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merchant instantly seized the young man by the collar, and said: “I have had enough of this. You can't deceive me.
Where are the goods you stole?” And the clerk confessed it instantly. The young man had gone into the plan of making money by sleight of hand and by his wits.
You will get out of this world just so much as, under God, you earn by your own hand and brain. Horatius was told he might have so much land as he could plough around in one day with a yoke of oxen, and I have no ticed that men get nothing in this world, that is worth possessing, of a financial, moral, or spiritual nature, savo they get it by their own hard work. It is just so much as, from the morning to the evening of your life, you can plough around by your own continuous and hardsweating industries. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise."
Another caldron of iniquity is the dram shop. Surely there is death in the pot. Anacharsis said that the vine had three grapes: pleasure, drunkenness, misery. Richard III. drowned his own brother Clarence in a butt of wine-these two incidents quite typical. Every saloon built above ground, or dug underground is a center of evil. It may be licensed, and for some time it may conduct its business in elegant style; but after awhile the cover will fall off, and you will see the iniquity in its right coloring Plant a grog shop in the midst of the finest block of houses in your city, and the property will depreciate five, ten, twenty, thirty, fifty per cent. Men engaged in the ruinous traffic sometiines say: “You don't appreciate the fact that the largest revenues paid to the Government are by our business." Then I remember what Gladstone, the prime minister of England, said to & committee of men engaged in that traffic when they
came to him to deplore that they were not treated with more consideration: "Gentlemen, don't be uneasy about the revenue. Give me thirty million sober people, and I will pay all the revenue, and have a large surplus." But, my friends, the ruin to property is a very small part of the evil. It takes everything that is sacred in the family, everything that is holy in religion, everything that is infinite in the soul, and tramples it into the mire.
The marriage day has come. The happy pair at the altar. The music sounds. The gay lights flash. The feet bound up and down the drawing-room. Started on a bright voyage of life. Sails all up. The wind is abaft. You prophesy everything beautiful. But the scene changes. A dingy garret. No fire. On a broken chair sits & sorrowing woman. Her last hope gone. Poor, disgraced, trodden underfoot-she knows the despair of being a drunkard's wife. The gay barque that danced off on the marriage morning has become a battered hulk, diomasted and shipwrecked. "0," she says, "he was as good a man as ever lived. He was so kind, he was so generous--no one better did God ever create than he; but the drink, the drink did it."
A young man starts from the country home for the city. Through the agency of metropolitan friends he has obtained a place in a store or a bank. That morning, in the farm house, the lights are kindled very early, and the boy's trunk is on the wagon. “I put a Bible in your trunk," says the mother, as she wipes the tears away with her apron. “My dear, I want you to read it when you get to town." "O,” he says, “ mother, don't you be worried about me. I know wbat I am about. I am old enough to take care of myself. Don't you be worried about me." The father says: “Be a good boy and write home ofter. Your mother will want to hear
from you." Crack! goes the whip, and away over the hills goes the wagon. The scene changes. Five years after and there is a hearse coming up the old lane in front of the farm house. Killed in a porter house fight, that son has come home to disgrace the sepulchre of his fathers. When the old people lift the coffin lid, and see the changed face, and see the gash in the temples where the life oozed out, they will wring their withered hands and look up to heaven and cry:"Cursed be rum! CURSED BE RUM!”
Lorenzo de Medici was sick, and his friends thought that if they could dissolve some pearls in his cup, and then get him to swallow them, he would be cured. And so these valuable pearls were dissolved in his cup, and he drank them. What an expensive draught! But do you know that drunkenness puts into its cup the pearl of physical health, the pearl of domestic happiness, the pearl of earthly usefulness, the pearl of Christian hope, the pearl of an everlasting heaven, and then presses it to the lips! And oh, what an expensive draught! The dram shop is the gate of hell. While I speak there are some of you in the outer circles of this terrible mael. strom, and in the name of God I cry the alarm: “Put back now or never!" You say you are kind, and genial, and generous. I do not doubt it; but so inuch more the peril. Mean men never drink, unless some one else treats them. But the men who are in the front rank of this destructive habit are those who have a fine education, large hearts, genial natures and splendid prospects. This sin chooses the fattest lambs for sacrifice. What garlands of victory this carbuncled hand of drunkenness hath snatched from the brow of the orator and poeto What gleaming lights of generosity it has put out in midnight darkness. Come with me and look over
come and hang over-look down into it while I lift off the cover, and you may see the loathsome, boiling seething, groaning, agonizing, blaspheming hell of the drunkard. There is everlasting death in the pot.
I have thought it might be appropriate at this season of the year, when we all mingle in hilarities, to warn our young friends not to put the cup of intoxication to their lips, and not to make these glorious seasons of family reunion and neighborhood congratulation the beginning of a long road of dissipation and sorrow. Young man! by the grace of God, be master of your appetites and passions. Frederick the Great, before he became "the Great," was seated with his roystering companions, and they were drinking, and hallooing, and almost imbecile, when word came to him that his father was dead, and consequently the crown was to pass to him. He rose up from among the boisterous crew, and stepped out and cried: “Stop your fooling; I am emperor!" Would to God that this day you might bring all your appetites and all your passions in subjection. “Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Be emperor! Yes, you are called this morning to be kings and to be priests unto God for ever. In the solemn hours of this closing year, and about to enter upon another year, if the Lord shall spare your lives for a few days longer, resolve that you
will serve Him. Soon all the days and years of your life will have passed away, and then, the great eternity. “Rejoice, O, young man, in thy youth; let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk thou in the sight of thine own eyes, and in the way of thine own heart; but know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."
A CART-ROPE INIQUITY
Woo unto them that sin as it were with a cart-rope." -Isaiah v: 18.
There are some iniquities that only nibble at the heart After a lifetime of their work, the man still stands upright, respected and honored. These vermin have not strength enough to gnaw through a man's character. But there are other transgressions that lift themselves up to gigantic proportions, and seize hold of a man and bind him with thongs for ever. There are some iniquities that have such great emphasis of evil that he who commits them may be said to sin as with a cart-rope. I suppose you know how they make a great rope. The stuff out of which it is fashioned is nothing but tow which you pull apart without any exertion of your fingers. This is spun into threads, any one of which you could easily snap, but a great many of these threads are interwound--then you have a rope strong enough to bind an ox, or hold a ship in a tempest. I speak to you of the sin of gambling. A cart-rope in strength is that sin, and yet I wish more especially to draw your attention to the small threads of influence out of which that mighty iniquity is twisted. This crime is on the advance, so that it is well not only that fathers, and brothers, and sons, be interested in such a discussion, but that wives, and mothers, and sisters, and daughters look out lest their present home be sacrificed, or their intended home be blasted. No man, no woman, can stand aloof from such a subject as this and say: "It has no practical bearing upon my life;" for there may be