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III. Charity doth imply a complacence or delightful SERM. satisfaction in the good of our neighbour; this is conse- XXVII. quent on the former property, for that joy naturally doth result from events agreable to our desire: charity hath a good eye, which is not offended or dazzled with the lustre of its neighbour's virtue, or with the splendour of his fortune, but vieweth either of them steadily with pleasure, as a very delightful spectacle; it beholdeth him to prosper and flourish, to grow in wealth and repute, not only without envious repining, but with gladsome content: its property is to rejoice with them that rejoice ; to partake of Rom. xii. their enjoyments, to feast in their pleasures, to triumph in 15. their success.
As one member doth feel the health and the delight 1 Cor. xii. which another immediately doth enjoy ; so hath a cha- 20. ritable man a sensible complacence in the welfare and joy of his neighbour.
His prosperity of any kind, in proportion to its importance, doth please him ; but especially his fpiritual proficiency and improvement in virtue doth yield matter of content; and his good deeds he beholdeth with abundant satisfaction.
This is that instance of charity which St. Paul so fre- 2 Cor. xiii. quently doth express in his Epistles, declaring the ex- Phil. ii. 2 treme joy he did feel in the faith, in the virtue, in the or-iv..2..
i Theff. iij. derly conversation of those brethren to whom he writeth. 9. ii. 19.
This charity possessed St. John, when he said, I have no 3 John 4. greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
This is the charity of heaven, which doth even cheer the angels, and doth enhance the bliss of the blessed fpirits there; of whom it is said, There is joy in heaven over Luke xv. every finner that repenteth. Hence this is the disposition ?, 10. of charitable persons, sincerely to congratulate any good occurrence to their neighbour; they are ready to conspire in rendering thanks and praise to the Author of their welfare, taking the good conferred on their neighbour as a blessing and obligation on themselves; so that they upon such' occasions are apt to say with St. Paul, What thanks i Theff. iii. can we render to God for you, for all the joy wherewith we %.
1 Theff. i.
d for all men, and love of our neig
hefalling him :
SERM. joy for your fakes before God? and, We are bound to thank XXVII. God always for you, brethren, because that your faith grow2 Theft. i. eth exceedingly, and that the charity of every one of you all
toward each other aboundeth : and, I thank my God al1 Cor.i.4,5. (Phil. i. 3. ways on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given Eph. i. 16.
Xi you by Jesus Christ, that in every thing ye are enriched by Col. i. 3. him. 2.)
N. 1. It is a precept of St. Paul, Give thanks always útèp távEph. v. 30. twv; which is translated for all things, but it might as
well be rendered for all perfons, according to that injunc1 Tim. ii. 1. tion, I exhort, that firsi of all fupplications, prayers, inter
cefons, and giving of thanks be made for all men : not only prayers are to be made, but thanksgivings are to be offered for all men, out of general charity.
IV. Correspondently, love of our neighbour doth imply condolency and commiseration of the evils befalling him : for what we love, we cannot without displeasure behold lying in a bad condition, finking into decay, or in danger to perish; fo, to a charitable mind, the bad state of any man is a most unpleasant and painful sight.
It is the property of charity to mourn with those that Klaies.. mourn ; not coldly, but passionately, (for it is to weep Rom. xii.
with those that weep,) resenting every man's case with an affection suitable thereto, and as he doth himself resent it.
Is any man fallen into disgrace? charity doth hold down its head, is abashed and out of countenance, partaking of his shame: is any man difappointed of his hopes or endeavours ? charity crieth out alas, as if it were itself defeated : is any man afflicted with pain or sickness? charity looketh fadly, it figheth and groaneth, it fainteth and languisheth with him : is any man pinched with hard want? charity if it cannot succour, it will condole: doth ill news arrive ? charity doth hear it with an unwilling hear and a sad heart, although not particularly concerned in it. The light of a wreck at sea, of a field spread with carcases, of a country desolated, of houses burnt and cities ruined, and of the like calamities incident to mankind, would touch the bowels of any man; but the very report
of them would affect the heart of charity. It doth not suf- SERM. fer a man with comfort or ease to enjoy the accommoda- XXVI tions of his own state, while others before him are in distress : it cannot be merry while any man in presence is sorrowful : it cannot seem happy while its neighbour doth appear miserable : it hath a share in all the afflictions which it doth behold or hear of, according to that instance in St. Paul of the Philippians, Ye have done well, Luxxoww. that ye did communicate with (or partake in) my afflic- Heb.xiii.s. tions; and according to that precept, Remember those which are in bonds, as bound with them.
Such was the charity of Job; Did not I weep for him Job xxx. that was in trouble ? was not my soul grieved for the poor 2 23
Such was the charity of the Psalmist, even toward his ingrateful enemies; They, faith he, rewarded me evil for Pl. xxxv. good to the spoiling of my soul; but as for me, when they 12,1 were fick, my clothing was fackcloth, I humbled my soul with fafting. I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother ; I bowed down heavily as one that mourneth for his mother.
Such was the charity of St. Paul; Who is weak, said 2 Cor. xi. he, and I am not weak ? who is offended, and I burn not ? 29. with fervent compassion.
Such was the charity of our Saviour; which so reigned in his heart, that no passion is so often attributed to him as this of pity, it being expressed to be the motive of his great works. Jefus, faith St. Matthew, went forth, and Matt. xiv. saw a great multitude, xal toplayxvíston ér' autoīs, and was 1+. moved (in his bowels) with compaspon toward them, and. he healed their fick: and, I have compaspon on the multi- Eriæyxví. , tude, because they have nothing to eat : and I will not send het
enu Matt. xv. them away fasting, left they faint in the way: and, Jesus 32. XX. 34. had compafron on them, and touched their eyes : and, Jesus, moved with compaffon, put forth his hand and Mark i. 41. touched him, (the leper,) and faith unto him, I will; be thou clean : and, When the Lord saw her, (the widow of Luke vii. Naim, whose son was carried out,) he had compassion on **. her : and, He beheld the city, and wept over it, considering Luke xix. the miseries impendent on it, as a just punishment of their *l.
SERM. outrageous injuries against himself; and when the two XXVII. good sisters did bewail their brother Lazarus, He groaned John xi. in spirit, and was troubled ; and wept with them : whence 33, 35, 36. the Jews did collect, Behold how he loved him!
Thus any calamity or misfortune befalling his neighbour doth raise distasteful regret and commiseration in a charitable soul; but especially moral evils (which indeed are the great evils, in comparison whereto nothing else is evil) do work that effect: to see men dishonour and wrong their Maker, to provoke his anger, and incur bis disfavour; to see men abuse their reason, and disgrace their nature; to see men endamage their spiritual estate, to endanger the loss of their souls, to discost from their happiness, and run into eternal ruin, by distemper of mind and an inordinate conversation ; this is most affictive to a man endued with any good degree of charity. Could one see a man sprawling on the ground, weltering in his blood, with gaping wounds, gasping for breath, without compassion ? And seeing the condition of him that lieth groveling in fin, weltering in guilt, wounded with bitter remorse and pangs of conscience, nearly obnoxious to eternal death, is far worse and more deplorable; how can it but touch the heart of a charitable man, and stir bis bowels with compassionate anguish ?
Such was the excellent charity of the holy Psalmist, Pr. cxix. fignified in those ejaculations, I beheld the transgressors,
and was grieved ; because they kept not thy word: and, cxix. 136. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because men keep not
Such was the charity of St. Paul toward his incredulous and obdurate countrymen, (notwithstanding their
hatred and ill treatment of himself,) the which he so earRom. ix. nestly did aver in those words, I say the truth, I lie not,
my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual forrow in my heart for them.
Such was the charity of our Lord, which disposed him as to a continual sense of men's evils, so upon particular occasions to grieve at their fins and spiritual wants; as
when the Pharisees maligned him for his doing good, he, SERM. it is said, did ou autsidan, grieve (or condole) for the XX hardness of their heart; and, When he saw the multitudes, Mark ii. 5. he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, Matt.ix. and were scattered abroad as sheep having no Mepherd : and when he wept over Jerusalem, because it did not know Luke xis, in its day the things which belonged to its peace, (either ** temporal, or eternal.)
This is that charity, which God himself in a wonderful and incomprehensible manner doth exemplify to us : for he is the Father of pities ; nonúo hayxvos, full of bowels ; James v.11. his bowels are troubled, and do found, when he is (for up- Luke i. 78.
Jer, xxxi. holding justice, or reclaiming finners) constrained to inflict 20. punishment; of him it is said, that his soul was grieved for la. the misery of Ifrael ; and that he was afflicted in all the Jud. x. 16. afflictions of his people. So incredible miracles doth infinite charity work in God, that the impassible God in a lfa. Ixiii. 9. manner should suffer with us, that happiness itself should partake in our misery; that grief should spring up in the fountain of joy. How this can be, we thoroughly cannot well apprehend; but surely those expresses are used in condescenfion to signify the greatly charitable benignity of God, and to thew us our duty, that we should be merciful Lukevi. 36. as our heavenly Father is merciful, sympathizing with the miseries and sorrows of our brethren,
This is that duty which is so frequently inculcated; Col. iii. 12. when we are charged to put on bowels of pity, to be eŭ- Roh
Thayxvos, tender-hearted, to be couradeis, compaħonate 1 Pet. iii. 8. one toward another.
Hence it is, that good inen in this world cannot live in any briskness of mirth or height of jollity, their own enjoyments being tempered by the discontents of others; the continual obvious spectacles of sorrow and of fin damping their pleasures, and qualhing excessive transports of joy: for who could much enjoy himself in an hospital, in a prison, in a charnel ?
V. It is generally a property of love to appropriate its object; in apprehension and affection embracing it, pof
v. 1. ke xvi.