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nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's gate.

The sequel of Haman's history I shall not now pursue. It might afford matter for much instruction, by the conspicuous justice of God in his fall and punishment. But contemplating only the singular situation in which the text presents him, and the violent agitation of his mind which it displays, the following reflections naturally arise, which, together with some practical improvements, shall make the subject of this discourse. I. How miserable is vice, when one guilty passion creates so much torment! II. How unavailing is prosperity, when, in the height of it, a single disappointment can destroy the relish of all its pleasures ! III. How weak is human nature, which, in the absence of real, is thus prone to form to istelf imaginary woes !

I. How miserable is vice, when one guilty passion is capable of creating so much torment! When we discourse to you of the internal misery of sinners; when we represent the pangs

which they suffer from violent passions, and a corrupted heart; we are sometimes suspected of chusing a theme for declamation, and of heightening the picture which we draw, by colours borrowed from fancy. They whose minds are, by nature, happily tranquil, or whose situation in life removes them from the disturbance and tumult of

passion, can hardly conceive, that as long as the body is at ease, and the external condition prosperous, any thing which passes within the mind should cause such exquisite woe. But, for the truth of our assertions, we appeal to the history of mankind. We might reason from the constitution of the rational frame; where the understanding is appointed to be supreme, and the passions to be subordinate

i and where, if this due arrangement of its parts be overthrown, misery as necessarily ensues, as pain is consequent in the animal frame upon the distortion of its members. But laying speculations of this kind aside, it is sufficient to lead you to the view of facts, the import of which can neither be controverted, nor mistaken. This is, indeed, the great advantage of history, that it is a mirror which holds up mankind to their own view. For, in all

ages, human nature has been the same. In the cira cle of worldly affairs, the same characters and situations are perpetually returning; and in the follies and passions, the vices and crimes, of the generations that are past, we read those

of the present.

Attend, then, to the instance now before

us; and conceive, if you can, a person more thoroughly wretched, than reduced to make this humiliating confession, that though surrounded with power, opulence, and pleasure, he was lost to all happiness, through the fierceness of his resentment; and was at that moment stung by disappointment, and torn by rage beyond what he could bear. All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's gate. Had this been a soliloquy of Haman's within himself, it would have been a sufficient discovery of his misery. But when we consider it as a confession which he makes to others, it is a proof that his misery was become insupportable. For, such agitations of the mind every man strives to conceal, because he knows they dishonour him. Other griefs and sorrows he can, with freedom, pour out to a confidant. What he suffers from the injustice or malice of the world, he is not ashamed to acknowledge. But when his suffering arises from the bad dispositions of his own heart ; when, in the height of prosperity, he is rendered miserable, solely by disappointed pride, every ordinary motive for communication ceases. Nothing but the violence of anguish can drive him to confess a passion which renders him odious, and a weakness which renders him

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despicable. To what extremity, in particular, must he be reduced, before he can disclose to his own family the infamous secret of his misery; in the eye of his family every man wishes to appear respectable, and to cover from their knowledge whatever may vilify or degrade him. Attacked or reproached abroad, he consoles himself with his importance at

and in domestic attachment and respect, seeks for some compensation for the injustice of the world. Judge, then, of the degree of torment which Haman endured, by its breaking through all these restraints, and forcing him to publish his shame before those from whom all men seek most to hide it. How severe must have been the conflict which he underwent within himself, before he called together his wife and all his friends for this purpose! How dreadful the agony he suffered at the moment of his confession, when, to the astonished company, he laid open

the cause of his distress !

Assemble all the evils which poverty, disease, or violence can inflict, and their stings will be found by far less pungent, than those which such guilty passions dart into the heart. Amidst the ordinary calamities of the world, the mind can exert its powers, and suggest relief : And the mind is properly the man ;

the sufferer, and his sufferings, can be distinguished. But those disorders of passion, by seizing directly on the mind, attack human nature in its strong-hold, and cut off its last resource. They penetrate to the very seat of sensation; and convert all the powers of thought into instruments of torture.

Let us remark, in the event that is now before us, the awful hand of God; and admire his justice, in thus making the sinner's own wickedness to reprove him, and his backslidings to correct him. Sceptics reason in vain against the reality of divine government. It is not a subject of dispute. It is a fact which carries the evidence of sense, and displays itself before our eyes. We see the Almighty manifestly pursuing the sinner with evil. We see him connecting, with every single deviation from duty, those wounds of the spirit which occasion the most exquisite torments. He hath not merely promulgated his laws now, and delayed the distribution of rewards and punishments until a future period of being. But the sanctions of his laws already take place; their effects appear; and with such infinite wisdom they are contrived, as to require no other executioners of justice against the sinner, than his own guilty passions. God needs not come forth from his secret place, in

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