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life, and at his death, did most fort from those divine oracles,
agement to bear our treatment 2. Nay, there is hardly one also with patience and cheerful. of all the prophets of old, who ness, for the sake of the joy that did not feel these deadly arrows usually springs up out of the reshot against them, by, murdering proach of the cross, Look then tongues ;
of which Jeremiah upon the Prince of your salvamakes mention, saying : “Their tion, look upon the lives of all false tongues are murderous ar. the saints of old, such as have rows shot out: with their mouth been the greatest lights in their they speak peaceably to their generation. neighbor, but in their heart they 4. Consider, particularly, lie in wait to destroy.” Where the example of Moses, who esfore all honest hearts ought to teemed the reproach of Christ take heed not to be defiled by better than the crown of Egypt; back biters, but to be warded and who, by reason of the con. against them. For as he that tinual contradictions he under. handles a man seized with a lep- went, is said to have been a rosy, or a high infectious distem- man the most afflicted* above per, must expect to be also in all the men which were upon the fected : so he that gives car to face of the earth.” And what lying tongues, too often catches shall we say of David ? He was the same distemper; the poison truly in his time, the very mark, of slandering insensibly work. as it were, at which all the false ing itself into all those that do tongues in the land shot their not betimes fly from it. Now murderous arrows. Wherefore since a Christian is forbidden to
* Our version renders it, “Now the retort evil for evil, as that which
man Moses was very meek ;” but in maagrees not with christian faith; ny other places, the same word which there is no other counsel hence, here occurs, is rendered by aflic ed; but that by a conscience void of the original bearing both significations.
The practice of meekness is furthered offence, he must fetch his com. by affliction. Conf. Ainsworth, in h. L. Voli II. New Serise.
6 mine enemies, (said he) revile their meekness and patience. ' me all the day long: and they For, tell me, how shall meekness that are mad upon me, are sworn appear, or how shall patience be together against me.” That is, exercised, if you be not contra. they affronted him daily with the dicted; or there be none to de. reproach of his misery, turning ride, slander, and vilify you? him, as it were, into a proverb, Wherefore you must now pa. and offering him the most hein. tiently take up your cross with ous indignity that can be offered them, and meekly follow the to a man.
And what shall we Lord Christ in the steps he has say of Job? How was he
you. This argues a Chris. braided by his friends, and griev. tian generosity, and a tem per ed with their tongues ! And how that becomes a disciple of the fell Daniel, that holy prophet, blessed Jesus. This is also into the mouths of the ungodly, agreeable to your calling; beas into an open sepulchre, yea, ing indeed called to suffer with as into a den of lions! but how your Savior, not to avenge your. powerfully did the Lord deliver self, not to return evil for evil; Moses, and Job, and Daniel ! not to revile again being reviled, All these are gone before you,and not to threaten being slandered, their examples being duly con. but quietly to commit your sidered, will stir up in you a spir. cause to him that judgeth right. it of holy emulation, and draw cously. In this manner you you into the same way of the must, out of the good treasure of cross by which they entered into your heart, bring forth good the kingdom of God. See and words for the bad behold, there goes your Lord have received ; because evil Jesus before you, pursued with tongues must give account in the curses and revilings of the the day of judgment, of every pharisee! See, there goes Mo. idle word they have spoken. ses before, and the faction of And this, certainly, will at the Korah, Dathan, and Abiram fol. last day prove a burden heavy lowing behind with execrations enough. Leave all therefore to in their months, and stones in the Lord, to do as he pleases, their hands, to rid themselves of who will not fail to do right. him! See, there goes David he. Recompense and ve fore in sore trials, and Shimei be. longs to him. The ungodly may hind, cursing his king! See, there boast never so much, and be ner. goes the society of the apostles er so confident in their own in. of our Lord before, and a faith. ventions, yet shall their foot slide less multitude behind stopping in time. But as for
0 their ears, and running madly Christian, fix your eye on the
Lord Jesus, and the lamb-like 5. But then it is not enough, frame of his mind.
He was slightly only, and superficially, oppressed, and he was afflicted, to reflect on the example of the yet he opened not his mouth : saints: but we must learn also He was brought as a lamb to the to be followers of them, when slaughter; and as a sheep before we are tried as they were, copy- her shearers is dumb, so opened ing in every tribulation after he not his mouth."
6. From the examples of the 7. Another remedy against saints, we are in the next place to the poison of a wicked tongue, learn a sovereign remedy, which used also by the saints, is the fre. they did make use of against the quent reading and meditating venom of evil tongues ; which is upon the word of God. This is prayer. They prayed; and so an excellent mean of consolation they were healed, and were com. and refreshment, whenever a soul forted. When they were bitter. is pursued and set upon by enely cursed by their adversaries, mies. For an upright heart hunt. they sent up only their cry
to ed by men of falsehood and mal. God, saying: “Let them curse, ice, is like a hart whose thirst in. but bless thou.” See, and pon. creases by being hunted; and as der the whole book of Psalms this brays and pants after the throughout. How did David water-brooks; so must needs a defend himself with prayer as with soul in affliction, long after the a wall of iron, against the blows cooling streams of the divine of false tongues ! They are all word, and be athirst for the liv. foolish marksmen, who bend ing waters of grace, thereby to their bow agaiust the innocent; be quickened and refreshed in her and draw the sword to slay such spiritual drought. It is by this as are of a right conversation. word of grace the Lord revives For their lies and slanders shall a drooping soul, speaking to her return at last upon their own in a kind and condescending man. heads, and shall enter into their 6 Blessed are ye, (says own bowels, as it is written : our great Master,) when men 56 Their sword shall enter into shall revile you, and persecute their own heart, and their bows you, and shall say all manner of shall be broken." All this shall evil against you falsely. Rejoice be set to rights by prayer: And and be exceeding glad : for great the steps of a good man shall be is your reward in heaven; for so established. For whenever any persecuted they the prophets one prays earnestly against an which were before you." In evil-speaker, or a liar, it is as which most comfortable saying much as if he wrestled and fought of our Lord, is laid down a three. with him, just as David wrest. fold ground of comfort, worthy led with Goliah, or as the rod of to be remarked : 1st, blessed are Moses with the Egyptian sorce- ye. 2dly, rejoice And 3dly, great rers. For here fight two spirits is your reward. Who therefore with each other; (which renders would not be willing, for the sake it the more fierce and violent) of so great and endless a good, that is, the prayer of faith pro
to endure here a little while re. ceeding from the Holy Spirit, the proach and persecution ? Yea, Spirit of truth; and the spirit of who would not even rejoice, lies proceeding from the devil, since he is made by this mean a the spirit of falsehood, and the partaker of Christ's sufferings, father of lies. However, all these in order, that when Christ's glodevilish
serpents of the Egyptians ry shall be revealed from heaven, shall be subdued in fine,and, as it he may also partake with his were, swallowed up by the divine Lord in the exceeding joy there. rød of Moses; that is, by prayer. of? 6 Blessed are ye, if ye be reproached for the name of that looks but with an earnest Christ, for the Spirit of glory aspect npon the dalliances and resteth upon you." Remember frolics of profane men, and drops also, that it is good for a man a serious word in favor of virtue. that he bear the yoke in his What is this day the fate of one youth; that he sit alone and keep good Christian, may be to-mor. silence, when he hath any laid row the fate of another, accord. upon him to bear; yea, that he ing as the humour of the world put his mouth in the dust, and works, who lets none pass un. wait in hope ; and that he give censured that is not for their his cheek to him that smiteth turn. After a true Christian is him, when he is filled full.with once exposed to public contempt, reproach. For the Lord will not
every one flings dirt at him, till cast off for ever.
the spirit of lying and slandering 8. You are further to learn, has wearied them out at last; that the persecution of the tongue and then they turn the edge of is a hellish storm, which will soon their tongues upon the next that blow over. Now as a traveller comes in their
, is not disheartened at any stor. say they, let our hearts cheer as my and tempestuous weather he in the day of our youth, and let is like to meet with upon the all care be drowned in laughter, road, but provides himself the
and any serious speech be ban. more for it : so let our spiritual ished from our company. And pilgrim, in his weary steps to. because the righteous upbraids wards the holy land, or the new us with offending the law by our Jerusalem, be never cast down doings, we will examine him with by storms and dangers, by sweat despitefulness and tortöre, that and toil incident to travellers ; we may know his meekness, and but let him go on in hope, and prove his patience.” continue faithful to his journey's 10.
The best method a end; when the contentment and Christian can take in all these delight after all his tiresome pa, storms, is to be quiet under them, ces, shall be infinitely sweet and and to keep the mind free from transcendent, and the fearful anger and bitterness. He that wilderness, wherein he has been thinks every offensive word to tempted for a while, lead him at be a stain to his character, which last to the glorious sight and en. ought to be wiped off carefully, joyment of his Sarior.
will often render things the worse thou afflicted, tossed with tem. by itHence it remains, that pest, and not comforted” at pres, the most effectual
to stop ent! Is it a strange thing that has the fury of slanderous tongues is happened unto you? What is
to yield to it for the present, and common to a traveller, patiently wait till time itself sets than to be overtaken by foul and things to rights again. He that shuwery weather? A plodding will dispute every thing at the diligence will for all that bring sword's point, as it were, is like him home safe and sound. him that has been stung by a bee,
9. The world spend their and being thereby put in a pas. time in mirth and laughter, and sion, runs himself headlong upon make every one a gazing-stock, the whole bee-hive to be reveng.