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do sometimes, in this instance, leave and forsake their God.
Another instance I must give you before I conclude. Had those poor unhappy creatures, who fancy themselves under the power of some ignorant obeah man or woman, had those creatures, I say, a proper notion of God, would they ever act in so foolish a way? Did they know, that it is God alone, who killeth and who maketh alive, who bringeth low and who raiseth up, they would never think that a creature, like themselves, could have the power of God, that a poor helpless mortal could, by his arts and enchantments, be a God to kill and to destroy? This last foolish notion, my friends, which has destroyed many a poor creature, would not be known in this country, were all our slaves Christians. The mind has great effect on the body. If your mind gives out, as you call it, you know and perhaps have felt, how the body suffers with it. Now
when these poor creatures take up these foolish notions, their minds are first put out of order, then their body gets disordered, which in its turn disorders the mind, till at last the suffering negroe sinks into the grave. None of you, who hear me, can, I should think, be in danger of suffering in this way. But you, who are better instructed, cannot do a greater kindness to the poor slaves you know, than by endeavouring to talk them out of this foolish notion. You should try and give them such knowledge of God, as would prevent it. I may never meet with such poor, suffering creatures: you may: and let me tell you, that you always do what is pleasing to God, when you do good to the souls as well as the bodies of your fellow-creatures.
The second commandment ends with these terrifying words.
"I will visit the
sins of the fathers upon the children, even
unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and will shew mercy unto thousands, that is, to the children, and to the children's children, of them that love me and keep my commandments." And certainly God did punish the breaking of this commandment in the children of the Israelites. But even now, the children frequently suffer for the sins of their parents. The bad bringing up of children makes them grow up wicked and miserable. Teaching them bad habits in early youth inures them to all that is vile. The bad diseases of parents, brought on by wickedness, hurt the health and constitution of children. On all these accounts, you see how useful a thing it is, even in this life, for you all to be as good as you can, and to be extremely careful how you bring up your children. Suffer little children to come unto me, says our blessed Lord. Ye, who are Christian parents must follow his advice. Ye must teach them to come
to him, and to serve him: and then, when ye are tried at the judgment seat of Christ, ye will be able to say:-"Here am I, and the children whom thou hast given me."
And now to God, &c.
EXODUS XX. 7, 11.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.
HAVING already discoursed to you on the first and second commandments, I