Imágenes de páginas

them. He is not religious: therefore he justly perimes. In the place, of an unbridled tongue substitute the sin which you retain, and apply this reasoning to yourself. Deceive not your own heart. Beware lest you onlysem to be religious. Beware lest your religion be vain. If you prefer any one iinful habit to the command of God; you are not his servant. If you suffer any one sinful habit to stand between you and heaven; you deserve to forfeit heaven. You confess that God has authority to forbid every fin. You confess that he has forbidden every sin. You hear his .voice in' the Scriptures. His warnings are' urged upon you by vhis ministers. You are satisfied that you can obtain salvation in no other path than that which he has traced. You are fully apprised that, unless you labour to obey Him in all things, the severity of his wrath will abide upon you. With this conviction to awaken your conscience, do you say unto the Most High; "These "things will 1 do for Thee; but this I will "not do for Thy fake! Thus far I will "obey Thee; but here I will he master?" Do you speak thus, and presume to affirm that you pay respect to the sovereignty of the Aln>ighty? Do you act in this spirit,

and and hope to be accepted by Him? Is this to love holiness? Is this to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Is this to mortify your corruptions, and to live unto Christ who died for you? A good man may be overcome by a sudden temptation: but he will be humbled in sorrow to the dust, and will be led by remorse to encreased earnestness in watchfulness and prayer. He who has not been fully instructed may long remain in blindness and guilt: yet let his heart become turned unto God, and the eyes of his understanding be opened; and he will abhox himself and repent. But the man who, with an unclouded knowledge of his duty, refuses to aim at universal holiness, and persists in the reserved indulgence of some unchristian temper or practice j be that temper or practice what it may, slirall sind its fruit to be everlasting condemnation.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Set a watch, 0 Lord! before my tnbuth i . keep the door of my lips.

"WORDS," exclaim the inconsiderate* "are empty aif ; formless shadows; "transient pictures of the inclination of the' * "moment. Even when most reprehen-'' "frfole, we have intended little by them/ "They were the offspring of surprised "Theylwere faults, if faults, which diedT "rn their birth. The wind carried theirt <c away and they were forgotten. Goes , •• looks ta substantial deeds. We fhalf hW C "recompensed according to our worts*'" l)eath and life, replies the voice ofdthe Most High', are in the power of .the tongue. By thy words thou shalt b; jus if ed y and by


thy words thoushalt be condemned. For every idle -word that men Jhall speak they JkalLgive account in the day of judgement. If any man seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue; that mans religion is vain [a). The tongue is the great inciter to sin. It is the hand.that executes: but it is the tongue that persuades. The tongue gives vent to the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth fpeakelh [b). There is no evil thought, which the tongue may not be the instrument of embodying in words: no sinful purpose, which it may not be employed to encourage or to repress. .

I propose to explain the nature of some of the principal sins of the tongue. Our attention shall first be directed to those which, when compared with others, appear the lightest; and subsequently to those which are the most heinous. Let me remind you however,that for any sin, however light it may .appear, nothing but the blood of Christ can atone; and that in proportion as sins appear comparatively light, they "will probably be the more frequently refa) Prov. tviii. 2i. Matth. xii. 36,. 37. Junes,'- *&' . (*) lAikt, vi. 4$:

."' . •' peated,. peated, and repeated without being followed by repentance.

I. Let us advert to those offences of the tongue, which may be comprehended under St. Paul's expression,yWj/S talking {c).

To this description belongs all levity of discourse upon solemn or weighty subjects. Some persons are so indisposed to sobriety of thought, and have so long accustomed themselves to regard seriousness as border-.' iiig upOn stupidity ot gloom; that the' gravest concerns lose in their conversation every symptom of importance. Whatever be the topic under discussion, a flippancy of manner which they interpret to themselves as gaiety, and a pertness of language which they suppose to be wit, are' indiscriminately exhibited. The wisest reflections are encountered with* unmeaning laughter: and conclusions of the highest' moment are repelled by a paltry effort at a" jest. Of another class, more numerous*) and, if it be possible, equally thoughtless,' the conversation is altogether and uniformly idle. Bay after day, at home and abroad*. you hear nothing drop from their lips which

••-•.. 3'' (f) Ephef. v. 4. ^ ..I...,'

« AnteriorContinuar »