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Envy is that affection of the human heart, which grudges to others that respect or prosperity, which is. supposed to attend them. Or envy may be said to be a sensation of uneasiness and disquiet, arising from a selfish heart, in view of the advantages of others, and accompanied with malignity towards them. Rachel envied her sister Leah, because of her fruitfulness. Joseph's brethren envied him, because his father loved him. Saul envied David, because he considered him as a competitor for the

Haman envied Mordecai any 'honour, because he hated him. And the Jews envied Paul and Barnabas, because they preached the gospel. But the nature and effects of envy will be more clearly pointed out, by showing from various considerations that mankind should not harbour this monster in their breast.

1st. They should guard against envious feelings towards one another; because they are unreasonable. As it respects moral motives and actions, it is the province of reason to point out the advantages or disadvantages of any course of moral conduct. But what are the benefits arising from envy, either to individuals or community ? Surely neither envy nor its operations were any real gain to Haman or his friends. The same melancholy truth may be said concerning every individual, who has been guided by envious feelings. The brethren of Joseph, Saul, and Haman, had sad experience to convince them, that envious feelings and envious treatment of others, were most unreasonable. And at the present day, they who cherish a spirit of envy towards others, whether towards those whom they hate, or towards their enemies, will, to their cost, reap the reward of unreasonable doings. To envious men the advantages of others, prove their disadvantage. Why was not Haman contented ? and why did he not richly enjoy the favours confered on him? One reason he assigns in the words of the text: All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai, the Jet', sitting at the king's gate.

2d. We should not be envious towards others; because, this spirit reigns only in low, selfish minds. A person of a generous and noble disposition, will rejoice at the prosperity and felicity of others; but an ignoble and envious soul is grieved and chagrined in view of their success and happiness. Whilst a liberal man exercises sympathy with his fellow. men in time of their distress, an envious and base man is delighted with their calamities. Envy is not confined to persons of low circumstances in life; but boasts of the rich and great as her votaries. The prosperity and elevation of Haman did not secure him from exercising envious feelings of the most degrading nature, and that in the view of the peace of one whom he scorned to notice. But the more elevated his station, the more selfish and contracted must be his mind, to be filled with envy towards one whom he considered as his inferiour. Those who possess the spirit of Haman, have a most selfish spirit. Persons of benevolent feelings would be glad in view of what made him sorry. The enlarged soul is pleased with the prosperity of superiours, inferiours, or equals. But how contracted must be the mind to be grieved and sad in view of those things that ought to yield it enjoyment.

3d. We should guard against envy; for it is not merely against our fellow men, but it is against the providence of God. The Lord has not only the keys of life and of death in his hand; but he giveth the kingdom to whomsoever he will. It was divine providence, that rendered Joseph so beloved by his father, and raised him to be governour over all Egypt. Therefore his brethren, in envying him, murmured against God. It was an invisible hand that raised David to the throne, and that caused favour to be shown to Mordecai. And Saul and Haman had hearts irreconciled to the Supreme disposer of events. When any feel envy rising in their breasts in view of the natural talents, rank, or affluence of others, let them reflect, that the Lord exalteth, and he casteth down. It is the providence of God, that distributeth favours to the righteous and to the wicked. Then whether competitors, superiours, inferiours, or enemies be envied, let the inquiry be made, who hath crowned their labours or enterprises with success? To be envious towards others in view of their advantages or advancement, is to be unwilling that the Lord should reign, and dispose of the works of his hands as seerneth good in his sight. Then why should we ever be envious towards our fellow men; or be uneasy, and fret against the providence of God.

4th. We should guard against an envious spirit; because an envious man is detested by all. Mankind abhor the one who cherishes a passion so base in his breast. Envy is so evidently repugnant to all religious or social enjoyments, that an envious man is avoided, disesteemed, and detested. But how is the spirit of envy to be discovered ? By the conversation and conduct of a man. How easily is the spirit of Haman to be discerned? Would any be esteemed, let them show their good will towards their fellow men; for an envious man is to be shunned, and will be abhorred by his fellow men.

5th. The spirit of envy should not be harboured in our breasts ; for it is the very temper of the region below. In the abodes of wo, where all restraints are removed, this deadly monster rages to an awful de gree. But in the land of hope let all the social virtues be cultivated; and let not man endeavour to resemble as near as possible the fiends of darkness, by yielding his heart an abode for envy. The region of wo is filled with envious spirits; for it has not a solitary inhabitant but what is under its dominion, Then let not mankind yield themselves its servants; and cultivate the temper of the region below.

6th. The first risings of envy should be resisted;

for it dries up all the comforts of the envious man. How did the brethren of Joseph mar their own enjoyments by their envy towards him ? This spirit excited such hatred in their breasts, that they could not speak peaceably with him. Envy laid waste the comforts of Saul, although he was clothed with royalty. And hear Haman, though in the midst of prosperity and grandeur, exclaim, Yet all this availeth me nothing. so long as I see Mordecai, the Jew, sitting at the king's gate. The neglect of an individual more than counterbalanced all his affluence, and put an end to his enjoyment. Though a nation trembled before him, and did him reverence; yet because this Jew refused to bow unto him, envy filled his soul with impatience and malice. What a trifling incident this, so completely to destroy a man's peace. And how in ten thousand ways are envious men liable to be discomposed from the most frivolous circumstances. How small a matter can spoil all the satisfaction of the envious, even if they have reached the summit of human greatness. Immense riches, glory, and honour, gave not Haman so much pleasure as he felt pain from one man's disrespect. How soon are all the comforts of an envious man blasted.

7th. We should guard against envy; because it leads mankind to all manner of external crimes. Wliat but envy enkindled the breasts of Joseph's brethren with the design of taking away his life! And how easily did this spirit persuade them to sell their brother to be a slave in Egypt. How did envy inflame Saul to seek the life of David, his benefactor, and to whom more than once he was indebted for the preservation of his own life. Haman not content with seeking he life of Mordecai, determined on the destruction of the whole Jewish nation. Says Solomon in his Proverbs, Wrath is cruel, and anger outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? It makes men turn into every debasing, unnatural shape to injure others. The wisest and most upright persons cannot escape the effects of envy. In the Ecclesiastes, Solomon says, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. An envious man would gladly wound the feelings of others; would injure their reputation, and prostrate with the dust all their goodly prospects. No excellence of character, no amiable qualities, are a shield to ward off envious weapons, and secure from harm; for envy will lead mankind to all manner of external acts of wickedness.

8th. Mankind should not harbour the monster, envy,

in their breasts; for it draws down retaliation and vengeance on its own head. Let us attend to the confession of the brethren of Joseph. And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brcther, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we wouid not hear: therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, spake not l unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child ; and

ye

would not hear? therefore, behold also, his blood is required. When their souls were overwhelmed with distress, how readily do they impute their sufferings to be in consequence of their unnatural and envious deed towards their brother. Divine vengeance pursued Cain for slaying his brother Abel, in a very signal manner. It was for envy, that he slew him. But God set a mark upon Cain; and he was a vagabond upon

the earth. And for his envious and inurderous act, hear him exclaim in agony of soul, My punishment is greater than I can bear. In these instances the divine hand is particularly to be noticed as an avenger of envy. But, in others, the hand of man more evidently renders vengeance; and frequently the very designs which envious people form in order to promote their own honour, and to injure others, draw down shame and ruin on their own heads. This was strikingly exemplified in the affair of Haman and Mordecai. Haman thought in his heart, To whom

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