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This right has been protected by all laws, and not least by the Mosaic law, which denounced all robbery, and enacted that the thief should not go unpunished'.
2. Picking and Stealing. But according to the principle of interpretation, which has been applied to the other Commandments, it is clear that, as explained in the Catechism, this also forbids, besides open robbery, all kinds of dishonesty', all “picking 3” and stealing, all unfairness and trickery in buying or selling“, borrowing or lending, in fact every species of fraud and extortion.
1 Direct theft was punished by restitution. If the stolen goods were found in the hands of the thief, he was to restore twofold. But a still heavier fine was exacted if he had sold, or injured the stolen property. If unable to
he was to be sold into slavery to a Hebrew master, and serve him till he could pay (Ex. xxii, 1–4, Comp. 2 Sam. xii. 6). See Class-Book of Old Testament History, pp. 165, 166.
3. “And here note that this worde, thefte, dothe not onely signifie open robberies, extorcions, and manyfest poollyng but also all manner of craftes, and subtile wayes, by the whiche we conuey our neyghbours goodes from him, contrary to his knowledge or wytt, althoughe the gyle haue neuer so fayre a coloure of vertue and honesty." Cranmer's Catechism, p. 73.
• Picking=pilfering or petty thieving. “I had of late occasion to speak of picking and stealing, where shewed unto you the danger wherein they be that steal their neighbours' goods from them.” Latimer's Sermons, p. 452, quoted in the Bible Word-Book, p. 368. Compare also Tyndale, Wks. 1. c. 16. “If he be a picker or cutpurse, as there be very many;" Holinshed Rec. 1. 1190, “That if any man were taken with theft or pickirie." See also Hackluyt's Voyages, 1. 241.
4 Ye shall do no unrighteousness...in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have, Lev. xix. 35, 36. Comp. Deut. xxv. 13–16; Prov. xi. 1, xvi. 11.
5 I have written unto you not to keep company if any man that is called a brother be..,an extortioner, 1 Cor. v. 11. Thieves... shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. vi. 10. Comp. Ezek. xxii. 29; Hos. iv. 2, 3.
3. Truth and Justice. And while the Commandment forbids such sins, it enjoins the positive duty of being “true and just in all our dealings,” of using every honest means to get our own living', of giving and paying every man his due, and, instead of taking what is another's, of being ready to distributea from our own wealth to the wants and necessities of those that lacky.
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT.
NINTH COMMANDMENT. DUTY TOWARDS OUR NEIGH
BOUR, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy Neigh
My duty towards my Neigh
bour is... To keep my tongue bour.
from evil-speaking, lying, and
slandering. 1. The Character. The Ninth Commandment treats of our duty respecting our neighbour's character and reputation, which are as precious as his life and property
2. False Witness. The crime, therefore, at which
1 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Eph. iv. 28; Comp. 1 Thess. iv. 11; 1 Tim. v. 8.
2 Charge them that are rich in this world...that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute. 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18; Comp. Rom. xii. 13; Heb. xiii. 16; 1 Jn. iii. 17.
3 “Also thys precepte wylleth us to be so farre absent from takynge awaye an other manne's good, that it byddeth us to gyue parte of our owne riches to them that lacke and desire it, according to the commandment of Christ, whiche sayeth, Gieue to every man that doeth aske the.” Cranmer's Catechism, p. 79.
4 “Forasmuche as our riches standeth not onelye in possession of landes, tenementes, cattell, or money, but also in M. C.
the Commandment first and most expressly points, is giving false witness in a court of justice. And as in such cases evidence is always given upon oath, this Precept, like the third, forbids perjury, which there is regarded as impiety against God, here as injurious to man? The Mosaic Law, like all other laws, regarded perjury as one of the most heinous of crimes, and enacted that if a false witness rose up against any man he should be bronight before the priests and judges, and if, after diligent inquisition, the charge was established, then should be done unto him as he had thought to have done unto his brother? (Deut. xix. 16– 21).
3. Evil speaking. But this Commandment extends to false witness, not merely in judicial proceedings, but also in common conversation. For a man's reputution may be, and too often is, seriously injured by calumny, misrepresentation, imputing bad motives, and spreading false and slanderous reports. Hence, the Israelites were forbidden to allow any to go up and down as a talebearer among the people (Lev. xix. 16), and were directed to keep from a false malter (Ex. xxiii. 7); for whoso privily slandered his neighbour him would God destroy (Ps. ci. 5). Hence also our Lord instructs us, Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, judge not, that ye be not judged (Lk. vi. 37 ; Mtt. vii. 1), and St Paul enjoins us to put away all evilspeaking (Eph. iv. 31), for true Christian love thinketh no evil (1 Cor. xiii. 5). our good name, fame and estimation, (which farre passeth al gold syluer and precious stones,) therfore foloweth this commandment, Thou shalt beare no false witnes agaynst thy neyghbour." Cranmer's Catechism, p. 80.
1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, Prov. xxii. 1. A good name is better than precious ointment, Eccl. vii. 1; see Secker's Lectures on the Catechism, 11. p. 96.
2 For examples of false witness see 1 Kings xxi. 9, 10; Mtt. xxvi. 59-61.
4. Lying and Slandering. Thus, as explained in the Catechism, this Commandment enjoins the duty of "keeping the tongue from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering.” For detraction and calumny generally lead to lying, which is one of the seven things that are described as an abomination unto the Lord (Prov. vi. 17), and including, as it does, equivocation, exaggeration, and false colouring, strikes at the very root of that mutual trust and confidence which is the foundation of society. Again and again therefore in the New Testament is the Christian exhorted to put away lying as being unworthy of his profession", and his membership of Christ's Church?, as being worthy only of the Evil Oues, and entailing future condemnation".
CHAPTER VI. THE TENTH COMMANDMENT. TENTH COMMANDMENT. DUTY TOWARDS MY NEIGHThou shalt not covet thy
BOUR. neighbour's house, thou shalt
Myduty towards my neigh. not covet thy neighbour's wife, bour is....not to covet nor desire nor his servant, nor his maid, other men's goods; but to learn nor his ox, nor his ass, nor
and labour truly to get mine any thing that is his.
own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto which
it shall please God to call me. 1. Scope of the Commandment. The tenth Commandment deals not with the act or speech, but with the thoughts and motions of the heart. As addressed
1 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. Col. iii. 9.
2 Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Eph. iv. 25; comp. Rom. xii. 5.
3 When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and the father of it. Jn. viii. 44.
4 All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. Rev. xxi. 8; xxii, 15.
to the Israelites it strikingly anticipates the teaching of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount, for it cuts to the quick, and shows that God's law takes hold on the first and inmost intentions and motions to evil? (Rom. vii. 7).
2. The sin forbidden. The sin, which this Commandment forbids, is covetousness, or concupiscence. The original word thus translated in our Bibles has the force not merely of to desire, which may be natural, but “to set the heart upon,” to “desire immoderately,” and is generally used in a bad sense, as denoting “evil concupiscence.” It may, therefore, include various objects of immoderate desire, and may assume the form of fleshly lusts, or of covetous longing for another's property“, or of the love of money5. But whatever may be its precise object, closely allied as it is with envy and discontent, when it hath conceired, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (Jas. i. 14, 15).
1 Nicholson On the Catechism, p. 141.
? 'Ercovula, sometimes translated desire (Lk. xxii. 15, Phil. i. 23), sometimes lust (Mk. iv. 19, Rom. i. 24, &c.), sometimes concupiscence (Rom. vii. 8, Col. iii. 5). It is rarely used in a good, much oftener in a bad sense, not only as = concupiscentia, but mala concupiscentia. Our English word lust once meant mere strong desire, and was not always employed in an evil sense as now. See Trench's Synonyms, p. 311; Bible Word-Book, p. 302, and p. 552.
3 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, as in the case of David (2 Sam. xi. 1–5), who verily was drawn away by his own lust and enticed (Jas. i. 14), and so fell into adultery and murder.
4 As in the case of Ahab and the vineyard of Naboth (1 Kings xxi. 4, 19).
5 As in the instances of (1) Achan (Josh. vii. 1—26), (2) Balaam (2 Pet. ii. 15), (3) Gehazi (2 Kings v. 20—27), (4) Judas Iscariot (Mtt. xxvi. 14, 15).
6 ’ATOTeleo Deloa, consummatum, adultum robur nactum: id quod celeriter fit. Bengel in loc.