« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
But intemperance is awfully destructive to the souls of men, not only as being a sin of peculiarly offensive character, but from the powerful resistance it offers to the influence and claims of religion.* Religion demands the submission of
sinful passion to its authority. Intemperance causes every such passion to be clamorous for ascendancy. Religion says,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Intemperance throws open the door of a man's heart, to a legion of evil spirits, and permits them to reign over him in unbridled liberty.
Religion would purify and elevate the understanding, by filling the mind with truths of lofty, and spiritual import; but intemperance would re
* “ There are who steep sermons in drink; they drink away convictions, and like the wounded deer, run to drink. The tavern bell, I fear, does more hurt than the church bell does good.”—Watson, 1662.
In the “ Life and Persecutions of Martin Boos,” a pious and evangelical preacher of the Romish Church, we find him thus lamenting his want of success, among a certain people :-“I can make no progress with them, seeing they dance and drink drams, till they are drunken, every Sunday. I see no end to my misery, because they are all so coarse, and given to drunkenness.
duce a man, of the noblest intellect, to a veller and a sot,” and cause him to revel in pursuits fit only to gratify the appetites of a beast.
Religion would cause the soul to overflow with feelings of benevolence and love; but intemperance delights in destroying all the tenderest sympathies, and sensibilities of our nature—in transforming men, into stones, or into merciless, and frenzied demons!
Religion would lead us to Christ, as the great object of confidence, love, and veneration-intemperance would conduct us to a bloated and disgusting idol, as the perfection of worth and beauty.
Religion would point us to heaven, as the true rest of the weary, and our blissful and eternal home, - but intemperance would point us to scenes of ungodly riot-of howling blasphemy, and of self-inflicted misery and death! Thus, wherever intemperance is found to reign, it spreads over all that is bright in intellect, and pure in morals, “a darkness which may be felt,” and a foul and withering contamination !
There is, yet, another point of view, in which intemperance appears to be peculiarly destructive to the souls of men.
It has already been remarked that heathenism, to a great extent, exists through the mere absence of Divine knowledge. The pagan idolater worships a false God, through ignorance of the True God, and, often, he abandons himself to the practice of sensuality, as much through his ignorance of the beauty of holiness, as in obedience to the dictates of his depraved nature. Accordingly, we find, that the light of divine truth is no sooner brought fully to bear, on any given part of the Pagan world, than its darkness gradually recedes, and many, who, before, were sitting in the valley of the shadow of death, begin to rejoice in the brightness and liberty of a new and delightful existence. Intemperance, however, is not an evil which is always capable of being removed, by the application of light to the understanding, but is a species of insanity, which, while it exists, is often found to leave the individual subject to it, as hopelessly beyond the means of salvation, as any confirmed idiot or madman. It is on this account, that the Gospel so rarely proves “a savour of life unto life,” to men addicted to the free use of intoxicating liquors. Such persons, although they may never have been stigmatized with the degrading appellation of drunkard, are, often, so far debilitated, and disordered in mind, as to be mentally, as well as morally, incapacitated for receiving saving impressions, from the truths of religion. Still, their insanity is no valid excuse for not yielding to the influence of the Gospel. It is the consequence of a wilful disregard to a wise and holy law; and hence, can neither prevent their condemnation, nor be pleaded in mitigation of punishment. Whether, then, we view our intemperance simply as an offence, on which sentence has been already passed, by the law of the Eternal Legislator-or, when compared with the idolatries of Paganism, as involving as great, if not a far greater amount of guilt and condemnation - or, as producing such disorder and weakness in the intellect, as, without a miracle, must prevent the truths of religion from enlightening the understanding, and purifying the heart, in short, whatever view we take of this peculiar form of idolatry, it is, obviously, as fatal to the souls of men, as the most horrid developments of heathen darkness, cruelty, and pollution.
Thus far we have considered the influence of intemperance on the spiritual condition of the intemperate themselves ; but the combined wisdom of all hell has never invented a more formidable barrier, against the progress of truth and righteousness, among mankind at large, than this peculiar vice of the professed disciples of the Son of God.
At home, it is frustrating the labours of Sabbath school teachers, to an incalculable extent;* and by leading to the desecration of the day of the Lord, on the part of the manufacturerst and sellers of intoxicating drinks, and of those who
* The master of a village school, in the neighbourhood of London, on examining the names of 130 persons, living in different parts of the village, whose names appeared in the register of the school, ascertained that 91 were open drunkards, and that of the rest many were occasionally intemperate 1- Lond. Temp. Intell. No. 6.
A respectable teacher of a Sabbath school near London, made inquiry relative to the character of the first 100 children admitted to the school. The character of only sixty-five could be ascertained, but of these thirty-eight had become confirmed drunkards ! five had been transported ! one had been the cause of his mother's death at a public-house ! Of the others several had been occasionally drunk. Only two had joined a Christian society.--Lond. Temp. Intell. No. 15.
of At the very time that pious maltsters are praying, in their churches and chapels, that God's kingdom may come, and that his will may be done on earth as in heaven, they are helping to consign the souls of their servants to perdition, by employing them in making malt, On what Christian principle can this be justified ? Not on the plea of necessity, since neither gin, nor malt liquor, is necessary for the health and happiness of man.
As to brewers and distillers, and the keepers of ginshops-beer-shops – and public-houses -- they are almost universally, Sabbath-breakers.