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power to diffuse
lick and extensive utility, to save a falling or raise a sinking state, to scatter plenty o'er a land, is the lot of only a few men in an age or nation. Years may pass over our heads, before we have an opportunity of practising any great and shining virtue, of visiting with comfort in our hands the widow and fatherless in their affliction, of smoothing the bed of death, or of pouring the oil and wine of consolation into the wounded spirit : but every man has it in his
peace and joy around him by the meekness and gentleness of his behaviour. There is not a day nor hour of our life wherein we may not add to the happiness of the world, by cultivating a meek and quiet spirit. And how blessed would be the state of society, were this virtue universally practised ! “ How good and how pleas“ ant is it for brethren to dwell together in
unity! It is as the dew of Hermon, and as “ the dew that descended on the mountains • of Zion.' Indeed we can form no greater idea of the happiness of the higher mansions, where every thing, like the calm and untroubled ocean, reflects the serenity of God's countenance; where the dissensions, and angers, and quarrels, and storms which render
the sea of life so tempestuous, are all blown over; and where the reign of universal peace and harmony is begun, and shall never be terminated.
II. But the mere description of this virtue will not be sufficient to induce you to practise it. Is the meek man without his reward ? Doth he serve God for nought? No, my friends, he doth not serve God for nought. Great is the reward of meekness considered with respect to the possessour himself, with respect to the world around him, and with respect to God whose approbation he seeks.
1. Great is the blessedness of meekness considered with respect to the possessour of that virtue. Of every virtue it has been justly observed that it is its own reward : for each is accompanied with that self-approbation, that peace and satisfaction of mind which, next to the enjoyment of God, is the greatest felicity attainable by human beings. But meekness is calculated not only from the reward of selfapprobation which accompanies it, but also from its very nature to produce this effect. For in what does that internal enjoyment which is so great an ingredient in human happiness consist, but in the proper regulation of our passions, appetites, and affections ; in that
; calm, serene, and meek temper of mind which has been described in the former part of the discourse? The conduct of others, however unjust or injurious, and the events of life, however calamitous and adverse, cannot affect the repose of him who possesses a meek and quiet spirit. He has a source of happiness and enjoyment in the temper and constitution of his own mind, of which he can no more be deprived than of his existence. The reproaches and censures of others cannot hurt the man who has a modest and humble opinion of his own character. Envy cannot torment the breast of him who views the success and happiness of others with complacency and delight. Injury and insult meet with no corresponding passions in a mind regulated by meekness, and taught to suffer with patience and composure the
of the oppressor. Those evils which happen alike to all men, are soothed and mitigated by a soft and gentle and complying temper. To bear adversity with becoming dignity, a bold and courageous spirit are altogether insufficient: patience and submission are the only remedies. The blast shatters the tree which endeavours to resist its
power, but passes over without injuring the shrub which yields to its force. What then can disturb the meek man? No evil can reach him from without, and within all is peace
If meekness have such an influence on our happiness in the day of adversity, how much more does it gild the sunshine of prosperity. He who has been depressed beyond measure in adversity, will be intemperate in the day of success. He only who has borne with patience and calmness, misfortune and disappointment, can display that moderation and temperance in prosperity which are necessary to the proper enjoyment of life. Tumultuous and excessive joys are unknown to the meek man; his mind moves in that calm and equal tenour which gives a true relish to life. The sunshine seems brighter when it follows or precedes a storm; but meekness resembles that clear and serene sky which is a stranger to storms and tempests.
To cultivate meekness, then, is to cultivate quietness, peace, and happiness. He who has attained this virtue, is in possession of a treasure superiour to the riches of the earth, which the world has not given, and which it cannot take away. It is our interest, therefore, to study
meekness for its own sake, and in consideration of that internal peace which it brings in its train. But the motives to the practice of this virtue, will be much stronger if we consider it with regard to others.
II. Great is the reward of meekness as regards the world. Nothing counteracts the malevolence and discordant principles of society more than the tender spirit which keeps aloof from dissension and contest. sions of men are in the moral world what the raging tempest is in the natural-command the elements and
peace-command the passions and discord ceases to rave. The angry, when they meet with gentle words and mild demeanour, are disarmed of their ferocity, the opposition that elicits their fiery particles is removed and they depart harmless and without riot.
The meek man, like the skilful artist, touches the rudest machinery with the finest instrument, and causes it to obey his wish. He combats not by strength but by gentleness; he opposes not with violence, but he conquers by moderation; he disarms the terrible of their weapons, as if by enchantment, and their instruments of death fall harmless at his feet,