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have not the promise of inheriting the earth, Matth. 5. 5. If you honour not your Parents or fuperiours, you have not the promise that your daies fhall be long in the Land. And your evil speaking will make men conclude, that you would do evil if you could and durft. As its faid to be Zoilus anfwer when he was askt, why he fpoke evil of Plato and fuch worthy men [Quoniam malum facere cum velim non poffum] Because I would do them hurt and cannot Give not occafion for fuch a charge.
[Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compaffion one of another: love as brethren: be pittiful: be courteous not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwife bleffing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a bleffing; for he that will Love life and fee good daies, let him
refrain his tongue from evil, 1 Pet. 3. 8, 9, 10, 11. But if ye Suffer for righteousness fake, happy are ye and be not afraid of their terrour, nor be troubled, ver. 14. But I fuppofe you will here fay, Is it not lawful to call a spade a Spade? Is not a wo against them that call evil good? may not a man speak of the hurtful crimes of others? I anfwer. 1. Yes, when as a Magistrate, a Minister, or a brother, you have a just call to tell them of it lovingly, though plainly, to their faces, in order to their recovery. 2. And when you have a juft call to speak of it to others, either in feeking juftice, or in charity and mercy, for the prefervation of thofe that elfe will be more hurt by the filencing of mens faults, then you do hurt by mentioning them.
But, 1. You may not flander men as guilty of what indeed they M 4
2. You may not make mens faults feem worse then they
3. You must endeavour the good of the perfon as much as you can, while you blame the fin.
4. You must not mention mens faults without a call: unless the good of himself or others do require it.
5. You must not do it with a revengeful mind, for perfonal injuries.
6. You must manifeft love and compaffion in all.
7. You must difference between raigning fins,and humane frailties: and between a course of fin,and an unufual fall and between a fin repented of, and not repented of: and muft cenfure but as you find God cenfure in his Word.
8. You must be more ready to fpeak of the good that is in the fame men as you have a call, then
of the evil and not malicioufly ftick only in the galled place.
9. Let it be as far as may be to his face.
10. Let it be according to the common rule of equity. [Do as you would be done by.] Not mea furing out duty to others, by a corrupt impatience of bearing fuch your felves but speaking nothing for matter or manner to another, which you would think unmeet to be spoken to you, if you were in. his cafe.
11. And especially be tender of the honour of fuperiours, yea though they were evil, and do you. wrong.
12. And foresee the confequents, whether your words are not like to do more hurt then good. And if still you think that fufferings will juftifie reviling, contumelious complaints, confider thefe two causes of your mistake.. MS 1. You
1. You make a Great matter of a Little one. As there is not fo great good in the profperity of the flesh, as worldlings think; fo neither is there fo great evil in the lofs of it what great harm is poverty, imprisonment, reproach or death? Nay, you have a promife that all fhall work together for your good, Rom. 8. 28.
2. You make a strange matter of that which is the ordinary condition of believers: To be hated of all men; to have all manner of evil fpoken falfly of you to be perfecuted from one City to another : to be killed all the day long, and counted as fheep to the flaughter.. Do thefe feem frange matters to you? did you never read or hear the Gospel nor know the terms of Chrift till now? did you never read of forfaking all for Chrift, if indeed you would be his Difciples? you never count what it muft