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SOMETIMES I have disputed with myself, which of the two was most guilty, David, who said in haste, All men are liars, [Psalm cxvi. 11.] or that wicked man who sat and spake against his brother, and slandered his own mother’s son. [Psalm l. 20.]

David seems the greater offender; for mankind might have an action of defamation against him, yea, he might justly be challenged for giving all men the lie. But mark, David was in haste, he spake it in transitu, when he was passing, or rather posting by; or if you please, not David, but David’s haste rashly vented the words. Whereas the other sat, a sad, solemn, serious, premeditate, deliberate posture, his malice had a full blow, with a steady hand, at the credit of his brother. Not to say that sat carries with it the countenance of a judicial proceeding, as if he made a session or bench-business thereof, as well condemning, as accusing unjustly.


Lord, pardon my cursory, and preserve me from sedentary sins. If in haste or heat of passion I wrong any, give me at leisure to ask thee and them forgiveness. But O let me not sit by it, studiously to plot or project mischief to any out of malice prepense. To shed blood in cool blood, is blood with a witness.

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