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HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.

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A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit

by Rev. Matthew Henry

c. 1859
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"The excellency of a meek and quiet spirit will appear, if we consider the credit of it, and the comfort of it - the present profit there is by it, and the preparedness there is in it for future blessings. Consider how creditable a meek and quiet spirit is. Credit or reputation all desire, though few consider aright either what it is, or what is the right way of obtaining it; and particularly it is little believed what a great deal of true honor there is in the grace of meekness, and what a sure and ready way mild and quiet souls take to gain the approval of their Master, and of all their fellow-servants who love him, and are like him." - Matthew Henry

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Matthew Henry Quotes

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714) Reformed Protestant, Revival Preacher and Bible Commentator.

On Not Taking Your Own Revenge:
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:19-21 KJV

"We must do good to our enemies. 'If he hunger, do not insult over him, and say, Now God is avenging me of him, and pleading my cause; do not make such a construction of his wants. But feed him.' Then, when he has need of thy help, and thou hast an opportunity of starving him and trampling upon him, then feed him (psomize auton, a significant word) - 'feed him abundantly, nay, feed him carefully and indulgently:' frustulatim pasce - feed him with small pieces, 'feed him, as we do children and sick people, with much tenderness. Contrive to do it so as to express thy love. If he thirst, give him drink: potize auton - drink to him, in token of reconciliation and friendship. So confirm your love to him.' Secondly, Why we must do this. Because in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Two senses are given of this, which I think are both to be taken in disjunctively. Thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head; that is, 'Thou shalt either,' 1. 'Melt him into repentance and friendship, and mollify his spirit towards thee' (alluding to those who melt metals; they not only put fire under them, but heap fire upon them; thus Saul was melted and conquered with the kindness of David, 1Sam. 24:16; 1Sam. 26:21) - 'thou wilt win a friend by it, and if thy kindness have not that effect then,' 2. 'It will aggravate his condemnation, and make his malice against thee the more inexcusable. Thou wilt hereby hasten upon him the tokens of God's wrath and vengeance.' Not that this must be our intention in showing him kindness, but, for our encouragement, such will be the effect. To this purpose is the exhortation in the last vers, which suggests a paradox not easily understood by the world, that in all matters of strife and contention those that revenge are the conquered, and those that forgive are the conquerors. (1.) 'Be not overcome of evil. Let not the evil of any provocation that is given you have such a power over you, or make such an impression upon you, as to dispossess you of yourselves, to disturb your peace, to destroy your love, to ruffle and discompose your spirits, to transport you to any indecencies, or to bring you to study or attempt any revenge.' He that cannot quietly bear an injury is perfectly conquered by it. (2.) 'But overcome evil with good, with the good of patience and forbearance, nay, and of kindness and beneficence to those that wrong you. Learn to defeat their ill designs against you, and either to change them, or at least to preserve your own peace.' He that hath this rule over his spirit is better than the mighty."

"Commentary on the Whole Bible" by Matthew Henry, 1706

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We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) - Meekness is a victory over ourselves:

"The excellency of a meek and quiet spirit will appear, if we consider the credit of it, and the comfort of it - the present profit there is by it, and the preparedness there is in it for future blessings.

Consider how creditable a meek and quiet spirit is. Credit or reputation all desire, though few consider aright either what it is, or what is the right way of obtaining it; and particularly it is little believed what a great deal of true honor there is in the grace of meekness, and what a sure and ready way mild and quiet souls take to gain the approval of their Master, and of all their fellow-servants who love him, and are like him.

There is in it the credit of a victory. What a great figure do the names of high and mighty conquerors make in the records of fame! How are their conduct, their valor and success cried up and celebrated! But if we will believe the word of truth, and pass a judgment upon things acording to it, 'He that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.' Behold, a greater than Alexander or Caesar is here; the former of whom (some think) lost more true honor by yielding to his own ungoverned anger, than he got by all his conquests. No triumphant chariot so easy, so safe, so truly glorious, as that in which the meek and quiet soul rides over all the provocations of an injurious world with a gracious unconcernedness; no train so splendid, so noble, as that train of comforts and graces which attend this chariot. The conquest of an unruly passion is more honorable than that of an unruly people, for it requires more true courage. It is easier to kill an enemy without, which may be done at a blow, than to chain up and govern an enemy within, which requires a constant, even, steady hand and a long and regular management. It was more to the honor of David to yield himself conquered by Abigail's persuasions, than to have made himself a conqueror over Nabal and all his house. Arational victory must needs be allowed more honorable to a rational creature than a brutal one. This is a cheap, safe and unbloody conquest that does nobody any harm, no lives, no treasures are sacrificed to it, the glory of these triumphs are not stained as others generally are, with funerals. Every battle of the warrior, says the prophet, 'is with confused noise, and garmets rolled in blood;' but this victory shall be obtained by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts. Nay, in meek and quiet sufferings we are "more than conquerors with little loss, we lose nothing but the gratifying of a base lust; conquerors with great gain, the spoils we divide are very rich - the favor of God, the comforts of the Spirit, the foretastes of everlasting pleasures; these are more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. We are more than conquerors; that is, triumphers; we live a life of victory; every day is a day of triumph to the meek and quiet soul.

Meekness is a victory over ourselves and the rebellious lusts in our own bosoms."

read online: "A Discourse on Meekness and Quietness of Spirit" by Matthew Henry

"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:52 KJV
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