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"Touch not-taste not-handle not."
It is a peculiar mark of those who walk in Satan's path, that they generally make no efforts to subdue their passions and appetites. But it is not so with him who walks in the "pleasant way." Instead of pampering his appetites, the pilgrim to Zion endeavors to bring them all into subjection to the law of God. He practises self-denial in this as well as in other things.
In the Bible, we are commanded to be temperate in all things,-in eating as well as in drinking. By this is meant, that we should not partake of the fruits of God's bounty as the glutton does, merely for the sake of gratification, without regard to the wants of our bodies. He who habitually eats more than he needs, is an intemperate
man in eating; and he who drinks more than is necessary, is intemperate in drinking.
I shall have nothing to say here of intemperance in eating, but shall confine myself to intemperate drinking. I have said that he who drinks more than is necessary is intemperate. No matter what he drinks, whether it be water or wine, tea or coffee, rum or brandy. But it should be remembered that intoxicating drinks are never necessary, in any quantity, as a beverage. Consequently, to be temperate does not mean that we may take a little intoxicating liquor, but that we abstain from it entirely, because it is never necessary. It does not, like bread and water, help to sustain our bodies, but has a directly opposite effect. It is the invention of Satan and of evil men, to beguile us, and lead us to ruin.
An intemperate man is a wonder in Look around you, my young friends, and see if you can find any thing in nature with which to compare the drunkard. Look at the brute creation. Did you
ever see any of them reeling and staggering about, attacking their own offspring, and causing all their neighbors to flee for safety? Did you ever see a little bird pitching about in the air, unable to fly straight, because it had partaken of something that did not agree with it? Or did you ever yet catch a fish that was so stupid and besotted that it could not flap its tail, or make any exertion to free itself from your grasp? No, you never saw such sights as these; but you have often seen men reeling and staggering through the streets, and beating and frightening their children. You have seen men who could not walk straight, because they had taken a poisonous draught. You have seen men so stupid and besotted that they knew not their right hand from their left, whom a little child could move about without danger. And these men, too, were endowed with immortal minds, and with reason,-gifts never imparted to animals.
Look, for a moment, at the effects of intemperance. Go with me to yonder cottage, and see that raving madman, under the
influence of liquor. With his own hand he murders the companion of his bosom, whom he had sworn to love, protect and cherish. But not satisfied with this, he lays his bloody hand upon his children, whom he once loved with all a father's fondness, and butchers them, one after another, till the whole six are sleeping in death. But he is not yet done. Filled with maddening fury, he seizes the body of one of his murdered children, and lays it upon the fire! O what a horrible picture! It is too dreadful to contemplate, and yet it is true. Such, young reader, are the effects of intemperance.
Who can tell how much crime and suffering have been occasioned by intemperance? Who can count the thousands of lives that have been sacrificed upon this bloody altar? Who can tell what an army are slain annually by this fell destroyer? It is computed that in Great Britain, France and America alone, nearly half a million die annually from intemperance! And it has been ascertained that all the murders committed in New York city
for fifteen years, with the exception of three, arose from intemperance. Think of the thousands of prisons, penitentiaries, poor houses and hospitals, peopled almost exclusively by this vice. O, what a curse is intoxicating drink!
"O, the withering curse and the ruin appalling,
But the poor drunkard should be pitied, rather than despised. He is a man of grief and sorrow. He may take pleasure over his cups, but there is always a dreadful sting left behind. "Who hath wo? who hath sorrow?" It is the poor drunkard, with ruined health and ruined soul. It is the poor drunkard, with bloated face and bloodshot eye. It is the poor drunkard, friendless and penniless. Go to that solitary room, where poverty and sorrow reign, and see a specimen of the drunkard's woes. There is a veteran in the drunkard's ranks, who has pursued his reckless course for many years. But now he is attacked with disease. It