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or the church its pastor, a season of inoccupation. Lather used to sport with his children; Edmund Burke used to caress his favorite horse; Thomas Chalmers, in the dark hour of the Church's disruption, played kite for recreation—80 I was told by his own daughter-and the busy Christ said to the busy apostles: "Come ye apart awhile into the desert, and rest yourselves.” And I have observed that they who do not know how to rest, do not know how to work.
But I have to declare this truth to-day, that some of our fashionable watering-places are the temporal and eternal destruction of a multitude that no man can number;" and amid the congratulations of this season, and the prospect of the departure of many of you for the country, I must utter a note of warning, plain, earnest, and unmistakable. The first temptation that is apt to hover in this direction, is to learne your priety all at home. You will send the doy, and eat, and canary-bird to be well cared for somewhere else; but the temptation will be to leave your religion in the roman with the blinds down and the door bulted, and then you will come back in the autumn to find that it is starved and suffiscated, lying stretched on the rug, stark dead. There is no surplus of piety at the wateriny-places. I never knew any one to grow very rapidly in grace at the Catskill Moun. tain House, or Sharon Springs, or the Falls of Montmorency. It is generally the case that the Sabbath is more of a carousal than any other day, and there are Sunday walks, and Sunday rides, and Sunday excursions. Elders, and deacons, and ministers of religion, who are entirely consistent at home, sometimes when the Sabbath dawns on them at Niagara Falls, or the White Mountains, take the day to themselves.
If they go to the church, it is apt to be Hacred parade, and
the discourse, instead of being a plain talk about the soul, is apt to be what is called a crack sermou --that is, soine discourse picked out of the effusions of the year as the one most adapted to excite admiration ; and in those churches, from the way the ladies hold their fans, yon know that they are not so much impressed with the heat as with the picturesqueness of half disclosed features. Four puny souls stand in the organ loft and squall a tune that nobody knows, and worshippers, with two thousand dollars worth of diamonds on tbe right hand, drop a cent into the poor-box, and then the benediction is pronounced, and the farce is ended. This toughest thing I ever tried to do was to be good at a watering place.
The air is bewitched with the "world, the flesh, and devil.” There are Christians who, in three or fonr weeks in such a place, have had such terrible rents made in their Christian robe, that they had to keep darning it antil Christmas to get it mended! The health of a great many people makes an annual visit to some mineral spring an absolute necessity; but, my dear people, take your Bible along with you, and take an hour for secret prayer every day, though you be surrounded by guffaw and saturnalis. Keep holy the Sabbath, though they deride you as a bigoted Puritan. Stand off from Johp Morrissey's gambling hell, and those other institutions which propose to imitate on this side the water the iniqnities of Baden-Baden. Let your moral and your immortal health keep pace with your physical reciperation and remember that all the waters of Hathorne, and sulphur and chalybeate springs cannot do you so much good as the mineral, healing, perrennial Houd that breaks turth from the “Rock of Ages." This be
last If so, make it a fit vestibule of heaven.
Another temptation, however, around nearly all our watering-places, is the horse-racing business. We all admire the horse; but we do not think that its heauty, or speed, ought to be cultured at the expense of human degradation. The horse-race is not of such importance as the human race. The Bible intimates that a man is better than a sheep, and I suppose he is better than a horse, though, like Job's stallion, his neck be clothed with thunder.
Horse-races in olden times were under the ban of Christian people; and in our day the same institution has come up under fictitious names. And it is called a “Summer Meeting," almost suggestive of positive relig. ious exercises. And it is called an “Agricultural Fair," suggestive of everything that is improving in the art of farming. But under these deceptive titles are the same cheating, and the same betting, and the same drunkenness, and the same vagabondage, and the same abominations that were to be found under the old horse-racing system. I never knew a man yet who could give himself to the pleasures of the turf for a long reach of time and not be battered in morals. They hook up their spanking teain, and put on their sporting cap, and light their cigar, and take the reins, and dash down the road to perdition! The great day at Saratoga and Long Branch, and Cape May, and nearly all the other watering-places, is the day of the races. The hotels are thronged, every kind of equipage is taken up at an alınost fabulous price; and there are many respectable people mingling with jockies and gamblers, and libertines, and foul-mouthed men and flashy women. The bar-tender stirs up the brandy smash. The bets run high. The greenhorns, supposing all is fair, put in their money, soon enough to lose it. Three weeks before
the race takes place the struggle is decided, and the men in the secret know on which steed to bet their money. The two men on the horses riding around, long before arranged who shall beat. Leaning from the stand or from the carriage, are men and women so absorbed in the struggle of bone and muscle, and mettle, that they make a grand harvest for the pickpockets why carry off the pocket-books and portmonnaies. Men looking on see only two horses with two riders flying around the ring; but there is many a man on that stand whose honor, and domestic happiness, and fortune--white mane, white foot, white flank-are in the ring, racing with inebriety, and with fraud, and with profanity, and with ruin-black neck, black foot, black flank. Neck and neck, they go in that moral Epsom. White horse of honor; black horse of ruin. Death says: “I will bet on the black horse.” Spectator says: “I will bet on the white horse." The white horse of honor a little way ahead. The black horse of ruin, Satan mounted, all the time gaining on him. Spectator breathless. Put on the lash. Dig in the spurs. There! They are past the stand. Sure. Just as I expected it. The black horse of ruin has won the race, and all the galleries of darkness "huzza! huzza!” and the devils come in to pick up their wagers. Ah, my friends, have nothing to do with horse-racing dissipations this summer. Long ago the English government got through looking to the turf for the dragoon and light cavalry horse. They found the turf depreciates the stock; and it is yet worse for men. Thomas Hughes, the member of Parliament, and the author known all the world over, hearing that a new turf enterprise was being started in this country, wrote a letter in which he said: “Heaven help you, then; for of all the cankers of our old civilisation, there is nothing in this country approaching in unblushing meanness, in rascality holding its head high, to this belanded institution of the British turf.” Another famous sportsman writes: "How many fine domains have been shared among these hosts of rapacious sharks during the last two hundred years; and unless the system be altered, how many more are doomed to fall into the same gulf!” The Duke of Hamilton, through his horse-racing proclivities, in three years got through his entire fortune of £70,000; and I will say that some of you are being undermined by it. With the bull-fights of Spain and the bear-baitings of the pit, may the Lord God annihilate the infamous and accursed horse-racing of England and America.
I go further and speak of another temptation that hovers over the watering place; and this is the temptation to sacrifice physical strength. The modern Bethesda, just like this Bethesda of the text, was intended to recuperate the physical health; and yet how many come from the watering-places, their health absolutely destroyed.
New York and Brooklyn idiots, boasting of having imbibed twenty glasses of congress water before breakfast. Families accustomed to going to bed at ten o'clock at night, gossiping until one or two o'clock in the morning. Dyspeptics, usually very cautious about their health, mingling ice-creams, and lemons, and lobsterBalads, and cocoanuts until the gastric juices lift up all their voices of lamentation and protest. Delicate women and brainless young men chassezing themselves into vertigo and catalepsy. Thousands of men and women coming back from our watering-places in the autumn with the foundations laid for ailments that will last them all their life long. You know as well as I do that this is the simple truth. In the summer, you say to your