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malice, which, like the winged lightning of heaven, acts only with violence, where it meets with resistance. But injuries revenged beget implacable and hereditary hatreds, which, like the fire of hell, which kindles them, are never quenched.

Again, it is often said, that to forgive discovers meanness, and baseness of spirit, but revenge is a sign of magnanimity and greatness of soul. But this false and destructive maxim can proceed from nothing but from a most ungovernable spirit of pride, or such an unsatiable thirst of doing mischief, as puts us upon a level with wild beasts, and, if followed, would make men worse monsters than howl in the savage deserts. Even the very heathens had more exalted notions of humanity, and taught their disciples, that to forgive injuries was an indispensible moral duty, incumbent upon every man. “ We ought not to return an injury, nor to dą

any damage, or mischief, to any person in " the world, whatsoever we may have suffered

by him," said the divine Socrates, in a temper and language truly Christian. And I

appeal to every man's own experience, whether his heart does not secretly approve and applaud every instance of a meek and forgiving temper in others, and whether his conscience does not, in the silent hours of cool reflection, condeinn every revengeful thought in himself, as base, barbarous, unmanly, and unchristian.

But some may say, if they forgive, men will impute it to cowardice, and not to religion ; and therefore their honour is concerned. But what is this phantom of honour, which thus keeps the world in awe ? Are men then obliged to sacrifice their reason, their conscience, their hopes of immortality, to popular opinion ? Is not the only true honour in acting like men, and like Christians? Is it not far better to suffer the reproaches of foolish men, than the torments of hell? Besides, do these men, who pretend to such nicety of honour in this point, take care to keep their honour inviolable upon all other occasions ?---Honour requires us to be true and just in all our dealings, faithful in our promises, to abstain from acts of fraud, injus* tice, and oppression, and to do to others as we would they should do to us. Yet the man of honour seldom troubles himself about these weightier matters of the law; though they are, in reality, the only things which constitute true honour. He cannot bear a lie to himself, yet he will affront his God with ten thousand oaths. Ile cannot pass by a reproach from any man,

, yet

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yet he will defraud many by refusing to pay his just and honest debts. He cannot forgive the slightest injury, yet he will do the greatest. His honour will not let him bear a frown or a jest, but it will let him seduce the wife of his dearest friend, plunge a sword into the heart of the man whom he has injured, and leave an innocent and often distressed family, to bewail the diabolical effects of revenge and ungoverned passions. Such is that honour, which tramples upon the wisdom of the gospel, and would teach men to reverse that amiable precept, “ as Christ forgave you, so also do ye!” He, therefore, who regulates his actions by the opinions of men of such honour as this, —who can condescend to purchase their approbation at the price of his own innocence, ----who dares to prefer their decrees to the commands of the unia versal Sovereign, will have little reason to applaud his wisdom, when he awakes to serious reflection, and still less, when he awakes to those judgments which are reserved for the implacable and unforgiving

eyen

But some will tell me, perhaps, it is a hard task to forgive. But let me ask, in return, if it be not a harder still to revenge ; by which Dothing is gained but loss of quiet, and a mind

continually continually racked with hatred, cruelty, envy, and all those diabolical passions, which add to the torments of hell itself?

And here I might naturally attempt to paint the character of a heart thus torn and distracted. with the implacable desire of revenge :-but, here, in speaking to those who have long been witnesses to the tenor of my conduct in life, I hope, it will be no affectation or breach of modesty to say, that I find myself unequal to the task :- for sure I am, that none can paint it to the life, but those, who have actually felt it. It would not be too much to say, that hell is begun within them: for they burn, day and night, with a consuming fire. The image of the person they persecute stares them in the face, like an evil genius, and haunts them in their closest recesses and midnight hours. If their enemy prospers, who can express their rage? If men shew him respect, how great is their indignation: If he is proinoted to honour, ,how outrageous is their envy? Thus a thousand contending passions are hourly working in the breast of the revengeful man, which by turns afflict and distress his soul, yet the wretch, like a slave condemned to the galleys, still drags his chain, and, after a thousand times the pains to accomplish his reyenge, which it would have N 3

cost

cost him to forgive his offended brother, he atlast cries out, that it is too hard for flesh and blood to forgive. And, indeed, justly he might so cry out, had God annexed half the miseries and anxieties to the duty of forgiveness, which the revengeful man feels in accomplishing his savage and unchristian purposes !

But you will say, that the desire of revenge is not to be resisted, as being the strongest of all human passions. But surely it is not stronger than the love of heaven and eternal happiness, Even should we allow that God has commanded us hard things, yet we should also remember, that he has promised us great ones. Let, there fore, the recompence of the reward atone for any fancied difficulty in the discharge of our duty, Let us remember too, that the forgiveness - of others is the condition of our own forgiveness, and the difficulty of this duty will appear still lighter. Doubtless, our own life has not been without its spots and blemishes, which call for vengeance from God at least, if not from man: can it, therefore, be hard to be told, -forgive and ye shall be forgiven ;-pardon your enemies, and

your sins shall be pardoned in heaven, be they never so great and many? Is there not rather, if I may be allowed the expression, music in the sound, which ought to fill our souls with

gratitude

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