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“ Christ, whose end is destruction, whose “ belly is their God, and whose glory is “ in their shame, and who mind earthly “ things u.” They would have charged them to " walk circumspectly, not as fools, but “ as wise, redeeming the time, because the “ days are evil *.” They would have taught us to make our “ moderation known unto “all meny,” and to “owe no man any " thing, but to love one another?.” They would have charged them who are rich in " this world, not to be highminded, nor to “ trust in uncertain riches a.” While they approved a liberal hospitality, and generous entertainment of strangers, they would have recommended to our attention the poor and destitute, who can make no return b. They would have proscribed all the idle words and evil communications which corrupt good manners, and have recommended the discourse “which is good to the use of “ edifying, that it may minister grace unto “ the hearers “;" and instead of frivolity
» Philip. iii. 18, 19. * Ephes. v. 15, 16. y Philip. iv.5. z Rom. xiii. 8. a 1 Tim. vi. 17. b Heb. xii. 2. Luke xiv, 12. Ephes, iv. 29.
and dissipation, they would have instructed us to be “ not slothful in business, fervent “ in spirit, serving the Lord.”
3. Incontinence is a special character of the perilous times; and it is an occasion of mortifying reflection, that in a country which certainly yields to none in its pretensions to moral character, prostitutione should not only be of wide extent, but more disorderly in its habits, more gross in its expedients, more public and unreserved in its daily communications, and more familiar in intruding itself into places of general resort, than in any other country which professes to be Christian. Unlawful cohabitation is common in all our towns; and the marriages of the village are too often little more than a compromise between the hope of concealing the shame of mutual seduction, and the fear of incurring the pains and penalties of the law; while those of inconsiderate youth in better cir
d Rom. xii. 11. e See Police Report for 1816. p. 67. 28. 342, and that for 1817. p. 685-690. 693. 774. There is no variation in the reports of the increased number and of the increased profligacy of prostitutes.
cumstances, after being solemnized according to the forms of the Church, are liable to be dissolved, on the confession of perjury and fraud; and thus the distinction is made to cease between concubinage and matrimony, between legitimacy and bastardy; and the only attempt which it has been thought prudent to make, in control of this complication of crime and misery, seeks no more than to restrain the facilities of committing the offence, and to limit the period within which the marriage vow shall be insecure. There have been also too many instances of adultery, highly aggravated by the relation of the adulterer and the adulteress, by the violation of mutual friendship, by the abandonment of numerous families, and by the humiliation of highly honourable and virtuous parents. Even the vices which desolated the Cities of the Plain have been perpetrated with alarming frequency. Let no forms of godliness impose upon an unthinking age, oppressed by the weight of sensual impurity. Though vice may be made an occasion of unfeeling ridicule, let not the recorded proscription be forgotten : “ Neither fornicators, nor idol« aters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor 5 abusers of themselves with mankind, shall - inherit the kingdom of God.”
4. Shall we fly for consolation from these iniquities to the promises of a future generation, and rejoice in the probable advantages of increased education? There has not yet been time for the development of these wholesome projects, of this meditated good. We can only behold in the dwellings of the rich the effects of a vicious or neglected education, of that effeminacy which disapproves of discipline, or that indolence which offers no control, and of which the worthy and natural fruits are pride, confidence, unrestrained and premature independence; extravagance and the beginning of a life of insolvency and anticipated resources; luxury and intemperance which no age can excuse, heightened and aggravated by the childhood of the offender. The consequences of neglecting and deferring the instruction of the poor are seen in the halls of the magistrate, and at the tribunal of the judge, where are continually assembled a horde of youthful delinquents, the willing dupes of practised villainys and sensual pollution", accused by their parents of guilt and vice which their authority cannot restrain, or which their example or their avarice and utter want of natural affection hath taughts, or tempted, or constrained them to commit, that they may receive the wages of a son's dishonesty and a daughter's prostitution". “ All the “ information, however acquired, unites in “ demonstrating the lamentable fact, that “ juvenile delinquency has of late years “ increased to an unprecedented extent, “ and is still rapidly and progressively in“ creasing; that the crimes committed by “ the youthful offenders are very often of 66 the worst description; and that. an or“ ganized system for instruction in vice,
fi Cor. vi. 9, 10.