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XXVI. TAKING GOD's NAME IN VAIN. -BLASPHEMY. CURSING AND SWEARING.
Commands against-Punishment of-Extent of command.
1. What is the third commandment?
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. (20 Ex. 7.)
2. What punishment did God denounce against blasphemy?
Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin: and he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death. (24 Lev. 15, 16.)
3. Is the name of God holy?
Holy and reverend is his name. (111 P. 9.)
4. Is the name of Christ to be always reverenced?
God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (2 Phil. 9, 10, 11.)
5. How is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit forbidden ? All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that
shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because, they said, He hath an unclean spirit. (3 Mr. 28, 29, 30.)
6. Does Christ forbid swearing?
Swear not at all. (5 Mt. 34.)
7. How does St. James cau tion against this sin?
Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (5 Jas. 12.)
(See also 5 Mt. 34 to 37.)
8. Is this sin a national evil?
Because of swearing the land mourneth. (23 Jer. 10.)
9. Are we forbidden to curse?
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (12 Ro. 14.)
10. How does St. Paul describe the awful character of sinners who thus abuse their tongues?
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. (3 Ro. 13,14.) (See also 10th P.)
XXVII. GENERAL TEXTS CONCERNING THE TONGUE.
Cautions in the use of the tongue-We are accountable to God for its right use-Evils from the tongue.
1. How should our speech be regulated?
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (4 Col. 6.)
2. Does the regulation of the tongue often preserve from troubles?
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles. (21 Pr. 23.)
3. What was the Psalmist's resolution?
I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle. (39 Ps. 1.)
4. Does God know every word we utter?
There is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. (139 P. 4.)
5. Will God punish those who abuse their tongues?
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? (12 P. 2, 3, 4.)
6. Whence do our words flow; and what account shall we have to render of them?
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth
good things; and an evilman, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things: but I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (12 Mt. 34, 35, 36.)
7. Do many evils arise from a talkative disposition?
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin; but he that refraineth his lips is wise. The tongue of the just is as choice silver. (10 Pr. 19, 20.)
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; babbler is no better. (10 Ec. 11.)
8. What are the evils of the tongue ?
The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (3 Jas.5, 6.)
9. Is it often employed for very opposite and inconsistent purposes?
The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (3 Jas. 8 to 11.)
10. Is great care of the tongue necessary when employed in the worship of God?
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. (5 Ec. 2.)
11. Is the government of the tongue a test of our sincerity?
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. (1 Jas. 26)
12. Should we pray for God's assistance against the sins of the tongue?
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (141 P. 3.)
13. Are we required to avoid all the sins connected with the tongue ?
Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him. (3 Col. 8, 9, 10.)
Purity commended-Impurity forbidden- Blessings of the former, punishment of the latter-Reasons for holiness, -The means and end of sanctification.
1. Are we by nature unholy?
We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (64 Is. 6.)
2. What is the seventh commandment?
Thou shalt not commit adultery. (20 Ex. 14.)
3. How did Christ explain the extent of this command? Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath com-mitted adultery with her already in his heart. (5 Mt. 28.)
4. What was the inscription which God ordered to be placed on Aaron's mitre?
'HOLINESS TO THE LORD. (28 Ex. 36.)