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ing a secure provision for their future wants, is commonly a mere incitement lo ruins a bounty, given to idleness ;'a watchword :o begin the career of confusion.
Tire Jews are said, during some periods, at least, of their existence as a people, to have educated their children, universally, in active business; and to have adopted, proverbially, this aphorism, that he, who does not bring up his child to useful industry, brings him up to be a beggar, and a nuisance. It is to be servently wished, that all Christian Parents would adopt the same maxim, and thus prepare their children to become blessings both to themselves and mankind. It has been repeatedly observed in these discourses, that Industry and Economy are not natural to man, and can only be established by habituation. These habits must both be begun in the morning of life; or there is danger, that they will never be begun 'successfully. As no man, consistently with his plain duty, can be excused from being industrious and economical, himself; so no man can be justified for a moment, who does not effectually communicate both Industry and Economy to his children. Hé, who, at the first,' made labour the employment of mankind; and who afterwards commanded to gather up the fragments, that nothing might be lost; will admit no excuse for the neglect of these duties, whether they respect ourselves, or our offspring. In this subject, Parents and children of both sexes are equally concerned. Both parents are bound to teach their childrerr; and their children, of both sexes, are bound to learn, to be industrious, and to be economical; to fill up their time with useful employments; to methodize it, that it may be thus filled up; and to feel, ihat the loss of time, the neglect of talents, and the waste of property, are all serious violations of their duty to God. The parents are bound to inspire, and the children to imbibe, a contempi, an abhorrence, for that silly, worthless frivolity, to which so many children, of fashionable parents especially, are trained ; that sinful waste of the golden hours of life; that sickly devotion to amusement ; that shameful
, pitiable dependence on trifling, to help them along, even tolerably, through their present, tedious, dragging existence. Few persons are more lo be pitied, as certainly few are more to he blamed, cnari those, who find their enjoyment only in diversions ; and cling to a ride, a dance, a visit, a play, or a novel, to keep them froin sinking into gloom and despondence. Industrious persons, who spend their time in useful pursuits, are the only persons whose minds are serene, contented, and cheerful. If we wish happiness for our children, then; we shall carefully educate them to an industrious life.
Let no parent, at the same time, forget what alarming tempta. tions, and what gross sins, surround idleness and profusion. This consideration will, if any thing will, compel parents to educate their children in this manner. The parent's fortune is, here, of no sig! nificance. The heir of a fortune is far more exposed to all those
evils, than he, who has none. If he is to go through life with a Brune; he is to be lau, ht to earn, and to preserve, property. Without this instruction, he will, probably, ere long, be beggared, templed without any defence to multiplied sins, and become a liar, a cheat, a drunkard, and perbaps a suicide. What parent would not tremble at the thought, that his own pegligence would entail these evils upon his offspring ?
2. Young persons, whatever may have been their education, are, here, forcibly laught to pursue an industrious and economical life.
The children of wealthy parents are generally prone to believe, that they are destined, not to usefulness, but to enjoyment; and that they may be idle, therefore, without a crime. No opinion is more groundless; and very few are more fatal... God made all mankind to be useful. This character he requires of them witbout conditions. He, who does not assume it, will be found inexcusable at the final day. Every human ear ought to tingle, and every heart to shudder, at the doom of the unprofitable servant in the Gospel.
Sull more prone are youths to believe that profusion is honourahle; and to shrink from the imputation of niggardly conduct. There is no more absolute absurdity, than the supposition, that prodigality and generosity are the same thing. They are not even allied. Generosity consists in giving freely, when a valuable purpose demands it ; and with a disposition, benevolently inclined to promote that purpose. Prodigality is the squandering of propcrty, not for valuable, but base and contemptible purposes; tor the mere gratification of voluptuousness, vanity, and pride. Ad these gratifications are mean, selfish, and despicable. The generous man feels the value of properly. The prodigal has no sense of this value. The generous man gives, because what he gives will do real good to the recipicnta, the prodigal, because he cares nothing about property, except as it enables him to acquire reputation, to gratify bis pride, to make an ostentatious display of wealth, or to outstrip and mortify a rival. In all this there is not an approach towards generosity. On the contrary, the molives are grovelling and contemptible; and the manner, in which they are exhibited to the eye, is disingenuous and hypocritical; a gaudy dress upon a loathsome skeleton. But the prodigal fails of the very reward, which he proposes as the chief object of bis expense. In spite of all his wishes, and efforts, even weak mes perceive, that be is totally destilule of generosity; and those who most flatter, are the first to forsake, him: while, lo shelter their own meanness and treachery, they proclaim, more loudly than any others, his weakness, faulis, and miseries, to mankind.
Let every youth, then, fasten his eye on this wretched character, this pernicious conduct, and this deplorable end. His own exa posure let him strongly feel. Let him realize with solemn emoLions of mind, thal. Idleness and Profusion are broad and beafas
roads to ruin, both in this world and that which is to come. With these views, Ice him devote all his time 10 some useful and upright employment; and thus make every day yield its blessings. What he acquires by commcalable industry, let him iaithfully preserve by prudeni, watchful care. 1. th s-manner he will become honourable in the sight of wise and good men, a blessing to him. self, to his family, and to mankiu:d: while he will, at the same time, fulfil oue important end of his being.
F.IGIITH - COMMANDMENT FRAUD.
EXODUS XX. 15.- Thou shall nol sleal.
HAVING considered the Frauds, which men practise upon Themselves, and their families, I shall now proceed to examine the
II. Head of discourse, proposed at that time : viz. The Frauds which we practise upon others.
of these, the
1. Class, which I shall mention, is those which respect borrowing the property of others.
Frauds of this kind are so numerous, that it is impossible here to mention them all; and so common, that most persons practise them without even suspecting themselves to be criminal. Still they are frauds; and crimes, which adınit of no excuse.
of this transgression persons are guilty, whenever they suffer thal, which has been loaned to them, lo be injured through their own Negligence. This evil is extremely common; and by a great part of mankind is scarcely regarded, unless when the injury is considerable, as being censurable at all. Still it is obviously a violation of confidence; a falsification of the terms, upon which the loan was given, and received. No man ever lent any thing, of any value, with an agreement on his part, that it should be injured, unnecessarily, by the borrower. No man ever received a loan, with a profession on his part, that he expected to injure the thing lent, unless in cases, where the nature of the transaction obviously involved the injury, and a consequent compensation. This, it will be observed, is a case, properly arranged under the head of bargains, and not of loans. Persons are guilty of this kind of Fraud, aiso, when they return, instead of a consumable, or perishable, article, which they have borrowed, what is of inferior value. We often borrow those things, which perish in the use. In this case, not a small number of individuals satisfy their consciences, if they return the same thing in kind, and quantity, although plainly inferior in its value. A scrupulous spirit of integrity would induce us rather to return somewhat more, in value, than we have received ; that we may make due satisfaction for the property loaned, and for the particular convenience which it has surnished us.
Another Fraud of the same nature is practised, wheneter we wwreasonably detain in our possession whatever has been loaned to us.
Most persons, probably, are in a greater or less degree chargeable with this fault. A want of punctuality in this respect is a serious evil; extending very far; and often intruding, not a little, upon the peace and comfort of good neighbourhood. But there are persons, who go through life, borrowing without thinking of returning that which they borrow; and who thus doubly tax the good nature of those around them. This conduct is totally contrary to good faith, and to plain justice. Every borrower, in his application for every loan, is understood, and knows that he is understood, hy the lender to engage, not only to return that which he borrows, but to return it within a reasonable time. It is unjust, and unkind, to retain the property of the lender beyond his consent; to use it beyond his permission; and thus to reward his kindness with injury
Of a similar Fraud are we guilty, when we employ thal, which is lent, for purposes, and in modes, noi contemplated by the lender. Multitudes of mankind are guilty of this crime; and in ways almost innumerable. All our right io the use of the loan, not only as to the fact, but also as to the manner, and the degree, is derived solely from the consent of the owner. To that, which he has not given, we have not, and cannot have, any right. We are bound, therefore, scrupulously to use what we borrow, within the limits of his permission. When we transgress these limits, we obviously violate the plain dictates of common justice; and are, therefore, inexcusable.
There is, perhaps, no fraud, of which youths, sent abroad for their education, are so frequently guilty, or to which they are so strongly solicited by temptation, as one strongly resembling this, which I have described.' They are, of course, entrusted by their parents with property, necessary, or supposed to be necessary, io defray the expenses of their education. Every parent has his own views concerning the manner in which this property is to be expended. This manner the Parent usually prescribes to his child; and has an absolute right to prescribe it. The property is his own : the child is his own. Both the manner, therefore, and the expense, of the child's cducation he has an absolute right to control. The parent's prescription, then, the child cannol escape without fraud; nor can he violate it without filial impiety.
When such a Youth expends the property, entrusted to him by his Parents, in any manner, or to any degree, beyond his parent's choice; so far as that choice is made known to him ; he is guilty of fraud; and violates the Command, which I am discussing. Nay, if he is reasonably satisfied concerning what his parent's choice would be, although it has not been explicitly declared, he is bound scrupulo:sly to regard it in all his conduct: and to expend no more, and for no other purposes, than those, which are invorved in his parent's pleasure. ' Nor can he, consistently with his plain VOL. JO.