Of the Baptist Catechism
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Question What is required in the sixth commandment?
Answer The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life 1 and the life of others. 2
[1] Ephesians 5:28–29
[2] 1 Kings 18:4

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Is self-preservation a part of the law of nature?

Skin for skin, all that a man hath will be given for his life,
Job 2:4

But has this law been broken?

For some choose strangling rather than life,
Job 7:15

Was it therefore necessary that it should be enforced by an express command?

Do thyself no harm,
Acts 16:28

Should we use all lawful methods for the preservation of our health?

Use a little wine for thy stomach sake,
1 Timothy 5:23

Should we for this purpose be moderate in the use of meats and drinks?

When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, put a knife to thy throat,
Proverbs 23:1–2

And avoid all unnecessary acts of mortification?

Be not righteous overmuch, for why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Ecclesiastes 7:16

And defend ourselves against violence?

He that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one,
Luke 22:36

And fly from persecution?

When they persecute you in one city fly to another,
Matthew 10:23

And not causelessly run into danger?

Let not thy voice be heard amongst us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life,
Judges 18:25

Should whatsoever we do for the preservation of our own lives be with an eye to God’s glory?

That whether we live, we might live unto the Lord,
Romans 14:8

Is it therefore unlawful to commit sin even to save life?

For he that so saveth his life shall lose it,
Matthew 16:25

Should we be careful of the lives of others?

Judah said,what profit is it, if we slay our brother,
Genesis 37:20

Should we pray for their health?

I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health,
3 John 2

And discover designs to their prejudice?

When Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and told Paul,
Acts 22:16

And hide them from the unjust fury of their enemies?

As Obediah hid the prophets of the Lord by fifties in a cave,
1 Kings 18:4

And avoid every thing whereby their lives might be endangered?

Thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence,
Deuteronomy 22:8

Should magistrates defend the innocent?

They must deliver them that are drawn out to death,
Proverbs 24:11

And rich men succour the poor?

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me,
Job 29:13

Should we be careful of giving offence?

If it be possible live peaceably with all men,
Romans 12:18

And equally so of taking it?

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
Romans 12:19

From A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism

The Westminster Larger Catechism Copy a link to this section

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Question What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
Answer The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves 1 and others 2 by resisting all thoughts and purposes, 3 subduing all passions, 4 and avoiding all occasions, 5 temptations, 6 and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; 7 by just defense thereof against violence, 8 patient bearing of the hand of God, 9 quietness of mind, 10 cheerfulness of spirit; 11 a sober use of meat, 12 drink, 13 physic, 14 sleep, 15 labor, 16 and recreations; 17 by charitable thoughts, 18 love, 19 compassion, 20 meekness, gentleness, kindness; 21 peaceable, 22 mild and courteous speeches and behavior; 23 forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; 24 comforting and succoring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent. 25
[1] Ephesians 5:28–29
[2] 1 Kings 18:4
[3] Jeremiah 26:15–16; Acts 23:12, 16–17, 21, 27
[4] Ephesians 4:26–27
[5] 2 Samuel 2:22; Deuteronomy 22:8
[6] Matthew 4:6–7; Proverbs 1:10–11, 15–16
[7] 1 Samuel 24:12; 26:9–11; Genesis 37:21–22
[8] Psalm 82:4; Proverbs 24:11–12; 1 Samuel 14:45
[9] James 5:7–11; Hebrews 12:9
[10] 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 Peter 3:3–4; Psalm 37:8–11
[11] Proverbs 17:22
[12] Proverbs 25:16, 27
[13] 1 Timothy 5:23
[14] Isaiah 38:21
[15] Psalm 127:2
[16] Ecclesiastes 5:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12; Proverbs 16:20
[17] Ecclesiastes 3:4, 11
[18] 1 Samuel 19:4–5; 22:13–14
[19] Romans 13:10
[20] Luke 10:33–34
[21] Colossians 3:12–13
[22] James 3:17
[23] 1 Peter 3:8–11; Proverbs 15:1; Judges 8:1–3
[24] Matthew 5:24; Ephesians 5:2, 32; Romans 12:17
[25] 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Job 31:19–20; Matthew 25:35–36; Proverbs 31:8–9