The swearer's prayer, or, His oath explained

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What! a Swearer pray! Yes, Swearer, whether thou thinkest so or not, each of thine oaths is a prayer,-an appeal to the Holy and Almighty God, whose name thou darest so impiously to take into thy lips.

And what is it, thinkest thou, Swearer, that thou dost call for, when the awful imprecations, Damn, and Damnation, roll so frequently from thy profane tongue ? Tremble, Swearer, while I tell thee! Thy prayer containeth two parts: Thou prayest first, that thou mayest be deprived of eternal happiness! Secondly, that thou mayest be plunged into eternal misery!

When, therefore, thou callest for damnation, dost thou not, in effect, say as follows ? "O God! thou hast power to punish me in Hell for ever: therefore, let not one of my sins be forgiven! Let every oath that I have sworn- every lie that I have told-every Sabbath that I have broken, and all the sins that I have committed, either in thought, word, or deed, rise up in judgment against me, and eternally condemn me! Let me never partake of thy salvation ! May my soul and body be deprived of all happiness, both in this world and that which is to come! Let me never sse thy face with comfort-never enjoy thy favour and friendship; and let me never enter into the kingdom of heaven!"

This is the first part of thy prayer. Let us hear the second.
"O God, let me not only be shut out of Heaven, but also shut up in Hell! May all the members of my body be tortured with inconceivable agony, and all the powers of my soul tormented with horror and despair, inexpressible and eternal! Let my dwelling be in the blackness of darkness, and my companions accursed men and accursed devils! Pour down thy hottest anger; execute all thy wrath and Curse upon me; arm and send forth all thy terrors against me; and let thy fierCe, thy fiery, thy fearful indignation, rest upon me! Be mine eternal enemy, and plague, and punish, and torment me, in Hell, for ever, and ever, and ever!!!"

Swearer, this is thy prayer!!! O dreadful imprecation!! O horrible, horrible, most horrible! Blaspheming man! Dost thou like thy petition ? Look at it. Art thou sincere in thy prayer, or art thou mocking thy Maker? Dost thou wish for damnation ? Art thou desirous of eternal torment? If so, swear on - swear hard. The more oaths, the more misery; and, perhaps, the sooner thou mayst be in hell. -Art thou shocked at this language? Does it harrow up thy soul? Does thy very blood run cold in thy veins ? Art thou convinced of the evil of profane swearing? How many times hast thou blasphemed the God of Heaven? How many times hast thou asked God to damn thee in the course of a year, a month, a day? Nay, how many times in a single hour hast thou called for damnation ? Art thou not yet in Hell? Wonder, O heavens and be astonished, O earth, at the goodness and long-suffering of that God whose great name swearing persons so often and so aw- fully profane ! Swearer, be thankful, oh! be exceedingly thankful, that God has not answered thy prayer! thy tremendous prayer; that his mercy and patience have withholden the request of thy polluted lips! Never let him hear another oath from thy unhallowed tongue, lest it should be thy last expression upon earth, and thy swearing prayer should be answered in Hell. Oh! let thine oaths be turned into supplications! Repent, and turn to Jesus, who died for swearers as well as for his murderers. And then, oh! then, (though thou mayest have sworn as many oaths as there are “stars in the heavens, and sands upon the sea-shore innumerable,") then thou shalt find to thy eternal joy, that there is love enough in his heart, and merit sufficient in his blood, to pardon thy sins, and save thy soul for ever.-Swearer! canst thou ever again blaspheme sueh a God and Saviour as this? Does not

thy conscience cry-God forbid? Even so, Amen.


In the following, among multitudes of other instances.

In November, 1786, a person much given to swearing, being disappointed by one of his companions not returning to the public-house as soon as he expected, swore he would never drink with him again, and that if he did, it should be his last. Accordingly, that day was his last.- God took him at his word, and thus called him into eternity.

In November, 1787, one W—rs, a smith, spending the evening at a public-house, in Leather-lane, quarrelled with one of his companions, and while swearing one of the most horrid oaths, God struck him instantaneously dead, with an oath on his lips, upon the bench where hc was sitting. The Jury who sat upon the body, after hearing all the circumstances of the case, brought in their verdict that W—rs struck dead as a judgment from God.- This narration was given by the foreman of the jury.

Another remarkable judgment overtook a person living in Brewer-street, Soho, who, cursing and swearing in a most dreadful manner, was struck speechless, and died the same afternoon. Will's Register.

T. G. who lived in the parish of Sedgley, near Wolverhampton, having lost a considerable sum at cock-fighting, to which practice he was notoriously addicted, swore in a most horrid manner, that he would never fight another cock, frequently calling upon God to damn his soul to all eternity if he did; and, with dreadful imprecations, wishing the Devil might fetch him, if ever he made another bet;

His resolution, thus impiously formed, was for a while observed, but about two years afterwards, Satan, whose willing servant he continued to be, inspired him with a violent desire to attend a cocking at Wolverhampton, and he complied with the temptation. He there stood up, and cried, "I hold four to three on such a cock." "Four what?" said one of his companions in iniquity. "Four shillings," replied he. Upon which the wager was confirmed, and he, putting his hand into his pocket for the money, instantly fell a ghastly corpse upon the ground.

Evangelical Magazine.

Besides these horrid oaths which shock every decent ear, there is a vicious habit indulged by many persons, otherwise moral, and among these, even ladies themselves, of a thoughtless profanation of their Maker's name, on occasions the most trivial, as when they say, “Good God! God forbid ! God bless us! O Lord," &c. &c. Such language proceeds from want of reverence for the best of Beings, and is as direct a violation of that command, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," as the most vulgar and profane oath.

Who hath hardened himself against God and prospered ? Job. ix. 4.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exod. xx. 7.

Because of swearing the land mourneth. Jer. xxiii. 40.

Every one that sweareth shall be cut off. Zech. v. 3.

It grieves me much to hear the BLEST SUPREME
Rudely appeal'd to on each trifling theme;
Cease from this vice, to be profane despise,
To swear is neither brave, polite, nor wise.
Would you dare swear upon a bed of death?
Reflect: this moment God may stop your breath!
How should you then that condemnation dread
Which oft you've call'd upon your guilty head,
And often wish'd on friends and foes to fall?
O! change your mind, and now for mercy call

Dear Reader, art thou a Swearer? Oh ! take this friendly warning; the next oath may be thy last: if thy prayer is heard, thy soul is damned for ever!!!

Printed for G. Caldwell, jun. Bookseller and Stationer, Paisley.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.