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Published by glennpease

Gen., ch. ix, 5, " But unto Cain and to his offering God had not
respect, and he was very wroth"

Gen., ch. ix, 5, " But unto Cain and to his offering God had not
respect, and he was very wroth"

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 26, 2013
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EVY.BY I . L. MOCATTA.Gen., ch. ix, 5, " But unto Cain and to his offering God had notrespect, and he was very wroth"WHAT a deplorable temper of mind is here displayed.Though CAI'S "countenance fell" on finding he had in-curred the displeasure of the Most High, yet he repentednot of his doings, nor sought to regain the favour of theLord, but " was very wroth.'* And even when the All Justexpostulated with him, saying, "Why is thy countenancefallen ? if thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted ? "still he evinced no disposition to amend his ways and servethe Lord in a pure and holy spirit. Overweening priderendered him totally oblivious of God's equity ; and thusthe reward accorded to his brother Abel for his virtuousconduct, but withheld from him, wounded his self-love, and,rousing within his breast all the rancour of envy, in a fit of revenge he " rose up and slew his brother." Dire passion,that could make of a man a murderer and a fratricide ! ordid its baneful effects cease here. Envy and its concomi-tants, presumption and discontent, had so hardened theheart of Cain, that though he was brought to exclaim inthe bitterness of his anguish, " My punishment is greaterthan I can bear, for from Thy face shall I be hid," he never-theless could find no words of prayer or supplication to offerbefore the throne of justice and mercy, without which therecan be no hope of pardon. Greatly had he offended; thus,great was his chastisement.The degrading and self-tormenting passion of envy gene-rally owes its birth to presumption and self-conceit, whileits growth is stimulated by cupidity and unruly desires.
32Pride arrogantly claims every privilege as a presumptiveright ; self-love egotistically demands every gratification ;and as these feelings gain ascendency, so the spring of enjoyment becomes tainted, and a morbid state of mind isengendered. Everything is then necessarily viewed througha perverted medium. Selfishness and discontent conjoin todistort the vision of the envious, so that they can fix theirgaze upon those points alone which lie beyond their reach.By under-estimating their own blessings, and over- ratingthose of others, they foster cravings which can never befully gratified. Such is their egotism that they never haveenough while there are others who possess more. Thusevery good gift is obscured, and all power of enjoymentnumbed.But the baneful influence of envy works outwardly aswell as inwardly, and much social evil is to be traced to thisbase and sordid passion. Openly it dares not show itself; of coward spirit, it seeks to wound in the dark, and cautiously .masks the deadly malice and hatred which rankle within.Where goodness and worth flourish, there Avill it lurk towork evil, for envy knows no compunction, nor has esteema place in its vocabulary. Even that prosperity or happinesswhich has attained its full proportions through merit is notsafe from its poisoned fangs ; a sworn foe to all that is goodand fair, it knows no rest till the best and noblest arebrought before its shrine as victims for immolation. Dark and sinful indeed is that mind which finds its own night inanother's sunshine ; and thus, by a just recoil, are gloom andmisery stamped on every envious heart.ow, as it is only in the vacant mind and selfish breastthat this ignoble and malignant passion can permanentlyharbour, would we but strive to acquire through perseveringindustry that which we covet, and cultivate a kindly feelingtowards our fellow-creatures, its power over us must as-suredly cease, for goodness can wish no ill. But to precludethe possibility of its finding a seat within the heart, we must
EXVY. 33value and enjoy the blessings vouchsafed us, without regardto the state of others, which, indeed, we are apt greatly tomiscalculate ; or, if we must compare lots, let it be with theless, and not the apparently more favoured. This will surelytend to restrain immoderate desires, and render us happyand contented. Further, if we esteem virtue as the supremegood, and earnestly strive after excellence, at the sametime casting from us any overweening ambition to excel, wemay hope to soar to an eminence which petty envy will bepowerless to reach.ext, let us consider that He who "sees with equal eyes"can recognize no distinction between His creatures, exceptsuch as the presence or absence of virtue confers ; and werebel against the All Wise, tacitly accusing Divine justice,when we envy others those worldly possessions or thathappiness which they have culled from the general fund,and contrived to retain fresh and unfaded. But when oncehappily convinced that infinite wisdom knows what is bestfor us, nor withholds aught which will prove to our ultimateadvantage, and, further, that we must give the vigour of will to attain such things as we desire to obtain, without,however, presumptuously assuming that all we may set ourhearts upon should be ours, then shall we readily believethat if our wishes remain ungratified we are but grasping atthe shadow, not the substance. May we, then, ever seek God's favour, and be humbly grateful for the manifoldblessings He vouchsafes, since thus we can best guard ourhearts against the base passion of envy, and save ourselvesfrom the many crimes which it but too surely engenders, asalso from the condign punishment which infallibly attendsits indulgence.ow, as no one, whatsoever his station in society, andhowsoever fortunate his lot, is exempt from crosses and

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