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685Chapter XI.—When Praying the Father, You are Not to Be Angry with a Brother.

That we may not be as far from the ears of God as we are from His precepts,88268826    Oehler divides these two chapters as above. The generally adopted division unites this sentence to the preceding chapter, and begins the new chapter with, “The memory of His precepts;” and perhaps this is the preferable division. the memory of His precepts paves for our prayers a way unto heaven; of which precepts the chief is, that we go not up unto God’s altar88278827    altare. [Heb. xiii. 10.] before we compose whatever of discord or offence we have contracted with our brethren.88288828    Matt. v. 22, 23. For what sort of deed is it to approach the peace of God88298829    Perhaps there may be an allusion to Phil. iv. 6, 7. without peace? the remission of debts88308830    See chap. vii. above, and compare Matt. vi. 14, 15. while you retain them? How will he appease his Father who is angry with his brother, when from the beginning “all anger” is forbidden us?88318831    “Ab initio” probably refers to the book of Genesis, the initium, or beginning of Scripture, to which he is about to refer. But see likewise Eph. iv. 31, Matt. v. 21, 22.  [Gen. iv. 6, 7.] For even Joseph, when dismissing his brethren for the purpose of fetching their father, said, “And be not angry in the way.”88328832    Gen. xlv. 24: so the LXX. He warned us, to be sure, at that time (for elsewhere our Discipline is called “the Way”88338833    See Acts ix. 2; xix. 9, 23, in the Greek.), that when, set in “the way” of prayer, we go not unto “the Father” with anger. After that, the Lord, “amplifying the Law,”88348834    See Matt. v. 17. openly adds the prohibition of anger against a brother to that of murder.88358835    Matt. v. 21, 22. Not even by an evil word does He permit it to be vented.88368836    Matt. v. 21, 22; 1 Pet. iii. 9, etc. Ever if we must be angry, our anger must not be maintained beyond sunset, as the apostle admonishes.88378837    Eph. iv. 26. But how rash is it either to pass a day without prayer, while you refuse to make satisfaction to your brother; or else, by perseverance in anger, to lose your prayer?

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