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increased, to reach the same pitch of elevation or ease." It is evident from another passage in the same chapter on drunkenness, that the Doctor would have approved of the "tetotal pledge;" for he directs the person who has any "inclination to intemperance, to arm himself with some peremptory rule." "I own myself," he says, "a friend to the laying down to ourselves of rules of this sort, and rigidly abiding by them. They may be exclaimed against as stiff, but they are often salutary. Indefinite resolutions of abstemiousness are apt to yield to extraordinary occasions, and extraordinary occasions to occur perpetually. Whereas the stricter the rule is the more tenacious we grow of it; and many a man will abstain, rather than break his rule, who would not easily be brought to exercise the same mortification from higher motives. Not to mention that when our rule is once known, we are provided with an answer to every importunity." We need not stop to remark how exactly the reasoning of the learned and acute archdeacon, agrees with the principles of total abstinence and the pledge which we deem it important for those who join our society to sign; this pledge, as the Doctor here justly observes, induces many to abstain who have no higher motive than consistency to bind them; and at the same time, this pledge, or rule, is an answer to every importunity.
It cannot be necessary to give any other quotations from authors who are now no more; but I will not conclude without a short reference to a few living divines, and these I think are far more valuable than those of the men of any past generation, because all of these have adopted the principle and acted upon it, and therefore have actual experiment and experience to vouch for the correctness of their assertions.
Professor Stuart, of America, has, I am informed, written ably on this subject, though, I am sorry to say, I have not been able to get a copy of his work; but when it is known that Dr. Pye Smith has written a commendatory preface to that publication, I need not tell any judicious reader that the book is worthy of attention. Dr. Pye Smith himself has joined the ranks of those who totally abstain, and is a living advocate for its principles, as those which are not only in accordance with the gospel, but imperatively enjoined in those texts which prohibit us
from doing anything that may cause our brother to offend or
Many ministers, who before were scarcely able to attend to their duties, since they have practised total abstinence, are restored to perfect health. The Rev. J. Sherman, successor to the Rev. Rowland Hill, in Surry chapel, London, states, "It has been generally reported that I am the worse for my abstinence; but I assure you, that after a trial of two years, I am prepared to affirm that since the age of 17 years, I have never enjoyed such an uninterrupted state of health. I can endure more labor, and with less fatigue, than when I drank moderately of vinous liquors. Since I have been in London my average public services have been eight a week, sometimes ten, twelve, or fourteen, but aiways have averaged eight; but I never passed through the duties of the sanctuary with so much pleasure and so little exhaustion as since I have entirely abstained from the moderate use of any kind of fermented or spirituous liquors. My appetite is constantly good and relishes the plainest food. My former misery was always to feel that I had a stomach; now my digestive organs are so strengthened by the use of a water beverage, that the stomach performs its office without any painful intimations that it is executing the work assigned to it. What is remarkable is, that a disease in my throat, which once laid me aside from pulpit labor for eleven months, and always distressed me as long as I partook of beer, wine, or spirits, has entirely left me; so that my voice which was feeble, has wonderfully strengthened, and I can now preach in Surry chapel to 3000 people with as great ease as I could formerly to 300 in a village chapel. These are a portion of my physical comforts derived from the use of water. O the luxury of that self-denial, which, if it imposed the severest pains and penalties, would draw the drunkard from his vicious habits! But when it twice blesses,-him who imposes it upon himself voluntarily, and him for whose sake it is imposed,-who would not impose it ?"
This testimony of Mr. Sherman is not a solitary one. There are at present in England and Wales, several hundreds of ministers who have signed the pledge of total abstinence: and all can attest that, far from having suffered by their abstinence, they are
benefited to an incalculable degree. They can study with more freedom, can stay longer at their books without injury, and preach more frequently with less fatigue. The writer of this Essay can say, that he never enjoyed his existence of forty years until he became a total abstainer. Now, study is delightful, and preaching, which he often does four times on a Sabbath, is rarely attended with toil or fatigue.
The following is a letter to the secretaries of the Bath Temperance Association, by that venerable servant of Christ, the Rev. William Jay, of Bath.
"Circumstances will prevent my accepting your invitation to attend the Tetotal Christmas Festival on Friday evening. I am thankful that all through life I have been a very temperate man, and for more than twenty-five years, generally a tetotaler, but for the last six years, I have been one constantly and entirely. To this (now I am past 70) I ascribe, under God, the glow of health, evenness of spirits, freshness of feeling, ease of application, and comparative inexhaustion by public labors, I now enjoy. The subject of tetotalism I have examined physically, morally, and Christianly, and after all my reading, reflection, observation, and experience, I have reached a very firm and powerful conviction. I believe that next to the glorious gospel, God could not bless the human race so much as by the abolition of all intoxicating spirits.
"As every man has some influence, and as we ought to employ usefully all our talents, and as I have now been for nearly half a century endeavoring to serve my generation in this city, according to the will of God, I have no objection to your using this testimony in any way you please. I am willing that, both as a pledger and a subscriber, you should put down the name of, My dear Sir, yours truly,
'Percy Place, Bath, 24th Dec., 1839."
In a letter from America, written by E. C. Delavan, Esq. dated Feb. 8th, 1838, it is asserted, that in the State of New York alone, there are 2000 of the clergy of all denominations who have
either signed the pledge, or are practising the principles of total abstinence. Many of these, no doubt, are eminent divines, and yet all of them attest the importance of our principles by reducing them to practice. And if in the State of New York alone, there are so many who have adopted entire abstinence, the number in the whole of the United States must be very great indeed.
The following sentiments of Dr. Beecher, of America, may give us some idea of the holy intensity with which the subject is viewed and advocated in that interesting country. "And now," says he, "could my voice be extended through the land, to all orders and descriptions of men, I would cry aloud and spare not. To the watchmen upon Zion's walls, appointed to announce the approach of danger, and to say unto the wicked man, 'Thou shalt surely die,' I would say, can we withhold the influence of our example in such an emergency as this, and be guiltless of our brother's blood? Are we not called upon to set examples of entire abstinence? How otherwise shall we be able to preach against intemperance, and reprove, rebuke, and exhort? Talk not of 'habit,' and of 'prudent use,' and ' a little for the stomach's sake;' this is the way in which men become drunkards. Our security and our influence demand immediate and entire abstinence. If nature would receive a shock by such a reformation, it proves that it has already been too long delayed, and can safely be deferred no longer. To the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom he hath purchased with his own blood, that he might redeem them from iniquity, and purify them to himself a peculiar people, I would say, Beloved in the Lord, the world hath need of your purified example; for who will make a stand against the encroachments of intemperance, if professors will not? Will you not, then, abstain from the use of it entirely, and exile it from your families? Will you not watch over one another with keener vigilance, and lift up an earlier note of admonition, and draw tighter the bands of brotherly discipline, and with a more determined fidelity cut off those whom admonition cannot reclaim? Separate, brethren, between the precious and the vile, the living and the dead, and burn incense between them, that the plague may be stayed ?"
But I will quote no further. The testimonies adduced in this chapter are sufficient to prove, that intoxicating drinks are not in the least needed for health, labor, strength, mental cheer, or longevity. We have seen that millions upon millions of the human family have been cheerful, healthy, robust, happy, and moral, without them; and we have also seen that their moderate use has led to intemperance, and been the ruin of millions. Not a single people upon the face of the earth is there, or has ever been, to whom these poisons have been introduced, but they have either destroyed them, or threatened them with destruction. We are, as a people, through the infatuation produced by these liquors, on the high road to ruin; but God, in his mercy, has warned us in time, and should the voice of Total Abstinence be heard, we may yet be a saved, a powerful, a prosperous, a moral, and a happy people.