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Ser. III. stance if we take in the future, and the

w hole ; this being implied in the Notion of a good and perfect Administration of things. Thus they who have been so wise in their Generation as to regard only their own supposed Interest, at the Expence and to the Injury of others, shall at last find, that he who has given up all the Advantages of the present World, rather than violate his Conscience and the Relations of Life, has įnfinitely better provided for himself, and secured his own Interest and Happiness.


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JAMES i. 26.
If any Man among you seem to be religi-
ous, and bridleth not his Tongue, but de-
ceiveth his own Heart, this Man's Re-
ligion is vain.

T HE Translation of this Text would Ser.IV.

be more determinate if it were ren

dered more literally thus: If any Man among you seemeth to be religious, not bridling his Tongue, but deceiving his own Heart, this Man's Religion is vain. This determines that the Words, but deceiveth his own Heart, are not put in Opposition to reemeth to be religious, but to bridleth not his Tongue. The certain de


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Ser. IV.terminate Meaning of the Text then being

t hat he who seemeth to be religious and brid->
leth not his Tongue, but in that particular
deceiveth his own Heart, this Man's Religi-
on is vain ; we may observe somewhat ve-
ry forcible and expressive in these Words
of St. James : As if the Apostle had said,
No Man surely can make any Pretences to
Religion, who does not at least believe that
he bridlech his Tongue; if he puts on any
Appearance or Face of Religion, and yet
does not govern his Tongue, he must sure-
ly deceive himself in that particular, and
think he does: And whoever is so unhappy
as to deceive himself in this, to imagine he
keeps that unruly Faculty in due Subjecti-
on, when indeed he does not, whatever the
other Part of his Life be, his Religion is
vain ; the Government of the Tongue be-
ing a most material Restraint which Virtue
lays us under, without which no Man can
be truly religious..

In treating upon this Subject, I will consider,

First, What is the general Vice or Fault here referred to; or what Disposition in Men is supposed in Moral Reflections and Precepts concerning bridling the Tongue.


Secondly, When it may be said of any Ser. IV. 4 one, that he has a due Government over himself in this respect.

1. Now the Fault referred to, and the Disposition supposed, in Precepts and Reflections concerning the Government of the Tongue, is not Evil-speaking from Malice, nor Lying or bearing false Witness from indirect selfish Designs. The Disposition to these and the actual Vices themselves, all come under other Subjects. The Tongue may be employed about and made to serve all the Purposes of Vice, in tempting and deceiving, in Perjury and Injustice. But the Thing here supposed and referred to, is Talkativeness; a Disposition to be talking, abstracted from the Consideration of what is to be said, with very little or no Regard to, or Thought of doing, either Good or Harm, And let not any imagine this to be a slight Matter,and that it deserves not to have so great Weight laid upon it, till he has considered what Evil is implied in it, and the bad Effects which follow from it. It is perhaps true, that they who are addicted to this Folly would choose to confine themselves to Trifles and indifferent Subjects, and so intend only to be guilty of being imper


Ser. IV.tincnt : But as they cannot go on for ever m talking of Nothing, as common Matters

will not afford a sufficient Fund for perpe.
tual continued Discourse; when Subjects of
this Kind are exhausted, they will go on to
Defamation, Scandal, divulging of Secrets,
their own Secrets as well as those of others,
any thing rather than be filent. They are
plainly hurried on in the Heat of their Talk
to say quite different Things from what they
first intended, and which they afterwards
wish unsaid; or improper things, which
they had no other End in saying but only
to afford Employment to their Tongue.
And if these People expect to be hcard and
regarded, for there are some content meer-
ly with talking, they will invent to engage
your Attention; and when they have heard
the least impcrfect Hint of an Affair, they
will out of their own Head add the Cir-
cumstances of Time and Place, and other
Matters to make out their Story, and give
the Appearance of Probability to it: Not
that they have any Concern about being
believed, otherwise than as a Means of be-
ing heard. The thing is to engage your
Attention, to take you up wholly for the
present Time; what Reflections will be made


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