"> '); Prevailing Intercessory Prayer : August Francke: Rules For Conduct

Rules For Conduct

August Hermann Francke

Directions on how to live in peace with men, and preserve a good conscience in the sight of God:

"1. Rules for our conduct in company.

"Company offers many temptations to sin. If you would preserve a good conscience in the sight of God, remember that He, the Majesty of Heaven and Earth, is present; and that in such a situation, a solemn awe becomes you;

"Never speak of your enemies except in love, for their good, and the honour of God.

"Do not speak much. When it is necessary to say any thing, do it respectfully, advisedly, and kindly. Always speak with earnestness, with clearness, and deliberation.

"Do not make the things of this world a subject of conversation, except when God may be honoured, or good done to your neighbour thereby.

"Avoid all severe and reproachful language, and every thing that might excite evil feeling. Inquire of a friend whether you ever offend in this way; for you may do it unconsciously.

"Profanity is a great sin. If you use the name of God, do it with reverence, as if in his presence. Never make the name of God or Christ a mere by-word. He who honours God in his heart, will not dishonour Him with his lips.

"Be cautious in narrating any thing, that you adhere strictly to truth. Men sometimes supply some circumstances from their own invention, which their memory has not retained. Think afterwards whether you have not in your conversation done this.

"Trifling jests and anecdotes, do not become a Christian. When you are in conversation, avoid speaking of yourself, or desiring so to do.

"Never change the conversation from a profitable subject. Much is to be learnt, both in the discipline of the mind and in the collection of facts, by much conversation on the same topic.

“Never interrupt a person who is speaking, and be silent if you yourself are interrupted.

“If you would reprove another for some misconduct, take care first to conquer the fear of man. But it is well, beforehand, to think of your own defects, that you may reprove with meekness and with love.

"Avoid unnecessary mirth. All laughter is not sinful, but it should be the mark of a peaceful, and joyful, not a trifling state of mind. If others laugh at foolish jests, and improper expressions, do not join with them. If they are not pleasing to God, why should they be to you? If you laugh with those who delight in these things, you are a partaker of their sin; if, on the contrary, you preserve a grave countenance, you reprove them.

"Cultivate a talent for directing conversation, in a proper channel.

"Never think more highly of yourself, than of another, on account of any advantage of station which you may possess. Both of you are dust and ashes, and equal in the sight of God.

"Love is humble, and secures the respect and friendship of others; but a haughty man is disagreeable to all.

"Remain not a moment in society, when your only object is, that you may thus pass time away.

"2. Rules for Solitude:

"If you are truly convinced of the presence of God, when you are alone, you need have no weariness of solitude. Will you be weary of an eternity, spent in his presence, where you hope to find your perfect happiness?

"Fear nothing visible, or invisible, but God, who can save, and can destroy.

"Engage in no unprofitable work; for you shall give account of every moment of your time, and of the manner in which it has been employed.

"Read no trifling nor useless books, for the sake of passing away time.

"Indulge no thought which you would be ashamed to utter; for though you may conceal it from men, God beholds your inmost soul, and knows your thoughts afar off.

"Do nothing in private, which you would avoid in the presence of the wise and good. You have respect for them; ought you not to respect much more the Great Jehovah?"

August Francke, Memoirs of August Hermann Francke, (Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1830), pp. 57-61.