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the attacks and ridicule of his shopmates, by arguing that there was little or no nourishment in beer, and that the body is nourished and supported by food, and not by drink. Had he followed the example of his fellow workmen, we should never have heard of his discoveries, or of his greatness. What a contrast to Dr. Franklin is poor Burns, or Savage, whose drinking propensities placed them beyond the possibility of being promoted in society.
These remarks, on the beneficial effects of water, are in exact accordance with the discoveries of modern science. A chimical analysis of the blood has proved that nine-tenths of it are water; the only liquid, therefore, required to dilute the blood, is water. The purer the water in the blood, the purer the blood will be. It is further worthy of remark, that atmospheric air is the agent which nature employs in purifying the blood. The black, dead, venous blood is brought to the lungs, and distributed over these organs of respiration; while there, it is subjected to the air which we inhale every time we breathe; the black carbon is absorbed and given out every time we expire or breathe out from our lungs, and the blood, freed from this deadly ingredient, becomes red living blood, and is then sent into the arteries to nourish the body. Now, it should be remembered, that all liquids are taken up by the capillary tubes of the stomach, and at once circulated through all the blood vessels of the body. Alcohol being lighter than water, goes immediately into all the veins and arteries of our frame, and there is not a point but it visits.
With these facts before us, it is well to observe, that water contains in it full thirty per cent. of pure atmospheric air, the very agent, remember, that nature is every moment employing to purify the blood. On the contrary, alcohol contains in it fiftytwo per cent. of carbon, the very element which nature is every moment laboring to throw out of the blood. He, therefore, who drinks pure water, drinks that which must purify the blood; while he who drinks alcoholic drinks, whether beer, wine, or gin, drinks that which pollutes the blood. You often find these drinking people taking various quackeries to purify their blood; but what use is it to do so? They may drink nettle tea, or swallow Morison's pills by the dozen a-day; but in five minutes
after they have drank their glass of beer, cider, or wine, their blood is as foul as ever. These physiological facts, therefore, demonstrate that the blood of water drinkers must be pure, while the blood of moderate drinkers, as well as drunkards, must be charged with carbon, or that very substance which makes the venous blood black and dead. They also prove that you cannot improve water; you may make it more inviting and captivating to the taste, but you cannot make it better. Poets often, by mere accident, stumble upon some of the most profound deductions of science, and seem, by a kind of supernatural prescience, to antedate its discoveries. This evidently was the case with Pindar. There never was a more correct philosophical doctrine than is contained in the first line of his first ode,
* Αριστον μεν υδωρ;”
"Water is indeed the best thing." He who never drinks but when he is thirsty, and drinks pure water, will never have to complain of foul blood.
It is allowed by all that oxygen is employed by nature to keep the blood pure; and, therefore, water must be the most wholesome drink; for not only is there pure atmospheric air in water, but the components of water, are hydrogen and oxygen; and hence we see how adapted this primitive beverage is to preserve the blood in a living, vigorous, and healthy state.
Some persons may object, that they drink but a small portion of alcoholic drink, and, therefore cannot be injured by it. But this remark arises from ignorance. One drop of alcohol would fill a tube, whose length and diameter are the eight of an inch. If you decrease the diameter of one-half, you must prolong the tube four times, if you wish it to contain the same amount of liquid. I need not say that this is a mathematical fact, and therefore no conjecture. Well, then, go on decreasing the diameter of the tube in question, and proportionably prolonging it until you get a capillary as small as the smallest blood-vessel in the human body, the tube will be of an astonishing length, demonstrating that one single drop of alcohol, when passed into the minute vessel of the human frame, will be sufficient to cover over nearly the whole surface of the body, and consequently as
an inflammatory poison, capable of deranging our health to a very great degree. What, then must be the mischief effected by taking daily a wine glass or more of this pernicious spirit? To talk of moderation in the use of alcohol is absurd; the only moderation here is abstinence, and the only suitable drink for man is water.
But I will conclude these quotations of the sentiments of others, by giving the opinions of a few distinguished divines respecting the baneful effects of intoxicating drinks. Bishop Hall, speaking of Noah's drunkenness, says, "When I look to the effect of this sin, I can but blush and wonder; lo, this sin is worse than sin: other sins move shame, but hide it; this displays it to the world. Adam had no sooner sinned but he saw and abhorred his own nakedness, seeking to hide it even with bushes. Noah had no sooner sinned, but he discovers his nakedness, and has not so much rule of himself as to be ashamed. One hour's drunkenness betrays that which more than six hundred years' sobriety and modesty had concealed. He that gives himself to wine is not his own: what shall we think of this vice which robs a man of himself, and lays a beast in his room?" "Drunkenness is the way to all bestial affections and acts. Wine knows no difference either of persons or sins."
Every one who has read Bishop Berkeley's "Minute Philosopher," must remember how keenly he satirizes drinking, in the apology for drunkenness, which he puts into the mouth of a sensualist.
Peter Martyr, in his common places, says, "The liver is inflamed by too much drink, the head acheth, the members are made weak and do tremble, the senses are corrupted, the natural heat is overcome by over much wine; the stomach is annoyed with crudities and intolerable griefs, whilst it is stuffed and farced above measure: the whole body is in a manner inflamed, and thirst is augmented." He gives the following translation of Prov. xx. 1:-"Wine maketh a mocker, and strong drink a troublesome fellow; whosoever erreth therein shall never be wise." Of such that boasted that they could drink a great deal of wine, and yet be sober, he remarks, "I desire them to hearken unto Seneca, who saith, 'Let such men say that by
drinking of poison they shall not die; and by taking of poppies they shall not sleep; and that by drinking of helleborus they shall not cast forth and purge out whatsoever is in the inward parts.' He adds, "that the discommodities of wine pertain not only to our bodies and minds, but also to our substance and goods, friends, and neighbors ;” to prove which he quotes Prov. xxi. 17 :—“ He that loveth wine and fat things waxeth not rich." He also gives, among others, the following quotation from Plato:
"He who is overcome with wine is stirred up with madness, as well of the mind as of the body, and both draweth others and is drawn everywhere himself. A drunkard is like a man out of his wit." He also tells us that we ought to be prepared to obey the apostle, who said, "It is good, neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, if it should turn to the offending of the weak brethren," The reader should remember that these words were written by one who was born A. D. 1500.
Boston, in his “Body of Divinity, and Discourse upon the Sixth Commandment,-Thou shalt do no Murder," speaking of the many ways by which men may kill themselves, observes, "Intemperance is a sin that makes quick work for the grave, has carried many thither before they have lived out half their days. It is the Devil's rack, on which, while he has men, they will babble out everything, for 'quod in corde sobrii in ore ebrii.' It destroys a man's health, wealth, and soul; murders soul and body at once; it leads to scuffles, scurrilous language, blows, uncleanness, makes their tongues ramble, their heads giddy, bewitches them, and brings on them God's curse."
Hunter, in his "Sacred Biography," speaking of the fruit of the vine, remarks, “Eaten from the tree or dried in the sun, the grape is simple and nutritious, like the stalk of corn; pressed out and fermented, it acquires a fiery force, it warms the blood, it mounts to the brain, it leads reason captive, it overpowers every faculty, it triumphs over its lord. Alas! must it be ob served, that our very food and cordials contain a poison through the ignorance or excess of man?"
President Dwight, in his "System of Theology," on Sixth Commandment," when discoursing upon the several methods by which life is destroyed, observes, "Drunkenness is
nearly allied to suicide. It is an equally certain means of shortening life. What is appropriately called suicide is a sudden or immediate termination of life; drunkenness brings it gradually to an end. The destruction in both cases is equally certain, and not materially different in the degree of turpitude." Among the causes of drunkenness he places "the example of others," customary and regular moderate drinking at fixed periods," by which, he says, "an habitual attachment to strong drink is insensibly begun, strengthened, and confirmed." He enumerates eleven evils arising from drinking. "It exhibits the subject of it in the light of extreme odiousness and degradation;-exposes him to many, and those often extreme, dangers;―to many temptations and many sins ;—it wastes property ;-destroys health ;—wastes reputation;-destroys reason;-destroys usefulness;-ruins the family by the example that it sets them, by the waste of property, and neglect of their education, and sometimes by breaking their hearts ;—it destroys life and ruins the soul.” Finally the president prescribes "total abstinence to all persons who have a peculiar relish for intoxicating drinks, and to those who have begun the habit of intoxication." "The relish for these liquors increases invariably with every instance and degree of indulgence. To cherish it therefore is to make ourselves drunkards; and it is cherished most efficaciously by repeated drinking. No man will do this who is not a fair candidate for Bedlam. Every effort at gradual reformation will only cheat him who makes it; hard as the case may be, he must break off at once or be ruined."
Paley, in his "Moral and Political Philosophy," enumerates the mischiefs of drunkenness, in "betraying most constitutions either to extravagances of anger or sins of lewdness; disqualifying men for the duties of their station, both by the temporary disorder of their faculties, and, at length, by a constant incapacity and stupefaction;-causing expenses which can often ill be spared; occasioning uneasiness to the family;-shortening life, and ruining others by a bad example.” "Persons addicted to drinking suffer in the intervals of sobriety, and near the return of their accustomed indulgence, a faintness and oppression, circa præcordia, which exceeds the ordinary patience of human nature to endure. As the liquor loses its stimulus, the dose must be