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wbere affixed to many precepts evangelical. Particularly it is inherent in the first beatitude, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit:' and it means, that we should not wish our neighbour's goods with a deliberate entertained desire, but that upon the commencement of the motion it be disbanded instantly; for he that does not at the first address and incitement of the passion suppress it, he hath given it that entertainment which, in every period of staying, is a degree of morose delectation in the appetite: and to this I find not Christ added any thing; for the law itself, forbidding to entertain the desire, hath commanded the instant and present suppression : they are the same thing, and cannot reasonably be distinguished. Now that Christ, in the instance of adultery, hath commanded to abstain also from occasions and accesses towards the lust, in this is not the same severity ; because the vice of covetousness is not such a wild-fire as lust is, not inflamed by contact and neighbourhood of all things in the world. Every thing may be instrumental to libidinous desires, but to covetous appetites there are not temptations of so different natures.
42. Concerning the order of these commandments, it is not unusefully observed, that, if we account from the first to the last, they are of greatest perfection which are last described ; and he who is arrived to that severity and dominion of himself as not to desire his neighbour's goods, is very far from actual injury, and so in proportion; it being the least degree of religion to confess but One God. But, therefore, vices are to take their estimate in the contrary order : he that prevaricates the first commandment is the greatest sinner in the world;
and the least is he that only covets without any rely actual injustice. And there is no variety or object by tion in this, unless it be altered by the accidental difference of degrees ; but in the kinds of sin the *** rule is true. This only; the sixth and seventh are' otherwise in the Hebrew Bibles than ours, and in the Greek otherwise in Exodus than in Deuteronomy: and by this rule it is a greater sin to commit adultery than to kill ; concerning which we have no certainty, save that St. Paul, in one, respect, makes the sin of uncleanness the greatest of ' any sin, whose scene lies in the body; ' every sin is without the body; but he that commits fornication, sins against his own body.'
THE PRAYER. O eternal Jesus, wisdom of thy Father, thou light of Jews and Gentiles, and the great Master of the world, who, by thy holy sermons and clearest revelations of the mysteries of thy Father's kingdom, didst invite all the world to great degrees of justice, purity, and sanctity, instruct us all in a holy institution, give us understanding of thy laws; that the light of thy celestial doctrine illuminating our darknesses, and making bright all the recesses of our spirits and understandings, we may direct our feet, all the lower man, the affections of the inferior appetite, to walk in the paths of thy commandments. Dearest God, make us to live a life of religion and justice, of love and duty; that we may adore thy majesty, and reverence thy name, and love thy mercy, and admire thy infinite glories and perfections, and obey thy precepts. Make us to love thee for thyself, and our neighbours for thee: make us to be all love and all duty ; that we may adorn the gospel of thee our Lord, walking worthy of our vocation ; that, as thou hast called us to be thy disciples, so we may walk therein, doing the work of faithful servants, and may receive the adoption of sons, and the gift of eternal glory, which thou hast reserved for all the disciples of thy holy institution. Make all the
world obey thee as a prophet ; that, being redeemed and purified by thee, our High-priest, all may reign with thee, our King, in thy eternal kingdom, 0 eternal Jesus, wisdom of thy Father. Amen.
of the three additional Precepts which Christ super
induced and made Parts of the Christian Law :Of Charity, with its Parts, forgiving, giving, not judging.
Of Forgiveness. 1. The holy Jesus coming to reconcile all the world to God, would reconcile all the parts of the world one with another, that they may rejoice in their common band and their common salvation. The first instance of charity forbade to Christians all revenge of injuries: which was a perfection and endearment of duty beyond what either most of the old philosophers, or the laws of the nations, or of Moses ever practised or enjoined.'
1 Plutarchus tamen multa præclara dicit de charitate erga inimicos. Simplicitati et magnanimitati atque bonitati plus loci hic est quàm in amicitiis Oblatâ occasione ulciscendi inimicum, eum missum facere æquanimitatis est. Qui verò miseratur inimicum afflictum, et opem fert indigenti, et filiis ejus ac familiæ adverso ipsorum tempore operam suam studiúmque defert, hunc qui non amat, huic pectus atrum est atque adamantinum, &c. De cap. ex inim. utilit.
Et Cicero dixit Cæsari ; Pompeii statuas restituendo, tuas defixisti.
Justitiæ primum munus est, ut nè cui noceas, nisi lacessitus injuriâ. Cic. de Offic.
For revenge was esteemed, to unhallowed, unchristian matures, as sweet as life, a satisfaction of injuries, and the only cure of maladies and affronts. Only, laws of the wisest commonwealths commanded that revenge should be taken by the judge: a few cases being excepted, in which, by sentence of the law, the injured person or his nearest relative might be the executioner of the vengeance: as among the Jews, in the case of murder; among the Romans, in the case of an adulteress, or a ravished daughter, the father might kill the adulteress or the ravisher. In other things, the judge only was to be the avenger. But Christ commanded his disciples, rather than take revenge, to expose themselves to a second injury; rather offer the other cheek, than be avenged for a blow on this : ' for vengeance belongs to God,'' and he will retaliate. And to that wrath we must give place,' saith St. Paul; that is, in well-doing and evil-suffering, commit ourselves to his righteous judgment, leaving room for his execution, who will certainly do it, if we snatch not the sword from his arm.
2. But some observe, that our blessed Saviour instanced but in smaller injuries. He that bade us suffer a blow on the cheek, did not oblige us tamely to be sacrificed: he that enjoined us to put up the loss of our coat and cloak, did not signify bis pleasure to be, that we should offer our family to be turned out of doors, and our whole estate aliened and cancelled; especially we being other
Exod. xxi. 23 ; Levit. xxiv. 20; Deut. xix. 21.
Idcirco judiciorum vigor, jurísque publici tutela videtur in medio constituta, nè quisquam sibi ipsi permittere valeat ultionem. Honor. et Theod. in Cod. Theodos.
1 Rom. xii. 19.
wise obliged to provide for them, under the pain of the curse of infidelity. And indeed there is much reason our defences may be extended, when the injuries are too great for our sufferance; or that our defence bring no greater damage to the other tban we divert from ourselves. But our blessed Saviour's prohibition is instanced in such small particulars, which are no limitations of the general precept, but particulars of common consideration. * But I say unto you, resist not evil;'so our English Testament reads it: but the word signifies, 'avenge not evil;'' and it binds us to this only, that we be not avengers of the wrong, but rather suffer twice, than once to be avenged. He that is struck on the face may run away, or may divert the blow, or bind the hand of his enemy; and he whose coat is snatched away may take it again, if without injury to the other he may do it. We are sometimes bound to resist evil : every clearing of our innocence, refuting of calumnies, quitting ourselves of reproach, is a resisting evil; but such which is hallowed to us by the example of our Lord himself and his apostles. But this precept is clearly expounded by St. Paul, · Render not evil for evil;'? that is, be not revenged. You may either secure or restore yourselves to the condition of your own possessions or fame, or preserve your life, provided that no evil be returned to him that offers the injury. For so sacred are the laws of Christ, so holy and great is his example, so much hath he endeared us who were his enemies, and so frequently and
1 Μή αντιγήναι το πονηρό sumitur sensu generali pro omni retaliatione. Rom. xii, 17.