Sibbes - HP S2575 .S5 1825

32 THE BRUISED REED little ones who are offended. The weakest are apt to think themselves despised, therefore we should be most careful to give thern content. It were a good strife among Christians, to labour to give no offence, and to labour to take none. The best men are severe to themselves, tender over others. Yet people should not tire and wear out the patience of others ; nor sbould the weaker so far exact 1noderation from others, as upon their indulg~nce, to rest in their own infirmities, with danger to their own souls,. and scandal to the church. · The church suffereth much from weak ones, therefore we may challenge liberty to deal with them mildly, so oftentimes directly. The scope of true love, is to make the party better, which by concealment is often hindered . With some a spirit of meekness prevaileth most, but with some a rod. Some must be pulled out of the fire with violence, and will " bless God for us in the day of their visitation." We see our Saviour multiplies woe upon woe, when he was to deal with hard-hearted hypocrites; for hypocrites need stronger conviction than gross