Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

or

is to himself and to our fellow-creatures. He has said, “these things shalt thou do, and those thou shalt not do." The consequences which may happen from obedience to his commands it is our duty to leave to his providential direction. It is not for us, poor shortsighted creatures, to talk about what will, will not, come to pass. In this respect we are always liable to be deceived. Evil consequences often arise where we have looked for good, and good where we foresaw only evil. Happy is it for us to know, from the declaration of the Apostle, that “all things shall work together for good to those that love God,” however distressing may be our present situation, or however alarming our apprehensions for the future. As it has been the case with thousands, so poor Barnabas found, to his cost, that while he loaded his mind with a weight of guilt, he failed in accomplishing the good which he had proposed to himself.

During the few weeks which he was conpelled to remain at farmer Thomson's, Barnabas had occasional interviews with his friend Tom, who took great pains to encourage and tutor him for his new mode of life. The influence and example of the young smuggler soon induced him to leave off his prayers, to avoid going to church, and occasionally to give utterance to profane language. Yet the indulgence in these sins at first cost him several severe struggles with his conscience. His friend Tom, who seemed to have plenty of cash, pressed him often to take some, saying that he would be well able to repay him after the first trip. The money thus easily obtained, way squandered away at the ale-house, in drinking, or gambling in the skittle alley; and before the day of embarking for the French coast, to obtain liquors for the purpose of smuggling them arrived, Barnabas was quite

prepared to go any lengths with his dissipated and wicked companions.

Such, my dear children, is the hardening and blinding nature of sin when indulged in and given way to, that both the sight and feeling of what is our duty, and what is in itself good, is taken away ; and if the mercy of God does not stop us in our progress, we shall sink deeper and deeper in iniquity, hardness of heart, and hatred of God, and of goodness, till we become altogether the children of the devil, and, as the Apostle awfully expresses it, « vessels of wrath meet for destruction.” The great movers in this dreadful downward road that leads to everlasting misery, are Satan and evil spirits ; and those agents whom they employ, and who most effectually promote their designs, are our own evil hearts and wicked companions. As you value therefore your everlasting happiness, -as you would avoid

A 2

can.

being “sent down to hell among wicked and miserable sinners,” let me earnestly implore you to pray that God would give you a new heart, and that he would preserve you from the influence and society of wicked associates. As there may be some of my

readers who reside in the inner parts of the kingdom, and who do not know what smuggling means, it will not be improper to explain to them its nature, in as plain a manner as I

The government under which we live has seen fit to require that, for all the wines, spirits, teas, tobacco, &c. which are brought into this country, a certain sum of money should be paid, which is employed in defraying the expenses

of the state. As these things are considered not essentially necessary, and as the too common use of some of them, particularly spirits, might be very injurious, the sum to be paid is very considerable ; and heavy fines are

1

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

inflicted upon those who bring these articles secretly into the country, to avoid paying the sums required, and which are called Excise duties. But notwithstanding these punishments, many people who live near the sea, go lo Holland and France, where spirituous liquors are to be obtained very cheap, and return during the night, often in the most tempestuous weather, and land their casks and packages on some unfrequented part of the shore. Here they are either concealed in caves, or buried under ground, till they can be carried up the country, and sold to any that will purchase them. All this is attended with the greatest danger of discovery; for there are ships and boats on the sea, constantly looking out for smugglers; and, on the land, persons called Excise officers, who are always searching after the smuggled goods which have been landed and concealed. Notwithstanding all these hazards, smuggling has been, and it is believed

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« IndietroContinua »