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be upon your Guard, and to treat one another like Christian Brethren ; and to save your felves from this untoward Generation, in which the Spirit of Malice and Hatred has almost extinguished that of Love and Charity. Let us remember our great Master, and learn of him, who was meek and lowly of Heart, that we may find rest to our Souls. Now to Him, with the Father and Holy Ghost, &c.;
MATT. V. 21. Ye have heard that it was faid by them of old Time, · Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever fball kill; fall
be in danger of the Judgment, Ver. 22. But I Jay. unto you, that whosoever is.
angry with his Brother without a Cause, shall
be in danger of the Judgment; and whosoever : pball say to his Brother, Raca, fhall be in danger of the Council: but whosoever shall fay, Thou Fool, Mall be in danger of Hell-fire. no,
The Third Sermon on this Text. T SHALL not trouble you with Repetition 1 of what has been already spoke to you from these Words. After Explication of the Text, the Heads of Discourse I proposed to consider were these Six:
1. Inward Anger, which our Saviour affigns as the first Degree of Transgression of the sixth Commandment.
2. Slight affronting Words: Which he assigns as the second Degree of Transgression of that Commandment. . 3. The higher Provocations of Contumely and Reproach; which are here assigned as the third Degree of Transgression of the same Commandment.:
4. The gross Act of Killing, which even the Jewish Doctors understood to be prohibited by this Commandment; and which we have Reason to suppose, is likewise to be interpreted according to our Saviour's Meaning in a fuller Sense.
5. The Degrees of Punishment in the other World, proportioned to the several Degrees of Sin.:
6. The last was a general Instruction I gathered from the Whole, upon Observation of our Saviour's Way of interpreting this Commandment; namely, that where any Sin is prohibited by any of God's Laws, there all Thoughts, Words, and Actions, usually occasioning the Sin, .or tending towards it, are likewise prohibited.
Now having already spoke to the First, Second, and Third of these, namely, inward Anger : and both the lesser and greater verbal Provocations; I proceed now to,
IV. The Fourth Thing I proposed to consider from the Words ; namely, The gross Act o Killing, which I suppose will be sufficient for our present Meditation. In handling this Subject, Thou shalt not kill, I shall,
1. First, Explain what is meant thereby.
2. Then offer some Considerations to deter you from it. .
First then: It is certain, that though the Words are general, Thou shalt not kill; this general Expression is to be limited according to the Intent of the Lawgiver, and not to be interpreted in the full Latitude of the Words. Particularly, I need not to tell you
1. That the killing of Birds, Beasts, Fish, and creeping Things, was not designed to be here
prohibited; but the Killing here mentioned, is to be restrained to Mankind; it appearing from other Passages of Holy Writ, that these other Animals were given Man to be used, many of them for Food as well as Service.
2. Nor was it the Intent of this Law, to forbid all putting of Men to Death; or totally to prohibit the use of the Sword among Christians, as the Quakers, and other Enthusiasts do teach : it not being our Saviour's Design in this Sermon to teach the Magistrate’s Duty, but only that of private Christians. And besides, it is plain, that Capital Punishments were in use in all the Governments of the World that we read of, before the Days of the Gospel, and were never faulted by our Saviour. On the contrary, the Magi- : strates Office is asserted, and that he is not to carry the Sword in vain; but to use it for the Punishment of Evil-doers, Rom. xiii. 4. Nor, .
3. Was it our Saviour's Design in this Commandment, to forbid all Lawful War; it being plain from the New Testament, that Soldiers are forbid indeed Oppression, and unlawful Plunder, and commanded to be content with their Wages; but never commanded to quit and abandon their Profession. For if it be lawful to apprehend and punish a private Malefactor, it mult certainly be as lawful, not only to defend our Selves against, but to bring to condign Punishment those Publick Malefactors that disturb the Peace, and in-' vade the Lives and Fortunes of whole Countries; which cannot be done without Soldiers, Armies, and War. Neither,
4. Was it the Design of the Legislator in this Precept, to forbid private Men the Use of the · VOL. II.
Sword in their own lawful Defence, when they are illegally and unjustly Affaulted; for in that Case, both the Law of Nature, and the Laws of all Countries, allow a Man to defend himself; otherwise, perhaps it might be too late to wait for the publick Defence of the lawful Magistrate. Not that it is lawful to make use of this Self-defence against the Magistrate himself, or his Officers, in the Execution of the Laws; or in their Apprehending any One, to bring him to Trial; for in this case, there will be due Time given to make our Defence in a better and more commendable Way; and therefore our Saviour reproved Peter for his assuming the Use of the Sword against the Officers of the lawful Magistrate; telling him, that he who took, or assumed the Sword, jould perish by the Sword, Matt. xxvi. 52. For whenever we use the Sword in any Case, in which the Laws of God and Man give us no right to use it ; this is a taking, or assuming -the Sword; and thereby we make our selves ob noxious to be punished by the Magistrate's just Power of the Sword ; which, I believe, is our Saviour's Meaning in that Conmination.
Having thus mentioned the chief Things which, though they seem to be, yet were not intended to be prohibited by these Words, Thou shalt not kill: I shall in the next place consider what is intended to be prohibited, and instance in the chief Species in that kind.
No doubt the Chief Intent of this Precept was, to restrain Men from cutting off one another's Lives; that every Man might enjoy his Life, till it is either cut off by the Hand of God, or by God's Officer, the Públick Magistrate, for Pu