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persons might surely prevail upon themselves to speak of a competitor with candour; to go as far as truth would allow in commending him, especially to those who were most likely to do him service: might dwell on the good qualities which he really possessed, with such sensibility as the goodness of the qualities deserved. Nay might be active in calling forth his powers, and in causing him to exercise them to the best advantage. If the envious man was looking around him for an object of actual beneficence, he might not often find one more proper than his competitor, or the object of his envy; not one where his beneficence would yield a greater increase, or produce a greater abundance of good. What was said to the insect, there is room enough in this world for both thee and me, might well be address. ed to an object of envy; and could not fail to sweeten the disposition both of him who spoke it, and of him to whom it was spoken. With regard to jealousy, it is obvious to remark, that the man who wished to subdue that passion in his own mind, would find benefit from encouraging a benevolent disposition, as well towards the person whose favour occasioned his jealousy, as towards the rival himself. And that the best method to create such a disposition would be, to use expressions, and perform acts of kindness, of a still more friendly sort than his feelings would have suggested.
25. Such seem to be the principal means of preventing and restraining the passion of envy. In recommending them we must be supposed to have in view the more important situations of human life: yet a word may have its use relative to more trivial scenes and transactions. What occurs in ordinary life and manners, though trifling in each instance,may be of consequence, if it cccur very frequently; and what is trifling in its outset, may lead to something more formidable in the end. But the method of restraining envy, in more trifling and familiar instances, seems as if it ought not to be very serious; but rather of an easy and playful sort: it may be applied by both parties; by the envious, and by the object of envy: the person who feels the slighter emotions of that passion, should declare what he feels, with easy familiarity, or with some degree
of ironical asperity on himself: those who are witnesses. of its deceitful insinuations, should not be silent; but should detect and expose them, with friendly and delicate raillery, under the guidance of discretion. On both sides, an ingenuous frankness will generally be found sufficient to shew the true state of the case; and thereby to check all petulant and perverse humours, before they have gathered strength enough to engender any serious mischief.
26. In these methods of restraing envy in general we have included that important species Jealousy; and we might have added, with regard to slight and trifling jealousies, that they probably would be stopped if the jealous person would, by smiling at his own weakness, encourage his friends to be open and communicative; but nevertheless Jealousy is often attended with such consequences, that an observation or two tending to restrain it in particular could not be deemed superfluous. All jealousy may be considered, when taken as mere rivalship for favour and affection, in the light of injustice; because it implies, that a man is not at liberty to fix upon his own friends and favourites, according to his taste and judgment. Jealousy may arise in a case where a man has rights; but as far as injury is concerned, resentment seems to be the passion excited: that these passions may mix has before been mentioned. Again, as jealousy is sometimes extremely violent, it seems right to observe, that every degree of violence in any passion demands a proportionate degree of caution in indulging it: a prudent man may run hazards when the worst he can suffer is of no great consequence; but if the danger is very great, he will keep himself at a distance from it. And the more selfish any, passion is, the less will a wise man trust to its suggestions, and the more suspicious will he be of its deceiving him; the jealous form and connect a long train of circumstantial proofs, but find them, on calm examination, little better than dreams, which vanish at the dawn of reason and common sense: had self been less concerned, they would not have given such circumstances a moment's attention. Combine all these qualities of jealousy, and the result will be, keeping a strict watch over ourselves
whenever we find ourselves in the least degree disposed to encourage it and allowing it no liberty, till our minds have been thoroughly disciplined by reason and virtue, and fully stored with prudence and discretion.
27. The affecting story of Joseph, related in scripture with beautiful simplicity, turns upon the passion of envy: it might serve to impress on our minds what has been said, and might frequently assist our conduct, were we to conceive how his brethren by a timely resistance to their selfish passions, might have prevented the evils destined for him, and their own remorse. He must have been a truly amiable youth: to pass by the graces of his person, if in mature age misfortunes and unmerited injuries had produced no rancor in his mind; if unexpected despotic power had generated no insolence or hardness in his heart; if his bowels yearned twards his cruel persecutors, when vengeance was ready at hand; if he could ascribe his persecution to the kind providence of God, instead of the envy of his brethren, it is beyond a doubt, that in the bloom and gaity of youth, when his brethren conspired against him, his character must have been that of candour and tenderness: he must have been an affectionate brother; and if he was made to appear in the light of a rival by the fondness of an aged parent, and by illuminations from above, he must have been one perfectly ingenuous and undesigning. Reuben was his advocate; we will endeavour, by way of Recapitulation, to conceive the disswasives which he might offer. Surely, my brethren,' we may imagine him to urge, ye cannot be aware of the nature of the passion by which ye are impelled: how mcan, how selfish, how unbrotherly it is: ye must impose upon yourselves, and fancy that ye are vindicating wrongs, when in truth ye are meditating the most unjustifiable cruelty. And what is it that alarms you? the loss of your father's affection? this ye dread, because fondness shews itself in his manner to the child of his age, the memorial of his lamented partner: but affection must not be measured by endearing words and minute attentions; the most powerful is sometimes silent on ordinary occasions; and there are different shades and species
of parental love, suited to the several ages and characters of its objects.-But perhaps ye are afraid of incurring disgrace in the eye of the world: ye would receive honour from men; do not then deceive yourselves; do not imagine that to be a spirit of doing justice, which is only pride or vanity: were we all to cultivate a genuine spirit of humility, it would be the best means of rectifying our dispositions. May not God supernaturally enlighten whom he thinks fit? as he gives natural powers to one, which he withholds from another. Are the gifts of God to be seen with a malignant eye? nay by the very Family which the divine bounty distinguishes? But on all occasions, if ye act from too high an estimate of your own worth, ye will infallibly interfere with the appointments of divine Providence. And have ye no regard for moral worth? does the virtue, the excellence, the amiable character of the youth whom ye persecute, pass for nothing? have ye no desire to contribute towards its being acknowledged and adored as it deserves? surely the least spark of love for what is praiseworthy, must be sufficient to prevent your consigning to Slavery and Bondage one truly ornamental to human nature!-But ye complain, that the uneasiness which ye feel when ye see your Father's partiality, is such, that ye cannot get the better of it: exert yourselves; is there no resource, besides cruelty to your unoffending brother? could not your inward pain find some relief in an attempt to acquire some kind of merit which should be equivalent to his? there are various sorts of excellence; learn to excell in something: any one of you may probably be your brother's superior in one way, if he remains superior in another and perhaps at last ye may fill different departments equally well. The use which ye make of your uneasiness is the worst possible: even a noble and generous submission to superior merit would bring you nearer, than the pain which ye now indulge, to that equality to which ye aspire. After all, is their any necessity for dwelling so much as ye do on the comparison between your brother and yourselves? If it only generates unkindness, drop it wholly regard him simply as your brother: be kind and affectionate towards him, with brotherly love: he has never injured you; he loves you all; it would make
him most happy to promote your happiness: think of this; dwell on the idea; rouse your benevolence, nay your gratitude, for he certainly wishes to make you happy; and be assured, that when ye once find yourselves his friends, ye will no longer be his rivals. Should this happy change in your dispositions seem to require time, ye might without delay do him good; it would not be long ere ye felt the sentiment corresponding to your beneficence. Assist him therefore with all the powers which nature, education, and age have given you; draw forth his virtues; direct, strengthen them; educate him, inform him, protect him. Speak kindly and favourably of him to your common parent; let others mention his faults; trust not yourselves on that topic; but let no good quality of your brother be unknown to him, whose heart will be delighted with the report of it; let every virtue be placed in the strongest light: he who makes use of this method, will soon find his envy overpowered by kindness; he will also raise himself in his own esteem; will feel a warm and solid satisfaction, valuable beyond that kind of preference which is the ground of all the evil now before us. Think, my brethren, which is the part to be chosen ; to feel a perpetual stream of satisfaction, self-approbation, and benevolence refreshing your hearts; or to have remorse and horror perpetually corroding them, when you have irreparably injured the most amiable of youths, and brought down the grey heirs of your venerable parent with sorrow to the Grave.'
These disswasives from envy are not peculiar to patriarchal manners, nor wholly confined to domestic society. Were the generality of men to adopt them, envy, as a vice, would be extinct; and the only thing like rivalship which could remain, would be a man's feeling some discontent on seeing any one surpass him in genuine benevolence, and successful endeavours to promote the true happiness of mankind; which is exactly the competition recommended in the Epistle to the Hebrews; "Let us consider one another, to provoke unto Love and to good works."
END OF PART III.