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Sweet and Sour : The great Dr Johnson argues that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Sweet and Sour

From Sermon XI, On 1 Peter 3:8. by Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).

Samuel Johnson, one of England’s literary giants, encourages us to employ as much courtesy and good cheer as we can muster in our dealings with those who disagree with us, appealing to no less than the Apostle St Peter for authority.

THAT a precept of courtesy is by no means unworthy of the gravity and dignity of an apostolical mandate,* may be gathered from the pernicious effects which all must have observed to have arisen from harsh strictness and sour virtue; such as refuses to mingle in harmless gaiety, or give countenance to innocent amusements, or which transacts the petty business of the day with a gloomy ferociousness that clouds existence.

Goodness of this character is more formidable than lovely; it may drive away vice from its presence, but will never persuade it to stay to be amended; it may teach, it may remonstrate, but the hearer will seek for more mild instruction.

To those, therefore, by whose conversation the heathens were to be drawn away from error and wickedness, it is the apostle's precept, that they be courteous, and live with the rest of the world with an amicable reciprocation of cursory civility, that Christianity might not be accused of making men less cheerful as companions, less sociable as neighbours, or less useful as friends.

* This passage is extracted from a sermon on 1 Peter 3:8.

From Sermon XI, On 1 Peter 3:8. by Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).

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