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forms. Few of us, perhaps, have estimated the value of the life of one human being. He, "who weighs the mountains in a scale, and the hills in a balance," is the only Being that can tell its worth; and, that he considers it infinitely precious, is evident from various facts. He has hedged it about with the most solemn commands and threatenings; for its sustenance he has compounded the air, the water, and the rich and manifold profusion of vegetable and animal nutriment; for its security and preservation, a thousand safety-valves, both within us and around us, have been provided by His paternal care. In our bosoms, too, he has implanted an intense attachment to life, stronger than any other natural feeling: "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life." To feed and sustain our life, the lungs, the blood-vessels, the heart, and the pulse, incessantly toil; and, like their Divine Creator, neither "slumber nor sleep." To hold us in being, the laboratory of nature is worked without the least intermission; angels are our guards, "lest we dash our foot against a stone;" and even the perfections of the Deity, are proffered as our shield. Divine justice, in one moment, heard the voice of Abel's blood, and doomed his murderer to be a fugitive and a vagabond,—to be a monument of vengeance himself; and, by the mark on his forehead to announce to all with whom he conversed, that sevenfold retribution awaited the monster who should imitate his example. The holy oracles tell us that "murderers shall not inherit the kingdom of God." The omnipotence of Jehovah guards us; his bounty feeds us; his pity heals our infirmities; his providence holds our souls in life, and crowns our existence "with goodness, loving-kindness, and tender-mercy." What a favorite of Heaven, then, is man; and what an inestimable treasure, in the mind of the Deity, is human life! Yet this precious boon, of which savages will not allow themselves to be robbed without a struggle, and which every sober man, educated in a Christian country, looks upon with awe, is treated as a thing of naught by those whom intoxicating drinks have inflamed, and bereft of feeling. Under the impulse and inspiration of these homicidal poisons, myriads of the human family have been hurried, uncalled, and too often unprepared, to the bar of the

Eternal. Human blood is as lightly esteemed as water, and poured upon the earth with as little reverence.

It may be said of intoxicating drink, as it is said of Satan, that it "has been a murderer from the beginning." One murder has sometimes struck the sober part of the community with horror, from land's end to land's end. What indignation was felt towards Thurtell, and Burke, and Bishop; and thousands seemed to exult when the drop fell, and freed the world from the cruel hand of Greenacre. But do we well thus to be angry at the individual who destroys a solitary life, while at the same time we harbor among us, and actually commend a destructive beverage which has murdered, or been the occasion of the murder, of tens of thousands? As long as we continue to use, or to sanction the use of intoxicating drinks, we are actually bestowing our smiles and praises on a worse than Bishop, Burke, or Greenacre. God, hereafter, will "make inquisition for blood;" and, in the investigation, will not pass over the neighbor or parent who first put the inebriating cup into the hand of his child or acquaintance, and, both by example and precept, inculcated the use of a poisonous beverage which eventually changed the victim that it infected into a being far worse than a beast or savage.

Not many years ago, through the ignorance or mistake of a chimist, oxalic acid was dispensed for Epsom salts, and one life fell a sacrifice to the blunder. But what was the result?—The country resounded with the deed; the matter was brought before Parliament; the laws respecting the labelling of poisons were most rigidly enforced; and almost every newspaper circulated a test to prevent the recurrence of such a catastrophe. In this case, only one human being was the victim; but alcoholic drinks destroy thousands annually, and yet we do not label them as poisons: yea, so far from this, that parents, friends, and neighbors, the press, and sometimes even the pulpit, instead of execrating, dwell on the praises of this almost omnipotent destroyer.

But, after all, the numbers murdered by violent hands will give us but a faint idea of the fatal consequences that follow the use of inebriating drinks. He who starves his wife and children or breaks their hearts by his cruelty, and ruins their morals by his example, destroys as effectually, and far more cruelly,



than he who employs the razor, the pistol, or the dagger; yet this mode of destruction is rife everywhere. We have of late been horrified in reading of the Thugs, a tribe of wretches in India who are murderers by profession, and often destroy whole villages; but we should remember that the Thugs are among us. Where is there a city, town, or hamlet in Britain, but has witnessed disease and death in their most cruel forms, brought on by drinking? Almost every newspaper brings us the intelligence of children that have been starved, or of adults that have terminated their existence, in consequence of their attachment to these desolating liquors; and if we had a full and particular statement of the real cause of the death of every child, wife, and parent of drunkards, every newspaper might fill columns with details of the murderous effects of these pernicious beverages.

Intoxicating drinks, as testified by several witnesses, before the House of Commons, and by a thousand other medical testimonies, predisposed us for the cholera, prepared amongst us an asylum for that destroying angel, and led him through the length and breadth of the land. Not, indeed, that alcohol asks for the aid of the cholera, the pestilence, or the plague. This giant pest, as if independent of heaven, earth, and hell, can destroy alone can, with a magic spell, to which even Satan himself never yet laid claim, poison the soundest frame, and, with marvellous rapidity inspire the soul, which before was meek as a lamb, with every infernal passion, and render it callous to every feeling of humanity, purity, justice, and religion.

For the truth of the following narrative I have the most satisfactory evidence:-A most industrious and pious woman had the misfortune to be the wife of a notorious drunkard. He had constant work and good wages; but, notwithstanding, would get so much in arrear at the beer-shop, that his poor wife was sometimes obliged to pay, out of her own small earnings, the debt that he had contracted for drink, in order that she might thus prevent their goods from being seized. death she had been confined, and, before having properly recovA little before her ered, went one evening to bring him home from the publichouse. Not being ready to accompany her, she waited some time for him in the cold and rain. The consequence was, she

took a chill which confined her again to her bed; inflammation rapidly followed; medical advice was needed, but the wretch that should have hurried to obtain it was drinking himself drunk at the public-house, and late in the evening came home in a state of beastly intoxication; and, heedless of the pangs and groans of his wife, crawled into her bed. During the night, the paroxysms of pain were such, that, in turning to obtain relief, she rolled out on the floor; and being unable to help herself, there she lay on the cold boards until the morning. He, all this time, was in bed; but, from the stupefaction occasioned by what he had been drinking, remained deaf to her cries. When the monster did awake, and discovered the scene, he procured medical aid, but it was too late. In a short period the spirit of the unhappy sufferer was summoned to the bar of Heaven, to bear witness against the villain who, at the altar of God, had sworn to nourish and cherish her until death. The period of her death will not soon be forgotten. The heavens seemed on fire, the lightnings flashed, and the thunder rolled horrifically; and the moment in which she breathed her last, was marked by one of the most vivid flashes of lightning the spectators ever beheld. All nature testified against the cruelty, still I am not aware that one person that evening understood the voice. Although the thunder re-echoed the cry of her blood, perhaps not a single individual that night denied himself the poison which had occasioned this suffering and death. A family of six or seven children was thus bereft of their only guide; and but a little time rolled away before the pregnancy of her eldest unmarried daughter told the sad tale, that suffering and death are not the only evils attendant on drunkenness.

In looking at this case, let us suppose that any husband, instead of shooting, or cutting the throat of a wife whom he was about to destroy, should have adopted the plan of depriving her of life by a slow and highly-torturing process, so that, instead of slaying her at once, he had, by that refined cruelty which the savage Indians of America are said formerly to have exercised, deprived her of one limb after another, until at last, after days of torture, his victim, unable to suffer any longer, died under his hand. What, we ask, would have been the hor

ror and the indignation of the country at hearing that such a crime had been committed in a Christian land? And if it had been discovered that the demon that impelled the guilty man to this deed could be expelled from among us, is there an energy which young or old could command, but would have been employed for the purpose? Now, the fiend that effected all this misery and crime-that first robbed the husband and father of a human heart-that deprived him, or rather impelled him to deprive himself, of a fond and pious wife, and his children of a kind and godly mother-the fiend that did all this was alcohol, concealed in the insidious draught of beer, or what is called, but falsely called, "a wholesome and nutritious beverage."

We are sometimes told that poisonous gases are in the atmosphere, and even in our food. Granted, they may be; but nature's compounds, intended for the daily use of man, are none of them chargeable with prompting the human family to commit those outrages which, by all parties, are attributed to the use of intoxicating drinks. When we consider the ingenuity that has been employed in producing these pernicious liquors, and the countless millions of ills that have sprung from their influence, surely we shall cease to call them "a good creature of God." As well might we attribute to him the extraction of chlorine or prussic acid, and recommend their daily use, as impiously assert that he formed, or intended intoxicating drinks for the human constitution.

Breathing the wholesome air never impels a man to murder his wife, or hate his children. Bread, and the other nutritious bounties of Providence, are never chargeable with being the incentives to barbarity and cruelty; nor can other poisons, generally speaking, be subjected to such an imputation. It is alcohol that, pre-eminently above other articles of diet, possesses power either slowly or rapidly to infect the body, stupify or madden the mind, and harden the heart. Other poisons, for the most part, do their work at once, and instantly destroy the unhappy victim that swallows them; but intoxicating drinks often work slowly, and by degrees undermine both the health and morals of their votary, and hardly ever allow him to die alone in his in. iquity. Wives, children, neighbors, and friends are all involved

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