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66

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understood. Thus Abraham did not refuse the gifts of the king of Egypt, Gen. xii. 13. xx. 14. though he rejected those of the king of Sodom, xiv. 22, 23. and though he declined to accept the field offered him by Ephron the Hittite, except on payment of its full value, xxiii. 13. Thus also Job, although restored to his former health and prosperity, did not disdain the congratulatory offerings of his friends, xlii. 11. In this spirit Gideon refused the kingdom, Judges viii. 23. The same disposition accompanied Joseph in his exaltation from a prison to the first honours of the empire, Gen. xli. So also Daniel ii. 48, 49. “then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts.” On the other hand, chap. v. 17.he answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another;" but v. 29. Belshazzar commanded, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet.' actuated by the same temper in refusing and accepting dignities. vi. 2. "

over these were three presidents, of whom Daniel was first.” Such was also the spirit of Nehemiah in asking honours, ii. 5. " I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant hath found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me into Judah ;” of Samuel in laying down his authority, 1 Sam.x.l. “then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because Jehovah hath anointed thee ?—" of Elisha in refusing a reward for the cure he had wrought, 2 Kings v. 15, 16. “ as Jehovah liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none;" of Christ in rejecting the empire of the world, Matt. iv. 9. "all these things will I give thee, if,” &c. Luke iv. 6. John vi. 15. “when Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force to make him a king, he departed— ;" in despising riches, 2 Cor. viii. 9. “ though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor;” in accepting honours, Matt. xxi. 7, &c. “ they brought the ass, and the colt.... and they set him thereon.” Such, finally, is the spirit by which every true Christian is guided in his estimate of himself. James i. 9, 10. “let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is ex

but the rich in that he is made low.” Allied to this is indignation at the unfounded praises or undeserved prosperity of the wicked. Prov. xxx. 21, &c. “ for three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear; for a servant when he reigneth, and a fool when he is

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filled with meat ; for an odious woman when she is married, and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.” When how. ever this feeling exceeds due bounds, it ceases to be praiseworthy. Psal. xxxvii. 1. “ fret not thyself because of evil doers.” v. 7, 8.“ fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked device to pass.” Prov. iii. 31. “envy thou not the oppressor,

and choose none of his ways.” The language of indignation is used, Job xxx. 1, &c. Psal. xv. 4. “ in whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoureth them that fear Jehovah.” The vehemence of its expression sometimes borders on indecency:

See Ezek. xvi. 25, 36. Opposed to magnanimity are, first, an ambitious spirit. Numb. xii. 2. “ hath Jehovah indeed spoken only by Moses ? hath he not spoken also by us?” xvi. 3. “ seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them : wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of Jehovah ?” Judges ix. 1, 2. “Abimelech went to Shechem .... and communed with them .... saying, Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem,” &c. 2 Sam. XV. 2. “Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate—' V. 4. “O that I were made judge in this land—.' Prov. xxv. 27. “ for men to search their own glory is not glory."

Secondly, pride, when a man values himself without merit, or more highly than his merits deserve, or is elated by some insignificant circumstance. 2 Sam. xxi. 28. “ thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.” Prov. vi. 16, 17. these six things doth Jehovah hate. ... a proud look"

xv. 25.“ Jehovah will destroy the house of the proud.” xvi. 5.“every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to Jehovah." v. 18. "pride goeth before destruction.” xviii. 12. “ before destruction the heart of man is haughty.” xxi. 4.“ an high look, and a proud heartxxix. 23. “a man's pride shall bring him low."

Thirdly, pusillanimity; of which Saul when chosen king is an example, 1 Sam. x. 21, 22. “ when they sought him, he could not be found.. behold, he hath hid himself

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CHAP. X. -OF THE SECOND CLASS OF VIRTUES CONNECTED

WITH THE DUTY OF MAN TOWARDS HIMSELF.

THE virtues which regulate our desire of external good have been spoken of; we are next to consider those which are exercised in the resistance to, or the endurance of evil.

These virtues are fortitude and patience.

FORTITUDE is chiefly conspicuous in repelling evil or regarding its approach with equanimity. Josh. i. 6, 7, 9. “have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage ; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.” Heb. xi. 32, &c. “ the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, &c. who through faith subdued kingdoms.” Psal. iii. 9. “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about.” See Psal. xviii.32, &c. xxiii. 4. “ though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.” xxxvii. 12, &c. “the wicked plotteth against the just .... the wicked have drawn out the sword... their sword shall enter into their own heart.” xlvi. 1, 2. “God is our refuge and strength .... therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed." lvi. 11. “ in God have I put my trust ; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” See also cxviii. 6. cxii. 7, 8. “ he shall not be afraid of evil tidings. Prov. iii. 24, 25. “when thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid.” xxiv. 5, 6.“ a wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” xxviii. 1. "the righteous are bold as a lion.” Isai. xli. 10. “fear thou not, for I am with thee.” li. 7.“fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. v. 12. “I am he that comforteth you; who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid?” Dan. iï. 16. “ they said to the king.. we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.” Matt. x. 28. &c. “ fear not them which kill the body—.” The great pattern of fortitude is our Saviour Jesus Christ, throughout the whole of his life, and in his death. Luke xiii. 31, &c.“ go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” John xi. 7, 8. “ his disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again ?” 2 Tim. i. 7. “God liath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and

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of a sound mind.” 1 John ii. 14. “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

Opposed to fortitude are, first, timidity. Psal. xxvii. 1. “ Jehovah is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear ?" Prov. x. 24.“ the fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him.' xxv. 26. “a righteous man falling down before the wicked, is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.” xxviii. 1. “the wicked flee when no man pursueth.” xxix. 25. “ the fear of man bringeth a snare.” Isa. xli. 13, 14. “fear not, thou worm Jacob.” Nehem. vi. 11. “ should such a man as I flee?Matt. xxiv. 6. “ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars :

ye

be not troubled.” Rev. xxi. 8. “the fearful and unbelieving.. shall have their part in the lake that burneth—.”

Secondly, rashness, which consists in exposing ourselves to danger unnecessarily. Prov. xiv. 16. "a wise man feareth and departeth from evil : but the fool rageth, and is confident.” This fault is exemplified in Amaziah, 2 Kings xiv. 8. "come, let us look one another in the face ;” and in Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxv. 20–22. “ he sent ambassadors unto him, saying.. nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him." Christ has taught us to avoid it by his example. John vii. 1. “ he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” xi. 53, 54. “ Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews.” Matt. x. 23. “when they persecute you in this city, flee

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into another.” PATIENCE consists in the endurance of misfortunes and injuries. Psal. Ixix. 7. "for thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face.” Prov. xi. 12. "he that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour; but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.” xvii. 27. “ he that hath knowledge spareth his words, and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” xix. 11. “ the discretion of man deferreth

Eccles. vii. 21. “ also take no heed unto all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.” Isai. l. 7, 8. “ I have set my face like a flint—” Matt. v. 39. “resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” 1 Cor. vi. 7.“why do ye not rather take wrong

?1 Thess. v. 14. “ be patient towards all men.” See above, on patience towards God. Compensation for injuries, nevertheless, is occasionally exacted

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even by pious men. Acts xvi. 37. “they have beaten us openly uncondemned,” &c.

The opposites to this are, first, impatience and an effeminate spirit, Prov. xxiv. 10. “if thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."

Secondly, an hypocritical patience, which voluntarily inflicts upon itself unnecessary evils. This is exemplified in the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings xviii. 28. “they cut themselves after their manner with knives ;” and in the flagellations of the modern Papists.

Lastly, a stoical apathy; for sensibility to pain, and even lamentations, are not inconsistent with true patience; as may be seen in Job and the other saints, when under the pressure of affliction."

CHAP. XI.-OF THE DUTIES OF MAN TOWARDS HIS NEIGH

BOUR, AND THE VIRTUES COMPREHENDED UNDER THOSE

DUTIES. HITHERTO we have treated of those duties of charity and justice which man owes TO HIMSELF; we are next to consider the same virtues as exercised towards OUR NEIGHBOUR.

CHARITY TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBOUR consists in LOVING HIM AS OURSELVES. Lev. xix. 18. “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ; I am Jehovah.”

1 John iv. 11. “ beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” Under the name of neighbour are comprehended all to whom we have the opportunity of rendering service or assistance. Luke x. 36, 37. “ which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him— ? he that shewed mercy on him ;" as in the present instance the Samaritan shewed mercy on the Jew, although estranged from him in so many respects.

Chiefly however believers : Gal. iv. 10. “ as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith ;" inasmuch as, in addition to the ordinary tie of affinity, we are connected with them by a spiritual bond: Eph. iv. 3. “ endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Next in degree are those most closely allied to us by relationship or friend

7 This distinction is well illustrated in the character of Samson, throughout the drama which bears that name.

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