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in proportion to its capacity and exercise thereof : a man SERM. doth abundantly enjoy himself in that steady composed - XXVIII. ness, and favoury complacence of mind, which ever doth attend it; and as the present sense, so is the memory of it, or the good confcience of having done good, very delicious and satisfactory.
As it is a rascally delight (tempered with regret, and vanilhing into bitterness) which men feel in wreaking fpite, or doing mischief; such as they cannot reflect upon without disgust and condemning their base impotency of soul : so is the pleasure which charity doth breed altogether pure, grateful to the mind, and increafing by reflection; never perishing or decaying ; a man eternally enjoying the good he hath done, by remembering and ruminating thereon. In fine,
XX. Whereas the great obstacle to charity is self-love, or an extravagant fondness of our own interests, yet uncharitableness destroyeth that : for how can we love ourfelves, if we do want charity? how can we appear lovely to ourselves, if we are destitute of so worthy an endowment? or if we can discern those unworthy dispositions, which accompany
the defect of it; can we esteem so mean, so vile, so ugly things as we then are ? Aristotle faith, that bad men cannot be friends to themselves, because having in themselves nothing amiable, they can feel oudly Pinas
τον έχοντες, no affection toward themselves ; and certainly, if we are
εθέν φιλικών not stark blind, or can but fee wrath, spite, envy, revenge ráozson. in their own black and ugly hue, we must needs (if Arif. Erk. they do possess our souls) grow odious and despicable to ourselves. And being they do rob us of so many great benefits, and bring so many grievous mischiefs on us, we cannot be otherwise than enemies to ourselves by cherishing them, or suffering them to lodge in us.
These are some very considerable inducements to the practice of this great virtue; there are divers others of a higher nature, derivable from the inmost bowels of our religion, grounded on its peculiar constitution and obligations, which I shall now forbear to mention, reserving them for a particular discourse by themselves.
SERM. O Lord, who has taught us, that all our doings without
into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very Quinquag.
bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever
OF A PEACEABLE TEMPER AND CARRIAGE.
Rom. xii. 18.
If it le pofille, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
This chapter containeth many excellent precepts and SerM. wholesome advices, (scarce any portion of holy Scripture XXIX. so many in so little compass.) From among them I have selected one, alas, but too seasonable and pertinent to the unhappy condition of our distracted age, wherein to observe this and such like injunctions, is by many esteemed an impoffibility, by others a wonder, by fome a crime. It hath an apt coherence with, yet no necessary dependence upon, the parts adjoining ; whence I may prefume to treat upon it distinctly by itself; and without farther preface or circumstance we may consider several particulars therein.
I. And first, concerning the advice itself, or the substance of the duty charged on us, sigyveveiv, (to be in peace, or live peaceably,) we may take notice, that whether, according to the more usual acception, it be applied to the public estate of things, or, as here, doth relate only to private conversation, it doth import,
1. Not barely a negation of doing, or suffering harm, or an abftinence from strife and violence, (for a mere strangeness this may be, a want of occasion, or a truce, rather than a peace,) but a positive amity, and disposition to perform such kind offices, without which good correspondence among men cannot subfift. For they who by
SERM. reason of distance of place, non-acquaintance, or defect of XXIX. opportunity, maintain no intercourse, cannot properly be
said to be in peace with one another: but those who have frequent occasion of commerce, whose conditions require interchanges of courtesy and relief, who are some way obliged and disposed to afford needful fuccour, and safe retreat to each other; these may be said to live in peace together, and these only, it being in a manner impossible, that they who are not difpofed to do good to others (if they have power and opportunity) should long abstain from doing harm.
2. Living peaceably iinplies not some few transitory performances, proceeding from casual humour, or the like; but a constant, ftable, and well-fettled condition of being; a continual ceffation from injury, and promptitude to do good offices. For as one blow doth not make a battle, nor one skirmish a war; fo cannot fingle forbearances froni doing mischief, or some few particular acts of kindness, (such as mere strangers may afford each other,) be worthily styled a being in peace; but an habitual inclination to these, a firm and durable estate of innocence and beneficence.
3. Living in peace supposes a reciprocal condition of being: not only a performing good, and forbearing to do bad offices, but a receiving the like treatment from others. For he, that being assaulted is constrained to stand upon his defence, may not be said to be in peace, though his not being so (involuntarily) is not to be imputed to him.
4. Being in peace imports not only an outward ceffation of violence and seeming demonstration of amity, but an inward will and resolution to continue therein. For he that intends, when occasion is presented, to do mischief to another, is nevertheless an enemy, because more secret and dangerous : an ambuscado is no less a piece of war, than confronting the enemy in open field. Proclaiming and denouncing signify, but good and ill intention constitute, and are the souls of peace and war. From thefe confiderations we may infer a description of being in
peace, viz. that it is, to bear mutual good-will, to con- SERM. tinue in amity, to maintain good correspondence, to be XXIX. upon terms of mutual courtesy and benevolence; to be disposed to perform reciprocally all offices of humanity; assistance in need, comfort in forrow, relief in distress; to please and satisfy one another, by advancing the innocent delight, and promoting the just advantage of each other ; to converse with confidence and security, without fufpicion, on either hand, of any fraudulent, malicious, or hurtful practices against either: or, negatively, not to be in a state of enmity, personal hatred, pertinacious anger, jealousy, envy, or ill-will; not to be apt to provoke, to reproach, to harm or hinder another, nor to have reasonable grounds of expecting the fame bad usage from others; to be removed from danger of vexatious quarrels, intercourse of odious language, offending others, or being disquieted one's self. This I take to be the meaning of living or being in peace, differing only in degree of obligation, and latitude of object, from the state of friendship properly so called, and opposed to a condition of enmity, defiance, contention, hatred, suspicion, animosity.
II. In the next place we may consider the object of this duty, fignified in those words, With all men. We often meet in Scripture with exhortations directed peculiarly to Christians, to be at peace among themselves; as Mark ix. 5. our Saviour lays this injunction upon his disciples, eipnveúste év årýhors, Have peace one with another ; inculcated by St. Paul upon the Thessalonians in the same words : 1 Thefl. v. and the like we have in the second Epistle to Timothy, chap. ii. ver. 22. Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart: and to the Romans, (xiv. 19.) Let us therefore follow after the Vid. Eph. things that make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. But here the duty hath a more large and comprehensive object; wávtes av pwmon, all men : as likewise it hath in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap. xii. ver. 14. Pursue peace with all men: with all men, without any exception, with men of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and Barbarians; of all sects and religions ; per