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“ Of more than two hundred murders, committed in the United States in a year, nearly all have their origin in drinking."-Perm. Tem. Doc., p. 49.
“ It is a melancholy fact, that Mr. Badger, the coroner of Sheffield, has within the short space of ten days, had occasion to hold inquests on thirteen persons, who came to their deaths, by accidents, wholly arising from indulging in the baneful vice of intemperance."-Times, Ilth March, 1837.
“ Among the inquests of the years 1827, 1828, and 1829, held in the parish of Liverpool, the verdict in twentythree of the cases, of which fourteen were men, and nine women, was, “ died from excessive drinking ;" but those, I found upon examining the records of the inquests, formed a very small proportion of the deaths from this cause."
“ Q. Can you state the probable amount of sudden and violent mortality, throughout the kingdom, from this source ?"
“ A. Taking the proportion in Liverpool, as the datum, say forty accidental deaths, in one year, in a population of, perhaps, one hundred and fifty thousand, would give for the inhabitants of the United Kingdom Six THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED annually."
“ If we were to take the proportion in Manchester, from returns of a similar nature, it would make the deaths four times as great."-Rev. W. Scoresby, Rep. on Drunk., pp. 310, 381.
“ During the late war, almost every accident I ever witnessed on board ship, was owing to drunkenness. A number of boats upset and lives lost, and men falling from the mast-head, may all be attributed to drunkenness."
" I hold spirituous liquors more dangerous than gun.
powder."-Capt. E. P. Brenton, R.N., Rep. on Drunk.,
“ The loss of the St. George, with 550 men; of the Kent, East Indiaman, with most of her passengers and crew ; of the Ajax, with 350 people; of the Rothesay Castle and 100 lives, has been attributed solely to the use of intoxicating liquor."-Rep. on Drunk, Evidence of Capt. E. P, Brenton and C. Purnell, Esq.
A Wesleyan Missionary, at the Friendly Islands, makes the following report to his Society, from Tongataboo :
“ We have long been grieved to hear of the wickedness committed by our countrymen, who visit the Friendly Islands. It has spread its deadly influence far and wide, and presents an obstacle, of no trifling importance, to the extension of the Gospel, at many parts of the Island, and is the constant stumbling-block to the infant church of Christ, at this place.--From what we have lately witnessed, we find that the evil complained of is increasing upon us, and the consequences have been most afflicting. I do not hesitate to say, that eighteen out of twenty of the accidents which have happened at these Islands, have taken place through the depraved and wicked conduct of the crews, as they drink to excess, quarrel and fight among themselves, and insult and ill-treat the natives." - Rev. J. Thomas.
“ There is nothing more injurious to the South Sea
Islanders than seamen, who have absconded from ships, setting up huts for the retail of ardent spirits. The demoralization, and impediments to the civilization, and prosperity of the people, that have resulted from the activity of foreign traders, in ardent spirits, have been painful in the extreme. In one year, it is estimated, that the sum of TWELVE THOUSAND dollars was expended, in Taheite alone, chiefly by the natives, for ardent spirits.”Rev. W. Ellis.
“ On arriving at Raitea I was perfectly astounded, at beholding the scenes of drunkenness which prevailed in my formerly flourishing station. There were scarcely a hundred people who had not disyraced themselves; and persons who had made a consistent profession of religion for years had been drawn into the vortex !
“ The son and successor of old Tamatoa was a very dissipated young man, and when he succeeded to the government, instead of following his father's good example, he sanctioned the introduction of ardent spirits. Encouraged by him, and taking advantage of my absence, a trading captain brought a small cask ashore, and sold it to the natives. This revived their dormant appetite, and like pent up waters, the disposition burst forth, and, with the impetuosity of a resistless torrent, carried the people before it, so that they appeared maddened with infatuation. I could scarcely imagine that they were the same persons among whom I had lived so long, and of whom I had thought so highly."
The above is extracted from Mr. Williams's “ Narrative of Missionary Enterprises,” and after informing his readers, that a resolution was eventually passed to destroy all the stills in the island, Mr. Williams goes on to remark, " that the evil had become so alarming, that the Missionaries felt that something must be attempted, and, therefore, determined to set the people an example, by abstaining entirely from the use of ardent spirits, and by forming TEMPERANCE SOCIETIES. These worked exceedingly well, especially at Papara, the station occupied by our venerable and indefatigable brother, Mr. Davis."
In one place Mr. Williams remarks, “ I am truly thankful—and in this feeling every friend of Missions will participate--that the people, with their chief, have been brought to see their folly, and abandon the use of that which was unfitting them for earth and heaven, by rendering them poor, profligate, and miserable.”
At this very critical period, we are further informed, the Parliament met, and before the members proceeded to business, they sent a message to the Queen, to know upon what principles they were to act. She returned a copy of the New Testament, saying, · Let the principles contained in that book be the foundation of all your proceedings;' and, immediately, they enacted a law to prohibit trading with any vessel which brought ardent spirits for sale ; and now there is but one Island, in the group, Porapora, where these are allowed.”-pp. 347–349.
As Mr. Williams is one of the most honoured and useful Missionaries of the present age, it is exceedingly strange, that his statements should have so little influence, as they appear to have, among the most zealous of his applauders and supporters.
In reviewing those statements we discover,
I. That Intoxicating Liquor, under the form of ardent spirit, had nearly destroyed one of the most flourishing Missionary settlements in the South Seas.
II. That the Missionaries felt it be their duty to esta
blish Temperance Societies, and to abstain altogether from spirits themselves as an example to the natives.
III. That it was considered, by the natives, consistent with the principles of the New Testament, to prohibit trading with vessels that brought ardent spirits for sale : and to this view of the subject the missionaries agreed.
IV. That Mr. Williams himself rejoiced that the people were induced to abandon the use of that, which was fitting them for earth and heaven, by rendering them poor, profligate, and miserable.”
Now, if there be any sense in all this, is it not the duty of Christians, at home, to connect themselves with Tem. perance Societies, and to abstain altogether from those drinks, which are unfitting millions of their countrymen for earth and heaven, by rendering them poor, profligate, and miserable. At Raitea, the very trade in such drinks was denounced and prohibited. Alas ! that in Britain the trade should be considered so far innocent and honourable, as to be thought worthy the attention and approval of the Church herself. Even the covers of the Evangelical Magazine, as well as other religious periodicals, are not considered too sacred, to be made the vehicle of puffing into notice those very ardent spirits, to say nothing of other intoxi. cating liquors, which, for ages, have been the greatest curse of both the Church and the world. But if ever the anticipated glory of the millenium shall arrive, it must be preceded by a benevolence more rational and diffusive than that, which, while weeping over the miseries of a few SouthSea Islanders, can overlook the ten-fold greater miseries of the millions at home ; and by a zeal infinitely more selfdenying than that, which expends itself in collecting, weekly, a few pence from individuals, who, while giving