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being thus madly given to immoderate drink, are manifold. The drunkard, in his madness and folly, brings upon himself destruction both of body and soul. He is depriving himself of a good reputation ; he is injuring his health ; he is wasting his strength; he is squandering his worldly substance; he is hasting unto poverty. And, besides incurring all these temporal judgments, he is sinning against his own soul, and shutting himself out from happiness hereafter: for “drunkards," we are told in the volume of Christ's holy law, “ shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” O! my brethren, be persuaded to consider that this is no idle declamation. Drunkards, and liars, and thieves, and the profane, and the despisers of God's word, are alike under the same condemnation of woe and misery hereafter. They are doers of evil, they are workers of iniquity, and “ the face of the Lord shall be against them.” Remember this then, and tremble for the judgment to come, if ye will not be persuaded to renounce your filthy appetite for strong drink by the frequent sight and experience of the trouble and punishment, even in this world, into which that man plunges himself who habitually inflames or stupifies his senses
with intoxicating liquor. Strongly doth St. Paul speak in condemnation of those, the men of depraved lusts and appetites, “ whose God,” saith he, “ is their belly, whose glory is in their shame.” % It is, alas ! too true, that the
mighty to drink wine” shall be found to glory in their strength, which is then their shame and their bane, tempting them to challenge others to like feats of profligate daring. But the word of the Lord by his prophet denounces “ woe” unto such, unto “men of strength to mingle strong drink.” “ As the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust : because they
2 Phil. iii. 19.
have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” 3 From these and such like sentences of holy writ, we can come to none other conclusion, than that the man addicted to strong drink shall not escape harmless and unpunished either in this life, or in the next; that it is, in short, a degrading and a ruinous habit; and however the vitiated taste. may for a moment be gratified,” at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” 4 Therefore, brethren, as ye would not be disappointed of your christian hope, as ye would- as it is required of you, to “walk worthy the vocation wherewith ye are called,” s at once abjure this sin which doth so easily beset some among you, and walk ye honestly and soberly in the sight of God and man: for, “ surely, I know,” saith the wise preacher, “ that it shall be
3 Isa. v. 22-24.
Prov. xxiii. 32. * Ephes. iv. 1.
well with them that fear God, which fear before him.”
Indeed, my brethren, as we are earnestly and affectionately entreated by St. Paul; and as we are exhorted by Christ himself to let our light shine for good before men ; and as we are freely permitted to use and to enjoy the gracious bounties of our almighty Father,—“it remaineth, that we use this world, as not abusing it : for the fashion of this world passeth
Sociability and friendly communication, good nature and good humour, are principles to be cultivated, are feelings not to be condemned. They are recommended in the Gospel; for by them the sorrows and the trials, and much of the labour and fatigue incident to the flesh, are alleviated. Only we must be careful not to transgress; we must “ be sober,” and we must “ be vigilant,” so that neither our relaxations nor our pleasures and enjoyments dege
6 ] Cor. vii. 31.
nerate into sin by our exceeding those bounds of moderation which befit the rational man, and the due exercise of those faculties, and of that experience and reflection and knowledge, which the Almighty hath bestowed upon us, the creatures of his love and his bounty.
And, further, we may observe, that as on the occasion which gave rise to the miracle in Cana of Galilee, Jesus with his disciples had been called, had been invited, so ought we to desire, and to make it our endeavour, that nothing in our scenes of joy and congratulation and pleasure occur contrary to the word and the example of Jesus, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, or to the advice and directions of the apostles of our Lord. “Let your moderation,” as we are enjoined in the epistles, “ be known unto all men.” “ Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus