Isaac Watts

(17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748 / Southampton / England)

Against Lying


O 'tis a lovely thing for youth
To early walk in wisdom's way;
To fear a lie, to speak the truth,
That we may trust to all they say!

But liars we can never trust,
Even when they say what is true.
And he who does one fault at first
And lies to hide it, makes it two.

Have we not known, nor heard, nor read
How God does hate deceit and wrong?
How Ananias was struck dead,
Caught with a lie upon his tongue?

So did his wife Sapphira die,
When she came in, and grew so bold
As to confirm that wicked lie,
Which just before her husband told.

The Lord delights in them that speak
The words of truth; but every liar
Must have his portion in the lake
That burns with brimstone and with fire.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Thomas Jaquis (12/15/2011 11:42:00 AM)

    This is a very outstanding poem by Watts in my opinion, and I beileve that if we lived as Isaac Watts portrays in his poems, the world would be a much better place. In the first paragraph he says, 'O 'tis a lovely thing for youth
    To early walk in wisdom's way; To fear a lie, to speak the truth,
    That we may trust to all they say! ' By this he means its good for youth to be wise and to be scared to lie and always speak the truth, for liars can never be trusted as he says in the next paragraph. Now when you tell one lie, to cover the first one up, you must tell another and that snowballs into a big chain of lies. We know that Lying is bad and that god does not like it, as he continues. Ananias and Sapphira appear in the bible in Acts chapter 4 and 5. They sell their land and donate a portion of the profit to the apostles. However when they present the offering, Ananias says that it is the whole amount when it is truely not. He lied to the holy spirit and was struck dead on the spot. Sapphira suffered the same fate. In the last paragraph he says that the Lord is happy when we tell the truth but those of us who lie must suffer in the fire of hell. --Thomas Jaquis (Report) Reply

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