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3. Q. What is it you call frailties and follies? A. Those things which God hath not so plainly forbidden; but if they are indulged, will lead us into sinful practices, and are attended with many inconveniences.
Note, 'The word vice is sometimes used to signify sins, and sometimes follies*.
4. Q. How many sorts of sins are committed by mankind? A. Our sins are of three sorts, viz. the sins of the heart, the sins of the tongue, and the sins of the life.
5. Q. Against whom are those sins committed? A. Some more directly against God, some against our neighbours, and some against ourselves.
6. Q. But are not all sins committed against God? A. Yes, we sin against God in all the evil that we do, because his law forbids it all: But in some sins we do more particular injury to our neighbours or ourselves.
7. Q. Are children and youth in danger of all these sorts of sin? A. Yes, our natures being sinful, we children are in danger of these sins, as well as grown persons.
8. Q. What are the best ways to avoid these sins, and to free yourself from them? A. I must do these six things:-1. I must endeavour to see the evil nature and ill consequences of every sin I am in danger of.-2. I must be sorry for what evil I have done in time past.-3. I must be more watchful for time to come.-4. I must pray to God to change my sinful nature, and to give me strength against these sins.-5. 1 must trust in Jesus Christ, and his grace to keep me from them.-6. I should have some good reason, and some proper scripture in my memory always ready to oppose them. Thus far of sins in general: Let us now come to particulars.
PART I-Of Sins against God.
9. Q. What are the chief sins more directly against God, of which children are in danger? A. Our sins against God may be ranked under these three heads, viz. ungodliness, profaneness, and self-sufficiency+.
10. Q. What is ungodliness? A. To forget God continually, and have nothing to do with him: And it appears in four things.
11. Q. What is the first sign of ungodliness? A. If I never honour nor praise God for his own greatness and glory.
Reason against this sinful neglect. The great and glorious God, who is our Maker, deserves our honour, and demands it of us, on account of his own excellencies mauifested in all his works.
Scripture saith, "Rom. i. 20, 21. They are without excuse, because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God."
12. Q. What is the second mark of ungodliness? A. When I do not pray to God for the blessings which I want.
Reason for prayer to God. God is gracious, and will hear when we pray to him; but I have no reason to hope he will bless me, if I do not ask it of him, nor acknowledge any dependence on him.
*Though it is sufficiently evident that there are some fooleries or frailties of children which cannot properly be called sins, yet there are also some sins or follies, wherein it is hard to distinguish some of the kinds or branches of them from one another in their own natures. Nor is it easy to say under which head they should be ranked. The scripture often calls sin, folly; and if any of those which I have mentioned be ranked under an improper name, the candid reader will excuse it.
+ Ungodliness is a neglect of God; profaneress is an actual contempt of him: One is negative, or a sin of omission: the other is positive, and a sin of commission, as we may well distinguish them.
And perhaps some may think that a sinful self-sufficiency is implied in the neglect of God: But children must have every thing spoken in a plain and explicit manner to make them attend and remember it, and therefore I have made it a distinct bead.
Scripture." Ps. lxv. 2. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Dan. ix. 14. We made not our prayer before the Lord our God, therefore hath the Lord brought this evil upon us."
13. Q. What is the third sign of ungodliness? A. When I do not give thanks to God for the mercies I receive.
Reason against unthankfulness. I may justly expect God will take away all the blessings be has bestowed, if I never thank him for them.
Scripture."2 Tim. iii. 2. The unthankful are joined with the blasphemers and unholy. Rom. i. 20, 21. They are without excuse,-because they were not thankful"
14. Q. What is the fourth mark of ungodliness? A. When I do not hearken to the word of God, nor obey his commands.
Reason for hearkening to the word of God and obeying his will. God who made me is my Owner, and my Governor, and my great Judge; and his word and will should be the rule of all my behaviour.
Scripture." Lev. xxvi. 14, 16, 17. If ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments, I will appoint over you terror, and the consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume your eyes, and cause sorrow of heart, and I will set my face against you. Ps. lxxxi. 12. My people would not hearken to my voice, Israel would have none of me, so I gave them up to their own hearts' lust."
15. Q. Having heard your account of ungodliness, tell me now, what is profaneness? A. Abusing or despising any thing that is holy, or that belongs to God.
16. Q. When may you be said to despise or abuse what belongs to God? A. Four ways.
17. Q. What is the first instance of profaneness? A. 1. If I make a mock of God, or reproach his name, which is called blasphemy; or if I swear, or take the name of God in vain, or use it in a trifling manner, with out seriousness.
Reason against this sin. Because if I make light of the name of God, I shall quickly come to make light of God himself, and live as an enemy to God in the world.
Scripture. God made it a law among the Jews, "in Lev. xxiv. 16. He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Exod. xx. 7. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. James v. xii. Above all things, my bre thren, swear not neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other eath."
18. Q. What is the second mark of profaneness? A. 2. If I spend that time amiss, which God has appointed for his own worship and service.
Reason. When God has appointed times of worship, man must not put them to other uses without necessity, for he is not lord of his time.
Scripture. "Exod. xx. 8. Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy." 19. Q. What is the third mark of profaneness? A. 3. If I laugh at any persons, or jeer them because they are God's ministers or God's people. Reason against this sin. When persons are abused because they are religious and holy, and belong to God, God takes the abuse as done to himself: And those who laugh at saints, are not likely to become saints themselves.
Scripture."2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. They mocked the messengers of God, and misused his prophets, till the wrath of the Lord arose, and there was no remedy. Luke x. 16. He that despiseth you, desprseth me, saith Christ, and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that seut me. Zech. ii. 8. He that toucheth yon, toucheth the apple of mine eye. 2 Tim. iii. 3. It is one of the characters of the wicked in the last days, They shall be despisers of those that are good."
20. Q. What is the fourth mark of profaneness? A. 4. If I make a jest of the word of God, or preaching, or prayer, or any part of true reli gion.
Reason against this sin. They who jest with the bible and holy things, will not long continue to esteem the bible, or to practise holiness.
Scripture. "Ezek. xii. 26, 31. They have profaned my holy things, and bave put no difference between the holy and the profane: Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them, and consumed them with the fire of my wrath.
21. Q. We come next to enquire, what do you mean by self-sufficiency as a sin against God? A. It is when I live as though I had no need of God; and it appears in these three things chiefly.
22. A. What is the first? A. 1. When I fancy that I have knowledge and wisdom enough to direct me without seeking to God for more.
Reason against this sin. No man on earth has wisdom enough to direct all his own actions, and God will give wisdom to them that ask it.
Scripture. "Prov. iii. 5. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. Prov. xxviii. 6. He that trusts in his own heart is a fool. Jer. x. 23. James i. 5.
23. Q. What is the second mark of this sinful self-sufficiency? A. 2. When I am confident of my own strength to do what I please, or to perform the will of God, and ask not for assistance from him nor his Spirit.
Reason against this sin. Because wiser and better persons than I have fallen into sin and shame when they have trusted in their own strength. Witness St. Peter the apostle.
Scripture."2 Cor. iii. 5. We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God."
24. Q. What is the third mark of this sinful self-sufficiency? A. 3. When I trust in my own righteousness and good works to save me, with a neglect of Christ, who is the only Saviour.
Reason against this sin. Because my sins are many, and my best works are imperfect, and they cannot merit or deserve the favour of God; nor can I any way obtain it but by Jesus Christ, who suffered death to reconcile sinners to God.
Scripture." Rom. iii. 23. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. James iii. 2. In many things we offend all. Acts iv. 10, 12. Jesus Christ, whom God raised from the dead :-There is no other name under heaven given whereby we must be saved. John xiv. 6. Christ says, No man cometh to the Father but by me. Rom. v. 10. When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son."
PART II.-Of Sins against our Neighbour.
25. Q. Thus we have briefly gone over the sins which are more directly committed against God; we proceed now to the sins which are committed against our fellow creatures. Can you give me an account what are the chief sins against men, that children are in danger of? A. Dishonour of superiors, pride and haughtiness of carriage to equals and inferiors, immoderate anger, injustice and lying, evil-speaking and slander, cruelty, spite, envy, and uncharitableness.
26. Q. ways.
When may you be said to dishonour your superiors? A. Three
27. Q What is the first way of dishonouring your superiors? A. 1. If I despise my parents, teachers, or rulers, in my heart, or reproach them with my tongue, or make a mockery of them in any way whatsoever.
Reason against this sin. Because if I despise them I can never fulfil the many duties that I owe to them, nor receive benefit from their counsels and advices.
Scripture. "Prov. xv. 3. A fool despiseth his father's instructions. Verse 20. A foolish man despiseth his mother. Prov. xxx. 17. The eye that mocketh his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it."
28. Q. What is the second way of dishonouring your superiors? A. 2 If I disobey their just and lawful commands.
Reason against this sin. Because God has appointed them to teach and to govern me, as well as to provide for me.
Scripture. Eph. vi. 1. Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this
is right; honour thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Col. i. 20. Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing
unto the Lord."
29. Q. What is the third way of dishonouring your superiors? A. 3. If I am obstinate and stubborn against their reproofs and corrections.
Reason against this sio. Such stubborn creatures have nothing to restrain them from running into the worst of sins, and the greatest of miseries, and there have been many dreadful instances of it.
Scripture. "Prov. xxix. 1. He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Deut. xxi. 18-21. Under the law of Moses among the Jews, God appointed that, if a man bad stubborn and rebellious son, which would not obey the voice of bis father, or the voice of his mother, that when they have chastened him will not hearken unto them, the men of their city shall stone him with stones that he die."
30. Q. What are the signs of pride and haughtiness of carriage, which is the next sin against our neighbour? A. Chiefly these four.
31. Q. What is the first? A. I. If I boast over others, or exalt myself above them beyond measure, on the account of any thing I possess better than they.
Reason against this sin. Because boasters are too ready to forget their dependence on God, and they are hateful in the sight of men.
Scripture."1 Cor. iv. 7. What hadst thou that thou dost not receive? Why dost thou glory, or boas', as though thou hadst not received it? Luke xiv. 11. Whoso exalteth himself shall be abased, and be that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
32. Q. What is the second mark of pride and haughtiness? A. 2. If I am conceited and positive in my own opinion, always contradicting and opposing what others say, and will have every thing in my own way, wheresoever I have any thing to do.
Reason against this sio. Because this is treating our fellows as though we were a higher rank of beings than they; and besides, the most positive and selfrouceited persons have sometimes found they have been in the wrong, and been forced to confess it with shame.
Scripture. "Prov. xxvi. 12. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit, there is more hope of a fool than of him. 2 Pet. ii. 10. Tuey despise government, presumptuous are they, and self-willed,"
33. Q. What is the third sign of pride and haughtiness? A. 3. A disdainful and scornful carriage towards others, particularly towards the aged, toward servants, and those that are poor.
Reason against this sin. I should not scorn the aged, because I am willing myself to live to be old, and I should not hke to be scorned; besides, the aged have more wisdom than I: Nor should I scorn the poor, nor servants, for they are made of the same flesh and blood as I am, and perhaps they may be better than I.
Scripture. "Lev. xix. 32. Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God. Prov, xxiv. 9. The scorner is an abomination to men. Prov, iii. 34. The Lord scorneth the scorners. Prov. xix. 29. Judgments are prepared for scorners."
34. Q. What is the fourth mark of pride and haughtines? A. 4. When I scoff or mock at persons for what is their unhappiness, and not their fault, whether it be at the poor, or the blind, or the lane, or the crooked, or the miserable.
Reason against this sin. Because scoffing is pride joined with ill nature: It is a double crime, Beside, I may fall under any of these calamities, and I would not be willing others should scoff at me.
Scripture. "Prov. xvii. 5. Whoso mocketh the poor, reproacheth bis Maker, and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. 1 Cor. iv. 7. Who maketh thee to differ from another?"
35. Q. Having gone through the marks of pride and haughtiness, tell me now what is immoderate and sinful anger? A. When I am all in a pas
sion upon every slight occasion, or when I let my anger grow violent or continue long.
Reason against this sin. Because a man in a passion is often led to say or do those things which he bitterly repents of afterwards.
Scripture. "Prov. xiv. 29. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. Ec. vii. 9. Anger resteth, or remaineth loug, in the bosom of fools. Eph. iv. 26. Be ye angry and sin not: Let not the sun go down ɑpɔn your wrath, neither give place to the devil." 36. Q. What are the ill consequences of sinful anger? A. These five: 37. Q. What is the first? A. 1. Railing and calling ill-names. Because railers are not fit for sober company, and
Reason against this sin. are very displeasing to God. Scripture, "Mat. v. 22. Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say, thou fool, that is, thou art a wicked wretch, shall be in danger of hell-fire, I Pet. iii. 9. We must not render railing for railing, much less may we begin to rail,
38. Q. What is the second ill consequence of sinful anger? A. 2. Striking of others, striving and fighting, which sometimes reaches even to blood and murder.
Reason against this sin. Because if we are injured, it is better to complain to parents and masters, that we may have right done us; whereas quarrelling and fighting is but pleasing the devil, and is the cause of much mischief.
Scripture. "James iv. 1. From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not from your lusts? Gal. v. 15. If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."
39. Q. What is the third ill consequence of sinful anger? A. 3. Curs ing, and wishing mischief to befal others?
Reason against this sin. Because this is not loving our neighbour as ourselves. The tongue was made to bless God, and not to curse men, who are made after the image of God. James iii. 9. And the mischief sometimes falls upon him that curses.
Scripture. "Rom. xii. 14. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Ps. cix. 27. As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him."
40. Q. What is the fourth ill consequence of sinful anger? A. 4. Revenge, or doing mischief to others, for some real or supposed injury they have done me.
Reason against this sin. Because it belongs to our rulers and not to us to punish those that injure us. It is our duty to forgive.
Scripture. "Rom. xii. 19. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will 'repay, saith the Lord. Mat. vi, 15. If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
41. Q. What is the fifth ill consequence of sinful anger? A. 5. Where it is indulged for a few hours it often turns into sullenness, and if it continue long it will grow into settled malice and batred.
Reason against sullenness. Because it inclines children, when any thing has offended them, not to eat or drink, not to speak or smile, to go aside into corners and pout; or when they come finto company they lour and scowl, and perhaps now and then throw out a dark and spiteful word. Now all this is but taking revenge upon myself, as well as shewing my ill temper to the world.
Reason against malice. A malicious man is the very image of the devil, and can never be beloved by men. See more under the sin of spite, which is gear a-kin to malice.
Scripture." Eph. iv. 31, 32. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. 1 John iii. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. John viii. 44. Ye are of your father the devil,-he was a murderer from the beginning."
42. Q. Thus much concerning sinful anger, tell me now, what is injustice? A. Taking what is not due to me: and this may be done four ways.