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men that they labour to be fkilful in it, and not bunglers at what they take in hand, Prov. xiv. 8. and he allows men to look to himself for that. end, If. xxviii. 26. and likewife that they be diligent and induftrious in it, and not loiterers, Prov. x. 4. for laziness will make a thief either directly or indirectly. And this is quite oppofite to God's appointment, Gen. iii. 19.

4. We are to take the moderate comfortable use of the product of our diligence, ufing and difpofing of it for our neceffity and conveniency, according to our condition in the world, Eccl. iii. 12. 13. For to what end do men get wealth, if they have no power comfortably to ufe it? As good want it, as not to have the neceffary and convenient ufe of it. Such fteal and rob (in the fenfe of this command) from their nearest neighbour, that is, themselves.

5. Withal God requires men here to be frugal and honeftly fparing, i. e. to keep a due medium betwixt lavifhnefs and niggard pinching, Prov. xxi. 20. This frugality directs to the right managing of what God has given, fo as (1.) People do not caft out their fubflance on trifles that are for no good purpofe, but on fuch things as there is fome folid ufe of, If. Iv. 2.; and amongst thefe are to be reckoned extravagant furniture for back and belly, in which people cannot fatisfyingly to confcience anfwer the queftion, What needs all this wafte? (2.) That of thofe things which may be useful there be nothing loft. When Chrift had provided bread enough, he gives particular orders to gather up the fragments, John vi. 12. (3) That this care proceed not from carnal affection to the world, but from confcience towards God, that we abufe not his be nefits, and take care to do good by what is fpared to ourselves or to others, though it were even to beats. Lafly, True frugality will be effectual to make us ready to lay out for God on pious ufes to

the poor and otherwise, as the best way to fave, Prov. xi. 24,

6. Careful avoiding of whatsoever may embarrafs our affairs, and wrong our own wealth and outward estate. Thus God requires men to take heed that they do not inveigle themselves in unneceffary pleas and law-fuits, 1 Cor. vi. 1.--8. rafh cautionry, Prov, xi. 15. whereby fometimes men ruin themselves and families, and fo fin against God, themselves, and their houfe. Of this fort may be reckoned people's rafh and foolish engaging in things that they are in no probable cafe rightly to manage, ftretching farther than they can well be supposed able to reach.

7. Lastly, Moderation of heart with respect to worldly goods, Phil. iv. 5. (1.) We must moderate our judgement about them, that we put not too high a value and efteem on them, 1 Tim. vi. 17. (2.) We muft moderate our wills about them, that we be not among those that will be rich; for that will carry us over this hedge, ver. 9. (3.) We muft moderate our affections to them. We muft beware of love to them, ver. 10.; for the covetous heart will not ftick at undue means. We must moderate our care about them, refting in God's promise, and depending on his providence, Matth. vi. 25. 26. and be content with our lot, Heb. xiii. 5. For they that are not content, have what they will, are always poor, and their eye will be evil towards others alfo.

SECONDLY, God requires in this cominand that we by lawful means procure and further the wealth and outward eftate of others. We are not born for ourselves, nor mut we live for ourfelves. We are members one of another as men, and much more as Chriftians; and selfishness is offenfive to God, and deftructive to fociety. We may reduce this to two general rules of practice, founded on the light of nature, and confirmed by the word.

First, Give every one their due. The natural

confcience dictates this, however little it is regarded; and God's word confirms it, Rom. xiii. 7. If ye do it not, ye rob them, or fteal from them. So God will reckon, and fo will mens confciences reckon at last. In whatever relation ye ftand to them as masters, Arvants, neighbours, or under any particular bargain with them, or obligation to them, give them what is due to them.

Secondly, Do as ye would be done to. This alfo a natural confcience dictates, and the word confirms, Matth. vii. 12. If we must love our neighbour as our ourselves, we must not do to him what we would have no body to do to us. If ye do otherwife, ye fteal from them, ye wrong them, your own confciences being judges. For if they would do fo to you, ye declare they are unjuft to you: fo if ye do fo to them, ye muft either find out a law for them, which ye are not under, or elfe your own confciences will condemn you as breakers of the law of God, which is common to both. To move you to walk by these rules, confider,

1. In vain will ye pretend to Chriftianity without it. This is natural religion, which revelation came And the not to destroy, but confirm, Tit. ii. 12. Heathens who in their Pagan darkness faw thefe rules of righteousness, and walked more by them than many Chriftians, will rife up in judgement against many that profefs the name of Chrift, and yet make fo little confcience that way. People mult either walk by them, or quit the name of Chriftians. If they will do neither of them now, Chrift will ftrip them at length out of their players coat, and make them appear before the world in their proper colours.

2. Ye will never fee heaven without it, I Cor. vi. 9.. If people get to heaven in another way, they muft ftep over all the law and the prophets, Matth. vii. 12. I grant that thefe will not bring people to heaven; people may walk by them, as fome fober Heathens have done, and yet go to hell;

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but without it people will never fee it. For tho our good works and honeft dealings with men will not fave us, yet our ill works and unrighteous dealing will damn us, 1 Theff. iv. 6. But to be more particular, we may take up this in five things.

ift, God requires of us that we be careful to prevent our neighbour's fkaith and lofs, as we have opportunity, Deut. xxii. r. For the lofs we fee him get and can prevent, but do it not, is in effect the fame as if we downrightly procured it to him. That which we can hinder and do not, is our fault before the Lord. And in this fenfe each man is bound to be his brother's keeper.

2dly, That we deal honeftly in all matters between man and man. If we would not come under the guilt of ftealing from them, we muft in all our dealings with them be ftrict obfervers of truth, faithfulness, and juftice; dealing in fimplicity and plainnefs, Pfal. xv. 2. 4. Zech. vii. 4. 10. whether it be in bargains, buying and felling; in matters of trust concredited to us, or any thing of his we have under our hands. We must deal with God, as if the eyes of men were on us; and with men, as knowing the eyes of God are on us. A Chriftian indeed will do fo. He will be an upright dealer with men, a flave to his word, a man that never wants a quickfighted witnefs to his actions. And therefore it will be all one to him whether his party be abfent or prefent, fkilful and that will not be cheated, or fimple and eafily deceived.

3dly, Reftitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof. This looks especially to two cafes.

(1) Things loft and found ought to be reftored to the owners, and not concealed and kept, Deut. xxii. 2. 3. for the keeping up of what is another's against the owner's will is a fort of theft and injufuce, contrary to the rules aforefaid. And therefore it cannot be kept with a good confcience.

(2.) Whatsoever we have wronged our neighbour of, by taking it away from him, ought to be reftored, Lev. vi. 2.4. There is, 1.) The cafe of trust, wherein a thing committed to him by another is kept up, on fome pretence that it is loft or fo. 2.) In cafe of fellowship in trading together, when one puts a thing in his partner's hand, in which cafe it is eafy for one to deceive another. 3.) In cafe of violence, when it is taken away by robbery, stealth, yea and oppreffion, 1 Sam. xii. 3. 4.) In cafe of cheatery, when by fraud aud circumvention it is taken away.

Now, in all these cafes and the like reftitution is neceffary. It is true, actual reftitution is fometimes beyond the power of him that fhould restore; yet in fuch a cafe the party is bound to go all the length he can, as appears from Exod. xxii. 3. But a readiness to restore to the utmost of our power is abfolutely neceffary. For he does not truly repent of his fin, who is not willing to do all he can to repair the wrong; nor is the love of righteousness and his neighbour in that man who is not ready to give every one their due. And in this fenfe the rule holds, Non tollitur peccatum nifi reflituitur. It is remarkable that it is made one of the figns of true repentance, Ezek. xxxiii. 15. If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the ftatutes of life without committing iniquity; be hall furely live, he fhall not die. And faid Zaccheus, Luke xix. 8. If I have taken any thing from any man by falfe accufation, I reftore him fourfold.

Now, the party obliged to make reftitution, is not only the person that took a thing away, but he in whofe hand it is found; though he had it not fraudulently, yet upon the difcovery of the thing he is obliged to return it, because the perfon who (fuppofe) fold it to him had no right to it, and therefore could give him none. But particularly the perfon himself and his heirs are bound to restore, Job VOL. III. O

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