Romans 12:18
The two clauses of this verse remind us of the two main emotions of the human breast, of their diverse nature, and their common association. Sorrow ever treads at the heels of joy. The sigh and the laugh may be heard at once. Scarce has prosperity brightened one threshold than adversity overshadows another. As in the plagues, there is light in Goshen and darkness in Egypt. If every house were painted to reveal the condition of the inmates, what startling contrasts would be seen side by side! It is of little use to try and measure the sum of happiness and of misery, to calculate which preponderates in life; better is it to adapt ourselves to these two prevailing states, and by appropriate words and deeds to evince our sympathy both with those who mourn and those who exult, not shrinking from distress nor envying the fortunate. Many reasons concur in recommending the apostle's injunction.

I. GOD HAS MADE MAN A SOCIAL BEING. He is the "God of the families of Israel." The Law commanded convocations, social observances; the people encamped not as individuals, but as households and tribes. Besides the appetites and affections that concern ourselves personally, there are others which respect our fellows and cannot be gratified without their presence. Love, gratitude, pity, all suppose their existent objects, so that the moral constitution of man exhibits the social capacities with which he has been endowed. There is a basis for sympathy in our physical nature. The appearance of one man acts and reacts on his companions. The mirthful induces merriment in the company, and the entrance of a gloomy countenance damps the spirits of a whole party. Infants are quickly affected by the attitude of those near them; and the lower animals are prone to frisk and leap when their masters are glad, and to be depressed by their melancholy. To shut one's self up in solitude, to take no notice of the circumstances of others, is therefore to sin against the laws of our being.

II. JESUS CHRIST HAS PROVIDED FOR THESE SOCIAL INSTINCTS IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HIS CHURCH. He has instituted a community of believers, united for mutual counsel and support. One by one we resort to the Saviour for individual teaching and healing, but "those that are being saved" are "added to the Church," and the visibility of the fact assists in that redemption from selfishness which is the essence of sin. "Bear ye one another's burdens" is the recognition of our unity. The limb which shares not in the thrill of pain or pleasure is on the way to atrophy, disunion, death. Love and service to the Head of the body bind the members together as an organism, and love ministers to trouble and enhances joy. Such sympathy cannot, however, be restricted to the members of the Church. Family ties lead to efforts for the salvation of outsiders, and a desire for the glory of the Lord and the enlarging usefulness of his kingdom prompts to imitation of his beneficence who came to lighten our woes and to augment our gladness.

III. OUR DEVELOPMENT UNTO PERFECTION DEMANDS THE CULTIVATION OF SYMPATHY. It was not "good" for Adam to be alone. A high pitch of civilization cannot be reached or maintained in isolation. Left to ourselves, we grow careless of refinement or progress. To shut ourselves up like flowers that close their petals at the rude blast, to crawl inside our shell, and, closing the aperture, to dwell simply on our own satisfactions and uneasinesses, is the pleading of mistaken self-love that overreaches itself and misses the pure happiness of sharing others' delights and of doing good. Spiritual growth is not attainable any more than physical strength by a life within-doors. Avoid the heat and the icy wind, and health suffers by too-great confinement. What lessons may be learnt from the successes and misfortunes of our neighbours! Their lot may be ours soon; it were well to be wise betimes. To look on others is to gaze at a mirror that reflects our own image.

IV. THE FULFILMENT OF THIS PRECEPT WOULD MATERIALLY LIGHTEN THE WRETCHEDNESS OF THE WORLD. The savageness of unrestricted competition vanishes where a due regard is paid to the happiness or suffering of our companions. Nothing like a visit from the employer to the homes of his servants, or a sight by the speculator of the misery his unjust gains have entailed, to abate the fierceness of greed and to remedy grievances and wrongs. The world sorely needs brotherly kindness. Then would men and nations realize that what elevates one raises all, what depresses one truly enriches none. We may note that obedience to the latter clause of the text is perhaps more needful than compliance with the former. The distressed require help, the prosperous can do without it. But any separation of the two duties weakens both. It is not always easy to congratulate a fortunate compeer, any more than to assist the unlucky. No doubt we like to bask in the sunshine, and to withdraw from gloom. But the "elder brother" refused to join in the household felicitations, and the Levite and the Pharisee "passed by" the wounded traveller. Guard against the mere indulgence of passive sympathy. The rejoicing and mourning of the text imply an active sympathy, and action forms habits of good will and benevolence as Butler has described. Copy the Redeemer. No ascetic or misanthrope was he, who multiplied the innocent gaiety of the marriage feast, and mingled his tears with those of the weeping sisters of Lazarus. Even a hearty grasp of the hand adds to joy, and a moistened eye comforts those that mourn. The poorest in point of worldly goods may be rich in God-like sympathy. Many a man has been saved from utter despair by the knowledge that another was interested in his welfare. - S.R.A.







If it Be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
I. IF POSSIBLE. By maintaining a spirit —

1. Upright.

2. Meek.

3. Peaceable.

II. IF NOT POSSIBLE.

1. Leave your cause in God's hands.

2. Show kindness to your enemies.

3. So shall you secure a noble conquest.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. WATCH OVER YOURSELF.

1. Do not retaliate.

2. Be honest.

3. Cultivate a peaceable spirit.

II. COMMIT YOURSELF TO GOD.

1. Instead of avenging yourself let Him undertake your cause.

2. Retribution is His prerogative.

3. He will certainly defend the right.

III. CONCILIATE YOUR ENEMIES. By kindness. You will thus achieve a noble conquest over evil in yourself, and subdue enmity by love.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.

1. Some are unreasonable.

2. Others contentious.

3. With many it is impossible to be at peace without sacrificing conscience.

II. SHOULD BE MAINTAINED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE — by

1. Patience.

2. Prudence.

3. Conciliation.

III. IF IMPOSSIBLE, CANNOT BE SOUGHT WITHOUT ADVANTAGE. The attempt secures —

1. Peace of conscience.

2. The approbation of God.

3. And consequently Divine interposition in our favour.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. THE GENERAL IMPORT OF THE EXHORTATION.

1. That we should have a hearty love and value for peace as far as it may be obtained.

2. That we studiously direct our conduct so as may be most likely to reach this end.

II. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THE QUALIFICATIONS ADDED.

1. It is evidently intimated that it is not always possible or in our power to reach the desirable end of peace. Those who "seek peace and pursue it," according to the exhortation (Psalm 36:14) yet sometimes find that it flies from them.(1) Sometimes this falls out in common life, through the perverse humours and unreasonable obstinacy of those with whom we have to do. There are people in this world so captious as to take offence without any foundation.(2) Sometimes it is not morally possible to be at peace with men, because they will not be at peace with us, unless we will violate a good conscience. Peace, though so desirable a blessing, is not to be purchased at any rate. For instance —(a) Neither truth nor holiness are to be sacrificed to peace. That would be to sacrifice our peace with God and with our own consciences for the sake of peace with men, which for certain would be much too dear a bargain.(b) Nor should we decline any service we are capable of, to the interest of Christ or of our country, for fear of some people's offence. Christian courage should extinguish such fears.

2. This addition greatly enforces the precept, when it may consist with higher obligations. We must not venture everything for peace, but we should esteem it worth a great deal of pains and self-denial. If we can compass it by any means that are fit for us to use, we should endeavour it.

3. It is implied, farther, that we shall have reason to be content, though we should miss our aim, if we have performed our part. Then the breach of peace may be your affliction, but it will not be your sin.

III. THE EXTENT PRESCRIBED FOR OUR AIM IN THIS MATTER: "Live peaceably with all men."

1. We should endeavour to live peaceably with all men at large, as far as we have any concern with them. Setting aside the consideration of their religion or their virtuous character, we are obliged by the dictates of nature, and of Christianity too, to study peace with them as our fellow-creatures; and to this end —(1) We should be careful to behave inoffensively to all — to "give no offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God" (1 Corinthians 10:32), that, if possible, we may prevent any difference from arising.(2) We are equally concerned, in order to peace, not to be quick in taking offence. Many people might soon have received proper satisfaction for an injury done them if they had not themselves overrated it and carried their resentment beyond all regular bounds, till they made a small breach wide and most difficult to be healed.(3) We should be desirous to regain peace as soon as possible whenever a difference actually arises. The implacable are reckoned among the greatest sinners (Romans 1:31).

2. We should endeavour to cultivate a more peculiar peace and harmony with all our fellow Christians as such.

IV. THE IMPORTANCE OF A PEACEABLE SPIRIT IN CHRISTIANITY. It is many ways recommended in the gospel; as —

1. By showing us the great evil of an unpeaceable spirit. It is the fruit of carnality, or of an undue ascendant which some fleshly motive or other hath over us (1 Corinthians 3:3).

2. By representing a peaceable disposition in a very advantageous light. It is one of "the fruits of the blessed Spirit" (Galatians 5:22). It is mentioned as one principal thing wherein the spiritual kingdom of God, or true religion in the hearts of men, consists (Romans 14:17). Christ saw fit to make it the subject of one of His beatitudes (Matthew 5:9).

3. By the lively expressions of such a temper in the example of Christ. He was, on the one hand, a pattern for observing the proper limitations to be attended to in all pursuits after peace; He ever preferred truth and duty to it, an obedience to His Father to the pleasing of men; and so must we. But, on the other hand, as far as was consistent with His higher engagements He ever showed a strong disposition to peace.

4. By the account it gives us of the heavenly world, as a state of perfect love and harmony, where there are no jarring notes and affections. When a good man dies he "enters into peace" (Isaiah 57:2).By way of reflection, then —

1. This may be sufficient to vindicate Christianity from the reproaches which have been cast upon it for the animosities that have abounded among Christians. The precepts, the patterns, the principles of Christianity, all lead another way; they directly lead to peaceableness.

2. This may be a proper subject of trial and self-examination. If we make no conscience of this duty of peaceableness, we have not yet entered into the spirit of true Christianity.

3. Let us all, as we are exhorted in the text, cultivate and exercise a peaceable and healing disposition. This is the likeliest way to dispose others to be at peace with us.

(J. Evans, D.D.)

I. LIVE PEACEABLY WHEN POSSIBLE. All that disturbance of man's peace which springs from our lower nature we are bound everywhere to restrain. Let me mention some provocatives from which we may and should abstain.

1. Offensive language. Many that have great power of speech do not feel that God's law is to regulate the use of their tongues. There are Christian heads of families who shoot across the table from day to day words which stir up the worst feelings which men can have. Many and many a household has no chimney which carries away the smoke of these conflicts, and the smoke falls down, leaving harm where it rests. As much as lieth in your tongue, then, live peaceably with your wife, your children, your servants, and your fellow-men.

2. Provoking carriage. A man can look as well as speak speech. A nod of the head, a lifting up of the eyes, a shrug of the shoulder, the whole manner, is as powerful as speech. We have no right to be provoking in our attitudes.

3. An unconscious, and still more, an intended, insolent conduct of pride toward men. Frequently the very presence of a man who is filled with a spirit of self-importance is an insult. The duty of humility is not simply a duty of the closet.

4. Selfishness. The ten thousand jealousies and envies which are current in business circles arise from inconsiderate selfishness.

5. The untrained disposition of jocosity. I mean all forms of teasing, jesting, irony, sarcasm, wit, which are indulged in at another's expense, and which are not "convenient." Ordinarily, this is practised where the victim has no power of resistance. You often see persons pulling little children's hair, saying things that stir up little children's feelings; exposing things that they do not want to have known, in order to see the flush on their cheeks; or creating a laugh at their expense. Saying disagreeable things in a calm and ironical way is inexcusable There is a teasing which is pleasant, and causes nobody suffering; but teasing for the sake of making other people uncomfortable is fiendish.

6. The habit of contradiction and argument. We know what it is to be a "bully." We see men boasting of their strength, and saying provoking things in the hope of getting into a quarrel with their fellow-men. There are men who may be called logical bullies. If you say anything, they dispute it. Argument leads to disputation speedily, and disputation to quarrelling, and quarrelling to ill-will.

7. Scandalmongering. There are men who have an intuition for discovering faults in others. They see them as quick as lightning; and they tell of them wherever they go. There are men who are vampires, feeding on their fellow-men in this way. And the amount of ill-will that is created in a neighbourhood by tale-bearers is astounding. The only excuse which men give for thus reporting things that are evil in regard to others is that they are true. But you have no right to report anything evil of a man, even if it is true, unless you have a benevolent purpose. Every man has his train of infelicities. But as they sprung from him they ought not to be carried far away from him. A scandal-monger is like one who carries contraband goods; and the partaker is as bad as the thief.

8. Indiscreet frankness. Telling men unpleasant truths about themselves, telling them what other people have said about them — this is generally unwise. Blurting out the truth about people into their faces is impolite. There is an impression that if a man has a truth he should let it fly, hit where it may. A doctor might as well scatter his drugs through the community, as a man tell all he knows about people indiscriminately. Truth, being a medicine, instead of being thrown about heedlessly, and with brutal barbarity, is to be administered with care and discretion.

9. Indiscreet urgency in religious teaching. There are many religious persons who go about with an incisiveness and pertinacity which annoy and vex people, and introduce an element of disquiet by which more harm than good is done.

II. THERE ARE TIMES IN WHICH YOU CANNOT LIVE PEACEABLY.

1. There are cases in which, when you are commanded by the law to do evil, you will be obliged to resist, and make great disturbance. And there are a great many other cases where, in your business relations and social connections, you will be placed in circumstances in which the interest of others pushes you toward the commission of evil, but in which you must not do it. A river complains to the rock on its bank of the noise which it is making. Why does the rock make the noise? Because it will not budge, and the water will. So that it is the water, and not the rock, that makes the noise. The rock stood there, and had a right to stand there; and if the water would beat against it and make a noise, it was not the rock's fault. The man who is free from wickedness is accused by wicked men of making all the turmoil and excitement, but he does not. You recollect that when the tyrant had vexed and annoyed Israel through years of misrule, and the prophet had attempted to see that the laws were obeyed, and that the welfare of the people was maintained, the king said to him, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?"

2. Christian virtue sometimes stands in the way of men's pleasure. Sometimes it happens that an individual is solicited to taste wine which conscientiously he cannot touch, and he stirs up great resistance by refusing.

3. Those who are called to teach unwelcome truths must make up their minds not to live peaceably. No man can preach the truth faithfully without offending men. Our Master could not do it. The apostles could not.

4. You cannot attempt to oppose men's worldly interests for the sake of public morality, for the reformation of the community, for the purification of the ballot, without rousing up an immense amount of anger. But somebody must do these things. No Christian man has a right to see the city in which he lives go down like Sodom and Gomorrah and put out no hand or voice to save it. Christian men are bound to be "lights" and "salt."

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. THE DUTY HERE ENJOINED. The expression may be taken —

1. For the actual enjoyment of peace with all men: in which sense he only lives peaceably, whom no man molests. This cannot be here intended, because —(1) So to live peaceably is impossible in consequence of —(a) The contentious, unreasonable humour of many men. There are some that, like so many salamanders, cannot live but in the fire, and so long as there be such, how can there be undisturbed quietness? God must first weed the world of all ill dispositions before a universal peace can grow in it.(b) The contrary and inconsistent interests of many men. There is nothing which men prosecute with so much vigour as their interest, and the prosecution of contrary interests must needs be carried on by contrary ways, which will be sure to thwart one another.(2) What is the matter of duty ought to be in the power of him to whom it is enjoined. But it is not in my power to enjoy peace with all men, since this depends upon their behaviour towards me. If a man will be my enemy, I cannot prevent him.

2. Wherefore it is clear that the text is to be understood for a peaceable behaviour towards all men; in which case he lives peaceably by whom no man is molested. It consists therefore in —(1) A forbearance of hostile actions. In a way of —(a) Prevention, i.e., abstinence from an injurious invasion upon the rights of another, whether as to his person or estate.(b) Non-retaliation (1 Corinthians 13:7). Fire sometimes goes out as much for want of being stirred up as for want of fuel. He who affronts his brother breaks the peace; but he who repays the ill turn perpetuates the breach. And perhaps the greatest unquietness is not so much chargeable upon the injurious as the revengeful. A storm ruins nowhere but where it is withstood and repelled.(2) A forbearance of injurious, provoking words. Rabshakeh broke the peace with Hezekiah as much by his railing as by his army. Men resent ugly words with more acrimony than they would stabs. And the reason is, because a wound directs an evil only to a man's person, but an ill word renders him miserable as far as he is known. Besides, it hurts him so as to put the reparation absolutely out of his power; for it lodges his infamy in other men's thoughts, which he cannot come at so as to rectify them.

II. WHAT ARE THE MEASURES AND PROPORTIONS BY WHICH IT IS TO BE DETERMINED. "If it be possible," i.e., morally, lawfully possible (Genesis 39:9; 2 Corinthians 13:8). Where, then, the breaking of the peace is not unlawful, there the maintaining of it ceases, to be a necessary duty. Apply this to —

1. War.(1) Is it lawful? Yes, if in a good cause, viz. —

(a)Defensive; in order to repel an evil designed to the public; and therefore is an act of self-preservation.

(b)Offensive; for revenging a public injury done to a community, and so is an act of justice. And further, the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles judged the employment of a soldier lawful.(2) When and where ought it to be judged so? When those with whom we are at peace —

(a)Declare that they will annoy us unless we mangle our bodies (1 Samuel 11:2).

(b)Declare war with us, unless we renounce our religion, as in the case of the Armada.

(c)Injure us as a nation so as to blast our honour, which honour is as necessary to the welfare and support of a nation as its commerce.(d) Declare war with us unless we will quit our civil rights.

2. Self-defence.(1) If a man has no other means of escape it is lawful from —

(a)The great natural right of self-preservation, which is as full in individuals as in public bodies.

(b)That place where Christ commands His disciples to provide themselves swords. To have allowed them the instruments of defence, and at the same time to have forbid the use of them as unlawful, had been irrational.

(c)The suffrage of the civil law.(2) What are those things which may be thus defended.

(a)Life. For where it is lawful to live, it is lawful to do all those things without which life cannot be preserved.

(b)Limbs. For who knows but the loss of a part may bring the destruction of the whole?

(c)Chastity. For this is as irreparable as life itself; and to lose one's life is indeed a misery, but it is no dishonour.

(d)Estate or goods. Before I pass on I shall add that whatsoever is lawful for a man to do for himself, is lawful for him to do for his neighbour; for we are commanded to "love our neighbour as ourselves."(3) The conditions required to legalise such a defence of ourselves and fortunes.

(a)That the violence offered be so apparent, so great and pressing, that there can be no other means of escape.

(b)That all possibility of recourse to the magistrate for a legal protection be taken away. In which case the law leaves every man to his own natural defence.

(c)That a man designs merely his own defence, without any revenge towards the person who thus invades him.

3. Litigation. This is allowable when it is to secure the execution of justice in the proper acts of it between man and man. If Christianity prohibits all pursuit of a man's right at law, then its observance unavoidably draws after it the utter dissolution of all government and society. He that has the strongest arm, the sharpest sword, the boldest front, and the falsest heart, must possess the world. Yet since men are too prone to stretch their just allowances beyond their bounds, note those conditions that are required to warrant men in their law contentions.(a) That a man takes not this course but upon a very great and urgent cause. Every little wrong and trespass is not a sufficient warrant for me to disturb my neighbour's peace.(b) That a man be willing, upon any tolerable and just terms, to agree with his adversary, rather than to proceed to a suit.(c) Supposing great cause and no satisfaction, that the injured person manage his suit by the rule of charity, and not with any purpose to revenge himself upon his adversary.

III. THE MEANS CONDUCIBLE TO OUR PERFORMANCE OF THIS EXCELLENT DUTY.

1. A careful suppression of all distasteful, aggravating apprehensions of any ill turn or unkind behaviour from men. It is the morose dwelling of the thoughts upon an injury that incorporates and rivets it into the mind.

2. The forbearing of all pragmatical or malicious informations. "He that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." The reporting what such a one said or did is the way to kindle such heart-burnings between persons, as oftentimes break forth and flame to the consumption of families, courts, and perhaps at length of cities and kingdoms.

3. That men would be willing in some cases to waive the prosecution of their rights. As —(1) When the recovery of a right seems impossible: prudence and duty then call upon a man to surcease the prosecution of that, and rather to follow peace.(2) When that right is but trivial, but the recovery of it troublesome and contentious. That which being lost makes a man not much the poorer, nor recovered, much the richer, cannot authorise him to enter into the din of a long contest.(3) When a recompense is offered.(4) To reflect upon the great example of Christ, and the strict injunction lying upon us to follow it. We shall find that his whole life went in constant recession from his own rights, in order to the peace of the public.

4. Not to adhere too pertinaciously to our own judgments of things doubtful in themselves in opposition to the judgment of those who are more skilful in those things.

IV. THE MOTIVES AND ARGUMENTS BY WHICH THIS DUTY MAY BE ENFORCED.

1. The excellency of the thing itself. "Peace" is a Divine title (Romans 15:33; Isaiah 9:6). The first message that was sent from heaven upon Christ's nativity was message of peace (Luke 2:14). His whole doctrine is called "the gospel of peace," and "the word of peace" (Romans 10:15). The last legacy that He bequeathed to His disciples was peace (John 14:27). Peace is the work of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of believers (Galatians 5:22), and both the effect and reward of piety is peace (Romans 15:13).

2. The excellency of the principle from which it proceeds. It is from a pious, generous, and great mind. Little things are querulous; and the wasp much more angry and troublesome than the eagle.

3. The blessing entailed upon it by a peculiar promise (Matthew 5:9). Note two instances of this blessing that attend the peaceable in this world.(1) An easy, undisturbed, and quiet enjoyment of themselves.(2) Honour and reputation. Their report survives them, and their memory is blessed.

(R. South, D.D.)

The wisest men, the best men, the most thoughtful men, the men who are most studious of peace, may have contention forced upon them. Lot could not live peaceably with the inhabitants of Sodom — to his great credit. Moses could not live at peace with Egypt, when he saw his people oppressed. It would have been a shame if he could. Samuel could not live at peace when the king, despotic, arrogant, fractious, was misleading the people. David could not live at peace with Saul — Saul would not let him. The prophets could not live at peace with the idolatrous people whom they were sent to instruct and rebuke, and who would not be corrected nor reformed. Jesus could not live at peace. The most genial, and gentle, and meek, and merciful, and loving of all beings was He; and yet it was impossible that He should live at peace with His own countrymen, in His own time. Therefore you find it said, "If it be possible." In this great quarrelsome world it is not made obligatory on a man to be at peace with his fellow-men anyhow. The command begins with the implication that it is not always possible. The qualification is, "as much as lieth in you." You may be at discords; but see to it that you do not produce them. Let them be the result of other men's misconduct, and not of yours.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Here is —

I. THE PREFACE — "If it be possible." Which words may be looked on —

1. As limiting the command.(1) "If it be possible"; for it may be impossible (Matthew 18:7). Because of —

(a)other's malice (James 4:1).

(b)Our own conscience (Acts 24:16) in reproving others; in standing for the truth.(2) "As much as in you lies."

(a)That we do not disturb the peace ourselves.

(b)Nor give occasion to others to do it.

2. As strengthening the command, so that we are to perform it to the utmost of our power.

II. THE COMMAND. "Live peaceably with all men." Here is —

1. The command. What is it to live peaceably?

(1)Give offence to none (Matthew 18:7).

(2)Pass by others' offences to you (1 Corinthians 13:7).

(3)Construe things in their best sense (1 Corinthians 13:5).

(4)Part with something of your own right (Genesis 13:8, 9).

(5)Have a care of those passions that cause strife (James 4:1).

(a)Anger (Ephesians 4:26, 31).

(b)Envy (James 3:14).

(c)Pride (Proverbs 13:10).

(d)Hatred and malice (1 John 3:15).

(e)Implacableness (Romans 1:31; Psalm 130:5-7).

2. The extent — "To all men" (Hebrews 12:14).

1. To superiors (Romans 13:1; Matthew 17:27).

2. Inferiors.

3. Equals. Conclusion: Consider —

1. Ye know not where the least strife may end.

2. It disturbs you as much as others (Luke 21:19).

3. If you live in peace, God will be with you (1 Kings 11-13; 2 Corinthians 13:11).

(Bp. Beveridge.)

In the Jardin des Plantes we saw a hooded snake in a most unamiable condition of temper. There was a thick glass and a stout wire between us, and we did nothing but look at him, yet he persisted in darting at us with the utmost vehemence of malice, until the keeper requested us to move away, with the advice that it was not well to irritate such creatures. When one meets with an irascible person, on the look out to pick a quarrel, ill-conditioned, and out of elbows with the whole world, it is best to move on, and let him alone. Even if he can do you no harm, and if his irritation be utterly unreasonable, it is best to remove all exciting causes of provocation, for it is never wise to irritate vipers. You do not on purpose walk heavily across the floor to teach a gouty man.that you have no respect for his tender feelings since he ought not to be so susceptible; neither should you vex those afflicted with a bad temper, and then plead that they have no right to be so excitable. If our neighbours' tempers are gunpowder, let us not play with fire.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Links
Romans 12:18 NIV
Romans 12:18 NLT
Romans 12:18 ESV
Romans 12:18 NASB
Romans 12:18 KJV

Romans 12:18 Bible Apps
Romans 12:18 Parallel
Romans 12:18 Biblia Paralela
Romans 12:18 Chinese Bible
Romans 12:18 French Bible
Romans 12:18 German Bible

Romans 12:18 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Romans 12:17
Top of Page
Top of Page