Bless them which persecute you
It is the lot of God's, people in this world to be persecuted by the men of it, in some shape or another, either by words or deeds; either by reviling and reproaching them, and speaking all manner of evil of them; or by hindering them the free exercise of religious worship, by confiscation of their goods, imprisonment of their persons, by violently torturing their bodies, and taking away their lives; under all which circumstances they are taught to
them; that is, to pray for them, that God would show them their evil, give repentance to them, and the remission of their sins; which is the order Christ gave to his disciples, ( Matthew 5:44 ) ; and encouraged to an observance of, by his own example, ( Luke 23:34 ) ; and has been followed herein by his disciples and apostles, ( Acts 7:60 ) ( 1 Corinthians 4:12 1 Corinthians 4:13 ) . Moreover, by "blessing" may be meant, giving them good words, mild and soft answers, "not rendering evil for evil, railing for railing", ( 1 Peter 3:9 ) ; but, on the contrary, blessing, in imitation of Christ, who, "when he was reviled, reviled not again", ( 1 Peter 2:23 ) : "bless",
and curse not:
to have a mouth full of cursing and bitterness, ( Romans 3:14 ) , is the character of an unregenerate man, and what by no means suits one who names the name of Christ; for blessing and cursing to proceed out of the same mouth, is as absurd and unnatural, as if it should be supposed that a fountain should send forth sweet water and bitter, or salt and fresh, ( James 3:10-12 ) . The imprecations upon wicked men, used by David and other good men, are no contradictions to this rule; since they were made under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and were predictions of God's vengeance, which in righteous judgment should fall on them, and are not to be drawn into an example by us.