Deuteronomy 24* Of divorce. (1-4) Of new-married persons, Of man-stealers, Ofpledges. (5-13) Of justice and generosity. (14-22)1-4 Where the providence of God, or his own wrong choice inmarriage, has allotted to a Christian a trial instead of a helpmeet; he will from his heart prefer bearing the cross, to suchrelief as tends to sin, confusion, and misery. Divine grace willsanctify this cross, support under it, and teach so to behave,as will gradually render it more tolerable. 5-13 It is of great consequence that love be kept up betweenhusband and wife; that they carefully avoid every thing whichmight make them strange one to another. Man-stealing was acapital crime, which could not be settled, as other thefts, byrestitution. The laws concerning leprosy must be carefullyobserved. Thus all who feel their consciences under guilt andwrath, must not cover it, or endeavour to shake off theirconvictions; but by repentance, and prayer, and humbleconfession, take the way to peace and pardon. Some orders aregiven about pledges for money lent. This teaches us to consultthe comfort and subsistence of others, as much as our ownadvantage. Let the poor debtor sleep in his own raiment, andpraise God for thy kindness to him. Poor debtors ought to feelmore than commonly they do, the goodness of creditors who do nottake all the advantage of the law against them, nor should thisever be looked upon as weakness. 14-22 It is not hard to prove that purity, piety, justice,mercy, fair conduct, kindness to the poor and destitute,consideration for them, and generosity of spirit, are pleasingto God, and becoming in his redeemed people. The difficulty isto attend to them in our daily walk and conversation.
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