Blasphemy is another unreasonable vice against which the public speaker or writer should raise his voice. And let no one flatter himself because we believe in the universal and unbounded goodness of God, that a man may go on as he please. So long as a Being of infinite wisdom is enthroned in the heavens and governs the universe, so long he can never fail to measure out to every offence its adequate punishment, and has all the means at his disposal to bring it unavoidably upon the head of every transgressor. He, who flatters himself that he can sin with impunity, is ignorant of the government of his God, and has never reflected upon human life in all its varied lights and shades. Do you profess to be a Universalist, and yet treat with irreverence the name of HIM who made you, and whom you acknowledge to be a faithful Creator—an indulgent Father? Your professions are nothing. “He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.” That very breath by which he inflates the lungs, can you breathe it back in blasphemies against his holy name, which angels never pronounce but with veneration and awe? Choose, O choose a good name, which can only be obtained by choosing a virtuous course of conduct. However lightly you may treat your own station in life, or however much you may disregard the dignity of your nature, yet remember the station you hold, however obscure, is stamped with responsibility. You are surrounded by a generation of youth, among whom are your own children, ready to imitate your example. Do you wish them well! Then guard your heart and life by setting a reasonable value on a good name, and remember you cannot move without touching some string that may vibrate long after your head rests on its cold pillow of earth.
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Prov. xxii:1.
In this discourse we shall more fully show why “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”
Though wealth is desirable, and in many instances conducive to human happiness, because it puts it in our power to relieve the wants and distresses of our fellow creatures, yet it does not possess the charm to convey unbroken peace or solid joy to any bosom. The value, of anything within the range of human action, is to be estimated by its usefulness in promoting the happiness of man. That, which pours the most numerous and refined enjoyments into the soul, is to be considered of the greatest worth; and that, which has a tendency to bring upon us the most alarming miseries, misfortunes and woes, is of course the most worthless. The one is to be fondly chosen and pursued in proportion to its worth in administering to our enjoyments, and the other is to be avoided in proportion to its unhappy effects in multiplying our sorrows. This being an undeniable fact, the superlative value of a good name, procured by a virtuous