Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thomas Watson on Murdering A Man In His Name
I will preach tomorrow at CRBC on the sixth commandment. I have been reading Thomas Watson's commentary on the commandments as I work through them. Watson is brilliant at going beyond the literal level to the "fuller" spiritual meaning of each commandment. On the sixth commandment, he points out that we break this commandment not merely when we injure another man in his body but also when we injure a man's reputation:
We must not injure another in his name. ‘A good name is a precious balsam.’ It is a great cruelty to murder a man in his name. We injure others in their name, when we calumniate and slander them. David complains, ‘They laid to my charge things that I knew not.’ Psa 35: 11. The primitive Christians were traduced for incest, and killing their children, as Tertullian says, Dicimur infanaticidii incestus rei [They charge us with infanticide and label us incestuous]. This is to behead others in their good name; it is an irreparable injury. No physician can heal the wounds of the tongue.