Page images

ted for such low, fenfitive, and dreggy pleasures. Thou hast fomething of the angel, and something of the beaff in thee; thy foul partakes of the nature of angels, thy body of the nature of beasts, Oh! how many pamper the beast while they starve the angel? God, in the first chapter, put all the creatures in subjection to thee; by this luft thou puttest thyself in subjection to the creature, and art brought under its power, 1 Cor. vi. 12. If God had given thee the head or feet of a beast, oh! what a misery wouldst thou have esteemed it? and is it nothing to have the heart of a beast? Oh! consider it fadly.

Arg. 3. It is a fin by which thou greatly wrongest and abusest thine own body. The body is the foul's inftrument; it is as the tools are to a skilful artificer; this lust both dulls and spoils it, so that it is utterly unfit for any service of him that made it. Thy body is a curious piece, not made by a word of command, as other creatures, but by a word of counsel ; “ I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and « curiously wrought,” saith the Pfalmift, Pfal. cxxxix. 14. or as the vulgar, Acupiétus fum, Painted as with needle-work of divers colours, like a garment richly embroidered. Look how many members, fo many wonders! There are miracles enough, faith one, betwixt head and foot to fill a volume. There is, saith another, such curious work. manship in the eye, that upon the first fight of it, fome Atheists have been forced to acknowledge a God; especially that fifth muscle in the eye is wonderful, whereby, (as à learned * author observes) man differeth from all other creatures, who have but four; one to turn the cye downward, a second to hold it forward, a third to move it to the right-hand, a fourth to the left; but none to turn it upward as a man hath. Now, judge in thyfelf; Did God frame such a curious piece, and enliven it with a soul, which is a spark, a ray of his own light, whose motions are fo quick, various, and indefatigable, whose flights of reason are fo tranfcendent; did God, thinkest thou, send down this curious peace, the top and glory of the creation, the index and epitome of the whole world, Eccl. xii. 2. did God, I say, send down this picture of his own perfection, to be but as a strainer for meats and drinks, a spunge to fuck in wine and beer? Or canst thou answer for the abuse and destruction of it ? By this excess thou fillest it with innumerable diseases, under which it languisheth ; and at last thy life

, like a lamp, is extinguished, being drowned with too much oil. f In• finite diseafes are begotten by it, (faith Zanchius); hence come apo

plexies, gouts, palsies, sudden death, trembling of the hands and • legs ;' herein they bring Cain's curse upon themselves, faith Ambrofe: Drunkenness flags more than the sword. Oh! what a terrible thing will it be to consider upon a death-bed, that these pangs

Columb. de re Anat.

Infinitæ morborum genera inde nafcuntur apoplexa, paralyfes, artbridas, &c The opinie medicus fibi, qui modicus ribi. Aug.

and aches are the fruits of thy intemperance and excefs ! « Who hath " woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions ? Who hath “babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness " of eyes? They ihat tarry long at the wire, they that go to seek

mixed wine,” Prov. xxiii. 29, 30. By this enumeration and manner of interrogation, he seems to make it a difficult thing to recount the miseries that drunkennefs loads the outward man with ; for look as vermin abound where there is store of corn, so do diseases in the bodies of drunkards, where crudities do so abound. Now, methinks, if thou hast no regard to thy pour soul, or the glory of God, yet such a sensible argument as this, from thy body, should move thee.

Arg. 4. Drunkenness wastes and scatters thine estate, poverty attends excess; the drunkard shall be clothed with rags, and brought to a morsel of bread. Solomon hath read thy fortune, Prov. xxi. 17. “ He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich ;” luxury and beggary are seldom far asunder. When Diogenes heard a drunkard's house cried to be fold; I thought (quoth he) it would not be long re'er he vomited up his house also.' The Hebrew word vir and the Greek word arutio, which fignify luxury; the former is compounded of two words, which fignify, Thou foalt be poor ; and the latter signifies the losing of the possession of that good which is in our hand. “ The drunkard and the glutton shall surely come to poverty,"

" Prov. xxiii. 21. In the Hebrew it is, he shall be disinherited or dispoffefred. It doth not only difpoffefs a man of his reafon, which is a rich and fair inheritance given to him by God, but it also difpoffeffes him of hiseftate: It wastes all that either the provident care of thy progenitors, or the blessing of God upon thineown industry, hath obtained for thee And how will this sting like an adder, when thou shalt consider it? Apicus the Roman, hearing that there were seven hundred crowns only remaining of a fair estate that his father had left him, fell into a deep melancholy, and, fearing want, hanged himself, saith Seneca. And not to mention the miseries and sorrows they bring hereby upon their families, drinking the tears, yea, the blood of their wives and children : Oh! what an account will they give to God, when the reckoning day comes ! Believe it, firs, there is not a shilling of your estates, but God will reckon with you for the expence thereof. If you have spent it upon your lusts, whilst the necessity of your families, or the poor, called upon you for it; I should be loth to have your account to make, for a thousand times more than ever you poffeffed. Owoful expence, that is followed with such dreadful reckonings!

Arg. 5. Consider what vile and ignominious characters the Spirit of God hath put upon the subjects of this sin. The scripture every where notes them for infamous, and most abominable persons. When Eli supposed Hannah to be drunken, “Count not thine hand" maid a daughter of Belial,” said she, 1 Sam. i. 16. Now, a fon or daughter of Belial is, in scripture-language, the vileft of men

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

or women. So Pfal. Ixix. 12. “ They that fit in the gate, fpeák “ against me, and I am the song of drunkards," i. e. of the baselt and vilest of men, as the opposition plainly thews; for they are opposed to them that fit in the gate, that is, honourable persons. The Lord would have his people Thun the society of such as a pest, not to eat with them, 1 Cor. v. 11. Yea, the fcripture brands them with atheisı ; they are such as have lost the sense and expectation of the day of judgment; mind not another world, nor do they look for the coming of the Lord, Mat. xxiv. 27, 28. He saith the Lord delayeth his coming, and then falls a drinking with the drunkard. The thoughts of that day will make them leave their cups, or their cups will drown the thoughts of fuch a day. And will not all the contempt, fhame and infamy which the Spirit of God hath poured on the head of this fin cause thee to abhor it? Do not all godly, yea, moral persons, abhor the drunkard? Oh! methinks the ihame that attends it, should be as a fence to keep thee from it.

Arg. 6. Sadly consider, there can be nothing of the sanctifying Spirit in a soul that is under the dominion of this luft; for upon the first discovery of the grace of God, the soul renounces the government of fenfuality : “The grace of God that bringeth salvation, “ teacheth men to live loberly,” Tit. ii. 11, 12. That is one of its first effects. Drunkenness indeed may be found among heathens, that are lost in the darkness of ignorance ; but it may not be once named among the children of the day. “They that be drunken, « are drunken in the night; but let us that are of the day, be sober," 1 Thefl

. v. 7, 8. And the apostles often oppose wine and the Spirit as things incompatible, Eph. v. 18. ~ Be not drunk with wine, “ wherein is excels; but be filled with the Spirit." So Jude 19. “ Sensual, not having the Spirit,” Now what a dreadful consideration is this? “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none " of his," Rom, viii. 9. Sensual persons have not the Spirit of Chrift, and fo can be none of his. It is true, Noah, a godly man, once fell into this fin; but, as Theodoret faith, and that truly, it proceeded ab inexperientia, non ab intemperantia, from want of experience of the force and power of the grape, not from intemperance; and, besides, we find not that ever he was again overtaken with that fin; but thou knowest it, and yet perlistelt, O wretched creature ! the Spirit of Christ cannot dwell in thee. The Lord help thee to lay it to heart fadly!

Arg. 7. It is a sin over which many direful woes and threats hang in the word, like so many low'ring clouds, ready to pour down ven. geance upon the heads of such finners. Look, as the condition of the saints is compaffed round with promises, so is yours with threatenings, Ifa. v. 11.“ Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, " that they may follow strong drink, and continue until night, uno til wine inflame them.” So Isa. xxviii. 1, 2. « Woe to the crown « of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim," &c. with many others, too long to be enumerated here. Now, consider what a fearful thing it is to be under thefe woes of God! Sinner, I beseech thee, do not make light of them, for they will fall heavy; assure thyfelf not one of them fall fall to the ground; they will all take place upon thee, except thou repent.

There are woes of men, and woes of God: God's woes are true woes, and make their condition woful, to purpose, on whom they fall. Other woes, as one faith, do but touch the skin, but these strike the soul; other woes are but temporal, these are eternal ; others do only part betwixt us and our outward comforts, these betwixt God and us for ever.

Arg. 8. Drunkenness is a leading fin, which has a great retinue and attendance of other fins waiting on it; it is like a sudden landflood, which brings a great deal of dirt with it. So that look as faith excels among the graces, because it enlivens, actuates, and gives strength to them, so is this among fins. It is not so much a special sin against a single precept of God, as a general violation of the whole law, faith accurate Amesius. It doth not only call off the guard, but warms and quickens all other lusts, and so exposes the foul to be pro{tituted by them. (1.) It gives occafion, yea, is the real cause of many contentions, and fatal quarrels, Prov. xxiii. 29. “Who hath « woe? Who hath forrow? Who hath [contentions], babbling, a wounds without caufe? They that tarry long at the wine," &c. Contentions and wounds are the ordinary effects of drunken meetings: When reason is deposed, and lust heated, what will not men attempt? (2.) Scoffs and reproaches of the ways and people of God, Pfal. Ixix. 12. « David was the song of the drunkards.” (3.) It is the great incendiary of luft : You fhall find rioting and drunkenness joined with chambering and wantonness, Rom. xii. 13. Nunquam ego ebrium caftum putabo, faith Hierom ; I will never think a drunkard to be chalte. Solomon plainly tells us what the issue will be, Prov, xxiii. 33. “ Thine eyes shall behold a strange woman, and thy heart « shall utter perverse things," speaking of the drunkard. It may be called Gad, for a troop followeth it. Hence one aptly calls it, The devil's bridle, by which he turneth the finner which way he pleases ; he that is overcome by it, can overcome no other sin.

Arg. 9. But if none of the former considerations can prevail, I hope these two last may, unless all sense and tenderness be loft. Con fider, therefore, in the 9th place, that drunkards are in fcripture marked out for hell; the characters of death are upon them. You fhall find them pinioned with other sons of death, i Cor. vi. 9, 10, “ Know ye not that the unrighteous thall not inherit the kingdom " of God? Be not deceived ; Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor " adulterers, nor effeminare, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, “ nor thieves, nor covetous, nor (drunkards], nor revilers, nor ex. “ tortioners, thall inherit the kingdom of God.” Oh dreadful thunder-bolt ! He is not afleep but dead, that is not startled at it. Lord, how are guilty sinners able to face such a text as this is ! Oh soul! darest thou for a superfluous cup, adventure to drink a cup of pure unmixed wrath ? O think when the wine fparkles in the glass, and gives its colour, think, I say, what a cup of trembling is in the hand of the Lord for thee. Thou wilt not now believe this. Ol ! but the day is coming, when thou shalt know the price of these brutish pleasures. Oh! it will then sting like an adder. Ah! this shortlived beastly pleasure is the price for which thou sellest heaven, and rivers of pleasure that are at God's right hand.

Obj. But I hope I shall repent, and then this text can be no bar to my falvation.

Sol. True; if God shall give thee repentance, it could not. But, in the last place, to awaken thee thoroughly, and startle thy secure conscience, which fensuality hath brawned and cauterized, let me tell thee,

Arg. 10. That it is a fin out of whore power few, or none are ever rescued and reclaimed. On this account it was that St Augustine called it the pit of hell. He that is addicted to this fin becomes incurable, faith a * reverend divine ; for seldom or never have I known a drunkard reclaimed. And its power to hold the soul in subjection to it, lies in two things especially: (1.) As it becomes habitual, andhabits are not easily broken. Be pleased to view an example in the case, Prov. xxiii. 35. “ They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was « not fick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not. When shall I o awake? I will seek it yet again.” (2.) As it “ takes away the « heart,” Hof. iv. 1 1. that is, the understanding, reason, and ingenuity of a man, and so makes him incapable of being reclaimed by counfel. Upon this account it was that Abigail would not speak less or more to Nabal, until the wine was gone out of him, i Sam. XXV. 36, 37. Plainly intimating, that no wholesome counsel can get in until the wine be gone out. When one asked Cleoftratus, whether he were not afhamed to be drunken, he tartly replied, “And are not • you ashamed to admonish a drunkard ?' Intimating that no wise man would castaway an admonition upon such an one. And it not only renders them incapable of counsel for the time, but by degrees it befots and infatuates them; which is a very grievous stroke from God upon them, making way to their eternal ruin. So then you see upon the whole what a dangerous gulph the fin of drunkennels is. I beg you, for the Lord's fake, and by all the regard you have to your fouls, bodies, and estates, beware of it. O consider these ten arguments I have here produced against it. I should have proceeded to answer the several pleas and excufes you have for it; but I mind brevity, and shall shut up this first caution with a very pertinent and ingenious poem of Mr George Herbert, in his Temple.

[ocr errors]

* Amef. de Consc. p. 139.

« PreviousContinue »