Archibald Forbes.

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

. (page 41 of 121)
Online LibraryArchibald ForbesThe Christian library: a weekly republication of popular religious ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 41 of 121)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

iNisilisk seducer, who is fascinating them to their ruin..
Young women, consider the value, even in this world,
of your character. With an unblemished reputation,
you are respectable in servitude : your virtue is your
parents' honest pride, your families' only renown, and
your own wealth and honor : this will be your pass-
port through the world, your letter of recommenda-
tion to good society, and that which wiH find yoa
fiiends, and make them, and keep them, wherever
Providence may cast your lot. But if this be lost, oh,
what a poor, forlorn, withered, wretched creature yoa
become; abandoned by your seducer, ejected from
your place, disowned bvyour friends, yon have the
pains and the cares, and the labors of a mother, hot
united with the infamy of a prostitute ; you have to
bear the scorn of the world, tne look and langoage of
shame-stricken, heart-broken parents from without,
and the ceaseless reproach and remorse oC a cuilty
conscience from within ; and all this, perhaps, but as
preliminary to the misery which the prostitute enduresL
through her loathsome course on earth, and its awful
termination in hell. Take warning, then, and reject
with disdain and virtuous indignation, the very nrtt
encroachments that may be made, by any one, upon
the most delicate modesty and reserve. Have you
been unfortunate enough to draw upon yourself the
attention of a master, or a master's son, consider, it is
with the eye of lust, not of love, that he looks upon
you ; he may flatter your vanity by his admiration of
your person, but it is the flattery of a murderer ; he
cannot mean any thing that is honorable ; his passion,
that be talks off is a base, ruffian-like, deliberate pur-
pose to ruin you. Turn from him, flee from him with
more haste than you would from a serpent or a tiger,
for more than a serpent or a tiger he is to be shunned
by yoa. Make him feel that you are his superior in
virtue, thoush his inferior in rank. If, on the other
hand, you ulow him to accomplish his purpose, and
decoy you to perdition, he will in cold-blooded, re-
morseless cruelty, abandon you and your child to
a work-house, to a broken heart, and Uie bottomlesa

Act in the same determined manner towards every
one else. Preserve not only your virtue itself, but
your modesty, which is its outwork. Allow neither
act, nor word, nor look in your presence, which is at
variance with the most scrupulous piirity. Let no
prospect nor promise of marriage throw you ofl^your
guard. The man who acts thus, is to be regarded as
a traitor deceiving you into iniquity. He that would
destroy your reputation, will ncn scruple to falsify his
own word ; the vows of such a wretch are not to be
trusted. Bie careful to whom you give your company.
Let not an anxiety to leave service, and be your own
mistress, drive you to accept the offer of the first indi-
vidual, suitable or unsuitable, who may present himself
to your notice.

5. Fruoalitt is an incumbent duty upon persons
in your situation.

You are in very dependant circumstances. Your
support depends upon your own labor, and that upon
yoar health. You have no arm but your own to rely
upon, and should therefore feel the obUgation of hy-
ing up something in the day of prosperity, agalost the
night of adversity. We are all enjoined to tnui Pro-
vidence, but not to tempt it To spend all we get in
vanity and useless trifles, under the idea that we shall
be taken care of, in one way or other, is a presumption
that generally brings its own punishment jfewe is
in the present day, a most censurable propetMnp in
ikm9la servants, and workwomen in generaX to dlre^s
quite beyond their station. It is not easy, in sooie

Digitized by




CMM, Id difltuuriush between the maid and her mit-
tran. What uijeet foUy is it, for a young woman to
flpeod afl her wages in gay apparel. W&n she it in
ill health and oat of pMuce, will it be any oonaolation
tb look W>n finery which she ia obliged topawn, one
article aner another, for her support 7 The lore of
draas has led in some instanoes to stealing ; in others,
to prostitotion : in more, to poverty. Character is
raapeetabiKty, not dress. Harlots are generally fine
ana gaudy in their attire. Economize yoor little pro-
perty, then ; lay up in store for . the time to come. I
know seTeral servants who have, one forty, anotnei
Sajt aoothar one hundred pounds in the bank. Be-
sides, it is desbaUe to save urom unnecessary expense
in dress, that you ma^ have a little to give to the cause
of hnmanity and rehgion. The mite of the servant
nay mingle, in this age, with the pound of the master,
to help in spreading the blessing of Christianity over
tlia face of the earth. And it is to be poor indeed,
to have nothing to give to the cause of humanity or

Ssepiufiy. I now lay before you the dtitus yon owe to


1. Homortkem: for they are ^our superiors in sta-
tion. Pay them the respect which is due to them, and
in order to this, cherish for them a proper reverence
in your heart *' Let as many servants as are under
the yoke," said the apostle, " count their own masters
woilhy of all honor." Behave towards them with all
proper humility and submission : not that you are to
crouch and tremble before them, like slaves at the foot
of a tyrant Your address to them must be reveren-
tial, not rude, boisterous, and impertinent. In talking
of them to others, in their absence, there should be no
calling them names, no exposure of their faults, no
ndienfing their infirmities; on the contrary, you
ahonld, to the utmost of your power, as fiir as truth will
allow, defend Aem against the attacks of slander, and
the arts of detraetion. If, ai any time, they speak to

on with tones of anger, and in the Ungua^e of re-
luke, you most remember the apostle's imunction.
and " not msioBr agmn" You may raifdly and
meekly explain, and sometimes expostulate, but you
must not reply in an angry and impertinent manner.
Sboold they so far forget their duty, as to let down
liieir dignity, and be too fiimiliar, do not forgot i^pier
place, but respectfiiily keep your proper oisuince.
Every thio^ rude in conduct, and obtrusive, insolent
or famfliar in language, must, therefore, be most sedu-
lously avoided, as an essential part of servants' condnct
towards fhtk employers.

2. OBSDiBifCK is founded upon reverence, and is a
neceasarr part of it Observe the directions of the
apostle Paul. '* Servants, obey in aU things your mas-
ten aeoonlinf to the flesh." We are of course to
axeept those things which are contrary to the word of
God : for if they enjoin any thing tmit is manifestly
ainftil, you must mildly, but firmly, refuse to comply,
and be prepared to take all the consequences of your
disobedience. In all other matters, however self-de-
nying or diflicult, honrever contrary to your own views
and wishes, you mnst submit ; you are not to choose
your commands, but in all things to obey. Yon are
to obey " toith fiar and trembling" i. e. with reveren-
tial regard for their authority, a dread of their displea-
sure, and also, which w probably the apostle's mean-
ing, widi a dread of the anger of Goo, who, having
anyoinad obedience, will punish the disobedienti You
are to obey ** in singime$$ of Acoyt," L e. with a willing
and eheerful mind ; and not with a mere compulsory
ontside show of submission, and are to be free from
all selfiih perMNial ends, and obey from the single con-
s^ration that it is right You are to do this, " at unU)
Ckrid. as the mwnU rf Ckritt, doing the uiU qfGod

fioHitlmhemi,witkgoodwiUt doing $erviceasto the Lord,
and mot to men.** Yon most consider, that God com-


mands it, and therefore yon are to obey them, as
obeying God ; they are in God's stead, in this parti-
cular, to you ; and from a regard to conscience, and a
respect to the divine authority, yon are to do what
they enjoin. " I do this," you are to say, in reference
to disobedience, " not merdn to please mv master and
my mistress, but to please God.^ This is turning all
you do into religion. It signifies nothing, what is the
nature of the thing, whether it be an act of the most
menial kind, in the kitchen, the parlor, or the garden,
if it be done with a view to the divine command, that
very aim elevates the humble service into an expres-
sion of piety towards God, and a service that will be
remembered in the day of judgment. You are not to
obey, '' tokh eye service, as men pleasers," How many
are there, who need a master's eye always upon them,
to keep them industrious. No sooner is his back
turned, than they are indolent and neglectful. This
conduct is as mean as it is wicked : it is detestable
hypocrisy, flagrant injustice, and manifest wickedness :
for is it nothing that the eye of God is upon you f Is
he not there ? Does he not disapprove this condnot f
And is it a small matter to make light of Mt presence T
Such servants will shortly find to their fearful cost,
that the eye of God is far more to be dreaded than the
eye of the severest master.

Let it be your delight to do the win of your employ-
ers. Strive to please them in all things, and feel anx-
ious to draw from them this testimony, — " There is a
servant, to whom no command, which it is in her pow-
er to obey, comes unwelcome ; who never need be
told a second time to do a thing ; who anticipates my
orders ; and whose very pleasure seems to arise firom
pleasing me."

3. Good temper is of great consequence.

There are some servants who, let what work will
come in unexpectedly, and even oppressively, receive
all with a cheerful acquiescence, and are never put
out of their way. Their mistresses are never afraia of
telling them of unlooked-for company having arrived,
and extra exertion being necessary. WhOe there are
others who, with many valuable qoalities, are withal
so peevish, so soon put out of temper, so cross at any
little unexpected addition being made to ^eir work,
that their mistresses are in constant bondage. I like
not to hear it said, " She is a very good servant, and
has many excellent properties, but her temper is so
bad, that I am quito afraid to point out to her, in ever
so gentle a manner, the least imperfection, or to put
her in the smallest degree out of her way." This is a
serious blemish upon any excellence, and oAen proves
a very great interruption to the comfbrt of the family,
but a still ^eater interruption to the comfort of the
poor waspish creature herself. Temper is not eveiy
Uiing, but it is very important. Study, therefore, to
be obliging, and to avoid crossness, snllenness, and

4. Fidelity is a duty of the highest rank.

What a delightful testimony is that which our Lord
Jesus Christ is represented as bearing to hii people at
the last day,—" fFell done, good and faithful tervanL"
Such also is the testimony which it should be in our
power to bear to our servants. Fidelity has reference-
To the property of your masters.
Faithful servants will not actually steal the pro-
perty of their masters. There are opportunities of
U)is every where if you choose to avail vourselves of
them. Consider the horrible disgrace or being called
a thief; and add to this the danger in flie present
world, and the punishment of such a crime in the next
Write the eighth commandment upon ^our heart, and
when tempted by a fevorable opportunity to embezzle
the property of your employer, let a voice more awfiil
than thunder repeat in your ears the prohibition,
" Thou shalt not steal." At that perilous moment in
your history, let your imagination look up, and behold

Digitized by




the flamiiig eye of God, intently gazing upon yon. In
whatever profoaion, money, plate, jewelry, laoe, may
be epread oot before you, touch not, covet not De-
termine, by God's grace, that though you be ever lo
poor, you will at least be honest Honesty is indeed
the bait policy, to go no higher for a motive of com-
mend^ion. A single act of stealing may blast your
reputation for ever; even to be suspected, is dreadful:
but what inestimable value is attached to a servant of
tried hoDuesty. Be honest even to senipif2on^. Touch
nothing in the bouse in the way of eatdUes or drink'
abUft which you do oot consider as belonging to you.
If yoQ want to taste the luxuries of the larder, ask for
them; but do not appropriate to yourself what you
think would be denied. I have read of a servant who
went into the pantiy only to make free with sweet-
meats, but seeing some articles of plate lying about, he
took these, and went on from one degree of theft to
another, till he died at the gallows. He was under the
influence of a thievish disposition when he saw the
plate, for he was going to take what he had no right to,
and be was in a favorable state of mind to be tempted
by Satan to a greater crime. Servants should not al-
low themselves to appropriate any refuse articles of
dress, nor ffive away tlie broken victuals, or other arti-
cles of the kitchen, without permission. Habits besin
in acts ; little sins lead on to greater ones. She that
commences bj^ taking a sweetmeat, knowing that she
is not allowed it, has violated so far her integrity, has
done something to benumb her conscience, and has
taken the first step towards confirmed dishonesty. Sin
is deceitful ; and the way of a sinner is like the coune
of a ball, down hill. Servants, beware of the first act
of dn. But fidelity, in reference to property, requires
not only that yon should not embezzle your master's
proper^, but that yon should not wasts it They
that carelessly waste, are almost as guilty as they that
wilfblly steaL Yon cannot be an honest servant, un-
less you are as careful ofyour employer's property as
if it were your own. Furniture, goods, provisions,
must all be thus preserved. Yon are not to say, " My
master is rich, he can spare it, and we need not be so
piggardly." His wealth is nothing to you : if he
chooses to waste it, be has a legal right to do so, but
you have none.

Nor is this all, for fidelihr requires that servants
ak(mUl do aU Am can to make thek en^^loffer's affairs
proeper. They should grieve over their master's loss-
es, rejoice in his snocess, and so identi^ their feelings
with hii interests, as to seem as if their fortune were
bound ap with his. We have a fine instance of this
in the case of Joseph, while he was in the house of

Fidelity would also lead them to give their employ-
ers information and warning when tneir affairs are go-
ing wrong, either through fiietr own neglect or igno-
rance, or throuch the injurious conduct of otMrs.
They cannot be honest if they witness in silence any
fraud practised upon them, either by their fellow-serv-
ants or by friends or Grangers. Snch connivance is a
participation of the crime, although it should not be
rewarded by any participation of Uie profits. A pro-
per feelioff of concern for your master's welfkre, would
certainly lead you, if he were flagrantly neglectful of
his afiairs, to suggest to him in a respectful manner,
your apprehension of the conseq|uences. What man.
except a fool or a madman, would be offended by snch
an appeal 98 the foOowing, made to him by a servant : —
" Pai^n me, Sur, if t take the liberty of expressing my
ftars on the subject of your business, which I am in-
daoed to do, by a sense of my own duty, and a true
regard to your welfare. Your business is certainly
declining, and I fear, through your being so frequently
absent from it Customers are ofifendcSl by not meet-
ing with the principal in the shop, and by finding the
sCoek ao low and ill assorted, f am so concerned for

your family, and so distressed at the idea oTyaardmg
otherwise than well, that at the risk of incurring your
displeasure, which I entreat yon not to indulge acaiosl
me, for this self-denying act of faithful service, i have
determined to lay the matter before yon, and to beg of
you to give up yonr company, to look into yonr ac-
counts, and to attend more ctoseljr to yonr bnsineas.'*
A servant that would do this, and in this matmer, ia fi-
delity embodied, and is a treasnre beyond all price.

But fkithfulness has a reference uso to a master'a
time, for in many instances time is property, and ser-
vants may as e€leetually rob their masters ny idleness,
as by stealing. This is always the case where tbey
are hired by the day ; and indeed where, as in many
branches of manufacture, they are paid by the pieoe,
if by their idleness they prevent their employen
from executing orders, and realizing profits, mey can
scarcely be called faithful. When yon hire yourselyee,
there should be an explicit understanding, as I have
already said, bow much time yon are to render for the
stipulated wages, and when thb is known, all that by
indolence yon keep back, is just so much of yoor em-
ployer's propernr stolen from him.

Faithfulness has regard to the repatatiom of yonr
master or mistress. Yon have their character in yoar
hands, and by calumny and falsehood, may. if snch a
malicious disposition were in yonr heart, do them con
siderable harm, either by stating what is absolntely
false, misrepresenting what is true, magnifying what
is little, or exaggerating what is insignifinnt Ble
member, it is the utmost excess of base conduct, and
the wickedest kind of dishonesty, to attempt to rob
them of their good name.

Then there are also secrets which Hwoold be a very
nnfiiithfol act in yon to disokMO. Workmen, clerks,
and apprentices, are guilty of great impropriety, if
they communicate the private arte of their master's
business, or lay open his oonneetions to any one. Such
an act is, by common opinion, an instence of criminal
treachery. Female servants ought not to tell to others
what they see and hear in the funiKes where they are
placed. It is to be apprehended that much of the gos-
sip, and many of the reporta, which oireolate so much
slander and detraction mrough society, are to be traced
up to this source^ You are not forbidden to form
friendships with your fbllow-eervante in other families,
but to meet merely for the pnrpoee of exchan||ing in-
telligence firom the respective households in whwh yon
live, is highly censurable. You shoald maintain the
strictest silence on these afiTairs, and not allow the most
busy and inquisitive curiosity of others to draw anj
thing from you. Nor are yon to tell these matten, as
is o&n done, to onewarttadarfiienif (or she may tell
them to one more, till at length the afiairs of the dnily
are matter of pnblic notorie^. Yonr admissioo into a
family is attended with an implied oonditioo, that yoo
are to keep all ite secrets.

5. DiLiOBN CK is another duty, but is so neceesarilf
connected with honesty, and indeed so essentially a
part of it, that mneh need not be said, in additicm, to
illustrate and enforce it. The slothful servant is a
wicked one, for in some instenoes more mischief may
be done by a day's idleness, than othen ma^ be able to
undo by a year's exertion. The habite of^a sloggard
are very unfiriendly to yoor own repntetion, and to the
comfort of the fhmily by whom yon are employed.
Earig rising is absokitoly indispensable, if, in addition
to the duties of yonr stetion, yon woold atteed to the
salvation of yonr soul. And will yon not saorifioe half
an hour's sleep, for the purpose of seeking glo^, ho-
nor, immortalrty, and eternal life 7 Diligence is op-
posed to sauntering, inactive, and gossiping habite; to
a slow, reluctant, grudging way of doing your work.
A disposition to stint your labor, to do as little as yon
possibly can, and to do that little in a cardess, onneat,
nalf-finished manner, is a great blemish in yonr cha-

Digitized by




vaDtsr, and win be mm to miUtate against yoar in-

6. Gratitude for tt i dw a w tkmon yon, is Yeiy in-

Toa ought to be thankfol for having your faults
pointed oat, and not resentfol, as too many are, to-
wards those who are Idnd enough to show them what
w wrong. If you have received kind attentions in
siekness, and iwve discovered a constant solicitade on
the part of your employers to soften as much as pos-
sible your labor, and to render you comfortable in your
mtoation, you should convince them that their atten-
tions are not thrown awa^ upon one who is insensible
to their kindness. Especially if they have taken pains
to promote your interest, by warning you against bad
company, or by endeavoring to correct your bad prac-
tices, you should be grateful for their pains, and en-
deaTor to comply with their advice.

7. In an such cases as those mentioned, where your
masters and mistresses are your friends, and confer
obligatu>ns by their kindness, you should be tm/y and
tmSM$ ATTACHED Vo them.

Whore there is really nothing to produce attach-
ment, yon cannot be expected to feel any. Tou can-
not be required to feel gratitude, where you have re-
ceived no favors ; nor to cherish affection, where you
have met with no indulgence. But a& masters and
nustresses are not tyrants, as some of you know by
experience ; for you have found in them, something,
at least, of the kindness of a tMCond father or mother.
Here there are certainly strong claims upon jroor af-
fection, as they have cared for jkw with the kindness
of parents, you should serve C^em with the deep inte-
test and deroted attachment of children. We have a
ngbt to expect, in such instances, that as we have stu-
&\ your comfort, you would study ours ; that when
eicknoss invades our ffame or our family, yon will
minister at the sick bed by night or by day, not grudg-
ing your ease or your sleep, so that yon might do us
good ; that when losses diminish our propertjr and our
comforts, yon wiU most tenderiy svmpattiize with us,
■wingling your tesTB with ours, and be wilting to share
witli us the reduction of our usual plenty and grati-
fication ; diat, in short, in aU our afflictions, you wiU
be afflicted with us, and be the sharers of aU our joys.
We did not, and we could not bargain with you for
foeh a du^ as this ; affeetion cannot be made an arti-
cle of a money eontradt; it must be given, or it is
worth nothing, and indeed, bought and sold it cannot
be. Instances of a generous affection of this kind,
we have perhaps all known ; instances of servants so
attached to th«r masters and mistresses, as to follow
them, and remain in their service through aU the vi-
dasitodes of fortune ; as to descend with them from
the lofty eminence, lind luxurious gratifications of
prosperity, down into die lowly, and desolate, and
barren vale of poverty, there to suffer want with them ;
as to leave their native land and cross the seas, and
dweU in a foreign country with them ; as even to find
in their love to their master and mistress, a principle
and a feeting, that reconciled them to all the sufferings
diey endured on their aocount I know a servant,
who, when her master failed in business, brought
down her little board of savings, amounting to neariy
thirty pounds, and entreated him, with tean, to accept
and apply it for the comfort and relief of his family.
^ Sir,*' said a kdy to a minister who called upon hor
in sickness, " that girl," altudingto her servant, •* who
has just left die room, is a mater comfort to me, than
I can express. She watches over me with the afl^
tion of a daughter and the care of a nurse. When
my complaints make me peevish, she contrives some>
tinng to soothe me. I often observe her taking pains
to dMOOver what would add to my comfort, and often
am prsientad with the diing I wish for, before I ex-
I it in wofdi. I li^ wittioiit suspicion, for I per-

ceive her to be conscientious, even to scrupulosity ;
my chief complaint is, that she takes too mucn care of
me, that I cannot make her take sufficient care of

Servants, look at this character, adnure it, imitate it

Thirdlt. Thiert an diOkt which aerooMs in the
Bomefamilig owt to each other.

There ought to be no tiffnam§ nor onnmom eu/r-
dssd Ay ons oiwr ikt ctiter. This is often the case in
those families which employ a numerous retinue of do-
mestics, and which admit the distinction of superior
and inferior servants. There is sometimes in such
households, a system of great cruelty carried on, alto-
gether unknown to the master. Some poor creatures
are degraded into the condition of a slave to the other
servants, and drag on a miserable existence, under the
heavy voke which has been imposed upon d^em, by
an unfeeling minion, who stands before the master's

Online LibraryArchibald ForbesThe Christian library: a weekly republication of popular religious ..., Volume 6 → online text (page 41 of 121)