William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 3:2 - 3:2

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William Burkitt Notes and Observations - Titus 3:2 - 3:2

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Calumny and evil-speaking has been a reigning vice in all ages, and a greater guilt is contracted by it than men apprehend; every man ought to be as just to his neighbour's reputation as his own:

if what we report of another we know to be false, it is downright lying;

if what we report of others we believe to be false, it is slander;

if what evil we report of others be really true, and we know it to be so, yet it is defamation, and contrary to that charity and goodness which Christianity requires;

for to divulge the faults of others, though they be really guilty of them, without necessity, is certainly a sin, and included in this apostolic prohibition: to think and speak evil of others, is not only a bad thing, but a sign of a bad man; and in many cases it is as great charity to conceal an evil we hear of our neighbour, as it is to relieve him in his distress.

The next exhortation is, to be no brawlers; in the original, no fighters; that is, neither with tongue nor hand, but meek and gentle, putting up a double wrong, rather than revenge a single injury, using all meekness towards all men. Meekness pacifies wrath, and conquers animosity to a wonder, making him tame and gentle, who by opposition is furious and implacable: the hardest flint is sooner broken upon a pillow or cushion that gently yieldeth, than upon a bar of iron that furiously resisteth.