« السابقةمتابعة »
love'. Though the person be the same, the affection may vary. As St. Cyprian says, (if that book' be not rather Origen's, than Cyprian's, for it is attributed to both) Ama fæminas inter sacra solennia, Love a woman at church, (that is, love her coming to church, though, as St. Augustine in his time did, we in our times may complain of wanton meetings there) but odio habe in communione privata, hato, that is, forbear women in private conversation ; so for those that hate God in the truth of his Gospel, and content themselves with an idolatrous religion, we love them at church, we would be glad to see them here, and though they come not hither, we love them so far, as that we pray for them ; and we love them in our studies so far, as we may rectify them by our labours ; but we hate them in our convocations, where wé oppose canons against their doctrines, and we hate them in our consultations, where we make laws to defend us from their malice, and we hate them in our bed-chambers, where they make children idolaters, and perchance make the children themselves. We acknowledge with St. Augustine, Perfectio odii est in charitate, The perfect hatred consists with charity, cum nec propter ritia homines oderimus, nec vitia propter homines amemus; when the greatness of the men brings us not to love their religion, nor the illness of their religion, to hate the men. Moses, in that place, is St. Augustine's example, whom he proposes, orabat et occidebat, he prayed for the idolaters, and he slew them ; he hated, says he, Iniquitatem, quam puniebat, That sin which he punished, and he loved humanitatem; pro qua orabat, that nature, as they were men, for whom he prayed: for, that, says he, is Perfectum odium, quod facti sunt diligere, quod fecerunt, odiisse, To love them as they are creatures, to hate them as they are traitors. Thus much love is due to any enemy, that if God be pleased to advance him, De ejus profectu non dejiciamur, says St. Gregory, His advancement do not deject us, to a murmuring against God, or to a diffidence in God; and that when God, in his time, shall cast him down again, congaudeamus justitiæ judicis, condoleamus miseriæ pereuntis, we may both congratulate the justice of God, and yet condole the misery of that person, upon whom that judgment is justly fallen : for, though inimicus
18 Eccles. iii. 8.
18 De singularit. cleric.
tester, the enemy that maligns the state, and inimicus Dei, the enemy that opposes our religion, be not so far within this text, as that we are bound to feed them, or to do them good ; yet there are scarce any enemies, with whom we may not live peaceably, and to whom we may not wish charitably.
We have done with all, which was intended and proposed of the person ; we come to the duty expressed in this text, ciba, feed him, and give him drink. Here, there might be use in noting the largeness, the fulness, the abundance of the Gospel, above the law: not only in that the blessings of God are presented in the Old Testament, in the name of milk and honey, and oil, and wine, (all temporal things) and in the New Testament, in the name of joy, and glory, (things, in a manner spiritual,) but that also, in the Old Testament, the best things are limited, and measured unto them; a gomer of manna, and no more, for the best man, whereas for the joy of the Gospel, we shall enter in gaudium Domini, into our Master's joy", and be made partakers with Christ Jesus, of that joy, for which he endured the cross 15 and here, in this world, Gaudium meum erit, says Christ, My joy shall be in you 16; in what measure? Implebitur, says he, Your joy shall be full ; how long? for ever; Nemo tollet, Your joy shall no man take from you". And such as the joy is, such is the glory too: how precious ? Divitiæ gloriæ, The riches of the glory of his inheritance 18 ; how much? Pondus gloriæ, A weight of glory'' ; how long? Immarcescibilis corona, A crown of glory, that never fadeth : we might, I say, take occasion of making this comparison between the Old, and the New Testament, out of this text, because this charity, enjoined here, in this text, to our enemy, in that place, from whence this text is taken, in the Proverbs, is but lachem, and maiim, bread and water ; but here, in St. Paul, it is in words of better signification, feed him, give him drink. But indeed, the words, at the narrowest, (as it is but bread and water) signify whatsoever is necessary for the relief of him, that stands in need. And if we be enjoined so much to our enemy, how inexcusable are those datores cyminibiles (as the
14 Matt. xxv. 21.
15 Heb. xii. 2.
16 John xv, 11. 17 John xvi. 22.
10 Eph. i. 18. 19 2 Cor. iv, 17.
20 í Peter v. 4.
canonists call them) that give mint, and cumin for alms, a root that their hogs will not, a broth that their dogs will not eat. Remember in thy charity, the times, and the proportions of thy Saviour; after his death, in the wound in his side, he poured out water, and blood, which represented both sacraments, and so was a bountiful dole: provide in thy life, to do good after thy death, and it shall be welcome, even in the eyes of God, then : but remember too, that this dole at his death, was not the first alms that he
gave; his water was his white money, and his blood was his gold, and he poured out both together in his agony, and severally in his weeping, and being scourged for thee. tion of relief is due to him, that is thy brother in nature, thy brother in nation, thy brother in religion, if meat and drink, and in that, whatsoever is necessary to his sustentation, be due to thine enemy?
But all this bountiful charity, is Si esurierit, si sitit, If he be hungry, if he be thirsty. To the king, who bears the care and the charge of the public, we are bound to give, antequam esuriat, antequam sitiat, before he be overtaken with dangerous, and dishonourable, and less remediable necessities : not only substantial wants, upon which our safety depends, but circumstantial and ceremonial wants, upon which his dignity, and majesty depends, are always to be, not only supplied, but prevented. But our enemy must be in hunger, and thirst, that is, reduced to the state, as he may not become our enemy again, by that which we give, before we are bound, by this text, to give anything. No doubt but the church of Rome hungers still for the money of this land, upon which they fed so luxuriantly heretofore: and no doubt but those men, whom they shall at any time animate, will thirst for the blood of this land, which they have sought before ; but this is not the hunger, and the thirst of the enemy, which we must feed: the commandment goes not so far, as to feed that enemy, that may thereby be a more powerful enemy; but yet, thus far, truly, it does go, deny no office of civility, of peace, of commerce, of charity to any, only therefore, because he hath been heretofore an enemy.
There remains nothing of those two branches, which constitute our first part, the person, that is, an enemy reduced to a better disposition; and the duty, that is, to relieve him, with things necessary for that state: and for the second part, we must stop upon those steps laid down at first, of which the first was, That God takes nothing for nothing, he gives a reward. When God took that great proportion of sheep and oxen out of his subjects' goods in the state of Israel, for sacrifice, that proportion which would have kept divers kings' houses, and would have victualled divers navies, perchance no man could say, I have this, or this benefit, for this, or this sacrifice; but yet could any man say, God hath taken a sacrifice for nothing? Where we have peace, and justice, and protection, can any man say, he gives any thing for nothing? When God says, If I were hungry, I would not tell thee", that's not intended, which Tertullian says, Scriptum est, Deus non esuriet nec sitiet, It is written, God shall neither hunger nor thirst, (for, first, Tertullian's memory failed him, there is no such sentence in all the Scripture, as he cites there; and then God does hunger and thirst, in this sense, in the members of his mystical body,) neither is that only intended in that place of the Psalm (though Cassiodore take it so) that if God in his poor saints, were hungry, he could provide them, without telling thee; but it is, If I were hungry, I need not tell thee; for The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, and they that dwell therein". God does not always bind himself to declare his hunger, his thirst, his pressing occasions, to use the goods of his subjects, but as the Lord gives, so the Lord takes, where and when he will: but yet, as God transfuses a measure of this right and power of taking, into them, of whom he hath said, you are God's, so he transfuses his goodness too, which is in himself, that he takes nothing for nothing; be promises here a reward, and a reward arising from the enemy, which puts a greater encouragement upon us, to do it; super caput ejus, In so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
God is the Lord of hosts, and in this text, he makes the seat of the war in the enemy's country, and enriches his servants ex manubiis, out of the spoil of the enemy; In caput ejus, It shall fall upon his head.
his head. Though all men that go to the war, go not upon those just reasons deliberated before in themselves, which are, the defence of a just cause, the obedience to a lawful commandment, yet of those that do go without those conscientious deliberations, none goes therefore, because he may have room in an hospital, or relief by a pension, when he comes home lame, but because he may get something, by going into a fat country, and against a rich enemy; though honour may seem to feed upon blows, and dangers, men go cheerfully against an enemy, from whom something is to be got; for profit is a good salve to knocks, a good cerecloth to bruises, and a good balsamum to wounds. God therefore here raises the reward out of the enemy, feed him, and thou shalt gain by it. But yet the profit that God promises by the enemy here, is rather that we shall gain a soul, than any temporal gain; rather that we shall make that enemy a better man, than that we shall make him a weaker enemy: God respects his spiritual good, as we shall see in that phrase, which is our last branch, Congeres carbones, Thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Psalm L. 12.
22 Psalm xxiv. 1.
It is true that St. Chrysostom (and not he alone) takes this phrase to imply a revenge: that God's judgments shall be the more vehement upon such ungrateful persons, et terrebuntur beneficiis, the good turns that thou hast done to them, shall be a scourge and a terror to their consciences. This sense is not inconvenient; but it is too narrow: the Holy Ghost hath taken so large a metaphor, as implies more than that. It implies the divers offices, and effects of fire; all this; that if he have any gold, any pure metal in him, this fire of this kindness, will purge out the dross, and there is a friend made. If he be nothing but straw and stubble, combustible still, still ready to take fire against thee, this fire which God's breath shall blow, will consume him, and burn him out, and there is an enemy marred: if he have any tenderness any way, this fire will mollify him towards thee; Nimis durus animus, says St. Augustine, He is a very hard-hearted man, qui si ultro dilectionem non vult impendere, etiam nolit rependere, who, though he will not requite thy love, yet will not acknowledge it. If he be wax, he melts with this fire; and if he be clay, he hardens with it, and then thou wilt arm thyself against that