<400548> Matthew 5:48 ? ?Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect?; 21:37-40 ? ?Thou shalt love the Lord thy God? Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, in these two commandments the whole law hangeth and the prophets?; <022001>Exodus 20:1-17 ? the Ten Commandments; Matthew, chap. 5-8 ? the Sermon on the Mount. Cf . Augustine, on <195701>Psalm 57:1.
Solly, On the Will, 162, gives two illustrations of the fact that positive precepts are merely applications of elemental law or the law of nature. ??Thou shalt not steal ,? is a moral law which may be stated ? thou shalt not take that for thy own property, which is the property of another .? The contradictory of this proposition would be ?thou mayest take that for thy own property which is the property of another.? But this is a contradiction in terms for it is the very conception of property, that the owner stands in a peculiar relation to its subject matter and what is every man?s property is no man?s property, as it is proper to no man. Hence the contradictory of the commandment contains a simple contradiction directly it is made a rule universal and the commandment itself is established as one of the principles for the harmony of individual wills.
?? Thou shalt not tell a lie ,? as a rule of morality, may be expressed generally: thou shalt not by thy outward act make another to believe thy thought to be of other than it is. The contradictory made universal is ?every man may by his outward act make another to believe his thought to be other than it is .? Now this maxim also contains a contradiction, and is self-destructive. It conveys a permission to do that which is rendered impossible by the permission itself. Absolute and universal indifference to truth, or the entire internal independence of the thought and symbol, makes the symbol cease to be a symbol and the conveyance of thought by its means, an impossibility.?
Rant, Metaphysic of Ethics, 48, 90 ? ?Fundamental law of reason: So act, that thy maxims of will might become laws in a system of universal moral legislation.? This is Kant?s categorical imperative. He expresses it in yet another form: ?Act from maxims fit to be regarded as universal laws of nature.? For expositions of the Decalogue which bring out its spiritual meaning, see Kurtz, Religionslehre, 9-72; Dick, Theology, 2:5l3- 554; Dwight, Theology, 3:163-560; Hodge, Systematic Theology, 3:259465.
B. Ceremonial or special injunctions. These are illustrations of the elemental law, or approximate revelations of it, suited to lower degrees of capacity and to earlier stages of spiritual training ( <022025>Exodus 20:25;
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