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on, is not enough to prove a mans Religion to be in vain. Though Chrift fay that we fhall answer for every idle word, he doth not fay, we shall be condemned for every idle word: But when the tongue is unbridled, and is not kept under a holy Law, but fuffered to be the ordinary inftrument of wilfull. known fin, or of grofs fin which men might know and will not, this proves the perfon void of holinefs, and confequently his Religion vain.
Its true; every Hypocrite hath not an unbridled tongue: fome of them have the bridle of moral precepts, and fome of Religious education, and fome of the presence and awe of perfons whom they efteem: common knowledge, with natural manfuetude and moderation. doth bridle the tongues of many an Hypocrite: But as every wicked man is not a drunkard, or fornicator,
fornicator, and yet every drun kard or fornicator (that liveth in it) is a wicked man, fo every Hypocrite hath not an unbridled tongue (his vice may lie fome other way), but every man that hath an unbridled tongue is an Hypocrite, if withall he profefs himself a Chriftian.
The fins of the tongue are of three forts. 1. Such as are against piety. 2. Such as are against 728ftice. 3. Such as are against Charity.
1. Against Piety, that is, directly against God, are, Blafphemy. Perjury, rafh fwearing, fwearing by creatures, light and unreverent ufing of Gods Name, and attri butes, and Word and works :` pleading for falfe doctrine, or falfe worship difpoting again't truth and duty: fcorning at godlinels or reafoning agamit it. These and fuch impieties of the ongue, e
the evidences of prophaneness in the speakers heart; though fome of them much more then others. and if the tongue be not then bridled, all is in vain.
2. Sinfull speeches against Justice and charity are thefe: reproaching Parents, or Governours, or neighbours railing and reviling : curfing: provoking others to do mifchief, or commit any fin: difputing against, and diffwading men from truth and duty; and hindering them by your speeches from a holy life, and the means of their falvation calling good, evil, and evil, good lying; flandering; falfe witnefs-bearing, back-biting: extenuating mens vertues, and aggravating their faults beyond the certain apparent truth ceiving, and reciting, and carrying on evil reports, which you know not to be true: endeavouring to cool mens love to others, by mak
ing them feem bad, when we cannot prove it mentioning mens faults and failings without a call and just occafion, unchaft, immodeft, ribald fpeeches : cheating and deceitful words to wrong others in their eftates: with other fuch like.
But undoubtedly that fin of the tongue which the Apostle here had particular refpect to, was the reproaching of fellow-Chriftians, especially upon the occafion of fome differences of judgement and practice in the fmaller matters of Religion: The Judaizing Chriftians gave liberty to their tongues, to reproach thofe that refused the ufe of thofe ceremonies, which they used themselves, and placed much of their Religion in; The quarrel was the fame that was decided by the Apoftles, 4. 15. and by Paul, Rom, 14. and 15. and throughout the Epiftle to the Galathians
Galathians. And this is the Religion that fames calls vain here, which was much placed in ceremonies, with a pretenfe of highest knowledge,and a cenforious vilifying of all that would not do as they.
There are especially three forts that use to reproach each other about the matters of Religion. 1.Thofe that are hardened to that. height of impiety, as to make a mock at seriousness and diligence. in the practife of Chriftianity it felf, hacing and reproaching them that dare not fell their fouls at as bafe a price as they.
2. Thofe that have fo far extinguished charity by faction and felf-conceit, as to confine their love and honour to their party, and to speak evil of thofe that are not of their own opinions. 3. Thofe that give liberty to their tongues unleafonably, unmeafurably.