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Sermon for St. Peters Day

Sermon for St. Peters Day

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Published by glennpease
BY REV DOCTOR JOHN TAULER


Of brotherly rebuke and admonition, how far it is
advisable and seemly or not, and especially how
prelates and governors ought to demean themselves
toward their subjects.

2 Tim. 2. — " Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long -suffering and
doctrine. "
BY REV DOCTOR JOHN TAULER


Of brotherly rebuke and admonition, how far it is
advisable and seemly or not, and especially how
prelates and governors ought to demean themselves
toward their subjects.

2 Tim. 2. — " Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long -suffering and
doctrine. "

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 24, 2014
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Sermon for St. Peters Day BY REV DOCTOR JOH TAULER Of brotherly rebuke and admonition, how far it is advisable and seemly or not, and especially how prelates and governors ought to demean themselves toward their subjects. 2 Tim. 2. — " Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long -suffering and doctrine. " THIS is the lesson which St. Paul gives to his beloved disciple Timothy, whom he set to rule over men, and it equally behoves all pastors of souls and magistrates, to possess these two things, — long-suffering and doctrine. First, it is their office to rebuke all open sinners, whom they may possibly bring to a better way, and especially those over whom they are set in authority, that they may reveal the truth unto them, for this is needful, and in many places Scripture doth tell us how we ought to teach, rebuke, and exhort those who are committed to our charge, each according to the office which he holds, as St. Gregory has sufficiently shown and set forth in his Pastoral, wherefore we will refrain for the present from saying more on that point. But we will rather turn to the second point, which TAULER'S SERMOS 4" is more spiritual, teaching a man to look within and  judge himself, seeing that he who desires to become a spiritual man must not be ever taking note of others,
 
and above all of their sins, lest he fall into wrath and bitterness, and a judging spirit towards his neigh- bours. O children, this works such great mischief in a man's soul, as it is miserable to think of ; where- fore, as you love God, shun this evil temper, and turn your eyes full upon yourselves, and see if you cannot discover the same fault in yourselves, either in times past or now-a-days. And if you find it, remember how that it is God's appointing that you should now behold this sin in another in order that you may be brought to acknowledge and repent of it ; and amend your ways and pray for your brother that God may grant him repentance and amendment, according to His Divine will. Thus a good heart draws amendment from the sins of others, and is guarded from all harsh judgment and wrath, and preserves an even temper, while an evil heart puts the worst interpretation on all that it sees and turns it to its own hurt. Thus is a good man able to maintain inviolate a due love and loyalty towards his fellow-man. Further, this generous love makes him hold others innocent in his heart : even when he sees infirmity or fault in his neighbour, he reflects that very likely all is not as it seems on the outside, but the act may have been done with a good in- tention ; or else he thinks that God may have per- mitted it to take place for an admonition and lesson to himself ; or again, as an opportunity for him to exercise self-control and to learn to die unto himself, by the patient endurance of and forbearance towards the faults of his neighbours, even as God has often 412 TAULER'S SERMOS borne many wrongs from him, and had patience with his sins. And this would often tend more to his neighbour's improvement than all the efforts he could make for it in the way of reproofs or chastise-
 
ments, even if they were done in love (though indeed we often imagine that our reproofs are given in love when it is in truth far otherwise). For I teU thee, dear child, if thou couldst conquer thyself by long-suffering and gentleness and the pureness of thy heart, thou wouldst have vanquished all thine enemies. It would be better for thee than if thou hadst won the hearts of all the world by thy writings and wisdom, and hadst miserably destroyed thine own soul by passing judgment on thy neighbours ; for the Lord says : " And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thine own eye ? " In thus speaking, I except those who are bound by their ofüce in the holy Christian Church to rebuke others. Let them wisely beware how they reprove, and for what causes, so that they rebuke none with an irritable demeanour, or with harsh and angry words, from which much trouble and toil do spring, for that they have no right to do, but it is permitted to them to reprove those who are under them for their own amendment. But alas ! it happens for the most part now-a-days that those who occupy the highest places do often and greatly forget them- selves in these respects, and hence their rebukes do not produce any amendment, but only anger and alienation of heart. For if they were to instruct those who are under their care in the fear of God, in such wise that the people could mark and be sure that it was done solely for the saving of their souls, TAULER'S SERMOS 413 they would be much the more ready to set themselves to amend, and would be content, — but now, alas ! they see that their superiors are only seeking their own glory and profit, and taking upon themselves

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