Death and life are in the power of the tongue—Prov. 18: 21.


The tongue's influence exceeds that of all our other members combined; and to control it, therefore, in the Lord's service, is the most important work of the Lord's people in respect to their mortal bodies and the service of these rendered to the Lord. A few words of love, kindness, helpfulness—how often have such changed the entire course of a human life! yes, how much they have had to do with molding the destiny of nations! And how often have evil words, unkind words, slanderous words, done gross injustice, assassinated reputations, etc., or, as the Apostle declares, "set on fire the course of nature," awakening passions, strifes, enmities, at first unthought of! No wonder he declares such tongues are "set on fire of Gehenna," the Second Death!


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Scripturally, the tongue symbolizes knowledge—true or false—expressed in language. Therefore, the thought of the text, that life is in the power of the tongue, agrees with James' exhortation, "Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls." Its thought that death is in the power of the tongue agrees with St. Paul's statement on false teachers, that their word does eat as a cancer. Surely we ought to guard our thoughts and utterances, since they bring life or death to us and our hearers. The world's present woes and future bliss lie closely related to speech, good and true, or evil and false.


Parallel passages: Psa. 12: 3; 34: 11-13; 140: 3; Matt. 12: 36, 37; 15: 18, 19; Jas. 3: 2­13; 1: 26; Prov. 10: 20, 21, 31; 11: 30; 16: 27; 18: 4-8; 2Tim. 2: 23-25; Rom. 10: 14,  15; 2Cor. 2: 16; Eph. 4: 29; Col. 4: 6.


Questions: What kind of a power has my tongue exerted this week? What were the circumstances and results?




MEN of thought, be up and stirring

Night and day.

Sow the seed, withdraw the curtain,

Clear the way.

Men of action, aid and cheer them

As you may.

There's a fount about to stream;

There's a light about to beam;

There's a warmth about to glow;

 There's a flower about to blow;

There's a midnight blackness changing

Into gray.

Men of thought, and men of action,

Clear the way!

Once the welcome light hath broken,

Who shall say

What the unimagined glories

Of the day?

What the evil that shall perish

In its ray?

Aid the dawning, tongue and pen;

Aid it, hopes of honest men;

Aid it, paper; aid it, type;

Aid it, for the hour is ripe;

And our earnest must not slacken

Into play.

Men of thought, and men of action,

Clear the way!


Lo! a cloud's about to vanish

From the day;

Lo! the right's about to conquer—

Clear the way!

Many a brazen wrong to crumble

Into clay.

With that right shall many more

Enter smiling at the door;

With the giant wrong shall fall

Many others, great and small,

That for ages long have held us

For their prey.

Men of thought, and men of action,

Clear the way!


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