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Thomas Middleton: Let them that seek Peace, find Peace and enjoy Peace

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Middleton: Selections on peace and warmaker

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Thomas Middleton
From The Peacemaker

The walls were daubed with untempered mortar, and they shall fall, yet still shall Truth have Peace, and the Peacemaker shall preserve the truth; they shall dwell together, and live together. The heavenly soldiers have sung it, the Father hath sent it, the Son hath brought it, the blessed Dove shall preserve it; ever comfort us with it, our Anointed bath received it, we do enjoy it, and see it plentiful in Israel.

Peace takes a view of such as do molest,
And kindle most unquiet in her breast.

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Peace – stay and abide with her, and thou shalt never know her enemies, God’s enemies, and thine own enemies : let them that seek Peace, find Peace, enjoy Peace, and have their souls laid up in Eternal Peace.

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Well may peace then have the excellency of her glorious name advanced above all titles and inscriptions: and so much the rather, in that it pleaseth the Almighty Creator himself, to be called the God of Peace, and the Author (I Cor. xiv. 33). Nay, Love itself, delighting in he name (I John iv. 16): God is Love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him; and (I Thess. v. 33): May the very God of Peace sanctify you throughout, &c. Christ the Saviour of the World, the Lamb of Peace (John xi. 29) ; Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. There is peace made in taking sin away, which is the only fuel of wrath. And (Ephes. ii. 14): Christ is our peace, – which hath made of both one, and hath broken the stop of the partition wall.

Moreover, the heavenly soldiers, at the birth of Christ, praising God, said: Glory be to God, in the high Heavens, and peace in Earth, and toward men good will.

And as his most blessed Nativity was the Fountain of Peace, there wanted not the fruits that sprang from that sacred fountain in his departure (John xiv. 27) : Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor fear. Let not your heart, speaking to many, because all his ought to be of one heart, which is a work of peace.

And not leaving, but in the same Evangelist (16, 17): I will pray my Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, intimating thereby, the eternal peace of soul and conscience, by the coming of the Holy Ghost, calling hi m in the words immediately following. Even the Spirit of Truth, whom the Father mill send in my name (26) ; he comes all peace, and in the name of Peace, of Christ our Saviour.

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Mark how the philosopher bath ordered this battle, and given the colonies, to both these great commanders, Pacem cum omnibus hebebis, bellum cum vitis. Have peace all the world, only war with thy sins. Melior et tutior est certa pax, quam incerta victoria: for more safe and noble is a certain peace, than a doubtful victory with all his honours attending.

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Now let us bind ourselves to the Peace, put in security for our good behaviours. Let our souls be bound for our bodies, our bodies for our souls, and let each come in at the General Sessions to save his bail; where we shall find a merciful Judge. If there we can answer we have not broke his Peace, our bonds shall be cancelled. As we have kept the Peace, we shall be rewarded with Peace, and kept in Eternal Peace. Amen.

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