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vice: so when the Lord is said not to command a thing, the meaning is, he forbids it, Levit. x. 1: “ He will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain;" i. e. he will treat him as very guilty, Exod. xx. 7: “He will withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly;" i. e, he will largely supply them, Ps. Ixxxiv. 12:“ He will not break a bruised reed;" i.e. he will bind it up and strengthen it, Isai. xlii. 3: “ Abraham was not weak in faith ;" i. e. was strong, Rom. iv. 19.
Thus men may think they honour and serve God, when they greatly offend him, Isai. Ixv. 5; Prov. xiv. 12; Isai. lviii. 2, 3; Hos. viii. 2, 3; John xvi. 2; Acts xxvi. 9.
This verse suggests the following particular observations: First, that in God's worship we profess in a special manner to draw nigh unto him. Secondly, that in the prospect of every act of devotion, we ought to prepare and compose our hearts and affections by faith and humility to appear before him. Thirdly, that a prepared heart brings purposes of obedience, ; and resolves to hear God in every precept and institution of his word. Fourthly, that mere external service, unaccompanied with the preparation of the heart, is but the sacrifice of fools, the form and ceremony, without the reality of sincere worship. Fifthly, that hypocrites may flatter themselves, that they please God, wheri they provoke him, and know not that they do evil, John iv. 22.
2. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth : therefore let thy words be few.
Having recommended in general due preparation of heart for the service of God, he offers some directions as to the particular duties of prayer and vows.-—" Be not rash with thy mouth:” go not about divine worship as persons under fright or terror fly hastily they know not whither; do not precipitate thy words, nor speak any thing suddenly or unadvisedly, according to the dictate of, unhallowed desires, before God, or in his house and presence. We know not what to ask as we ought, Rom. viii. 26; and are very apt to introduce our covetousdesires and sudden passions into our prayers, complaints, and deprecations; and then to think that God does not treat us with parental tenderness, if our requests are not answered according to our own wills and in our own time, Ps. xxxi. 22. and cxvi. 11; Job x. 2, 3, 18; Jer. xv. 18; Jon. iv. 2, 3; Mat. xx. 20, 21; Ps. lxxvii. 7-10:- And let not thine heart
be hasty to utter any thing before God.” Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, Mat. xii. 34: the remedy therefore of rashness in our words, is, to compose our thoughts and affections; to allow our heart to guide our tongue, not to bring confused, tu. multuous, and indigested thoughts into the divine presence; but to pray with the spirit and with the understanding, with sound judgment and according to the will of God: as David found in his heart to pray to God, 2 Sam. vii. 27; and called together his scattered affections, that he might fix them on the great object of worship, Ps. ciii. 1 ; Dan. ix. 2, 3; Rom. viii. 26, 27; i Cor. xiv. 15; 1 John v. 14. We may also understand the caution as directed against that carnal pride and contradiction of spirit, by which the heart is apt to rise up in opposition to God and his word, when we hear of more spiritual services required by him, than our foolish sacrifices extend to, or our carnal minds are able to perform, Jam.i. 19, 20; Rom. x. 21 ; Acts xiii. 45. and xxviii. 29.--" Before the Lord;" that is, in his house, or sanctuary: therefore, such as sin here, are said to provoke the Lord to his very face, and to do evil before his eyes, Isai. lxv., 8. and lxvi. 3, 4.-" For God is in heaven, and thou on the earth.” These are two arguments to
enforce this caveat upon us; the one drawn from God's greatness, the other from our vile
Mean persons are accustomed to behave with all reverence and humility when they supplicate honourable and exalted characters ; much more does it become us so to conduct ourselves in approaching him, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Thus Christ teaches us to come to God with confidence and comfort as to a father, but with reverence and fear as a father in heaven, Mat. vi. 9. His being in heaven denotes, first, his dominion over us as lord and master, Ephes. vi. 9. Secondly, his supereminent glory and majesty, 1 Kings viii. 27; that we might learn to fear before him, Mal. i. 6; Deut. xxviii. 58; Heb. xii. 28, 29. Thirdly, his purity and holiness, Deut. xxvi. 15; Isai. lvii. 15. and lxiii. 15; to raise us to heavenly mindedness in our approaches to his footstool, Col. iii. 1, 2; Lam. iii. 40, 41. Fourthly, his power to answer us, and to fulfil our desires, 2 Chron. xx. 6, 7; Ps. cxv. 3; Mat. v. 45. and vii. 11. Fifthly, his omniscience, as looking down upon us and seeing how we behave in his presence, Mat. vi. 32; Ps. xi. 4. and xxxiii. 13, 14. Sixthly, his justice and displeasure against evil doers, Ps. xiv. 2, 3; Rom. i. 18. In all which respects we ought to take heed of a hasty, rash, unad
vised frame in divine worship. On the other hand, man being on earth, signifies his baseness and vile condition; his distance from God, and his great dissimilitude to him, on account of his depravity. He is of the earth, earthly, 1 Cor. xv. 47; Ps. x. 18. This consideration of our natural and sinful state should greatly humble us in drawing nigh to God, Job iv. 19; XXV, 4, 5, 6; and xl. 4; Gen. xviii. 7; Isai. vi. 5.-" Therefore let thy words be few.” First, use not rash and vain babblings, and empty, heartless repetitions, as the heathen, Mat. vi. 7'; but weigh and choose words to speak to him, Job ix. 14; Eccles. xii. 10. He does not discommend all length in prayer; for Christ prayed whole nights : nor does he condemn all repetition, which may proceed from zeal, love, and holy fervency; as that of Daniel, ch. ix. 16, 18, 19; but that only which is a vain and clamorous reiteration of the same thing, without faith and wisdom, 1 Kings xviii. 26. Secondly, “ let thy words be few;" i. e. let not thy vows be more than thou canst conscientiously perform.
3. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business, and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.
As a multitude of business produces dreams,