« EdellinenJatka »
He died for his enemies: he prayeth for them even in his sufferings on the cross: he wept over them when he foresaw their ruin. When he was reviled, he reviled not again. This is the pattern which we must imitate.
Mot. 111. God loved even us ourselves when we were his enemies or else what had become of us? And Christ died even for us, as enemies, to reconcile us by his death to God. Therefore we are specially obliged to this duty.
Mot. iv. To be God's enemies is to be wicked and ̄unlovely; so that in such God could see nothing amiable, but our nature and those poor remainders of virtue in it, and our capacity of being made better by his grace; and yet he then loved us but to be an enemy to you or me, is not to be ungodly or wicked as such; it is an enmity but against a vile, unworthy worm, and therefore is a smaller fault.
Mot. v. We do more against ourselves than any enemy or devils, and yet we love ourselves: why then should we not love another who doth less against us.
Mot. vi. All that is of God and is good must be loved: but there may be much of God, and much natural and moral good in some enemies of ours.
Mot. VII. To love an enemy signifieth a mind that is impartial, and loveth purely on God's account, and for goodness' sake: but the contrary sheweth a selfish mind, that loveth only on his own account.
Mot. VIII. If you love only those that love you, you do no more than the worst man in the world may do: but Christians must do more than others, or else they must expect no more than others.
Mot. Ix. Loving and doing good to enemies is the way to win them and to save them. If there be any spark of true humanity left in them, they will love you when they perceive indeed that you love them. A man can hardly continue long to hate him whom he perceiveth unfeignedly to love him. And this will draw him to love religion for your sake, when he discerneth the fruits of it.
Mot. x. If he be implacable, it will put you into a condition fit for God to own you in, and to judge you according to your innocency. These two together contain the sense of "heaping coals of fire on his head :" that is, q. d..
d Rom. v. 9, 10.
If he be not implacable, you will melt and win him; and if he be implacable, you will engage God in your cause, who best knoweth when and how to revenge.
Tit. 3. Directions for Loving and doing Good to Enemies.
Direct. 1. 'Make no man your enemy, so far as you can avoid it' for though you may pretend to love him when he is your enemy, you have done contrary to love in making him your enemy; for thereby he is deprived of his own love to you. And if his charity be his best commodity, then he that robbeth him, (though he be never so culpable himself,) hath done that which belongeth to the worst of enemies; it is a thousand times greater hurt and loss to him, to lose his own love to others, than to lose another's love to him and therefore to make him hate you, is more injurious or hurtful to him, than to hate him.
Direct. 11. Take not those for your enemies that are not, and believe not any one to be your enemy, till cogent evidence constrain you.' Take heed therefore of ill, suspicious, and ungrounded censures; except defensively so far only as to secure yourselves or others from a possible hurt.
Direct. 111. Be not desirous or inquisitive to know what men think or say of you;' (unless in some special case where your duty or safety requireth it). For if they say well of you, it is a temptation to pride; and if they say ill of you, it may abate your love and tend to enmity. "Also take no heed to all words that are spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: for ofttimes also thy own heart knoweth, that thou thyself likewise hast cursed (or spoken evil of) others." It is strange to see how the folly of men is pleased with their own temptations.
Direct. IV. Frown away those flatterers and whisperers who would aggravate other men's enmity to you or injuries against you,' and think to please you by telling you needlessly of other men's wrongs. While they seem to shew themselves enemies to your enemies, indeed they shew themselves enemies consequently to yourselves: for it is your destruction that they endeavour in the destruction of your love." If a whisperer separate chief friends f," much more f Prov. xvi. 28. 2 Cor. xii. 20.
e Eccles. vii. 21.
may he abate your love to enemies: let him therefore be en
tertained as he deserveth.
Direct. v. Study, and search, and hearken after all the good which is in your enemies.' For nothing will be the object of your love, but some discerned good. Hearken not to them that would extenuate and hide the good that is in them.
Direct. VI. Consider much how capable your enemy (and God's enemy) is of being better.' And for aught you know God may make him much better than yourselves! Remember Paul's case. And when such an one is converted, forethink how penitent and humble, how thankful and holy, how useful and serviceable he may be and love him as he is capable of becoming so lovely to God and man.
Direct. v11. Hide not your love to your enemies,' and let not your minds be satisfied that you are conscious that you love them; but manifest it to them by all just and prudent means; for else you are so uncharitable as to leave them in their enmity, and not to do your part to cure it. If you could help them against hunger and nakedness, and will not, how can you truly say you love them? And if you could help them against malice and uncharitableness, and will not, how can you think but this is worse? If they knew that you love them unfeignedly, as you say you do, it is two to one but they would abate their enmity.
Direct. VIII. Be not unnecessarily strange to your enemies; but be as familiar with them as well as you can.' For distance and strangeness cherish suspicious and false reports, and enmity: and converse in kind familiarity, hath a wonderful power to reconcile.
Direct. 1x. Abhor above all enemies, that pride of heart, which scorneth to stoop to others for love and peace.' It is a devilish language to say, Shall I stoop or crouch to such a fellow? I scorn to be so base. Humility must teach you to give place to the pride and wrath of others, and to confess it when you have wronged them, and ask them forgiveness and if they have done the wrong to you, yet must you not refuse to be the first movers and seekers for reconciliation. Though I know that this rule hath some exceptions; as when the enemies of religion or us are so malicious and implacable, that they will but make a scorn of our sub
mission, and in other cases, when it is like to do more hurt than good, it is then lawful to retire ourselves from malice. Direct. x. However let the enmity be in them alone :' watch your own hearts with a double carefulness, as knowing what your temptation is; and see that you love them, whether they will love you or not.
Direct. xI. Do all the good for them that lawfully you can.' For benefits melt and reconcile: and hold on though ingratitude discourage you.
Direct. XII. Do them good first in those things that they are most capable of valuing and relishing.' That is (ordinarily) in corporal commodities: or if it be not in your power to do it yourselves, provoke others to do it, (if there be need). And then they will be prepared for greater benefits.
Direct. XIII. But stop not in your enemy's corporal good, and in his reconciliation to yourself: for then it will appear to be all but a selfish design which you are about.' But labour to reconcile him to God, and save his soul, and then it will appear to be the love of God, and him that moved you.
Direct. XIV. But still remember that you are not bound to love an enemy as a friend, but as a man so qualified as he is; nor to love a wicked man, who is an enemy to godliness, as if he were a godly man; but only as one that is capable of being godly.' This precept of loving enemies was never intended for the levelling all men in our love.
Cases and Directions about Works of Charity.
Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Works of Charity.
Quest. 1. WHAT are the grounds, and reasons, and motives to charitable works?"
Answ. 1. That doing good doth make us most like to God. He is the Universal Father and Benefactor to the world: all
good is in him or from him, and he that is best and doth most good is most like to him.
2. It is an honourable employment therefore: it is more honourable to be the best man in the land, than to be the greatest greatness is therefore honourable, because it is an ability to do good; and wisdom is honourable because it is the skill of doing good: so that goodness is that end which maketh them honourable, and without respect to which they were as nothing. A power or skill to do mischief is no commendation.
3. Doing good maketh us pleasing and amiable to God, because it maketh us like him, and because it is the fulfilling of his will. God can love nothing but himself, and his own excellencies or image appearing in his works; or his works so far as his attributes appear and are glorified in them.
4. Good works are profitable to men. Our brethren are the better for them: the bodies of the poor are relieved, and men's souls are saved by them.
5. In doing good to others we do good to ourselves : because we are living members of Christ's body, and by love and communion feel their joys, as well as pains. As the hand doth maintain itself by maintaining and comforting the stomach; so doth a loving Christian by good works.
6. There is in every good nature a singular delight in doing good: it is the pleasantest life in all the world. A magistrate, a preacher, a schoolmaster, a tutor, a physician, a judge, a lawyer, hath so much true pleasure as his life and labours are successful in doing good. I know that the conscience of honest endeavours may afford solid comfort to a willing though unsuccessful man; and well-doing may be pleasant though it prove not a doing good to others: but it is a double, yea, a multiplied comfort to be successful. It is much if an honest, unsuccessful man (a preacher, a physician, &c.) can keep up so much peace, as to support him under the grief of his unsuccessfulness: but to see our honest labours prosper, and many to be the better for them, is the pleasantest life that man can here hope for.
7. Good works are a comfortable evidence that faith is sincere, and that the heart dissembleth not with God: when