Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit," and " to preserve you from evil thoughts, which assault and hurt the soul." Do not expose yourself to temptation by eating and drinking to excess, by indulging in idleness, or frequenting improper places of amusement, but keep under your body, and fly from the first approaches of sin. Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? How, then, will you dare to pollute it by such abominations? Be like Joseph, and whenever temptation approaches, ask yourself,

How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen. xxxix, 9, 11.

And pray that God may never deal with you as with the Gentiles, of whom the Apostle Paul writes, God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, and wickedness, because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge. Rom. i, 24-29.

Litany. From fornication, and all other deadly sin, and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil, Good Lord deliver us.

1st Sunday in Lent.-Give us grace to use such abstinence, that our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness.

Purification. That so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

On the Commandments. No. 9.

EIGHTH COMMANDMENT.

What is the eighth commandment?

"Thou shalt not steal."

What is forbidden in this commandment?

1. House-breaking, highway-robbery, actual theft, and all manner of fraud and injustice.

2. Taking advantage of the ignorance of another in buying and selling.

The following passages contain laws respecting the punishment of men for stealing. Exod. xxii, 1-5; 7--13; Lev. vi, 1-7.

Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely. Lev. xix, 11.

Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him. Lev, xix, 13.

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Lev. xix, 35.

If thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another. Lev. xxv, 14. It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth. Prov. xx, 14.

Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be

filled with gravel. Prov. xx, 17.

The curse shall enter into the house of the thief. Zech. v, 3, 4.

Defraud not. Mark x, 19.

Neither thieves, nor covetous, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi, 10.

We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. 2 Cor. iv, 2. That no man go beyond, and defraud his brother in any matter. 1 Thess. iv, 6.

3. The use of false weights and measures in selling or buying.

Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have. Lev. xix, 36.

Thou shalt not have divers weights, or divers measures, a great and

a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and a just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God. Deut. xxv, 13-16.

A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. Prov. xi, 1.

Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord. Prov. xx, 10.

4. The Slave Trade, or stealing men to sell them as slaves.

He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. Exod. xxi, 16.

If a man be found stealing any of his brethren, and maketh merchandize of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die, and thou shalt put evil away from among you. Deut. xxiv, 7.

5. Detaining from another his just due; or borrowing money without any hopes of repaying it..

The wicked borroweth and payeth not again. Ps. xxxvii, 21.

6. Receiving or concealing stolen goods, is a breach of this commandment.

7. A servant is guilty of theft, when he injures or wastes his master's property; or spends, in idleness, the time for which he is paid.

8. Persons break this commandment, when, by pretended sickness or want, they impose upon the parish for relief, or upon well-disposed persons for charity.

9. A man breaks it when he evades the taxes. Render unto Cesar, the things which are Cesar's. Matt. xxii, 21; Mark xii, 17.

Render, therefore, to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due, Rom. xiii, 7.

What does this commandment require?

To be true and just in all my dealings: To keep my hands from picking and stealing; and to learn and labour truly to get my own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to call me. Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good. Ephes, iv, 28. Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just-whatsoever

things are of good report;-think on these things. Phil. iv, 8. That ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, &c. 1 Thess. iv, 11, 12. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread. 2 Thess. iii, 12.

Lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1 Tim. ii, 2.

It requires also acts of mercy, which are a kind of debt due to the poor, and required as such by God, as sovereign proprietor of all.

Withhold not good from them to

whom it is due, when it is in the Prov. iii, 27.

power of thine hand to do it. He that honoureth his Maker, hath mercy on the poor. Prov. xiv, 31. Give alms of such things as ye have. Luke'xi, 41.

Ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to re ceive. Acts xx, 35.

If you have been guilty of a fraud, be like Zaccheus, (Luke xix, 8.) and restore to those you have injured four-fold. Beware of covetousness, for

The love of money is the root of all evil. 1 Tim. vi, 10.

If a person sets his heart too much on earthly riches, he may be tempted to use some dishonest or improper means to obtain them. Besides, they are very perishable, and can never impart true happiness: seek not, therefore, to lay up treasures on earth,

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Matt. vi, 20.

This commandment is frequently broken by children.

How often do they endeavour to cheat and over-reach each other; and what a propensity many of them seem to have, to take what does not belong to them, when they are not observed! Some children appear to suppose, that stealing from their parents is no crime; but the Bible says,

Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. Prov. xxviii, 24.

Repress every inclination to fraud or pilfering. Say not to yourself," It is a little thing," for little things lead on to greater. The habit will grow with your years, and may finally bring you to disgrace and ruin. Selfishness is a great enticer to theft. Take care you do not indulge it. Cultivate a generous spirit, and you will cut off many temptations to dishonesty.

On the Commandments. No. 10.

NINTH COMMANDMENT.

What is the ninth commandment?

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

What member of the body is this commandment intended to restrain?

The tongue, which is too apt to offend.

I am to keep my tongue from evil-speaking, lying, and slandering.

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Ps. xxxiv, 13.

I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle. Ps. xxxix, 1.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Ps. cxli, 3.

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, this man's religion is vain. James i, 26.

The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things: and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: it defileth the whole body, and it is set on fire of hell. The tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James iii, 5--8. What do you mean by bearing false witness against your neighbour?

[ocr errors]

Unjustly accusing any one, whether on oath or otherwise.

If a false witness rise up against any man, to testify against him that which is wrong; the judges shall make diligent inquisition; and if the witness be a false witness, then shall ye do unto him as he had thought to have done unto his brother. Deut. xix, 16-19.

A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish. Prov. xix, 5, 9.

A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Prov. xxv, 18.

Neither accuse any falsely. Luke iii, 14.

Naboth was put to death by false witnessess. 1 Kings xxi, 10-13. False witnesses were employed by the chief priests, that Jesus might be put to death. Matt. xxvi, 60.

Blasphemers, and false accusers, are in the black list of the sins of the last times. 2 Tim. iii, 2.

What does this commandment forbid? 1. It forbids evil-speaking?

Evil-speaking consists in relating things to our neighbour's prejudice, when the making them known cannot answer any good purpose. The facts stated may be true, but christian charity should induce us to hide them.

The scriptures place this sin in the company of the worst of wicked actions.

Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. Lev. xix, 16.

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? He that speaketh the truth in his heart, he that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Ps. xv, 1--3.

Out of the heart proceed false-witness, blasphemies. Matt. xv, 19. Backbiters and inventors of evil things, (Rom. i, 30.) and

Revilers are ranked with those who shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi, 10.

Let all evil-speaking be put away from you, Eph. iv, 31.

Speak evil of no man. Titus iii, 2.

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. James iv, 11.

Lay aside all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and evil-speakings. 1 Pet. ii, 1.

2 It forbids lying.

Lying is inventing falsehoods, or reporting things without sufficient evidence of their truth, whatever motive we may have in so doing. It is speaking untruths with an intent to deceive.

The propensity of lying shews itself so early, that children go

« AnteriorContinua »