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not exist an unquestionable difference between them and the men of the world? With you, my dear readers, who profess to be Christ's, is it so in this sense? If not, you are not true practical non-conformists to the world, nor true Christians.

We might now proceed to show, that all who call themselves Christ's must “not be conformed to this world” in any of its pleasures, in private or in public, which are either sinful in themselves, or which naturally lead to sin. At the same time, in taking a review of these so-called pleasures, we miglit show that, in the spirit, if not in the letter of Scripture, due allowance may be made for harmless recreations, which are not destructive to holiness, any more than to health and happiness; and, therefore, not inconsistent with our duties to God, to others, and ourselves, any more than to the lower animals. However, we forbear entering upon sinful in-door “pastimes” and out-door "sports," in order to consider another branch of nonconformity to the world ;-a branch of the subject more important, in the present exigencies of the country, if not more practical; and yet, more delicate and difficult, in connection with the rampant sin of drunkenness, and the reigning system of the drinking usages.

CHAPTER XII.

NON-CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD

IN FOSTERING STEALING.

How many

make their house the home
Of every fraud and every wile;
And yet they to God's altar,

With hands impure and hearts of guile!"

To pass, therefore, from practices to pursuits, we observe, that all true Christians must “not be conformed to this world” in any pursuit which fosters or facilitates stealing, or receiving what is stolen. This is so apparent, that it is almost unnecessary to add a single sentence in the way of support. The civil and moral statistics, indeed, of this fruitful source of national degradation, remain as yet in a very scattered state; and tedious and troublesome as it may be to lay hold of the most essential facts connected with such occupations, he who is successful in bringing them into a focus, will render no mean service to the public good, However, the most superficially acquainted with our cities, towns, and burghs, cannot but know that there exists among us a large and increasing number of persons, whose regular employment, chiefly if not solely, forms a direct encouragement to stealing. Many of this number, also, consist not merely of the men of the world, but of professing members of the Church. In other words, of each of these classes, there are many who are owners of “establishments," whether yclept, in the momenclature of the world, “ big pawns” or “wee pawns,” which are nothing less than nurseries for every kind of theft-pilfering and pocket-picking, robbery and burglary—with all the prey and booty,

in the sense of soft goods and hard goods, thus surreptitiously filched.

Strong as this language is, it is fully borne out by what thieves themselves have declared, whether they have been members of “the Carron Company," or

“the Brass Band.” For, they have openly confessed, that, were it not for pawning establishments, as well as resetting houses, there would be fewer thieves ;” and not only so, but that, “if such establishments were put down, house-breaking would cease.” Such “a consummation” as this, in each of these respects, is “ devoutly to be wished.” But, even although these dens of thieves, or refuges of robbers, were at once swept away, while no such Utopian dream is to be cherished as that thieving would then disappear from amongst us, a better

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state of things, by way of approximation to that point, might possibly be attained.

Apart, however, from such confessions of criminals, the theft-fostering nature of these establishments is abundantly corroborated by numerous facts which cannot be impugned. - For, stringent as legislative enactments and police regulations are, in regard to such places, and strictly as they are carried out by the shrewdest and most lynx-eyed “detectives," ways and means of evasion or concealment are too often and too easily employed, without marring, mutilating, or metamorphosing the articles received. It is also notorious, that, in these establishments, articles the most costly and curious, the richest and rarest, of every kind, as well as of gold and silver, are received as readily from the young as from the old; from the most disreputable in appearance as readily as from the more decent; from the most wretched as readily as from the more respectable. In short, it is “a great fact," that these articles are too frequently received in the most improper manner; no questions being asked” as to the way in which they came into the possession of such individuals. Or if, for formality's sake, any questions are put, the most unlikely answers are too often accepted as satisfactory. Indeed, the most implausible asnwers

As a necessary

are generally regarded the most palatable; and contradictions pass current for corroborations. In the most suspicious cases, likewise, too many of the proprietors of such places of business, instead of retaining the articles presented, and lodging information with the legal authorities for inquiry, do every thing possible to thwart the course of justice, and to encourage theft. consequence of all this, the articles which are offered are parted with, or pawned, not only at a price far below their known worth, but at the merest nominal trifle.

It is, no doubt, true, that, as in other pursuits, some of these establishments differ very much in point of worldly position. So much is this the case, that while some of them

in

appearance, of the meanest kind, others may almost be said to be of the most magnificent description. It is also true, that many in this line of life conduct their occupation, " such as it is,” in a manner vastly superior to others. However, whatever be the position which they severally possess, from the lowest to the highest grade, and whatever be the mode in which they generally prosecute their profession, we are warranted to assert, on the authority of criminal statistics, that most, if not all of them, are far from what they should be in point of morality. On this account, the

are,

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