And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they p. 54 may attain to God. See, 554 then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting: to their blasphemies return 555 your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye stedfast 556 in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness. While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Lord (who ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned?), that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Jesus Christ, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.
And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men; for there is hope of the repentance, that they may attain to God. For “cannot he that falls arise again, and he that goes astray return?” 557 Permit them, then, to be instructed by you. Be ye therefore the ministers of God, and the mouth of Christ. For thus saith the Lord, “If ye take forth the precious from the vile, ye shall be as my mouth.” 558 Be ye humble in response to their wrath; oppose to their blasphemies your earnest prayers; while they go astray, stand ye stedfast in the faith. Conquer ye their harsh temper by gentleness, their passion by meekness. For “blessed are the meek;” 559 and Moses was meek above all men; 560 and David was exceeding meek. 561 Wherefore Paul exhorts as follows: “The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle towards all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.” 562 Do not seek to avenge yourselves on those that injure you, for says [the Scripture], “If I have returned evil to those who returned evil to me.” 563 Let us make them brethren by our kindness. For say ye to those that hate you, Ye are our brethren, that the name of the Lord may be glorified. And let us imitate the Lord, “who, when He was reviled, reviled not again;” 564 when He was crucified, He answered not; “when He suffered, He threatened not;” 565 but prayed for His enemies, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.” 566 If any one, the more he is injured, displays the more patience, blessed is he. If any one is defrauded, if any one is despised, for the name of the Lord, he truly is the servant of Christ. Take heed that no plant of the devil be found among you, for such a plant is bitter and salt. “Watch ye, and be ye sober,” 567 in Christ Jesus.
Comp. Col. i. 23.54:557 54:558 54:559 54:560 54:561 54:562 54:563 54:564 54:565 54:566 54:567
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