What shall the swearer say?
"The Traveler" June 15, 1758)
"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God
in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who
takes His name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)
How justly will God, the righteous Judge, repay the
imprecations into the bosoms of these blasphemers!
They sin in sport--but God hears in earnest, and will
punish in zeal. They call on God profanely in their
words; and God hears, and will answer them in wrath!
They swear, and forget--but God has sworn that He
will remember. That which they think adds vigor to
their words--shall indeed add anguish to their grief,
and fierceness to their torments!
What shall the swearer
say, when tossing on the
fiery billows, shrieking under consummate despair!
"O miserable state of intolerable torments, which I
must endure! How shall I spend this eternity of pain!
It was nothing to me in time to hear others curse and
blaspheme--and to join in the infernal dialect myself!
And now I am encircled with unceasing blasphemies,
from all the legions of demons, from all the millions of
miserable sinners, suffering under infinite vengeance!
And I mingle in the uproar, and join in the terrible
tumult against the throne of God, although dreadfully
tortured in my rebellion. Then, curses accented every
sentence; now, every sentence is one continued curse!
I thought God was altogether such a one as myself--and
that He would never remember my swearings, which I
never minded, nor call me to account for committing
what I made no account of. Damn me! damn me! was
always on my tongue--and now I am damned forever!
The oaths and curses which I sowed in time, have now
sprung up into bitter bewailings, and eternal blasphemings!
As I took pleasure in cursing, so it is come unto me--but
with inexpressible pain! O eternity, eternity, how long!"
"They cursed the God of heaven for their pains and
sores. But they did not turn from their evil ways."
This is, indeed, the lamentable end of profane swearers,
who shall confess the equity of God in their torments!
But, as the wicked shall be repaid according to their ways,
so shall the righteous be in theirs. All their imperfect . . .
and the seeds of every other grace--shall come to
a wondrous conclusion at last. Now they serve God
with weakness--but then they shall enjoy Him with
a vigorous immortality! They sow in tears, and go
weeping heavenward--but shall possess Him in a
triumphant state, where sorrow and signing shall
forever flee away!