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Timothy is quoted, in favour of wine-drinking customs, and particularly of those now under consideration, one would suppose that there was something, in that advice, which, really, gave a sanction to the practices which have been censured. But can it reasonably be inferred, because the Apostle believed, that Timothy might be benefited by the medicinal virtues of a little wine, that we, while wholly free from Timothy's peculiar infirmities, are acting either wisely, or piously, in drinking ardent spirits, and brandied compounds, which, in all probability, no more resemble the wine, recommended by the Apostle, than that mild and nutritious beverage, called barley-water, resembles the fiery poison, called gin, or whiskey !
Of the quality of the wine, recommended to Timothy, we know nothing; and we know as little of the quantity which the Apostle believed might be taken with advantage. We are also in the dark respecting the complaint for which it was recommended—consequently, the advice of the Apostle is of no service to either side of the question. It simply proves, that Timothy was a water drinker ;* and that the Apostle thought he would be benefited by substituting a little wine.
* Water is, without doubt, the natural drink of all animated beings, with which we are acquainted ; and the most wholesome of all other beverages are indebted chiefly to water for their usefulness. But as there are cases of disease, in which it would be dangerous to make use of the
That the church has so long tolerated these injurious customs—injurious both to those who practise them, and to others, by the force of example, is a humiliating proof, either of our want of that knowledge, which our education* ought to have supplied, or of our subjection to a vitiated and dangerous appetite. But it is not too late to free herself from these tokens of our nation's
most nutritious food, so there may be cases, in which some other drinks may be preferable to pure water. See appendix N.
* The education of all classes, has, hitherto, been miserably defective, upon all subjects connected with physical and mental health. In our elementary schools, boys and girls are taught scraps of Latin, Greek, and French, and to talk about the sun, the moon, and the stars, while they are left in utter ignorance of the most important organs of their own bodies, and of the means necessary to preserve life, health, and vigour. They know, indeed, that they have stomachs, and they seem to think they were sent into the world, chiefly, for the purpose of filling them, with all sorts of things that are pleasing to the palate. The case is no better in our higher schools and colleges. We are left, from our very infancy, to suffer from the violation of the laws of our nature, and after being preyed upon for years, by self-interested quacks, we perish, prematurely. by diseases, which a little common sense instruction might have prevented.
idolatry; and it is hoped, that the day is not far distant, when she will cease to give her sanction to any of the artificial drinking usages of the world; and, particularly, when she will no longer permit her sanctuaries to be polluted by the presence of strong drinks—of those powerful incentives to the very greatest of the numerous evils, which it ought to be her constant object to remove.
Sixthly. The church is proved to be greatly under the influence of this Idolatry, by the fact, that. very many of her most influential members are devoted to “the traffic" in intoxicating liquors.
It is by the manufacture and sale of those very drinks, which are spreading around us disease, and crime, and poverty, and death, and which, every year, are consigning thousands upon thousands of immortal souls to the deepest shades of eternal perdition, that the church, to a great extent, has been enabled to clothe herself “in purple and fine linen,” and to ride upon " the high places of the earth.”
It is admitted, that, occasionally, true piety and benevolence are found associated with this demoralizing traffic. It has been under the mistaken notion, that they were assisting to furnish society with a necessary, and wholesome beverage, that the maltster and brewer have been lending them
selves to the work of destroying “ the good creatures of God,” and of dealing out one of the most prolific sources of personal, domestic, and national misery.* If, however, ignorance may help to lessen their criminality, it must not be forgotten, that it does not render their occupation the less immoral.t It is in ignorance, that the Pagan mother sacrifices the life of her infant, with her own hands : still, her act is no less an act of murder, than if perpetrated to gratify a revengeful, instead of a superstitious feeling. The law of God says, “ Thou shalt not kill.” This law she has violated, and the violation of it constitutes her a murderer. We do not pronounce on the amount of guilt which attaches to her conduct; we leave this to Him, “who searches the hearts, and tries the reins of the children of men."
But while ignorance of the true nature of the drinks they are employed in manufacturing, may be pleaded on behalf of a few who are engaged
* Beer-drinking is the great source of drunkenness in England, and produces in the aggregate, a greater amount of disease, poverty, and crime, than is produced by spiritdrinking. Nothing, then, can be advanced against the spirit traffic, which does not equally apply to the beer traffic.
+ See Appendix 0.
in the malt-liquor traffic, it cannot be doubted, that the great majority of the traffickers in strong drinks, who are to be found within the pale of the church, are knowingly, and willingly, the instruments of producing intemperance, and all the evils resulting from it.
Many brewers, who are high in reputation, as religious professors,* are the owners of public
* The Treasurer of a religious society formed, for the avowed purpose of supplying the more ignorant and depraved of the inhabitants of London with Christian instruction, is one of the most extensive dealers in public-houses in the metropolis ; and his drays are to be seen, in all directions, supplying the drink, which is making criminals and beggars, and destroying the souls and bodies of the very individuals, for whose welfare he professes to be anxious.
From a speech which this gentleman delivered, at the Annual Meeting of the City Mission, in 1836, it appears, that he had caused to be investigated a certain district, whose length was about a mile, and whose breadth was a quarter of a mile, and that he had discovered it to contain “60,000 persons without any religious superintendence whatever."-Notes to the Christian Cit. p. 101. In this district, however, there are not wanting a goodly number of public-houses, which are scenes of riot and excess, and which are carefully superintended by his own servants and dependents.
It is not intended to call in question the piety of this individual. This is a subject to which, in all probability, his attention has never yet been directed. But he may be