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Those who have read the Author's first attempt to advocate the cause of Temperance, by means of the press, may think that the present production inight have been spared ; but, in addition to the reason, already assigned, for appearing again before the public, he wanted something, which, while exhibiting the greater evils, and the only radical cure of intemperance, would occupy a position, between that of a mere pamphlet, and a volume somewhat too expensive for the many.
To the APPENDIX he would particularly direct the attention of the reader, since, under its several heads, will be found a selection of the opinions and facts, by which the advocates of Total Abstinence are mainly influenced, in their warfare against the great enemy to which they are opposed. He might have extended the Appendix, almost interminably, by the addition of equally important matter, but he has aimed to connect brevity with usefulness ;
and both in this, and every other part of the work, he has scrupulously avoided repeating any of the facts and opinions, for which, in his former Essay, he was indebted to others. The whole of the extracts may, therefore, be regarded as additional evidence, in favour of the principles to the support of which that effort was devoted.
It will be found, that he has given himself but little concern, about the very numerous objections
which have been raised, and are still brought against the practice of Total Abstinence from intoxicating liquors, as a remedy for Intemperance. Should the reader be anxious to know what can be said, in reply to such objections, he may consult the latter part of the “ Curse of Britain," or an admirable pamphlet, by the Rev. W. Cook, of Belfast, in reply to Dr. Edgar's Sermons.*
The writer would now record his sincere and grateful acknowledgments, to the Divine SOURCE of all Holiness and Truth, for the success which has attended his past labours, in that cause to which he hopes to be devoted, so long as he has a heart to feel for the miseries which intemperance is producing, and a tongue to rouse his countrymen against this tremendous scourge of the human race. At the same time, he would humbly commend this feeble effort of his pen to that blessing, without which no finite exertions can prosper.
12th April, 1839.
* Sold by Pasco, Bartholomew Close.
IDOLATRY OF BRITAIN.
"Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to Idolatry." --Acts xvii. 16.
From the time that the Apostle Paul became a preacher of the faith, he once attempted to destroy, his zeal for the glory of God, and for the salvation of sinners, was of the most unwearied and self. denying character. He determined to know nothing among men, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.* He resolved to spend, and to be spent in the service of his divine Master.t He counted not his life dear to him, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. I
The religion of the Apostle was as unlike that of the mere spiritual sentimentalist as it possibly could be. He did not merely talk of the love of
* 1 Cor. ii. 2.
+ 2 Cor. xii. 15.
* Acts xx. 24.
Christ, but demonstrated, by his devotedness to the service of the Great Redeemer, that he was habitually influenced by the constraining power of that love. He did not merely talk of the value of souls, but his heart's desire, and prayer to Almighty God, for sinners, was, that they might be saved ;* and, knowing, that there was no other name given under Heaven, among men, whereby they could be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he was instant in season, and out of season, in exhibiting the glory, and the grace of this all-sufficient Saviour.
The Apostle had received a commission, from the Great Head of the church, to preach among the Gentiles that gospel, by which alone they could be turned from dumb idols, to serve the living God. He was engaged in performing the arduous duties, involved in this commission, when he arrived at the city of Athens--a city, which, at the time it was visited by the Apostle, was one of the most renowned for the taste, the learning, and the politeness of its inhabitants. Its architecture was of the most polished and magnificent order. Its philosophy was the theme of universal admiration. Every art and science which, at that period, contributed to the comfort and re
Rom. x. 1.