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62. Q. What is the second instance of cruelty or hard-heartedness? A. 2. If I take pleasure to see others in misery, or refuse to relieve them when it is in my power.
Reason against this sin. Because God teaches, me to be merciful as he is, but if I should be cruel to persons in misery, I cannot expect that God or man should relieve me when I am miserable.
Seripture." Lam. i. 21, 22. They have heard that I sigh, and there is none to comfort me: all my enemies have heard of my trouble, and they are glad. 1 John iii. 17. He that seeth his brother in want, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
53. Q. What is spite? A. It has always malice in it, and is near a-kin to cruelty; for it consists in a will or desire to do mischief, and a delight in it.
54. Q. How does it manifest itself? A. In provoking our neighbours with spiteful words, in teazing and vexing the spirits of those that are about us, in doing spiteful and mischievous actions: and such people are never better pleased than when they can disquiet and distress their neighbours, or when any mischief befals them.
Reason against this sin. Such a temper takes away all comfortable society with our neighbours, and all true quiet and peace from the heart where it dwells. The spiteful man hath scarce any joy but that of the devils.
Scripture. "Prov. x. 23. It is as sport to a fool to do mischief. Prov. xxiv. 2. Their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief. Prov. iv. 16. The wicked sleep not except they have done mischief. Ps. x. 14. Thou, Rom. xíti. 10. 55. Q. What is envy? A. As spite rejoices in the mischief that befals our neighbour, so envy frets and grieves at our neighbour's welfare and prosperity.
O Lord, beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand.
Reason against this sin. Envy is a torment and vexation to ourselves, as well as contrary to the love which we owe to our neighbour,
Scripture."Rom. xiii. 15. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 1 Cor. xiii. 4. Love, or charity envieth not. Gal. v. 19, 21. The works of the flesh are-hatred, emulation, wrath, strife, envying;—and they who do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Prov. xiv. 30. Envy is rottenness to the bones."
56. Q. What is uncharitableness? A. When I cannot have good thoughts of other persons, nor speak well of them, nor wish well to them, unless they be of my nation, of my opinion, or of my party.
When this relates to parties in matters of religion, it is often called bigotry. Note, Children would not be so often guilty of this sin, if they were not led into it by the example of those who are elder; but some whole families are unhappily trained up in it from their youngest years.
Reason against this sin. Because persons of very different nations, and contrary opinions and parties, may have many deserving qualities in them, and be worthy of one another's love.
Scripture. "Rom. xiv. 3. Let not him that eateth flesh, despise him that eateth not, and let not him who eateth no flesh, judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Col. iii. 11, 12. In christianity we are to have no particular regards to Greek or Jew,-barbarian or scythian, servants or freemen, but Christ is all, and in all; put on therefore bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, &c. Our Saviour in the parable, Luke x, 29. 37. shews that the Jews and Samaritans, how much soever they differed in other things, should look upon one another as neighbours, to do all offices of kindDess to each other."
57. Q. Having taken a survey of the sins that are committed against God and our heighbour let us now enquire what are those sins which chiefly relate to ourselves? A. Acting contrary to our own conscience, intemperanc wantonness, delight in evil company, waste of time, and thoughtlessnes things to come.
58. Q. When may you be said to act contrary to your conscience, or to sin against it? A. When I speak or do any thing which I know or think to be unlawful.
Reason against this sin. Because conscience is that inward guide which God has appointed in man to direct and govern him, and he can have no true peace or joy without obeying it.
Scripture. "Prov. xx. 27. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. Rom. ii. 14, 15: Those that have not the written law are a law to themselves, their conscience bearing witness, and their thought accusing or excusing them. Rom. xiv. 5. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Verse 22. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth but he that doubteth, whether it be lawful to eat flesh, is damned, or self-condemned, if he eateth it. 2 Cor. i. 12. This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience. Prov. xviii. 15. But a wounded spirit who can bear? which may signify a conscience bitterly afflicted for sin."
59. Q. What is intemperance? A. It is when I indulge my appetite. to excess, either in eating or drinking; this is called gluttony and drunk
60. Q. When may we be said to indulge our appetites, or eat and drink too much? A. When we eat and drink so much as is hurtful to the body, or disorders the mind, and unfits us for our duty.
Reason against this sin. Because meat and drink were appointed of God, and given to man to maintain his health, and to render him fitter for his duty, both in body and mind.
Scripture. "Luke xxi. 34. Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be over-charged with surfeiting and drunkenness,-lest the day of judgment come upon you unawares. Prov. xx. 21. Be not amongst wine-biobers, amongst riotous eaters of flesh, for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty. 1 Cor. vi. 10. No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God."
61. Q. What do you mean by wantonness? A. It is when our words or our actions are lewd and immodest, and when we indulge unclean thoughts and desires.
Reason against this sin. Modesty is as it were a natural virtue to a child, so that lewdness makes him appear like a monster. Besides, those who are lewd and immodest when they are young, become great sinners generally before they are old.
Scripture. "2 Tim. ii. 22. Flee youthful lusts. Rom. xiii. 14. Let us walk honestly, or honourably,—not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness. Eph. v. 3, 4, 5, 6. Fornication and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. Neither filthy speech, nor foolish talking; for no unclean person-hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, or of God:-and because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
62. Q. When may we be said to delight in evil company? A. When we readily follow their enticements, and continue among them willingly, and without necessity, notwithstanding their wickedness.
Reason against this sin. Because evil company draws young people insen, sibly by degrees into their evil opinious, and their wicked practices.
Scripture. "Prov. xxii. 24, 25. Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man thou shalt not go, lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul. Prov. xiii. 20. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. 1 Cor. xv. 33. Evil communications corrupt good manners."
63. Q When may we be said to be guilty of a waste of time? A. Three ways chiefly.
64. Q. What is the first way of wasting time? A. 1. When I am lazy and slothful, and make an unreasonable waste of time by excessive sleep, or by sauntering about and doing nothing.
Reason against this sin. Because time and the day were given us for work and business of some kind or ether; nor is any thing excellent and valuable that relates to this life or the life to come, to be obtained without industry and diligence.
Scripture. "John ix. 4. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day. Prov. xxiv. 30. I went by the field of the slothful, and it was all grown over with thorns. Verse 33, Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the bands to sleep; so shall thy poverty come as a traveller, and thy want as an armed man. Mat. xxv. 26, 30. The wicked and slothful servant,cast him into utter darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Prov. x. 4. The hand of the diligent maketh rich. Prov. xxii. 29. Seest thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings. Heb. xi. 6. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
65. Q. What is the second way of wasting of time? A. When I give myself up to an idle and trifling temper, and busy myself often in that which can turn to no manner of advantage, neither as proper work, nor as proper recreation.
Reason against this sin*. Because time is a valuable blessing, and we must give an account to God how we have spent it: and if we should grow up with a trifling humour, and let all our days be wasted in vanities, we shall neither secure to ourselves the blessings of time nor eternity.
Scripture. Idleness or trifling may be represented in scriptural expressions. Is. Iv. 2. They labour for that which satisfieth not. Hab. ii. 13. They weary themselves for very vanity. Hos. viii. 7. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: there is no stalk of corn ariseth, and the bud shall yield no meal."
Note, It is another of the mischievous effects of this trifling humour, that it renders people dilatory in their own proper business, and they are generally behindhand in all the duties of their place, because they are ever busy about something else. When the proper hour is come for any duty, they have often some very silly and needless thing to do first, or some duty which should have been done long before: They are always ready to say, " it is time enough yet;" and thus they never take time beforehand, but are frequently in a hurry, and are plunged into many inconveniences.
This also may be reproved in scripture language. "Prov. xxvii. 1. Boast not of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Eccl. ix. 10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. Heb. iii. 7, 13. To-day if ye will hear his voice, while it is called to-day, harden not your hearts."
66. Q. What is the third way of wasting time? A. By an excessive love of sport and pleasure.
Reason against this sin. Because sports and recreations were not designed to be the business of our lives, though they may be used sometimes to refresh us, and fit us better for our business.
Scripture. "Prov. xxi. 17. He that loveth pleasure, or sport, shall be a' poor man and it is one of the characters of the wicked in the last days, that they shall be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; 2 Tim. iii. 4."
Note, Industry and diligence can never be too much recommended to yonth, since trifling and idleness, sauntering and laziness, and a love of pleasure, are most dangerous things, and expose us to all sorts of temptations and evils.
67. Q. What is the last sin which relates particularly to ourselves? A. Thoughtlessness of the most important things to come, particularly of death and judgment, of heaven and hell.
Reason against this sin. Because all these things are great realities, and are of such vast importance as to demand our serious thoughts about them : there is a heaven and there is a hell, though we do not see them now. Death and judgment will come as surely as if they were already before our eyes; and it is our duty therefore and our wisdom to provide beforehand, and be prepared.
* I confess that trifling might perhaps rather be reckoned among the follies of childhood than among their sins and if what men would call trifling an hour now and then should be indulged to children, it must be reckoned among the recreations to fit them better for their business. But when we see a child giving itself up to a perpetual habit of trifling and wasting time, it ought to be reproved, for the consequences of it are dangerous to soul and body: and it is in this sense I rank it among their sins.
Scripture. "Deut. xxxii. 29. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! Lam. i. 9. She remembered not her last end, therefore she came down wonderfully, and she had no comforter. Heb. ix. 27. It is appointed for all men once to die, and after death the judgment. Luke xxi. 36. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ac counted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of man. Rom, xiv. 10. We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ."
Having finished our account of the sins of which children and youth are in danger, we come now to consider what are the follies and frailties which are incident to many or all of them. Some of these indeed are owing to a particular natural temper, and for want of more correct and rational education; but others belong to the whole race of mankind in their youngest years, and are sometimes called the vices of youth.
In the mention of these frailties and follies, which can hardly be called sins, unless indulged to excess, it is not to be expected that particular scriptures should be cited to expose or forbid them: for the holy scriptures are not so much written to reprove our frailties, as to secure us from things which are plainly criminal and sinful. Yet it must be confessed there are several hints scattered up and down in the word of God to correct these follies, and to guard against them; because where they are allowed and encouraged they have a sinful tendency, and may bring dishonour on the profession of religion.
They may be comprehended under these following heads, viz. 1. Humoursome behaviour. 2. Peevishness. 3. Impatience. 4. Selfishness. 5. Uncleanliness. 6. Heedlessness. 7. Rashness. 8. Fickleness. 9. Profuseness. 10. A talkative or tattling humour.
68. Q. How do you describe the first of these follies or frailties. viz. a humoursome temper and behaviour? A. A humoursomę temper is when I have a great fondness for little and inconsiderable things, or a great dislike and aversion to them, but still without reason: when I am much pleased or much displeased with trifles, or things that have neither good nor hurt in them, and can do me neither good nor hurt: as for instance, when I must have my meat upon such a particular plate, or my drink out of a cup or glass of such a fashion, or else I can neither eat nor drink: when every part of my garments must be made to a hair's breadth of such a form, or else I cannot wear them when the covers of my book must be of such a particular colour, or else I cannot read or learn in it: or when I take upon me to say, I hate the sight of such a thing, merely because it does not strike my fancy right; or when I heap odious names upon things that are innocent and good in themselves, merely because they do not happen to please me.
Reason against this folly. Because our desires and our aversions or dislikes ought to be governed by reason, and not be given up to the mere wantonness of fancy, which hath no rules nor bounds.
69. Q. What is the second vice of children, namely, peevishness? A.
It is an uneasy temper and carriage, which is the natural consequent, if not
Reason against this vice. By the indulgence of this froward temper, I shall not only give perpetual vexation to myself, and trouble to all that are about me, but I shall render myself unbeloved by all, and my behaviour will be intolerabie in any family or any company.
70. Q. What is impatience, or the third vice of children? A. There are four special instances of it.
71. Q. What is the first instance? A. 1. There is impatience under pain or sickness; as, when I am fretful against all about me because I do not feel myself well.
Reasons against this vice. I should not be impatient under sickness, because it is the hand of God that brings it upon me, and impatience rising against God is very siaful. Besides, fretfulness will often increase the distemper, and will hinder my recovery of health.
72. Q. What is the second instance of impatience? A. 2. There is an impatience of opposition; as, when I fall into a passion against one that opposes my opinion, or crosses my will.
Reasoas against this vice. I should not be impatient of opposition, because the opinion of another may be wiser than mine, or the will of another may be better than mine; and they have as much right to be angry with me who differ from them, as I have to be angry with them who differ from me.
73. Q. What is the third instance of impatience? A. 3. There is an impatience of disappointment, as, when I vex myself if things do not happen just according to my expectations and wishes.
Reasons against this vice. I should not be impatient under disappointments, but I should learn to be easy under them, because I must expect to meet with many of them if I live in the world, and therefore I would learn early to bear them.
74. Q. What is the fourth instance of impatience? A. 4. There is an impatience of delay; as, when I fret with eagerness to possess what I desire, and am violently angry with them that defer or delay it.
Reasons against this vice. I should not be impatient of delay, because this shews that I am too eagerly set upon what I desire: And besides, it will many times make me angry with inferiors without a cause, when I imagine they do not make what haste they can to serve me; or angry with my superiors, who know what is fit for me better than I do, and when to give it me.
75. Q. What is selfishness, which is the fourth vice incident to some children? A. It is when I am so entirely wrapped up in pleasing and serving myself, that I take no care or concern to serve or please my neighbour.
Reason against this vice. If this temper abide and grow up with me, I shall be in danger of being churlish and hard-hearted now, and grow morose and covetous when I am older.
Now I would not be hard-hearted or churlish, for then I never have the pleasure of making others share in the good things which I possess ; and nobody will love me.
Nor would I be morose, for that is a rude and rough way of speaking and behaviour, without regard to the pleasing or displeasing of those with whom we have to do: And if I take no care to please others, or be civil to them, I cannot expect that others should be civil to me, or take any care to please me or
Nor would I be covetous, for that is a sin often condemned in scripture, and is a very unlovely character among men; nor do such persons themselves ever enjoy the good things which they possess, nor do good with them, for they are afraid to spend them.
76. Q. What is meant by uncleanliness, which is the fifth vice which some children are subject to? "A. When I am not careful to keep my hands, or my face, or my clothes clean enough to appear among my betters.
Reason against it. A degree of cleanliness is necessary to my own health, as well as to keep my clothes from spoiling, and to render my company agreeable and inoffensive to others.
Note, In this matter children of different tempers are ready to run into extremes: some growing up so foolishly nice in their meats, drinks, apparel, and every thing that belongs to them, as to become humoursome therein, and create much trouble to themselves and to those about them; but generally the other extreme prevails, and if children were utterly urtaught, perhaps they would be all uncleanly; and some would run into such a degree of oastiness as to give just offence to all who are near them. There is a medium which we call decency, if we could always hit upon it for our own practice, and for an example to children.
Note further, That though the children of the rich have far the greatest ad. vantages to practice this decency, yet the poor should learn to be clean even ia