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all the males of his house. The bloody deed was prevented, indeed, by the prudence of Abigail, (as it is recorded in the first of Samuel, and the twenty-fifth chapter,) who, when David was come to himself, received from him these thanks for that advice which had withheld him from shedding innocent blood" Blessed be the LORD GOD of "Israel; and blessed be thy advice; and "blessed be thou who has kept me this. day from coming to shed blood, and from "avenging myself with mine own hand."
The sinful nature of anger, and the bad consequences of giving way to it, which we have mentioned; as well as the conviction which men must feel of its being very injurious to their peace and happiness, their reputation and interest in this world; would be sufficient, one would think, to prevent them from being wrathful; and induce them to keep a bridle on their temper; and to pray for grace to be enabled to controul all fierceness, rage, and vengeance. But there are stronger motives to fulfil this duty, than any which concern. this world, the commandments and example of your blessed Redeemer; and the certain punishments of a future state of misery, pronounced upon those who do not fulfil it. The whole New Testament may be considered as one great lesson of
brotherly love. CHRIST, who was himself "meek and lowly of heart," never loses sight, in the precepts which he has given us, of the virtues of gentleness, peaceableness, quietness of temper, and the forgiving disposition. Many of his most beautiful parables were spoken, to shew the importance of these graces in the christian character and by all that he taught, and said, and did, he has convinced us, that no man can hope for the kingdom of heaven, unless he practise them. "Blessed," says he, " are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall "obtain mercy." "Blessed are the peace. "makers, for they shall be called the chil"dren of GOD." "Learn of me, for I am "meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall "find rest unto your souls." His own conduct was a perfect example of what he taught. He endured "all the contradictions of "sinners," not only without expressing, but also without feeling the slighest emotion of "wrathful indignation." "When "he was reviled, he reviled not again; "when he suffered, he threatened not; "but committed himself to him who judg "eth righteously." Let us turn our eyes for a moment, my brethren, to the scenes in Pilate's Hall, and on the top of Calvary;
and then blush at the angry feelings which every little offence excites in our own bosoms. The Redeemer was buffeted, and derided, spit upon, and scourged; but not a murmur escaped his lips; not a frown clouded his brow; he was crowned with thorns, and loaded with a heavy cross; and, amidst insults and curses, dragged to execution: but, he went "like a lamb to the slaughter; and
as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so "he opened not his mouth." He' was nailed to the accursed tree, and his tender side pierced with a spear; but, instead of swelling with anger, or flaming with wrath at his enemies, he expired in agony, breathing out this prayer for their pardon; "Father, forgive them, for they know not " what they do." And shall we, my brethren, with such an astonishing instance of meekness, and gentleness, and patience, before our eyes, which we are solemnly commanded to imitate to the utmost of our ability; shall we dare to give way to wrath, or to be angry with our brother without a cause? Shall we dare to resent any little offence with passion; or to burst into rage upon every trifling occasion? to pour out abuse, or oaths, or curses, on every slight opposition or contradiction? Assure yourselves, my friends, that he who thus encou
rages the bad propensities of his corrupt heart, and adds fuel to the fire of a fallen nature, will be highly criminal in the sight of GOD, and be "in danger of the future "judgment." God has given us conscience, and the scriptures, and CHRIST has given us his example, to instruct us in what is right, and to shew us how to perform it; to which he will add his grace, if we pray for its assistance. Having, therefore, all these aids and advantages, if we wilfully follow the blind dictates of passion, instead of their guidance, we can have nothing to expect but grief, and misery, and remorse, during our sojournment upon earth; and a condemnation, when we die, to the everlast. ing regions of rage, distraction, and despair.
[For the Seventh Sunday after Trinity.]
ROMANS vi. 21.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
T. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans,
was writing to people who had become converted from the Jewish religion to the religion of JESUS CHRIST. His preaching had come home to their hearts," in demon"stration of the spirit and of power." They had been awakened to a sense of sin; to their want of a Saviour, as a propitiation for their sin; and to the need in which they stood of some assistance from above, to enable them to repent sincerely, to believe stedfastly, and to practise faithfully that gospel which they had embraced. They