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I. If we consider the nature of the act here required, which is, to love ; which when it is not a mere pasfion, but under the government of our reason, is the most natural, and easy, and delightful of all the affe

tions which God hath planted in human nature : whereas ill-will, and hatred, and revenge, are very troublesome and vexatious passions. Both the devi. fing of mischief, and the accomplishment of it, and the reflexion upon it afterwards, are all uneasy; and the confequences of it many times pernicious to ourselves. The very design of revenge is troublesome, and puts the spirits into an unnatural fermentation and tumult. The man that meditates it, is always restless ; his very soul is stung, swells and boils, is in pain and anguish, hath no eale, no enjoyment of itself, so long as this passion reigns. The execution of it may perhaps be attended with some present pleasure; but that pleasure is unrcasonable and brutish, momentary and short, like a flash of lightening, which vanisheth in the twinkling of an eye.

It is commonly said, that revenge is {weet ; but to a calm and considerate mind, patience and forgiveness are sweeter, and do afford a much more rational, and folid, and durable pleasure, than revenge. The monuments of our mercy and goodness are a far inore pleasing and delightful spectacle, than of our rage and cruelty. And no fort of thought does usually haunt men with more terror, than the reflexion upon what they have done in the


revenge. Besides that the consequences of this passion do commonly prove very prejudicial to ourselves. For the revenge of one injury doth naturally draw on more, and will oblige us for the same reason to a new revenge of them; and this brings on a perpetual and endless circulation of injuries and revenges. So that whoever seeks revenge upon another, doth commonly in the issue take it upon himself; and whilst he thinks to tranfter the injury which he hath received upon him that did it, he doubles it


himself. Such and so great are the troubles and inconvenien. cies of a malicious and revengeful temper: But, there is no torment in love, as St. John excellently says. To VOL. II.


be kindly affectioned towards all, to bear no grudge or ill-will, no thought of displeasure or revenge towards any man, is the easiest posture, the most pleafant state of the mind. So that, if not for their fakes, yet for our own, we should love our enemies, and do good to them that hute us; because to be thus affected towards all men, is as great a kindness to ourselves, as it is charity to others.

II. If we consider the qualification of the object. It is our enemy whom we are required to love. In whom though there be something that is justly disguftful, yet there is something also that is lovely, and if we perfilt in our kindnels to him, notwithstanding his enmity to us, the enmity may wear off, and perhaps at length be changed into a sincere and firm friendship.

It is true indeed, that with regard to our selves pero fonal enmity towards us is one of the most inconvenient qualities that a man can have ; but not therefore the worst in itself. If we could be impartial, and lay afide prejudice, we might perhaps discern several very lovely qualities in him who hates us : and virtue is to be owned, and praised, and loved, even in an enemy. And perhaps his enmity towards us is not so great and inexcusable a fault, as we apprehend. He is not perhaps our enemy to that degree, nor so altogether with. out cause, as we imagine. Possibly we have provoked him ; or by his own mistake, or through the malicious representation of others, he may be induced to think so. And are not we ourselves liable to the like misapprehenfions concerning others ; of which we are many times afterwards convinced and ashamed? And so may he ; and then his enmity will cease, if we will but have a little patience with him, as we always wilh in the like case that others would have with us.

At the worst, though never fo fore and causeless an enemy, though never so bad a man; yet he is a man, and, as such, hath something in him which the blinda est' passion cannot deny to be good and amiable. He hath the same nature with our selves, which we cannot hate or despise, without hatred and contempt of ourselves. Let a man's faults be what they will, they do



not destroy his nature, and make him cease to be a

The two great foundations of love, are relation and likeness, No one thing (says Tully) is so like, so

equal to another, as one man is to another.” What difference soever there may be between us and another man, yea, though he be our enemy, yet he is ftill like us in the main ; and perhaps but too like us in that for which we find so much fault with him, a proneness to offer affronts and injuries.

And there is an essential relation, as well as likeness, between one man and another, which nothing can ever dissolve, because it is founded in that which no man can divest himself of, in human nature. So far is it from being true, which Mr. Hobbs asserts as the fundamental principle of his politicks, “That men

are naturally in a state of war and enmity with one “ another ;” that the contrary principle, laid down by a much deeper and wiser man, I mean Aristotle, is most certainly true, That men are naturally akin « and friends to each other.” Some unhappy accidents and occasions may make men enemies, but naturally every man is a friend to another : and that is the furest and most unalterable reason of things which is founded in nature, not that which springs from mutable accidents and occasions. So that whoever is recommended to us under the notion of a man, ought not to be looked upon by us and treated as an enemy.

Consider farther, that an enemy, even whilst he is exercising his enmity towards us, may many

acts of real advantage; which though they do not proceed from kindness, yet in truth are benefits. The malicious censures of our enemies, if we make a right use of them, may prove of greater advantage to us, than the civilities of our best friends. We can easily afford, nay the wisest of men can hardly forbear, to love a flatterer ; to embrace him, and to take him into our bosom: and yet an open enemy is a thousand times better and less dangerous than he. It is good for many men that they have had enemies, who have many times been to them the happy occasion of reforming



do us

those faults, which none but an enemy would have taken the freedom, I had almost said, would have had the friendlip, to have told them of.

But what if, after all, this enemny of ours, this hated man, prove to be one of our best friends ? for fo reconciled enemies usually are. And if any thing will reconcile an enemy, love and kindness will. An obstinate goodness is apt to conquer even the worst of men. It is hardly in the nature of inan to withstand the kindness of one whom, by all that we could do, we have not been able to make our enemy.

After a mon hath done the greatest injury to another, not only to find no revenge following upon it, but the first opportunity taken to oblige him, is so very surprising, that it can hardly fail to gain upon the worst disposition, and to me!ť down the hardest temper.

So that we should love our enemies, if not for what they are at present, yet for what they may be, and in hope that by these means they may in time become our friends.

III. If we consider the excellency and generosity of the thing itself. To love our enemies, and to do good to them that hate us, is the perfection of goodness, and the advancement of it to its highest pitch. It is the most excellent and perfect act of the greatest and most perfect of all graces and virtues, I mean, charity; which by St. Paul is called the bond of perfeélion; and by St. James, the perfect and the royal law; because it inspires men with a greatness of mind fit for Kings and Princes, in whom nothing is more admirable than a generous goodness and clemency, even towards great enemies and offenders, so far as is consistent with the publick good. Love for love is but justice and gratitude; love for no love is favour and kindness : but love for hatred and enmity is a most divine temper, a steady and immutable goodness that is not to be stirred by provocation, and so far from being conquered, that it is rather confirmed by its contrary : for if hatred and enmity do not extinguish love, what can ? This is goodness indeed; not only without merit and obligation, without invitation or motive; but against all reasonable expectation, and in despite of all temptation and provocation to the contrary.

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So that to return good for evil and love for hatred, is one of the greatest arguments of a great mind, and of deep wisdom and consideratìon. For naturally our first inclinations and thoughts towards our enemies are full of anger and revenge ; but our second and wiser thoughts will tell us, that forgiveness is much more generous than revenge. And a more glorious victory cannot be gained over another man than this, that when the injury began on his part, the kindness should begin on ours. If both the ways were equally in our power, yet it is a much more desirable conquest, to overcome evil with good, than with evil. By this, we can only conquer our enemy, and may perhaps fail in that ; but by the other, we certainly conquer ourselves, and perhaps our enemy too; overcoming him in the noblest manner, and walking him gently till he be cool, and without force effectually subduing him to be our friend. This, as one [Dr. Barrow] fitly compares it, is like a great and wise General, by art and stratagem, by meer dint of skill and conduct, by patience and wise delay; withoat ever striking a stroke, or shedding one drop of blood, to vanquish an enemy, and to make an end of the war without ever putting it to the hazard of a battle.

Revenge is blind and ralh, and does always proceed from impotency and weakness of mind. It is anger that spurs men on to it; and anger is certainly one of the foolishest passions of human nature, and which commonly betrays men to the most imprudent and unreasonable things. So Solomon observes, Prov. xiv. 29. He that is hafty of spirit, exaltcth folly; and again, Ecclef. vii. 9. Anger resteth in the bofon of fools. But to be able to bear provocation, is an argument of great wisdom; and to forgive it, of a great mind. So the same wise man tells us, Prov. xvi. 32. He that is now to anger, is better than the migh

iy; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh 'a city. It is a greater thing, in case of great provocation, to calm a man's own spirit, than to storm and take a strong city.

Whereas the angry man loseth and lets fall the government of himself, and lays the reins upon the neck

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