1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:…
Notwithstanding the many clear marks of wisdom and goodness which are found in creation, it must be confessed that the present world abounds with misery. How few can be found whose welfare is not more or less dependent on the will or humour of others; considering how much easier it is to injure than to promote human happiness, who can believe that the common Parent of all would have so little tenderness for His offspring as to leave them in a world thus constituted, without some better defence and stronger security than that of reason. But observe how admirably both the accidental and the necessary defects of reason are supplied by the active, uniform, instinctive principle of pity. For by giving to all men this principle, and placing them in a state of mutual dependency, God hath plainly constituted them the guardians of each other's welfare. This tender affection is accordingly found so essential an ingredient in the composition of our nature, that the absence of it is termed inhumanity — a word which carries with it the deepest infamy. For it marks the outrage which nature suffers before it can take place. Interest or passion may put men upon acts of cruelty, and these acts by degrees may be formed into habits. And it were well if certain nations, among the most civilised in other respects, were more sensible of this danger. Nor is it any excuse to say that, for the safety of society, actions must be punished with severity. For though all this be true, yet is anyone so much a member of the community as to forget that he is a man? Or does sound policy require that the celestial justice should be transformed into an infernal fury, and employed in a Christian country in torturing malefactors by arts and inventions which are truly diabolical? As errors and corruptions in religion and government may account for these instances of national cruelty, so those of education may generate in particulars the same barbarous spirit. The veriest caviller must admit, unless he is stout enough to combat conviction, that benevolence and pity are qualities as proper to the whole species as modesty and chastity are peculiar to the one half of it. When God was pleased to place us in this state of trial, to render it the more supportable He gave men social and benevolent affections. And when He is pleased to admonish them by the mouth of His inspired apostle to be pitiful or compassionate, it is only referring them to those very feelings with which He has impressed, to those very faculties with which He has endowed them.
(J. Mainwrigg, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: