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sault upon felove. The very devils entreated our Saviour, of whose power they were not ignorant, not to torment them be. fare the time, but profane curfers far outstrip these ; they seem to think that judgment lingers, and their damnation Numbers ; hence the only prayer uttered from their mouths is, that God would damn them, or the devil take them. Stop, my friends, and cease from your wicked prayers for a moment. Ye en. terprisers in iniquity!-is an arrelt issued from the devil, and the fiames of hell, matters of indifference or pleasure that you should court them ? Are the torments of the damned, and the vengeance of Jehovah, only the bugbears of fancy, or the va. pours of brain sickness, that they pass over you with the shadows of the night? Be not deceived, the judgment of God is a reality, and future punishment is no tiation, and if you pero lift 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 carfe 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 comnion among mankind, · Let me be hanged.” Now says he, “ The God of righteouf. “ nefs hath given me what I wickedly and thoughtlely de. * Gred."
Thirdly, there are what may be Ailed profane ejaculations, which do not stri&tly fall into the language of cursing and fwearing, yet are so nearly allied to them, that it is not proper they should be omitted in a discourse of this kind. Pious eja. culations are as useful 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 base profanation. This is an alienation and prostration to an abominable use, what appears to have been confecrated to religion. I feel hurt to humiliate the pulpit, tothe uttering of such exclamations. This descention tould not be made, but the hope of the correc
rion of this vice demands it. One crys out, “ O Lord," when no more is meant, only that he is a little accidently hurt. Ano. ther says, “ God knows" when his only intention is, his own ignorance ; a third exclaims,“ God bless me, God help me," when nothing more is designed than an expression of small furprise. I must not proceed in the retail of these un. christian interjections. They are highly offensive to the Supreme God, proftrating his name to a bye word, and hardening and destroying our own souls. The sacred name ought never to be pronounced but with previous thought and pro. found reverence. Such exclamations are insults upon the third commandment, a gross abuse of the ordinance of prayer. And all these and the incalculable variations of profanity, are an abomination to God and ruinous to the souls of men.
Some are ready to excuse themselves, that they never affume the offenlive ftile only when they are in a paflion. Intemperate pation is wrong, every species 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 excuse themselves, that they would not be believed without supporting their assertions with an oath. This is a molt precarious and dangerous support, for these improper annexations always lefsen credibility with the rational, wife and judicious, and your language immediately suggests to them, that you doubt the truth of your own declarations, otherwise you would not drag in these unnatural and profane aids.
Some excuse themselves by saying, they are obliged to swear, to maintain their authority, and to strike the awe of obedience into those under their command. This is an apology always in the mouths of military and mariae officers. Confider that these characters have commanded fleets and armies without an oath, and have maintained a better discipline and subordination, than those from whoin corrents of blutering rofari, have continually lowed.
This subje& mult close. Those persons who will not believe and be directed by Chrift and his apostles, it would be the most presumptive arrogance in me, to suppose any thing I
could say, would produce reformation.. I warmly recommend my text to all for their serious confideration and amendment; :: if this proves ineffe&ual, my feeble endeavours cannot avail. * But above all things,' my breihren, [wear 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 into
The Nature and Evil of Lying.
Ephe. ir. 25. Wherefore putting away lying, fpeak every man
truth with his neighbour í for we are members one of another.
PERHAPS no virtue in the whole fyftem of morality has had greater encomiums bestowed upon it, than the speaking of truth; and none with Atri&er justice has been subjected to ignominy, disgrace and contempt, more than the opposite vice. For lying, however much it may be pra&ised in the world, is reckoned a very base and dishonorable fin, even by the moft of finners themselves. Its odious and deteftable evil seems to be impressed upon the minds of men even by the light of nature. The deluded Mahometans, whatever indul. gence they grant to other vices, hold this in the utmost ab. horrence. They often reproach the chriftians with it; and if any thing wearing the complexion of falsehood be attribu. ted to them, they very pertly reply, “Do you think me a " christian?" What a fore reflection is this upon our holy
Téligion ? But whatever may be the wicked, deceitful and abominable conduct of fome, who bear the christian name, it is an absolute certainty that christianity every where reprobates this vice, and kamps it with marks of the utmost bafeness and abhorrence. 'Many heathen nations have enacted laws, with the feverest punifaments against this instance of criminality. Many of their laws were formed to enjoin upon parents the importance of educating their children in speaking the truth. 'Truth comprehends in it a multitude of the cardidal virtues, such as justice, honesty, fincerity, integrity, goodDess, love of the happiness of society, &c. So lying involves in it a train of the contrary vices, injustice, dishonesty, meanness, dishonor, hatred of mankind, and almost every thing injurious to communities, and all social intercourse.
Nothing strange then that the apoftie under the influence of divine inspiration, should warn christians against the latter, and
zealously exhort them to the pra&ice of the former, as he does in the words of our text. “Wherefore putting away lying, “ speak every man the truth with his neighbour ; for we are “ members one of another." "The word neighbour here must be taken in the enlarged latitude explained by our Lord, extending to the whole family of mankind, every individual of every tribe, nation or language with whom we ‘have any intercourse, communication or dealings. The words exprefly contain in them three things, an injunction to speak the truth, a command to avoid falsehood, and a reason enforcing the propriety of thus conducting ourselves in all our conversa- tion with our fellow men. To this method your attention is invited in the ensuing discourse. Wherefore we fall en deavour,