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church.-Because, answered Doctor Slop, if he was of ours, -he durst no more take such a license, than a bear by his beard;—If in our communion, Sir, a man was to insult an apostle, a saint, or even the paring of a saint's nail, -he would have his eye scratched out.-What, by the saint? quoth my uncle Toby. No, replied Doctor Slop, he would have an old house over his head. Pray is the Inquisition an ancient building, answered my uncle Toby; or is it a modern one?—I know nothing of architecture, replied Doctor Slop. An't please your honours, quoth Trim, the inquisition is the vilest-Prithee spare thy description, Trim, I hate the very name of it, said my father.-No matter for that, answered Doctor Slop, it has its uses; for though I'm no great advocate for it, yet, in such a case as this, he would soon be taught better manners; and I can tell him, if he went on at that rate, would be flung into the inquisition for his pains. God help him then, quoth my uncle Toby. Amen, added Trim; for Heaven above knows, I have a poor brother who has been fourteen years a captive in it.-I never heard one word of it before, said my uncle Toby, hastily: How came he there, Trim ?-O, Sir! the story will make your heart bleed, as it has made mine a thousand times;-the short of the story is this;-That my brother Tom went over, a servant, to Lisbon-and married a Jew's widow, who kept a small shop, and sold sausages, which some how or other, was the cause of his being taken in the middle of the night out of his bed, where he was lying with his wife and two small children, and carried directly to the inquisition, where, God help him, continued Trim, fetching a sigh from the bottom of his heart, the poor honest lad lies confined at this hour; he was as honest a soul, added Trim (pulling out his handkerchief,) as ever blood warmed.—

-The tears trickled down Trim's cheeks faster than he could well wipe them away.-A dead silence in the room ensued for some minutes. Certain proof of pity! Come, Trim, quoth my father, after he saw the poor fellow's grief had got a little vent,-read on, and put this melancholy story out of thy head-I grieve that I interrupted thee : but prithee begin the sermon again;-for if the first sentence in it is matter of abuse, as thou sayest, I have a great desire to know what kind of provocation the Apostle has given.

Corporal Trim wiped his face, and returned his handkerchief into his pocket, and, making a bow as be did it,-he began again,]


The abuses of Conscience.-A Sermon.—STERNY.

Heb. xiii. 18.

For we trust we have a good Conscience.

“—TRUST! Trust we have a good conscience ! Surely, if there is any thing in this life which a man may depend upon, and to the knowledge of which he is capable of arriving upon the most indisputable evidence, it must be this very thing, whether he has a good conscience or no."

[I am positive I am right, quoth Dr. Slop.]

"If a man thinks at all, he cannot well be a stranger to the true state of this account;—he must be privy to his own thoughts and desires-he must remember his past pursuits, and know certainly the true springs and motives, which in general haye governed the actions of his life." [I defy him, without an assistant, quoth Dr. Slop.]

"In other matters we may be deceived by false appearances; and, as the wise man complains, hardly do we guess aright at the things that are upon the earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us. But here the mind has all the evidence and facts within herself;-is conscious of the web she has wove;-knows its texture and fineness, and the exact share which every passion has had in working upon the several designs which virtue or vice has plan ned before her."

[The language is good, and I declare Trim reads very well, quoth my father.]

"Now, as conscience is nothing else but the knowledge which the mind has within herself of this; and the judgment, either of approbation or censure, which it unavoidably makes upon the successive actions of our lives; it is plain you will say, from the very terms of the proposition, -whenever this inward testimony goes against a man, and he stands self-accused,—that he must necessarily be a guilty man.—And, on the contrary, when the report is favourable on his side, and his heart condemns him not;-that it is not a matter of trust, as the apostle intimates, but a matter of certainty and fact that the conscience is good, and that the man must be good also."

[Then the apostle is altogether in the wrong, I suppose, quoth Dr. Slop, and the Protestant divine is in the right

Sir, have patience, replied my father; for I think it will presently appear that Saint Paul and the Protestant divine are both of an opinion.-As nearly so, quoth Dr. Slop, as east is to west;--but this, continued he, lifting both hands, comes from the liberty of the press.

It is no more, at the worst, replied my uncle Toby, than the liberty of the pulpit, for it does not appear that the sermon is printed, or ever likely to be.

Go on Trim, quoth my father.}

"At first sight this may seem to be a true state of the case; and I make no doubt but the knowledge of right and wrong is so truly impressed upon the mind of man,-that did no such thing ever happen, as that the conscience of a man, by long habits of sin, might (as the scriptures assure us it may) insensibly become hard; and like some tender parts of his body, by much stress and continual hard usage, lose, by degrees, that nice sense and perception with which God and nature endowed it :-Did this never happen :-or was it certain that self-love could never hang the least bias upon the judgment;-or that the little interests below could rise up and perplex the faculties of our upper regions, and encompass them about with clouds and thick darkness:could no such thing as favour and affection enter this sacred court-did wit disdain to take a bribe in it;—or was ashamed to show its face as an advocate for an unwarrantable enjoyment:—or, lastly, were we assured that interest stood always unconcerned whilst the cause was hearing,—and that passion never got into the judgment-seat, and pronounced sentence in the stead of reason, which is always supposed to preside and determine upon the case;-was this truly so, as the objection must suppose ;-no doubt then the religious and moral estate of a man would be exactly what he himself esteemed it :-and the guilt or innocence of every man's life could be known, in general, by no better measure, than the degrees of his own approbation and censure.

“I own, in one case, whenever a man's conscience does accuse him (as it seldom errs on that side) that he is guilty; and unless, in melancholy and hypochondriack cases, we may safely pronounce upon it, that there is always sufficient grounds for the accusation.

"But the converse of the proposition will not hold true; -namely, that whenever there is guilt, the conscience must accuse and if it does not, that a man is therefore innocent. This is not fact-So that the common consolation

which some good Christian or other is hourly administering to himself, that he thanks God his mind does not misgive him; and that, consequently he has a good conscience, because he has a quiet one,—is fallacious;—and as current as the inference is, and as infallible as the rule appears at first sight; yet when you look nearer to it, and try the truth of this rule upon plain facts,-you see it liable to so much errour from a false application;-the principle upon which it goes so often prevented;-the whole force of it lost, and sometimes so vilely cast away, that it is painful to produce the common examples from human life, which confirm the account.

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"A man shall be vicious and utterly debauched in his principles; exceptionable in his conduct to the world; shall live shameless, in the open commission of a sin, which no reason or pretence can justify,—a sin by which, contrary to all the workings of humanity, he shall ruin for ever the deluded partner of his guilt;-rob her of her best dowry; and not only cover her own head with dishonour, but involve a whole virtuous family in shame and sorrow for her sake. Surely, you will think conscience must lead such a man a troublesome life;-he can have no rest night or day from its reproaches.

"Alas! Conscience had something else to do all this time, than break in upon him; as Elijah reproached the god Baal,-this domestick god was either talking, or pursuing, or was in a journey, or peradventure he slept and could not be awaked. Perhaps he was going out in company with Honour to fight a duel; to pay off some debt at play;—or perhaps Conscience all this time was engaged at home, talking aloud against petty larceny, and executing vengeance upon some such puny crimes as his fortune and rank of life secured him against all temptation of committing; so that he lives as merrily,"-[If he was of our church, though, quoth Dr. Slop, he could not]" sleeps as soundly in his bed; and at last meets death as unconcernedly, perhaps much more so, than a much better man.'


[All this is impossible with us, quoth Dr. Slop, turning to my father, the case could not happen in our church.-It happens in ours however, replied my father, but too often.

I own, quoth Dr. Slop, (struck a little with my father's frank acknowledgment) that a man in the Romish church may live as badly;-but then he cannot easily die so."Tis little matter, replied my father, with an air of indif

ference, how a rascal dies. I mean, answered Dr. Slop, he would be denied the benefits of the last sacraments.Pray, how many have you in all? said my uncle Toby,for I always forget.-Seven, answered Dr. Slop.-Humph! -said uncle Toby; though not accented as a note of acquiescence, but as an interjection of that particular species of surprise, when a man, in looking into a drawer, finds more than he expected.-Humph! replied my uncle Toby. Dr. Slop, who had an ear, understood my uncle Toby as well as if he had written a whole volume against the seven sacraments.-Humph! replied Dr. Slop (stating my uncle Toby's argument over again to him)-Why, Sir, are there not seven cardinal virtues ?-Seven mortal sins?-Seven golden candlesticks-Seven heavens ?—'Tis more than I know, replied my uncle Toby.-Are there not seven wonders of the world?-Seven days of the creation?-Seven planets ?— Seven plagues?—That there are, quoth my father with a most affected gravity. But prithee, continued he, go on with the rest of thy characters, Trim.]

"Another is sordid, unmerciful," (here Trim waved his right hand) "a strait-hearted, selfish wretch, incapable either of private friendship, or publick spirit. Take notice how he passes by the widow and orphan in their distress, and sees all the miseries incident to human life without a sigh or a prayer." [An't please your honours, cried Trim, I think this a viler man than the other.]



"Shall not conscience rise up and sting him on such occasions?-No; thank God, there is no occasion. 1 pay every man his own; I have no debaucheries to answer to my conscience; -no faithless vows or promises to make -I have dishonoured no man's wife, or child;-thank God, I am not as other men, adulterers, unjust, or even as this libertine, who stands be fore me. A third is crafty and designing in his nature. View his whole life, it is nothing but a cunning contexture of dark arts and unequitable subterfuges, basely to defeat the true intent of all laws,-plain dealing, and the safe enjoyment of our several properties.-You will see such a one working out a frame of little designs upon the ignorance and perplexities of the poor and needy man,-and raising a fortune upon the inexperience of a youth, or the unsuspecting temper of his friend, who would have trusted him with his life. When old age comes on, and repentance calls him to look back upon this blac account, and state it over again with his conscience-Conscience looks into the Statutes

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