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"If Moses, who was a god to Pharaoh (Ex. VII:I), was shut out from the land of promise because of one word, how much more will not the evil speech of our tongue, by which we offend and hurt both God and man, shut us out from heaven? 

A holy fire destroyed the just priests, who, since they were to handle holy things, were holy in all their acts and offices, but defiled in their words (Lev. X). If these men suffered such punishments, shall our tongues regard this vice as of little importance? 

So let us make an end of reviling our neighbour with abuse and evil speaking. And then, after this event, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed those who had spoken evil; though it left the impure and the impious untouched (Num XVI:30). 

The sea swallowed the Egyptians, but the earth swallowed the authors of discord, the evil-tongued, the whisperers. 

The leader of the army, in a time of famine, spoke in mockery against God (4 Kings VII) and because of this suffered the punishment he had earned: for he was trodden to death under the feet of the people at the gate of the city. 

And in this swift and sudden judgment, the future is laid bare to you, according to the word of the Saviour, when He said that for every idle word we speak we shall render an account on the day of judgment.

St. Ephraim







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