THat is the speciall uniting grace; Faith indeed hath the preheminence in our union with Christ our head, but Love is the grace that unites the members. 1 Cor. 13. the Apo∣stle shews many of the fruits of this grace, all tending to union and peace; It suffers long, it envies not, it is not puffed up, it be∣haves not it selfe unseemly, it seeketh not her owne, it is not easily provoked, thinketh no evill, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Bearing all things and enduring all things seem to be the same. Therefore some would have it,* it covereth all things, for so the word also signifies; but there is a greater elegancy in it, in the Translation, beareth all things, it is like the crosse maine beam in a house, suppor∣ting the whole building: and were it not for some who have the love of God and his truth, and the good of the publiqu•, en∣abling them to undergo what they do, more then any encou∣ragement from men, all things in Church and State would be ready to fall into confusion, to be nothing but a heap of rubbish; but this love enables to beare all things. But if they have no en∣couragement, but see that though they hazard themselves never so much, be of never so great use, do the greatest services that can be expected from men, yet when mens turns are served, they are little regarded, but envyed and narrowly watched, to spy out any thing that may have some shew of excepting against them, and left to shift for themselves as well as they can, when they might justly expect a great reward of their services, yet are disappointed, their hearts are grieved. But yet because they are acted by a principle of love to God, his cause, the publique, they therefore still hold out, go on in their way, labour to be as in∣strumentall as they can for good, commit themselves and all their endeavours to God, expecting encouragement from him, and so they endure all things: such men are worth their weight Page 285 in gold: here is a heart that hath much of the spirit of God in it, God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. No marvell though these men act so swiftly in their way; no marvell though their motion in publick service be so speedy, for their Charet is like that Charet of Salomons, Cant. 3. 10. The middle thereof is paved with love, and this is for the daugh∣ters of Jerusalem.* Now the love of God be for ever with these his servants, the blessing of the Almighty and all his Saints, be with them, upon them, in them and theirs for ever.
Where men are acted by love they may do any thing without offence. If you be silent and be silent out of love; if you cry out, and you do it out of love; if you spare, and it be out of love; if you correct, and you correct from love; let all be for amendment for good, all from the root of love; love, and do what you will. Thus Augustine in his 7. Tractate upon John.
These with other uniting graces that might be mentioned, are the graces that God expects should be in a special manner acted in these times; and this is in a holy manner 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to serve the time, as some Copies have it, Rom. 12. 11. This is the most sutable work for the times wherein we live. What is more sea∣sonable for divided times then uniting graces?* And that union that comes from the acting of these graces, is a spirituall, holy, truly Christian union, a raised union to a farre higher pitch then any naturall excellencies can raise unto. It is an excellent saying of Clemens Alexandrinus, If the spirituall man be in us, our hu∣manity is fraternity. What then is our fraternity? it is raised to that which hath no name to expresse it: the union of the Saints in heaven is beyond the unity of fraternity; this which is of grace is of the same nature.