Duties of the Tongue

My Blogging from the reading of Richard Baxter’s, “A Christian Directory”, continues. In this blog entry Baxter outlines the duties of human speech that consist of:

1. To glorify God by the magnifying of his name; to speak of the praises of his attributes and works.

2. To sing psalms of praise to him, and delight our souls in the sweet commemoration of his excellencies.

3. To give him thanks for the mercies already received, and declare to others what he hath done for our souls and bodies, for his church and for the world.

4. To pray to him for what we want, and for our brethren, for the church, and for the conversion of his and our enemies.

5. To appeal to him and swear by his name when we are called to it lawfully.

6. To make our necessary covenants and vows to him, and to make open profession of our belief, subjection, and obedience to him, before men.

7. To preach his word, or declare it in discourse, and to teach those that are committed to our care, and edify the ignorant and erroneous as we have opportunity.

8. To defend the truth of God by conference or disputation; and confute the false doctrine of deceivers.

9. To exhort men to their particular duties, and to reprove their particular sins; and to endeavor to do to them good as we are able.

10. To confess our own sins to God and man as we have occasion.

11. To crave the advise and help of others for our souls; and inquire after the will of God, and the way to salvation.

12. To praise that which is good in others, and speak good of all men, superiors, equals, and inferiors, so far as there is just ground and cause.

13. To bear witness to the truth, when we are called to it.

14. To defend the cause of the just and innocent, and vindicate them against false accusers.

15. To communicate and convey to others the same good impressions and affections of mind, which God hath wrought on us, and not only the bare truths themselves which we have received.

16. Lastly, to be instruments of common converse; of expressing our mutual affections and respects, and transacting all our worldly business: for learning, arts, manufactures, &c.