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common, and daily intercourse of life. Falsehood must have a direct and powerful tendency to disturb the order of human af fairs, and to introduce into the bosom of so. ciety every gradation and variety of mischief.
There is a natural tendency in all men to speak the truth, because it is absolutely necessary we should inform ourselves of the truth for the common purposes of existence, and we do not say one thing while we know another, but for the intervention of causes which are comparatively infrequent and extraordinary; the first of these which I shall mention is vanity. The vanity of being interesting, of exciting curiosity, and escaping from the pain of obscurity :-Great part of the mischief done to character, and of those calumnies which ruffle the quiet of life, have their origin in this source.-Nor is the falsehood which proceeds from it to be considered as of little importance; it is incompatible with that earnest, and permanent regard to human happiness, which the Gospel exacts; it is inimical to that daily exercise of keeping the conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man,
which it prescribes: A Christian should never forget that, in the progress of refinement, as much is felt for character as for the more gross, and substantive advantages of life; in the beginning, we have only property in food, and raiment; but as the world goes on, there springs up the invisible, intangible property of fame, which nourishes a man's life, though he be hungered, and cold, and without which he is dead in the midst of life: If respect to this is not foreign to human happiness, it is not foreign to the Gospel: I am sure it is as much the duty of a pious christian to abhor falsehood, injurious to the feelings of his fellow creatures, as it is to abhor falsehood which may disturb them in the just right of their possession; and at every moment, and in every relation of life, it must be his duty to respect truth as the antient, and solemn barrier of human happiness.-Not that what is said on such occasions is mere falsehood; but the mischief is done by embellishment, by colouring, by false insinuation, by slight change, and by artful suppression: broad, shameless falsehood is seldom witnessed in the world; and the greatest violator of truth preserves enough of it for
outward decency, and inward tranquillity: For, though Satan corrupted man, God made him, and he loves Heaven in the midst of his iniquity; he is ever ready to throw over his sins the robe of virtue, to comfort his soul with soothing words, and decent pretences, and to say a grace to God, before he sets down to feast with Mammo.
There is a liar, who is not so much a liar from vanity as from warmth of imagination, and levity of understanding; such a man has so thoroughly accustomed his mind to extraordinary combinations of circumstances, that he is disgusted with the insipidity of any probable event; the power of changing the whole course of nature is too fascinating for resistance; every moment must produce rare emotions, and stimulate high passions; life must be a series of zests, and relishes, and provocations, and languishing existence be refreshed by daily miracles: In the mean time, the dignity of man passes away, the bloom of Heaven is effaced, friends vanish from this degraded liar; he can no longer raise the look of wonder, but is heard in deep, dismal, contemptuous silence; he is shrunk from
ness of the people;-often it has burst into the chambers of princes, to tear down, the veil of falsehood, and to speak of guilt, of sorrow, and of death.-Such was the truth which went down with Shadrach to the fiery furnace, and descended with Daniel to the lion's den.-Such was the truth which made the potent Felix tremble at his eloquent captive.-Such was the truth which roused the timid Peter to preach Christ crucified before the Sanhedrin of the Jews; and such was the truth which enabled that Christ, whom he did preach, to die the death upon the cross.
Having thus stated the most ordinary causes of falsehood, I shall endeavour to lay before you the means, and the motives for its cultivation. The foundation of the love of truth must be laid, in early education, by unswerving example, and by connecting, with truth, every notion of the respect of men, and of the approbation of God; and by combining, with the idea of falsehood, the dread of infamy and impiety;-nor must the young be allowed to hesitate about the importance of the particular truth in
question, but be taught, rather, that all truth must be important; they must never balance, for an instant, between the convenience of falsehood, and the peril of veracity;-but if the alternative be death, or falsehood, let them look upon death as inevitable, as if God had struck them dead with his lightning.
A thorough conviction of the security derived from truth, is no mean incitement to its cultivation. Falsehood subjects us to a perpetual vigilance; we must constantly struggle to reconcile a supposed fact to the current of real events, and to point out the consequences of an ideal cause; the first falsehood must be propped up by a second, the second cemented by a third, till some failure, in the long chain of fictions, precipitates into the gulph of infamy, him whom it is intended to support;-then there is the perpetual suspicion of being suspected; elaborate meaning from idle words, and significance from thoughtless gestures. Watchfulness, silence, and melancholy, succeed to the gaiety of a true heart, and all virtue is gone out of life. This is the bondage of falsehood, and these the massive