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22. What was Agur's earnest desire and prayer ?
Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. (30 Pr. 8,9.)
23. How does Christ exhort us to avoid worldly anxiety, and seek spiritual blessings?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his right-, eousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (6 Mt. 31 to 34.)
24. Should God's care of the birds lead us to depend on him ?
The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap ; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them. How much more are ye better than the fowls? (12 Lk.23, 24.)
25. What does the apostle Paul say to Timothy on this subject ?
Godliness with contentment is great gain :: for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out: and having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition : for the love of money is the root of all evil. (1. Tim. 6. 6 to 10.)
26. How did St. Paul learn content ?
I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (4 Phi. 11 to 13.)
27. How does he exhort others to moderation ?
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (4 Phi. 5, 6, 7.)
XXII. HONESTY AND DISHONESTY.
JUSTICE AND INJUSTICE.
Commands against dishonesty, and injustice in general
As to Weights and Measures-Evils and punishment of -Duty of honesty.
1. What is the eighth commandment ?
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him. (19 Lev. 11, 13.)
3. What command is given to him who has been dishonest?
Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (4 Eph. 28.)
4. What command is given as to weights and measures ?
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, * in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weight, a just ephah, † and a just hin,I shall ye have. (19 Lev. 35, 36.)
5. Is keeping as well as using unjust weights and measures forbidden
Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small; but thou shalt have a perfect and just weight; a perfect and just measure shalt thou have. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God. (25 Deu. 13 to 16.)
6. Does God notice our conduct in this respect ?
A false balance is abomination to the Lord; but a just weight is his delight. (11 Pr. 1.)
7. What is the character of him who robs his parents ?
Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith it is no transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer. (28 Pr. 24.)
8. Will the unrighteous be excluded from the kingdom of God?
Ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived. (I. Cor. 6. 8, 9.)
9. Will God punish those who secretly defraud others ?
That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter, because that the Lord is the avenger of all such. (1. Thes. 4.6.)
10. How did the Psalmist pray to be kept from dishonesty? Let integrity and uprightness preserve me. (25 P. 21.
* A yard or stick, by which any thing is measured.
+ About seven gallons and two quarts, and about half a pint, wine-measure.
| About one gallon and two pints.
11. Are the just blessed by God?
Blessings are upon the head of the just.—The memory of the júst is blessed.--He that walketh uprightly walketh surely. (10 Pr.6,7,9.)
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, Most Upright, dost weigh the path of the just. (26 Is. 7.)
12 Will justice and liberality be recompensed ?
Give, and it shall be given unto you ; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom : for with the same measure that ye
mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. (6 Lk. 38.)
13. Do petty pilferings and frauds shew an unjust and dishonest character?
He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much. (16 Lk. 10.)
14. How must we gain our living ? Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (12 Ro. 17.)
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. (II. Cor. 8.21.)
15. How did the apostle assert the integrity of himself and his friend ?
We have a good conscience in all things, willing to live honestly. (13 Heb. 18.)
16. Is the upright conduct of Christians calculated to glorify God, and recommend religion ?
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles : that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I. Pet. 2. 12.)
XXIII. DILIGENCE AND IDLENESS.
Duty of diligence-Its advantages-Commands against
laziness-Its evils and punishment.
1. What punishment in this life did God inflict on man after he had sinned ?
Cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and, thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground. (3 Gen. 17, 18, 19.)
2. Is diligence commanded ?
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. (27 Pr. 23.)
3. How are we required to fulfil the labours of our stations in life?
That ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you : that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (I. Thes. 4. 11, 12.)
4. Did St. Paul exhibit an example of industry ?
Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you, not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (II. Thes. 3. 8,9.)
5. Does diligence promote success ?
Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (22 Pr. 29.)