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399 your useful little publication. I therefore copied them, and herewith beg your acceptance of them.
I am, Sir, &c. H. T. E. : July 18, 1831.
“ This stone is erected to the memory of Thomas Dilly, by his (sorrowing) mistress, Anne Jarrett, of Camerton House; in whose family he lived for the space of twenty-nine years, being by them all as much respected during life, as he was regretted at the period of his quitting it, which happened on the 7th day of June, An. Dom. 1830, in the fifty-first year of his age.
“ Hath not the Judge of all men said
Well done-life's service duly paid,
But if thou dost on Christ depend,
ON COMPARISONS. per 25 WHEN We see a cabbage three feet high, we exclaim 6. What a large cabbage !” but if we were to see a full grown oak three feet high, we should say, “ What a small tree !" and the reason is, because we compare the cabbage and the oak with other cabbages and other oaks, and pronounce them accordingly to be large or small. Now we are apt to do the very same thing in considering our faults. A man says, “ To be sure I am a little out of temper sometimes, but it does no one any harm, and is but a trifle compared with my neighbour Thomas, who flies into passions every day, and beats his wife and scolds his children. Then another man says, “ I confess I do get into liquor now and then, but what's that to neighbour William, who goes out at night and robs gardens-my fault is nothing compared to his.” Neighbour William may say to himself, “ To be sure it is not quite right the way I go on, 'roba bing orchards and gardens, but it does not do much." harm after all; the gardeners can well spare me a few potatoes, and the squire has got apples left in plenty;! he don't so much as miss what I take it may be a fault to steal potatoes and apples, but it's nothing to ** neighbour John, who, tu my certain knowledge, breaks into people's houses.” Then neighbour John says to himself, “ It is not altogether right to break into people's houses, but I never murdered any body--my fault is nothing to Peter's, who knocked a man's brains clean out one night, or I am very much mistaken." Peter, in his turn, may say to himself, “I know it was wrong; I am sorry I committed that murder ; but it ni was only one ; and I know some alive now, who have committed more than one ;-they are worse than am."
You see then how people judge by comparison they compare one fault with another, one sin with another, and decide which is worst. Now this would not be so dangerous if we had only to do with men ; if we
:s On Comparisons: 231 401 had only to fear men, if we had only to ask pardon of men. We might then very well say, “though I stole your potatoes, I am not so wicked as the man who/ broke into your house, and took your silver spoons ;" ** this is very true, and is actually admitted in a court of justice.-There, one man is punished by a small fine, i another by a few months at the tread-mill--another is sent out of the kingdom, and another is hanged :ù according to the fault is the punishment; and it is right that it should be so; because men punish for injuries": committed against men, and they may be great or little.. But now let us consider whether it be the same thing between us and our God. God says to us,” All unrighteousness is sin;" and in another place, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” What then becomes of our comparisons ? My unrighteousness I may call a trifling fault, a negligence; but it is a sin, and my sin may not seem to me so bad as my neighbours' sin; but does God so judge the matter? No; he says all un." righteousness deserves death it is no matter what comparison we make between one sin and another, God says all sin of every sort and every kind deserves death. -For let us consider for a moment who God is. 1 “ He is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity.”-He is so pure himself, that he cannot so much as bear to look at what we call our little sins; he says, that even what we call our righteousness, that is, our best actions, are $0 full of defects and defilement, that they may be compared to.“ filthy rags ;” and if so, what must our bad ones be? Comparisons may help us off in a court, of justice, but they will be of no use at the day of judgment. It is said to us here below, that some deserve to go to prison, and some deserve to be hanged; buti God tells us, that the smallest offence committed against him, subjects us to death eternal. Then surely this consideration ought to put a stop at once to that folly which so many have of “ measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves.”—God's pure and holy laws have been
broken by all, and all are therefore set down as sinners against those laws; but thanks be to our Almighty Father, He has appointed the means whereby all may be saved ;--the ransom is paid by our Saviour Jesus Christ. What then becomes of boasting? You say that your neighbour is more wicked than you are; but you are yourself condemned by God; think of your own sins, and see that you repent of them, instead of trying to excuse yourself by recounting the sins of your neighbour. Confess yourself unworthy of pardon by any merit of yours, and then lay hold upon the merits of Christ, that you may obtain pardon through them. Your neighbour, whether he is a drunkard or a thief, must do the same; and though there be some who have not committed such acts as the world calls sin, still they have not kept the whole law of God blameless, and therefore cannot be saved by that law: all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and all require to be washed in the fountain opened for all uncleanness, even the blood of Christ.
(Sent without a name.)
ON GETTING INTO DEBT.
Will you allow me, through the medium of your useful little book, to say a few words to my cottage friends, on the evils of a habit of contracting debts. The man who owes money, must feel an uneasiness that will prevent his enjoying the cheerful reward of his labour. Every man, moreover, ought to feel this, that he has no right to enjoy himself, whilst the money with which he buys an occasional comfort, is really the property of another. Sickness is the most powerful excuse that can be offered for running in debt;—then, sometimes, it may be hardly possible to help it;-but do your best: if the poor man feels a horror of owing, he will do so; if he does not, he will go on, deeper and deeper still, Extract from a Sermon of the Rev. J. Slade. 403 till, when he receives his wages on a Saturday night, not a penny will really be his own ;--all, and more than all, will probably be the property of the village shopkeeper. It is a very bad plan to begin a bill at the shop. If you possibly can, pay for what you buy at the time; because, by delaying, every thing costs you dearer.
So great an evil do I know this habit of owing money to be, that I would go through a great deal of mortification rather than begin such a habit. The wish to avoid debt is in itself so respectable, that it will be sure to induce a favourable opinion amongst your neighbours : the shopkeeper and tradesman of your village will respect you; and the richer inhabitants will feel more disposed to help you, and have a greater pleasure in doing so, for they will be persuaded that you are anxious to do what is right. In short, if you would live happily and act justly, avoid debt. And let me add, that, besides all the worldly comfort and advantages arising from keeping free from debt, it is a Christian command to “ owe no man any thing." To contract a debt, without knowing the means by which you are to pay it, is in fact taking another man's property from him, and therefore is contrary to the duty which we owe to one another, as given to us by God himself. Take care to have a little beforehand. Saving Banks every where afford this opportunity, and you will then be provided against any sudden accident or emergency. Do this for your own comfort ; do it as a matter of bounden duty.
EXTRACT FROM A SERMON, BY THE REV. JAMES
SLADE*. Let not any one day pass over your head without some portion of Scripture being brought distinctly to
* Vicar of Bolton, and Prebendary of Chester.