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They are not and will not be convinced of a fault in them, as in obfecrations, appeals to God, adjurations,
C. But a due sense of the majesty of that name would clear people's minds in these things, Matth. v. 37. It is not enough that these things are common. It is so much the worse when the world is in a confpiracy against God to join in it. Though men go in troops to the pit, they shall not be conquerors, but sufferers. Nor is it enough that people have no ill in their minds, when they fo profane the name of God. If there be no ill, there is as little good. Were the third command in your minds, it would lay bonds on your tongues.
4. There are many profanations of that name which men do not at all observe, as profaning that holy name in duties, by formality, and want of faith and fervency. If they neglect duty, they will be challenged ; but their consciences are stupid as to the dishonour done to God in them, Zech. vii. 3.-6. But these will be mountains in the light of God, that are but as molehills in the finner's eyes,
5. It proceeds from the passion of anger or malice. Anger is a fire in a man's breast; swearing and cursing is the smoke of this hellish fire, breaking out at the mouth. Those who are hurried out of themselves with passion, do oftimes find nothing readier at hand than an oath, which they fling out against heaven itself, when they cannot be revenged on them that have angered them. What but a hellish leaven of bitterness and malice wherewith the heart is foured, can bring forth curses ?
6. Cultom in taking the name of God in vain takes away the sense of it. The heart being careless about God, the tongue gets a liberty; and when it is set on the run, and has got a confirined cưstom, it turns juft natural: fo that many swearers are never aware till they profaned the name of God, and hardly know when they have done it, that it is so. But God will 905 VOL. II.
Jet wickedness go free, because it is confirmed by cũ. stom.
7. Swearing proceeds from unwatchfulness. Men let their tongues go at random. Hence oaths fly out ere they be aware,
8. Lastly, In fome it proceeds from a piece of vanity and hellish bravery. They will swear that others may see what a fine sort of people they are, who regard not the laws of God, nor their offence of good men.
Secondly, I come to shew whence it is that profaners of the name of God escape punishment from men.
1. Because of the little zeal there is for the honour of God's name in the world. These things strike not so much against our neighbour's good name, life, or goods, as directly against the honour of God. If they itretched their injury that way against men, men would avenge it as their own interest; but alas! the interest of God's honour is the interest of few peo. ple.
2. As the laws of men cannot reach many abuses of God's name, so as for those made against common swearing, they are in effect but a mock, in regard of the little tenderness that way found among those that should execute the laws, who are guilty themselves, or have no zeal to put them in execution. Nay, alas! often we see men are obliged by authority to profane the name of God, by taking unlawful, unnecessary oaths.
Thirdly, I proceed to shew how God will not let men escape with it ; that he will by no means hold them guiltless. Consider, that the profaning of the name of God is a sin,
1. That brings wrath upon a land, Hor. iv. I. 2, Jer. v. 7.9. Abusers of the name of God are a bur. den to his Spirit, ard to the spirits of his people, and make the land mourn, Jer. xxiii. 10.
And as every one ought to contribute their assistance to the quenching of a fire that breaks out in a house, fo should eve: ry one to reformation in this point, while there așe
so many tongues set on fire of hell, that threaten to fire the nations with a fire of God's wrath.
2. It brings wrath upon families, Zech. v. 3. 4. It provokes God to root out families from the earth for it brings a curse that a house cannot long stand under. Othen, masters of families, do not ruin your families by this; and take heed to your children and servants, that are given to this fir, as to those who would pull down your house about your ears. Many times things go wrong, they do not thrive; which is not for want of diligence; they wonder how it comes to pass; but there is even a secret curfe from the Lord on families for this and other fins that confumes all, Jer. xxiii. 10.
3. It brings a curse upon particular persons. God punishes this lin,
(1.) By strokes upon the body, Deut. xxviii. 58. 59. And remarkably has the fin of fome profaners of God's name been written in their punishment, while the fin of profaning that facred name has been as remarkably written on the miserable case of their mouths and tongues, as ever the adulterefs's has been on the belly swelling and thigh rotting. For there is a God that judgeth in the earth.
(2.) By strokes on their souls. It is a heavy word, God will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. It imports,
[..] That however men overlook and forget these things, God writes them down guilty on every such fact. There is a book of remembrance written with God, whereby none of them all shall be loit. The finner affronts God and his holy name; but though he packs up the affront for the time, he does not for
[2.] God will call the man to a reckoning for them fooner or later, Jude 15. Though they may pafs without a challenge for the time, the time will come that they will get deep challenges for these things either in mercy or in wrath. Their words Thall loine.
on families, 'Lech. v. 3.4
ut families from hierdie
1 fire of God's wrath. Regon annexed to tbi Cazzo.
fire of hell, that time is
let wickedness go free, because it is Itom.
7. Swearing proceeds from v let their tongues go at random ere they be aware.
8. Lastly, In some it pre nity and hellish bravery, may see what a fine sort not the laws of God,
Secondly, I come to of the name of G,
asfaction of 1. Because of t of God's name i
u must produce, fo much again?
pardoned, as his profa.
itick to his conscience in a goods, as dir they ítretch
nen once awakened, so after the would aver
wake him go with a bowed down
Paul, 1 Tim. i. 13. interest o ple.
ly, If he be not pardoned, the wrath of
dell shall lie upon him, Rom. ii. 5. and it fhail of Gre severely punished there than many other fins.
man's fin fhall continue with him through the that
of eternity, while the violence of his tormenti i hall make him blaspheme for ever.
Fourthly, It may be asked, what is the great evil of this fin, that it is so severely punished ?
1. It is a sin that is directly against God, his glorious greatness and infinite majesty. That name is dreadful which men profane, Mal. i. ult. The angels adore it, the devils tremble at it; and should vile worms of the earth-profane it at every turn? Sins of the second table strike directly against inen, but this is one of those that go out immediately against the Majesty of heaven. And of this fort is the unpardonable fin, which, as I observed before, belongs to this command, Pol. lxxiii. 9.
2. It is a direct violation of the law of God, Suara ??^t at all ; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord the Gd in vain. Have you no respect to the authority o God? Consider, I pray you!, (1.) Who gave you
of the Reason annexed to this Command. 549
a faculty of speaking? Was it not God? have prevented this, by making you as many are? (2.) For what end he t for his glory? and will ye use it 'onour? He thereby differenced will you make yourself like a
"ou, might he not set laws
families from hi carth;
Net on fire of hel', that threaten to
the law of God, but wing has been punished ne Scythians the swearer's w of his estate ; with the Perwith the Grecians, cutting off the - Romans, throwing down á steep rock. aws of our land are against it, though it is ying fin of our magistrates, that they are not
in execution. But God is mocked that way, and it is the fin of people that do not press them to their duty, and inform them.
4. It is a sin that has a peculiar contempt of God in it, striking most directly against his honour, Pfal. cxxxix. 20. His name is dreadful, and it is that wherein he has displayed his glorious nature unto men : to prostitute and abuse it then, must needs bear a horrible contempt of God in it. It is a proclaiming of our flighting him, and doing what we can to cause that no regard be had to him in the world.
5. It is most directly contrary to the great end of all divine revelation. The first petition in the Lord's prayer is, Hallowed be thy name. This should be our chief design in all things; for it is God's own design, to which all others are subfervient, whether in nature or grace. And this flies directly in the face of it, and cannot but be a most hainous sin.
6. It has a particular malignity in it, and in a most special manner proceeds from the devil, as it has leis to carry to us to it than other fins ordinarily have.
(1.) What profit is there in it? The thief hing for his pains, and the drunkard a belly full : but