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"because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you "to put away your wives." Matt. xix. 8. The sorts of anger here described, or implied, being all in domestic life, not of the most serious and tragical nature, and being habitual, may be ranked under that ordinary sort of malevolence, of which we are speaking just at present.
9. Indignation appears in various places of scripture, and under the same name. Our Saviour's chief anger must be against vice and sin. In the twentythird chapter of St. Matthew's gospel we find many instances of his indignation against Hypocrisy and in St. Mark's we read, that he was indignant at the Jewish Zealots; "he looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts". Mark iii. 5. Also when his disciples, through an officiousness which implied some arrogance, and want of feeling of the kind spirit of Christianity, repulsed those who brought infants for Jesus's Benediction, we are told, that when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased”. Mark x. 14. Nor can we conceive, that, when he made a scourge of small cords, drove the money-changers and others "out of the temple, and the sheep, and the "oxen, and poured out the changers money, and over"threw the tables," John ii. 15. he was entirely free from indignation; especially as to this act is applied the prophetic saying, "The Zeal of thine house hath eaten *me up".
When the ten Apostles were "much displeased" "with James and John", Mark x. 41. their displeasure was a sort of indignation; because they looked upon those two Apostles as endeavouring to gain, unfairly or unhandsomely, an advantage over the rest.
John Baptist addresses those self-sufficient persons who came out into the Desert to be baptized by him, with considerable asperity. "O generation of vipers, "who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to "come?" Matt. iii. 7.-" God shall smite thee, thou "whited wall";-were the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, when Ananias had ordered him to be smitten on the mouth :- -nor are we deceived when we
give an angry meaning to these words, because St. Paul applied to himself "thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." Acts xxiii. 3-5. The anger here I call indignation, because the moral evil of the blow was, no doubt, chiefly in view. The same Apostle calls some persons "abominable and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate." Titus i. 16.
Jehovah is very frequently represented as angry; we ought, perhaps, generally to conceive his anger as belonging to the species Indignation; though as it a retribution, and as suffering from it, or the expectation of it, promotes good, it may be conceived as punishment. It cannot be necessary, though it may be most regular, to mention, that the anger of God is metaphorical; as much so as his hands and his feet. Any faculty, of body or mind, said to exist in the supreme Being, means only the cause, in the Deity, of those effects, which, if they were produced by man, would be produced by that faculty. (My Lectures in Divinity I. xix. 5.)
Indignation may relate either to more heinous moral disorders, or to such as are of inferior moment; in the former case it will be strong and lofty, in the latter it may mix with the peevishness of ordinary life. "Fret not thyself because of the ungodly," Psalm xxxvii. 1. may afford us an instance of the latter case: as far as ungodliness excites anger, it is to be referred to the head of Indignation; but yet fretting has been thought to belong chiefly to the lower and more familiar sorts of anger. It is certain, that in the daily and trivial transactions of common life, moral failures and irregularities do excite a great deal of anger: nay it often happens, that such irregularities bring a man by degrees, to a habit of misanthropy.
Oppression is one great cause of indignation; that is, compelling a man to submit to power against right; when the oppressed wants nothing but power to resist effectually; to repel the attacks of oppression. The scriptures speak freequently of oppression, and of the indignation which it excites. Rob not the poor be"cause he is poor," says the wise man; "neither op
press the afflicted in the gate: for the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them." Prov. xxii. 22. 23. Similar passages are numerous, and well known.
Indignation after punishment, as analogous to malicious triumph, has been mentioned before. (Part v. 7.) "Let the ungodly fall into their own nets, and let me ever escape them". Psalm cxli. 10.-" The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance": "he "shall wash his footsteps in the blood of the ungodly". Yet still a good end is in view, which may distinguish this indignation from revenge; and shew, that it arises from a zeal for virtue and religion. "So that a man shall 66 say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: doubt"less there is a God that judgeth the earth". Psalm lviii.
10. What has been said may enable us to judge how nearly remarks drawn from fact coincide with the ideas of scripture, in respect to the Nature of resentment; (d) I therefore close the first part of our subject with the solemn declaration or denunciation of St. Paul. "Unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the "truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and "wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man "that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gen"tile". Rom. ii. 8. 9.
11. We are now to view some expressions of Scripture which have relation to the effects of Resentment. And as the beneficial effects of a malevolent sentiment are apt to cause some hesitation in some minds, and as additional doubt arises from the Scriptures taking for granted, that which, had they been systematical and scientifical, they might have expressed; it may not be improper, in this place, to repeat, that whatever averts evil arising in any particular state of things, is a good to that state; and though that which averts evil be itself an evil, yet if it averts a greater evil, it may still be considered as a good.
We may also repeat, that popular language, such as the scriptures must be written in, or lose a great part of their
value, always takes for granted things allowed by those to whom it is addressed; and suits itself to particular occasions: As a strong instance of the scriptures omitting what seemed unnecessary to be mentioned, it has been observed, that even parental love is no where enjoined in scripture. (Part 1. 37.) And if we read the seventh chapter of St. Paul's first Epistle to to the Corinthians, we shall find several disswasions from marriage, but no injunction or perswasion to marry the reason is, because the Apostle thought those whom he addressed ready enough to marry, the situation of affairs considered. We cannot imagine that he wished. the inhabitants of our Globe to continue only for that generation.
In like manner, although we may not find "be ye * angry", in the literal sense of the words, we can conclude nothing more from the omission than that such a precept was unnecessary. We have heard of such a thing as Apathy; but those who affected to commend it, were Philosophers, not such as the Holy Scriptures were addressed to. Nay common prudence is taken for granted, in the parable of the unjust Steward, and in the famous injunction to do to others as we desire them to do to us; though a great number of men want what is called common prudence.
It may be useful also to recollect, that no quality is ever in Scripture ascribed to the Deity, which would be blamable in Man; our idea of God being compounded of perfections only. Hence, if we find any sort of Anger ascribed to Jehovah, or to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we may be allowed to affirm, that such anger is permitted to man; nay is praise-worthy in him. Perhaps the expression may here occur, "vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord"; Rom. xii. 19. which seems to deny to man the anger ascribed to God; but the very affirmation serves to confirm our notion, with regard to other expressions; as it implies, that if nothing is affirmed to the contrary, that which is ascribed to God, is right in man. And perhaps it may be observed, here as properly as elsewhere, that the right of inflicting punishment cannot be supposed to be
forbidden to man, in this text, but only that arbitary and discretionary infliction of evil, which "assumes the God", and is the immediate effect of the feelings of the person offended.-But of this text we shall see more hereafter.
12. These things being premised, we may observe, that anger is not wholly sinful; and that some effects of it are such as our Creator intended, in our present condition; and that he gave us anger as a friend might give us a sword, (to repeat the former illustration), to enable us to repel evil by evil.-The declaration made immediately after God had created all things, must extend to the human mind: "And God saw every
thing that he had made, and behold it was very good." Gen. i. 31. St. Paul means the same thing when he says, generally, though with a particular reference, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be "refused, if it be received with thanksgiving". 1 Tim. iv. 4. And the Psalmist says, "The Lord is loving "anto every man, and his mercy is over all his works." Psalm cxlv. 9. These declarations do not mean that the works of God are incapable of abuse: when we say they are right, we must suppose them to be in their right state: but hen there is a right state; and that can be known only by beneficial effects.
13. Jehovah is so very frequently described as angry, in different ways and degrees, that it were vain to begin citing passages to that purpose. Of Jesus Christ we have already spoken under the head of indignation: as also of St Paul. The anger of Moses when, on coming. down from Mount Sinai, with the Decalogue written on Tables, from immediate converse with the Spiritual Deity, he found his people in the very act of Idolatry, must have been very warm: and as such it is described. "And it came to pass as soon as he came nigh unto the
camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and "Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out "of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount." Exod. xxxii. 19. With regard to St. Paul, we may to the passages already produced, what he says of Alex ander's having done him much evil; "the Lord reward "him according to his works." 2 Tim. iv. 14. And