God can make you useful
At the same time, you don’t know what God may do for you. Moses had not been so magnified by God if Aaron and Miriam had not abused him and abased him. (Nu. 12) Something may fall out that shall more signalize you and magnify you among the People of God than anything that has befallen you.
God is to be adored in such things; but though I make the briefest mention o fhtem that is possible, I would not have mentioned them at all, if the things had not been of so frequent occurrence as to be worth your observation. And at the same time, I know you will desire concerning most of them that they may not occur in your own experience. You had rather see God saving of your personal enemies, than for you sake smiting of them. And, if you saw the uplifted hand of God ready to discharge thunderbolts upon them, you would beg for them, Lord, spare them, spare them.
I will conclude with this advice.
PRAYER, PRAYER, which has heretofore doubtless been the breath of your life, outhgt now more htan ever to be so. The best resolution that you can take up is that of the Psalmist, “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.” (Psalm 109:2) But I give myself to prayer.
Know the Scripture
If the storm of obloquy upon you be more than ordinary, it looks as if the Lord called you unto something more of retirement; silence alone for a while and keeping silence and putting your mouth into the dust; while you give your cheek to him that smites you, and you are filled full of reproach. How many Psalms will you in this retirement and religion of the closet find prepared for you, to direct you, to support you, to supply your supplications? Especially the third, the thirteenth, the seventeenth, the twenty-seventh, the thirty-first, the thirty-eighth, the forty-first, the fifty-fourth, the fifty-sixth, the eighty-sixth, the ninety-first, the hundrend and ninth, the hundred and thirty-eighth, the hundred and forty-second, the hundred and forty third.
The worst of dragons have been charmed by such Psalms as these.
My friend, the foot-steps of God, even when his is treading on you, will drop fatness [blessing] into your soul. If you are brought unto such employments and being thus fruitful (though in a low valley) you may shout & also sing for joy. Even when thrown into a dung cart, you may be (as the martyr in that case expressed it), as a sweet odor to God yea, and unto his faithful people, too.
Be concerned thus to glorify the Name of your Holy Lord and fear not. He will take a sufficient care of your name.
And at the very time when your name is trod into the dirt, among men on earth, it will be written in heaven be precious among the angles of heaven, to whom you and your bringing forth fruit with patience are made a spectacle. And where a crown of glory is ready waiting for you.
Having brought you thither, I cannot break off anywhere more agreeably but there (whither my friend all you present sufferings are carrying you!). There, I leave you.
Thus, you have seen the true way of shaking off a viper. When the viper coiled about the hand of the servant of Christ (for Bochart will allow him to do no more; not consenting to [agreeing with] who will have the teeth of the viper struck into him), it was, as one wittily says, Non laedert, sed ut ornaret; not an injury, but an ornament unto him. The ancients had indeed a sort of bracelet called a “wrist serpent” mentioned in Atheneaus and Hesychius and others. Our defamers will adorn more than they annoy us, if we take this method with them, which we have now agreed upon.
When Paul shook off the beast into the fire (Acts 28:1-6), some ingenious men and Arator among the rest make it a type of our great adversary Satan cast into hell for assaulting the faithful people of God.
But oh! Let us lift-up our hands to heaven with fervent cries to the God of all grace that he would bring all our human defamers (though we were ever so inhumanely treated by them) thither even to Heaven; there to share with us in happiness, to which even they have promoted our arrival.
PSALM XCI. 13
Thou shall victorious tread on the black serpent, and the asp; the dragon and the great dragon thou shalt trample under foot.
Melius responderi non potest calumniatorum maledicentiae quam non respondendo.
Melc. Adam. in Vita Beza.
A Speech of the Martyr Vineditirus.
Rage and do the worst, that Malignity can set thee at work to do;
Thou shalt see the Spirit of GOD strengthen the Sufferer,
more than the Devil can do the Inflicter.
 A commentator I have been unable to identify.
 There can be no better answer to the curse of the slanderers than by not answering.
You will be attacked by those for whom you do the most good
Secondly, ‘Tis a passage which I have somewhere else met withal, “Though I have done good offices for all men whatsoever, as they have come in my way, yet a great part of them, whom I have distinguished by doing of something peculiar for them, have afterwards treated me most ungratefully and abominably; have proved prodigies of ingratitude.”
Indeed, it is no rare thing for great services to be worse rewarded than great injuries. They that were lately your dependents will be shortly your defamers. It is a maxim of Seneca , “Men bear a secret hatred unto those who have most obliged them.”
Make yourself a scaffold for another to rise by; when is up, he will kick you down if he can. The prophecy is fulfilled in private as well as public instances, Men shall be unthankful. The French Protestants must for this very cause be destroyed by a tyrant because they brought him to the throne and made him able to destroy them.
Sir, if you meet with such usage too, let it not at all dishearten you from doing unto eight those good offices which you have done already to seven. But learn to good for its own sake; do it, hoping for nothing again.
God can use even defamations
O blessed improvement of defamations! My friend, make it and the issue will be glorious. Your experience will be that, Gen. 49:23,24, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him, but his bow abode in strength.” You know not what good arrows of service may yet be sent from you among the People of God; perhaps the more for the mischiefs which the archers have attempted upon you. Don’t sit down, and sink down under discouragements as if your opportunities to do good would be utterly lost by the malice of your defamers, with a tempest of defamations. Don’t say, “I shall one day perish by their tongues or pens.” But say, “O my soul, hope in God for I shall yet praise him.” (Ps. 42:5) God will wonderfully rescue your opportunities. They are not at the disposal of your malicious enemies.
And you know not what may happen to hamstring those enemies or to muzzle the lions that you are thrown among. ‘Tis very possible they that are now your enemies may come to befriend you wonderfully, and your defamers may prove the very instruments of your good. Yea, of your doing more good and of that by which your fame will be but advantaged and propagated.
I have heard a servant of God make this observation, That he has been defamed and abused by some, and he has out of obedience to Christ forborne to take notice of it. Christ has afterward put it into the hearts of those very men singly to assist him in his most valued serviceableness. Yea, if you duly humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and rage of man, it would be no ne thing if anon ou find the accomplishment of that promise, Zeph. 3:19, “I will get you praise and fame in every place where they have been put to shame.”
Or, while these envious men are wishing and striving that you may come to nothing, they may do so themselves, Non ego sic cedidi, quamvis abjectus! (“I have not cut down him who was struck down.”)
It may-be they will become so contemptible and so miserable that you shall have them objects, not so much of your indignation as of your commiseration. Their esteem shall be very little, and the divine providence will order it, that they shall be the less esteemed for their disaffection of you.
It may be, God will give you that room in the hearts of his people and such a testimony in their consciences and sentiments that malignity toward you shall be reckoned a mark of an ill man by very man of them. The intoxicated creatures find that they have in truth only done the part of a viper in the fable. Their own viperous tongues bleed by licking of the file. But the servant of God is found invulnerable. AS you know, the Scripture gives it as good mark, to be a lover of good men. So, when the poet would paint out his Thersites as a very sorry wretch, this is the finishing stroke of his wretchedness. He is an adversary of brave Ulysses.
Vengeance is mine
Yea, it is possible God may punish them with reducing them to low and sad circumstances wherein they may need some assistances: They must fly for help to the very man whom they have abused. And sir, I assure myself that you will readily and heartily help them and utterly forget all their abuses, as if they had never been offered.
The governor Eutropius did but affront Chrysostom for his faithful rebukes of his briberies and oppressions. Anon the Emperor strips Eutropius of his offices and his like to fall a sacrifice unto his enemies. Eutropius then flies to Chrysostom for defense. And Chyrsostom is the man who most now defends him from his enemies. Yea, it is possible that God may bring the fate a Pashur upon him that smites the servants of God. (See, Jer. 20) And the smitten saint must be the man whom the dying and woeful sinner then begs to pray for him, which you may be sure he cannot but do with all the charity imaginable.
Some that have been more than ordinarily virulent and violent in uttering their calumnies against good men, have hastened upon themselves that which is incurred by them who will keep their tongues from evil. (Ps. 34:13) But that which I know you would very loath to see come upon the work of your calumniators. It was a strange providence among the old Roman Law, of the XII Tables,  Si quis carmen occentassit, quot alteri flagitium parit, Capitale esto. The plain English of that old Latin is, “That it was a capital thing to publish a reproach which procured infamy of another man.” Our old Arnobius having occasion to twit the defamatory pagans with with it, I find citing it with this explanation, Carmen malum conscribere, quo Fama alterius Coinquinetur. (By writing an evil song, another’s reputation is ruined.)
The awful hand of Heaven oftener executes that strange punishment than men are well aware of. Vavasor Powel’s maxim was a very true one, “The less a good man strives for himself, the more will the great God strive for him.” Unjust enemies who are false witnesses breathing out cruelty, being with much moderation and resignation of min, put over into the hands of the living God, find it at last a “fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31) There are arrows on the bent bow of Providence ordained against the persecutors (whose teeth are arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword (Ps. 57:4)). None knows how soon the Holy God may let them fly, especially if their persecutors carry on their malignity with such unwearied and impetuous molestation, that while they live, a diligent servant of God can proceed little further in the doing of good in the world.
 Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher, 4 B.C. – 65 A.D. Counselor to Emperor Nero. At this place in the text, Mather has the word “unmasked” which makes no sense. It has been omitted.
 So far I have been unable to track down the original source.
Mistake me not, I do not say that of their own nature they are good, for they are a fruit of the curse; but though they are naturally evil, yet the wise over-ruling hand of God disposing and sanctifying them, they are morally good. As the elements, though of contrary qualities, yet God hath so tempered them, that they all work in a harmonious manner, for the good of the universe. Or as in a watch, the wheels seem to move contrary one to another, but all carry on the motions of the watch: so things that seem to move cross to the godly, yet by the wonderful providence of God work for their good. Among these worst things, there are four sad evils work for good to them that love God.
Thomas Watson, A Divine Cordial; The Saint’s Spiritual Delight; The Holy Eucharist; and Other Treatises, The Writings of the Doctrinal Puritans and Divines of the Seventeenth Century (The Religious Tract Society, 1846), 23.
 A reference to the Iliad, from book II, Samuel Butler, translation:
The rest now took their seats and kept to their own several places, but Thersites still went on wagging his unbridled tongue- a man of many words, and those unseemly; a monger of sedition, a railer against all who were in authority, who cared not what he said, so that he might set the Achaeans in a laugh. He was the ugliest man of all those that came before Troy- bandy-legged, lame of one foot, with his two shoulders rounded and hunched over his chest. His head ran up to a point, but there was little hair on the top of it. Achilles and Ulysses hated him worst of all, for it was with them that he was most wont to wrangle; now, however, with a shrill squeaky voice he began heaping his abuse on Agamemnon. The Achaeans were angry and disgusted, yet none the less he kept on brawling and bawling at the son of Atreus.
“Agamemnon,” he cried, “what ails you now, and what more do you want? Your tents are filled with bronze and with fair women, for whenever we take a town we give you the pick of them. Would you have yet more gold, which some Trojan is to give you as a ransom for his son, when I or another Achaean has taken him prisoner? or is it some young girl to hide and lie with? It is not well that you, the ruler of the Achaeans, should bring them into such misery. Weakling cowards, women rather than men, let us sail home, and leave this fellow here at Troy to stew in his own meeds of honour, and discover whether we were of any service to him or no. Achilles is a much better man than he is, and see how he has treated him- robbing him of his prize and keeping it himself. Achilles takes it meekly and shows no fight; if he did, son of Atreus, you would never again insult him.”
Thus railed Thersites, but Ulysses at once went up to him and rebuked him sternly. “Check your glib tongue, Thersites,” said be, “and babble not a word further. Chide not with princes when you have none to back you. There is no viler creature come before Troy with the sons of Atreus. Drop this chatter about kings, and neither revile them nor keep harping about going home. We do not yet know how things are going to be, nor whether the Achaeans are to return with good success or evil. How dare you gibe at Agamemnon because the Danaans have awarded him so many prizes? I tell you, therefore- and it shall surely be- that if I again catch you talking such nonsense, I will either forfeit my own head and be no more called father of Telemachus, or I will take you, strip you stark naked, and whip you out of the assembly till you go blubbering back to the ships.”
On this he beat him with his staff about the back and shoulders till he dropped and fell a-weeping. The golden sceptre raised a bloody weal on his back, so he sat down frightened and in pain, looking foolish as he wiped the tears from his eyes. The people were sorry for him, yet they laughed heartily, and one would turn to his neighbour saying, “Ulysses has done many a good thing ere now in fight and council, but he never did the Argives a better turn than when he stopped this fellow’s mouth from prating further. He will give the kings no more of his insolence.”
Thus said the people.
 Chrysostom the greatest preacher of the early church. You really must make his acquaintance.
You can find Chyrsostom’s Homilies on Eutropius here: https://orthodoxchurchfathers.com/fathers/npnf109/npnf1034.htm#TopOfPage
 You can find the law here: https://law.gwu.libguides.com/romanlaw/twelvetables.
 Welsh Baptist minister, born 1617. “He had no fear of men, or jails, or death in his heart. He was a strong republican, and he openly denounced the protectorship of Cromwell when his power was dreaded by all Europe; and Cromwell was so apprehensive of his influence that he arrested him. He spent eight years in thirteen prisons. And he died in the Fleet jail, in London, in the eleventh year of his incarceration, Oct. 27, 1671. His death was unusually blessed; the power and love of God filled his soul with enthusiasm in the miseries of a cell and in the agonies of a distressing complaint.” http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/powell.vavasor.b.encyclo.html
When to expect to be attacked
I will mention to you one circumstance of conformity to your blessed Savior which if it should occur in your experience, I would not have you wonder at it. Our Savior having had Heaven opened, with astonishing testimonies with astonishing testimonies of divine favor to him at his Transfiguration in the the Mount. (Mark 9:2-13) He presently [immediately] met with what was grievous to him; a horrid spectacle of one possessed by a devil and something in the carriage of his own disciples which administered grief to him.
In conformity with this, it has been the observation made by some servants that just after they have been admitted unto a more than ordinary familiarity with Heaven, the Evil Spirits presently entertains them with some vexatious object, something that proves very troublesome and abusing unto them, and most probably some obloquy raised by the Devil against them. It may be you have (especially in the days which you have set apart for religion of the closet) had an admission into Heaven, yea, into the most Holy Place of Heaven by a lively faith beholding Jesus in the Holy of Holies concerned for you. You have been swallowed up with raptures of assurance of what the Glorious One has done and will do for you. It has been with you a time of astonishing irradiations from the Heavenly World.
Now let it not surprise you if you immediately have to do with people that have the evil spirit in them. Oh, ‘tis an unknown power that the Devil has over the minds and tongues of defamatory people. Nor let it be a surprise to you, if some from whom you might expect better things be now left unto something that may grieve you wonderfully. Nor let it surprise you if some from whom you might expect better thing be now left unto something that may grieve you wonderfully. Rejoice, again I say rejoice (Phil. 4:4) in this conformity to your Savior.
Paul: If thou hast been in Heaven, expect a messenger of Satan (some Zedekiah) immediately to buffet thee. (2 Chron. 18)
Do not Let Slander Keep You From Service
Let not your defamations be the discouragements unto your usefulness; by no means be discouraged from well-doing by being ill-spoken of.
Doubtless one design of Satan (the Prince of Defamers) in raising a storm of defamation against you is to overset your disposition for the service of God. But, oh, do not gratify him. So, when the prophet heard the defaming of many, he fell into that unhappy pang. Jer. 20:9 “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his Name.” I hope sir you’ll be better advised. If you had not been a fruitful tree, it may be there had not been so many stones and sticks thrown at you. Now my friend, bear not fewer good fruits because of what you have met withal.
What a triumph was that? Rom. 8:37, 39. “We are more than conquerors—DEPTH—shall not be able to separate us form the Love of God.” Though you are brought into a depth of disgrace, and laid low by defamation, yet, Oh! Love God, as much as ever, and Lover the service of God with a flame that shall never be extinguished. Let no defemations retund [blunt, turn aside] or flatten your brave resolutions to do all you can.
Stand steady like a beaten anvil
Ignatius of old said unto Polycarp, “Stand steady like a beaten anvil.” Give me leave to address you with the like advice. Bear all the blows that are gtiven you: And after all, be what you were before. Be as firm in your intentions and endeavors to do good as you were before. Be much better than you were before. Let nothing issue form you but bright strictures of piety and patience, and sparklingly devotion and usefulness.
The great God is by the defamations which are smitten withal making a trial of your sincerity and fidelity. He is trying whether you will serve him upon purer principles than the praise of men.
Oh, that you may be able to say when tried, I shall come forth as gold. It is a wonderful speech of Plato, “For the trial of true virtue ‘tis necessary that a good man should be defamed as an evil doer, when he does all things well, justly and fairly; and that he should hold immovable under such discouragements.”
 “IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, Ignatios Antiocheias). An early church father and bishop of Antioch of Syria. Wrote seven letters before his martyrdom (ca. AD 110–117) that provide insight into the post-apostolic church. Ignatius is also known as Theophorus (“God-bearer”).” Alexander H. Pierce, “Ignatius of Antioch,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016). Contemporary and acquaintance of Polycarp. Ignatius left behind a series of letters written as Polycarp was being transported to his martyrdom. The letters of Ignatius, as well as the documents by and concerning Polycarp can be found here: https://www.ccel.org/l/lightfoot/fathers/cache/fathers.pdf
 Bishop of Smyrna. His dates are uncertain, but likely 69-155 A.D.
 At this point, Mather quotes the original Greek. The text itself is difficult to read at this point, but the Greek text in Lightfoot’s edition here reads, “στῆθι ἑδραῖος, ὡς ἄκμων τυπτόμενος” Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, “The Apostolic Fathers” (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 132.
A longer quotation from Ignatius’ letter to Polycarp, as Ignatius was on his way to be martyred, reads, “Let not those who seem to be specious and yet bring novel teaching dismay you. Stand firm as an anvil when it is smitten. It is the part of a great athlete to suffer blows and to conquer. And above all for God’s sake we ought to endure all things, that He also may endure us. Become more zealous than you are. Consider the seasons.3 Look for Him Who is above all seasons, Who is timeless, invisible, made visible for our sakes, Who is beyond the touch of our hands, beyond suffering, Who yet suffered for us, Who in every way endured for us.” J. H. Srawley with St. Ignatius, The Epistles of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Second Edition, Revised., vol. 1 & 2, Early Church Classics (London; Brighton: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1910), 50–51.
 Two allusions stand behind this section. First, Job 1-2, where Satan argues that Job only serves God for the benefit to Job. Second, 1 Peter 1:3–7 (AV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
The conformity to the ever blessed Jesus, whereto his defamed servants do and may arrive, should be much in their eye, under the defamations. Looking after an adequate notion o fhonor, I finally determined upon this: All true honor lies in a conformity to the admirable Jesus.
Wherein a man is conformable to the admirable Savior of the world, so far, and no farther, he is an honorable man. Thence I infer, to be defamed may be to be honored. For I am sure the Savior of men was extremely defmed among men; despised and rejected of men. It was foretold of him that he should be spoken against. And it was fulfilled unto extremity: there was not a person in the land so spoken against. Indeed he had some that stood by him, yet there was but some.
we read, John 7:12, “Some said he is a good man. Others said, No, but he deceiveth the people.”
In the vision which the beloved John had of our Savior, we see, Rev. 1:15, “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” The learned Grellot has a curious thought upon it. Our Savior passed through a burning furnace of afflictions, so that he might come to his glory. Grievous defamations were some of the scorches that afflicted him in that fiery furnace and compelled him to cry out, Psalm 69:19–20
Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
He took a friendly notice of some that had not the best reputation; but with no other intention than the charitable one of a physician, intending to recover his patients. For this he was defamed, as familiar friend of wicked people. He compassionately provided a large quantity of wine for the neighbors at a wedding feast: For this he was defamed as a wine-bibber [wino]. He did wonderful things to deliver poor peole form the hands hurts of the evil spirits: He was requited [paid back] with being defamed as one that carried on an unlawful converse with evil spirits.
“No man heard his voice in the streets.” He fled from the very whispers of a temporal kingdom. Yet he was defamed as one that moved sedition. A thief was preferred before him. His own kindred had those among who maltreated him and called him all that was bad. (Mark 3:21) I find by travelers, the Jews to this day make this great offense against him. “He went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38) Yet a great part of mankind conspired for to treat him as an evil doer. Though he could challenge all men living to tax him with the least ill thing, yet he was numbered with the transgressors. (Is. 53:12) He was crucified between two robbers. From when Hierocles, almost three hundred years later, published and fomented a tradition that he was a highway man [robber], the head of a desperate crew of Banditti [bandits]. Thus, a generation of vipers [Luke 3:7], the most remarkable set of the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15) that had been in any generation, stung the holy, harmless, undefiled, Jesus! O Disciple, how canst thou propose any other sort of treatment that what thy glorious Lord met withal?
There never can bebetter advice given to. Defamed Christian than that, Hebrews 12:2–3:
Look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Accordingly, in the defamations that you suffer, you may very allowably examine, What conformity to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ may be discovered.
Indeed, we must with all the contrition & confusion imaginable, make the acknowledgement of the penitent sinner, who was crucified with our Savior:
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: [Our Lord never did] nothing amiss.
[Luke 23:41] But this does not forbid us poor sinner to consider what there was in the sorrows of our Savior to which anything in our sorrows may be conformable.
It is an observable passage in Col. 1:24, “[I] rejoice in my sufferings , and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.” The Greek word used there [ἀνταναπληρῶ] properly signifies the hollow marks and strokes of the seal, which are filled up with wax.
In your defamations you may with out immodesty (but oh! Do it with a very trembling modesty!) observe perhaps the signatures which may, as the wax under the seal, answer something that befell Christ in his afflictions.
 I have been unable to track down this “learned” commentator.
 Matthew 12:19–21 (AV)
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
 What circumstance could you be in which was worse than what Jesus suffered?
 In what way is your suffering similar to his?
I trouble antiquity to spare us on example more, from the many which it might afford us.
Narcissus the serviceable and admirable minister of Jerusalem, a man of such a shining sanctity, the sore eyes of envious men were offended at the brightness of it. Three of them accused him of unchastity, and swore to it with dreadful imprecations. One wished that he might be burnt if he had not spoke the truth. The second wished that he might rot alive. The third wished that he might lose his eyesight. Very few believed the accusation; yet this humble and modest servant of God withdrew upon it.
But the vengeance of God soon followed the accusers. The house of the first unaccountably took fire, and he with all his family were burnt to ashes. The second fell into a disease in which he did rot and die. The third saw this and was terrified and owned the wicked combination [conspiracy], and with the very tears of his repentance, he wept his eyes out.
Narcissus returned and became a brighter saint than ever had been in his life before.
I mention this because the authors of defamations ought to be afraid of the judgment wherewith God may vindicate his wronged children, who patiently bear all the wrongs that are done unto them, and commit themselves to him that judges righteously. (1 Pet. 2:23)
Indeed, those great men who illuminated the primitive church met with strange absurdities in the dealing of their adversaries with them. Their adversaries let them see how ready they were to catch at anything that might look defamatory upon them. Jerome, for instance, had written some very applauding things concerning Origen. Yet afterwards wrote other things greatly condemning him. Ruffin for this raised a horrid clamor against Jerome as being a man of no truth in him. Yea, Austin [Augustine] himself censured Jerome for levity and inconstancy.
It was a mistaken in them. Jerome defended himself with this fair apology: “I commend the man for his accomplishments. But I always disliked his principles. I highly valued his abilities. But I did not tie myself upon from disliking what is to be found amiss in him.” A man may be reproached as inconstant when he observes the rule of the trust consistency. ‘Tis the object and not he that changes.
Let us come down to the time of the Reformation, we shall not find this way of wickedness then reformed. Good men were still defamed wonderfully. What hideous defamations of the most excellent men in the world are the writing of such men as Tympius, and Cochleus, and Genebrard stuffed withal? To such a degree of defaming did sottish [drunken] malice and madness of their adversaries carry them that tye printed stories about the tragical deaths of these excellent men, while the men were yet living! But forced it seems by writing and printing of answers to prive they were indeed alive.
None suffered more this way than the famous Luther. Whereupon Whitaker made this remark, “Felix ille, quem Dominus eo honore dignatus est, ut homines nequissimos suos haberet inimics” [which means] “There is a sort of wicked men whom it will be your enemies. You are honored if you may enjoy their enmity.”
What smutty stories did they invent and foment concerning the admirable Beza? I will not mention the rest of the notoriously defamed heroes, but on the great, the sweet, dear Calvin must not be left unmentioned. France never saw a better man; yet how odious the name of Calvin? The witlings of the time (a knot of them at Bruxells particularly) laid their wits together to write atheistical pamphlets of “modest inquiry” upon him. The title was “Calvino-mastix.” They made their satires as pungent as they could. They introduced the enraged Prince of the Bottomless Pit as threating to plague the world with the most pestilent monster he could procure for the punishment of mankind. This cursed monster must be Calvin! They charged him being guilty of the villainies and forgeries which produced (as they said) his being burnt on the shoulder for a rogue. They stigmatized him for one that in treating certain possessed people had scandalously misbehaved himself. When he was dead, what a hideous character did Bolsecus publish of him, which passes among the adversaries of the Reformation for a true “History of the Life and Death of Mr. Calvin”. It accuses him as being a drunkard, an epicure, a whoremaster, the worst of men; that he pretended unto certain supernatural powers of heaven, but was detected in his deceit. That he died eaten up with lice (the word phthisis [a conition of the eye] they extended into phthiriasis [an infestation of lice]) blaspheming God, invoking devils, detesting his work of Reformation, and cursing the day that ever he put pen to paper. Yea, in the English nation itself, how odious the name of Calvin? Though the true friends of the Reformation have generally concurred with Dr. Hoyl, when he said, “That great instrument of God’s glory John Calvin was a man of whom I had almost said as it was almost said of Moses, that ‘There arose not a prophet since like him in Israel’ [Deut. 34:10], nor since the Apostles’ day was before him. His works the world may admire how they could be so many, being so good, and so good being so many.” Yet you will find a venomous Dr. Heylin, (a son of the church, who usually discovered a soul as black as the ink he wrote withal) dress him up in sambeinto’s; and at the best make but a reverend scribbler of him.
I am very much mistaken if the most reformed country in the world have no sons of Bolsecus in it.
I will no longer believe some defamations which I see published in some of the most received English histories. No, nor some that have been rashly taken up from Tory reporters, and published in the life of our Baxter himself, concerning such persons as our Goodwin, and our Owen; servants of God as unworthy to be exposed for taking wrong steps as the historian [Baxter].
And that holy man, the historian whom I now mention, might remember that he was himself accused of a criminal familiarity with a lewd woman, yea, and with killing a man in cold blood; though he was really man of as much grace & worth as most that ever the nation had.
I will tell you why I will not readily believe such stories. I have known ill men to spread stories (like themselves) of certain cheats and frauds as used by some servants of God in religious matters; when I have certainly known that the stories have been lies and vile fiction of ill-minded men. And, I can cheerfully say, The great God knows the truth of his declaration. Yea, I have seen the remarkable judgments of God on the authors of them. But such men as Goodwin & Owen had done so much to pull down the kingdom of the Devil in the world that the Devil must by defamations take an exemplary revenge upon them. And some good men were so ill affected unto their most valuable brethren as to let themselves be therewith imposed on. And will take leaven to transcribe a passage from Owen on this occasion:
A man may have the blessing of God and curse of a professing people at the same time. Man’s condemnation and God absolution do not seldom meet upon the same person, for the same things. If you do the will of the Lord, pray think it not stange if among men curses be your reward and detestation your wages.
I mention this observation by the by, because you may live to have occasion for it.
The glorious God has in this way, exercised his most faithful servants. It has been to humble them and prove [test and in so doing prove to be true] them, and to them good in the latter end: Of such defamations, I may say as Jerome concerning other calamites:
They are monitors put upon us to humble us, as when the conquerors of old rode in triumph, there was a person placed behind them in the triumphal chariot who as often as the citizens made their acclamations, whispered in the ear with an, Hominem te esse memento: Remember, Sir, you are but a man.
When servants of God have triumphed with continual serviceableness, the way of heaven has been to clap detractors upon htem, from whom in the midst of the acclamations which the obliged churches of God have bestowed upon them, they have had the most wholesome admonitions.
 “JEROME (ca. 347–419/420). A church father and biblical scholar who produced numerous commentaries and homilies on Scripture, historical treatises, theological essays, a vast correspondence, and other miscellaneous works. He is most noted for his translation of the Bible into Latin, later known as the Vulgate.’ Brian C. Small, “Jerome,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
 “ORIGEN (Ὠριγένης, Ōrigenēs). Also known as Origen of Alexandria. A prolific and influential church father who lived ca. AD 185–254. Known for his allegorical approach to interpreting Scripture.” Justin M. Gohl, “Origen,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016). And, “The details of Origen’s life were recorded by his student Gregory Thaumaturgus in a panegyric, by Eusebius in his history, and by Jerome in several references. The first two were favorable. So was Jerome at first, but he later came to disapprove of Origen’s exegesis. Yet, Jerome called him the second teacher of the church after Paul.” A. Cabaniss, “Origen (Origenes Adamantius),” ed. J.D. Douglas and Philip W. Comfort, Who’s Who in Christian History (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1992), 522.
 Origen was later condemned as a heretic in the Fifth Ecumenical Council, “IF anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their impious writings, as also all other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and by the aforesaid four Holy Synods and [if anyone does not equally anathematize] all those who have held and hold or who in their impiety persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned: let him be anathema.” Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., “The Second Council of Constantinople: The Capitula of the Council,” in The Seven Ecumenical Councils, trans. Henry R. Percival, vol. 14, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1900), 314.
 Theology professor, University of Köln 1586-1593.
 I have been unable thus far to track this scoundrel down.
 Archbishop of Aix appointed 1591.
 Beza, Theodore (1519–1605), *Calvinist theologian. De Bèze (the original form of his name) came from an old Catholic family of Vézelay in Burgundy. He was educated by his tutor M. Wolmar, first at Orlèans, later at Bourges, where Wolmar became a Protestant and made his house a centre of the new religion, J. *Calvin being one of its most frequent guests. In 1534 Wolmar returned to Germany, and from 1535 to 1539 Beza studied law at Orléans with a view to embracing an ecclesiastical career. … In 1558 Calvin offered him a professorship at the newly founded academy at Geneva, a post which Beza held until 1595.” F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 199.
 I found this reference in Trapp’s commentary on Zechariah 13: “God hath secret ways to waste his enemies, and to bring them on their knees when they are best underset. He can trip up their heels when they are standing upon their feet, and lay them low enough in the slimy valley where are many already like them, and more shall come after them, Job 21:31-32. God hath a Marasmus, an evil messenger for a malicious persecutor; as he had for Antiochus Epiphanes, 1Ma 6:8-13 ; for both the Herods; for Maximiuus, the tyrant; for Philip II of Spain, Charles IX of France, Queen Mary of England, Stephen Gardiner, Archbishop Arundel, Nestorius, Arius, and other odious heretics and enemies of the Church; among whom a Lapide, the Jesuit, reckons here Calvin, and saith, That like another Herod, he died a lousy loathsome death; and for his authority thinks it enough to say, uti refert Bolsecus in eius Vita. as Bolsecus reports in his history. But it must be understood that the lives of Calvin and Beza were spitefully written by this Bolsecus, their sworn enemy, that twice banished and thrice renegade friar (liar I might have said) and physician; for those names his often changes and hard chances have given him. This man, being requested by the Popish side, and it is likely hired by them, to write thus, is in all their writings alleged as canonical.”
 English Preacher 1615-1691; hesitate to call him a “Puritan” due to some points of his theology. Start with the Reformed Pastor or Dying Thoughts.
 English Puritan, 1600-1680. Start with The Heart of Christ in Heaven.
 The prince of Puritan theologians, 1618-1683. Start here with J.I. Packer’s note on Owen which begins, “I owe more, I think, to John Owen than to any other theologian, ancient or modern, and I am sure I owe more to his little book on mortification than to anything else he wrote. Let me explain.” https://banneroftruth.org/us/resources/articles/2013/packer-on-owen-on-mortification/
 Mather has produced a slightly edited version of the quotation. In Owen’s collected works it appears as follows:
A man may have the blessing of God and the curse of a professing people at the same time. “Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel,” Isa. 8:18. “Cum ab hominibus damnamur, a Deo absolvimur.”1 Man’s condemnation and God’s absolution do not seldom meet upon the same persons, for the same things. If you labour to do the work of the Lord, pray think it not strange if among men curses be your reward, and detestation your wages.
John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 8 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 140.
It may be some relief of your disquietments under your defamations to consider what company you have in your affliction. To consider how defamed and ill-spoken of the brst of men in the world have been before you. What you undergo has much temptation in it. But sir, no temptation except what is common to the best of men. [1 Cor. 10:13] This comfort for the miserable, seems to be recommend as no miserable comfort [poor, inadequate comfort] by our Savior. Matt. 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Well known is the story of that knight who going to his martyrdom and seeing himself because of his quality [station in society] excused from wearing a chain worn by the other martyrs, he cried out, “I pray let me be a knight of that order!” And [he] asked that he might wear a chain as well as they!
There never was a useful servant of God in the world without so many defamations. And if you should be wholly without tem, and all men should speak well of you, you might well question whether you are a saint of their order or not. The enmity which is fexed at the beginning between the two seeds [Gen. 3:15] has ever since been operating in defamations. The third chapter of Genesis has predicted them. For all that will renounce and oppose the kingdom of Satan in the world, and such is the influence of Satan on the tongues of his children [John 8:44] that he continually procures their prediction to be accomplished.
Moses, the writer of this [Genesis], was a famous instance [example] of this. Moses, the greatest man [Let the insolent critic of Amsterdam say what he will!] that ever shone in the world in four-thousand-years together, an angel in flesh. How often did his own people defame him in their murmurings. The people that were under more obligations unto him than [to] any other man under heaven. So impertinent as to make [up a false] staroy that there an Arabian woman whom he had harkened unto more than he should have done. [Num. 12:1]
The pagans did their part also in defaming him. He had once a leprosy on his hand most miraculously, most honorably circumstanced. [Ex. 4:6] The ancient historians hereupon spread a story that he was a leper and for this cause driven with his people out of Egypt. Yea, which is unaccountable: the accounts which the wicked Jews himself in their Talmuds, give both of Moses and of David, would render them the most scandalous Men that ever were in the world.
“The time would fail me to mention” (Heb. 11:32) all the holy prophets who have complaint made by one of them. Jer. 20:10, “I heard the defaming of many.” They have been defamed as the troublers of Israel (1 Kings 18:17), when they were the chariots of Israel (2 Kings 2:12). They were deserted and defamed until they have retired unto the Juniper tree. (1 Kings 19:5)
Under the New Testament, the matter has not been mended. The old enmity has been carried on in the old way which wicked men have trodden. The Apostles of our Savio could appeal to all that knew them, “Ye are witnesses who holily, how righteously, how unblameably we have behaved ourselves.” (1 Thess. 2:10)
But then those men of God were called unto this marvelous proof of their being so. 2 Corinthinas 5:4,8, “Approving ourselves as the ministers of God in much patience, by dishonor … by evil report.” Above all thou must not be forgotten, O Paul, who didst labor (and in this way suffer) “more abundantly than they all.” (2 Cor. 11:23)
Nor the “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7), the strange aversion which the Christianized Jews had unto him, on the score of his labor among the Gentiles: A reproachful aversion which could not be removed. The gracious God, though he be sought thrice (2 Cor. 12:8) by his prayerful and faithful servant, yet would not remove this buffeting encumbrance, but have him content with the favor which he had in other things bestowed on him.
In early times, the primitive Christians, how defamed were they? Such vile accusations were brought unto the imperial throne [of Rome], th tsome of the best emperors looked on them as the worst of people. Trajan himself because their persecutor. The church was long with child and in travail (full two hundred and eighty-eight prophetical days ) before the revolution when the Accuser of the Brethren could not be heard against her; yea, after the Constantinian Revolution, it was astonishing to see how professed Christians but shamefully divided ones persecuted one-another with defamations. Especially the Arians against the Orthodox.
The one example of Athanasius may be enough. You may learn all from what was done to that one. Church history reports that they accused him of beating some other ministers and offering them horrid outrages, and for spoiling and robbing of churches. The Arians compelled him to some necessary things for his own defense and then those unreasonable men complained of him doing those things. They accused him of murdering a man and cutting off one of his hands to serve certain magical purposes: though that man appeared alive, safe and sound, unto the confusion of his accusers. They accused him of a criminal conversation with women, though the accusers were anon [immediately] confounded by their confessions which the wretches had made that they never anything amiss by him.
Sometimes their accusation prevailed so far as to compel his retirement out of the town. The chief rulers were violently set against him. The corrupt clergy hated him and would have had him utterly deposed.
The glorious Christ whose cause he espoused strangely [miraculously] supported him and preserved him. Once by singing of Psalms, he so charmed the soldiers who came to seize him, they could not meddle with him. He had many triumphs over his adversaires. He often saw them reduced unto such confusion that they were afraid, they were ashamed of owning themselves to be his adversaries. At last, he died peaceably and honorably in his own city, after he had been bishop for six and forty years.
I will now observe to you this one thing more.
There are none that have so much occasion to have such a good carriage under defamations, as a faithful minister of the gospel. Upon that cause, in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us, as we forgive,” says Luther, Mirabilise est haec additio! What a wonder is that extra clause. The like appendix might have been added to the other petitions. As before, “Give us this day our daily bread as we disperse bread unto those who are about us.” And after this, “Lead us not into temptation, as we are loath to lead others into temptation.” Indeed, we should look upon ourselves as being so obliged. But then our Savior intimates unto us that our charity and forgiveness towards our neighbor will depend all the other good operations which are thus to be pursued. It is a world full of such offenses, that except we can forgive, we shall do very little good unto our neighbors.
But it is a remark, as I remember of a French writer, that this platform of prayer, the condition of the minister is peculiarly accommodated. I will not go through all the particular, ‘tis enough to note the ungodly part of mankind will multiple injuries every faithful minister. His fulfillment of his ministry will expose him to the envy and malice of many people and a thousand injuries. For such a peculiar manner is this petition calculated, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
It was the happy [here, “happy” means will placed, useful] Rule of a Minister [a book he had access to which was named “Rule of a Minister”] which I have somewhere recited in these terms.
It is a rule with me, rather to suffer and bury in slience any manner of injuries abuse abused from absurd people in the flock, than to manage any contention with them, on any occasion. Let the matter or the issue be what it will, I shall generally gain more in regard of the great interest by remitting of my right, than by pursuing it.
A minister, above other men, should soar to heaven, live in heaven, keep near heave; and if he would do so, I tell you, what will be his experience.
The incomparable Newton has demonstrated that the weight of bodied or the force of their descent toward the center decreases as their distance from the center increases. A tone eight on the surface of the earth raised heavenwards unto the height of one semi-diameter of the earth-hence would weigh but one-quarter of a ton. At three semi-diameters from the surface of the earth, it would be as easy for a man to carry a ton, as here to carry little more than a hundred pounds.
I know the further you fly toward heaven, the more (if I may use the falconer’s word) you must lessen. There is great reason why it should be so! Defamations will be some of the things by which you must be lessened. It’s true, defamations are heavy things, they are hard to carry. It is hard to carry well under them; some of them are ton weight. But my friend, if you were as near heaven as you ought to be, you would make like of them [they would weigh less]; you would bear them wonderfully.
 The command to give others has a unique application to minister. If the minister does he work well, he will find himself criticized by others. It is a paradox that being a good minister should lead to attacks. Yet that paradox leads to the minister of all people to be especially careful to forgive others.
 The “great interest” is salvation. See, for example, William Guthrie, The Christian’s Great Interest. You would do well to know this book, https://banneroftruth.org/us/store/christian-living/the-christians-great-interest/
 Isaac Newton, English mathematician, scientist, 1642-1726, commonly accounted one of the greatest minds ever.
 The gravity exerted by a body decreases over distance.
 The weight of an object on the surface of the earth will be greater than that same object raised into the atmosphere, because the gravitation pull of the earth will decrease. Just think of the images you have seen of astronauts “floating in space”.
Upon such a text as this, Psalm 92:11, “Mine eye shall see my desire on my enemies; mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.” I have heard one say it gave some shock to his thoughts, it compelled him to behold none but the great Messiah speaking. When it came to be sung in the Assemblies of Zion [at church], the thoughts were constantly awakened in him were, Lord, my desire is that my enemy may be pardoned and come to have a share with me in the blessings of goodness. This truly were to sing with melody in his heart unto the Lord.
Hereupon I consulted the original, I found this word my desire is not in the original. I wish that some other word of supply might be brought unto the translation instead of my desire. Why may not we read, What God shall do, or, what shall be done? Accordingly, Darby in his version of the Psalms, when that clause comes in Psalm 54:7, Mine eyes has seen its desire on my enemies, turns it so, Thou makest my foes to fall before mine eyes.
One says very truly, “‘Tis an easy thing to forgive injuries when God has changed the properties of the and turned them into blessings.” I hope you got so much good by your defamations that you can bless God for them. Then it will be no hard thing for you to wish a blessing on the author of them.
Nor shall your generosity stop there. It is part of the gracious yoke which our Savior has laid upon us, Matthew 5:44, Do good unto them that hate you. I think you should watch the next opportunity after an injury, and particularly after an injurious defamation to do some kindness unto the person that has injured you. Do something wherein he may be the better for you. It was an ancient maxim, Disce diligere inimicum si vis cavere inimicum. Sir, love your enemies and you will bravely arm yourself against your enemies.
Never decline any justice or service which may lie in your way to do unto such a person because he has defamed you. But let his ill-doings provoke you to love and good works; provoke you of some way of being useful to him, which else you ahd never thought upon. Your discretion may so manage the circumstances of your action that the man shall not be hardened in sin by what you do. It may be so managed that you may find the sweet accomplishment of that word, Romans 12:20, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” That is to say, thou shalt melt him. The expression may seem to carry some damage in it, but the allusion has not been commonly understood. It alludes unto them that are concerned with the melting of metals. The metals which will not be melted by fires put under them are melted with coals of fire are heaped upon them; are laid over the crucible. It may be by such good conduct of yours, you may overcome evil with good. You may bring your adversaries such a remorse, that they shall bear this glorious testimony of you, He is a good man. Whether this be done or no, it is most certain you will, by such a conduct exceedingly glorify Christ. Your concern for such a conduct will exceedingly discover the love of God flaming in your soul. The consolations of that love will be wonderful! Be wonderful!
 The verse is translated variously,
And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes,
My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me.
Psalm 92:11 (NASB95)
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
Psalm 92:11 (ESV)
My eyes look down on my enemies;
my ears hear evildoers when they attack me.
Psalm 92:11 (HCSB)
My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
Psalm 92:11 (NIV)
Especially if God has placed us in circumstances of honor and service, that shall render our esteem as rough and strong as a file [a metal file] to every little whistle thing that shall grate upon it. ‘Tis a threadbare saying, but never to be worn out, always of use to wise men when others go to pick holes in their coast: Magnum contumeliae remedium negligentia.
The best way to conquer contumelies [hatreds] is to contemn them. The best way to silence many contumelious people is to despise them. It is a maxim of wisdom, Proverbs 12:19, A lying tongue is but for a moment. Lies are usually short lived things. Do you by your piety and innocence and usefulness take away what must be necessary to support the credit of the lies with all reasonable men and for the most part you need not concern yourself. The lie will be but for a moment. They will die away from themselves. The only way to keep them alive [to keep the lie alive] will be for you to keep up the talk of them with laborious, troublesome, vindications.
The Jews have a proverb, Lies have their feet cut off, they can’t stand long. To use the ancient phrase, Tempus mendacio lupus, a little time will be wolf enough to devour it. My friend, all would have been dead long ago, if you had not unadvisedly commenced a lawsuit upon it.
I will here take the liberty to transcribe another passage I have met withal [something I found somewhere]
If I hear that any person has done me wrong, in word or deed, I find it is often (perhaps not always) the best way in the world not to let them know that I have knowledge of it. The best way is to forgive and forget the wrong, and bury it in silence. For besides the consideration due to the internal advantage, reaped by such Christianity, there is this to be considered, Such is the malignity of most men that they will hate you only because you know they have wronged you. They will, as far as they can, justify the wrong they have done, and because their wicked heart imagine that you must needs bear a spite unto them, for the wrong you have received from them, they will bear a confirmed spite unto you on that vile account.
Whereas, I have often found that my concocting with patience and silence a slight or a burst that has been offered me, has been followed (& rewarded by God) with this consequence, that the very persons who have wronged me have afterwards be made instruments of singular service to me.
I have met a notable person among the Axiomate Philosophiae Christianae [fundamental propositions of Christian philosophy] written by Christopher Besoldus above a hundred years ago, axioms whereof every one is more valuable than gold. Says he, “They who take an antidote, won’t swell upon the bite of the viper, provided the antidote be good. We pretend we have humility and manseutude [the quality or state of being gentle] for our antidote. If when we are bitten by maledicent [evil speaking] people, we swell and are in a feverish rage upon it, our antidote was not good. Signum id est humilitatem nostrum & mansetudinem esse fucatam. It is a sign of our humility and gentleness is so colored. [It is proof of our humility and gentleness.]
If there were no other argument for your long suffering, methinks the loss of time that unavoidably attends our prosecution of every calumny [slander], were enough to affright us from it. You have but a little time to live; you have lost a great deal of time already. You have abundance of work to do for God in your own heart, and life, and family. Perhaps you have work to do for the churches of the Lord. The Devil would feign make this work lie by [be ignored, put to the side]. He throws calumnies in your way to divert you from your work. Instead of serving the Lord and his people in the most significant methods, you time is to go this way: to fend and prove, and at last gain weighty points. Such a vain man has said something he should not have said. A weighty point! Certainly, discretion shall preserve thee from this folly. You had better say to the most of calumnies, I can’t spare the time for you. Say, I am doing a great work; why should my work cease while I leave it and come down to you?
And now, after all the pains I have taken to dissuade you form speaking on this occasion, I will persuade you to speak. And this, unot the best purpose imaginable. I must set before the heavenly counsel & command of our Savior. Matthew 5:44, Pray for them which use you despitefully. You must give me leave to press this with a great importunity upon you: that whenever you understand that any person has injuriously defamed you and abused you, you make this very thing an occasion for you to pray for that person.
Pray for him by name, if you never did so before, before you go to bed that night, mention the very name of that person before the Lord. And let this pray be made without lips of deceit. Lord, pardon this person and bless him, and make him wise and good, do him good!
Be not able to rest until you have done so. When you have done this, Oh! The peace, Oh! The joy, which may now fill your mind in the assurance of your own pardon from the Lord. The comforting Spirit of God in the grace now exercised by you seals your pardon. Receive his testimony, Child be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. A blessing worth a thousand worlds. I am importunate with you to assure it in this excellent way.
 This could be translated as the best remedy for hatred is to ignore it, or to despise it. Cotton opts for “despise”.