« PrécédentContinuer »
me, and I will deliver him unto you? and they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out"."
"To this evil spirit of covetousness the apostacy of Demas is imputed. He is distinguished, Philemon, 24, by the characters of the Apostle's fellow-labourer; but 2 Tim. iv. 10, he tells us," Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.
"But let us rather direct our attention to the noble examples of those happy persons, who through faith and love rose superior to all the frowns or flatteries of this transitory state."
"The patriarch Abraham gives an illustrious example of one that lived by faith, and not by sight." By faith, Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God'.
"The example of Moses is no less remarkable." By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward'.
"It was this noble elevation of mind, that animated
Matt. xxvi. 14, 15, 16.
Acts, i. 18.
Heb. xi. 24, 25, 26.
the devout Israelites in their contributions for the building of the temple. They" gave for the service of the house of God, of gold five thousand talents, and ten thousand drachms; and of silver, ten thousand talents; and of brass, eighteen thousand talents; and an hundred thousand talents of iron. And they with whom precious stones were found, gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord. Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly; because with perfect heart they offered willingly unto the Lord; and David, the king, also rejoiced with great joy".
"The divine influence of the Christian faith on the first converts, is not to be omitted." The multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul: neither said any of them, that aught of the things which he possessed were his own; but they had all things common. Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them; and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the Apostles' feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need*.
OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE.
SECT. 1. The government of the tongue is at once of the greatest importance and greatest difficulty. 2. Sometimes it is debased by flattery.-3. Sometimes it is abused by babbling, slandering, and exciting contention.-4. Sometimes shamefully employed in lying, deceiving, and injuring others.-5. Sometimes in bearing false witness, and in acts of perjury.-6. At other times in imprecations of evil, and in blasphemy. -7. All these abuses of the tongue are an abomina
tion to the Lord.-8. We are therefore solemnly
§ 1. James, i. 26.
d Prov. xiii. 3.
SECT. 1. The government of the tongue is at once of
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue amongst our members, that defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts and of birds, and of serpents and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind; but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison". Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
He that keepeth his mouth, keepeth his life; but hethat openeth wide his lips, shall have destruction". In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin; but he that refraineth his lips is wise. The mouth of fools
© James, iii. 9, 10,11.
b James, iii. 2-8.
e Prov. x. 19.
feedeth on foolishness. He that hath knowledge spareth his words. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles". Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? A fool uttereth all his mind; but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth, and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof'. In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found; but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction ".
SECT. 2. Sometimes it is debased by flattery.
He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him". A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet'. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth, dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him. When he speaketh fair, believe him not; for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. If he come to see me, he speaketh vanity; his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate ine whisper together against ine. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour; with flattering lips and a double tongue do they speak". How long will ye imagine mischief against a man
They only consult to cast him down from his excellency; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly. For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I would have borne it. Neither was it he that hated me, that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him". But it was thou, a man, mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter; but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords'. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person; neither let me give flattering titles unto man: for I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away. He that rebuketh a man, afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue'. Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel": therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips". He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail. This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord; which say to the seers, See not, and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things; speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
SECT. 3. Sometimes it is abused by babbling, slandering, and exciting contention.
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth slander, is a fool. Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment, and a babbler is no better. The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool's lips enter into con