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The fourth Commandment, [Remember that
thou keep holy the Sabbath-day &c.) appropriates one day in seven to the solemn exercise of the worship of God, in order to keep up a grateful remembrance of His benefits, and to fix in our minds a lively sense of His infinite greatness and goodness, and of our continual dependence upon Him. The keeping this day holy imports, that we consecrate it to a religious rest, by attending upon the public service of the Church, and hearing God's word read and preached there; by participating of the holy sacrament; by private prayer, meditation, and reading; by works of charity and mercy; by taking all the care we can to improve our own piety, and to help other men in the enlivening of theirs. We sin against this commandment, when we employ ourselves in any unnecessary worldly business on the Lord's day* ; when we
* This command obliges us now, as much as ever it did the Jews, though not exactly after the same manner. We worship, as they did, that God Who in six days created the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and in acknowledgment thereof we stand obliged with them to keep a seventh day of rest, after six of labour. But then, as they worshipped this God under the peculiar character of the God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, so were they determined, not only to observe the proportion, but to keep that particular neglect, or are careless and superficial in our performance of the private or public duties that concern its sanctification; when we mispend any part of it in idleness or impertinence; when we do not take due care, that all those who are under our charge do observe it as they ought.
Lord, I confess myself guilty &c.
The fifth Commandment, (Honour thy father
. and thy mother &c.] provides for the security of order and government in the world, by establishing the authority of superiors, and the duty of inferiors. By the terms father and mother we are primarily to understand our natural parents; but though the letter of the command regards only these, yet the reason of it extends equally to our civil parents, the king or queen, and all subordinate magistrates; to our spiritual fathers, the bishops and pastors of the church; and likewise to all masters in families; and all other persons, who are in any respect our superiors. The word honour implies all that love, duty, and obedience; all that help and service, which we owe to each of them respectively according to the several relations they stand in to us. Moreover this Commandment, in the equity of it, requires some return of duty from those who are upon any of the forementioned accounts our superiors; and consequently, as it is our duty to honour them, so it is no less their duty to behave themselves as their relation requires towards us. The true design therefore of this commandment considered in its just latitude is to enjoin all those duties that we stand obliged to, and to forbid all those sins that we may be guilty of in our relative capacities*. · Lord, I confess myself guilty &c.
day for their Sabbath, on which God completed that their deliverance, viz. the seventh of the week, which was the day on which they passed the Red Sea, and so were set entirely free from their Egyptian slavery: for which reason also they were obliged not only to worship God upon it, but moreover, strictly to abstain from all bodily labour. Now in this respect we differ from them: we worship God the Creator of the world under a much higher and more divine character; as He is our Father and Deliverer by Jesus Christ our Lord ; Who, upon the first day of the week rose from the dead, and thereby put an end to the Jewish economy: and in testimony hereof we keep the first day of the week for our Sabbath, and so profess ourselves to be the servants of the true God, through that covenant which He has been pleased to make with us in Christ Jesus our Lord.—See Office for the Lord's Day.
* It is not thought necessary to enter upon a particular inquiry into our behaviour, with respect to all and each of those relations we may stand in one to another, every time we set about the examination of ourselves. It may suffice, generally speaking, to perúse attentively the brief account here given of the design and extent of this commandment. However, because the relative duties make so considerable a part
The sixth Commandment, [Thou shalt do no
murder,] secures the persons of men from all hurt and violence; forbidding us not only the wilful illegal taking away the life of any person whatsoever, or the being designedly accessory to our neighbour's or our own death; but likewise 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. 1. On the other hand, it requires of us to regulate and subdue our passions, to labour for a spirit of meekness, patience, and gentleness, and to do all we can for the preservation and comfort, both of our own, and of our neighbour's life: if they are sick, to advise and assist with our money and our service; if they are in health, to endeavour to prevent their quarrels, and make up their differences; if they are needy, to feed and clothe them: if they have
of the christian life; and what is not necessary always, may be very convenient to be done sometimes, there is subjoined at the end of this exposition, (page 377) a particular enumeration of the mutual relations reducible to this commandment; and of the several duties we stand indispensably obligedig by virtue of these relations.
injured us, to forgive them; if we have injured them, to make them all reasonable satisfaction: in a word, to do all we can to promote love, and peace, and good will among all men.
Lord, I confess myself guilty &c.
The seventh Commandment, [Thou shalt not
commit adultery,] is for the preservation of the honour of wedlock. As by the sixth, the lives of the present generation are secured; so by this care is taken for the regular propagation of the human race. To this end God instituted marriage : and all conjunctions that are not within the limits He has prescribed, are irregular and sinful. Nor are we to abstain only from the gross acts of adultery and fornication, but from all manner of carnal pollutions whatsoever, and from all the most distant approaches to them, and incitements towards them; such as uncleanness, sensual desires and inclinations, all lewd and effeminate conversation, all wantonness of behaviour, all indecent dressing, all too familiar conversation of younger persons of different sexes together; all excess of meat, drink, sleep, clothing; all places and exercises which may be likely to raise our passions to any immoderate height; in short, from what