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Q. 12. How ought we to maintain and promote oor neighbour's good name, in regard of ourselves?
Ă. We ought to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name in regard of ourselves, 1. By looking unto, and having a due esteem of the worth, and the good things which are in them. Philip. ii. 4, Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 1 Thess. v. 13, Esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake. 2. By liking and loving, and desiring, and giving thanks to God for their good name and fame. Rom. i. 8, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 3. By a ready receiving a good report concerning them, and rejoicing therein. 3 John 3, I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came, and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 1 Cor. xiii. 6, Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. 4. By deafening the ear against and discouraging tale-bearers, back-biters, slanderers, who speak evil of their neighbours. Psalın xv. 3, That taketh not up a reproach against his neighbour. Prov. xxv. 23, The north wind driveth away rain ; so doth an angry countenance a back-biting tongue. 5. By griev. ing at their faults, which expose them unto disgrace, with desires and endeavours to promote their amendment, and the recovery of their reputation, 2 Cor. ii. 4, For out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with inany tears : not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love wlich I have more abundantly unto you.
Q. 13. How ought we to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name, in reference unto others?
A. We ought to maintain and promote our neigh. bour's good name, in reference unto others, 1. By giving that honour uinto them which is their due, speaking well of them behind their backs, freely acknowledging their gifts and graces, and good things, and preferring them in honour before ourselves. 1 Peter ii. 17, Honour all men.' Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 3 John 12, Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear re
cord, and ye know that our record is true.
1 Cor. i. tury 5, 7, I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge : so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. xii. 10, Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love ; in honour preferring one another. Philip. ii. 3, Let nothing be done through strife, or vain-glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem otser better theme selves. 2. By defending their reputation and good name, in endeavours to prevent or stop any evil or false report concerning them, and to vindicate them so far as we can ; especially when we are called before a magistrate to bear witness of their innocency, so far as it is consistent with truth. 1 Sam. xxii. 14, Then Abimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house? 3. By concealing and covering their faults and infirmities (where we may) with unwillingness expose them unto disgrace ; and, in the spirit of meekness, endeavouring to restore them when they are overtaken and fallen into sin. 1 Pet. iv. 8, Charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Matth. i. 19, Joseph being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. Gal. vi. I, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 4. By reproving them before other's only where there is need, and that with a respect unto their condition, and remembrance of what is praise-worthy in them. Matth. xviii. 15; 16, If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault beiween thee and him alone. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, &c. Rev. ii. 2, 4, I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, &c. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, &c.
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth com mandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth, whatsoever is prejudical to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour's good name.
Q. 1. What is more generally forbidden in this ninth commandment ?
A. In this ninth commandment is more generally forbidden two things, 1. Whatsoever is prejudicial to truth. 2. Whatsoever is injurious to our own or our neighbour's good name.
Q. 2. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment, as prejudicial to truth?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth, as prejudi. cial to truth, all falsehood and lying whatsoever, whether it be lies to make mischief, as false accusation of others; or lies to make gain, as falsifying of our word, overreaching our neighbours for advantage to ourselves; or lies to make wonder, as in the inventing of strange or false news; or lies to make sports, as in lying jests; or lies to make excuse, as in all lies, for the covering of our own or others' faults. Col. iii, 9, Lie not one to ans other, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. Rev. xxi. 8, All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.
Q. 3. What doth the ninth commandment forbid, as injurious unto our own good name?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth, as injurious unto our own good name, 1. The doing any thing which is justly of evil report, and may prejudice our reputation among men, such as committing adultery, theft, fraud, and any kind of baseness and wickedness, which is not only dishonourable unto God, but dishonourable unto ourselves. Prov. vi. 32, 33, Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, lacketh understanding; a wound and dishonour shall he get, and his reproach shart not be wie ped away. 1 Sam. ii. 24, 30, Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear. Now the Lord saith, be it far from me; for them that honour me, I will honour, and they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed. 2. All boasting and vain glory, and that whether we boast of a false gift, or those gifts which we really have, where by wę really debase and render ourselves contemptible
in the eyes of God, and of the more judicious Christians. I Cor. xiii. 4, 5, Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, behaveth not itself unseemly. Prov. xxv. 14, Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift, is like clouds and wind without rain. Matt. xxiii.12, Whosoever shall even exalt himself,shall be abased; and he, that shall humble himself, shall be exalted. 3. Bearing false witness against our. selves, in accusing ourselves in that wherein we are not guilty, and by denying the gifts and graces which God hath given us, endeavouring to lessen our esteem, that thereby we might be numbered among those from whom we are through grace redeemed. Col. ii. 18, Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility. 4. Unnecessary and imprudent (liscovery of all our real infirmities, unto the scorn of the wicked and ungodly.
Q. 4. What doth the ninth commandment forbid, as injurious unto the good name of our neighbour?
A. The ninth commandmeni doth forbid, as injurious unto the good name of our neighbour, 1. Perjury, or false swearing, and false accusations, or anywise bearing false witness ourselves, or suborning others to bear false witness against our neighbour. Zech. viii. 17, Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against your neighbour, and love no false oath : for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord. 2 Tim. iji. 1, 2, 3, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boast. , ers, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Psalm xxxv. 11, False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not. Prov. xix. 5, A false witness shall not be unpunished; and he that speaketh lies, shall not escape. Acts vi. 12, 13, And they brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words, &c. 2. Judging, evil speaking, and rash censuring of our neighbours for doubtful or smaller matters, especially when we are guilty of the same, or greater faults ourselves. Acts xxviii. 4, And
they said, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. Matth. vii. 1, 3, Judge note that ye be not judged. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Rom. ii. 1, Therefore thou art inexcu. sable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest, dost the same things. James iv. 11, Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He, that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law; but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 3. Scoffing, deriding, reviling, and reproach. ful speeches unto the face of our neighbours, and all back-biting of them, which may wound or detract from their due reputation. Psalm l. 19, 20, Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest, and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. Psalm xv. 1, 3, Who shall dwell in thy holy hill ? He that back-biteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbour. Lev. xix. 16, Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. 1 Tim. v. 13, And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also, speaking things which they ought not. 2 Cor. xii. 20, Lest there be debates, envy• ings, back-bitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults. 4. Raising or taking up evil reports against our neighbours, without good proof. Exod. xxiii. 1, Thou shalt not raise a false report. Psalm xv. 3, Nor take up a reproach against his neighbour. Prov. xxix. 12, If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.
Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shall not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor hie ar, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's,