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James 3:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Therewith bless we God - The tongue is capable of rehearsing the praises, and setting forth the glories, of the eternal King: what a pity that it should ever be employed in a contrary work! It can proclaim and vindicate the truth of God, and publish the Gospel of peace and good will among men: what a pity that it should ever be employed in falsehoods, calumny, or in the cause of infidelity!

And therewith curse we men - In the true Satanic spirit, many pray to God, the Father, to destroy those who are objects of their displeasure! These are the common swearers, whose mouths are generally full of direful imprecations against those with whom they are offended.

The consideration that man is made after the image of God should restrain the tongue of the swearer; but there are many who, while they pretend to sing the high praises of God, are ready to wish the direst imprecations either on those who offend them, or with whom they choose to be offended.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therewith bless we God - We men do this; that is, all this is done by the tongue. The apostle does not mean that the same man does this, but that all this is done by the same organ - the tongue.

Even the Father - Who sustains to us the relation of a father. The point in the remark of the apostle is, the absurdity of employing the tongue in such contradictory uses as to bless one who has to us the relation of a father, and to curse any being, especially those who are made in his image. The word bless here is used in the sense of praise, thank, worship.

And therewith curse we men - That is, it is done by the same organ by which God is praised and honored.

Which are made after the similitude of God - After his image, Genesis 1:26-27. As we bless God, we ought with the same organ to bless those who are like him. There is an absurdity in cursing men who are thus made, like what there would be in both blessing and cursing the Creator himself.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We are taught to dread an unruly tongue, as one of the greatest evils. The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men. Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public, affords examples of this. Hell has more to do in promoting the fire of the tongue than men generally think; and whenever men's tongues are employed in sinful ways, they are set on fire of hell. No man can tame the tongue without Divine grace and assistance. The apostle does not represent it as impossible, but as extremely difficult. Other sins decay with age, this many times gets worse; we grow more froward and fretful, as natural strength decays, and the days come on in which we have no pleasure. When other sins are tamed and subdued by the infirmities of age, the spirit often grows more tart, nature being drawn down to the dregs, and the words used become more passionate. That man's tongue confutes itself, which at one time pretends to adore the perfections of God, and to refer all things to him; and at another time condemns even good men, if they do not use the same words and expressions. True religion will not admit of contradictions: how many sins would be prevented, if men would always be consistent! Pious and edifying language is the genuine produce of a sanctified heart; and none who understand Christianity, expect to hear curses, lies, boastings, and revilings from a true believer's mouth, any more than they look for the fruit of one tree from another. But facts prove that more professors succeed in bridling their senses and appetites, than in duly restraining their tongues. Then, depending on Divine grace, let us take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 481

God declares, “I will be glorified in My people;” but the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside, and accepting the devisings of men. If you allow this to continue, your faith will soon become extinct. God is in every place, beholding the conduct of the people who profess to represent the principles of His word. He asks that a change be made. He wants His people to be molded and fashioned, not after man's ideas, but after the similitude of God. I entreat of you to search the Scriptures as you have never yet searched them that you may know the way and will of God. Oh, that every soul might be impressed with this message, and put away the wrong! TM 481.1

We would do well to study carefully the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians. “We preach Christ crucified,” the apostle declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” The human being who undertakes to become wisdom for another will find himself coming short. TM 481.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 316

I cannot see why the canvassing work is not as good and successful a work as can be done for the Lord. Canvassers can become acquainted with the people, they can pray with them, and can understand their true necessities. From the light which God has given me, there is much responsibility resting upon the canvassers. They should go to their work prepared to explain the Scriptures, and nothing should be said or done to bind their hands. If they put their trust in the Lord as they travel from place to place, the angels of God will be round about them, giving them words to speak which will bring light and hope and courage to many souls. Were it not for the work of the canvasser, many would never hear the truth. TM 316.1

The canvasser should carry with him books and pamphlets and tracts to give away to those who cannot buy books from him. In this way the truth can be introduced into many homes. TM 316.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 244

If you live upon the plan of addition, adding grace to grace, God will multiply unto you His grace. While you add, God multiplies. If you cherish a habitual impression that God sees and hears all that you do and say, and keeps a faithful record of all your words and actions, and that you must meet it all, then in all you do and say you will seek to follow the dictates of an enlightened and wakeful conscience. Your tongue will be used to the glory of God and will be a source of blessing to yourself and to others. But if you separate from God, as you have been doing, take heed lest your tongue shall prove a world of iniquity and bring upon you fearful condemnation; for souls will be lost through you. 4T 244.1

The appetites of our animal natures ought to be kept in rigid subjection. These appetites were given us for important purposes, for good, and not to become the ministers of death by being perverted and becoming warring lusts. The appetite for tobacco, which you, Brother G, strengthen by indulgence, is becoming a warring lust against your soul. An intemperate man cannot be a patient man. The almost imperceptible indulgence of the taste will create an appetite for stronger stimulants. If the thoughts, passions, and appetites are kept in due subjection, the tongue will be controlled. Call to your aid moral power, and abandon the use of tobacco forever. You have tried to hide from others the fact that you used tobacco, but you did not hide the matter from God. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” I commend these words to you in the name of Jesus, who has given me my commission. Do not reject them. 4T 244.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 91.4

Christ came to redeem humanity. He is interested in all our actions. He desires to mold and fashion us after the divine similitude. Not until every case is decided will Christ be at rest. I have been permitted to behold His solicitude, and the great love wherewith He has loved us. I have not a doubt in regard to the past leadings of His providence in the history of our cause. I should be as guilty as the children of Israel could I not learn lessons from the reproofs that God gave them. Disobedience must and will be punished unless men and women turn from transgression and sin and make their weakest points their strongest through continual watchcare. Darkness will become light through obedience.... TDG 91.4

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