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rene the countenance, how melodious the voice, how sweet the sleep, how contentful the whole life is of him that neither deviseth mischief against others, or suspects any to be contrived against himself; and contrariwise, how ungrateful and loathsome a thing it is to abide in a state of enmity, wrath, dissention; having the thoughts distracted with solicitous care, anxious suspicion, envious regret; the heart boiling with choler, the face overclouded with discontent, the tongue jarring and out of tune, the ears filled with discordant noises of contradiction, clamor, and reproach; the whole frame of the body and soul distempered and disturbed with the worst of passions. How much more comfortable it is to walk in smooth and even paths, than to wander in rugged ways overgrown with briers, obstructed with rubs, and beset with snares; to sail steadily in a quiet, than to be tossed in a tempestuous sea; to behold the lovely face of heaven smiling with a cheerful serenity, than to see it frowning with clouds or raging with storms; to hear harmonious concerts, than dissonant wranglings; to see objects correspondent in graceful symmetry, than lying disorderly in confused heaps; to be in health, and have the natural humors consent in moderate temper, than, as it happens in diseases, agitated with tumultuous commotions; how all senses and faculties of man unanimously rejoice in those emblems
of peace, order, harmony, and proportion; yea, how nature universally delights in a quiet stability, or undisturbed progress of motion; the beauty strength and vigor of every thing requires a concurrence of force, cooperation, and contribution of help; all things thrive and flourish by communicating reciprocal aid, and the world subsists by a friendly conspiracy of its parts; and especially, that political society of men chiefly aims at peace as its end, depends on it as its cause, relies on it as its support. How much a peaceful state resembles heaven, into which neither complaint, pain, nor clamor do ever enter, but blessed souls converse together in perfect love, and in perpetual concord; and how a condition of enmity represents the state of hell, that black and dismal region of dark hatred, fiery wrath, and horrible tumult. How like a paradise the world would be, flourishing in joy and rest, if men would cheerfully conspire in affection, and helpfully contribute to each other's content; and how like a savage wilderness now it is, when, like wild beasts, they vex and persecute, worry and devour each other. How not only philosophy hath placed the supreme pitch of happiness in a calmness of mind, and tranquillity of life, void of care and trouble, of irregular passions and perturbations; but that holy scripture itself, in that one term of peace, most usually comprehends all joy and content, all fe
licity, and prosperity, so that the heavenly concert of angels, when they agree most highly to bless, and to wish the greatest happiness to mankind, could not better express their sense, than by saying, 'Be on earth peace, and good will among men.'
2. That as nothing is more sweet and delightful, so nothing is more comely and agreeable to human nature than peaceable living, it being, as Solomon saith, 'an honor to a man to cease from strife,' and consequently a disgrace to him to continue therein. That rage and fury may be the excellences of beasts, and the exerting their natural animosity in strife and combat may become them; but reason and discretion are the singular eminences of men, and the use of these the most natural and commendable method of deciding controversies among them; and that it extremely misbecomes them that are endowed with those excellent faculties so to abuse them; not to be able by reasonable expedients to compound differences, but with mutual damage and inconvenience to prorogue and increase them; not to discern how exceedingly better it is, to be helpful and beneficial, than to be mischievous and troublesome to one another. How foolishly and unskilfully they judge, that think by unkind speech and harsh dealing to allay men's distempers, alter their opinions, or remove their prejudices; as if they
should attempt to kill by administering nourishment, or to extinguish a flame by pouring oil upon it. How childish a thing it is, eagerly to contend about trifles, for the superiority in some impertinent contest, for the satisfaction of some petty humor, for the possession of some inconsiderable toy; yea, how barbarous and brutish a thing it is, to be fierce and impetuous in the pursuit of things that please us, snarling at, biting, and tearing all competitors of our game, or opposers of our undertaking. But how divine and amiable, how worthy of human nature, of civil breeding, of prudent consideration it is, to restrain partial desires, to condescend to equal terms, to abate from rigorous pretences, to appease discords, and vanquish enmities by courtesy and discretion; like the best and wisest commanders, who by skilful conduct, and patient attendance upon opportunity, without striking of a stroke, or shedding of blood, subdue their enemy.
3. How that peace, with its near alliance and concomitants, its causes and effects, love, meekness, gentleness, and patience, are, in sacred writ, reputed the genuine fruits of the Holy Spirit, issues of divine grace, and offsprings of heavenly wisdom, producing like themselves a goodly progeny of righteous deeds; but that emulation, hatred, wrath, variance, and strife, derive their extraction from fleshly lust, hellish craft, or beastly
folly, propagating themselves also into a like ugly brood of wicked works. For so saith St James; "If ye have bitter zeal and strife in your hearts, glory not, nor be deceived untruly. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish; for where emulation and strife are, there is tumult and every naughty thing; but the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, obsequious, full of mercy (or beneficence) and of good fruits, without partiality and dissimulation. And the fruit of righteousness is sowed in peace to those that make peace; and from whence are wars and quarrels among you? Are they not hence, even from your lusts, that war in your members?' Likewise, 'he loveth transgression that loveth strife; and a fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes,' saith Solomon. That the most wicked and miserable of creatures is described by titles denoting enmity and discord; 'the hater' (Satan) 'the enemy, the accuser, the slanderer, the destroyer,' the furious dragon, and mischievously treacherous snake; and how sad it is to imitate him in his practices, to resemble him in his qualities. But that the best, most excellent and most happy of beings delights to be styled, and accordingly to express himself, 'the God of love, mercy, and peace,' and his blessed Son to be called, and to be, 'the Prince of Peace,' the great 'Mediator,