Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LVI.: of anger. - The Works of John Robinson, vol. 1
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CHAPTER LVI.: of anger. - John Robinson, The Works of John Robinson, vol. 1 
The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols (London: John Snow, 1851). Vol. 1.
Part of: The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, with a Memoir and Annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 vols.
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Anger, as fear and sorrow and other affections of averseness, hath only evil, in truth, or appearance, for the object on which it worketh. But whereas fear and sorrow, out of a kind of impotency, withdraw the person fearing or sorrowing, from the evil feared or sorrowed for; anger in strength, and stoutness, as being the strongest of all affections, intends the driving away and dispelling of the evil;* at and against which it riseth. Which, being also, as Chrysippus calls it, and experience confirms, a blind thing; there is nothing so sacred and precious which it will spare; but without difference it flieth, where the wings are not clipt, upon friends as well as foes;* and upon unreasonable creatures, as well as upon men. And so Xerxes in anger beat the sea, and threatened the mountains, if they hindered his passage.† Yea it will not spare the truth itself, if it be against its purpose, Lev. xxiv. 11—14: no, nor God neither, as we may see, not only in furious blasphemers, or piercers of God, as the word imports, but even in the prophet himself, who was angry even to the death at God, for sparing Nineveh. Jonah iv. 4—9. It is therefore rightly called a short fury, as differing from plain madness in nothing, but time.‡ And, in truth, it is pity, that they, in whom it reigns, specially pleasing themselves in its fits, are not chained up like madmen; or that they have either riches or strength or authority or wit or anything else to hurt with. It were good he had no other thing in his power, who is not in his own power; as no angry man is.§
If a wrathful man saw himself in a glass, when his fit is upon him; his eyes burning, his lips fumbling, his face pale, his teeth gnashing, his mouth foaming, and other parts of his body trembling, and shaking;|| or but some of these deformities: he would, and worthily, loathe himself, and it may be amend things, for after, as some have done. But if the same person saw the face of his soul, in the glass of God's Word, and the deformities thereof, in God's sight, he would much more abhor himself, and start aside, as terrified at the sight of so hideous a monster. This rash anger, whether causeless or immeasurable, where some cause is, hath always evil in it, Matt. ii. 16; though it be never so speedily repressed: upon which if the sun be let go down, and that it lodge all night in the heart, it becomes malice by the morning. Men nourish it in pride, and because, they will not give place to other men; not considering, that in so doing, they give place to the devil, Eph. iv. 26, 27, and become like him in malice, wherein he exceeds himself. This anger God so brands, as he scarce doth any created affection, in forbidding the making of friendship with an angry man, and walking with the furious, for fear of learning his ways, and getting a snare to the soul. Prov. xxii. 24. For though all affections becoming inordinate, are vicious, and that God would have his servants watch diligently against the excesses of sorrow, fear, joy, and the like: yet doth he never give warning of the fellowship of such, as in whom they reign, for fear of learning them: neither is there that danger of smiting by other passions, which is by this.
If Solomon were a wise man and took not his marks amiss, who so oft, and plainly sets out a fool by rash anger and wrath, there are many more fools in the world, than go in the motley coats; and the same no small fools neither; considering how many, specially of them who take a privilege from their greatness, to give scope to their passions, either affect or give way to inordinateness in this kind; as if otherwise they could not sufficiently manifest their wisdom in discerning, and goodness ill disliking, and greatness in controlling things amiss in others. But as vain-glorious men desire to show their authority in needless commands; so do fools affect the showing of their wisdom, goodness, and greatness, in needless anger.
The links whereof a chain may be made to tie up this fierce dog, that he do not more hurt, than good in biting, and commit not a greater offence by unadvisedness, and excess, than the person hath done,* which he is set upon; are specially these: First, lowliness of mind, by which he that thinks not himself great, thinks no great hurt done, if he be a little wronged: whereas, on the other side, the high-minded conceives great indignation, that his understanding should be opposed, his authority neglected, his will crossed, his credit impeached, or anything said or done importing any undervaluation of his presumed worth of himself. Christ the Lord teacheth both by example and doctrine, that humility and meekness are inseparable companions. Matt. xi. 29. A second, consideration what is just with God, in regard of our sins, to bring upon us, though by man's unjust provocations and injuries: and this was David's remedy, when Shimei reviled him. A third, true love to others, which is not easily nor excessively provoked to anger, 1 Cor. xiii. 5, at such as wrong us; but rather moves to pity them, as the father wished Scapula, a great persecutor of the Christians, that if he would not spare them, he should spare himself, who should have the worst of it.* A fourth, is a little delay and forbearance, either for the inward working or outward uttering of anger, whilst we gather our wits about us; which he that can bring himself to, will often, by finding just cause of anger at himself, forbear being angry at others. And to this tended the counsel given unto Cæsar, that he should neither do, nor speak anything in anger, till he had said over the Greek alphabet.† A fifth is, not to take liberty to be a little angry at trifles, for he that useth himself to that, will not keep from extremity in great matters.‡ The last is to avoid occasions of provocation, whether persons or things: which whilst angry folk, for the most part, affect, they gather fuel for the fire, wherewith to burn themselves, hasten to discover their own shame, and make way for the devil's temptations, unto which they give way afterwards.
[||]Plato; Seneca; Jerome.