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brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God". Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned; behold, the judge standeth before the door". If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. And mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. SECT. 5. Dissuasives from anger, with exhortations to meekness.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that there be no divisions among you; for it hath been declared unto me of you, that there are contentions among you. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you, as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ'. For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envyings, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For I fear lest when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not; lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults, doating about questions, and strifes of words; whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes; and the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves f. themselves. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Let nothing be done through strife and vain glory". Do all things without mur
• Gal. v. 15.
B James, i. 19, 20.
§ 5. 1 Cor. i. 10, 11.
d 2 Cor. xii. 20.
n James, v. 9.
q Rom. xvi. 17.
murings and disputings', strife, and envying*. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another'. If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted". Let your moderation be known to all men ; the Lord is at hand". Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Bless them which persecute you; bless and curse not. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord'. Be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God'. Let us therefore follow after things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another'; even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price'. The wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy; and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace". Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth*.*
SECT. 6. Meekness and gentleness are dispositions essential to the Christian character.
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy ↳. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God. Ye have heard, that it was said
by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother, without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fired. Come unto me, ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls".
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness'. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; doth not behave itself unseemly, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, beareth all things, endureth all things". Follow after righteousness, patience, meekness', charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart*; showing all meekness unto all men'. Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called; with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace". And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you".
SECT. 7. The bright example of this virtue which is given us by our blessed Lord.
For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled
Matth. v. 21, 22. * 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 5. * 2 Tim. ii. 22. * Eph. iv. 32.
not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously". And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by, struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me"? Then cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders. And he that betrayed him, had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him and lead him. away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, Master, and kissed him but Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him ". And the Samaritans did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them *. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased; he shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory'.
SECT. 8. The happiness of the meek.
Come ye children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. he that desireth
What man is
§7.1 Pet. ii. 21, 22, 23.
with Luke, xxii. 48. 1 Matt. xii. 17-20.
b John, xviii. 22, 23.
Mark, xiv. 43-45,
Luke, ix. 53-56.
life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way". The Lord lifteth up the meek; he casteth the wicked down to the ground. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people; he will beautify the meek with salvation. Seek the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness. The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord".
SECT. 9. Complaints and prayers of the Saints relating to the violent.
O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? even cry unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! for spoiling and violence are before me; and there are that raise up strife and contention. O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I flee away, and be at rest. Lo then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness; I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest ". Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword". Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Thou shalt stretch forth thine