If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie to his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep…
— A young man came to a gentleman one day with a case of conscience. He was corresponding clerk in a flourishing house of business. His employers had begun to direct him to write letters to customers containing statements which he and they knew to be false. He had objected, and they said: "We are responsible for these statements; it is nothing to you whether they are true or false." I said to him, "Did they sign the letters, or ask you to write them in your own name?" As soon as the question left my lips I saw that if there were a difference both would be wrong, and I hastened to tell him so. lie said, "I have to sign them with my name, per Messrs. Blank." I said, "Your case is clear; you must decline to do it." He said, "Then I shall be dismissed"; and, after a pause, "I have a wife and family." I replied, "My dear friend, this is a trial of faith and principle; you must do right, and trust to God to take care of you and your family." I met him some days after. "Well Mr. — ," I said, "how are you getting on?" He replied, "I am still in my situation; I had an interview with the partners, and told them I could not write letters I knew to be untrue. They were very angry, and I expected to receive notice, but I have not received it yet." Months passed, and he remained in his situation. After a while he called upon me, and I saw in his face that something had happened. "Well, Mr. — ," I said, "have you had your dismissal?" "No," he said, "I have not," and smiled. "What then?" "A very confidential post in their service, with a higher salary, has fallen vacant, and they have put me into it." On second thoughts these unprincipled men had come to the conclusion that a clerk who would not deceive a customer would not deceive them, and was too valuable to be lost.
Parallel VersesKJV: If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;