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is the principle of inebriety in all intoxicating drinks, that it is not only unnatural and unnecessary, but absolutely poisonous whenever introduced into the stomach, in however small proportions, and hence urges the doctrine of total abstinence. The following paragraphs of the address especially deserve attention :
• We are the more disposed to press the necessity of entire abstinence, because there seems to be no safe line of distinction between the moderate and immoderate use of intoxicating drinks,—the transition from a temperate to an intemperate use of them, is almost as certain as it is insensible ; indeed, with us it is a question of great moral interest, whether a man can indulge in their use at all, and be considered temperate. We have seen that the natural, unperverted appetite of man does not ask for them, and the only motive that can possibly determine such an indulgence, is to obtain from them a vivid impression upon the nerves, more or less agreeable at the time, but utterly oblivious of better, because more salutary feelings. This result is unnatural, and of course it offers violence to the constitutional order and functionary uniformity of nature, and we respectfully submit whether the means therefore must not be sinful ?
It has been already remarked, that the essential constituent in all intoxicating liquors, producing inebriety, is alcohol, and that this is found in large proportions, not only in the different kinds of distilled liquors, but also in most of the wines, and vinous, as well as malt preparations drank in this country. Who is not alarmed, not to say confounded, when he reflects upon the amount of this bewitching poison which is found in all our fashionable drinks! How can a Christian account to his conscience and his God for swallowing daily an amount of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, of which alcohol is compounded, and which if taken separately from other neutralizing ingredients, would deprive him of life perhaps in a few hours! In a bottle of brandy, for example, (we are guided in the estimate by Saussure and Brande,) there is more alcohol,
by actual measurement, than water-in our best wines, say Port and Madeira, as received and used in this country, nearly one half is alcohol-about six ounces of this poison will be found in a quart of strong cider, and little less than four in a bottle of porter or ale! In a brief address, however, we can only bring these facts into view in a summary way. We propose them for examination and reflection, and we implore the thousands under our charge to bestow upon the whole subject the attention it so obviously and pressingly deserves and demands.
The great and increasing interest, the deep and lasting stake we must always have, as a Church, in preventing and curing the evils of intemperance, will furnish an obvious and commanding vindication of the course we have adopted, in making this appeal to the good sense and enlightened piety of the Methodist Episcopal Church. We consider all intemperance, whether in its incipient or more advanced stages, as an abuse of the physical force and vigor of man, and seriously deducting from the integrity of his mental powers and moral purposes ; and we therefore invoke the aid of our people in an attempt to banish the evil from our Church altogether.'
After a picture of the gloomy calamities under which our country is
groaning, and a touching description of the ruinous personal and domestic evils which the use of spirituous liquors has entailed upon human kind, it is gravely and religiously inquired, Can those be innocent who contribute to secure such results, whether by the pestilential example of temperate drinking as it is called, or the still more criminal means of furnishing the poisonous preparation by manufacture or traffic for the degradation and ruin of others ?' And then follow the concluding paragraphs of this invaluable address, which, as they contain the language and sentiments of our own Wesley long before the present impulse on this subject was felt by others, will be regarded by every friend of the cause, and especially by every Methodist, as worthy at least of serious and candid consideration. At the same time it presents the cheering truth so welcome at this important crisis that these sons of Wesley have not degenerated from the principles or practice of our illustrious founder.
• The man who drinks intemperately ruins himself, and is the cause of much discomfort and inquietude, and perhaps actual misery in the social scene in which he moves; but the manufacturer, and those who are engaged in the traffic of ardent spirits and other intoxicating liquors, do the work of death by wholesale ; they are devoted by misguided enterprise to the ruin of human kind, and become directly accessary, although not intended by them, to the present shame and final destruction of hundreds and thousands. And we gravely ask, with no common solicitude, Can God, who is just as well as good, hold that Church innocent which is found cherishing in her bosom so awful and universal an evil? We have seen this evil broadly and unequivocally denounced in the Scriptures, as an utter curse, and big with ruin to the best hopes of man. Nature and Providence unite their testimony, and award to it the same condemnation. Our Church has long borne a similar testimony, and this is especially true of the father and founder of Methodism.
He says, of ardent spirits in general, “ First of all, sacredly abstain from all spirituous liquors ; touch them not on any pretence whatever." On their manufacture and sale he remarks, “ It is amazing that the preparation or selling of this poison should be permitted, I will not say in any Christian country, but in any civilized state!” He pronounces the gain of the trafficker in ardent spirits, “the price of blood,” and adds, emphatically, “Let not any lover of virtue and truth say one word in favor of this monster. Let no lover of mankind open his mouth to extenuate the guilt of it. Oppose it as you would oppose the devil, whose offspring and likeness it is.” Of grocers in this traffic he affirms, “ They murder mankind by wholesale, and drive them to hell like sheep.” He denounces both the manufacture and the sale of spirituous liquors, except for mechanical and medicinal purposes, as a gross immorality; declaring, “ None can gain in this way by swallowing up his neighbor's substance, without gaining the damnation of hell!" And hence one of the original rules of the Methodist societies, as drawn up by John and Charles Wesley, precluded “drunkenness, buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, except in cases of extreme necessity.” And we cannot but fear that the alteration of this rule by the American Methodists, and the substitution of another
less unequivocal in its character, since 1790, have been attended with but little good to any, and perhaps with direct injury to thousands. And now that the engrossing question of total abstinence is arresting the attention of most
of the evangelical Churches in the United States, and in many of them becoming a term of membership, we are fully convinced it would be criminal in us to remain silent, and not lend our aid and co-operation in purging the Churches and redeeming the nation from this insidious, yet alarming and desolating evil.
Finally, persuaded as we are that intemperance in all its aspects and gradations, is a physical evil, unmitigated by any mixture of good, and also a moral offence against the laws of God and the claims of Christian piety, unmodified by any indemnifying consideration whatever, we would at all times, but at this time especially, when such combined and powerful efforts are making to arrest the evil, cast in our dividend of social and moral aid, and do all in our power to accomplish an object as every way momentous as it is desirable. close by remarking, that we look upon all as implicated in the duty and the interest, and we shall cheerfully and promptly concur with all in an effort to expel the demon of intemperance, not only from our Churches, but from the nation, whose welfare and fortunes must always be viewed in intimate connection with its morals.'
That an expression of sentiment on the part of the General Conference was asked for and expected, by the thousands whose memorials filled the table of that body at their late session, is a fact which was known not only to the Church at large, but to the active and zealous friends of the temperance cause, many of whom were looking with intense interest to the result of their deliberations.
And the appearance of this valuable document, containing the most decided and unequivocal approval of all the objects which the friends of the cause within and without our Church could even hope for, has been hailed as a pledge of what is to be expected from the zeal and influence of such men, and an earnest of the triumphant success of the memorials now before the several annual conferences, praying an alteration of our general rule in conformity to the principles of this address, and in accordance with a sentiment and practice that is rapidly pervading the evangelical Churches in this country and in Europe. Such testimony as this address affords, coming from the highest legislative authority of our Church, embodying a large proportion of the learning, age, experience, and piety of our ministry, is alike honorable to the sacred office they occupy and to the Church over whose interests they preside. May we not anticipate that the Church will be prepared at the next quadrennial session of that body, to restore the original rule of Mr. Wesley to our book of discipline, should the constitutional recommendation of the annual conferences be obtained, and thus enable us to stand forth as a Church before Christendom and before the world, redeemed and disenthralled from all participation either by the traffic or use in this souldestroying and hell-populating poison? Thus may we hope, in the language of the address, to expel the demon of intemperance not only from our Church, but from the nation, whose welfare and fortunes must always be viewed in intimate connection with its morals.?
REVIEW OF THE CIVIL AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD
IN THEIR RELATION TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
Tue history of the world presents to the eye of the philosophic and critical observer a thousand objects and events on which he may
dwell with both pleasure and profit. The rise and fall of empires, stats, and kingdoms, the alternate elevation and depression of distinguished individuals, form themes of speculation, of curious and deep interest to all who take delight in tracing the hand of Divine Providence, and observing its actions in the affairs of men; and he who studies this history without connecting in his view Him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will, must remain but half instructed in the lessons of wisdom which this sort of study is designed to impart. This world, indeed, without the presence of its Author and Upholder, as its august and adorable Ruler, presents but an incoherent mass of materials, the wild and confused uproar of elements, without
adequate hand to guide and control them. We may read the history of Bonaparte, and behold him with a mixture of wonder and admiration, careering among the nations of the earth, tossing about, at the mere command of his will, thrones and sceptres, and whirling, in the mighty sweep of his military prowess and civil despotism, the nations into the revolutionary vortex, as if they existed only to be sported with accorde ing to the dictates of human caprice; and yet see nothing at work in all these things but the stirrings of human passion, pride, or ambition, struggling for empire and dominion ; but if we connect in our view, as we unquestionably should, the actings of an infinitely wise, powerful, and gracious Being, overruling all these mighty events for the accomplishment of His wise and benignant purposes, we rise in our contemplations from man to God, from earth to heaven, and behold the mists which were collected and are still collecting around the summit of truth, dissipated by the beams of light issuing from the throne of God. Who, indeed, that views the rapid and lofty elevation to which that wonderful man, the master spirit of his age, attained, and the grandeur which for a season surrounded his character, and then traces his downfall, so quick and precipitous, until it terminated in his confinement as the nations' prisoner on the contemptible rock of St. Helena, where he expired under the vexations produced by his merciless keeper, but must be struck with astonishment at beholding the wonderful events which were connected with his career through life, as well as the manner in which he disappeared from among men! While the faithful historian-though we fear none such has yet been found-may trace out the lines which marked the progress of his eventful life, and with the eye of philosophic inquiry, assign the causes which he supposes produced such astonishing effects, the devout Christian, equally well
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instructed from the page of history and the school of philosophy, but taught also in the sublimer doctrines of Christianity; while he condemns those actions which offend against the laws of morality and religion, and exempts the God of the nations from having any active agency in the production of moral evil; will nevertheless find it his duty and privilege to acknowledge and adore His invisible hand, as being stretched out to overrule, check, and control all these things for the manifestation of His own glory, and the final good of those who love Him. This lesson he derives from revelation. And while it raises the Christian philosopher high on the mountain of truth, from whence he can survey the field of knowledge which lies stretched out at his feet, it furnishes him with a key to unlock the mysteries of nature and Providence, which are unknown and therefore unappreciated by those who reject this superior light.
It is from such a view of human affairs that we would now glance at the present aspect of things in the political, civil, and religious world.
In regard to some portions of the old world, we know but little of them, as it respects their civil and moral state, any farther than that they linger on, subjected to a despotism under which they have groaned for centuries, and from which they are not likely soon to be delivered. As if suffering under some chosen curse inflicted upon it for its sins, the guilt of which is augmented by a thousand repetitions, Asia, once the theatre of such mighty events, the birth place of man, of Abraham and Isaac, the patriarchs and prophets, and lastly of a greater than either, even the Prince of Peace, seems doomed still to linger out an existence of slavish subjection to its tyrannical mastersa slavery no less degrading to human beings, than it is blasting to intellectual and moral improvement. Nor is the religion of those kingdoms included in that part of the globe any the less blighting to the human character, than it is derogatory to the honor of the true God. And.if here and there a solitary missionary is permitted to wander upon their shores, with a Bible in the one hand and a tract in the other, it is but to witness with pain and disgust the mass of corruption and superstition which had been accumulating for ages, and which still hangs in such dense folds around the human mind as completely to shut out almost every ray of Gospel light. The few exceptions to this general state of things only betray the utter recklessness of paganism and Mohammedanism in resisting the efforts of the Christian missionary to introduce a better system, and indeed the only system of religion which can materially benefit mankind.
Africa still groans under a bondage peculiar to those who are subjected to the rites of paganism or the delusions of Mohammedanismrendered still more oppressive by the hand of a political tyranny, not indeed concentrated in a single dynasty, but divided among a number