Page images

BE GOOD! God, who made all things, has fo made them, that it is impoffible for a bad man to be happy. He has given us laws, and promised to reward us if we obey them, and to punith us if we do not. He commands us to love and fear him; to pray to him ; to believe in Jesus Christ his Son; to honour and obey the King, and all who are in authority under him; to submit to our masters, and all lawful governors, To respect God's ministers, his Sabbath, and his church. To pay all their dues, whether tithes, taxes, customs, or other things. To obey the laws of the country in which we live. To do to others as we would have thein do to us. To love our neighbours, and assist them as often as it is in our power. To be honest, sober, modest, and decent. To work diligently, in order to get our living. To bear patiently fuch misfortunes as befal us. To be thankful for such good things as we enjoy; for our health, and strength, and daily bread, and many other blessings which we are too apt not to consider as we ought. They are all the gifts of God, and ought to be received as such.

Now I would ask any fair man, if there is any thing hard or unreasonable in all this? Or whether he is not convinced that, if we would obey these laws, we should be much happier than we are? For, sorry I am to fay it, we do not obey them as we ought. Instead of praying to him every night and morning, some, I fear, never pray at all; inftead of obeying the King, and his Magistrates and Offi


cers, how many have been guilty lately of insulting him and them! How many have joined in riotous mobs, and seditious clubs and meetings ! How many have suffered themselves to be deluded into unlawful and impious oaths, preposterously pledging themselves to God, upon the Holy Gospel of his Son, to commit robbery, murder, every crime that is most heinous in his fight, or that can expose us most certainly to his wrath, and to eternal damnation, and thinking themselves bound by such oaths ? How many have been the dupes of a set of wretches, who are going about, as St. Peter represents the Devil, seeking whom they may de. vour ; deceiving the simple and the ignorant by false representations, feeding them with hopes which they can never make good, making them renounce all their present comforts and enjoyments, and all their industrious pursuits, and expose their wives and their children to be left without house or home, or fupport, for a wild-goose-chace after something, which some persons, whom they do not so much as know, desire some persons to tell them they are to get from the French, when they are to come over on floating islands, and blow the British fleet, that now rides in triumph through the whole world, out of the seas ? In short, how many have thrown off all religion, all fear of God, frequenting neither Church, Mafs, nor Meeting; or if they go to the Chapel or the Meeting House, going there only to enter into wicked and savage combinations, and ta settle plans for robbing, and plundering, and mur


dering, as soon as the night comes on ; or for trainiing themselves to arms, that they may be the more expert to fpill the blood of their clergy, their landlords, their neighbours, and former acquaintances and friends?

Even amongst those who are not thus changed into favages, and cut-throats, and house-breakers, how many are there who shew every kind of disrespect to God's Ministers and Ordinances? who scarcely ever go to the house of prayer? who spend God's Day in doing more business than on any other day in the week, or in jaunting about, or in getting drunk, though it is expressly ordered, that neither. we, nor our servants, nor our cattle, shall work on that day, and that we shall keep it holy? Instead of paying to all their dues, how inany try to cheat the established clergy of their tithes, and their priests of the little pittance they claim for their support, and the King of his taxes; arrd buy smuggled goods wherever they can meet with them? Bythese and many such things, they offend against the laws of God, and the laws of the land. Who is there that always does as he would be done by ? that never speaks ill of his neighbour ? that never tries to deceivė, or defraud, or over-reach another ? how

are drunkenness, lewdness, gambling, and above all, profane curling and swearing, and the most shocking oaths, which give no pleasure to any man, and are fo abominable before God? How many never thank God for any thing? Are never contented, but grumble and complain, even when





[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

nothing ails them, and they are not in want and what makes all the more unpardonable is, that we can none of us pretend that we are uninstructed, or deprived of the means of knowing our duty. We have established among us the most pure and perfect form of christianity, and that which approaches the nearest to the primitive times of the Apostles, that any Christian people ever enjoyed. No description amongft us are without sufficient Christian instruction to convey to us a knowledge of the virtues of the Gospel. The Bible is in the hands of most people ; it is explained to all ; and if we would read it, or attend to the explanation, we could not fail to know our duty: but the truth is, most of us know our duty, but will not do it,

Is it any wonder then, that God should punish us for all this? He has given us such good things as few other nations ever had. We have the free exercise of our Religion, through all denominations ; our persons and our property are also free. As long as we transgress not the laws, we can go where we will, and do what we will; and so long as we do not injure others, nobody can injure us without being punishable for it. We live in a land of plenty, and the poorest person in it, that is fober and frugal, can eat a more wholesome and nourish ing food, and can live in a more warm and comfortable habitation, than those of a much higher rank in most other countries. Great pains have been taken to make the people think otherwise. But I will appeal to every candid man, who has vi

[ocr errors]


sited the other countries of Europe, if he has ever seen one, where the labourer, if he be industrious, and does not spend his money on spirituous liquors, or in some other loose way, lives more comfortably. There is not a cottier in the kingdom who has not his cow's grass, and his potatoe garden, at a rent perfectly proportioned to the wages he receives. He can have his flax ground, for the industry of his wife, at a rate equally proportionate to the value of the manufacture when he sells it, and with that and his hog, which is seen in every cottage, he can clothe his family better and more warmly than any other man of his class, even in England. The wages of the common labourer are also more equal to his support than in that country, notwithstanding all that is said to make him think otherwise. If he buys as many of the necessaries of life for his fix. pence * as the English labourer can buy for his shil. ling, then may not his wages be said to be as high as the wages in England ? But who does not know that this is the case? Is not the price of bread, of meat, of firing, of clothing, of every thing that the poor man requires for his sustenance and comfort known to be twice as dear in England as it is here? The same may be said of the lower manufacturers, as of the labourers; and if their condi. tion be better, than that of the same class of people in England, how must it be when compared with • the black rye bread, the chesnuts, the garlick, the

onions, * In most of the counties, and in all the cities and great towns, the hire of labour is now as high as in England. Then what is the inference ?

« PreviousContinue »