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their coarse or thread-bare garments.
is always agreeable and gains respect.
77. Q. What is heedlessness, or the sixth vice of children? A. When I take little or no care or thought about any thing that I am to do, or when I give but little attention to any thing that is said to me.
Note, This does not always proceed from obstinacy of temper, but often from a mere lightness and wandering of thought and absence of the mind from its present business. Sometimes it may arise from a great degree of natural vivacity, and an excess of spirits; but still it ought to be corrected.
There may be a neatness in poverty, whick
Reason against this fault. Because heedlessness would make me stumble at every stone, and carry me into many a mistake and danger; besides, if I am heedless, I shall neither grow wise nor good; for I shall neither give diligent attention to instructions at home, nor to sermons at church.
78. Q. What is rashness, or the seventh vice or folly of children and youth? A. I may well be called rash, if I speak without thinking beforehand, and venture upon bold actions without considering the danger.
Note, This rash temper carries children sometimes to climb high trees, to walk on the narrow tops of walls, to venture on the edge of precipices, to try to leap over brooks or currents of water, and thereby they expose themselves to many hazards of their life or limbs.
It is the same temper that inclines them to speak very improper things on a sudden, without due regard to the occasion or the company; it leads them to make rash vows, and promises, and engagements, and thus they bring themselves into many difficulties.
Reason against this folly. Because God has given me the power of reason and of thinking, on purpose to direct my words and my actions; and therefore I ought neither to speak nor act without thought and consideration.
79. Q. What is fickleness, or the eighth folly of children? A. Then I may be called fickle, when I am soon weary of what I was very fond of before; when I am perpetually changing my desires and purposes, so that I can stick to nothing long, but always want something new.
Reason against this frailty. Because if I am always seeking out new things, new books, new lessons, and new employments, I shall never dwell long enough upon any thing to become master of it, or to profit by it, according to the proverb, "a rolling stone gathers no moss." Besides, if I indulge a fickle temper, I shall be often templed to break my appointments, and my friends will not know how to trust a creature that is ever given to change.
80. Q. What is the ninth vice to which children and youth are subject, which is called lavishness or profuseness? A. I am then profuse, if I squander away much money upon trifles; if I lavish away upon myself more than my friends allow, or give away to others more than is proper on every slight occasion, without considering how far my stock will hold out, nor how much pains it cost my parents to get it, nor ever thinking to how much better purpose this money might be applied.
Reason against profuseness. It is a waste of the good things with which the providence of God and the kindness of my friend have furnished me, to make my life comfortable and honourable; besides, this profuse and lavish conduct hath put many young creatures upon gaming, to their utter ruin; and those who indulge a wasteful and prodigal humour in their younger days, may bitterly repent their folly in a long poverty, and in the want of all things.
Note, Profuseness is generally the fault of youth, as covetousness is fre quently the vice of age.
81. Q. Is there any other vice or folly which children are guilty of? A. A talkative or tattling humour, when children tell all that they see, or hear, or know, in any place or company, without guard or fear.
Reason against this folly. Such great talkers are in danger of becoming busy-bodies and tale-bearers: they will talk over in public the private concerns of their own family, and the families of others, as far as they know them they will tell one person whatsoever another happens to speak of him, and do a deal of mischief in the world. Great talkers are often ad⚫ monished in scripture; but tale-bearing is a sin which the word of God plainly forbids.
Scripture." Prov. xiv. 23. The talk of the lips tendeth only to poverty. Ec. v. 3. A fool's voice is known by a multitude of words. Ec. x. 12, 13, 14. The lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words. Prov. xx. 3. Every fool will be meddling. I Tim. v. 13. They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, bat tattlers and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not. Lev. xix. 16. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people. Prov. xi. 13. A tale-bearer revealeth secrets. Prov. xxvi. 20. Where there is no tale bearer the strife ceaseth. Prov. xvi. 21. A whisperer, or tale-bearer, separateth chief friends."
TO "THE CATECHISM OF SCRIPTURAL NAMES."
WE have the unspeakable blessing of the word of God among us: We
are furnished with a divine history of the transactions of God with men from the beginning of the world. It would be a shame therefore if christian families in our land should know nothing of these important affairs. Even from their earliest infancy, children should be trained up in the knowledge of some of the greater and more remarkable names and actions which are recorded in this divine book. Our holy religion, and the gospel of Christ, depend upon some of these ancient facts, nor can the doctrines and duties of christianity be well learned without some knowledge of sacred history; it is indeed a real and substantial part of our religion: An early acquaintance with these things, will not only lead children to understand many parts of the gospel the better, but it will allure them to read their bible for it will give them a delightful taste of it beforehand, so that this sort of catechism seems very necessary toward a christian education.
Now to render this work more easy, there are two catechisms of this kind composed. The first is called a catechism of scripture-names, for it gives only the name with some single character or action of the person. The second enlarges both on persons and things, and it is called the historical catechism.
As for the short catechism of names, the child may begin to learn it as soon as he can speak plain, at the same time that he begins the first of the foregoing catechisms of the principles of religion, which is provided for young
You see the name is always contained in the question; but in order to teach children to pronounce the names as well as to learn the character of the person, parents or teachers may ask the same question backward and forward, viz. Q. Who was Adam? A. The first man that God made; And then, Q. Who was the first man that God made? A. Adam. By learning this perfect, children will have learned several things in the historical catechism, before they are required to learn it as their proper business.
And to render these things yet more familiar to children, I would propose that the historical catechism, and also the larger catalogue of names which are drawn out of scripture, be appointed as lessons to be read at school and at home, by children while they are learning their younger and shorter catechisms. There will be found hard names enough in them to exercise and improve their reading and spelling: And the perpetual variety of new things occurring may allure them to take delight in perusing it. Children of good memories will learn a great part of it by heart in this manner; The scripture histories will stick upon their minds because they strike the young imagination with pleasure and give an agreeable entertainment.
THE CATECHISM OF SCRIPTURAL NAMES
The Scripture Names in the Old Testament.
WHO was Adam? A. The first man that God made, and
the father of us all.
The first woman, and she was the
3. Q. Who was Cain? A. Adam's eldest son, and he killed his brother Abel.
4. Q. What was Abel? A. A better man than Cain, and therefore Cain hated him.
2. Q. Who was Eve?
mother of us all.
5. Q. Who was Enoch? A. The man who pleased God*, and he was taken up to heaven without dying.
6. Q. Who was Noah? A. The good man who was saved when the world was drowned.
7. Q. Who was Job? A. The most patient man under pains and losses.
8. Q. Who was Abraham? A. The pattern of believers†; and the friend of God.
9. Q. Who was Isaac? A. Abraham's son according to God's promise.
10. Q. Who was Sarah? A. Abraham's wife, and she was Isaac's mother.
11. Who was Jacob? A. Isaac's youngest son, and he craftily obtained his father's blessing.
12. Q. What was Israel? A. A new name that God himself gave to Jacob.
A. Israel's beloved son, but his brethren hated him and sold him.
13. Q. What was Joseph
14. Q. Who were the twelve patriarchs? A. The twelve sons of Jacob, and the fathers of the people of Israel.
15. Q. Who was Pharaoh? A. The king of Egypt, who drowned the children, and he was drowned in the Red Sea.
The usual character of Enoch is, that he walked with God; but this phrase is above the understanding of children: Nor is it given only to Enoch in scripture, for Noah also walked with God: Gen vi. 9. I bave rather therefore expressed it, that Enoch pleased God; as in Heb. xi. 5.
+ It is also the usual character of Abraham, that he was the father of the faithful; Rom. iv. 11. but it chiefly means the pattern of believers, which is much easier for children to understand.
16. Q. Who was Moses? A. The deliverer and lawgiver of the people of Isracl, and he led them through the wilderness.
17. Q. Who was Aaron? A. Moses's brother, and he was the first high-priest of Israel.
18. Q. Who were the priests? A. They who offered sacrifice to God, and taught his laws to men.
19. Q. Who was Joshua? A. The leader of Israel when Moses was dead, and he brought them into the promised land.
20. Q. Who was Samson? A. The strongest man, and he slew a thousand of his enemies with a jaw-bone.
21. Q. Who was Eli? A. He was a good old man, but God was angry with him for not keeping his children from wickedness.
22. Q. Who was Samuel? A. The prophet whom God called when he was a child.
22. Q., Who were the prophets? A. Persons whom God taught to foretel things to come, and to make known his mind. to the world.
24. Q. Who was David? A. The man after God's own heart, who was raised from a shepherd to a king.
25. Q. Who was Goliah? A. The giant whom David slew with a sling and a stone.
26. Q. Who was Absalom? A. David's wicked son, who rebelled against his father, and he was killed as he hung on
27. Q. Who was Solomon? A. David's beloved son, the king of Israel, and the wisest of men.
28. Q. Who was Josiah? A. A very young king, whose heart was tender, and he feared God.
29. Q. Who was Isaiah? A. The prophet who spake more of Jesus Christ than the rest.
30. Q. Who was Elijah? ried to heaven in a chariot of fire.
A. The prophet who was car
31. Q. Who was Elisha? A. The prophet who was mocked by the children, and a wild bear tore them to pieces.
32. Q. Who was Gehazi? A. The prophet's servant who told a lie, and he was struck with a leprosy which could never be cured.
33. Q. Who was Jonah? A. The prophet who lay three days and three nights in the belly of a fish.
34. Q. Who was Daniel? A. The prophet who was saved in the lions' den, because he prayed to God.
35. Q. Who were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ? A. The three Jews who would not worship an image, and they were cast into the fiery furnace, and were not burned.