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SERM. But yet much more is peaceable conversation impeached XXIX. by disobedience to established laws, those great bulwarks
of society, fences of order, and supports of peace : which he that refuses to obey, is so far from living peaceably with all inen, that he may reasonably be presumed unwilling to have peace with any man; since in a manner he defies all mankind, vilifies its most folemn judgments, endeavours to diffolve those sacred bands by which its union is contained, and to subvert the only foundations of public tranquillity. He declares himself either to affect an universal tyranny over, or an abhorrency from fociety with, other men, to be unwilling to live with them upon equal terms, or to fubmit to any fair arbitration, to defire that strifes should be endless, and controversies never decided, who declines the verdict of law, the most folemn issue of deliberate advice, proceeding from the most honourable, most wise, moft worthy and select persons, and involving in it the consent of the whole commonwealth.
St. Paul, directing that prayers should be made for princes 1 Tim. ii. 2. and those in authority, affigns the reason, that we may
lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty: and certainly if we are to pray for, we are also obliged to obey them in order to the same end, which to do is abfolutely in our power, and more immediately requisite to that purpose. For as no peace can be preserved without the influence of authority; so no authority can fubfift without obedience to its sanctions. He that is desirous to enjoy the privileges of this happy estate of peace, muft in reason be content to perform the duties enjoined, and bear the common burdens imposed by those who are the protectors of it.
Thus, as plainly as I could, have I described what it is to live peaceably, and what the means are that principally conduce thereto: I should now proceed to consider the object of the duty, and the reasons why it refpects all men; as also whence it comes, that sometimes we inay fail in our endeavour of attaining this defirable condition: and lastly, to propound some inducements persuasive of its practice. But I must not farther encroach on your
patience, and shall therefore reserve these things to the SERM. next opportunity
XXIX. Now the peace of God, which paleth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord ; and the blerfing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghos, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.
OF A PEACEABLE TEMPER AND CARRIAGE.
Rom. xii. 18.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
I HAVE very lately considered what it is to live peaceXXX. ably, and what are the duties included therein; and what
means conduce thereto.
II. I proceed now to consider the object thereof, and why the duty of living peaceably extends to all men, that is, why we are bound to bear good-will, and do good offices, and shew civil respects to all men; and to endeavour that all men reciprocally be well-affected toward us. For it might with some colour of reason be objected, and said, Why should I be obliged heartily to love those, that desperately hate me; to treat them kindly, that use me despitefully; to help them, that would hinder me; to relieve them, that would plunge me into utter distress; to comfort them, that delight in my affli&ion; to be respective to, and tender of, their reputation, who despise, defame, and reproach me; to be indulgent and favourable to them, who are harsh and rigorous in their dealings with me; to spare and pardon them, who with implacable malice persecute me? Why should I seek their friendship, who disdainfully reject mine? why prize their favour, who scorn mine? why strive to please them, who purposely offend me? Or why should I have any regard to men, void of all faith, goodness, or desert ? And most
of all, why should I be bound to maintain amicable cor- SERM.
XXX. respondence with those, who are professed enemies to piety and virtue, who oppugn truth, and disturb peace, and countenance vice, error, and faction? How can any love, consent of mind, or communion of good offices, intercede between persons so contrarily disposed ? I answer, they may, and ought, and that because the obligation to these ordinary performances is not grounded upon any peculiar respects, special qualifications, or singular actions of men, (which are contingent and variable,) but upon the indefectible score of common humanity. We owe them (as the philosopher alleged, when he dispensed his alms to an unworthy perfon) ου τα ανθρώπω, αλλά το ανθρωRivq, not to the men, but to human nature resident in them. There be indeed divers other forts of love, in nature and object more restrained, built upon narrower foundations, and requiring more extraordinary acts of duty and respect, not competent to all men; as a love of friendship, founded upon long acquaintance, suitableness of disposition, and frequent exchanges of mutual kindness; a love of gratitude, due to the reception of valuable benefits; a love of esteem, belonging to persons endued with worth and virtue; a love of relation, resulting from kindred, affinity, neighbourhood, and other common engagements. But the love of benevolence, (which is precedent to these, and more deeply rooted in nature, more ancient, more unconfined, and more immutable,) and the duties mentioned consequent on it, are grounded upon the natural constitution, necessary properties, and unalterable condition of humanity, and are upon several accounts due thereto.
1. Upon account of universal cognation, agreement, and fimilitude of nature. For οικείον άπας άνθρωπος ανθρώπω xal pinov All men naturally are of kin and friends to each other, faith Aristotle. Et fratres etiam veftri fumus jure 8. Eth. cap. naturæ matris unius; We are also your brethren in the . right of nature, our common mother, faith Tertullian of In Apolog. old, in the name of the Christians to the Heathens. We are but several streams issuing from one primitive source;
SERM. several branches sprouting from the same stock ; several
miraculous efficacy of the divine benediction diffused and
multiplied. One element affords us matter, and one fire A&s xvii. actuates it, kindled at first by the breath of God. One
blood flows in all our veins ; one nourishment repairs our
member of his own body, and withers a branch of his Prov. xi. 17. own tree. The merciful man doeth good to his own foul ;
but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. Neither can
enormous practice, or fignal discourtesy towards us, disSee Deut. folve these bands : for as no unkindness of a brother can
wholly rescind that relation, or disoblige us from the
duties annexed thereto; fo neither upon the faults or infeem vile whto thee,
'Ανδράποδον εκ ανέξη του αδελφού του σαυτού ος έχει τον Δία πρόγονον ώσεις υλος έκ τών αυτών σπερμάτων γέγονε, και της αυτής άνωθεν καταβολής. &c. Epia.i. 13.
Nemo eft in genere humano, cui non dilectio, etfi non pro mutua charitate, pro ipfa tamen communis naturæ focietate debeatur. Aug. Ep. 121. ad Probam.
Nihil eft enim unum uni tam fimile, tam par, quam omnes inter nos. metipsos fumus, &c. Cic. de Legib. i. p. 161.
XXV. 3. Left thy brother