Evil pursues sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repaid.
The practice of righteousness is men's true interest, even in this present life. Wickedness is generally attended with great misery, even here as well as hereafter. Exceptions must, of course, be made in cases of persecution for truth and righteousness' sake.
1. Consider mankind in general, under the notion of one universal community. Then the only thing which distinguishes men from wild beasts, with regard to any true happiness of life, is religion, or a sense of the just and right, and of the difference between moral good and evil. Reason, dissociated from moral obligation, only makes men more effectually destroy one another. Reason implying a sense of moral obligation is the secret of happiness in human life.
2. Take a less general view of mankind, in their more restrained political capacity, as formed into particular distinct nations and governments. In this view the only true and lasting happiness depends on the practice of righteousness and true virtue. In proportion as justice, and order, and truth, and fidelity prevail, the happiness of society is secured.
3. Consider men singly, every one in his mere private and personal capacity. Still the only possibility of lasting happiness is the practice of righteousness, charity, temperance, and universal virtue. Illustrate in relation to health; riches, honour, and reputation; inward peace and satisfaction in a man's own mind. Here virtue triumphs absolutely without control, and has no competitor.
Parallel VersesKJV: Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.