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are their executive—in point of fact, the men they have choaen to conduct their business, and are so far the exponents of their views and wishes as to how such business shall be most beneficially and profitably carried on, and if the proprietary quietly allow this breach of God's law they will become partakers of the sin.
The usual haclcnied excuse for such Sabbath desecration will, at all events, fail in this instance—" That the hard-worked pent-up artisan needs country air, and therefore, the few must work that the many may be benefited," as we have a beautiful park-like Common, where air can be enjoyed without imposing upon others such necessity. No, the reason for such a flagrant disregard of our social obligations is to be found only in the desire to increase the dividends of the Company.
And, Mr. Editor, if we could separate the question from its religious bearings, where would it lead us to in our social relations ? One set of religionists gets rid of the second Commandment, the Directors of the South Western Railway set aside the fourth, the Mormons deny the obligation of the seventh, and the Socialists the eighth. Are the Directors prepared for that state of things ? So far as the last proposition is concerned I know they are not, from their appeal to the law when any of those whom they have taught to disregard the fourth commandment, venture a little farther, and disregard the eighth, and appropriate to themselves a portion of the property belonging to the Company; and I am disposed to believe that at least those amongst the Directory who h*ve wives and daughters will not be content that the profligacy of the Mormons shall prevail as a part of our social system, and yet they have no right to expect a preservation from the one or the other of these awful calamities if their own disregard of the Decalogue be carried to its legitimate issue.
The whole statistics of crime go to prove that disregard of the obligations of the Sabbath is the most fruitful source of the violation of law, and the evidence of the several chaplains to our gaols testifies to the same truth; and it is natural that it should be so, for if a man has no fear of God before his eyes, he will not be likely to be held in restraint by human laws.
God is so jealous of this fourth commandment that, in addition to His imposing it upon His people at the creation of the world, and again when He promulgated it with the thunderings of Sinai, in common with the rest, He, by His servant Moses, again laid its obligation upon. the children of Israel, in these remarkable words :—"These are the words which the Lord hath commanded that ye should do them. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day—a sabbath of rest to the Lord ; whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death."
But I am reminded by the length of these observations that I must conclude, and I do so by an appeal to the sober judgment of all right-minded. men, whether sooner or later the dreadful consequences of a departure from God have not been visited upon nations by some signal punishment; and whether, when we have been visited by two of God's judgments, in the shape of war and pestilence, we are not called upon to repent of our evil deeds, lest the third, from which we have been so mercifully preserved, should come upon us. I do, therefore, most urgently call upon those of the railway proprietary, who are not consenting parties to this crying evil, to do what they can that at least this sin may not be reckoned against us.
I am, Mr. Editor, your obedient Servant, Southampton, October 3rd, 1854. EDWARD PALE.
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