find its echo. “Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light, and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops,” Luke xii. 3. You whose words are many, will wish that they had been few. The liar may well dread a meeting with his lies, the swearer with his oaths,—the unclean with his lewdness. They must be exposed before angels and before men. Some indeed are laid open here. Gehazi's lie was black, but the sickly paleness of leprosy told of the sin and of its punishment. Ananias and Sapphira thought to lay their plans well, but the charge and the judgment followed each other with rapid step. They were wound up and buried in the same grave of sin. With some it is not so; you will walk this earth your appointed time, you will die in your beds like other men, but your awakening from the sleep of death will be fearful. To find that words are, (as it were,) LIVING THINGS, that they know their owner, that they will tell their own tale, lies 'for once speak truth in that they witness against thee, oaths for once be rightly uttered in that they make good the charge against thee, that which thou hadst thought to be buried in forgetfulness bursting

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from its grave-clothes to tell thee “Thou art the man," these will be fearful realities to the soul that will rush headlong on its way, “Awake now thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light; lest judgment threatened be judgment executed, and thy soul be a castaway.

2. It shall be silenced, “the wicked shall be silent in darkness." It will be no time for lies then, nor for oaths then, nor for the utterance of the tale of scandal then: “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment; and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment ? and he was speechless.jest” will be gone, the “foolish talking” will have ceased, the mirth of the profane be hushed, and that for ever.

3. It shall be condemned. Yes, “by thy words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned,” Matt. xii. 37. Sinners will at length find that “a fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips the snare of his soul,” Prov. xviii. 7. Alas! their language will tell their country and their king. It is the speech of Ashdod, (Neh. xiii. 24,) and not of the people of God, they must "go to

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their own place.” “Woe then to the world because of offences,” woe (will then be your cry) that we ever uttered such words! woe to us that we repented not to give God glory! God's just judgments have overtaken us, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

Brethren, as the tongue is an index to the health of the body, so is it also to the health of the soul. Does this test declare your soul to be in health ? Are thy words few? Do you strive that when you do speak, your “ speech may be always with grace seasoned with salt that it may minister grace unto the hearers ?” Col. iv. 6. Do you pass your words, by forethought, through this triple sieve-Is it true, is it useful, is it kind ? Say not with some of old, “ Our lips are our own, who is Lord over us?” Psa. xii. 4, but rather reckon that ye yourselves, with every member that you have, are “not your own, but bought with a price," and bound thereby to glorify God with your bodies and your spirits, which are His.” Let not the utterance of your mouth be the outbreakings of ungodliness, nor yet “the words to no profit.” “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's

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religion is vain," James i. 26. Oh examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith ; prove your own selves; “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."

If conscience testifies that you are verily guilty in this matter,” repent of this thy wickedness. Look up by faith to Him “who is exalted to give repentance and remission of sins.” Pray that a live coal from the altar may touch thy lips, “thine iniquity be taken away, thy sin purged,” that henceforth thou mayst be clean through that “ blood of sprinkling” that“cleanseth from all sin and praise be the employment of thy lips here on earth, and the new song of eternal thanksgiving thy delight in heaven. Oh! it is well worth while to watch, and strive, and pray that “ holiness to the Lord” may be written on heart and lips, body and soul, that we may be “the Lord's," and join at length that blessed company of whom it is written "and they sung, as it were a new song before the throne." Then shall that tongue, which now you curb lest it should offend,“ be loosed,” Christ Himself say, “ Epphatha,” (be opened,) and the praises of thy God be thine everlasting theme.

Let prayer

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“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath ; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner : but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.”

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Such is the heart-stirring exhortation of the God of truth. It is addressed to his creature, man: it bids him consider the contrast between the changing and the unchanging, and to fix his choice accordingly. To build for eternity and not for time, with deliberate judgment to choose that good part that shall not be taken away, that hope that maketh not ashamed; to hearken unto Him, Whose " salvation shall be for ever,” and Whose “righteousness shall not be abolished.”

O God, Thou Quickening Spirit ! give us grace, and fix our wavering hearts on Thee, for Jesus Christ's sake, Amen!

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