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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A mutual attachment subsisting between two persons, and arising not merely from the general principle of benevolence, from emotions of gratitude for favours received, from views of interest, nor from instinctive affection or animal passion; but from an opinion entertained by each of them that the other is adorned with some amiable or respectable qualities. Various have been the opinions respecting friendship. Some have asserted that there is no such thing in the world; others have excluded it from the list of Christian virtues; while others, believing the possibility of its existence, suppose that it is very rare. To the two former remarks we may reply, that there is every reason to believe that there has been, and is such a thing as friendship. The Scriptures present us both with examples of, and precepts concerning it. David and Jonathan, Paul and Timothy, our Lord and Lazarus, as well as John, are striking instances of friendship. Solomon exhorts us in language so energetic, as at once shews it to be our duty to cultivate it. "
Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not." "Make sure of thy friend, for faithful are the wounds of a friend, " &c. The genius and injunctions of the Christian religion seem also to inculcate this virtue; for it not only commands universal benevolence to men, but promotes the strongest love and friendship between those whose minds are enlightened by divine grace, and who behold in each other the image of their Divine Master. As friendship, however, is not enjoyed by every one, and as the want of it rises often from ourselves, we shall here subjoin, from an eminent writer, a few remarks by way of advice respecting it.
1. We must not expect perfection in any with whom we contract fellowship.
2. We must not be hurt by differences of opinion arising in intercourse with our friends.
3. It is material to the preservation of friendship, that openness of temper and obliging manners on both hands be cultivated.
4. We must not listen rashly to evil reports against our friends.
5. We must not desert our friends in danger or distress. Blair's Ser. ser. 17. vol. 4: Bp. Porteus's Ser. vol. 1: ser. 15. W. Melmoth's Translation of Cicero's Laelius, in a Note.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Friendship'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/f/friendship.html. 1802.