The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 67 & 68.
Q.67. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, “Thou shalt not kill,” Exod. xx. 13.
Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
All lawful endeavors. –Every just means in our power ; such as, compassion, kindness, necessary food, clothing, physic, rest, and, in short, whatever we can do, that is not contrary to the law of God.
The duties required in the sixth commandment are three-fold:
- We are commanded to preserve our own lives. –Eph. v. 20. No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it.
- To preserve the lives of others. –Job. xxix. 13. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me.
- That we are to use only lawful means for the saving of life. –Numb. xxiv. 31. Moreover, ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.