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hopeless, as well as shameful disease. The members; in greater or less degrees, suffer with the head; and, for it at least, suffer ão. -
To all these things ought to be added their continual apprehension, that their husband, and parent, will come to some dreadful disaster, or to an untimely end, by some one of that numerous train of accidents, to which he is daily exposed; and the terrible conviction, that, should he even escape these evils, he is still going regularly onward to final perdition. . This consummation of evils they are compelled to expect, with an assurance, little short of absolute knowledge; and cannot fail to tremble in the morning, lest the dreadful event should arrive before the close of the day.
10. 'ri. Drunkard destroys his Life.
The Drunkard is as really a Suicide, as if he compassed his death by the pistol, or the halter. The difference is, principally, that the destruction is slower, and accomplished by a long succession of sins, and not by one bold and desperate effort of turpitude; and that the Drunkard, instead of aiming at his life, aims merely at the gratification of his appetite: while the Suicide makes his own destruction his prime purpose. The Drunkard is a negligent, the Suicide an intentional Self-Murderer. Often, indeed, the Drunkard destroys himself in a moment. Often, as I have already observed, he falls from his horse; or into the fire; or into the water; or is brought to an untimely end by some other fatal accident. Most usually, however, he wastes, gradually, the taper of life before the time; and thus cuts off one fourth, one third, or one half, of his accepted time : even while he lives, by his desperate progress in sin he terminates all his hopes of salvation.
11. The Drunkard ruins his Soul.
It has been heretofore observed, that the Drunkard destroys his Reason. In this manner he is unfitted for all profitable use of the means of Grace, and for all attention to eternal life. Every call of mercy finds him stupid and regardless. To every threatening, his ears are deaf: to every promise his heart is insensible. The power of Motives he knows not how to feel: and even their nature he cannot comprehend. To temptations, on the contrary, he is always exposed, alive, and awake. Around him, therefore, temptations throng, and every tempter fastens on him as his prey. Sin, of course, becomes his business: and he draws iniquity as with a cart-rope.
In the mean time, he is, beyond most other men, hopeless of reformation. The hopeless condition of a Sot is proverbial. Amendment in this case is so rare, as scarcely to admit belief. Indeed, Heaven seems to have stamped this sin almost always with reprobation. To complete his miserable condition, he is cut off from Prayer. No person, who intends to sin, can pray. No person, who intends to tempt himself, as the Drunkard always does, can say, Lead me not into temptation; but deliver me from evil; and no person, who cannot pray, can be saved. Thus the Drunkard holds out to his family, and to the world, the deplorable spectacle of a sinner, hardened o the common measure; exposing himself to sin, of every kind, and in every degree, and yet voluntarily depriving himself of the usual means of repentance; hastening to perdition, and yet closing his eyes to the dangers of the precipice on which he stands, and to the terrors of the gulf, which opens beneath. IV.. I shall now endeavour summarily to point out the Means of .Avoiding this dreadful Evil. 1. Among these Means, it will be readily seen, must be the avoidance of the Causes, by which Intoxication is solicited, or encouraged. *... of these causes may, ordinarily, be avoided by a little care, and a little resolution. No persons, except the family of the drunkard, are obliged to be present, unless casually, to examples of this nature. No person is necessitated to frequent the places in which, or company of the persons by whom, this evil habit is encouraged. Every man can avoid regular drinking. That all this is the duty of every man, a duty of š. most pressing kind, will not be questioned. Every thing, here, depends on resisting, or avoiding, the beginnings of evil. j is it the duty, and wisdom, of all men to abstain from the haunts of drunkenness, from drinking companions, and from regular drinking. Almost all habits of intoxication are originated by one, or other of these causes. He, who becomes familiar with these temptations, is advancing to perdition with his eyes open. 2. The man, who finds in himself any peculiar relish for spirituous liquors, is bound to abstain from them wholly. The relish for these increases, invariably, with every instance, and degree, of indulgence. To cherish it, therefore, is to make ourselves drunkards; and it is cherished most efficaciously by repeated drinking. No man will do this, who is not a fair candidate for bedlam. 3. All persons, who have already begun the habit of intoxication, are bound to desist, absolutely, from all use of strong drink. Every effort at gradual reformation will only j him, who makes it. At first, it may seem to promise something ; but it will soon be found to perform nothing of any use. The candidate for reformation will speedily find himself more entangled than ever, and at a greater j from the reformation intended. Hard as the case may be, he must break off at once, or be ruined. 4. Persons, not s...} in danger of this evil, are, nevertheless, bound stuous to guard against it. Vol. III. 50
No reputation, no wisdom, nor hardly any worth, will secure man against Drunkenness. This sin is found in the cottage, and in the palace; in the study of the Philosopher, and in the Sacred desk; in the hall of council, and on the bench of Justice; and, contrary to what would seem the dictates of nature, as well as delieacy, in the female sex; even in instances, where distinction, understanding, amiableness, and refinement would appear to forbid even the suspicion. In most, if not all, of these cases, the evil creeps insensibly on the unhappy subject; and overcomes him before he is aware. A prime object, to be here regarded, is, therefore, to keep the danger always before our eyes. We are ever to feel, that we ourselves are in danger; and to consider a habitual, lively, dread of it as our first safety. We are to form, also, vigorous and standing resolutions, that we will not be overcome. #. we are invariably to form in the fear of God; with a solemn recollection of his presence; with a humble dependence on Him to bless us; and with fervent supplications for his blessingTo strengthen our resolutions, and to o our fears awake, we are to mark the miserable victims of this sin with anxiety and terror; to regard the sin itself as the highway to Hell; and to realize, that in ; to it we seal our own reprobation.
To all this conduet motives can never be wanting. Multitudes, of the highest import, and the most commanding efficacy, have been already suggested in the progress of this discourse. Eve heart in this house, which is not formed of adamant, must have o their force. Nothing pleads for it, except the mere appetite for strong drink: an appetite, usually unnatural, and ... o, casual indulgence. All things else in Heaven, and in Earth, exclaim against it with a single voice. Our health, our reputation, our safety, our reason, our usefulness, our lives, our souls, our families, and our friends, in solemn and affecting union, urge, entreat, and persuade, as to abstain. God commands; Christ solicits; the Spirit of Grace influences; us to abstain. Angels and Glorified Saints behold our conduct with such anxiety and alarm, as happy beings can feel ; and watch, and hope, to see our escape. The Law with a terrible voice thunders in our ears that dreadful denunciation, “Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Even Hell itself, hostile as it is to our salvation, follows the rest of the Universe; and, in spite of its own malevolence, subjoins its dreadful admonition, by marshalling before us the innumerable hosts of miserable wretches, whom this sin has driven to its mansions of despair. Who, that does not already sleep the sleep of death, can refuse to hear, awake, and live?
seventh commandment.—the origin, saturs, Ase B&NErits OF MARRIAGE.
BEFORE I enter upon the direct consideration of the precept in the Text, it will be useful, for the purpose of illustrating and enforcing it, to examine the nature of Marriage. The Sin, immediately forbidden in the Text, derives, in some respects, its existence from this Institution; and is, in all respects, intimately connected with it, in whatever manner, or degree, the Sin may exist. Such an Examination, also, derives Particular importance from the fact, that it has been rarely made in the Desk. Indeed, I do not know where it has been made, in such a manner, as to satisfy my own wishes.
In discussing this Subject I shall consider,
I. The Origin;
II. The JNature ; and,
III. The Benefits ; of Marriage.
I. The Origin of Marriage is from God.
In other words, Marriage is a Divine Institution.
The proof of this position is complete in the following passage. Matth. xix. 3–6. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put .#. wife for every cause 2. And he answered, and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He, which made them at the beginning, made them male and female ; And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shull be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
In this passage of Scripture our Saviour declares, that, when God had created man male and female, he said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. These, it is ever to be remembered, are the words of God Himself; as they are here declared to be by Christ; and not, as they have often been erroneously supposed to be, the words of Adam. God made man male and female for this end; and in these words delivered his own Ordinance to mankind; at once permitting, and directing, that a man, henceforth, should leave his father and mother; and that lawfully, notwithstanding his high, and otherwise indissoluble, obligations
to them; and be united to his wife. Accordingly, He declares them, henceforth, to be no more twain, but one. That these words contain an Institution of God, and that this Institution is Marriage, cannot be doubted for a moment. The only question which can be asked concerning the subject, is, For whom was this institution designed? Plainly it was not designed for Adam and Eve: for they had neither father nor mother; and were, therefore, not included in the terms of the Ordinance; and, being already married by God Himself, were necessarily excluded from any Ordinance, succeeding that event. The Ordinance, then, respected their posterity only ; and, as it is delivered in absolutely indefinite terms, terms unrestricted to any individuals, or collections of mankind it respected all their posterity alike. In this manner it is directly explained o our Saviour, in the ssage quoted above. The Pharisees asked Him, whether it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause. Christ replies, that, in consequence of this Institution, a man and his wife are no more twain, but one; that is, a man and his wife, at the time in which he was speaking, and from the time, when this ordinance was wade, are no more twain, but, from the day of their marriage, are by this Ordinance constituted one. Accordingly, he subjoins, What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. As if he had said, “God hath joined together by this Ordinance all men and wowen, who are lawfully married; or, in other words, every lawfully married pair.” Man, therefore, cannot lawfully disjoin them. Here it is evident beyond a debate, that our Saviour pronounced men to be married, or joined together, at the time, when He made these declarations, by God Himself in this Ordinance. Of course, the Ordinance, extends to all lawfully married persons. II. The Nature of Marriage may be explained in the following man?ver. JMarriage is an union between two persons of the different sexes. It is carefully to be remembered, that the Ordinance of God which gave birth to it, limits the Union to two. God said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; not, JMen shall leave their fathers and mothers, and shall cleave unto their wife; nor, A man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wives, And they twain shall be one: Not, they indefinitely, without declaring how many; nor they three, four, or five; but they twain. The Ordinance, therefore, on which alone Marriage islaw. fully founded, limits this Union, in the most express and definite manner, to two persons. What God has thus established, man cannot alter. It is the most Intimate Union which exists in the present world. The persons who are thus united, are joined of: in a more intimate relation, than any other, which exists, or can exist, among mankind. No attachment is so strong; no tenderness is so great;