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the spirit of Him, who, for his enemies, exchanged a throne for a cross; nor can he consistently bear his name.
Could all the wailings of the thousand thousands slain by ardent spirit come up in one loud thunder of remonstrance on the ear of the churches, they would then, perhaps, think it incon sistent, by their example, or by any act, to sanction its use. But “ let God be true,” and those wailings are as real, as if heard in ceaseless thunders. But God hath no pleasure in the death of the drunkard, and the drunkard can have no pleasure in the second death; it cannot, therefore, be consistent, either with love to God or love to man, to add to the multitude who shall swell the eternal wail.
6. The use of distilled liquor by professing Christians is inconsistent with the hope of ever freeing the nation from intemperance. All former efforts to arrest this alarming sin have failed. A glorious effort is now making to wash it off for ever with pure water. Thousands of patriots and philanthropists are rejoicing in the remedy. Not a sober man in the nation really doubts its efficacy and importance. Who, then, that regards our national character and our glorious institutions, can hesitate to adopt it? O, who, that loves his neighbor or his God, can still thirst for that which has darkened the pathway of heaven, threatened our liberties, desolated the land, and peopled hell? Who can be expected to adopt this substitute, if they do not who have sworn allegiance to the Holy One ? If they withhold their example, will worldly and sensual men, and the enemies of all righteousness, take up the work, and reform themselves, and purify the land ? For professors to expect this is preposterous ; and to pray for it, while they cling to the abominable thing, is gross insult to the Most High. His manifest language to the churches, then, is, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." " And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground."
Is it said, that the influence of a small church is unimportant ? Not so: it is “a city set on an hill ;" “the glory of the Lord is upon it;" its light may save the surrounding region; its exanıple may influence a thousand churches. And let the eight hundred thousand professing Christians in this land resolve on TOTAL ABSTINENCE-let this great example be held up to view and it would be such a testimony as the world has not seen. Let such a multitude show that ardent spirit is useless, and reformation easy and the demonstration would be complete. Few of the moral would continue the poison ; thousands of the immoral abandon it at once; and the nation be reformed and saved. Hence,
7. The use of this liquor by professing Christians is utterly inconsistent with the proper inluence of their example. The Savior says, 66 Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” But will men esteem Christians the more for drinking ? and thus be led to glorify God on their behalf? Or will the Savior praise them for this, “ when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe ?” Rather, will not their drinking lead some to excess, and thus sully the Creator's work? Nay, is it not certain, that if professing Christians thus indulge, the example will lead millions to drunkenness and perdition ? And, on the other hand, is it not morally certain, that if they would abstain, their combined influence might save millions from infamy and endless ruin? But every professor shares in this mighty power of example. How, then, in prospect of a day when all the bearings of his conduct shall be judged, can he hesitate on which side to lend his influence? This is not a little matter : for who can con ceive the results of even one impulse, among beings connected with each other and with infinity by ten thousand strings !
8. The use of ardent spirit by a part of the church is inconsistent with that harmony and brotherly love which Christ requires in his professed
followers. He requires them to “ love one another with a pure heart fervently ;" to “be all of one mind;" to be “ of one heart and one soul.” But who does not see the utter impossibility of this, if some members continue an indulgence, which others regard with abhorrence? Since public attention has been turned to this subject, thousands have come to the conviction that drinking distilled liquor is a wicked as well as filthy practice. The most distinguished lights of the church, and all such as peculiarly adorn their profession, decidedly embrace this sentiment. And how can such have anything like cordiality with those who continue a habit, now so extensively viewed with disgust? Ah! the professor of religion, who, in a day like this, “ will have his glass, not caring whom he offends," must have it; but with it, he must also “ have his reward." For, judging from his fruits, he differs as widely from Paul as heaven from hell. That holy apostle, speaking on this very subject of appetite, says, "Give none offence, neither to the Jews nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” And the Savior also says, “ Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck.”
9. The use of distilled liquor by members of the church, in this day of light, is incompatible with their receiving any general effusion of the Holy Spirit. Christians are allowed to hope for the Spirit to be poured out, only in answer to prayer; and only in answer to true, spiritual, believing prayer. “ If they regard iniquity in their heart, the Lord will not hear them.” If they wilfully and habitually cherish any sin, they cannot have faith, and it would be inconsistent for God to show such approbation as answer their prayers. Nay, is it not most solemn mockery, for any to cry, “ Revive thy work, O Lord”—while by example they are perhaps seducing thousands to perdition! Indeed, how odious the spectacle of a company assembled professedly in the name of Christ, and looking toward heaven, but, in this posture of devotion, all breathing forth the foul, fiery element ! This is literally " offering strange fire before the Lord.” And, instead of mercy, I hear his terrible remonstrance, “ Ye are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” I see the lightning of his anger, ready to smite such impious mockers. It should never be forgotten that the men whom the Almighty struck dead when they "offered strange fire,” were excited by liquor; and that his feelings toward such as thus unfit themselves for pure worship must be the same now. Oh, how can his pure Spirit descend and mingle his holy influences with that, which worketh all manner of iniquity, and pollutes the very air we breathe ?
God may have “ winked at” such inconsistencies, in times of ignorance ;" but he cannot do it in such a day of light, without disgracing his holy throne. We are not, then, to expect his Spirit to come down “ like showers that water the earth," till we put away that, which we know tends to wither and consume all the “ fruits of the Spirit.” But “ let us draw near in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water,” and “ he is faithful that hath promised.” He“ will open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room to receive it."
10. The waste of property in the use of distilled liquor is inconsistent with the character of faithful “ stewards for Christ." The “ contributions” of the church are among the appointed means for converting the world. But allow each of our eight hundred thousand professing Christians only two cents' worth of spirit daily, and the annual cost is about six MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! which would be sufficient to support constantly, at least fifteen thousand missionaries! Let professed stewards” of the Lord's treasury, then, who would consume this "little” on sinful appetite, ponder and blush for such inconsistency; and let them hasten to clear off the heavy charge, " Ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
11. For Christians to indulge in the use of ardent spirit is inconsistent with all attempts to recommend the gospel to the heathen. Nothing has done more to prejudice our Indian neighbors, and hinder
among them the influence of the gospel, than those poisonous liquors, which we have encouraged them to use.
The more thinking among them have perceived these liquors to be fraught only with mischief. Several tribes have set the noble example of excluding these articles by the strong arm of law: and it is only by convincing them that really consistent Christians do not encourage such evils, that our missionaries have been able to gain their confidence, and to introduce our literature and religion.
The same feeling must prevail in more distant heathen nations. They can not but despise the Christians who use and sell a polluting drink, which they, to a great extent, regard with disgust and abhorrence.
Suppose our missionaries should go out with a Bible in one hand and a bottle in the other; what impression would they make ? Even nature herself would revolt at the alliance. And nothing but all-powerful habit and faslıion have reconciled any among us to similar inconsistencies.
But not only must our missionaries be unspotted, they must also be able to testify, that no real Christians pollute themselves with this or any other unclean thing. With such testimony they might secure the conviction, that our religion is indeed purifying and elevating, and that our God is the true God. For, saith Jehovah, “ Then shall the heathen know that I am the Lord, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." Let the church, then, instead of dallying with pollution, shine forth in her heaven-borr
purity, and soon would the general acclamation of mankind be, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will towards
12. The use of ardent spirit by the church is inconsistent with any reasonable hope, that the flood of intemperance would not return upon
the land, even should it for a season be dried up. The same causes which have produced it would produce it again, unless there be some permanent powerful counteracting influence. Temperance Associations throughout the land are unspeakably important, as means of reformation. But they are not permanent bodies. Their organization may cease, when intemperance is once done away. And unless the doctrine of TOTAL ABSTINENCE be incorporated with some great association that is to be perpetual, it will in time be forgotten or despised; and then drunkenness will again abound. Such an association is found only in “ the Church of the living God." This will continue while the world stands : for God has promised to support it. Let the principle of ENTIRE ABSTINENCE, then, be recognised with one consent by the church, and adopted by future members; and you have a great and increasing multitude to sustain the temperance cause, till “ time shall be no longer.” And can the real Christian think it hard thus to enlist for the safety of all future generations? If parents love their offspring, if Christians love the lambs of Christ's flock, if philanthropists love the multitudes coming into Sabbath schools, will they not gladly hasten to secure them all from the destroyer? Has he a shadow of consistency, who will rather do that, which if done by the church generally, would lead millions of these children and their descendants to hopeless ruin?
13. The use of distilled liquor as a common article of luxury or living, is inconsistent with the plain spirit and precepts of God's word. It furnishes no warrant whatever for such use. Nothing, indeed, is said in Scripture of distilled liquor, for the very obvious reason, that the art of converting God's gifts to such a malignant poison was unkrown till the ninth century. Nor does our present object admit discussing the subject of “ wine:" (which, however, among the ancients, being the simple juice of the grape, and not mixed, like most of our wines, with ardent spirit, was comparatively mild.) But the “ strong drink" of the ancients was, in its effects, somewhat analogous to ardent spirit; though not so pollu