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First, confider the enmity fuch language expreffes against the glorious and fearful name of the bleffed God. It is ma king his truth, juftice and omnifcience, as far as is in the power of a wretched creature, to attend all the extravagances of an ungoverned paffion and unbridled tongue. From whence can fuch wickedness proceed, but from carnality of mind which is enmity against God, and is not fubject to his law, neither indeed can be. Hence the Pfalmift fays, "Thine en❝emies take thy name in vain." As tho' none but the enemies of God could be guilty of fuch profanation. There is no luft in the depraved heart can be gratified by this tranfgreffion. Hence no reafon can be given for profaning the name of Jehovah, but that finners delight and take pleafure in fin for its own fake. It appears to be a mere invention of Satan to oppofe the commandments of heaven. Perhaps, if there had not been a precept of God, faying, "Thou shalt not take the "name of the Lord thy God in vain," the evil one would not have thought worth his while to have introduced this vice into the world. But the destroyer of fouls when there was nothing in the corruption of man to incline him to violate this commandment, being determined to oppofe the whole law of God by every means that was poible, devifed this method of common and profane curfing and fwearing, and inspired their fouls with the poifonous air. Therefore fwearing is of all vices the most inexcufable; it is a tranfgreffion abfolutely wilful without any caufe, but pure hatred to God. The finner cannot adduce in its favour any internal propenfity, nor ternal temptation. Wherefore let fuch finners confider and reflect upon the extreme folly which aggravates the malignity of this fin. Be not deceived, God will not be mocked." Shall he not vifit for fuch things as thefe?-Will not his foul be avenged on fuch outrageous offende:s?--Yea, when the day of recompence comes, all fuch will End, "That vengeance is "the Lord's and he will repay it according to his word."



Secondly, confider what striking evidence profane language

is against you, that you have not the fear of God before your eyes. If you neither fear God nor regard man, why throw out a foolish signal of your abominable wickedness to all that: pafs by? Why fhould you declare your fin as Sodom, or publish it abroad that Satan is king in your hearts? You certainly dare not proclaim open war against heaven, raise the standard and wave the banners of the gloomy prince of darkness. Is it not enough that your hearts are unholy, without difplaying to the world that you are both fearless and graceless. When Peter was accufed of the dreadful crime of being a difciple of Chrift, he immediately took the moft effe&ual method to difprove the charge; he not only denied the fact, but prefently he began to curfe and fwear that he knew not the man; this in a moment convinced and filenced his accufers, for wicked as they were, they knew that this was not the language of a follower of Jefus. Let none take occafion from hence to imitate this unhappy example, left they intend hereby to fignify that they difown, Chrift and all religion. Peter was foon brought to bitter repentance; if you tranfgrefs in like manner, you must foon repent in brokenness of heart, and bewail your offences in many tears, or be loft to all eternity. Allow me to beseech you, my brethren, in all the bowels of tender compaflion, while there is a poffibility of your becoming heirs of heaven, and of obtaining an inheritance among the faints of light, that you prove not yourfelves the children of destruction by speaking the language of the regions of darkhefs. Common curfing is imprecating evil upon ourselves or others. This fin is an eminent inftance of the degeneracy and depravity of human nature. All the arches of the infernal domes refound herewith. There is nothing but curfes in a throng repetition prayed upon themfelves and others, upon God and devils, angels and men, upon heaven and hell. Are there any fo hardened as to imitate this fpeech before they defcend into the burning pit? O how brutifh and how unnatural is it to imprecate curfes upon ourselves. It is a contradiction to the great principle of felf prefervation, and a violation and an af

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fault upon felflove. The very devils entreated our Saviour, of whofe power they were not ignorant, not to torment them before the time, but profane curfers far outftrip thefe; they feem to think that judgment lingers, and their damnation flumbers; hence the only prayer uttered from their mouths is, that God would damn them, or the devil take them. Stop, my friends, and ceafe from your wicked prayers for a moment. Ye enterprifers in iniquity!-is an arreft iffued from the devil, and the flames of hell, matters of indifference or pleasure that you fhould court them? Are the torments of the damned, and the vengeance of Jehovah, only the bugbears of fancy, or the vapours of brain fick nefs, that they pafs over you with the fhadows of the night? Be not deceived, the judgment of God is a reality, and future punishment is no fiction, and if you per fift in your impious courses, you will feel too late what you would not believe in time. Is it not enough, that you are performing every day, what deferves the wrath and curfe of God, without the folicitous breath of wishing for damnation before your time? Once it was the heart cutting reflection of a criminal under the gallows, that he had accustomed himself to that imprecation, extremely common among mankind, "Let me be hanged." Now fays he, "The God of righteous. "nefs hath given me what I wickedly and thoughtlefly de* fired."

Thirdly, there are what may be filed profane ejaculations, which do not strictly fall into the language of curfing and fwearing, yet are fo nearly allied to them, that it is not proper they should be omitted in a discourse of this kind. Pious eja. culations are as ufeful as pious prayers, and frequently employed in the scriptures by the faints for the purposes of devotion. Yet even this holy practice is perverted into bafe profanation. This is an alienation and proftration to an abominable ufe, what appears to have been confecrated to religion. I feel hurt to humiliate the pulpit, to the uttering of fuch exclamations. This defcention fhould not be made, but the hope of the correc

tion of this vice demands it. One crys out, " O Lord," when ne more is meant, only that he is a little accidently hurt. Añother fays, "God knows," when his only intention is, his own ignorance; a third exclaims, "God blefs me, God help me," when nothing more is defigned than an expreffion of fmall furprife. I must not proceed in the retail of these unchriftian interjections. They are highly offenfive to the Supreme God, proftrating his name to a bye word, and hardening and destroying our own fouls. The facred name ought never to be pronounced but with previous thought and profound reverence. Such exclamations are infults upon the third commandment, a grofs abuse of the ordinance of prayer. And all these and the incalculable variations of profanity, are an abomination to God and ruinous to the fouls of men.

Some are ready to excufe themselves, that they never affume the offenfive ftile only when they are in a paffion. Intemperate paffion is wrong, every fpecies of profanity is wrong; and certainly one fin can never make an atonement, and no man in his reason, can venture it as an apology, for another.

Others excufe themselves, that they would not be believed without fupporting their affertions with an oath. This is a most precarious and dangerous fupport, for thefe improper annexations always leffen credibility with the rational, wife and judicious, and your language immediately fuggefts to them, that you doubt the truth of your own declarations, otherwise you would not drag in thefe unnatural and profane aids.

Some excufe themselves by faying, they are obliged to fwear, to maintain their authority, and to ftrike the awe of obedience into thofe under their command. This is an apology always in the mouths of military and marine officers. Confider that thefe characters have commanded fleets and armies without an oath, and have maintained a better difcipline and fubordination, than thofe from whom torrents of bluftering profanity have continually Rowed.

This fubje& must close. Those persons who will not believe and be directed by Chrift and his apoftles, it would be the moft prefumptive arrogance in me, to fuppofe any thing I could fay, would produce reformation. I warmly recommend my text to all for their ferious confideration and amendment; if this proves ineffectual, my feeble endeavours cannot avail. "But above all things, my brethren, fwear not, neither by ❝ heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, but "let your yea, be yea, and your nay, may; left you fall ipto "condemnation.”

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