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