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SERM. And therefore it hath a super-impendar bestowed on it.
1. For first, they that bestow give but of their fruits; but he that is bestowed giveth fruit, tree, and all. In that, the bestower remained unbestowed; here, he himself is in the deed of gift too. 2. Secondly, before there was but one act of bestowing only; here in one are both bestowing and being bestowed, and there being both must needs be better than
3. Thirdly, before, that which was bestowed, what was Heb. 12. 4. it ? Our good, not our blood ; our living, not our life. Non
dum ad sanguinem,“ not yet so far as to the shedding of blood.” Then, there is somewhat behind. But if to the
shedding of that, then is it love at the farthest; if it be as Cant. 8. 6. Solomon saith, fortis sicut mors ; “ dare throw death his Joh. 15. 13. gauntlet.” Majorem hoc nemo, saith Christ ; “greater love
hath no man than this, to bestow his life.” 4. And indeed, we see many can be content to bestow frankly, but at no hand to be bestowed themselves. Yea, that they may not be
bestowed, care not what they bestow. For self-love crieth to Mat. 16. 22. us, Spare our living; but in any wise, propitius esto tibi, to Job 2. 4. spare our life. “ Skin for skin” is nothing but impendere ne
impendamur ; 'to spend all we have, to spare ourselves.' But hither also will St. Paul come from δαπανών to έκδαπανάσθαι, without any reservation at all of himself; to do or suffer, “ to spend or to be spent.”
How “to be spent ?” will he die? Yea indeed. What, presently here at Corinth? No, for at this time, and long after he was still alive; and yet he said truly impendar for all that. For, as before we said, so say we in this. If there be no way “to be bestowed” but by dying out of hand, they that in field receive the bullet, or they that at the stake have the fire set to them, they and they only may be said “to be bestowed.” That is a way indeed, but not the only way; but other ways there be beside them too. As that is said “to be bestowed,” not only that is defrayed at one entire payment, but that which by several sums is paid in ; especially, if it be when it was not due, nor could not be called for. This I
mean: The Patriarch Lot, or the Prophet Jeremy, that 2Pet.2.7,8. dwelling where sin abounded, and seeing and hearing, “ vexed
their righteous souls” with the daily transgressions of the people, and for their unkindness too; and thereby prevented
their term, and paid nature's debt ere there day came, bestowed themselves say I, though not at once. For, hearts' grief and heaviness do more than bestow, for they even consume and waste a man's life. And Timothy, that by giving i'Tim.4.13. attendance to reading, meditation, and study, grew into an úteyia, and “often infirmities,” and thereby shortened his Tim.5.23. time by much, bestowed himself say I, though not at one instant. He that knew it bare witness, that that course of life is “a wearying,” yea, and a wearing of it too; and spends Ecc. 12. 12. another manner substance than the sweat of the brows. This then, for the present, was St. Paul's impendar. By intentive meditation, for his books and parchments took somewhat from his sum; by sorrow and grief of heart, for Quis scandalizatur 2 Cor. 11. et ego non uror ? and that he said and said truly, Quotidie morior, he bestowed himself by inch-meal; and might avow 31. his impendar before God or man. And so far it is the case of all them that be in this case-- Sal terra, as Christ termeth Mat. 5. 13. them; which salt, by giving season, melteth itself away, and
, ceaseth in short time to be that it was. Lux mundi, “ the Mat. 5. 14. light of the world,” alüs ministrando, seipsos consumendo, lighting others, and wasting themselves;' that is, abridging their natural course, and drawing on their untimely diseases and death, before their race be half run.
But, to make it a perfect impendlar and to give it his super, after all this he came to that other too. For so he did ; in that point, like the poor labouring ox to which in the ninth 1 Cor. 9. 9. Chapter of the former Epistle he resembleth his state, spending his time in earing the ground for corn, in inning the corn, in treading out the corn; his neck yoked, and his mouth muzzled, and in the end, when all is done, offered on the altar too and made a sacrifice of. It was his case, and thither he came at last; and therefore in both cases, he might truly say impendar, and super-impendar both.
But to elevate it yet a point higher we say, that as cither of these are much, and both exceeding much; yet above both tensivus; these is that, which though we handle third, it standeth first, the adverb libentissime. True it is, which in divinity we say: with God the adverb is above the verb, and the inward affection wherewith, above the outward action or passion of impendam or impendar, either. With men it is so too. When a
3. Amor in
SERM. displeasure is done us, say we not, we weigh not so much the
injury itself, as the malicious mind of him that did offer it?
. (1 Cor. 13. terms he avowcth, in the thirteenth Chapter before of his 3.]
former Epistle, if we sever this from the other two, one may
soul of love, and the other but okeletòs, but the skin und bones, and indeed nought else but the carcass, without it. Therefore it was that St. Paul set this in the first place before the other two, because the other two be but ciphers, and after this the figure set, they be tens and hundreds, and have their valuation ; but without it, of themselves they be but' ciphers, just nothing. Thus much St. Paul hath said, in saying these three words, 1. Impendam, 2. Impendar, 3. Libentissime. Thus much they amount to.
And now must we pause a little to see what will become of all this, and what these three will work in the Corinthians.
We marvel at the love: we shall more marvel when we see what manner of men on whom it is bestowed. What his proofs are we have heard, how large and how loving, and thus far is he come, only to win favour and like mutual love at their hands, without eye to any other thing in the world. No vestra; no-but vos only. This is all. And not this, not 2 Cor. 12. so much; nay not so little as this will come. Which, if it did
. come, what singular thing were it? since the “very publicans Mat. 5. 46. do the like," love him that loveth them. Which we gather by his etsi. Wherein, as he may, in no loud and bitter manner he complaineth, but complaineth though; that seeking their love, and nothing else, so hard was his hap, he found it not. Not, in a greater, or as great a measure, as his; but minus for magis, and so he a great loser by it. The more, the higher,
, the nearer, his; the less, the lower, the farther off, theirs; so that little likelihood of ever meeting.
This is St. Paul's case, to meet with unkindness; and not Lu. 17. 14, only his, but Christ met with nine for one too. Indeed, it is common, and not to be noted but for commonness. De ingratis etiam ingrati queruntur, “they that are unkind themselves inveigh against the unkindness of others.' And, as it was said of them that made Cæsar away, Oder unt tyrannum, non tyrannidem, so may it truly here; the persons that are unkind they hate, rather than the vice itself. Yet, even to know this, doth no hurt, what St. Paul met with in the Corinthians, and this too, that all unkind persons dwell not at Corinth. And as he to be pitied, so they to be blamed. All other commodities return well from Corinth; only love is no traffic. St. Paul cannot make his own again, but must be a great loser withal. We cannot but pity the Apostle in this minus of his. St. Augustine saith well; Nulla est major ad amorem provocatio, quam prevenire amando. Nimis enim durus est animus, qui amorem etsi nolebat impendere, nolit tamen rependere.
No more kindly attractive of love, than in loving to prevent; for exceeding stony is that heart, which, though it like not to love first, will not love again neither;' neither first, nor second. Yet so hard were theirs that neither one way nor other, recte nor reflecte, would either begin or follow. No, not provoked by all those so many forcible means, that St. Chrysostom maketh a wonder at it, Quomodo non converteren
4. Amor er
Mat. 16. 22. Mark 10. 38.
SERM. tur in amorem, that they were not melted and resolved into
Which cold success openeth a way to the last point, the tensirus. point indeed of highest admiration, and of hardest imitation Etsi minus of all the rest, in the conjunction Etsi. diligar.
he conjunction Etsi. Which conjunction is situated, much like Corinth itself, in a narrow land, as it were, between two seas; beaten upon the one with self-love, upon
the other with unkindness. Hitherto we have had to do but with self-love, and his assaults; but now unkindness also
These Corinthians, saith St. Paul, my affection standeth toward them in all love. Love them and spare not, saith self-love, but tene quod habes. Nay sure, Impendam, “I will bestow it.” Well, if there be no remedy-But, hear you, Propitius esto tibi, for all that. Nay, nor that neither. Impendar, “I will be bestowed myself too." Potesne bibere calicem hunc, saith self-love ? and can you get it down, think you? Yca, libentissime, "exceeding gladly.” There is the
, , conquest of self-love.
But all this while he lived still under hope, hope of winning their love for whose sakes he had trod under foot the love of himself; hope that it had been but impendam all the while, he should have had returned his own again at least. But at this etsi all is turned out and in. For this is as much to say as all is to little purpose; for to his grief he must take notice, they care for none of them, nor for him ever a whit the more ; yea, rather the less by a great deal. So that all three be in vain ; et supra omnem laborem labor irritus, 'no labour to lost labour;' nor expense of life or goods to that is spent in vain. For that is not impendam, but perdam; not
spent, but cast away. Therefore the former, though it were Eccl
. 4. funiculus triplex, “a threefold cord,” and not easily broken, 12.]
would not hold but fly in pieces, but for this etsi. To have then an etsi in our love; this etsi, this ei kai eiki, “though in vain,” though our impendam prove a perdam; that is it. To be able to turn the sentence and say, “ though the more I love the less I be loved, yet will I bestow;" yea, “ be bestowed," and that “most gladly,” for all that. It is hard, I confess; but Solus amor erubescit nomen difficultatis, ' love endureth not the name of difficulty,' but shameth to confess any thing too hard or too dangerous for it. For