Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,…
1. The scope of the ministry is to put men in mind, and keep in them the remembrance of every Christian duty. Thus, ministers may be called the Lord's remembrancers, not only for putting the Lord in mind of His covenant towards His people, and of the people's wants, but also that they must not be silent, but restless in whetting the doctrine of God, legal and evangelical upon the people, and so be ever putting them in mind of their covenant and duty unto God. Paul acknowledged himself such a remembrancer (Romans 15:15).
2. None is so far instructed, but is wanting much in knowledge, and much more in the cheerful practice of that which he knoweth; and therefore every one hath need of quickening and stirring up.
3. None are so strong but they stand in need of this confirmation, as well as the former quickening, neither can any caution or any admonition be too much in things of such moment.
4. No man's memory is so sound, but as out of a leaking vessel good things are ever running out; and when such things are slipt away, they had need be renewed and recalled again.
(1) Ministers must not desist from teaching and exhorting, as many that think a little enough; nor discouraged when people forget their wholesome doctrine; but encourage themselves in their duty, which is to keep in men's memories the mindfulness of their duties.
(2) When they come to teach, they may not seek out vain and strange speculations, which were never heard of before, but teach plain things, yea, and deep mysteries in plain manner, as such who respect the weakness both of the apprehension and memory of their hearers.
(3) An wholesome thing it is to teach the same things often, whereby things delivered are recalled into the memory. Curious men cannot abide repetitions, nor hear common things, notwithstanding these be excellent helps of memory, which is the cause of such gross and everywhere palpable ignorance in the most familiar principles of religion. But the wisdom of godly teachers will be not too much to yield unto the niceness of their hearers; nor to fear to do that which is the safest for them, as Paul speaketh; which if it be, let it be to us what it will or can, it will be our part that by our practice they may find the profit. We learn hence, also, what it is that should profess and take up the memories of Christians, namely, those lessons of Christianity which they hear in the ministry.For —
1. The commandment must be bound up upon our hearts, and we ought to make our memories the statute book of our souls, and by diligent meditation, chain this book unto ourselves (Proverbs 4:21).
2. Herein standeth the sanctity of the memory, partly by retaining the rules of life, and partly in presenting and offering them unto the mind upon occasion of practice, both to direct and urge the conscience to obedience. Thus David hid the Word in his heart, the blessed fruit of which was that he did not sin against God; and indeed holy memory preserveth the holiness of the whole man.
3. Forgetfulness of the Word is everywhere in the Scriptures taxed as a grievous and hateful sin: "Be not forgetful hearers, deceiving your own selves," saith James; "Have you forgotten how I fed so many thousand," etc., saith Christ to the disciples; and the author to the Hebrews, "Have ye forgotten the exhortation?"
(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,