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Chapter 25 - Concerning the Sixth Commandment

The Order of Salvation and Damnation by William Perkins (1558-1602)

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Election is God’s decree “whereby on his own free will, he hath ordained certain men to salvation, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Reprobation is “that part of predestination, whereby God, according to the most free and just purpose of his will, hath determined to reject certain men unto eternal destruction, and misery, and that to the praise of his justice.”

Chapter 25 – Concerning the Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment concerns the preservation of our neighbor’s life. The words are these: thou shalt not kill.

The resolution.
Kill. The part is here set for the whole, by a synecdoche: for killing signifies any kind of and damaging the person of our neighbor.

The equity of this commandment appearance by this, that man was created after the likeness of God, Genesis 9:6, ” Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Again, all men are the same flesh. Isaiah 58:7, ” Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”

Neither ought we to be ignorant of this also, that it is on lawful for any private person, not called to that duty, to kill another: but a public officer may, that is, if he be warranted by calling; so did Moses. Exodus 2:12, ” And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.” And Phineas, Numbers 25:8, ” And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” See also verse 11. And Elijah. 1 Kings 18:40, “And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” And soldiers in battles waged upon just causes 2 Chronicles 20:15, “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

The negative part.
Thou shall neither hurt, nor hinder, either thine own, or the neighbor’s life.

The sins and then that are referred to this part are such, as are committed against our neighbor, or ourselves.

Against our neighbor, are these following: 1) in heart; as, 1] Hatred against him. 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 2] unadvised anger, Matthew 5:22, ” But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” 3] Envy, Romans 1:29, ” Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers.” 4] Grudges, James 3:14, ” But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” 5] Want of compassion and sorrow at our neighbor’s calamities, Amos 6:5-6. ” That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” 6] Forwardness, when we will not be reconciled to our neighbor, Romans 1:30, ” Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,” 7] Desire for revenge, Psalm 5:6, ” Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

2) to say in words: 1] Bitterness and speaking, Proverbs 12:18, ” There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” 2] Reproaches and rallying, which is a casting of a man sins in his teeth which he has committed, or an object in And to him some inherent infirmities, Matthew 5:22, ” But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” 2 Samuel 6:16, “And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.” See also verse 20, “” 3] Contentions, when 20 more strident speech one with another, for any kind of superiority. 4] But Rawlings in any conference. 5] Crying, which is an unseemly elevation of the voice against one’s adversary. Galatians 5:19, ” Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness.” See also verse 20. Ephesians 4:31, ” Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” See also verse 32. Genesis 16:12, “He (viz. Ishmael) shall be a wild man his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. ” 6] Complaints to every one of such as offer us injuries. James 5:9, ” Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”

3) in countenance and gesture, all such signs, as a evidently deciphered the malicious Affections lurking in the heart, Genesis 4:5-6, ” But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?” Matthew 27:39, ” And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads.”

Hence is it, that derision is termed persecution. Genesis 21:9, ” And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.” Galatians 4:29, ” But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.”

4) In deeds: 1. To fight with or to be our neighbor, and to man his body. Leviticus 24:19-20, ” And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.” 2. To procure any way the death of our neighbor, whether it be by the sword, famine, or poison, Genesis 4:8, ” And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” 3. To exercise tyrannical cruelty and inflicting punishment. Deuteronomy 25:3, ” Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.” 2 Corinthians 11:24, “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.” 4. To use any of God’s creatures hardly. Proverbs 12:10, ” A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Deuteronomy 22:6, ” If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young.” 5. To take occasion by our neighbors infirmities, to use him this courteously, and to make him are laughing flock, or taunting recreation, Leviticus 19:14, ” Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.” 2 Kings 2:23, “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” 6. To injure the impotent, feeble, poor, strangers, fatherless or widows. Exodus 22:21-22, ” Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.” See also verse 25. We then injury these: 1] If we pay not belabor his hire. Deuteronomy 24:14, ” Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates.” See also verse 15. 2] If thou restore not a pledge of the poor. Exodus 22:26-27. 3] If we withdraw corn from the poor. Proverbs 11:26, ” He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.”

Again, this lot is as well transgressed by not killing, when the lot charges to kill And by pardoning the punishment due unto murderers; as by killing when we should not. Numbers 35:16, 33, ” And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death… So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.”

By this place also or combats of two men and hand, for deciding of controversies, utterly on lawful. 1. Because they are not equal means ordained of God to determine controversies. 2. In that fall out in such combats that he is conqueror before man who is indeed guilty before God.

This also condemned Popish sanctuaries and places of privilege: as churches, and the like, wherein murderers shelter in shroud themselves from the danger of the law. For God expressly command, Exodus 21:14, ” But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.” And Joab, 1 King’s 2:34, touching the horns of the altar, was slain in the temple.

Hitherto and like sort belongs such things as concern the soul of our neighbor. 1. To be a scandal or a fence to the soul of our neighbor, either in life or doctrine, Matthew 18:7, “”

2. To minister occasions of strife and discord: 1] When we cannot be brought to remit somewhat of our own right. 2] When we return snappish and crooked answers. 3] When we interpret everything a mess, and take them in the worst part. 1 Samuel 25:25, “” 2 Samuel 10:3, “”

3. The ministers are against their neighbors in this, not to preach the word of God to their charge, that they thereby might be instructed in the ways of life. Proverbs 29:18, “” Isaiah 56:10, “” Ezekiel 3:18, “”

And not only not to preach at all, but to preach negligently, is utterly condemned, Jeremiah 48:10, ” Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” Revelation 3:16, ” So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This reproof is as the non-residency of Ministers, which is an ordinary absence of the Minister from his charge: namely, from that particular congregation committed unto him. Isaiah 62:6, ” I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence.” Acts 20:28-31, ” Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” 1 Peter 5:2-3, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Ezekiel 34:4, ” The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” The Council of Antioch, the 17th canon, “If any bishop by imposition of hands inducted into a charge, and appointed to govern the people, do neglect to take upon him that office, and delays to go on to the congregation, a lot of unto him, such a one shall be prohibited from the Lord’s table, till he been forced to attend upon that charge, or at the least somewhat be determined by a complete assembly of the ministers of that province.” The Council of Sardis, the 14th Cannon, “We remember that our brethren in the former Assembly decreed, that if any layman remaining there three Sabbaths or Lord’s days, that is, three weeks in a city, did not in the same city frequented church assemblies, he should be excommunicated. If then such things are not allowable and laymen, much less and ministers for whom it is neither a lawful nor allowable, without urgent necessity to be absent from his parish church longer than the time above mentioned. To this decree there was not one of non placement, but everyone said it is acceptable and well.” The eighth council held at Constantinople in the 24th cannon, decreed, “That ministers ought not to have their substitutes or vicars, but in their own persons, with fear in cheerfulness, perform all such duties, as are required of them the service of God. ” The canon law doth conclude the same things, Can. Si quis vult. Distinction 36, Debent indesinentes, etc.. “The Bishop (say the canon) ought to be continually resident in God’s tabernacle, that they may learn at somewhat of God and the people of them, while they read often and meditate upon God’s word.” again, in the Cannons instituled, Pontifices, and, Si quis in alero, Episcopos qui dominiei gregis suscipiunt curam, etc.. “The Bishops which take upon them to feed God’s flock ought not to depart from their duty, lest they lose that excellent talent which God has bestowed upon them, but rather strive with that one talent to get three more talents. ” And in the 80th canon of those which are termed the Canon of the Apostles, there is expressed mandate, “That such whether Bishop or session who attended not upon their office in the church, shall for with be removed from that place.” The Chalcedonian Council, cannon 10, “Let no man be ordained minister of two churches, in to several cities, but let him remain in that unto which he was first called. And if for vainglory he shall after word go to a greater congregation, let him immediately be recalled to his first chart, and in that only exercise his ministry. But if one recalls to another charge, let him simply give over the former, and have no interest in the same, etc.. ” For this thing, but to the decrees of Damascus, and the Council of Trent, Section 9 Can 8.

There are, not withstanding the former testimonies, some cases, wherein it is permitted to the Minister, that he may be absent: if by his absence the congregation be not and damaged: 1. Sickness: The Council of Mense, cannon 25, “If a bishop be not home, or be sick upon some example, and cannot be present at his parish, let him procure someone upon Sabbaths and festival days, who will preach on behalf of his charge.” And Augustine testifies in his in Epistle 138, that he was absent on the like occasion.

2. Allowance of the church, to be absent for time upon some necessity and public commodity for the saint. Colossians 1:7, “” But he being absent, “Salutes them. ” And Ambrose thought in the same manner when he was twice ambassador in France to make agreement between it Maximus and Valentias. Ambros, letter 5 and 27 the epistle to Valentias the Emperor.

3. If by reason of persecution he be in force to flee, and see no hope to procure the safety of his people. This made Cyprian to be absent from Carthage, as he testifies in his epistles.

Thus much concerning sins against our neighbor, not follow such sins as a man committed against his own person, as when a man does hurt, kill, and endanger himself, Matthew 16:24, ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 4:6, ” And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” See also verse 7. Therefore for man to be his own executioner, though to escape a motion in full evil, is utterly unlawful and godly.

The affirmative part.
Thou shalt preserve the life of the neighbor.
Hitherto may we refer these duties:

1) Such as appertained to the person of our neighbor, and concern his first welfare both of body and mind; as, to rejoice with them that rejoice. Romans 12:15. Mark 10:21, ” Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

Secondly, his miseries, to be grieved with him for them. Romans 12:15, ” Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” Isaiah 24:16, ” From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.” Psalm 119:136, ” Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.” Again we must help him as much as in us lives. Job 29:15, ” I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.” 2 Corinthians 8:3, “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves.” And that we do, we must do speedily. Proverbs 3:28, ” Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Leviticus 19:17, ” Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.”

Thirdly, Concerning such injuries, as he offers unto the: 1. Thou shall not be angry against him, upon a small occasion. Numbers 12:3, ” (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Proverbs 19:11, ” The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” 2. Thou must be slow to wrath, and never angry, but for most just cause. Mark 3:5, ” And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Proverbs 14:29, ” He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” 3. Thine and her must be bought for one. Ephesians 4:26, ” Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” 4. For give freely and injury, and revenge it not. Ephesians 4:32, ” And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Fourthly, his once and infirmities: 1. Avoid occasions whereby they may be stirred and laid open. Genesis 13:8, ” And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” Genesis 27:44, ” And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother’s fury turn away.” 2. The part sometimes from thine own right. Matthew 17:25-26, ” He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.” See also verse 27. 3. To appease anger kindled: which is done 1) by overcoming evil with goodness. Romans 12:21, “” 2) by following after peace. 1 Peter 3:11, “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” 3) by courteous answers. Proverbs 15:1, ” A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” 1 Samuel 1:14, “And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.” See also verse 15. Philemon verse 15, ” For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever.” 4) By passing over someone’s infirmities in men’s words and deeds, Proverbs 19:11, ” The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” 5) By covering them with silence. 1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” Proverbs 17:9, ” He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” 6) By taking everything (if it be possible) in the best part. 1 Corinthians 13:5, “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”

This show with the lawfulness of truces, covenants, and other agreements concerning peace, being made to avoid injuries, maintain ancient bounds, procure security in traffic, possessions, and journeys, said pensions, Commons for cattle, liberties of hunting, fishing, or falling, and getting few, or other necessities for public commodities, if there be no on lawful conditions And next unto the same. And we may make this covenant not only with Christian’s but for the maintenance of peace, with Infidels also. For that which is godly to be performed, is no less godly to be promised: but it is a note of true godliness, to be as much as may be, at peace with all men: therefore to promise peace by covenant, is very godly. We may see the experience of this in the lives of holy men. Genesis 21:22-24, “And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear.” And verse 27, ” And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.” Genesis 31:44, ” Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.” See also verse 45 and verse 53.

2. Concerning his body, we’re to regard it alive and dead. Being alive, we ought if need be: 1. To minister unto it food and rain meant. Matthew 25:41-43, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” See also verse 45. 2. To lend a helping hand, when our neighbor’s body is in any danger. 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

When a man is dead, we ought to commit this dead corpse to the grave, as may appear by these arguments: 1. The instinct of nature itself. 2. Example of the patriarchs and of the Holy personages. Abraham. Sahara. Genesis 23:19. Jacob is buried by his sons, Genesis 50: 12. Stephen by religious and about men, Acts 8:2. 3. The Lord’s own approbation of Burial, in that he Numbers it amongst his benefits. For the want thereof is a curse. Jeremiah 22:19, ” He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.” Therefore ought rather than Moses should be unburied the Lord himself did bury him. Deuteronomy 34:5-6. 4. There is no dead carcass so low some as man’s, the which both argues the Necessity of Burial, and how ugly we are in the sight of God by reason of sin. 5. The body must rise again out of the earth that may be made a perpetual Mansion House for the soul to dwell in. 6. The bodies of the faithful are tumbles of the Holy Ghost and therefore must rise again to glory. 7. Burial is a testimony of the love and reverence we bear to the deceased.

A funeral ought to be solemnized after a civil manner: namely, agreeable to their nature and credit as well as those which remain alive, as them which are dead. Concerning the living, they must see that, 1. Their mourning be moderate, and such, as may well express their affection and love to the party departed. John 11:34-36, ” And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” 2. They must avoid superstition and not surmise that funeral ceremonies are available to the dead. Such are the ideas of the Church of Rome; as to be buried in a church especially under the altar and in a friar’s cool. 3. They ought to take heed of the superfluous pomp and solemnities, for all ostentations of pride, that is most foolish to be boasting over the loathsome form of a corpse. Isaiah 22:15-16, ” Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?”

To this commandment belong if these duties: one. Before the vintage or harvest, which ought to permit any man for the repressing of hunger together grapes or plucked off the ears of corn in the field. Deuteronomy 23:24-25, ” When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn.” Matthew 12:1, ” At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.” 2. In the vintage in time of harvest we ought either to leave the trees naked of grapes, nor break up after the weeping years of corn: but to leave the after gatherings for the poor. Leviticus 23:22, ” And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Ruth 2:8, ” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.” See also verse 9.

3. Concerning the soul of our neighbor: 1] We must seek all means to win him to the profession of Christian religions. 1 Corinthians 10:33, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” Hebrews 10:24, ” And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” 2] We must live among men without offence. 1 Corinthians 10:32, “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” 1 Corinthians 8:13, “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” 3] The light of our good life, must be as a lantern to direct the ways of our neighbor’s. Acts 24:14, ” But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” See also verse is 15-16, ” And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” 4] If our neighbor offend, where to a admonish him. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” 5] If our neighbor understands the ways of God’s commandment (as David speak death) We ought to encourage him in the same.

4. We may refer such things unto this commandment, as appertain to the peculiar preservation of every several man’s life. 1] Recreation, which is an exercise joined with the fear of God, conversant in things in different, for the preservation of bodily strength and confirmation of the mind and holiness. Ecclesiastes 2:2, ” I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?” Isaiah 5:12, ” And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.” 1 Corinthians 10:7, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Luke 6:25, ” Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.” Deuteronomy 12:7, “And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.” to this and hath the word of God permitted shooting, 2 Samuel 1:18, “Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.” And musical consort, Nehemiah 7:67, ” Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.” And putting forth of riddles, Judges 14:12, ” And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments.” See also verse is 13-14, ” But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it. And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.” And hunting of wild beasts, Canticles 2:15, ” Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Lastly, the searching out or the contemplation of works of God. 1 Kings 4:33, “And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” 2] Physique, the swear of his holy, if before the receipt of it, a man crave remission of his sins, and proposed his confidence only upon God, not upon the means. Matthew 9:2, ” And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” See also verse 6. John 5:5, 8, 14, ” And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years…Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk…Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” 2 Chronicles 16:12, “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” 3] According of an injury offered by some private person: this, it is to be against any unruly in unstated adversary, and the defense be faultless, is very lawful and is so far from private revenge that it is to be accounted a just defense. The defense is then faultless, when a man does so assault his adversary as that he neither purposes his own revenge or his enemies hurt, but only his alone safety from that eminent danger.

A doubt. Weather may man flying in the play time? Answer: such as be hindered by their calling may not; as magistrates and pastors have been charge of souls: yet free men not bound by calling, many. Reasons: 1. A man may provide for his own safety, it could be not to the hindrance of another. 2. A man may flee wars, famine, floods, fire, and other such dangers there for the plate. 3. There is less dangerous sickness the more the multitude of people is diminished. Objection: 1. To flee is a token of distrust. Answer: this diffidence is no fault of the fact, but of the person. 2. It is offensive. Answer: the offense is taken not given. 3. To flee is to forsake our neighbor against the rule of charity. Answer: It is not, if kinsfolk and magistrates be present. 4. Men are to visit the sick by God’s appointment. Answer: lepers were expected among the Jews: And so likewise the and these days which are infected with the disease, answerable to the leprosy, namely, if it be dangerously contagious.

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Reformed Theology at A Puritan's Mind