Imatges de pÓgina
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Thus the seventh commandment, though in express terms it forbids only the sin of adultery; yet, under that general, is to be extended to all manner of fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, not only to all unchaste actions, but to all wanton words, thoughts, desires; to all immodest behaviour, and indecent attire; to whatsoever, in short, may intrench upon that gravity and reservedness, which our religion requires of us; or may be apt to tempt us to such sins as are here forbidden: such as high and full diet, soft clothing, the company of wanton persons; from all which we must abstain by virtue of this commandment.

13. Q. What is the next general rule to be observed in the interpreting of these commandments?

A. That where any duty is required, or any sin forbidden; we are to reckon ourselves obliged thereby to use all such means as may enable us to fulfil the one, and to avoid the other. Thus, because in the eighth commandment we are required not to steal; therefore in order to our more constant and ready avoiding of it, we must account ourselves obliged not only to watch our actions, that we do not in any thing defraud our neighbour, but moreover to do what in us lies to keep ourselves out of such circumstances as may be likely to tempt us thereunto. We are, therefore, by virtue of this commandment, required, if need be, to work for the supply of our own wants, and of the wants of those who depend upon us. We are to live soberly and frugally; free from vice, and all extravagance. We are to avoid all lewdness, gaming, and the like occasions of excess: to abstain from all idle, dissolute, and dishonest conversation and acquaintance; and from whatsoever else may be apt

to tempt us to, or engage us in the sin which is here forbidden to us.

14. Q. What is the third rule to be observed for the better understanding of these commandments?

A. That the last commandment is to be looked upon by us, not so much as a single commandment, as a general caution given to us, with relation to most of the duties of the second table; which ought to be governed and influenced by it.

Thus, because we must not steal from, or defraud our neighbour of his goods, neither must we covet them. Because we must not commit adultery, neither must we lust. Because we must do no murder, neither must we desire the hurt or death of our neighbour. For this is the first spring of evil in our hearts; by stopping of which, we shall the most effectually arm ourselves against the commission of it,

15. Q. What is the last general rule to be observed, for the better interpretation of these commandments?

A. That wheresoever we are forbidden to do any thing ourselves as sinful, there we are to take care that we be not partakers of other men's guilt, who do commit what was so forbidden; by advising, assisting, encouraging, or otherwise aiding and abetting them in it. Nay, we must not so much as give any countenance to the evil which they do, by making excuses for, and extenuating their guilt, by hiding or concealing of it; lest, by so doing, we make ourselves accessary to it, and contract to ourselves a stain by it.

SECT. XXIII.

Of the Worship of God, and of Him only.

1. Q. You said that the first table contained those commandments which concern our duty towards God. What is the first of these?

A. Thou shalt have none other Gods but me.

2. Q. Is this all that belongs to this commandment?

A. Yes, it is.

3. Q. What then do you account that which goes immediately before it, and was also delivered by God himself; namely, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage?

a

A. It is a general preface or introduction to the commandments; and represents to us the two great grounds, or motives, on which God required the Jews to obey those commandments which he was about to deliver to them; namely, first, That he was the Lord their God: and, secondly, that he had brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Deut. i. 30. The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt, before your eyes. vi. 21 to 25. Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondsmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt, with a mighty hand: and the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in to give us the

land which he sware unto our fathers; and the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. xxvi. 8, 10. And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders. And now, behold, I have brought the first-fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given to me. And thou shalt set them before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God. Judges, ii. 1, 2. And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.- Lev. xviii. 21. I am the Lord. xix. 14, 16, 18. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neigh-. bour: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. xxi. 12. I am the Lord. xxii. 2. Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel; and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the Lord. Numb. iii. 13. For on the day that I smote all the first-born

in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.

4. Q. Do these reasons extend to us Christians?

a

b

A. They do; and that no less, if not more, than they did to the Jews. For we are the spiritual Israel, and heirs of the promises. He is the Lord our God, by a more excellent covenant than he was theirs. He has brought us out of that slavery of which the Jews' Egyptian bondage was but a type. And has prepared for us an inheritance in heaven, in comparison of which their land of Canaan is nothing to be accounted of.

a

PROOFS SUBJOINED. Rom. ii. 28, 29. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. 1 Cor. x. 18. Behold Israel after the flesh. Gal. iii. 23, 26. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our school-master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. vi. 16. As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Phil. iii. 3. For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

b

Heb. viii. 6, 8. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I

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