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T Come now to the remaining duties towards our neigh
bour, contained in the fixth and following COMMAND· MENTS; which are, 'to love him as myself, and we
• to do unto all men as I would they should do our neigó(unto me. To hurt no-body by word or deed. bor. • To be true and just in all my dealings. To bear no malice ‘nor hatred in my heart. To keep my hands from picking • and stealing, and my tongue from evil speaking, lying, and • flandering. To keep my body in tenperance, sobernefs, • and chastity. Not to covet nor defire other men's goods; • but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living; and • to do my duty in that state of life unto which it shall please • God to call me.' * Wherefore let it be observed, that the laws of God, relating to the life of our neighbour, are tranf-, gressed by all real mischiefs and lasting injuries whatsoever, done by one man to another, or brought by any man upon himself; and by all debaucheries, whereby men destroy themselves, or which they draw others into, to the ruin of the health of their bodies, and the reason of their minds. They are also transgressed by all wilful frauds, and deliberate adulterations of things made use of either in food or medicines; and by every thing whereby any man receives detrimentin his person. Norisit, in any of these cases, a sufficient excuse, in point of religion and morality, to alledge, that the evil which follows was not intended : for every man is answerable not only for the evil he directly intended, but also for the accidental ill consequences of that action, which it was his direct duty not to have performed. Because our du. ty to our neighbour is founded on JUSTICE and CHARITY: Therefore for method's sake I shall reduce all these particular duties we owe to our neighbour under those two general heads. JUSTICE to our neighbour is to do no wrong or injury to any one's foul, body, polisions, gative and or credit; and to give every one their whole due or pojilive. right. For,
Though the soulof manisan invisible substance, and therefore not to be hurt by any outward violence, which To the forut.
• See the second answer after the Commandments in the Church Catechism.
the body is subject unto : yet it is capable of many impreffions, by which it is not only hurt and wounded, but even killed, if we consider it in a natural sense. For
The soul in the natural signification, is the heart or mind In the natu- or spirit of a man, which all men know, had not ral sense. Solomon taught us, may be broken with sorrow and afflictions. Consequently, malicious and spiteful men, who without cause vex and grieve their neighbour, hurt and wrong his soul, and are guilty of a breach of justice..
The soul, considered in its spiritual state, is that part of In the biri. man which must live for ever in an eternal state tual jenje. of glory or misery. And as under this considera tion it may be hurt, by fin in this world, and punishment in
the next, which is the consequence of sin; so that Drawing To fin the person, who tempts another to sin, is instrumengreatest in- tal to drag him to punishment, and as much acjury. ceflary to the hurt of that soul, as a murderer is to the death of the body he has killed: because sin, being the direct opposite to that grace, by which alone the foul is inabled to live for ever in the fight of God, becomes the disease and wound thereof; which is given directly, by every one Direct who commands any one under his authority to do means of it. an unlawful action, or adviseth another to some wicked thing, or intices others, by either pleasure or profit, to do any wickedness; which means is muchinhanced, when men either help to contrive, or to put their wicked devices in
execution : Or indirectly, by giving bad example; Indirecte especially by those that carry authority in their station of life: because many are so void of grace, as to copy other men's vices, as they do their dress, for fashion fake. Again, by not shewing a dillike to what we hear or see done in defiance of God and his laws : Or, thirdly, by justifying and defending any evil or finful act in themselves or others: and, finally, by making a mock at fin, and contemptuously deriding the faith of Christ, through which alone we are to be saved. So,
As these are the means by which men commonly injure the soul of their neighbour, by drawing him into intempesance, luxury, drunkenness, or uncleanness, and many other vices; it behoves everyone to examine himself, how often and how many he has hurt by any of these particulars : Men oughe for it is not sufficient to say, I have wronged no to confider
whom they man, by maiming his body, stealing his goods, or have this undermining his character ; because whomsoever injured. we draw to lin, we have endeavoured to bring to eternal punilhment. Thisis as it were secretly killing the soul under the pretence of friendship; and is much worse than a murder of that sort acted upon the body, as the soul is more preferable to the body, and eternal misery is more to be dreaded than death. Besides, such a murderer cannot hope to escape unpunished at the last day; forasmuch as Christ declares, that whosoever shall offend (or tempt, entice, or encourage any one to sin)any of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. So that
Whoever is thus accessary to another's sin, becomes also subject to, and has reason to expect the same pu- Heartily to nishment; except he begins early to judge and be- bewail it. wail himself for all thele things, in which he has wronged his neighbour, and firmly resolves never to cast a stumbling. block in his way for the future. And if it be possible, he mult endeavour all that he can, by admonition and good Endeavour example, to reform him whom he had caused to to repair it, sin. So far negative justice regards the fouls of men. And,
II. Now let us consider negative justice in regard to the bodies of men. This forbids us to do wrong and vio- of
Of negarive lence;. the highest degree of which is killing the justice to the body, and is the sin forbidden in the fixth COM- body. MANDMENT, Thou shalt de no murder: that is, Thou shalt, neither by open violence, in defiance of the laws of In respect to God and man, nor secretly or treacherously, by the the life. means of another's sword; nor by false accusation; norby poifon, nor by any other private means whatever, take ...
Several away the life of thy neighbour; which are too of- wigs of ten suggested by an old grudging, or covetous, or committing ambitious heart, to satisfy a malicious passion, or murder. to make way to some profit or preferment: or it is too often become the practice of loose women, who kill their infants to
hide their own shame. Besides, they who intice others to drinking, or other excefles, which bring on diseases, and, by weakening the body, not only deprive them of health, the moft valuable comfort of life, but thereby haften the time of death, cannot hope to be clear from their blood in the fight of God. And again; whoever excites or prompts another to Such a pitch of anger and revenge, or blows up the coals of diffension between others, he certainly cannot be guiltless, but must expect part of the punishment, if it ends in murder. Duels, or fighting in private quarrels, are open breaches of
this commandment; because disallowed by divine o ancong. authority; and therefore the guilt of murder is chargeable upon the persons engagingin them. For the plea of self-preservation is utterly foreign to the conditions and circumstances of him who formally gives or accepts a challenge. And he adds to the fin of making an outrageous attempt upon his neighbour's life, by throwing himself unneceffarily into the utmost danger of losing his own, not only life, but foul also. For those, who die in such engagements, go into the other world, not only void of charity, but glowing hot with wrath and fury; and when these qualities have the last possession of their souls, what society of fpirits çan that be which their souls are qualified for in the next world? And, provided they do not perish in the conflict, is it worth a man's while to run into the hazard of suffering eternal misery, for the sake of redressing an injury, or resentingan affront? Consequently, all arguments of human invention, to countenance such a wickedness, must beevasiveand deluding; and to fear men more than God is the most dishonoura ble misapplication and degeneracy of fear. There is nothing which religion doth more severely forbid, than this revenging of injuries in a private way: nor is there any thing more ftrictly injoined than forbearance and forgiveness; even so strictly, that we cannot, without hypocrisy, fay our daily prayers, unless we be in charity with all the world. Therefore, whoever engages in duels through fear of suffering little trifling calumnies and reproaches, which, in the judgment of the wisest men, are not really such, doth at once forfeit all just pretensions to true courage, honour, and generosity of mind, and all claim and title to eternal life. Moreover,
This precept extends, according to the interpretation of Christ and his apostles, to our words and secret in- Murder tentions. Our blefied Lord exprelly applies it to the committed in several degrees of causeless anger, breaking forth thought. into contumelious and reproachful language ; and, in St. John'saccount, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that a murderer hath no eternal life abiding in him. Because such as have not sufficient degrees of natural courage, or want opportunities actually to defile their hands with blood, may yet facrifice their neighbour in their secret thoughts, and indulge their imagination in the view of those mortal wounds which they dare not give; and men, who are afraid to handle the instruments of death, may shootout their arrows, even bitter words, and pierce the souls of their brethren with the expressions of cruelty, de- ** spitefulness and scorn: But they may justly fear that the blood thus shed in fancy and conception only shall be laid to their charge, and that the rewards of the false or cruel tongue shall be, as of the iniquity itself, mighty and sharp arrows with hot burning coals. For whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Racha, shall be in danger of the council : but whosoever thall say, Thou food, shall be in danger of hell-fire.
If the guiltof this transgression be taken from the indignity offered unto God, or from the injury done to man, the bei or from the punishments expresly denounced a- nousuels of gainst it, or from the anguish and horror which it the fin. is apt to leave upon the nind, we should find reason to afsignit a place amongst the loudest of crying fins : for the first instance of murder was followed close by perplexity, oppression offpirit, and despair. Mypunishment is greater than I can bear, or rather mine iniquity is greater than can be forgiven me, says Cain, whoslew his brother. And it follows, Everyone that findeth me shall lay me: the whole creation must bealarm’d, and stand ready to execute vengeance on me; and that weight of confusion, which natural conscience scarceever fails laying upon such sinners, must be increas’d by theexpression of God's indignation: The Lordabhors the blood-thirsty; and has ex