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, be sometimes found guilty of murder. The natural
shape of the tongue resembles a flame of fire, and therefore in Hebrew one word fignifies a flame and the tongue; yea and it is what it seems to be, a fire, a world of iniquity, James iii. 6. It resembles also a sword, and so it is oft-times, Pfal. lvii. 4. & lix. 3. The mouth and tongue resemble bow and arrow, and so they are. Psal, lxiv. 3. The rage of an ill tongue must needs be dangerous then, feeing such an one lays about him with his bow and arrow, and advances with fire and sword, which must needs bring him in blood-guilty. Now, this sword devours several ways.
11, By quarrelling, provoking, and contentious fpeeches, Prov. xxiii. 29. Such words have oft-times begun á plea that has ended in blood. And there. fore the apostle compares such to beasts that begin to inarl and bite one another, till'it end in the ruin of either, or both, Gal. v. 15. Let us make confcience then of peaceable, mild, and gentle speecheş.
2dly, By bitter words. These are the impoisoned arrows that tongue murderers shoot at their neighbour, Pfal. lxiv. 3.4. Their tongues are dipt in gall, and they pierce to the heart, and give a home-thrust like a sword, Prov. xii. 28, They be. come not the disciples of the meck Jesus. Lay aside these, as ye would not be reckoned murderers in the light of God, Eph. iv. 31.
3dly, By railing and scolding. This was Shimei's murdering deed, 2 Sam. xvi. 5. 6. 7. for which he died as a murderer in Solomon's days. Thus men and women manage their tongue-battles with eagerness, making their doors or the town-gate the field of battle, where words pierce like swords to the heart. These are the plagues and pests of society, whose bloody mouths proclaiin their hearts fearless of God. Hear ye what the Lord says, 1 Pet. jii. 9. Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing : bit contrariwise, blefing; knowing that ye are thereunto calied, that ye hould inherit a blessing.
4thly, By reviling, reproachful, and disdainful speeches. Men think little of these; they are but words, and words are but wind. But they are a wind that will blow people to hell, Mat. v. 22, They are the devil's bellows to blow up the fire of anger; which may make fearful havock ere it be quenched, Prov. xv. 1.
Sthly, By inocking, scoffing, and deriding speeches. These are reckoned among the sufferings of the martyrs, Heb. xi. 36. Others had trial of cruel mockings. The soldiers mocking of Christ, John xix. 3. is compared to the baiting by dogs, Plal. xxii. 16, See how children paid for this usage to the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings iï. 23. 24.
Lastly, By curlings, imprecations, and wrathful wishings of ill and mischief to our neighbours ; which is but throwing up of hellith fire on others, that comes down and burns up him that threw it, Psal. cix. 18.
3. There is eye-murder, which vents itself by a wrathful countenance, and all gestures of that kind, such as high and proud luoks, and fierce looks, Prov. vi. 17. The Spirit of God takes notice of Cain's countenance, Gen. iv. 5. As there is adultery in looks, so there may be murder in thein, not only angry looks, but looks of satisfaction on the miseries of others, which God know's the nicaning of, Obad. 12, ; gnashing with the teeth, and all such gestures of a person, denoting a heart boiling with wrath and revenge, Acts vii. 54.
4. There is hand-murder, even where death kill. eth not. And people may be guilty of this two ways,
17, By way of omission, when we with-hold and give not help to those that are in distress, to save their life or living, Judg. v, 2. 3. ; 'neglecting the fick, not visiting and helping them as need requires, Luke x. 31. 32.; not affording means of life to the poor in want, Jam. ii, 15. 16. for those put out the
adultery ain's counten The Spi
flame of life that do not feed it. We should then put on bowels of mercy and charity, in imitation of Job, chap. xxxi. 16. &c. It is observable, that the fentence against the wicked runs on unmercifulness to the poor members of Christ, Matth. xxv.41. &'c.
2dly, By way of commission. And fomen are guilty, ? (1.) As they strike against the living of others, their means and way of subsistence. This goes under the general name of oppression, a crying fin, Ezek. Xxii. 7. Thus this command is broken by extortion, landlords racking of their lands so as ļabourers cannot live on them, tenants taking others lands over their heads sometimes to the ruin of honest families, masters not allowing fervants whereupon to live; and generally by all kind of oppression, which in God's account is murder, Il. iii. 14. 15. Micah jii. 3. * (2.) As they strike against the body and life itself. Thus men are guilty by fighting, striking, and wounding others, Exod. xxi. 18. 22. How many have been guilty as murderers in the fight of men, that have had no design to go the full length, when they fell to fighting?
Persecution is a complication of all these; and therefore the better the cause is, the worse is the deed. It is a main engine of him 'that was a murderer from the beginning. And God will reckon with them as murderers at the great day, Matth. XXV. 41. 42. Gece
Lasily, Men may be guilty of the blood of others otherwise. As,
(1.) By finful occasioning in others those things whereby our neighbour fins against his own soul, Quod eft caufa caufæ, eft etiam caufa caufati. So people fin by occasioning in others discontent, fretful. nefs, immoderate forrow,dci Sam. i. 6. Wherefore we should beware of that, as we would not be guilty of their blood. . (2.) By all the ways we said men co-operate to the deltroying of others fouls, they may be guilty of killing others bodies: as by commanding, counselling, or any wise procuring the taking away of mens living or lives unjustly. So David murdered Uriah by the sword of the Armonites. So informers against the Lord's people in time of persecution are murderers in God's sight, Ezek. xxii. 9, Yea, the approviog or any way consenting to it makes men guilty, Acts viii. 1.
Now, Sirs, examine yourselves in this matter ; and who will not be brought in blood-guilty, guilty of their own and their neighbours blood, the blood of their souls and bodies ! God's law is fpiritual, and fees the guilt of blood where we plead Not guilty. Let us be humbled and convinced, and apply to the blood of Christ, that we may be washed from it.
Of the seventh Commandment.
... EXODUS XX. 14.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
of our own and our neighbour's chastity and purity. God is a hoiy God, and the devil is an unclean spirit; we must therefore study purity in all manner of conversation. Our Lord puts this command before the sixth, Mark X. 19. because our chastity should be as dear to us as our life, and we Mhould be as much afraid of that which defiles the body as that which destroys it.
This command is a negative precept, and expreffly forbids adultery; but under that is comprehended all manner of uncleanness whatsoever, with all the causes and occasions leading thereunto. And the positive part of this command is, that we must preserve our own and our neighbour's chastity by all due' means,
In discoursing further, I shall consider,
1. Our first business is to consider what is required ia this command; and the catechism, agreeably to Eeir scripture, tells us, that it “ requires the pre* vervation of our own and our neighbour's chastity
in heart, speech, and behaviour. The duties of tais command may therefore be reduced to two gemoral heads. 1. The preservation of our own chaitier. 2. The preservation of that of our neighbour.
FIRST, This command requires us to preserve eur own chastity and purity. There is a twofold chastity. 1. In single life; when it is led in purity, it is like the angelical ; when in impurity, it is de vilith. 2. There is conjugal chastity, when mar. ried persons keep themselves within the bounds or the law of that state. This lies in two things, (1.) With respect to all others, keeping themselves pure and uncorrupted. (2.) With respect to anc, ther, keeping themselves within the bounds of Chriftian fobriety and moderation. In whatsoever Hate we are, this is the will of God, even our fanétification, that we should abstain from fornication ; that every one of us jould know how to poljefs his vesel in jan.crification and honour, not in the luft of concupiscence, 1 Theff. iv. 3. 4. 5.
Now, there is a threefold chastity required of us, and to be preserved by us.
First, Chastity in heart, 1 Thess. iv, 5. forecited, God knows the heart, and therefore his laws reach the heart, and he will judge for heart-fins. We must keep our minds pure, that the thoughts be not led afiry and corrupted. Hence Job made a covenant with his eyes, chap. xxsi. I. And we must keep our Hections pure, that they be not vitiated. Job saw