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The inner sense of the ninth commandment
89,1. See, until now we have seen everything develop from the natural ground; but up till now there has been no higher divine sanction on any ground, by which man alone on earth, especially in his simple state of nature, is led to the inviolable consideration of all that has been imposed upon him by his leader as a duty.
89,2. The wiser such a primitive monarch initially guides his people, and the more the people are persuaded that the leader is really wise because of his successes, the more they will begin to ask each other: wherefrom is his wisdom and wherefrom our stupidity? The people still know very little or nothing about God, but the leader still has more or less good ideas about Him.
89,3. What should he now do, if the people who are naturally organized as well as possible, approach him now with such questions from all sides? He summons the more capable, proclaiming to them a supreme being who has created everything and directs everything. Then tell them, in answer to their varied questions, that he receives the wisdom to guide directly from this supreme being. He shows them, with the greatest ease, the undeniable existence of a supreme, all-creating, sustaining, and governing deity, and that this deity only bestows the deep wisdom to whom he has designated to be the beatific leadership of the people.
89,4. This then means something like: "By the grace of God," or as with the Romans: Favente Jov. " Once this step has been taken, the sole ruler and the sole owner is ready to go, and now sits perfectly safe in his center of power, supported by a powerful natural, and even more powerful spiritual necessity.
89,5. Anyone who has thoroughly gone through all this must finally say: Surely not one atom of this can be criticised, because everything is so closely connected with the first natural-legal records of every human being that one would not dare to split the thinnest thread in order to destroy a happy human society down to its innermost foundations. You can take away anything you want, the defect will soon be visible in the first natural principles of every human being.
89,6. But if, then, the matter is as such, it follows as clear as sunshine from that, that the Lord of Heaven and the earth, through this ninth commandment, has set up nothing but the complete safeguarding of the particular property for the maintenance of the first principles of natural law. And so there can be no other meaning behind the commandment than what His words signify.
89,7. For if one wants or is in a position to subject this commandment to any other meaning, then one abrogates the main reason of the first natural-law bourgeois association sanctioned by a supreme being. Ownership, when lifted, necessarily removes the original documents of each person, and no one can collect and make anything more. If he cannot do that, his stomach and his skin go under, and man will be worse off than any animal. With the removal of the literal meaning of this commandment, one takes away in advance every leading chief, and humanity stands in its first wild and chaotic state of nature, sunken beneath the animal kingdom.
89,8. That's right, my dear friends and brothers. So far we have seen that through the representation of the inner spiritual sense, the external, natural sense in its just external effect has nowhere been violated. We have also seen that through the ignorance of the inner sense, a given commandment is observed with either very great difficulty, not seldom only for a third part, or not at all.
89,9. But if a commandment is recognized according to the inner senses, then the natural observance results automatically, especially when someone puts a good seed into the soil. Then the fruit-bearing plant will develop out of it, without the human being having to apply any manipulation to it at all.
89,10. And so it is with this commandment. If it is recognized and observed inwardly, then everything external, which touches on the sense of the letter, is itself of the good Divine order. But if this is not the case, onesticks only to the external senses, then one thereby negates all legitimate documents of man. The rulers become tyrants and the subjects miserly and usurers. The skin of the gentle is stretched over the military drum or the good-natured donkeys of subjects become the malicious tools of the powerful and usurers.
89,11. The consequences of this are full-scale uprisings, revolutions, state upheavals and destruction, mutual bitterness among peoples, and then protracted bloody wars, famine, pestilence, and death.
89,12. What, then, is the meaning by whose observation all peoples must find their indestructible temporal and eternal happiness? In short, it is as follows:
89,13. Respect one another out of true, mutual brotherly love, and do not envy one another, if one would be given more grace by Me, the Creator, because of his greater love. The one who received grace, however, should let the benefits coming from it benefit all his brothers as much as possible, and so you will thereby establish among you an eternal life-bond, which no power will ever be able to destroy!
89,14. Who does not immediately recognize that in this explanation of the commandment, not a tick of the literal sense is disregarded. And how easy is this commandment, of course, to think about when one observes it spiritually. Because he who respects his brother in his heart, will also pay respect what he collected and produced. The spiritual observation of this commandment avoids all usury and all exaggerated selfishness, but only find its sanctioned representative or advocate only in those adhering only to the literal sense. A little review will put this all in the clearest light.
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