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their public as well as in their private character, whether they be Ministers of State or Members of Parliament, Mayors or Magistrates, Judges or Justices of the Peace, Proprietors or Possessors of property, Lairds or Landladies, Factors or Farmers, Masters or Foremen, exercise their influence to the utmost, in every lawful way, by diminishing the facilities to drunkenness?

If all who profess to be Christ's were to act in this way, would it be doing more than what Christ has a right to expect, and demand of them? Would it be discharging more than their duty, or consulting more than their truest interest, so that they might at once be happy in themselves, and make others happy? Would it not be acting just as becometh all who, being saved themselves, are anxious, from a sense of the infinite value of salvation, to save others ? Would it not be doing something like “pulling men out of the fire," as it is figuratively, but forcibly, expressed in Scripture? Did not Paul, and others in primitive times, act in this way with the greatest success! And, if professing Christians were still to act in this way, might they not confidently expect that their efforts, too, would be abundantly successful, through the divine blessing? Would not drunkenness soon hide its head with the greatest shame, and temperance triumphantly prevail ? Would not "a liquor law," and other legislative enactments in reference to intoxicating drink, be almost unnecessary; and particularly in the case of professing members of the Church ? At the same time, while the luxury of doing good to others would be enjoyed, would not the greatest good be conferred ?

CHAPTER XXI.

EXEMPTION OF THIS PLAN FROM OBJECTIONS

TO THE “PLEDGE” PRINCIPLE, &c.

BESIDES, in this way, would not professing believers be putting in operation, not human but divine means for the regeneration, and reformation, of society ? In this way, would we not be taking the word of God in all things as our law, and making it the guide of our lives? In this way, would we not be acting, not in obedience to human, but to divine authority; not from a regard to a self-imposed plodge, but to a heavenly-prescribed precept; not from a sense of the fear of man, but of the frown of God, or the loss of his favour; and not from the dread of a temporal penalty, but of eternal punishment? In this way, likewise, while striving to roll back the tide of intemperance in all its branches, would we not completely obviate the many objections which are often urged against teetotal societies?

For, is it not frequently said of the "pledge" principle, by different parties, that it overlooks, or undervalues, one of the great practical purposes contemplated by Christ's incarnation, and which can alone be truly accomplished by his death; that it ignores the grace of God, and tramples under foot the promised help of the Holy Spirit; that it sets the preceptive part of Seripture aside, and implies that the word in this sense is not sufficient for all the sins that exist in the world; that it is but a piece of human machinery, and “teaches for doctrines the commandments of men;" that it regards the pledge of man as equivalent to the precept of God, and substitutes human for divine authority; that, altogether apart from believing in Christ, it makes the taking of the pledge, and the keeping of the pledge, a perfect antidote for drunkenness; that it even inculcates a morality above that of the Bible, or calls upon us to do what the word of God does not command; that it regards a promise made to man stronger, or more binding, than a vow made to God; that it fosters the idea that men should do more for the sake of their pledge, like Herod with his oath, than for their covenant obligations as professing Christians, for the sake of Christ, for the glory of God, or for the divine law; that it professes to do for us what neither the means of divine appointment, nor the divine blessing, nor

any thing else, can effect; that it virtually declares that no one can consistently condemn either drunkenness or drunkards, or call upon men to come to Christ, unless he is first a teetotaller ; that it treats intemperance differently from the other vices, and makes the curing of it the work of man, and the rest the work of God; that it separates temperance from its fellow virtues, or unduly exalts it above the other “fruits of the Spirit;" that it leads men to speak of intemperance as if it were the only sin which is destructive to their present and future welfare, or as if they were guilty of greater sin when they break their pledge, than when they transgress a divine precept; that it leads them to trust solely in themselves, or in their own strength; that it leads them to look

themselves as a band of freemen,” so long as they keep their pledge, and yet in numerous instances they are the bond-slaves of many sins; that it frequently generates an uncharitable and selfrighteous spirit; that it induces hypocrisy, and debauches the conscience, inasmuch as many pretend to abstain from intoxicating drink, but secretly indulge in it; that it substitutes the pledge for Church discipline, one of the ordinances of God, and the renewing of the pledge for repentance, or the healing of backsliders;

upon

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