صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

\ enly artillery? Or, in toliath, may we not say, rh a sword, and with a 1; but I come to thee in

Hosts, the God of the thou hast defied?"

necessary to be noticed, s not only Members, but

hurch have been heard : what has the Gospel Gospel do, for intemper6 the old


has been it has not done for the ! what it ought to have medy is weak and fictiit, we may give up in pledge there can be

Bad as all this is, word of God, preceptively is defective, how much art of a Minister of e most public manner, neither cure, nor pre

it has no more to do mperance in a bodily il the curing of fevers; ied nor designed to habit, or disease of inall sins, he will not be a sinner, at least for the future! All true, in a sense; but, how assumptive, as well as comprehensive, is the monosyllable if ? Puny, as it may appear, is it not all-powerful? For, as in the case of the celebrated French Philosopher, who, while he would logically prove his own existence, very illogically took for granted the point to be proved, does not the little “if;" in this case, assume the end to be attained ? Or, while it refers to that end, does it not overlook adequate means, an adequate motive, and an adequate moving power, for the attainment of the end proposed ? And, in all moral actions, are not these things essentially requisite for the suppression of vice, and the promotion of virtue; and consequently, as essential in the case of drunkenness, as of the other vices? Or again, if it should be said that drunkenness is referred to only as a physical evil, we would remind our friends, that this is not the true nature of drunkenness; and that it is a moral as well as a physical evil. Besides, by treating drunkenness at all times according to its true nature, as a vice and not merely as a physical disease, what an infinite advantage do we gain? For thus, may we not bring to bear upon it not merely human, but divine armour; not merely carnal, but spiritual weapons; not


merely earthly, but heavenly artillery ? Or, in the words of David to Goliath, may we not say, “thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied ?”

All this is the more necessary to be noticed, and guarded against, as not only Members, but Office-bearers of the Church have been heard saying, “The Gospel! what has the Gospel done, or what can the Gospel do, for intemperance ?” and also adding, “ the old way has been long enough tried, and has not done for the Church and the world what it ought to have done;" “ the Gospel remedy is weak and fictitious; if we trust to it, we may give up in despair;" “without the pledge there can be no moral reformation.” Bad as all this is, as implying that the word of God, preceptively as well as doctrinally, is defective, how much worse is it, on the part of a Minister of Christ, to declare, in the most public manner, that “the Gospel can neither cure, nor prevent, intemperance; that it has no more to do with the curing of intemperance in a bodily sense, than it has to do with the curing of fevers; and that it is neither fitted nor designed to form a cure for the bodily habit, or disease of in


as well as upon

temperance. How libellous are these statements upon Christianity as a system of morals,

of its Divine Author ! How contradictory are they to such precepts of Scripture as these, “mortify the deeds of the body; crucify the flesh, with the lusts thereof; put off the old man, or old nature, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and put on the new man, or new nature, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness ?” How contrary, even to the nature of “the pledge,” as a moral means, for the suppression of drunkenness, which is a composite evil, partly moral and partly physical? How opposed, likewise, to the experience of all “ that are Christ's," who, without the aid of any instrumentality of human device, are enabled to “crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts;" and consequently, not merely drunkenness, but all “the lusts of the flesh ?" How improper, therefore, and unbecoming, and dishonouring, is it, in any, to attempt to exalt a human pledge above the preceptive part of the divine word, or to ignore that part of the word in so important a sense!



* These were the ipsissima verba of a Minister of the Established Church, when preaching in Glasgow City Hall, on the evening of Sabbath, September 10, 1854. If they were not, I'll most willingly retract the same, and apologize.

For such reasons, as well as because “ the taking of the pledge” is known to have been substituted for Church discipline, is it not imperative upon

all who name the name of Christ not only “not to be conformed to the world” in its drunkenness, in its drinking customs, in its drink-making, and drink-selling pursuits, but also to hold forth, as well as to "hold fast," the means of divinē appointment as the only true means for subduing the bodily craving for intoxicating drink, and for curing the sin of drunkenness, as well as all other sins ? Should we not act so, for the honour of that Saviour in whom we believe; of that religion of which he is the Author; and of the Church of which we are members; as well as for our own true welfare, and that of others, bodily and temporally, spiritually and externally ? For, unlike the best of moral means of a human nature, as well as the most stringent civil enactments, is it not undeniable that divine means alone can eradicate the strongest physical appetite, as well as the most intense spiritual desire, for intoxicating drink; and also excite an abhorrence of every thing like drunkenness, or what leads to it?


« السابقةمتابعة »