Lesson 67: A Present for Teacher

The sixth commandment is Thou shalt do no murder. And My duty towards my neighbour is ... to hurt nobody by word or deed: to bear no malice or hatred in my heart.

Murder is taking another’s life. Suicide is taking one’s own life. Both are forbidden, because all life comes from God. When God made man he gave him dominion (“rule”) over all that lives (Genesis i , 26); only over the life of man he did not give him dominion, as Cain, the first murderer, quickly found out (Genesis 4, 10). The taking of human life is, however, allowed in punishment for murder {Genesis 9, 6); by those who fight in a just war; and in the protection of your own or another’s life [a few nights ago a pawnbroker in Hackney Road was attacked and killed by two men who broke into his shop; the two were hanged; if the pawnbroker in his fight for life, or if a policeman hearing his cries and helping him, had killed one or both of the men, he would not have committed murder and would not have been hanged]. There are no reasons for which suicide is allowed.

This commandment also forbids wrong anger. There is a right anger {St. John 2, 13 to 16); but nearly all our anger is wrong. Malice and hatred mean wishing harm to others; being murderers in our hearts, in will if not in deed. They are the seeds from which murder grows {Genesis 4, 3 to 8). Freddy Fishface is always in trouble at school, hates his teacher; doesn’t buy from Mr. Cooper at Barnard’s the chemist’s six- pennorth of prussic acid, put it in his teacher’s tea; but says, and means, “I wish with all my heart that teacher would kick the bucket, sling his hook, turn his toes up, die.” what’s the DIFFERENCE?

Nations are made of human beings. If men and women, boys and girls, did not hate, bore no malice in their hearts, there would be no wars {Ephesians 4, 31).