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P. 1
Of Self Examination.

Of Self Examination.

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Published by glennpease
BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.,

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him^
and said unto him^ There were two men in one city: the one rich
and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks
and herds ; hut the poor maji had nothing^ save one little ewe
lamby which he had bought and nourished up : and it grew up
together with him, and with his children : it did eat of his own
meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was
unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the
rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock, and of his own
herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him :
btit took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that
was come icnto him. And David'' s anger was greatly kindled
against the man ; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the
man that hath done this thing shall surely die: and he shall restore
the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had
no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. — 2
Sam. xii. 1 — 7.
BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.,

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him^
and said unto him^ There were two men in one city: the one rich
and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks
and herds ; hut the poor maji had nothing^ save one little ewe
lamby which he had bought and nourished up : and it grew up
together with him, and with his children : it did eat of his own
meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was
unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the
rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock, and of his own
herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him :
btit took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that
was come icnto him. And David'' s anger was greatly kindled
against the man ; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the
man that hath done this thing shall surely die: and he shall restore
the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had
no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. — 2
Sam. xii. 1 — 7.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 02, 2013
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OF SELF-EXAMINATION. BY EDWARD MEYRICK GOULBURN, D.D.,And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him^ and said unto him^ There were two men in one city: the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds ; hut the poor maji had nothing^ save one little ewe lamby which he had bought and nourished up : and it grew up together with him, and with his children : it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock, and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him :  btit took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come icnto him. And David'' s anger was greatly kindled against the man ; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. — 2 Sam. xii. 1 — 7. In this striking passage of Holy Scripture we see King David in disguise brought before his own judg-ment seat. His judgment, as chief magistrate of his
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realm, is demanded upon an imaginary case of wanton and cruel oppression, the exact counterpart of that which he had himself committed. David, not recog-nizing himself under the disguise which the prophet had thrown over him, passes sentence of death and fourfold restitution upon the imaginary offender. No sooner had the sentence gone out of the king's mouth than the prophet unmasks the muffled and mysterious figure which stood at the bar, tears away the disguise, and shows to the astonished king himself : " Thou art 84 Of Self -Examination [part the man." How came it to pass that David was so incensed with cruelty and oppression in a supposed case, though he had remained so long (since his child was born when Nathan came to him, it cannot have  been much short of a year) insensible to the far more heinous cruelty and oppression of his own conduct ? The reason is, of course, that we never judge of our own conduct in any affair, as we do of an abstract case in which we are not ourselves mixed up, and
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in which our feelings, passions, and prejudices are not interested. Moralists have questioned, and there seems every reason to question, whether a man can do a bad action without justifying it to his own conscience as at least excusable under the circumstances, — or, in other words, whether evil, without a certain colour, pretext, and palliation, can ever be accepted by the human will ;  but the colours and pretexts which serve for our own conduct are never available for that of other men. We  judge tliem^ as David judged the imaginary offender in the parable, nakedly, truly, and severely enough. It is the object of these pages to give some thoughts, which may be practically useful on the subject of Per-sonal Eeligion. Now the chief devotional exercise which turns Religion into a personal thing, which brings it home to men's business and bosom, is Self-examina-tion. A man's religion cannot well be one of merely good impressions, — the staple of it cannot well be an evaporating sentiment, if he have acquired the habit of honestly and candidly looking within. The subject, therefore, which we treat to-day, has the closest bearing upon the general argument of the work.
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