Archibald Forbes.

The Christian library: a weekly republication of popular religious ..., Volume 6 online

. (page 40 of 121)
Online LibraryArchibald ForbesThe Christian library: a weekly republication of popular religious ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 40 of 121)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

It is jour prayer for yourself, " lead me not
> isfflplation ;" aet upon this same principle towards
B. Hones^ itself should always be required' to
nacoontlbr the uttermost farthing, and will wish to do
it Do not leave your property too much exposed.
SdHie ge to one extreme, and lock up every thing,
ntbengo to the opposite extreme, and lock up nothing ;
and hoe, as m many other cases, extremes meet ; mr
aoe tempts lo dishonesty bv tmstiuff too little, the other
hf lrastin|f too much. Money, drinkables, and the
lifl i ei aitielee of female dress and decoration, shouM
nat ha left too c a reli sa l y about NorshoukI one party
in aanried life, ev^dr make a confederacy with servants
Im other. Wives should never engage
B a sflbeme of fidsehood, imposidon, or
of any kind against their huiAMLndi,

Ihaagbk be bat intnflinff matters, for this is teaching
iiMn intrigoe and doplttiiy, which nay not ofdy be

injurions to their own character, but seriously detri-
mental in the end to the interests of the family. If a
servant be employed by the wife to assist her to con-
ceal any part or the bust)aod*8 property, or appropriate
it any way unknown to him, she is in that act tempted
by her mistress, so far as the infloence of example
goes, to take the same liberty on her own account'
tor she who is employed to purloin for another, wDl
soon feel no scruples to steal for herself.

2. It is our duty, not only not to lander the salva-
tion of our servants, but to do every thing in our power
(o promote a.

seriously consider your obligation in this particular,
and that as God sent them under your roof, that yon
might care for their souls so he will REqumx thxie
SOULS AT TOUR HAXDS. Yes, at the day of judgment
he vrfll say to jou, ** Give an account of those immor-
tal beinjgs which were placed under your instruction,
inspection, and anxie^." Cherish, then, I outlet
yon, a deep solicitude for their spiritual welfare, and
feel desirous to become the instruments of their salva-
tion. In order to this, take care to set them a cood
examj)le, and let them see in you, not only nothing
that IS contrary to religion, but every thing that can
recommend it, that so an attractive infloence nugr
ever be exerted by your character on theirs. Many
have learnt more of religion by what they have seen in
their masters and mistresses, than by all they have
heard from their ministers. They will nev^r forget
their example. Call them regularly to family prayer,
and make mem the peculiar subjects of your earnest
supplications, that they mav bear your entreaties with
Goa on their account, ana be the witnesses of vonr
solicitude for their welfbre. 8de to it that they have
bibles, and take care that they are able to read, for if
this be not the case, it is your bounden duty to teach
them. Furnish them with a fbw well selected books,
and dras provide for them a kitchen library. Give
them opportunities to attend public worship, and to
keep holy the Sabbath day. Keep them not too late at
wora on Saturday evening, lest their worldly business
trench upon the Sabbath, or unfit them, by excessive
fatiffue, tor its hallowed occupations. Instruct them
in me principles of true religion, that they may have
their judgments rightly informed, and that they may
not perira for lack of knowled^. It is a great dis-
grace to a Christian master or mistress, if any servauls
teave their house, without knowing, at least in theory,
the way of salvation. In addition to this, you shouia
talk to them in the most a^Eeclionate manner on their
soul's concerns, warning them to flee from the wrath
to oome, and directing them to the Lamb of God who
taketh away the sin of the worid. Give them no rest
tin yon hove prevailed upon them to seek in good
earnest, the one thins needful. Observe what com-
pany they keep, and caution them against such as
would lead them astray. Acquaint yourselves with
the books they read, and examine what they under-
stand and remember of the sermons they hear. Do
all you can to convince them of the reasonableness,
profit, and sweetness of true religion, and of the folly,
and danger, and misery of living without it If yon
see no frait of your exertions at first, do not be weanr
of wen doing, but persevere in your anxious andjodi-
ciom efforts. Should yon nouce any sdicitode about
tbeir souls, nourish to the uttermost their impressions^
by giving suitable advice and proper books. Encour-
age them, when you are convinced of their true con-
Yersion, to connect themselves with the church of
Christ, and thus to make a public profession of
religion. O, if yon should be the Instrument of sav-
ing the touhi of your servants, what an honor and a
happiness wiU be conferred upon yon ! How maiyr
htne huH so honored ; and in what bonds have their
servants been held to them for ever afler in this

Digitized by



To influence you to the performance of these
datiet, I may call upon you, to remember duU your Mtu-
tertUsoisinheavemfandto consider tohat a masUrhsis
to you. Meditate upon his attributes, and upon the
manner in which they are manifested in all his con-
duct towards you. How righteous, how fiiithfuJ, how
holy, how true, how merciful is he in Mf dealings to-
wards his servants. And it is your du^ to be like him.
When in dui^^er of acting improperiv, either by want
of equity or kindness, O think of Uod ; meditate on
his matchless grace, and surely such a reflection will
be an immediate check to every kind, and every de-
cree of improprietr. To him also you are accounta-
ble, and accountable, as for your conduct in genera],
so also for youl* behavior to your servants. Prepare to
meet Him in that awful day, and to meet them also at
his bar!!

Consider howmmchyoitr$ervaiUs needtkiakimdvUer'
^position for tkdr toe^/ors. They are often young, in-
experienced, and ignorant; rash, and imnmdent;
and they are also an unprotected and dependant race.
I know not a class of persons whose situation is more
calculated to awaken our tenderest sympathies, than
domestic female servants. Many of them are orphans,
and have no friend in the world beyond their employ-
ers ; and no home but what they find in their masters
house. When they leave one place of service, they
often know not where to find their next home, and are
thus rejpeatedly be^^nning the world, and setting out
on the journey of life aftresh. How many dancers are
they exposed to ! How many snares are laid for their
feet ! Masters and mistresses, be kind to them, they
have found a refuge in your house, and let them find
j&iends in vou. ftty their condition, and labor to the
uttermost for their welfare. You may be the means
of blessing them for both worids, and become their
spiritual fathers and mothers, as well as their temporal
masters and mistresses. Their souls may be f[iven to
your kind solicitude, to be your crown of rejoicing in
the day of eternity.

T%e honor qfrmgum is most deeply involved in the
wav in which you discharge your duties. Bad masteii
and mistresses bring great dishonor upon Christianity ;
while on the other hand, they who in this situation, ex-
hibit whatsoever things arejpnre, and true, and honest
and just, and lovely, and ofgood report; who abound
in that love which is not ea^y provoked, and thinketfa
no evil, and is kind ; who have the meekness and gen-
tleness of Christ; and who put on bowels of mercy,
are bright ornaments of their profession, and adorn the
docttine of God their Saviour in all things. A good
mattar or mintren is indeed a most honorable character
»good men esteem it, bad men admire it, the work!
Yalues it, the church apolauds it, angels delight in it,
and God commends and rewards it Eyes too dim to
■ee the beauties of holiness in the abstract, discern the
excellence of this, and tongues that never speak of re-
ligion generally, but to scoff at it, are eloouent in the
praise of this. I conjure you, then, by aU the regard
you beaf to the honor of religiou, strive to excel in this
your appropriate duty.

hUereat pleads with you for this. Consider how
much your own happiness will be promoted, by see-
ing others happy around you. Theneartofthatman
cannot be in me state in which it ought to be, who is
not pleased to see around bim in his dwelling, a circle
of happy minds and smiling countenances. A (^ood
master, or a kind mistress, is a kind of central lumina-
ry in the domestic system, and every child and every
servant an attendant satellite, revolving in the force
of his attraction, and reflecting the bri§[htnees of lus
gk>iT. Or to duBinge the metaphor, he is a fountain
of giadnesB, continually sending forth in kindness and
kind actions, ftreams of pleasure to all that are in the
bouse. And dien good masters and mistresses make
good servants, or JiNd them. When I bear persons

complain, that they cannot find good serrants, I ear
pect the fault is their own, and that they have a bad
character* for their conduct towards tbmr domeetioe.
If they are tormealed, liave tliey not been tormeotonf
If they can get no one to serve them wiUingiT, and
honestly, have they been generDUs and kindf If they
find none but such as are wioked, have they tried to
make them holy? If they complain of tbsir lyinc,
their lewdness, their thefl, have tbey not been so ad-
fish as to seek to produce ri^t dispositions towaids
themselves, without endeavonng to found these dispo-
sitions on a riffht state of mind towards Godf Tiy,
then, to conduct yourselves richtly to those, wlioni
you have so much interest in making what tfasy sboohl
be. Body, soul, estate, wife, children, ofamctsr,
comfcNt, all are more or less concer n ed in this matter
Your servants may rob or enrich you ; may deted
your reputation or blast it ; may corrupt your ebildven,
or improve them ; may tempt you to sin, or warn jom
against it; may injure your health or protect it; may
bless you by their prayer^ or curse yon by their vioes ;
may render your dwellmg continually pleasant, or
perpetually miserable : your own intraest, therefore^
onites with God's commands, to make it your wisdom
and your duty, to train your servants as well as
your ohikben m the fear or the Lord.

** What have you to say against what I have bean
persuading you to 7 Will you not now, without de-
lay, bewail your fonner neglect, and in good earnest
set to your work, like persons that in some meassn^
know the power of divine precepts, (be worth of
souls, and the greatness of the charge that listfi upon
you7 O that there were in you such a heart O
that all masters of families were resolved for that
whkh humanity, reason, interest, reputation, and thatf
comfort call for, as well as the law of God, and nen
oblice them to. What blessed fiuniUes then should
we nave! What noble corporations ! WhatgloiioiM
cities ! Might not bolihbss to thx Lord, 1
ten upon every door f O, when shall it oooe be."



" Servanti, be obedient unto them that are your mas-
ters, acoordmg to the flesh, widi fear and tremfalinf,
in singleness ofyour heart, as unto Christ: notwidi
eye service, as men pleasers ; but as the servants of
Chritft, doing the will of God fifom the heart; with
good will, doing servke, as to the Lord, and not to
men ; knowing, that whatsoever ^ood tlung aiqr
man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lara,
whether he be bond or firee." Ethss. vL 5—8.

** Honor and shame from no conditioo rise,
Act well your part — there all the honor lies.'*

God is the creator of all things, and the di^oser of
all events; he is, therefore, me author of all those
varieties wluoh are to be found in nature, and of dl
those differences which exist in soeiety. He that
formed the sun to illuminate, and to rule, formed also
the planets to be enlightened and to be governed; and
he that raisedi the kmc to the throne, ordaineth the
k>t of the servant in the house, and of the labonr in
the field. There is no such thing as ohanoe ; do not
in the material universe, where each bird that ffies,
each insect that crawls, each flower that bkxNUs,
amidst die desert, which man's eye never enplores, is
the separate production of divine power and skill, no
less than the Alpine height whiohlifti its snow c iown s d
summit to the skies, and receives the admifBig ooo-
templation of milhoos. Nor is there any such thiqf
as chance in soeiety: the rank and slatkm of the poor
litde servant giri in the humblest dwelling of the most

Digitized by




obaeofe TiOtge, are as certainly determined bj God,
as the elevation of the conqueror and ruler of nations.
** The lot is cast into the lap, but the disposal thereof
is firom the Lord." " The rich and the poor meet to-
gether, but the Lord Lb the disposer of them all ;" L e.
not simply their creator, as men, but the disposer of
their drcumstances as rich and poor. This is com-
fiirting, this is reconciling. It prevents the poor from
being demded in their own eyes, or in the eyes of
others. Tliev are not like the dust, or the chips, or the
dried and withered leaves in autumn, which, amidst the
more stately objects of nature or art, are blown about
by the gusts which sweep along the surface ; but they
are in the place which Uod intended for them ; and
God hath made every thing beautiful in its place and
eeason. Who could have mended what he hath done 7
What cause have we to sit down contented and thank-
Ad in the place which be hath ordained for us! What
obli^Sation was he under to give us existence 7 And
what did he owe to us that he should have made us
rational creatures, and not formed us a beast, or a
reptile? '* Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus 7"

As God disposeth every thing, so it is the highest
•xoeDenee of a creature, to discharge the duties of his
•taiion, and to shine in the orbit, and move with regu-
larity through the course allotted to him. A good ser-
vant is more honorable than a bad master; and a valu-
able snbjeot than a worthless prince. He that is not
fslfiWw |ood, is not rsoUy so ; while he that acts Ats
part well, IS more trulv dignified, though his rank be
tow, than ha that stands on a pinnacle, but &ib in the
duty of bis elevated station. What is true honor 7
Not riches, not rank, not beauty, not learning, not
courage. No. But virtue ; whether it be clad m the
carb of poverty, or the robe of affluence : whether it
bold the plongh or grasp the sceptre ; whether it be
seated at ttie table, or stand behind the chair. Via-
TUB IS HOHOB ; let all servants write this sentiment on
the heart, and ever act under its influence, as the living
principle 6£ aU their conduct

In stating, after these preliminaiy remarks, the du-
liaa of servants, I would remind them,

First Tkalt msn an 9ome wkieh thef owe to thim-
SBLVSS, the p e rf or ma nce of which will constitute the
bast and ■orest foundation of those which they owe to

L Rxuoiov takes the lead of all.

Rafigion is as much your buriness as it is ours.
Ton axe immortal creatures, you are sinnen, you are
the dnects of God's mercy in Christ Jesus, and invited
tD seek pardon, peace, and eternal li/e, as well as we
yoor employers. Yon have souls diat mnst suffbr
eternal torments in heU, or enjoy everlasting happiness
in heaven. Ton most be convinced of sin, repent,
eonftss to God, aj for merov, commit your souls into
the hands of Chnst by ftith, be bom again of the
Holy Ghost, lead a somnr, righteous, and j|odhr life, or
yoa must depart accursed into everlasting nre, pre-
pared for the devil and his angels. God is as willing
Id have mercy upon yon ; Jesus Christ is as ready to
TOceive you, as be b us. Your soul is as precious in
the eye of heaven as ours. God is no respecter of
persons, and b not to be considered as less friendly to
jour best interests, because he has phu^ you in ser-
Tice. Yo«r steotton it no saxust, tMgiyfifn, for fmr
nyfnffiiy tks tlmm$ €f nUgum, Yon are not to ima-
^ne that attention to jotn souls' concerns b not re-
paired firom yon; fbr it if required : and f repeat it,
nnlnss yoa repent, and are boni again, and befieve in
Christ, fs« win perish eternally. Your soul b your
irst coooem, and mnst not be neglected /or an^ thing.
Think not that it b knpossible for a person m your
litMlioo to attend to religion; for it it possible. Great
nahitades of servants, both male and fbmale, axe truly
pious. I have twen^ or thirty in the ehntch nnder

my care, who are among its most consistent mem-
bers. I chargeyou all to live in the fear of God. Re-
member your C^tor. Set the Lord always before
you. Consider that he b ever about your path, and
that you act, speak and think in hb presence. He b
now the holy and ever present witness, and will here-
after be the inflexible judge of your actions.

In order to cultivate religion, so not into wicked
families, where the Sabbath is profaned, the claims of
piety are despised and rejected, and you can have no
opportunity of going to public worship. Do not dwell
in a place where vour Sabbath b taken away from you ;
let no amount or wages tempt ^on to go or to remain
in snch a situation. Always sUpubte R>r the privilege
of goiuf atleast one part of'^the Lord's day, to the house
of Goa. Insist upon it as your right, and suflbr
nottiing to deprive you of it Endeavor to find a little
time for readmg the Bible, and for prayer. Never go
out of your room in the morning, nor lie down on
year pillow at night, without reading a portion, even
thougn it be a short one, of God's holy word, and ear-
nestly praying for hb mercy. Let religkin be the
basb of all your conduct, the very firame-workof your
character, leading you to practbe "whatsoever
thipgs are true, wnatsoever things are honest, what-
soever things are just, and pure, and lovely, and of
good report" Do not, then, as you would escape the
torments of hell, do not, as you would be brovight at
last to the felicities of heaven, do not hsglbct toub
SOULS. " Godliness b profitable fbr all things, having
the promise of the life that now b, as well as of that
which b to come." Your situation b a very danger-
ous one ; you are in a very unprotected state ; and
yon need the fear of God to enable you to depart from
evil. Men, and women too, of bad principles, are
lying in wait for yon, spreading snares for your feet,
and seeking your ruin. Reli^on will guard prou, and
guide ^ou, and comfort you : it will keep yon m safehr,
and raise you to respecttbility. " Exalt her, and she
shall promote thee, she shall lead thee to honor when
thoa dost embrace her."

3. A RioARi) TO THUTH, b anothcT "vnj important
duty, and which yon will be sure to perform if you fear
God. Thb duty you owe to your employers also;
but while the Moomwitmos of the neglect of it will be
felt by them, the more dreadfid conseqaence of that
neglect will be yonrs.

Lying b a most hateful and vricked practice. And
it b said, that ** all liars shall have their portion in the
lake that bumeth with fire." Strive to avoid eveiy
thing in your conduct that needs a sin to cover it : but
if yon liav<» at any time done any thing wrong, do not
make one sin two, by telling a falsehood to conceal
the matter. Let no temptanon induce yon to viohte
a truth; rather endure the passion, or the bitterest
wrath of the severest master or misCress, than strive to
avert it by a ftbehood. Lying b bad poliey, as well
as great wickedness ; for, when onoe detected in thb
vbe, you will ever afterwards be suspected, even
when you tell the truth. A servant, whose word can
be implicitly relied upon, wiU always be esteemed.
Snch a virtue will be made to extend a friendly cover-
ing over many little faults Never allow yourselves
tobe tempted by your master or mistrsss to commit a
breach of^ truth. Inform them at once, that they must
t^ their own fklsehoods, for that yon cannot do it for
them. A clerk onoe waited upon me, to ask me what
he was to do in a situation, where he was obliged
weekly to make a false vnritten return in hb own
name, to deflraud a public company, fbr the benefit of
hb employer. "Do," said I, with surprise that the
ooesCion should have been asked me, "instantly rs-
Rise; and rather cast yoarself and yoor fhmilv the next
hoar upon Providence, than ever repeat the fUsehood."
Yon most not, dare not, Ue for others any more than
fbr yoonshres. If required to adopt the modem prM.

Digitized by





tice, of lajring, your mittrew it not at home, when she
If at the oame time in the house ; you dare not coni-

gy, for it is a falsehood, and as such, is a sin against
od. When you are put by your employers upon
committing any sin, whether it be cheating, calumny,
lying, or any thing else forbidden by the Scriptures,
let your re^ly be, *' How can I Co this great wicked-
ness, and sin against God."

3. SoBRUTT is a virtue you owe to yourselves, and
also to your masters ; but, as in the case of lying, the
injury done by intoxication to yourselves, is far greater
thau that which you inflict upon them.
^ Beware of the besottins, impoverishing, damning
sin of drunkenness, and of every thing that leads to it
Household servants have many opportunities, and
many temptations to practise this vice, if there be any
ropensiiy to indulge in it It is impossible even for
ie most rigid watchfulness always to keep out of their
reach the mault li<}uor, the spirits, and the wine ; there
are means of saining access by stealth, to these thin^,
on the part of a vicious and ingenious servant, which
no vigilant mistress can altogether prevent If we
cannot trust these things to tlM guardianship of your
principles, our locks and keys wiU often be found an
insufficient security. Do, do consider, that if the habit
of drunkenness be once contracted, it is ail over ; and
most probably you are mined for both worlds. Let
there be a distinct understanding between yon and
your master or mistress, what beverage you are to be
allowed, both^ as to quafity and quantity, and most
sacredly abstain from touching a drop more, or a drop
of any thins else. Never put the decanten to your
lips, wheu the stoppers are all out before you. Stolen
drams of this kind are double poison, they are venom
for the body, and damnation for the soul : they lead to
two crimes at once, drunkenness and dishonesty. Be-
ware of the temptation which is presented at those
times, when company is in the bouse, and when,
through the supposition, that extra exertion requires
an additional glass, you mav be led to take it, to love
it, and to acquire the habit of it I have known excel-
lent servants, both male and iemale, ruined for ever by

As to workmeti. the doily servants that occupy the
manufactories, this vioe is the damning sin mat is
spreading immorality, desolation, and misery through
aJmoft the whole laboring population of the commu-
nity. It it distressing beyond the power of language
to describe, to think of the effects of this most preva-
lent, most dreadful infatuation. How many fine ath-
letic forms are enervated; how many wives are
broken-hearted ; how many families are rcMluced to
bejggary ; how many souls are damned continually, by
dus crime. Drunken servants are the torment of
almost all our master manufacturers, the cuise upon
our commerce, anct the blight upon our natbnal

4. Chastity is a duty of infinite importinoe to the
weU being of servants.

I am now on delicate ground, and I will endeavor
to step with caution ; but no false refinement shaM
hinder me from dischargins a du^, which, as a guar-
dian of the public morals, iowe to a very large, and a
very much exposed class of my fellow creatures. I
will not allow a prudish and affected sentamentalism
to turn away my holy and benevolent concern from
the interests of female servants, nor prevent me from
addressing to them the langua|^ of warning and ex-
postulation. When the misenes of prostitution are
considered, and when the prevalence of this desolatr
ins crime, and all its attendant evils is at once admit-
ted and deplored ; when it is well known, that of the
miserable and loathsome victims of seduction that
crowd the paths of vice, a very large proportion were
ftmale servants, betrayeid from the wajrs of virtue, in
the first Instance, by their masters or their masters'

sons, or their fellow servants of the oppoaite sex, sorely
it is the duty of every one who is specially addreeemg
young women in service, most solemnly and most
pointedly to warn them against the wily arts of the

Online LibraryArchibald ForbesThe Christian library: a weekly republication of popular religious ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 40 of 121)