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Exploring the Biblical and Historical Meanings of Peace and its Application to Nursing

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Exploring the Biblical and Historical Meanings of Peace and its Application to Nursing

Early Church Period: 0 – 300 CE



“The arranged times comes to our people; there is peace in the world; and, at the same time, ruin is weighing us down from the enticement of the world, (the destruction) of the reckless people whom ye have rent into schism.  Either obey the law of the city, or depart from it” (Schaff, 2005b). “Wherefore, having so many great and glorious examples set before us, let us turn again to the practice of that peace which from the beginning was the mark set before us; and let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and cleave to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefactions of peace” (Schaff, 2005a). “But to secure the performance of one’s prayers in peace without distraction, the rule is for every man to make choice, if possible, of what I may term the most solemn spot in his house before he prays, considering in addition to his general examination of it, whether any violation of law or right has not been done in the place in which he is praying, so as to have made not only himself but also the place of his personal prayer of such nature that the regard of God has fled from it”  (Curtis, 2005).
Author Comedian (or Commodianus) 

(c. 240- c. 260 AD)

Pope Clement I or Clement of Rome 

(c. 35 – c. 101 AD)


(c. 185- c. 254 AD)

  • Christian Latin poet.
  • Son of pagan parents.
  • He converted to Christianity for reasons unknown.
– First Apostolic Father of          the Church 

  • Only genuine writing is his letter to the church at Corinth in response to a dispute in which presbyters had been deposed.
  • Imprisoned under Emperor Trajan and was later executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.
  • Patron saint of mariners
  • Developed a passion for martyrdom.
  • Lived in extreme austerity.
  • He believed Christ was the center-all of Scripture and must be interpreted in his light; he speculated on the spiritual significance of the literal.
Who is speaking and to whom? He is speaking to his community through a letter/article.  He appears to be directing his letter to individuals and how they are living in immoral ways. He is speaking to the people of the church in Corinth. He is speaking to the readers of his text.  This last chapter is specifically dictating the appropriate way to pray.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? The topic of the letter is to reach out to individuals and let them know peace is arising through deceitful and wrong ways.  (People are living in a manner not chosen by Christ).   The letter serves as a warning to avoid bad decisions in life and become, and live by, Christ.  It appears the deceitful way of living is due to a schism in religion. The topic of the letter is for the people to return to the practice of peace.  He references the fitting examples of the Creator and those that have come before Clement as guides to great peace. The purpose of this text is prayer.  However, this last chapter focuses on the appropriate, physical, way to pray.  In the quote, he is speaking about the proper room in which to pray.
Where is the word/con-cept used? The word in this quote is used to describe a peace that is in place, however, the peace in place is in conjunction with an immoral way of life. The word peace is being used as motivation to move away from discord and on to happier topics. The word is being used to demonstrate the correct location in which to pray.  In the quote, he is depicting a room that is free from violations of law and a place where God would feel comfortable being spoken to.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The message is given under the condition of a warning.  “Either obey the law of the city, or depart from it”.  Comedian warns that individuals are living without caution and living without Christ (Schaff, 2005b). The word peace is being used as a benediction for the people.  He is not threatening or warning, however, he is using the examples of others to make the people of Corinth realize that peace is possible. The word is provided with the purpose to promote proper and peaceful prayer.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? Once again, the word is being used under the pretext of a warning.  People see peace as a comfortable and calm way of living, however, the peace that is in existence is false. The word is being used to bring peace.  He remarks that peace was initially delivered to the people from Christ and is something that is possible again. The word is being used to motivate people to be cautious of the way he or she prays so that the prayer will be approved by God.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? The word is, in a sense, sarcasm.  The peace that is in existence is not what is appropriate, specifically due to the schism that is present and the people who are following incorrect methods in the way of Christ. Peace is being offered to the people in the face of the issues the church was providing the presbyters. Peace is offered as a comfort; individuals should have comfort and tranquility before, during and after prayer.  This will be accomplished by making sure prayer is done in the correct manner.



The prospect of peace was enlightened in different manners by the Early Church writers.  Comedian was prompted to speak of peace to reform those with pagan beliefs, or false beliefs of peace, he being strictly opposed to paganism.  Pope Clement I, spoke of a return to peace that was lost to the people of Corinth.  Though the actual reasons or causes of distress is unknown for Clement to be writing to the people, it is assumed that tribulations continued from the time of Paul (Schaff, 2005a).  Origen, during this time of political and religious issues, spoke of peace for the purpose of education; a way to be closer to God.  The quotes depict different forms of peace, reflecting the organization of peace, urgency, and its’ education.  However, each writer notes the importance of peace in the lives of individuals to restore a relationship with God.

Imperial Church 300-590 CE



“Let him who hath need of less thank God and not give way to sadness, but let him who hath need of more, humble himself for his infirmity, and not be elated for the indulgence shown him; and thus all the members will be at peace” 

(Verheyen, 2005).

“In the end of your letter you say: “I hope that you love peace.”  To this I will answer in a few words: If you desire peace, lay down your arms.  I can be at peace with one who shews kindness; I do not fear one who threatens me.  Let us be at one in faith, and peace will follow immediately” (Schaff, 2005d). “Let there be peace among you, which passeth all understanding.  Love one another.  Nothing is sweeter than charity, nothing more blessed than peace.  Ye yourselves know that I have ever loved you and do now love you above all others.  As the children of one father ye have become united under the bond of brotherly affection” (Schaff, 2005e).
Author Benedict of Nursia or Saint Benedict 

(C. 480- c. 547)

Saint Jerome 

(c. 347- c. 420)

Aurelius Ambrosius or Saint Ambrose 

(c. 337 and 340 – c. 397)

  • Founder of Christian monastic communities.
  • His best-known monastery is at Monte Cassino in Italy.
  • Benedict’s main achievement is a “Rule” containing precepts for his monks.
  • Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian, and historian.
  • Became a Doctor of the Church.
  • He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, the Vulgate.
  • Bishop of Milan
  • One of the four original Doctors of the Church.
  • Under his influence, emperors Gratian, Valentinian II and Theodosius I carried on a persecution of Paganism.
Who is speaking and to whom? Benedict is speaking to the readers of his work who reside and work in monasteries.  He highlights peace, prayer, work, sacrifice, humility, frugality, and obedience. Jerome is writing to Rufinus, who at first, was a friend but later became an enemy.  The reason for the beginning of their quarrel is not known, however, the feud was eventually due to the accusations against Jerome for being involved in heresies.  This quote, however, arises in an apology letter to Rufinus, urged on by Chromatius, a bishop, to yield in the fight.   (Schaff, 2005c). Ambrose is speaking to the clergy of his diocese.  The text is meant to be educational for the readers.  The ending of the book remarks on avoiding ill-will, seeking prudence, faith and other virtues.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? The topic of the chapter in his book discusses whether followers should receive equal treatment in what is necessary in life. The topic of the letter is forgiveness that will allow peace between rivals who were once friends. The topic of the chapter is to live in peace with one another and to direct it to the people.
Where is the word/con-cept used? The concept is used to describe how followers should achieve peace.  For those who require less of God, regarding, infirmities, they should be thankful, and for those who need more from him be humble in infirmities and not overindulge in requesting things from him. Jerome is requesting peace between their rivalry.  He is requesting that “arms”, in the form of words and accusations, be laid down so that peace and trust may reign between the two individuals. The concept is used as a request to the clergy of his diocese.  Ambrose was known for his eloquent and educational words which, at this current time was a request, however, also a reminder of the happiness peace may bring to lives if they follow his request.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The message is given to those who will continue to work in the monastery.  This will allow for proper following of God and education for others. The message is given after many letters, some of apology, had been written between Rufinus and Jerome.  However, this letter came at the urging of a bishop. The message is given at the end of the book.  It is given under the condition that happiness and love are provided when peace is in existence.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? The concept is being used to allow for education and proper requests from God during prayer. The concept is being used as a supplication for feuding to end and peace to reign. The concept is used in this manner to ensure the existence of peace.  Ambrose makes the statement, “which passeth all understanding”.  With this he means, there does not have to be a reason for peace to exist with one another.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? The concept is related to the context for educational purposes.  The text is to be used by monks for daily living as well as helping others.  By knowing what should be done in requests from God, it will allow peace for the monks without feeling left out from Gods will. The concept is related to the context, because at the time of the writing, peace did not exist, and affected others since a request was made by a bishop to end the feuding.  The letter depicts that peace will exist when kindness is shown.  When kindness is shown, faith and trust will follow with peace being the goal. The concept is related to the text because the written material was meant to be education for the clergy.  Ambrose makes this statement not only for educational purposes but to evoke the necessity for peace for happiness in life.  Also, the peace that will arise will create a bond between the clergy.



Compared to Early Church writers, the use of peace began to widen and vary with Imperial writers.  The writers of this time spoke of peace as a necessity, as well as, a warning.  Benedict directed and educated his followers on the proper requests to be made unto God; if done incorrectly, peace would not be achieved.  Jerome, also, spoke of a truce that was demanded by a bishop.  Though his letter was not directed to the public, he insinuated that peace would not exist if a truce could not be made.  Saint Ambrose spoke of peace in the same context; peace between each other to cause peace to be spread into the public.  However, he differed from the other writers by applying peace with happiness and love.  The Imperial Church writers, upon assessment of writings, felt that peace may be used to demand the appropriate actions of their readers.

Christian Middle Ages, 500-1500 CE



“Observing diligently, most dear brother, how great is the virtue of peace from the Lord’s voice, which says, My peace I give unto you (Joh, xiv. 27), it becomes us so to abide in the love thereof as in no wise to give place to discord” (Schaff, 2005c) “Again, it is said in 1 De Coelo et Mundi 116 that a virtue is what is ultimate in respect of a power.  But charity does not come last.  Rather do joy and peace come last.  Hence it seems that charity is not a virtue, but that joy are virtues, rather than charity” (Fairweather, 2005). “The fourth are the tears of those who have arrived at the perfect love of their neighbor, loving Me with any regard whatsoever for themselves.  These weeps and their weeping is perfect.  The fifth are joined to the fourth and are tears of sweetness left fall with great peace, as I will explain to you” (Thorold, 2005).
Author St. Gregory, I 

(c. 540- c. 604)

St. Thomas Aquinas 

(c. 1225? – c. 1274)

St. Catherine of Siena 

(c. 1347- c. 1380)

  • In 590, Gregory was elected Pope.
  • Founded a school for the training of church musicians.
  • Considered one of the Four Latin Doctors of the ancient church.
  • Italian Dominican priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Summa Theologica: represents scholasticism that flourished between 1100 and 1500 and attempted to reconcile faith and reason and the works of Aristotle with the scriptures.
  • He was a proponent of natural theology and the father of Thomism.
  • Joined the Third Order of the Dominicans after much attempt from her parents to get married.
  • Had a vision in which she underwent a “spiritual espousal”; a vision in which the Infant Jesus offered her a wedding band.
  • Worked with the republics of Italy to repair the damage from civil war and religious factions.
  • Named a Doctor of the Church.
Who is speaking and to whom? Gregory is writing a letter to Cyriacus, Patriarch of Constantinople.  The interaction between these two individuals included Gregory advising Cyriacus to not disturb the peace of the church. Thomas is writing for the “instruction of beginners” which were both Christians and beginners in the study of theology. She is having a conversation between the Eternal Father and the human soul, discussing the whole of mankind’s spiritual life.  In this specific passage, God is speaking to Catherine.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? Gregory is writing the letter to Cyriacus to inform him that it would be prudent to remain in peace, both in actions of the church and getting along with fellow church members. The text focuses on the subject of charity and whether charity is a virtue. 

Thomas goes on to explain that charity is not a human virtue, but is a representation of the goodness found in God.

God is speaking to Catherine regarding her desire to know the reason behind tears.  God notifies Catherine that there are 5 distinct types of tears, the last two types being the most related to love and peace.
Where is the word/con-cept used? Gregory is using peace as a hope for future interactions with himself and Cyriacus.  However, there is also warning in the tone of his letter, in that if he causes discord in the church, consequences may occur. Peace, in this text, is used as a comparison to describe what a true virtue is.  A virtue is a good and desirable quality.  As Thomas states, a virtue is “ultimate in respect of a power”.  However, charity is a representation of God which is noble and possessed within oneself (Fairweather, 2005). The concept of peace is used to explain that the fifth type of tears are when great peace is met in combination with love for God and neighbors.  God informs Catherine that the love and peace that cause tears are in existence without thought for themselves; it is selfless.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The letter was provided during a time when Cyriacus appeared to be using his title to cause a change in the church that would create a “universal” or exclusive bishop. Thomas wrote these articles with the intention to teach others and present scholasticism. The Dialog was written after Catherine had another vision with God.  The text was also written in a time of upset within Italy.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? Gregory is attempting to remind Cyriacus of the peace that must be kept in the church to keep a good relationship between individuals in the church.  He is also putting Cyriacus in his place, reminding him that it is not in his power to cause such change. Thomas is using peace as a comparison as to what a true virtue is.  Although he does not feel charity is a virtue (he feels it is something grander than virtue), he depicts the importance and significance of virtue using peace. The use of peace in the text is used to describe a peace that causes tears related to love, happiness and life without strife.  It appears that tears caused by the existence of peace is significant due to the unlikelihood that individuals will experience such tears.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? The use of the word peace, appears, to be used in a well-meaning way.  Gregory wants to maintain peace with Cyriacus.  However, there is the undertone that peace may no longer exist if rules and the principles of the church are not followed. The meaning of the word peace is related to the text because peace is used as a baseline for what is a good moral and principal to try to achieve.  Although the focus is charity in this text, he makes the point that, though, charity is a self-driven, selfless act, peace, as a virtue, is not a terrible thing or undesirable. The concept of peace is related to the text because of the significance peace represents.  God is notifying Catherine, in so many words, that tears of peace are rare and are sweet and magnificent when experienced.  God is also notifying Catherine that peace is felt in combination with other emotions, such as, love.


Saint Gregory introduced the method of double-meaning in terms of peace.  Gregory provided peace as a benediction to Cyriacus, but used a double entendre to subtly include a warning of future discord if his orders were not followed.  This warning brought to the forefront the knowledge that the desire for peace does not cause peace.  While Gregory signifies peace as a potential for trouble, Thomas Aquinas depicts peace as less important than most find it to be.  Thomas is the first writer that remarks on the existence of more important qualities in the lives of the public, such as, charity.  Once again, on a different spectrum, the conversation St. Catherine has with God depicts the importance of peace in relation to emotions.  Peace is often seen, solely, as a state of being or mind, however, her conversation indicates the significance in happiness and love.  Compared to the earlier writers, peace during the Middle Ages does not translate to peace.  Peace was depicted as potential for feuding.  Peace was depicted as the vast amount of emotions that are carried within individuals.  Lastly, peace was depicted as a topic that is not as important as many assume it is.

The Reformation 1500-1650



“For if you do not take this course, but miss the opportunity of stilling your heart, then you will never secure peace, and must yet finally despair in doubt.  For if we deal with our sins in our conscience and let them continue within use and be cherished in our hearts, they become much too strong for us to manage and they will live forever” (Luther, 2005). “First Pair.  The first Pair would want to rid themselves of the attachments which they have to the thing acquired, in order to find in peace God our Lord, and be able to save themselves, and they do not place the means up to the hour of death” (Mullan, 2005). “This is a supernatural state, and, however, hard we try, we cannot reach it for ourselves; for it is a state in which the soul enters peace, or rather in which the Lord gives it peace through His presence, as He did to that just man Simeon.  In this state all the faculties are stilled” (Peers, 2005).
Author Martin Luther 


St. Ignatius of Loyola 


St. Teresa of Avila 


  • Was a German monk, priest, professor and figure of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Strongly believed that freedom from punishment for sin could not be purchased.
  • In 1517, he posted 95 theses meant to critique the sale of indulgences.
  • In January of 1521, Luther was excommunicated for failure to recant his arguments against the church.
  • Loyola was a Spanish knight, hermit, priest and theologian who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
  • The Jesuits became a major force in the Counter Reformation.
  • His famous book, Spiritual Exercises, is a classic of mysticism and is still used by Catholics.
  • Entered in the care of Augustinian nuns after the death of her father.
  • After joining the Carmelite Order, she was plagued with an illness that left her legs paralyzed for three years.
  • She experienced a vision of Christ during her illness that led to ecstatic experiences.
  • After her vision, she attempted to reform her order into a more primitive type of nun.
  • Her works are a crucial factor in Christian mysticism.
Who is speaking and to whom? Luther is preaching sermons to parishioners and scholars who followed his word. Loyola is speaking to the readers of his text.  The focus of his text is to aide people in finding God and a will for life, aide in motivation and courage. The text is not a continuous work.  It is a writing that is separated by thoughts, readings, meditations, prayers, notes and exercises. Teresa is specifically speaking to her sisters in the Carmelite order.  She focuses on leading her sisters to God through prayer, silence and meditation.  Although her text was aimed towards her sisters, the text is usable to followers in the religion.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? The topic of the text focuses on refuge in Christ’s sufferings, as well as, being open and honest about sins.  Luther focuses, in the above passage, of not retaining sins within oneself, or if done, sins will live within individuals and become too difficult to manage. The focus of the above text is meditation on a situation including three pains of men who encounter money.  Loyola mentions that the attainment of the money was not attained with God in mind, however, they all want to find salvation in God and rid themselves of their attachment for the money.  The above quote focuses on the first pair of men who want to rid themselves of the attachment and do not wait until death to do so. The focus of the chapter is the Prayer of Quiet.  The Prayer of Quiet is a prayer that Teresa describes as a prayer in which “the Lord seems to me to begin to show us that He is hearing our petition” (Peers, 2005).  She continues to state that the Prayer of Quiet is a state in which the soul finds peace after closing the senses off to the outward environment.
Where is the word/con-cept used? Luther is using peace, in the above text, to notify his followers that by retaining sinful information within oneself and not relying on Christ and his sufferings as a source of freedom from sin, people will never achieve peace in their lives. The concept is used as the motivation for the decision to remain with the money or not in order to find peace with God.  The first pair of men want peace with God and are willing to part with their attachment to save themselves. The concept is used to describe the goal of the Prayer of quiet; peace from the outside world and eventually a closer connection with God.  She also mentions that peace is a given token from the Lord with his interaction during prayer.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The message is being provided in a sermon to the people in churches or universities.  The sermon is being given during Easter, where focus is placed on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The message is being provided as an exercise and a source of personal reflection of the decisions made in life.  Loyola describes the situations with the second and third pair of men in which they would not give up the money right away, or would wait until God dictated them to do so. The message is given as a teaching and educational tool to her students.  The goal of her writing was to bring her sisters to a more primitive place in the order during her attempt to reform the nunnery.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? Luther is making an argument for confession and being honest about sins.  He uses peace as a motive for people to be honest about what is truly being doing in lives.  Lastly, Luther is wanting to bring comfort to individuals knowing they can rely on Christ. Loyola uses peace as the source of decision making.  His exercise, however, depicts the routes humans would take to find peace.  The exercise depicts how, and with what motives men are willing to live in poverty or in riches, knowing that God may disapprove. The use of the word peace provides motivation to partake in the Prayer of Quiet.  Throughout the chapter, Teresa explains, in so many words, that though it may be a difficult prayer and a prayer which is not accomplished without the assistance of God, the benefits bring one closer to God.  She uses the example of Simeon and his involvement with the Child whom many judged.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? Peace is the motive for confession, honesty, and reliability on others for help.  Luther is, also, using peace as a reminder to rely on Jesus after everything he sacrificed for human kind. The meaning of peace is used as the meaning for life and decisions.  Peace, is the end goal for everything that is done.  In the above text, however, men were asked what they would be willing to do to achieve peace under God.  Loyola, also, uses a main source of evil and deception in common life that may prevent peace; money. The meaning of peace is the sole reason to partake in the Prayer of Quiet per Teresa.  It silences the outward environment that may prevent a connection with God and deepens it, with his assistance, and brings happiness and delight to the soul.



The Reformation was a time, ideally, to return to the foundation of the church and instill the important tenants of Christianity.  Reformation writers attempted to use peace as a motivation to return to the original principles of the religion.  Martin Luther, a firm believer in repentance through God and not money, attempted to persuade his audience to seek confession and forgiveness for the purpose of peace.  As well as stressing the importance of peace, writers of this time stressed the importance of living a moral and ethical life that would lead to peace.  Loyola provided his followers with educational work that allowed reflection with realistic examples.  His provided exemplary examples on the appropriate ways to live that allowed peace by humbly showcasing his preferred method of existence.  St. Teresa was, also, an advocate for the return to original practice with her education and sermons to her fellow sisters.  Her Prayer of Peace encircled the notion that peace does not need to be achieved with outside, environmental factors; peace is achieved with wholeness in oneself and with God.  The Reformation sets itself apart from earlier writers due to the use of peace as the motivation for return to original doctrines, whereas earlier writers have many motivations, uses, and interpretations of the concept.

Age of Reason and Revival, 1648-1799 CE



“Assure yourselves you can never serve a better master; for his service is perfect freedom, his yoke, when worn a little while, is exceeding easy, his burden light, and in keeping his commandments there is great reward; love, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost here, and a crown of glory that facets not away, hereafter” (Whitefield, 2005). “But even this is not all; for loss of peace is accompanied with loss of power.  We know everyone who has peace with God, through Jesus Christ, has power over all sin.  But whenever he loses the peace of God, he loses all the power over sin” (Wesley, 2005). “Persons are wont to have some convictions of conscience before they have any grace: and if afterwards they are truly converted, have true repentance, joy and peace in believing; this has a tendency to put an end to terror, but has no tendency to put an end to convictions of sin; it rather increases them” (Edwards, 2006).
Author George Whitefield 


John Wesley 


Jonathan Edwards 


  • He was an English Anglican Priest who helped spread the Great Awakening.
  • One of the founders of Methodism.
  • Was converted after reading “The Life of God in the Soul of Man”.
  • He preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, though only fewer than 90 are in existence.
  • Wesley was a cleric and Christian theologian.
  • Credited with founding the Methodist movement with his brother Charles.
  • The Methodists started at Oxford in the Holy Club, a group of men wanting spiritual growth.
  • Edwards is regarded as America’s most important and original philosophical, theological, and great intellectual.
  • He is associated with Reformed theology.
  • He was a key figure in the First Great Awakening.
Who is speaking and to whom? He is speaking to the people of the congregation and followers of God.  It is known that his sermons affected many from different areas of Christianity. Wesley is writing to his followers and parishioners via his sermons. The following work is intended for readers who followed Edwards.  The work is a combination of personal writings as well as sermons during his lifetime.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? This sermon is focusing on being thankful and praising God in all that he does for his people.  Whitefield mentions the ungodliness of not praising Him when it is just. The above text is part of a series that focuses on how to enter heaven.  The quote focuses on the outcomes of not having peace in life. The above chapter focuses on affections that individuals present to others.  The affections that people present may be positive or negative with variable outcomes.
Where is the word/con-cept used? The use of peace in his sermon is used to depict the reward that is provided by God when his commandments are followed.  He makes the comment, that the yoke that is on followers’ shoulders is easier to bear when following Him. The use of peace in the sermon is used to describe what happens in lives when peace is lost.  Specifically, the loss of peace causes the entrance of sin due to loss of power over sin and oneself.  Eventually the loss of peace will cause the loss of joy in life and with God. The use of peace is used to indicate that the result of gracious, or kind, affections promote convictions of conscience.  In other words, it helps to promote strongly held beliefs.  In the above text, such convictions are of repentance, joy and peace.  However, gracious affections do not affect sinful actions.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The message of peace is not only a reward that is provided for following God, but a reminder and educational tool that is used to remind individuals of the benefits of following God. The message is given as a warning.  Peace, in his sermon, may be lost due to the many factors that affect individuals, such as work, school and/or personal qualities. The message is given under that condition of a result.  Providing people with gracious affections will cause peace in their lives.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? The use of peace is used to describe the reward that is provided by God, but is also used to persuade and remind people of the benefits of following Him. The argument for this quote is to remember the qualities that can cause the loss of peace, which should be monitored.  When peace is lost, the power to control sin is also lost. The use of peace because of affection is used to promote such affections.  In other words, this is behavior to partake in life to help others.  Though it may bring peace, it may still not prevent sinful behaviors.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? The use of peace is related to the context because Whitefield is making the argument to praise God when it is warranted.  Peace is the ultimate gift of following Him, as well as, love and joy. In the sermon, Wesley is noting that sin is existence in the world and the lives of everyone.  However, one of the main barriers to peace in life, is peace that is lost which creates a floodgate of sin in life. Peace is used as a motivator for the positive behavior of gracious affections.  Though Edwards does not specify what those affections may entail, the assumption may be made that is depends on every individual.



The age of Reason and Revival brought about the Methodist religion, an effort in England to return to original ideals.  The Methodist religion originated at Oxford University in 1729, the founders John and Charles Wesley, with the assistance of George Whitefield.  The original group began with the dedication to frequent attendance of communion, study of the Bible with the hope of salvation (Davies, 1999).  Such sentiments, eventually caused a break with the Church of England and the official beginning of Methodism (Davies, 1999).  George Whitefield and John Wesley speak of salvation that requires God.  The notion of including God in life and worshipping Him as is due, will eventually lead to peace.  Though John Edwards was not a part of the Methodist movement, his work consisted of reformation and revival of Christianity.  Edwards is one of the first writers that concluded peace as being conditional for relationships with fellow neighbors.  The writers of the time are separate from all others in the context of attempting to cause profound change in Christian beliefs.

Age of Progress 1800-1918 CE



“And this inward peace, this silence, this harmony, this Love, is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is so difficult to reach because few are willing to give up themselves and to become as little children” (Allen, 2010). “In that moment, a still small voice seemed to speak in his ear, saying, “No, that will not do; but Christ will do.”  Straightway the sales fell from his eyes, and the burden from his shoulders.  Peace poured in like a river.  “Christ will do”, was his watchword for life” (Bonar, 2005). “For another thing, to be without Christ is to be without peace.  Every man has a conscience within him, which must be satisfied before he can be truly happy” (Ryle, 2006).
Author James Allen 


Horatius Bonar 


John Charles Ryle 


  • Allen was a British philosophical writer.
  • He showcased his interest in spiritual and social interests when he began to write for The Herald of the Golden Age.
  • He published his own magazine, The Light of Reason.
  • He was a supporter for revival.
  • Bonar was a minister in Scotland, as well, as a poet.
  • He was headed for a career in politics before answering a call to ordained ministry.
  • He was awakened after hearing Ephesians 2 read in church.
  • Ryle was a supporter of the evangelical school and a critic for Ritualism.
Who is speaking and to whom? Allen’s writings were meant for the public.  However, his writings drew in people of faith who wanted spiritual support and motivation. The writing is a devotional meant for followers of God.  He directed this work, however, to those suffering from guilt, anxiety, and from sin. His work is directed to the followers of the church.  He focuses on individuals attempting to live a perfect Christian life.
What is the topic or focus; its meaning and purpose? The focus of the above text is about peace in general; the existence of peace and the qualities that cause and arise from peace. The topic of the chapter is focusing on achieving peace with God when an individual has sinned. The topic of the chapter focuses on individuals who are “without Christ” in their lives.
Where is the word/con-cept used? The use of peace, as per Allen, is to make known that peace is found in the peace and love of Heaven.  However, peace and, therefore, Heaven is hard to find because people are not willing to give up what is needed to be educated on peace. Peace, in the above text, is used to describe the achievement that is made when appropriate approaches are taken to worship God when sin has been done.  Bonar implies that it is not superficial actions, such as, over-prayer and/or inclusion of family or friends that will cause peace.  The way to reach peace is to accept Christ wholeheartedly. Ryle describes being without Christ, or unconverted to God, as being an individual without peace.  He exclaims that within every individual there is a need of happiness and peace that will only be found with God.  Without peace, negative issues, such as, sin, failings and judgements overwhelm individuals.
When is the message given, under what conditions? The use of peace is provided under the condition of education.  Such education was meant to provide motivation and help for the lives of the readers. The message is given as an example based on a real situation Bonar encountered. Throughout the chapter, peace is used as the motive to try to find Christ.  To live a happy, fulfilled life, peace must be found.
Why is the word/concept used this way? Is a particular argument being made? The use of peace is used to depict how wonderful it is to have peace in our lives.  However, it is also used to describe how hard it is to reach. The concept is used to describe the abundance of peace that is received when the release of superficial means to accept Christ are removed. Though peace is used as a motive to bring Christ into daily lives, the way Ryle used peace instills fear to the reader.  The fear being unimaginable terrors that will exist without peace and, hence, God.
How is the meaning of the word related in that context? The word peace is the whole purpose for the above text.  Allen is describing peace and all the facets that come with peace, such as, causes, effects, outcomes, and barriers to achieving peace. Peace is used as the motive to abolish sin from the lives of individuals.  It exemplifies the goals that should be attained when looking for God.  It, also, indirectly notifies readers that peace will not be achieved by superficial methods. The meaning of peace is used to, not only, instill the importance of peace, but instills the urgency that is needed to find this peace within God to live a good life.



The Age of Progress was a time marked by war, death and sadness.  The writers of this time, due to all the detriment that occurred in the lives of Christians called for a return to tranquility through the ways of God.  Amidst all the terrible that had occurred, which affected many throughout the world, an age of modernization and forward thought occurred in individuals.  James Allen was an individual who reflected these changes by writing about love and peace found with God.  The main significance about him and his writings is the fact that he was not involved in the church; he was a devout Christian individual who used his faith to educate the masses.  Bonar, who also spoke of peace and love with God, incorporated his love of poetry into his faith and profession.   Bonar, also, targeted a different audience.  He targeted individuals who felt they had significantly sinned in life, a group of individuals who were often outcasts of society, either due to remorse or public knowledge of heinous acts.  John Ryle approached the requirement for love and peace in life through different methods.  He showcased the horrors that would occur if God was not included in prayer, thought, and life.  Compared to intellectual thinkers throughout the ages, the Age of Progress promoted love and peace with God.  The significance in such a movement is the surrounding environment during this time would leave many to believe that such notions were not possible.  It was through remarkable writers that many remembered the love and compassion, as well as, peace found within God.

Comprehensive Analysis

Peace is a central concept that is seen throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  The in-numerous definitions and usages of the word has been applied and interpreted in many ways that the application is universal.  Peace, however, was, initially, a benediction from one individual to another.  The Old Testament of the Bible is littered with multiple examples of peace being offered to friends, loved ones, and acquaintances during greetings and departures.  Later in the Old Testament, peace begins to be used in a negative connotation.  Peace began to be used to indicate false hope or peace brought about by immoral ways, such as war and death.  Peace, also, was found to be used in vindictive method; peace by silence in situations that required voice and strength.  Eventually, the evolution of man that was required during the time of Christ and after His death revolutionized the concept of peace to one of love and tranquility which is seen throughout the New Testament.  Jesus Christ, in his selfless sacrifice, represented the absolute highest level of love and devotion he had for human kind.  The reason for his sacrifice was for the alleviation of sin and the restoration and existence of peace within humanity.  Though the usages of peace may differ between the Old and New Testaments, between individuals, and between every situation, the word is used with the idea that peace is the goal for life.  The existence of peace depicts tranquility within oneself, with others and throughout the world.

As stated previously, peace is the goal in life.  The Church, leaders of the Church, and proponents for the Church and religion have used peace as a motivational and educational tool for the inclusion of God in life.  Throughout the many time periods, the usage of peace by intellectual writers followed a similar trend as the Bible.  The Early Church writers used peace in a variety of ways, such as education, to end dispute, and to reform individuals opposed to Christianity.  Though the application was vast, the ideal that peace would bring harmony between a group of individuals is the similarity the writers had.  The Imperial Church was a time in which peace began to develop in a negative manner.  Peace was used during this time as a scare tactic.  Peace was determined to, either, be absent from the lives of Christians or would be nonexistent is the correct following of God was not done.  As events of time and life passed, Imperial Church writers initiated that ideal that peace is not as important as most make it out to be.  This notion arose with the idea that more important qualities exist for man, as well as, the difficult truth that, though, individuals may want peace, peace may never be found.  Though the Imperial Church was a set back to the goal of peace through God, the Reformation writers demanded the return to the original ways of the Bible, which, also, included a return to peace with God.  The Age of Reason and Revival continued with the same sentiments of peace and resumption of the original practices of Christianity.  However, this time period saw the continuation of peace with a different route through the Bible; Methodism.  Though this is not the first time a different branch of Christianity occurred, it reinforces the importance of peace no matter the different beliefs of individuals.  The Age of Progress concluded and reinforced the concept of peace as a necessity in life that assures love, happiness and tranquility with God.  This time period reinforced this notion, especially, due to surrounding events that impacted the lives of individuals across the spectrum of Christianity.  Peace, up to this point in time, is still interpreted and applied in a vast number of ways that suit the interpreter.  Based on this practice, the fact exists that reflection of the word must be in constant practice so that the goal of peace is one that aligns with God.

Application in Nursing Practice

Peace is the actualization of internal or external harmony that may arise from actual or spiritual means.  The existence of peace for an individual may assist in personal lives, relationships, and the ability to process the stresses and tribulations that are faced on a day-to-day basis.  How does this affect patients during medical treatment or crisis?  The existence of peace in a patient’s life is, in part, the responsibility of the nurse practitioner during patient care.  The reason for this is to assist with patient cooperation and, hopefully, allow better medical and psychological outcomes.  As seen throughout the assessment of the concept of peace throughout the time periods, peace may be used in a vast amount of ways and will differ based on the use of the word.  To determine how to assist a patient to find peace is not something that is done immediately; many interviews and assessments may be required over the course of multiple appointments to determine what the patient desires in the form of peace and how to find it in their lives.  Also, the subject of peace, as seen during the time periods may have a negative connotation; the duty of a nurse practitioner is to reorient the definition of peace into positive definitions.  A seldom discussed fact of peace is that some individuals may never find the peace that they are looking for.  However, peace should always remain a goal for the patient weather outcomes be positive or negative.


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