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4. To the eighth commandment, viz. Of the punishment of theft Of sacrilege..

(Josh. vii.)
Of not injuring strangers
Of not defrauding hirelings.
Of just weights.
Of removing the land-mark
Of lost goods..
Of stray cattle
Of corrupted judgments.
Of fire breaking out by chance
Of man-stealing..
Of the fugitive servant..
Of gathering fruits

Of contracts, viz.
Borrowing:
Of the pledge
Of usury..
Of selling ..
Of the thing lent
Of a thing committed to be kept..
Of heirs

5. To the ninth commandment, viz. Of witnesses

22. 16. 24.

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From the dignity of the lawgiver
From the excellency of the laws.
From the promises...
From the threatenings

4. 6, 11. 29–

31. 5-8. 10. 26, 27.

4. 26. 4–7. 10

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12. 4. 7. 11. 27-30.

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CHAPTER VIII.

THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH COMMANDMENTS.

In addition to the ten commandments, which are given Exod. xx. 1–17, and other precepts given in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, the book of Deuteronomy contains a repetition of most of the Mosaic laws, and often farther developes the principles which they set forth and enforce. These enactments have been classed under each of the ten commandments, selecting that to which they most appropriately belong, according to the index annexed pages 346, 347, which is taken from one that was printed nearly 200 years ago, from a manuscript in the library of St. John's College, Oxford. Some explanatory remarks will now be given, upon each of the commandments, in their order. The whole will show that

“ Religion never was designed
To make our pleasures less."

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. In Exod. xx. 3.-Thou shalt In Deut. v. 7.-Thou shalt have have no other gods before me. none other gods before me. Idolatry was the most heinous crime among the Jews; it was not only a sin against the only living and true God, but it was also high treason against their chief Ruler. This principle is laid down in the first commandment; the second forbids all outward demonstrations or actions that are idolatrous. Here is included all worshipping of images, whether intended (1) to represent the true God in a visible form, or the images of the gods of the Gentiles, which either were (2) of Satan under various forms, or (3) of men, usually after their decease, who were noted for something which the world approves, though often very contrary to the Divine commands, and (4) representations of the heavenly bodies or other objects of nature. The worship of the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. was of the first sort, and there are other instances in their history after the Jews were settled in the land of Canaan, but especially the calves of Jeroboam, 1 Kings xii. 26-31. The image of Baal, 2 Kings iii. 2 and x. 27, and those mentioned so often in the historical and prophetic books, were of the other classes. All such idolatry is expressly forbidden, Exod. xxxiv. 14, and in detail, Deut. iv. 16–19, viii. 19.

These precepts, it will be seen, extend to the worship of anything besides the true Lord God, although without an image : such worship usually consisted of, or was accompanied by, falling prostrate to the earth, or at least bowing or kneeling, Exod. xxiii. 24; Lev. xxvi. 1; 2 Kings v. 18. In the book of Joshua even the mention of false gods is forbidden, Josh. xxiii. 7.

Not only were images and the worship of idols or other visible objects forbidden, but the possessing of altars or groves dedicated to them : these were to be cut down and destroyed, Exod. xxxiv. 13; Deut. vii. 5, xii. 3. There are various instances of carrying this command into execution in the historical books, as Hezekiah, 2 Kings xviii. 4; Asa, 2 Chron. xiv. 3; Jehoshaphat, xvii. 6; Josiah, xxxiv. 7. The grove, or anything connected with the idol worship, was to be utterly destroyed, lest the sight of it should recall the use formerly made of it, or there should be some superstitious feeling about it.

All sacrifices of animals, except as offerings to the Lord, are forbidden, Lev. xvii. 147. The most dreadful rite of idolatrous worship, human sacrifices, is expressly forbidden, so as to show that the heathen practised it, Levit. xx. 1–5; Deut. xii. 30–31, xviii. 10. The most horrible, that of the sacrificing their children, was not to be allowed among the strangers in the land, Levit. xx. 2 ; nor even to be mentioned. The Jews were not to be present at the sacrifices of the heathen, lest they should partake of them, Exod. xxxiv. 15. The prohibition to offer any sacrifices, excepting to the Lord Jehovah, is strongly stated, Exod. xxii. 20.

The greatness of the crime of idolatry was thus fully pointed out; the punishment was death by stoning, Lev. xx. 2 ; in this case death was instantly to follow detection, Deut. xiii. 10, xvii. 5. When the inhabitants of a city had gone and served other gods, they were to be put to death, and the city, with all belonging to them, was to be utterly destroyed, Deut. xiii. 12–17.

Blasphemy was another branch of the crimes forbidden by this command. When the peculiar state of Israel, with the favour of the Lord God dwelling visibly among them, is considered, it will be seen that this was a most heinous crime, a denial of the visible operations of the Most High. A special instance is recorded, Lev. xxiv. 10-16, when this law was enacted, and it was declared to extend to the stranger as well as to those born in the land. Naboth seems to have been put to death under a false accusation of this kind, 1 Kings xxi. 10–13; and be it observed, that to bless idols, or to speak of them as gods, was blasphemy against the Most High.

Closely connected with blasphemy, indeed a branch of that crime, was that of false prophecy. A false prophet was held to be such, and was to be stoned, when he spoke in the name of false gods, without entering into any question whether or not he had spoken truly, Deut. xvii. 2–6. And if he had pretended to speak in the name of the true God, still he was liable to punishment when what he had declared did not come to pass, Deut. xviii. 21, 22. Surely the principle of this law should be regarded at the present time : not, indeed, to put to death such pretenders, for we live under a different dispensation; but they ought to be turned away from, whether, like Irving, they have once been teachers of the truth, or, like Southcote and the Mormonite Smith, deceivers and cheats from the beginning. Such characters are, indeed, enemies to the truth; they have “spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God," Deut. xiii. 5.

Even those who were not thus guilty, yet who from any circumstance were induced to declare that which came not to pass, were by no means guiltless, Deut. xviii. 20—22. Well would it have been for the church in every age, and also at the present day, had this solemn warning been kept more fully in mind. Let us also remember, that this is applicable not merely to declarations of future events, but to every word that is spoken in the name of the Lord. A more solemn office cannot easily be pointed out, and the faithful ministers of Christ, in every age, have deeply felt their responsibility.

Divination is another branch of idolatry. In the English translation of the Bible, this is spoken of under the name of witchcraft. It is not to be supposed that the common vulgar idea of witches and witchcraft is here meant. A more gross delusion seldom has existed than that which supposed a poor helpless old woman, however cross, or illtempered, or wicked, could torment the cattle and children around her, or that she rode through the air on a broomstick, and went to revel with the devil at night, effecting her evil purposes through “a familiar," as it was called, in the shape of a cat, who told her of things she wished to know. Surely, at the present day, such nonsense must have passed away, and poor old women are now, for the most part, allowed to sit with their cats in peace. It is to be regretted that the translators of the Bible were led to use such a term, although at that time even king James himself believed in witchcraft, and required others to do the same.

The divination and witchcraft meant in the Bible, Exod. xxii. 18; Lev. xix. 26–31; xx. 6—27; Deut. xviii. 10, 11, is a more serious evil, and more directly idolatrous, as well as diabolical. The eastern people of old were very prone to inquire into future events. Of course the worshippers of the true God could find no encouragement for such a system, nor did they need it. The patriarchs, like Abraham of old, had full reliance on the Lord their God, but wicked minds wished for unlawful information, and sought it from the votaries and priests of false gods. All these false worships had some relation to the worship of Satan, especially that of the Serpent (Aub or 06): to make these inquiries, therefore, was worshipping the spirit of evil. It was as Elijah put it to the messengers of Ahaziah, 2 Kings i. 3, 4, a declaration that the inquirer did not believe in the God of Israel, but put his trust in some exhibition of Satan. This also was Saul's last offence, the going to a woman described as having a familiar spirit at Endor, 1 Sam. xxviii. 8. She was not what our fathers understood by “witch or wizard,” but a priestess of Ob, one who secretly kept up the serpent worship ; that which was adoration of the old serpent, the devil. And we know that such worship exists even now over a large part of the globe.

What is called Buddhism is especially of this description; it prevails over a large portion of the east, so that, awful as is the fact, these idolatrous worshippers of Satan even now are far more numerous than all the nominal worshippers of Christ, or those of the followers of the false prophet, who also reject idolatry, commonly so called. Can there be anything more affecting than such deplorable infatuation and degradation ?

The priest of this devil-worship, or diviner, was to be put to death, Lev. xx. 27; but it is to be remembered that

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