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the Injurers seldom do. The Reason seems to be this : They are as seldom perswaded, that their Injustice will be forgot. If they cou'd be satisfied of the other's Good-Will, they wou'd, in all likelihood, embrace their Kindness, accept of Pardon, rejoice at a Reconciliation, and give no more Ground for Complaints.
Another Reason I shall urge for the Security, which Patience gives, and it is this; Men are afraid of giving frequent Provocations to the Patient, least they shou'd at last be enrag'd, and the Stroke the longer it has been coming, shou'd fall so much the heavier. For it is observable, that Those, who are most difficult to be
provok’d, are most in earnest when they are so. Therefore it is prudential, not to be foon mov'd, that others may the more dread the Effects of our Anger ; Which, if it was quickly rais'd, they wou'd feel no great Apprehension from its Vehemence. So that we find it is our Interest, as well as Duty, not to be too hasty to renft Evil.
Add to all this, Whosoever is blessed with the Virtue of Forbearance, he is so far from yielding any Indication, as some wou'd infinuate, of a mean, pitiful Temper, that there can be no greater Argument of a brave, and generous Mind. To forgive is an Act of Power, and so far im
plys a Superiority, as it gives the Injur'd an Advantage over the Injurers. It is, in a Word, an eminent Mark of true Greatness, and Courage ; And they who have arriv'd at such an heavenly Disposition as to be able to pardon, seldom fail of the Victory, which brave Spirits pursue.
Certain it is, that they, who are Superior to common Injuries, which others, either through Weakness, or Wickedness, may be tempted to offer, not only manifest a noble Generosity of Mind, and a most Christian Deportment, but do most effectually secure to themselves that Satisfaction, and Tranquillity, which greatly tends to constitute human Felicity.
-- Having perform'd what I propos’d, and shewn, (though to stand upon our own Defence is not only allowable, but requisite and necessary) that no private, or personal Revenge is lawfull :
-Having consider'd the Nature of the Evils we are to resist, such as are too great to be born, such as Christianity does not forbid, right Reason directs, and common Justice obligeth us to resist; And the way we are to take in resisting them, by applying ourselves to Persons in Authority, whose Duty it is to defend those from Wrong, that are under their Care and Charge — And having likewise spoke of the Evils we are forbid to resist, such as are light, and easy
to be born; and enforc'd this Duty by Reasons drawn from the transcendent Mercy of God, the inconceivable Love of our Saviour, and the Security that generally attends those that are patient: I shall conclude with the Apostle's Exhortation, beseeching You, that You will · add to your Patience Godliness, and to Godliness brotherly Kindness, and to brotherly Kindness Charity, For if these Things be in You and abound, Ye fall be neither barren, nor unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teacheth us not only not to resist Evil, but to overcome it with Good.
a 2 Pet. 1. 6, 7, 8.