282. CHAPTER 5
THE CATECHISM OR DECALOGUE EXPLAINED IN ITS EXTERNAL AND ITS INTERNAL SENSE.
There is not a nation in the whole world which does not know that it is wicked to murder, to commit adultery, to steal, and to bear false witness, and that kingdoms, republics, and every form of organized society, unless these evils were guarded against by laws, would be at an end. Who then can suppose that the Israelitish nation was so stupid beyond all others as not to know that these are evils? Anyone therefore may wonder that laws so universally known in the world should have been promulgated from Mount Sinai by Jehovah Himself in so miraculous a way. But listen: they were promulgated in so miraculous a way to make known that these laws are not only civil and moral laws, but also Divine laws; and that acting contrary to them is not only doing evil to the neighbor, that is, to a fellow citizen and society, but is also sinning against God. Wherefore these laws, by their promulgation by Jehovah from Mount Sinai, were made also laws of religion. Evidently whatever Jehovah commands, He commands in order that it may be a matter of religion, and thus some thing to be done for the sake of salvation. But before these commandments are explained, something must be premised respecting their holiness to make it evident that religion is in them.