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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Envy

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A sensation of uneasiness and disquiet, arising from the advantages which others are supposed to possess above us, accompanied with malignity towards those who possess them. "This, " says a good writer, "is universally admitted to be one of the blackest passions in the human heart. No one, indeed, is to be condemned for defending his rights, and showing displeasure against a malicious enemy; but to conceive ill will at one who has attacked none of our rights, nor done us any injury, solely because he is more prosperous than we are, is a disposition altogether unnatural. Hence the character of an envious man is universally odious. All disclaim it; and they who feel themselves under the influence of this passion, carefully conceal it. The chief grounds of envy may be reduced to three: accomplishments of mind; advantages of birth, rank, and fortune; and superior success in worldly pursuits. To subdue this odious disposition, let us consider its sinful and criminal nature; the mischiefs it occasions to the world; the unhappiness it produces to him who possesses it; the evil causes that nourish it, such as pride and indolence: let us, moreover, bring often into view those religious considerations which regard us as Christians: how unworthy we are in the sight of God, how much the blessings we enjoy are above what we deserve. Let us learn reverence and submission to that divine government which has appointed to every one such a condition as is fittest for him to possess; let us consider how opposite the Christian spirit is to envy; above all, let us offer up our prayers to the Almighty, that he would purify our hearts from a passion which is so base and so criminal."

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Envy'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/e/envy.html. 1802.

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