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tention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; so where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. An ungodly man diggeth up evil; and in his lips there is a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife, and a whisperer separateth chief friends'. Moving his lips, he bringeth evil to pass. A tale-bearer revealeth secrets; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. A naughty person, a wicked mau walketh with a froward mouth. He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers. Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually, he soweth discord1. Violence covereth the mouth of the wicked*. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief'. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
SECT 4. Sometimes it is shamefully employed in lying, deceiving, and injuring others.
Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men'? A righteous man hateth lying; but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. He that hath a froward heart findeth no good, and he that hath a per
• Prov. xviii. 6, 7. f Prov. xvi. 27, 28. Prov. vi. 12, 13, 14. m Jer. ix. 4. § 4. Psal. Iviii. 1.
d Psal. lviii. 3.
Prov. xvii. 9. Prov. xvi. 30. * Prov. x. 6.
b Prov. xiii. 5.
• Prov. xxvi. 20, 21, 22. h Prov. xi. 13.
Prov. xxiv. 2.
c Prov. xvii. 4.
verse tongue falleth into mischief. The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver him. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge". The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. They will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies. Their tongue is as an arrow shot out, it speaketh deceit one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait. Your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies'.
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee ". Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou Islanderest thine own mother's son". What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. Thy tongue deviseth mischief; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good, and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue! God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling-place, and root thee out of the land of the living". The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped 9.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their
• Prov. xvii. 20.
h Prov. xiv. 7.
Isa. lix. 3, 4. • Psalm cxx. 5, 4. VOL. II.
f Prov. xii. 6.
1 Psalm xxxvi. 3.
P Psalm lii. 2-5.
Prov. xii. 19.
* Jer. ix. 5, 8.
n Psalm 1. 19, 20.
4 Psalm lxiii. 11.
consciences seared with a hot iron; and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you'. From such withdraw thyself'. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision; whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies". These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth'. Their teeth are as swords, and their jaw-teeth like knives, to devour the poor from the earth, and the needy from among men ". My soul is among lions, and I lie even among them that are set on fire; even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword".
SECT. 5. Sometimes in bearing false witness, and in acts of perjury.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not raise a false report; put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent, and the righteous, slay thou not. One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin. At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. If a false witness rise up against a man, to testify against him that which is wrong; and hath testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him as he had thought to have done unto his
r 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2.
§ 5. Exod. xx. 16.
a Deut. xix. 15, 16.
s 1 Pet. ii. 3.
b Exod. xxiii. 1.
t1 Tim. vi. 5.
y Psalm lxxiii. 8, 9.
Exod. xxiii. 7.
brother. Ye shall not deal falsely, neither lie one to another: and ye shall not swear by my name falsely; neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God. Thou shalt not go up and down, as a tale-bearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour. Be not a witness against thy neighbour, without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish'. A true witness delivereth souls; but a deceitful witness speaketh lies *. A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour, is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow'. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment; and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity". He that speaketh truth, showeth forth righteousness; but a false witness, deceit. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood, and judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil, maketh himself a prey.
SECT. 6. At other times in imprecations of evil, and in blasphemy.
Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind. Thou shalt not revile the gods*, nor curse the ruler of thy people. Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bed-chamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice; and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
There is a generation that curseth their father, and
• Deut. xix. 18, 19.
h Prov. xxiv. 28.
1 Prov. xxv. 18.
• Prov. iv. 24.
a Lev. xix. 14.
Lev. xix. 11, 12.
In Prov. xix. 28.
b Exod. xxii. 28.
* i. e. Magistrates.
8 Lev. xix. 16.
e Eccles. x. 20.
doth not bless their mother". Every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death; he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness'.
This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come, for men shall be proud blasphemers 3. Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death; and all the congregation shall certainly stone him; as well the stranger as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death". Behold the Lord cometh, with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. And they shall pass through, hardly bestead and hungry; and they shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God, and look upward *.
SECT. 7. All these abuses of the tongue are an abomination to the Lord.
These are the things that ye shall do, Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour, execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates; and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour, and love no false oath, for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord. Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel; for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying they break out; therefore shall the land mourn. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are
d Prov. xxx. 11.
§ 7. Zech. viii. 16, 17.
e Lev. xx. 9.
Lev. xxiv. 15, 16.
Hos. iv. 1, 2, S.
f Prov. xx. 20.
i Jude, 14, 15.