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and there are men in it whose shoe latchet he may not unloose. The power of calculating his own interest is the only one of his soul that he has cultivated. He would depopulate the world, if he could hold in fee simple the whole territory. Principle he has none. What is right, or virtuous, or decent-he never once asks himself, when money can be had.
He would ruin his family to gain pelf, would school his offspring in his own house with the tippler, the lewd, and the lost, and then wonder why he has not better children. All the degraded pay court to him, will serve him because he feeds their appetites, and blunts their reason, and kills the keenness of their consciences, and smiles on their deeds of darkness and desperation. A friend he has not, nor cares to have, unless that friend will help him heap up gold.
His very advocate is bought over to him by the fee, and has cursed his client as he passed him a thousand times, loudly and fearlessly. If you would kill the charm that his money has, his cringing advocate would rise, and put off his hypocritical face, and shout a loud and long amen to every execration I can dash upon him.
How has he treated my client, and why? hated him, insulted him, belied him, excited others to do the like deeds, and all the while be buying eulogies for himself by his drams.
And for what all this! For knowing him too well, for rebuking him too sharply, for holding out no Bible hope to him, for unbaring perdition to him, for hurting his fraudulent gains, by advocating a virtue that will not be duped by his money, and forming a public opinion that desecrates him, and last and most of all, by exhibiting a manliness of deportment, and a rigidness of morals, that casts upon him a shade dark as the sulphurous smoke of the pit.
The court will not rebuke me. They ought so to do, were I speaking of a man. But they know, and the jury know, that my client has encountered a bear, who cannot be made more black, nor mischievous, nor deformed, than he really is. I submit the case.
I need not have said any thing. The jury will stay in their box and write their verdict. They will rescue my client from the claws of the Ursus, and beat him off to go and hunt other prey, with his teeth blunted, and his nails shortened, and his track scented, as he traces his future midnight routes.
Justice will overtake him now and hereafter. Now, by your verdict, and hereafter, by the storm of rebuke that will brood over him. His ill-gotten estate will go to the winds. Some heir of his will squander it as fast as he obtained it, and send his father's name with it into oblivion.
Ah! but I just now remember that he will be tried by a higher court, and have a being when the moon is turned to blood. Let me say to him, Poor man, think of that last day. Will your abuse of my client ease your expiring pillow? Will it stay the rage of the fever? Will it cool your burning tongue?' Will it light up your dying chamber? Will it bribe off death, and hold at bay his angels? Will it illumine your avenue to the dark world, or upward to a better? No.
WRATH CONQUERED BY LOVE.
Romans xii. 21.
A VERY good man once said, “If there is any one particular temper I desire more than another, it is the grace of meekness; quietly to bear ill treatment, to forget and forgive; and at the same time that I am sensible I am injured, not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good.” But this sentiment, be it remembered, could be learned only from heaven. It did not belong to the systems of heathen philosophy. In them it was taught, that to forgive, till revenge had been taken, was weakness. To swear undying wrath, and plot the most summary redress, and sleep not till the enterprize was accomplished, all this was the height of virtue. And above this it is not to be expected that unsanctified human nature will rise. Hence every unchristian land is a field of blood. “The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”.
At the dawn of the age of mercy, a Pliny said, but had learned the sentiment from that very religion he affected to despise, “I esteem him the best good man, who forgives others, as though he were every day faulty himself; and who at the same time abstains from faults, as if he pardoned no one.” But it was one from heaven, who had long enjoyed the harmony of happy spirits, and had himself the power to '
mould the hearts of men into his own image;
who came down in all the amiableness of God, and taught the world principles of kindness ; that to forgive is possible, and that the meek are blessed. His conduct accorded with his principles. When smitten on the one cheek he turned the other. When led as a lamb to the slaughter, he opened not his mouth, and when nailed to the tree, he merely prayed for those who drove the nails, and plead in their behalfthat they knew not what they did. When he quit the world, he made it one of his last acts, to engrave upon the hearts of his followers, as with the point of a diamond upon a rock, the very text I have read you. Its spirit has constituted ever since, and will while the earth is blessed with a trace of his religion, the leading and prominent social virtue of his people. It is that feature of their Master which if they do not wear, they cannot now be recognized, nor can be known when they come to heaven.
Suffer me to make three inquiries, When may it be considered that one is overcome of evil ? How may we save ourselves from the shame and the injury of being thus vanquished ? and, How may we overcome evil with good ?
I. When may it be considered that one is overcome of evil? This is a calamity that may doubtless happen to the good man, but is a matter of every day's occurrence to the multitudes of the ungodly. I remark, then, that a man is overcome of evil,
1. When ill treatment excites the angry passions, and produces harsh and ill natured language. In this snare unsanctified men are caught daily. Even men of correct habits are sometimes surprised by sudden and unexpected abuse, and rage when they should rea
But in every such case much is lost, and nothing gained. To lose our recollection and temper, and thus be brought down to a level with the man, whom we should rather have held in dignified and Christian contempt, is to be in a very uncomfortable sense overcome or conquered. This unhappy result was perhaps the very design of the onset. The foe has gained his whole object, and his antagonist is vanquished.
2. One is still more completely overcome of evil, when he settles down into confirmed hatred of the offender. He gives place to the devil, and lets the sun go down upon his wrath. By suffering anger to rest in his bosom, he becomes in God's esteem a fool. His passions have the mastery over him, and he becomes and remains a conquered man. And as he pores again and again over the insult that at first unmanned him, and thus deepens the tone of his anger, he may be seen in a figure putting chains upon himself, and riveting the very fetters that bind him, Hardly may he be said to wish an escape from his bondage, or to make the least effort to break the chain that holds him. And not the “miseries of an Algerine bondage, could more jade the spirits or vex the heart. It may be, too, that the foe was one whom in his calmer moments he would disdain to set with the dogs of his flock. Yet he has done the very deed he intended to do, and glories in his victory. How unhappy, that one should be thus rendered a captive and a slave, by suffering his passions to rise upon him, and bind him.
3. One is overcome of evil when he indulges designs of revenge. The divine injunction is, that we return good for evil, that we love them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us. If the enemy hunger we are to feed him, if he thirst we are to give him drink, and thus heap coals of fire on his head. By no other means can we so readily conquer our foes. We use in