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5thly, By mocking, scoffing, and deriding speeches. These are reckoned among the sufferings of the martyrs, Heb. xi. 36. “ Others had trial of cruel mockings.” The soldiers mocking of Christ, John xix. 3. is compared to the baiting by dogs, Psal. xxii. 16. See how children paid for this usage to the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings ii. 23, 24.
Lastly, By cursings, imprecations, and wrathful wishings of ill and mischief to our neighbour's; which is but throwing up of hellish fire on others, that comes down and burns
him that threw it, Psal. cix. 18.
3. There is eye-murder, which vents itself by a wrathful countenance, and all gestures of that kind, such as high and proud looks, and fierce looks, Prov. vi. 17. The spirit of God takes notice of Cain's countenance, Gen, iv. 5. As there is adultery in looks, so there may be murder in them, not only angry looks, but looks of satisfaction on the miseries of others, which God knows the meaning of, Obad. 12.; gnashing with the teeth, and all such gestures of a person, denoting a heart boiling with wrath and revenge, Acts vii. 54.
4. There is hand-murder, even where death killeth not. And people may be guilty of this two ways.
Ift, By way of omiffion, when we with-hold and give not help to those that are in distress, to save their life or living, Judg. v. 2, 3.; neglecting the fick, not visiting and helping them as need requires, Luke x. 31, 32. ; not affording means of life to the poor in want, Jam. ii
. 15, 16.; for those put out the flame of life that do not feed it. We should then put on bowels of mercy and charity, in imitatìon of Job, chap. xxxi. 16. &c. It is observable, that the sentence against the wicked runs on unmercifulness to the poor members of Christ, Matth. xxv. 41. &c.
2dly, By way of commission. And so men are guilty,
(1.) As they strike against the living of others, their means and way of subsistence. This goes under the general name of oppression, a crying sin, Ezek. xxii. 7. Thus this command is broken by extortion, landlords racking of their lands so as labourers cannot live on them, tenants taking others lands over their heads, sometimes to the ruin of honelt families, masters not allowing servants whereupon to live; and, generally, by all kind of oppression, which in God's account is murder, Il. ii. 14, 15. Micah iii. 3.
(2.) As they strike against the body and life itself. Thus men are guilty, by fighting, striking, and wounding others, Exod. xxi. 18, 22. How many have been guilty as murderers in the fight of men, that have had no design to go the full length, when they fell to fighting?
Persecution is a complication of all these; and therefore the better the cause is, the worse is the deed. It is a main engine of him who was a murderer from the beginning. And God will reckon with them as murderers at the great day, Matth. xxv. 41, 42, &c.
Lastly, Men may be guilty of the blood of others otherwife. As,
(1.) By finful occasioning in others those things whereby our neighbour sins against his own soul, Quod eft caufa caufæ, est etiam caufa causati. So people sin by occasioning in others discontent, fretfulness, immoderate sorrow, &c. 1 Sam. i. 6. Wherefore we should beware of that, as we would not be guilty of their blood.
(2.) By all the ways we said men co-operate to the destroying of others souls, they may be guilty of killing others bodies; as by commanding, counselling, or anywife procuring the taking away of men's living or lives unjustly. So David murdered Uriah by the sword of the Ammonites. So informers against the Lord's people in time of persecution are murderers in God's fight, Ezek. xxii. 9. Yea, the approving, or any way consenting to it, makes men guilty, Acts viii. 1.
Now, Sirs, examine yourselves in this matter; and who will not be brought in blood-guilty, guilty of their own and their neighbour's blood, the blood of their souls and bodies ! God's law is fpiritual, and fees the guilt of blood where we plead Not guilty. Let us be humbled and convinced, and apply to the blood of Christ, that we may be washed from it,
OF THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT.
Exod. xx. 14.- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
WHE scope of this command is the preservation of our
own and our neighbour's chastity and purity. God is a holy God, and the devil is an unclean spirit : we muft therefore study purity in all manner of conversation. Our Lord puts this command before the fixth, Mark x. 19. ; because our chastity fhould be as dear to us as our life, and we should be as much afraid of that which defiles the body as that which destroys it.
This command is a negative precept, and expressly forbids adultery: but under that is comprehended all manner of uncleanness whatsoever, with all the causes and occasions lead. ing thereunto. And the positive part of this command is, that we must preserve our own and our neighbour's chastity by all due means.
In discoursing further, I shall consider,
I. The duties required in this command.
I. Our first business is to consider what is required in this command; and the Catechism, agreeably to holy scripture, tells us, that it requires " the preservation of our own and our neighbour's chastity in heart, speech, and behaviour.”
The duties of this command may therefore be reduced to two general heads. 1. The preservation of our own chastity. 2. The preservation of that of our neighbour.
FIRST, This command requires us to preserve our own chastity and purity. There is a twofold chastity. 1. In single life; when it is led in purity, it is like the angelical ; when in impurity, it is devilish.
2. There is conjugal chastity, when married persons keep themselves within the bounds of the law of that state. This lies in two things. (1.) With respect to all others, keeping themselves pure
(2.) With respect to another, keeping themselves within the bounds of Christian sobriety and moderation. In whatsoever ftate we are, “this is the will of God, even our fanctification, that we should abstain from fornication; that every one of us should know how to poffess his vefsel in sanctification and honour, not in the lust of concupiscence," 1 Theff. iv. 3. 4. 5.
Now, there is a threefold chastity required of us, and to be preserved by us.
First, Chastity in heart, i Theff. iv. 5. forecited. God knows the heari, and therefore his laws reach the heart, and he will judge for heart-fins. We must keep our minds pure, that the thoughts be not led astray and corrupted. Hence Job " made a covenant with his eyes,” chap. xxxi. 1. And we must keep our affections pure, that they be not vitiated. Job saw this when he appeals to God, “ If mine heart have been deceived by a'woman,” ver. 9. This is to be pure before God, who seeth in secret, and searcheth the hidden things of darkness. The least glance of the heart over this hedge is a crime.
Secondly, Chastity of speech, Col. iv. 6. “Let your speech be always with grace, feasoned with falt.” As there is tongue-murder, there is tongue-adultery. But our speeches muft favour of fobriety and purity: and so they will, if the heart be pure; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The Holy Ghost, in the scriptures, gives us a pattern to be imitated in our speeches concerning those things that have a natural turpitude with them, vailing the fame in modeft expressions.
Thirdly, Chastity in behaviour, which comprehends both the keeping of the body undefiled by any gross act, and a modest carriage every way, i Pet. iii. 2. Modesty must appear in the whole of our behaviour, that the purity of the heart may shine forth thereby, as the candle gives light through the lanthorn.
Now, as this threefold chastity is required here, so the proper means for preserving it are also required.
1. Watching over our fenfes. These are the ports at which Satan breaks in, and ruins people's purity. The heart and the senses are like a candle-wick, at the end of which lies a heap of powder. Obje&ts set fire to the senses VOL. H. No. 23.
at the wick, and these carry it along to the heart where the corruption lies as a heap of powder. Particularly,
(1.) The eyes, Job xxxi. 1. These were the gates at which fin first entered into the world; and these have been the gates of destruction to many, whereby their fame, body, and souls, have been destroyed together. It is remarkable that the Sodomites were smitten with blindness, who took so little care to watch their eyes while they had the use of them. Curious glances of the eye have been fatal to many, as to David, 2 Sam. xi. 2. and to Joseph's mistress, Gen. xxxix. 7.
(2.) The ears. The corruption of the heart makes people liable to be chained with Satan's fetters by the ears as well as the eyes; as appears from Prov. vii. 21. 22. “ With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks." And curious listening to rotten speeches, or whatsoever has a tendency to corrupt the heart is to open the door to let out our purity.
2. Temperance, a sober use of meat, drink, sleep, and recreations. Hence our Lord warns his disciples, Luke xxi. 34.“ Take heed to yourselves, lest at any
hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness.” Tem. perance is a necessary hedge for chastity, and the breaking over that hedge is a near way to facrifice the other. See Acts xxiv. 24, 25. “ And, after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drufilla, which was a Jewels, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Chrift.-And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled.” Why did the apostle chuse that subject before these great persons ? Why, truly it was very fit. Historians tell us, that this Drusilla was a moft libidinous woman, and had left her husband, Aziz king of Emenessa ; and while he was yet living, she was married to Felix, who was taken with her beauty; and so they lived together in adultery. The body being pampered, becomes a luxuriant beast; and those that cram their bellies with meat or drink, are but one remove from, and in near disposition to filthiness; for one sensuality makes way for another.
On this account it is that fasting and prayer may be to people a duty of this command; for, as some devils are not