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is a dangerous thing, Pfal. xxxvii. 8. It was that which prevailed with Ahithophel to make away with himself. It is like ink caft into a fountain, which makes all the water blackish. It unfits for fociety with men, and for commurion with God; it destroys the soul and body too; for the fretful man is his own tormentor. We should study to be content with our lot, and easy whatever our circumstances be, Heb. xiii. 5. and that' will set all our wrongs right, Prov. xv. 15. for then our fpirit is brought to our lot; and the vulture preys no more on our liver.
3dly, Immoderate grief and forrow. When we go into the waters of godly forrow for fin, we are out again ere we are well in ; but in carnal sorrow we will go over head and ears, 2 Cor. vii. 10. How many have conceived that forrow upon fame cross which they have met with! something within their fancy has been balked, that has ruined their bodies as well as their souls. We should enure ourselves to a patient bearing of the Lord's hand; and not smother that fire within our breasts, but lay it out before the Lord, and leave it there, i Sam. i. 18. and labour to please God, and consult our own welfare by a holy and moderate chearfulness, Prov.
4thly, Anxiety, distracting carking cares about the things of this life. As men fearing that they hall not sleep do thereby mar their own rest; so the body is often ruined by too much anxiety for it, Matth. vi. 31. Take no thought what ye thall eat, &c. Gr. Rack not your mind. When the mind is on the tenterhooks, the body muft smart for it. As the ape kills its fondling by hugging it; fo do men kill themselves by indulging anxious cares. Let us la. bour then for a holy carelefsness in these matters; let us use lawful means, and leave the success quietly on the Lord.' Though anxiety will not add a cubit to our ftature, it may through time take a cubit from it, Phil. iv. 6.
5thly, Neglecting of our bodies, Col. ii. 2 3. when we do not make a convenient use of the means of life and health, as when people deny themselves the necessary measure of food, sleep, exercise, recreations, physic, cloaths, and housing. People may be guilty against their own lives this way, (1.) By a careless negligent disposition, Eccl. x. 18. (2.) From the plague of a covetous pinching humour, that they cannot find in their heart to use the gift of God to them, Eccl. vi. 2. (3.) By means of inordinate passions, 1 Kings xxi: 4. (4.) Sometimes Satan has driven people under conviction to this, suggesting to them that they have no right to these things. But as long as men live, though they have not a covenant right, they have a common providential right to the means of life, and the command binds, Thou shalt not kill. It is a duty of this command then to take care of our bodies, and provide them necessaries fo far as we can : they are not ours, but God's.
6tbly, Intemperance, when people keep no measure in satisfying of the flesh, Luke xxi. 34. They pamper the fleth, till the bcast turns furious and ruins itself. When God made man, he impressed an image of his sovereignty on him, made him lord over the beasts; but now without, the beasts, and within, the affections, are turned rebels. This is a monster with three heads.
(1.) Gluttony, intemperance in eating. Man should eat to live; but some like the beasts live to eat. The law of God will not allow people to cram their beļlies, and sacrifice to a greedy appetite, Phil. iii. 19. It is a degree of self-murder; for it cuts short people's days, which fobriety would prolong. There is a curse entailed upon it, which is often seen to take effect, Prov. xxiii. 20. 21. Be not amongst wine-bibbers ; amongst riotous eaters of flesh. For VOL. III,
the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. The glutton and the drunkard in scripture-language is equivalant to a ne'er-do-well in ours, Deut. xxi. 20. 21. It is a beastly fin. A Heathen calls the glutton's belly a swine's trough. A scavenger whose occupation is to empty, is to be preferred to the glutton who lives, to fill a privy.
(2.) Drunkenness, intemperance in drinking, Luke xxi. 34. A sin that makes quick work for the grave, and has carried many thither ere they have lived half their days. Reason differences men from beasts, but the beaitly fin of drunkenness takes away that, robbing men of reason. It is the devil's rack, on which while he has men, they will babble out every thing; for quod in corde sobrii, in ore ebrii. It is an inlet to other lins : for what will a inan not do in his drunkenness, if he have a temptation to it? It destroys a man's health, wealth, and soul ; murders soul and body at once. The Lacedæmonians used to fill their flaves drunk, that their children seeing the picture of drunkenness might loath it. We have the picture of it, Prov. xxiii. 29. &c. (1.) It embroils men in quarrels, Who hath wo? who hath forrow? who hath contentions ? Many have wo and forrow that cannot help it ; but drunkards wilfully create them to themselves. When drink is in, wit is out. Thence proceed drunken scuffles ; bubbling in fcurrilous language ; and from words they go to blows, wounds without cause. (2.) It ruins their bodies ; redness of eyes, a sign of an inward infammation, through drink and watching, not through weeping and praying. (3.) It expoles them to uncleanness, ver. 33. Thine eyes fall behold strange women. (4.) It makes their tongues ramble, speak contrary to religion, reason, common civility, yea nonsense. (5.) It belots them; it makes their heads giddy, and they are fearless of danger, ver. 34. Yea, thou shalt be as be that lieth down in the midst of the
fea, or as be that lieth upon the top of a mast. (6.) Lastly, It is a bewitching fin. The man sees the ill of it, but his heart is hardened, he has no power to leave it, ver. 35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not fick ; they have beaten me, and I felt it not : when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. The curse of God is entailed on it, Il. xxviii. 1. 2. 3. Wo to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine. Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and Strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying Norm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall caj? down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephrain shall be trodden under feet,
(3.) Intemperance in any other sensual pleasure, Luke viii. '14. The pleasures of the senses are often chains to the foul, and scourges to the body; and intemperance in them will make them fo. Too much pleasing the body may make mourning at last, Prov. v. II.
A man may fin against God and his own body in the intemperate use of any sensual pleasure whatsoever, though in itself lawful; and no doubt much guilt is contracted in the intemperate use of tobacco, and such like things, 1 Cor. vi. 12,
7thly, Inmoderate labour and painfulness, Eccl, ii. 22. 23. Labour and exercise in moderation is like a sober wind that purifies the air, and is good for the body and soul too; but immoderate labour and exercise is like a violent wind that throws down the house, and plucks up the tree by the roots,
Lastly, Expasing of ourselves to unnecessary haBards, Mat.iv. 7. To put ourselves in hazard where we have no call, is to fin against God and ourselves, And in this case God deres mercy, and not facris fice,
SECONDLY, We will consider this command as relating to our neighbour's life.
First, Thou shalt not kill thy neighbour's soul.. It is fin that is the killing thing both to our own and our neighbour's foul. And there are several ways how men fall into this guilt of murdering the fouls of others. As,
I. By giving them an example of fin. God forbade to lay a stumbling-block before the blind, but the world is filled with these, and so ruined, Matth. xviii
. 7. Men do ill things, and think that if they do ill, it is but to themselves. No; but thereby thou dost what lies in thee to ruin others.
Yea, example is not only ruining to others in evil things, but also, (1.) In doing what has the appearance of evil : therefore we should take heed to that, because others may take the appearance for reality, and fo be ruined by us. (2.) By an uncharitable use of our Christian liberty in things indifferent. Thus the strong may ruin the weak, Rom. xiv. 15.
2. By co-operating directly to the fin of our neighbour, which is indeed the lending our destroying hand to ruin his soul, whereby his blood comes to be charged on us. It is the putting a cup of poison in his hand to dispatch himself, and a reaching of the sword to the madman, which whoso do are accessary to his death. Thus men are guilty,
ist, By commanding others to fin, as Jeroboam made Israel to fin. So magistrates by sinful laws, and all superiors whatsoever, when they use their authority to oblige another to an ill thing; or whosoever commands another to do what is linful.
2dly, By counselling others to it, or advising them in it. The world is full of these murderers. So that where a person is under temptation, there is often at hand one like Jonadab to give counsel to fome ill course, 2 Sam. xiii. 5. Such counsel often has the force of a command. So drunkards murder one another's fouls, Hab. ii. 15:
3dly, By joining with others in fin, Pfal. I. 18.