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to that, they never know till the oath be belched out; yea, some will swear, and know not they are swearing; nay, they will swear that they are not swearing. Whence can this proceed but from a seared conscience ?
8. Swearing looks like hell upon earth. I said before that there is no advantage by swearing: But now I must say that they will have this advantage, that their works will go with them to the bottomless pit. The whoremonger will not get his whores there, nor the drunkard his cups, nor the covetous man his money ; but the swearer and curser will still drive on his old trade, and that with improvement, through all eternity. I had once the unhappiness to hear a great swearer, who had often been reproved and admonished, say, he would curse and swear in hell through all eternity. I thought it might be a prophecy. But why should men take the trade of the damned over their head on earth? will not an eternity be long enough to give people their fill of profaning and blaspheming the name of God, and cursing? Why need they begin so soon ? there is time enough afterwards. I know nothing on earth so like a damned soul in hell, as a curser or swearer, under bodily pains and despair. And some have been seen to die as they lived, cursing and swearing out their dying breath, to the astonishment of beholders. And if such men should happen to leave the world in the rage of a fever, as many do die raving, it will be a wonder if they die not therein.
I shall conclude all with a very short word of improvement.
1. How can these lands escape a stroke that have so much of this guilt to answer for? Can we think that God will hold nations guiltless, that have come under national perjuries in violating lawful oaths for reformation, that over and over many times have been involving themselves in sinful unlaw. ful oaths contrary to the truth, besides all the execrable oaths and blasphemies vented by a profane generation that have cast off all fear, and that profanation of the holy name, by cursing, swearing, and profaning of holy ordinances, chargeable upon us? "
2. I warn all gross profaners of the name of God to repent, and flee to the blood of Christ for pardon; certifying, that if ye do not, ye shall lie under the wrath of God for ever, and that unruly tongue of your's shall cast you into a burne ing fever in hell, where you shall not have a drop of water to cool your tongue. Have pity on your souls, have pity on the land, and your families, if ye have any. Pity the rising generation. Is it not sad to think of young ones learning to curse and swear as they learn to speak? Where do they learn these things but at home, or from other children that learn them at home? The blood of their souls will lie at your doors, if they follow your steps; and if God pluck them as brands out of the burning, no thanks to their parents, who do what in them lies by their example to ruin them. Say pot, ye reprove them, and do not allow them in its for an ill example will destroy what ye build by your good advice*.
3. Let us endeavour not only to reform ourselves, but con, tribute to the reformation of others in this point. It is Cain's language, unbecoming a Christian, "Am I my brother's keeper?' In several places and nations there are societies for reformation of manners. And were there bụt one in a fa. mily that had the courage to speak a word for God, to re. prove sin, what good might it do, the work being managed with calmness and love? To neglect this dụty is injurious to God, our neighbour, and ourselves, But some may object, Our reproofs will do no good, we may as well hold our tongue. I answer, Be ye in your duty, and leave the eyent to God. Your duty ye have laid before you, Mat, xviii. 15.17. If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if ye shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect or hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Habitual profane swearers, are surely more offensive to God and good men, than those who are guilty of a single act of fornication, Lev. v. 1. Tell these things to your neighbours that lie at home unnecessarily on the Lord's day. None are more likely to be guilty of these things than such. Be so kind to their souls as
* Some pleas and pretences that finners offer in apology for swearing, may be seen fatisfyingly answered in the author's book, lately published, cd. titled, I he diftinguishing chara&ere of wwe belicoers, title, A carcas again profone fwaring, p. 197. &c.
to let them know, that if they continue in these things, what has been said here against them, seeing they were obliged to have come and heard our message from the Lord, shall witness against them at the great day as well as against those who have heard the same, if they continue in such courses. I shall close this with that word, Deut. xxvii. 58, 59. If thou wilt noť observe to do all the words of this law, that are written in this book, that thou mayst fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance." And that all oaths, gross or minced, all profaning of the naine of God, and irreverent use of it, and all cursing of whatever kind, might end with these sermons against it!
4. Let us all see ourselves in the glass of this command and threatening, and learn to know our guilt with respect to it, and our danger thereby. God will let us know, sooner or later, that he thinks much of what we think very little of. And let us be humbled under, and wash in Christ's blood for our sins in taking God's name in vain*.
.* Advices to common fwearers may be seen, and read with profit, in the author's Caveat against profane / wearing, in his dißinguissing characters of true believers, pi 202. &c.
OF THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT,
Exod. XX. 8. 9, 10, 11.-Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep
it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-sérpant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates. For in sir days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them
is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed : the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.
THIS command respects the time of worship, and is the
1 last of the first table, set to join both together, the Sabbath being the bond of all religion. In the words we have,
1. The command. It is delivered two ways...
ist Positively, Remember the. Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Sabbath signifies rest or cessation from labour. There is a threefold rest or Sabbath spoken of in scripture. (1.) Tem. poral (2.) Spiritual, which is an internal soul-rest, in ceasing from sin, Heb. iv. 3. (3.) Eternal, Heb. iv. 9, 11. celebrated in heaven, where the saints rest from their labours. It is the first of these, the weekly Sabbath, that is here meant. Observe here,
(1.) Our duty with respect to the Sabbath. It is to keep it holy. God has made it holy, set it apart for holy exer. cises, and we must keep it holy, spending it in holy exer. cises.
(2.) The quantity of time to be observed as a Sabbath of rest, a day, a whole day of twenty-four hours; and the one day in seven. They must observe a seventh day after six days labour, wherein all our work must be done, put by hand, so as nothing of it may remain to be done on the Sabbath.
(3.) A note of remembrance put upon it; which imports, that this precept should be diligently observed, special regard paid to it, and due honour put upon this sacred day.
2dly, Negatively. Where observe, (1.) What is forbid. den here; the doing of any work that may hinder the
sanctifying of this day. (2.) To whom the command is directed, and who must observe it; magistrates, to whom belong the gates of the city; and masters of families, to whom belong the gates of the house. They must observe it themselves, and cause others to observe it.
2. The reasons annexed to this command. None of the commands are thus delivered, both positively, and negatively, as this is. And that imports, • 1st, God is in a special manner concerned for the keeping of the Sabbath, it being that on which all religion depends. Accordingly, as it is observed or disregarded, so it readily goes with the other parts of religion.
2dly, People are most ready to halve the service of this day, either to look on resting from labour as sufficient, or to look on the work of the day as over when the public work is over. s 3dly, There is less light of nature for this command than the rest: for though it is naturally moral that there should be a Sabbath; yet it is but positively moral that this should be one day in seven, depending entirely on the will of God.
. In discoursing further from this subject, I shall shew,
J. What is required in the fourth commandment. · II. Which day of the seven God hath appointed to be the weekly Sabbath.
III. How the Sabbath is to be sanctified.
I. I am to shew what is required in the fourth commandment. This command according to our Catechism, requireth
the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word ; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself.'
Here I shall shew, : : :
1. That this command requireth the keeping holy to God. such set times as he hath appointed in his word.
2. That it requires one day in seven to be kept as a holy Sabbath to the Lord.
3. That the day to be kept holy is one whole day. VOL. II.