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27. Is the contemplation of Christ suited to promote steadfastness?
Seeing then that we have a great High-Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (4 Heb. 14.)
28. Is God displeased with those who do not persevere ?
Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (10 Heb. 38.)
29. How does St. Peter exhort to perseverance and growth in grace?
Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Tó him be glory both now and ever. Amen. (II. Pet. 3. 17, 18.)
XIX. ANGER, STRIFE, HATRED, MA.
LICE, AND REVENGE.-ENVY.
Commands against anger, strife, hatred, malice, and revenge
Evil effects of — Punishment of — Cautions against-Duty of governing the passions—Envy.
1. How does the Psalmist caution against anger?
Lease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. (37 P.8.)
2. How does Solomon exhort against it? Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry;
for in the bosom of fools. (7 Ec. 9.)
3. How does St. Paul guard the Ephesians against evil passions ?
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. (4 Eph. 31, 32. and 5 Eph. 1, 2.)
4. What does St. Paul'say on this subject to the Philippians ?
Do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life. (2 Phil. 14 to 16.)
5. How does St. James caution against wrath?
Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (1 Jas. 19, 20.)
6. What evils does St. Peter say must be laid aside?
All malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil-speakings: as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. (I. Pet. 2, 1, 2.)
7. Is that man a hypocrite, who professes to love God, and-yet hates his brother?
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he wh loveth God, love his brother also. (I.Jn. 4. 20, 21.)
8. What is the sixth commandment? Thou shalt not kill. (20 Ex. 13.)
9. How does St. John explain the extent of this command? Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. (I. Jn. 3. 15.)
10. How does Solomon caution against the beginning of strife?
The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with. (17 Pr. 14.)
11. How is strife produced ?
A wrathful man stirreth up strife; but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. (15 Pr. 18.)
Hatred stirreth up strifes; but love covereth all sins. (10 Pr. 12.)
12. To what does Solomon compare the man who has no command over his passions ?
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. (25 Pr. 28.)
13. Is he likely to be punished who needlessly meddles with strife?
He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. (26 Pr. 17.)
14. What punishment did Christ denounce against anger?
Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say unto his brother, Raca,* shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire. (5 Mt. 22.)
15. Are our passions often regulated by our words?
A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. (15 Pr. 1.)
16. When anger is justly excited, how must it be always governed?
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil. (4 Eph. 26, 27.)
* Thou empty worthless fellow.
17. Is revenge wholly prohibited ? , 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. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (12 Ro. 18 to 21.)
18. Does love promote, and hatred destroy, the comforts of life?
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. (15 Pr. 17.)
19. Is meekness, wisdom; and passion, folly?
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (14 Prov. 29.)
20. Is self-government better than power over others ?
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (16 Pr. 32.)
21. Should a mature understanding and a child-like disposition be joined together ?
Be not children in understanding: howbeit, in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I. Cor. 14. 20.)
22. Is envy one of the worst of passions ?
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? (27 Pr. 4.)
23. Is it generally connected with other evil passions ?
Whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (I. Cor. 3.3.)
Lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbit. ings, whisperings, swellings, tumults. (II. Cor. 12. 20.)
24. What is the best preservative from envy?
Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. (23 Prov. 17.).
25. What knowledge had Pilate of the motives of Christ's enemies?
He knew that the Chief Priests had delivered him for envy. (15 Mr. 10.)
26. How does St. Paul caution us against envy
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (5 Gal. 26.)
27. How does St.James censure envy and strife?
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among ỹou? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but his earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, 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. (3 Jas. 13 to 18.)
28. By what solemn consideration are we cautioned against the vile passion of envy?
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (5 Jas. 9.)