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her neighbour, and then may the Lord strengthen her upon the bed of languishing, and, by some kind hand like her own, make all her bed in her sickness.”
A tribute of respect might be here paid to celebrated pious women. The names of Parr, Russell, Rowe, Hope, Glenorchy, Huntingdon, Langham, Warwick, Hastings, Brooks, and a vast number of others, will not soon be forgotten. But for interesting accounts of these illustrious characters, see Gibbons's Memoirs of Pious Women, with additions, by the Rev. G. Jerment.
THE FOOL'S REPROOF.
THERE was a certain nobleman (says Bishop Hall) who kept a fool, to whom he one day gave a staff, with a charge to keep it till he should meet with one who was a greater fool than bimself: not many years after, the nobleman fell sick, even unto death. The fool came to see him : his sick lord said to him, “I must shortly leave you.", " And whither are you going?” said the fool. “Into another world,” replied bis lordship, " And when will you come again? Wiihin a month?" "No." " Within a year ?" "No." " When then?“Never.” “ Never !” said the fool: “and what provision hast thou made for thy entertainment there whither thou goest ?! " None at all.” “No!” said the fool," none at all! Here, then, take my staff; for, with all my foily, I am not guilty of any such folly as
FORBEARANCE, KINDNESS, &c.
“ ALL that is great and good in the universe is on the side of clemency and mercy. If we look into the history of mankind, we shall find that, in every age, those who have been respected as wor. thy have been distinguished for this virtue. Revenge dwells in little minds: a noble and magnanimous spirit is superior to it. Collected within itself, it stands unmoved by the impotent assaults of our enemies; and with generous pity, rather than with anger, looks down on their unworthy conduct. It has been truly said, that the greatest man on earth can no sooner commit an injury, than a good man can make himself greater by forgiving it.”
Anger and revenge are uneasy passions ; “ hence,” says Seed, it
appears that the command of loving our enemies which has been thought a hard saying, and impossible to be fulfilled, is really no more, when resolved into its first principles, than bidding us to be at peace with ourselves, which we cannot be, so long as we continue at enmity with others.”
The heathens themselves saw the reasonableness of the spirit which we are now inculcating, and approved of it. It is said concerning Julius Cæsar, that upon any provocation he would repeat the Roman alphabet before he suffered himself to speak, that he might be more just and calm in his resentments, and also that he could forget nothing but wrongs, and remember nothing but benefits.
It becomes a man, says the emperor Antoninus, to love even those that offend him. A man hurts himself, says Epictetus, by injuring me: and
what then? Shall I therefore hurt myself by injuring him? In benefits, says Seneca, it is a disgrace to be outdone ; in injuries to get the better. Another heathen, when he was angry with one by him, said, “I would beat thee; but I am angry."
Philip, the king of Macedon, discovered great moderation, even when he was spoken to in shocking and injurious terms. At the close of an audience which he gave to some Athenian ambassadors who were come to complain of some act of hostility, he asked whether he could do them any service. “ The greatest service thou could'st do us,” said Demochares, “ will be to hang thyself.” Philip, though he perceived all the persons present were highly offended at these words, made the following answer, with the utmost calmness of temper: “Go; tell your superiors, that those who dare make use of such insolent language and more haugnty and less peaceabiy inclined than those who can forgive them.”
It is recorded to the honour of Edward III, that one day, being laid down upon the bed, one of his domestics, who did not know that he was in the room, stole some money out of a chest he found open, which the king let him carry off without saying a word. Presently after the boy returned to make a second attempt : the king called out to him, without any violence of passion, “ Sirrah, you had best be satisfied with what you have got; for if my chamberlain come and catch you, he will not only take away what you have stolen, but also whip you severely.” The chamberlain coming in and missing the money, fell into a great rage; but the king calmly said to him, 6 Be content; the chest should not have been left open. The temptation was too strong for the poor youth: he wanted money more than we do, and there is still enough left for us.
There was one who did Sir Matthew Hale a great injury, who, coming afterwards to him for his advice in the settlement of his estate, he
gave it very frankly to him, but would accept of no fee for it; and thereby shewed both that he could forgive as a christian, and that he had the soul of a gentleman in him, not to take money of one who had wronged him so heinously. When he was asked by one how he could use a man so kindly who had wronged him so much, his answer was, He thanked God, he had learned to forget injuries.
Tiberius, the Roman emperor, at the beginning of his reign, acted, in most things, like a truly generous, good-natured, and clement prince. All Standerous reports, libels, and lampoons, upon him and his administration, he bore with extraordinary patience ; saying, “That, in a free state, the thouçhts and tongues of every man ought to be free;" and when the senate would have proceeded against some who had published libeis against him, he would not consent to it, saying, “ We have not time enough to attend to such trifles : if you once open a door to such informations, you will be able to do nothing else ; for, under that pretence, every man will revenge himself upon his enemies by accusing them to you.” How noble was the conduct of ihis heathen! and what a reproof does his conduct afford to many who are professed christians, and who have not learnt that apostolic lesson, " to be patient toWard all men !"
Mr. Burkitt observes in his Jcurnal, that some persons would never have had a particular share
in his prayers, but for the injuries they had done him. This reminds me of an exemplary passage concerning Mr. Lawrence's once going, with some of his sons, by the house of a gentleman that had been injurious to him : he gave a charge to his sons to this purpose, “ That they should never think or speak amiss of that gentleman, for the sake of any thing he had done against him ; but, whenever they went by his house, should lift up their hearts in prayer to God for him and his fimily.” This good man had learnt to practice that admirable precept of our Lord, “ Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."
Of Mr. John Henderson it is observed, that the oldest of his friends never beheld him otherwise than calm and collected : it was a state of mind he retained under all circumstances. During his residence at Oxford, a student of a neighbouring college, proud of his logical acquirements, was solicitous of a private disputation with the renowned Henderson: some mutual friends introduced him, and, having chosen bis subject, they con. versed for some time with equal candour and moderation; but Henderson's antagonist, perceiving his confutation inevitable (forgetting the character of a gentleman, and with a resentment engendered by his former arrogance,) threw a full glass of wine in his face. Henderson, without altering his features or changing his position, gently wiped his face, and then coolly replied, “ This, Sir, is a digression : now for the argument.”
A certain noble courtier being asked by what means he had continued so long in favour, replied, “By being thankful, and patiently enduring