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fore there is Peace, there will also be this Order and Proportion: The Hand will not affect the Office of the Eye, nor the Foot the Place of the Head; but every Member will be contented with, and intent upon his own Office and Place in the Body. The Refult of which must needs be the greatest Beauty and Harmony.
THIRDLY, Pleafure. This, indeed, is neceffarily confequent to the two former, fince it cannot but be a great Pleasure to every particular well-affected Member of Society to reflect upon the Strength and Beauty of the whole. But, befides this, a peaceable Difpofition derives a more immediate and direct Pleafure upon Society. For, Who can exprefs the Pleasure that is in Love and Joy, Sweetnefs and Dearness in mutual Kindness and Confidences, in Union of Minds, and Univerfal Friendship! They that have had the Happiness to tafte of this Pleasure, know they cannot express it; which made the Pfalmift break forth into that abrupt Extafie, Behold, bow good and how pleafant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Pfal. 133.
HAVING thus far fet forth the general Excellency of a peaceable Difpofition from what it argues, and from what it caufes, I now proceed, in the Second Place, to confider that more particular Prerogative of it, in making those that have it, Children of God.
To be Children of God is, indeed, common to all good Men; who being begotten a-new by the immortal Seed of the Word, do bear God's
Image in Holiness, endeavouring in all things to do their Father's Will. But there are fome Difpofitions that give a more peculiar Right to this Title than others, as they are nearer Refemblances of the Divine Excellencies: Among which is the Disposition now under our Confideration, whereby a Man becomes, in a special Degree and Manner, like God, and so evidences himself to be his Child, and may upon the Confideration of that Likeness fitly be fo called. And this is the conftant use of this Phrafe in Scripture, Joh. 8. 44. Te are of your Father the Devil, (fays our Lord to the unbelieving Jews) and the Lufts of your Father ye will do. And fo again, Luk. 6. 35. Love your Enemies, and do good, &c. and ye shall be the Children of the Higheft, for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. And fays the Apostle, Eph. 5. 1. Be ye followers of God as dear Children. They are the Children of God, who are Followers of God, who purifie themfelves as he is pure, and who are perfect as he is perfect. So that to be the Child of God, or the Child of the Devil, fignifies as much as to carry a particular Refemblance of either. When therefore 'tis faid, that the Peace-makers fhall be call'd the Children of God, it comes to as much as that they carry a particular Character of the Divine Likeness, whereby it may be known to whofe Family they retain, and that they are the : True Sons of God.
AND fo indeed they are. For God is the God of Peace; and the greatest Peace, that which
paffes all Understanding, is called the Peace of God. For God is the greatest Lover of Peace, the Author and Giver of Peace, and the Rewarder of all fuch as live in Peace. Indeed under the Jewish State, (which as in other things, fo in this was very peculiar, that 'twas a State of Theocracy) God was known by the Name of the Lord of Hofts, not as expreffing his true natural Liking and Approbation, but only his Relation to that particular People, whofe immediate King and Leader he was. But now under the State of the Gofpel, which exhibits a more genuine Idea of God (for the only begotten Son, which is in the Bofom of the Father, he has declared him, Joh. 1. 18.) he has changed his Title from the Style of War to the Style of Peace.
THIS indeed was ever his Delight, but now 'tis his Glory, and inferted among the brightest Ornaments of his Crown. He is now manifested to be what he ever really was. God from all Eternity to all Eternity enjoys a profound Peace within himself, and the Sacred Perfons of the Trinity are not more One in Effence and Nature, than in Will and Inclination. Their Moral is as great as their Natural Unity. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Peace, and Heaven the Throne of his Majefty is a peaceful Region. We never read but once that there was any War there, and those that caused it were quickly banish'd thence, Rev. 12. 7. To be fhort, God both enjoys and establishes Peace above, he maketh Peace in his High-places, and he has fent his
Son to procure it below, to reconcile Men to him, and to one another, that fo both Worlds might confpire in Unity, and that this Will of God might be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. And therefore fince God has fhewn himself to be fo great a Lover of Peace, there is fufficient Ground for this particular Prerogative of a peaceable Difpofition, that it makes thofe that have it Children of God. From which I pafs in the third and laft Place, to conclude all with fome Reflections on the prefent Disturbers of the Peace of Chriftendom.
'Tis the Obfervation of a Great Civilian and Moralift, that Peace is a ftate peculiar to Man as he is diftinguifb'd from Brutes. And fo indeed it fhould be. But could we fuppofe a Stranger from one of the other Planetary Worlds to come and take a View of this our little Spot, and of the Manners of thofe that live upon it, he would not fure think this of all the things in the World to be the Character of Man. For he could not but obferve, and perhaps it would be one of the firft Remarks he would make, that there are more Wars and Fightings among Men, than among any other fort of Creatures, and more among Chriftians than among any other fort of Men. For at the very firft opening of the Scene, what a miferable Face of things would appear both in Church and State! What Wars and Defolations in the one! And what Debates, Envyings, Wraths, Strifes, Backbitings, Whisperings,
Pufendorf de Officio Hom. & Civ. p. 154.
Swellings and Tumults in the other! 2 Cor. 12. 20. But because most of the Disturbances in the State proceed from thofe of the Church, I fhall confine my Reflections to thofe that disturb the Peace and Order of the Chriftian Church. Where I fhall First, Point out who thefe Difturbers are. AndSecondly,Set fome fuchConfiderations before them, as may make them fenfible of their Crime. THERE are I conceive thefe two general ways of difturbing the Peace of the Church; eiby impofing unlawful or unreasonable Terms of Communion, or by refusing to comply with fuch as are Lawful and Reasonable. That the firft of thefe is a Breach of the Church's Peace there can be no doubt, because it introduces a Neceffity of Separation. And that the latter is fo is as plain, becaufe 'tis a Separation without any Neceffity for it. Either of these is Schifm, whofe Notion (as all agree) confists either in making a Neceffity of Separation, or in feparating without Neceffity.
THE First of thefe will fall heavy upon the Church of Rome, who, (as it has been fufficiently made good against her) has brought in an Abfolute Neceffity of Separation, by impofing fuch notoriously unlawful and unreafonable Terms of Communion. The latter will light upon all those who separate from fuch Parts of the Reformation, where they may lawfully Communicate. More efpecially it will light heavier than ordinary upon all thofe Sectaries among us, who now divide from the Church of England, the Terms