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P. 1
A Dissuasive From the Fear of Man.

A Dissuasive From the Fear of Man.

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Published by glennpease
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. li. 7, 8. Hearken unto me, ye that knoiu righteousfiess, the
people in whose heart is my law : Fear ye not the reproach of
men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings: for the moth shall
eat them up like a garmenty and the worm shall eat them like
wool; hut my righteousness shall be for ever^ and my salva-
tion from generation to generation.
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. li. 7, 8. Hearken unto me, ye that knoiu righteousfiess, the
people in whose heart is my law : Fear ye not the reproach of
men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings: for the moth shall
eat them up like a garmenty and the worm shall eat them like
wool; hut my righteousness shall be for ever^ and my salva-
tion from generation to generation.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 24, 2014
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A DISSUASIVE FROM THE FEAR OF MA. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Isai. li. 7, 8. Hearken unto me, ye that knoiu righteousfiess, the people in whose heart is my law : Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings: for the moth shall eat them up like a garmenty and the worm shall eat them like wool; hut my righteousness shall be for ever^ and my salva- tion from generation to generation. OUR heavenly Father, anxious that we should attend to his word in every thing, uses various means to impress it on our minds: sometimes he issues his commands with authority, and enforces them with threatenings of his displeasure : at other times he exhorts with more than parental tenderness, and persuades us with the most encouraging considera- tions. Thus, in the chapter before us, he says no less than three times, '' Hearken to me, O my people M" In that spirit we would now address you. It is in Jehovah's name that we speak, yea, and in his very place and stead '': and we intreat you to listen with an obedient ear, whilst we guard you against one of the most dangerous snares in which Satan entangles the souls of men. We invite your attention then to the words of our text, and beg you to consider, I. The fact here supposed — The supposition does certainly at first sight appear strange — [Had it been intimated, that persons professing religion and at the same time dishonouring it by their conduct, would be objects of reproach, it would have been nothing but what we might reasonably expect; because hypocrisy is more de- testable than even the most flagrant vice: but that persons
 
" in whose heart is God's law," and who consequently reve- rence and obey all the commandments of God, should be reviled and hated, seems almost incredible. We should be ready to think that such persons would rather be universally loved and honoured, not ,only because all occasion of blame is cut off from them, but because there is in them an assem- blage of all that is virtuous and praise-worthy.] But the fact supposed is common in all ages — [The very first-born of the human race hated and mur- dered his own brother, for no other cause than his superior piety: and it was on similar grounds that Ishmael mocked and derided his brother Isaac. Our blessed Lord experienced similar treatment from the men of his day; and has taught all his followers to expect the same. After portraying the cha- racter *ver. 1, 4, 7. ^2 Cor. v. 20. VOL. V. D D 402 ISAIAH, Li: 7, 8. [52^* racter of his people in a great variety of particulars, he adds, " Blessed are ye, when men shall hate and revile you^" We are ready to wonder that such an expression should he intro- duced in such a connexion; but a Uttle observation will suffice to convince us that that addition was not made without reason.] or is it difficult to account for this fact — [The natural man hates God'^; and consequently hates his image, wherever it appears Moreover, men have esta- lljshed a false standard for judging; viewing things only in reference to this present life. What wonder then if they account those to be fools and mad, who disregard the things of time and sense, and look only to the things that are invisible and eternal ? But, in condemning the godly, they are actuated also in no small degree hy self-defence. It is obvious, that, if the
 
godly be right, the ungodly must be wrong: yea, if there be only a remote probabihty that the godly may be right, the ungodly must be wrong, because they do not pause to examine carefully into the truth or falsehood of their own opinions. Hence the ungodly decide at once, and load the godly with revihngs and reproach, as the only, or, at least, the easiest way of justifying their own conduct.] The existence of this fact being clearly ascertained, let us contemplate, II. The advice here given in reference to it — Here let us notice, 1 . The advice itself — [The human mind naturally shrinks back from revilings and reproach: and well it may, when any thing really dis- graceful is imputed to us. Such a regard to the opinions of men, so far from being wrong, is truly amiable and praise- worthy; and a want of it would argue extreme degeneracy, and inveterate corruption. one but those who are hardened with pride, and insensible to shame, will ever presume to set public opinion at defiance. But where " the revilings and reproact" are wholly unmerited, and we have the testimony of our own consciences that we are " persecuted only for righteousness' sake," we may then discard all fear, and all concern about the ignominy to which we are exposed'*''. In i.JLch a case we do well to '' set our face as a flint against the uhole world," and even to glory in the reproachc s that are cast upon us. Under such circumstances we do not hesitate to repeat the advice which God himself gives us in the text, " Fear not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings." « Matt. v. 3 — 1 1 , & Luke vi. 20—23. '' Rom. viii. 7. '•'•This distinction is made by St. Peter. I Pet.iv. 14— 1 6

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