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the Scribes and Pharisees] as if it related only to the groffest Acts of Uncleanness :

28. But I say unto you, That it extends, not only to unchaste Actions and Words, but even to Looks, and the very Thoughts of the Heart, for whosoever Jhall gaze on a Woman to lust after her, and thus cherish and indulge the secret Workings of irregu- his lar Defire in his Mind, has already committed that Adultery with her in his Heart which this Commandment was designed to forbid, and thereby rendered himself, in the Sight of God, guilty of it. Perhaps some of you may think this Commandment severe, in requiring you so strictly to mortify all the irregular Propensities of Nature : But you will find it on the whole, as much for your Interest, as it is to part with a gangrened Member to prevent the Death of the whole Body, yea indeed, it is infinitely more so.

29 And if, therefore, thy right Eye offend or insnare thee, or any Thing dear as thy right Eye would be the necessary Occasion of leading thee into Sin, pluck it out with inexorable Resolution, and cast it far from thee with Abhorrence : for it is advantageous to thee, that one of thy Members should perish rather than thy, whole Body should be thrown into Hell: which yet must be the fatal Confequence of indulging the most favorite (irregu.

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30. Tea if thy right Hand offend or ensnare thee, though it be so useful and neceflary a Part, do not {pare it, but immediately cut it off, und cast it from thee; for. I renew the Declaration, that it is highly advantageous to thee, that any one of thy Members should perish, rather than thy whole Body should be thrown into Hell,

31.. It has been said (Deut. xxiv. 1.) whoever would dismiss his Wife, let him give her a Writing of Divorce : And this Precept, which was indeed intended to prevent the Frequency of such Difmiffions, by making it fo solemn and irrevocable a Thing, has perversely been interpreted [by the Scribes and Pharisees] as a Warrant for having Recourse to it upon every trifting Occasion.

32. But such a Practice is directly contrary to the original Design of Marriage, and highly injurious to the common Good of Mankind, I therefore think it necessary [with the View of reftraining fo dangerous a Liberty,] to oppofe fo erroneous and pernicious an Interpretation, and to say unto you, that, (according to the true Design and Meaning of the Law] whosoever fall dismiss his Wife, except it be on the Account of Whoredom, [will be exceedingly rash and highly culpable *) as he

coufeth * Notwithstanding any Thing faid by Moses in Deut. xxiv, I, it was in Reality no more lawful for a Jew on any light Occasions

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and let your Conversation be all plain and fimple : When

you affirm, say yes, yes; and when you deny, no, no: For if you conduct yourselves as you ought, this will be sufficient to gain you Credit ; and you may be assured, that whatever is more than these cometh of Evil I, (proceeds from some evil Cause, and manifestly betrays the Want of a proper Reverence of God upon the Mind.]

38. You have heard that it hath been said in the Law, Deut. xix. 21. An Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth : and this Statute, which


1 Cometh of Evil.] I would observe that this Clause contains a Demonstration that Verse 34 is to be explained with the Limitation proposed; for it is evident, that: Oaths were in some Cases not only allowed, but required, by the Mosaic Law; (fee Exod. xxii. 11. Lev. v. 1. Numb. v. 19, 21. and Deut. xxix: 32, 14.) So that if Christ's Prohibition had here referred to Swearing in folemn and judicial Cases, he would in these Words have charged the Divine Law with establishing an Immorality, which it is most absurd to suppose-And I cannot but wonder, that so obvious and decisive a Thought should not have been more infifted upon in this Controversy.

+ An Eye for an Eye, &c.] On this Law Mr. Selden observes as follows~" It doth not mean, that if I put out another Man's Eye, therefore I must lose my own, (for what is he the better for that?) though this be commonly received; but it means, I shall give him what Satisfaction an Eye shall be judged to be worth.” This doubtless is the true Meaning,


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was only intended to direct Judges s as to the Penalties to be inflicted in Care of violent and barbarous Assaults, has been interpreted [by the Scribes and Pharisees as encouraging a rigorous severe Revenge of every Injury a Man might receive.


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and the very Sense in which it was generally understood by the Jews-- This Law according to its true Design, and in itself considered, is manifeftly just and equitable, and such as our Saviour entirely approved, as is evident from the Application he has made of it, in this very Discourse, to the Case of cen. forious judging. Judge not that ye be not judged; for with what Judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: And with what lvleasure ye mere it shall be measured to you again. Mat. vii. 11, 12. The Words are different, but the general Idea is the very same. He finds no Fault with the Law, it being of divine Original and perpetual Obligation; he cenfures only the false Constructions which had been put upon it, and the wrong Uses which had been madc of it by the Jewish Doctors. The Law was in itself perfectly just and proper, and in no Degree repugnant to genuine Charity. It gave no Countenance to a litigious Temper, much less to any malicious Prosecutions, or indeed to any other Conduct whatever under Affronts and Injuries, than what our Saviour has here described in his Expofition of it, and is allowed to every Christian in fimilar Circuma kances, by the Gospel.

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Se Which was only intended to dire&l Judges.] It is to the Judges it is said, thine Eye shall not spare, or pity him, but Eye Shall go for Eye, &c. Deut. xxix, 18, 21. The injured Person could not himself be the Executioner of this Law;


39. But I say unto you [it admits no such Con. {truction, nor allows any such dangerous Liberty-It in no wise countenances a malevolent vindictive Spirit, and is to be understood inconfistence with the divine Precept (in Lev. xix. 18.) Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear Grudge against the the Children of thy People. (vid. Rom. xii. 19. Deut. xxxii. 35.) Therefore I say unto you] That when you meet with ill Usage in the World, you do not immediately set yourselves against the injurious Perfon *, in a Posture of hostile Opa

position, whatever Satisfaction he should think fit to require, he must feek it only from the Magistrate : The Redress of Injuries, and the Infliction of Punishment were solely in the Power of the Judges-As the Words thou halt not pity in Deut. xxix. relate only to the Judge, so also the Words, as he hath done, so shall it also be done to him, Lev. xxiv, refer to the same Person; as if it had been said, fo hall it be done to bim by the Judge; but they obliged not the injured Person 10 require the Judge so to do, or to demand any Satisfaction at all; and when from a proper Regard to himself or the superior Good of the Public he should think it fit to prosecute the Offender, it is certain that this Law of Retaliation did not allow him to do it out of Revenge ; (Lev. xix. 18.) nor as a Remedy of his Grief, it being an unreasonable, and ill natured "Thing to defire to ease my Grief, by causing Grief to another, nor will either my Pain, or Loss be less, because another suffers the like Pain or Loss; This Law therefore was only given, as it tended to the public Gpad, by causing Men to be more careful how they offended or injured others. Vid, Whitby in Laç.

Do not set yourselves against the injurious Person.] So the Phrase ArtismN&tw wornpw may be exactly rendered, (compare

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