And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
When Sir Walter Scott was a boy at school, his efforts to gain a prize seemed all to no purpose, on account of the superior memory of one of his companions, who never failed to say his lessons perfectly. Walter did well, but now and then he would make a slip. In vain he strove to be first; he was always second, but could not oust his schoolfellow from the top place. One day, watching his rival repeating a long task without mistake or hesitation, Walter noticed that his fingers were perpetually fidgeting a particular button on his waistcoat. A thought struck the envious lad. Could it be? He would see. An opportunity soon occurred, and he cut off that button from that waistcoat while its owner was asleep. Next day the class stood up. Number one began, and as the first words left his lips, his fingers might be seen feeling for the familiar button. They felt for it in vain; and the hapless boy stopped, then stammered, then stopped again, and broke down altogether. Utterly unconscious of the cause, he racked his memory in despairing amazement, but he could not remember a line, and Walter stepped to the top of the class. Not a very serious trick, many boys will say. I choose it on this very account, as an illustration of what envy will lead to. Our object in this lesson should be to show envy at work in ordinary daily life, working all manner of mischief, just because its wickedness is not appreciated. An illustration of some murderer, whose crime was instigated by envy, would not answer our purpose. Our Sunday scholars would condemn the sin with horror, utterly failing to see the less glaring, but in God's sight not less hateful, fault of their own hearts and tongues and lives. Our illustrations should be such as will enable us effectively to say, like Nathan, "Thou art the man!" "Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur." But it is not enough to show the hideousness of envy. We must show the beauty of the " charity" which "envieth not." Thus: What should Walter Scott have done? Let the button alone? Yes; hut more than that. He should have honoured his companion, and rejoiced in his success. Ah, that is hard!
Parallel VersesKJV: And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.