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against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. Wo unto them, for they have fled from me; destruction unto them, because they have transgressed against me; though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me; and they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds *. They be all an assembly of treacherous men; and they bend their tongues like their bow for lies, but they are not valiant for the truth upon earth. And my name continually every day is blasphemed. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood? Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these". Behold ye trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will ye swear falsely, and come and stand before me in this house? Behold it is written before me, I will not keep silence, but will recompense your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers, which have blasphemed me upon the hills*. Because ye have said, We have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves; therefore the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies; and the waters shall overflow the hidingplace'. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against false swearers ". And I will bring the curse forth, saith the Lord of hosts; and it shall enter into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it".
These six things doth the Lord hate, yea seven are an abomination unto him. A false witness that speaketh lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren°. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are his delight. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud
e Isa. iii. 8.
f Isa. lii. 5.
Jer. vii. 8, 9, 10.
P Prov. xii. 22.
d Hos. vii. 13, 14.
8 Isa. lvii. 4.
* Isa. lxv. 6, 7.
n Zech. v. 4.
⚫ Jer. ix. 2, 3.
things. Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail, our lips are our own, Who is Lord over us??
Hear and understand; not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man'. Those things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart'; for out of the heart proceed false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man'. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned".
I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven *. And there shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. The fearful, and unbelieving, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone ".
SECT. S. We are therefore solemnly called to abstain from these, and to make proper use of the valuable faculty of speech.
Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust; and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies". In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride; but the lips of the wise shall preserve them". Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. The wise in heart will receive commandments; but a prating
9 Psalm xii. 3, 4.
§ 8. Psalm xl. 4.
Matt. xv. 10, 11.
s Matt. xv. 18.
a Rev. xxi. 8.
Prov. xix. 1.
fool shall fall. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another'. Let all bitterness, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice. Laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby ". Speak evil of no man'. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another? Put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds'. The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine". Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers". That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto him in all things which is the head, even Christ. Not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing". For I fear, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would; lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults; and lest my God will humble me among youo.
Know ye not that revilers shall not inherit the kingdom of God'; but fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named amongst you, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks'.
SECT. 9. Well ordered speech is a real ornament.
Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? Pleasant words Pleasant words are as an honeycomb; sweet to the soul, and health to the bones". How forcible are right words? The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters; and the well-spring of wisdom, as a flowing brook'. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. There is gold, and a multitude of rubies; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel ". The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright', and a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life'; in the lips of him that hath understanding, wisdom is found". By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone". The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom; and the lips of the righteous know what is acceptable. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth?
SECT. 10. The tongue may be an instrument of great good.
Open thy mouth for the dumb, in the cause of all
such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. There is that speaketh like the piercing of a sword; but the tongue of the wise is health. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth; and a word spoken in season, how good is it? The tongue of the just is as choice silver f.
Exhort one another daily, while it is called, To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak ", reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. Let Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man*. Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you, in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymnus, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'; that ye may with one mind, and one mouth, glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; holding fast the faithful words, as hath been taught; that ye may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers".
SECT. 11. The complaints, prayers, and purposes of the Saints on this subject.
Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour; with flattering lips
§ 10. Prov. xxxi. 8, 9.
d Prov. xxv. 11, 12.
* Col. iv. 6.
* Tit. i. 9.
b Lev. xix. 17.
e Prov. xv. 23.
e Prov. xii. 18.
f Prov. x. 20.