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THE HE persons, who wish the following discourse. to be published, have not met with any small tract, in which the principal object is to point out the offence here dwelt upon. Where the grosser breaches of the Third Commandment are exposed at large, the attention is diverted from those less flagrant violations of it, which, however generally unnoticed and unblamed, every true Christian laments, and wishes to remedy. To bring this matter in its true light to the notice of those persons, who have not considered it, and who are often characters so amiable and decent in other respects, as to make it more painful to hear them offend in this, is the object of the following discourse. It was preached some years ago to the Author's Country-parishoners, and is certainly better calculated for the pulpit than the closet. But it was thought best not to make any alteration in this respect, as the subject seems to require a declamatory, rather than an argumentative style. All, who consider it seriously, must be convinced: the thing wanted is Impression.
EXODUS XX. 7.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that
taketh his name in vain.
THIS, as you all know, was one of the commandments delivered to the people of Israel from mount Sinai. I will repeat to you some of the circumstances attending that delivery, as recorded by Moses in the book of Exodus. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak unto thee, and believe thee for ever.Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day, and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the. third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.-And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day.-And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a
thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And God spake these words,―Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vaina. My brethren, had you then been presenthad you been among the people of Israel, who trembled for fear, who, at the first pause of God's awful voice, removed and stood afar off, and said to Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die, had you witnessed the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the exceeding loud sound of the trumpet-had you seen God descending in fire, and the whole mountain shaking beneath him-had you seen the thick cloud of smoke, ascending like the smoke of a furnace had you heard God himself speaking from the midst of it:-should you have been disposed to break this
a Exod. xix. 9-11. 14-19. xx. 1.7,