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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The pardon of any offence committed against us. This is a virtue which our Lord expressly inculcates, not as extending to our friends only, but to our enemies. "Ye have heard, " saith he, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, love your enemies, " &c. "This, " says an ingenious writer, "was a lesson so new, and utterly unknown till taught by his doctrines and enforced by his example, that the wisest moralists of the wisest nations and ages represented the desire of revenge as a mark of a noble mind; but how much more magnanimous, how much more beneficial to mankind, is forgiveness! It is more magnanimous, because every generous and exalted disposition of the human mind is requisite to the practice of it; and it is the most beneficial, because it puts an end to an eternal succession of injuries and retaliation." Let us, therefore, learn to cherish this noble disposition; let the bitterest enemy we have be softened by its effects; let us consider also how friendly it is to our own happiness, and how much it prevents the unhappiness of others. "The feuds and animosities, in families, and between neighbours, which disturb the intercourse of human life, and collectively compose half the misery of it, have their foundation in the want of a forgiving temper, and can never cease but by the exercise of this virtue on one side, or on both." Paley's Mor. Phil. vol. 1: p. 271; Soame Jenyns's Int. Evid. p. 67, 68; Clarke's Sermons, ser. 2. vol. x; Tillotson's Ser. vol. 8: p. 254.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Forgiveness'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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