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evil to their neighbour, or to themselves, they contemn the image of God himself.
Atten. But do you think that the men that do thus, do think that they do so vilely, so abominably?
Wise. The question is not what men do believe concerning their sin, but what God's word says of it. If God's word says that swearing and cursing are sins though men should countthemfor virtues,their reward will be a reward for sin, to wit, the damnation of the soul.
To curse another, and to swear vainly and falsely, are Swearing and sins against the light of nature, cursing are
1 To curse is so, because, sins against whoso curseth another knows the light of that at the same time he would nature. not be so served himself.
2. To swear also, is a sin against the same law; for nature will tell me, that I should not lie, and therefore much less swear to confirm it. Yea, the heathens have looked upon swearing to be a solemn ordinance of God,' and therefore not to be lightly or vainly used by men, though to confirm a matter of truth. Atten. But I wonder, since cursing and swearing are such evils in the eyes of God, that he doth not make some examples to others for their committing such wickedness.
Wise. Alas! so he has, a thousand times twice told, as may be easily gathered by any observing people in every age and country.
I could present you with seExamples of veral myself? but waving the God's anger abundance that might be menagainst them tioned, I will here present you that swear with two: One was that dreadand curse. ful judgment^of God upon one
N. P. at Wimbleton in Surry, who after a horrible fit of swearing at, and cursing of some persons that did not please him, suddenly fell sick, and in a little time died raving, cursing and swearing.
But above all, take that dreadful story of Dorothy Mately, an inhabitant of Ashover, in the county of Derby.
This Dorothy Mately, saith the relater, was noted by the people of the town to be R great swearer, and curser, and liar, and thief, (just like Mr Badman); and the labour that she did usually follow was, to wash the rubbish that came forth of the lead-mines, and there to get sparks of lead-ore; and her usual way of asserting of things was with these kinds of imprecations: I would I might sink into the earth if it be not so; or, I would God would make the earth open and swallow me up.
Now upon the 23d of March 1660, this Dorothy was washing of ore upon the top of a steep hill ahout a quarter of a mile from Ashover, and was there taxed by a lad for taking of two single pence out of his pocket (for he had laid his breeches by, and was at work in his drawers) but she violently denied it, wishing that the ground might swallow her up if she had them. She also used the same wicked words on several other occasions that day.
Now, one George Hodgkinson of Ashover, a man of good report there, came accidentally by where this Dorothy was, and stood still a while to talk with her, as she was washing her ore: there stood also a little child by her tubside, and another a distance from her, calling aloud to her to come away; wherefore the said George took the girl by the hand, to lead her away to her that called her: But behold, they had not gone above ten yards from Dorothy, but they heard her crying out for help; so looking back, he saw the woman, and her tub and sieve, twisting round, and sinking into the ground. Then said the man, Pray to God to pardon thy sin, for thou art never like to be seen alive any longer. So she and her tub twirled round and round, till they sunk about three, yards into the earth, and then for a while staid. Then she called for help again, thinking, as she said, she should stay there. Now the man, though greatly amazed, did begin to think which way to help her; but immediately a great stone, which appeared in the earth, fell upon her head, and broke her scull, and then the earth fell in upon her, and covered her. She was afterwards digged up, and found about four yards within ground, with the boy's two single pence in her pocket, but her tub and sieve could not be found.'
Attcru You bring to my mind a sad story, the which I will relate unto you. The thing is this: About a bow shot from where I once dwelt, there was a blind alehouse, and the man that kept it had a son whose name was Edward. This Edward was, as it were, an half-fool, both in his words and manner of behaviour. To this blind alehouse certain jovial companions would once or twice a-week come; and this Ned (for so they called him) his father would entertain his guests withal; to wit, by calling for him to make them sport by his foolish words and gestures. So when these boon blades came to this man's house, the father would call for Ned: Ned therefore would come forth; and the poor wretch was devilishly addicted to cursing, yea, to cursing his father and mother, and any one else that crossed him. And because (though he was an half-fool) he saw that his practice was pleasing, he would do it with the more audaciousness.
Well, when these brave fellows came at their times to this tippling-house (as they call it) to fuddle and make merry, then must Ned be called out; and because his father was best acquainted with Ned, and best knew how to provoke him, therefore he would usually ask him such questions or command him such business, as would be sure to provoke him indeed. Then would he (after his foolish manner) curse his father most bitterly; at which the old man would laugh (and so would the rest of the guests, as at that which pleased them best), still continuing to ask, that Ned still might be provoked to curse, that they might still be provoked to laugh. This was the mirth with which the old man used to entertain his guests.
The curses wherewith this Ned used to curse his father, and at which the old man would laugh, were these, and such like: The devil take you! The devil fetch you! He would also wish him plagues and destructions many. Well, so it came to pass, through the righteous judgment of God, that Ned's wishes and curses were in a little time fulfilled upon his father; for not many months passed between them after this manner, but the devil did indeed take him, possess him, and also, in few days carried him out of this world by death; I say Satan did take him, and possess him: I mean so it was judged by those that knew him and had to do with him in that his lamentable condition. He could feel him like a live thing go up and down in his body; but when tormenting time was come (as he had often tormenting' fits), then he would lie like an hard bump in the soft place of his chest (I mean, I saw it so), and so would rend and tear him, and make him roar till he died away. I told you before, that I was an ear and eyewitness of what I here say; and so I was. I .have heard Ned in his roguery cursing his father, and his father laughing thereat-most heartily; still provoking Ned to curse, thathis mirth might be increased. I saw his father also what