53. THE DECALOGUE TEACHES WHAT EVILS ARE SINS.
What nation in the wide world is not aware that it is evil to steal, to commit adultery, to kill, and to bear false witness? If men were not aware of this, and if they did not by laws guard against the commission of these evils, it would be all over with them; for without such laws the community, the commonwealth, and the kingdom would perish. Who can imagine that the Israelitish nation was so much more senseless than other nations as not to know that these were evils? One might therefore wonder why these laws, known as they are the world over, were promulgated from Mount Sinai by Jehovah Himself with so great a miracle. But listen: they were promulgated with so great a miracle in order that men may know that these laws are not only civic and moral laws, but are also spiritual laws; and that to act contrary to them is not only to do evil to a fellow-citizen and to the community, but is also to sin against God. For this reason those laws, through promulgation from Mount Sinai by Jehovah, were made laws of religion; for it is evident that whatever Jehovah God commands, He commands in order that it may be of religion, and that it is to be done for His sake, and for the sake of the man that he may be saved.