Sibbes - HP S2575 .S5 1825

AND SMOI\:JNG FLAX . 41 is kept bright, That power which is given to the church is given for edification, not destruction. How careful was St. Paul that the incestuous Corinthian should not be swallowed up with too much grief! As for the civil magistrates-they for civil exigencies and reasons of state, must let the law have its course. Yet thus far they should imitate this mild king, as not to mingle bitterness and passion with authority derived from God. Authority is a beam of God's majesty, (and prevaileth most where there is least mixture of that which is man's. It requireth more than ordinary wisdom to manage it aright. This string must not be too n1uch strained up nor too much let loose. Justice in rigour is oft extreme injustice, where some considerable circumstances should incline to moderation; and the reckoning will be easier for bending rather to moderation than rigour. Insolent carriage towards miserable per· sons, if humbled, is unseemly in any who look for mercy themselves. Misery should be a load-stone of mercy, not a _foot-stool for pride to trample on. Sometimes it falleth out that those who