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by way of provocation, not to begin ; and a second, nolle amplius quam læsus lædere, that if another provoke him, yet what power soever he have, he would return no more upon his enemy, than his enemy had cast upon him, he would not exceed in his revenge ; and a third, telle minus, not to do so much as he suffered, but in a less proportion, only to show some sense of the injury; and then another is, nolle lædere licet læsus, to return no revenge at all, though he have been provoked by an injury; and a higher than that, paratum se exhibere ut amplius lædatur, to turn the other cheek, when he is smitten, and open himself to further injuries; that which is in this text, is the sixth step, and the highest of all, lædenti benefacere, to do good to him, of whom we have received evil, If thine enemy hunger, to feed him, if he thirst, to give him drink.
The text is a building of stone, and that bound in with bars of iron : fundamental doctrine, in point of manners, in itself, and yet buttressed, and established with reasons too, therefore, and for; therefore feed thine enemy; for, in so doing, thou shalt heap coals. This therefore, confirms the precedent doctrine, and this for, confirms that confirmation.
But all the words of God are yea, and amen, and therefore we need not insist upon reasons, to ratify or establish them. Our parts shall be but two; mandatum, and emolumentum, first the commandment, (for we dare not call it by so indifferent a name, as an evangelical counsel, that we may choose whether we will do or no; it is a commandment, do good to thine enemy) and secondly, the benefit that we receive by that benefit, we heap coals upon his head. Each part will have divers branches; for, in the commandment, we shall first look upon the person, to which God directs us, inimicus, though he be an enemy, and inimicus tuus, though he be thine enemy; but yet it is but tuus, thine enemy; it is not simply inimicus homo, the devil, nor inimicus vester, a spreading enemy, an enemy to the state, nor inimicus Dei, an enemy to religion; and from the person, we shall pass to the duty, ciba, and da aquam, feed, and give drink, in which, all kinds of reliefs are implied; but that it is, si esurierit, if he be hungry; there is no wanton nor superfluous pampering of our enemy required, but so much as may preserve the man, and not nourish the enmity. In these considerations we shall determine our first part; and our second in these; first, that God takes nothing from us, without recompense ; nothing for nothing; he seals his commandment with a powerful reason, promise of reward ; and then, the reward specified here, arises from the enemy himself; and that reward is, that thou shalt cast coals of fire upon his head; and congeres, accumulabis, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon him.
It is not ill said by a jesuit", of these words, Sententia magis erangelica, quam Mosaica; this text, that enjoins benefits upon our enemies, is fitter for the gospel, than for the law, fitter for the New, than for the Old Testament; and yet it is tam Mosaioa, quam erangelica, to show that it is universal, catholie, moral doctrine, appertaining to Jew, and Christian, and all, this text is in the Old Testament, as well as in the New. In the mouth of two witnesses in this truth established, in the mouth of a prophet, and in the mouth of an apostle, Solomon had said it before“, and St. Paul says it here, If thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst, &c.
Your Senecas and your Plutarchs have taught you an art, how to make profit of enemies, because as flatterers dilate a man, and make him live the more negligently, because he is sure of good interpretations of his worst actions; so a man's enemies contract him, and shut him up, and make him live the more watchfully, because he is sure to be calumniated even in his best actions : but this is a lesson above Seneca, and Plutarch, reserved for Solomon, and St. Paul, to make profit by conferring and placing benefits upon enemies : and that is our first branch, though he be an enemy.
St. Augustine cites, and approves that saying of the moral philosopher, Omnes odit, qui malos odit, He that hates ill men, all men, for if a man will love none but honest men, where shall he find any exercise, any object of his love? So if a man will hold friendship with none, nor do offices of society to none, but to goodnatured, and gentle, and supple, and sociable men, he shall leave very necessary businesses undone. The frowardest and perversest man may be good ad hoc for such or such a particular use. By good company and good usage, that is, by being mingled with
* Prov. xxv. 21.
other simples, and ingredients, the very flesh of a viper is made an antidote: a viper loses not his place in physic, because he is poison ; a magistrate ceases not to be a magistrate, because he is an ill man; much less does a man cease to be a man, and so to have a title to those duties, which are rooted in nature, because he is of an ill disposition. 'God makes his sun to shine upon the good, and upon the bad, and sendeth rain upon the just, and upon the unjust. God hath made of one blood all mankind : how unkindly then, how unmanly is it to draw blood? We come too soon to the name of enemy, and we carry it too far: plaintiff and defendant in a matter of trespass, must be enemies : disputers in a problematical matter of controversy, that concerns not foundations, must be enemies; and then all enmity must imply an irreconcilableness, once enemies may never be friends again; we come too soon to the name, and we stand too long upon the thing; for there are offices and duties even to an enemy; and that, though an enemy in as high a degree, as the word imports here, osor, a hater, and osor tuus, such an enemy as hates thee, which is our next branch.
We use to say, that those benefits are longest remembered, which are public, and common; and those injuries, which are private, and personal: but truly in both, the private, and personal makes the greatest impression. For, if a man have benefited the public, with a college, with an hospital, with any perpetual endowment, yet he that comes after to receive the benefit of
any such place, for the most part determines his thankfulness upon that person, who brought him thither, and reflects little upon the founder, or those that are descended from him. And so it is in injuries, and violences too, we hate men more for personal, than for national injuries; more, if he have taken my ship, than if he have attempted my country. We should be more sensible of the public, but because private and personal things do affect us most, the commandment here goes to the particular; though he be thine enemy, and hate thee. If you love them that love you, and lend to them that pay you, what thanks hare you? Truly not much ; Publicans do the same, says St. Matthew; Sinners do the same, says St. Luke: but love you your enemies; for, in the same place, where Christ puts all those cases, if a man have been angry with his brother, if a man have said Racha to his brother, if he have called his brother fool, he ends all with that, agree uith thine adversary'; though he be thine adversary, yet he is thy brother. If he have damnified thee, calumniated thee, pardon him. If he have done that to another, thou hast no power to pardon him ; herein only thou hast exercise of greatness and goodness too, if he be thine enemy, thou and thou only canst pardon him; and herein only thou hast a supremacy, and a prerogative to show.
5 Matt. v. 45.
6 Luke vi. 34.
So far then, the text goes literally, do good to any enemy; to thine enemy; and literally, no further : it does not say to a state, Si inimicus rester, It does not bind us to favour, or further a public enemy; it does not bind the magistrate to favour thieves and murderers at land, nor pirates at sea, who are truly inimici nostri, our enemies even as we are men, enemies to mankind. It does not bind societies and corporations ecclesiastical or civil, to sink under such enemies, as would dissolve them or impair them in their privileges; for such are not only inimici restri, but vestrorum, enemies of you, and yours, of those that succeed you : and all men are bound to transfer their jurisdictions and privileges, in the same integrity, in which they received them, without any prevarication. In such cases it is true, that corporations have no souls, that is, they are not bound to such a tenderness of conscience; for there are divers laws in this doctrine of patience, that bind particular men, that do not bind states and societies, under those penalties.
Much less does the commandment bind us to the inimicus homo, which is the devil, to farther him, by fuelling and advancing his temptations, by high diet, wanton company, or licentious discourse; and so, upon pretence of maintaining our health, or our cheerfulness, invite occasions of sin. St. Hierome tells us of one sense, in which we should favour that enemy, the devil, and that in this text, we are commanded to do so : Benedolus est erga diabolum, says he, He is the devil's best friend, that resists him ; for by our yielding to the devil's temptations, we submit him to greater torments, than, if he missed of his purpose upon us, he
7 Matt. v. 22.
should suffer. But between this enemy and us, God himself hath set such an enmity, that, as no man may separate those whom God hath joinedo, so no man may join those whom God hath separated; God created not this enmity in the devil; he began it in himself; but God created an enmity in us, against him; and, upon no collateral conditions, may we be reconciled to him, in admitting any of his superstitions. It is not then inimicus rester, the common enemy,
enemy of the state ; less, inimicus homo, the spiritual enemy of mankind, the devil; least of all, inimicus Dei, they who oppose God, (so, as God can be opposed) in his servants who profess his truth. David durst not have put himself upon that issue with God, (Do not I hate them, that hate thee') if he had been subject to that increpation, which the prophet Jehu laid upon Jehoshaphat, Shouldst thou help the ungodly, and love them, that hate the Lord'o? But David had the testimony of his conscience, that he hated them, with a perfect hatred: which, though it may admit that interpretation, that it is de perfectione virtutis, that his perfect hatred, was a hatred becoming a perfect man, a charitable hatred; yet it is de perfectione intentionis", a perfect hatred is a vehement hatred, and so the Chaldee paraphrase expresses it, odio consummato, a hatred to which nothing can be added; odio religioso, with a religious hatred ; not only that religion may consist with it, but that religion cannot subsist without it; a hatred that gives the tincture, and the stamp to religion itself. The imputation that lies upon them, who do not hate those that hate God, is sufficiently expressed in St. Gregory; he saw how little temporizers and worldly men were moved with the word impiety, and ungodliness, and therefore he waves that; he saw they preferred the estimation of wisdom before and above piety, and therefore he says not impium est, but Stultum est, si illis placere quærimus, quos non placere Domino scimus : It is a foolish thing, to endeavour to be acceptable to them, who in our own knowledge do not endeavour to be acceptable to God.
But yet, beloved, even in those enemies, that thus hate God, Solomon's rule hath place, There is a time to hate, and a time to
& Gen. iii. 15.
10 2 Chron. xix. 2.
Psalın cxxxix. 21.