Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Clean off the Graffiti

Wed 20 Oct 1756: I received the following letter:
Rev. Sir,
The glory of God and the good of mankind are the motives that induce me to write the following . . . .
As it is our duty to do all we can to make all around us happy, I think there is one thing which may be done to promote so blessed an end, which will at the same time be very advantageous to them that practise it, namely, to efface all the obscene words which are written on houses, doors, or walls, by evil-minded men. This which I recommend to others, I constantly practise myself, and if ever I omit doing it I am severely checked unless I can produce some good reason for that omission. I do it with a sponge which for that purpose I carry in my pocket. The advantages I reap from hence are: (1) Peace of conscience in doing my duty. (2) It helps me to conquer the fear of man, which is one of my greatest trials. (3) It is matter of joy that I can do any, the least, service to anyone. And as all persons, especially the young, are liable to temptations to impurity, I can’t do too much to remove such temptations, either from myself or others. Perhaps too, when the unhappy writers pass by and see their bad labours soon effaced, they may be discouraged from pursuing so shameful a work, yea, and brought to a better mind.
Perhaps in some places it might not be amiss in the room of what is effaced to write some serious sentence or short text of Scripture. And wherever we do this, would it not be well to lift up our heart to God in behalf of those sinners, in this or the like manner, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge’; ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’?

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