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Our Duty to Avoid Stealing, Evil Speaking, And Lying.

Our Duty to Avoid Stealing, Evil Speaking, And Lying.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


S. JOHN xii. 4, 5, 6.

Then saith one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon s son,

which should betray Him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and

given to the poor ?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor ; but because

he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put

therein.
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


S. JOHN xii. 4, 5, 6.

Then saith one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon s son,

which should betray Him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and

given to the poor ?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor ; but because

he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put

therein.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 03, 2014
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OUR DUTY TO AVOID STEALIG, EVIL SPEAKIG, AD LYIG.BY REV. HARVEY GOODWI, M.A., S. JOH xii. 4, 5, 6. Then saith one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon s son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor ? This he said, not that he cared for the poor ; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. THIS passage contains (I believe) the only notice of the fact of Judas being a thief. By the expression " he had the bag," we are to understand that he carried the common stock of money belonging to our Lord and His disciples ; and I should suppose that this charge was committed to him because he shewed more fitness than any of his fellows for managing worldly matters ; it is not at all improbable that this should have been the 318 SERMO XXI. case; that very love of money, which seems to have belonged to him, may have been the reason why he proved to be what we should call a good man of business; buying and bargaining were probably much more to his taste than fasting and praying ; and I would by no means blame him for making
 
his natural powers and tastes useful in the position to which God had called him; if he had a turn for , worldly business, he might very well make himself useful, as carrying the bag for a society, whose whole thoughts were turned in a very different direction. But Judas was a a thief"; he did not carry the bag merely for others, he took money out of the bag for himself. S. John, in bringing the accusation against him, as in the text, no doubt had good evidence for what he said ; he does not enter into the evidence, but as a companion of the Lord at the time when Judas had the bag, he simply states what was probably well known to the rest of the disciples : I should conceive that his thefts were not known at the time of commis sion, except of course to Him who knew what was in man ; but many things would probably, after his great sin and apostasy, tend to render this part of his conduct clear. And indeed was it likely to be otherwise? was a man, who was capable of doing what Judas did in betraying Christ, likely STEALIG, EVIL SPEAKIG, AD LYIG. 319 to be a person of very scrupulous honesty in the management of money, entrusted to him in perfect confidence, and probably with no account taken ? I think the strange thing would rather have been, if we had received testimony from S. John that Judas had never committed any smaller sin against Christ and his fellows before he committed the great one, had not broken the command " thou shalt not steal," to which he had every temptation, before he broke the command, " thou shalt do no murder," which he did virtually break when the convenient time came. Anyhow I feel sure, that S. John had
 
good evidence for what he said, when he described Judas as a thief 5 and there must be some meaning in the fact of this character belonging to him. ow it is very possible to find a close con nexion between the covetousness which led Judas to rob the bag, and that which led him to accept thirty pieces of money as the price of innocent blood but this is not exactly the manner in which I wish at this time to deal with the history. I desire rather to take the character and history of Judas in illustration of a sentence of the Church Catechism, which comes under our notice to-day, according to the course which I have been lately following. In enumerating our duties towards our neighbours, the Church Catechism teaches 320 SERMO XXI. the child to say amongst other things, that it is our duty " to keep the hands from picking and stealing, and the tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering"; and I wish you to observe the connexion which is here established between these two duties. Doubtless it is our duty not to steal, doubtless also it is our duty not to lie or slander, but you will perceive that these two duties are not laid down as separate duties, they are repre sented as being nearly connected ; and I think that there really is a connexion, that it is instructive to observe it, and that the history of Judas illus trates it. For the great sin of Judas was a sin of the tongue : in one sense he was guilty of no evil speaking, for when he betrayed Christ he only said with apparent courtesy, " Hail Master"; in one sense he told no lie, for he said, " Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He,"

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