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must be the result of having thousands of females rendered the bane of society ?* In the evidence to which we have alluded so often, it was shown that drinking, in hundreds of families, has reduced the boys to theft, and the girls to prostitution. These habits also have commenced as early as the thirteenth or fourteenth years of their age. One pot-house keeper was said to have prostituted his own daughter, for the purpose of increasing the attractions of his house. The official tables of population for 1830 give a total of 18,600 illegitimate children for England and Wales. Were these unfortunate mothers, many of whom are thus doomed to infamy and poverty all their days, to tell us the truth, hundreds would testify, that intoxicating drinks led to their ruin; but, bad as it may be for the parent to be in disgrace, and ashamed to own her offspring, the evil is not here seen in a tithe of its enormity. Would we gain some idea of the curse, we must glance at those thousands of wretches whose minds and feelings are unsexed, and whose bodies are a mass of disease, and who, under the influence of strong drink, like wolves or she-bears, prowl through our streets and by-paths, seeking for prey. Who that could have looked upon Eve or Rachel, or the Virgin mother of our Lord, or on the many bright examples of female excellence that still grace society, would ever have imagined it possible for woman to fall so low? But what grade of infamy is there, to which alcoholic drinks cannot level the children of Adam? Murders, thefts, cruelty, sensuality, and prostitution, are among its commonest and easiest achievements. Look at the holy Noah, who had escaped the corrupt influence of a world whose pollutions called for the deluge, lying senseless, and uncovered in his tent. And look also at the righteous Lot, whom Sodom could not seduce, entering, without any fear or misgiving, the bed of incest; and then learn somewhat of the worse than brutalizing influence of intoxication. We may boldly affirm that hell itself hath not a poison, and that the prince of darkness cannot mix a bowl, which can so speedily, and effectually change men or women into incarnate demons, as the intoxicating cup. "Wine and strong wine," says Hosea, 66 take away *In London alone, it is said there are 80,000 of these degraded wo
the heart." This the devils know, this human history attests, and shall we any longer continue "to drink a cup" worse than that “of demons ?" Verily it behooves us, not merely as Christians, but as patriots and humane persons, to resolve never again to taste or recommend so deleterious a drink.
Prostitution, it should further be observed, is, in too many instances, the effect of what might be termed a very moderate portion of this misnamed "good creature of God;" for the seducer would not like for his victim to drink too much; and street-walkers know that much strong liquor would unfit them for their trade, and therefore use the cup more moderately than many professing Christians. And if the moderate use of alcohol has promoted seduction, we know also that women, who have been robbed of their character, often become seducers in their turn, and direfully avenge the injury they have endured. These unhappy creatures are not unfrequently the handmaids of the alehouse and the distillery. It was stated before the Committee of the House of Commons, that at a dinner party, composed chiefly of distillers, one of these very patriotic and chaste gentlemen gave as a toast, "The distillers' best friends, the poor prostitutes of London." We should have said, that the very refined taste of this manufacturer of poison induced him to use a more vulgar epithet than the term prostitute. The toast awfully demonstrates how intimately drinking and the transgression of the laws of purity and chastity are connected together, and therefore, in a most affecting manner, points out the duty of total abstinence. For here we have a crime which degrades beneath the brute creation the fairest and most interesting of the human family, and which enervates for life, or brings to an untimely death, the choicest youths of the day. As we shed the sympathising tear with the parent who is following to the grave his only child, whom this vice has slain, we cannot but exclaim, "Died Abner as a fool dieth !" Yet it must not be forgotten that the incentive and the cherisher of this abomination is not intoxication, but what thousands would call moderate drinking. We very well know that what is properly termed drunkenness would unfit these guilty partisans for their crimes. It requires but a moderate cup to rob the female of her modesty and self
government, and her seducer or accomplice, of his moral principle. Moderation is a term of very indefinite signification. The quantity which one man professes to use without injury would render another senseless or mad. Intoxication begins as soon as the first draught is taken; the liquor operates instantaneously through the nerves upon the brain, and commences its awful work of dethroning reason, inflaming the passions, and corrupting the heart. Scarcely has it been tasted but it begins to annihilate all that constituted the man, and to substitute, for the intellect and feeling which it has destroyed, the insinuations and inspirations of a fiend. The murderer drinks moderately: he takes enough to inspirit him for the deed, but not so much as would cause his sight to fail, or his hand to falter. The thief, to fit himself for his work, drinks moderately. Without the recklessness and demoniacal courage that alcohol gives, he would be unable to rob his neighbor, and to risk the consequences; and were he to drink too much, he would be too stupid to find his way to the house, or the property on which his heart is set. The female street-walker drinks moderately. Were she not to drink a little, she could not put on the brazen front which her pursuit demands; and were she to drink too much, her guilty paramours, sensual as they are, would be disgusted.
It was under the influence of a moderate cup that the youth was beguiled or inflamed to cast in his lot with the murderer, the thief, or "the stranger that flattereth with her lips," and to commit crimes, for which the laws of his country, or the laws of God, the gallows, or disease, have mulcted him with death. We know that each of these violators of the laws of God and man is in the habit of indulging in intoxication; but then this is after their work is done, and their wages are obtained. The gains of unrighteousness never spend well. The thief and the murderer, and often the prostitute, are much more uncomfortable when they are rich than when they are poor; and as intoxication presents one of the readiest issues for their money, they drink and carouse until they have rid themselves of acquisitions which were a burden. Besides, the intoxicating bowl has the mysterious power of drowning remorse, the sense of degradation, and the dread of punishment. Under its influence hu
man beings can commit crimes at which demons must blush; and then can smile at infamy, death, and damnation. Moderation inspires them to become incarnate fiends, and intoxication makes them reckless of consequences, and prevents their repentance and return to virtue! We would again ask, whether the moderate or immoderate use of bread, of animal food, or of the healthful atmosphere, would prompt or qualify persons of Christian education to the committal of these deeds?
We boldly affirm, that among all the provisions that God has made for our sustenance, and among all the poisons that the ingenuity of man has extorted from those recesses in which the benevolence of nature had locked them up, there is not an article of diet or of death, that can exert powers of corporeal, moral, spiritual, and eternal destruction, to such an extent as intoxicating drinks. Satan tempted, and man fell; but it remained for inebriating substances to consummate our degradation and the ravages of the curse, and to neutralize the means of our restoration. To the wine-press, the malt-house, the mash-tub, and the distillery, belong the pre-eminence of having annually spread more disease, prompted to more crime, and led to more ruin, temporal and eternal, than the desolation of war, pestilence, and famine, put together. And when the Judge of the universe shall give to each human being according 66 as his deeds shall be," tremendous must be the responsibility of him who manufactured, sold, commended, or gave away a poison, which all knew had the stupendous power of slaying the body, corrupting the morals, and ruining the soul. With such consequences, temporal and eternal, before us, is it too much to call upon every one, who loves God or loves man, to abstain?
4. Sabbath-breaking is, on a most extensive scale, promoted by the use of intoxicating drinks: this generally commences on the previous evening. Drunkards, ay, and many self-styled moderate drinkers, indulge in strong liquor on a Saturday evening to a much greater extent than on any other day, with the exception of the Sabbath. In consequence of this, many stay up till a late hour, and thereby unfit themselves for the Sabbath; and by this infringement upon the hours of rest, they violate the Lord's-day before it has begun. The servant, who, by any prac
tice of his own pleasure, disables himself for the service of his master, is as guilty of an injury to his employer as he who actually robs him of his property. The Sabbath is peculiarly and especially the "Lord's-day;" all its hours are his, and therefore he, who, by sitting up late on a Saturday evening, either at his counter, his books, or his glass, unfits himself for devoting the Sunday to religious exercises, is, to all intents and purposes, a Sabbath-breaker. And further, we know that the over-excitement of our frame is attended with debility, which more than balances any previous pleasurable, but unnatural animation. Dr. Farre says, that "it is a law of our constitution that the circulation falls off in a greater degree than it is forced." By placing our thumb upon the bulb of a thermometer, we may raise it eight or ten degrees, as the case may be; but if we remove it, the mercury will sink to the point of temperature at which it stood before. Not so our animal spirits: if we raise them ten degrees, they will sink, as soon as the unnatural stimulus is gone, twelve or fifteen. Now, the tradesman or mechanic who has been toiling at his books or his anvil for six days, wants repose at the end of the week; and what is so suitable to the body as
"Kind nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep?"
or what so calculated to soothe his mind as the doctrines, the consolations, the promises, and the prospects of Christianity? He who has his body re-invigorated by refreshing sleep, and his mind nerved by the divine sentiments of the Gospel, knows the sweet import of the word "Sabbath," or rest; but he who, after the toils of the week, dooms his stomach, his nerves, his brain, and, consequently, his already-jaded body and mind, to the excitement of stimulating liquors, imposes upon his constitution a task which it is ill able to bear, and which must eventually break it down. From this circumstance, chiefly, many feel so torpid and languid during the Sunday; and from dizziness, head-ache, and various species of debility, are mentally unfit to contemplate and digest the invigorating truths of the Gospel; and thus rob their immortal spirits of that divine nutriment, which would strengthen them to endure the ills and frowns of the world, and the trials and duties of a Christian. Among the