« PreviousContinue »
I was repeatedly punished for when a very young child; and, sorry I am to say, that it has grown up with me, and, from my embarrassments, misfortunes, and distress, had, till very lately, from habit, gained such strength, and acquired such a
complete ascendancy over me, that it has cost me 'ed -. much trouble to root it from my mind, weakened the
by sorrow, and deprived of its energies by vexation to and grief.
If, therefore, ingenuous youth! you should ever 'lom unwarily fall into an offence, never attempt to cover it with a lie ; for the latter fault doubles the up former, and each makes the other more inex. I cusable; whereas what is modestly acknowledged is easily forgiten; and the very confession of a hic small trespass establishes an opinion that we are in innocent of greater. . Among all the temptations to falsehood, and can the almost unavoidable hard necessity resulting inise from it, I do not know a greater than that of all, getting into debt, in consequence of extravagance.
Of all the unfortunate characters given to the vice of lying, a debtor, hard pushed by an impatient créditor, has, perhaps, the greatest excuse for it, though, at the same time, by practising it tvo öften, he acquires such a habit of it, that it
becomes natural to him, and loses all its vileness; · in his ideas.
This I have found by experience to be the most TRU fatal eněnly of sifrcerityavoid debt, therefore, itd
as the bane of TRUTH, and extravagance as the
Of Dishonesty and Connivance, Better is a little with righteousness than great revendes without right. ;
TRUTH in SPEECH ought also to be accompanied by integrity in all your dealings,
In the journey of life, honesty has, in every age, 'been' always found to be the best and wisest policy; and happy are they who have fortitude and self-command enough to dare to be honest in the worst of times, to persevere in their integrity, even through the thorny paths of poverty and distress.
Dishonest inclinations are, I am persuaded, born with many of us, as well as insincerity: it is, however, the great business of education to correct and eradicate these bad principles ; but it is too certain, that misfortune, want, and distress, will overcome the powerful effects of the best edu.cation, and even drive their devoted victims to the most desperate courses.'
To avoid dishonesty, therefore, we should carefully shun the temptations to it, by industriously labouring to provide for our wants, or our lawful pleasures---by using our gains with frugality, and, above all, earnestly avoiding dissipation and extravagance, the sure incitements to get into debt, and probably, in time, to do worse.
Honesty in man is as invaluable to him aschastity to a woman : either of these lost, and publicly known, is the certain loss of honour, reputation, and happiness in society.
The security and peace of all communities depend on justice being administered, and dishonesty punished; the happiness of individuals,' on the safe enjoyment of all their possessions. ---We
ought, therefore, to keep our hearts within the bounds of moderation, guided by those eternal principles of justice which are implanted within our breasts by the adorable Creator. in
Dare not, therefore, my young friend, to hare bour even the wish to convert the property of another to your own use, more especially where it is committed to your charge; for breach of trust is as heinous 'an aggravation of THEFT as pretended friendship is of SEDUCTION Or MURDER. If, therefore, you should be unfortunately inclined to deceit, lucky in your frauds, and even escape without being detected or punished, you will, nevertheless, stand self-condemned, be ashamed to trust yourself with your own thoughts, and wear, in your very countenance, both the consciousness of guilt and the dread of a discovery; whereas, innocence looks always upwards, meets the most inquisitive and suspicious eye, and stands undaunted before God and man. ---On the other hand, if ever your knaveries come to light (to say nothing of the penalties of the law), with what shame and confusion of face must you appear before those you have wronged ?---and with what grief of heart must your relations and friends be made eye or ear-witnesses of your disgrace? Nor is this all; for, even supposing you should be convinced of your folly, and sincerely abhor it for the future, you must, nevertheless, be always liable to suspicion; and men, who cannot see the heart
as God does, will always distrust your intentions, however, upright they may in reality be.
- But it is incumbent on you not only to be honest yourself, but to disdain to connive at the dishonesty of others : he that winks at an injury he might prevent, shares in it; and it is as scandalous to fear blame, or reproach, for doing you? duty, as to deserve reproof for the neglect of it, I am now supposing you to be an apprentice, a clerk, or in any other situation of trust where you have others jointly employed with yourself: should there be, therefore, a general confederacy among your fellow-servants to abuse the confidence or credulity of your master, boldly tell them, that you consider it as your duty to him, and eventual friendship to them, to make it known, if not immediately put a stop to; and perhaps it would not be going too far to say, that, without intimating your intentions to them, you ought to divulge it the very moment you perceive it, for fear your very silence should be deemed a proof of your having participated in their guilt; but I thịnk, however, a regard to your own honour, and the hopes of their reformation through your good advice, should induce you to run the risque of giving them one serious and friendly warning before you proceed to expose them. Should you, in consequence of that forbearance, be unfortunately considered as an accomplice, the above motive, manfully explained, and a sense of your