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induce them to reform it. And thus anger, though it designs to give uneasiness, is so very different from hatred, as to be often the best proof of love. But when just indignation cannot amend the faulty, then it comes in properly to punish them: to counterbalance that excessive tenderness, to which, however amiable, it would in some cases be a fatal weakness to yield, and support us in the painful work of executing wrath on him that doth evil*.

Thus useful and important is this passion: by which our Saviour himself was occasionally moved, as when he was much displeased with his Disciples t, and looked round about on the Jews with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts I. He hath declared indeed, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgments: but that very limitation implies, that there are causes, for which we may do well to be angryll. Or even were his threatening originally unlimited, as in some copies it is; yet the reason of the case, his own example, and other texts of Scripture, oblige us to understand him only of the unjust kinds of anger: which are so much commoner than the allowable, that they have almost appropriated the name, and turned it to an ill meaning. Whence perhaps it is, that the Stoic Philosophers condemn this passion in the most general terms ( while yet they not only allow it to be useful to those, in whom rea

* Rom. xiii. 4. + Mark x. 14. # Mark iii. 5.
§ Matth. v. 22.

ll Jonah iv. 9. 9 Thus Cicero, who professes in his Offices, 1. 1. c. 2. chiefly to follow the Stoics, blames the Peripatetics, c. 25, for praising anger, as given us by nature for our good, and saith it is to be avoided in all cases. But he is speaking only concerning cases of punishment. However he forbids it also in reproofs, c. 38.

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son singly hath not sufficient force*, but expressly tolerate, in their ideal perfectly wise man, such gentler commotions of mind, and resemblances of anger, as are in reality moderate degrees of itt. And, (which deserves much greater attention), St. Paul, who within a few verses of the text hath commanded all wrath and anger to be put away from Christians,

f gives, nothwithstanding, the permissive direction in it, Be ye angry and sin not.

The result then must be, that this passion is indeed a lawful one; but very necessary, and very hard, to be kept within due bounds; which considerations recommend the following method in discoursing upon it.

I. To describe the due bounds, with the common excesses, of anger.

II. To dissuade from such excesses.
III. To direct how they may be avoided.

I. To describe the due bounds, with the common excesses, of anger.

, Now the proper bound for all passion, is reason. And we are then only moved by our affections as we ought, when they excite us to what our understandings on reflection approve. But because a rule so general is not sufficiently instructive, I shall enlarge on the several particulars comprehended under it, which are specified by the Philosopher, in his Ethics, thus, that he, who is angry, only on such occasions as he ought, and with such persons as he ought, and in such manner, and at such time, and for such continuance, as he ought, deserves praise in the exercise of this passion .

• Utile est eum uti motu animi, qui uti ratione non potest, Cic. Tusc. Disp. l. 4. § 25. Ed. Davies.

+ Sentiet (sapiens] levem quendam tenuemque motum-umbras affectuum. Sen. de Ira. I. 1. c. xvi. p. 13. Ed. Lips. Vid. et. I. 2. V. 31.

§ Aristot. Eth. Nicom. 1. iv. c. 5.

1. On such occasions as he ought. What these are, hath already in some measure appeared. Were they, with whom we have to do, constantly virtuous and wise, there would be no occasion. But now their transgressions against God, our fellow-creatures, and ourselves, furnish, alas, but too many.

When our Maker, whom we ought to reverence and love with our whole souls, is dishonoured : when his laws and the sanctions of them (the ground-work of all security and all comfort) are insulted; surely it is cause not only of grief, but indignation. When the helpless are oppressed, the well-meaning circumvented, innocence aspersed or seduced, faith broken, kindness requited with ill usage, or public good sacrificed to private views, we both may, and must (if we have any sympathy with our kind) feel our spirit rise in their behalf. And though we can neither interpose to assist all that suffer, nor permit our tempers to be ruffled as often as injustice is committed


earth; yet in all proper ways we ought to shew, that we strongly dislike all such things : and it is an ill sign, when persons are indifferent in the cases of others, and will stand up for no one's interests, but their


Wrongs done to ourselves we are all so apt to resent, at least enough, that it may seem needless, and even dangerous, to say any thing of these, as one lawful occasion for anger. But the truth must be acknowledged, that this passion being given us, in a great measure, for our own defence, we may innocently exert a competent degree of it for that purpose. Nor can we help, generally speaking, being a little more moved at our own injuries and sufferings, than those of others; because we cannot but have a livelier sense of them; and the emotion of mind, which


proceeds from that sense, must bear some proportion to it.

One thing more to be observed is, that though faults are the only just ground of resentment; and the greater they are, the more the ground : yet, when they do not amount to crimes, but are only neglects or transgressions of some smaller obligation: still, since a great deal of inconvenience in life arises, even from these instances of wrong behaviour; they warrant and require such lower marks of our displeasure, especially when the culpable are placed under our inspection, as may be requisite for their amendment.

And now it might well be hoped, that a sufficient latitude was given to this necessary evil, the exercise of anger. But these are narrow bounds for a passion, which, if let loose, will admit of none. We can be angry with persons, not only for their faults, but their good qualities and accomplishments, when they excel, or come too near, us or our favourites: not only for doing amiss, but for doing their duty, if it interfere with any of our designs or humours. Nay, we can be angry with them for having done their duty to us; done the kindest thing they could for us, reminded us of our failings, though in a friendly way; or shewn themselves in any instance more concerned for us, than we are for ourselves. We can be angry with persons, even when they have done us kindnesses ; for not doing us such great ones, or not so soon, or not in such a manner, as we would have had them: though perhaps they were not bound to do us any. And we can be extremely angry with them for having any degree of regard to their own interests, when ours are concerned: first looking upon ourselves as all the world, and the rest of mankind as nothing ; then fired with the utmost indignation, that this should be disputed.

But in lesser matters, we can be angry with men even for their natural tempers, when they happen to be more gravely, or more cheerfully, or any way differently, turned from our own: for their not liking the same employments or amusements, their not falling into the same opinions and ways of thinking, sometimes on the most trifling subjects; nay, for not perceiving and acknowledging immediately the strength of an argument, or the weight of an authority.

Again, we can be angry for the unkind words or actions, to which we ourselves have given the provocation : and will make no allowances for little unreasonablenesses in others, where we have, perhaps by great ones, set the pattern, and thrown the temptation in their way. We can be angry at those who are employed by us, for mistaking or not succeeding in cases, where they have done as well as ever they could, and certainly did not contrive to be ignorant or fail on purpose to vex us. We can be angry at them for mere accidental misfortunes in our affairs : things, which were not provided against, because they were not to be expected; or which a reasonable degree of care proved insufficient to provide against; or, it may be, which all the care in the world could not have prevented. Nay, in our idlest diversions, we can be as vehemently discomposed, as about the most important business. And in the general course of our behaviour, we can be impatient about every thing, if we have been made uneasy about any thing : and quite out of humour, perhaps for a considerable time together, without either having, or almost thinking we have, any manner of provocation to it. Indeed something of this, in too many, seems constitutional: and, so far as it is, ought to have allowances made for it by every one, except those who


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