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North Britain, and for sometime past he has been industriously labouring to collect information, relative to similar usages, in England and Ireland. Ninety-eight separate trades are said to have been examined, by this indefatigable philanthropist; and it is stated, that, in a work which is about to appear, he is prepared to show, that, in the United Kingdom, there are no less than two HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN occasions, when intoxicating liquor must be given, offered, and taken.*
The following are the names, by which some of these absurd and dangerous usages are distinguished; viz. : “ footings, fines, entries, bean-feasts, brotherings, backings, club-drink, changing stations, pay-night-practices, allowance-pots, way-geese, remuneration-pints and drams, smugging bribes, Smyrna-pints, Christmas-boxes, strong beer-act dues, drink-penalties, freedoms, wettings, trampdrink, good-of-house liquor, birth-days, pitcher-laws; and besides all these, we have drinking customs at visits, marriages, courtships, baptisms, deaths, funerals, bargains, sales, holidays," &c. &c. &c.
Amidst such a host of temptations to drinking, it is, surely, no wonder that we have become an intemperate people, and that the working classes, especially, have become, almost universally, the slaves of strong drink. Mere reasoning against such usages will have no more effect than shaking a feather at a giant. It behoves every patriot and Christian to aim a deadly blow at them all, by totally abstaining from those liquors, through whose deceitful but destructive influence such customs have been established.
* The work alluded to is now published, in a handsome volume, price 58.
OPIUM EATING AND TOBACCO SMOKING. The practice of eating opium, as an intoxicating stimulant, has, for some years, been common in some parts of England, and particularly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. A respectable surgeon, in the latter county, informed the writer, that when he kept a retail drug shop, he was in the habit of purchasing half a hundred weight of opium at a time, for the use of persons, who took it, daily, as others are accustomed to take intoxicating liquors. Females, especially, are addicted to this vice-if that may be called a vice, on behalf of which quite as much may be said, as can be advanced in favour of using intoxicating drinks.
There can be no doubt, that opium eating is injurious to the health of both mind and body, and is, therefore, a vicious and immoral practice-opposed to the spirit of Christianity-and it ought to be denounced as such.
But, can any better argument be urged in favour of tobacco smoking, than can be produced on the side of opium eating?
It is a practice which has always had its warmest advo. cates among the frequenters of taverns, and pot-houses ; and, for this reason, were there no other, it ought to be abandoned by every man calling himself a Christian. A few men, who have been distinguished by piety and learning, have been smokers ; but there is no reason to believe, that they have been indebted for either their religion or learning to the fumes of tobacco; while there can be little doubt, that their usefulness has been greatly injured, by their fondness for this stinking and poisonous narcotic.
It is much to be lamented, that many Christian ministers, have been greatly addicted to the irrational practice of smoking-thus, not only bringing a measure of disgrace on their sacred calling, but giving their sanction to habits, which involve in no small degree, the sin of idleness, to say nothing of extravagance.
Gambling, and games of amusement, have never consumed half the time that has been wasted by pipes and cigars. These ministers to comparatively modern sensuality, for they had no existence three centuries ago, are, also, among the most powerful temptations to intemperate drinking ; and so injurious are they to health, that very few have lived to a good old age, who have been much addicted to the use of them,
Professor Hitchcock says, “ I group alcohol, opium, and tobacco, together, as alike to be rejected, because they agree as being poisonous in their natures.” “ They impair the organs of digestion, and may bring on fatuity, palsy, delirium, or apoplexy."
Dr. Hossack denominates tobacco“ a fashionable poison,” and attributes" the great increase of dyspepsia, the alarming frequency of apoplexy, palsy, epilepsy, and other diseases of the nervous system,” in part, to the use of it.
“ This loathsome weed, then," he says, “ should never be used, even medicinally, except in extreme cases, and then in the hands of a skilful physician.”—See an excellent little Tract, entitled “ Tobacco, Snuff, and Cigars," by Pasco.
If any one of the Wesleyan ministers were to adopt the “ five points" of Calvinian doctrine, it is quite certain he would be compelled to recant, or to leave the Society. How
is it, then, that so many Wesleyan ministers, directly in the face of Mr. Wesley's “ Rules,” both use tobacco and drink spirituous liquors ? Are we to infer from this, that, while contending for the faith of their venerated founder, they are disposed to make light of his works ?
One“ rule" is," vigorously, but calmly, enforce the rules' concerning needless ornaments, drams, and tobacco. Give no band ticket to any man, or woman, who does not promise to leave them off.”
According to another “rule," every person, proposed for a preacher, may be asked, “ Do you take no snuff, tobacco, drams?"
Alas! how much easier it is to assent to dogmas, than to practise the Christian virtue of self-denial !
WINES, AS USED IN ENGLAND, MERE INTOXI
CATING COMPOUNDS. The term wine properly signifies the pure juice of the grape ; but no greater delusion ever deceived mankind than that which consists in supposing, such 'wine to be commonly used in this country.
“ As early as the year 1426," says one writer on the subject, “ great complaints were made against all classes of vendors for adulterating their wines ; and a Sir John Ramwell, the mayor, (of London) having caused some suspected quantities to be examined, found them so impure, that he ordered ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY butts to be poured into the kennels !
In the reign of Queen Mary, and also in that of Charles the Second, rigid enactments were made to prevent adulterations, thus proving that there was some reason for suspecting the honesty of the wine-merchants.
In the 131st No. of the “ Tatler," Addison observes, that in his time, there was “a certain fraternity of chemical operators, who worked under ground in holes, caverns, and dark retirements, to conceal their mysteries from the eyes and observations of mankind. These subterraneous philosophers,” he says, “ are daily employed in the transmutation of liquors, and by the power of magical drugs, and incantations, raising under the streets of London, the choicest products of the hills and valleys of France. They can squeeze Bordeaux out of the sloe, and draw Champagne from an apple."
But, perhaps things háve improved since the time of Addison. Let us enquire further into the matter. The wines, chiefly in use, at the present time, are Port and Sherry, both of which are so notoriously adulterated, that it is very questionable, whether, under these names, one drop of the pure juice of the grape is to be obtained. With respect to Port, the writer of “ The Wine Drinker's Manual," observes, “ the greater part of the Port wine which is now brought direct to this country is the juice of a variety of grapes, both white and red, pressed together along with the stalks, carelessly fermented, and mixed with brandy, and when there is a deficiency of black grapes, corn, coloured with elder berries.” To such a length is brandying carried, even in Portugal, that very little spirit is exported, nearly the whole being used in adulterating the wines. The same practice is also common in making up the Spanish wines.”
“The system of adulteration once begun in the native country, would, of course, be carried still further in that