Imatges de pÓgina
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wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation : he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity ; he that ruleth, with diligence ; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love ; in honour preferring

11 Honest industry is a noble chrisone another ; not slothful tian virtue. in business ; fervent in spirit;

12 When our heart is filled with serving the Lord; " rejoic- hope of heaven, it is marvellous how ing in hope ; patient in tri- much earthly sorrow it can bear up bulation ; continuing instant against. in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints ; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them

14 You remember that such was the which persecute you : bless, command of Jesus ; and such was and curse not. Rejoice his practice. He prayed pardon even with them that do rejoice, for his murderers. and weep with them that 15 Christian sympathy was beautiweep. Be of the same mind fully exemplified, when Jesus wept

with the sisters of Lazarus. one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest 18 It is not possible thus to live with in the sight of all men,

18 If all men-but we are to strive so to it be possible, as much as

live, to the utmost of our power :

taking heed however that we do not lieth in you, live peaceably compromise our duty to God or to with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath : for it is written, Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine 20 As coals of fire heaped upon the enemy hunger, feed him; if cold hard iron, warm and soften it, be thirst, give him drink : so kind forbearance melteth the hard for in so doing thou shalt and finty heart, heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

God grant to thee grace to practise the duties, which thus lie upon thee individually! Strive manfully—Thou shalt triumph gloriously.

Be not

man,

CHAPTER XIII,

Jan. 15, May 14, Sept. 12. The Queen's ACCESSION. From recommending personal duties, St. Paul proceeds to lay down those incumbent upon us as members of society.

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'Let every soul be subject i Government is an ordinance of unto the higher powers. For

God; therefore every soul-Jew and

Gentile, rich and poor - is bound there is no power but of God:

to obey the laws of his country, the powers that be are or- and conform to its institutions *. dained of God. Whosoever 2 To resist legal authority is to retherefore resisteth the power,

sist God, not man. resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves dam

3 No good man fears the law, bat nation. For rulers are not rejoices in its protection t. a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power ? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good.

But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid ; for he beareth not the sword in vain : for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. •Wherefore ye must needs be

5 How surely does the Gospel elesubject, not only for wrath, vate our view of duty, and exalt our but also for conscience sake. motive in performing it I! For this cause pay ye tribute also : for they are God's ministers, attending continually

7 Hence Christians willingly pay upon this very thing. 'Ren

tribute, or taxes. They remember der therefore to all their dues :

that their Master, Christ, worked a tribute to whom tribute is miracle that He might pay tribute. due; custom to whom cus

And shall we resist ! Are we greater

or wiser than He $? tom; fear to whom fear; ho

Without laws, and those duly authorized to administer them, society could not exist in peace. The wild passions of men, unrestrained, would fill the world with misery. God, though always King of kings and Lord of lords, the Ruler of princes, and the great moral Governor of the world, once deigned himself to be his people's King ; thus for ever sanetifying a sovereign's honour among men.

| Legislators are indirectly, but powerfully reminded that all their legislation should tend to sustain virtue, and give praise" and encouragement to “them who do good.” The Apostle very skilfully so frames his admonition to those who are to obey the laws, as to convey instruetion to those also who are, from their high station, ordained to frame them.

I A worldly man may, from fear of consequences, abstain from injustice. The Christian rises far above such fear. He abstains, for conscience sake, towards God.

& Mark the beautiful order of duty towards our superiors. To the sovereign we pay tribute. On the coin of the realm is the royal "image and superscription.” (Matth. xxii. 20.) To the civil magistrate we pay fear ; and “ to all our betters,” that reverence which is due, according to their scale of honour, and their "state of life to which it may have pleased God to call them.” It is evil for a nation, when the inferior ranks cast off what honour is due to their superiors, and strive to cure their discontent at their own state by withholding due respect from those wbom the providence of God may have placed above them,

nour to whom honour. Owe

8 Christian love is a debt which we no man any thing, but to love must be ever paying, yet must ever one another : for he that owe ; remembering the heavenly loveth another hath fulfilled precept,“ to love our neighbour as

ourselves." the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour : therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 In sin, men's souls are asleep ; 11 And that, knowing the time, unconscious of their danger and their that now it is high time to duties : nay, of their very existence. awake out of sleep : for now

Would men sin, if they felt that they

had a soul which sin would destroy is our salvation nearer than for ever? when we believed. The 12 Eternity is at hand ! Practise night is far spent, the day is

those divine virtues which are as at hand: let us therefore cast

armour to thy soul. off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk ho

13 In the privacy of retirement, nestly, as in the day; not in walk holily, as in the light of God's rioting and drunkenness, not presence; and in society, peaceably in chambering and wanton

and lovingly. Hate ency: it is as

rottenness to the bones ; a base and ness, not in strife and envy- debasing vice-hateful—loathsome. ing. 14 But put ye on the 14 Imitate-or put on-the Lord Lord Jesus Christ, and make Jesus Christ ; strive, humbly but panot provision for the flesh, to tiently, so to heed his blessed counsel,

that it shall be evident you are of fulfil the lusts thereof.

his faithful followers.

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CHAPTER XIV.

Jan. 16, May 15, Sept. 13. "Him that is weak in the faith 1 In matters of indifference, dispute receive ye, but not to doubt- not. ful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth 3 Exercise mutual forbearance toherbs. 3 Let not him that wards each other's infirmities. eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth : for God hath received him. * Who art thou that judgest 4 Neither Jew nor Gentile must another man's servant ? to judge each other hastily. his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.

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Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. ? For none of us 7 No man knoweth the infiuepce liveth to himself, and no man which his example, either for good dieth to himself. For whe

or for evil, may have upon others; ther we live, we live unto

and as after death cometh the judg.

ment, so we live and die also unto the Lord ; and whether we the Lord. die, we die unto the Lord : 9 We therefore owe to him a hely whether we live therefore, or life : such He justly demands as the die, we are the Lord's. ' For Lord of life. to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the 10 This thought may well check 2 dead and living. 10 But why harsh judgment upon others. dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother ? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us 12 Reckon nou, how will stand thine shall give account of himself account then. to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more : but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself : but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

15 Do not willingly throw an obstathy brother be grieved with cle in the way of a weak brother's thy meat, now walkest thou faith—Jesus died for him-lest your not charitably. Destroy not should be evil spoken of, as causing

Christian liberty, which is itself good, him with thy meat, for whom offence-or hindrance—in the way Christ died. Let not then of others. your good be evil spoken of: 19 True religion consists, not in iz

for the kingdom of God is those legal distinctions of meats, but not meat and drink; but in the practice of virtue and holiness. righteousness, and peace, and

18 Men cannot help honouring vir

tue, even though they do not practise joy in the Holy Ghost, ** For it. he that in these things serveth 19 You cannot more surely prove a Christ is acceptable to God, Christian heart than by always actand approved of men. Leting in a peaceful spirit. us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destrog not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is

15 But if

evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is of- 22 If you think all meats may be fended, or is made weak. eaten, eat—with a clear conscience 22 Hast thou faith? have it

before God. to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he 23 Where the conscience is not conalloweth. 23 And he that vinced, there it would be wrong to doubteth is damned if he eat, eat of all meats indifferently, because he eateth not of faith : for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

It is a good rule, in matters not imperatively commanded, to abstain from doing that, of the propriety of which your mind doubts.

CHAPTER XV.

Jax. 17, May 16, SEPT. 14. * We then that are strong 1 Gentile converts should bear with ought to bear the infirmities the weak prejudices of their Jewish of the weak, and not to please brethren. ourselves. ? Let every one

? A worthy motive to please our of us please his neighbour neighbour, viz. the hope of advancing

his spiritual good *. for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye

6 Let Jew and Gentile worship with may with one mind and one

one accord—one mind, one heart, mouth glorify God, even the one spirit. Father of our Lord Jesus

7 Christ received in love both Jew Christ. 7 Wherefore receive and Gentile. Surely they should ye

one another, as Christ themselves esteem each other in love. also received us to the glory

8 Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the of God. •Now I say that circumcision ; that is, of the Jews. Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers : and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy ; as it is

* By edification is meant the building up. As a holy temple is edified, or built, so the soul is edified, or built up—a holy temple to the Lord. To induce our neighbour to accept our aid in this his holy work, is a truly laudable motive for pleasing Him.

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