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who make a dependent State their Choice. Beoging is fweet in the Mouth of the sameless : but in his Belly there hall burn a Firey. Very different from this, is the Cafe of the industrious. Their Minds are at Ease: their Bodies are usually healthy : their Time is employed as they know it should: what they get, they enjoy with a good Conscience, and it wears well. Nor do only the Fruits of their Labour delight them: but even Labour itself becomes pleasant to them.

And though Persons of higher Condition are not bound to work with their Hands; yet they also must be diligent in other Ways: in the Business of their Offices and Professions; or, if they have none, yet in the Care of their Families and Affairs. Else the former will be ill-governed, wicked, and miserable: and the latter foon run into such Disorder, as will almost force them, either to be unjust to their Creditors, and those for whom Nature binds them to provide ; or to be guilty of mean and dishonourable Actions of more Kinds than one, to avoid these and other disagreeable Consequences of their Supineness. Befides, as the upper Part of the World are peculiarly defined by Providence to be in one Way or another extensively useful in Society : such of them as are not, defraud it of the Service they owe it, and therefore break this Commandment. But

3. To observe it well, Frugality must be joined with Industry: else it will all be Labour in vain. For unwise Expensiveness will dissipate whatever the utmost Diligence can acquire. But if Idlenefs be added to Extravagance, that brings on quick Ruin. And if Intemperance and Debauchery go along with them, the Case is then come to its Extremity. Every one therefore, who desires to approve himself honeft, should be careful to live within the Bounds of his Income, so as to have something in Readiness against the Time of Inability and unforeseen Events. But they who have, or design to have Families, thould endeavour to live a

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good deal within those Bounds. And whoever spends upon himself, or throws away upon any other Person or Thing, more than he can prudently afford, (whatever false Names of Praise, as Elegance, Generosity, Good-nature, may be given to this Indiscretion) will be led, before he is aware, to distress himself, perhaps many more; and be too probably driven at laft to repair, as well as he can, by Wickedness, the Breaches, which he hath made by Folly.

4. This Commandment requires in the last Place, that we neither deny ourselves, or those who belong to us, what is fit for our and their Station, which is one Kind of Robbery; nor omit to relieve the Poor according to our Ability, which is another Kind. For whatever we enjoy of worldly Plenty is given us in Trust, that we should take our own Share with Moderation, and distribute out the Remainder with Liberality. And as they, who have but little, will, most or all of them, at one Time or another, find those who have less ; very few, if any, are exempted from giving fome Alms. And whoever either penuriously or thoughtlessly neglects his proper Share of this Duty, is unjust to his Maker and his Fellow-Creatures too. For the Good, which God hath placed in our Hands for the Poor, is undoubtedly, as the Scripture declares it, their Due. He hath given them no Right to seize it: but he hath bound us not to withhold it from them.

And now, having finished the two Heads proposed, I fall only add, that by observing these Directions from a Principle of Christian Faith ; and teaching all under our Care to observe thein from the same; the poor this World may be rich towards Goda: and the rich Hay treasure up in Store for themselves a good Foundation against the Time to come, which will enable them to lay hold on eternal Lifeb.

in

z Proy, iii. 27.

8 Luke xii. 21.

bi Tim. vi. 19.

LEC

LE C T U R E XXVII.

The Ninth Commandment.

T

HE Ninth Commandment is connected with every

one of the four, which precede it. For neither the Duties of Superiors and Inferiors, nor those amongst Equals, could be tolerably practised; neither the Lives of Men, nor their Happiness in the nearest Relation of Life, nor their Possessions and Properties could ever be secure; if they were left exposed to those Injuries of a licentious Tongue, which are here prohibited. This Commandment therefore was intended, partly to strengthen the foregoing ones; and partly also, to make Provision for every Person's juft Character on its own Account, as well as for the sake of Consequences. For, independently on these, we have by Nature (and with Reason) a great Concern about our Reputations. And therefore the Precept, Thou shalt not biar falje Witness against ihy Neighbour, is, in all Views, of much Imporrance.

TheCrime, at which these Words principally and most expressly point, is, giving false Evidence in any Cause or Trial. And as, in such Cafes, Evidence hath always been given upon Oath ; this Commandment, fo far, is the same with the Third: only there, Perjury is forbidden, as Impiety against God; here, as injurious to Men. Now we are guilty of this Sin, if, in bearing Witness, we afirm that we know or believe any Thing, which we do not; or deny that we know or believe any Thing, which we do; or either affirm or deny more positively, than we have good Grounds. Nay, if we only ftife, by our Silence, any Fact, which is material, though we are not examined particularly about it; ftill K 6

when iii...)

when we have sworn in general to speak the whole Truth, we bear falfe Witness, if we designedly avoid it; especially after being asked, if we are able to say any Thing besides, relative to the Point in Question. For hiding the Truth may as totally mislead those who are to judge, as telling an Untruth. Indeed, if by any Means whatever we disguise the real State of the Cafe, instead of relating it in the fairest and plainest Manner that we can: we evidently tranfgress the Intent of this Commandment. And by doing it, the good Name, the Property, the Livelihood, the Life of an innocent Perfon may be taken away; the Advantages of Society defeated, nay, perverted into Mischiefs, and the very Bonds of it dissolved. Therefore the Rule of the Mosaic Law is : If a false Witness rise up against any Man, and testify against his Brother that which is wrong ; then Mall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his

Brother, and thine Eye shall not pitya. With us indeed, the Punishment extends not so far, But however mild fuch Persons may find the Penalties of human Laws to be, or how artfully soever they may evade them; God hath declared: A false Witness shall not be unpunished: and he that speaketh Lies, shall not escape b.

The Commandment faith only, that we shall not bear false Witness against our Neighbour: but in Effect it binds us equally not to bear false Witness for him. For in all Trials of Property, bearing Witness for one Party is bearing Witness against the other. And in all Trials for Crimes, false Evidence, to the Advantage of the Person accused, is to the Disadvantage and Ruin of Right and Truth, of public Safety and Peace; by concealing and encouraging what ought to be detected and punished.

It being thus criminal to bear false Witness; it must be criminal also to draw Persons into the Commiffion of so great a Sin, by Gifts, or Promises, or Threatenings, or any other Method. And, in its Degree, it must be

* Deut, xix. 16-21.

Prov, xix, 5.

criminal

criminal to bring a false Accusation, or false Action, against any one; or to make any Sort of Demand, for which there is no reasonable Ground.

Nay further, however favourably Persons are apt to think of the Defendant's Side ; yet to defend ourselves against Justice, or even to delay it by unfair Methods, is very wicked. For it ought to take place; and the sooner, the better. Still, both the Professors of the Law, and others, may unquestionably say and do, for a doubts ful or a bad Cause, whatever can be said with Truth, or done with Equity : for otherwise it might be thought still worse than it is; and treated worse than it deserves. But if they do, in any Cause, what in Reason ought not to be done ; if they use or suggest indirect Methods of defeating the Intent of the Law; if by false Colours and Gloffes, by terrifying or confounding Witnesses, by calumniating or ridiculing the adverse Party, they endeavour to make Justice itself an Instrument for patronizing Injustice; this is turning Judgment into Gall, as the Scripture expresses it, and the Fruit of Righteousness into Hemlock c.

But in a still higher Degree is it so, if Judges or Jurymen are influenced, in giving their Sentence or Verdict, by Interest, Relation, Friendship, Hatred, Compassion, Party ; by any Thing, but the Nature of the Cafe, as it fairly appears to them. For designedly making a false Determination, is completing all the Mischief, which bearing false Witness only attempts. And, in a Word, whoever any Way promotes what is wrong, or obstructs what is right, partakes in the same Sin: be it either of the Parties, their Evidences or Agents; be it the highest Magistrate, or the lowest Officer.

But Persons may break this Commandment, not only in judicial Proceedings ; but, often full as grievously, in common Discourse : by raising, spreading, or countenancing false Reports against others; or such, as they have no sufficient Cause to think true; which is the

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