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of weight we are duly called theréto, behaving therein as in the taking of an oath; for in every oath there is an imprecation. Also there are examples of the faints imprecating a' curse against God's incorrigible enemies, out of pure zeaľto the glory of God, which they from the Spirit of prophecy apply to particular persons, Psal. cix. 6. &*c. But it is a profaning the rame of God,
(1.) When people unnecessarily imprécaté a curse on themselves or others conditionally, if they do not fo or so, or if it be not truth that they fay, as wish. ing - confound them, they may be lianged, or never ftir out of the bit, &c. if matters be not fo or so, when there is no necessity for it, or edification by it. In that cafe the name of God is profaned; and tho' the name of God be not expreffed, it is still abused; for it is God that must be the executor of the finful wish.
(2.) When people ferve their pafsions against themfelves or others by their curses. Thus people sin in their fits of discontent, willing evil to themselves, and in their fits of passion and revenge against others, praying, Shame fall, Ill chance, &c. This is the próduct of a bitter fpirit, highly dishonourable to God, whose name is prostituted to serve mens hellish paffions.
(3.) When people use them to confirm a lie, or to bind them to fin. Thus people are doubly guilty, and dare the vengeance of heaven, cursing themselves if such a thing be true, which yet they know is not true; or binding themselves to do some evil, by a curse.
(4:) Neither is the matter mended by invocating the devil instead of God. Much homage gets the devil from fome, who are often found praying to the devil to take themselves or others.
So they mention Foul, Fiend, &c. which are only other names of that wicked fpirit.
3dly, Perjury is falsehood confrined with an oach. is twofold.
(1.) There is perjury opposite to an assertory oath: and that is either when a man swears a thing to be true which is false, or a thing to be false which is true. It is opposite to swearing in truth, which is swearing so as a man's mind agree with his words, and his words with the thing. So that a man is not only perjured when he swears against his mind and knowjedge, as the false witnesses against Naboth did; but when he swears against the truth of the thing, tho' not against his mind, being mistaken; for in both cales God is called to witnels to a lie; though indeed the former is far more hainous than the latter. And therefore it is that no man can lawfully swear what he doubts of; that is to run a dreadful risk.
(2.) There is a perjury, opposite to a promissory oath; and that is either when a man promiseth fomething upon oath which he has no nind to perform, even when he takes the oath; or though he minded to perform it when he took the oath, yet afterwards changes his mind, and does it not, when he both ought and can do it. Only remember, that the breaking of an unlawful oath, so far as it is unlawful, is not perjury. It is a fin indeed to take such an oath ; but it is no sin, but duty to break it. And the case is the fame in vows, : Sam. XXV, 22. 32. 33: The lin of perjury is dreadful. For,
[1.] It is a most folemn affronting of an omniscient and just God, and is near akin to Atheism. It is a calling of God to be witness to a lie; it is a playing with infinite justice, a daring of heaven's vengeance, while men devote their souls to destruction wilfully.; because in every oath men invocatę God to judge them according to the truth or falsehood of what they swear.
[2.] It is most provoking in the fight of God, a fin which God's anger sinokes against in a peculiar manner, Zech. v. 4. Mal. iii. 5. This seems to be engraven especially on the consciences of men; fo that this fin amongst the Heathen was reckoned moit
atrocious, and even men that otherwise have little religion will yet tremble at the thoughts of perjury.
[3.] It is a sin that deservedly makes men infamous, so that their testimony is not afterwards to be regarded among them: for what respect can they have to truth that will swear falsely? It looses the bond of human society; for it an oath cannot bind men, the world would have no security of one an. other. And therefore such deserve to be hissed out from among others, as the plagues of human society.
4thly, Blasphemy, which is a wronging of the majęsty of God by speeches tending to his reproach. This fin is the most atrocious of all fins; and of this kind is the unpardonable fin. As among men it is a great fault not to believe the word of a faithful prince; yet greater to rebel against him ; greater yet to reproach him, disgrace him, speak of and use him contumeliously. Men may be guilty of blafphemy against
God two ways.
(1.) As they partake with others in their blasphemies. And this we may do several ways; particularly, 1.) When we give no testimony against the blasphemy of others. The custom of the Jews was to rend their cloaths at the hearing of blasphemy. And they must needs have a stout heart that can hear it without one way or another manifesting their abhorrence of it 3.) Much more when men fhew any approbation or satisfaction with it, as smiling or laughing at it, when they hear how freely hellish mouths vent their reproachful speeches against God. 3.) When by our deeds we give occasion to wicked men to blafpheme, Rom. ii. 24. Thus particularly, (1. Oppreffors and persecutors are guilty of blasphemy, Acts xxvi. 11. (2. Professors of religion by their scandalous walk, 2 Sam.xii. 14. (3. Inferiors by their undutifulness to their superiors; as subjects, 1 Pet. ii. 13. 14. 15.; wives, Tit. ii. 5. jp and servants, 1 Tim. vi. 1.
(2.) As they themselves are formally the blasphe. mers. And so there are two ways that men blafpheme.
[1.] There is a blaspheming of God mediately, when though men do not expressly speak against God himself, yet with the sword of the tongue they thrust at him, through the sides of his word, way, people, ordinances, works, &c. I Tim. vi, 1. Tit. ii. 5. 2 Pet, ii. 2. 1 Cor. iv. 13. Mark iii. 29. 30. Such blasphemies are very frequent amongít mockers and malicious enemies of the way of God, as when religion is called madness, fanaticism, folly, &c. the Spirit's afsistance in prayer, heat of the brain, doc.
[2.] There is a blaspheming against God immediately, when God is directly and immediately attacked with the blasphemous tongue. And that is,
1.) When men detract from God what truly belongs to him, and makes for his glory, Il. xxxvi. 20. in the case of railing Rabshakeh. Such blasphemy, some say, is uttered by the French tyrant, with respect to the bringing in of the pretender on us, That heaven itself cannot stop his project.
2.) When men afçribe to God that which agrees not to him, but tends to his reproach. So did the Pharisees of old blafpheme Christ, Mark iii, 30. So do bitter fpirits blafpheme God, saying, He is unjust, cruel, &*c. So did these blafpheme, when they faid, Every one that doth evil, is good in the fight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them ; ör, Where is the God of judgement ? Mal. ii. 17. And many are guilty with them.
3.) When men insolently rise against God, belching oui bitter, virulent, and reproachful speeches againit him. So did Pharaoh, Exod. v. 2. Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice? I know, not the Lord. So did he mentioned 2 Kings vi. 33. Behold, this evil is of the Lord, what should I wait for the Lord any longer? Thus Job's wife advised him to blafpheme, Curse God and die, said she. And so many in their bitterness rising against God under afflictions, are apt to blafpheme.
4.) When men ascribe that to the creature which is due to God alone. So the Jews
So the Jews fuppofing Christ to be a mere creature, accused him of blasphemy, John X. 33. So men blaspheme in calling either pope or magistrate head of the church. And thus men immoderate in their own praise of the praise of others, are ready to fall into blasphemy, If. x. 13. Acts xii. 22.
Each of these four ways men may be guilty of blasphemy against the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghoft. The world is full of these blasphemies; some blafpheming the Father, denying that relation in the Godhead, as Jews, Mahometans; some the Son, as they do also ; and indeed Popery is a mass of blafphemies against Chrift; fome the Holy Ghost, as those that deny his personality, and the profane world that make a mock of his work,
But the most dreadful of all sins and blafphemies is that which by way of eminency is called blafphemy against the Holy Ghost, commonly called the fin against the Holy Ghost, which is the unpardonable fin, Matth. xii. 31. 32. John calls it the fin unto death, 1 John v. 16. which elect fouls never fall into, yea even but few reprobates. It belongs to this command. But as I have spoken largely of this fin in a former part of this work, I shall not further infilt upon it*,
Secondly, Having spoke of the more grofs and palpable breaches of this command, I shall now consider other ways how the Lord's name is abused and taken in vain.
1. With respect to his names and titles. They are taken in vain,
11, When they are not improved for those uses to which they natively tend. Hence the Lord says, If I be a Father, where is mine honour ? and if I be a Master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto 0
you, priest£, that despise my name, Mal. i. 6. Thus we take them in vain when they have not their fruit in us. Do we call him Father, and not honour him; Master, and not fear him; Hearer of prayer, and yet put no
• See the discourse on the application of redemption, Supra, p. 135.-?39