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this when he appeals to God, If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, ver. 9. This is to be pure before God, who feeth in fecret, and fearcheth the hidden things of darkness. The least glance of the heart over this hedge is a crime.
Secondly, Chastity in fpeech, Col. iv. 6. Let your Speech be always with grace, feafoned with falt. As there is tongue-murder, there is tongue adultery But our fpeeches muft favour of fobriety and purity; and fo they will if the heart be pure; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth fpeaketh. The Holy Ghost in the fcriptures gives us a pattern to be imitated in our fpeeches concerning those things that have a natural turpitude with them, vailing the fame in modeft expreffions.
Thirdly, Chastity in behaviour, which comprehends both the keeping of the body undefiled by any grofs act, and a modeft carriage every way, 1 Pet.. ii. 2. Modesty muft appear in the whole of our behaviour, that the purity of the heart may fhine forth thereby, as the candle gives light through the lantern.
Now, as this threefold chastity is required here, fo the proper means for preferving it are alfo required,
1. Watching over our fenfes. Thefe are the ports at which Satan breaks in and ruins people's purity. The heart and the fenfes are like a candle-wick, at the end of which lies a heap of powder. Objects fet fire to the fenfes at the wick, and these carry it along to the heart, where the corruption lies as a heap of powder. Particularly,
(1.) The eyes, Job xxxi. 1. These were the gates at which fin first entered into the world; and thefe have been the gates of deftruction to many, whereby their fame, body, and fouls have been deftroyed together. It is remarkable that the Sodomites were fmitten with blindnefs, who took fo little care to watch their eyes while they had the ufe of them, Curious glances of the eye have been fatal to many,
as being the effect of pride and rage; a taking into mens heads the difpofing of that life which God only is Lord of; it is an ufurping of the magiftrates fword, and invading God's right of vengeance, Rom. xii. 19. And the pretence of honour, the usual plea for duels, is as far different from God's laws of honour, as hell is from heaven, Prov. xvi. 32. Matth. v. 44.
Secondly, Whatfoever tendeth to the taking away of our neighbour's life unjustly. This is virtual, interpretative, indirect murder. It is of several forts, all here forbidden.
1. There is heart-murder; and of that there are feveral forts.
ift, Carnal anger and wrath, which is rash, causelefs, and exceffive, Matth. v. 22. Some people's anger is like a fire in ftraw, foon blown up and foon out; others like a fire in iron once kindled, which it is hard to get laid. But of whatever fort it is, it is a fhort madness; and the longer it is kept, it is fo much the worse, Eph. iv. 26. 27. It refteth in the bofom of fools. All murder begins here. It is a fire that kindles the anger of God and of our neighbour against us, and fo cafts all into confusion. Let us ftudy meeknefs; which is what will make us like to Chrift, Col. iii. 12.
2dly, Envy, whereby people grieve and grudge at the good of others. It is the devil's two-edged fword drawn to flay two at once; the envious him. felf, Prov. xiv. 30. for he is like a ferpent gnawing its own tail, Job v. 2. ; and the party envied, Prov. xxvii. 4. While other fins are entertained for pleafure or profit, this is like a barren field bringing forth only briers and thorns; there is not a dram of any fort of pleafure in it. But this was it that put Jofeph's brethren on a murdering defign. A charitable frame of fpirit is our duty, Rom. xii.
3dly, Hatred and malice against our neighbour.
This made Cain imbrue his hands in his brother's blood. And fuch as live in malice and hatred go in his way, 1 John iii. 15. It is the fad character of perfons eftranged from God, that they are hateful, and bating one another, Tit. iii. 3. But of all batred that is the worft which hates good men for their goodness. However we may hate every man's faults, but no man's perfon. Love thy neighbour as thyfelf, is the exprefs command of heaven.
4thly, Revengeful thoughts and defires; which are fo much the worse as they are the longer entertained, Rom. xii. 19. That heart is a bloody heart that longs for a heart-fight, as they call it, on those that have wronged them. God fees the moft fecret wifh of ill to our neighbour, and will call us to an account. Let us learn long-fuffering and patience, to forgive, a difpofition and readiness to be reconciled; otherwife our addreffes to heaven for pardon will be vain, Matth. vi. 15.
5thly, Rejoicing at the mischief that befals others, Prov. xxiv. 17. 18. Nothing makes men liker the devil than that murdering difpofition to make the ruin of others our mirth, and their forrow our joy; for man's fin and mifery is what affords pleasure to the devil. We fhould fympathize and weep with them that weep, as well as rejoice with thofe that do rejoice
Lastly, Cruelty, an horrid unrelenting difpofition, that is not affected with the mifery of others, but carries it on, and adds to it with delight. A difpofition most inconfiftent with the spirit of the gofpel, that teaches tender-heartedness even to the very beafts, Prov. xii. 10. But those that delight in cruel treating of thefe, want but an opportunity to exercise it on men.
2. There is tongue-murder. Solomon obferves, that the tongue, however little a member it is, is the lord of life and death, Prov. xviii. 21. & xxi. 23. If it be not well managed then, no wonder it VOL. III.
be fometimes found guilty of murder. The natural fhape of the tongue refembles a flame of fire, and therefore in Hebrew one word fignifies a flame and the tongue; yea and it is what it feems to be, a fire, a world of iniquity, James iii. 6. It resembles alfo a fword, and fo it is oft-times, Pfal. lvii. 4. & lix. 7. The mouth and tongue refemble bow and arrow, and fo they are. Pfal, Ixiv. 3. The rage of an ill tongue muft needs be dangerous then, feeing fuch an one lays about him with his bow and arrow, and advances with fire and fword, which muft needs bring him in blood-guilty. Now, this fword devours feveral ways.
ift, By quarrelling, provoking, and contentious fpeeches, Prov. xxiii. 29. Such words have oft-times begun a plea that has ended in blood. And therefore the apoftle compares fuch to beafts that begin to fnarl and bite one another, till'it end in the ruin of either or both, Gal. v. 15. Let us make confcience then of peaceable, mild, and gentle fpeeches.
2dly, By bitter words. Thefe are the impoisoned arrows that tongue murderers fhoot at their neighbour, Pfal. lxiv. 3. 4. Their tongues are dipt in gall, and they pierce to the heart, and give a home-thruft like a fword, Prov. xii. 28, They become not the difciples of the meek Jefus. Lay afide thefe, as ye would not be reckoned murderers in the fight of God, Eph. iv. 31.
3dly, By railing and scolding. This was Shimei's murdering deed, 2 Sam. xvi. 5. 6. 7. for which he died as a murderer in Solomon's days. Thus men and women manage their tongue-battles with eagernefs, making their doors or the town-gate the field of battle, where words pierce like fwords to the heart. Thefe are the plagues' and pefts of fociety, whofe bloody mouths proclain their hearts fearlefs of God. Hear ye what the Lord fays, 1 Pet. iii. 9. Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwife, bleffing; knowing that ye
are thereunto called, that ye fhould inherit a bleffing. 4thly, By reviling, reproachful, and difdainful fpeeches. Men think little of thefe; they are but words, and words are but wind. But they are a wind that will blow people to hell, Mat. v, 22. They are the devil's bellows to blow up the fire of anger; which may make fearful havock ere it be quenched, Prov. xv. I.
5thly, By mocking, fcoffing, and deriding speeches. Thefe are reckoned among the fufferings of the martyrs, Heb. xi. 36. Others had trial of cruel mockings. The foldiers mocking of Chrift, John xix. 3. is compared to the baiting by dogs, Pfal. xxii. 16, See how children paid for this ufage to the prophet Elifha, 2 Kings ii. 23. 24.
Laftly, By curlings, imprecations, and wrathful wifhings of ill and mischief to our neighbours; which is but throwing up of hellish fire on others, that comes down and burns up him that threw it, Pfal. cix. 18.
3. There is eye-murder, which vents itfelf by a wrathful countenance, and all geftures of that kind, fuch as high and proud looks, and fierce looks, Prov. vi. 17. The Spirit of God takes notice of Cain's countenance, Gen. iv. 5. As there is adultery in looks, fo there may be murder in them, not only angry looks, but looks of fatisfaction on the miseries of others, which God knows the meaning of, Obad. 12.; gnashing with the teeth, and all fuch geftures of a perfon, denoting a heart boiling with wrath and revenge, Acts vii, 54.
There is hand-murder, even where death killeth not. And people may be guilty of this two ways, ift, By way of omiflion, when we with-hold and give not help to thofe that are in diftrefs, to favę their life or living, Judg. v, 2. 3.; neglecting the fick, not vifiting and helping them as need requires, Luke x. 31. 32.; not affording means of life to the poor in want, Jam. ii, 15. 16. for thofe put out the