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houses, and beer-shops, which they well know are the resorts of the most vicious, and abandoned parts of the community_which they well know are scenes of riot, and debauchery, blasphemy, and excess. These individuals do not, indeed, with their own hands, put their bottle to the drunkard, that they may make him drunk, and look upon his nakedness, but they send their intoxicating liquors to those who they well know will do all this ; and they have the consciousness, that they themselves are supported, if not enriched, by a process, which is producing a fearful aggregate of disease, and sin, of misery, and death.
It forms no excuse for such persons to say, they have no wish that drunkenness, and its attendant evils should result from the drinking of their liquors. Were a gunsmith to sell a pistol to an individual knowing it was for the purpose of committing suicide, the whole Christian community would be unanimous in its condemnation of such an act; and would regard the plea, that the gunsmith had no wish that the pistol should be so employed, as most absurd and hypocritical. The truth is, these men have the power to prevent a vast amount of intemperance, which they rarely, if ever, exercise. So long as the magistrates are willing to licence their houses, they make no scruple to let them to persons, who will supply their liquors to the poor insensate drunkard him. self, and take from him the last farthing of his hard earnings, although his miserable wife and children may be starving for want of that money, which they, thus, cruelly and heartlessly receive !
fairly asked, whether the few pounds he devotes to the support of the London City Mission, bear any proportion to the amount of vice and misery, resulting from that mighty stream of intoxicating liquors, which is constantly proceeding from his own brewery? and whether the efforts of the Society he supports, are not rendered comparatively fruitless, by the demoralizing influence of his own traffic ?
In some Christian societies, are to be found not only the persons who manufacture intoxicating drinks, and the owners of those “sties which law has licensed,” but the very individuals, who, with their own hands, present the poisoned cup, to the already disordered, and depraved inebriate—thus cherishing, within their bosom, characters, against whom the Word of God has pronounced, most explicitly, the severest condemnation.* These drunkard-making professors of religion may, themselves, escape the charge of drunkennessthey may affect to feel pity and regret, when witnessing some too obvious proof of the poisonous nature of their liquors, in the wild frenzy, or stupid insensibility of those who have been drink
* Hab. ii. 15.
ing them—they may pretend to be righteously indignant at the wickedness which leads men to abuse the good creatures of God—they may even profess to be zealous for the honour of religion, and may give liberally to support it, but, after all, they are tenfold more injurious to both the church and the world, than the men, who, placing themselves on a level with their drunken customers, repel from their society the peaceable, the sober, and virtuous.*
* On this subject American Christians have spoken with a fidelity, which entitles them to the warmest commendation. The Fourth Report of the American Temperance Society, in alluding to the vender of intoxicating liquor, says :-“He spreads the intoxicating cause ; he hears the drunken curse ; he sees the drunken effect; he witnesses the drunken revel; he is surrounded with it; he is producing it, and yet tells you that he is innocent. Wonderful fatuity! But he knows the responsibility is so great that he shrinks from acknowledging it. He sees the guilt and the wo, and shudders at the thought of being its cause. And well he may ; but he cannot escape. As long as he furnishes the means of drunkenness to others, he is a partaker of the crime. And he should be so held in public opinion. But he tells you, he frowns on intemperance. So, perhaps, he does. After producing it, he frowns on the poor wretch he has made drunken, and abhors his own offspring. Every retailer should remember that the drunkards, by whom he is surrounded, are his own children and apprentices, and that they afford a living ex. hibition of the character of his own deeds. When he looks
The professing landlord, who lives by dealing out the great causes of our national crime, poverty, and disease, says, by his actions, that the Christian religion, instead of being a sovereign antidote to human guilt and misery, permits its adherents to scatter abroad fire-brands, arrows, and death—that it suffers them to be accessories in the work of changing men into demons of filling madhouses with lunatics—goals with criminals, workhouses with paupers, hospitals with the diseased and dying, and hell with the unavailing groans and tears of those whom intemperance consigns to that place of torment. The professing landlord says all this, and the church believes him, and suffers him to go on, in his work of ruin, without reproof. She despises, indeed, and condemns the drunkards, he has assisted in making; but she is so far from protesting against the drunkard-maker, that she willingly shares the wages of his unrighteousness. The world also believes him, and sneers at what it deems his hypocrisy; and thinks itself fully justified in rejecting a religion, whose professors are only distinguished from the unbelieving, by a little external morality, and a great deal of hollow pretension. That such characters should ever have been admitted to Christian communion, is a sad proof of the mighty influence which appetite and interest exert, in blinding the understanding, and in searing the conscience. As to the occupation of the wine and spirit merchant, it has, at length, grown into such respectability, as to be courted by many, who are ambitious of moving in the higher circles of commercial life; and many a Christian community is glorying, in being smiled upon, and supported by those, who are enriched by dealing out, what the pious Robert Hall has justly denominated, “ liquid death and distilled damnation.” But oh! how awfully must Mammon have alienated our hearts, from the spiritual, and merciful truths of the Gospel-how callous must we be to the influence of the self-denying, and gracious example of the Son of God, before we can invest with Christian honours and privileges the man, who, for gain, is sending abroad his emissaries to tempt his fellow-men, to purchase the most poisonous productions of perverted ingenuity; and that, too, while knowing that many of his customers, by means of them, have already
upon them ragged, filthy, and debased—when he hears the noon-day curse, and the midnight broil, he should say, • Here is my work ; this is what I have done. It is my trade to make such men. I have spent my life in it.' And if he is a Christian, and duly appreciates his guilt, he will raise his hands to heaven, and before God declare that he will make no more such.”- Perm. Temp. Doc. p. 25.