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world, it is those of a quite opposite character, the bold, the forward, the active, the enterprising, the rapacious, the ambitious, that are best calculated to secure to themselves that inheritance. And, undoubtedly, if by inheriting the earth is meant acquiring the wealth, the grandeur, the power, the property of the earth, these are the persons who generally seize on a large proportion of those good things, and leave the meek and the gentle far behind them in this unequal contest for such advantages. But it was far other things than these our Lord had in view. By inheriting the earth, he meant inheriting those things which are, without question, the greatest blessings upon earth, calmness and composure of spirit, tranquillity, cheerfulness, peace and comfort of mind. Now these, I apprehend, are the peculiar portion and recompense of the meek. Unassuming, gentle, and humble in their deportment, they give no offence, they create no enemies, they provoke no hostilities, and thus escape all that large proportion proportion of human misery which arises from dissensions and disputes. If differences do unexpectedly start up, by patience, mildness, and prudence, they disarm their adversaries, they soften resentment, they court reconciliation, and seldom fail of restoring harmony and peace. Having a very humble opinion of themselves, they see others succeed without uneasiness, without envy : having no ambition, no spirit of competition, they feel no pain from disappointment, no mortification from defeat. By bending under the storms that assail them, they greatly mitigate their violence, and see them pass over their heads almost without feeling their force. Content and satisfied with their lot, they pass quietly and silently through the crowds that surround them ; and encounter much fewer difficulties and calamities in their progress through life than more active and enterprising men. This even tenour of life may indeed be called by men of the world, flat, dull, and insipid. But the meek are excluded from Il O

no rational pleasure, no legitimate delight; and as they are more exempt from anxiety and pain than other men, their sum total of happiness is greater, and they may, in the best sense of the word, be fairly said to inherit the earth. I shall now proceed to notice such other passages of this admirable discourse, as appear to me to deserve peculiar attention and consideration. The first of these is that which begins with the 21st verse; “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 councis; but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” And again in the same manner at the 27th verse ; “ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou

shalt not commit adultery: but I say untO unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” I put these two instances together, because they both enforce the same great leading principle, and both illustrate one great distinguishing excellence of the morality taught by our Saviour; namely, that it does not content itself with merely controlling our outward actions, but it goes much deeper, it imposes its restraints, it places its guard exactly where it ought to do, on our thoughts and on our hearts. Our Lord here singles out two cases, referring to two different species of passions, the malevolent and the sensual ; and he pronounces the same sentence, the same decisive judgment on both ; that the thing to be regulated is the intention, the passion, the propensity. Former moralists contented themselves with saying, thou shalt not kill. But I (says our Lord) go much farther: I say, thou shalt not indulge any resentment against thy brother, thou shalt not use any reproachful or contemptuous language towards him ; for it is these things that lead and provoke to the most atrocious deeds. Former moralists have said, thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say, let not thine heart or thine eye commit adultery; for here it is that the sin begins; and here it must be crushed in its birth. This is wisdom, this is morality in its most perfect form, in its essence, and in its first principles. Every one that is acquainted with men and manners must know that our Lord has here shown a consummate knowledge of human nature; that he has laid his finger on the right place, and exerted his authority where it was most wanted, in checking the first movements of our criminal desires. Every one must see and feel, that bad thoughts quickly ripen into bad actions; and that if the latter only are forbidden, and the former left free, all morality will soon be at an end. Our Lord, therefore, like a wise physician, goes at once to the bottom of the evil; he extirpates the first germ Wo L. I. M - and

temptuous

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