Questions to be put by a Visiting Elder

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Puritan Board Sophomore
These are the questions used by the Cahans (Ballybay, Co. Monaghan) elders when doing visitation. [1]
(A Secession [burgher] congregation.)
  1. Had you family worship in all its parts here last night and this morning?
  2. Do all members of the family decently attend worship without sleeping or trifling behaviour?
  3. Do you every Saturday night cause turf, water, wash potatoes and kail or greens be got into the house sufficient to serve till Monday morning?
  4. Is your house swept every Saturday night and the ashes removed so that the family goes to rest before it be too late?
  5. Did you Catechise your family here last Sabbath night observing to do it every Sabbath night?
  6. Do you daily cause each of your family observe secret prayer?
  7. Do you ever take the children aside and cause them to pray in your hearing secretly?
  8. Do you carefully restrain your family from idle Jesting, Taunting and giving bye-names or quarrelling with one another?
  9. Do you restrain them from gross or minced oaths, and telling any sort of lies in their common discourse?
  10. Do you watch that the children play no games on the Sabbath day?
  11. Do any of your family use tossing and dice-ing men and women themselves or with others for diversion?
  12. Do they use any Charms on certain days as Novr. 1st, or encourage spae-men and the like by consulting and giving heed to them?
  13. Do they go to any Cock-fights, horse-races, or dancings?
  14. Do they attend bonfires on Mid-Summer Eve?
  15. What share of the Larger and Shorter Catechisms or of the Holy Scriptures have they got by heart?
  16. Do they attend the public Ordinances duly and decently?

I don't have a date on those questions, but my best guess is that they may be from the time when Dr. Clark was the minister, 1751-1764.

During Mr. Clark's ministry in Cahans, he maintained strict discipline. Offenders, before they received absolution from censure, were compelled to declare, in the presences of the congregation, their sorrow for the sin they they had committed. The most common offences were, neglect of family worship, Sabbath breaking, profane swearing, breaches of the seventh commandment, and irregular marriages. [2]

[1] Short History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; Prof. John M. Barkley
[2] A History of the Irish Presbyterians; William Thomas Latimer
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