Imatges de pÓgina
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his Father's meaning, doth so expound the same: Whoso," saith he, "is angry with his brother, he is a man-slayer; whoso lusteth after a woman, he hath committed adultery."

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Mast. But whereas only vices and sins are forbidden in these Commandments, why dost thou, in expounding them, say that the contrary virtues are also commanded therein? For thou sayest that in forbidding adultery, charity is enjoined; and in forbidding manslaughter and theft, most entire good-will and liberality is commanded. And so of the rest.

Scho. Because the same our Saviour hath so expounded it, which setteth the sum of the law not in abstaining only from injury and evil doing, but in love and charity, like as the kingly Prophet had also before taught, saying, "Depart from evil and do good."

REFORMATIO LEGUM, &c.

Of Witnesses and their Evidence.

The Duty of Witnesses. Chap. 10. The duty of a witness principally consists in this, that he should speak the truth concerning what is well known to him. We forbid, therefore, that any witnesses of whatever rank, con

themselves the office of judges, either by determining any thing respecting the crimes to which they are to give evidence, or even by inquiring into them, except at the command of the judge, who is bound to take cognizance of the cause which is before him under pain of contempt.

The Office of Judges in examining Witnesses. Chap. 55.

It belongs especially to the duty of a judge diligently to examine the witnesses with respect to all the circumstances of the affair, in order that whatever may have been but partly expressed, or by chance forgotten, by the advocate in drawing up the indictment, or in his interrogatories, may be supplied by him.

CHAPTER XI.

Of the Tenth Commandment.

SECTION I.

The four last-mentioned Commandments of the Second Table expressly prohibit all actions and words tending to injure our neighbour in any of those particulars in which he is most sensible of wrong,— by which the "royal law" of brotherly love and mutual beneficence is transgressed.

The Tenth Commandment relates, no less explicitly, to the thoughts and intents of the heart, in which evil deeds and pernicious speeches are engendered, nourished, and matured:-it is this, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

Under the former specific prohibitions, are, indeed, included, according to the mode of interpretation authorized by our divine Instructor, and according to the spirit of his Gospel, all incipient vices, all propensities and affections which lead, either directly or indirectly, to a breach of the seve

ral Precepts but the Decalogue was given originally to the Jews, from whom was demanded a perfect obedience-therefore, of necessity, only a literal obedience; for of a perfect spiritual one they were ut terly incapable. As the Jews, then, were governed by the letter of the Moral Law, except in some instances in which their civil and ritual code widened its application, it was necessary that an express statute should be framed to prevent the growth of wickedness, by stopping it at its source;-and such is the concluding Precept of the Law. Christians, who are subject to the spiritual exposition of the Decalogue, given hy Jesus Christ and his Apostles, find the oblgations of the Tenth Commandment prescribed elsewhere; they are already bound by the Law which forbids murder, to banish from their bosoms every feeling of envy, hatred, malice and uncharitableness; by that which forbids adultery, every sensual thought and inordinate desire; by that which forbids stealing, all unjust and dishonest ing clinations; by that which forbids false witness, all those things which proceeding out of the mouth defile the man, and partake of falsehood, or malice, or uncharitableness. As a more full and positive explanation of the spiritual obedience, which is required in all the other Commandments, this one sets in the clearest light the pure and perfect nature of evangelical morality,-it teaches that we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God; and it effectually prevents any evasion with regard to suppressing carnal thoughts and inclinations, which are too often supposed innocent, because they are not pro. ductive of immediate and apparent mischief.

The term to covet signifies here, to indulge unlawful desires, or sinful propensities-to consent to, or tolerate, any of those evil dispositions which are implanted in our nature, and are the inheritance transmitted to us as the children of fallen Adam,-which are discernible from the hour of our birth, and remain, even in the regenerate-in those who are freed from the condemnation of original sin-leading them continually into actual transgressions against the Law of God, and constantly warring against the influence of the Holy Spirit, which is given to sanctify us, and to enable us to overcome our natural corruption. By the specified particulars of our neighbour's property, which we are forbidden to covet, are to be understood all kinds of property in general,-every thing. which belongs or is valuable, to him,-which we might be tempted by ungovernable desires to endeavour to acquire by unlawful means.

§ 2. That which is virtually enjoined by this Commandment is, as in other instances, the reverse of what is actually forbidden. We are required, therefore, to cultivate good desires, pious and virtuous inclinations ;-to submit the very thoughts of our hearts to the Divine will;-to bring every imagination into subjection to the Spirit, by sincerely and earnestly striving against the flesh;—to avoid every temptation and allurement which strengthens the power of concupiscence, and weakens or destroys the restraints of conscience ;-to exercise moderation in procuring what is necessary and advantageous to us, and in making provision for the future ;-rigid adherence to justice and charity, in the use of means to promote our own and our neighbour's interest ;

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