Immagini della pagina

and afterwards the hand of all the people. Numb. xxxv. 26, 27. But if the slayer shall at any time come, without the borders of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled, and the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer, he shall not be guilty of blood.

7. Q. What is your opinion of self-murder?

A. That it is as much forbidden by this commandment as any other.

8. Q. What think you of those who meet in a set duel, and so kill ?

A. If both agree to it, whichsoever falls, they are both guilty of murder.

9. Q. What if men draw in a sudden heat, and one be slain?

A. The heat being criminal, it will not excuse the mischief consequent upon it, any more than drunkenness, in the like case, would have done. The laws of men may distinguish as they please, but in the sight of God 'tis murder.

10. Q. What are the peculiar aggravations of this sin ?

A. They are very many, and very great ones : murder being above most other sins, brst, a heinous offence against God, who is the sole Lord of all his creatures; after whose image we are made, and who must therefore be, in a singular manner, both injured and affronted by the destruction of his creature and his image. Gen. ix. 6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man:

Secondly, it is a sin against nature, which has established a common relation betwixt us; designed, us for society; and in order thereunto, has made it one of its fundamental laws that we should love, and protect, and do good to one another: and this law cannot by any thing be more eminently trampled under foot than by murder:

Thirdly, it is a sin against the civil society, the end of which is protection; to provide for the safety and security of those who are the members of it: and the very bands of which must therefore be broken hereby:

Fourthly, it is a sin against the magistrate, who, alone, under God, has the power of life and deatlı ; and who, by this violence, is deprived of the counsel, help, and support of one of his subjects:

And, lastly, it is a peculiar and signal offence against all the relatives of him who is so cut off, and that such, as perbaps may be utterly ruinous to them. To say nothing of the injury that is hereby done to the person murdered, and who, by this means, is not only deprived of his life, and of all the advantages he enjoyed by it, but is, it may be, taken off in the midst of his sins, and so undone to all eternity.

11. Q. Is there nothing else besides murder, forbidden by this commandment?

A. Yes, much more; viz. all variance, hatred, emulation, envy, revenge, evil-speaking, quarrelling; all rash and immoderate anger; and, in one word, whatsoever tends towards murder, or may be likely to end in it.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Matt. v. 22. But I say unto you, that whosoerer is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment : and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire. Rom. xij. 19, &c. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Gal. v. 20. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. James, iji. 14, 16. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

12. Q. What are the positive duties which this commandment requires of us ?

A. To do all we can for the safety and preservation, both of our own and our neighbour's lives. If they are sick, to advise and assist them with our money and our service. If they are well, to prevent their quarrels, and make up their differences. If they are needy, to feed them and clothe them. If they have injured us, to forgive them. If we have injured them, to make them all. reasonable satisfaction. In one word, to do all we can to promote love, and peace, and good-will among all men.

Proofs SUBJOINED.—Matt. v. 9, 44. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Luke, x. 34. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the

thieves ? And he said, He that sherred mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do thou likewise. Rom. xi. 18, 20. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink ; for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Gal. v. 22. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Eph. v. 2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling' savour. i Thess. iv. 9. But as touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. Heb. x. 24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. James, jj. 8. If ye fulfil the royal law, according to the Scriptures, ye shall do well. John, iv. 7, 21. Beloved, let us love one another : for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. And this commandment have we from God, that he that loveth God, love his brother also.

SECT. XXIX. of our Duty with relation to his Bed. Of Adultery,

Fornication, Uncleanness.
1. Q. What is the seventh commandment?
A. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
2. Q. What is adultery?

1. It is the violation of the marriage-bed, by which party soever it be done.

3. Q. How many ways may the marriage-bed be polluted ?

A. Either by the ‘one's leaving the other altoge

ther, and marrying again; bor by the one's being false to the other, whilst they still continue to hold together.

Proofs SUBJOINED. Matt. v. 31, &c. It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement; but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. xix. 9. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commilteth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 1 Cor. vii. 10. And unto the married I command, yet not 1, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband. Lev. xvii. 20. Moreover, thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neigh. bour's wife, to defile her. Prov. vi. 29. So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife: whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

4. Q. Is this all that is here forbidden by God?

A. It is all that this commandment does expressly forbid: and seems to have been chiefly designed by God, when he delivered it to the Jews: but our Saviour has taught us to extend it much farther.

5. R. What does our Saviour teach us to understand from this prohibition?

A. That we are to abstain not only from adultery, but from all manner of carnal pollutions whatsoever; from all the most distant approaches to it, and incitements towards it. Such as fornication, uncleanness, sensual desires and inclinations; all lewd and effeminate conversation; all wantonness of behaviour; all indecent dressing; all fainiliar conversation of

« IndietroContinua »