Read PDF Taking Up A Reproach, An Act of Spiritual Suicide
Death is the best way to cover over her shame. HERO stirs. Yea, wherefore should she not? Could she here deny. Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,. Why not! Can she deny the accusations that are proven by her guilty blush? Am I sorry that I only had one child? Do I blame Nature for being so thrifty?
But his armor bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell on it. Another was Ahithophel, an advisor to King David who had betrayed him and so was at risk of death when David regained control 2 Samuel 2 Samuel And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and got him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulcher of his father.
The story of Samson is related but stands in unique contrast.
Having been captured by the Philistines and forced to entertain them, he famously pulled down an entire building as a final act of defiance and died in the process Judges Judges 28 And Samson called to the LORD , and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray you, and strengthen me, I pray you, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
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Finally, there are numerous servants of God whose lives became so difficult that they wanted to die or even wished they had never been born, but none of these men actually articulated the intention or desire to kill themselves. Among these are righteous Job Job Job 8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
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When he is the author and first raiser of a reproach. When a man is the spreader or promoter of it. When a man takes it into his ear. When a man quietly permits it, and gives no check to it. If another set his house on fire, I must lend my help to quench it; I must pull my neighbor's ox out of the pit, though another man hates him in; and, consequently, when the good name of my neighbor is invaded by another, if I patiently bear the reproach, I make myself guilty.
When a man hears a reproach against his neighbor greedily; and with delight. Consider, I beseech you, the commonness of this sin. If a reproach be fastened upon one who is a man's enemy, or of another party, men commonly hear such reproaches with delight; not considering that this is not only a blemish to his own party, but also a blot to Christianity, a reproach to the Protestant religion, a sin against God and against the gospel, a scandal to men; and these things should rather call for tears, than laughter and approbation.
And therefore, when a man seems to approve another man's reproach, and encourage the reproacher, he involves himself in the guilt of it. It is the saying of a very learned man upon the Proverbs, that " it is not easy to know whether is a greater sinner, or whether is the greater plague to a commonwealth,--he that spreads a reproach, or he that willingly receives it.
When a man easily believes reproach. Charity readily believes well concerning its neighbor, where there is the least color or foundation for it; but it is slow to believe evil concerning him; and when a man is prone to believe evil concerning another man, it is a great sign of an uncharitable disposition: the reason is, he cause men do most readily believe those things which comply with their own desires and inclinations; as, in wars and differing factions, every man is apt to believe good tidings concerning his own party.
Good men are the least suspicious, and slowest to believe evil of others; of which you have are remarkable instance in Gedaliah: when Johanan told him of Ishmael's design to murder him, it is said, he "believed him not. And when it was pressed upon him a second time, and Johanan offered to punish the conspirator, and to prevent the execution of the treason, he said, " You shall not do this thing: for you speakest falsely concerning Ishmael.
You may observe how backward fond parents are to believe any ill report concerning their children: and whence does this proceed? Even from an inordinate love and kindness to them; and therefore, on the contrary, men's credulity unto evil reports concerning their neighbors does proceed from want of love and affection to them. So much for the explication. The proof of the doctrine shall consist in the representation of the sinfulness and injury of this practice of censuring, back-biting, and reproaching of others. And that I may more effectually dissuade and affright myself and you from it, I shall discover to you how pregnant a sin this is: there is a complication of injuries in it.
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It is injurious, first, to God; Secondly, to yourselves; Thirdly, to the party censured or reproached; Fourthly, to other men. It is an invasion of God's prerogative. And, " But why do you judge or set at nought your brother? As if he had said, "You do set yourself on the throne of God, and you do take God's work out of his hands.
Catechism of the Catholic Church - IntraText
This is a manifest breach of the laws of God and of Christ. He whom you censure possibly may sin; but you that do reproach him certainly does sin, and that against clear light; and so you do put your-self into the number of those that "rebel against the light," which is mentioned as a great aggravation of sin. Job The law of God has so evidently forbidden this sin, that if your conscience does not smite you for it, if you can't go on quietly in this sin, it is a sign you art in a deep sleep, if not " dead in trespasses and sins.
It is against particular and express scriptures, forbidding this practice. Again: " You shall not raise a false report " against your brother. A false report: either that which you know to be false, then you are guilty of forgery; or that which in the issue shall be found to be false, in which case you are guilty of rashness and uncharitableness. In the Hebrew it is " a vain report," a report that lacks the solidity of thorough information, and of real use to your neighbor. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law; " James iv.
Ministers must put people in mind "to speak evil of no man.
This is against the fundamental law of love and charity, which is the chief of the laws of God. Sacrifice, Sabbath, the worship and service of God, must frequently give place unto this duty of mercy and charity to men; by which you may see, as how great a duty this is, so how great a sin the violation of this command is.
God accepts no man's person, he regards no service, where this is wanting. Though men pretend, or express, ever so much love to God, though they do or suffer ever so much for him, yet if they "have not charity, it profiteth nothing. And, " in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother. If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
But possibly some may ask, " Who, then, is my brother, to the love of whom I am thus obliged? Possibly he is one of my own party and religion; and such I do love. It is true, good men are the principal objects of your love; but not the only objects of it. The commands of the gospel in this matter are general: "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood;" 1 Peter 2. But now, all persons, yes, even those that censure and reproach others, will pretend they love them: but, be not deceived: if you do sincerely love your neighbor, you will be ready to do all good offices for him, to seek his good, to maintain his credit, to interpret all things in the best sense, to cover his failings.
Did you love your neighbor, you would not be so apt to censure him, so greedy to hear, nor so ready to believe, evil reports concerning him.
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When God shall come at the last day to try men's love to their brethren by the rules and characters of it which he did prescribe in 1 Cor. You should do well to study that chapter, and to labor thoroughly to understand it; and that I commend to you as an excellent antidote-against this wicked practice. This is a sin against that great and royal law of Christ, which even the heathens have admired, and the emperor Severus did so highly applaud: "Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Would you have all your infirmities sharply censured? No, no; they that are so forward to censure the real or supposed miscarriages of others, would have their own more tenderly dealt with; and, generally; those that are most severe judges of others are most partial to themselves.