Researched Author Sir Godfrey Gregg
‘As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, a sinner is of infirm mind when he persecuteth a man. For tell me, is there anyone who would break his head for the sake of tearing the cloak of his enemy? Now how can he be of sane mind who separateth himself from God, the head of his soul, in order that he may injure the body of his enemy?
Tell me, O man, who is thy enemy? Assuredly thy body, and every one who praiseth thee. Wherefore if thou wert of sane mind thou wouldst kiss the hand of those who revile thee, and present gifts to those who persecute thee and strike thee much; because, O man, because the more that for thy sins thou art reviled and persecuted in this life the less shalt thou be in the day of judgment. But tell me, O man, if the saints and prophets of God have been persecuted and defamed by the world even though they were innocent. what shall be done to thee, O sinner? and if they endured all with patience, praying for their persecutors, what shouldEst thou do, O man, who art worthy of hell? Tell me O my disciples, do ye not know that Shimei cursed the servant of God, David the prophet and threw stones at him? Now what said David to those who would fain have killed Shimei? “What is it to thee, O Joab, that thou wouldst kill Shimei? let him curse me, for this is the will of God, who will turn this curse into a blessing.” And thus it was; for God saw the patience of David and delivered him from the persecution of his own son, Absalom.
Assuredly not a leaf stirreth without the will of God. Wherefore, when thou art in tribulation do not think of how much thou hast borne, nor of him who afflicteth thee; but consider how much for thy sins thou art worthy to receive at the hand of the devils of hell. Ye are angry with this city because it would not receive us, nor sell bread to us. Tell me, are these people your slaves? have ye given them this city? have ye given them their corn? or have ye helped them to reap it? Assuredly no; for ye are strangers in this land, and poor men. What thing is this then that thou sayest?’
The two disciples answered: ‘Lord, we have sinned; may God have mercy on us.’
And Jesus answered: ‘So be it.’