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156 To pursue Hospitality, and be united in mutual Regards; Sect. 28. Saints, and accounting nothing your own, which Neceflity of the Saints ;
their Relief requires you to furnith out: Particu- given to Hospitality. Rom. XII. larly pursuing that Hospitality, which present Cir
cumstances lo peculiarly demand (a), especially
Bounty, and follow after them, to bring them
Houses. On the other Hand, 14 Bless them which perbless them, who are pursuing you with evil Inten- fecute you : Bless, and curse tions and persecute you with the greatest Severity for Conscience Sake. With them well, and
pray for their Conversion; yea, if they should go on to revile you, for all the Expessions of your Love, go on to bless; and curse them not, tho' provoked
by their bitterest Imprecations against you. 15
Make it a constant Maxim with yourselves, to 15 Rejoice with them maintain a constant Sympathy with your Brethren that do rejoice, and weep
with them that weep. of Mankind, which may
you to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them that weep; to congratulate others on their Felicity, and to bear your Part with thein in their Sorrows,
as Members of one Body, who have all, as it were, 16 one common Feeling. [Be] intirely united in
16 Be of the same
Mind one towards another. your Regards for each other (6). Let each con
Mind descend to the rest, and agree with them, as far must differ, do not, by any Means, quarrel about it, but allow the same Liberty of Senti
(a) Pursuing Hospitality.] It was the more proper for the Apostles fo frequently to inforce this Duty, as the Want of publick Inns (much less common, than among us, thonot quite unknown, Luke x. 34, 35.) rendered it difficult for Strangers to get Accommodations, and as many Christians might be banished their native Country for Religion, and perhaps laid under a Kind of Bann of Excoinmunication, both among Jews and Heathens, which would make it a high Crime, for any of their former Brethren to receive them into their Houses.
For the Illustration which the Paraphrase gives of the Energy of this Text, I am obliged to Mr. Blackwall, Sacred Claf: Vol. i. pag. 232.
(6) Be intirely united in your Regards for each other.] This on the whole, seemed the most proper Verlon of, To aulo Eis amantes ocorables; and tho' Dr. Whitby paraphrases it, “ Desire the & fame Thing for others, that you do for yourselves, and would have them defire for you;" I think the Sense given above preferable, as it supposes less of an Ellipsis, which I would not suppose without apparent Necessity.
Not to render Evil for Evil, but to live peaceably with all ;
157 Mind not high Things, but ments you would claim. Affe&t not high Things ; Sect. 28. condescend to Men of low either to possess exalted Stations of Life, or to Eftate. Be not wise in your converfe with those that bear them; but rather Rom. XII. own Conceits.
condescend, and accommodate yourselves, to Men
your Fellow-christians, in this Respect, or in any
you will warrant your returning the Injury; but
View, fair and reputable in tbe Sight of all Men.
and Conscience, live peaceably with all Men ; not
barians (c). 19 Dearly beloved, a
Upon the whole, my dearly beloved Brethren, venge not yourselves, but whatever Wrongs you may receive, revenge not rather give Place
Wrath : yourselves on those, that have injured you; but
rather yield, and give Place to the Wrath of the
(c) Greeks and Barbarians.] 'Tis remarkable that Dr. Barrow aclds, this must include living peaceably with Hereticks and Schismaticks, Barrow's Works, Vol. i. pag. 278. however, the Ill-treatment, which must be expected, under these hard Names, from Men of unpeaceable Tempers, should never lead any to deny, or flight, what they in their Consciences judge the Truth of Doctrine, or Purity of Worship.
(d) Give Place to Wrath.] L'Enfant and others explain this of giving Way to the Wrath of GOD, and quotes the Phrase of giving Place to the Physician, (Eccles. xxxviii
. 12.) and giving Place to the Law, (Chap. xix. 17.) as authorizing that Interpretation. But I think, in both those Passages, to give Place signifies to yield without oppoling; in which Sense it best suits the Interpretation given in the Paraphrafe, which feems most natural. The ingenious and learned Dr. Balguy determines in favour of the other Interpretation, (Balguy's
And overcome Evil with Good. Sect. 28. dulge any of the vindictive Paffions : As it is Wrath : For it is written,
vự written, (Deut. xxxii. 35.) Vengeance [is] mine, Vengeance is mine ; I will Rom. XII. that is, it properly belongs to me, and I will re
repay, faith the Lord.
the Dignity and Majesty, of a God, to claim,
Enemy hunger, feed him ; have used you most unkindly and unjuftly, if For in fo doing thou shalt thine Enemy kunger, feed bim, and if he thirdt, heap. Ccals of Fire on his give him Drink; and on the whole, do him all the Good in thy Power, as Solomon urgeth ; (Prov. xxv. 21.) for by doing this thou shalt, as it were, beap Coals of Fire on his Head (é) : Thou wilt touch him so sensibly, that he will no more be able to stand against such a Conduct, than to bear on his Head burning Coals; but will rather submit and seek thy Friendship, and endeavour by future Kindness to over-balance the Injury.
On all Occasions, act on this, as an inviolable 21 Be not overcome of Maxim; and if you don't find the immediate Evil, but overcome Evil good Effect, persist in such a Conduct; be not
I M P R O V E M E N T.
URELY if any Thing, consistent with the Burthens and Sorrows of
mortal Life, can inspireconstant Joy, it must be the Christian Hope; the Hope of our bigh CallingSurely with a Joy thus supported, no Tribulation can be too great to be endured with Patience; yea, with Chcarfulness:
Serm. Vol. ii pag. 222, 223.) tho' the Force of the Reason, that follows, is not at all impaired by curs.
(e) Thou shalt Beap, &c.] The Sense cannot be, thou. Malt confiume him, and bring. Judg. ments upon him ; for that would be applying to Revenge, and building upon it, while it is most expressly forbidden. It must therefore intimate, in how tendera Mlanner human Na. ture is affecied, with Favours received from one who has been considered as an Enemy.
Measure to Ver. 13.
Reflections on our Obligation to Joy, Love, Peace, &c: 159 Since, whatever it be, the glorious Object of our Hope, far from being Sect. 28. endangered or diminished by it, shall rather be secured and encreased. Let us therefore continue instant in Prayer, that our Minds may be so fortified, and ennobled, that we may dwell upon these Views.
Well may they keep the Heart in 10 serene and pleasant a State, as to make us ready to every Act of Kindness to our Fellow. creatures; but eipecially to those, who are Heirs with us of this Hope ; whom we ought to esteem it our great Honour and Priviledge to be able in any aflist and accommodate, while they are travelling thro' this too often inhospitable Wilderness, in the way to that Kingdom, they are going to receive. It is no Wonder, that as we are not of this World, but are choSen and called on of the World to so glorious a Prospect, the World fiould bate and persecute us : But let us neither be dismayed, nor in any Degree exasperated, with this ill Usage we inay meet with. Rather, with unfeigned Compassion and good Will to the most injurious of our Enemies, let us not only refrain from repaying Evil with Evil
, but render them Ver. 17. Blessing for Curses, and Benefits for Wrongs : Since we have ourselves found such Mercy, and are called to inherit such a Blesing.
Let us cultivate those kind and social Affections, which this great Proficient in them all so forcibly inculcates ;—that tender Sympathy which Ver. 15. may teach us to share in the Joys and Sorrows of all about us--that candid Humility, which Ihall, with graceful unaffected Freedom, stoop to the Ver. 16. lowest and the meanest, and while it stoops, rise in unfought Honours, —that Distrust of ourselves, which shall cause us to cease from our own Wisdom, that we may repose ourselves upon the unerring Guidance of our heavenly Father,--this kindly obstinate Attachment to Peace, this Ver.18,&c, heroick Superiority, which melts down with Kindness the Heart, that but a little before was glowing with Rage. And on the whole, this resolute Perseverance in Goodness
, which must be finally victorious, and will af- Ver. 21. suredly rise with a new Accession of Strength and of Glory, from every seeming Defect.
All are to be subject to the superior Authorities ;
S E C T. XXIX.
The Apostle urges Obedience to Magistrates, Justice in all its
Branches, and Love, as the Fulfilling of the Law; conclud ing the Chapter with a warm Exhortation to that universal Sanétity, which might become and adorn the excellent Difpensation of the Gospel. Rom. XIII. 1, to the End,
ROMANS XIII. I.
ROMANS XIII. I. MONG the many Exhortations I am now
ET every Soul be fubLE
ject unto the higher Rom. XIII. giving you, my Christian Brethren, to a Powers. For there is no
Life worthy of the Gospel, that of Obedience Power but of God: The
ed of GOD.
(a) Disposed and established.] So I render the Word lelayuevas, thinking the English Word ordained rather too strong. Compare Aets xiii. 48. and the Note there. Divine Providence ranges, and in Fact establishes, the various Governments of the World ; they are therefore, under the Character of Governments, in the general to be revered : But this cannot make what is wrong and pernicious in any particular Forms, Sacred, Divine and immutable, any more than the Hand of God in a Famine or Pestilence, is an Argument against seeking proper
Means to remove it.