The Lord urges us to observance of the commandments?
Where do you allow yourself a little slack? Why? For whose benefit?
From Taylor’s Arithmetic From One to Twelve.
The 10 Commandments, are the Law Divine,
(To keep those laws, Good Lord our hearts incline;)
But from those 10, should 10 men each pluck one,
‘Tis to be feared that left we should have none.
The atheist (which the Psalmist fool doth call)
As he believes will have no God at all.
Th’idolator will stock, block, idols have
To save him, though themselves they cannot save.
The roarer that delights to damn and swear,
for the Commandments he the third would tear,
the Sabbath-breaker would pluck out the fourth,
the fifth (with rebels) is of little worth,
The sixth the murderer would stab and wound,
The seventh the hot adult’rer would confound,
The thief would steal the eighth away, and then
False witness spoil the ninth: and for the ten,
The wretch that’s covetous would rend and bite
And pluck the rest in pieces if he might.
Thus would there 10 (this cursed catalogue)
Each ’rase out one, and spoil the Decalogue.
John Taylor (1642-1729)