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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. X:
Dogmatic Treatises, Ethical Works, and Sermons.: Chapter XXXIV. Some other advantages of goodwill are here enumerated.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXIV.

Some other advantages of goodwill are here enumerated.

173. Good-will also is wont to remove the sword of anger. It is also good-will that makes the wounds of a friend to be better than the willing kisses of an enemy. 258 Goodwill again makes many to become one. For if many are friends, they become one; in whom there is but one spirit and one opinion. 259 We note, too, that in friendship corrections are pleasing. They have their sting, but they cause no pain. We are pierced by the words of blame, but are delighted with the anxiety that good-will shows.

174. To conclude, the same duties are not owed to all. Nor is regard ever paid to persons, though the occasion and the circumstances of the case are generally taken into consideration, so that one may at times have to help a neighbour rather than one’s brother. For Solomon also says: “Better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far p. 30 off.” 260 For this reason a man generally trusts himself to the good-will of a friend rather than to the ties of relationship with his brother. So far does good-will prevail that it often goes beyond the pledges given by nature.


Footnotes

29:258

Prov. xxvii. 6.

29:259

Cic. de Off. I. 17, § 57.

30:260

Prov. xxvii. 10.


Next: Chapter XXXV. On fortitude. This is divided into two parts: as it concerns matters of war and matters at home. The first cannot be a virtue unless combined with justice and prudence. The other depends to a large extent upon endurance.

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