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To the EDITOR of the " HAMPSHIRE INDEPENDENT.' Me. Editob,
Were I to undertake to show the obligation upon all Christians to keep holy the Lord's-day, it would be a work of supererogation to those who admit of the authority of God's Word; and to those who do not allow of that Word as a standard of appeal, it would be useless to refer to it in confirmation of any argument that may be advanced upon the subject. I shall, therefore, treat the letter of " An Excursionist," which appeared in your paper last week, upon the lower ground of expediency, to prove how utterly at variance his propositions are with the object he seeks to accomplish—namely, the comfort and well-being of the working classes, in connexion with Sunday Excursion Trains.
And, first, I would observe that he and all other advocates of this mode of recreation lose sight of the fact—that it involves a devotion to secular business, and a large amount of labour from many of their own class, who have as great a right to relief from toil as themselves ; and amongst them are to be found many who conscientiously object to labour on the Lord's Day, but who are, in consequence of these excursion trains, obliged to attend to their business on that day, or lose their employment. Surely they are a class deserving of consideration in common with the rest of the community. In addition to these there are those engaged on board the steam boats, which are awaiting their arrival here, in order still further to desecrate the day by a trip to the Island ; these together with eating-house keepers, and a variety of other persons engaged in ministering to the wants of the Excursionists, form a large number who are deprived of the benefit of the Lord's Day, to gratify the taste of the multitude, and minister to the cupidity of .Railway Proprietors.
Now, Sir, I would appeal to history to testify as to the end of these things ; and if we will be content to take warning from experience, we shall halt in this downward "course before its frightful consequences are realised. Erom the time of the introduction ot the Bible in the vulgar tongue into England, in 1526, when our countrymen began for the first time to read and judge for themselves, tracing downwards to the present day, it will be found that as we honoured God's Word as a rule of life (the exponent of which was chiefly exhibited in the proper observance of the Lord's Day), so were we a happy and contented people ; whereas, on the contrary, every lengthened departure therefrom brought with it intestine commotion and distress. Is it requisite, in confirmation of the truth of this proposition, to refer to the days of Laud and the issue F or to those of Charles II. and his brother, when the Book of Sports was the source wherefrom the people drew their Sabbath amuse-. ments, and the result ? And in our own day, in a neighbouring Country, what is it which has, more than anything else, given over that nation to such a frightful and degrading position, but the neglect of the due observance of the Lord's Day ? Would the advocates for Sunday Excursion Trains like to introduce the continental Sabbath into England ? I believe they would, and with it, as a necessary consequence, much of the degradation and misery of,those nations which are now ruled by despots, who know the most ready mode of enslaving a people i is first to demoralise them.
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