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Sunday oppress an hired Servant that is poor and needy. XII. At his Day thou shalt give him his Hire, neither

Mall the Sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and settech bis Heart upon it; left he cry against thee to the Lord, and it be Sin unto thee. This is one of those loud clamorous Sins which will not cease crying, 'till it bring down God's Vengeance ; and therefore, though thou hast no Justice to thy poor Brother, yet have at least so much Mercy to thyself, as not to pull down Judgments on thee, by, thus wronging him.

S U N D A Y XII.

Sect. I.

Stealing be Goods of our Neigbe buur

T

Of Theft : Stealing : Of Deceit in Truft, in

Traffick ; Of Restitution, &c.

HE second part of Theft, is,
The taking from our Neigh-

bour that which is already in his Possession, and this may be done either more violently and openly, or else more closely and fily; the firit is, the manner of those that rob on the Way, or plunder Houses, where by Force they take the Goods of their Neighbour; the other is, the way of the pilfering Thief, that takes away a Man's Goods unknown to him; I shall not dispute which of these is the worst, ?tis enough that they are both such Acts of In

justice,

justice, as make Men odious to God, unfit Sunday for humane Society, and betray the Actors XII. to the greatest Mischiefs, even in this World, Death itself being by Law appointed the Reward of it ; and there are few that follow this Trade long, but at last mect with that Fruit of it. I am sure, 'tis Madness for any to believe he shall always Steal fecurely; for he is to contend with the Industry of all those whom he fhall thus injure, whose Losses will quicken their Wits for the finding him out; and, which is infinitely more, he is to struggle with the Justice of God, which doch usually pursue such Men to Destruction, even in this World; witness the many strange Difcoveries that have been made of the craftiest Thieves. But, however, if he were secure from the Vengeance here, I am sure nothing but Repentance and Reformation can secure him from the Vengeance of it hereafter. And now when these Dangers are weigh’d, 'twill sure

appear, that the Thief makes a pitiful Bargain ; he Steals his Neighbour's Money, or Cattle, and, in exchange for it, he must pay his Life, or his Soul, perhaps both; and if the whole World be too mean a Price for a Soul, as He tells us, Mark viii. 36. who best knew the Value of them, having himself bought them, what a strange Madness it is, to barter them away for every petty Trifle, as many do, who have got such an Habit of Stealing, that aot the meanest, worthless Thing can

escape

B4

mon rate.

Dunday escape their Fingers ?. Under this Head of
XII. Thef, may be ranked the Receivers of Stoln

Goods, whether those that take them, as
Partners in the Theft, or those that buy them,
when they know or believe they are Stoln.
This many (that pretend much to abhor
Theft) are guilty of

, when they can, by it, Buy the Thing a little Cheaper than the com

And here also comes in the concealing any Goods a Man finds of his Neighbour's, which whosoever restores not, if he know or can learn out the Owner, is not better than a Thief, for he with-holds from his Neighbour that which properly belongs to him: And sure 'twill not be uncharitable to fay, That he that will do this, would likewise commit the grosser Theft, were he by that no more in Danger of Law, than in this he is.

The third Part of Injustice, is Deceit; and in that there may be as many A&ts, as there are Occasions of Intercourse and Dealing between Man and Man.

2. It were impossible to name them all, but I think they will be contained under these two general Deceits, in Matters of Trust, and in Matters of Traffick or Bargaining: Unless it be that of Gaming, which therefore here, by the way, I must tell you, is as

much a Fraud and Deceit, as any of the rest. In Tiuft. 3. He that deceives a Man, in any

Trust that is committed to him, is guilty of a great Injustice, and that the most treacherous fors

of

recei!.

of one, it is the joyning of two great Sins in Sunday one, Defrauding, and Promise-breaking; for XII. in all Trusts, there is a Promise imply'd, if not express’d; for the very accepting of the Trust, contains under it a Promise of Fidelity : These Trusts are broken sometimes to the Living, sometimes to the Dead; to the Living there are many ways of doing it, according to the several kinds of the Trust; sometimes a Trust is more general, like that of Potiphar to Joseph, Gen. xxxix.4. a Man commits to another all that he hath; and thus Guardians of Children, and sometimes Stewards, are intrusted; sometimes again it is more limited and restrained to some one special Thing: A Man intrusts another to Bargain or Deal for him in such a Particular, or he puts some one Thing into his Hands, to Manage and Dispose : Thus among Servants, 'tis usual for one to be intrusted with one part of the Master's Goods, and another with another part of them. Now in all these, and the like Cases, whosoever acts not for him that intrusts him, with the same Faithfulness that he would for him. self, but shall either carelesly lose, or prodigally imbezle the Things committed to him, or else convert them to his own use, he is guilty of this great Sin of betraying a Trust to the Living. In like manner, he that being intrusted with the Execution of a Dead Man's Testament, acts not according to the known Intention of the Dead Man, but enriches bim

self

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Sunday self by what is assign'd to others, he is guilty
XII.

of this Sin, in respect of the Dead; which is
so much the greater, by how much the Dead
have no means of Remedy and Redress, as the
Living may have. It is a kind of Robbing of
Graves, which is a Theft, of which Men na-
turally have such a Horror, that he must be
a very harden'd Thief, that can attempt it.
But either of these Frauds are made yet
more hainous, when either God or the poor
are immediately concern'd in it ; that is,
when any Thing is committed to a Man,
for the Úses either of Piety or Charity;
This adds Sacrilege to both the Fraud and
the Treachery, and so gives him Title to
all those Curses that attend those several
Sins, which are so heavy, that he that for
the present Gain will adventure on them,
makes as ill, nay, a much worse Bargain,
than Gehazi, 2 Kings v. 27. who by getting the
Raiment of Naaman, got his Leprosy

, too.
In Traffick. 4. The second sort of Fraud, is, in Mat-

ters of Traffick and Bargain, wherein there
may be Deceit both in the Seller and Buyer ;
that of the Seller, is commonly either in
concealing the Faults of the Commodity, or

else in over-rating it.
The Seller's 5: The ways of concealing its Faults, are
koncealing ordinarily these ; either, first, by denying that
heteroles it hath any such Fault, nay, perhaps, com
of his

. mending it for the dire&t contrary Quality; and this is down-right Lying, and so adds that

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Ware.

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