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Lord were intimate friends or carried his peculiarity in the treatment entire strangers. It is but a silly vanity of guests at his table, but I rather supthat could lead you to fancy yourself ag- pose, if wine was produced at all, it was grandized, by boasting of such a circum- with a sort of tacit understanding that it stance, in the presence of persons to whom had better not be made use of. Certain the whole affair was a matter of indiffer- it is, that Arthur and his favourite com
But you must feel conscious, panion, Ned Tankerville, took a mortal Arthur, that whatever was the motive, dislike to the good man, whom they reyou tried to convey to their minds an presented as a precise, niggardly old impression as truth which was not truth. fellow, and declared that it would be You did not in so many words say, 'I capital fun to quiz him as he deserved. am on terms of intimacy with Lord Not long after the utterance of these ex
;' but if any one took the trouble pressions, he was visited with one of those to listen to what you said, that was the contemptible practical jokes called, in monatural impression that would be made dern phraseology, “a hoax "-his house on his mind. Now, you know that is being completely besieged by porters with untrue. I am deeply grieved that you hampers of wine, kegs of spirits, and should have fallen, even into the ap- casks of double stout, from the several pearance of evil, in a matter which enters brewers and wine merchants, of three or into the very essence of character. Do, four neighbouring towns, each of whom my dear iad, think of the sin of decep- had received an extensive order, to be tion in every shape and form, how delivered at a certain time, with direcodious and offensive in the eyes of the tions for the bearer to wait for payment. Lord God of truth.' Implore pardon The circumstance could not fail to be in through the blood of the Lamb, and fer some degree annoying, but the quiet vently adopt the psalmist's petition, self-possession and firmness of the sub
Remove from me the way of lying: and ject of the hoax in a great measure grant me thy law graciously, Psa. baulked the expectation of the perpetra. cxix. 29.
tors. The mystery was soon penetrated, Arthur seemed to feel my uncle's ex and quietly dismissed. Next day, our postulation, and was certainly more cir- worthy friend ate his fruit and drank his cumspect in his conversation. It was water, just as if nothing had happened. more than two years afterwards that he It was not quite with equal composure fell into disgrace with my uncle about that my uncle found out that Arthur, another species of violation of truth, of who at the time was an inmate in his the criminality of which he seemed not house, was the concocter and principal at all aware, and regarded it only as a actor in the mischievous scheme. I do good joke. A worthy friend, (yes, a friend not think Arthur was ever again adof my uncle, and a "Friend” by religious mitted at my uncle's on the same footing persuasion,) who frequently visited at as before. But what especially leads me my uncle's, was remarkable for his ab- to mention it now is, the detestation mastemious and simple habits of life. Whe- nifested by my uncle at the deception ther from preference or principle, he necessarily practised in such a joke. could never be induced to taste any kind Arthur spurned the charge of having of fermented liquor. The habit of ab- been guilty of falsehood ; and to justify stinence was not, in those days, as himself produced a copy of the circular common as it is now, and our friend's addressed to the wine merchants, which singularity excited notice. He was a bore no signature ; therefore, as he triremarkably liberal and benevolent man, umphantly asserted, it could not be probut he had probably seen much of the nounced a forgery; and which did not evil resulting from the use of fermented say who desired the articles to be sent, liquors around the festive board, and also and therefore was no falsehood. It as medicinally administered by ignorant simply said, that John or Thomas suchpeople: and hence he conscientiously a-one was desired to send certain articles abstained from giving any thing of the to Edward in the forenoon of the kind, either by way of charity to the fifth day, and that the bearer was to wait afflicted, or of gratuity to work people, as for payment, also from offering to children and young "And is this no falsehood ?" asked my people, to whom he was well convinced uncle, with indignation; “in my opinion, it was both unnecessary and injurious. the intention to deceive, in whatever way I cannot say precisely to what extent he l it is expressed, by word or deed, is all
that is essential to constitute a falsehood." openly to enforce compliance, she would Now, the peculiarity of phraseology was have ihrown herself into a violent pasevidently adopted for the very pur- sion, distressed the company, and made pose of deception. You know, Arthur, herself ill. Was it not much better to you would not have expressed an order win her over to my purpose by a little of your own in that way. And then, to innocent deceit ?" say that a tradesman is desired to send “As you appeal to me, madam, I goods to such a person, is in effect say- must say, that the very phrase is a soleing, that that person desires it, if no cism. I think it is impossible for deceit, other person is specified. It is needless in any case, to be innocent. Without to press the matter further; your own wishing to make any offensive reflection conscience testifies to you that you did on your parental management, I cannot intend to deceive; and your conduct is help observing, that there are parents, plainly condemned by such passages of within the circle of my acquaintance, Scripture as these :
:-“Wherefore pul- who, by the constant exercise of gentle ting away lying, speak every man truth firmness, maintain their authority, withwith his neighbour." “ Foolish talking, out finding it at all necessary to have nor jesting, which are not convenient.” recourse to deceit. But, at all events, “ As a madman who casteth firebrands, children have a right to truth. They are arrows, and death, so is the man that very early capable of distinguishing bedeceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am tween truth and falsehood ; they are canot I in sport ?” Ephes. iv. 25; v. 4; pable of resenting deception, by refusing Prov. xxvi. 18, 19.
in future to believe the person who has A lady was once visiting at my uncle's deceived them; and they are capable, with three humoured children. To what too, of imitating the example of deceit
, ever extent children are indulged, their and will even fancy themselves justified capricious ingenuity will sometimes devise in attempting to deceive those who have claims which cannot be complied with. On deceived them. Depend upon it, madam, these occasions stratagem was resorted to your conduct, in this respect, will exerwithout scruple, either to induce them to cise a fearful and permanent moral influcomply with some necessary requirement, ence on children.“ We are not fully cawhich they would otherwise have resisted, pable of accurately tracing results to or to pacify them, in the absence of some their causes, and far too little accustomed desired but unattainable gratification. honestly to make the attempt; but in Indeed, the lady and her nurse would, in that solemn day, when the secret history presence of the elder children, boast of of the formation and development of the clever trick they had practised on character shall be fully disclosed, many the younger, in order to accomplish the a parent will be startled, at perceiving formidable business of getting her to the influence which her thoughtless bed, or prevailing on her to take medi tricks, with what she deemed an unconcine, or to remain at home, when her scious child, have had in forming that brother and sister went out. " Pardon child to a character of gross and hardme, madam,” said my uncle, “for pre ened deception.” suming to interfere in a matter between There is reason to hope that my una parent and her child, but I cannot re cle's expostulation was not thrown away. frain from expressing my grief, that you For, more than a year afterwards, during should deem it necessary to support a visit to London, we were invited to parental authority on the basis of decep spend a day at the house of this lady, tion : can you think it either lawful or who, soon after our arrival, said to my politic to do thus ?"
uncle, “Now I hope no person will call The lady maintained that it was neces- to-day, but that Mr. T. and myself may sary to practise deception on children be permitted to enjoy your company for their good, and that it was impossi- without interruption. I should formerly ble to manage them without.
have directed the servants to deny me to said she, “I
had not carried my point all visitors, and say, “Not at home; by stratagem, I should have been obliged but since our conversation last to take the child out with me, or to keep have been led to think more seriously her
up till I went to bed myself, which than I used to do of these violations would not have been for her good. of truth ; and I am convinced that they Surely I am the best judge of what is are not harmless, either in their nature good for her; and if I had attempted | or effects.”
It happened that soon afterwards some children are admitted now. I assure you, visitors arrived, at which our hostess was it is sought by families of wealth and disa little disconcerted. She, however, re- tinction, who will obtain admission for ceived them with politeness, though with their sons on almost any terms.” “ But," some degree of embarrassment, especi- asked my uncle, “is there not some ally when she invited them to stay to declaration required, that the applicant dinner, which they declined, but staid really is necessitous, and a fit object for there an hour or more. The conversa the charity.”
Charity !” replied the tion was interesting and animated, and gentleman, “I do not consider it any all, I believe, parted with regret, that charity; I have purchased the presentsome other engagement prevented the ations; and as to any declaration, it is day being spent together. After the de- only required to say that I know no parture of the visitors, Mrs. T- herself other way in which the children can reexpressed that regret, but added, “ After ceive the blessings of education :—and I the wish I had just expressed that no one do know no other way, I have never inwould come, I could not either profess quired for any other, simply because I to be glad to see these friends, or urge always intended to avail myself of this.” them to stay, lest I should be guilty
of My dear sir," said duplicity. I could perceive that my your sons aware of this transaction ? If uncle was pleased to observe her in- they are, I fear they will learn from it creased sensibility to the claims of truth. lessons of duplicity, which will more
How contemptible is the meanness, as than countervail all the classical advanwell as how criminal the duplicity, of tages that can be secured to them. And assuming to one's self merit that belongs to yourself, will not the achievement of to another! I have not forgotten how your wishes be embittered by a consciangry my uncle was at an imposition ousness of the deception, (pardon me, I practised on the public by the son of an cannot give it a gentler name,) by which old friend of his, who bore his father's it has been attained, and the injury inname, and who, having compiled a vo flicted by the alienation of the charity lume, which happened to be just ready from its legitimate objects ?". for publication at the time of his father's The gentleman affected to laugh it off, death, announced it, both in the title and to consider my uncle too stiff and page and in all advertisements, in such a precise in his notions. But he lived to manner as to convey the impression that look back on that transaction with keen it was the production of the father. As regret and self-reproach. His sons dissuch, several hundred copies were sold appointed his hopes, and brought down among those who knew and respected his grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. the father, but perhaps knew nothing The neighbourhood was agitated by a about the son. My uncle, who was ex- sharp political contest for a seat in parceedingly indignant at the imposition, yet liament. My uncle was no eager partizan. who could scarcely admit the idea of its He had his views and his preferences, having been intentionally practised by and he acted conscientiously on them, but the son of his friend, communicated he was too noble minded to tolerate any with the young man on the subject, but attempt to serve the cause he espoused, no. effort was made to undeceive the by traducing or misrepresenting others. public. It need hardly be said, that I recollect his expressing great displeawhen the trick was detected, the parties sure with one of his tenants, not for concerned in it justly lost all respect and honestly opposing his views, but for confidence.
affecting to serve them by unfair dealing A gentleman in the neighbourhood of with the character of one in the opposite my uncle told him, with great satisfac- interest ; and that, not absolutely by tion, that he had secured for both his making a false statement, but by the sons the best classical education that suppressing a part of the truth, leading could be obtained, having purchased pre- to unjust imputations. sentations to the - school. My uncle “Never imagine,” he said, " that any expressed surprise, observing, that he party excitement, or intention to serve a had always understood that that estab- party purpose, even supposing that party lishment was intended for the benefit to be in the right, can justify the slightof destitute children. “ Perhaps it est dereliction from the paths of truth, was originally so intended,” replied the honour, and integrity. It is due, even gentleman, but few poor destitute to a political opponent, to act as you
would be acted by. A good cause cannottimation, that it had reached the ear of need any violation of that universal and God! Indeed, which of us should not immutable rule ; and a bad one is only be startled ? Lord, help us to live, rendered worse by it. Endeavour to and speak, and feel, as those who realize know your duty to your country, and thy constant presence and close inspecfaithfully to discharge it, and then leave tion !" the event with God; but indulge no ill On one occasion, a person had been feelings, and practise no unfairness, tuo addressing another in terms of flattery wards those who may think and act on and adulation, with professions of warm the other side. Honest men may think attachment, but no sooner had that perdifferently, even on an important ques son withdrawn, than the flatterer began tion; but let neither party act so as to to say many things to his disadvantage, forfeit self-respect, or the respect of each and appealed to my uncle, whether other. He was a truly excellent man, who he had not heard these reports, and recorded, as an occasion of comfort to whether he did not believe them to be himself, that he felt truly able to say, true. “I do not know," replied my he was far from lessening any man's ex- uncle," but this I know, that both what cellences, either for intellects or morals, you said to the man, and what you have for the sake of his differing from him. said of him, have entered the ears of • Delight,' he nobly advised, “in the the Lord of sabaoth,' and the account holy generosity of speaking well of those will be balanced another day.” who differ from you.'
" There is much untruth practised," Several other examples press on my said my uncle, “in some cases, almost mind, of occasions on which my good unconsciously, in consequence of an imuncle expressed his fixed sense of the proper desire to please men, which leads inflexible claims of truth, even in the to a conformity with others in practices minutest particulars, and his abhorrence and professions, which the conscience of any deviation from them: but I must condemns, or in which the heart is not cut them short. In transactions between sincere. I have known young people, man and man, he often observed, that when cast into the society of the pious, selfishness was the parent of deceit, and adopt their phraseology, and make a grieved to think how perpetually truth sort of profession, which, without going was sacrificed to paltry gain, from the so far as to incur the charge of downpetty trader, who was daily verifying right designed hypocrisy, there was reathe vivid description of Solomon, “It is son to apprehend was not strictly accordnaught, it is naught, saith the buyer: ant with sincerity. I have known others, but when he is gone his way, then he of whom there was really ground to Lasteth,” Prov. xx. 14, to the accom hope well, who, on being cast into the plished tricker, who raised a false report, society of the gay and worldly, were in order to affect the public securities, in ashamed to avow their principles, and a way conducive to his own interest. were even at pains to conceal their ha“Oh! my boys,” he would say, when any
bitual practices, and to comply with those ting of this kind came under his notice, of the society around them, although "you know not what spheres of life you they were questionable, if not criminal. may in future be called to fill, nor to My young friends, if you wish to adhere what particular temptations you may
to truth in this particular, you must get be exposed; but may you have two above the fear of the world, and live and principles thoroughly inwrought into act, and speak and feel, 'not as pleasing your hearts, and carried out in all your men, but God, which trieth our hearts, words and actions; one is, that you may 1 Thess. ii. 4. Even a holy apostle, when
love your neighbour as yourself'—the he lost sight of this great principle, and other, that you may constantly enter thought more about pleasing men than tain a sense of the cognizance which doing what was right, acted in a manner God takes of our words. This fact is most unworthy of himself, and justly universally acknowledged in the appeal exposed himself to severe reprehension, to him by an oath, or solemn declara- | Gal. ii. 11, 12. tion. But how would many people,
“How was it, uncle, that the apostle who do not reckon themselves liars, bé Paul, who so severely blamed Peter for startled, if every expression they utter this concession, said, on another occashould be answered by some sensible in- sion, that he became all things to all * M. Henry. men? I Cor, ix, 20—23.
Was his con
duct at all inconsistent with sincerity and it will preserve us from doing any thing godly simplicity ?”
of which we are ashamed, or which “Not at all, Samuel : his concessions requires concealment; and, by preserving were made on principle, not in violation us from desiring any thing that cannot of it; and they consisted not in a sacri- be obtained by lawful means, it will fice of truth, but in a judicious choice preserve us from one great temptation of seasons, circumstances, methods, and to duplicity and misrepresentation. opportunities. The true spirit of ac “The importance of truth should sticommodation,' it has been well observed, mulate us to use every possible means *does not consist in falsifying or abridg- for its cultivation in ourselves. Every ing, or softening, or disguising any truth, effort is well bestowed that is requisite but in applying truth in every form, for the attainment and exercise of that communicating it in every direction, and which is in itself the bond of society, diverting it into every channel."" and which is absolutely essential to our
“The requirements of truth!” said being conformed to the image of Him Frank, "what a very extensive subject! who is the Lord God of truth.' it seems to press on every action of our “ Think of the misery of being delives, as well as every word of our lips ; ceived, and never attempt to inflict it on for every thing we do is calculated to your fellow creatures." Think of the give some impression, either true or | impossibility of deceiving God, and aim false ; and we mean either right or at a state of heart to which his inspection wrong in doing it; is it not so, uncle?" will be as welcome as it is inevitable.
'Yes, Frank, truth requires that our Think of the deceitfulness of your own words should be conformable with our heart, and the weakness of your best hearts, and our actions with our words; resolutions, and you will find enough to and that our professions and conduct prompt you to earnest prayer, for an inshould be uniform and consistent with terest in that blood which cleanses from themselves in all times, places, and cir- all sin, 1 John i. 7, for the influences of cumstances. In order to maintain out- the Spirit of truth,' to 'create in you ward consistency, truth is required in a clean heart, and renew a right spirit the inward part.' We must be true to within you,' and to uphold and preserve ourselves, true to the secret purposes you in the midst of danger, weakness, and resolutions of our own hearts; and temptations. 'Remove from me and this will be a preventive against the way of lying: and grant me thy law duplicity in our professions to others. graciously,' Psa. cxix. 29. “Hold up And while truth is promoted, by the my goings in thy paths, that my footprevalent exercise of great principles, steps slip not,'” Psa. xvii. 5. it is promoted, also, by habitual cultivation of what are sometimes called minor virtues. Punctuality is a friend to truth; the unpunctual, in their violation of promises and engagements, often Then I was led to another window, sin against truth, and are often driven and I looked, and behold a large plain; to mean subterfuges, to excuse those and the plain was covered with multibreaches.
tudes of people, and they were all going “Meekness is a friend to truth. Per- one way. And at the end of the plain sons who give way to a hasty, passionate, ran a river black and deep. Moreover, or resentful temper, often say things as I saw that over the plain was spread a inconsistent with truth as they are with thick mist, so that nothing could be kindness.
clearly seen by those thereon; but Modesty is a friend to truth, as it through that mist, as through other would check the disposition to vain boast- mists, objects did appear larger than ing and display, which often leads to they really were, and also diversely cofalse or exaggerated statements and pre. loured. Moreover, when I considered tensions. It would also prevent positive. awhile, I perceived that, as in other ness of assertion about things in which mists so in this, each one seemed to we may be mistaken, or but partially in- himself to have a space clear therefrom formed.
round himself; and, while he pitied Simplicity, oneness of aim, will those who walked at a distance as altogreatly facilitate the maintenance' of gether blinded by the fog, yet imagined truth in our words and actions, because that he himself, and those who were with
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