Page images

of our evil nature; for it is not probable that he, who is striving hot to offend against one commandment of God, should, at that very moment, offend against another; the same awful feeling which prevents him from blaspheming against the name of God, may curb anger, soften hatred, and produce a general spirit of pious moderation. To conclude; which of all those crimes prescribed in the decalogue is the greatest, we know not; as they are all equally forbidden, they are, probably, all equally heinous :there cannot, therefore, be a doubt, which, in a religious point of view, it is the greatest folly to commit; for, to the violation of the name of God, there is no natural impulse, nor is any great enjoyment the consequence of it; for though it may be difficult sometimes not to do it, there is no sort of pleasure in doing it, nor is it a vice by which anything is gained, but disreputation, and disgrace. In the meantime, it is as dangerous in its consequences, as if it were agreeable in itself; it weakens the obligation of oaths, destroys the delicacy of religious feeling, and makes all those thoughts common, which should be reserved for the great

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

changes, and chances of life: He, therefore, who blasphemes out of these walls, will pray within them to little purpose; and, whatever be the effusions of his heart, when the world are not by, his open profanations will not be forgotten, nor will God hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain.






The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is, in the sight of God, of a great price.

THE meekness of the gospel has been so far mistaken by one sect of Christians, that they have erroneously interpreted it to mean, passive submission to violence and injury; a principle which operates as an incitement. to many bad passions, by leaving to them their indisputed reward, and urges us to abandon those salutary means of defence, implanted by nature for the encouragement

« PreviousContinue »