“Blessed are the peacemakers.” Matt. 5:9.
Let us labor for those things which will maintain and cherish peace.
(i) As faith; faith and peace keep house together. Faith believes the Word of God. The Word says, ‘Live in peace’ (2 Corinthians 13:11). And as soon as faith sees the king of heaven’s warrant, it obeys. Faith persuades the soul that God is at peace, and it is impossible to believe this and live in variance. Nourish faith. Faith knits us to God in love and to our brethren in peace.
(ii) Christian communion. There should not be too much strangeness among Christians. The primitive saints had their ‘agapai’ that is, love-feasts. The apostle exhorting to peace brings this as an expedient: ‘Be ye kind one to another’ (Ephesians 4:32).
(iii) Do not look upon the failings of others, but upon their graces. There is no perfection here. We read of the ’spots of God’s children’ (Deuteronomy 32:5). The most golden Christians are some grains too light. Oh, let us not so quarrel with the infirmities of others as to pass by their virtues. If in some things they fail, in other things they excel. It is the manner of the world to look more upon the sun in an eclipse than when it shines in its full lustre.
(iv) Pray to God that he will send down the Spirit of peace into our hearts. We should not as vultures prey one upon another, but pray one for another. Pray that God will quench the fire of contention and kindle the fire of compassion in our hearts one to another. So much for the first thing in the text implied, that Christians should be peaceable-minded. I proceed to the second thing expressed, that they should be peacemakers.
All Christians ought to be peacemakers; they should not only be peaceable themselves, but make others to be at peace. As in the body when a joint is out we set it again, so it should be in the body politic. When a garment is rent we sew it together again. When others are rent asunder in their affections we should with a spirit of meekness sew them together again. Had we this excellent skill we might glue and unite dissenting spirits.
This sharply reproves them that are so far from being peacemakers that they are peace-breakers. If ‘blessed are the peacemakers’, then cursed are the peace-breakers. If peacemakers are the children of God, then peace-breakers are the children of the devil. Heretics destroy the truth of the church by error, and schismatics destroy the peace of it by division. The apostle sets a brand upon such. ‘Mark those which cause divisions and avoid them’ (Rom. 16:17). Have no more to do with them than with murderers. The devil was the first peace-breaker. He divided man from God. He, like Phaeton, set all on fire. —Thomas Watson.