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themselves a great deal more than ever I intended to do.

I confess it is a bitter pill, and compounded of many operative and strong ingredients, which do acute it; but not a jot more than is nccessary. I Mall beg the assistance of your prayers to God for them, and of your grave admonitions and exhortations to them for God; which will much help its operation, and facilitate my design, to do their souls a piece of everlasting service ; with which delign I can truly fay, I even travail in pain for them. Your affistance therefore in this good work, will put the highest obligation upon

Your most affectionate
Friend and Servant,

to be commanded,

JOHN FLAVÉL.

А

SOBER CONSIDERATION

Of the Sin of

DRUNKENNESS.

I

IN the former treatise I have endeavoured to spiritualize earthly

objects, and elevate your thoughts to more sublime and excellent contemplations; that earthly things may rather be a step, than a stop to heavenly. You have therein my best advice to guide you in your course to that port of your eternal rest and happiness.

In this I have given warning of some dangerous rocks and quickfands that lie upon your left hand; upon which millions of souls have perished, and others are wilfully running to their own perdition. Such are the horrid fins of drunkenness, uncleanness, profane swearing, violation of promises. engagements made to God, and atheistical Nighting and contempt of death and eternity. All which I have here given warning of, and held forth a light to discover where your danger is. If after this you obstinately profecute your lufts, and will not be reclaimed; you perish without apology, I have freed mine own soul.

Let none interpret this neceffary.plainness as a reproach to seamen, as if I represented them to the world worse than they are. If, upon that account, any of them be offended, methinks these three or four confiderations thould remove that offence.

Fird, That if this close and plain dealing be necessary, in order to your cure, and you will be offended thereat, it is better you should be offended than God. Ministers are often put upon lamentable ftraits, they fail betwixt Scylla and Charybdis; the wrath of God

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upon one side, if we do not speak plain and home, as the neceflity of the case requires ; and man's wrath if we do : what shall we do in this strait ? Either God or you, it feenis, must be offended, and if it cannot be avoided, I hall rather hazard your anger than God's, and think it far more tolerable.

Secondly, If you did bụt see the necessity and end of this manner of dealing with your souls, you would not be offended. But put it into a more fensible case, and you will see and acknowledge it presently. If I should fee an high-built wall giving way, and ready to fall upon you, would you be angry with me, if by plucking you out of the danger, I should pluck your arm out of joint; certainly you would Why, this is the cafe here : See Isa.

XXX. 13.

« Therefore this “ iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a « high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly, at an instant."

Thirdly, What a madnefs is it to abide in a condition over which all woes and curfes hang, and yet not be able to endure to hear of it! Why, what will it profit you to have your mifery hid from your eyes, and kept from you ears a little while ? You must see this wrath, and hear louder vollies of woes from your own consciences, if you remain in this condition. You cannot bear that from us, which your confcience will one of these days preach themselves to you, and that in a more dreadful dialect than I have used here.

Fourthly, I do not charge these fins indifferently upon all feamen. No, I know there are some choice and good men amongst your men, that fear an oath, and hate even the garments spotted with the flesh, who are (I question not) the credit and glory of our English nation, in the eyes of strangers that converse with them. Nor yet do I think that all that are wicked amongft them are equally guilty of all these evils; for though all that are graceless be equally under the dominion of original corruption, yet it follows not from thence, that therefore actual lins must reign alike in them : there is a great difference, even among ungodly men themselves in this respect; which difference ariseth from their various customs, constitutions, abilities, educations, and the different administrations of the Spirit, in enlightening, convincing, and putting checks upon conscience: for tho" God be not the author, yet he is the orderer of fin. And this makes a great disparity, even among wicked men themselves. Some are persons of good morals, though not gracious principles, which produce a civil and sober, though not a holy and religious life. And others, though they live in some one of these lusts, yet are not guilty of fome others of them. For it is with original corruption, just as it is with“. the sap of the earth, which though it be the matter of all kind of fruits, yet in tome ground it forts better with one grain than with another : and fo in plants, in one tree it becomes an apple, in another a cherry; even so it is with this original corruption, in one man it runs most into swearing, in another into uncleanness, in a third into drunkennefs. Luft is nothing else but the corrupt appetite of the creature

to fome sinful object; and therefore look as it is with the appetite with respect to food, so it is with the vitiated appetites of fouls to fin. One man loves this food best, and another that, there is endless variety in that, and so in this.

Having spoken thus much to remove offence, I shall now beg you to peruse the following discourse. Consider what evidence these things carry with them. Search the alledged fcriptures, see if they be truly recited and applied to the case in hand : And if so, O tremble at the truth you read! bring forth your lusts, that they may die the death. Will you not part with these abominable practices till death and hell make the separation ? Ah ! how much better is it for you that grace should do it? And because many of you see not the danger, and therefore prize not the remedy, I do here request all those that have the bowels of pity in them, for their poor relations, who are finking, drowning, perilhing, to spread these following cautions before the Lord for a blessing, and then put them into their hands. And O that all pious masters would persuade all those that are under their charge to buy this ensuing treatise, and diligently peruse it. And the first caution I Thall give them is this :

CAUTION I. YAKE heed, and beware of the detestable fin of drunkenness,

which is a beastly fin, a voluntary madness, a fin that unmans thee, and makes thee like the beasts that perish; yea, sets thee below the beasts, which will not drink to excels; or, if they do, yet it is not their fin. * One of the ancients calls it, A distemper of

the head, a subversion of the sentes, a tempest in the tongue, a storm of the body, the shipwreck of virtue, the loss of time, a wilful 'madness, a pleasant devil, a sugared poison, a sweet fin, which he

that has, has not himself, and he that commits it, doth not only commit fin, but he himself is altogether fin. It is a sin at which the most fober heathens blushed. The Spartans brought their children to loath it, by fhewing them a drunkard, whom they gazed at as a monster : Even Epicurus himfelf, who esteemed happiness to confift in pleasure, yet was temperate, as Cicero obferves.

Among the heathens he was accounted the best man, that spent more oil in the lamp, than wine in the bottle. Christianity could once glory in its profeffors : Tertullian faith of the primitive Christians, they sat not down before they prayed; they eat no more than might suffice hunger, they drank no more than was sufficient for temperate men; they did fo eat and drink, as those that remembered they must pray afterward. But now we may blush to behold íuch beastly sensualifts adorning themselves with its name, and sheltering themselves under its wings.

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Tarbatio capitis, fubversio sensus, tempeftas linguæ, procella corporis, naufragium virtutis, eniffio temporis, infania voluntaria, blantus dæmon, dulce venenum, fuave peccatum, quam qui babet, feipfum non babet ; quam qui fecit, peccatum non fuit, fed ipfe totus eft peccatum. Aug. ad. lacr. Virginis.

1

And amongst those that profess Chriftianity, how ordinarily is this fin committed by seamen? This insatiable dropfy is a disease that reigns, especially among the inferior and ruder sort of them. Some of them have gone aboard drunk, and laid the foundation of their voyage in fin. O what a preparation is this ! They know not whether ever they shall see the land of their nativity any more: the next storm may send them into eternity: Yet this is the farewel they take, this is their preparation to meet the Lord. And so in their returns, notwithftanding the terrible and aftonishing works of the Lord, which they have beheld with their eyes, and their marvellous preservation in fo great and terrible extremities; yet thus do they requite the Lord, as soon as their dangers are over, as if they had been delivered to commit all these abominations. But a few hours or days fince, they were reeling to and fro upon a stormy ocean, and staggering like drunken men, as it is faid, Psal. cvii. 27. and now you may fee them reeling and staggering in the streets, drowning the sense of all those precious mercies and deliverances in their drunken cups.

Reader, if thou be one that is guilty of this fin, for the Lord's fake bethink thyself speedily, and weigh, with the reason of a man, what I fall now say, in order to thy conviction, humiliation, and reformation. I need not spend many words, to open the nature of this fin to you ; we all grant, that there is a lawful use of wine and ftrong drink to support nature, not to clog it; to cure infirmities, not to cause them. “ Drink no longer water, but use a little wine, « for thy ftomach's fake, and thine often infirmity,” faith Paul to Timothy, 1 Tim. v. 23. Mark, drink not water, but wine ; Sed modice, (i. e.) medice ; pro remedio, non pro deliciis, faith Ambrose ; that is, use it modestly, viz. medicinally, not for pleasure, but for remedy. Yea, God allows it, not only for bare necessity, but for cheerfulness and alacrity, that the body may be more fit and more expedite for duty, Prov. xxxi. 7. but further no man proceeds, without the violation of sobriety. When men fit till wine have inflamed them, and reason be difturbed, (for drunkenness is the privation of reason, caused by immoderate drinking), then do they come under the guilt of this horrid and abominable fin. To the satisfaction and refreshment of nature, you may drink : for it is a part of the curse to drink, and not be satisfied; but take heed and go no further; “ For “ wine is a (mocker], strong drink is raging, and whosoever is " deceived thereby, is not wise,” Prov. XX. I. The throat is a flippery place; how easily may a fin flip through it into the foul? These fenfual pleasures have a kind of inchanting power upon the soul, and by custom gain upon it, till they have inflaved it, and brought it under their power. Now, this is the fin against which God hath delivered to many precepts, and denounced so many woes, in his

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Qui dedit

aguan,

dedit vinum.

word. Eph. v. 18. “Be not drunken with wine, wherein is excess.” Rom. xiii. 13. “ Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering « and wantonness," Ifa. v. 11. “Woe to them that rise up early in “ the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue “ until night, till wine inflame them :" with many other of dreadful importance. Now, to startle thee for ever from this abominable and filthy luft, I shall here propoune to thy confideration these ten enfuing arguments; and oh that they might stand in the way, as the angel did in Balaam's, when thou art in the prosecution of thy fensual pleasures ! And the first is this :

Argument 1. It should exceedingly dissuade from this fin, to confider that it is an high abuse of the bounty and goodness of God in affording us those tweet refreshments, to make our lives comforta. ble to us upon earth. In Adam we forfeited all right to all earthly, as well as heavenly mercies: God might have taken thee from the womb, when thou wast a finner but of a span long, and immediately have sent thee to thine own place; thou hadft no right to a drop of water more than what the bounty of God gave thee: And whereas he might have thrust thee out of the world as soon as thou camest into it, and so all those days.of mercy thou hast had on earth might have been spent in howling and unspeakable misery in bell: Behold the bounty and goodness of God to thee; I say, behold it, and won. der : He hath suffered thee for so many years to live upon the earth, which he hath prepared and furnished with all things fit for thy neceflity and delight: Out of the earth, on which thou treadeft," he " bringeth forth thy food, and (wine] to make glad thy heart," Psal. civ. 14, 15. And dost thou thus requite the Lord? Hath mercy armed an enemy to fight against it with its own weapons ? Ah! that ever the riches of his goodness, bounty, and long-suffering, all which are arguments to lead thee to repentance, thould be thus abused ! If God had not been so bountiful, thou couldst not have been so linful.

Arg. 2. It degrades a man from the honour of his creation, and equalizeth him to the beast that perisheth : Wine is said to take away the heart, Hof. iv. 11. i. e. the wisdom and ingenuity of a man, and fo brutifies him, as Nebuchadnezzar, who lost the heart of a man, and had the heart of a beast given him, Dan. iv. 32. The heart of a man hath its generosity and sprightliness, brave, vigorous spirits in it, capable of, and fitted for noble and worthy actions and employments; but his luft effeminates, quenches, and drowns that masculine vigour in the puddle of excess and sensuality: For no sooner is a man brought under the dominion of this lust, but the government of reason is renounced, which should exercise a coercive power over the affections, and all is delivered up into the hands of luft and appetite : and so they act not by discretion and reason, but bv luft and will

, as the beasts do by instinct. The spirit of man entti wins itself with intellectual and chaste delights; the soul of a beast is only fitVol. V.

Qa

**

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