ON BEING PEACE-MAKERS
Consider first, the words of the seventh beatitude: ‘blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ God’s own abode is in eternal peace; and the heavenly Jerusalem is the vision and enjoyment of an undisturbed everlasting peace. They therefore that truly love peace, and as much as lies in them both keep it in themselves and with all others, and contribute all they can to make peace among such as are at variance with one another, and to bring all their neighbours to be at peace with God, are entitled to this beatitude, and to the glorious character of children of God. O how amiable is this spirit of peace! How blessed are its fruits! It is a paradise of the soul: it makes a kind of a heaven upon earth. O may this ‘peace of God which surpasseth all understanding, keep both our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord!’ Philip. iv. 7.
Consider 2ndly, the different ways there are of being peace-makers, with relation to our neighbours, with relation to ourselves, and with relation to God. ‘Tis a blessed thing to bring our neighbours to peace and mutual charity; as ‘it is an abomination in the sight of God, to sow discord among brethren.’ Prov. vi. 19. ‘Tis a more blessed thing to make peace at home in our own souls, by suppressing the rebellious disorders of our passions, by bringing the flesh under subjection to the spirit, the inferior art of the soul to the superior, and the superior to God. ‘Tis the most blessed thing of all to bring both ourselves and as many others as we can to a constant and perfect peace with God, that he may reign without control in all our souls; that his kingdom may be perfectly established within us; that his holy will, his holy law, his grace, and his peace may live in us and with us for ever. O happy peace indeed, that unites us here to God by grace, and hereafter in eternal glory!
Consider 3rdly, the reward promised in this beatitude to the peace-makers: ‘they shall be called the children of God.’ O reflect, my soul, what a dignity here is to be the children of so great a king, even the king that made heaven and earth. ‘Behold, what manner of charity,’ said St. John, (1 John iii. 1.) ‘the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God’ Sons of God, even now by his grace, bearing a resemblance with his true Son, (who is styled in Scripture the Prince of Peace,) and as such in a particular manner loved, cherished, and protected by him here as a parent; and hereafter to be admitted to a more perfect likeness, union, and as it were, transformation into him, according to that of the same apostle, v.2: ‘Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like unto him; because we shall see him as he is.’ O Christians, what blessings both for time and eternity are prepared for the lovers and promoters of peace!
Conclude, my soul, to endeavour to be always a friend and a child of peace, and the peace of God shall always rest upon thee, Luke x. 6, and never leave thee, till it bring thee to the region of everlasting peace.