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the Injurers feldom do. The Reason seems to be this: They are as seldom perfwaded, that their Injuftice 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 fhall 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 fo much the heavier. For it is obfervable, that Thofe, who are moft difficult to be provok'd, are most in earnest when they are fo. Therefore it is prudential, not to be soon 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 Apprehenfion from its Vehemence. -So that we find it is our Interest, as well as Duty, not to be too hasty to refift Evil.
Add to all this, Whofoever is bleffed with the Virtue of Forbearance, he is fo far from yielding any Indication, as fome 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 fo far imс plys
plys a Superiority, as it gives the Injur'd an Advantage over the Injurers. It is, in a Word, an eminent Mark of true Greatnefs, and Courage; And they who have arriv'd at such an heavenly Difpofition 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 Wickednefs, may be tempted to offer, not only manifest a noble Generofity of Mind, and a moft Chriftian Deportment, but do most effectually fecure 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 requifite and neceffary) that no private, or perfonal Revenge is lawfull:
Having confider'd the Nature of the Evils we are to resist, such as are too great to be born, fuch as Christianity does not forbid, right Reafon directs, and common Juftice obligeth us to refift; And the Way we are to take in refifting them, by applying ourselves to Persons in Authority, whofe Duty it is to defend those from Wrong, that are under their Care and Charge: -And having likewife fpoke of the Evils we are forbid to refift, fuch as are light, and easy
to be born; and enforc'd this Duty by Reasons drawn from the tranfcendent Mercy of God, the inconceivable Love of our Saviour, and the Security that generally attends thofe that are patient: I fhall conclude with the Apostle's Exhortation, befeeching You, that You will add to your Patience Godliness, and to Godliness brotherly Kindness, and to brotherly Kindness Charity, For if thefe Things be in You and abound, Ye fhall be neither barren, nor unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jefus Chrift, who teacheth us not only not to refift Evil, but to overcome it with Good.
a 2 Pet. 1. 6, 7, 8.