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vigilance, and fine, and privation of licence, and other means of intimidating self-interest and coercing contumacy. To a certain extent we may succeed. But such means serve to bring into exercise a counter-system of watchfulness, and deception, and falsehood and perjury, and bribery and corruption, by which, in many instances, the strictest surveillance of magisterial duty will be evaded ;-especially as it is impossible that such surveillance should be at all times equally on the alert:- and a bad feeling is, besides, engendered, by the difficulty and invidiousness of drawing the line of distinction between such houses and houses of refreshment of a somewhat higher order it may be, which are not subjected to this rigorous superintendence. While, therefore, as we conceive, the general principle of human laws on this subject perfectly warrants, in the cases in question, the interference of the magistrate ; inasmuch as, no satisfactory reason can well be assigned why the sale of intoxicating liquors should be tolerated on the Lord's-day, while the sale of all other articles, save medicines, is interdicted. Yet it is, in every respect, an incomparably more desirable method of checking and doing away this kind, and this prolific source of other kinds, of Sabbath-profanation, to put down, by the use of moral means, the intemperance itself, which is the maintenance of those Sunday haunts and nurseries of profligacy,---as well as the inlet to so vast a proportion of the vice and crime, the discord and the wretchedness, with which the lower caste of society so fearfully teems. And, without discussing at present the merits and demerits of temperance societies, I must be allowed to say in their behalf, that their object is one of the most important
which the mind of Christian, of patriot, or of philanthropist can contemplate; that the general principle on which they are founded, which is, substantially, the application of combined example to the accomplishment of an end which individual and insulated example has utterly failed of effecting-is capable of the simplest and most satisfactory justification that, whatever objections may be entertained against them, and be felt sufficient by individuals to prevent their actually joining them, I cannot imagine how
any Christian, as a friend to morality, to the true interests of his country, and to the personal and social happiness of his fellow-men, can regard them with indifference, or fail to wish them God-speed ;-and for this reason amongst others, that their success will contribute, in no small degree, to diminish the profanation, and to promote the sober and serious observance, of the Lord's day. For surely, the consideration is fearful, that the Sabbath should be the great tippling day, a day of greater business and profit to the dram-drinking houses of which I have been speaking, than all the other days of the week together! Such being the melancholy fact, every step towards the suppression of intemperance is equally a step to the cure of Sabbath-profanation. They are sins that mutually produce and cherish each other.
But neither the relinquishment of intemperance, nor the sober church-going observance of the Sabbath, will save the soul. Still, therefore, let us bear in mind, that the first and most important description of moral means is the promotion of the knowledge and belief of the gospel. Every thing short of this, however useful and desirable, is yet deficient. It is something to gain men from intem
perance; it is something to bring them, from spending the Sabbath in the fields or in the ale-house, to spend it in church, and at home :---but it is not enough. The heart may still be unrenewed; the sins of the life uopardoned ; and the soul in jeopardy of perdition. We do too little, then, although that which we do is good,----when we confine your attention to the former objects. We must go further. Intemperance and Sabbath-breaking have a source. Like other sins, they are streams from a fountain. We must go to the fountain. Our grand aim must be, to heal the waters there. We must assail the propensities to evil by that truth which is “the power of God unto salvation.” If, through the blessing of God, we succeed in bringing that truth to bear upon the evil desires and passions of the heart, so as to subdue it to Christ, we have gained every thing we could wish. We ensure sobriety and Sabbath-keeping, and every other practical virtue, by introducing the principle of them all. Whereas, if we keep working merely at the motives to temperance, and to outward church-going decorum on the Sunday, the product of our successful assiduity. may be ino more than a self-righteous formalist, who may have gained much for the comfort of this life, but little or nothing for the life to come. -Let us seek, then, by all means in our power, to make known the truth of God, both by persuading men to come and hear it, and by carrying it to them, and recommending it to their attention and to their believing acceptance. This is the shortest, the most direct, and the most effectual way, to the attainment of all our ends. Make men believers; and you make them sober, rightequs, and godly."
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But while this is true, I do not mean that we should not employ all other subordinate and auxiliary methods of restraining the profanation and encouraging the observance of the Sabbath... Tracts should be profusely circulated, not only containing gospel truth, but directly setting forth the nature, the obligation, and the benefits, (spiritual and secular, private and public,) of the Sabbath, as made for man," and containing in its institution an evidence of the divine goodness. In our great towns, too, such institutions as the Glasgow City Mission; are of admirable utility, for suppressing the profanation, and promoting the observance of the Lord's day'; the agents of such institutions, in their visits of mercy," finding their way amongst the very classes of the population where the levil most affectingly prevails, and bringing directly to bear upon them all the moral and spiritual means of its corrections That Christian who professes anxiety to promote reverence for the Sabbath, acts most inconsistently with his profession, if he withholds his countenance and support from such associations. ( !!?? 'z' ill.)
And I let Christians remember, how much may be done, of evil or of good, by their example.' I would press this, with all earnestness, upon their attention. It is of faris more importance than they are generally aware. There is good reason to fear, that no small portion of the profanation of the Sabbath which Christians lament,"owės its origin to laxity in the conduct of many who bear the profession of the gospel. Christians do not sufficiently consider, what advantage the world are ever prone to take of every thing in their conduct that can at all be construed into allowance of what they themselves wish to
practice;-how much further the evil of their example goes than the good from how slight an indulgence on the part of a saint they will deduce a wide and licentious sanction. Surely, this ought to make Christians exceedingly cautious and circumspect. When they find their example even in what they may conceive to be, in itself, and as they praetise it, innocent, pleaded in behalf of indulgences far be yond the harmless limit which they have set to themselves -it becomes their duty to exercise self-denial, and, although they may conceive it, and justly conceive it, a hardship, that the perverseness of others should deprive them of a liberty in which God and conscience do not condemn them, yet, since God and conscience do not require them to take the liberty, and no principle, therefore, is violated or compromised in its relinquishment; there can be no hesitation as to the path of duty. If by their walking on the brink of a precipice, the result is that others fall over it, will they, for the sake of showing their liberty, persist in keeping near the edge, and disdain the consequences ?—“ When I first attended seriously to religion," says Mr. Scott, the justly venerated commentator, “ I used sometimes, when I had a journey to per. form on the next day, to ride a stage in the evening, after the service of the Sabbath; and I trust ту
time on horseback was not spent unprofitably. But I soon found, that this furnished an excuse to some of my parishioners, for employing a considerable part of the Lord's day in journeys of business or convenience. I need not say, that I immediately abandoned the practice.” On the same principle ought Christians ever to act, even in things of still less questionable harmlessness than the practice here