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TOR AS WE HAVE MANY MEMBERS IN ONE BODY, AND ALL MEMBERS HAVE NOT THÉ $AME OFFICE; SO WE BEING MANY, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND EVERY ONE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER.
THE apostle here compares a state of society to
1 a human body. The general health of both consists in the health of their respective members. If each member performs its functions properly, the whole is found.
If we try this nation by the apostle's criterion, I fear we shall not find it in perfect health.
The first person we call upon is the gentleman of independent fortune. No man's station in the community is more honourable and useful :-you have it in your power, in a great degree, .to fet the fashion, if I may so speak, of religion in your neighbourhood. Your tenants—your labourers
and servants--all look up to you. From your ftation therefore we expect not only a decorum of manners—but we expect to see the poor relieved the injured redressed-order and regularity establishedmand a true sense of religion encouraged.
Instead of this, what is your common behaviour? How often do you fleece the country to carry a purse to the capital? There you consume it in various modes of extravagance. If you serve your country in parliament, you have your party, not your opinion. The whole is a job: from hence you expect a return for the money spent on your election.
When the heats of summer drive you for a few months into the country, it is happy, if you do not spread among your neighbours the diffipation. and profligacy of the town.
Let us next call the merchant, together with the man of trade and business. You may be very use-, ful members of the community: you are profitably employing numbers in procuring an honest liveli
hood: you are benefiting your country, by introducing foreign commodities, and disposing of your own. You connect mankind in a bond of amity and civilization. And though you may not act immediately under these motives, yet while you are carrying on an honest trade within proper bounds, you are worthy instruments, for these purposes, in the hands of God.
But now what is the fact? Do you at all consider yourselves as performing this moderate and useful part in society-or, is the amassing of riches the grand purpose you have in view ?--Let us fee what this leads to. . There are only three channels in which wealth can flow. It must either flow into the chest, and be hoarded or it must be consumed in exorbitant expence -- or it must administer to our own moderate wants, and the necessities of others. The grand stream, it is to be feared, will flow in unnecessary expence. The bounds of moderation are foon exceeded; and the great inlets to corruption opened. When this is the case, the rich merchant not only corrupts himself, but his abounding wealth tends to corrurt all around him,
· VOL. III.
From the merchant, and man of business, let us turn to men of profession. Let the lawyer be called. You are the advocate of truth and justice. It is your great part to oppose law to . oppression-to stand up in defence of innocence 'orerawed by opulence; in short, to be that respectable character in a community, which endeavours strenuously to make law, without fear or favour, a barrier against wickedness.--This is the noble light in which you ought to appear, when acting conscientiously in that station in which you are placed. This would make you a most useful and respectable member of society.
Let us now try you by your usual conduct. Is not your profession considered merely as the means of obtaining wealth? Do you not take either side
as your fee directs? Do you never make yourself a - partner with guilt by defending it? There may be
doubtful cases; of these I speak not. I speak only of cases in which guilt is palpable. Do you never then, I repeat, make yourself a party with guilt by defending it? You justly consider, in your pleadings, the thief, and the receiver of stolen goods, in the same light. Are you then, who defend an injury, at all better than he who commits it? In
my judgment you are worse. The knave is guilty of a simple fraud. You are guilty of a fraud under the sanction of law. Besides, you act on a more determined principle: you have more knowledge, and less temptation.
Let us next call the physician. You have studied the human body, and the nature of such disorders, as affict it; and you may often be an instrument, in the hands of Provideače, to restore health, and prolong life. But are these the great ends to which you pay attention? Do you consider yourself in the light of an instrument of God, administering to the health of mankind, and honestly and fairly discharging your duty in that station? Or is the idea of a fee always uppermost in your mind? To continue it, do you never protract disorders? Do you never prescribe unnecessary medicines to assist such of your proa, feffion as may afterwards allist you? Do you continue hanging about a sick-bed, when you have no hope of doing good without informing some relation of the hopeless state of the case? If you do any of these things, consult your conscience on the occasion, and if it be not a hardened one, it will