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case, the spirit that betrayed us is deemed a necessary principle of stimulation to our frame. A thirst is created, which, like the daughter of the horse-leach, cries, “Give, give,” and depression is felt which nothing seems so likely to remove as the tankard or the wine-glass; increasing thirst, unnatural excitement followed by unnatural debility, lead to increased potations, and eventually, sometimes rapidly, the drinking habit is perfected, and the ruin of the Christian or of the minister is completed.

Let our church books be examined, let the numbers expelled from communion be counted, and the cause of their fall be fairly told, and we shall find that nineteen out of twenty of every act of backsliding and apostacy may be traced, directly or indirectly, to drinking. Let us also look round our congregations, and enumerate those opening buds of promise, which have been withered and blasted, and let us also inquire after the influence that destroyed our hopes, and the peace and respectability of the offenders, and we shall find that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, these besotting drinks have been the remote or proximate cause. I have seen the youthful professor, whose zeal, talent, respectability, and consistent piety, have promised much to the church and the world, led on from moderate to immoderate draughts, in the end become a tippler, dismissed from the church, disowned by his friends, himself a nuisance to society, and his family in rags. O Zion! "thy precious sons, comparable to fine gold, how are they," through drinking, “esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter ?" I have seen the generous tradesman, by whose zeal for the gospel, and at whose expense, too, the ministers of religion have been introduced into a destitute village, and eventually a house erected for God, and a flourishing church formed, himself excluding himself from the church, by his love of strong drink.

Would to God these instances were solitary! But, alas, they are not. Almost every Church, and every minister, have to weep over spiritual hopes blasted, and Christianity outraged by thes noxious drinks. Nor must we conceal the fact, that the ministers of religion have fallen a prey to these accursed fluids. We have not the least doubt, if the falls of godly ministers were to be followed up to their origin, that it would be found that the

excitement which led to their ruin, was obtained from the winecask or the beer-barrel. Men of first-rate talent, respectability, and apparent piety, men that could not ascend a pulpit without attracting crowds to hear the word, nor address an audience without the people's hanging on their lips, have had their ardor quenched, and their characters implicated, by these desolating liquors. The fine gold has become dim; the voice of the lute and the harp, which delighted all, is silenced; the preacher that edified thousands is now dead while he liveth; the lips that fed many are not silent in death, but have been smitten dumb by alcohol; the spirit that inspirited the churches, is doomed to the grave before the man is dead; he who ought to be officiating in the sacred vestments of the sanctuary, is doomed to wear the shroud of death before Nature has paid her last debt; the father that taught him to drink has abandoned him, and the deacon that compelled him to take the glass that has been his destruction, has driven him from his door. We may say of these sons of Zion, "Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire, but now they are not known in the streets."

We must here also observe, that if but one member of the church had backslidden, if but one angel of the church had fallen, or but one hopeful convert had been lost by the use of alcoholic drinks, the thought that only one had been betrayed and corrupted, ought to make us resolve to abstain. The consideration that what had destroyed one, might injure many, would, were not our hearts more than usually hard, prompt us to vow never to touch or taste again. But we have not to tell of one, but of many, that have been ruined. The ministers, the hopeful ministers of the sanctuary, that have fallen are not a few. And as to members and young people of the highest promise, that have been lost to the church through drinking, these might be counted by thousands. Here we would not exaggerate, but would call on the ministers and officers of the churches to record the facts of drunkenness that have come under their own notice, and we query whether they will ever be able to put the intoxicating cup to their lips again.

Should any one ask how it is that the gospel and the grace of God have not prevented this backsliding and apostacy? we reply, that the office of the Spirit of God is to eradicate sin from the soul, and not to extract alcohol from the nerves or the brain. We never wondered how it was that the grace of the gospel did not extract arsenic or prussic acid from the frame. In such cases we have concluded that if any person was presumptuous enough to take these poisons, the King of Heaven was righteous in leaving him to perish. Were a man wantonly to feed upon provisions which produced an unnatural thirst, we should not charge the gospel with impotency because it did not neutralize the effects of his diet. And if a man will drink what produces thirst, what creates an unholy excitement, what debilitates his frame, shatters his nerves, makes him sleep under the Word, or stupifies the mind, ought we to charge Jehovah the Spirit with want of energy because he refuses to abstract from the body a poison that should never have been taken? Far more in accordance with the divine principles of moral government is it, to warn off the danger, and if the warning be not heeded, to allow the evil to grow to a magnitude that shall prove that God is true, and in the end constrain offenders voluntarily to repudiate their own folly. "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways." "Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone."

The church has too long been indifferent to the voice of revelation concerning drunkenness, and equally heedless of its malignant influence upon the righteous and the wicked; the evil has therefore grown to a head. Millions have been ruined in both worlds by the use of these liquors. A book of lamentations, quite as affecting as that which the Spirit of God dictated to the weeping prophet, might be composed respecting the crimes and miseries occasioned by drinking. Britain at this moment could furnish materials for such a mournful theme far more ample than what the sword and the famine presented to Jeremiah. Were our "heads waters and our eyes fountains of tears, and were we to weep day and night," such expressions of sorrow would convey but an imperfect idea of the wide-spreading desolation. Tears, however, are unavailing in such a case; more

than tears are therefore asked. By total abstinence we can stay the plague which our boasted temperance and moderation have spread.

Could the sympathetic prophet have been told that, by abandoning the use of a cup of poison, he might restore his muchloved Zion to her pristine beauty, and her ruined sons and daughters to happiness and honor, would he have hesitated or staid a moment to consult a vitiated taste or unnatural appetite? Rather, had he ever been so besotted as to use such a beverage, the cup, in one moment, would have been dashed from his lips, and most solemnly would he have vowed never to be misled again. Let us go and do likewise, "that our sons," instead of being ruined," may be as plants grown up in their youth; and our daughters," instead of being the prey of the seducer, "may be as cornerstones polished after the similitude of a palace."

The following calculation ought not to be unheeded. There are in our country at least 8000 voluntary churches, and upwards of 11,000 established churches, making in all about 20,000. Now let us suppose that each church has had to dismiss one member for drinking, and also has already been deprived of two members that would have come to the sacrament but for the influence of liquor. This calculation is below the mark, because if some churches have lost none, others have lost twenty or thirty, as their church books can testify; but we have taken the average low enough, and what is the affecting truth? Why, that 20,000 members have been expelled from communion, and 40,000 kept from communion, by these accursed poisons, making a total of 60,000 individuals, of whose services the church has been thus wantonly deprived! These, divided into congregations of 500 each, would constitute 120 churches.


What could we think of the papists, if they had power and came to England and levelled with the ground one hundred and twenty sacred edifices, and burnt sixty thousand protestants? But here we have what is worse. Persecutors can only destroy the body, and after that they have nothing that they can do;" but alcohol, in the insidious form of beer, porter, wine, gin, &c., can destroy both body and soul in hell," and yet we ourselves kindle this fire that desolates so many churches and ruins



so many souls! The persecutor, the Vandal, the Goth, the Turk, or the Saracen, is no longer needed to devastate Christendom; we have what is worse than all these in our own houses, and what has annually proved a thousand times more baneful. The days of Nero are returned; Dioclesian depredations are acted over again; the bloody days of other times are come back; and the fires of Smithfield rekindled; and protestant ministers plead the cause of the fiend, and actually lodge in their houses the demon that thus "scatters fire-brands and death" in the sanctuary of God! For so long as we continue to use intoxicating drinks, we practically recommend the spirit which has already destroyed millions, and, unless driven from the land, will yet destroy millions more!

Every one who has attended but a very little to the progress of the gospel in the South Sea Islands, must have noticed how much the labors of the missionaries have been impeded, and what havoc has been made of the churches, by the introduction of these detestable poisons. We all know what a scourge they proved to Pomare. The chief thing that rendered the religion of that monarch questionable, was his taste for strong drinks. In the Sandwich Islands, drinking is the chief antagonist that missionaries have to contend with. The Rev. Mr. Stewart, chaplain to the American navy, in the narrative of his visit to the South Seas, has given us some awful details of the effects of these liquors both on the islanders and the British seamen that occasionally landed among them.

The Rev. Mr. Williams, in his last publication, has confirmed the same statements. That laborious missionary, having been absent for some time from his people at Raiatea, found, on his return, that "spirits had been introduced and stills set up." He tells us, that out of his flourishing and numerous church and congregation," not a hundred had escaped the contamination of these liquors; they all appeared maddened with infatuation.” "I could hardly believe," he says, "they were the same people among whom I had lived so long, and of whom I had thought so highly." Do we wonder that with such a scene before him, he calls alcoholic drinks "Poisons of the body and of the soul?" He informs us that "the gigantic chief, Tamatea, who was six

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