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exactly in all the main figures and features of body, of soul, of state; we thence do owe respect to every one.

Every man is another self, partaker of the same nature, endued with the same faculties, subject to the same laws, liable to the same fortunes; distinguished from us only in accidental and variable circumstances : whence if we be amiable or estimable, so is be on the same grounds; and acting impartially (according to right judgment) we should yield love and esteem to him : by slighting, bating, injuring, hurting him we do consequentially abuse ourselves, or acknowlege ourselves deservedly liable to the same usage.

Every man, as a Christian, is in a higher and nobler way allied, assimilated, and identified to us; to him therefore on the like grounds improved charity is more due; and we wrong our heavenly relations, our better nature, our more considerable selves, in withholding it from him.

III. Equity doth plainly require charity from us : for every one is ready not only to wish and seek, but to demand and claim love from others ; so as to be much offended, and grievously to complain, if he do not find it.

We do all conceive love and respect due to us from all men ; we take all men bound to wish and tender our welfare ; we suppose our need to require commiseration and succor from every man: if it be refused, we think it a hard case, and that we are ill used; we cry out of wrong, of discourtesy, of inhumanity, of baseness, practised toward us.

A moderate respect and affection will hardly satisfy us; we pretend to them in the highest degree, disgusting the least appearance of disregard or disaffection ; we can scarce better digest indifference than hatred.

This evidenceth our opinion and conscience to be, that we ought to pay the greatest respect and kindness to our neighbor; for it is plainly unjust and ridiculously vain to require that from others which we refuse to others, who may demand it on the same title ; nor can we without self-condemnation practise that which we detest in others.

In all reason and equity, if I would have another my friend, I must be a friend to him; if I pretend to charity from all men, I must render it to all in the same kind and measure.

Hence is the law of charity well expressed in those terms, ' of doing to others whatever we would have them do to us;! whereby the palpable equity of this practice is demonstrated.

IV. Let us consider that charity is a right noble and worthy thing; greatly perfective of our nature; much dignifying and beautifying our soul.

It rendereth a man truly great, enlarging his mind unto a vast circumference, and to a capacity near infinite; so that it by a general care doth reach all things, by an universal affection doth embrace and grasp the world.

By it our reason obtaineth a field or scope of employment worthy of it, not confined to the slender interests of one person or one place, but extending to the concerns of all men.

Charity is the imitation and copy of that immense love, which is the fountain of all being and all good; which made all things, which preserveth the world, which sustaineth every creature : nothing advance thus so near to a resemblance of him, who is essential love and goodness; who freely and purely, without any regard to his own advantage or capacity of finding any beneficial return, doth bear and express the highest goodwill, with a liberal hand pouring down showers of bounty and mercy on all his creatures; who daily putteth up numberless indignities and injuries, upholding and maintaining those who offend and provoke him.

Charity rendereth us as angels, or peers to those glorious and blessed creatures, who, without receiving or expecting any requital from us, do heartily desire and delight in our good, are ready to promote it, do willingly serve and labor for it. Nothing is more amiable, more admirable, more venerable, even in the common eye and opinion of men; it hath in it a beauty and a majesty apt to ravish every heart; even a spark of it in generosity of dealing breedeth admiration, a glimpse of it in formal courtesy of behavior procureth much esteem, being deemed to accomplish and adorn a man: how lovely therefore and truly gallant is an entire, sincere, constant and uniform practice thereof, issuing from pure good-will and affection!

Love indeed or goodness (for true love is nothing else but goodness exerting itself, in direction toward objects capable of its influence) is the only amiable and only honorable thing : power and wit may be admired by some, or have some fond idolaters; but being severed from goodness, or abstracted from their subserviency to it, they cannot obtain real love, they deserve not any esteem : for the worst, the most unhappy, the most odious and contemptible of beings do partake of them in a high measure ; the prince of darkness hath more power, and reigneth with absolute sovereignty over more subjects by many than the Great Turk; one devil may have more wit than all the politic Achitophels, and all the profane Hectors in the world; yet with all his power and all his wit he is most wretched, most detestable, and most despicable: and such in proportion is every one who partaketh in his accursed dispositions of malice and uncharitableness. For,

On the other side uncharitableness is a very mean and base thing: it contracteth a man's soul into a narrow compass, or straiteveth it as it were into one point; drawing all his thoughts, his desires, his affections into himself, as to their centre; so that his reason, his will, his activity have but one pitiful object to exercise themselves about: to scrape together a little pelf, to catch a vapor of fame, to prog for a frivolous semblance of power or dignity, to sooth the humor or pamper the sensuality of one poor worm, is the ignoble subject of his busy care and endeavor.

By it we debase ourselves into an affinity with the meanest things, becoming either like beasts or fiends; like beasts, affecting only our own present sensible good; or like fiends, designing mischief and trouble to others.

It is indeed hard for a man without charity, not to be worse than an innocent beast; not at least to be as a fox, or a wolf; either cunningly lurching, or violently ravening for prey: love only can restrain a man from flying at all, and seizing on whatever he meeteth; from biting, from worrying, from devouring every one that is weaker than himself, or who cannot defend himself from his paws and teeth.

V. The practice of charity is productive of many great benefits and advantages to us : so that to love our neighbor doth involve the truest love to ourselves; and we are not only obliged in duty, but may be encouraged by our interest thereto: beatitude is often pronounced to it, or to some particular instan


ces of it : and well may it be so, for it indeed will constitute a man happy, producing to him manifold comforts and conveniences of life: some whereof we shall touch.

VI. 1. Charity doth free our souls of all those bad dispositions and passions which vex and disquiet them : from those gloomy passions, which cloud our mind; from those keen passions which fret our heart; from those tumultuous passions which ruffle us, and discompose the frame of our soul.

It stifleth anger, (that swoon of reason, transporting a man out of himself;) for a man hardly can be incensed against those whom he tenderly loveth : a petty neglect, a hard word, a small discourtesy will not fire a charitable soul; the greatest affront or wrong can hardly kindle rage

therein. It banisheth envy, (that severely just vice, which never faileth to punish itself;) for no man will repine at his wealth or prosperity, no man will malign his worth or virtue, whose good he charitably desireth and wisheth.

It excludeth rancor and spite, those dispositions which create a hell in our soul; which are directly repugnant to charity, and thereby dispelled as darkness by light, cold by heat.

It suffereth not revenge (that canker of the heart) to harbor in our breast; for who can intend mischief to him, in whose good he delighteth, in whose evil he feeleth displeasure ?

It voideth fear, suspicion, jealousy of mischief designed against us: the which passions have torment,' or do punish us, as St. John saith, racking us with anxious expectation of evil; wherefore there is,' saith he, ‘no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear:' no man indeed is apt to fear him whom he loveth, or is able much to love him whom he feareth : for love esteemeth its object as innocent, fear apprehendeth it as hurtful; love disposeth to follow and embrace, fear inclineth to decline and shun. To suspect a friend therefore is to disavow him for such; and on slender grounds to conceit ill of him, is to deem him unworthy of our love. The innocence and iroffensiveness of charity, which provoketh no man to do us harm, doth also breed great security and confidence: any man will think he may walk unarmed and unguarded among those to whom he beareth good-will, to whom he neither

meaneth nor doeth any harm; being guarded by a good conscience, and shielded with innocence.

It removeth discontent or dissatisfaction in our state ; the which usually doth spring from ill conceits and surmises about our neighbor, or from wrathful and spiteful affections toward him : for while men have good respect and kindness for their neighbors, they seldom are dissatisfied in their own condition ; they can never want comfort, or despair of succor.

It curbeth ambition and avarice ; those impetuous, those insatiable, those troublesome dispositions : for a man will not affect to climb above those in whose honor he findeth satisfaction ; nor to scramble with them for the goods which he gladly would have them to enjoy : a competency will satisfy him, who taketh himself but for one among the rest, and who can as little endure to see others want as himself: who would trouble himself to get power over those, to overtop them in dignity and fame, to surpass them in wealth, whom he is ready to serve in the meanest offices of kindness, whom he would in honor prefer to himself, unto whom he will liberally communicate what he hath for his comfort and relief ?

In the prevalence of such bad passions and dispositions of soul our misery doth most consist; thence the chief troubles and inconveniences of our life do proceed: wherefore charity doth highly deserve of us in freeing us from them.

VII. 2. It consequently doth settle our mind in a serene, calm, sweet, and cheerful state ; in an even temper, and good humor, and harmonious order of soul; which ever will result from the evacuation of bad passions, from the composure of such as are indifferent, from the excitement of those which are good and pleasant : the fruits of the spirit,' saith St. Paul,

are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,' (or benignity:) love precedeth, joy and peace follow as its constant attendants, gentleness and benignity come after as its certain effects.

Love indeed is the sweetest of all passions, ever accompanied with a secret delectation and pleasant sense; whenever it is placed on a good object, when it acteth in a rational way, when it is vigorous, it must needs yield much joy.

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