Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

VI. The Sixth command is, Thou shalt not kill. Which, — 1. Requires all due care in the use of proper means for the preservation of our lives, and the lives of others; life is and ought to be dear to a man ; self-preservation is a first principle in nature; and every lawful method should be used to preserve life; as food, physic, sleep, &c. with all just and lawful defence of it; avoiding every thing that tends to impair health and endanger life, Job ii. 4. 1 Tim. v. 23. – 2. It forbids the taking away of life, or murder of every sort; as particiile, fratricide, homicide, and suicide; for this law is against murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, and manslayers, and destroyers of themselves, í Tim. i. 1. no man has a right to take away his own life, nor the life of another; it is contrary to the authority of God, the sovereign disposer of life, Deut. xxxii. 39 to the law of nature, Acts xvi. 28. to the goodness of God, who gives it, Job x. 12. Acts xvii. 28. contrary to the love a man owes to himself, and his neighbour, and is a prejudice to the commonwealth, or public good, thereby deprived of a member, and the king of a subject. Not but that lite may be taken away; as in lawful war, which is sometimes of God, who makes! peace and creates evil, the evil of war; and by the hands of the civil magistrale, who hears the sword of justice, and uses it for the punishment of capital crimes; and it is lawful in self-defence, - 3. All intemperance, immoderate eating and drinking, which tend to destroy life ; all sinful anger, undue wrath, inordinate passions, quarrels, blows, contentions, duellings, &c. which often issue in it are breaches of this law, Matt. v. 21, 22.

VII. The Seventh command is, Thou shalt not commit adultery. Which, - 1. Requires chastity, and a preservation of it in ourselves and others, in or out of a state of wedlock; and to abstain from all impurity of flesh and spirit; and 19 make use of all means to preserve it; as lawful marriage, conjugal love, and cohabitation: it requires to keep the body, and the members of it, in subjection; to mortify inordinate affection; and to avoid every thing that tends to unchastity; as intemperance, in the case of Lot; sloth and idleness, as in Sodo.n; immodest apparel and ornament, as in Jezebel ; keeping ill company, and frequenting places of diversion, which are nurseries of vice; and also reading impure books. — 2. It forbids all the species of uncleanness; not only adultery, but simple fornication, rape incest, and all unnatural lusts. i Cor. vi. 18. 1 Thess. iv. 3. Lev. xviii. 6, 20. — 3. All unchaste thoughts and de. sires, all adulterous looks, obscene words, and filthy actions, rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness, are violations of this coinmani, Mait. v, 27, 28.

VIII. The Eighth command is, Thou shalt not steal. Which, - 1. Requires that we should seek to get, preserve, and increase our own wealth, and thar, of others, in a lawful way; that we should be diligent in our callings, carefu to provide for our families; and even things convenient, honest, and reputable in the sight of all; and that we may liave somewhat to give to those in need

and that of our own, and not be tempted to steal from others; for God hates robbery for burnt-offering, Isai. Ixi. 8. – 2. It requires justice, truth, and faithfulness in all dealings with men ; to owe no man any thing, but en give to all their dues ; to have and use just weights and measures ; to be true to all engagements, promises, and contracts; and to be faithful in whatsoever is committed to our care and trust, Rom. xiii. 7, 8. - 3. It förbids all unjust ways of increasing our own, and hurting our neighbour's substance, by using false balances, weights, and measures; by over-reaching and circumventing in trade and com. merce ; by taking away by force or fraud the goods, properties, and persons of men; by borrowing and not paying again ; and by oppression, extortion, and unlawful usury; for not all usury is unlawful, only what is exorbitant, and oppressive of the poor ; for it is but reasonable, that what one man gains by another man's money, that the other man should have a proportionate share in that gain. Nor was the Israelites borrowing of the Egyptians, without payment, any breach of this law, since it was by the order of God, whose all things are; and the words used may be rendered, the one asked f and the other gave 8; and besides, it was but repaying them what was due to them for their past services.

IX. The Ninth command is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Which, - 1. Requires to be careful of our own good name, and that of our neighbour, which is belter than precious ointment; and that we should speak every man truth to his neighbour in private conversation, and especially in public judgment, Eccles. vii. 1. Zech. viii. 16. Eph. iv. 25. - 2. It forbids all lying, which is speaking contrary to a man's mind and conscience, and with a design to deceive; and so condemns all sorts of lies, whether jocose, officious, or more plainly pernicious, and all cquivocations, and mental reservations, perjury, and every false oath, bearing a false witness, and subordination of false-witnesses in a court of judicature, Matt. xxvi. 59, 60. Acts vi. 11, 12. against all which God will be a swift witness, Mal. iii. 5. it also forbids all slandering, tale-bearing, raising, receiving, spreading and encouraging an ill report of others, which is contrary to charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 7.

X. The Tenth command is, Thou shalt not covet, &c. Which requires, 1. Contentınent in every state and condition of life; a lesson the apostle Paul had learnt, and every man should, Phil. iv. 11. Heb. xiii. 5. 1 Tim. vi. 6, 8. as also love, joy, pleasure, and delight in the happiness of others, Psalm xxxv. 27. 2. It forbids all uneasiness and discontent in our present circumstances, and all fretting and envying at the prosperity of others, Psalm xxxvii. 7. and condemns covetousness as an evil thing, and which is idolatry, and unheco.ning saints, Col. ïii. 8. Eph. v. 3. — 3. It mentions the particular objects not to be coveted; not a neighbour's house, and take it away by force, as some did, Mic. ii. 2. nor a neighbour's wife, as David coveted Bathsheba, 2 Sam. xi. 3. nor his robeun Postulaveruni, Vatablus; Petieruut, Drusius. soibun & dederunt illis, Cartwright VOL. III.

[ocr errors]

man-servant, nor his maid-servant, which a king would do, take at his will, and put to his work, as Samuel suggested, 1 Sam. viii. 16. nor his ox nor his ass; from which evil Samuel exculpated himself, and which was admitted, 1 Sam. xii. 3. nor any thing that is thy neighbour's, his gold, silver, apparel, or any goods of bis; of which sin the apostle Paul declares himself free, Acts xx. 33. - 4. It strikes at the root of all sin, evil concupiscence, internal lust, indwelling sin, James i. 13, 14. By this law lust is known to be sin, and is condemned by it as such, Rom. vii. 7.

From this view of the law, in all its precepts, it appears how large and extensive it is; that David might well say, Thy commandment is exceeding broad! Psalm exix. 96. So that it cannot be perfectly fulfilled by man in this his sinful and fallen state ; and therefore he cannot be justified before God by the deeds of it; since it requires a perfect righteousness: and happy for man it is, that there is such a righteousness revealed in the gospel, manifested without the law, though witnessed to by law and prophets, even the righteousness of Christ, consisting of his active and passive obedience; who is the end, the fulfilling end, of the law for righteousness, to every one that believes.

END OF THE BODY OF DIVINITY.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

OF THE VARIOUS SORTS OF PROSELYTES AMONG

THE JEWS. INTENDING to treat of the admission of Proselytes into the Jewish church by baptism, or dipping; it may be proper to consider the different sorts of proselytes among the Jews, and which of them were thus admitted, as is said. The word próselyte is originally Greek, and is derived, as Philoh observes, azot! aporean Augeval, from coming to, that is, from one sect or religion to another, as from heathenism to the Jewish religion; and so Suidasi says, proselytes are they or a gooeanau Soles, who come from the Gentiles, and live according to the laws of God; and such an one is called by the Septuagint interpreters of Exod, xii. 19. Isai. xiv. I. and by the Greek writers following them, yempas, which is rightly interpreted by Hesychius, such of another nation who are called proselytes to Israel; and which word comes near to the Hebrew word na and nearer to the Chaldce word 4992 used for a proselyte; and is, by Eusebius, interpreted 7xlousk, such as were mixed with Israelites.

There were two sorts of proselytes with the Jews, some say three; a proselyte of the gare; a mercenary proselyte; and a proselyte of righteousness; the first and last are most usually observed.

First, One sort was called 70 71 a proselyte of the gate; and in scripture, the stranger that is in thy gates, Deut. xiv. 21. and xxiv. 14. being a sojourner, and permitted to dwell there; hence such an one had also the name of awn 72 a proselyte-inhabitant; see Exod. xii. 15. Lev. xxv. 45, 47. one who was al. jowed to dwell among the Jews on certain conditions ; and is generally distinguished from another sort, called a proselyte of righteousness, of whom more hereafter. Though the Jews, not always consistent with themselves, and so 1 De Monarchia, l. 2. p. 8.8. 1 In voce προσελντοι.

* Eccl. Hist. I, .

[ocr errors]

not in this matter, sometimes interpret the stranger in the gate, of a proselyteinhabitant, or a proselyte by inhabitation, and some imes of a proselyte of righteousness. So Nachmanides', having explained the stranger in the gate of the proselyte-inhabitant, or one who obliged himself to keep the seven precepts of Noah, according to the usual interpretation of it, observes ; “Our doctors interpret it differently, for they say, thy stranger within thy gate, simply denotes, a proselyte of righteousness." So that according to them, such a stranger may be taken both for the one and for the other, in different respects; but commonly the proselyte-inhabitant is only understood; who in general was obliged to promise, that he would not be guilty of idolatry, or worship any idol ; this he was to promise before three witnesses, for it is asked, “who is Ger Toshab; tlaat is, a proselyte allowed to dwell in Israel? (the answer is) Whoever takes upon hiin, in the presence of three neighbours, that he will not commit idolatry."

." It follows, R Meir, and the wisemen say, “whoever takes upon him the seven precepts which the sons of Noah obliged themselves to observe." Others say, “thiese do not come into the general rule of such a proselyte. Who then is one ? He is a proselyte who cats what dies of itself; (or) who takes upon him to keep all the commandinents in the law, except that which forbids the eating of things which die of themselves" ;” but the usual account of such a proselyte is, that he agrees to observe the seven precepts enjoined the sons of Noaho; six of which were given to Adam, the first man, and the seventh was added to them, and given to Noall, and are as followpi

1. Concerning idolatry; by this a son of Noah was forbid to worship the sun, moon, and stars, and images of any sort; nor might he erect a statue, nor plant a grove, nor make any image. - 2. Concerning blaspheming the name of God. Such an one might not blaspheme, neither the proper name of God, Jehovah ; nor any of his surnames, titles, and epithels. — 3. Concerning shedding of blood, or murder, the breach of which command he was guilty of, if he slew one, though an embryo in his mother's womb; and one who pure sued another, when he could have escaped from him with the loss of one of his members, &c.-4. Concerning uncleanness, or impure copulations; of which there were six sorts forbidden a son of Noah; as, with an own mother, with a father's wife (or step-mother), with another man's wife, with his sister by the mother's side, with a male, or with mankind, and with a beast. – 5. Concerning rapinc, or robbery and theft ; of which such were guilty, whether they robbed a Gentile or an Israelite, or stole money, or men, or suppressed the wages of an hireling; and the like. – 6. Concerning the member of a living creature, taken from it whilst alive, and eating it; this is the command,

" Apud Frischmuth, Dissert. de y. Noach. Præcept. &. 20, 11. mR. Nathan, Sepher Aruch, R. D. Kimchi, Sepher Shorash. & Elias Levita, Sepher Tish bi io voce v A T. Bab. Avodah Zaiah, fol. 64. 3. : Philip. Aquinat. Maasic in vace na Maimon. Hilchot Mclacim, c. g. s. s. &.

1

« ZurückWeiter »