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for in the fight of God, which you are led into? by the natural depravity of your corrupt nature, that you need run unneceffarily into others? Need
you tell God Almighty to his face, that you will disobey him, merely, and for no other reason, but because you will do it?: If there is: any thing that deserves the punishment of God more than this, I knowinot what it is You will excuse yourself, perhaps, byrisaying you were in a paffion--you were provoked beyond bearance, and could not help fwearing: it is a. mifs : take-you might have helped it. You rarely, I believe, ever heard a man fwear, even in as paffion, who had not in fome degree gotten the habit of it before. It is true, there are degrees' in this vices as there are in all others. Some men are such wickedy abandoned wretches, that they swear at all times their whole conversation is made up of oaths and imprecations. Others, indeed, are not fo bad :: they have gotten a custom indeed of fwearing ; but in general they have fome decency, and feldorn fwear but when their passions are a little raised : but if they had never, at any time of their lives, addicted them. selves to this vice, depend upon it an oath would
not come fo glibly from their mouths, even in a passion. But let me alk
you, be fo ready to excuse fwearing, by your being in a passion, Suppose you were before any person whom you greatly respected ; or, suppose any person should offer you a sum of money for avoiding swearing; or, should punish you severely for
you swore in your paffion; would you not, think you, avoid swearing, even when provoked to the highest? I verily believe you would. There is some other reason then that prevents your avoiding fwearing, besides your being in a passion. Shall I tell it you? It is plain you do not reverence God so much as man; nor value his favour so much as you do a sum of money ; nor fear his wrath so much as you do worldly punishment. Do not say, then, you cannot avoid swearing when you are in a passion; but tell the truth plainly, that you think it not worth while to be at any pains to avoid it.
Let me endeavour then, if pofsible, to prevail with you to leave off this abominable vice. It fits ill upon every person. In general, indeed, it is a vice that feldom goes alone; it is com
monly monly the vice of profligate people such as have no fear of God before their eyes; noisy, brawling, hardened fellows, who terrify those beneath them, and are despised by every body else. "You hardly, I suppose, know any of these cursing and swearing people, who are not bad ment in other respects : they are drunkards, or they are given up to a loose, disorderly life of are, in some way, a nuisance to their neighbourhood. And if ever this vice is found in better people, where there is some good, it is always thought a great injury and blemish to them; and their neighbours cry out, how forry they are to fee so many virtues clouded by such a vice, And when you give the character of a good many you commonly say, as a high praise," he was never heard to swear an oath in his life, Swear. ing therefore, I say, fits ill upon all people; bue if there are any that should particularly avoid this fhocking vice, it is those who are at the head of families--who have children and.fervants to instruct, and keep in order. . What a shack. ing thing is it to breed up your own children in vice to train them up in wickedness byi.your own example !--to be the devil's worft agents in
fitting your own offspring for destruction TF you teach thém no good, for God's fake teach them no ill. Is it not enough, think you, to leave them to pick up vice' as they can, but must
instruct them in it?-must you teach their infánt tongues, By your example, " titl their lips begin glibly to form an oath? The case is the fame with regard to the servants : it is the duty of masters to have an eye upon their behaviour -to keep them to their duty, and make them go regularly to church; but instead of that, if they teach them to fin by their example, I much fear that such masters will not only have their own sins, but, in a degree, the fins of others to answer for,
Thus I have endeavoured to deter you
from the abominable practice of common fwearing You will observe, I am not calling you to any heights of religion-I am not calling you, in our Saviour's language, to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand; I am calling upon you only for one of the first steps of a christian life--that of not dishonouring your Maker's name.
Let me then hope that all who are addicted to this