But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Their words are more than exhibitions of the workings and movements of the intellect, more than the displayed rushings and soarings of the imagination. They are the discoverings of a heaven-born principle, a principle which apprehends truths that are above the human intellect, and glories that defy the human imagination. They are the signs, the evidences, of a second creation — the order, the symmetry, the beauty, the stateliness, of a new and spiritual world, demonstrated, unveiled, laid open, incorporated. If they be words of prayer, they are the ascendings towards heaven of renovated affections: if of praise, they are the vibrations of chords which a Divine hand has returned: if of reproof, counsel, exhortation, they are but the soul, once "dead in trespasses and sins," appearing as an armed man to fight the battle of the Lord. Then words may justify, as incontrovertible proofs of a justifying faith, and a renewed nature. Actions furnish no better criterion: and when the great white throne shall be set, and the earth and the sea shall have given up their dead, the righteous and the wicked may alike have their portions determined by their use of the tongue: speech, forgotten speech, may be heard again, piercing as the trumpet-peal, by which the graves have been rent; and there will be no fear of erroneous decision, should there be no rule of judgment but this, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.