Injury a violation of the rights of another. "Some," says Grove, "distinguish between injustitia and injuria. Injustice is opposed to justice in general, whether negative or positive; an injury, to negative justice alone. SEE JUSTICE. An injury is willfully doing to another what ought not to be done. This is injustice too, but not the whole idea of it; for it is injustice also to refuse or neglect doing what ought to be done. An injury must be willfully committed; whereas it is enough to make a thing unjust that it happens through a culpable negligence.
1. We may injure a person in his soul by misleading his judgment, by corrupting the imagination, perverting the will, and wounding the soul with grief. Persecutors who succeed in their compulsive measures, though they cannot alter the real sentiments by external violence, yet sometimes injure the soul by making the man a hypocrite.
2. We may injure another in his body by homicide, murder, preventing life, dismembering the body by wounds, blows, slavery, and imprisonment, or any unjust restraint upon its liberty; by robbing it of its chastity, or prejudicing its health.
3. We may injure another in his name and character by our own false and rash judgments of him; by false witness; by charging a man to his face with a crime which either we ourselves have forged, or which we know to have been forged by some other person; by detraction or backbiting; by reproach, or exposing another for some natural imbecility either in body or mind; or for some calamity into which he is fallen, or some miscarriage of which he has been guilty; by innuendoes, or indirect accusations that are not true. Now if we consider the value of character, the resentment which the injurious person has of such treatment when it comes to his own turn to suffer it, the consequence of a man's losing his good name and, finally, the difficulty of making reparation, we must at once see the injustice of lessening another's good character. There are these two considerations which should sometimes restrain us from speaking the whole truth of our neighbor, when it is to his disadvantage.
(1.) That he may possibly live to see his folly, and repent and grow better.
(2.) Admitting that we speak the truth, yet it is a thousand to one but when it is bandied about for some time it will contract a deal of falsehood.
4. We may injure a person in his relations and dependencies. In his servants, by corrupting them; in his children, by drawing them into evil courses; in his wife, by sowing strife, attempting to alienate her affections.
5. We may be guilty of injuring another in his worldly goods or possessions:
(1.) By doing him a mischief without any advantage to ourselves, through envy and malice.
(2.) By taking what is another's, which is theft." See Grove, Mor. Philippians ch. 8, p. 2; Watts, Sermons, vol. 2, ser. 33; Tillotson, Sermons, ser. 42.