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tendeth to breed a constant difficlence and suspicion. . And if it be an infirmity of your own which you think needeth such a cover, the cloak will be of worse effect, than the knowledge of your infirmity.
Direct. v. •Be ever faithful to your friend, for the cure of all his faults; and never turn friendship into flattery : yet still let all be done in love, though in a friendly freedom, and closeness of admonition. It is not the least benefit of intimate friendship, that what an enemy speaketh behind our backs, a friend will open plainly to our faces. To watch over one another daily, and be as a glass to shew our faces or faults to one another is the very great benefit of true friendship. “ Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow : but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up!.” It is a flatterer and not a friend, that will please you by concealing or extenuating your sin.
Direct. vi. 'Abhor selfishness as most contrary to real friendship. Let your friend be as yourself, and his interest as your own. If we must love our neighbour as ourselves, much more our dearest bosom friends.
Direct. vir. “Understand what is most excellent and useful in your friend, and that improve. Much good is lost by a dead-hearted companion, that will neither broach the vessel and draw out that which is ready for their use; nor yét feed any good discourse, by due questions or answers, but stifle all by barren silence. And a dull, silent hearer, will weary and silence the speaker at the last.
Direct. viii. ‘Resolve to bear with each other's infirmities : be not too high in your expectations from each other: look not for exactness and innocence, but for human infirmities, that when they fall out, you may not find yourselves disappointed.' Patience is necessary in all human converse.
Direct. ix. 'Yet do not suffer friendship to blind you, to own or extenuate the faults of your dearest friend.' For that will be sinful partiality, and will be greatly injurious to God, and treachery against the soul and safety of your friend.
| Eccles, iv. 9–11.
Direct. x. 'And watch lest the love, estimation or reverence of your friend, should draw you to entertain his errors, or to imitate him in any sinful way. It is no part of true friendship to prefer men before the truth of Christ, nor to take any heretical, dividing, or sensual infection from our friend, and so to die and perish with him; nor is it friendly to desire it.
Direct. xi. • Never speak against your friend to a third person; nor open his dishonourable weakness to another.” As no man can serve two masters, so no man can well please two contrary friends: and if you whisper to one the failings of another, it tendeth directly to the dissolution of your friendship.
Direct. XII. Think not that love will warrant your partial, erroneous estimation of your friend. You may judge him fittest for your intimacy: but you must not judge him better than all other men, unless you have special evidence of it, as the reason of such a judgment.
Direct. XIII. 'Let not the love of your friend draw you to love all, or any others the less, and below their worth.' Let not friendship make you narrow-hearted, and confine your charity to one : but give all their due, in your valuation and your conversation, and exercise as large a charity and benignity as possibly you can : especially to societies, churches and commonwealth, and to all the world. It is a sinful friendship, which robbeth others of your charity ; especially those to whom much more is due than to your friend.
Direct. xiv. .Exercise your friendship in holiness and well-doing:' kindle in each other the love of God and goodness, and provoke each other to a heavenly conversation. The more of God and heaven is in your friendship, the more holy, safe, and sweet, and durable it will prove. It will not wither, when an everlasting subject is the fuel that maintaineth it. If it will not help you the better to holiness and to heaven, it is worth nothing. “ If two lie together, then they have heat; but how can one be warm alone m.” See that your friendship degenerate not into common carnal love, and evaporate not in a barren converse,instead of pray
er and heavenly discourse, and faithful watchfulness and reproof. · Direct. xv. • Prepare each other for suffering and death, and dwell together in the house of mourning, where you may remember your nearer everlasting friendship: and not only in the house of mirth, as if it were your work, to make each other forget your latter end.'.
Cases and Directions for Loving and Doing Good to Enemies.
Most which belongeth to this subject is said before, Chap. ix. about Forgiving Enemies, and therefore thither I refer the reader.
Tit. 1. Cases about Loving and Doing Good to Enemies..
Quest. 1. Whom must I account an enemy, and love under that name?' - Answ. 1. Not every one that is angry with you, or that giveth you foul words, or that undervalueth you, or that speaketh against you, or that doth you wrong : but he that hateth you, and seeketh or desireth your destruction or your hurt as such designedly. 2. And no man must be taken for such, that doth not manifest it, or by whom you cannot prove it. 3. But if you have reasonable suspicion you may carry yourself the more warily for your own preservation, lest he should prove your enemy, and his designs should take you unprovided.
Quest. 11. With what kind of love must an enemy be loved, and on what accounts ?'
· Answ. Primarily with a love of complacence, for all the good which is in him, natural and moral : he must be loved as a man for the goodness of his nature; and his understanding and virtues must be acknowledged as freely, and loved as fully, as if he were no enemy of ours: enmity must not blind and pervert our judgment of him, and hinder ùs from discerning all that is amiable in him ; nor must it corrupt our affections, and hinder us from loving it and him. 2. Secondarily we must love him with a love of benevolence, desiring him all that happiness which we desire to ourselves, and endeavouring it according to our opportunities. ... ,
Quest. 111. "Must I desire that God will pardon and save him, while he repenteth not of the wrong he doth me; and being impenitent, is incapable of pardon?'
Answ. 1. You must desire at once that God will give him repentance and forgiveness. 2. If he be impenitent in a state and life of ungodliness, or in a known and wilful sin, he is indeed incapable of God's pardon and salvation in that case : but if you know him not to be ungodly, and if mistake or passion only, or some personal offence or falling out have made him your enemy; and you are not sure that the enmity is so predominant as to exclude all true charity, or if he think you to be a bad person, and be your enemy on that account, you must pray for his pardon and salvation, though he should not particularly repent. .
Quest. iv. “What if he be my enemy upon the account of religion, and so an enemy to God?' .
Answ. 1. There are too many who have too much enmity to each other, upon the account of different opinions and parties in religion, in an erroneous zeal for godliness : who are not to be taken for enemies to God. What acts of hostility have in this age been used by several sects of zealous Christians against each other! 2. If you know them to be enemies of God and godliness, you must hate their sin, and love their humanity and all that is good in them, and wish their repentance, welfare and salvation.
Quest. v. “What must I do for an enemy's good, when my benefits are but like to embolden, encourage and enable him to do hurt to me or others?'
Answ. 1. Usually kindness tendeth to convince and melt an enemy, and to hinder him from doing hurt. 2. Such ways of kindness must be chosen, as do most engage an enemy to returns of kindness, without giving him ability or opportunity to do mischief in case he prove implacable. You may shew him kindness, without putting a sword into his hand. Prudence will determine of the way of benefits, upon consideration of circumstances.
· Quest. vi. : May I not defend myself against an enemy, and hurt him in my own defence? And may I not wish him as much hurt, as I may do him ?'.
Answ. When you can save yourself by fair words, or flight, or some tolerable loss, without resisting him to his hurt, you should rather choose it, and "resist not evil a." When you cannot do so, you must defend yourself, with as little hurt to your enemy as you can. And if you cannot save yourself from a lesser hurt, without doing him a greater, you must rather suffer it.
Object. “But if I hurt him in my own defence, it is his own fault.
Answ. So it may, and yet be yours too : you are bound to charity to your enemy, and not to justice only.
Object. · But if I run away from him, or resist him not, it will be my dishonour; and I may defend my honour as well as my life.'
* Answ. Such objections and reasonings (which the Jesuits use against Jesus) were fitter for the mouth of an atheist, than of a Christian. It is pride which setteth so much by the esteem of men, yea, of bad and foolish men, as to plead honour for uncharitableness : and the voice of pride is the voice of the devil, contrary to him “who made himself of no reputation b," and submitted to be arrayed in a garb of mockery, and led out with scorn like a fool, and bowed to, and buffeted, and spit upon, and crucified; who calleth to us to learn of him to be meek and lowly and to deny ourselves, and take up the cross (which is shameful suffering) if we will be his disciples. To every Christian it is the greatest honour to be like. Jesus Christ, and to excel in charity. It is a greater dishonour to want love to an enemy, than to fly from him, or not resist him. He that teacheth otherwise, and maketh sin honourable, and the imitation and obedience of Christ to be more dishonourable, doth preach up pride, and preach down charity, and doth preach for the devil against Jesus Christ; and therefore should neither call himself a Jesuit nor a Christian.
Yea more, if the person that would hurt or kill you, be one that is of more worth or usefulness as to the public a Matt. v. 39. .
b Phil. ii. 7, 8. c Matt. xi. 28, 29. Luke xiv, 30-33.