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Proof, that the Threateaings of the Lordare equally true with his Promises, and that he certainly will not hold him guiltless who profanes his holy Name, py taking it in vain!
Nor is the following Example less mocking, if not rather more so, on Account of the Condition of the unhappy Wretch who was guilty thereof, which Was a great Aggravation of his Sin; inasmuch as he not only grievously offended his great Creator, but seemed to set him at open Desiance. This unfortunate and graceless Creature, who lived in Lincolnfare, used to make it his common Practice, to swear by Gotsa precious Blood; and though often reproved by Acquaintance and Relations, would not take any Warning. At length, being- afflicted with a grievous Sickness, so that there were small Hopes of his Lise, his Friends redoubled their Admontions, earnestly intreating him to consider his State, and make bis Peace with Heaven, whilst it was yet Time by B sincere Repentance.
But all good Counsel was lost upon him, and Wholly disregarded; for,so hardened was he in this Sin, that hearing the Bell toll for him (which was a Custom formerly when the Person was dying, and not after he was dead, as is the Practice now) tlio* he was in the very Pangs of Death, he started up,and, to the Horror of all present, swore, Jby the Wounds of that God, btfare wh. Ie dreadsul Tribunal he was just about to appear, the Bell tolled for him; tut he, meaning the Almighty,y2W</»&/ have bimyet. But, to shew him, whom he had set at Desiance, no sooner had he uttered this horrid Blasphemy, than Heaven stopped his impious Mouth, and prevented his ever speaking more; for the Blood immediately issued from his Eyes, Nofe, Mouth, Ears, Wrists, Knees, Hee!s,Toes, and, in short, from every Part of his Body. Thus was he made a visible Example of the Divine Justice and Power, to the Terror of
the whole Country, and ended a wicked Lise by a miserable and terrible Death.
The three next Instances of the dreadsul Consequences of transgressing the Third Commandment, are of another Nature, but we think not less remarkable; because the Punishment did not immediately fall upon those who were guilty of this Sin, but upon their innocent Children. The sirst is of a Woman, who being of a very passionate Temper, nied frequently, in her Anger, bitterly to curse one of her Sons. One Time, above the reit, being transported with Rage beyond Measure, and giving Way thereto, after many other grievous Execrations, to crown the whole she wickedly wished, that all the Devils in Hell would setch h'm ou* of her Presence. The poor Boy, greatly terrisied at such abominable Expressions, in order to get out of his Mother's Way till her Fury was over, went into a little Court-yard behind the House, tho* it was Ten at Nighr, and very dark. But he had not been there long, besore he selt himself snatched up into the Air, and was carried away with incredible Swiftness, so that no Bird could have flown so fast He was then let fall amongst a great Number of Bushes and Briars, and drawn through the thickest of them, insomuch that, not only his Cloaths were grievously torn, but his Face and Body also; whereupon the poor Creature began to call out upon Heaven for Relies, which ms immediately sent him; for his cruel Tormentors, who to him appeared like Men of a large Stature, and terrible Countenance, but who were indeed insernal Spirits, carrying him back through the Air, put him in at a little Window belonging to one of the Chambers of his Father's House, and there lest him. Accordingly, in this Room he was afterwards found by the Family, aster long Search, and much Sorrow; though in a deplorable Condition and almost distracted with Fear: Heaven havii g pe mitted the evil Spirits thus far to torment him, for the Admonition and Warning of his wicked Mother.
Another Woman, not much better than the foregoing, being equally addicted to Passion and to bitter Imprecations by the Almighty w.,en angry, was yet more severely punished for it, in the Person of her Son. For the poor Youth having some way displeased her, and being going Abroad, she dis. missed him with this Curse, that she frayed God, she might newer see him return alive, to which Heaven soon faid Amen: For the Weather being then sultry, the young Man being faint with Heat, went with some of his Companions to bathe himself, and was unfortunately drowned ; so that he never again returned to his wicked Mother, till he was carried to her in that Condition, upon the Shoulders of others. A Judgment, which though it did not fall directly upon herself, yet, if fhe had -any natural Afsection, when out of her Fury, or any the least Fear of God besore her Eyes, must render all the Remainder of her Days miserable.
The last Instance of this Kind is in some respects yet much more remarkable than either of the former; inasmuch as the poor Boy who sufsered thereby, lived to be seen, and conversed with by Thoufands. This unhappy Youth, having a Father very passionate, and who, upon the slightest Provocations, was too much given to wicked Imprecations, happenniog one Day not to be sufficiently expeditious about his Business, to fatisfy the Impatience of his hasty Parent, sivi/b, faid he, thou maytst never stir from thy Place; and too soon indeed he had his wicked Wish. For, scarcely had he uttered the Words, besore the Lad stuck fast indeed, as if rooted there; so that there was no Possibility of moving him by any Means, no,not se much as to sit, or bend his Body.
At length, aster some Time, by the Prayers of good Christians, his Pairs were somewhat mitigated, though not intirely remitted ; and in this terrible Condition did the poor Youth remain, for seven Years, a standing Monumtnt of God's Judgment, upon such as are guilty of this abominable Practice; and a terrible and daily Memento to his Father of his horrid Sin, which he faw thus severely visited upon his Son; and which he might consequently expect,, would be more severely punistred'on himself, without a sincere and hearty Repentance! Three Years of the seven, did the poor Youth continue standing, without any other Ease, than the having a Post placed at his Back to lean against; aster which Heaven so far relieved him,, as to,restore him to the Power of sitting; and in this melancholy State, now sitting, then standing, did he linger out four Years longer, when he departed this Lise joysully, nothing weakened in his Understanding, and not doubting of his Salvation through the Merits and Mercy of Christ,
And in essect, as terrible and awakening as this Judgment may seem at sirst Sight, and as indeed it was, in one respect, yet, with regard to the Son, it appears only to have been the mercisulVisitationof a loving Parent; who by this strong Trial of the Lad's Submission and Resignation, was preparing and sitting him for himself. This we have all the Reason in the World to believe, from the constant Deportment of the poor Youth, during the whole Course of' this siery Purgation; no Murmurs, no Complaints, no Repinings were heard come out of his Mouth, bat he was continually strengthened, to bear all with unwearied Patience; his constant Answer to all who asked him concerning his Welfare, and what had bes.illcn him, being, that he ivas afflicted and fastened of Gon; and that it must not be the Help of Man, but the Mercy and Power of Heaven, must relieve him. And accordmg'y he was amply rewarded at last for fa is exemplary Patience under his momentary and transient Sufferings here, by a glorious and happy Immortality.
We have now, as we hope, sufficiently shewn the full Extent of (his divine Precept, as also the good Consequences of paying a ready Submission thereto, and the fatal Efsects, even in this Lise, of a contrary Practice, let us theresore go on to the Fourth and last Commandment of the sirst Table.
Os the good and bad Consequences of the Observance, or Non-Observance of the Fourth Commandment.
REmemher that thou hep holy the Sabbath Day; six Days /halt thou lahour, and do all that thou 'bast to do ; but the Seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thoushalt da no manner of Work, thou, nor thy Son, nor thy Daughter, thy Man-Servant, nor thy Maid-Servant, nor thy Cattle, nor the Stranger that is tuithin thy Gates. For in fix Days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, and rested the Seventh Day; ivberefor-t the Lor D blessed the Seventh Day, and hallovued it.
Now, though what is required of us by this Comma, dment is so plainly expressed, that it is almost impossible to misunderstand it. would not any serious Foreigner who observes the Behaviour of the Generality of Persons of all Ages, Denominations, or Conditions, at Home and Abroad, b< tempted to believe, that in Imitation of the Roman Catholicks, who have excluded the Second Commandment out of