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th-re is an ordinary price, which thofe that deal in them know and understand; and when the contractors equally understand the price, there can be no deception or injustice in the contract, beit madeever so hard. On the contrary, if hewhom I contract with be ignorant or unskilful, I must not rate his wantof understanding, or set a tax upon hisignorance; but use himjuftly, as one that reposes a truit in me, and casts himself upon myequity; for, if I do not this, I am guilty of injustice,

The same may be faid where a man takes advantage of Nor ule op- another's necessities. When a poor man is driven by preffion. his wants, and forced to sell his wares to supply his necessities; give him the price you would have done, if he wanted your money no more than you need his goods. On the other side, if the poor man be forced to buy upon trust, increase your price no higher than what makes you recompence for the loss, which by the rules of trade you sustain by the credit you give him; because he who makes advantage of another's necessities, adds oppression to misery; which is not only injustice, but cruelty. Neither must you take any thing from the commodity or price, for which you have barNor unjuk gained. He who buys a commodity by weight and weights and measure, hath a right to as much as the common meafures: standard allows him : and to take any thing from the bargain by falje weights or measures, or adulteration, or by fallly weighing or measuring, is no less than theft. And he who sells a commodity hath a right to the money for which Nor bad he sold it: And if the buyer knowingly pay him mon-y. uncurrent coin, or forcibly detain from him any part of the price, he also manifestly violates the indispensable rules Of engros- of justice. Moreover, be not guilty of engrossing, or fing. ' buying all of a commodity into your own hands, with the sole view of selling it the dearer, and thereby to opOf railing press or distress the publick. Neither let the people the price, curse thee for being the first that hath raised the and of ficlen goods. "*" price of goods. Deal not in stolen goods, knowing or suspecting them to be such; for thereby thou becomelt as bad as the thief. Neither let it be laid to thy charge that Oversigbe thou hast taken any advantage of the mistake or of the seller, overhght of the seller; for whoever takes more than

he

he bought, or gives any thing less than he bargained for, is guilty of theft. And, finally, never justify your deceit, when you are detected of a fraud, by adding Der

e Deceit. lyes to your unfair dealing : for not only a good and a quiet conscience is to be valued above the greatest gain : and that man hath but little regard of his conscience, who, to get a fhilling more in a bargain, will venture to expose it. For

The usual bait of injustice is gain and profit: this is the common mark that fraud and oppression aim at, there though usually they fly short or beyond it, and, not the ways instead of inriching, do finally damage and im- to be rich. poverish men. It is indeed known, that unjust dealing may sometimes raise a man's fortune; but it is as well known, that in its natural tendency it impairs and ruins it; because. by dealing unjustly, he makes it every man's interest to fora fake him, and sets a cross upon his own door to warn all customers from entering therein. Is it reasonable to suppose, that any one would knowingly have to do with a knave, that always lies upon the catch to cozen him; with whom he can neither speak nor act securely, but must be forced to stand upon his guard continually ? Or, how can a man thrive, when no-body cares to deal with him; when his house is haunted, and his frauds and cozenages appear like sprites at his door, to frighten all men from his shop? So you see that justice in dealing is so necessary to men's thriving in the world, that even they who are not honest are fain to seem fo: but for a man to seem to be honest is no way so secure as to be really b); for, if he be not, the event of things will un- hesten mask and set him out. For no man can be secure tage of fair of privacy in an unjust action ; let him carry it dealing. erer so demurely, one accident or other will draw the curtan and bring to light the fraud and villainy behind it: so that, how much foever a man may gain by a present cheat, he is sure, if he be discovered, to be a loser at the last. Injultice is as great an error in politicks as in morals, and doth bespek a man to have as little wit as honesty. The fum therefore is briefly this: he that in the whole course of his lifeacts sincerely and justly, with a continual respect to the reapn of things, and to the law of God; that carries on all

his undertakings by fair and equitable means, avoiding all frauds and deceits, all base and unworthy practices; this man takes the wisest and surest course to succeed in all his designs, respecting either his present or his future happiness. And,

III. If a man should thrive by his fraud and injustice here, Evil-gotten alas ! what comfort can he take in his ill-gotten goods. wealth ; when every part of it awakens some fad reflection in his conscience ! Yet this is the case, when all a man enjoys, when the very meat which he gorges, and the

w drink which he guzzles, the cloaths which he Give continual dif- flaunts in, shall thus approach and upbraid him, quiet. with an, O wretched man! we are the price of thy innocence, and thy eternal happiness : for us tħou haft freely consigned thy immortal spirit toeverlasting confusion! When his bags and coffers cry, guilty! guilty !and every thing he enjoys whispers some accusation against him; what comfort can he take in the purchase of his frauds and oppressions and cruelties? Yet this is commonly the fate of unjust poffeffors, who, under the disguise of a chearful countenance, too commonly wear woeful hearts. The avenging principle within us will certainly doits duty, upon any eminent breach of ours; and make every flagrant act of wickedness, even in this life, a punishment to itself. Moral evil can no more be committed, than natural evil can be suffered, without anguish and disquiet: Whatever doth violence to the plaindictates of our reason concerning virtue and vice, duty and fin, will as certainly discompofe and afflict our thoughts, as a wound will raise a smart in the flesh that receives it. Good and evil, whether natural or moral, are but other words for pleasure and pain, delight and uneasiness. There is no need of arguments to evince this truth; the universal experience and feeling of mankind bears witness to it. For say, did ever any of you break the power of a darling lust, resist a pressing temptation, or perform any act of a conspicuous and distirguishing virtue, but that you found it soon turn to account' to you ? Did not your minds swell with a secret fatisfaction, at the moment when you were doing it? And was not areflection upon it afterwards always sweet and refreshing; health to your navel, and marrow to your bones ? On the

contary,

contrary, did you ever indulge a criminal appetite, or allow yourself fedately in any practice which you knew to be unlawful, but that you felt an inward struggle, and strong reluctance of mind before the attempt, and bitter pangs of remorfe attending it? Though no eye saw what you did, and you were sure that nomortal could discover it; did not shame and confusion secretly lay hold of you? Was not your own conscience instead of a thousand witnesses to you?

Since therefore injustice is a damnable fin, it necessarily follows, that when a man deals unjustly by another, hemult either resolve to undo his own act, or to run the Andere hazard of being undone for ever; the former of the foul which is a ridiculous vanity, and the latter a de- eternally. sperate madness. What a vanity is it for a man to do what he resolves to undo, to slander with a purpose to vindicate, and cheat with resolution to refund; that is, to do any evil thing with a purpose to be never the better for so doing? And see ingevery wilful act of injustice binds men over to eternal punishment, and nothing but reftitution can release from that fad obligation ; it follows that he, who deals unjustly by others, without an intent to make restitution, doth by his own act wilfully oblige himself to endure eternal torments, and the loss of heaven, And for the same reason; that justice and equity is necessary to be practised at all; for the same reason, whenever any failure has been made in the practice of these duties, restitution ought to be made to the persons who have been wronged. For repentance necessarily supposes a desire that the offence had never been committed. And the only possible evidence of the sincerity of that defire is the making of restitution, wherever it can be done in reality and with effect. Therefore,

Before we can hope for pardon, we must resolve on restitution. Concerning which, observe that it is that they

'The neceffing part of justice to which a man is obliged by some of reftitxu" former contract, or a foregoing fault by his own tion. or another man's act, either with or without his will. The borrower is bound to pay, and much more he that steals or defrauds. In the case of stealing, there is an injury done to out neighbour, and the evil still remains after the action is

past;

past; therefore for this weare accountable to our neighbour, and we are to take the evil off from him, which we brought upon him, or else he is an injured person, and a sufferer all the while; and that any man should be the worse for me, by my act, and by my intention, is against the rule of equity, of justice, and of charity: I do not that to others, which I would have done to myself; for I grow rich upon the ruins of my neighbour. So that, if the wrong I do to another man besuch as is repairable, I must resolve to repair it, or to perish eternally. He who doth not repair an injury when he is able, doth every moment continue to repeat it, and though the first act was tranfient, and died in the commission; yet, if it leaves a continual evil behind it upon the good name or eftate of my neighbour, I am as much obliged, if I am able, to remove the evil from him, as I was not to bring it upon him; and while I neglect to remove it, I wilfully continue the evil upon him, and in so doing continue to do hiin harm. When I rob or defraud a man of his estate, or any part of it, the sin doth not cease with the act of stealth or cozenage, or violence, which ends or expires in the commission; but continues so long as the damage or evil effect of it remains : whilst he suffers in his estate by my act, and it is in my power to repair it, I continue injuring him. Wherefore, our sin can never be pardoned, till we have restored what we unjustly took or wrongfully detained : which we must really perform when we are able. Which doctrine, besides its evident and apparent reasonableness, is derived from the express words of scripture, reckoning restitution to be a part of repentance, necessary in order to the remission of our sins: If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, &c. he shall surely live, he shall not die. And the practice of this part of justice is to be directed by these rules following: That person, who is a real cause of doing his neighbour wrong, whether by commending or encouraging it, Methods of by counselling or commanding it, by acting it, or reftitution. not hindering it when he might or ought, by concealing it, or receiving it, is bound to make restitution to his neighbour, if without him the injury had not been done, but was done by him or his assistance; because by him his

neighbour

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