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juries inflicted upon him by a wicked world, has not the spirit of Christ, and, consequently is none of his. To illustrate this spirit, I will relate an anecdote. A slave was once taken from Africa, and carried in a slave ship to the West Indies. He naturally had a very ungovernable temper;. but after a short time, through the instrumentality of his master's daughter, he became a humble and devoted Christian. On account of his good conduct, his master raised him to a situation of some consequence in the management of his estate.
At one time, wishing to purchase twenty additional slaves, the master employed him to select them. He went to the slave-market, and began to examine those offered for sale ; but he soon fixed his eye on an old and decrepit slave, and told his master he must be one of them. The master was greatly surprised, and refused to sanction his choice. The poor slave plead for some time in vain; but at length the dealer told the master that if he bought twenty, he would give him the old man. The purchase was made; and when the old man was carried
home with the rest, the slave who had manifested so much interest in him continued his attentions to him. He took him to his own good hut, laid him upon his own bed, and fed him at his own table. The master was surprised at this treatment, and inquired one day if the old man was any relation to him. “No, massa," he replied, “he no my kin—he no my friend !” " Then why do you treat him so kindly ?'' inquired the master. “Why, massa,” said he, the tears rolling down his cheek, "dis man sell me to slave dealer; and my Bible tell me, when my enemy hunger feed him; and when he thirst, give him drink. Dat why I love him so."
The excellent Dr. Payson possessed much of this spirit of Christ.
A man called on him one night, and requested him to go immediately and visit a person whom he said was dying. He arose and went; but he found that the man had come to him with a lie in his mouth, and had played a trick upon him. But was the doctor angry? Did he wish to return the injury? O, no; though he took cold and
was sick in consequence of going out, yet he returned home to pray for the hardhearted man who had injured him. Mr. Fox, who wrote the Book of Martyrs, also possessed much of this spirit. It used to be said of him, “If a man would have Mr. Fox do him a kindness, let him do him an injury." How much does this resemble the spirit and temper of Christ ! How unlike the dispositions of the men of the world!
There is another reason why you should not resent an act of injustice, but should forgive it. By so doing, in the expressive language of Scripture, you shall “heap coals of fire” upon the head of him who injures you. The following anecdote will illustrate this effect of forgiveness. A man was once traveling alone, on a highway, when a robber rode up to him and demanded his money and his horse, at the same time presenting a loaded pistol. The traveler gave him what he asked for, without offering any resistance. But the hardhearted wretch, not satisfied with this, threatened to take his life. The other began calmly and solemnly to reason with him on the wickedness of his life. But this the highwayman could not endure, for he expected nothing but curses and blows; and he actually gave up the gentleman's horse and money, and departed from him.
O, who can describe the feelings of one who has injured another, when he finds that the only return is kindness! Surely, “coals of fire” are heaped upon his head ! Look at that child. In a moment of passion he injured his playmate. But instead of a cross look or word, he is treated kindly by his injured friend, as though he had done nothing wrong. And see what an effect it has upon him. He is filled with shame; and O, how does he wish that his injured playmate would retaliate, rather than treat him thus. Yes, he had rather have him return the injury; for then his conscience would not upbraid him so. My young friends, I am not describing imaginary things; for the experience of many persons, and my own among the rest, testifies to the truth of what I have been saying. Perhaps the experience of some of my