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He will feed his horse high enough to perform his journey, and carry him through the mire; but will not feed him to such a height, that the rider shall neither be able to sit, nor command him,
Iu all these cases, the common prudence of every man directs him to that just mediocrity, wherein both his honour and profit do apparently lie. And what we say in such common cases and concerns as these, is as true, and much more excellent in the soul's prudent government of its own body, unto which it was espouted in the womb, and is its dear and constant partner, both in the present and future good or evil. It is the garment it wears, the instrument it uleth, and the field it cultivates, It must neither deny the body those neceffary supports and comforts which God and nature allow it, nor yet surfeit and overcharge it with more than it is able to bear. In either of these extremes, the extreme folly of the soul is discovered.
$ 3. Now the dethroning of reason, and frequent oppreffions of nature, by the practice of drunkenness, is the highest, exaltation of folly in the soul of man ; plainly manifesting its ignorance and inability to order and govern the body, to which it is married by a vital union.
Here is a foolish soul by misgovernment, dishonquring and destroying its vigorous and comely body, under a pretence of love and kindness to it. We account it one of the greatest outward infelicities in this world, incident to a discreet and virtuous woman, to be headed and governed by a fottish fool, neither able to govern himself, or her, nor give a reason of his own actions or commands. A man whose folly shall make, her blush in all fober companies he comes into, and forces her upon such a course of life as the perfectly abhors, and will bring speedy ruin upon her; all men pity such a case as. this. And this is the very case of many a comely, vigorous, body.
Only such a woman hath two reliefs under her bondage, which the body of a drunkard wants. She can sometimes withdraw and retire from his company, and enjoy the relief of her. folitude, which the wretched body of a drunkard cannot do till death ; but is tied day and night to the company of its foolish foul, which is frequently abusing it, and impofing
Besides, such a woman may haply overlive her. vicious abufive husband, and spend many a comfortable year in the world with a more difcreet, fober and religious partner of her life, whose fobriety, discretion, piety, and love, shall make
full compensation for all those years of misery and flavery she endured before. But the case before us admits no such relief: for as long as ever the body lives and breathes, the soul is, and must be with it, and in it. And though death will for a time separate and divorce them, yet the body's second marriage at the resurrection, can be with no other but the same soul which oppreffed and ruined it in this world. And this fecond marriage will be far worse than the first; for though it were the sottish foul's flave and drudge in this world, and fuffered many a sickness, shame, and loss by its folly; yet in the world to come, it must be its partner and companion in helltorments for evermore, inasmuch as it was the instrument the soul used in most of those fins committed by it in this world. And this is the case of all bodies married to, and governed by fouls that have neither reason nor religion enough prudently and soberly to order and govern their
own bodies. § 4. Sad and doleful, therefore, are the lamentations and complaints of the bodies of drunkards, against the folly and tyranny of their souls; and as just as fad. Let me here therefore act the part of an advocate for your bodies, which is a part of yourselves, and to which, by the law of nature, you owe love, care, and honour; or, rather by a prosopopoeia, let me bring in the body sighing out its own complaints in the cars of its own soul, and thus bemoaning itself to it.
« Oh, my soul! I have cause to lament the day that ever I was married to such a sottish fool as thou art, who are deftitute both of wisdom and love to rule and govern me. I may justly resume Job's lamentation upon thy account, and
fay with him : “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and - the night wherein it was said, there is a mali-child coneeiv.
Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly ? For now should • I have lien still, and been quiet, I should have slept; then « had I been at rest."
I have been a perfect slave and drudge to thy unreasonable * lusts and impofitions. I was once an active, vigorous, come• ly body, and hadst thou been wife and sober, I had been happy:
But thou hast been a cruel tyrant to me, oppressing and • loading me with more than I was able to stand under. Thou • hait plunged me many times into those puddles of excess,
wherein thou haft drowned thy own reason, and my health. My well-mixed beauty is now turned into the colour of flam
ing fire; my hands and legs shake, my tongue falters, my • natural crasis and temperament is destroyed. Thou haft
made me miserable in this world, and intendest to make me
moans, and shewedst more mercy to thy horse than me. « Sick or well, able or unable, live or die, I must take in the · full number of cups and bottles thou enjoinedest me to take.
Like another Pharoah, thou haft required of me the full tale, « whether I had strength to perform it or no. Yea, like ano. <ther devil, thou hast sometimes caft me into fiery fevers, " and watery dropsies; and will next cast me, if thou continue
this course, into hell-fire itself.
• Other souls have set thee a better pattern in their more • sober and prudent government of their bodies. They give « their bodies the true pleasure of the creature, by keeping • them to that happy mediocrity in which it consists. They
devote their bodies to the service of God; thou hast devoted • me to the immediate service of the devil. A majestic beau• ty sits upon their faces; sottishness and folly upon mine. • Their knees are caily bowed in prayer to God; mine shake 6 and tremble in the service of the devil, They enjoy pure and • fanctified pleasures every day; but I am denied the sober • pleasures of a beast. Their bodies will be happy with their • souls in the world to come; but I must suffer eternally with
thee, and for thee. Thou hast both consumed me, and thy
estate given to support me; and now I am like to suffer as • much by want, as I have done by excess'; and all this thro' • thy misgovernment. These feet (if thou hadft pleased to « command them) would as readily have carried thee to thy
closet, or the assemblies of God's people, as to an ale-house • or tavern. These fingers would have served to open and turn
the blessed pages, which contain the oracles of God, as to cog a dye, or have shuffled and dealt a pack of cards. This
tongue might have been melodiously employed in singing • the praises of God among his people, as well as in swearing, • roaring, and singing among drunken fots and fools, if thou hadst been endued with governing wisdom.
• Thou knowest I could do nothing without thee. Thou • haft a despotical power over all my members. They are at
thy beck, and thou at the devil's. Better had it been for me, • had I been the body of a contemptible worm or fly, than a • body animated and governed by such a sottish foul as thou art.
• And now, my soul, what haft thou to fay for thyself? " What tolerable account canst thou give to God or' me, of • these thy vile abuses of both ?'
$ 5. Now let us hear what the soul of the drunkard hath to plead, in its own excuse and defence, for all his wrongs ágainst God, mischief to itself, ruin to his health, name, and estate. They have various excuses, though not one found or rationaf one among them all. Such as they are, let them be tried by the rule of reafon, if any reafon be yet left in them, who daily dethrone it by this worse than brutish practice.
That which they say for themselves, is this :'
1. That their bodies are strongly constituted, more capacious to receive, and able to bear greater quantities of wine and Atrong-drink, than others are ; and therefore, why should they not drink dlown, and glory over those that vie with them?
2. Others say, they would not take the course they do, but that when they are sober and solitary, they are fo pressed with the thoughts of their debts and incumbránces in the world, that they are upon a perfect rack, and they find nothing like good-fellowship in a tavern or ale-house, so effectually relieving against the cares and anxieties of their minds.
3. Some will tell us, they are drawn into it by the snare of pleasure ; nothing being so grateful to their palate, as their full load of generous wine, or strong drink. And seeing it is so pleasant and delightfome to them, why should they deny and abridge themselves of their pleasures ?
4. Others will profefs, they had never taken this course, which they find upon many accounts pernicious to them ; but that they are not able in civility to deny their intimate friends and companions, especially such with whom they have concerns in trade and business; and they must drink as they do, or fuffer loss in their trade; and beside that, be stigmatized for fanatics.
5. They will also say, they are obliged in point of loyalty, to pledge him that consecrates (as they catechrestically call it) the first glass to the king, or persons of quality and honour.
6. And, lastly, Some will tell us, they have plentiful estates, that will bear such expences; and fince their pockets are full, why should not their heads and stomachs be so toð ?
Befides these fix apologies for drunkennefs, nothing falls into my imagination, pleadable for this sin. We will weighi these that are pleaded, in the common balance of the reason of mankind, and try the validity of them one by one. And for
Excufe I. Ard, first, To what you say of the capacities of
your bodies, strength and ability of your conftitutions, to receive and bear greater quantities of wine and strong drink, than others can; and therefore, why fhould you not give proof of it, when challenged, and get reputation to yourselves, by drinking down, and glorying over such as vie with you?
To this I reply three things, which must be laid in the counter-balance; and let the balance be beld in the upright hand of your own reafon.
i. A strong and vigorous conftitution will be readily acknowledged to be so great an external blefling and mercy, that no man of found intellectuals ought to do any thing to destroy it; but is obliged to ufe all proper methods for the preferva tion of it. If therefore temperance shall be found to preserve it, and excess to impair and destroy it; let your own reason judge, which of these two courses you are obliged to take. Consult either the best physicians, or your own and other mens experience ; and they will tell you, That apoplexies, pallies, gout, and innumerable other diseases are bred by fuch exceffes, in the foundest and strongest constitutions, and death itself haftened by such intemperate courses ; whereas temperance and fobriety might have made your lives more comfortable and durable. As strong as you are, frequent drunkenness will bring Cain's curse upon your vigorous bodies, and make you go shaking and trembling (as he did) about the world.
2. Let it be demanded of your own reason, whether it do really judge that God bestowed more strength and vigour up
bodies, than he hath upon others, to arm a stronger enemy,
than others are; to fight more vigoroufly against him, than others do, or can do ? Or, whether it were not defigned by him for greater use and service to his glory in the world, than others of his people (how willing soever they be) can do, for want of that strength you have ? I am confident, no man of found intellectuals will dare to affert the former, or deny the latter.
3. And, laftiy, For your glorying in drinking down, and conquering others; you will certainly put your own reason to a blush, by offering such a plea as this to it. You are not yet arrived to impudence enough, to deny drunkenness to be fin; and your reason is yet found enough, easily and naturally to infer, that by how much the more any man exceeds and goes beyond others in fin, by so much the greater finner that man is.
And as for the honour and glory you talk of, in exceeding VOL. VIII.