1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brothers, be pitiful, be courteous:…
I. WHAT UNITY IS.
1. It is a mutual agreement.
2. It is a mutual care of the common interest. If there be ever so much agreement in opinion and judgment, yet if the interests are divided it is not unity.
3. The terms of union and all the means of it must be lawful. Otherwise it is not unity, but conspiracy.
II. THE ADVANTAGES OF UNITY.
1. It is the safety of all societies.
2. Unity best serves the purposes of religion. I need not say that dissensions destroy the beauty and charity of religion, that thereby God is dishonoured.
3. It is the perfection of all political virtues, and for the most part of the Christian virtues also. Good government, wholesome laws, mutual security, arts and sciences, trade and commerce, are all the children of union. And as unity is the perfection of political, so it is for the most part of Christian virtues also. The apostle tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10). And then for these other Christian virtues, peace, humility, forgiveness, patience, contentment, charity, these do all as naturally flow from unity as a stream does from its fountain.
III. THE RELATION THAT IS BETWEEN UNITY AND CHARITY. I cannot express this better than in St. 's similitude. If there be a thorn in the foot, the back bends, the eyes search, the hands are ready, and all parts are quick and active to relieve the member that is grieved. And this is the just resemblance of that charity that arises from unity. The whole body feels the smart and needs of a suffering member.
IV. SOME CONSIDERATIONS THAT MAY ENGAGE US TO THE LOVE AND PRACTICE OF UNITY AND CHARITY.
1. The practice of these virtues recommends our religion to the world; that is, it gives people occasion to respect it, and speak well of it, and the least of it is that it gives them no just occasion to speak ill of it.
2. The practice of these virtues makes us like God.
3. It is the state of heaven. Unity and charity are immortal graces; they live at God's right hand, and are part of the employment and the happiness of the other world.
Parallel VersesKJV: Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: