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What King so strong

Can tie the gall up in a slanderous tongue?

The Duke

Measure for Measure

Act III, scene 2, 190-191

“It is bitter to be charged falsely with vices which may be quite alien to our character, but it is rarely that even a false charge does not bring something to our remembrance to humble us in the presence of God. It is of no profit to us to be angered by slander, and to retort upon those who utter it; very likely the one may be as easy as the other. The real profit is when it brings us into contact with something in our life to which in our self-complacency we have been blind—something of which the slanderer knows nothing, but which we feel before God more deeply than any wound He could inflict—and when we give ourselves in God’s presence with penitence and humility to set it right with Him. There are such things, such memories, in the lives of all men; and perhaps in surveying the unjust and malignant things said about the Church or about Christians in general we have all been secretly reminded of some of them. It is good to be reminded. It is good to take them to heart. It is good to put resentment away, and with a contrite heart seek forgiveness and amendment from God. It is thus he brings good out of evil and requites blessing for the curse.

James Denney, The Way Everlasting, “Learning From The Enemy”.