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And our blessed Saviour himself adds a parallel to the first precept, which gives light and explication to it: "When you stand praying, if you have any thing against any man, forgive him, that your Father which is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses." And so Christ taught us to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us." Let us consider what we do, and consider what we say do we desire to be forgiven no otherwise? Do not we exact every little ignorance, and grow warm at every mistake? And are not we angry at an unavoidable chance? Would we have God to do so to us, and forgive us in no other manner, than as we do,- that is, turn his anger into every shape, and smite us in every part? Or would we have God pardon us only for little things, for a rash word, or an idle hour spent less severely? If we do so to our brother, it is a great matter: but if he reviles us to our head, if he blasphemes, and dishonours us, if he robs us, if he smites us on the face, what then? We rob God of his honour, his priests, of their reverence, his houses, of their beauty, his churches, of their maintenance: we talk vile things of his holy name, we despise religion, we oppose his honour, and care not for his service. It is certain we do not usually forgive things of this nature to our brother; what then will become of our prayer? and what will be the effect of our communion? and yet it is certain, there is nothing in the world easier than to forgive an injury. It costs us nothing, after it is once suffered: and if our passions and foolish principles would give us leave to understand it, the precise duty of forgiveness is a perfect negative; it is a letting things alone as they are, and making no more evils in the world, in which already there was one too many, even that which thou didst suffer. And, indeed, that forgiveness is the best, which is the most perfect negative, that is, "in malice, be children;" whose petty quarrels, though they be fierce as a sudden spark, yet they are as innocent as the softest part of their own flesh, and as soon out as that sudden spark, and forgotten perfectly as their first dream: and that is true forgiveness: and without this, we can never pray with just and perfect confidence and expectations.

e Mark, xi. 25.

f Ignoramus sine pace Communionem.-S. Hieron. Epist. 62. ad Theophilum.

St. Peters gives this precept in a considerable instance; "Give honour unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, that your prayers be not hindered;" that is, consider that they are weak and tender, easily moved, and soon disordered; their understanding is less, and their passions more; and if it happens to be so, bear their burdens, comply with their innocent passions, pity their infirmities, supply the breaches made by their indiscretions, take no notice of little inconveniences: counsel sweetly, reprove tenderly, strike no fires, and enkindle no flames; that is, do all that you can for peace, without peevish quarrels, and little commencements of a domestic war: for if you give way to any thing of this nature, it will hinder your prayers: for how shall the husband and wife pray together, if they be angry at each other? For, without love, and without peace, it is to no purpose to pray. The devotion of a man, that is not in actual peace and kindness with his wife, is like a hot dead coal, it will burn his fingers that touches it, but it is wholly useless: but he that lives in peace with her, in love and prudent conduct, his devotion is a flaming fire; it kindles all that is round about it; it warms and shines; it is beauteous in itself, and it is useful to others; it is fit for the house, and fit for the altar; it will set the incense on smoking, and put the sacrifice on fire. And so it is in every instance of society and conversation; but I instanced in this the rather, because charity at home, and a peaceable society in a family, is the first of all public unions. When Philip of Macedon persuaded the Greek ambassadors, that they should invite their cities to peace and concord, Demaratus, of Corinth, began to laugh at him for his counsel, and thought it a thing ridiculous for him to speak of peace among the Greek republics, who was always wrangling at home with his wife Olympias. But as to the present matter.

The fourth council of Carthage refused to accept the

1 Pet. iii. 7.

b Greek ambassadors.] Plutarch, from whom Bishop Taylor seems to have taken this anecdote, does not make mention of Greek ambassadors:— Ἐπεὶ δὲ διενεχθέντος αὐτοῦ (Φιλίππου) πρὸς Ολυμπιάδα τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὸν υἱὸν, ἧκε Δημάρατος ὁ Κορίνθιος, ἐπυνθάνετο πῶς πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἔχουσιν οἱ Ἕλληνες· καὶ ὁ Δημάρατος, Πάνυ γοῦν (ἔφη) σοὶ περὶ τῆς τῶν ̔Ελλήνων ὁμονοίας ὁ λόγος ἐστὶν, οὕτω πρός σε τῶν οἰκειοτάτων ἐχόντων· ὁ δὲ συμφρονήσας ἐπαύσατο τῆς ὀργῆς, καὶ διηλλάγη πρὸς αὐτούς, Apophth. Xyland. T. ii. p. 179. C. (J. R. P.)

oblations of quarrelling and angry persons; it is like that of the high priests, in the case of Judas's restitution of the money, they would not put it into the treasury, because it was the price of blood. Now, because our blessed Master in his law hath handled all great angers and uncharitableness under the title of murder, the church thought it reasonable1 not to receive the offerings, that is, to reject from the communion all those persons that were in mutual feuds, enmities, and fierce angers. "I wonder," saith St. Cyprian," what peace they can look for, that are at war with their brethren ?" "These men may be compelled, by their injunction of severe fastings, to be reconciled;" said Fabianus', the martyr. And, in the decree of P. Victor", it was expressly commanded, "That they should be driven from the communion of all faithful people, who are not in peace, and have no charity to all their brethren." This decree was renewed, and earnestly pressed in the council of Agatho"; "They that will not, by the grace of God working within them, lay: aside the hatred, and long suits, and dissensions, first let them be reproved by the priests of the city: but if they will not, at their reproof, lay aside their enmity, let them, by a most just excommunication, be driven from the congregations of the church." Which decree the church of England hath inserted into the second rubric, before her office of communion, of which I shall afterwards give account. But, for the present, we may consider, that it is infinitely reasonable, that he that needs, and comes for a great pardon, should not

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iCap. 93. Concil. Carth. 4. Oblationes dissidentium fratrum, neque in Sacrario, neque in Gazophylacio Episcopi recipiant.—

Nunquam mihi contingat turbatum ad pacis accedere sacrificium; cum ira et disceptatione accedere ad sacramentum, in quo Deus indubitanter est, reconcilians mundum sibi. Certe non recipitur munus, quodcunque meum quod defero ad altare, nisi ante placato fratre, quem me forte læsisse meminero.-S. Bernard. de precept. et dispens.

* Quam sibi pacem promittunt inimici fratrum?

1 Possunt tales acerrimis inediis macerari, donec reconcilientur.-Fabian. dist. 90. cap. si quis.

Epist. 2. ad Afros.

n Placuit ut (sicut plerunque fit) quicunque odio aut longinqua inter se lite dissenserint, et ad pacem revocari divina intentione nequiverint, a sacerdotibus civitatis primitus arguantur : quod si inimicitias deponere perniciosa intentione noluerint, de ecclesiæ cœtu justissima excommunicatione pellantur.-Concil. Agath. cap. 31.

stick at the giving a little; and he that desires to be like God, and comes to be united to him, should do like him; that is, rejoice in remitting offences, rather than in punishing them. In this, as in all other things, we must follow God's example; for in this alone he else will follow ours. In imitating him, it is certain, we are innocent; and if in this he follows us, though we be wicked, yet he is holy; because revenge is his, and he alone is to pay it. If, therefore, we will forgive, he will; if we will not, neither will he: for he makes his spear as long, and his angers as lasting, as we do ours. But this duty, and the great reasonableness and necessity, I shall represent in the excellent words of the Talmudists, recorded also by the famous Bensirach'; "He that revengeth, shall find vengeance of the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance. Forgive thy neighbour the hurt, that he hath done unto thee; so shall thy sins also be forgiven, when thou prayest. One man keepeth anger against another; and doth he seek healing from the Lord? He showeth no mercy to any man that is like himself; and doth he ask forgiveness for his own sins? If he that is but flesh, nourish hatred, who will entreat for pardon of his sins?" The duty is plain, and the reason urgent, and the commandment express, and the threatening terrible, and the promise excellent. There is in this no more to be said, but that we consider concerning the manner of reducing it to practice, in order to our preparation to a worthy communion and consider the special cases of conscience relating to this great duty.

1. Therefore we are bound to forgive every man that offends us. For concerning every one of our brethren it is equally true, that he is an excellent creation, that he is thy

• Det ille veniam facile, cui venia est opus.

ν Οστις οὖν ἐοικέναι βούλεται θεοῖς, ἀφιεὶς τιμωρίας χαιρέτω μᾶλλον, ἡ λαμβάνων. Libanius.

a Si repetes, repetet; si durus es, ille rogantem
Abjiciet; fusas conteret atque preces.

In reliquis exempla tibi namque omnibus ille
Præbet; at hic sequitur quod prior ipse facis :
Utque solet speculum quas cepit reddere formas,
Æqua ita laux lanci dia futura tua est.

r Eccles. xxviii. 1, 2, 3.

Antholog. Bill.

brother, that he is heir of the same hopes, born to the same inheritance, descended of the same father, nursed by the church, which is his mother and thine; that there is in him God's image, drawn by the same hand, described in the same lines; that there are in him many good things for which he can be loved, and many reasons in him for which he ought to be pardoned; God hath made many decrees for him, and the angels minister to him, and Christ died for him, and his soul is very precious in the eyes of God, and in heaven itself; the man whom thou hatest, is very considerable; and there, there are great desires for his temporal and eternal happiness and why shouldest thou despise, and why shouldest thou stand out against all this?

2. Not only every man, but every offence must be forgiven. The wise man says, "That for some things there will be no returning again :" a blow, indeed, or an evil word, may be pardoned; but for "upbraiding and pride, and disclosing secrets, and a treacherous wound, every friend will depart, and never return again." But he only tells how it will be, not what ought to be; what it is likely to be in matter of fact, not how it should be in case of conscience: and he means this of societies and civil friendships; but in religion we go higher, and even these also, and greater than these, must be pardoned, unless we would prescribe a limit to God's mercy, in the remission of our own sins. He will pardon every sin of ours, for the pardon of which we can rightly pray; but yet we must pray for it, and hope it upon no measures, but those of our forgiveness. "O Jupiter, said the distressed prince', "hear our prayers; according to our piety look upon us; and as we do, so give us help." And there is no instance that can be considerable to the lessening or excusing of this duty. We must forgive, not only injuries in the matter of money; but in all errors and crimes whatsoever, in which any man can sin, and thou canst be offénded".

"

s Ecclus. xxii. 22.

'Jupiter omnipotens, precibus si flecteris ullis,

Aspice nos; hoc tantum; et, si pietate meremur,
Da deinde auxilium.-Æneid. lib. ii. 689.

" Dimittenda sunt debita, non pecuniæ solum, sed omnium causarum, culparum, crimiuum, quicquid homo incurrere poterit; in his, tibi quum incurrerit alter, ignosce.

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