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Harmony of the Law - Volume 3
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Deuteronomy 10

Deuteronomy 10:17-19

17. ...God,...regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.

17. Deus non accipit personam, neque recipit munus.

18. He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

18. Faciens judicium pupillo et viduae, diligens peregrinum, dando et panem et vestimentum.

19. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt

19. Diligite igitur peregrinum, quia peregrini fuistis in terra, AEgypti.

 

He confirms the foregoing decree by a reference to the nature of God Himself; for the vile and abject condition of those with whom we have to do, causes us to injure them the more wantonly, because they seem to be altogether deserted. But God declares that their unhappy lot is no 102102     The Fr. gives a different turn to this: “Or Dieu declare que leur pourete et misere n’empechera point de les secourir: d’autant qu’ils ne amusent point a la personne;” Now, God declares, that their poverty and misery shall not prevent their being succored; so that they should not be interested by their person. obstacle to His administering succor to them; inasmuch as He has no regard to persons. By the word person is meant either splendor, or obscurity, and outward appearance, as it is commonly called, as we gather from many passages. In short, God distinguishes Himself from men, who are carried away by outward appearance, to hold the rich in honor, and the poor in contempt; to favor the beautiful or the eloquent, and to despise the unseemly. Προσωποληψία is, therefore, an unjust judgment, which diverts us from the cause itself, when our minds are prejudiced by what ought not to be taken into account. Therefore Christ teaches us that a judgement is righteous, which is not founded upon the appearance, (John 7:23;) since truth and justice never prevail, except when we attend to the case itself. It follows that the contemptible are not afflicted with impunity, for although they may be destitute of human aid, God, who sitteth on high, “hath respect unto the lowly.” (Psalm 138:6.) As regards strangers, God proves that he cares for them, because He is gracious in preserving them and clothing them; and then a special reason is again adduced, that the Israelites, when they were formerly sojourners in Egypt, had need of the compassion of others.


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