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is the delirium tremens,—a disease occasioned by intemperance. It affects his mind, as well as his body, and he thinks he sees "blue devils" all around him. He has no peace, for he cannot be convinced that these images are the creation of his own vivid but diseased imagination. Now a chill of horror comes over him, as he sees some hideous being approaching. Or perhaps he thinks himself in hell, surrounded by fiends; and he begins already to feel the gnawings of the worm that never dies. Perhaps he continues in this state a week at a time, without enjoying a moment's sleep; but the sleep of death soon steals over him, and for aught we know, these imaginings of his mind are turned into dreadful realities; for no drunkard shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
O, what an awful punishment is this for indulgence in sin? Surely, all the pleasure the drunkard ever experienced over his cups would not half compensate him for one hour of this unearthly misery. Say, is he not a man of wo and sorrow? Does he not deserve our pity and compassion?
Then, never revile a drunkard when you pass him in the street. Do not join the thoughtless throng who too often insult him, and stone him, and in various ways injure him; but always remember that he has sorrow and trouble enough already, and is to be pitied rather than injured.
Perhaps some reader is ready to ask, "What has all this to do with me? I am young, and surely I shall never fall into such vices." I hope you never will; but still you are in danger. The drunkard once thought himself secure; but the hour of temptation came, and he could not stand before it. It is not a great while since a little boy in the city of Albany, only eleven years of age, procured of a grocer a pint of brandy, which he drank. In one hour, in spite of the medical aid that was rendered, he was a corpse. Perhaps he thought he was too young to become a drunkard; but he found out his mistake too late. It is true you may not, like him, fall a victim at so early an age; but, what is worse, you may form the dangerous habit of drinking, and at last go down to the grave in
disgrace and sorrow, inflicting unhealing wounds upon your friends.
I will mention another case, to show that even children may fall victims to intoxicating liquor. There was once a farmer, who, according to the almost universal practice at that time, was in the habit of using a little intoxicating liquor. In time his habit grew upon him, until it was feared he would become a drunkard. He had an only son, about four years old, whom he tenderly loved. One day the father went to the closet, for some brandy, and, in his haste, poured out more than he wanted. What he did not drink, he left upon the shelf, within the reach of his child, and went out without shutting the door of the closet. The child had seen his father drink, and knew not why he should not follow his example; and he took the tumbler, and drank its contents. In a few short hours he was in eternity! But this dreadful occurrence had one good effect, for the father immediately banished ardent spirits from his house, and ever after practised total abstinence.
There is something in the vice of intemperance peculiarly fascinating and entrancing. It seems to wind a cord around its victim, which grows stronger every day, so that, at last, it is almost impossible to break from it. A man once told another, who had this strong cord around him, to put down his intoxicating cup. "Rather burn in hell, than give it up!" was his fearful reply. This is the reason why
so few drunkards ever reform. It is not because they do not see the evil, and its dreadful consequences; for many a drunkard in his sober moments has wept like a child over his sin, and resolved to abandon it. But it was all in vain; the moment he saw or smelt the poison, his passion for it was inflamed, and he again yielded, knowing that he was drinking a cup of wrath.
One would think that the sight of a drunkard would for ever deter others from
drinking strong drink. So thought the Spartans, thousands of years ago; for though pagans, they saw the bad effects of drunkenness. They used to intoxicate their slaves, that their children might see
the sad effects, and thereby be led to avoid the vice. But, alas, few seem to be deterred now by the sad example of others. Though we have so many confirmed drunkards,-living beacon-lights to all mariners on life's ocean,-yet multitudes are rushing heedlessly upon the same breakers on which thousands have been ruined. And why is it? It is because the vice is not presented to them at first in its hideous forms. It comes in the garb of wine, or some other pleasant beverage, which too many regard as innocent and harmless. And this shows us the importance of TOTAL ABSTINENCE from all intoxicating drinks. We are safe no where but here; for if we take those mild drinks now, we may soon prefer something stronger.
One of the most dangerous of all these drinks is wine; and "whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." The wine cup has a serpent within it, but its sparkling color and exciting taste conceal it, till the poor victim is bewildered and ruined. But if he should begin to feel that there is danger, and desire to throw off the enchantment,