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Verse 6. Let your speech. Your conversation. In the previous verse the apostle had given a general direction that our conduct towards those who are not professing Christians should be wise and prudent; he here gives a particular direction in regard to our conversation.

Be alway with grace. Imbued with the spirit of religion. It should be such as religion is fitted to produce; such as to show that the grace of God is in our hearts. Bloomfield supposes that this means "courteous and agreeable, not morose and melancholy." But though this may be included, and though the rule here laid down would lead to that, it cannot be all that is intended. It rather means that our conversation should be such as to show that we are governed by the principles of religion, and that there is unfeigned piety in the heart. This will indeed make us mild, courteous, agreeable, and urbane in our conversation; but it will do more than this. It will imbue our discourse with the spirit of religion, so as to show hat the soul is under the influence of love to the Redeemer.

Seasoned with salt. Salt, among the Greeks, was the emblem of wit. Here the meaning seems to be, that our conversation should be seasoned with piety or grace in a way similar to that in which we employ salt in our food. It makes it wholesome and palatable. So with our conversation. If it be not imbued with the spirit of piety, it is flat, insipid, unprofitable, injurious. The spirit of piety will make it what it should be—useful, agreeable, beneficial to mankind. This does not mean that our conversation is to be always, strictly speaking, religious —wherever we may be—any more than our food should be mere salt; but it means that, whatever be the topic, the spirit of piety should be diffused through it—as the salt in our food should properly season it all, whatever the article of food may be.

That ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. He imbued with the spirit of piety, that you may not utter anything that would be rash and foolish, but be prepared to answer any one who may question you about your religion in a way that will show that you understand its nature, and that will tend to edification. This remark may be extended farther. It may be understood as meaning also, "be imbued with the spirit of religion, and you will be able to answer man appropriately on any subject. If he asks you about the evidence of the nature of religion, you will be able to reply to him; if he converses with you on the common topics of the day, you will be able to answer him in a mild, kind, affable spirit; if he asks you of things of which you are ignorant—if he introduces some topic of science with which you are not acquainted, you will not be ashamed to confess your ignorance, and to seek instruction; if he addresses you in a haughty, insolent, and overbearing manner, you will be able to repress the risings of your temper, and to answer him with gentleness and kindness." Comp. Lu 2:46.

{&} "speech" "words" {f} "seasoned with salt" Mr 9:50

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