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CHAPTER VIII.

NON-CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD

IN DRUNKENNESS.

“ Now shun, O shun the enchanting cap;

For, though its draught like joy appears,
Ere long it will be fanned with sighs,

And sadly mixed with blood and tears.”

ALL true Christians must also not be conformed to this world” in the practice of any thing like drunkenness. Drunkenness, we need scarcely observe, is another of “ the works of the flesh," or of corrupt human nature. For, the term “flesh” is frequently used in Scripture to express the corruption, or depravity, which exists, not so much in our bodies as in our souls; the soul being the superior part of our nature, and the body only its instrument in the commission of sin. We must not, therefore, speak of drunkenness, as some do, as being merely “a physical evil," nor suppose that it can be rightly cured “by physical means." It is, no doubt, a physical evil, inasmuch as it carries in its train, an almost infinite amount of bodily wretchedness and woe. It is chiefly, however, a moral or spiritual evil, as it not only originates in other respects, should there be an indisputable difference between them, and the men of the world? With you, my dear readers, who profess to be Christ's, is it so in this sense ? If not, it is self-evident that although you have a name in the Christian Church, you are any thing but true practical non-conformists to the world, and any thing but true Christians.

CHAPTER VIII.

NON-CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD

IN DRUNKENNESS.

“Now shun, O shun the enchanting cup;

For, though its draught like joy appears,
Ere long it will be fanned with sighs,

And sadly mixed with blood and tears.”

ALL true Christians must also “not be conformed to this world” in the practice of any thing like drunkenness. Drunkenness, we need scarcely observe, is another of the works of the flesh," or of corrupt human nature. For, the term “flesh" is frequently used in Scripture to express the corruption, or depravity, which exists, not so much in our bodies as in our souls; the soul being the superior part of our nature, and the body only its instrument in the commission of sin. We must not, therefore, speak of drunkenness, as some do, as being merely a physical evil,” nor suppose that it can be rightly cured "by physical means." It is, no doubt, a physical evil, inasmuch as it carries in its train an almost infinite amount of bodily wretchedness and woe. It is chiefly, however, a moral or spiritual evil, as it not only originates in our depraved hearts, but “rages most within ;" and is ruinous to soul and body, for time and for eternity ; and the physical evil, as the effect, can only be truly removed by the removal of the spiritual evil, as the cause. In other words, drunkenness is one of the fruits of "sin dwelling in us,” and one of the very worst. While it is, also, “exceeding sinful" in itself, it is likewise, far more frequently than any other sin, the occasion of almost every other kind of wickedness, and the source of the greatest misery. On this account, it may, comparatively speaking, be well designated, “ the great ancestor of vice;” or said to be, more than any other secondary cause, the parent of all the evils that exist in the world.

For example, is it not mentally, in too many cases, the means of injuring the brain, the seat of intellect; of weakening the mind; of disordering the memory; of impairing the judgment; of destroying the noblest talents; of wrecking genius; of dethroning reason; and of inflicting insanity?

Is it not spiritually, in too many instances, the means of hardening the heart; of unnerving the will; of searing the conscience; of carnalizing the affections; of eradicating the finer feelings of humanity, whether in a state of nature or of grace; of causing the greatest anguish, and also utter ruin ?

Is it not bodily, too frequently, the means of disorganizing the whole constitution; of deranging the functions of the stomach ; of im pairing strength, although it imparts stimulus; of spoiling beauty; of destroying health ; of inducing almost every kind of disease, and sometimes the most loathsome disease of the heart and enlargement of the liver; jaundice and dropsy; blood-shot eyes, or eyes sunk in their sockets, if not total blindness; wan cheeks and a bloated countenance; trembling hands and tiny fingers; or again, “a fat or flabby frame;" parched lips and swollen legs; tottering steps and a shattered nervous system; and likewise of entailing want and woe; want of food and want of clothing; poverty and pauperism; rags and wretchedness; sensuality and suicide; of inflaming the worst of passions; of predisposing to the ravages of the pestilence; and of committing yearly to the drunkard's

grave

about seventy thousand persons ?

Is it not educationally, too often, the means of producing, and of perpetuating, the greatest ignorance; of vitiating the taste of the most cultivated, and of barbarising the most refined; of sacrificing the greatest learning, and of bartering away the highest attainments; of reducing the most accomplished, in a literary and scientific

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