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made to some superior and almighty Being, which thoroughly knows our consciences, and can and will reward our falshood. - But,
3. All such expressions also are forbid, as do covertly, and with some disguise, abbreviation, or the like, imply an' oath, however qualified and foften'd, as, God knows, faith, egad, and others, which the wit, fhall I say, or the folly of mankind, has contrived to evade a fcandalous and barefaced prophaneness? All these, and every usage of this kind, are but as so many trifling methods to deceivé our felves. Oaths they still are, and will without doubt be charged upon us accordingly at the day of judgment, being forbid, not only in this paragraph of our Saviour's sermon, but in other places of the holy Scripture, as in that of St. James's Epistle, * Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by, 'ANY OTHER OATH: biet let your jea, be yea; and your nay, nay; te # gie fall into condemnation. --Ánd thus much for the sin of swearing Beside which we are forbid,
II. All using of the name of God, or Chrift, or Jesus, Lord or Saviour, in' our ordinary, difcourse, without a due and suitable reverence, and a juft occafion. For as such a reverence to the name of God is the very reason and foundation of our Saviour's precept against fwearing here, the famę reason equally affecting such a loose and careless mention of it, as I am now defcribing this also must be supposed to be equally forbidden thereby. 'Tis undoubtedly taking the name of God in vain, and therefore falls within the very letter of the prohibition in the third commandment. If it be used in curfing, there is not only prophaneness, but a desper
* Jam. v. 12.
rate malice too, to encrease the guilt; and it is justly accounted horrible to all religious minds. But fuppofe it be not uttered in a curse, the prophaneness still is visible, whether it be by way of exclamation, admiration, or expletive; as, good God! O my God! O Jesu! O Lord! and many the like expreffions too frequently used; as if those venerable names were fit only to fill up a period, and to give an air of boldness and impudence to our conversation. Nor is the case at all mended, when those names are used in a way of rash and unconsidered : prayer; as, God bless us, God be merciful, God save you, Lord bave mercy upon us, &e. which very often occur in some mens coffimon discourse, when there is no due seriousness attends it, and probably no thought ar all of what is then desired by fuch a prayer. And sometimes it comes in so unseasonably and improperly, having no coherence ar all with the rest of the discourse, that it is downright nonsense, as well as impioty. Let those (if there be any such) that use this, and yet have that regard to religion which they pretend, consider, that their being good words, and good wishes depends more upon their fincerity and devotion in uttering them, than upon the mechanism of syllables and a sentence; and that all the goodness that can be in the expression it félf, will never atone for the trifling manner of using ir: but it will ftill be taking of God's name in vain, while we treat it with fo little solemnity, and throw up our addresses to him at such an impertinent and thoughtless rate. I will but just name a third thing naturally included in the prohibition, viz.
III. ALL heedless, unattentive, and irreverent taking even of lawful oaths imposed by authority. These oaths, and of these especially such as are by way of qualification for an office, or obligation to
discharge it well, are for the most
upon as mere formalities in law, and so the religion of them is loft; and those that take them are gazing about the while, or thinking of other matters, with no more devotion and concern, than if they were hearing some idle story, or repeating an ordinary discourse. And the case is not much better, in this regard, with oaths of evidence; those that take them are apt to consider them no farther than as folemn promises to speak the truth, not doing it with that awful solemnity that becomes an appeal to the great God, in what they say. But such a behaviour is plainly taking the name of God in vain, because they mention him, and appeal to him, without any consideration to whom they are speaking, and perform what is in the very nature of it a folemn act of worship and religion, without that ferious sense of God, that ought
to fill their minds, and without that reverence to his name, which is the foundation of the third commandment.
CH A P. XIV.
Of FORGIVING of INJURIES.
MATTH. V. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resift not evil:
but whosoever fall smite thee on thy right
cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and
take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke
also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.
ETALIATION of evil being one
of the permissions indulged the Jews, R in their politick laws, because of the
hardness of their hearts, left if they
were not allowed this liberty, under stated rules, and by the sentence of the magiftratę, they should in revenging themselves exceed all bounds
and measures; our Saviour takes occasion from hence to lay down, in this paragraph, the duty of the injured party, or sufferer, (as he had before under consideration of the sixth cominandment that of the aggressor) forbidding here all manner of private revenge, or returning evil for evil; as tho' hc had said,
« The judicial law, it's true, allows of a'requi" tal of like for like, that he who deprives his “ brother of a member, forfeit one of his own; « as an eye for an cye, and a tooth for a tooth. “ But I charge you all, whosoever will be my
disciples, that ye, presume. not to give your « selves the ill-natured fatisfaction of rendring evil “ for evil, either in a publick or a private way: 66 but that rather than revenge one injury, ye Et suffer two.
any man strike you, Atrike him « not again by way of resentment or retaliation.
And rather than take the advantage, which even “ the laws do give you, for profecuting upon
wrongs of fmall concern, or impositions of no
great consequence, fhew your adversary how lita tle his malice or his violence moves you, by be« ing forwarder to bear, than he is to inflict, and os ready to do more to gratify him, than he requires. “ If by contentious suits he extort from you what
is really your own, and what ye can really bear
the loss of; let him take that, or more, rather &* thán contest it farther with him: And if he will “ force you against your own convenience to go “ with him one mile, go with him another, rather
than passionately dispute your liberty in so small a matter. Say not this tameness is like to encourage him to farther and greater injuries; that is more than ye are sure of: Meekness and com
placency are the best means to fuften an enemy; “ but though he should be fo disingenuous, that ye have reason to fear the contrary, trust that to