1 Corinthians 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
I. IN ALMOST EVERY CASE THE YOUNG BEGIN WELL. They come out of the hand of nature pure and uncorrupted.
II. IT IS WISE IN THEM, IN THE SECOND PLACE, TO REFLECT FOR WHAT IT IS THAT THEY WERE BORN, AND IN WHAT CONSISTS THE REAL HAPPINESS OF MORTAL LIFE.
III. It is wise in them, in the last place, TO LOOK BEYOND THE WORLD, AND TO CONSIDER THE FINAL DESTINY OF THEIR BEING. And to us, my elder brethren, it is a reflection of no common interest — that our folly and imprudence may thus poison the minds of the pure, and introduce guilt and woe into the innocent family of God.
1. There is, in the first place, an "evil communication" to the young, which proceeds from the abuse of rank and affluence. These are the high and the valued situations of life, to which all others naturally look up — and it is their manners which necessarily give the tone and fashion to their age. Of what fatal consequence it is to every generation when rank and fashion are only the leaders of folly, and when riches are employed in vice and sordid dissipation; and, what is even worse, when the manners of the higher ranks of mankind are assimilated to all that is base or degrading in the lower. How many, alas! of the young are the victims of these abuses of prosperity?
2. There is, in the second place, an evil communication to the young which arises from the abuse of learning and talents. Of all the employments of human wisdom, the noblest certainly, and the most genuine is that of the instruction of the ignorance, and the support of the innocence of youth. Yet the world shows us that there are men who have deserted this sublimest duty — who please themselves in spreading doubt and unbelief, and who delight to employ their powers with withdrawing all the most sacred principles of religion and morality.
3. There is, in the last place, an evil communication to the young from the society of the aged in vice itself.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.