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the Lord of the Sabbath--were we asked to such a proportionate abatement of truth, as look to the man who could thus overbear goes to extend most fearfully the condemnathe last remnants of remorse in a struggling tion that is due to all liars, who shall have and unpractised bosom, and glitter in all the their part in the lake that burneth with fire ensigns of a prosperity that is reared on the and brimstone. And who can compute the violated consciences of those who are be-effect of all this on the young and yet unneath him-0! were the question put, to practised observer? Who does not see, that whom shall we liken such a man? or what it must go to reduce the tone of his princiis the likeness to which we can compare ples; and to involve him in many a delicate him ? we would say, that the guilt of him struggle between the morality he has learned who trafficked on the highway, or trafficked from his catechism, and the morality he sees on that outraged coast, from whose weeping in the counting-house; and to obliterate, in families children were inseparably torn, was his mind, the distinctions between right and far ontmeasured by the guilt which could wrong; and, at length, to reconcile his conthus frustrate a father's fondest prayers, and science to a sin, which, like every other, trample under foot the hopes and the pre-l deserves the wrath and the curse of God; parations of eternity.
and to make him tamper with a direct comThere is another way whereby in the em- mandment, in such a way, as that falsehoods ploy of a careless and unprincipled master, and frauds might be nothing more in his it is impossible but that offences must come. estimation, than the peccadilloes of an inYou know just as well as we do, that there nocent compliance with the current pracare chicaneries in business; and, so long as tices and moralities of the world ? Here then we forbear stating the precise extent of is a point, at which the way of those who them, there is not an individual among you conform to this world, diverges from the who has a title to construe the assertion into way of those peculiar people who are rean affronting charge of criminality against deemed from all iniquity, and are thoroughhimself. But you surely know as well as we, ly furnished unto all good works. Here is a that the mercantile profession, conducted, as grievous occasion to fall. Here is a comit often is, with the purest integrity, and petition between the service of God and the laying no resistless necessity whatever for service of Mammon. Here is the exhibition the surrender of principle on any of its of another offence, and the bringing forward members; and dignified by some of the of another temptation, to those who are ennoblest exhibitions of untainted honour, and tering on the business of the world, little devoted friendship, and magnificent gene-adverted to, we fear, by those who live in rosity, that have ever been recorded of our utter carelessness of their own souls, and nature;- you know as well as we, that it never spend a thought or a sigh about the was utterly extravagant, and in the face of immortality of others—but most distinctly all observation, to affirm, that each, and singled out by the text as a crime of foreevery one of its numerous competitors, stood most magnitude in the eye of Him who clearly and totally exempted from the sins judgeth righteously. of an undue selfishness. And, accordingly, And before we quit the subject of such there are certain commodious falsehoods offences as take place in ordinary trade, let occasionally practised in this department of us just advert to one example of it-not-so human affairs. There are, for example, cer- much for the frequency of its occurrence, tain dexterous and gainful evasions, whereby | as for the way that it stands connected in the payers of tribute are enabled, at times, principle with a very general, and, we beto make their escape from the eagle eye of lieve, a very mischievous offence, that takes the exactors of tribute. There are even cer- place in domestic society. It is neither, tain contests of ingenuity between individualyou will observe, the avarice nor the seltraders, where in the higgling of a very keen fishness of our nature, which forms the only and anxious negociation, each of them is obstruction in the way of one man dealing tempted in talking of offers and prices, and plainly with another. There is another the reports of fluctuations in home and obstruction, founded on a far more pleasing foreign markets, to say the things which are and amiable principle-even on that delinot. You must assuredly know, that these, cacy of feeling, in virtue of which, one man and such as these, then, have introduced a cannot bear to wound or to mortify another. certain quantity of what may be called shuf. It would require, for instance, a very rare, fling, into the communications of the trad- and, certainly, not a very enviable degree ing world-insomuch, that the simplicity of of hardihood, to tell another, without pain, yea, yea, and nay, nay, is in some degree that you did not think him worthy of being exploded; there is a kind of understood tole-trusted. And yet, in the doings of merration established for certain modes of ex-chandise, this is the very trial of delicacy pression, which could not, we are much which sometimes offers itself. The man afraid, stand the rigid scrutiny of the great with whom you stand committed to as day; and there is an abatement of confidence great an extent as you count to be advisabetween man and man, implying, we doubt, I ble, would like, perhaps, to try your coniI d ence in him, and his own credit with you, the sufferings of others, should thus be acONS a little farther; and he comes back upon cessary to the second and more awful death
you with a fresh order; and you secretly of her own domestics—that one who looks have no desire to link any more of your the mildest and the loveliest of human beproperty with his speculation; and the dif- ings, should exact obedience to a mandate ficulty is, how to get the application in which carries wrath, and tribulation, and question disposed of; and you feel that by anguish, in its train--0! how it should
far the pleasantest way, to all the parties confirm every Christian in his defiance to de concerned, would be, to make him believe the authority of fashion, and lead him to
that you refuse the application, not because spurn at all its folly, and at all its worthIn you will not comply, but because you can-lessness.
not-for that you have no more of the ar And it is quite in vain to say, that the serwo ticle he wants from you upon hand. And vant whom you thus employ as the deputy DE it would only be putting your own soul to of your falsehood, can possibly execute the
hazard, did you personally, and by your commission without the conscience being self, make this communication: but you at all tainted or defiled by it; that a simple select, perhaps, as the organ of it, some cottage maid can so sophisticate the matter, agent or underling of your establishment, as, without any violence to her original who knows it to be false; and to avoid the principles, to utter the language of what soreness of a personal encounter with the she assuredly knows to be a downright lie; man whom you are to disappoint, you de- that she, humble and untutored soul, can volve the whole business of this lying apol- sustain no injury when thus made to tamogy upon others; and thus do you continue per with the plain English of these realms; to shift this oppressive burden away from that she can at all satisfy herself, how, by you-or, in other words, to save your own the prescribed utterance of “not at home, delicacy, you count not, and you care not, she is not pronouncing such words as are about another's damnation.
substantially untrue, but merely using them Now, what we call upon you to mark, is in another and perfectly understood meanthe perfect identity of principle between ing—and which, according to their modern this case of making a brother to offend, and translation, denote, that the person of whom another case which obtains, we have heard, she is thus speaking, instead of being away to a very great extent, among the most gen- from home, is secretly lurking in one of the teel and opulent of our city families. In most secure and intimate of its receptathis case, you put a lie into the mouth of a cles. You may try to darken and transdependent, and that, for the purpose of form this piece of casuistry as you will; protecting your substance from such an and work up your own minds into the peaceapplication as might expose it to hazard able conviction that it is all right, and as it or diminution. In the second case, you should be. But be very certain, that where put a lie into the mouth of a dependent, the moral sense of your domestic is not aland that, for the purpose of protecting ready overthrown, there is, at least one boyour time from such an encroachment som within which you have raised a war as you would not feel to be convenient of doubts and difficulties; and where, if the or agreeable. And, in both cases, you victory be on your side, it will be on the are led to hold out this offence by a side of him who is the great enemy of righcertain delicacy of temperament, in vir- teousness. There is, at least, one person tue of which, you can neither give a man along the line of this conveyance of deceit, plainly to understand, that you are not wil-who condemneth herself in that which she Ping to trust him, nor can you give him to alloweth ; who, in the language of Paul, esunderstand that you count his company to teeming the practice to be unclean, to her se an interruption. But, in both ihe one will it be unclean; who will perform her task nd the other example, look to the little with the offence of her own conscience, ccount that is made of a brother's or of a and to whom, therefore, it will indeed be ster's eternity ; behold the guilty task that evil: who cannot render obedience in this thus uninercifully laid upon one who is matter to her earthly superior, but by an ortly to appear before the judgment-seat act, in which she does not stand clear and Christ; think of the entanglement which | unconscious of guilt before God; and with hus made to beset the path of a creature whom, therefore, the sad consequence of o is unperishable. That, at the shrine what we can call nothing else than a barVammon, such a bloody sacrifice should barous combination against the principles endered by some of his unrelenting vo- and the prospects of the lower orders, is
s, is not to be wondered at; but that that as she has not cleaved fully unto the shrine of elegance and fashion should Lord, and has not kept by the service of athed in blood-that soft and sentimen the one master, and has not forsaken all at adyship should put forth her hand to His bidding, she cannot be the disciple of an enormity-that she who can sigh Christ. ntly, and shed her graceful tear over! The aphorism, that he who offendeth in one point is guilty of all, tells us something | particular offence, a mischief may be done more than of the way in which God ad-equivalent to the total destruction of a hu
judges condemnation to the disobedient. man soul, or to the blotting out of its prosIt also tells us of the way in which one in-pects for immortality. dividual act of sinfulness operates upon our. And let us just ask a master or a mistress, moral nature. It is altogether an erroneous who can thus make free with the moral view of the commandments, to look upon principle of their servants in one instance, them as so many observances to which we how they can look for pure or correct prinare bound by as many distinct and inde-ciple from them in other instances? What pendent ties of obligation-insomuch, that right have they to complain of unfaithfulthe transgression of one of them may be ness against themselves, who have delibebrought about by the dissolution of one rately seduced another into a habit of unseparate tie, and may leave all the others, faithfulness against God? Are they so utwith as entire a constraining influence and terly unskilled in the mysteries of our naauthority as before. The truth is, that the ture, as not to perceive, that if a man gather commandments ought rather to be looked hardihood enough to break the Sabbath in upon as branching out from one great and opposition to his own conscience, this very general tie of obligation; and that there is hardihood will avail him to the breaking of no such thing as loosening the hold of one other obligations ?-that he whom, for their of them upon the conscience, but by the advantage, they have so exercised, as to fill unsastening of that tie which binds them all his conscience with offence towards his upon the conscience. So that if one mem- God, will not scruple, for his own adranber in the system of practical righteousness tage, so to exercise himself, as to fill his be made to suffer, all the other members conscience with offence towards his master ? suffer along with it; and if one decision of that the servant whom you have taught the moral sense be thwarted, the organ of to lie, has gotten such rudiments of educathe moral sense is permanently impaired, tion at your hand, as that, without any furand a leaven of iniquity infused into all its ther help, he can now teach himself to purother decisions; and if one suggestion of loin ?-and yet nothing more frequent than this inward monitor be stified, a general | loud and angry complainings against the shock is given to his authority over the treachery of servants; as if, in the general whole man; and if one of the least com-wreck of their other principles, a principle mandments of the law is left unsulfilled, the of consideration for the good and interest of law itself is brought down from its rightful their employer--and who, at the same time, ascendency; and thus it is, that one act of has been their seducer-was to survive in disobedience may be the commencement all its power, and all its sensibility. It is and the token of a systematic and universal just such a retribution as was to be looked rebelliousness of the heart against God. It for. It is a recoil upon their own heads of is this which gives such a wide-wasting ma- the mischief which they themselves hare lignity to each of the separate offences on originated. It is the temporal part of the which we have now expatiated. It is this punishment which they have to bear for the which so multiplies the means and the pos- sin of our text, but not the whole of it; far sibilities of corruption in the world. It is the better for them that both person and thus that, at every one point in the inter- property were cast into the sea, than that course of human society, there may be they should stand the reckoning of that day, struck out a fountain of poisonous emana- when called to give an account of the souls tion on all who approach it; and think not, that they have murdered, and the blood of therefore, that under each of the examples so mighty a destruction is required at their we have given, we were only contending hands. for the preservation of one single feature in The evil against which we have just prothe character of him who stands exposed to tested, is an outrage of far greater enormity this world's offences. We felt it, in fact, to than tyrant or oppressor can inflict, in the be a contest for his eternity; and that the prosecution of his worst designs against the case involved in it his general condition political rights and liberties of the commonwith God; and that he who leads the young wealth. The very semblance of such deinto a course of dissipation-or that he who signs will summon every patriot to his post tampers with their impressions of sabbath of observation; and, from a thousand watchsacredness--or that he who, either in the towers of alarm, will the outcry of freedom walks of business, or in the services of the in danger be heard throughout the land. family, makes them the agents of deceitful. But there is a conspiracy of a far more maness--or that he, in short, who tempts them | lignant influence upon the destinies of the to transgress in any one thing, has, in fact, species that is now going on; and which poured such a pervading taint into their seems to call forth no indignant spirit, and moral constitution, as to spoil or corrupt to bring no generous exclamation along them in all things; and that thus, upon one with it. Throughout all the recesses of solitary occasion, or by the exhibition of one private and domestic history, there is an
ascendency of rank and station against the servant will be brought to their reckonwhich no stern republican is ever heard to ing together; and when the one is tried lift his voice—though it be an ascendency upon the guilt and the malignant influence so exercised, as to be of most noxious ope of his Sabbath companies-and is charged ration to the dearest hopes and best interests with the profane and careless habit of his of humanity. There is a cruel combination household establishment-and is reminded of the great against the majesty of the peo- how he kept both himself and his domesple-we mean the majesty of the people's tics from the solemn ordinance-and is made worth. There is a haughty unconcern about to perceive the fearful extent of the moral an inheritance, which, by an unalienable and spiritual mischief which he has wrought right, should be theirs-we mean their fu- as the irreligious head of an irreligious fature and everlasting inheritance. There is mily—and how, among other things he, una deadly invasion made on their rights— der a system of fashionable hypocrisy, so we mean their rights of conscience; and, tampered with another's principles as to dein this our land of boasted privileges, are file his conscience, and to destroy him-0! the low trampled upon by the high-we how tremendously will the little brief aumean trampled into all the degradation of thority in which he now plays his fantastic guilt and worthlessness. They are utterly tricks, turn to his own condemnation; for, berest of that homage which ought to be than thus abuse his authority, it were betrendered to the dignity of their immortal ter for him that a millstone were hanged nature; and to minister to the avarice of about his neck, and he were cast into the an imperious master, or to spare the sickly sea. delicacy of the fashionables in our land, are And how comes it, we ask, that any masthe truth and the piety of our population, ter is armed with a power so destructive and all the virtues of their eternity, most over the immortals who are around him? unfeelingly plucked away from them. It God has given him no such power: The belongs to others to fight the battle of their state has not given it to him. There is no privileges in time. But who that looks with law, either human or divine, by which he a calculating eye on their duration that can enforce any order upon his servants to never ends, can repress an alarm of a higher an act of falsehood, or to an act of impiety. order ? It belongs to others generously to Should any such act of authority be atstruggle for the place and the adjustment tempted on the part of the master, it should of the lower orders in the great vessel of be followed up on the part of the servant the state. But, surely, the question of their by an act of disobedience. Should your place in eternity is of mightier concern than master or mistress bid you say not at home, how they are to sit and be accommodated when you know that they are at home, it in that pathway vehicle which takes them is your duty to refuse compliance with such to their everlasting habitations.
| an order: and if it be asked, how can this Christianity is, in one sense, the greatest matter be adjusted after such a violent and of all levellers. It looks to the elements, / alarming innovation on the laws of fashionand not to the circumstantials of humanity; able intercourse, we answer, just by the simand regarding as altogether superficial and ple substitution of truth for falsehood—just temporary the distinctions of this fleeting by prescribing the utterance of, engaged, pilgrimage, it fastens on those points of as- which is a fact, instead of the utterance of, similation which liken the king upon the not at home, which is a liemjust by holding throne to the very humblest of his subject the principles of your servant to be of higher population. They are alike in the naked account than the false delicacies of your acDess of their birth. They are alike in the quaintance-just by a bold and vigorous resureness of their decay. They are alike in currence to the simplicity of nature-just the agonies of their dissolution. And after by determinedly doing what is right, though the one is tombed in sepulchral magnifi- the example of a whole host were against cence, and the other is laid in his sod-wrapt you; and by giving impulse to the current grave, are they most fearfully alike in the of example, when it happens to be moving corruption to which they moulder. But it in a proper direction. And here we are is with the immortal nature of each that happy to say that fashion has of late been Christianity has to do; and, in both the one making a capricious and accidental moveand the other, does it behold a nature alike ment on the side of principle-and to be lorfeited by guilt, and alike capable of being blunt, and open, and manly, is now on the restored by the grace of an offered salva- fair way to be fashionable--and a temper tion. And never do the pomp and the cir- of a homelier quality is beginning to infuse cumstance of externals appear more humi- itself into the luxuriousness, and the effemibating, than when, looking onwards to the nacy, and the palling and excessive complaiday of resurrection, we behold the sovereign sance of genteel society-and the staple of standing without his crown, and trembling, cultivated manners is improving in firmness, with the subject by his side, at the bar of and frankness, and honesty, and may, at heaven's majesty. There the master and length, by the aid of a principle of Chris
tian rectitude, be so interwoven with the whole of the gospel dispensation. Let them cardinal virtues, as to present a different learn a higher reverence for the eternity texture altogether from the soft and silken of those beneath them, by thinking of him, degeneracy of modern days.
| who, to purchase an inheritance for the And that we may not appear the cham-poor, and to provide them with the bless pions of an insurrection against the autho-ings of a preached gospel, unrobed him of rity of masters, let us further say, that all his greatness; and descended hiinsels while it is the duty of clerk or apprentice to to the lot and labours of poverty; and toiled, refuse the doing of weekday work on the Sab- to the beginning of his public ministry, at bath, and while it is the duty of servants to the work of a carpenter; and submitted to refuse the utterance of a prescribed falsehood, all the horrors of a death which was aggraand while it is the duty of every dependent, vated by the burden of a world's atonein the service of his master, to serve him ment, and made inconceivably severe by only in the Lord-yet this very principle, their being infused into it all the bitter of tending as it may to a rare and occasional expiation. Think, O think, when some petty act of disobedience, is also the principle design of avarice or vanity would lead you which renders every servant who adheres to forget the imperishable souls of those to it a perfect treasure of fidelity, and at- who are beneath you, that you are setting tachment, and general obedience. This is yourselves in diametric opposition to that the way in which to obtain a credit for his which lieth nearest to the heart of the Sarefusal, and to stamp upon it a noble con-viour; that you are countervailing the whole sistency. In this way he will, even to the tendency of his redemption ; that you are mind of an ungodly master, make up for thwarting the very object of that enterprise all his particularities : and should he be for which all heaven is represented as in what, if a Christian, he will be; should he motion-and angels are with wonder lookbe, at all times, the most alert in service, ing on-and God the Father laid an apand the most patient of provocation, and pointment on the Son of his love-and be, the most cordial in affection, and the most the august personage in whom the magscrupulously honest in the charge and cus-nificent train of prophecy, from the begintody of all that is committed to him-then ning of the world, has its theme and its let ihe post of drudgery at which he toils fulfilment, at length came amongst us, in be humble as it may, the contrast between shrouded majesty, and was led to the cross, the meanness of his office and the dignity like a lamb for the slaughter, and bowed of his character will only heighten the re- his head in agony, and gave up the ghost. verence that is due to principle, and make And here let us address one word more it more illustrious. His scruples may, at to the masters and mistresses of families. first, be the topics of displeasure, and after- By adopting the reformations to which we wards the topics of occasional levity; but, have been urging you, you may do good in spite of himself, will his employer be at to the cause of Christianity, and yet not adlength constrained to look upon them with vance, by a single hair-breadth, the Chrisrespectful toleration. The servant will be tianity of your own souls. It is not by this to the master a living epistle of Christ, and one reformation, or indeed, by any given he may read there what he has not yet per- number of reformations, that you are sa red. ceived in the letter of the New Testament. It is by believing in Christ that men are saved. He may read, in the person of his own do- You may escape, it is sure, a higher degree mestic, the power and the truth of Chris- of punishment, but you will not escape tianity. He may positively stand in awe damnation. You may do good to the souls of his own hired servant--and, regarding of your servants, by a rigid observance of his bosom as a sanctuary of worth which it the lesson of this day. But we seek the were monstrous to violate, will he feel, when good of your own souls, also, and we protempted to offer one command of impiety, nounce upon them that they are in a state that he cannot, that he dare not.
of death, till one great act be performed, And before we conclude, let us, if possi- and one act, too, which does not consist of ble, try to rebuke the wealthy out of their any number of particular acts, or particular unfeeling indifference to the souls of the reformations. What shall I do to be saved ? poor, by the example of the Saviour. Let Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou those who look on the immortality of the shalt be saved. And he who believeth not, poor as beneath their concern, only look the wrath of God abideth on him. Do this, unto Christ-to him who, for the sake of if you want to make the great and importhe poorest of us all, became poor himself, tant transition for yourselves. Do this if that we, through his poverty, might be you want your own name to be blotted made rich. Let them think how the prin- out of the book of condemnation. If you ciple of all these offences which we have seek to have your own persons justified been attempting to expose, is in the direct before God, submit to the righteousness of face of that principle which prompted, at God-even that righteousness which is first, and which still presides over, the I through the faith of Christ, and is unto all