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not only set in motion all the railway trains in the nation, but gradually lead to the incessant enthralment of the working classes ? As the natural effect, also, of the operation of such causes, what but a torrent of profligacy and vice, might be expected ?
Now—not to speak of distillation, and always excepting cases of strict necessity and mercy—in these and such like instances, while the respective pursuits are perfectly lawful and proper during the week, is not the character of each completely changed, in a moral sense, according to the law of God, when it is prosecuted on the Sabbath? Is it not converted into what is unlawful and sinful ? For, then, does it not violate the express command of Him who has said, in reference to the Sabbath, “thou shalt not do any work”—any mercenary or unnecessary work? And what else, generally, if not always, is the work of those who are engaged in these pursuits on the Sabbath ? Is it not a continuation of their ordinary, or every-day week work? And, however little that work may be on the Sabbath, is it not such, even at the least, as to distract their thoughts, and secularize their affections ; such as to prevent them from enjoying the rest of the Sabbath, either bodily or spiritually; especially, such as to deprive them of knowing what it is to be “in the Spirit on the Lord's day," or have a foretaste of heavenly happiness?
In reference, indeed, to some of these occupations, more than others, it is argued that they are works of necessity and mercy. Yet, after a brief scrutiny, it will commonly turn out that in these, as in the more private cases, the necessity is first made, and then it is averred that means must be provided to meet that necessity. Consequently, if the supposed necessity were only allowed to cease, the necessity of the use of these means would also cease. In other words, let it be laid down, and acted upon, as an unchangeable divine precept, that we are to “keep the Sabbath holy,” and that this can be done only “by a holy resting all that day, from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days," and, after a conscientious trial, it will almost invariably be found that cases of necessity for acting otherwise instantly disappear, or that they are only of very rare
In some of the above cases, and particularly in the case of the Post-Office, the sin of doing work, or of permitting work to be done, is the sin of the nation, more than of the individuals employed. On this account, the Christian community should, with one united voice, and in
the name of God, demand of the State, more firmly than ever, entire freedom from all Sabbath-labour for all the servants of the public. For, as the Sabbath is the birth-right of all, should not they as well as others, have the power and privilege thus to enjoy this day aright? In other words, being as the Sabbath is, specially “the Lord's,” and the day on which he is to be specially served, is it not a day which no one has the liberty to give away to another, and which no one has the power to take? Is it not, likewise, a day which all, whether high or low, rich or poor, master or servant, employer or employed, should so spend, in private and in public, that it may be enjoyed bodily as well as spiritually? Should they not do this, not only from a sense of duty, but of interest to themselves and others? And how can they do this bodily, far less spiritually, but by laying aside completely all worldly avocations on that day, and making works of necessity and mercy the rarest possible exceptions ?
In whatever aspect, therefore, these different reasons are looked at, whether separately or conjointly, bodily or spiritually, personally or relatively, temporally or eternally, should not all true believers “ not be conformed to this world” by engaging on the Sabbath in any pursuit, which, although lawful on other days, fosters or facilitates Sabbath profanation ? In this, as well as in all other things of a sinful nature, or tendency, should there not be a striking 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? Are you free from polluting the Sabbath in the temporal pursuit which you prosecute? If not, you are not true practical non-conformists to the world, nor true Christiang.
In continuation of this subject, we might here take up in order a few other sin-fostering pursuits; such as those which foster card-playing and gambling, the theatre and the race-course, and other sinful amusements in private and in public. However, not having treated of these and similar worldly pleasures, we cannot with propriety speak of the pursuits which promote them. Besides, as the preceding topics have already extended far beyond what was originally contemplated, we are called upon to draw to a close.
DUTY OF UNIVERSAL NON-CONFORMITY
TO THE WORLD.
fellow-Christians, are a few of the practices and pursuits in which you, and all who name the name of Christ, must “not be conformed to this world.” However, as the world is, in all moral things, diametrically contrary to the will of God, and also one of your worst enemies, you must, likewise, in every worldly practice, and in every worldly pursuit which either looks like sin, or leads to it, be true non-conformists. The practical non-conformity which is thus incumbent upon you, and upon all who call themselves Christians, is a universal nonconformity; a non-conformity extending to all things; not, we need scarcely add, to things trivial or indifferent, so as to occasion singularity or oddity, but to things of a moral nature and tendency, and which are either directly or indirectly sinful. For, do we not read that Jesus Christ "gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto