Imatges de pÓgina

on, is not enough to prove a mans Religion to be in vain. Though Chrift say that we shall answer for every idle word, he doth not say, we shall be condemned for every idle spord: But when the tongue is ünbridled, and is not kept under a holy Law, but suffered to be the ordinary instrument of wilfull. known sin, or of gross sin which men might know and will not, this proves the person void of holiness, and consequently his Religion vain.

Its true ; every Hypocrite hath not an unbridled tongue : fome of them have the bridle of moral precepts, and some of Religious education, and some of the presence and awe of persons whom they esteem : common knowledge, with natural mansuetude and moderation. doth bridle the tongues of many an Hypocrite : But as every wicked man is not a drunkard, or


fornicator, and yet every drunkard or fornicator (that liveth in it ) is a wicked man; so every Hypocrite hach not an unbridled tongue (his vice may lie some other way); but every man that hach an unbridled tongue is an Hypocrite, if withall he profess himself a Christian.

The sins of the tongue are of three forts. I. Such as are against piety. 2. Such as are against 40 Lice. 3. Such as are against Chao rity,

1. Against Piety, thatis, directly against God, are, Blasphemy Perjury, rah fwearing, wearing by creatures, light and unreverent using of Gods Name, and artrios bures, and. Word and works pleading for false doctrine, or falte worship : disföring a anitt troch! and duty : fcorning arg dlinels: or reasoning against it. There and fuckinpieties of the longus, ??

the evidences of prophaneness in the speakers heart; though some of them much more then others: and if the tongue be not then bridled, all is in vain.

2. Sinfull speecbes against Justice and charity are these: reproaching Parents, or Governours, or neighbours : railing and reviling: curfing : provoking others to do mischief, or commit any fin: difpucing against, and diffwading men from truth and duty; and hindering them by your speeches from a holy life, and the means of their salvation : calling good, evil, and evil, good : lying; slandering ; false witness-bearing; back-biting : extenuating mens vertues , and aggravating their faults beyond the certain apparent truth : receiving, and reciting, and carrying on evil reports, which you know not to be true : endeavouring to cool mens love so others, by mak

ing them seem bad, when we cannot prove it : mentioning mens faults and failings without a call and just occasion, unchaft, immodest, ribald speeches : cheating and deceitful words to wrong others in their estates: with other such like.

But undoubtedly chat fin of the tongue which the Apostle here had particular respect to, was che res proaching of fellow-Christians, especially upon the occasion of some differences of judgement and practice in the smaller matters of Religion : The Judaizing Christians gave liberty to their tongues, to reproach those chąt refused the use of those ceremonies, which they used themselves, and placed much of their Religion in; Thę quarrel was the same chacwas decided by the Apostles, A&t. 15. and by Paul, Rom, 14. and 15. and throughout the Epiftle to the


Galathians. And this is the Religion that James calls vain here, which was much placed in ceremonies, with a pretense of highest. knowledge, and a censorious vilifying of all that would not do as they.

There are especially three forts that use to reproach each other about the matters of Religion. 1.

Those that are hardened to that height of impiety, as to make a mock at seriousness and diligence in the practise of Christianity it felf, hacing and reproaching them that dare not sell their souls at as base a price as they

2. Those that have so far extinguished charity by faction and felf-conceit, as to confine their love and horour to their party, and to speak evil of those that are not of their own opinions.

3. Those that give liberty to their tongues unleasonably, una .


« AnteriorContinua »