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are tempted to spend their time in drinking them, it is rendering the public services of religion, to a vast portion of the community, as an idle or unprofitable tale.
Among Pagans and Mohammedans, the very name of Christian is associated with drunkenness, impiety, and every other form of evil; and pious and devoted missionaries are mourning quite as much on account of the ruinous example of their Christian countrymen, as on account of the opposition, presented to their benevolent efforts, by the ignorance and superstitious prejudices of the heathen themselves.*
It seems as if Satan, when he saw that the power he had so long exercised over mankind, by means of the worship of imaginary gods, was about to be endangered, by the influence of the Gospel, directed all the energies of his mighty, but deceitful mind, to the invention of the drinking usages of Christian nations. These usages have but few parallels in the history of the entire heathen world, and have ever been the main sources of drunkenness, in every country, in which they have been known to exist.
* See appendix L.
OUR IDOLATRY IS DISTINGUISHED BY
THE NUMBER AND HEINOUSNESS OF THE CRIMES IT PRODuces.
A Pagan is not, necessarily, a vicious, or immoral character, in the ordinary acceptation of the phrase; on the contrary, many of the heathen have displayed the utmost consistency of conduct, and amiability of temper, in all the social relationships they have sustained. We do not, indeed, look for Christian excellencies, where Christianity has never shed its hallowed and benignant influence; but, it is certain, that the conduct of multitudes of the heathen, will be an everlasting reproach to many, who sustain the name of Christ, and who boast of their attachment to his
It may be said, that the virtues of the heathen are not the natural fruits of their heathenismthat they are accidental rather than necessary. But admitting that heathenism is only evil, and that continually, as much may be said of intemperance, for it would be difficult to discover an individual, who had become confirmed in habits of drunkenness, to whom we could justly ascribe a solitary virtue!
Intemperance is, at once, the grave of virtue, and the hot-bed of every rank and obnoxious vice. It not only paralyses all that is good, but gives extraordinary vigour to all that is evil. It not only deadens every moral sensibility, but excites, into life and activity, every animal passion that is opposed to morality and human happiness.
The history of crime is little more than the history of intemperance; for, in all ages, and countries, in which it has prevailed, it has either been the chief exciting cause of evil actions, or has given to evil conduct a virulence and atrocity, of which it would otherwise have been destitute.
Our prisons, and penitentiaries, our convictships, and penal settlements, are little else than the receptacles of the miserable slaves, and victims of intemperance; but the number of our public criminals—of individuals, whose misconduct, arising out of their intemperance, has subjected them to the penalties of public law, and justice, bears but a small proportion to the number, who, although they have never appeared at the bar of their country, are an especial curse to their families, and an injurious incumbrance to the community to which they belong.
Most offences which are committed against the person, such as assaults, and murders, are com
mitted at the instigation of strong drink; and since the intemperate man has but little regard for his own property, it is no matter of astonishment, that such, as, through violence, or fraud, deprive their neighbour of his goods, should, in general, be found among those who haunt the tavern, the gin-shop, or the ale-house.*
Among some of the idolaters, of ancient times, there seems to have been a God recognized as the particular patron of particular vices, but the God, of Britain's idolatry, is entitled to the honour, of being the instigator, and patron of every crime, which can possibly deform, and degrade the human race, and diffuse, through all ranks of society, the elements of poverty, misery, and desolation. To such an awful extent do some of the votaries of our British Bacchus betake themselves, in crime, that the very heathen shudder at
*"The places of judicature which I have long held in this kingdom, have given me an opportunity to observe the original cause of most of the enormities, that have been committed for the space of near twenty years; and by a due observation I have found, that if the murders and manslaughters, the burglaries and robberies, the riots and tumults, the adulteries, fornications, rapes, and other great enormities, that have happened in that time, were divided into five parts, four of them have been the issues and products of excessive drinking-of tavern or ale-house meetings."-Judge Hale, Advice to his Grandchildren.
their enormities, and congratulate themselves, that they have a religion which ensures to them a higher order of national morality.
We talk of the dark places of the earth being full of the habitations of cruelty, but where shall we find cruelty equal to what is daily, and hourly perpetrated, in every city, town, and village, of Christian and Protestant England, by the heartless and infuriated devotees of the drunken God, whom, as a nation, we so highly venerate.* speak not of the self-inflicted torments of drunkards themselves,-we speak not of the physical sufferings, voluntarily submitted to, by many of the moderate drinkers of intoxicating drinks, but
* After each successive voyage, it is still more affectingly true, that "on coming to anchor, he (the sailor) exhibits the spectacle of a helpless victim, bound hand and foot, and passed from the ship to the crimp, and from the crimp to the long-room, and from the long-room to the brothel," in which perhaps he ultimately finds his deathits guilty inmates terminating his career of impurity and impiety, by the introduction into his glass of some stupifying, deadly mixture! It is a fact which speaks as from the interior of hell itself, that in this manner three hundred and sixty-five seamen are sacrificed every year; and that the 'subjects' now procured for dissection at one of our metropolitan hospitals, are chiefly sailors !!"-The Moral Condition and Claims of Sailors. Published by the British and Foreign Sailors' Society.