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put to death. Deut. xxii. 22. If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman. Job. xxxi. 11. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. John, viii. 4, 5. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what say est thou? 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Gal. v. 19, 21. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Eph. v. 5. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
9. Q. What are the particular aggravations of this sin?
A. *That it is not only a very heinous sin in the sight of God, but such as is destructive of humane society also. * That it breaks the most solemn vow that can be made between man and man: * separates the nearest relations: * lays the ground of infinite quarrels, and hatred, and divisions in families; and oftentimes occasions murders, seditions, and contentions, in the civil state: #that it propagates sickness and infirmities to men's posterity: * it is an enemy to all serious counsels and generous actions: culates men's minds: * enfeebles their bodies; and upon all these accounts, ought as well to be severely punished by the civil magistrate now, as we are sure it shall be punished by God hereafter.
Of our Duty with relation to his Goods: of Theft, Robbery, Cheating, fyc.
1. Q. What is the eighth commandment?
A. (Thou sbalt not steal,
2. Q. What do you here understand by stealing? A. Not only the secret and fraudulent taking away
of what is another's; but all kind of unlawful getting or detaining of any thing whereby another is injured, or oppressed, in what of right belongs, or ought to belong to him.
Proofs Subjoined.—Lev. xix. 11, 13. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him; the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
3. Q. What arc the principal ways whereby this sin may he committed?
A. 'Chiefly by these three: first, by stealth and robbery; as the one implies a secret thievery, or conveying away of another's goods; the other a more violent and forcible taking of them.
Secondly, ''by all those other ways which men have got of doing the same thing: * by cheating hi buying and selling: * by borrowing, or otherwise contracting of debts, which they are not able, or never intend to pay; which is in truth stealing: by * extortion upon, or * oppression of those, who are in need; or whom we are otherwise able by our power or authority to overbear, which is the same thing with downright robbery.
Thirdly, by * aiding, * advising, * encouraging, or otherwise * communicating with others in any of these crimes: by * receiving, buying, or * concealing what we know to have been stolen: by * helping any one to cheat or overreach another: by * serving any great and violent oppressor in crushing and ruining a poor man.
Proofs Subjoined.—"Lev. xix. 11, 13, as above. Rom. ii. 21. Thou, that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Eph. iv. 28. 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.
bExod. xxiii. 9. Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Lev. xxv. 14. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another. Psalm xxxvii. 21. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. Prov. xx. 10. Divers weights and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord. xxii. 16. He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want, xxviii. 8. He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. Luke, xviii. II. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 1 Cor. v. 10, 11. Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one, no not to eat. 6, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Thess. iv. 6. That no man go beyond, and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. James, v. 4. Behold, the hire of the labourers, who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and t/ie cries of them which have reaped are\entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
4. Q. Are there yet any other vices forbidden by this commandment?
A. There are several others, that may fairly be reduced to it: such as * prodigality in spending a man's estate, and beggaring his family. ** Negligence in making an honest provision, according to a man's station and opportunities, for his children. *b Engaging for others, beyond what we are able, or it is fitting for us to answer. * cTaking usury, or an undue increase, of any, but especially of a needy man. dTo which may be added the whole mystery of ruining estates and families, * by the excessive rates of procuring, continuing, advancing of money, and interest; *by buying mens goods or estates at under-rates; *by taking advantage of gain by men's private wants, or by the public necessities; *the trade of pawns, as it is commonly managed, and the exactions depending thereupon; * and, lastly, all such other trades as live upon the vices and extravagances of men; with all manner of unlawful and injurious ways of gain.
Proofs Subjoined.—*1 Tim. v. 8. But if any provide not, for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. bProv. vi. 1. My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth, xi. 15. He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretyship is sure. xxii. 26. Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. c Dent. xxiii. 19, 20. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother, usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury; unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury, but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it. Psalm xv. 5. He that puttethnot out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall not be moved. Prov. xxviii. 8. He that by usury and unjust gain increaset/t his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. d Prov. x. 2. Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, xiii. 11. Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished. xx. 21. An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed. Jer. xvii. 11. As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave