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Solomon but all the world has remarked, that strong drink is raging; and they that stay long at the wine have contentions, and babbling, and wounds without cause P. These things therefore must be avoided with the greatest caution, as immediately tending to make this passion exorbitant and ungovernable.

Thirdly, let those whose temper much inclines them to this passion, divert it from other objects, by turning it inward upon themselves, where there is most need of it, and it may be most useful to us ; and then, instead of running into criminal excesses, which there is little danger of when thus employed, it will do us great service, in chastising, with due severity, what deserves the animadversions of our displeasure, and which every man that knows himself cannot but know there is but too much need of: and the more it is thus busied at home, the less will it look abroad.

Fourthly, I must not forget to recommend the practice of frequent, fervent prayer. For besides that these humble and devout addresses to the throne of grace are necessary to our obtaining the divine assistance, without which no evil habit can be conquered by us; it is in its own nature a proper remedy for this passion, and peculiarly serviceable to the regulation of it. For it mightily tends to make a man humble, by bringing to his mind his own many and great failings, and how much he stands in need of the patience and forbearance of God: and pride being one of the great causes of the exorbitancy of anger, what tends to take that down must needs be of excellent use to the taming and due ordering of this. Besides, a

P Prov. xx. I ; xxiii. 29, 30.

man must first calm his mind, before he can dispose himself for devotion, and know how to offer up his prayers to God; and therefore the doing this frequently, and with due seriousness and reverence, and our repeated endeavours thus to quiet and compose ourselves for the service of God, will by degrees insensibly weaken the contrary habit of heat and excessive anger, and by his blessing, who refuses no sincere supplicant, we shall at length get the reins into our hand, and be able to govern this passion as we ought.

In the last place, let me recommend the frequent consideration of the incomparable meekness and sedateness of our most blessed Saviour Jesus; who, though he was not without this passion, yet had it without sin. How barbarously was he used, what indignities did he endure, and with what admirable evenness and tranquillity of spirit! and now, how highly is he exalted for his patient suffering, how worshipped and adored, and how glorious and happy at the right hand of his Father! And if we likewise tread in these his steps, although far short of his perfection, we shall likewise share in those his triumphs; if we learn this meekness and lowliness of his, we also shall find eternal rest for our souls in the bosom of our Creator.

Lord, what felicity is that! what an exceeding weight of glory, what rivers of pleasure, what unspeakable joy! How can any man that contemplates such glories and such bliss have any value for the trifles of this earth; much less so great a value, as thus deeply to resent and be so violently moved by the cross accidents and ill-treatment that he meets with here!


To conclude, therefore; if such an example and such a reward will not animate and encourage us to restrain this headstrong passion, nothing will: let us therefore often and seriously lay both before us, and attentively reflect upon what has been now said upon this argument; and by God's blessing and assistance it will be effectual to the regulation of this passion of anger.

“ And we beseech thee, O God, who art the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, “ mercifully to accept our prayers which we make “ unto thee for ability to subdue this violent passion, “ to which we are too prone, and too easily and too “ often hurried by it to very indecent and criminal

excesses, to thy dishonour and our own shame and “confusion ! And because, through the weakness of “our mortal nature, we can do no good thing with“ out thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that we

may follow the blessed steps of the meek, lowly

Jesus, that so we may find rest and quiet in our “ souls from the storms of inordinate anger and “ furious wrath; and being angry without sin, and “ no more giving place in this instance to the Devil, “ but putting away from us all bitterness and clamour, and evil speaking, with all malice 9; and

being kind to and forgiving one another, even as “ God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us; we may be

pardoned for our past offences in this matter, and “ delivered for the future from the bonds of this, “ and those other sins, which, through our frailty, “ we have committed, through Jesus Christ our 66 Lord. Amen.”


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I Ephes. iv. 31.




Of the nature of this passion. As for the nature of this passion of hope, it seems to be designed by our good Creator as the great cordial of mankind, to keep up our drooping spirits under the many and unavoidable pressures of this mortal state; where good is so precarious, uncertain, and at a distance, and evil so constantly with us, and closely pursuing us, that were it not for the new vigour which this passion gives us, we could not hold out under so tedious an expectation of distant good, and the frequent disappointments we meet with in the pursuit of it; nor without this prevailing counterpoise to our fears of impending evil, and the weight of what is actually upon us, keep from sinking under them into desperation. And therefore St. Paul calls hope the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfasta, which, if well fixed, will in the midst of storms and tempests, and other threatening dangers, keep the mind in steadiness and safety; and prevent that anxiety and doubtful suspense, which is one of the greatest uneasinesses in the world, and not seldom of very fatal consequence. .

Indeed, as the case is with us now, there is no living with tolerable ease and comfort, without a hope that is lively and strong, and that keeps the mind in cheering expectation of attaining the good that it hopes for; and the goods we enjoy at present are so liable to change, so imperfect, and blended with so much evil, and our crosses and vexations, our troubles and afflictions of one kind or other, are so numerous, and come so thick upon us, and oftentimes stay so long with us, and are so irksome and pungent while they stay, that were we not supported with the hopes of an alteration for the better in time, our spirits would flag, and sink into irrecoverable dejections, or else be heated and exasperated into rage and fury, and fly out into some desperate attempts for relief. Whereas, a good degree of rational hope makes the mind firm and constant, even and steady, bold and brave, patient and able to bear that weight, which otherwise would crush it into a condition most abject and deplorable.

a Heb. vi. 19.

Hope is much of the nature of faith, and is built upon it; and as faith is the substance of things hoped for b, the ground and foundation that supports our hopes, (for how can a man rationally hope for what he does not believe certainly is, and likewise may be compassed and enjoyed by him ?) so hope is the actual expectation of those things : and as faith, again, is the evidence of things not seen, a certain persuasion or conviction that they are, though at present not visible because future, or remotely distant; so hoped is the earnest and patient waiting for them, as assuredly believing that they are attainable, and that we at length shall attain them: and by how much stronger and firmer our faith is, bÝTóc TADIS, Heb. ii. 1. ο έλεγχος.

d Rom. viii. 25

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