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a proper distance from the grating objects of worldly contention. It leaves us sufficiently connected with the world, for acting our part in it with propriety; but disengages us from it so far, as to weaken its
of disturbing our tranquillity. It inspires magnanimity; and magnanimity always breathes gentleness. It leads us to view the follies of men with pity, not with rancour ; and to treat, with the mildness of a superior nature, what in little minds would call forth all the bitterness of passion,
Aided by, such considerations, let us cultivate that gentle wisdom which is, in so many respects, important both to our duty and our happiness. Let us assume it as the ornament of
every age, and of every station. Let it temper the petulance of youth, and soften the moroseness of old age. .
Let it mitigate authority in those who rule, and promote deference in those who obey. I conclude with repeating the caution, not to mistake for true gentleness, that flimsy imitation of it called polished manners, which often, among men of the world, under a smooth appearance, conceals much asperity. Let your's be native gentleness of heart, flowing from the love of God, and the love of man. Unite this amiable spirit with a proper zeal for all that is
right, and just, and true. Let piety be combined in your character with humanity. Let determined integrity dwell in a mild and gentle breast. A character, thus supported, will command more real respect, than can be procured by the most shining accomplishments, when separated from virtue.
ON THE DISORDERS OF THE PASSIONS.
Esther, v. 13.
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see
Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's gate.
These are the words of one who, though high in station and power, confessed himself to be miserable. They relate to a memorable occurrence in the Persian history, under the reign of Ahasuerus, who is supposed to be the Prince known among the Greek historians by the name of Artaxerxes. Ahasuerus had advanced, to the chief dignity in his kingdom, Haman, an Amalekite, who inherited all the ancient enmity of his race to the Jewish nation. He
He appears, from what is recorded of him, to have been a very wicked minister. Raised to greatness without merit, he employa
ed his power solely for the gratification of his passions. As the honours which he possessed were next to royal, his pride was erery day fed with that servile homage which is peculiar to Asiatic courts; and all the servants of the King prostrated themselves before him. In the midst of this general adulation, one person only stooped not to Haman. This was Mordecai the Jew; who, knowing this Amalekite to be an enemy to the people of God, and, with virtuous indignation, despising that insolence of prosperity with which he saw him lifted
up, bowed not, nor did him reverence. On this appearance of disrespect from Mordecai, Haman was full of wrath; but he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Personal revenge was not sufficient to satisfy him. So violent and black were his passions, that he resolved to exterminate the whole nation to which Mordecai belonged. Abusing, for this cruel purpose, the favour of his credulous Sovereign, he obtained a decree to be sent forth, that, against a certain day,all the Jews throughout the Persian dominions should be put to the sword. Meanwhile, confident of success, and blind to approaching ruin, he continued exulting in his prosperity. Invited by Ahasuerus to a royal banquet, which Esther the Queen bad prepared, he went forth that day joyful, and with a glad heart. But behold how slight an incident was sufficient to poison his joy! As he went forth, he saw Mordecai in the King's gate ; and observed that still he refused to do him homage. He stood not up, nor was moved for him ; although he well knew the formidable designs which Haman was preparing to execute. One private man, who despised his greatness, and disdained submission, while a whole kingdom trembled before him
; dne spirit, which the utmost stretch of his power could neither subdue nor humble, blasted his triumphs. His whole soul was shaken with a storm of passion. Wrath, pride, and desire of revenge, rose into fury. With difficulty he restrained himself in public; but as soon as he came to his own house, he was forced to disclose the agony of his mind. He gathered together his friends and family, with Zerish his wife. He told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the King had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the King. He said, moreover, Yea, Esther the Queen did let no man come in with the King unto the banquet that she had prepared, but myself ; and to-morrow also am I invited unto her with the King. After all this preamble, what is the conclusion ?-Yet all this availeth me