Gambar halaman

The very

Bacchus. But this is not the case. priests, who minister at the altar of the true God, and who are employed as teachers of the sublimest doctrines, and of the purest morality, do not hesitate to connect these ceremonies with their holiest duties, and to borrow the strange fire of unnatural excitement, from intoxicating drink, when they should be inflamed only by the love of Truth and Righteousness. From the infidel, who shamelessly exclaims, "There is no God,” to the most renowned defenders of our holy faith—from the most unlettered rustic, to the gravest philosopher, and from the lowest hovel of squalid want and wretchedness, to the circle which surrounds the throne, there is not a rank which has not bowed to the influence of our national idolatry, and observed the most senseless of its ceremonies. The consequence of all this is, that, in the language of Mr. Dunlop, “In the workshop, in the washing-green, in the manufactory, in the kitchen, in the parlour, in the lane, in the street, in the fields, on land, on water, at the market, in the Church,” and, we may add, in the Senate, “sordid inebriation assails our nostrils and saddens our heart.” • Men, young, old, and middle-aged, have their whole life been imbued with a deleterious and uncontrollable propensity to this vice. It tells upon their health, means, manners, and religious character, in the most affecting manner. Moral ruin glares us in the face; and a new revolting feature has lately presented itself in the avowed, open, shameless inebriation of the female sex !* But, as if to fulfil the whole, and to add the acme and top-stone to this satanic superstructure, many mere childrent are now far gone, in firm, and hardened habits of drunkenness. A perfection of ruin and sin unimagined until now, unparalleled hitherto, as regards childhood, and unmatched, in the most atrocious annals, of the most flagitious nations."

[blocks in formation]

* Mr. Dunlop's remarks apply to Scotland, but in the year 1833, 11,612 females were taken in charge, for drunkenness, by the police of the Metropolis. It is questionable whether so great a number of drunken women could be found, in one year, in the population of the whole world, excluding that of Great Britain and Ireland.

of In Edinburgh, “ after a short investigation, assisted by a town missionary, a list of 29 boys, from eleven to fifteen years of age, was discovered not only occasional drinkers, but notoriously given to inebriation. Young girls also were understood to indulge among the low gambling houses."-J. Dunlop, Esq.

of transgressors is hard ;" and, if we may judge from the sacrifices which intemperance demands, the history of this sin is a striking illustration of the truth of the assertion.

The idolater of ancient Greece, or Rome, or even the worshipper of the Indian Juggernaut, might be a liberal and devoted supporter of his faith, and yet retain a very high degree of temporal prosperity and enjoyment. He might still possess a healthy body, and a vigorous mind. He might be an object of love and veneration to those around him, and might prosper in all his undertakings; but the devotee of strong drink makes a voluntary surrender of everything essential to his happiness, to the god of his idolatry. HE SACRIFICES THE HEALTH OF BOTH HIS BODY,


The intemperate man lives in the constant violation of the laws of his nature, and may, therefore, as rationally expect to enjoy health, and strength, as to be free from harm, should he thrust his hand into boiling oil, or hurl himself from the top of a lofty precipice.

The very highest medical authorities might be quoted to prove, that the habitual use of


kind of intoxicating stimulant, however moderately employed, unless required as a medicine, is injurious to human health*-in other words, that the moderate drinking of intoxicating liquor, as a beverage, is no better than moderate intemperance, and must be classed with the practice of opium eating, and sucking tobacco-juice.t Ardent spirit has long ceased to have many advocates, except among the most ignorant, the most interested, and those who, unhappily, have become slaves to the use of it; but, as the state of intoxication is, itself, a fearful condition of physical disorder, to suppose that the intoxicating principle can be taken, in any form, without injury, by those in health, seems to involve an absurdity too obvious to need exposure.

In proportion to the health and strength of any constitution, will, of course, be its power to resist the deleterious influence of intoxicating stimulants, and, consequently, the longer it will be in breaking down under the habitual use of them; but it is impossible to conceive, that a state of unnatural excitement, can be produced daily, or two,

* The writer considers that in his essay, entitled “The Curse of Britain," enough has been said to satisfy any, who are willing to be convinced, that intoxicating liquors are injurious to those in health, though used in what is commonly called moderation. But, for further proof of this position, he begs to refer the reader to note C.

† See appendix E.

or three times a day, in any measure, without producing, first, functional derangement, then, organic disease, and, finally, premature mortality.

But, admitting it to be possible, for a certain quantity of the less powerful alcoholic liquors, such as weak ale, the pure wines* of vinous countries, to be used, as beverages, without deranging, and enfeebling the constitution of any man, still, it cannot be denied, that excess, in the use of even these, is productive of disease and suffering.

Dr. Gordon, physician to the London Hospital, tells us that he has discovered, “by careful observation, on some thousands of cases, that the diseases, distinctly referable to ardent spirits alone, amount to 75 cases out of the 100," what then must be the amount of health destroyed by the fifty million pounds' worth of intoxicating liquors, annually consumed in Great Britain and Ireland, and of which the far greater part, by whatever names they may be designated, must be classed with those strong drinks, whose injurious tendency cannot be mistaken; and whose nature and effects have been so described, by the pen- of inspiration,t as to render the use of them, for pur

* See appendix F.
of Prov. xx. I ; xxiii. 29–35 ; xxxi. 4, 5.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »