned against himself, and go through his own heart. “I myself,” saith the Psalmist, “ have seen the ungodly in great power, and flourish“ ing like a green bay-tree. I went by and lo he " was gone; I sought him but his place could no “ where be found." His power is at an end ; he can trouble us no longer; he is gone, as if he had never been.

Such is the real lot of evil men, under the flattering appearances of their temporary successes : therefore, “grieve not thyself at him, whose way “ doth prosper; against the man who doeth after

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back to our duty, as wild beasts drive man from the woods and the forests into the safety of civil society. And if God, when such things happen, will be pleased to accept of the railings and reproaches of an enemy towards the pardon of our sins; we should be thankful for them. There would be no absurdity (and, supposing them to come from the impenitent, no want of charity) in praying for more of them.

There are virtues of forbearance and fortitude which cannot be called into action, but by the provo cations of the injurious; and the more unjust they are, the less we ought to be offended : for here, we are to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ; and to consider, how he endured the contradiction of sinners in his ministry, how pride, malice, avarice, and absurdity, were for ever working against him, to pervert his sayings, confound his reasonings, and turn the hearts of the people away from him. This we should think of, when our reasonings, however right and true, are neglected by the pride of false science, or overborn by the importunity and impudence of error. If, when we have laboured to do wisely, we are reported to have done foolishly; or to have done wrong, when we have done right, it must occasion a struggle in the passions; but a little patience will keep things from growing worse, and a little time may set them all to rights. Thus did our Blessed Master commit himself to the righteous judgment of God: and we have a promise, that if we commit our way to him, he will “ make our righteousness as clear as the light, and our just dealing as the noon-day.” Truth shall dispel the clouds which envy raises. The Priests and Rulers of the Jews prevailed for a time against Jesus Christ; but their įmaginations were vain; he was soon settled on “ evil counsels--wicked doers shall be rooted out; "and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall * inherit the land.”

From which words we learn, that our peace will be father promoted by a consideration of the promises nade to the godly: who have this assurance, that all things work together for good to them that love Cod: that the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous; not to secure them absolutely from trouble, but to exercise them therewith, and then to deliver tiem out of it. Some men seem to be sent into the vorld for the trial of others. They answer the end o winds and stornis, which purge the atmosphere of is vapours; and by agitating the roots of trees and plants, make them grow the faster. Of such we are to remember, that as the weather is under God's direction, so are they under the restraints of his power. He permits them to go to certain lengths for purposes known to himself: but they can go no farther.

Enemies answer so many purposes, that they are in some degree necessary to every good man. The army stationed in an enemy's country is vigilant ; which, at home, where there is no danger, would be dissolute. So in private life, a man's enemies oblige him to live more prudently and virtuously ; that no advantage may be given to those who will be glad to take it. His enemies may be farther necessary, for the punishment of his sins. When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh his enemies to be at peace with him* Whence the inference is natural; that his life may be less peaceable, because his ways want to be corrected. The conscience of David, in his troubles, put this interpretation upon the curses of Shimei. Thus may ill men be of use to drive us

* Prov, xvi. 7.

back to our duty, as wild beasts drive man from the woods and the forests into the safety of civil society. And if God, when such things happen, will be pleased to accept of the railings and reproaches of an enemy towards the pardon of our sins; we should be thankful for them. There would be no absurdity (and, supposing them to come from the impenitent, no want of charity) in praying for more of them.

There are virtues of forbearance and fortitude which cannot be called into action, but by the provo cations of the injurious; and the more unjust they are, the less we ought to be offended : for here, we are to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ; and to consider, how he endured the contradiction of sinners in his ministry, how pride, malice, avarice, and absurdity, were for ever working against him, to pervert his sayings, confound his reasonings, and turn the hearts of the people away from him. This we should think of, when our reasonings, how. ever right and true, are neglected by the pride of false science, or overborn by the importunity and impudence of error. If, when we have laboured to do wisely, we are reported to have done foolishly; or to have done wrong, when we have done right, it must occasion a struggle in the passions; but a little patience will keep things from growing worse, and a little time may set them all to rights. Thus did our Blessed Master commit himself to the righteous judgment of God: and we have a promise, that if we commit our way to him, he will “ make our righteousness as clear as the light, and our just dealing as the noon-day.” Truth shall dispel the clouds which envy raises. The Priests and Rulers of the Jews prevailed for a time against Jesus Christ; but their imaginations were vain; he was soon settled on

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