صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

dition here, and the more dreadful state of his Soul hereafter.

Did the Swearer but seriously confider, what a foolish, weak, fordid, and impertinent thing it is, to mingle Profanations of God's Name with his Speeches, he would foon take pains to avoid it, and fet a mult upon himself for running upon the fame Rock again. Would he but think, good God! how irrationally do I act! If I believe there is a God, what can I fancy that God to be? Sure I muft fancy him to be fuch a Deity as the Heathens worshipped, one deaf, and dumb, and blind; a Deity of Brafs, or Stone, that I can fecurely play withal; a Deity that's not at all jealous of his Honour and Glory, and can fit down under every Affront that's put upon him; fhould the meanest of my Servants make use of my name in every trifling discourse,in every foolish ftory, and when ever he is pettish, or peevish, I thould take it very ill at his hands; and why should I think God will endure that from me,which I would not allow in my Footboy, or Valet de Chambre? I must confefs there is no bait, no temptation to this Sin: He that robs upon the Highway, is tempted by an apparent Profit: The Pirate hath a rich Prize in his Eye, the Ship that comes laden with Spices from the Eaft, with Silks from the Levant, with precious Drugs from the Indies, whets his Appetite; that the Covetous hugs his Gold, and pays Adoration to his Money, as to his Saint, that he beholds the Sun when it fhines, and the Moon walking in brightness, no marvel, for he fees it hath a kind of Almighty Power, can make Foes Friends, unV 2



lock Gates, break the ftrongest Bars, give him admiffion into company of the highest Quality, &c. The Diffembler hopes he may fave his Credit, and Reputation, and Fortune, by not speaking what he thinks; but in Swearing, I can have no profpect of advantage, and I must only act the Devil, love Sin for Sin's fake; Fornication and Adultery to yet pretend fome Pleasure, but this I cannot do in Swearing; the greatest Masters of Pleasures never reckoned this Sin as an ingredient of Carnal Satisfaction; and thô there is no real neceffity for any Sin, yet for this I can pretend no neceffity at all; Let them be afhamed, faith the Prophet, which tranfgrefs without caufe, Pfal. 25.3. Not that any Man, who fins, hath a juft caufe for finning, but fome Sins, even in the Devil's Judgment, Men have no apparent cause for them, for they fin without temptation, and fuch a Sin is Swearing: Were a Knife set to my Throat, were my Life in danger, were I to die presently upon the fpot, if I did not fwear, I might have fome colour of Argument for it, but when there is nothing compels me to it, but my own wilfulness, I deferve no pity, no compassion,if God lashes me with the fevereft Thunders. There is no Sin that's more in my power to avoid, than this; the moft barbarous Heathen can fhun it, and fhall I pretend impoffibility? I fee it engages me to very great uncivility, I cannot but offend all fober company by it,they must needs be uneafie in my Society,and to hear God abused,and how ill I do wish to my own Soul, cannot but grate upon a heart,that hath any fense of Religion or Honefty; nor do I fee, that



people believe me any whit the more for Swearing, but I render my felf ridiculous, and make People think me dishonest,perfidious,and treacherous, who make fo little confcience of what I fay: How can any Man trust me, that hears me abuse the best and dearest Friend I have? Or,what credit can any Man give to me, that fees me fo treacherous to God, to whom I owe all I have? How shall any Man be fure, that I am honeft, that fees me deal fo difingenuously with him,who gives me my Meat in due season? How can any Man believe, that I will be faithful to him, that cannot be faithful to him who hath laid the greateft obligations upon me? Have I no other way to prove my felf a Gentleman,but by this fordid courfe? Is this it, that will bring reputation to my Family? Is this it,that must give me credit among Perfons of my own Rank? Cannot I be a Cavalier,except I am uncivil to my God? Muft I buy the favour of Men at so dear a rate? Is it worth no less than the displeasure of him, who fills Heaven and Earth with his Presence? Can there be greater ingratitude in the World, than I am guilty of by this Sin? The Air I breath in,the Earth I tread upon, the Ground which nourishes me, the Fire that warms me,are all the Gift of God; and,is this the return I make, to take his Name in vain, that fupports and maintains me? Do I make nothing of God's threatnings? How often doth he manifeft his Displeasure against this Sin in his Word! And can I think, I am not concerned in the Commination? What hope can I have, that Chrift's Blood will fave me, when I swear it away, and thrust it from me with both Arms? How justly may God damn

V 3

damn me, that do so often wish for it! and is there any thing in nature fo barbarous to it felf, as I am in praying to God, as it were, to deliver me up into the clutches of the Devil? No Devil would wish himfelf fo ill, as I do my own Soul; and is there nothing in the inhumanity and horror of the Sin, to difcourage and terrifie me from it? Nay, I do hereby teach others to fin, inftruct those that hear me, to follow my Example; I do fow Sin, and spread the Contagion, infect my Neighbour, give an ill Example to others; and is this agreeable to the Character of a Chriftian, that is to walk in Wisdom toward them that are without,and to give no occafion to the Adversary to speak reproachfully?

Did the Swearer but ruminate on these diffua five Arguments, how would it cool his courage! But neglecting that, he neglects his restorative, and fpeaks, as if he would be revenged on his Maker for giving him a Tongue.

How foon would the Bladder of Pride break, did the proud Man but confider that he is Duft, and what a wretched finful Creature he is, and how much worse than other Men, and how much he forgets the Humiliation of the Son of God, who, being in the Form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but made himfelf of no reputation, becoming obedient to the Death of the Crofs; how odious this lofty Spirit is in the fight of God; how amiable Humility; how God detefts the one, and embraces the other how Pride keeps out the Operations and Influences of God's Spirit, and how the Holy Ghost


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

refuses to come and lodge in that Soul, which fwells with vain conceits of its own worth; how Pride keeps him a ftranger to himself; how it makes his Neighbour hate him, raises him Enemies, and makes him an object of Contempt and Scorn; how all the Gifts and Bleffings, and Privileges he enjoys, are but the effects of God's Charity; how the stately Fabrick, which his Soul doth animate, muft fhortly return to the Earth from which it was taken; what condefcention God ufes towards him; how God, who commands Heaven and Earth, becomes an humble Suitor to his Creatures, and instead of confurning, courts them to yield to his Requests and Injunctions; how noble and generous it is to imitate him, who is Eternally happy in himself. O my God! can I look upon the great Example of thy Condefcention, and fwell into contempt of others! Can I see Heaven bow to Duft and Ashes, and superciliously scorn him that stands on even ground with me! What have I that I have not received? Why then fhould I boast, as if I had not received it? Ö God! I fee thee content to be born in a Stable, to lye in a Manger, to be cloathed with Rags, and to submit to the hardest usage: Am I thy Servant, and do I refuse to transcribe thy Lowlinefs on my Mind,and Behaviour? Hell is the Kingdom of Pride, and fhall I become a Subject of that Empire? Shall I make Lucifer my Teacher? Or Shall those Spirits who watch my Ruin, be my Tutors? Can I fee my God approach my Soul in an humble pofture, and look high? Can I fee the best of Beings lay by his Grandeur, to V 4


« السابقةمتابعة »