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of my honesty, and my conscience will never reproach me for injustice. But if, instead of doing so, I take what I can get, make a band of the negligence, ignorance, or simplicity of those with whom I have to do, I practise what is unjust, I have no regard to the laws of the Gospel ; and, if ever I do repent of this sin, I make myself liable to one of the most difficult duties of Christianity—that of restitution and satisfaction, without which my repentance will never deliver me from the sad consequences of such injustice.

But to prevent, as much as may be, any occasion for the exercise of the duty of restitution, I would lay before you, 1st, the greatness of these síns ; 2ndly, the temptations which lead to them, that we may avoid them ; 3rdly, such considerations as are most likely to keep us from running into them. And, first, we are not to judge of the greatness of crimes by the opinion the world has of them. At this rate, we should not only make a jest of taking advantage of and cheating one another, as is too common; but even the sin of adultery, and some other crimes which a Christian should not mention without horror, would be counted failings, rather than sins that will shut us out of heaven. But we are to judge of the greatness of the crimes by the authority that forbids them; by the punishment threatened ; and by the mischiefs that attend them.

Now, all sins of this kind are plainly against the great rule of justice given by our Saviour. “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” People are very sensible of any such injury done to themselves, and give very ill names to such as overreach them. This shows that men do not think these small faults when they themselves are the sufferers. And, then, it is said expressly of these sins, “ that the Lord is the avenger of all such” (1 Thess. iv. 6), perhaps because men are too apt to overlook them. And in another place St. Paul saith, " that the unjust shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven."

Lastly, the mischiefs of these sins are very apparent; they harden the conscience; they provoke and encourage others to sin; and, what is worst of all, it is seldom that people think it necessary to repent of them. Christians are for the most part convinced that great and cry• . ing sins, such as are liable to infamous punishments in this world -that these are to be particularly repented of, or no pardon is to be expected; but the sins of fraud are often committed without remorse, and without punishment, or easily forgotten, and therefore seldom truly repented of; which, in the end, make them as damnable sins as those that people seem to be more afraid of.

Let us, in the second place, consider the temptations to this vice, and what it is that occasions people to take advantage of their neighbor with so little regret and fear of punishment. Is it ignorance? That cannot be : there is not the most ignorant person but knows well enough, when anybody wrongs him, that that man does ill. Is it for want of faith, and that people do not believe that they are to give an account for their injustice ? Few people will own such a degree of infidelity. Is it for want? No, surely; for it is too often that those that have the least need are aptest to wrong and overreach their neighbor. Is it an immoderate love for their children, and that people will venture at all rather than not leave them all they can ? That cannot be the reason, where people have none to provide for, or where they are undutiful, and take ill ways.

What, then, is it which shall tempt men to run such hazards ? Why, an excessive love for the world. People think they have still too little ; that more would make them more happy : this makes them forget the account they must give, and those rules which are prescribed by God for the peace and good government of the world : this makes them overlook their neighbor, as if he had not a right to be fairly dealt with : this makes them forget that death is not far from them, when they shall part with all they have unfairly gotten, and, if they know their danger, will wish a thousand times they had starved sooner than have done the least injustice.

You see how much this sin is to be feared ; and that it is possible for people, by increasing their substance, to increase their damnation. Let me, therefore, recommend to you a few considerations, to make you abhor so base a vice. Let us seriously think of it, that all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do ; so that what may be an oversight to man cannot be so to God. Nay, a man may be shut out of heaven for that very thing which no law on earth could take hold of him for; or, if he repents of it, it will cost him dear before he can be forgiven.

Believe it, Christians, the Lord is nigh them that are wronged, to do them justice when they call upon Him in the bitterness of their soul; and it will be no advantage to a man to have doubled his talents, when he has doubled his guilt and his punishment. Even your posterity shall suffer for your fraud : and you are only laying up a treasure of judgments for those very children whom you are so passionately fond of. God will lay up the iniquities of sinners for their children, saith Job. (Job xx. 10.) So that it were much better they were left to the wide world than with anything that is got by deceit.

Depend upon it, neither your care in settling what you will have, nor your advice to your heir, nor lands, nor securities, nor bonds, nor locks, can preserve what you shall get by fraud-no, not repentance itself. That is hard', you will say ;

' will not God pardon me upon my repentance? Why, you think, perhaps, that repentance consists in confessing your faults, and asking God's pardon without making restitution; as if a thief, who has got enough to live upon, should ask God's pardon, and then think all is well and forgiven. Who does not see the wickedness of such an opinion ?

To conclude. If we would follow the good patriarch's advice, and be innocent, it is necessary that we have his faith and affections. How? Why, the Apostle tells us, that “he looked for a city, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. xi. 10); that is, he did not so much concern himself with what he might get in this short life, but he was for securing, by all means, an inheritance in heaven. He kept his eye and his heart there : and this made him despise all unjust advantages that came in his way, knowing that this was not the world that he was made for. And, in truth, unless this consideration be always present with us, the world has so many temptations to draw us out of the way, that it will be impossible for a man to resist them. Self-interest—a present advantage—the slight opinion the world has of such crimes--will all contribute to draw a man into a snare who is not steadfastly purposed in his heart that no worldly advantage shall prevail with

him to forfeit his inheritance in heaven : "For what shall it profil a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” (Mark viii. 36.) We have not now time to consider particularly what is to be done where people have by design, or unwittingly, fallen into this error. The text directs us to restitution, as the only means to preserve the character of honest men and of Christians; and justice and conscience say the same thing. It is a difficult and it is a necessary duty : these two considerations should prevail with people to beware of a sin which requires so ungrateful a remedy.

And may the fear and grace of God be with us, to preserve us from injustice of all kinds, and that we may serve him in truth and righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ. Amen.




BYRON. ["MANFRED,' obscure and mystical, is unfitted for the stage ; but there are passages in it of surpassing power and beauty. The following scene between Manfred and the Chamois-hunter is in the truest dramatic spirit.]

C. Hun. No, no—yet pause--thou must not yet go forth
Thy mind and body are alike unfit
To trust each other, for some hours, at least;
When thou art better, I will be thy guide-
But whither ?

Man. . It imports not: I do know
My route full well, and need no further guidance.

C. Hun. Thy garb and gait bespeak thee of high lineage
One of the many chiefs, whose castled crags
Look o'er the lower valleys—which of these
May call thee lord ? I only know their portals;

My way

of life leads me but rarely down
To bask by the huge hearths of those old halls,
Carousing with the vassals; but the paths,
Which step from out our mountains to their doors,
I know from childhood-which of these is thine ?

Man. No matter.
C. Hun.

Well, sir, pardon me the question,
And be of better cheer. Come, taste my wine ;
"Tis of an ancient vintage; many a day
'T has thawed my veins among our glaciers, now
Let it do thus for thine-Come, pledge me fairly.

Man. Away, away! there's blood upon the brim ! Will it then never—never sink in the earth ?

C. Hun. What dost thou mean? thy senses wander from thee.

Man. I say 'tis blood-my blood ! the pure warm stream Which ran in the veins of my fathers, and in ours When we were in our youth, and had one heart, And loved each other as we should not love, And this was shed: but still it rises up, Coloring the clouds that shut me out from heaven, Where thou art not—and I shall never be.

C. Hun. Man of strange words, and some half-maddening sin, Which makes thee people vacancy, whate'er Thy dread and sufferance be, there's comfort yet, The aid of holy men, and heavenly patience

Man. Patience and patience! Hence—that word was made
For brutes of burthen, not for birds of prey;
Preach it to mortals of a dust like thine,-
I am not of thine order.
C. Hun.

Thanks to heaven!
I would not be of thine for the free fame
Of William Tell; but, whatsoe'er thine ill,
It must be borne, and these wild starts are useless.

Man. Do I not bear it ?-Look on meI live.
C. Hun. This is convulsion, and no healthful life.

Man. I tell thee, man! I have lived many years,
Many long years, but they are nothing now
To those which I must number: ages-ages-

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