Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself…
Charlie Harold, speaking to his grandmother about something he did not like, exclaimed, "By thunder I .... Hush I " said the old lady, "you must not swear, my dear. Don't you know that Jesus said, 'Swear not at all! ..... Did:He? Well, I didn't know it was swearing to say 'By thunder,' or 'By golly.' Is it, grandma? .... All such expressions, my dear, in which ' by' is used, partake of the nature of swearing, and a boy who wishes to be good will never let them fall from his lips." Charlie sat silent for several minutes, in grave thought, and then said, "'Grandma, what makes the newspaper swear every morning? .... Does it," inquired the old lady, looking over the top of her spectacles with curious eyes. "Yes, it says, 'By telegraph.'" The old lady could not help laughing, but she explained to Charlie the difference between an exclamation such as " By thunder," used to give emphasis to a remark, and an incomplete sentence such as "By telegraph." The little boy determined that he would not offend in this way again, and I have told you the story, hoping that you may make the same wise rule.
(J. N. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: