Sunday, January 8, 2017

Quote of the Day (Erasmus, on ‘The Charity of a Christian Man’)

“The charity of a Christian man knoweth no property: let him love good men in Christ, evil men for Christ’s sake, which so loved us first when we were yet his enemies, that he bestowed himself on us altogether for our redemption: let him embrace the one because they be good: the other nevertheless to make them good: he shall hate no man at all, no more verily than a faithful physician hateth a sick man: let him be an enemy only unto vices: the greater the disease is, the greater cure will pure charity put thereto: he is an adulterer, he hath committed sacrilege, he is a Turk: let a Christian man defy the adulterer, not the man: He must defy and abhor the vices, but not the man. Let him despise the committer of sacrilege, not the man: let him kill the Turk, not the man: let him find the means that the evil man perish such as he hath made himself to be, but let the man be saved whom God made: let him will well, wish well, and do well, to all men unfeignedly: neither hurt them which have deserved it, but do good to them which have not deserved it; let him be glad of all men’s commodities as well as of his own, and also be sorry for all men’s harms none otherwise than for his own. For verily this is that which the apostle commandeth: to weep with them that weep, to joy with them that joy, yea let him rather take another man’s harm grievouser than his own: and of his brother’s wealth be gladder than of his own. It is not a Christian man’s part to think on this wise: what have I to do with this fellow, I know not whether he be black or white, he is unknown to me, he is a stranger to me, he never did aught for me, he hath hurt me sometime, but did me never good. Think none of these things: remember only for what deserving can those things which Christ hath done for thee, which would his kindness done to thee, should be recompensed, not in himself, but in thy neighbour.”— Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536), The Manual of a Christian Knight (1501)

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