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LESSONS .:: CHIEFLY IN : PRO S E.
Upon this Confideration the Work of Religion should be begun by Times, because it is a mighty
Advantage to any Thing to be planted in a Ground that is newly broken up. It is just the same Thing for young Persons to be entered into a religious Course, and to have their Minds habituated to Virtue before vicious Cuftoms have got Place and Strength in us : For whoever shall attempt this afterwards will meet with infinite Difficulty and Opposition, and must dispute his Ground by Inches.
It is good therefore to do that which must be done one Time or other, when it is easiest to be done ; when we may do it with the greatest Advantage, and are likely to meet with the least and weakest Oppofition. We should anticipate Vice and prevent the Devil and the World, by letting God into our Hearts betimes, and giving Religion the first Seisin and Poffeffion of our Souls. This is the Time of fowing our Seed, which must by no Means be neglected. For the Soul will not lie fallow; Good or Evil will come up. If our Minds be not cultivated by Religion, Sin and Vice will get the Poffefsion of them : But if our tender Years be seaSoned with the Knowledge and Fear of God, this in all Probability will have a good Infuence upon the following Course of our Lives.
The Guilt of Lying. Tillotson. T RUTH and Faithfulness are divine Perfecti.
L ons ; but Lying and Fallhood are the Propes ties of the Devil, and the predominant Qualities of Hell.:
every Man hath of God and Religion; therefore we find that there is hardly any Thing that Men are more ashamed of than to be taken in a Lie, and it is esteemed the highest Reproach to be charged with it; it argues such a direct Contrariety to that which is the Rule of Perfection, “the Nature of GOD,” and consequently so much Imperfection and Baseness; he that tells a Lie out of Fear, is at once bold towards God, and base towards Men.
The Evil of corrupt Communication. Tillotson. A LL corrupt and filthy Communication is a ri notorious Abuse of one of the greatest and best Gifts which God hath given us, and does directly contradict the natural End and Use of Speech. Our Tongue is our Glory, as the holy Psalmist often calls it, who had duly considered the Excellency and Use of this Faculty, and took great Care to employ it to the Purposes to which God gave it, and is herein an admirable Pattern to us.
The two great Ends for which this Faculty of Speech is given us, are to glorify God our Maker, and to edify Man our Neighbour : But all corrupt Communication contradicts both these Ends ; because, instead of praising God with pure Hearts and Lips, we do greatly dishonour him, by polluting our Tongue with lewd and filthy Talk. For hereby we offer a direct Affront to his holy Nature and Laws. This renders us altogether unfit for the Worship and Service of Almighty God, who is “ of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity”