Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

But the benevolent character of her profession also

binds her to the adoption of this course.

Her religion is Love.---Love, in its infinite dimensions, and most gracious developments, was embodied in her Divine Lord, when he came to save her with an everlasting salvation :- and she approximates to his likeness—she manifests his benevolent spirit-she reflects his lovely imageshe carries out the great design of his mediation, in proportion as she exhibits her zealous and affectionate regard for the glory of God, and for the happiness of man.

It has been clearly shown that intemperance is not merely a sin, but is the prolific source of almost every evil, to which the body, mind, or soul of man, can possibly be subject; and, if there be a cause of human suffering, which is not an immediate effect of intemperance, it is rendered ten-fold more productive of misery, when found in alliance with this monstrous oppressor and destroyer of the human race. It often gives to the mildest forms of disease incurable malignity. It adds to the madness of the man the ungovernable frenzy of the demon. It inflames the violence of human passion into the fierce and reckless cruelty of a beast of prey.* It takes from licentiousness

* “ Jurists of distinguished character, and Judges, in great and infidelity every wholesome restraint ;* and prepares the one to outrage, by its disgusting gross

numbers, have testified that this liquor occasions a great majority of all the crimes which are committed. One says,

of eleven murders committed, all, except one, were occasioned by strong drink ;” another says, 66 of eleven murders committed. all were occasioned by intemperance." Another says,

of twenty murders examined by me, all were occasioned by spirituous liquors.". And another says, of more than two hundred murders, committed in the United States, in a year, nearly all have their origin in drinking."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 49.

“In a late murder that took place, between Ross and Waterford, in March, 1833, Malone, the murderer of Mr. Leonard, when the verdict, guilty, was pronounced against him, in Kilkenny Court-house, said to the Judge, “Yes, my Lord, I am guilty ;' and, pointing to his mother, said, “ she has been the cause of it.” The fact is, that the aged monster had agreed for the price of the blood to be shed by her sons. There were two implicated. She was above eighty years of age, and she watched the approach of the unfortunate gentleman, and handed the pistol to her son, when she saw him coming. Malone at first was startled, and said, “How can I murder the poor gentleman ?" Take this, you cowardly rascal,” said the old woman, and gave him the remains of a half-pint of whiskey, obtained for the occasion.”Rep. on Drunk., p. 229.

* For an affecting illustration of the connexion between intemperance and the most revolting profligacy, see the Rev. C. F. Bagshaw's evidence, in the Parl, Rep. on Drunk., p. 359.

ness, all the proprieties of life, and prompts the other to pour itself forth in blasphemies, too atheistic for even devils to utter !

It was a noble instance of generosity when the British nation consented to pay down twenty millions sterling for the freedom of the negro slave; but all the horrors that ever attended the worst forms of slavery, and in the darkest periods of its history, are not to be compared to the scenes of moral degradation, and terrific suffering, which intemperance is hourly producing, in every part of the British empire! What, then, can be said of our Christian consistency, if, when such scenes are presented to our view, we are still willing to leave their causes in active operation? If thus regardless of miseries, which, from their nearness to us, make the most direct, and forcible appeals to our Christian sympathies, can we be justly entitled to that name which is associated with the purest and most self-denying benevolence, that

ever exercised towards the wretched and undeserving

But how must the church declare her abhorrence of our national idolatry, and her determination to give it no quarter, until it has fallen, before the power of Truth and Righteousness, like Dagon of old, before the ark of God? In effecting her own complete emancipation

was

from the idols, to which she has too long been subject, she will accomplish much in securing to the world the same freedom. The silent influence of her example will be like the beacon light, which warns the mariner of the rocks and shoals by which he is endangered, and at the same time points out to him the haven of safety and repose. But she must not only be "a burning and a shining light,” in virtue of her pure and self-denying example, but must every where, and by every suitable means, protest against the practice of using intoxicating liquors, as ordinary drinks, and against all the delusions which have led to it.

Hitherto, she has been satisfied with denouncing the sin of drunkenness. She has not openly protested, as she ought to have done, against the opinions and the practices which have led to it. In this respect she has been unfaithful to the truth, she was appointed to hold forth, in all its purity, and comprehensiveness While her ministers have been pleading for the political rights of negroes, and for money to send the Gospel to the end of the earth, they have allowed five thousand temples to be erected, for the support of the most abominable species of idolatry, in the very heart of the British empire, and without uttering more than a few cold and unawakening expressions against the causes, which have led to the opening of so many sources of pollution, misery, and eternal death!

Nothing but unfaithfulness on the part of the church-nothing but a keeping back of a portion of that truth, which it was her duty to proclaim, can possibly account for the extent of our in. temperance. While Mohammedans, in obedience to their prophet, have, for ages, been renouncing intoxicating drinks,* as fraught with the greatest evils, and while Pagans have regarded our love of those drinks with wonder and disgust, we have

* In a speech delivered at Surrey chapel, on the 15th of March, 1837, Mr. Medhurst observed, “That Mahomet had fordidden his followers to touch wine, and his injunction was observed by them. But what an advantage did that circumstance give them, in controversy with the advocates of Christianity. We, say they, take nothing that is intoxicating; you take wine, and other intoxicating drinks, and you wish us to become Christians, that we may get drunk, as you do.”—True, this gentleman has, since, become the public advocate of all sorts of things that go by the name of wine ; and would have it believed, that to denounce Port and Sherry, and similar intoxicating compounds, is little short of absolute heresy. But we leave him to reconcile his own inconsistencies ; merely adding, that we should be happy to learn, on what principle he is so anxious for the Chinese to abstain altogether from opium, while contending for the use, as a beverage, among Englishmen, of a drug, equally useless, and infinitely more injurious.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »