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appetites, would be making sure of the destruction of the body. The point we ought to have in view is, therefore, to conduct and regulate them so, as best to answer the wise ends, for which they were planted in our nature.
That every living creature should have in its make a strong desire to preserve life, was necessary. But in rational minds all natural instincts are to be under the controul of reason; the superior faculty to govern the inferior. It is evident, that there may be many cases, in which rectitude and propriety may require us to get over the instinctive love of life, as wel as to conquer the influence of the other natural paflions. Whoever loves life more than virtue, religion, or his country, is guilty of a gross absurdity in preferring that, which is of less consequence, to that which is of greater. We are always to endeavour, as before observed, to view things in the light, they may be fuppofed to appear into the All-comprehensive Mind. But I cannot bring myfelf to believe, that my life appears to the Supreme Mind of such importance, that it ought to be preserved to the prejudice of sacred and eternal truth; that it is better, the people should perilh for one man, than one man for the people.
If the heroes and fages among the Heathens, who had no such sure prospect of a future existence as we have, or may have; if they, whose views of a life to come, were rather strong defircs, than well established hopes; if they shewed such a contempt of the present life, as to give it up with joy and triumph for the fervice of their country, and for the sake of truth; of which history furnishes instances almost innumerable; it were to be expected, that we should, in the contempt of life, greatly exceed them; which, to our shame, is far from being the case.
A competency of the good things of life being necessary for the support of life, it is evident, that a reafonable degree of care, industry, and frugality, is altogether proper; of which I have treated pretty copiously in the first part of this work. Whenever this care for the conyeniences of life proceeds such a length, as to produce
a love of riches for their own sake, it is then, that a man thews himself bewildered and lost to all rational and judicious 'views, and enchanted with a mere imaginary object of no real value in itself. That a man ihould bestow his whole labour in heaping up pieces of metal, or paper, and should make his very being wretched, because he cannot get together the quantity he aims at, which he does not need, nor would use, if he had them in his, poffeffion; is much the same wisdom, as if he spent his life in filling his magazines with cockle-shells, or pebbles. If it be likewise remembered, that every passion indulged, becomes in time an unconquerable habit, and that a fixed love of sordid riches is altogether unsuitable to the spiritual immortal state, for which we were intended, where gold and silver will be of no value; if it be considered, that a great degree of avarice is wholly inconftent with every generous sentiment, and even with common honesty; and that any constant pursuit whatever, which engages the whole attention, and takes it off from those sublime views of futurity, and those preparations for immortality, which are absolutely necessary toward our being found fit for that final state, is highly criminal; if thele, and various other confiderations be allowed their due weight, it will appear, that covetousness is a vice altogether unsuitable to the dige nity of our nature, and that the safe fide to err on, with regard to riches, is, To be too indifferent, rather than too anxious about them.
If the fole design of the appetite of hunger be, To oblige us mechanically, by means of pain, to take that due care of supporting the body by proper nourishment, wbich we could not have been so agreeably, and effectually brought to, by pure reason; it is obvious, that the view we ought to have in eating, is the support of life. That kind of food, which is fitted for nourishing the body, and the least likely to breed diseases, is evidently the best. And if artificial dishes, unnatural mixtures, and high sauces, be the least proper for being assimilated into chyle and blood, and the moit likely to produce humours unfriendly to the conftitution ; what is commonly called rich feeding is, in truth, flow poison.
It is therefore very strange, that men should have so little command of themselves, that, for the sake of the trifling pleasure of having their palates tickled with a favoury taste, they shouid venture the shortening of their days. At the same time, that the enormous expence of a rich table might be spared, and the same, or rather indeed a much higher pleasure, in eating, might be enjoyed, if people would but give themselves time and exercise to acquire a hearty appetite. But I really believe that is what some have never experienced, and consequently have no conception of.
The yices we are in danger of running into, by which our table may become a snare to us, are, bestowing too great expence, or too much time at our meals, over-gorging nature, or hurting our health by a wrong choice of food. Nothing seems more evident, than that to waste or squander away the good gifts of Providence, especially in so fordid a manner, as upon the materials of gluttony, is altogether unjustifiable. The only rational notion we can form of the desigņ of Providence in bestowing riches upon fome, and finking others in poverty, is, That men are placed in those different circumstances with a view to the trial and exercise of different virtues. So that riches are to be considered as a stewardfhip, not to be lavished away in pampering our vices, and supporting our vanity, but to be laid out in such a manner as we shall hereafter be able to answer for, to Him, who entrusted us with them, And whoever beItowş yearly în gorging and gluttony, what might support a great many families in industry and frugality, let him fee to the consequences.
Again, if we be really fpirits, though at present embodied; it seems pretty plain, that the feeding of the body ought not to engross any very great proportion of our time. If indeed we look upon ourselves as more body than spirit, we ought then to bestow the principal attention upon the body. But this is what few will care to own in words; which makes their declaring it by their practice the more absurd, and inconsistent.
If it be our duty to preserve our health and life for usefulness in our station, it can never be innocent in us
to pervert the very means appointed for the support of the body, to the destruction of the body. We are here upon duty, and are to keep upon our post, till called off. And he who trifies with life, and loses it upon any frivolous occasion, must answer for it hereafter to the Author of Life.
Lastly, if it be certain, that in the future world of spirits, to which we are all hastening, there will be no occafion for this appetite, nor any gratifying of appetites at all, nothing is more evident, than the absurdity of indulging it in such an unbounded and licentious manner, as to give it an abfolute alcendant over us, and to work it into the very mind, fo as it shall remain, when the body, for whose fake it was given, has no farther occasion for it. The design our Maker had in placing us in this state of discipline, was to give us an opportunity of cultivating in ourselves other forts of habits than those of gluttony and sensuality.
Of the many fatal contrivances, which our fpecies, too fertile in invention, have hit upon for corrupting themselves, defacing the blessed Maker's image upon
the mind, and perverting the end of their creation ; none would appear more unaccountable, if we were not too well accustomed to see infiances of it, than the savage vice of drunkenness. That ever it should become a practice for rational beings to delight in overturning their reason; that ever men should voluntarily choose, by swallowing a magical draught, to brurity themselves; nay, to fink themselves below the level of the brutes; for drunkenness is peculiar to our species; this madneis must appear to other orders of being, wonderfully shocking. No man can bear the least reflection upon his understanding, whatever he will upon his virtue. Yet men will indulge a practice, by which experience convinces them, they will effectually lose their understanding, and become perfect idiots. Unthinking people are wont to look with great contempt upon natural fools. But in what light ought they to view a fool of his own making? What can be conceived more unsuitable to the Dignity of Human Nature, than the drunkard, with his eyes staring, his tongue stammering, his lips quirering, his hands trembling, his legs tottering, and his stomach heaving. Decency will not suffer me to pro. ceed in fo filthy a description. The swine, wallowing in the mire is not so loathsome an object as the drunkard ; for nature in her meanest dress is always nature: but the drunkard is a monster, out of nature. The only rational being upon earth reduced to absolute incapacity of reason, or speech! A being formed for immortality funk into filth and sensuality! A creature endowed with capacities for being a companion of angels, and inhabiting the etherial regions, in a condition not fit to come into a clean room, among his fellow-creatures! The lord of this world funk below the vilest.of the brutes!
One would think all this was bad enough : but there is much worse to be said against this most abominable and fatal vice. For there is no other that so effectually and so suddenly unhinges and overturns all virtues, and destroys every thing valuable in the mind, as drunkennefs. For it takes off every restraint, and opens the mind to every temptation. So that there is no such expeditious way for a person to corrupt and debauch himself, to turn himself from a man into a demon, as by intoxicating himself with strong liquor. Nor is there, perhaps, any other habit so bewitching, and which becomes so foon unconquerable as drunkenness. The reason is plain. There is no vice which so effectually deltroys reason. And when the faculties of the mind are overturned, what means can the unhappy person use, or what course can another take with him, to set him right? to attempt to reform a confirmed drunkard, is much the same as preaching to a madnian, or idiot. Reason, the helm of the mind, once destroyed, there is nothing remaining wherewith to steer it. It must then be left to run adrift.
It is deplorable to think of the miserable pretences made use of to apologize for this beastly vice. One exuses himself by his being neceffarily obliged to keep company. But it is notorious that nothing more effectually disqualifies a man for company, than to have his tongue tied, and his brains Itupified with liquor. Be