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Harmony Of The Law Volume 3 by Jean Calvin

Deuteronomy 23:19, 20

19. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.

19. Non foenerabis fratri tuo foenus pecuniae, foenus cibi, foenus cujuscunque rei in qua foenus exercetur.

20. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury, but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend. upon usury; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

20. Extraneo foenerabis, ac fratri tuo non foenerabis: ut benedicat tibi Jehova Deus tuus in omni applicatione manus tuae super terram ad quam ingrederis, ut possideas eam.

From these passages we learn that it is not enough to refrain from taking the goods of another, unless we also constantly exercise humanity and mercy in the relief of the poor. Heathen authors also saw this, although not with sufficient clearness, (when they declared ) that, since all men are born for the sake of each other, human society is not properly maintained, except by an interchange of good offices. Wherefore, that we may not defraud our neighbors, and so be accounted thieves in God's sight, let us learn, according to our several means, to be kind to those who need our help; for liberality is a part of righteousness, so that he must be deservedly held to be unrighteous who does not relieve the necessities of his brethren when he can. This is the tendency of Solomon's exhortation, that

|we should drink waters out of our own cistern, and that our fountains should be dispersed abroad amongst our neighbors,| (Proverbs 5:15, 16;)

for, after he has enjoined us each to be contented with what is our own, without seeking to enrich ourselves by the loss of others, he adds that those who have abundance do not enjoy their possessions as they ought, unless they communicate them to the poor for the relief of their poverty. For this is the reason, as Solomon tells us elsewhere, why |the rich and the poor meet together; and the Lord is the maker of them all.| (Proverbs 22:2.)

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