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an essential defect of principle at the first; might have been the little ones of Christ, to
which proves, in fact, that he made the fall; and it is against him that our Saviour,
mistake of one principle for another; and in the text, lifts not a cool, but an impas-
that, while he thought he had the faith, it sioned testimony. It is of him that he
was not that very faith of the New Tes- utters one of the most severe and solemn
tament which is unto salvation. There denunciations of the gospel.
might have been the semblance of a work. If this text were thoroughly pursued
of grace without its reality. Such a work, into its manifold applications, it would be
if genuinely begun, will be carried on- found to lay a weight of fearful responsi- '
wards even unto perfection. But this is a bility upon us all. We are here called
point on which it is not at all necessary, at upon not to work out our own salvation,
present, to dogmatize. We are led, by the but to compute the reflex influence of all
text, to expatiate on the guilt of that one our works, and of all our ways, on the
man who has wrecked the interest of an- principles of others. And when one thinks
other man's eternity. Now, it may be very of the mischief which this influence might
true, that if the second has actually en- spread around it, even from Christians of
tered within the strait gate, it is not in the chiefest reputation: when one thinks of
power of the first, with all his artifices, the readiness of man to take shelter in the
and all his temptations, to draw him out example of an acknowledged superior;
again. But instead of having entered the when one thinks that some inconsistency
gate, he may only be on the road that leads of ours might seduce another into such an
to it; and it is enough, amid the uncertain imitation as overbears the reproaches of
ties which, in this life, hang over the ques- his own conscience, and as, by vitiating
tion of-who are really believers, and who the singleness of his eye, makes the whole
are not? that it is not known in which of of his body, instead of being full of light,
these two conditions the little one is; and to be full of darkness; when one takes the
that, therefore, to seduce him from obe- lesson along with him into the various con-
dience to the will of Christ, may, in fact, ditions of life he may be called by Provi-
be to arrest his progress towards Christ, dence to occupy, and thinks, that if, either
and to draw him back unto the perdition as a parent surrounded by his family, or as
of his soul. The whole guilt of the text a master by the members of his establish-
may be realized by him who keeps back ment, or as a citizen by the many observers
another from the church, where he might of his neighbourhood around him, he shall
have heard, and heard with acceptance, that either speak such words, or do such ac-
word of life which he has not yet accepted; tions, or administer his affairs in such a
or by him, whose influence or whose ex- way as is unworthy of his high and im-
ample detains, in the entanglement of any mortal destination, that then a taint of cor-
one sin, the acquaintance who is meditating ruption is sure to descend from such an
an outset on the path of decided Christiani-exhibition, upon the immortals who are on
ty-seeing, that every such outset will land every side of him; when one thinks of
in disappointment those who, in the act of himself as the source and the centre of a
following after Christ, do not forsake all ; contagion which might bring a blight upon
or by him who tampers with the con- the graces and the prospects of other souls
science of an apparently zealous and con- besides his own-surely this is enough to
firmed disciple, so as to seduce him into supply him with a reason why, in work-
some habitual sin, either of neglect or of ing out his own personal salvation, he
performance--seeing, that the individual should do it with fear, and with watchful-
who but for this seduction might have ness, and with much trembling.
cleaved fully unto the Lord, and turned But we are now upon the ground of a
out a prosperous and decided Christian, higher and more delicate conscientiousness,
has been led to put a good conscience than is generally to be met with. Whereas,
away from him--and so, by making ship- our object, at present, is to expose certain
wreck of his faith, has proved to the world, of the grosser offences which abound in so-
that it was not the faith which could ob- ciety, and which spread a most dangerolis
tain the victory. It is true, that it is not and ensnaring influence among the indi-
possible to seduce the elect. But even this viduals who compose it. To this we have
suggestion, perverse and unjust as it would been insensibly led, by the topics of that dis-
be in its application, is not generally pre-course which we addressed to you on a for-
sent to the mind of him who is guilty of mer occasion; and when it fell in our way
the attempt to seduce, or of the act which to animadvert on the magnitude of that
carries a seducing influence along with it. man's guilt, who, either by his example, or
The guilt with which he is chargeable, is his connivance, or his direct and formal
that of an indifference to the spiritual and tuition, can speed the entrance of the yet
everlasting fate of others. He is wilfully unpractised young on a career of dissipa-
the occasion of causing those who are the tion. And whether he be a parent, who,
little ones, or, for any thing he knows, I trenched in this world's maxims, can, with-

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out a struggle, and without a sigh, leave his rules of the great trading establishment; and helpless offspring to take their random and every thing is made to give way to the hurunprotected way through this world's con- rying emergency of orders, and clearances, formities; or whether he be one of those and the demands of instant correspondence. seniors in depravity, who can cheer on his Such is the magnitude of this stumblingmore youthful companion to a surrender of block, that many is the young man who has all those scruples, and all those delicacies, here fallen to rise no more-that, at this which have hitherto adorned him; or whe-point of departure, he has so widened his ther he be a more aged citizen, who, having distance from God, as never, in fact, to rerun the wonted course of intemperance, can turn to him—that, in this distressing contest cast an approving eye on the corruption between principle and necessity, the final throughout all its stages, and give a tenfold blow has been given to his religious princiforce to all its allurements, by setting up the ples—that the master whom he serves, and authority of grave and reformed manhood under whom he earns his provision for time, upon its side; in each of these characters do has here wrested the whole interests of his we see an offence that is pregnant with eternity away from him-that, from this deadliest mischief to the principles of the moment, there gathers upon his soul the rising generation : and while we are told by complexion of a hardier and more deterour text, that, for such offences, there exists mined impiety-and conscience once stifled some deep and mysterious necessity-inso- now speaks to him with a feebler voice much, that it is impossible but that offences and the world obtains a firmer lodgement in must come--yet let us not forget to urge on his heart-and, renouncing all his original every one sharer in this work of moral contenderness about Sabbath, and Sabbath emtamination, that never does the meek and ployments, he can now, with the thorough gentle Saviour speak in terms more threat- unconcern of a fixed and familiarised proseening or more reproachful, than when he lyte, keep equal pace by his fellows throughspeaks of the enormity of such misconduct. out every scene of profanation--and he who There cannot, in truth, be a grosser outrage wont to tremble and recoil from the freecommitted on the order of God's administra-doms of irreligion with the sensibility of a tion, than that which he is in the habit of little one, may soon become the most darinflicting. There cannot, surely, be a directer (ingly rebellious of them all-and that Sabact of rebellion, than that which multiplies bath which he has now learned, at one time, the adherents of its own cause, and which to give to business, he at another, gives to swells the hosts of the rebellious. There unhallowed enjoyments-and it is turned cannot be made to rest a feller condemna-into a day of visits and excursions, given up tion on the head of iniquity, than that which to pleasure, and enlivened by all the mirth is sealed by the blood of its own victims, and and extravagance of holiday-and, when its own proselytes. Nor should we wonder sacrament is proclaimed from the city pulwhen that is said of such an agent for ini-pits, he, the apt, the well trained disciple of quity which is said of the betrayer of our his corrupt and corrupting superior, is the Lord. It were better for him that he had not readiest to plan the amusements of the combeen born. It were better for him, now that ing opportunity, and among the very forehe is born, could he be committed back again | most in the ranks of emigration--and though to deep annihilation. Rather than that he he may look back, at times, to the Sabbath should offend one of these little ones, it were of his Father's pions house, yet the retrobetter for him that a millstone were hanged spect is always becoming dimmer, and at about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. length it ceases to disturb him-and thus the

This is one case of such offences as are alienation widens every year, till, wholly adverted to in the text. Another and still given over to impiety, he lives without God more specific is beginning, we understand, in the world. to be exemplified in our own city, though it And were we asked to state the dimenhas not attained to the height or to the fre- sions of that iniquity which stalks regardquency at which it occurs in a neighbouring lessly, and at large, over the ruin of youthmetropolis. We allude to the doing of week-ful principles were we asked to find a place day business upon the Sabbath. We allude in the catalogue of guilt for a crime, the to that violence which is rudely offered to atrocity of which is only equalled, we unthe feelings and the associations of sacred- derstand, by its frequency--were we called ness, by those exactions that an ungodly to characterise the man who, so far from master lays at times on his youthful de- attempting one counteracting influence pendents—when those hours which they against the profligacy of his dependents, wont to spend in church, they are called issues, from the chair of authority on which upon to spend in the counting-house-when he sits, a commandment, in the direct face that day, which ought to be a day of piety, of a commandment from God-the man is turned into a day of posting and of pen- who has chartered impiety in articles of manship--when the rules of the decalogue agreement, and has vested himself with a are set aside, and utterly superseded by the property in that time which only belongs to

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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 outmeasured 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 fore. every 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 individual you 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, ble, would like, perhaps, to try your confi

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dence in him, and his own credit with you, the sufferings of others, should thus be ac-
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 be-
property 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
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 worth-
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 ser-
ticle he wants from you upon hand. And vant whom you thus employ as the deputy
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 tam-
ogy upon others; and thus do you continue per with the plain English of these realms;
to shist 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 mean-
the 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 recepta-
this case, you put a lie into the mouth of a cles. You may try to darken and trans-
dependent, 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 peace-
application 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 al-
and that, for the purpose of protecting ready overthrown, there is, at least one bo-
your 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 righ-
certain 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
ling to trust him, nor can you give him to alloweth ; who, in the language of Paul, es-
understand that you count his company to teeming the practice to be unclean, to her
be an interruption. But, in both the one will it be unclean; who will perform her task
and the other example, look to the little with the offence of her own conscience,
account that is made of a brother's or of a land to whom, therefore, it will indeed be
sister's eternity ; behold the guilty task that evil: who cannot render obedience in this
is thus unmercifully laid upon one who is matter to her earthly superior, but by an
shortly to appear before the judgment-seat act, in which she does not stand clear and
of Christ; think of the entanglement which unconscious of guilt before God; and with
is thus made to beset the path of a creature whom, therefore, the sad consequence of
who is unperishable. That, at the shrine what we can call nothing else than a bar-
of Mammon, such a bloody sacrifice should barous combination against the principles
be rendered by some of his unrelenting vo- and the prospects of the lower orders, is-
taries, is not to be wondered at; but that that as she has not cleaved fully unto the
the shrine of elegance and fashion should Lord, and has not kept by the service of
be bathed in blood-tbat soft and sentimen- | the one master, and has not forsaken all at
tal ladyship should put forth her hand to His bidding, she cannot be the disciple of
such an enormity that she who can sigh Christ.
so gently, and shed her graceful tear over! The aphorism, that he who offendeth in

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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 pros-
It 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 prin-
are 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 unfaithful-
the transgression of one of them may be ness against themselves, who have delibe-
brought about by the dissolution of one rately seduced another into a habit of un-
separate tie, and may leave all the others, faithfulness against God? Are they so ut-
with as entire a constraining influence and terly unskilled in the mysteries of our na-
authority 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
unfastening 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 advan-
ber 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 educa-
the moral sense is permanently impaired, tion at your hand, as that, without any fur-
and a leaven of iniquity insused into all its ther help, he can now teach himself to pur-
other decisions; and if one suggestion of loin ?-and yet nothing more frequent than
this inward monitor be stifled, 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 unfulfilled, 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 have
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 sountain 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 pro-
the 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 common-
with God; and that he who leads the young wealth. The very semblance of such de-
into 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 watch-
sacredness-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 ma-
ness-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

the

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