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your character with humanity.
Let de- SERMON termined 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 few sitting at the King's gate.
SERMON 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 appears, from what is recorded of him, to have been a very
wicked minister. Raised to greatness with- SERMON oyt merit, he employed his power solely for the gratification of his passions, As the honours which he possessed were next to royal, his pride was every dạy 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 tþought 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 cre. dulous Sovereign, he obtained a decree to be sent forth, that, against a certain day, all the Jews throughout the Persian do Vol. I.
SERMON minions should be put to the sword. Mean
while, 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 had prepared, he went forth that day joyful, and with a glad beart. 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; one 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 SERMON of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the King had promoted him, and how he had ddvanced 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 nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the few sitting at the King's gate.
The sequel of Haman's history I shall not now pursue. It might afford matter for much instruction, by the conspicuous justice of God in his fall and punishment. But, contemplating only the singular situation in which the text presents him, and the violent agitation of his mind which it displays, the following reflections naturally arise, which, together with some practical improvements, shall make the subject of this discourse. I. How miserable is vice, when one guilty passion creates so much torment! II. How uns