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force! Do we make the case our own; the duty ours, and ours the privilege? Does the worth of perishing immortals lie with due weight upon our minds, and constrain us to say one to another, " Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord ?" O my brethren; the Church holds a station of tremendous responsibility. God has designed that she should show forth his praise and exert a powerful influence on impenitent
She may do much-she is commanded to do much-in calling down the influences of the Holy Ghost. How criminal then her negligence and unbelief! Negligence when everlasting consequences are depending! unbelief when God has promised to bless! Actuated by the same spirit which brought a Redeemer from the skies, we should pour out our sighs and tears, as he did his precious blood, for a ruined world; and labor faithfully unto death, if we hope to receive a crown of life. No license and no encouragement is given to inactivity and unbelief.
And now, Christian brethren, what are you expecting? Are you looking out to see a great moving among sinners, anxious for their immortal interests? Do you expect to see them fleeing to Christ as for their lives? Are you praying for the Holy Spirit to be poured out, that their consciences may be effectually aroused, and they be constrained to repair to the cross for pardon and peace? When you see your neighbors or friends sinking under the pressure of disease, and drawing near to death, without hope, and with but a few moments left in which to prepare for eternity—do you feel the importance of prayor and effort? And have you no pity for the impenitent, while in health, who are abusing all the means of grace? Do you not regret that you have already let so many opportunities of doing good pass unimproved? Or were you laid upon the bed of death, could you help feeling for those that have no interest in the Savior ! Then let the subject come home upon your minds while in health and while you have all the encouragement to prayer and effort which the promises of God can furnish. Obe entreated, by all that is sacred and solemn in the work of redemption, to rise up to a nobler stand for God, and to more efficient exertions for your dying fellow men.
Go speedily and plead for sinners, and for Zion's prosperity, as though stand. ing near the cross of Calvary, near the throne of God, or near the judgment sent, and in full view of eternal realities.
Brethren, the time is short-the night is at hand. Work while it is day-praying always with all prayer and supplication, in the Spirit, and watching thereuntò with all perseverance ; for blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh, shall find so doing.-AMEN,
PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND NATURAL HISTORY IN AMHERST COLLEGE.
CONSEQUENCES OF INTEMPERANCE IN EATING.
(Continued from page 360.] PPOVERBS xxiii. 2. Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given
to appetite. This is Solomon's direction to one who is tempted to indulge in eating to excess. And it means, either that a man in such circumstances, should feel as if a knife were at his throat, to give him a mortal wound if he yielded to the temptation ; or, that it would be better for him to put a knife to his throat, than to indulge his appetite immoderately. Understood either way, it forcibly represents the dangerous consequences of excess in diet. To exhibit these consequences, is my object in this dis
1. Let us consider the effects of this kind of excess on the physical character.
The peculiar influence of alcoholic mixtures, whether ardent spírit, or wine, it is not my design to depict : but merely the effects of those articles, whether fluid or solid, that are commonly taken for nourishment.
There are two articles of drink, viz. tea and coffee, so extensively used, and regarded as affording nourishment, that a few words seem necessary concerning them : though I intend not here a full discussion as to their use. But the true nature of their operation on the system ought to be understood. And there is no longer any intelligent physician, or chimist, who maintains, that, apart from the substances with which they are mixed when taken, there is derived from them the least nourishment. They operate precisely like alcohol, (except that they do not intoxicate,) by stimulating the nervous system; and thus rouse into action the strength of the constitution : but they impart to it no new strength. Hence it is, that those addicted to their use, are apt to resort to them with greater frequency, and to make the decoction stronger and stronger, just as is the case with those who habitually employ alcohol. Hence too it is, that the feeble and nervous are affected by their use with tremors, palpitations of the heart, and a frequent sense of sinking and debility, after their excitement is over. Hence too, the frequent headache of such persons, which, for a time, is relieved by a free use of the sub
stances that produced it, in the same manner as the horrid prostration of the intemperate man is relieved by a resort to the stimulating bowl, which will once more rouse up his energies only to sink still lower. Hence too, the sleeplessness, at night, and the stupor and heaviness that oppress the system in the morning, until a repetition of the use arouses the organs to new efforts.
T'hat these substances exert a salutary influence, occasionally as medicines, cannot be doubted. But it is no less certain, that their habitual use produces, in most constitutions, in a greater or less degree, the effects that have been mentioned. Hence a distinguished French physician says, that they should be used only in those circumstances, when it is proper to use fermented or distilled liquors. Yet how wide spread and enormous their use! During the year 1831, more than three hundred million pounds of coffee were consumed in Europe and America; and fifty millions in the United States : and as many pounds of tea among us, as we have inhabitants. Surely their effects cannot be small, either upon the health, or the pecuniary resources of the community. And if water be a decidedly better beverage, the inquiry certainly deserves the serious attention of every man, and especially of every Christian, whether both worldly and religious motives do not demand an abandonment of these luxuries.
But to dwell no longer on a point that will probably be so unwelcome to most of the community, I proceed to point on the physical effects of excess in the use of articles really nourishing, when used temperately.
This excess produces sometimes grossness of appearance and obesity, and sometimes a haggard aspect and au emaciation of the frame. Fleshiness and a gross countenance are commonly regarded as resulting from excess, either in eating or drinking; and in most cases this is a correct inference. But very few are aware, of what is probably true, that the most usual effect of over-eating is excessive leanness and a pale squalid aspect. The digestive organs, being overloaded, are unable to convert any part of the food they receive into healthy nourishment: the consequence is, that the body is famished, not through a deficiency, but by an excess of food. In other constitutions, the superabundance is converted into fat; which must be regarded, generally, as a secretion more or less of a morbid character.
That this is a true view of the subject, fair experiments will show. Let the two fleshy man reduce the quantity, and simplify the quality of his food, and employ a proper proportion of exercise, and he will soon be reduced to a healthy standard. And let the emaciated man who has no actual disease upon him, do the same; and when he takes only that quantity and quality of food which his digestive organs can master with pleasure, he will generally find his muscles attaining gradually the strength and fullness of health. This is, indeed, directly contrary to the course that is usually taken: but it is nevertheless the course which medical philosophy and experience point out. A man becomes emaciated and feeble, and the conclusion he and his friends naturally draw, is, that he needs only a greater quantity, or more nourishing quality of food, to restore him; whereas what he needs is to give rest to his digestive organs, that they may gain strength to convert food into nourishment. And this rest can be obtained only by reducing the daily task imposed upon them.
Another physical effect of excessive eating, is, muscular torpidityThis is exemplified in that indisposition to exertion, and tendency to sleep, which every man feels after a very hearty meal. The slightest effort seems an insupportable burthen: everything, indeed, except sleep, is burdensome. The reason of this torpidity I have explained in a former discourse. The muscles, the senses, and the brain, must in a greater or less degree, suspend their proper work, in order that the energies of the system may be concentrated in the stomach. This is the reason that many are in the habit of defering the principal meal of the day till their active efforts are over; for they have found, that after dinner it is no easy matter to bring the voluntary muscles into action; and multitudes suppose this sluggish state of the system is the necessary result of taking food, and have no idea that when only a temperate quantity of food is taken, the system is refreshed and invigorated, instead of being oppressed; and that it is excess only that is succ
cceeded by torpidity. True, a man may be so much fatigued before dinner that nature will demand repose: or his drowsiness may result from a feeble state of health; but with these exceptions, the torpidity subsequent to meals, is to be imputed to criminal excess.
It often happens, that while the muscles are thus rendered inactive by their sympathy with the digestive powers, the nervous system is unduly excited. Hence the uneasiness that often follows a too hearty meal; and hence too, the extreme irritability and crabbedness of the glutton, when not buried in sleep, or “ feeding himself without fear” at the table of luxury.
It is natural to infer, that if the digestive powers have a severer task imposed upon them than nature intended, they will only imperfectly execute their office. The consequence must be, a greater or less derangement of the system ; since imperfect blood must produce imperfect nourishment. Thus the way is prepared for disease; or rather, this is sowing the seeds of disease, which, in such a soil, will soon spring up, and flourish in rank luxuriance. The common opinions as to the origin of diseases are exceedingly incorrect. When attacked by severe and violent . disorders, it is rare that any one thinks of looking farther than to the slight exposure or fatigue that developed the complaint, but was by no means its cause. The fact is, the constitution in most cases is a long while preparing for sickness before it comes; and in a majority of instances, that preparation consists, either in unnecessary expenses of vital energy, or in intemperance in drink or food; and in such cases, certainly the cause is sinful, so that sometimes, a man who dies with a fever, or the apoplexy, may be as criminal as he who terminates his days by the pistol. All feel this to be true in the case of the drunkard. But why is it not equally true of him, who through excess in food, prepares his system to be invaded and overcome by disease ?
When a man overloads his digestive powers, every part of the system sympathises with them, and lends a heiping hand to sustain the burden. All those organs that serve as waste gates to the bodily frame are immediately roused to most vigorous action, and endeavor to throw off the superabandance before it has corrupted the system. For a time the object is in a good measure accomplished. But wearied out ere long by incessant labor, they fail to accomplish their object, and soon disease is able to fix its talons in the constitution. The man brought suddenly upon a sick bed, racks his invention to assign some cause for his complaint, that will exonerate himself from blame; and he feels perfectly satisfied, if he can recollect having taken a cold, or having been necessitated to perform some extra labor. Whereas, had he been temperate, that extra labor would not probably have injured him, nor a slight atmospheric vicissitude have resulted in a catarrh or cold. His intemperance has exhausted the pow. ers of life, and the vitiated blood can no longer be purified by their action. The intelligent physician often sees in the flushed countenance and flesh. iness of one man, and in the paleness and emaciation of another, the marks of incipient disease. But the individual himself
, borne up by the over excitement of stimulating food, fancies himself secure from disease until suddenly prostrated.
Lest I should seem to be exaggerating the effects of excess in eating in producing disease, I will fortify my statements by the opinion of several distinguished physicians.
Gluttony and intemperance," says one, “are the source of two thirds of the diseases which embitter the life of man.”
"'The due degree of temperance," says another, “would add one third to the duration of human life.”
“I tell you honestly,” says a third, “what I think is the cause of the complicated maladies of the human race: it is their gormandizing, and stuffing and stimulating their digestive organs to an excess, thereby producing nervous disorders and irritation."
" It is the opinion of the majority of the most distinguished physicians," says a fourth, that intemperance in diet, destroys the bulk of mankind: in other words, that what is eaten and drank, and thus taken into the habit
, is the original cause of by far the greater number of diseases which afflict the human race."
** Most of all the chronical diseases, the infirmities of old age, and the short period of the lives of Englishmen,” said another, more than a century since, “are owing to repletion.”
Says another, “What occasions two thirds of all inflammatory and febrile diseases, but causes, in themselves not serious, operating upon a system highly susceptible of diseased action, from being overcharged with stimulating and nutritious matter? Allour most eminent physicians agree in this one point, that as a people, we eat far too much hearty food; that is, we take in more rich nutriment than we require, and the consequence is, our system becomes overloaded and oppressed-our organs are clogged in the performance of their several functions—the circulating fluids become too thick and stimulating, and the proneness to derangement and diseased action, is greatly increased. Hence arises a large proportion of the inflammatory and febrile diseases amongst us, and hence it is, that copious blood letting and active medicines are so much more required in America than in most other countries."
Will not these appalling testimonies startle those Christians, who, by their excesses are taking the very course which is here marked out, as the road to premature disease and death? Will they still continue to regard the intemperate drinker as the only man who is violating the command, Thou shalt not kill ? In view of such results from the daily violation of the rules of temperance in eating, can he go on as he has done, with his conscience asleep? Can he thus cut short his days, and not be guilty ? For it ought further to be remembered, that excess in food, not merely pre disposes to disease, but weakens the power of the system to resist disease. Hence the temperate man will rise unhurt from an attack which will crush the glutton at once. For the latter has tasked his bodily organs so severely, that they cannot sustain a conflict with disease. This is admitted universally in the case of the drunkard. But it is equally true in respect to that man who is intemperate in food. And if his constiution give way thirty or forty years earlier, in consequence of that intemperance, why is he less guilty than the drunkard, for the selfimmolation?
II. I proceed next to consider the effects of intemperance in eating upon the mental character.
The bodily torpor, already described as the result of excess, cannot exist without imparting a corresponding stupidity to the mind. In other words, the load that paralyses the bodily powers must prostrate the intellect and cramp all its energies. Let a man attempt vigorously to exercise his mind after a hearty meal, and he will have a good idea of the effects of
upon the intellect. He cannot confine the attention, nor depend