Blessed are the peacemakers. Matt. 5:9.
There is a fourfold peace that we must study and cherish.
An Oeconomical peace, peace in families. It is called ‘the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3). Without this all drops in pieces. Peace is a girdle that ties together members in a family. It is a golden clasp that knits them together that they do not fall in pieces. We should endeavor that our houses should be ‘houses of peace’. It is not fairness of rooms makes a house pleasant, but peaceableness of dispositions. There can be no comfortableness in our dwellings till peace be entertained as an inmate into our houses.
There is a parochial peace, when there is a sweet harmony, a tuning and chiming together of affections in a parish; when all draw one way and, as the apostle says, are ‘perfectly joined together in the same mind’ (1 Corinthians 1:10). One jarring string brings all the music out of tune. One bad member in a parish endangers the whole. ‘Be at peace among yourselves’ (1 Thessalonians 5:13). It is little comfort to have our houses joined together if our hearts be asunder. A geometrical union will do little good without a moral union.
There is a political peace, peace in city and country. This is the fairest flower of a prince’s crown. Peace is the best blessing of a nation. It is well with bees when there is a noise; but it is best with Christians when (as in the building of the Temple) there is no noise of hammer heard. Peace brings plenty along with it. How many miles would some go on pilgrimage to purchase this peace! Therefore the Greeks made peace to be the nurse of Pluto, the god of wealth. Political plants thrive best in the sunshine of peace. ‘He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat’ (Psalm 147:14). ‘Peace makes all things flourish’. The ancients made the harp the emblem of peace. How sweet would the sounding of this harp be after the roaring of the cannon! All should study to promote this political peace. The godly man when he dies ‘enters into peace’ (Isaiah 57:2). But while he lives peace must enter into him.
There is an ecclesiastical peace, a church-peace, when there is unity and verity in the church of God. Never does religion flourish more than when her children spread themselves as olive-plants round about her table. Unity in faith and discipline is a mercy we cannot prize enough. This is that which God has promised (Jeremiah 32:39) and which we should pursue (Zechariah 8:18-23). Saint Ambrose says of Theodosius the Emperor, that when he lay sick he took more care for the Church’s peace than for his own recovery.