But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
It is grievous, for example, to think of God irreverently: the soul should be His sanctuary: and to profane Him there, is to aggravate the contempt by offering it at the shrine which He reared for Himself. But it is yet more grievous to speak of Him irreverently. This is worse than dishonouring Him at the secret shrine: this is taking the material of His costliest temple — for is it not said, that He " inhabiteth the praises of Israel?" as though words were the columns, the walls, the domes, which combine for the noblest dwelling-place of Deity — I say, then, that to speak irreverently of God, is to take the material of His costliest temple, and fashion it into a structure where He may be openly contemped. The richness of the material enhances the dishonour. Give me the stars with which to build, give me the treasures of immensity with which to adorn, and the temple which I rear to an idol shall be so much the more an insult to the one living God. And it is thus with speech. Words are as the stars of heaven, fitted to illumine the yet dark places of creation. Burning with truth, they may guide the wanderings, and be as messengers for the depths of eternity.
(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.