Imatges de pÓgina

of ardent spirits consumed in the land. Even now, no small proportion of the deaths which annually make up our national bills of mortality, are cases of those who have been brought to an untimely end, and who have, directly or indirectly, fallen victims to the deleterious influence of ardent spirits; fulfilling, with fearful accuracy, the prediction, “the wicked shall not live out half their days.” As the jackal follows the lion, to prey upon the slain, so do disease and death wait 'on the footsteps of inebriation. The free and universal use of intoxica. ting liquors, for a few centuries, cannot fail to bring down our race from the majestic, athletic forms of our fathers, to the similitude of a despicable and puny race of men. Already the commencement of the decline is manifest, and the consum. mation of it, should the causes continue, will not linger.

3. The injurious influence of general intemperance upon national intellect, is equally certain, and not less to be deprecated.

To the action of a powerful mind, a vigorous muscular frame is, as a general rule, indispensable. Like heavy ordnance, the mind, in its efforts, recoils on the body, and will soon shake down a puny frame. The mental action and physical reaction must be equal,-or finding her energies unsustained, the mind itself becomes discouraged, and falls into despondency and imbecility. The flow of animal spirits, the fire and vigor of the imagination, the fullness and power of feeling, the comprehension and grasp of thought, the fire of the eye, the tones of the voice, and the electrical energy of utterance, all depend upon the healthful and vigorous tone of the animal system; and by whatever means the body is unstrung, the spirit languishes.

4. Cæsar, when he had a fever once, and cried, “ give me some drink, Titinius," was not that god who afterwards overturned the epublic, and reigned without a rival; and Bonaparte, it has been said, lost the Russian campaign by a fever. The greatest poets and orators who stand on the records of immortality, flourished in the iron age, before the habits of effeminacy had unharnessed the body, and unstrung the mind. This is true of Homer, and Demosthenes, and Milton; and if Virgil and Cicero are to be classed with them, it is not without a manifest abatement of vigor for beauty, produced by the progress of voluptuousness in the age in which they lived.

5. The giant writers of Scotland, are, some of them, men of threescore and ten, who still go forth to the athletic sports of their youthful days, with undiminished elasticity. The taper fingers of modern effeminacy, never wielded such a pen as these men wield, and never will.

The taste may be cultivated, in alliance with effeminacy, and music may flourish, while all that is manly is upon the decline and there may be soine fitful flashes of imagination in poetry,


which are the offspring of a capricious, nervous excitability i and perhaps there may be sometimes an unimpassioned stillness of soul in a feeble body, which shall capacitate for simple intellectual discrimination. But that fullness of soul, and diversified energy of mind, which is indispensable to national talent, in all its diversified application, can be found only in alliance with an undebased and vigorous muscular system.

6. The history of the world confirms this conclusion. Egypt, once at the head of nations, has, under the weight of her own effeminacy, gone down to the dust. The victories of Greece let in upon her the luxuries of the east, and covered her glory with a night of ages. And Rome, whose iron foot trod down the nations, and shook the earth, witnessed, in her latter days, faintness of heart, and the shield of the mighty vilely cast away.

The effect of intemperance upon the military prowess of a nation, cannot but be great and evil. The mortality in the seasoning of recruits, already half-destroyed by intemperance, will be double to that experienced among hardy and temperate

7. If in the early wars of our country, the mortality of the camp had been as great as it has been, since intemperance has facilitated the raising of recruits, New England would have been depopulated, Philip had remained lord of his wilderness, or the French had driven our fathers into the sea, extending from Canada to Cape Horn the empire of despotism and superstition. An army, whose energy in conflict depends on the excitement of ardent spirits, cannot possess the coolness nor sustain the shock of a powerful onset, like an army of determined, temperate men. It was the religious principle and temperance of Cromwell's army, that made it terrible to the licentious troops of Charles the First.

8. The effect of intemperance upon the patriotism of a nation, is neither obscure nor doubtful. When excess has despoiled the man of the natural affections of husband, father, brother, and friend, and thrust him down to the condition of an animal; we are not to expect of him comprehensive views, and a disinterested regard for his country. His. patriotism may serve as a theme of sinister profession, or inebriate boasting. But, what is the patriotism which loves only in words, and in general,

and violates in detail all the relative duties on which the welfare of country depends !

The man might as well talk of justice and mercy, who robs and murders upon the highway, as he'whose example is pestiferous, and whose presence withers the tender charities of life, and perpetuates weeping, lamentation, and woe. A nation of drunkards would constitute a hell.

9. Upon the national conscience, or moral principle, the ef. fects of intemperance are deadly.

It obliterates the fear of the Lord, and a sense of accountability, paralyzes the power of conscience, and hardens the heart, and turns out upon society a sordid, selfish, ferocious animal.

Upon national industry, the effects of intemperance are manifest and mischievous.

The results of national industry depend on the amount of well-directed intellectual and physical power. But intemperance paralyzes and prevents both these springs of human action.

10. In the inventory of national loss by intemperance, may be set down, the labor prevented by indolence, by debility, by sickness, by quarrels and litigation, by gambling and idleness, by mistakes and misdirected effort, by improvidence and wastefulness, and by the shortened date of human life and activity. Little wastes in great establishments, constantly occurring, may defeat the energies of a mighty capital. But where the intel. lectual and muscular energies are raised to the working point, daily, by ardent spirits, until the agriculture, and commerce, and arts, of a nation, move on by the power of artificial stimulus, that moral power cannot be maintained, which will guaranty fidelity, and that physical power cannot be preserved and well-directed, which will insure national prosperity. The nation, whose immense enterprise is thrust forward by the stimulus of ardent spirits, cannot ultimately escape debility and bankruptcy

11. When we behold an individual cut off in youth, or in middle age, or witness the waning energies, improvidence and unfaithfulness of a neighbor, it is but a single instance, and we become accustomed to it; but such instances are multiplying in our land in every direction, and are to be found in every department of labor, and the amount of earnings prevented or squandered, is incalculable: to all which must be added, the accumulating and frightful expense incurred for the support of those, and their families, whom intemperance has made paupers.

12. In every city and town, the poor-tax, created chiefly by intemperance, is augmenting. The receptacles for the poor are • becoming too straight for their accommodation. We must pull them down, and build greater, to provide accommodations for the votaries of inebriation; for the frequency of going upon the town, has taken away the reluctance of pride, and destroyed the motives to providence, which the fear of poverty and suffering once supplied.

13. The prospect of a destitute old age, or of a suffering family, no longer troubles the vicious portion of our commudity. They drink up their daily earnings, and bless God for the poor-house, and begin to look upon it, as, of right, the drunkard's home, and contrive to arrive thither as early as idleness and excess will give them a passport to this sinecure of vice. Thus is the insatiable destroyer of industry marching through the land, rearing poor-houses, and augmenting taxation ; night and day, with sleepless activity, squandering property, cutting the sinews of industry, undermining vigor, engendering disease paralyzing intellect, impairing moral principle, cutting short the date of life, and rolling up a national debt, invisible, but real and terrific as the debt of England; continually transferring larger and larger bodies of men, from the class of contributors to the national income, to the class of worthless consumers.

14. Add the loss sustained by the subtraction of labor, and the shortened date of life, to the expense of sustaining the poor, created by intemperance; and the nation is now taxed annually more than the expense which would be requisite for the maintenance of government, and for the support of all our schools and colleges, and all the religious instruction of the nation. Already a portion of the entire capital of the nation, is mortgaged for the support of drunkards. There seems to be no other fast property in the land, but this inheritance of the intemperate : all other riches may make to themselves wings and fly away.

15. But until the nation is bankrupt, according to the laws of the state, the drunkard and his family must have a home. Should the pauperism of crinie augment in this country, as it has done for a few years past, there is nothing to stop the frightful results which have come upon England, where proper: ty is abandoned, in some parishes, because the poor-tax exceeds the annual income. You who are husbandmen, are accustomed to feel as if your houses and lands were wholly your own; but if you will ascertain the per centage of annual taxation levied on your property for the support of the intemperate, you will perceive how much of your capital is held by drunkards, by a tenure, as sure as if held under mortgages, or deeds of war. ranty. Your widows and children do not take by descent more certainly, than the most profligate and worthless part of the community.

16. Every intemperate and idle man, whom you behold tot. tering about the streets, and steeping himself at the stores, regards your houses and lands as pledged to take care of him,puts his hands deep, annually, into your pockets, and eats his bread in the sweat of your brows, instead of his own : and with marvelous good nature you bear it. If a robber should break loose on the highway, to levy taxation, an armed force would be raised to hunt him from society. But the tippler

may do it fearlessly, in open day, and not a voice is raised, not a finger is lifted.

17. The effects of intemperance upon civil liberty, may not be lightly passed over.

It is admitted, that intelligence and virtue are the pillars of republican institutions, and that the illumination of schools, and the moral power of religious institutions, are indispensable to produce this intelligence and virtue.

But who are found so uniformly in the ranks of irreligion, as the intemperate? Who like these violate the sabbath, and set their mouth against the heavens; neglecting the education of their families, and corrupting their morals? Almost the entire amount of national ignorance and crime, is the offspring of intemperance. Throughout the land, the intemperate are hewing down the pillars, and undermining the foundations of our national edifice. Legions have besieged it, and upon every gate the battle-ax rings; and still the sentinels sleep.

18. Should the evil advance as it has done, the day is not far distant, when the great body of the laboring classes of the community, the bones and sinews of the nation, will be contaminated ; and when this is accomplished, the right of suffrage becomes the engine of self-destruction. For the laboring classes constitute an immense majority; and when these are perverted by intemperance, ambition needs no better implements, with which to dig the grave of our liberties, and entomb our glory.


ADVICE TO THE YOUNG. 1. My young friends, the first years of your life are to be emploġed in learning those things which are to make you good citizens, useful members of society, and candidates for a happy state in another world. Among the first things you are to learn, are, your duties to your parents. These duties are commanded by God, and are necessary to your happiness in this life. The commands of God are, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”—“ Children, obey your parents in all things.” These commands are binding on all children; they cannot be neglected, without sin. Whatever God has commanded us to do, we must perform, without calling in question the propriety of the command.

2. But the reasonableness of this command to obey parents, is clear, and easily understood by children, even when quite young. Parents are the natural guardians of their children. It is their duty to feed, clothe, protect, and educate them; and for

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