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Are-not murderers multiplying in this land ? What does GOD esteem the shedding of human blood in wars?
165. Are we not warned against sinful anger as highly criminal, and tending to murder ?
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath : fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.– He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.- An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Ps. 37. 8. Prov. 14. 17. and 25. 28. and 29. 22. and 16. 32. and 19. 11. Eccl. 7. 9. || Mat. 5. 22. Eph. 4. 31. i John 3. 15.
Has God never seen in your heart what his law in its spirituality pronounces murder? How careful ought you to be to repress sinful anger?
166. How is manslaughter defined and treated by the law of God?
And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die ; he shall fee unto one of these cities, and live.- But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments : And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil. Deut. 19. 4, 5. Num. 35. 22–25. || Ex. 21. 13. Josh. 20. 3, 5.
Is not this something different from what human laws call manslaughter? How careful ought men to be of the lives of others ?
167. “Who hath wo? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause ? who halh redness of eyes 2" (x) They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed
(x) See Appendix, Note X.
wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cur), when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.Wo unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine intlame them! Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened lier mouth without mea:sure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.- The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. Prov. 23. 30–32. Is. 5. 22, 11, 14. Deut. 29. 20. || Is. 56. 12. 2 Pet. 2. 12, 13. Prov. 23. 19-21. Luke 21. 34. (y)
Does not intemperance insensibly steal upon the most of drunkards? Can you be too watchful against the least approach towards this pernicious but prevalent evil ?
168. Is not EVERY SPECIES of dishonesty as well as theft forbidden?
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in mete-yard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin shall he have: I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.- 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.- For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 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.Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Lev. 19. 11, 35 -37. Eph. 4. 28. 1 Thes. 4. 2, 6. 1 Cor. 6. 10.' || Deut. 25. 13–16. Job 20. 19, 22. Amos 8. 4—7.
Are there not multitudes who allow themselves in fraud and cheating, who would be ashamed to steal? Will not you resolve to have perfect integrity regulate all your dealings with men ?
169. Is nol lying forbidden and abhorred of God, and detested of good men ? These are the things that ye shal) do ; Speak ye every man
(y) See Appendix, Note Y.
the truth to his neighbour ; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates : And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour ; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord. Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.- But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.- The lip of truth shall be established for ever : but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.- A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. Zech. 8. 16, 17. Ps. 34. 13. Eph. 4. 15, 25. Proy. 12. 19, 22. and 13. 5. || Jer. 9. 2–9. Mic. 6. 12, 13. Rev. 21. 8.
Have you not much occasion to repent of falsehood ? Ought you not to pray much that you may be kept from every approach towards it?
170. What are the consequences of flatlery, tale-bearing, and slander?
A man that Aattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.- He that goeth about as a tale-bearer revealeth secrets : therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour;
I am the Lord.- He that covereth a transgression seek. eth love ; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.- The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.- Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth.- Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Prov. 29. 5. and 20. 19. Lev. 19. 16. Prov. 17. 9. and 18. 8. and 26. 20. Ps. 101. 5. || and 12. 2 3. Prov. 11. 13. and 10. 18.
How lamentably prevalent are the sins of the tongue? Are you entirely free from their guilt ?
171. Is every kind of unprofitable conversation forbidden?
Be not deceived: Evil communications corrupt good manners.- Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.- Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient : but rather giving of thanks. Let no man deceive you with vain words : for because of these things cometh the wrath of God
upon the children of disobedience.- But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned, 1 Cor. 15. 33. Eph. 4. 29. and 5. 4, 6. Mat. 12. 36, 37. || Col. 3. 8. and 4. 6. 2 Tim. 2. 14, 16. Jam. 1. 26. Prov. 21. 23.
How much vain conversation stands chargeable even upon christians? Do you mourn over it?
172. Are there woes denounced against the covetous ?
Wo to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away : so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.Wo to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil.- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.- For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.- 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. Mic. 2. 1, 2. Hab. 2. 9. Ex. 20. 17. Is. 57. 17. Eph. 5. 5. || Jer. 6. 12, 13. Ps. 10. 3. 1 Cor. 5. 11. and 6. 10.
Ought you not to search your hearts prayerfully, that you may detect and eradicate every vestige of this Achan within ? What but this sin prevents more abundant labours for the spread of the Gospel ?
173. Is the love of this world, of its riches, honours, and pleasures, both criminal and dangerous ?
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the „world.- And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the king.
dom of God.- But they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.- Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 1 John 2. 15, 16. Mark 10. 23–25. 1 Tim. 6.9, 10. Col. 3. 5, 2. || Rom. 12. 13. 1 Tim. 6. 17-19.
can you love the world so much wh Christ loved it so little? Will you not pray for the spirit of Christ?
174. As increasing wealth tends to take off the heart and thoughts from God and Eternal Things, are we not warned aguinst " the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches .2"
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten, and art full, and has built goodly houses, and dwelt therein ; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied ; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God : for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.- Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.- Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Deut. 8. 10–13, 17, 18. Ps. 62. 10. Prov. 23. 5. || and 30. 8, 9. Luke 8. 14. Deut. 32. 9, 13–15, Jer. 9. 23, 24. Mat. 19. 21, 26.
Are you saying from day to day " who will show me any worldly good?" Have you watched and prayed not only against supreme love for this world, but against inordinate love of it?
175. What is the portion of rich Ungodly men ?
This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the beritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; He piay prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and