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“ It is mentioned in the new statistical account of Scotland, that in the parish of Stephenson, Ayrshire, the population of which is 3681, the enormous sum of £4,425. is spent, annually, in ardent spirits ; being within a trifle of the whole rental of the parish."
It has already been shown, under “Note G," that the principle which intoxicates, in all fermented and distilled liquors, is a poison ; apart, then, from any evidence tending to prove that such liquors are destructive to human life, common sense would conclude that they must of necessity, be so. Let us, however, consider the testimony of credible and experienced witnesses.
I. They destroy life by producing disease, or increasing its violence..
“ Unnatural excitement, by means of strong liquors, occasions a proportionate exhaustion of the vital powers, a diminished capacity for subsequent exertion, a premature old age, a life of suffering, and an early grave.”—Dr. Carrick, Senior Phy, to the Bristol Inf.
Dr. Gordon, speaking of the coal-whippers of London, says, “ In the London Hospital we receive a great number of those individuals, and the mortality among them is frightful. The moment they are attacked with an acute disease, they are unable to bear depletion, and they die directly.”-Rep. on Drunk., p. 197. “ Leaving drunkenness out of the question, the frequent consumption of a small quantity of spirits, gradually increased, is as surely destructive of life as more habitual intoxication ;-and, therefore the gin-shops are spreading diseases and death to a degree that is frightful."-Dr. Gordon, Rep. on Drunk., p. 198.
“ Two thirds of the diseases and deaths of Europeans in India, are in consequence of their indulging in the abuse of spirituous liquors, and exposing themselves unnecessarily to the sun during the heat of the day."—W. Burke, In. spector General of H. M. Hospitals, Rep. on Drunk., p. 433.
“Of all the articles of the popular materia medica, there are none so frequently used, so seldom required, or so dangerous to administer, as ardent spirits, wine, and malt liquors; and their total rejection would be the means of preventing the ruin of many constitutions, and the loss of innumerable lives, which are now sacrificed directly, or indirectly, to their injudicious employment."-J. Fother. gill, M.R C.S. ..." It is not hazarding too much to say, that whilst hundreds and thousands have committed suicide, by the agency of hemp and steel, tens of thousands have destroyed them. selves by intoxicating drinks.”-Beaumont on Alcoholic Drinks.
“ I have no doubt, if a man, beginning at twenty, were to take one large glass of spirits regularly every day, he would thereby affect the duration of his life, probably abridging it by at least ten years."-Dr. Cheyne.
"Many very excellent men have become the subjects of incurable stomach complaints, and wasted away, in middle life, where there has been counting-house application, with only one, or two glasses, at most, of diluted spirit and . water, taken every night at the coffee-house, or at home, who would have been shocked to be considered otherwise than sober men, thinking that they were rather benefitting, than injuring their health.”
“ Travellers generally die of brandied stomachs." J. Upton, Esq., of Throgmorton Street, 1817.
In Glasgow, according to Dr. Clealand's tables, there has been a very great increase of mortality, since 1822, the year in which the duty on distilled spirit was reduced. In 1821 the number of deaths was 3,686, in the year 1823, the year when the low duties began to operate, the mortality rose to 4,627, being an increase in the number of deaths of 941."-Rep. on Drunk., p. 426.
“ I appeal to every philanthropist, patriot, Christian, to take part in the reform; to avoid the use of spirits as a violation of the laws of life ; to abstain from the unholy traffic as from a traffic in human blood.”—Dr. Alden's Address, U.S.
“ The use of spirits, even in the greatest moderation, tends to shorten life."--Prof. Hitchcock's Address, U.S.
“Of 33 persons found dead in one city, 29 were killed by intemperance."
“Of 77 persons found dead in different places, the deaths of 67, according to the coroners' inquests, were occasioned by strong drink."
" And, in another city, of 67 adults who died in one year, 28 were killed in the same way."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 98.
From the most conclusive evidence, it appears, that the cholera, in both this and other countries, was almost entirely indebted for its destructive influence to intoxicating liquors.
“ I have learned from several medical men," says J. C. Graves, a police magistrate of Dublin, " that cholera generally attacked and carried off, in the first instance, those whose constitutions were debilitated by habitual intoxication."
During the prevalence of this awful disease in the United States, 336 died in the city of Albany, above 16 years of age, of whom the following is a detailed account:
Intemperate persons ......... ......... 140
: : : : :
A distinguished gentleman, in the city of New York, after paying special attention to the subject, observed, that “ facts abundantly authorised the conclusion, that had it not been for the sale and use of spirit, there had not been cholera enough in that city to have caused the cessation of business for a single day.”-Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 219. See also pages 496 and 497.
“ We were once,” says a converted Chippeway chief, in a letter to Lord Goderich, “very numerous, and owned all Upper Canada, and lived by hunting and fishing, but the white men, who came to trade with us, taught our fathers to drink the fire waters, which has made our people so poor and sick, and has killed many tribes, till we have be. come very small.”-Papers on Aborig. Tribes, 1834, p. 135.
“ The Copper Indians, through ill-management, intem, perance, and vice, are said to have decreased, within the last five years, to one half the number of what they were.!! --Parl. Rep. on Aborig. Tribes.
“ The depopulation of the South Sea Islands has been most fearful, but I am not aware that it is traceable to the operation of the cruelty of Europeans. It is traceable, in a great measure, to the demoralizing effects of intercourse with the Europeans—the introduction of ardent spirits and fire-arms."-Rev. W. Ellis, Rep. on Aborig. Tribes, p. 28. · These amiable Europeans were not cruel enough to mur. đer the natives with their own hands, but they furnished them with the means of murdering themselves and each other.
II. They destroy life by producing murders, executions, and accidents.
“ Since the institution of the Recorders' and Supreme Courts at Madras, no less than thirty-four British soldiers have forfeited their lives for murders, and most of these were committed in their intoxicated moments.”-Rep. on Drunk., p. 190.
“ In the year 1818 twenty-two persons were condemned to suffer death in the city of Dublin, every one of whom declared, that drunkenness had been among the chief causes of their ruin."--Rep. on Drunk., p. 266.