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God's mercies must move us to please God. No man must think too well of himself, but attend every one on that calling wherein he is placed. Love, and other duties, are required of us. Revenge is especially forbidden.
Anno Domini 58.
THE Apostle, having now finished the doctrinal part of his Epistle, judged it fit, in this and in the following chapters, to give the Roman brethren a variety of precepts respecting their behaviour, both as members of the church, and as subjects of the state. Some of these precepts are of universal and perpetual obligation, and others of them were suited to the circumstances of the brethren at the time they were written; such as the precepts concerning meats and holy days, which, though they may seem less necessary now that the disputes which gave rise to them no longer subsist, are nevertheless of great use still, as they may be applied for directing our conduct in other points of equal importance to society and to the church.
The Apostle begins with observing, that as the Jewish church was dissolved, and the sacrifices of beasts were no longer a part of the worship of God, it was highly proper that Jews and Gentiles should offer their bodies a sacrifice to God, not by slaying them, but by putting the lusts thereof to death; Romans 12:1.—And that both should take care not to conform themselves to the heathen world, either in its principles or practices; Romans 12:2.—And because the brethren at Rome, and more particularly the statedministersofreligion,there,whopossessedspiritualgifts,hadfromvanityfallen, or were in danger of falling into some irregularities in the exercise of their gifts, he desired them not to think too highly of themselves on account of their endowments, whatever they might be; Romans 12:3.—but to remember, that they were all joint-members of one body; Romans 12:4-5.—and had spiritual gifts as well as natural talents bestowed on them, suitable to their office in that body, which they were to exercise for the good of the whole; Romans 12:6-8.—Next the Apostle inculcated on the Roman brethren, the practice of those moral graces and virtues, which were the glory of the Christian name; such as zeal in the service of Christ, patience in afflictions, love to mankind, even to enemies, forgiveness of injuries, and the overcoming of evil with good; Romans 12:9-21.
Romans 12:1. The Apostle has now finished his proofs and explications relating to the justification, calling, and election of the believing Gentiles, or to their being admitted into the kingdom and covenant of God, and interested in all the privileges and honours of his children and peculiar people,—in all the blessings and hopes of the Gospel. This our happy state he has well established by solid and substantial arguments, and guarded it against every attack of the unbelieving Jew. He has demonstrated that it stands right in the nature of things; Romans 1-3 : That it is set upon the same footing with Abraham's title to the blessings of the covenant; Romans 4 : That it gives us a title to privileges and blessings as great as any of the Jews could glory in, by virtue of that covenant; ch. Romans 5:1-12. He goes still higher, and shews, that our being interested in the gift and grace of God in Christ Jesus, is perfectly agreeable to the grace which he has confessedly bestowed upon all mankind in Christ Jesus, in delivering them from that death which came upon them by Adam's offence; ch. Rom 5:12 to the end. He has clearly explained, both with regard to Gentiles and Jews, the nature of the Gospel constitution,in respect to its obligations to virtue and holiness; and the advantages that it gives for encouragingour obedience, and supporting us under the severest trials; Romans 6-8. Farther; as the Jews' pretences, that God was bound by express promise to continue them, and such as come into their peculiarity, to be his only people for ever, were directly inconsistent with the calling and election of the Gentiles, upon the foot of faith alone. The Apostle demonstrates, that the rejection of the Jews is consistent with the truth of God's word,and with his righteousness. He shews the true cause and reason of their rejection; and concludes with an admirable discourse upon the extent and duration of it, which he closes with adoration of the divine wisdom in its various dispensations; Romans 9-11 —Thus having cleared this important subject with surprising judgment, and the nicest art and skill in writing, he now proceeds, after his usual method in his Epistles, and the apostolic manner of preaching, to inculcate various Christian duties; and to exhort to that temper of mind and conduct of life, which are agreeable to Gospel privileges and profession.
Mercies of God— He means all the blessings and privileges given us freely in the Gospel by the mercy of God. There seem to be two reasons why St. Paul's first exhortation to them is, to present their bodies undefiled to God. 1. Because he had before, especially in Romans 7:0, so much insisted on this, That the body was the great source whence sin arose. 2. Because the heathen world, and particularly the Romans, were guilty of those vile affections which he mentions, ch. Romans 1:24-27. The body is here, by a usual figure, put for the whole person, nor can the soul be now presented to God, otherwise than as dwelling in the body, or truly consecrated to him, unless the body be employed in his service. Nor, on the other hand, can the body be presented as a living sacrifice, otherwise than as acted and animated by the soul. The word παραστησαι . rendered present, properly signifies "placing the victim before the altar," It seems probable that the Apostle, in this first verse, had his thoughts principallyupon the Jewish, and in the second verse upon the Gentile Christians; for in Rom 12:1 he opposes moral duty to the offering up of sacrifices, which must be the sacrifices presented by the Jews in the temple, and calls moral duty a reasonable service, or rational worship, as it seems, in opposition to ritual. In Rom 12:2 he dehorts from conformity to the world, which generally means the heathen world; and persuades them to be transformed by the renewing of their mind, which is the phrase that he uses to Gentile converts, Ephesians 4:22-23.—These verses may be paraphrased thus: "Having cleared your title to the blessings and privileges of God's peculiar kingdom in this world, I now earnestly exhort you, Christian brethren, from a consideration of the goodness of God, in revealing his Gospel, and admitting you all to an equal interest in the grace therein declared and promised, that, as a holy priesthood, instead of brutal dead sacrifices, your consecrate and offer your bodies, a living sacrifice, by mortifying the deeds of the flesh; that being free from every blemish of sensual impurity, you may practise holiness, and the things that are pleasing to God, which is the most rational worship and service that you can perform, and infinitely preferable to the ritual observances of the law. And as you are now become a separate and peculiar people of God (Romans 12:2.), do not mix yourselves again with a profane, wicked, and ignorant world; do not conform to the vicious customs, taste, and examples thereof; but be changed through the power of divine grace into new creatures in Christ Jesus, by receiving better principles and habits of mind; that you may thereby be enabled to discover, relish, approve, and recommend to others, that course of life, which is good, just, and true; most pleasing and acceptable to God, and whereby ye shall be accomplished in every part of the divine life." We may just remark, that some commentators consider the three words good, acceptable, and perfect, as opposed to the Jewish ritual: this Christian sacrifice being more excellent in itself (Ezekiel 20:25.), more pleasing to God (Psalms 40:7-8.), and tending more to make us perfect, Hebrews 7:19. But perhaps they refer more generally to all the preceptive parts of Christianity, the excellency of which they will best understand, who endeavour to practise it most exactly. See Locke, and Elsner.
Romans 12:3. For I say, &c.— "I say and give it in charge:" So λεγειν signifies, Acts 15:24. Instead of Not to think of himself more highly, Doddridge reads, after Raphelius, Not to arrogate to himself above what, &c. Instead of measure of faith, some copies have it of grace; but either of them expresses the same thing; that is, gifts of the Spirit. See the next note.
Romans 12:6. According to the proportion of faith— This proportion of faith, and the measure of faith, Rom 12:3 seem not to relate to the degree of any gift considered in itself, but rather to the relation and proportion which it bore to the gifts of others: for it is plain, that the Apostle is here exhorting every man to keep soberly withinhis own sphere. It is natural to suppose that the new converts might be puffed up with the several gifts which were bestowed upon them, and every one might be forward to magnifyhis own, to the disparagement of others; which would be attended with bad consequences. Therefore the Apostle advises them to keep every man within his proper sphere; to know and observe the just measure and proportion of his gift, intrusted with him not to gratify his own pride, but to edify the church. Prophesy originally implied the foretelling of the future events relating to the church, to the comfort and edification of the assembly; and those effects generally attending the act of prophesy, in a little time assumed its name: but the proper sense of prophesy is the foretellingof things to come; the import, the interpretation of sacred Scripture; and the explaining of prophesies already delivered. See 1Co 14:20-32 and for an account of the spiritual gifts and offices in the primitive church, Lord Barrington's Miscell. Sacr. Essay 1:; Benson's History of the first Planting of Christianity, ch. 1. sect. 4, 5 and 1 Corinthians 12:28.; Castalio, Erasmus, Bengelius, and others, connect this with the preceding verse: We are members one of another; but, having gifts differing, &c.
Romans 12:8. He that ruleth, with diligence— Lord Barrington thinks this clause relates to the receiving and succouring of strangers; most probably, persecuted strangers; or, however, such as travelled for the propagation of the Gospel; and that for these reasons: First, because the Apostle has admonished them to use well all the gifts of the Spirit for the good of men's minds, Rom 12:6-7 and in the first clause of the present verse. It seems, therefore, most natural to suppose, that he should in the three last clauses of this verse direct them how to use other gifts of God's providence for the good of men's morals and religion; and that he should lay the several instances of the kindness of others together in the same manner, as in Hebrews 13:2-3. Secondly, Προστατις, a feminine word of the same original and signification with; ο προισταμενος, is used in this sense, ch. Romans 16:2. She hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also; the word προισταμαι signifies, among other things, to defend, patronize; and so it might be rendered, Titus 3:8; Titus 3:14. To patronize good works; meaning to encourage and assist in them. In this sense the clause here should be rendered, He that gives succour, or relief, let him do it with care and application. See Lord Barrington's Miscel. Sacr. Essay 1: p. 76.
Romans 12:10. Be kindly affectioned, &c.— Perhaps the extremely expressive words of the original might justly be rendered, Delight in the tenderest fraternal affection to each other. The word Φιλοστοργοι, not only signifies a strong affection, like that of parent animals to their offspring, but a delight in it. The words of the latter clause might literally be rendered, Leading on each other with respect; or, In giving honour, going before each other. Some render it, Mutually prevent one another with honour. See Balguy's Sermons, and Leighton's Exposit. Works, vol. 2: p. 429.
Romans 12:11. Serving the Lord— Some copies read καιρω, instead of κυριω, serving the time; that is, husbanding your opportunities: but though admitted by Dr. Mills, it appears an unnatural and inelegant expression in that sense, and very much sinks the noblemeaningofthe commonly received reading; which contains a lively exhortation to Christians, to be always serving Christ, and to cultivate the temper which the Apostle expresses when he says, To me to live is Christ, Phillip. Romans 1:21. See Doddridge, Mill, and Wetstein.
Romans 12:13. Given to hospitality— It was the more proper for the Apostles frequently to enforce this duty, as the want of public inns 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 excommunication, both among Jews and heathens; which would make it a high crime for any of their brethren to receive them into their houses. See Blackwall's Sacred Classics, vol. 1: p. 232.
Romans 12:16. Be of the same mind, &c.— Be entirely united in your regards for each other. Doddridge. Whitby paraphrases it, "Desire the same things for others, that you do for yourselves, and would have them desire for you." Dr. Heylin unites this with the preceding verse, and renders them as follows: Live in a mutual sympathy, so as to rejoice with those who are in joy, and compassionate those who are in grief. Do not aspire to high things, but be contented with mean things.
Romans 12:17. Provide things honest, &c.— "Take care that your behaviour be such, as may be approved by all men." Dr. Wells reads,—In the sight of God, and in the sight of men.
Romans 12:19. Avenge not yourselves— The emperor Claudius, by his decree, banished all Jews from Rome, Acts 18:2. Upon this occasion Aquila and Priscilla removed to Corinth, where St. Paul found them, and dwelt with them a considerable time. No doubt they gave him a full account of the state of the Christian church at Rome, and every thing relating to the late persecution under Claudius. That emperor's edict died with him in about two years time. Then the Jews and Christians [if the Christians were expelled] returned again to Rome; for Aquila and Priscilla were there, when St. Paul wrote this Epistle, (ch. Romans 16:3.), which was about the fourth year of Nero, successor to Claudius. Hence it appears more than probable, that the Apostle, in this and the following verses, has his eye upon the indignities and injuries done to the Christian Jews, if not to the Christians in general, in the forementioned persecution. See Benson's "First Planting of the Christian Religion," vol. 2: p. 106 and Eccl 19: 17.
Romans 12:20. Thou shalt heap, &c,— The sense cannot be, thou shalt consume him and bring judgments 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 tender a manner mankind in general are affected with favours received from one who has been considered as an enemy. See Doddridge.
Inferences.—How should a consideration of the endearing mercies of God engage us to yield up ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him! This is every way a most reasonable service. And how should our hearts be loosened from this world, and from all its sinful fashions, customs, and practices; and how desirous of such a renovation of our minds, by the blessed Spirit, as shall transform us into the image of God, and give us an experimental, practical, and approving acquaintance with every thing that is good in itself, pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, and agreeable to his holy will! But, be our gifts, graces, and services ever so great, we should keep up modest and humble thoughts of ourselves, and not be wise in our own conceit, or despise others; since all that we receive is according to the measure of the gift of Christ to us, as his members, for the good of the whole body. Wonderful is the grace and care of the great Head of the Church, in providing for it. He has furnished it with such gifts and officers, as are necessary for its spiritual edification, and for managing its temporal concerns; and has ordered all his servants to attend to their charge with integrity, diligence, and cheerfulness, according to the grace given them, and the rule of his word.—And, as to the duties of private Christians, they are called to the sincerest love, the most affectionate deportment, and honourable regards, one towards another; to detest every thing that is sinful, and cleave to all that is good; to be vigorously active in the business of their civil and religious stations, and fervent in every service, as doing it to the Lord; to rejoice in hope of eternal life, and to be patient and resigned to the will of God under all their trials and afflictions, and persevering in earnest prayer. How amiable are the Christian morals, founded in evangelical love! and how far surpassing all that was ever practised or taught by the most refined heathens! This love, which has such an influence upon and gives such a beautiful turn to all morality, is without dissimulation: it is liberal to the necessitous, especially to the poor that bear the characters of holiness; and is hospitable to good and honest strangers, especially those that suffer for righteousness' sake: it inspires us with such a fellow-feeling with others, as makes us rejoice with the happy and mourn with the afflicted: it is humble and condescending to men of the lowest degree, and benevolent to our very enemies: it implores blessings upon the heads of those that persecute, abuse, and curse us: it chooses to refer an injured cause to the righteous judgment of God, rather than render evil for evil, or seek private revenge: it endeavours to live peaceably with all men, and behave with honour toward them: and it takes pleasure in giving food and drink to poor necessitous enemies, in melting them with kindness, and overcoming evil with good.
REFLECTIONS.—The doctrines of grace are so far from leading to licentiousness, that nothing but these can effectually engage the heart to walk in holiness as Christ also walked.
1. The Apostle exhorts them to yield themselves wholly to God. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God; by the consideration of that boundless, undeserved grace, which you have tasted; that, constrained by a sense of such astonishing love, ye, as spiritual priests, present your bodies, not the carcase of a dead animal, but a nobler oblation than any which were offered under the law, even a living sacrifice; your whole selves to be employed for God's glory, holy, without allowed guile; in spirit, temper, and conduct, conformed to his will; and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, in whom your persons and services are regarded as a sacrifice of a sweet smell; all which is your reasonable service, to be performed with all the powers of your rational souls, and most fit and right, considering the infinite obligations lying upon you. And, in order hereunto, be not conformed to this world, to its temper, maxims, fashions, manners; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God; discerning what is the mind of God in his word; commending to others the excellence and importance of the revelation he has made; and cast into the very mould of the Gospel, the best proof of your approbation of it. Note; (1.) No argument is so powerful to engage the ingenuous heart, as a sense of the mercies of God. (2.) The most acceptable sacrifice to God is the surrender of our whole selves to him at the foot of the cross of Jesus, the altar which sanctifies the gift. (3.) They who yield themselves to God, must prove their simplicity in all holy conversation and godliness. (4.) Religion is indeed a reasonable service; the more we consider what we owe to God, the more shall we be bound to acknowledge, that he deserves to be served with every faculty of our soul, and every member of our body. (5.) They who partake of the true grace of God, and experience its transforming efficacy upon their tempers and conduct, they die unto the world, and live only for God.
2. He enforces upon them humility and lowliness of mind, that great ornament of the Christian character. For I say, through the grace given unto me, in virtue of the office with which I am invested, to every man that is among you, whatever his rank or attainments may be, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; affecting a superiority over others, or pretending to be wise above what is written, and to intrude into things that are too high for him; but to think soberly and lowly, of his gifts, graces, and attainments, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith; and acknowledging, that whatever measure of faith he possesses, or however distinguished his endowments by nature or grace may be, yet he has nothing which he hath not received, and therefore all boasting is excluded. And as our talents are merely lent us for the good of our own souls, and the edification of others, it will become us to see that our profiting appears. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, but each discharges his separate function, and all are alike needful in their place, and contribute to the good of the whole; so we being many are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another; united under our adored Head, each occupying his respective place according to the measure of the gift of Christ; and, therefore, instead of being puffed up in pride, and despising one another, we should give diligence to discharge the several services allotted to every member, acknowledging the mutual obligation which one has to the other, and contributing heartily to the prosperity of the whole. Having then gifts, differing according to the grace that is given unto us, as the Lord has been pleased to dispense to every man, let it be our care to improve them, according to our respective offices and station, for the glory of God, and the good of our fellow members:—Whether prophesy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith. They who are put in trust with the Gospel, must preach it with all fidelity and diligence, according to the measure of light, faith, and experience which they have received: or, according to the analogy of faith; in exact consistence with the grand principles laid down in the word of God, in Scripture-language, and with attention to the context:—Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering, in the inferior departments of the church, where attention, care, and constancy are required:—Or he that teacheth, on teaching; opening, explaining, and defending the doctrines of the Scripture:—Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation; with warmth applying the word to the conscience, warning the unruly, supporting the feeble-minded, reproving the guilty, comforting the dejected, and, according to the different state of the people's souls, suiting his discourse for their edification and consolation. He that giveth, and is entrusted with the distribution of the public stock appropriated to charitable uses, let him do it with simplicity; without fraud, favour, or affection, according to the real wants of the church's poor. He that ruleth, and has the management of affairs, must do it with diligence, careful that proper discipline be observed. He that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness; ready to every work and labour of love; not dragged reluctantly to visit the sick or afflicted; or grudging the time, trouble, or expence; not treating the poor with coldness, or sternness, but with that affability, tenderness, and compassion, which bespeak the pleasure that he takes in assisting them. Note; (1.) Pride is a busy sin; we can never be enough on our guard against it. We are in danger of abusing even the gifts and graces of God, and of pluming ourselves upon them, if we do not watch unto prayer. (2.) If God has put us in trust with any office, our business is to approve our fidelity to him, employing the talents which he has lent us; not puffed up with any distinction which he may have made between us and others, but remembering the solemn account that we must shortly make before him, when he calls us to give an account of our stewardship. (3.) Ministers have different gifts, all excellent in their place. One is blessed with a clearer judgment, another with a warmer flow of eloquence, and all for the edification of the body of Christ.
3. The Apostle proceeds to urge Christians in general to walk before God and man in such a way, as may most eminently adorn the doctrine which they profess, and glorify their divine Master.
Let love be without dissimulation. Let your love to God in Christ be supreme, and your love to your brethren unfeigned and hearty; the living principle of every good word and work, and without which all our doings are nothing worth.
Abhor that which is evil. Turn away with abhorrence from all manner of iniquity, harbouring no allowed sin in yourself, and testifying your hatred of it wherever it appears, though in those who are nearest and dearest to you. And, on the contrary, cleave to that which is good; to God, his people, his word, his worship, will, and ways; never deterred by any danger, or seduced by any allurements, from the path of duty.
Be kindly affectioned one to another; tenderly desiring to promote each other's happiness; delighting in each other's prosperity; bearing each other's burdens; and ready to every word and work which fervent charity dictates: with brotherly love in honour, preferring one another; casting the veil of oblivion over the faults of others, and humbly acknowledging your own; thinking and speaking honourably of the gifts, graces, and attainments of your brethren, and entertaining lowly thoughts of yourselves.
Not slothful in business. In the business of your station be vigorous and active, and what thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; but especially in all the work of God be lively, fervent in spirit, animated with burning love and holy zeal for his glory; serving the Lord in prayer, and praise, and all ordinances; in persevering obedience to his will, and submission to his providences, approving your fidelity unshaken to the adored Jesus.
Rejoicing in hope; believing the faithfulness of God to his promises, and going forward with cheerfulness and delight in his work and ways, knowing that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.
Patient in tribulation; resigned to the divine Providence; calm under every provocation; with holy courage sustaining the rudest shocks of opposition and persecution; and, under the longer afflictions, quietly waiting to see the salvation of God.
Continuing instant in prayer; fervently and frequently approaching a throne of grace; seeking help and strength for all the work and service to which you are called, deeply conscious of your own insufficiency, without continual supplies of power from on high, to do any thing aright before God.
Distributing to the necessity of saints; cheerfully, liberally, according to their wants, and your abilities. Given to hospitality; welcoming to your house and tables those who for the sake of Christ are destitute, and giving them that warm and cordial reception which true charity dictates.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not: speaking of them and to them respectfully; commending what is praiseworthy in them; never returning railing for railing; never harbouring a thought of resentment against your most malignant revilers; forgiving them, and praying to God that he would forgive them also, and turn their hearts.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice; sharing their joys, and, instead of envying, sincerely partaking of their prosperity: and weep with them that weep; feeling the tenderest sympathy with them in their sufferings, and, by prayer, advice, and every assistance, desirous to alleviate or remove the sorrows of the miserable.
Be of the same mind one towards another; united as much as may be in sentiment; and where any lesser difference in judgment subsists, still preserving the same warm affection towards each other; wishing all good to your brethren, and seeking to promote each other's happiness.
Mind not high things; affect not pre-eminence; aspire not after the honours and dignities of the world; nor court the company of the great; but condescend to men of low estate; treating your inferiors with kindness; and to whatever eminence or affluence you may arrive, be courteous, affable, and free to the lowest; ready to stoop to every proper office of love for the service and comfort of the meanest saint of God. Or, condescend to low things, as the words may be rendered; let your mind be humbled to your condition, and cheerfully acquiesce in every dispensation of Providence, however strait and necessitous your circumstances may be.
Be not wise in your own conceits. Beware of entertaining a high imagination of your own abilities, gifts, or graces; treating the advice and admonitions of others with scorn, as if you were above all teaching, and satisfied in your own self-sufficiency.
Recompense to no man evil for evil, neither in looks, words, nor works.
Provide things honest in the sight of all men; not only taking care of your families and worldly concerns, but so ordering the general course of your conduct and conversation, that the unprejudiced part of mankind, at least, may bear you an honourable testimony; and that none may be able to reproach you with any thing mean, or unbecoming your Christian character.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men; studiously avoiding whatever may bring on disputes or uneasiness; and as far as is consistent with truth, charity, and the glory of God, cultivating a spirit of love and peace; that at least, if through the perverseness of others it be not possible to avoid contentions, you may have the satisfaction of your own conscience in the reflection, that, as much as lieth in you, it has been your endeavour to please all men for their good to edification.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: forgive the injuries that you receive; take no private revenge; suppress the angry passions which may attempt to rise within you; give the soft answer which turneth away wrath; nor, by opposing, irritate; but, however unreasonable others may appear, yield, or go away till the storm has subsided: and if, after all, you meet with implacable resentment, refer the matter to God; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. This is his prerogative, and not to be invaded by us. As magistracy is his ordinance, in some cases for the good of society we are bound to have recourse thereto; in others, where ourselves only are concerned, we must wait the great decisive day, when every man shall receive according as his work is. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head; either by such instances of kindness you will melt him down (as the refiners do their metals) into repentance, and gain his heart to love you; or if he continue obstinate in hatred, it will exceedingly aggravate his condemnation, to add base ingratitude to his unprovoked enmity.
Finally, Be not overcome of evil; let no ill usage, however aggravated, repeated, or persisted in, discompose your spirit, weary out your patience, or quench your love; so as that you should give way to anger, be enslaved by sin, and afford the enemy an occasion to triumph over you. But overcome evil with good, which is the most glorious conquest, the proof of the noblest spirit, and the assured evidence that you are born of him who causeth his sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth his rain upon the just and upon the unjust. Lord Jesus, give me such a heart, and stamp this thy image on my soul!
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24