Against Scoffing and Calling Names

Our tongues were made to bless the Lord,
And not speak ill of men:
When others give a railing word,
We must not rail again.
Cross words and angry names require
To be chastised at school;
And he’s in danger of hell-fire
That calls his brother fool.

But lips that dare be so profane
To mock, and jeer, and scoff
At holy things, or holy men,
The Lord shall cut them off.

When children, in their wanton play,
Served old Elisha so,
And bade the prophet go his way,
“Go up, thou bald head, go!”

God quickly stopped their wicked breath;
And sent two raging bears,
That tore them limb from limb to death,
With blood, and groans, and tears.

Great God! How terrible art thou
To sinners e’er so young:
Grant me thy grace, and teach me how
To tame and rule my tongue.

source: Isaac Watts, The Poems of Isaac Watts: Volume 2, p. 123.

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