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from under Heaven; thou shalt not forget it. Now, by a Parity of Reason, they might argue, that they were to root out all their Enemies: All that had, or should do these, or such like Injuries to them. Another reason for destroying these accursed Nations, was the danger they were in of being led away with their Errors and Idolatry, as Deut. vii. 4. where, after the command to Smite them, and Destroy them, and to contract no Affinity with them, the reason is added, for they will turn away thy Sons from following me, that they may serve other Gods. Now, by a parity of Reason, they might think themselves obliged to hate, and oppose, and destroy all that were of a different Religion from them. And indeed it is very probable that they Acted upon this Principle ; for it is observed of the Jews, both by Christians and Heathens, that though they shewed great Friendship to one another, they were utter Enemies to Perlons of all other Nations and Religions; and · would not so much as converse with them: As we may see by St Peter, before he was undeceived by the Holy Ghost. Aft. x. 28. where he thus addresses Cornelius and his Friends. Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a Man that is a Jew, to keep Company, or come unto one of another Nation : But God bath Mewed me, that I should not call any Man common or unclean. Tacitus gives this Character of the Yews; Apud ipfos Fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu: fed adverjus omnes alios boftile odium; that is, they had a stanch Honesty, and a ready Charity among themselves, but bated all others like Enemies. And so Iuvenal tells us, it was their Custom to deny even coma : VUL. II.
mon Civilities to all that were not of their own Nation and Religion, such as the shewing a Traveller the way, or directing him to a Spring where he might have a draught of Water.
Non monstrare vias eadem nis facra colenti ;
So that it is not to be wondered at, that our Saviour tells them they had heard such Doctrine, as that they were to love their Neighbours, and hate their Enemies.
If it be objected against this, that they were Taught in the Law of Moses, to perform several Acts of love and kindness to Enemies, particularly Exod. xxiii. 4, 5. where it is said, if thou meet thine Enemy's Ox, or bis Ass, going astray, thou shalt forely bring it back to him again. If thou see the Ass of him that hateth thee, lying under his Burthen, and wouldt forbear to help him; thou malt surely help with him. It is very true; but they limited all this to such an Enemy as was one of their own Nation and Religion, an Ifraelite, or a Profelyte at farthest, as the same Law seems to be explained, Deut. xxii. 1. where the Words of the Law run thus ; Thou malt not fee thy Brother's Ox, or his Sheep, go astray, and hide thy self from them: Thou malt in any case bring them again unto thy Brother. And v. 4. Thou fhalt not see thy Brother's Ass, or his Ox, fall down by the way, and hide thy self from them : Thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. And so it is explained, Lev. xix. 18. Thou shalt not avenge, or bear any grudge against the Children of thy People ; but thou malt love thy Neighbour as thy felf. And if there was such Colour from the Law itself for this Interpretation, our Saviour
had much more Reason for this censure from the Doctrine and Practices current among the Jews in those Days: For their Books are fuli of iť; nay, they thought it Meritorious, and a good Service to God, to persecute to Death such as were not of their Religion, as it appeared afterwards that the Christians had not any more mortal Enemies than the Fews.
So much for the first Thing I proposed to consider, the corrupt Interpretation of the Duty of Love and Charity, in confining it to those of. their own Nation and Religion, as it was Taught by the Jewish Doctors; for that was what they meant by loving their Neighbour, and hating their Enemy.
II. I proceed next to our Saviour's Correction and Improvement of this Doctrine, by extending it to all, even our bitterest Enemies; But I say unto you, love your Enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and perfecute you. In which Words we are to consider,
1. The extended Object of our Love and Charity, our Enemies; those that curse us, and hate us; those which despitefully use us, and persecute us.
2. The Acts of Charity which we are to exercise towards those our Enemies; we are to love them, to,bless them, to do good to them, and to pray for them.
1. First, we are to consider here the extended Object of our Love and Charity, which in the Text is described to be our Enemies, those that curse, and hate us, those that despitefully use, and persecute us. The great Perfection of this Doctrine, is apt to dazzle the Eye of our Understanding fo D d 2
och. that we do "dearing of it, f Inducements
much, that we do not readily fee through it, or apprehend it. For clearing of it, we may observe, that as there are two Sorts of Inducements to the Love of other People; first, common Inducements, taken from some common Confiderations of what we owe to them as Men, as Christians, as our Countrymen, and Neighbours, and the like; then particular Considerations of Kindred, Friendship, and other Relations, and their present Circumstances and Necessities : So there are two sorts of Inducements to the Love of Enemies, first, the common Inducements as they are Men, or Christians, or good Men, or our Doinesticks, or Kindred, or any other way related to us ; fecondly, the Confideration of them as Enemies, and wanting some present Exercise of our Love and Beneficence. Let us confider both these a little more particularly. (1.) As to the first, The Consideration of our
not as Enemies, but as Men. stians, and Neighbours, and Kindred, or whatsoever other Relation they may stand in to us ; we are to consider, that their Énmity to us doth not cancel those Obligations, which rise from these other Considerations and Relations. The Duties of Humanity we owe to all Men, and some further Duty we owe to the Houshold of Faith, i. e. to all Christians. Whatever Duty of Justice or Charity we owe to a Neighbour, his Enmity doth not super sede it, it being a most certain Truth, that we should render to all their Dues, though they were our bitterest Enemies. There are indeed monstrous Practices, quite contrary to this Doctrine, made use of by some wicked Men, who quarrel with their Friends,
on Purpose that they may be discharged from all Obligations of Gratitude, and so they pay all former Arrears; and for all future Duty, they think no fair play is due to an Enemy; and upon that Maxim, allow themselves, without Remorse of Conscience, to do him all manner of Injuries. Whereas there is really no Obligation Enmity discharges us from, but that of Friendship, that is, an intimate Trust and Familiarity: But as for Justice, Honesty, Civility, Gratitude, Humanity, Charity, and Relief in Distress, and all other Duties whatsoever, due to the Community of Men, or Christians, or Neighbours, or Relations; and all the Esteem and Love due to Wisdom, Learning, Diligence, Courage, Patience, Purity, or any other Virtue pofleft by an Enemy, we owe it as much as if it were pofleft by a Friend. And we should take a great deal of care, that our Enmity do not so byafs or blind us, as to hinder us to perceive, honour, and reward the commendable good Qualifications and Actions of an Enemy. Now from this way of regarding an Enemy, there are a great Number of Duties incumbent upon us, which, if we faithfully difcharge, they will go a great way in this difficult Duty, the Love of Enemies. But you will object perhaps, that though Justice obliges you not to wrong an Enemy, yet you cannot imagine how it should command your Love, your Heart being alienated with Enmity. To this I answer, that your Enemy may be poffest of so good Qualities, and endowed with such excellent Virtues, and may have done such worthy Actions, as deferve both Esteem and Love. Grant but this, and that our Enmity is not to blind us, but that
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