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his vote, after a nap taken in the Senate, in no other terms than these; "I am against that which N. spake;" and being told that opposite of his had not yet spoken, "Then," saith he, “against what he will speak*." This disposition makes men such as the Psalmist complains of, Haters of peace; Ps. cxx. 6: of whom the Holy Ghost passeth a heavy doom, Destruction and misery is in their ways; the way of peace have they not known; Rom. iii. 16, 17.
As, therefore, it concerns every man to labour and pray against all unpeaceable affections in himself; so also to strive, both these ways, against the common distempers of others. Even those, that cannot aid God's Church with their counsels, with their purses; yet, with their prayers they may; yea, they must: Oh, pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee: Peace be within thy walls, and plenteousness within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sake, I will now say, Peace be within thee: because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good; Ps. cxxii. 6-9.
Next to our prayers, there is no better way to attain further illumination and settlement in all holy truths, than to walk conscionably after that light we have received. It is a golden rule of our Blessed Saviour, If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God; John vii. 17. Hence it is, that the Jews say," Abraham had no other master than his own reins:" his humble obedience drew on further entireness with God: for, to him, that hath, shall be given, saith our Saviour: the improvement of one talent is graciously rewarded with more. In vain shall we complain of slackening our work for the want of a greater light, when we sit idle, and do nothing at all by a less.
It was a smart answer, which a witty and learned Minister of the Reformed Church of Paris gave to a lady of suspected chastity, and now revolted; when she pretended the hardness of the Scripture: "Why," said he, " Madam, what can be more plain than, Thou shalt not commit adultery?" Had she not been failing in the practice of what she could not but know, she had found no cause to complain of the difficulty of that which she could not know: but it seems she, as too many more of us, was of the Athenian strain; of whom Tully says the proverb went, That "they knew what was right, but would not do it‡."
Did we not come short of our humble dependance upon God, and our care to be approved of him in known duties, our apprehensions could not miss of those things which concern our peace. Very memorable is that instance of the learned Chancellor of Paris; which, in imitation of St. Paul, he gives, I suppose, of himself in a third person: "I knew a man," saith he, "that, after much temptation concerning one of the Articles of Belief, was suddenly brought into so great light of truth and certainty, that there were left no remainders of doubt, no vacillation, but much
*Balt. Cast. de Aulico. + M. Durant. recta sunt, sed facere nolle. Cic. de Sen.
+ Athenienses scire quæ
clearness and serenity; by the command of him that over-rules the waves, &c.: who, by the sole humiliation and captivating his understanding to the obedience of faith and the omnipotence of God, obtained such grace, as that he no more doubted of that point of belief, than of his own being: and, when he sought the reason of so great assurance and peace in believing, he did meet with no other, but that so he found it; and that he could not convey it into another man*." Thus he. Surely our God is still and ever the same. Were not we wanting to ourselves, he would not fail to lead us into all truth; and, the truth being but one, we should happily meet in the same truth: so as now, truth and kiss each other, and we should be blessed in both. peace should
The Fifth Private way of Peace: To comply with our brethren so far as we safely may.
FIFTHLY, it shall mainly conduce to peace, that we COMPLY WITH OUR BRETHREN SO FAR AS WE SAFELY MAY; that we walk along lovingly with them, so far as our way goes together; and then, since we must needs, part friends.
That great Council of Milan, however faultyt, yet begins well in their Synodical Letters to Eusebius: "Your dear love is not ignorant, how precious the bond of charity and peace is to be esteemed." Even those, that break the peace, cannot but praise it : how much more should they bid for it, that are true friends to it; and to that amicableness, that attends it!
We cannot keep too much aloof from those without, except it be to fetch them in. How happy were it, if herein we could learn wit of enemies! What a cautious Decree was that, which Clement the VIIIth, made for his Italians, That none of them might dare to dwell in any place under heretics, save where there is an allowed Church with a Roman-Catholic Priest: and that no 'man should be sent forth for traffic to any heretical country, under the age of twenty-five years§! And no less strict and wary was that of Gregory the XVth. That no heretic might, under what pretence soever, hire a house, or make his abode in Italy and the isles adjacent. Neither was it without great cause, that the Synod of Laodicea, about the year 364 decreed, That no Christian should celebrate festivals with Pagans, Heretics, Jews¶. And the Council of Ravenna no less wisely ordered, That no Jew might come forth of his doors, without a roundel of yellow cloth upon
Jo. Gerson. De Distinctione Verarum Visionum à Falsis. Novi hominem, qui post multum tentationis, &c. + Concil. Mediolan. univers. reprobatum. Lit. Synod. Eusebio Fratri. Non ignorat charissima nobis dilectio tua, &c. Provinc. Clem. VIII. an. 1596. Greg. XV. anno 1622. In locis Italiæ ¶ Synod. Laod.
et adjacentium Insularum, &c. Vide Gavant. V. Hæresis.
his upper garment; that he might be distinguished, for avoidance*. I love the zeal of those Athenians, that would not wash in the same bath with the persecutors of Socratest.
But this wise averseness from the known enemies of peace, may and must be accompanied with a friendly correspondence with differing brethren. The same Spirit, that delivered up Hymeneus and Alexander unto Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme; I Tim. i. 20: gives charge; Him, that is weak in the faith, receive you; Rom. xiv. 1. He, that every where preached the abrogation of the Law of Ceremonies, yet, to comply with the Jews, yielded to a legal purification; Acts xxi. 26. He, that found so many and gross errors in the Church of Corinth, as one would think might have been enough to have estranged him from it, continues the professions of his dearest respects of it; and salutes them, Saints. We must so deal with our brethren, as Mariana tells us it is the fashion of his Society; whose drift, saith he, is, that what is mis-done by them, may be covered with earth, and withheld from the notice of the world.
Our charity, therefore, will teach us, to mince those errors, which we cannot suppress; and, where we find extremes, to strain both parts what we may, to meet in the mean.
Thus did the holy African Bishops, in the case of a dangerous distraction that fell out in their Church§. Felicissimus, a loose and over-kind schismatic, stiffly held, That all, that were lapsed in the heat of persecution, should be presently received without any penance at all. Novatian, on the other side, maintains the contrary extreme; That none of those, who had thus offended, should at all be received into the bosom of the Church. The Church is miserably divided. Hereupon forty-two Bishops are, by the authority of Cyprian, assembled in a Synod. They, walking in a midway, define, That peace and reconciliation is not to be denied to those, which had fallen in time of persecution, that humbly sued for their re-admission, if they had once fulfilled the penances enjoined them and this they decreed should be ordinarily done, unless the peril of present death or the instant persecution of tyrants required a dispensation. Thus the godly Fathers did evenly cut a thread, betwixt the rigour of the one side, and the over-indulgence of the other: and, as wise arbitrators are wont to do, detracted something from either part, that they might set peace between both.
Thus, in the modern question concerning the extent of the benefit of Christ's death and passion, while some teach that Christ died for all mankind, others that he died only for some, viz. those that believe, a learned and discreet Moderator goes between both; and, yielding something to either part, reconciles both.
Totum societatis regi§ Vide
men est, &c. I. Mariana de Morbis Societatis, eorumque Remediis. in Concil. Carthag. 2. sub Cornelio Notas Binii.
D. Twisse in his Animad
versions upon D. Jackson.—And, to the same effect, D. Rivetjus Disp. 6. de Redemptione.
"When we say Christ died for mankind, we mean," saith he, "that Christ died for the benefit of mankind. Now, let this benefit be distinguished, and contentions hereabouts will cease: for, if this benefit be considered as the remission of sins, and the salvation of our souls; these are benefits obtainable only, upon the condition of faith and repentance: on the one side, no man will say that Christ died to this end to procure forgiveness and salvation to every one, whether they believe and repent, or no; so, on the other, none will deny but that he died to this end, that salvation and remission should redound to all and every one, in case they should repent and believe: for this depends upon the sufficiency of that price, which our Saviour paid for the redemption of the world, &c. And to pay a price sufficient for the redemption of all and every one, is, in a fair sense, to redeem all and every one." Thus he so as neither part can find fault with the decision, and both must rest satisfied.
The like must we endeavour to do, in all differences, that are capable of an atonement: for, certainly, it is too much stiffness, to stand ever on the height; and to give no quarter in matter of opinion; like those peremptory+ Egyptians, which, in several cities, would either profess to abhor the crocodile, or to deify him. There is a mean, if we could hit on it, in all, save fundamental, quarrels; worthy to be the scope of all our charitable desires: which if we could attain and rest in, we and the Church of God should be peaceable and happy‡.
The Sixth Private way of Peace: To let fall our own interest for
LASTLY, the ready way for private persons to procure peace, is, that every one should be willing TO LET FALL HIS own interest
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE PUBLIC.
What are we, but members of one and the same§ community, whether of Church or Kingdom? and what member is there, that doth not willingly yield up itself to the preservation of the whole body? This natural intercourse there is between the very elements themselves, that each of them is ready to forsake his own place, for the benefit and advantage of the universe.
*Tul. Academ. 4. Quod graviùs ferremus, si quisquam ullam disciplinam Philosophia probaret, præter eam quam ipse sequeretur.
Cùm solos credit habendos
Esse Deos, quos ipse colit.-Juven. Sat. xv. [Combos Tentyra.] Patres nostri, non solùm ante Cyprianum vel Agrippinum, sed postea, saluberrimam consuetudinem tenuerunt, ut quicquid divinum atque legitimum in aliquâ hæresi vel schismate integrum reperirent, approbarent potiùs quàm negarent. August.
Cato, cujus mores erant, Lucano referente,
Hereupon it was, that the Chosen Vessel was content to undergo, not labour and sorrow and care only, but pain too: I now rejoice, saith he, in my sufferings for you; and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body's sake, which is the Church; Col. i. 24. If what we do or suffer be not with relation to the common good, we forget our interest and lose our thanks and if, in our undertakings, we find a certain Self stand in the way of our public ends, he must be shouldered out or trampled upon, if ever we expect a comfortable issue.
How commendable was that example of Maximianus*, a worthy Bishop; who, being lately converted from the schism of the Donatists to the Catholic Church, when he saw that he could not be peaceably received of the people, out of a godly care of the common peace, openly professed before the Fathers of the Milevitan Council, that he was willing to renounce his interest in his bishoprick; and besought them that another might be chosen in his place: whereupon, the cause was examined, his abdication admitted, his brother Castorius substituted in his room, and the Church quieted!
The want of this pious ingenuity is that, which hath been the cause of all the distempers, both raised and continued in the Church of God; in that, prime and leading persons have been fastened so close to their own concernments, that they might not be induced to leave their hold for the public good.
Surely, it is that, for which those, who have sat at the stern of the Roman Church must look to give a heavy account for the general Reformation of the whole Church, as onet said truly, hath, like the rabbet's skin, stuck thus long at the head. Their ingenuous Cassander confesses no less. Woe be to them, who, for the carnal respects of worldly honours and profits, withhold the truth in unrighteousness; Rom. i. 18: forcibly blindfolding God's people, that they may not see themselves deceived: bearing themselves so high upon that insolent pretence of Infallibility, that it is no less than spiritual treason once to question it; and, upon that ground, hating to relent in the least misprision, lest they should seem to yield the Church of Rome might err. Where shall the blood of those millions of souls, which have miscarried through this arrogant usurpation, be required, but at those hands, who would rather chuse the world should perish, than their crest should fall? What should I touch at those secular violences, that, upon this only ground, have been raised against the Henrys and Fredericks of old; or those bloody contestations of Guelfes and Gibelines; or those cruel competitions of succeeding Anti-Popes? Cardinal Peron and the last Age can say enough of the proceedings of Clement the VIIth against Henry the VIIIth of England, and of Leo the Xth against the Protestants of Germany; which,
* Concil. Milevit. Vide Notas Binii. Maximianus Vagiensis Episc. + M. Struther, in his Looking-Glass for Princes. Card. Peron. En Lettres au Roy de France, pour la Pacification entre la Pape et la Seigneurie de Venise.