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SERM. displeasure is done us, say we not, we weigh not so much the VI.

injury itself, as the malicious mind of him that did offer it? And if in evil it hold, why not in good much more ? Not so much impendar, the thing which; as libentissime, the good heart wherewith it is bestowed. And, will you see the mind wherewith St. Paul will do both these? By this adverb ñdiota you may look into his very heart. Bestow he will, and be bestowed too; and that, not utcunque, “in any sort,' be contented to come to it, but willingly ;—willingly, nay readily ; readily, nay gladly; and the degree is somewhat, ñdiota, “ most gladly,” in the very highest of all, in the superlative degree. To spend, and spending to make no more reckoning of it than of chaff: nay, it is more, to be glad of our loss, more glad than others would be of their gain. To be spent, and in being spent not to hold our life precious : nor so, but to rejoice in it, and as if death were advantage ; in hoc est charitas, certainly. Death of itself is bitter, and loss is not sweet. Then, so to alter their natures as to find sweetness in loss whereat all repine, and gladness in death which maketh all to mourn, verily herein is love. Or, if not here, where ? Nay,

here it is indeed, and before now we had it not. For in flat [1 Cor. 13. terms he avoweth, in the thirteenth Chapter before of his 3.]

former Epistle, if we sever this from the other two, one may part with all his goods to feed the poor, and yet have no love; one may give his body to be burnt, and yet have no love. And then, though he do impendere, “ bestow” all he hath ; and though he do impendi, “ be bestowed” himself, nihil est,

he is nothing' if he want this affection, which is love indeed, the very soul of love, and the other but KERETùs, but the skin and 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.

15, &c.

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 restra; 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 14. 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 prævenire 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

VZ.

4. Amor ex

Mat. 16. 22. Mark 10. 38.

SERM tur in amorem, ó that they were not melted and resolved into

love itself.'

Which cold success openeth a way to the last point, the

point indeed of highest admiration, and of hardest imitation Etsi minus diligar.

of all the rest, in the 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 is up. 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? Yea, 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 [Excl. 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 kaì cika, " 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

10.42.

verily, unkindness is a mighty enemy, and the wounds of it deep.

Nay there be that of themselves are most kind in all the three degrees before remembered, as was King David, and as all noble natures are; why self-love is nothing in their hands. But let them be encountered with unkindness, as David was in Nabal, they cannot stand the stroke; it i Sam. 25. woundeth deep, and the fester of discontentment more dangerous than it. Indeed, saith David, “this fellow," I see, “I have done all in vain for him, for he rewardeth me evil for good; so and so do God to me, if he be alive to-morrow by this time.” Mark it in him, and in others infinite; and you shall see, whom self-love could not, unkindness hath overcome; and who passed well along the other three, at minus diligar their love hath wracked, and from kind love been turned to deadly hate.

But neither can this appal the Apostle, or dislodge his love; but through all the rest, and through this too, he breaketh with his etsi, and sheweth he will hold his resolution, maugre all unkindness. Minus diligar shall not do it; unkindness must yield, love will not.

And now we are come to the highest, and never till now, but now we are ; that farther we cannot go. The very highest pitch of well-doing the heathen man saw in part; for he could say, Beneficium dare et perdere, 'to bestow love and Seneca, lose it,' is well done; but that is not it. This is it; Beneficium perdere, et dare, 'to lose the first and yet bestow the second;' etsi, yea, though the first were lost.

Yea, the love of loves, Christ's own love, what was it? Joh. 15. 13. Majorem hâc charitatem nemo habet, quam ut vitam quis ponat pro amicis. Whereto St. Bernard rejoineth well, Tu majorem [S. Berhabuisti Domine, quia Tu vitam posuisti etiam pro inimicis : Serm. de 'Greater love than this hath no man, to bestow his life Feria 4. for his friends. Yet Lord, saith St. Bernard; Thou hadst Sanct.] greater, for Thou bestowedst Thy life for Thy very enemies.' And to this love it is that St. Paul aspireth, and near it he cometh ; that in some sort we may likewise say to him, Tu majorem habuisti Paule, 'Yes thy love, Paul, was greater, for thou art ready to do the like; not for thine enemies, but for thy unkind friends, the next degree to professed enemies. 1. “ To spend;" 2. “ To spend and be spent;" 3. “ To spend

nard.

Hebdom.

VI.

II.

of his Jove.

1.

SERM. and be spent, and that most gladly.” 4. Not only “most

gladly;” but “most gladly, yea though.”

Thus you have now his double conquest: Over the love of himself first; and now, over minus diligar, an unkind repulse too. And, in sign of victory he setteth up his colours, even these four: 1. Impendam, 2. Impendar, 3. Libentissime, and 4. Etsi. But etsi is the chief; it is Christ's colour, and that no perfect love that wanteth etsi.

Thus we have seen love in his highest ascendant, and heard The object

love in his magisterium, the hardest and highest, and indeed the master-point of this art. Which setteth us new on work, to pass over into the second part, and to enquire what this object may be, so amiable, whereon St. Paul hath set his affection so, that for it he will do and suffer all this; and that, so willingly without any exception, so constantly without any giving over. All this is nothing but the zeal of souls, zelus animarum faciet hoc; it is for their souls, all this. For their souls; and let their bodies go.

Which first draweth the diameter that maketh the partition Pro animabus,

between the two loves; the love which St. Paul found, and " for your the love which St. Paul left at Corinth. For he found that souls."

which is scelus corporum, “the body's unruly affection, and infection too otherwhile;—if ever in any place, there it aboundedbut he left zelus animarum, the soul's perfection. Indeed, it falleth out sometimes, that in carnal love, or rather lust than love, we may pattern all the former; and find, as the Wise Man speaketh, some one destitute of understanding, wasting his whole substance, hazarding his life, and that more willingly than wisely, perhaps to gain nothing but a scorn for his labour, and yet persisting in his folly still; and all this, in the passion of concupiscence to a vain creature; pleasing his fancy to the displeasing of God, and to the piercing of his soul one day with deep remorse for it; and except it do, to the utter ruin both of body and soul. We have here at Corinth, a strange example of it. Of one,-ad cujus jacuit

Græcia tota fores, ‘at whose doors, sundry of all sorts waited,' Demos

suing and seeking, and as one of them said, Buying repentance (Propert.

at too dear a rate'. But what need we sail to Corinth? El. 5. 2.1 Even in our own age we have enow fond examples of it; of Mal uvplw love set awry and sorted amiss, diverted from the soul where

LAIS.

thenes.

lib, 2.

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