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offered, an intoxicating wine in his life to any one; whether he was a Nazarite or not, was of no consequence, if he had once sanctioned intoxicating wine by giving or offering it."
The republication of the work in this country, as well as the Prize Essay, "Bacchus," which has already appeared from the press of Messrs. Langley and Co., will, it is believed, be very acceptable to the friends of Temperance. Separate from its critical and historical research, and without endorsing all its minor views as perfectly correct, as a popular and powerful appeal on the use of intoxicating drinks, we know not its equal. Indeed, confident we are, that it will drive the maddening bowl from every family into which it may enter, purify every Church which will listen to its statements, cause every Legislator who will read half its pages to vote out the license law, and make every distiller, brewer, vintner, and vender, who will open to it his conscience, give up his business;—and if it shall remove from the church the last great obstacle which has been mentioned to the progress of temperance, there will be cause for many thanksgivings. To our countrymen and the blessing of God, it is commended.
New York, Oct. 1, 1840.
EXTENT AND EVILS OF INTEMPERANCE.
In this Essay we shall produce facts which will most painfully demonstrate that, in our day, intemperance has assumed a most destructive character; indeed, is become the parent of most of the crimes which scourge the land. Some there are, no doubt, who will be startled at this conclusion. They may say, "Man is naturally depraved, and has been a murderer and a sensualist in ages proverbial for sobriety; and, therefore, if deprived of the impulse of this baneful spirit, he will still be the same." To this we reply, that, if naturally depraved and disposed to commit every crime, then, surely, we need not add to his corrupt propensities the inspirations of alcohol. The strong man, it seems, is armed already and fully equipped for all the purposes of destruction, and therefore, we should imagine, that none but a demon would propose to make him worse. All will admit that, savage as the barbarian may be, intoxicating drinks will increase his rage a thousand-fold, and, on that account, ought to be withheld. But waiving this argument, on which at present we will not enlarge, we beg to remind our readers that the state of society is changed. Among heathen nations, whether enlightened or ignorant, the standard of morals was awfully low. In most instances, their religion allowed, and the examples of their gods sanctioned, every species of cruelty and depravity. The votaries of Venus could hardly be expected to
be chaste, nor the worshipers of Saturn, Jove, Mars, or Woden, to be humane or holy. The inspirations of alcohol were not needed to prompt these people to vice, or to arm them with unholy courage; their religion taught them to be wicked, and inspirited them with energy for the committal of whatever was cruel and depraved. They called "evil good and good evil.” By murders, adulteries, dishonesty, and revenge, they did their gods service. People educated in those schools of paganism could set but little value upon human life, upon personal purity, and the rights of property. But things are changed. The laws of Christianity are "holy, just, and good." Among Christian nations the murderer is a monster avoided by all; sensuality and revenge are condemned and threatened with the severest visitations of Divine indignation.
Now, we all know the extensive influence of education. By its amazing power, the Hindoo, who is naturally so mild and gentle as to dread to deprive the meanest animal of life, is perverted into a murderer who feels a pleasure in applying the torch to the pile, which is to consume his own mother to ashes. Indeed, what else is there which could have made such a vast difference in the manners, customs, and habits of the nations of the earth, except the different schools in which they have been trained? Human souls are, for the most part, originally the same; climate and food cannot satisfactorily account for the diversity of human character, for the Christian can breathe every atmosphere which man can breathe, and live on every kind of food by which life can be supported, and yet be a Christian. And, further, his principles can make Christians from men of every climate and of every mode of life. Education, therefore, forms the character of the man. Let us, then, bear this in mind, and duly consider that in Britain, imperfect as all our modes of training have hitherto been, we have certain religious principles current among us which are eminently humane, chaste, and holy, under whose sacred influences our national character has been wonderfully improved. Heathenism sears the conscience, but Christianity both enlightens it and renders it tender. In savage lands, the murderer buries his dagger in the breast of his brother without any compunction, and the
thief strips a neighbor of his all, without any remorse. In those countries women forget the modesty of their sex, and voluntarily devote themselves to practices revolting to humanity. in Christian nations, things are different. The mind is awakened to a sense of right and wrong, and conscience is aroused to an authoritative empire in the soul. Many a struggle and many a mental conflict must, therefore, be endured, before sins of enormous turpitude can be perpetrated. He who has been trained in a Christian nation, touches the pistol or the dagger with a trembling hand, approaches the person or property of another with a faltering step, and violates the laws of morality with hesitation. Hence, we conclude, that, by a people taught but imperfectly in the doctrine of Christ, the more heinous offences that disgrace heathen nations will be avoided and abandoned, unless there be introduced among them some material or moral agency to vitiate their minds, and vanquish their convictions.
And now, alas! it is our painful duty to show that such a malignant influence proceeds from the use of intoxicating drinks. Corrupted, ruined, and maddened by this inspiriting fiend, men, naturally humane, and early instructed in the school of the meek and lowly Savior, have become murderers, sensualists, thieves, Sabbath-breakers, and blasphemers. The common and natural effects of education and religious restraint have been neutralized, and civilized man has been transformed into a barbarian. The history of the crimes of modern drunkards unfolds to us a page not less black and horrific than that of the most savage tribes. The tenderest and best of wives and mothers have been butchered, starved to death, or left to expire of a broken heart; the loveliest children have been poisoned, corrupted, deserted, or doomed to famine, ignorance, and ignominy, in a land of plenty, knowledge, and philanthropy. Thousands have placed themselves, or been placed, beyond the possibility of relief. For who can help the drunkard so long as his vitiated appetite remains predominant? By men of education, talent, and rank, princely fortunes have been squandered, and the hapless spendthrifts themselves reduced to the last extremity of wretchedness. To illustrate these observations, we have only
to refer to the evidence on drunkenness taken before the committee of the House of Commons. The late Mr. Wontner is known to have said, that "ninety-nine out of every hundred prisoners that came to Newgate, committed their crimes in consequence of intemperance." It is probable that a similar statement might be made respecting the wretched inmates of every gaol in Britain.
Many were given to drink, yea, to overcome the humanity of their nature, and, to drown the convictions of their conscience, were compelled to be partially drunk before they could assume courage sufficient to commit those offences which doomed them to prison and death. Many, also, from the ignorance, vice, and destitution in which intemperance had nurtured them, set the laws at defiance, became dishonest first, and then, in the process of time, accomplished thieves, and ended their days in infamy. Thus, directly or indirectly, intemperance may be said to have originated and fostered by far the greater majority of all the crimes that, in this Christian country, stain the calendar of our prisons. Preston used to send the greatest number of prisoners to the Lancashire gaol, but at one of the assizes in 1837, not a person from that town was charged with an offence. And why? While intemperance reigned, crime prevailed; but, no sooner was total abstinence from intoxicating drinks adopted, than vice was immediately checked. What has occurred in Lancashire, would happen throughout the land, were alcoholic poisons abandoned. To intoxicate-a word derived from the Greek τοξικον, 66 a poisoned arrow,"—is to poison; but what renders this bane particularly destructive is the fact, that it not merely infects the body, but infests the mind. Under the influence of arsenic, or prussic acid, the unhappy victim is unfitted to be the destroyer of others; but inspired with alcohol, the body for a while is nerved, and the soul is armed for the perpetration of every vice. It may justly be termed a material demon, the vicegerent of the Prince of Darkness, to whose influence Satan would not hesitate to commit the empire of our world, knowing that his aid and superintendence, as a deceiver and destroyer, would not be needed so long as the bodies and souls of men were inflamed with alcohol. That this opinion is