THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

The ninth commandment, which reads, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," makes a strong demand for truth between a man and his neighbor. Without truth there can be no real sense of love, and vica versa. The stern prohibitions of the Decalogue would be unnecessary if all men rose to the spiritual height of loving their neighbors as themselves, but there are few who think this possible; yet none could seriously claim to ignore the obligation to respect the reputations of others, at least to the extent of not falsifying about them. Human law provides against offenses of this sort, but the fact that this law is seldom invoked in courts of justice, as compared with the one which says "Thou shalt not steal," shows the material tendency of mankind. The wise man, however, tells us that "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches;" and in the same vein Shakespeare makes one of his characters say:—

Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;But he that filches from me my good nameRobs me of that which not enriches himAnd makes me poor indeed.

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Editorial
"TOGETHER WITH GOD."
March 8, 1913
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