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138. SIN.

I know in such a world as this
No one can gain his heart's desire,
Or pass the years in perfect bliss ;
Like gold we must be tried by fire;
And each shall suffer as he acts
And thinks,-his own sad burden bear!
No friends can help ;-his sins are facts
That nothing can annul or square,
And he must bear their consequence."


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Sin and sorrow cannot long be separated.

Who swims in sin, shall sink in sorrow.


None sees us, say the sinful in their hearts;
Yes, the gods see them, and the Omniscient spirit,
Within their breasts. Thou thinkest, 0 good friend,
'I am alone,' but there resides within theo
A Being who inspects thy every act,
Knows all thy goodness, and thy wickedness.


Man, wretched man, whene'er he stoops to sin,
Feels, with the act, a strong remorse within.

* From Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindustan. + From Indian Wisdom by Monier Williams.

Manlike is it to fall into sin,
Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,
God-like is it all sin to leave.


Augustine says there are four stages between the first approach of temptation and its fruition in sin ; and these stages he represents by four Latin words. The first is “Imago,” that is when the unholy thought enters the mind through eyegate or through ear-gate ; the second is “Cogitatio," when one thinks of what is unholy; the third is “ Debetatio," when one delights in that which is wrong; and the fourth is “ Assentio ” when one consents to it. The fourth stage is the actual commission of sin. Some try to arrest

to arrest their

their downward course between delighting in and agreeing to that which is unholy; this is most hazardous, for the step is almost inevitably sure to be taken ; others try to stop between thinking about that which is evil and delighting in it; this also is hazardous. The only safe course the moment the image is presented, when should turn instantly to the Saviour for help.


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There are diverse circumstances which increase and heighten the sin. Of this sort there are many; as first when we sin against knowledge ! that is, when we certainly know such a thing to be sin, yet

thing to be sin, yet for the present pleasure or profit (or 'whatever other motive ) adventure on it. Secondly when we sin with deliberation ; that is when we do not fall into it of a sudden, ere we are aware, but have time to consider of it: this is another degree of the sin. But thirdly, .a yet higher is, when


we do it against the resistances and checks of our own conscience; when that at the time tells us, This thing thou ought not to do ; nay lays before us the danger as well as the sin of it; yet in spite of these admonitions of conscience, we go on and commit the sin. A fourth aggravation of the sin is when it hath been often repeated, for then there is not only the guilt of so many more acts but every act grows also so much worse and more inexcusable. Fifthly the sins which have been committed after vows and resolutions of amendment, are yet more grievous ; for that contains also the breaking of those promises. Sixthly, a yet higher step is, when a sin hath been so often coinmitted that we are come to a custom and habit of it.


The body sins not, 'tis the will,
That makes the action good or ill.


O thou that sitt'st in heaven, and see'st

My deeds without, my thoughts within,
Be thou my prince, be thou my priest-

Command my soul, and cure my sin :
How bitter my afflictions be
I care not, so I rise to thee.


Lord! who art merciful as well as just,
Incline thine ear to me, a child of dust!
Not what I would, O Lord ! I offer thee

Alas! but what I can.
Father Almighty, who hast made me man,
And bade me look to Heaven, for Thou art there,

Accept my sacrifice and humble prayer, Four things which are not in thy treasury, I lay before thee, Lord, with this petition :

My nothingness, my wants,
My sins, and my contrition.


Ill fares that neighbourhood, where sland'rers meet
With easy faith to back their base deceit:
From house to house the plague of discord spreads,
And brings down ruin on their hapless heads. *

No, 'tis slander,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile.


The slanderer's tongue is a devouring fire which tarnishes whatever it touches; which exercises its fury on the good grain as on the chaff, on the sacred as on the profane, and which wherever it passes, leaves the marks of desolation and ruin.


The other more close and private way of spreading such reports, is that of the whisperer; he that goes about from one to another; and privately vents his slanders, not out of an intent by that means to make them less public, but rather more; this trick of delivering them by way of secret, being the way to make them both more believed, and more spoken of too; for he that receives such a tale

secret from any one, thinks to please somebody else by delivering it secret to him him also, and so

it passes from one hand to another, till at last it spreads over a wholo





* From Bevick's Select Fables.

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