Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,…
We are called to the practice of that property of wisdom which is from above, which is peaceable and gentle, and to buckle unto us, as the elect of God, tender mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another. The benefit will be exceeding great. For —
1. This wisdom teacheth us to be soft in our speeches, as they that know how a soft answer breaketh wrath, a rare example whereof we have in Judges 8:2.
2. It teacheth us softness in our whole conversation and exercise of our personal and general callings. It suffereth not the magistrate to be so stern that an inferior should come to him as a man that were to bring a bottle to an elephant, which he is afraid of, which timidity Augustus reproved in a petitioner. It suffereth not the minister to be lordly in his doctrine or discipline, but compassionate and tender in both. It suffereth not the father or master to be a lion in his house, but causeth them to govern sweetly and to dispense severity, and weigh out correction as physic to the children and servants.
3. It teacheth even the superior to yield some part of his right to his inferior, as Abraham to Lot, "If thou take the right hand, I will turn to the left," nay, as Christ Himself being God and Lord of all, yet for peace' sake, and to avoid offence, did pay tribute unto Caesar.
4. Further, how necessary a virtue this is cannot but appear to him that considereth how frail our flesh and blood is, how full of infirmities, how lying open to offences, how needful of much forgiveness at God's hand and man's; and yet no forgiveness at God's hand, but on condition of our forgiveness of men, for so is the petition in the Lord's Prayer; nor at man's, for what measure ye mete out to men shall men measure to you again.
5. How sweet a grace it is appeareth also in that it preserveth the outward peace of a man, and especially the peace of a good conscience.
(T. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,