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gently home, saying, “Neighbour, your cows have been in my field. I have fed them well during the day, but I would not keep them all night, lest the children should suffer from want of their milk.'
“If this was fun, they who planned the joke had no heart to laugh at it. By degrees, a visible change came over these troublesome neighbours. They ceased to cut off horses' tails, and break the legs of poultry. Mischievous boys would say to a younger brother, 'Don't throw that stone, Bill. When I killed the chicken last week, didn't they send it to mother, because they thought chicken broth would be good for poor Mary? I should think you'd be ashamed to throw stones at their chickens?' Thus was evil overcome with good, till not one was found to do them wilful injury. Years passed on, and saw them thriving in worldly substance beyond their neighbours, yet beloved by all. .“ At the end of ten years, the public lands, which they had chosen for their farms, were advertised for sale by auction. According to custom, those who had settled and cultivated the soil were considered to have a right to bid it in at the government price ; but just at this time land speculation ran high, and adventurers from all parts of the country were flocking to the auction. No one supposed that custom or equity would be regarded, when, on the first day's sale, seventeen, twenty-five, and thirty dollars per acre were offered, the government price being little more than one dollar per acre. The Christian colony had therefore small hope of retaining their farms; as first settlers, they had chosen the best land, and by persevering industry had brought it into the highest cultivation. Its market value was much greater than the acres already sold at exorbitant prices. They had therefore prepared their minds for another remove into the wilderness, perhaps to be again ejected by a similar process. But the morning that their lot was offered for sale, they observed with grateful surprise that their neighbours were every where busy among the crowd begging and expostulating thus : · Don't bid on these lands; these men have been working hard on them for ten years. During all that time, they never did harm to
man nor beast; they were always ready to return good for evil ; they are a blessing to any neighbourhood. It would be a sin and a shame to bid on their lands ; let them go at the government price.' The sale came on ; the Christian band offered at first the government price, intending, if necessary, to bid higher. But among all that crowd of selfish, reckless speculators, not one bid over them. Without an opposing voice, the fair acres returned to them. I do not know a more remarkable instance of evil overcome with good."
the Christ, it necelfish, can oppofiknow."
CLOSING OF PUBLIC-HOUSES AND BEER-SHOPS ON THE
TO THE WORKING CLASSES. The working classes are earnestly invited to unite in the effort which will, with God's blessing, be made to obtain in this Session of Parliament, an Act to close publichouses and beer-shops during the whole of the Lord's day, except “so far as may be necessary for lodgers and bona fide travellers.” Such an Act, with an exemption in the very same terms, was passed for Scotland in the last Session; and the following are some reasons why a similar Act for England should meet with the approval of working men.
The Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy," so good for all men, is specially good for the working classes. Obedience to it promotes their welfare, both temporal and eternal. When rightly observed, it secures to the working man that bodily rest and refreshment which he needs, and which a merciful and wise Creator has thus provided. It affords him an invaluable opportunity to acquaint himself with the Word of God and the way of salvation. On that day he rises to his proper dignity, when he takes his place in the house of God, and worships with his fellow man Him who is no respecter of persons. His understanding becomes enlightened, his feelings chastened, and his morals improved. Who can calculate the extent to which the domestic happiness of the working man depends on his passing his Sabbaths as becomes a Chris
house is no reintened, his can calcula
tian? Who can doubt that the public-house and beershop, opened on the Lord's Day, are at once a violation of the command of God, and an allurement to the working man to entice him away from home, from domestic quiet, and from the worship and service of God?
The example of the father of a family frequenting the public-house on the Lord's Day, tends to destroy in the minds of his children all regard for the sacred character of the day, and prepares the way for their doing the same. It also impoverishes the family, by causing money to be spent in the self-indulgence of one or two, which should be laid out in providing comforts for all. It is computed that the enormous sum of 57,000,0001. sterling is spent yearly, chiefly by the working classes, in Great Britain and Ireland, on intoxicating drinks. Now if only oneseventh of this sum, say 8,000,0001., is spent on the Lord's Day, what a vast amount of income is thus wasted! How much clothing and furniture, what improved dwellings, how many comforts, if rightly used, might it provide! How many reading-rooms, libraries, schools, hospitals, places of worship, teachers and ministers of religion, might it provide ! and these for the working classes themselves.
But besides this, the bodily strength and character of the working man are injured in the public-house or beershop on the Lord's Day. He is thereby often enfeebled and stupified, and behind time at work on Monday.
In the next place, drunkenness and crime are increased by the opening of public-houses and beer-shops on the Lord's Day. From the year 1838 to 1844 the whole number of persons taken into custody in the metropolis for drunkenness, was 105,566, of whom 26,365, being one-fourth of the whole number, were taken into custody on the Lord's Day; whereas after the Act, which closes public-houses in the metropolis till one o'clock on the Lord's Day, came into operation, there was a decrease of nearly fifty per cent. in the convictions for drunkenness on the Sabbath, and a decrease of nearly sixty per cent. in the total number of convictions for the week. At Liverpool, in the year before a like Act passed, more than twenty-nine per cent. of the whole number taken
into custody for drunkenness, were so taken on the Lord's Day; whereas in the two years that followed, they were reduced to twenty-two per cent. As to crime generally, it appears, that of all the prisoners brought before the magistrates of Liverpool in the year before the Act passed, 5826 were on Mondays ; 11,837 on the other five days : but in the year after the Act passed, 4822 on Mondays, and on the other five days 10,690. Women, and even children, are affected by this evil : on one Lord's Day in the month of March last, 41,796 persons visited public-houses in Edinburgh, of which number 11,931 were women, and 7663 children, of whom 3032 were under seven years of age.
The effect on the keepers of public-houses and beershops is also very injurious. Thus, in the year 1850, the number of offences reported against beer-house keepers in Manchester was on the Lord's Day 52, on other days, 5; against keepers of public-houses on the Lord's Day 292, on other days 192. The number of beer-shops is said to be 41,547, and of public-houses 89,886, amounting together to 131,433. The keepers of these houses, their families and servants, must therefore constitute a large number of persons who are virtually deprived of the rest and quiet of the Sabbath.
Let not the working man who frequents the publichouse or beer-shop on the Lord's Day suppose that, in doing so, his own Sabbath rest is not put in jeopardy. No man can abandon the principle, that one day in seven shall be a day of rest for every man, without putting his own Sabbath rest in jeopardy. The working man who employs his fellow-man on the Sabbath for any worldly gratification, cannot consistently refuse to work for a master on the Sabbath to suit such master's convenience. If the working man's conscience does not restrain him from employing his fellow-man on the Sabbath, how can he find fault with the unconscientious master who requires him to work on the Sabbath?
Some of you may not be aware of the extent to which the working classes are employed on the Sabbath. It is computed that there are employed
On canals and navigable rivers ................ 100,000
20,000 In London, in connexion with omuibusses and cabs 24,000 Consider the effect on the families, wives, children, friends of these men !
If to the above you add those employed in iron furnaces, glass works, shops; drovers, and others, you will find that no inconsiderable number of the 4,000,000, which are supposed to constitute the working men of the United Kingdom, are already employed on the Sabbath. The public-house and beer-shop being open on the Lord's Day, tends greatly to perpetuate and increase these evils.
There are some mistaken individuals who possibly wish you well, and who, being ignorant of the real nature and ends of the Sabbath, have formed for themselves some visionary notion of your enjoying the holy day apart from God. Ignorant themselves of the happiness of a wellordered and well-spent Sabbath, they cannot imagine how a working man should be able to pass it pleasantly in a Christian way. They are allured themselves by worldly pleasures, and they naturally hold out the same allurements to you, and would degrade you into mere pleasure-hunters on the Lord's Day. But there can be no greater mistake than to suppose that the working man can enjoy and secure the Sabbath as a day of rest, without observing and defending it as a day of religious observance. For it is evident that the Sabbath has its foundation only in the law of God; and if that foundation be removed, the institution based thereon must fall. But the law of God requires the day to be kept holy; if, therefore, you destroy the holiness of the day, you destroy the foundation, and sooner or later the institution resting thereon must fall. In proportion, therefore, as the working man desires the repose of the Sabbath, let him contend for its sanctity. Let him make that use of the day which a merciful God intended ; let him refresh himself by cheerful and heartfelt worship in the house of God, and by a holy peace in the bosom of his family. Let