Early Church Fathers
184 Exemplum citatur injuriae privatae, forensis, curialis (Bengel).
186 Pro eis qui vos persequuntur; Vulgate, pro persequentibus.
187 Prov. iii. 12. So the LXX. English version: "even as a father the son in whom he delighteth," following the Hebrew.
188 Nescit; Vulgate, non cognovit.
189 Luke xii. 48, 47.
190 1 Kings xviii. 40.
191 2 Kings i. 10.
192 Luke ix. 52-56.
193 Acts ii. 1-4.
194 i.e., The Manicheans.
195 1 Cor. v. 5.
196 "To give everything to every one-the sword to the madman, the alms to the impostor, the criminal request to the temptress-would be to act as the enemy of others and ourselves" (Alford). Paul's willingness to spend and be spent illustrates a proper conformity to the precept.
197 2 Cor. ix. 7.
198 This section, which concerns the law of retaliation, grew out of a rule of every-day life which the Pharisees constructed upon a principle of judicature laid down, Exod. xxi. 24 (Tholuck). The spirit, not the exact letter, of the illustrations is to be observed, and, when the spirit of the precept would demand it, the exact letter. Christians are taught to bear witness by enduring, yielding. and giving. "'Sin is to be conquered by being made to feel the power of goodness." Christ gave a good example at His trial, without following the letter of His precept here; and Paul followed Him (1 Cor. iv. 12, 13).
199 Augustin, with the best Greek text, omits et calumniantibus vos ("and despitefully use you") of the Vulgate.
200 Jubet; Vulgate, facit (with the Greek).
201 Dilexeritis; Vulgate, diligitis.
202 Hoc ipsum; Vulgate, hoc; Greek, to\ au0to/.
203 Qui est in coelis; Vulgate, coelestis (see Revised Version).
204 The first part of the Lord's quotation is found in Lev. xix. 18; these words, whatever may be said about the sanction, real or apparent, of revenge and triumph over an enemy's fall in the Old Testament, are not found there. Bengel well says "pessima glossa" ("wretched gloss"),-a gloss of the Pharisees, "bearing plainly enough the character of post-exilic Judaism in its exclusiveness toward all surrounding nations" ( Weiss). Centuries after Christ spoke these words, Maimonides gives utterance to this narrow feeling of hate: "If a Jew see a Gentile fall into the sea, let him by no means take him out; for it is written, `Thou shalt love thy neighbour's blood,0' but this is not thy neighbour." The separation of the Jews, demanded by their theocratic position, was the explanation in part-not an excuse-for such feeling towards people of other nationalities. Heathen peoples had the same feeling towards enemies. "It was the celebrated felicity of Sulla; and this was the crown of Xenophon's panegyric of Cyrus the Younger, that no one had done more good to his friends or more mischief to his enemies." Plautus said, "Man is a wolf to the stranger" ("homo homini ignoto lupus est"). The term "stranger" in Greek means "enemy." But common as this philosophy was to the pre-Christian world, the Jew was specially known for his hatred of all not of his own nationality (Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 104, etc.). The "enemy" referred to in the passage is not a national enemy ( Keim) but a personal one (Weiss, Meyer, etc.). Our Lord subsequently defined who was to be understood by the term "neighbour" in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke x. 36).
205 Ps. lxix. 22.
206 Ps. cix. 9.
207 Rom. xii. 14.
208 Matt xi. 20-24 and Luke x. 13-15.
209 2 Tim. iv. 14. Augustin here again follows the better text than the Textus Receptus; so also Vulgate, reddet. See Revised Version.
210 See above chap. xix. 58.
211 Ps. ii. 1. The English version employs the present tense.
212 Ps. xxii. 18.
213 1 John v. 16.
214 See note p.
215 1 Cor. vii. 14, 15.
216 Ignosce; Vulgate, dimitte.
217 Luke xxiii. 34.
218 Acts vii. 60.
219 Sermonibus; Vulgate, verbis.
220 2 Tim. iv. 14-16.
221 Matt. xviii. 21. Luke xvii. 3.
222 Matt. xxvii. 4, 5.
223 Matt. x. 25.
224 Matt. xii. 24-33.
225 Rom. xii. 14, 17.
226 Rev. vi. 10.
227 Rom. vi. 12.
228 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27. Sevituti subjicio; Vulgate, in servitutem redigo.
229 "Not in power or wisdom,-which was the cause of man's fall, and leads evermore to the same,-but in love" (Plumptre).
230 John i. 12.
231 Rom viii. 17 and Gal. iv. 5.
232 Facit (above, jubet). Bengel's comment is good: "Magnifica appellatio. Ipse et fecit solem et gubernat et habet in sua unius potestate" ("Splendid designation. He made the sun, governs it, and has it in His own power").
233 Wisd. vii. 26.
234 Mal. iv. 2.
235 Wisd. v. 6.
236 Isa. v. 6.
237 Gen. i. 16.
238 "Be ye therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." The Greek text has here the future: esesqe teleioi, "Ye therefore shall be perfect" (Revised Version). Meyer gives the verb the imperative sense; Alford, Lange, and others include the imperative sense. The imperative force adds not a little to the plausibility of deriving the doctrine of perfectibility on earth, or complete "sanctification," from the passage, as the Pelagians (whom Augustin elsewhere combats) and some Methodist commentators (Whedon, etc.). Alford, Trench, etc., deny that the verse gives any countenance to the doctrine. As regards the nature of the perfection, Bengel sententiously says, "in amore, erga omnes" ("in love, toward all" See Col. iii. 14). It seems "to refer chiefly to the perfection of the divine love" (Mansel); so also Bleek, Meyer. Weiss (whose Leben Jesu, i. 532-534, see) finds an allusion to the fundamental command of the Old Testament "Be ye holy," etc. In the place of the divine holiness, or God's elevation above all uncleanness of the creature, is substituted the divine perfection, whose essence is all-comprehensive and unselfish love; and in the place of the God separated from the sinful people, appears He who in love condescends to them and brings them into likeness with Himself as His children. The last verse of the Sermon as reported by Luke (vi. 36) confirms the idea that the perfection is of love: "Be ye merciful, as your Father which is in heaven is merciful." Commenting on this verse, Dr. Schaff says, "Instruction in morality cannot rise above this. Having thus led us up to our heavenly Father as the true standard, our Lord, by a natural transition, passes to our religious duties, i.e. duties to our heavenly Father."
239 Hos. vi. 6.
1 Jesus passes from the precepts of the genuine righteousness to the actual practice of the same (Meyer, Weiss), from moral to religious duties (Lange), from actions to motives; having spoken to the heart before by inference, he now speaks directly (Alford).
2 Ps. xxxiv. 2.
3 Cavete facere; Vulgate, attendite ne faciatis.
4 In agreement with the best Greek text. (See Revised Version.) This verse is a general proposition. The three leading manifestations of righteousness and practical piety among the Jews follow,-alms-giving, prayer, fasting.
5 Matt. v. 14-16.
6 Gal. i. 10.
7 1 Cor. x. 32, 33.
8 Phil. iv. 17.