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SECTION I: Of Envy and Wrath and their Branches, and how, instead of sin, the Person is often hated

TURN this image upside down, and look well therein, and thou shalt find two members or limbs of envy and anger fastened thereto, with several branches springing out of them, which hinder the love and charity which thou oughtest to have toward thy neighbour. The branches of these two sins are these: Hatred, evil suspicion, false and rash or unskilful judging, melancholy, risings of heart against them, despising, unkindness, and backbiting, or other ill-speaking of them, misliking, unskilful or causeless blaming of them, misconstruing their words or deeds, anguish and heaviness against those that despise us, or speak any evil of us, or speak against us, a joy or gladness at their pain, a selfness or bitterness against sinful men and others that will not do as we think they should do, with great desire and eagerness of heart (under colour of charity and justice), that they were well punished and chastised for their sin.

Such motions and stirrings as these seem good; nevertheless, if thou ransack it well, thou shalt find it more fleshly and sensual sometimes against the person than spiritual against the sin; for thou shouldst love the man, be he never so sinful, and hate the sin in every man whatever he be. Many are beguiled in this, for they set the bitter instead of the sweet and take darkness instead of light, contrary to the prophet, saying: Wo to you who call evil good, and good evil; putting darkness for light, and light for darkness; putting bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.130130    Is. 5. Thus do all they who, when they should hate the sin of their neighbour and love his person, hate the person instead of the sin, and imagine that they hate the sin. Wherefore it is a special craft and art by itself whoso can do it well.


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