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arguments for temperance. It would be the extreme of folly to urge what could not stand the test either of reason or of Scriprtue; if I did so, instead of advancing the practice of temperance, I should only furnish the intemperate with a stronger inducement to continue their sinful course; they would see through the falsity of the reasoning, and conclude that the cause must indeed be weak which rested on such a foundation.

The rule of temperance appears to me to depend entirely upon the consideration whether the use which I make of the productions of nature be hurtful in its immediate effects, or in its remote consequences. The moment I can perceive harm to arise either to myself, to my friends, or to my neighbours from any practice in which I indulge, that instant I pass the boundaries of temperance, and am called on to retrace my steps: to continue or to repeat the practice becomes a crime, and I am answerable at the bar of heaven for my sinful use of the Creator's bounties.

The injury of intemperance to the body and soul no person denies. When we ask who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes ?'*—the answer is one of undoubted truth— they that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. (Prov. 23, 29, 30.) · The drunkard shall be clothed with poverty, and want shall come upon him like an armed man.' Examples of the fidelity of this description we have, unhappily, constantly before our eyes; we may witness them in every quarter of the land—the love of liquor is the curse of thousands, and in its train there follow miseries and crimes of every kind. To arrest the torrent of iniquity which proceeds from drunkenness, the benevolent have directed their earnest labours. It is almost as easy, we are told, for the Ethiop to change the colour of his skin, as for those to do good who have long been accustomed to do evil. Experience confirms this saying in the case of the intemperate; the habitual drunkard rarely, if ever, reforms; he is a slave to drink, and wears his bonds with more than a slavish spirit, for he would almost account it a misfortune to be free from his pleasant vices. There being but little hope of reforming the confirmed drunkard, it is the main object of those who promote Temperance Societies to secure from the fatal influence of excess all who remain uncorrupted, and as a probable means of effecting this, to unite them into societies and to give them this bond of agreement, that it is sinful to do harm to ourselves or to our neighbours by the immoderate use of any of the productions of nature.

* Pliny's description of the consequences of drunkenness is very similar :—“ Hence paleness and hanging cheeks, ulcerated eyes, trembling hands which spill the liquor from full cups, and (what may be a present punishment) the sleep of furies and nightly restlessness, and the highest reward of drunkenness, foreboding lust and pleasant wickedness."Lib. xiv. 28.

Now, except in very rare cases which come under the head of medical treatment, it admits of the best of proof, namely, the testimony of the ablest physicians and surgeons, that distilled spirits, as a usual or frequent drink, are always injurious. Their tendency, except as a medicine, is to destroy the health and consequently the strength, to foster the worst passions of mankind, to produce a premature decay of the powers of life, and make a perfect wreck of the faculties of the mind. Intemperance from any cause might terminate in a similar way, but habitual drunkenness, from ardent spirits, is certain destruction. Whole tribes among the American Indians have been nearly extirpated by the indulgence of this fatal habit. Some persons, indeed, use language like that of the savage, who, when asked by a French officer, what he thought of brandy, replied—“it is made of hearts and tongues ; for when I have drunk it I fear nothing, and talk like an angel.'† They suppose that it adds to their strength and resolution; but in reality it no more adds to the strength of the arm and resolution of the heart than the poisonous bite of a dog adds to the lasting strength of the unfortunate madman; both are diseases,—the one produced by ardent spirits, the other by envenomed matter. While the excitement lasts, there is the appearance of power and boldness; but when that excitement abates, the wretched victim of intemperance feels a sinking at the heart which he would never have known but for his excesses. Experience shows that there is peculiar danger from taking distilled spirits as a regular drink:=the testimony of a very eminent physician was to the effect that he never knew, in the course of a long and extensive practice, a man who at thirty regularly partook of spirits and water on going to bed, who did not, if he lived to be fifty, die a drunkard. Now why is this? A little, as it is called, is taken to compose a man to sleep; soon, in the course of a week or two, this little is repeated; the disposition increases, because ardent spirits have a most pernicious tendency to give ease for a time, yet to leave a man not merely weaker, but more inclined to adopt the same fatal means of producing a momentary excitement. This course goes on until strong drink seems a necessary of life—it is the drunkard's food ;-a craving, which cannot be satisfied is brought on, and he is contented only with that which is destructive to the body's welfare and the soul's salvation. Say not, then, that this evil is a light one; say not that it may be left to correct itself; it has been left to its own correction, but what are the fruits ? Have we not in this country, which boasts of its civilization, scenes which might rival those once witnessed by a celebrated French traveller in Canada, where, says he, in the streets of Montreal, owing to the introduction of brandy among the Indian tribes, "husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, were frequently seen in a state of intoxication, worrying one another with their teeth, like so many enraged wolves.'* It was ardent spirits which brought on this horrid scene : savages in name, they became savages in reality. Good were it for our own land did we never witness a like corruption brought on by like means !

* See Sermons on the Effects of drinking Spirituous and other intoxicating Liquors, by James Yates, M. A.

+ See Charlevoix, Journal of a Voyage to North America, Letter 21.

The rule of temperance, which we have laid down as a general rule with reference to the productions of nature, is above all true when applied to the case of ardent spirits. Harm actually does follow from the use of these, unless that use be strictly confined to medicinal purposes ;-harm to myself from the unnatural excitement which follows, and harm to my neighbours from the encouragement which my example gives them to adopt the same hurtful practice. Witħ this conviction, what is the line of my duty ? Plain enough. I must abstain from what I know to be injurious. The question as to the little harm which may arise, has nothing to do with the subject; if I am convinced that the slightest possible injury will follow, I have no excuse for causing even that small amount of detriment. As a Christian I dare not, unless I would brave the authority of my Maker, violate even one tittle of the law which I receive as the command of God.

Is my conscience, however, to bind another man? Because I esteem it wrong personally to use distilled spirits, except as I would use laudanum, for a medicine, is another, who has not this conviction, to be blamed because he does not also abstain ? By no means. As I am accountable to God for what my conscience dictates, another man in like manner is accountable for what his conscience may dictate. This is a case in which every man must be fully persuaded in his own mind. What I think wrong, I am bound to avoid ; what another man believes not to be wrong, he is at liberty to adopt, without being condemned by human judgment. But here concession ceases : here charity resigns her office, and truth becomes invested with power. If another person, or any number of persons, agrees with me in believing that ardent spirits are to be ranked among those things, the regular use of which divine providence never intended, then he and they are equally bound with myself to the strictest temperance; and I cannot incur the charge of being uncharitable when I declare, that if they know what is right, and do not practise it, they have little of the true principles of religion abiding in their hearts. * But are not good resolutions privately made and observed as acceptable to God as those which are made in public ? If I am truly temperate, what need is there that I should trumpet forth my virtues to the world?' No need at all to trumpet them forth;—if such was my sole, or even my chief object, the voice of the Scriptures would at once condemn me;— Woe unto thee, hypocrite, thou lovest to pray standing in the marketplaces, and at the corners of the streets; thy good works thou doest to be seen of men; verily thou hast thy reward.' When occasion calls, we are, however, admonished to let our light shine before men, being careful to seek not our own glory, but the glory of our Heavenly Father. Such occasions arise whenever great public good is to be effected-either the discouragement of notorious profligacy, or the promotion of general benevolence. True it is, that the man whose reformation or virtue is known only to Him who seeth in secret, is a far more estimable character than he, who, with a public promise on his lips, gives that promise the lie by his private intemperance: but when, by a public declaration, we can add strength to the resolutions of our hearts, lead on others to unite with us in a good work, and fortify both ourselves and our neighbours against the enticement of evil example, then surely it would be false delicacy-an affectation of not allowing our left hand to know what our right hand doeth—were we, merely because we dislike publicity, to refrain from aiding in a most worthy undertaking, There are some promises which are more likely to be kept, if publicly made. Many persons, who will trifle with their own consciences, dare not trifle with public opinion: a private conviction will often be weak, when a public declaration will possess overwhelming power. Of this kind, I believe, to be resolutions of temperance. In his own heart, a man may be persuaded that he ought not to countenance any of the causes of intemperance, but the conviction remains shut up in his own breast; when temptation presents itself, he has only to resist the voice of his own conscience, and his honour in the eyes of the neighbours continues untarnished :—let him, however, by openly declaring his purpose to be strictly temperate, render himself amenable to the tribunal of public opinion, and he feels that he has to resist a thousand consciences in addition to his own; an army is arrayed on the side of his good resolutions, and bold indeed must that man be, who will venture at once to set at nought the voice of his own heart-the voice of his best neighbours and friends, and the voice of that God of justice, whose awful name is, in fact, invoked, whenever a good resolution is made.

* Charlevoix, Letter 8.

There appear, then, to me strong reasons for signing a declaration to abstain from the use of distilled spirits, except for medicinal purposes, and to discountenance all other causes and means of intemperance. In signing such a declaration, I have not the remotest idea that the persons who do not see cause to sign are not as much as myself friends to temperance. Let me have liberty to do what I believe right, and I cheerfully accord to them a similar freedom. All I ask is, hear the reasons which have determined my own conduct, and judge for yourselves. Those reasons are not a few ;-take as a specimen -the first, that the Scripture is undoubtedly true, which says,

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow ? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine;' -the second, that a public testimony is rendered necessary by the wide-spread misery and crime produced by drunkenness ;the third, that I think it right;—the fourth, because I am sure it will do good ;—the fifth, because it will aid me individually in resisting temptation ;—the sixth, because it will probably be of some help, in a similar way, to my fellow-men; and the seventh, because I do not know any reason why I should not sign it. These seven reasons I might enlarge on in seven addresses to the readers of this journal; but as the best orations are those which a man's conscience makes in the audience of his own heart, I give this one, and leave the other six for themselves, desiring only that they will be faithful to follow up the convictions of their minds. “I have done what I deemed my duty, by urging the subject of temperance and of Temperance Societies on their attention; let them do theirs, by seriously considering, • who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause?' If they find, when they listen to their own consciences, that the drunkard is pre-eminently free from these evils, then I say, follow his example; yet, if he be not free, but in bondage under the most galling tyranny—no less than the tyranny of depraved habitsthen let them reflect whether they ought not to unite with all who believe that the cause of Temperance Societies is the cause of true religion, of man's happiness, and of God's glory.

A. P. M.


I use the term, not exactly in the ordinary sense--that of common-place;' though, indeed, one is too often the same thing as the other—but literally, as the music of every day.

It seems to me that there is a radical fault in the general amateur-practice of this delicious art in our country, and I cannot but think that much of the reproach which falls upon us as an unmusical nation, (unmusical by nature,) is to be traced in its causes to this fault.

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