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position, and with a Resolution to return Evil for Evil; but, when the Damage is not great, chufe rather to pass it by, though posfibly it might on that Account be repeated, than to enter into a rigorous. Prosecution of the Offender. On these Principles [and agreeably to the real Genius and Tenor of the divine Law,) if any Man Atrike thee on thy right Cheek, patiently turn the other to
him also *.
2 Tim. iii. 8.) Had our Lord meant to intimate, that we should father fuffer ourselves to be murdered, and our Families to be ruined, than refif the Villain that attempts it, he would have laid down so frange a Precept the strongest Terms: and it is very unreasonable to infer it from this Passage, which speaks of so trijling an Injury as a Slap on the Face, or fuing a Man for the Value of a Waistcoat or Cloak.--If it be asked, whether we are univerfully forbidden to refift on such [trivial] Occafions, as these? I answer, we are; unless we be in our Consciences convinced, that, in present Circumstances to hand on our Defence will be more for the public Good; and in those Cases, this particular Precept is superseded by the general Law of universal Benevolence; But I apprehend these Expressions intimate, that, on the whole, it will generally be for the beft, to wave rigorous Prosecutions on fuch Night Occasions. '[Such a Conduct was-doubtless agreeable to the true Design and Meaning of the Law of Mofes, and to the Doctrine expressly taught by other Writers of the Old Testament as will appear from the following and other similar Texts, Prov. xx. 22. xxiv. 29. xiv. 17. 29. xix. 11.] *** Turn the order to bim alfo.] This is a proverbial Phrase, 'to express a meek Submission to Injuries and Afronts. See Isa. 1. 6, and Lamentations iij, 30.
40. And if any one be resolved to fue thee at Law, and to take away thy Veft, permit him to take thy Mantle too, for the loss of both would be but a Trifle, in Comparison of those Vexatious Snares, and Expences, which would probably attend the Continuance of the Suit. Or according to another Expositor who has perhaps more fully expressed our Saviour's Meaning; “If any Man be litigious, and would go to Law with you to trick you out of your Coat, howfoever hard this may seem, yet it is in itself a Thing of small Value, and should rather let hiin take as much more than with a contentious and revengful Temper to stand a vexatious Lawfuit with him." 41. And if any press thee to go
with him one Mile, obliging thee and thy Carriages to attend him on a public Account (though in strict Justice thou shouldst be exempted from such a Service ] rather with him two more, than disturb the Peace by a forcible' Opposition ; for in many such Cales as these, it will be more for your own Comfort: as well as the Credit of Religion, to submit than contend.
42. [And agreeably to the truly benevolent Spirit of the divine Law) when thou seest any one in real Neceflity, and hast it in the Power of
thy Hand to do it, give to him that asketh thee: thy Charity, † and do not turn away, with a. fevere Denial, him that would borrow of thee,
43 By such Condescentions and Favors, you will generally gain the Friendship of those with whom
you converse; but if any should be so base, as, notwithstanding all, to persist in using you ill, do not indulge to Sentiments of Revenge. I know you have [in the second great Commandment of the Law) heard that it was said to our Fathers, Thou shalt bove thy Neighbour, (Lev. xix. 18.) and from thence some have argued, though in direct Contradiction to many other Scriptures, (Exod. xxiii. 45. Lev. xix. 17. and Prov. xiv. 21.)
+ Give to him that asketh thee the Charity.] Mr. Bloir would refer this to poinpw in Verse 39. and render it, Give to the injuricus Person, what he asketh thee; and has a very beauti, ful Discourse upon it in thát View; but it is plainly unnea ceffary to limit it; and I think, that, on this Interpretation, it would too much coincide with Verse 44. In whatever Sense, it be taken, it must admit of some Exceptions, or it will not only be inconsistent with such Precepts as require us to take Care of our Families, (as 1. Tim. v. 8.) but with natural Justice, and common Sense. It is amazing, therefore, that any who do not think themselves obliged by the literal Sense of abis Precept, to give or lend to every idle importunate Creature whatever he asks, "Thould infift' on a rigorous Interpretation or the preceding Passages from Verse 34, to 410
as if it had been added, Thou phalt hate thine Enemy.
44. But instead of favoring so pernicious a Maxim I say unto you, [that according to the true and full Meaning of the Command to love your Neighbour, it is your indispensible Duty to bear the fincereft good Will to all Men, to] love with Love unfeigned even your Enemies, [to] bless thoje who curfe you, [to] do goad to those who hate you, and pray for those who infult you, and persecute you: [to be kindly affected towards your Enemies, ready to do them Good for Evil, and the Good you cannot do yourselves, to pray that God would do it for them; for this both the Law and the Prophets require, not only to do justly, but also to love Mercy* :]
45. That you may thus approve your felves to be the Children of your heavenly Father ; [the original Giver of the Law) for with the most diffusive Kindness and Benefience, he causeth his Sun to arife on the evil and the good, and showereth-down Rain on the just and the unjust: So that his Enemies share in his providential Bounties, and Subfift on his daily Care.
46. Let it therefore be your Concern to imitate this extensive Goodness; for if you only love
Vid. Ron, 12. 19. Deut. 32. 35.
those who love you, what Reward have you? or what extraordinary Praise can you expect? Do not even the most infamous and scandalous Sinners, such as the very Publicans, do the same?
47. And if you falute and embrace your Brethren only, or those of the fame Sect, Party, and Interest, with yourselves, what extraordinary Thing do you practice more than the Reit of Mankind, [whom God has not favored with so perfect a Law, such excellent Statutes and Judgments as you have been favored with?] Do not even the Heathens and Publicans do jo? and will not common Humanity teach even the very worst of Men Civility to those, who treat them with Respect,
and excite them, to fome Sentiments of Gratis Mis tude to their Friends and Benefactors?
48. Be ye therefore in all Instances of Goodness, tok as far as frail Mortality will admit, perfect even as
your heavenly Father is perfect*; whose Name you autre will most effectually honor, and whose Favor
you will most happily secure, by a Care to
imitate him to the utmost in all the moral Perisfections of his Nature;" [thus fhall ye most
completely fulfil his good, and just, and holy
* Perfect, even as your beavenly Father is perfect! Many Authorities are produced by Elher, in his Note on this Text,