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considered, on this account, as a valuable friend, and a very desirable connection.
And now let each of my readers ask himself, how far he has fulfiled this law of God, remembering also, that it ought to be interpreted, as including all the various relative duties between man and man. *
First then, have you set out in infancy, with honoring your parents, both by your conduct and in your heart; neither disobeying them to their face, nor making light of them behind their back? Have you never grudged them secretly the obedience you seemed to pay, nor been in hafte to aflert your independence as you were growing up? If you have lost at an early age the blessing of parents, have you submitted, in like manner, to those whom God's providence tas put in their place, obeying your ltep father or step-mother, your elder brother or filter, uncle or aunt? In more advanced life, have you persevered as the duty of entire submission lessened, to shew to each of ihofe all due deference and respea ? In their old age have you endeavoured to repay them by your affection and watchful attention, as well as by your bounty, if they needed it, for all their care and tenderness, and liberality to you in your infancy and youth? Are you used to honor all your various relations in their due degrces ? Have you submitted yourself to your teachers and inItructors, to your spiritual paitors and masters, ordering yourself lowly and reverently to all your betters? And, further, is it your practice to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's lake, to honor the king, to obey magiftrates, not accustoming yourself to speak dilrespectfully of them, nor rally censuring them in those things which you do not understand ? If you are a servant, do you obey your mafter, not rudely answering again, and not with eye. service only as pleasing men, but God who tricth the heart ? :
How beautiful is the order of society, when each, according to his place, and in the juft degrce, pays willing honor to his superiors, and when the superiors regularly fulfil their several parts also: when the people reverence the king, and the king governs well the people: when the children every where are seen honoring their parents, and the parents fulfil their duty to the children : when fervants are prompt to obey their maiters, and masters deal kindly with their fervants: when wives also and husbands, when brothers and fillers, when partners in business, when high and low, rich and poor, according to the several ranks which God has established in fociety: when landlord and tenant, mafter and workmen, minister also and people, instead of each proudly pushing himself into the chair of his superior, lits down satisfied with his own place, and endeavours humbly and thankfully, and in the fear of God, to fulfil all the duties of it!
SIXTH COMMANDMENT. 6 Thou shalt not kill."
This Commandinent is sometimes rendered, 4Thou shalt do no murder;" and very properly, for all killing is not intended to be forbidden, though all murder is. Killing has, in some cases, been not only allowed, but even required in Scripture. Thus, for instance, it is written in the Levitical law; " Whoso sheddeth inan's blood, by man fhall his blood be shed ;” and the putting of a murderer to death, by the regular magistracy, after a fair trial, is undoubtedly a means of preventing murder in general.
Murder means, the putting a person to death through deliberate malice; a crime which our very nature teaches us to view with great horror; . but to kill a person by striking him in a passion, without intending his death, or to kill another in a duel, or in a private bat:le, especially if we have been the aggressors, carries, no doubt, in it much of the guilt of murder in the fight of God. To let a person perish through neglect, whose life has been entrusted to us, as the life of a child is to a nurse, as that of all the patients in an hospital is to the apothecary or physician, well deserves also the name of murder.
I would here take occasion to notice the great fin of self-murder. We have no right over our own lives any more than over the lives of others, for we belong to God and not to ourselves; and we are exhorted in Scripiure to bear even the
heaviest afflictions with patience and resignation to the will of our heavenly Father, who appoints our trials for us.
It may be proper, in this place, to remark, that the enacting of laws, which are too fanguinary in their nature, and also the entering in. to, or encouraging of wars, which are vindictive and unjust, is unquestionably a breach of this commandment.
But we must now proceed a step further. Not only to kill is to be considered as forbidden by this law, but also to injure, or to intend to injure. This law forbids those evil and angry passions which are the feeds of murder. Cain first envied his brother, and after that he murdered him. The Pharisees first hated Chrift, and after that they were the means of his being put to death. 6: Whoso hateth his brother," says the apostle, “is a murderer.” Our Saviour also finds fault with the Pharisees for explaining this Commandment fo loosely as they did; and then proceeds to warn his Disciples not even 66 to be angry with their brother without a cause."
But again! this Commandment may be considered as not only forbidding injuries, but as commanding good-will. Christ our Saviour not only did not go about wounding and injuring men, and putting them to death, but he went about befriending them, and doing them good: and we should, according to our opportunity, 'go and do likewise.
Let us, then, examine ourselves fully respect. ing this Commandment; for many are apt to fancy, that having never literally been so wicked as to kill any one, they have therefore no con. cern in it. Let us bear in mind, that we must not only not kill, but that we must not intend to kill; that we must not only not hurt, but that we must not wish to hurt; and that, although therefore we should be fitting in our private rooms, and not saying or doing any thing, yet if any secret thoughts are indulged in our minds, which are to the prejudice of our neighbour; if we are allowing ourselves to indulge the least ill-will to him, we are by no means clear of the sin of breaking this Commandment. Let us reflect also, that when one thing is forbidden in Scripture, the thing contrary to it may often be considered as commanded. When injuring is forbidden, doing kindnesses, therefore, may be understood to be commanded. Instead of prejudicing our neighbour, do we then delight in doing him service ? " Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law, for this thou shalt not kill.” Do we then shew love to our neighbour? Do we then feel a tender concern never to hurt any one by word or deed; never to give even to the meanest of our fellow-creatures the smallest degree of needless pain and sorrow? Do we consider it as a part of our business in life to support the weak, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, according to our ability, and also to com