Page images




a Jam.i. 19.

i Cor. xiii.
Prov. x. 12.

Jam. y. 20.


SERM. It is said in the Canticles, Many waters cannot quench XXVII. love, neither can the floods drown it: charity would hold Cant. viii. out against many neglects, many provocations. 'Aνέχεσθαι Hence the precepts; Walk with all low liness and meekandra av iv nefs, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love : Eph. iv. 1, Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and Eph.iv. 31.

evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice : Put 1 Theff. v. off anger, wrath, malice, &c. a Be flow to wrath. plaexgol'.

2. It is a proper act of charity to remit offences, supCol. iii. 8. presfing all designs of revenge, and not retaining any

grudge : for,

Charity Whyta sével, doth cover all things; and in this

sense doth hide a multitude of pns: all difpofitions, all in1 Pet. iv. 8. tents to do harm are inconlistent with it, are quite repug

nant to it. Col. iii. 12,

Hence those precepts; Put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of

mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and popepár. forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against Eph. iv. 32. any, even as Christ forgave you, fo also do ye: Be ye kind

one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another; even 1 Theff. v. as God for Christ's fake hath forgiven you : See that none

render evil for evil, but ever follow that which is good both Rom. xii. among yourselves and to all men: and many the like preMatt

. vi. cepts occur in the Gospels, the apostolical writings; yea 14. V. 44. even in the Old Testament, wherein charity did not run

in fo high a strain.

3. It is a duty coherent with charity, to maintain concord and peace; to abstain from contention and strife, together with the fources of them, pride, envy, emulation,

malice. Phil. ii. 2.

We are commanded to be σύμψυχοι, and ομόφρονες, of A bet jis one foul, of one mind, (like the multitude of believers in Eph. iv. 3. the Acts, who had one heart and one foul ;) that we should

keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; that we Cor. i. 10. fhould be of one accord, of one mind, standing fast in one

Spirit, with one mind; that we should all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisons among us, but that we be perfectly joined together in the fame mind, and in the

1 Pet. iii. 9.

Prov. xx.
XXV. 21.

Phil. ii. 2. i. 27.

2 Cor. xiii.
Rom. xv.
5, 6. xii.
Phil. ii.16.

f 20.

Phil. ii. 14.

2 Tim. ij. 22.

. iii. 3.

Tim. vi.4.

fame judgment ; that there be no fa&tions, or fchifms in SERM. the body ; that all dislenfions, all clainours, all murmur. XXVII. ings, all emulations should be abandoned and put away 1 Cor. xii. from us ; that we should pursue and maintain peace with 25, X; 18; all men: obedience to which commands can only be the 2 Cor. xii. result of charity, esteeming the person and judgınent of our neighbour, defiring his good will, tendering his Heb. xii. good; curbing those Aeshly lusts, and those fierce pallions, Rom. xii. from the predominancy whereof discords and strifes do 18. spring.

4. Another charitable practice is, being candid in opi- Jam. iv: 1; nion, and mild in censure, about our neighbour and his Gal. v. 20. actions ; having a good conceit of his person, and reprefenting him to ourselves under the best character we can; making the most favourable construction of his words, and the faireft interpretation of his designs.

Charity dispofeth us to entertain a good opinion of our neighbour; for defiring his good we shall be concerned for him, and prejudiced, as it were, on his fide; being unwilling to discover any blemish in himn to our own disappointment and regret.

Love cannot fublist without esteem; and it would not willingly by destroying that lose its own subsistence.

Love would preferve any good of its friend, and therefore his reputation; which is a good in itself precious, and ever very dear to him.

Love would bestow any good, and therefore its elicem; which is a considerable good.

Harlh censure is a very rude kind of treatment, grievoully vexing a man, and really hurting him; charity therefore will not be guilty of it.

It difpofeth rather to oversee and connive at faults, than to find them, or to pore on them ; rather to hide and smother, than to disclose or divulge them ; rather to extenuate and excuse, than to exaggerate or aggravate them.

Are words capable of a good sense ? charity will expound them thereto: may an action be imputed to any good intent? charity will ever refer it thither : doth a

1 Cor. xiii. 5.

1 Cor. xiii. 7.

er gewy. Aēts xx. 35.

SERM. fault admit any plea, apology, or diminution ? charity XXVII. will be sure to allege it : may a quality admit a good

name? charity will call it thereby.

It doth not moyiseo fai xaxòv, impute evil, or put it to any man's account, beyond absolute necessity.

It hopeth all things, and believeth all things; hopeth and believeth all things for the best, in favour to its neighbour, concerning his intentions and actions liable to

doubt. i 4. It banisheth all evil surmises; it rejecteth all ill stories,

malicious infinuations, perverse glosses and defcants.

5. Another charitable practice is, to comport with the

infirmities of our neighbour; according to that rule of St. Arríxio das Paul, We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of

the weak, and not to please ourselves; and that precept, 1 Theff.v. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Is a man wiser than his neighbour, or in any case freer Gal. vi. 2. of defects? charity will dispose to use that advantage fo

as not to contemn him, or insult over him; but to instruct him, to help him, to comfort him.

As we deal with children, allowing to the infirmities of their age, bearing their ignorance, frowardness, untoward humours, without distasting them ; so should we with our brethren who labour under any weakness of mind or

humour. 2 Μολύνεται. 6. It is an act of charity to abstain from offending, or 1. Cor. x. 7. fcandalizing our brethren; by doing any thing, which The ovvion either may occasion him to commit fin, or disaffect him to cs để9 vẽ

religion, or discourage him in the practice of duty, (that 1 Cor. viii. which St. Paul calleth to a defile and smite his weak consciRom. xiv. ence,) or which anywise may discompose, vex, and grieve

him : for, If thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now Ουκίτι κατά αγάπης walkest thou not charitably. Wigitariis. 1 Cor. x.

Rom. xv.1.


32. viii. 13. Rom. xiv. 21.



HEB. X. 24

Let us confider one another to provoke unto love and to

good works. That which is here recommended by the Apostle, as SERM. the common duty of Christians toward each other, upon

XXVIII. emergent occasions, with zeal and care to provoke one another to the practice of charity and beneficence, may well be conceived the special duty of those, whose office it is to instruct and guide others, when opportunity is afforded: with that obligation I shall now comply, by representing divers considerations serving to excite and encourage us to that practice: this (without premising any description or explication of the duty; the nature, special a@ts, and properties whereof I have already declared) I shall immediately undertake.

I. First then, I desire you to remember and consider that you are men, and as such obliged to this duty, as being very agreeable to human nature; the which, not being corrupted or distempered by ill use, doth incline to it, doth call for it, doth like and approve it, doth find fatisfaction and delight therein.

St. Paul chargeth us to be sig árlýnes pirósopyou, or to Rom. xii.' have a natural affection one toward another : that supposeth a sogyn inbred to men, which should be roused




SERM. improved, and exercised. Such an one indeed there is, XXVIII. which, although often raked up and smothered in the

common attendances on the providing for our needs, and prosecuting our affairs, will upon occasion more or less break forth and discover itself.

That the constitution and frame of our nature disposeth to it, we cannot but feel, when our bowels are touched with a sensible pain at the view of any calamitous object; when our fancies are disturbed at the report of any disafter befalling a man; when the fight of a tragedy wringeth compassion and tears from us: which affections we can hardly quash by any reflection, that such events, true or feigned, do not concern ourselves.

Hence doth nature so strongly affect fociety, and abhor solitude ; so that a man cannot enjoy himself alone, or find satisfaction in any good without a companiona: not only for that he then cannot receive, but also because he cannot impart assistance, confolation, and delight in come verse: for men do not affect fociety only that they may obtain benefits thereby; but as much or more, that they may be enabled to communicate them; nothing being more diftasteful than to be always on the taking hand : neither indeed hath any thing a more pleasant and savoury relish than to do good; as even Epicurus, the great patron of pleasure, did confefs.

The practice of benignity, of courtesy, of clemency, do at first sight, without aid of any discursive reflection, obtain approbation and applause from men; being acceptable and amiable to their mind, as beauty to their fight, harmony to their hearing, fragrancy to their smell, and sweetness to their taste: and, correspondently, uncharitable dispositions and practices (malignity, harshness, cru

a Qüdris gåg inost" äv xo9' aútò più reével by soy eyata. Arift. Eth. ix. 9.
Hominem homini natura conciliat. Sen. Ep. ix.
Nullius boni fine socio jucunda poffeffio eft. Sen. Ep. vi.

Και γάρ ο Θεός βρυλόμενος συνδήσαι πάντας αλλήλοις, τριαύτην τοις πράγμασιν επίθηκαν ανάγκην, ώς εν τω των πλησίον συμφέροντα το του έτίρε δεδέσθαι» και ο κόσ

TUS BTW ouvísnxs. Chryf. in 1 Cor. Or. xxv.

« PreviousContinue »