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Moloch of Intemperance for human victims, that it has been truly said to destroy far more than War,* Pestilence, and Famine; and, were it not for our long familiarity with the sighs, and groans, and dying struggles of its miserable votaries, and for our own infatuated attachment to the poison, by which they are destroyed, there can be no doubt, we should hate the monster, with the most perfect hatred, and denounce the man, who would any longer perpetuate its dominion, as the most atrocious enemy of his species. Scarcely is a family to be found, which has not cause to mourn over the early, and, in too many cases, the dishonoured death of some of its members, who have been cut off by the deadly influence of strong drink. The subtle poison has insinuated itself into all the fountains of life- -we are tainted with it before we breathe the vital air, even from the very moment in which we begin to have a being ; and we are no sooner brought into the world, than, with it, we suck in the seeds of the most direful
* The Rev. E. N. Kirk lately stated, at a Temperance Meeting, held at the Horns Tavern, Kennington, that during the last two years of the war between this country and the United States, America, lost 14,000 men by the sword, while, in the same space of time, she lost 60,000 of her citizens by intemperance !
diseases, and become, by means of it, the inheritors of pain, and infirmity, and premature dissolution.*
Consumption—that fell destroyer of the young and the lovely, is mainly indebted, for its success, in the work of destruction, to the assistance it derives from the drinking customs of the temperate, as well as of the drunken.
Fever would be, comparatively, harmless, were its fires not fed, by the fuel ministered to them, by intoxicating drink.
Indigestion—that chronic curse of British constitutions, and of all the lovers of luxurious living, though often resulting from excessive, or imprudent eating, is far more frequently the punishment of those who delight in the beer cup, the wine glass, and the spirit bottle.
Apoplexy—that hasty messenger of death, by which hundreds are hurried, in a moment, into the presence of their Judge, is another of the dreadful
* “I have seen an overstimulated nurse injure the body and the intellect of a child.”—Dr. Farre, Report on Drunkenness, p. 102.
“Cyder, as well as ale, wine, and spirits, has a tendency to produce gout, and dropsy; and a less quantity of it will induće those diseases, in the constitutions of persons whose parents have been intemperate in the use of it.”--Dr. Darwin.
instruments by which Nature, or rather the God of Nature, denounces, and punishes the wrong inflicted upon his laws, by the man, who prefers the temporary indulgence of an intemperate appetite, to a healthy body, a vigorous and tranquil mind, and a cheerful old age.
Oh! how appaling !-how overwhelming would be the sight! could we obtain, at one glance, a view of the entire mass of human beings, who, in one year, and, in Great Britain alone, are slain partly by a tedious, and an agonizing process, and partly by a sudden stroke, in order that we may demonstrate our strong and unalterable attachment to intoxicating liquors; and, that we may perpetuate a heartless race of men,* to minister to our own depraved appetites, while busy in accomplishing the temporal and eternal destruction of others.
* The writer is far from including, in a general condemnation, all who are engaged in supplying their fellowcreatures with intoxicating drinks. He believes that many 80 employed are as much to be pitied as many who use those drinks. They are, in fact, the victims of our past ignorance, rather than criminal panders to our depraved desires. But this cannot be said of vast numbers who are engaged in " the traffic.” They plainly see that crime, disease, poverty, and wretchedness, are the very pillars which support their fortunes ; and yet, for the sake of Mammon, they are willingly, and assiduously, the means of producing and perpetuating those evils.
The law of the Almighty has already pronounced against intemperance, its sternest condemnation.
Its language is, “Wo to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine." “ The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under foot; and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower."*
Be not deceived,” says the Apostle, “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”+ Thus, then, while the Old Testament Scriptures exhibit the drunkard as an object abhorrent to the holy mind of the moral Governor of the Universe, it is one of the most plainly-announced doctrines of Christianity, that he shall be subject, hereafter, to the same doom, which awaits the vilest opposers of both human and divine authority. * Isaiah xxviii. 1-4.
† 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.
If, however, the word of God had merely assured us that idolaters should not inherit the kingdom of heaven, this would have been sufficient to leave us without hope in reference to the salvation of drunkards.
Heathenism, to a great extent, exists through the mere absence of Divine knowledge. It is the result of the mind's anxiety for something distinct from present and earthly objects, on which it may repose for happiness, while ignorant of the true source of religious contemplation, love, and enjoyment. It is true, that heathenism, to whatever origin it may be traced, and under whatever form it may appear, since it leaves the soul destitute of all those high and holy motives, by the influence of which the Spirit of truth and righteousness prepares mankind for eternal and perfect felicity, must, necessarily, leave its votaries in a state of sin, and, consequently, of misery. Still, without in any way attempting to apologize for the guilt of their idolatry, it may, confidently, be believed, that the future condition of countless millions of the heathen will be infinitely preferable to that of British drunkards. These have not the plea of ignorance to offer in extenuation of their guilt ; but, amidst the meridian blaze of sacred instruction, are doing violence to every law by which it behoves them to govern their physical, intellectual, and spiritual nature.