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heart utterly obdurate, after long means. 2. Or will procure more suffering to the reprover, than good to the offender. 3. That when the thing is ordinarily a duty, the reasons of our omission must be clear and sure, before they will excuse us".
Quest. “Must we reprove infidels or heathens? What have we to do to judge them that are without?”
Answ. Not to the ends of excommunication, because they are not capable of it", which is meant 1 Cor. v. But we must reprove them, first, In common compassion to their souls. What were the apostles, and other preachers sent for, but to call all men from their sins to God? Secondly, And for the defence of truth and godliness, against their words, or ill examples.
PEACE is so amiable to nature itself, that the greatest destroyers of it do commend it: and those persons in all times and places, who are the cause that the world cannot enjoy it, will yet speak well of it, and exclaim against others as the enemies of peace: as if there were no other name but their own sufficient to make their adversaries odious. As they desire salvation, so do the ungodly desire peace; which is with a double error; one about the nature of it, and another about the conditions and other means. By peace they mean, the quiet, undisturbed enjoyment of their honours, wealth, and pleasures; that they may have their lusts and will without any contradiction: and the conditions on which they would have it are, the compliance of all others with their opinions and wills, and humble submission to their domination, passions, or desires. But peace is another thing, and otherwise to be desired and sought. Peace in the mind is the delightful effect of its internal harmony, as peace in the body is nothing but its plea
sant health, in the natural position, state, action, and concord of all the parts, the humours, and spirits: and peace in families, neighbourhoods, churches, kingdoms, or other societies, is the quietness, and pleasure of their order and harmony; and must be attained and preserved by these following means. Direct. 1. ‘Get your own hearts into a humble frame; and abhor all the motions of pride and self-exalting.” A humble man hath no high expectations from another; and therefore is easily pleased or quieted. He can bow and yield to the pride and violence of others, as the willow to the impetuous winds. His language will be submissive ; his patience great; he is content that others go before him; he is not offended that another is preferred. A low mind is pleased in a low condition. But pride is the gunpowder of the mind, the family, the church, and state: it maketh men ambitious, and setteth them on striving who shall be the greatest. A proud man's opinion must always go for truth, and his will must be a law to others, and to be slighted or crossed seemeth to him an insufferable wrong. And he must be a man of wonderful compliance, or an excellent artificer in man-pleasing and flattery, that shall not be taken as an injurious undervaluer of him: he that overvalueth himself, will take it ill of all that do not also overvalue him. Tf you (forgetfully) go before him, or overlook him, or neglect a compliment, or deny him something which he expected, or speak not honourably of him, much more if you reprove him, and tell him of his faults, you have put fire to the gunpowder, you have broke his peace, and he will break yours if he can. Pride broke the peace between God and the apostate angels; but nothing unpeaceable must be in heaven; and therefore by self-exalting they descended into darkness: and Christ by self-humbling ascended unto glory. He is a matter of very great difficulty to live peaceably in family, church, or any society with any one that is very proud. They expect so much of you, that you can never answer all their expectations, but will displease them by your omissions, though you neither speak or do anything to displease them. What is it but the lust of pride which causeth most of the wars and bloodshed throughout the world ! The pride of two or three men, must cost many thousands of their subjects the loss of their peace, estates, and lives. “Delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.” What were the conquests of those emperors, Alexander, Caesar, Tamerlane, Mahomet, &c., but the pernicious effects of their infamous pride 2 Which like gunpowder taking fire in their breasts, did blow up so many cities and kingdoms, and call their villanies by the name of valour, and their murders and robberies by the name of war. If one man's pride do swell so big, that his own kingdom cannot contain it, the peace of as much of the world as he can conquer is taken to be but a reasonable sacrifice to this infernal vice. The lives of thousands, both subjects and neighbours (called enemies by this malignant spirit) must be taken away, merely to make this one man the ruler of the rest, and subdue the persons of others to his will. Who perhaps when he hath done, will say that he is no tyrant, but maketh the “bonum publicum' his end; and is kind to men against their wills; and killeth, and burneth, and depopulateth countries, for men's corporal welfare; as the Papists poison, and burn, and butcher men for the saving of souls. “Cuncta ferit dum cuncta timet, desaevit in omnes.’ They are the “turbines,” the hurricanes or whirlwinds of the world, whose work is to overturn and ruin. ‘Tantum ut noceat cupit esse potens.’ Whether they burn and kill by right or wrong, is little of their inquiry; but how many are killed ? and how many have submitted to their pride and wills 2 As when Q. Flavius complained that he suffered innocently, Valerius answered him, “Non sua re interesse, dummodo periret.” “That was nothing to his business or concernment so he did but perish.” Which was plainer dealing than these glorious conquerors used, but no whit worse. He that cannot command the putrid humours out of his veins, nor the worms out of his bowels, nor will be able shortly to forbid them to crawl or feed upon his face, will now damn his soul and shed men's blood, to obtain the predomination of his will. And when he hath conquered many, he hath but made him many enemies, and may find, that in ‘tot populis vix una fides.” A quiet man can scarce with all his wit tell how to find a place where he may live in peace, where pride and cruelty will not pursue him, or the flames of war will not follow him and find him out: and perhaps he may be put to say as Cicero of Pompey and Caesar, “Quem fugiam scio; quem sequar nescio.” And if they succeed by conquest, they become to their subjects almost as terrible as to their enemies. So that he that would approach them with a petition for justice, must do it as Augustus spake to a fearful petitioner, as if he did “assem dare elephanto;” or as if they dwelt in the inaccessible light, and must be served as God with fear and trembling. And those that flatter them as glorious conquerors, do but stir up the fire of their pride, to make more ruins and calamities in the earth, and do the work of a raging pestilence. As an Athenian orator said to the men of Athens, when they would have numbered Alexander with the gods, “Cavete ne dum coelum liberaliter donetis, terram et domicilia propria amittatis:” “Take heed while you so liberally give him heaven, lest he take away your part of earth.” And when their pride hath consumed and banished peace, what have they got by it? That which a Themistocles after trial, would prefer a grave to, “Siuna via ad solium duceret, altera ad sepulchrum. xx That which Demosthenes preferred banishment before. That which the wisest philosophers refused at Athens, ‘The great trouble of government.” “Inexpertus ambit; expertus odit.” Cyneas asked Pyrrhus when he was preparing to invade the Romans, “What shall we do when we have conquered the Romans ?” He answered, “We will go next to Sicily.” “And what shall we do when Sicily is conquered ?” said he Pyrrhus said, “We will go next to Africa.” “And what shall we do next?” said the other : “Why then,” said he, “we will be quiet, and merry, and take our ease.” “And,” said Cyneas, “if that be last and best, why may we not do so now !” It is for quietness and peace that such pretend to fight and break peace; but they usually die before they obtain it: (as Pyrrhus did :) and might better have permitted peace to stand, than pull it down to build it better. As one asked an old man at Athens, “Why they called themselves philosophers ?” who answered, “Because we seek after wisdom.” Saith he, “If you are but seeking it at this age, when do you think to find it !” So I may say to the proud warriors of the world, * If so many men must be killed, and so many conquered in seeking peace, when will it that way be found !' But perhaps they think that their wisdom and goodness are so great, that the world cannot be happy unless they govern it: but what could have persuaded them to think so, but their pride 3 ‘Nihil magis aegris prodest, quam ab eo curaria quo voluerint:” saith Seneca. Patients must choose their own physicians. Men use to give them but little thanks, who drench them with such benefits, and bring them to the portion of peace so hot, that the touch of the cup must burn their lips, and who in goodness cut the throats of one part, that their government may be a blessing to the survivors. In a word, it is pride that is the great incendiary of the world, whether it be found in high or low. It will permit no kingdom, family, or church to enjoy the pleasant fruits of peace. Direct. 11. “If you would be peaceable, be not covetous lovers of the world, but be contented with your daily bread.” Hungry dogs have seldom so great plenty of meat, as to content them all, and keep them from falling out about it. If you overlove the world, you will never want occasions of discord: either your neighbour selleth too dear, or buyeth too cheap of you, or over-reacheth you, or gets before you, or some way or other doth you wrong; as long as he hath any thing which you desire, or doth not satisfy all your expectations. Ambitious and covetous men must have so much room, that the world is not wide enough for many of them: and yet, alas ! too many of them there are: and therefore they are still together by the ears, like the boys in the winter nights, when the bedclothes are too narrow to cover them; one pulleth, and another pulleth, and all complain. You must be sure that you trespass not in the smallest measure, nor incroach on the least of his commodities, that you demand not your own, nor deny him any thing that he desireth, nor get any thing which he would have himself, no nor ever give over feeding his greedy expectations, and enduring his injustice and abuse, if you will live peaceably with a worldlyminded man. Direct. 111. ‘If you will be peaceable, love your neighbours as yourselves.' Love neither imagineth, nor speaketh, nor worketh any hurt to others: it covereth infirmities; it hopeth all things; it endureth all things". Selfishness and