Anf-03 v.iv.iii.xviii Pg 4 Therefore, in the meanwhile, the commission of wrong was to be checked2914
Deut. xxxii. 35; Rom. xii. 19.
2914 Repastinaretur. by the fear of a retribution immediately to happen; and so the permission of this retribution was to be the prohibition of provocation, that a stop might thus be put to all hot-blooded2915
2915 Æstuata. injury, whilst by the permission of the second the first is prevented by fear, and by this deterring of the first the second fails to be committed. By the same law another result is also obtained,2916
2916 Qua et alias. even the more ready kindling of the fear of retaliation by reason of the very savour of passion which is in it. There is no more bitter thing, than to endure the very suffering which you have inflicted upon others. When, again, the law took somewhat away from men’s food, by pronouncing unclean certain animals which were once blessed, you should understand this to be a measure for encouraging continence, and recognise in it a bridle imposed on that appetite which, while eating angels’ food, craved after the cucumbers and melons of the Egyptians. Recognise also therein a precaution against those companions of the appetite, even lust and luxury, which are usually chilled by the chastening of the appetite.2917
2917 Ventris. For “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”2918
Anf-03 v.iv.v.xvi Pg 15 He thereby teaches that patience calmly waits for the infliction of vengeance. Therefore, inasmuch as it is incredible4048
Deut. xxxii. 35; comp. Rom. xii. 19 and Heb. x. 30.
4048 Fidem non capit. that the same (God) should seem to require “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye,” in return for an injury, who forbids not only all reprisals, but even a revengeful thought or recollection of an injury, in so far does it become plain to us in what sense He required “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,”—not, indeed, for the purpose of permitting the repetition of the injury by retaliating it, which it virtually prohibited when it forbade vengeance; but for the purpose of restraining the injury in the first instance, which it had forbidden on pain of retaliation or reciprocity;4049
4049 Talione, opposito. so that every man, in view of the permission to inflict a second (or retaliatory) injury, might abstain from the commission of the first (or provocative) wrong. For He knows how much more easy it is to repress violence by the prospect of retaliation, than by the promise of (indefinite) vengeance. Both results, however, it was necessary to provide, in consideration of the nature and the faith of men, that the man who believed in God might expect vengeance from God, while he who had no faith (to restrain him) might fear the laws which prescribed retaliation.4050
4050 Leges talionis. [Judicial, not personal, reprisals.] This purpose4051
4051 Voluntatem. of the law, which it was difficult to understand, Christ, as the Lord of the Sabbath and of the law, and of all the dispensations of the Father, both revealed and made intelligible,4052
4052 Compotem facit. That is, says Oehler, intellectus sui. when He commanded that “the other cheek should be offered (to the smiter),” in order that He might the more effectually extinguish all reprisals of an injury, which the law had wished to prevent by the method of retaliation, (and) which most certainly revelation4053
4053 Prophetia. had manifestly restricted, both by prohibiting the memory of the wrong, and referring the vengeance thereof to God. Thus, whatever (new provision) Christ introduced, He did it not in opposition to the law, but rather in furtherance of it, without at all impairing the prescription4054
4054 Disciplinas: or, “lessons.” of the Creator. If, therefore,4055
4055 Denique. one looks carefully4056
4056 Considerem, or, as some of the editions have it, consideremus. into the very grounds for which patience is enjoined (and that to such a full and complete extent), one finds that it cannot stand if it is not the precept of the Creator, who promises vengeance, who presents Himself as the judge (in the case). If it were not so,4057
4057 Alioquin.—if so vast a weight of patience—which is to refrain from giving blow for blow; which is to offer the other cheek; which is not only not to return railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; and which, so far from keeping the coat, is to give up the cloak also—is laid upon me by one who means not to help me,—(then all I can say is,) he has taught me patience to no purpose,4058
4058 In vacuum. because he shows me no reward to his precept—I mean no fruit of such patience. There is revenge which he ought to have permitted me to take, if he meant not to inflict it himself; if he did not give me that permission, then he should himself have inflicted it;4059
4059 Præstare, i.e., debuerat præstare. since it is for the interest of discipline itself that an injury should be avenged. For by the fear of vengeance all iniquity is curbed. But if licence is allowed to it without discrimination,4060
4060 Passim. it will get the mastery—it will put out (a man’s) both eyes; it will knock out4061
4061 Excitatura. every tooth in the safety of its impunity. This, however, is (the principle) of your good and simply beneficent god—to do a wrong to patience, to open the door to violence, to leave the righteous undefended, and the wicked unrestrained! “Give to every one that asketh of thee”4062
Anf-03 vi.vii.x Pg 13 that is, Leave patience to me, and I will reward patience. For when He says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,”9122
Deut. xxxii. 35; Ps. xciv. 1; Rom. xii. 19; Heb. x. 30.
Anf-03 v.iv.vi.xiv Pg 49
Rom. xii. 19.