Edward Payson Archive

Selected Thoughts

The Wicked, Life a Troubled Sea

Ungoverned passions are to the mind what winds are to the ocean, and they often throw it into a storm; for, in such a world as this, the sinner must meet with many things which are calĀ­culated to rouse them. Sometimes he is injured, injured perhaps without cause or provocation; and then his mind is agitated by revengeful feelings. Sometimes he sees a rival, perhaps an unworthy rival, outstrip him in the race, and seize the prize which he had hoped to obtain; and, in consequence, envy, mortification, and chagrin, lie gnawing at his heart, and cause the greater pain because he is obliged to conceal them. Often he meets with some slight affront or insult, which wounds his pride, and sets his angry passions in a flame, like Haman, who could enjoy nothing because Mordecai refused to do him revĀ­erence. In addition to these things, he is daily exposed to a thousand little nameless vexatious occurrences, which tease, and fret, and harass him, rendering his mind a stranger to peace. Often, too, his mind is disturbed by its own workings, without any assignable cause. He feels restless and unhappy, he can scarcely tell why. He wants something, but he cannot tell what. One wave of troubled thought after another, comes rolling upon his mind, and he cannot say with the Psalmist, In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul. These troublesome thoughts, and tumultuous workings of the mind, are to the wicked man what the daily flow and ebb of the tide are to the ocean. They keep it in agitation even when the waves of passion cease to flow.

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