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l's. Let this recommend to us the living in ducruixus to our relatives. This is phyfic of God's 3pointment for the fick; it is the way to wealth of God's appointment for them that have little ; it is the prolonger of life appointed by the Lord of Ite to those that would see many days, and these good. And there is no sure way to these where the appointment of God lies cross. Religion is the way to make the world happy, God has linked our duty and our interest together, fo as there is no leparating of them. Relations are the joints of fociety ; fin has disjointed the world, and so no wonder it be miserable ; relative holiness would set the disjointed world right again.
EXODUS Xx. 13.
Thou halt not kill. M HE scope of this command is the preserva. u tion of that life which God hath given unto man, which is man's greatest concern. No man is lord of his own or his neighbour's life; it belongs to him alone who gave it, to take it away. It is observable, that this and the three following commands are proposed in a word, not because they are of small moment, but because there is more light of nature for them than those proposed at greater length.'
This command respects both our own life and the life of our neighbour, That it respects our neighþour, there can be no doubt, and as little needs there to be of its respecting our own. The words are general, agreeing to both; and so the sense of them is, Thou shalt not kill thyself nor any other, We that said to the jailor, Do thyself no harm, taught
no other thing than what Moses and the prophets did say. Man is no more lord of his own life than his neighbour's, and he is in hazard of incroaching upon it as well as that of another; and it is no where guarded if not here. Nay, the sum of the fecond table being, Thou phalt love thy neighbour as tbyself, whereby.love to our neighbour is inade the measure of love to ourselves, it is evident that it refpects our own life in the first place.
As every positive command implies a negative, fo every negative implies a positive. Therefore in fo far as God, sàys, Thou shalt not kill, viz. thyself or others, he thereby obliges men to preserve their own life and that of others. And seeing all the commands agree together, there can be no keeping of one by breaking of another; therefore the positive part of this command is necessary to be determined to lawful endeavours. Hence the answer to that
Queft. - What is required in the sixth commandmeni?” is plain, viz. 66 The fixth commandinent 66 requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our 6 own life, and the life of others.” The duties of this command may be reduced to two heads. I. The preserving of our own life. 2. The preserving the life of others. But both these are to be qualified so, as it be by lawful means and endeavours. For God has given us no such law, as for the keeping of one command we may or must break another. Only there is a great difference betwixt positive and negative precepts; the practice of positive duties may be in some cases intermitted without fin, as a man attacked in time of prayer, or on the fabbathday, may lawfully leave the prayer, and external worship of the day, to defend his life, Luke siv. 5. But never may a man do an ill thing, be it great or little, though it were even to preserve his own life or that of others, Rom. iii. 8. Is it a thing of which God has faid, Thou thalt not do so and fo?
Lastly, Equals fin against one another, undervaluing the worth, envying and grieving at the good of one another, and usurping pre-eminence over one another.
The spring and fource of all this is, (1.) Want of love to and fear of God; for while people are not in their duty to God, how hould they be in their duty to man? (2.) Pride and selfishness, while every one seeks himself, and not the good of others. *:; These things may be very humbling to all of us. Who can lay his life is clean in any of these relations ? But even those who are very dutiful in their several relations as to the matter, may be guill ty of the breach of this command, in so far as what they do in these things does not proceed from gra. cious principles, for indeed the first command mult be carried aloncinil the rett be carried along in all the rest, Ester
" ! !!!!! HI. We come now to the reason annexed to this command, which is, " A promise of long life " and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God's ** glory and their own good) to all such as keepo this commandment." * This is a promise to encourage the conscientious performance of the duties here required, Theapostle tells us, that it is the first conmand with pro717 je, Eph. V. 2..
Queji, J. How is this command the first with promise, seeing the second has a promise allo?
Ans. It is the first command of the second table : for it is the most weighty of them all, as comprehending all the rest iä it, so that we cannot fin a. gainst the reft, but we must first break over the bedge of this, which encompasseth all the rest. For one cannot violate another's life, chastity, dc, but he first violates the honour due to him by this command. And it is tlie only command that has a special promise of a particular mercy annexed to it. The promise annexed to the second command is but
2 promile of mercy in the general, and that not particularly to those that keep that command, but all the commandments.
Queft.2. But does the law promise any thing but to perfect keeping of its commands ? and if so, what are we the better?
Ant. We must distinguih betwixt the law as a covenant of works, and the law as in the hand of Chrift for a rule of life to believers. As it is a covenant of works, nothing less than perfect obedi- , ence can interest men in the promise ; for the least failure knocks off the man's fingers from the pro. mife by virtue of the curse, Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. So that we can be nothing the better of this promise. But Christ being the Surety of the better covenant, ha. ving made a new covenant of grace in his blood, he takes the same law in his hands, and gives out the commands of it as a rule of life to his covenanted people, and renews the promises of it to their fincere obedience of them, i l'im. iv. 8. Godliness is ' profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to conie. As for the curse of it, they hear of it no more, he having borne it away himielf. And so he crowns the fruits of his own grace in them with bleffed rewards. And as all these promises are yea and amen in him ; fo for his fake, through faith in his blood, they are obtained
In the words we may consider tliese three things; the Llelling promised, the place where it is to be enjoyed, and the regard the Lord allows his people to have to that blessing to further them in obedi
FIRST, The blessing promised, that is, long life; that thy days may be long. It is a temporal mercy, a mercy much delired ordinarily by all men, and
promised to them that keep this commandment. There are four things here to be confidered.
First, What is meant by mens days being long. It denotes two things. . .
1. Long life, Prov. iv. 10. The years of thy lifeShall be many. Death in its best colours has fomething frightful about it. It is a diffolution of soul and body, which nature shivers at. But there is no eviting of it; all must die ; they must go through that dark valley to their eternal itate. But the best that can be made of it is promised here, viz. that such shall be full of days, and not be taken away till they be ripe for the fickle.
2. Prosperity to accompany that life ; for non vivere, fed valere, vita eft. Long life in miseries is a continued death rather than lite. So that the nature of the thing teaches us, that a prosperous long life is here promised. It is a good old age, Gen. XV. 15. And thus the apostle explains it, Eph. vi. 3. That it may be well with thee, and thou may t live long on the earth. . Secondly, That long life is in itself a mercy, and therefore is promised. There are many things that may mortify mens desires of long life. Old age is ordinarily accompanied with a train of miferies and the longer the godly live, they are the longer kept out of heaven. Yet there are four things that make this long and prosperous life here promised to the godly's keeping of this command, a great mèrey.
1. A good old age is an honouradle thing, Prov. xvi. 3.1. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. God commands a particular reverence to be given to old men, Lev. six. 32. Thou jhalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man. It is true, fin and wickedness spoils the greatest glory, and no man iş more like the devil than a wicked old man, 18. Ixv, 20. The finner seing an hundred years old, shall be ac