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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, Psal. x. 6. Prov. vi. 16. 17; We find that God suffered Adam's sons to marry their own sisters, and the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians of what they had borrowed of them ; but never did the God of truth at any time dispense with men's speak. ing 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 sets himself to keep up the trade. He is the father of lies, that begets them in 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 sin, 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 have the art of it from their first father Adam. But as soon as grace enters the heart, it rectifies it in that point. Hence the Lord's people are called children that will not lie,' Isa. Ixiii. 8.
4. There is a meanness or baseness in lying beyond what is in other common sins, either because it proceeds from fear, or tends to deceive. Hence liars themselves cannot endure to be called liars; the baseness of the sin being so much acknowledged in the world, that though many bring forth and cherish the yile 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 losi his credit, and is looked upon as a man that cannot be bound with the common ties of society, nor trusted.
Lastly, It will bring God's wrath heavily on the guilty, Prov. xix. 5,9: A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
A false witness shall not be unpunished; and he that speaketh lies shall perish.' God's truth is impawned for the liar's destruction,
even eternal destruction. Shall liars have access to heaven! 1 No, they are barred out from thence, Rev. xxj. 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, Rey. xxi, 8. and xxii. 15,
I shall give you a few advices.
į. 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 lusts on which lies depend. Labour to be humble, for pride and self-seeking occasions many lies, as the boaster's lie. Some are founded on covetousness, as the lies in bargaining; some in fear, slavish fear of men, as denying of truth; some in the vanity and rashness of our natures, whereby lies come to be broached without a formed design.
2. Accustom yourselves to few words, for in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, Prov. x. 19; It is but just with God, that idle words be punished by suffering people to fall into lying words.
3, Remember that God will discover truth ; and that his øye is upon you at all times. And though ye may deceive others with your lies, ye cannot deceive the omniscient God He is witness to the truth, and will call you to account foç your contradicting 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, Proy. xii. 19.
Lastly, Curb lying in young ones, out of pity to their souls, and care of their credit when they come to years, For some get such 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 neigbour, being employed in slandering, back, biting, reproaching, reviling, scolding, &c. For motives,
Mot. 1. 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 dą good to himself and others, Psal. lvii
. 9, 10; Shall we thus
turn our glory into shame, and pervert the ends of speech ? How just were it that we were struck dumb ?
2. It is a murdering instrument. I observed to you before, that an ill tongue is a parcel of murdering weapons, a bow and sharp arrows to pierce, a sword to stab, and a fire to devour others. Yea, Solomon observes, that death and life are in the power of the tongue. It is a fire that kindles strife and contention in all societies, and turns them into confusion ; and oft-times returns heavily on the head of those who carry it. The tongues from heaven were eloven, to be the more diffusive of good; but those fired from bell are forked to be the more impressive of mischief.
3. Consider the wickedness of it. It is a world of ini. quity, Jam. iii. 6; They have much ado that have an ill tongue to guide, a world of iniquity to guide. It is a broad stream from the fountain of the wickedness of the heart.
4. An unbridled tongue cuts off all pretences to true reli. gion, Jam. i. 26; For where the fear or love of God and our neighbour is in the heart, it will be a bond on the tongue to keep it within the bounds of Christian charity.
5. We must give an account of our words at the day of judgment, Matth. xii. 36, 37.
Lastly, An ill tongue will ruin the soul. Bridle your tongues; however unruly they be, they shall be silent in the grave. And, if repentance prevent it not, the day will come that they will be tormented in hell-flames, Luke xvi,
I shall conclude with an advice of two,
1. Begin at the heart, if ye would order your tongues aright. Labour to get them cleansed by the sanctifying Spirit of Christ. Study love to God and your neighbour, which are the fulfilling of the law. Labour for meekness, and patience, and humility, which will be the best directors of the tongue.
2. Set yourselves, in the faith of promised assistance, to watch over your hearts and tongues. Unwatchfulness is dangerous in the case of such an unruly member as the tongue is.
God has guarded it naturally. Do ye also watch it.
OF THE TENTH COMMANDMENT.
Exod. xx. 17.-Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house,
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man ser. vant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ot, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's,
of this command is to strike at the root and first risings of sin in the heart, in the desires going out of their right line of purity and equity. It is a strict boundary set to the unbounded desires of the heart.
In it, there are, 1. The act. 2. The object. The act, Thou shalt not covet, or lust, as the apostle terms it, Rom. vii. 7; which implies an inordinateness of desire, a feverish motion of the soul towards the creature, irregular and disorderly; and so a dissatisfaction with one's present condi, tion, as appears from Heb, xiii. 5; “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have.
? The object is held forth particularly for example's cause, thy neighbour's house, thy neighbour's wife, his servants, and goods. Thou shalt not only not take away thy neighbour's house from him by oppression, nor'entice away his servants, nor steal his goods, nor entertain a fixed and deliberate desire to do him that injury, as is forbidden in the eighth command; but the inordinate desire of having them shall not rise in, nor go through thy heart, however lightly, if it were like a flying arrow, saying, O that his house, his servant, his ox and ass were mine! Thou shalt not only not defile his wife, nor deliberately desire to do it, as is forbid. den in the seventh commandment; but thou shalt not say in thine beart, O that she were mine! though thou hast no mind, right or wrong, to make her so.
This object is held forth universally, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's: whereby it appears, that this command looks through all the other coinmandments of the second table, and so condemns all inordinate desire of any object whatsoever. And therefore the Papists dividing this command into two is absurd, and but a trick invented to atone for their
confounding the first and second. While this command says, nor any thing, it says, Thou shalt not only not dishonour thy neighbour by insolent and contemptuous beha. viour, but there shall not be a desire in thy heart, saying, O that his place and post were mine, as in the fifth command; nor, O that I had his health and strength, as in the sixth; nor his reputation and esteem, as in the ninth; though you have no deliberate design or desire to wrong him in these.
I do not wonder, if some are surprised at this, and say, Are these sins? for indeed this command goes deeper than the rest; and if it did not so, it would be superfluous; for you see it aims not at any new object, but holds by the objects of the former commands; therefore it must look to some more inward and less noticed motions of the heart than the rest do. And therefore Paul, though he learned the law at the school of divinity under Gamaliel, a professor of it, yet, till he learned it over again at the school of the Spirit, holding it out in its spirituality and extent, he did not know these things to be sin, Rom. vii. 7. It was this command brought home to his conscience, that let him see that lust to be sin which he saw not before.
And seeing this is a command of the second table, and ourselves are our nearest neighbour, the lust or inordinate desire of those things that are our own must be condemned here, as well as lusting after what is not ours.
So much for the negative part of this command, which in effect is this, Thou shalt not be in the least dissatisfied with thy own present condition in the world, nor have any inordinate motion in thy heart to that which is thy own or thy neighbour's.
The positive part is implied, and that is, Thou shalt be fully content with thy own lot, whatever it be, and arrest thy heart within the bounds that God has inclosed it in, bearing a charitable disposition to the neighbour and what is his. For all covetousness implies a discontent with our own condition.
Quest.“ What is required in the tenth commandment.' Ans. “ The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all that is his.'