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strictest police surveillance requires to be exercised over them all. And on this account, among persons engaged in such pursuits, more than in any other, “Business morality,” in contrast to “ Bible morality,” may be said to be at the lowest ebb.
All this being indisputable, whether these “establishments” be high or low, need we add, is the occupation connected with them such in general, that
who are called Christians can rightly or lawfully engage in it? Are not all who name the name of Christ to “provide things honest in the sight of all men ?” And can such an occupation be said to be either strictly honourable or honest? Is not the “resetter,” or receiver, according to the proverb, “ as bad as the thief?” Is it not, also, declared in Scripture, that “whoso is a partner with a thief hateth his own soul ?” For, does he not court his own destruction for time, as well as eternity? And participating, as he does, in the thief's sin, must he not also participate in his suffering? Accordingly, if the pickpocket and thief, the robber and burglar, are taken and tried, and, when found guilty, condemned, can those who are engaged in the aforesaid employment, and who are virtually the accomplices of such evil-doers, be regarded innocent? Is the one to be branded with the
blackest stigma, and the other to be deemed an honest man? Is the one to be punished, and the other acquitted? Or, are men to be called upon to guard against committing any thing like peculation and theft, robbery and burglary, and not, also, against aiding and abetting peculators and thieves, robbers and burglars?
Not to enlarge upon the “hidden things of darkness” connected with this demoralizing system, to all who name the name of Christ may it not justly be said, as to every pursuit which fosters, or facilitates, any kind of stealing, or receiving what is stolen, “be not conformed to this world ?”. In regard to their daily pursuit in all its branches, as well as in regard to their daily practice in all things, should there 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 respect ; and that, not merely publicly but privately; not merely occasionally but constantly? If not, you are nothing like true practical non-conformists to the world, nor true Christians.
NON-CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD
IN FOSTERING UNCLEANNESS.
“Do some that own Christ's sacred name
Lay snares for men to sin ?
His laws are pure and clean."
ALL true Christians must, also, “not be conformed to this world” in any pursuit which fosters, or facilitates, uncleanness. As in the preceding case, this is so palpable that it is almost superfluous to append a single word by way of confirmation. On this account, as well as on account of the tender nature of this topic, we shall be as succinct as a sense of justice, to this link in the present line of argument, will permit. Repugnant, then, as it is to our feelings to state it, and horrifying as it may appear, the fact cannot be ignored that not only in Scotland, England, and Ireland, but throughout the world, there are houses, which may be counted by hundreds, where the sin of uncleanness is professionally pursued ; and, consequently, whose abandoned inmates, chief and subordinate, are supported by this nefarious mode of life.
In the Capital of the United Kingdom, the great mart of nations, at once the best and the worst of cities, much of this system of iniquity is carried on by foreigners, and kept up by foreign importation; and, even, in the most unabashed and barefaced manner. In the estimation, indeed, of these denizens, the professional fostering of this sin is reckoned a very small matter; so small, it may be, as not to excite the slightest uneasiness of feeling. For, such is the general corruption of public and private morals in continental nations; and so true is it that the Church established by law in these nations is “a Church without a religion," and that the Legislature which exists among them is practically no better, that persons and houses are actually licensed by the State to provide for this heaven-provoking sin. Thus, in the language of Scripture, these
be said to “frame mischief by a law,” to set up “the throne of iniquity,” and also to support it. Thus, they avowedly “do evil,” not so much, we believe, as a source of gain, as on the ground that otherwise “good may come!” Hence, when these natives of the continent take up their residence in our liberal, but now almost latitudinarian country, “their conscience being
seared as with a hot iron,” they engage, without compunction, in the systematic feeding of the baneful vice in question. So it is not among us, in this respect, so far as State sanction is concerned ; and may God, in his grace and sovereignty, for ever avert from our beloved country so black a day as the State-licensing of uncleanness.
However, not to insinuate that fallen human nature, when left to itself, is better in us than in others, it must be admitted that by far the greater portion of the fostering of uncleanness, throughout the land, is of indigenous origin, and of indigenous support; not an exotic, but a plant of home growth. So true is this, that, in the most populous of our Scottish Cities, there are said to exist about five hundred houses of this description; and that, in connection with these houses, about five hundred thousand pounds are annually expended in this most abhorrent way. In the next populous of our Cities, matters, in these respects, are not better, if not far worse. Again, in our more populous Towns, and also, in some cases, in our larger burghs, the systematic pursuit of supporting this sin is not a name, but a reality; not a nullity, but one of the greatest of moral nuisances. It is likewise a fact, almost patent as noon-day, that, in many other houses of public resort, and particularly in many public