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ping to the end of the Old Tes- is my FELLOW, saith the Lord of tament the Messiah is exhibited Hosts." as the grand pledge of Jehovah's We now ask Mr. Noah, as a love to miserable sinners. And man of candour and impartiality, what do those Scriptures say the to examine whether there is not Messiah is to do ? Not to subdue an exact and inimitable corresall other nations, and extend the pondence between Jesus of NazaJeæish sceptre over the globe. Reth and the Messiah of the ProWith their limited numbers, com- phets ; and take leave of his dispared with the power of other course, (doing what he, with too nations, it would be madness to much asperity, charges us for not think of this. But he is to deliver doing, and which we acknowledge a world that lieth in wickedness to our shame, that we do not from the wrath to come, and to often enough) praying for him place them in heaven under the and his countrymen, in the lansmiles of their reconciled God. guage of their and our Scriptures, But how is be to do this? The - Look down from heaven, and figures of the Levitical service, behold from the habitation of thy and the prophecies of the Jew- holiness and of thy glory: where ish Scriptures, answer, “He is thy zeal and thy strength, the shall bruise the head of the ser- sounding of thy bowels and of thy pent-He shall make his soul an mercies towards thine ancient peooffering for sin-His hands and ple Israel ? Are they restrained? feet shall be pierced-He shall O Lord, why hast thou made them make reconciliation for iniquity, to err from thy ways, and hardened and bring in an everlasting right their heart from thy fear? Return eousness."
for thy servant's sake, the tribes of Such, if we are to believe Mo- thine inheritance. Othat thou ses and the Prophets, is the work wouldest rend the heavens, that of Messiah. And who is suffi- thou wouldest come down, that the cient for these things ? Behold, mountains might flow down at thy "I HAVE FOUND A RANSOM !"*
."-Isaiah lxii. 15--17. “ Awake, Osword, against my shep- and lxiv. 1. herd, and against The Man that
ON SAYING « NOT AT HOME."
The prevalent practice of say. ceived construction and import of ing not at home, when it is not con- our language, previously, at least, venient to admit visiters, has been to the introduction of the fashion loudly complained of by some, I allude to, the phrase not al and obstinately defended by home signified that the person of others.
whom it was spoken, was really It will not be disputed, that, and truly and literally absent. So according to the universally re- that the declaration not at home,
* Job sxxiii. 24.
¢ Zech. xii. 2.
and the fact of literal absence, This view of the subject, in were indissolubly associated in my opinion, completely destroys every body's mind; and when the argument drawn from the ever the declaration was made by arbitrary nature of language. Of a credible person, the fact was arbitrary nature of language I am understood and believed. Now, fully aware. If all the world in such circumstances, if a ser- agree to make yes and no change vant said that his master was not places ; so that yes shall be a at home, though in point of fact negation and not an affirmation, he was at home, who would have who shall hinder it, or where thought of denying or doubting would be the harm ? In like manthat the servant bad been guiltyper, if it be universally underof telling a falsehood with a view stood that the words not at home to deceive? Whoever, then, in shall henceforth mean at hoine, troduced the practice, unquestion but not visible, I can see no valid ably committed a direct violation objection to the change. But I of truth between man and man. maintain that this universal underIt is equally unquestionable, that standing does not exist, and canall those who followed the exam- not exist for a long while to ple, were partakers in the guilt, come: and in the mean time, so long as it was not understood every individual, who takes it by those upon whom the deceit upon him to speak as if it had was practised, that the words not actually taken place, is aiding and at home had changed their mean- abetting, not merely in the pering, and implied, or might be sup- version of language, but in the posed to imply, at horne, but en commission of an act which degaged. But, it appears to me, serves no milder name than falsethat even at this day, these words hood. Nay, but I must go still are not so generally known to farther, and maintain, that the have undergone the extraordinary universal understanding so necesrevolution which I object to, as sary to justify the morality of the to authorize every one who plea-practice, cannot possibly be obses to say, on every occasion, and tained without undoing every purto every visiter, not at home wben pose that the practice is intended he is at home. Your readers, to serve. The practice is not am convinced, will agree with alleged to originate in mere wanme in thinking, that in five cases tonness. It is to answer some out of six, the phrase in question desirable end. And that end is to conveys to those to whom it is avoid the unpleasant circumstance addressed, its ancient and literal, of bluntly denying one's self to a not its modern and virtual mean- friend or a stranger whom one ing. The simple inquiry then, cannot conveniently see. It is is, can any Christian, or even any perfectly evident, however, that one who has a sacred regard to whenever not at home and engaged, truth, bring himself, without some or cannot see you, come to signify common self-delusion, to indulge precisely the same thing-to conin the fashion of which I com- vey exactly the same idea, it is of plain? It is impossible, unless no consequence which of the Christianity be a fable, and truth answers be given, and therefore an empty name.
there is no occasion for any
change in the mode of expression that I happen to have some very But the truth is, and it is well particular business on band, which known that when not at home is prevents me from having his comsaid at the door, the master or pany, that would otherwise, he is mistress intends and wishes that, left to believe, be extremely in some degree, at least, it may agreeable. Even granting that be considered as an intimation of the phrase in dispute is not dereal absence. There may be signed to make the visiter absoexceptions to this among the very lutely believe that I am otherwise zealots of high life, who blush at engaged, but that he may either nothing that is sanctioned by fash- suppose this or my real absence, ion, however irreligious or immo- I should still be glad to know by ral it may be: but in general the what statute, in the code of pofact is as I have now stated it to liteness, the practice is tolerated. be; and for this I appeal to I have always thought, that when such of your readers as have one gentleman puts a plain and any experience in the matter, discreet question to another, it is or have had opportunities of ob- true politeness to return a plain serving. The case, then, comes and direct answer,--not an anto this ; either the phrase in ques. swer which, like the oracular tion is intended to deceive, and responses of old, may be undercannot, therefore, be vindicated stood in different senses, but an to the satisfaction of any one who answer 80 explicit and unequivotakes the gospel for his rule of cal, as to give satisfaction with conduct; or it serves no purpose respect to the precise subject of at all, and therefore is a foolish inquiry. It seems, however, that perversion of the ordinary and in this I have been labouring unapproved modes of speech, to der a gross mistake ; for true which no wise and reflecting man politeness, we are now taught, iş will ever lend his countenance or to be observed either by telling support.
a downright falsehood, or by It may be proper simply to ask, making use of ambiguous laoif there be any thing wrong or guage! If the propriety of giving unpolite in letting a person know, a distinct answer to a civil and in civil terms, that I am indis- friendly question be admitted as a posed or engaged, and cannot ad- general rule, it remains to be mit him to-day? We have really shown upon what principle, or got to the acme of politeness, upon what authority, the case of when, to avoid offending, in a case saying not at home, when "more where no offence is intended, and is meant than meets the ear,” is where none could, with any to be regarded as an exception. shadow of reason, be taken, we I confess that, for my part, I have must commission our servants to not ingenuity enough to discover utter gravely, a broad, though even a plausible pretext for it. genteel, lie. I should suppose I kave read much, and heard that it is much more inconsistent more, about the convenience of with the spirit, if not the rules, of saying not at home. But, surely, good breeding, to falsify to the if saying not at home be wrong, no very face of a friend or acquaint- mere convenience resulting from ance, than to inform him plainly, lit can ever be admitted by Chris
tians' as sufficient to remove it|comfort and personal repose, or from the catalogue of sins. And most acceptable to our fellowafter all, what is the convenience ? creatures, we renounce the obliWhy, we are told that it avoids gations of moral duty, and exgiving offence to our friends, change the unalterable law of whose feelings would be wounded rectitude for the selfish and foolby a blunt refusal of admission. ish policy of the world. It beBut surely he is no true friend, longs to a Christian to do what is nor is he a desirable acquaintance, right, though it should occasion to who would uonecessarily break him much uneasiness and pain ; in upon my retirement, when 1 and be will always strive to please inform him, that to do so would God rather than men. When be hurtful to my comfort or my we suffer for well-doing, the tesinterest, and who would prefer to timony of a good conscience is receive from me a lie or an equi- a sufficient compensation : and vocation rather than a plain harm- when our friends are disobliged less truth. May I ever be pre- by our sacred regard to truth, we served from such friends, and may pity them, but have no reason acquaintances ! We are told also, to reproach ourselves.
The that if we merely said we were maxim of the heathen is not a bad engaged, the person that calls motto for a Christian, “ Amicus might reply, that he would wait Plato, sed magis amica Veritas." for a little till our engagement be Were any doubt entertained at an end, and thus plague us by concerning the essential improhis intrusion and importunity. priety of the practice under conBut if our engagement is to be sideration, there should at least finished in a little, why should not be none with regard to its injuriwe see our friend or acquaint-ous tendency. Persons in fashionance? Or if we fear the inter-able life, who indulge in it, may be view, why should be not be told, able to reconcile it to their sense that we cannot see him to-day ? of duty so far as it respects themAnd if he be still determined to selves ; they may be allowed to have an audience, and insist upon have a language for their own it after he has been given to use, different from that which is know that it is inconvenient, why commonly employed ; they may should not we repel his rudeness make what alterations they please by stronger measures, and meet on the ordinary meaning of words his impertinence with an absolute and phrases ; they may do all this, and peremptory refusal ? But and not become liable to any im. allowing that the honest way of putation but that of silliness or denying ourselves to a visiter is caprice. But whenever such attended with unpleasant circum- conduct interferes with the moral stances, it is surely the part of a principles and best interests of good man rather to submit to others, and especially of those these, than to violate bis. con- who should be the objects of their science or commit a crime. If kind attention, it can no longer we are always to take that model be considered as innocent, and of accomplishing an object, which should be immediately abandoned. is most agreeable to our taste, or But this is exactly the case with most consistent with our outwardl the fashion of saying not at home. VOL. II....No. 4.
Who is the person employed in disposed to oblige the family that communicating this apology to employs them, and willing to provisiters?, Not one of the initia- mote their temporal comfort at ted: not one who is capable of the risk of displeasing their entering into the spirit, and per. Maker. The more, however, ceiving the propriety, (if there be that they manifest this corrupt any) of changes in the import sort of view, the more necessary of language. No; but the ser- does it become to set before them vant of the family, to whom all a correct example, and to avoid such exquisite retinements on the every thing by which they may intercourse of life are absolutely be encouraged in sin. And their anintelligible, and who will con- superiors, who neglect this prutinue to attach to the words he dent and affectionate management utters that meaning with which of them, will have no right to he has been uniformly accustomed complain if they grow fraudulent to associate them. And it is per- and dishonest in other respects, fectly well know, that servants and make this disregard to Divine in general are impressed with the authority, which they are so wanconviction, when they say not at tonly taught by those who should home, that they are mouthing a teach them better things, extend genteel lie. How often has it to every department of conduct, happened, when, from some par. in so far as they may hope to esticular cause, the master or mis- cape detection and punishment. tress bas wished to see the caller, I know that masters and misafter the denial bas been given, tresses in general, pay little or that the servant has blushed with oo attention to the spiritual inshame at being detected in a fault! terests of their servants; and will And has it not sometimes hap- at all times consult their own pened, that the servants have pleasure, though for that purpose refused, positively refused, to act it should be requisite to make in this matter according to the their servants stay from Church, instructions given them by their travel on Sunday, associate with superiors ? Such instances are worthless company, and tell falsehighly commendable : they indi-hoods a bundred times a day. But cate that, with regard to servants, I would, through the medium of the words not at home retain their your Miscellany, ask Christians original meaning; they show a those who profess to be followers laudable adherence to honesty of Jesus—how they can answer to and truth; and. I wish, with all their own minds, and how they my heart, that they were more sball at last answer to God, the numerous than I fear they are ; judge of all, for such cruel and for we should “ obey God rather criminal conduct, as that of enthan man.” But if servants do couraging their servants in what ordinarily comply with the orders is contrary to the divine law ? they receive to impose on visit The last thing I would mention ers by a false or equivocal on this subject is, the uphappy answer, this demonstrates, not influence which saying not at that servants are satisfied that home must have on the children, therein they are acting properiy as well as the servants of a family and uprightly, but that they are in which it is practised. Children,