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When I say to the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest 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.
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 schoolfellows and play-mates, how common it is 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 conscience, 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 or hatred in our hearts. It requires us to speak no provoking words, but to feel and shew all manner of kindness in heart, word, and conduct, to our neighbour. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children 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, 14.
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 another. John xiii, 34.
St. Paul mentions as a proof of an unconverted state, that men are "full of envy, murder, debate, malignity, despiteful, implacable, 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.
The works of the flesh are these; hatred, vengeance, emulations,
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speak. ing, 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, shewing 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. Titus iii, 2--5.
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 fellowcreature. 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 fellowcreatures! 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 men.
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. 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. No. 8.
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 my eyes. Job xxxi, 1.
To deliver thee from the strange woman; for her house inclineth 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 understanding: be that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. Prov. vi, 32. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. v, 28.
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy-which temple ye are. 1 Cor. iii, 17.
Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi, 9, 18.
The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness-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 covetous 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. iii, 5-8.
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence. 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 judg ment 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.
Woe 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, sobriety, &c. 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 every thing 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 neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? Jer. v, 7-9.
Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged 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 drunkenness ; not in chambering and wantonness; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the Justs thereof. Rom. xiii, 13, 14.
I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection. 1 Cor. ix, 27. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, 2 Cor. vii, 1.
Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James i, 14, 15.
Remember what our Lord says, (Matt. v, 8.) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God-therefore Pray to God to "cleanse the thoughts of your hearts