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and impertinent discourse, doing no good to the hearers, but bewraying the folly of the speaker.

3. A trade of jesting, Eph. v. 4. It is not finful to pass an innocent jest for begetting of moderate chearfulness. The wise man tells us, There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh, Eccl. iii. 4.

in some cases be as necessary to chear the spirits, as a cordial is to restore them, or a pleasant gale of wind to purify the air. It was not unbecoming the gra. vity of the prophet to mock Baal's priests, and to say, Cry aloud ; for he is a god; either he is talking, or be is pursuing, or he is on a journey ; or peradventure be seepeth, and must be awakened, 1 Kings xviii. 27. But sinful are,

(1.) Offensive jests, which tend to the shewing a delpiling of our neighbour, to the irritating and provoking of him. And indeed it is often feen, that those who are much given that way,

their conversation is most offensive, sparing neither friend nor foe, and will rather lose their friend than their jest.

(2.) Profane jests, either making a mock of fin, or of' that which is holy, particularly wresting and abusing of fcripture, to express the conceits of their light and wanton wits. It is a dangerous thing to' jest in such matters.

(3.) People's being immoderate in jesting. To make every word a jelt, is liker the stage than Christian gravity. This is as absurd as to present a man a dish of salt to feed on; a little of it is good for seasoning, but to give it for the whole entertainment is abfurd.

4. Lasly, Flattery, Psal. xii. 3. This is a most dangerous stroke, and the more deadly that the wound it gives does not smart, but by it a man is hugged to ruin. The words of a flatterer are smoother than oil, yet are they in effect as drawn swords. It is a compound of lying, abjectness of spirit, and treachery. The flatterer gives the praise that is not due, professes the kindness that is not real, and screws up

all to a pitch far above truth; and so he is a liar. He debases himself to please others, turning himself into every shape to humour the party he is to flatter; and betrays him into felf-conceit and unacquaintedness with himself.

I shall shut all with a twofold dehortation.'

First, Speak truth, and beware of lying. Lying is a very common fin; repent of that guilt, and beware of it for the future. For notives, consider,

Mot. 1. That God is the God of truth, the author and lover of truth, so that he cannot lie. And therefore lying is most contrary to the nature and mind of God; it is therefore singularly abominable and hateful to him, Pfal. x. 6. Prov. vi. 16. 17. We find that God suffered Adam's fons to marry their own fifters, and the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians of what they had borrowed of them; but never did the God of truth at any time difpenfe with mens speaking lies. Hate that abominable thing then, which God so hates.

2. All lies are from the devil in a special manner, John viii. 44. It was he that first broached lies in the world, and ruined mankind with them; and having sped so well with that engine of hell at first, no wonder he fets himself to keep up the trade. He is the father of lies, that begets them on the false heart, and they are brought forth by the lying tongue. Whom do liars resemble then, the God of truth or the father of lies ?

3. Lying is a part of the old man of fin, which must be put off, if we would not be put out of God's presence, Eph. iv. 24. 25;

It is the way to which our corrupt natures do kindly and quickly incline, Psal. Iviii. 3. The wicked go astray, as soon as they be born, Speaking lies. Hence children are not to learn this, they liave the art of it from their first father Adam. But as foon as grace enters the heart, it rectifies it in that point. Hence the Lord's people are called children that will not lie, IC. Ixiii. 8. VOL. III.

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4. There is a meanness or baseness in lying beyond what is in other common fins, either because it proceeds from fear, or tends to deceive. Hence liars themselves cannot endure to be called liars ; the bafeners of the lin being so much acknowledged in the world, that though many bring forth and cherish the vile brat, none can endure to be reputed the father of it. And no wonder it is reputed such a base thing ; for when once a man is known to make no conscience of truth, he has lost his credit, and is looked on as a man that cannot be bound with the common ties of society, nor trufted.

Lally, It will bring God's wrath heavily on the guilty, Prov. xix. 5. 9. A false witness shall not be ampunished, and he i bat Speukeih lies jhall not escape. A falle witness shall not be unpunished; and he that speaketh lies Mhall perish. God's truth is impawned for the liar's deftruction, even eternal destruction. Shall liars have access to heaven? No, they are barred out from thence, Rev. xxi. ult. There shall in nowise enter into it any thing that maketh a lie. Their lodging is appointed to them in another place with the devil the father of lies, in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, Rev. xxi. 8. & xxii. 15.

I shall give you a few advices.

1. Strike at the root of lying, and so the fruit will wither and come to nought. The great root of all is the corrupt nature, that needs to be mortified by grace from Jesus Christ. There are also particular luits on which lies depend. Labour to be humble, for pride and self-seeking occasions many lies, as the boafter's lie. Some are founded on covetouiness, as the lies in bargaining ; some in fear, flavith tear of men, as denying of truth; some in the vanity and rathness of our natures, whereby lies come to be broached without a formed design.

2. Accustom yourselves to few words, for in the pultitude of words there wanteth not fin, Prov.X. 19.

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It is but just with God, that idle words be punished
by suffering people to fall into lying words.
3.

Remeinber that God will discover truth; and that his eye is upon you at all times. And though ye may deceive others with your lies, ye cannot deceive the omniscicnt God. He is witness to the truth, and will call you to account for your contra: dicting of it. And indeed the trade of lying is hard to keep up without discovery. Liars had need of good memories. A lying tongue is but for a moment, Prov. xii. 19.

Lasily, Curb lying in young ones, out of pity to their souls, and care of their credit when they come to years. For some get luch a habit of it when they are young, that there is no mending of them when they grow old.

Secondly, Beware of carrying an evil tongue. The lying tongue is contrary to truth, the evil tongue to charity and love to our neighbour, being employed in flandering, backbiting, reproaching, reviling, scolding, &c. For motives,

Mot. I, Consider the woful perverseness that is in an evil tongue. God gave man speech which he denied to other creatures, that by his tongue he might glorify God, and do good to himself and others, Plal. !vii. 9. 10. Shali we thus turn our glory into-lhame, and pervert the ends of specch? How just were it that we were ftruck dumb ?

2. It is a murdering inítrument, I observed to you before, that an ill tongue is a parcel of murdering weapons, a bow and hirp arrows to picrce, il sword to ftab, and a fireto devour others. Y ca, Solo. mon observes, that death and life are in the power of the tongue, It is a fire that kindles ftrite and contention in al! {ocieties, and turns them into confufion; and oft-times returns heavily on the head of those who carry it. The tongues from heaven were cloven, to be the more diffutive of good; but thote

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fred from heil are forked, to be the more impres

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1. Consider the wickednefs of it. It is a world c. iniquity, Jin. i. 6. They have much ado that I've jo ili tongue tu guide, a world of iniquity to gold. It is a broad stream from the fountain of the

Seciesis of the heart. 4. da uabridled tongue cuts off all pretences to true raro, jan. i. 23. For where the fear or lows God and our neighbour is in the heart, it Wintes cerca the tongue to keep it within the teens ct Contiin charity.

slicet giver account of our words at the yun , Matth. xii. 36. 37.

Ivü toegue will ruin the soul. Bridle praes: lowever unruly they be, they fhall la signature. And if repentance prevent it 11. Nice that they will be tormented nislav Ivi. believe wich an advice or two. toe hart, it re would order your

licor to get them cleansed by the ':.** Tikot Caritt. Study love to God and SECT. Wulch are che fulblling of the law.

patriarkacis, and patience, and humility, Wide che bett directors of the tongue,

ii Screertires, in the faith of promiled aflifniti pomack ever your hearts and tongues. t'i drets is dangerous in the case of such an tietoti member as the tongue is.. God has guarded da znally. Do ye also watch it *.

* Several particulars relating to speaking truth, and truth in the Aries en stad ise evil of lying, &c. may be read with pleasure and pravila in the author's book, lately publifhed, entitled, Distinguis,

wwmara believers, fermors on Pral, xv, 2.

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