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SERM. notable ingredients of our constitution; and are only distinguished by some accidental, inconsiderable circumstances of age, place, colour, stature, fortune, and the like; in which we differ as much from ourselves in successions of time. So that what Aristotle said of a friend is applicable to every man; every man is äλλos autòs, another ourself: and he that hates another, detests his own most lively picture; he that harms another, injures his own nature; he that denies relief to another, starves a member of his own body, Prov. xi.17. and withers a branch of his own tree. The merci
ful man doeth good to his own soul; but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. Neither can any personal demerit of vicious habit, erroneous opinion, enormous practice, or signal discourtesy towards us, dissolve these bands: for as no unkindness of a brother can wholly rescind that relation, or disoblige us from the duties annexed thereto; so neither upon unto thee. the faults or injuries of any man can we ground a total dispensation from the offices of humanity, especially if the injuries be not irreparable, nor the faults incurable.
See Deut. xxv. 3
Lest thy brother seem vile
2. We are indispensably obliged to these duties, because the best of our natural inclinations prompt us to the performance of them; especially those of pity and benignity, which are manifestly discernible in all, but most powerful and vigorous in the best natures; and which, questionless, by the most wise and good Author of our beings were implanted therein both as monitors to direct, and as spurs to incite us to the performance of our duty. For the same
b Nihil est enim unum uni tam simile, tam par, quam omnes inter nosmetipsos sumus, &c. Cic. de Legib. i. p. 161.
stri pars op
bowels, that, in our want of necessary sustenance, SERM. do by a lively sense of pain inform us thereof, and XXX. instigate us to provide against it, do in like manner grievously resent the distresses of another, and thereby admonish us of our duty, and provoke us to relieve them. Even the stories of calamities, that in ages long since past have happened to persons nowise related to us, yea, the fabulous reports of tragical events, do (even against the bent of our wills, and all resistance of reason) melt our hearts with compassion, and draw tears from our eyes; and thereby evidently signify that general sympathy which naturally intercedes between all men, since we can hæc noneither see, nor hear of, nor imagine another's grief, timasensus, without being afflicted ourselves. Antipathies may ut nos afbe natural to wild beasts; but to rational creatures fectus pethey are wholly unnatural. And on the other side, um, et præas nature to eating and drinking, and such acts ret. Juven. requisite to the preservation of our life, hath adjoined a sensible pleasure and satisfaction, enticing us to, and encouraging us in the performance of them; so, and doubtless to the same end, hath she made relieving the necessities of others, and doing good offices to them, to be accompanied with a very contentful and delicious relish to the mind of the doer. Epicurus, that great master of pleasure, did himself confess, that to bestow benefits was not only more brave, but more pleasant, than to receive them; (Ἐπίκουρος, saith Plutarch, τοῦ εὖ πάσχειν, τὸ εὖ ποιεῖν, οὐ μόνον κάλλιον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἥδιον εἶναι φησί.) And, certainly, no kind of actions a man can perform are attended with a more pure, more perfect, more savoury de
De Philos. convictu cum Princip. Eppaívou rò eveрyeтev. M.
SERM. light, than those of beneficence are. Since nature XXX. therefore hath made our neighbour's misery our pain, and his content our pleasure; since with indissoluble bands of mutual sympathy she hath concatenated our fortunes and affections together; since by the discipline of our sense she instructs us, and by the importunity thereof solicits us to the observance of our duty, let us follow her wise directions, and conspire with her kindly motions; let us not stifle or weaken by disuse, or contrary practice, but by conformable action cherish and confirm the good inclinations of nature.
3. We are obliged to these duties upon account of common equity. We have all (the most sour and stoical of us all) implanted in us a natural ambition, and a desire (which we can by no means eradicate) of being beloved and respected by all; and are disposed in our need to demand assistance, commiseration of our misfortunes, and relief in our distress of all that are in capacity to afford them; and are apt to be vehemently displeased, to think ourselves hardly dealt with, and to complain of cruelty and inhumanity in those that refuse them to us: and therefore in all reason and equity we should readily pay the same love, respect, aid, and comfort to others, which we expect from others; for, Beneficium qui dare nescit, injuste petit; nothing is more unreasonable, or unequal, than to require from others those good turns, which upon like occasion we are unwilling to render to others.
4. We are obliged to these duties of humanity, upon account of common interest, benefit, and advantage. The welfare and safety, the honour and reputation, the pleasure and quiet of our lives are
concerned in our maintaining a loving correspond- SERM. ence with all men. For so uncertain is our condi- XXX. tion, so obnoxious are we to manifold necessities, that there is no man whose good-will we may not need, whose good word may not stand us in stead, whose helpful endeavour may not sometime oblige us. The great Pompey, the glorious triumpher over nations, and admired darling of fortune, was beholden at last to a slave for the composing his ashes, and celebrating his funeral obsequies. The honour of the greatest men depends on the estimation of the least; and the good-will of the meanest peasant is a brighter ornament to the fortune, a greater accession to the grandeur of a prince, than the most radiant gem in his royal diadem. However the spite and enmity of one (and him the most weak otherwise and contemptible) person may happen to spoil the content of our whole life, and deprive us of the most comfortable enjoyments thereof; may divert our thoughts from our delightful employments to a solicitous care of self-preservation and defence; may discompose our minds with vexatious passions; may by false reports, odious suggestions, and slanderous defamations blast our credit, raise a storm of general hatred, and conjure up thousands of enemies against us; may by insidious practices supplant and undermine us, prejudice our welfare, endanger our estate, and involve us in a bottomless gulph of trouble: it is but reasonable therefore, if we desire to live securely, comfortably, and quietly, that by all honest means we should endeavour to purchase the goodwill of all men, and provoke no man's enmity needlessly; since any man's love may be useful, and every man's hatred is dangerous.
SERM. 5. We are obliged to these duties by a tacit comXXX. pact and fundamental constitution of mankind, in
pursuance of those principal designs, for which men were incorporated, and are still contained in civil society. For to this purpose do men congregate, cohabit, and combine themselves in sociable communion, that thereby they may enjoy a delightful conversation, void of fear, free from suspicion, and free from danger; promote mutual advantage and satisfaction; be helpful and beneficial each to other abstracting from which commodities, the retirements of a cloister, or the solitudes of a desert, the life of a recluse, or of a wild beast, would perhaps be more desirable than these of gregarious converse: for as men, being pleased and well-affected to each other, are the most obliging friends, and pleasant companions; so being enraged, they are the most mischievous and dangerous neighbours, the most fierce and savage enemies. By neglecting, therefore, or contravening these duties of humanity, we frustrate the main ends of society, disappoint the expectations of each other, subvert the grounds of ordinary civility, and in the commonwealth deal as unpoliticly, as the members in the body should act unnaturally, in subtracting mutual assistance, or harming each other; as if the eye should deny to the hands the direction of sight, and the hands in revenge should pluck out the eyes.
6. We are by observing these rules to oblige and render men well-affected to us, because being upon such terms with men conduceth to our living (not only delightfully and quietly, but) honestly and religiously in this world. How peace and edification,