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CONTENTS.

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ANTIBACCHUS,

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CHAPTER I.

On the Crimes, Loss of Character, &c., connected with Drinking. 1. Murders. 2. Dishonesty. 3. Prostitution. 4. Sabbath-breaking. 5. Injuries inflicted on Families. 6. Injuries to the Church by the Sins of Ministers, Members, hopeful Converts, &c. In this chapter much of the evidence is drawn from the Parliamentary Report on Drunkenness.

In this Essay we shall produce facts which will most painfully demonstrate that in our day intemperance has assumed a most destructive character; indeed, is become the parent of most of the crimes which scourge the land. Some there are, no doubt, who will be startled at this conclusion. They may say, "Man is naturally depraved, and has been a murderer and a sensualist in ages proverbial for sobriety; and, therefore, if deprived of the impulse of this baneful spirit, he will still be the same." To this we reply, that if naturally depraved and disposed to commit every crime, then, surely, we need not add to his corrupt propensities the inspirations of alcohol. The strong man, it seems, is armed already and fully equipped for all the purposes of destruction, and therefore, we should imagine, that none but a demon would propose to make him worse. All will admit that, savage as the barbarian may be, intoxicating drinks will increase his rage a thousand-fold, and on that account ought to be withheld. But waiving this argument, on which at present we will not enlarge, we beg to remind our readers that the state of society is changed. Among heathen nations, whether enlightened or ignorant, the standard of morals was awfully low. In most instances their religion allowed, and the examples of their gods sanctioned, every species of cruelty and depravity. The votaries of Venus could hardly be expected to be chaste, nor the worshippers of Saturn, Jove, Mars, or Woden, to be humane or holy. The inspirations of alcohol were not needed to prompt these people to vice, or to arm them with unholy courage; their religions taught them to be wicked, and inspirited them with energy for the committal of whatever was cruel and depraved. They called "evil good and good evil." By murders, adul

teries, dishonesty, and revenge, they did their gods service. People educated in these schools of paganism could set but little value upon human life, upon personal purity, and the rights of property. But things are changed. The laws of Christianity are "holy, just, and good." Among Christian nations the murderer is a monster avoided by all; sensuality and revenge are condemned and threatened with the severest visitations of Divine indignation. Now, we all know the extensive influence of education. By its amazing power, the Hindoo, who is naturally so mild and gentle as to dread to deprive the meanest animal of life, is perverted into a murderer who feels a pleasure in applying the torch to the pile which is to consume his own mother to ashes. Indeed, what else is there which could have made such a vast difference in the manners, customs, and habits of the nations of the earth, except the different schools in which they have been trained? Human souls are, for the most part, originally the same; climate and food cannot satisfactorily account for the diversity of human character, for the Christian can breathe every atmosphere which man can breathe, and live on every kind of food by which life can be supported, and yet be a Christian. And, further, his principles can make Christians out of men of every climate and of every mode of life. Education, therefore, forms the character of the man. Let us, then, bear this in mind, and duly consider that in Britain, imperfect as all our modes of training have hitherto been, we have certain religious principles current among us which are eminently humane, chaste, and holy, under whose sacred influences our national character has been wonderfully improved. Heathenism sears the conscience, but Christianity both enlightens it and renders it tender. In savage lands the murderer buries his dagger in the breast of his brother without any compunction, and the thief strips a neighbour of his all without any remorse. In those countries women forget the modesty of their sex, and voluntarily devote themselves to practices revolting to humanity. But in Christian nations things are different. The mind is awakened to a sense of right and wrong,

B

tative empire in the soul. Many a struggle and many a mental conflict must, therefore, be endured before sins of enormous turpitude can be perpetrated. He who has been trained in a Christian nation touches the pistol or the dagger with a trembling hand, approaches the person or property of another with a faltering step, and violates the laws of morality with hesitation. Hence, we conclude that, by a people taught but imperfectly in the doctrine of Christ, the more heinous offences that disgraced heathen nations will be avoided and abandoned, unless there be introduced among them some material or moral agency to vitiate their minds, and vanquish their convictions. And now, alas! it is our painful duty to show that such a malignant influence proceeds from the use of intoxicating drinks. Corrupted, ruined, and maddened by this inspiriting fiend, men naturally humane, and early instructed in the school of the meek and lowly Saviour, have become murderers, sensualists, thieves, sabbathbreakers, and blasphemers. The common and natural effects of education and religious restraint have been neutralised, and civilised man has been transformed into a barbarian. The history of the crimes of modern drunkards unfolds to us a page not less black and horrific than that of the most savage tribes. The tenderest and best of wives and mothers have been butchered, starved to death, or left to expire of a broken heart; the loveliest children have been poisoned, corrupted, deserted, or doomed to famine, ignorance, and ignominy in a land of plenty, knowledge, and philanthropy. Thousands have placed themselves, or been placed, beyond the possibility of relief. For who can help the drunkard so long as his vitiated appetite remains predominant? By men of education, talent, and rank, princely fortunes have been squandered, and the hapless spendthrifts themselves reduced to the last extremity of wretchedness. To illustrate these observations, we have only to refer to the evidence on drunkenness taken before the committee of the House of Commons. The late Mr. Wontner is known to have said, that "ninety-nine out of every hundred prisoners that came to Newgate, committed their crimes in consequence of intemperance." It is probable that a similar statement might be made respecting the wretched inmates of every gaol in Britain. Many were given to drink, yea, to overcome the humanity of their nature, and, to drown the convictions of their consciences, were compelled to be partially drunk before they could assume courage sufficient to commit those offences which doomed them to prison and death. Many, also, from the ignorance, vice, and destitution in which

and conscience is aroused to an authori- | intemperance had nurtured them, set the laws at defiance, became dishonest first, and then, in the process of time, accomplished thieves, and ended their days in infamy. Thus, directly or indirectly, intemperance may be said to have originated and fostered by far the greater majority of all the crimes that, in this Christian country, stain the calendar of our prisons. Preston used to send the greatest number of prisoners to the Lancashire gaol, but at one of the assizes in 1837, not a person from that town was charged with an offence. And why? While intemperance reigned crime prevailed, but no sooner was total abstinence from intoxicating drinks adopted, than vice was immediately checked. What has occurred in Lancashire, would happen throughout the land, were alcoholic poisons abandoned. To intoxicate-a word derived from the Greek Toxov, "a poisoned arrow," is to poison; but what renders this bane particularly destructive is the fact, that it not merely infects the body but infests the mind. Under the influence of arsenic, or prussic acid, the unhappy victim is unfitted to be the destroyer of others; but inspired with alcohol, the body for a while is nerved, and the soul is armed for the perpetration of every vice. It may justly be termed a material demon, the vicegerent of the Prince of Darkness, to whose influence Satan would not hesitate to commit the empire of our world, knowing that his aid and superintendence, as a deceiver and destroyer, would not be needed so long as the bodies and souls of men were inflamed with alcohol. That this opinion is not an exaggeration, let us look at a few of the crimes reported in the parliamentary inquiry on drunkenness.

1. Murders.-In the late murder of Mr. Lennard, which took place between Ross and Waterford, when sentence of death was pronounced on Malone, the murderer, he said to the judge, "Yes, my lord, I am guilty; but," pointing to his mother, who was in the same dock, he said, "she has been the cause of it." It appears that his monster of a parent had agreed for the price of the blood to be shed by her two sons, for there were two implicated; and though above eighty years of age, she watched the approach of the unfortunate gentleman, and handed the pistol to her son when she saw him coming. Malone at first was startled, and said, "How can I murder the poor gentleman ?"-"Take this, you cowardly rascal," said the old woman, and gave him the remains of a half pint of whisky obtained for the occasion. He drank the whisky, murdered the gentleman, and was tried and hanged! It must not be forgotten that this young man was known to have been one of the kindest-hearted fellows in the country, except when under

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