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How does our Lord show us that this commandment may be
broken in our hearts ? He teaches us, in his sermon on the mount, that he who is angry with his brother without a cause, is guilty of this sin. Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be
in danger of the judgment. Matt. v. 21, 22. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer. 1 John iii. 15. We see that God's commandment is exceeding broad. Ps.
cxix. 96. Are not those persons guilty of murder, who destroy the souls
of others, by setting them evil examples, or by tempting them to sin ?
If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and
those that are ready to be slain, &c. Prov. xxiv. 11, 12. When I say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou giv
est him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Ezek. iii. 18. Wo unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy
bottle to him and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness. Hab. ii. 15. The soul is of infinitely greater consequence than the body, and its destruction is therefore an infinitely greater injury.
Many souls, it is to be feared, have been murdered by persecution and ridicule. Beware how you become partakers in the sin of those, who thus wantonly or maliciously seek to destroy the souls of their companions. If a child be desirous of serving God, and refuse to join any longer in the sins and follies of his school-fellows and playmates, how common is it to endeavour to laugh or persecute him out of his religion! And how often does the dread of singularity, and the fear of becoming an object of ridicule, prevent persons from following the dictates of their con science, and stifle the convictions which the Spirit of God has awakened within them! Whenever you feel a propensity to join the common laugh on such occasions, remember that you are about to commit murder !-murder of the blackest kind !—and surely this will restrain you. What does this commandment require ?
It commands us “to hurt nobody by word or deed ; to
bear no malice nor hatred in our hearts." It requires us to speak no provoking words, but to feel and show all manner of kindness in heart, word, and conduct, to our neighbour. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the chil
dren of God. Matt. v. 9. Agree with thine adversary quickly. Matt. v. 25. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them
that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you
and persecute you. Matt. v. 44. From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
murders, &c. Mark vii. 21. Do violence to no man. Luke iii. 44. Ye (those who sought to kill Jesus) are of your father the
devil :-he was a murderer from the beginning, John viii. 44. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one ano
ther. John xiii. 34. St. Paul mentions as a proof of an unconverted state, that men
are “ full of envy, murder, debate, malignity, despiteful, im
placable, unmerciful.” Rom. i. 29, 31. Recompense to no man evil for evil. If it be possible, live
peaceably with all men. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath : for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.—Overcome evil with good. Rom.
xii. 17–21. Thou shalt not kill: love worketh no ill to his neighbour. Rom.
xiii.9, 10. Among the works of the flesh are hatred, variance, emula
tions, wrath, strife, envyings, murders, and such like. Gal.
v. 21. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your
wrath. Eph. iv. 26. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Eph. iv.
31, 32. Put on bowels of mercies, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing
one another, if any man have a quarrel against any. And
above all these things put on charity. Col. iii. 12–14. Put them in mind to be gentle, showing all meekness unto all
men; for we ourselves also were sometimes living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another :-but according to
his mercy he saved us, &c. Tit. iii. 245. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil
for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing, &c.
1 Pet. iii. 8. Let us love one another; for love is of God. 1 John iv. 7.
You no doubt look on murder as a very shocking thing, and would tremble at the very thought of committing it. But remember, that men do not arrive at the height of wickedness all at once, but are led to it by degrees. Indulging a quarrelsome, envious, revengeful disposition,
will bring you step by step to break through all restraints, till at length you will not hesitate to take away even the life of a fellow creature. Indeed quarrelsome, envious, revengeful, unkind thoughts, are themselves murder in the sight of God. O how careful ought you to be to cherish a kind, affectionate, and forgiving disposition; and how ought you to dread giving way in the least degree to anger, envy, or an uncharitable spirit. Drunkenness also frequently leads on to murder. Men are usually quarrelsome when they are intoxicated, and commit acts which the whole world could not have persuaded them to do, when in their sober senses. O be sure you shun those wicked practices, which have ruined the souls and bodies of so many, and which may betray you into crimes from which you now shrink with abhorrence.
And if it be so shocking a thing to become the murderer of the body, how much more wicked must he be who deliberately murders the souls of his fellow creatures! Take care what sort of an example you set to those around you. By setting a bad one you may become a murderer. Take care what sort of advice you give your companions. Giving them bad advice may make you the murderer of their souls! Do not dare to deride or laugh at religion in any person, nor attempt in any way to cause him to forsake God. Such conduct is murder, and he who thus endeavours to destroy his brother's soul is a murderer.
As you would wish not to become a murderer, or the victim of a murderer, shun the company of disorderly and dissipated persons; as well as that of angry and furious Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious
man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a
snare to thy soul. Prov. xxii. 24, 25. Litany: From battle and murder, and from sudden death;
-from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness, good Lord deliver us. Quinquagesima Sunday.-O Lord, who hast taught us that all
our doings, without charity, are nothing worth; send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee.
ON THE COMMANDMENTS.
$ 8. SEVENTH COMMANDMENT. What is the seventh Commandment ?
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The sixth commandment defends from bloody rage and revenge; the seventh from impure lusts. A depraved appetite can find no sweetness but in what is forbidden. What is forbidden in this Commandment ?
1. Not only the outward act of adultery is forbidden, but all impure desires, words, and actions. This sin is called Adultery, when one or both of the parties are married : and Fornication, when both are unmarried.
I made a covenant with mine eyes. Job xxxi. 1.
clineth unto death. Prov. ii. 16. 18. To keep thee from the evil woman; for by means of a whorish
woman a man is brought to a piece of bread. Prov. vi. 24. 26. Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understand
ing; he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. Prov. vi. 32. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath commit
ted adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. v. 28. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy:
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Cor.
iii. 17. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, &c. shall in
herit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi. 9. 18. The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, &c. they which do
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. v. 19. Let no corrupt communications proceed out of your mouth.
Eph. iv. 29. Fornication and all uncleanness, let it not be once named
among you, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking-for this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covet. ous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the
kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph. v. 4, 5. Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth;
fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, and evil concupiscence--for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh
on the children of disobedience. Col. iji, 5-8. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel
in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupi
scence. 1 Thess. iv. 4, 5. Flee also youthful lusts. 2 Tim. ii. 22. Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Heb. xiii. 4. I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly
lusts, which war against the soul. 1 Pet. ii. 11.
The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished : but chiefly them that walk after
the flesh in the lust of uncleanness. 2 Pet. ii. 10. The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life, is not of the Father, but of the world.' 1 John ii. 16. The abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers-shall have
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.
Rev. xxi. 8. For without-(out of the kingdom of heaven) are whoremongers,
and murderers, and idolaters, &c. Rev. xxii. 15.
2. It forbids 'all immodest behaviour and dress, and lewd company: The judgments of the Lord upon the daughters of Zion for
their wantonness. Isa. iii. 16-24. Wo to the women that hunt the souls of my people, &c. Ezek.
xiii. 18-21. Evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Cor. xv. 33. I will that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shamefacedness, and sobriety. 1 Tim. ii. 8—10. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting
the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel ; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Pet. iii. 3, 4.
3. It forbids all unchaste books: writing, publishing, selling, circulating, or reading them, and everything which has a tendency to excite improper desires.
4. It forbids all gluttony and drunkenness. When I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery;
they were as fed horses; every one neighed after his neigh
bour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? Jer. v.7–9. Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be over
charged with surfeiting and drunkenness. Luke xxi. 34. The time past of our life may suffice us, when we walked in
lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, &c. 1 Pet. iv. 3. 5. It forbids frequenting any place where we are likely to hear profane and loose conversation, because these things are calculated to excite impure thoughts, and to lead to improper conduct. What is required in this commandment?
“To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity.” Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunk
enness; not in chambering and wantonness; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh,
to fulfil the lust thereof. Rom. xiii. 13, 14. I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection. 1 Cor. ix. 27.