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if powerful, nothing wants but opportunity for rebellion; his submission, is ambitious hypocrisy; his religion, politic insinuation ;-no action is safe from an envious construction. When he receives a good report of him whom he emulates, he saith, Fame is partial, and covers mischiefs; and pleaseth himself with hope to find it false; and if ill will hath dispersed a more spiteful narration, he lays hold on that against all witnesses, and broacheth that rumour for truth, because worst; and when he sees him perfectly miserable, he can at once pity him and rejoice. What himself cannot do, others shall not: he hath gained well, if he have hindered the success of what he would have done and could not. He conceals his best skill, not so as it may not be known that he knows it, but so as it may not be learned, because he would have the world miss him. He attained to a sovereign medicine by the secret legacy of a dying empiric, whereof he will leave no heir, lest the praise should be divided. Finally, he is an enemy to God's favours, if they fall beside himself; the best nurse of ill fame; a man of the worst diet, for he consumes himself, and delights in pining; a thornhedge covered with nettles; a peevish interpreter of good things; and no other than a lean and pale carcass quickened with a fiend."
How hateful, then, is this crime; and although we may not be in danger of carrying it to the excess here stated, yet we should ever strive against its least and lowest degrees. The means of opposing and mortifying it are many.
Let us very seriously meditate on its evil nature. A steady contemplation of its deformity and demon
like countenance, is calculated to excite disgust, and to produce abhorrence. Many evils, and this among the number, are too much indulged, because they are too little contemplated. The more we meditate upon the heinousness of envy, the more we shall be convinced of the utter unsuitableness of such a temper as this to be the inmate of a Christian's bosom: it is like a fiend inhabiting the temple of the Lord. We must next form a deliberate resolution for its mortification: we must stand prepared to take the greatest pains, to maintain the most determined efforts, for the riddance of our hearts from so hateful a disposition. Let us next consider, that the circumstances which excite our envy are among the arrangements of a wise Providence; and that to dislike another on account of his excellence, or happiness, is a crime of no less magnitude than a wish to oppose and subvert the dispensations of heaven. Let us remember, that if others have more than ourselves, we have infinitely more than we deserve; a deliberate and frequent consideration of our numerous and aggravated sins, with our deliverance from their consequences, together with a survey of our mercies, and hopes, as Christians, would very powerfully help us in the great business of mortifying envy for the chief difference between man and man, as to real happiness, lies in spiritual distinctions; and if we have these, the absence of any thing else is matter of little consequence. It may not be amiss also to consider, how comparatively small is the amount of happiness derived by the object of our envy, from those possessions on the ground of which we dislike
him and how soon, could we transfer them to ourselves, they would cease to impart any strong gratification to us. We always act under a delusion, when we indulge this hateful passion: its objects are seen through a magnifying medium of very high power. The circumstances which excite our envy, have their attendant evils;-evils which, though concealed from general observation, are well known to the possessor of them. We should labour to be content with such things as we have: contentment is the secret of happiness, whether we have much or little. The man who makes up his mind to enjoy what he has, is quite as happy as he who possesses twice as much.
But still the great thing is, to endeavour, by God's gracious help, to increase in LOVE. Our envy will then as certainly diminish, as darkness retires before the entrance of light, or cold before the power of heat. Love and envy are the very antipodes of each other: the former delights in the happiness of others, the latter is made miserable by it. Let us endeavour to cultivate this disposition, and to delight in witnessing and diffusing blessedness. This is what the Apostle meant, when he said, "Rejoice with those that do rejoice." What a beatifying, and even sublime, temper is that, which leads its possessor to find consolation, amidst its own straits, privations, and difficulties, in contemplating the possessions and the comforts of those around him! What relief would such elevated virtue bring to the mourner, when he could turn his own darkened orb toward the illumination of his neighbour's prosperity! Happy the man who can thus
borrow the joys of others when he ha, none, or few, of his own; and, from the wilderness of his own situation, enjoy the beautiful prospect of his friends' domain. Difficult and rare as such a temper is, it is that which is the subject of the Apostle's description, in the chapter we are considering, and which it is the duty of every Christian to cultivate. Hard, indeed, is the saying, and few there are who can bear it, but it is assuredly the lesson which Christ teaches his disciples, and which those disciples must all endeavour to learn. Much may be done by effort. Let us determine, by God's help, to acquire it; let us make the attempt, and let us only persevere, notwithstanding many defeats and many discouragements, and it is astonishing what may be done. But this goeth not forth but by fasting and prayer. Love cannot be cultivated, nor envy destroyed, in our hearts, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. We may as well try to pull up by the roots the oak of a century's growth, or overturn a mountain by our own strength, as to eradicate the vice of envy from our hearts, without the aid of God's own Spirit: that aid is promised to fervent and persevering prayer, and if we have it not, the fault is our own.
THE HUMILITY OF LOVE.
"Charity is not puffed up-vaunteth not itself."
THE Apostle's meaning, in this part of his description, evidently is, that love has not a high and overweening conceit of its own possessions and acquirements, and does not ostentatiously boast of what it is, has done, can do, or intends to do. It is opposed to pride and vanity, and is connected with true humility. Pride signifies such an exalted idea of ourselves, as leads to self-esteem, and to contempt of others. It is self-admiration-self-doating. It differs from vanity thus pride causes us to value ourselves; vanity makes us anxious for applause. Pride renders a man odious; vanity makes him ridiculous. Love is equally opposed to both.
Pride is the sin which laid the moral universe in ruins. It was this that impelled Satan and his confederates to a mad "defiance of the Omnipotent to arms," for which they were driven from heaven, and taught, by their bitter experience, that "God resisteth the proud." Banished from the world of celestials, pride alighted on our globe, in its way to hell, and brought destruction in its train. Propa