Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Vision (10.24.13): Thomas Vincent on the Lawful Preservation of One's Life

Note:  Last Sunday afternoon we returned to our occasional series through Spurgeon’s Baptist Catechism, examining the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”  The catechism teaches that this commandment “forbids the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tends thereunto.”  On this point, I borrowed from the Puritan Thomas Vincent who suggested the following lawful means that one should employ to preserve his life and thus keep the sixth commandment:

1.  Defense of ourselves with arms and weapons, against the violence of thieves and cutthroats that seek to murder us.

2.  Defense of ourselves with clothes, and in houses, against the violence of the weather and cold.

3.  The nourishing and refreshing of our bodies in a sober and moderate use of meat, drink, and sleep.

4.  The exercise of bodies with labour and moderate recreations.

5.  The use of physic [medicine] for the removal of sickness and the recovery of health.

6.  “Patience, peacableness, contentment, cheerfulness, and the moderate exhilarating our spirits with God’s gifts … using all good means to get and keep our minds and hearts in a good temper….”  This is a Puritan call to good mental and emotional health.  He cites Proverbs 17:22:  “A merry heart doth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

May the Lord lead us to honor his moral law including the preservation of our own lives as dictated by the sixth commandment.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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