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them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
5. Q. What think you of going to law?
A. That as it may be managed both by the counsellor and the client, it is as much theft as ever the late punished; and will, as such, be required of both by God. And therefore, though such cases there be in which a Christian may go to law without violating this, or any other command; yet it is certainly the last resort, and not to be used till all other means have proved ineffectual to secure our property, or to recover our right. And, for the most part, it is in law as in war, where one side is certainly in the wrong, and generally both are to blame: and let those who by their purse, their tongue, or their art, defraud another of his right, know assuredly, that however they may build up their bouses by iniquity, and escape the punishment of man for what they do, yet they shall not be acquitted at the tribunal of God for it.
Proofs Subjoined.—Matt. v. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 1 Cor. vi. 1, 6, 7. Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? but brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now, therefore, there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
0. Q. What are the duties which this commandment requires of us?
A. *To be fair and upright in all our dealings: * Nor willingly to wrong, or be accessary to the wronging of any: * if we should happen to have un. willingly injured any man, to be ready, as far as we are able, to make him a full and ample restitution for it: * to be free and charitable to the poor: * careful to provide a competent subsistence for our families; *aud diligent in pursuing some honest and useful calling in order thereunto.
Proofs Subjoined.—Psalm xv. 1, 2. Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? Who shall abide in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. Prov. xvi. 11. A just weight and balance are the Lord's. Ezek. xxxiii. 15, 16. If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Micah, vi. 8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. £pb. iv. 28. Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his own hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 2 Thess. iii. 11, 12. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Sect. XXXI. Of our Duty with relation to his good Name and
Repulation. Of Calumny, Eril-speaking, fc.
1. Q. What is the ninth commandment?
A. Thou shalt not bear false w tness against thy neighbour.
2. Q. What do you here understand by bearing of false witness?
A. The false accusing of, or witnessing against him in judgment; which is commonly attended with perjury, as well as lying, and so becomes an offence at once against the third commandment, by our laking God's name in vain; and against this of injuring our neighbour, by bearing false witness against him.
PROOFS SUBJOINED. —Prov. vi. 18, 19. These six things doth the Lord hate : yea, seven ure am abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swifi in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Luke, iii. 14. He said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any fulsely; and be content with your wages.
3. Q. Is there any thing else forbidden in this commandment?
A. There is; namely, all sort of calumny and evilspeaking against any; whether it be in or out of judgment. Tit. iii. 2. Put them in mind, to speak evil of no man.
4. Q. How do you distinguish between calumny and evil-speaking ?
A. By calumny I mean a reproach falsely raised
upon, and reported against, an innocent person. When we are the makers, as well as spreaders of an untruth; at least, do know what we say of our neighbour to be false, or have just reason to believe it to be so. By evil-speaking, I understand, the relating of what is or has been told to us as true; when we do it not to the person concerned, for the better discovery of the truth; or, to some friend of his, in order to his being admonished of it; but to our indifferent acquaintance: and that whether it be done with a design to defame him, or only in the common way of discourse, which makes but little difference with respect to our neighbour's reputation, how much soever it may lessen our own guilt.
Proofs Subjoined.—Exod. xxiii. 1. Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked, to be an unrighteous witness. Psalm xxxi. 19, 20. O, how great is thy goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Lev. xix. 16. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. Psalm xv. 3. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. Prov. xi. 13. A tale-bearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter, xviii. 8. The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly, xxvi. 22. The words of a tale-bearer, 6fc.
5. Q. Is there any thing more forbidden in this commandment?
A. To this commandment must be reduced all * subornation offalse witnesses in j udgment; al I * credit or countenance that is given to them; all * counterfeiting of hands, and seals, or any other writings, to his prejudice; all * tale-bearing, * rash speaking, and * censuring; all * credulity, or being ready to believe what is evil of our neighbour; all * encouragement that is given to those who are apt to speak evil of other men.
Proofs Subjoined.—1 Kings, xxi. 10. And she (Jezebel) wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two men, sons of Belial, before him to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. Matt. xxvi. 59. AW the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death. Psalrn xv. 1, 3. Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, who shall abide in thy holy hill? He that backbileth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Matt. vii. I, 2. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Eph. iv. 25. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour.
6. Q. What is required of us by this commandment?
A. To * be religiously strict in speaking truth of our neighbour; * not only to take care that what we say be true, but that by our manner of delivering it, by