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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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Speaking falsehoods wilfully, with an intent to deceive. Thus, by Grove, "A lie is an affirmation or denial by words, or any other signs to which a certain determinate meaning is affixed, of something contrary to our real thoughts and intentions." Thus, by Paley, "a lie is a breach of promise; for whoever seriously addresses his discourse to another, tacitly promises to speak the truth, because he knows that the truth is expected."

There are various kinds of lies.

1. The pernicious lie, uttered for the hurt or disadvantage of our neighbour.

2. The officious lie, uttered for our own or our neighbour's advantage.

3. The Ludicrous and jocose lie, uttered by way of jest, and only for mirth's sake in common converse.

4. Pious frauds as they are improperly called, pretended inspirations, forged books, counterfeit miracles, are species of lies.

5. Lies of the conduct, for a lie may be told in gestures as well as in words; as when a tradesman shuts up his windows to induce his creditors to believe that he is abroad.

6. Lies of omission, as when an author wilfully omits what ought to be related: and may we not add,

7. That all equivocation and mental reservation come under the guilt of lying.

The evil and injustice of lying appear,

1. From its being a breach of the natural and universal right of mankind to truth in the intercourse of speech.

2. From its being a violation of God's sacred law, Philippians 4:8 . Leviticus 19:11 . Colossians 3:9 .

3. The faculty of speech was bestowed as an instrument of knowledge, not of deceit; to communicate our thoughts, not to hide them.

4. It is esteemed a reproach of so heinous and hateful a nature for a man to be called a liar, that sometimes the life and blood of the slanderer have paid for it.

5. It has a tendency to dissolve all society, and to indispose the mind to religious impressions.

6. The punishment of it is considerable: the loss of credit, the hatred of those whom we have deceived, and an eternal separation from God in the world to come, Revelation 21:8 . Revelation 22:15 . Psalms 101:7 .


Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. 1: ch. 11; Paley's Moral Phil. vol. 1: ch. 15; Doddridge's Lect. lect. 68; Watts's Serm. vol. 1: ser. 22; Evans's Serm. vol. 2: ser. 13; South's Serm. vol. 1: ser. 12; Dr. Lamont's Serm. vol. 1: ser. 11 and 12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Lying'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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