XXV. (132) The second commandment of this second table is to do no murder. For nature, having produced man as a gregarious and sociable creature, and the most easily domesticated of all animals, has invited it to a fellowship of opinion and partnership, giving him reason, as a means to lead to a harmony and admixture of dispositions. And he who slays any man must not be ignorant that he is overturning the laws and ordinances of nature, which have been beautifully established for the common advantage of all men. (133) Moreover, let him be aware that he is liable to the charge of sacrilege as having plundered the most sacred of all the possessions of God; for what is a more venerable or more sublime offering to God than man? For gold, and silver, and precious stones, and all such other valuable materials, are only an inanimate ornament of inanimate erections; (134) but man, who is the most excellent of all animals, in respect of that predominant part that is in him, namely, his soul, is also most closely related to the heaven, which is the purest of all things in its essence, and as the common language of the multitude affirms, to the Father of the world, inasmuch as he has received mind, which is of all the things that are upon the earth the closest copy and most faithful representation of the everlasting and blessed idea.
XXVI. (135) The third commandment of the second table of five is not to steal. For he who keeps continually gaping after the property of others is the common enemy of the city, since, as far as his inclination goes, he would deprive all men of their property; and in respect of his power he actually does deprive some, because his covetousness is extended to the greatest imaginable length, and because his impotence, coming too late after it, is contracted into a small space, and can scarcely extend so as to overtake more than a few. (136) Therefore as many robbers as have the strength to do so plunder whole cities, paying no attention to the punishments with which they are threatened, because they appear to themselves to be superior to the laws. These are those men who are oligarchical in their natures, who have set their hearts on tyrannies and absolute power, who commit enormous thefts, concealing their robbery, as it is in reality, under the specious and imposing names of authority and supremacy. (137) Let every one then learn from his earliest infancy, never privily to steal anything that belongs to any one else, not even though it may be the merest trifle, because the habit, when it becomes inveterate, is more powerful than nature; and small things, if they are not checked, increase and grow, becoming gradually greater and greater till they reach a formidable magnitude.