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UTICA CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE.
ON INTEMPERATE DRINKING.
been permitted to gain an ascendency so complete that its desolating Continued from Vol. I page 450. career could not be arrested. And So much has been said and written our grateful acknowledgements are on the subject of intemperance, with- due to the Author of all good, that in the last two or three years ;-so the number of the despairing has been, many facts have been collected from for some time past, rapidly on the deall parts of the United States;-socline. Many good people, who once many affecting representations have felt as if nothing effectual could be been made of the waste and woes of done, have found to their surprise, uphard drinking ;--and so much has been on facing the enemy, that it is not a done to lay these facts and represent-regular force which they have to meet, ations before the public, by clergymen but a reeling disorderly rabble; and and laymen; by printing, vending, and that, if the army of intemperance is gratuitously distributing sermons, es- numerically great, it is by no means. says, addresses, and tracts, that a spir-so formidable, as they had supposed. it of anxious inquiry, and a good de- A little thought has, moreover, congree of needful alarm, have been grad- vinced them, that even if this army ually and extensively excited. But cannot now be inet and vanquished, in unhappily, the effect of all this has the field, it must soon waste away, and been in many cases to dishearten rath-be entirely disbanded, unless kept aer than to stimulate, the friends of re-live by a succession of new recruits. form. Not a few have imagined themselves to be in the condition of a thinly populated district, when invaded by a powerful and victorious enemy, to whose standard many eagerly flock, instead of uniting with the friends of their country, to oppose his further pro- | gress. They have felt themselves driven to the hard necessity of at least remaining quiet, if not of aiding and assisting the conqueror.
Still, however the voice of despendency is heard from various quarters, expressing itself in such terms as the following. "Would to God, that the alarm had been sounded sooner. Time was, when something effectual might have been done; but that time is past. The foe should have been met upon the frontiers, instead of which, he has been suffered to penetrate into the heart of the country, and make such No such real necessity, however, a disposition of his forces, that resishas at any time, or any where, ex-tance can have no other effect, than isted; except in the imaginations of to exasperate him, to hasten the work the timed. Intemperance, though of ruin and death,in which he has been an enemy of terrible aspect; an en-so long, and so successfully engaged emy that has cast down many strong Our wound, alas! is incurable. T men wounded, and slain many migh-whole head is sick, and the whole h ty, has never yet, blessed be God, faint. The fire burns so fiercely,
it cannot be quenched. The poison is so diffused through all the veins and arteries, and so mixed with the whole mass of the blood, that no remedy can avail."
Nor let it be forgotton, that there is a mighty difference between coming up to the help of the Lord, and entering the lists against him. With infinite ease He can cause one to chase a thouThat those, who express them- sand, and two to put ten thousand selves in these and similar despairing to flight. So that, if drunkards, their lamentations, are sincere, I shall not auxiliaries and abettors, were ten permit myself to doubt. But through times more numerous than they are, what powerful magnifying-glass do and if at the same time, the pious and they look? What new race of giants virtuous were proportionably diminhave they discovered? Can nothing ished, it would be highly criminal in be done to save our children from bon- the latter to sit down in despair. Let dage, shame, and premature death? the fearful and unbelieving consider Why not? Cast away this mischiev- this. Let them remember, that those ous magnifier, I beseech you. Look ancient rebels, who would not obey out of your own eyes. Be calin and the command of God, nor confide in collected. Fears and phantoms are his promises, but refused to take posbad counsellors. Dismiss them. You session of Canaan, were destroyed of are not left alone. There are more the destroyer. than seven thousand, or ten times se- Further; let such, as are tempted ven thousand, who have not bowed to resign themselves up to desponden the knee to Baal. I cannot pretend to cy, be told for their encouragement, state the numbers of professing Chris- that much has actually been done, tians in this country, at the present within two years past, to stay the time; but it must be very large. Prob- plague---much more, than even the ably between two and three hundred most sanguine had ventured to antithousand. Most of these, surely, may cipate. The writer can assure them be counted upon, in this holy war, from his own observation, and from against intemperance. Nor must we statements on which implicit reliance look to these alone. More than twice can be placed, that in the part of Newor thrice two hundred thousand, who England where he resides a glorious reare not professors, can, no doubt, be in-forination is begun, and under circumduced to marshal themselves under stances affording good reason to hope the same standard. that it will proceed. Magistrates and And can nothing be done by such a ministers, church members, merchants, host? Nothing to maintain the ground farmers, mechanics, have, to an extent which is not yet lost-nothing to force not only unprecedent, but unexpected, the enemy from the open field---noth-entered heart and hand upon the good ing to reduce his strong holds, to drive work. Ardent spirits of every kind in his out-posts, or to cut off his sup- are excluded by unanimous resolves, plies? Can all the pious and sober from the associational and other meetpeople in the land do nothing to check ings of the clergy. The side-boards the progress of this evil? Nothing by of the wealthy are swept of bottles and their example; nothing by their influ- glasses. The sling and the cordial are ence with friends and dependents; banished from tea parties. Putting nothing in their own families? Or is it the cup to the lips of friends and visto be believed, that the great body of itants, is ceasing to be deemed a ne the wise and good, will, in this case, cessary part of hospitality. Many farrefuse to come to the help of the Lord mers now get through the season of against the mighty. Let them be dis-heat and hard labor, with less than tinctly called upon; let them be con-one fourth of the quantity of distilled vinced of the danger; and they will liquors, which they used to provide; come forward and enrol themselves. and some without providing any.
The pleasing result of a report, demand may be abroad for the prolately made in my hearing, by intelli-ductions of our soil, that demand cangent gentlemen from all parts of a not, in the present state of things, large associational district, was, that have produced a scarcity, so few and several drunkards have been hopefully precarious are our outlets. Still I know, reformed within the past year; that it is with extreme difficulty, that the preaching against the use of strong poor around me can obtain their drink, though very pointed, has been daily bread; and how is this to be achighly popular; that frequenting dram counted for? shops and taverns is growing more and I cast my eye upon the news-pamore disreputable; that in some towns, pers; I watch the movements of the consumption of spirits has been di-speculators; I look at the fires that are minished by more than one half the kindling and the mystery vanishes. usual quantity, and that every where, Stills are advertised, by scores and the diminution is very apparent. hundreds. Old establishments in the Now, if these and similar tokens for distilling business are enlarged, and good were not known to exist, except new ones are arising in every part of in a few towns, we should have abun- the country. Distillers, by their addant reason to thank God, and take vertisements and their innumerable courage; but how much more, when agencies, have already got a very it is considered, that the above state- large part of the grain into their hands; ment is only a specimen of that happy and are securing the remainder, as fast reformation which has progressed as as possible. Then it is carried from far, perhaps farther, in other sections the granary to the distillery, there to of the state, and in different and dis-be tortured by fire, till it will yield a tant parts of New-England. Let, liquid poison, which is to be sent forth then, the hands that still hang down, to destroy health, property, and reabe lifted up. Let the feeble knees be son; to convert men into demons, and strengthened. Let God be praised for to plunge thousands of souls into the the good that hath already been done. bottomless pit. Can we wonder, that Let his continued smiles be earnestly the wrath of God is not turned away implored. Let every inch of ground, from us, but that his hand is stretched that has been gained be held. Let the out still? What are we to expect, if strong places from which the enemy we thus cast the staff of life into the has been driven be levelled with the fire, with our own hands, but that an ground. Let every advantage be vi- angry God will add to the calamities gorously followed up, and, by God's of war all the miseries of famine? help, our victory will be certain and complete.
But those who are engaged in this business, will undoubtedly attempt to But it may be asked, are there no justify themselves; and it is but right discouraging facts to counterbalance that they should be heard. They may the favorable ones which have been plead, then, in the first place, that very stated; no dark clouds rising in our large quantities of ardent spirits are nehorizon; no forward and threatening cessary to supply our markets; that movements of the enemy? Yes there supplies from abroad are almost enI hear the poor crying for bread tirely cut off by the war; that the deat this early season, and with astonish-mand can by no means be satisfied by ment demand the cause. Partial fail the distillation of cider; and that, ures in some of the crops I have in- therefore, it is proper to supply the dedeed heard of. But I know that in ficiency by extracting the spirit from general, the crops have been unusual-breadstuffs.
ly abundant, and that, in some places, This plea, permit me to reply, re the earth has brought forth by handfuls. entirely on the presumption, that e I know, also, that however great the ry demand for ardent spirits must, o
least may, be complied with. I say, it as a medicine. Suppose my neighbors should get into the habit of purchasing, diluting, and then drinking it. Suppose the same thing should be done wherever the poison was sold; and there should finally be satisfactory evidence, that thousands of lives were annually destroyed by it; and that the evil was increasing? Could I excuse myself if I still persisted in making the poison, and in as large quantities as ever, by saying, "It is good in its place? Į don't compel people to destroy their lives. If they will drink, they must take the consequences." Would not every friend of humanity reply, with some earnestness, "Sir, you must know that the community would be infinitely better off without your poison than with it. You see what havoc it is ma
rests on the presumption; because the point is not proved, nor can it be. Suppose the keeper of a grogshop to have ascertained, by a long course of experience, that his customers will want three gallons of spirits every evening. Is he bound, or is it right for him to provide that quantity, when he knows that it will injure every man who calls for it? But if this would be sinful, then he may not supply his own little market, I mean to the extent of the demand; and if he may not, then the distiller may not, in every case, supply a larger market. The reason is obvious. It is from the larger markets that grog shops draw their supplies. So that he, who sells liquor by the hogshead, may be accessory, to a vastly greater sum of guilt and misery, than any single in-king, on the right hand and the left.-dividual, who retails by the single glass.
Its acknowledged utility, in a few solitary cases, compared with the guilt and But, replies the distiller, nothing was misery which it occasions,is like weighmade in vain. Liquor is certainly good ing a feather against mountains. Dein its place, I do not compel men to molish your establishment, therefore, drink intemperately. I warn them at once; or convert it to some other against it. If they will, notwithstand-use. Tis sordid interest guides you.'" ing, make brutes of themselves, they must answer for it, not I.
Should I be pronounced a monster, if I sull persisted in manufacturing my And are you certain, I ask, that no newly discovered poison, and is that part of the guilt will rest upon your man to be regarded as guiltless, nay as head? God made nothing in vain, it a useful member of society, who deis true; but did He make ardent spirits? votes himself to the manufacturing and Has he required any body to make vending of old poisons, under the spethem? Admitting, however, that they cious names of gin, brandy and cordiare sometimes useful, (and I do not de-al? Let every such man ponder the ny it) what then? Does this prove, that subject well. Before any one resolves they are, upon the whole, to be num to go on with this business, let him fulbered among the blessings of life? If ly satisfy himself, that he can proceed they injure a thousand persons, where on grounds which will stand the shock they benefit one, or if they do a thou-of the last day, and abide the scrutiny sand times more hurt than good, will of the Judge. it avail those, who are deluging the The reader will naturally take notice land with ardent spirits, to plead, that here, that if there is any weight in the they compel nobody to drink? If they preceding arguments, they would lie do not compel men to become intempe- against extracting ardent spirits, in large rate, they furnish the means of becom- quantities, from any substance, howeving so,when they know, that multitudes er useless. With how much greater will abuse these means. Suppose I un-weight must they lie against turning inderstood the art of extracting from rye, to spirits the very staff of life? for instance,one of the most active and fatal poisons in nature, which might in ome cases be used, with great success
But I shall doubtless be asked, what must the farmers do with their grain? Many of them have large quantities co
I know that the distillation of bread stuffs may bring money into the pocket of the grower and the manufacturer. But money is not the one thing needful. It will not be current in the world to which we are hastening; and if it should, the community would gain no
spare. They cannot export it; and but sent year, praise, the bountiful Giver, a small part of it is wanted at home, for taking care at the same time, not to abread, by the poor, or any body else. buse the gift. Let them supply the poor Must they suffer it to perish on their around them, and sell to others, who hands, rather than sell it for a high price want their grain for bread. If they still to be made into whiskey? I answer, have a surplus, let them keep it over first, by asking three plain questions: the season. Should there be a failure Is it not a fact, that in the rage for dis-of crops, it will all be wanted; or, if not, tilling every thing, the poor are gene- opportunity may perhaps be given, for rally overlooked? Is it not a fact, that sending it abroad; and, at all events, it distillers have their agents employed must surely afford a high degree of satalmost every where to buy up the grain isfaction to reflect, that it has not, by at unheard of prices? Is it not a fact, being turned into poison, destroyed the that these agents have actually secured peace of any family, or hastened any so much of it, in many places, as to in- man to the grave. duce an artificial scarcity? And what are the consequences? Why, in the first place, when a poor man wants a bushel of grain, the nominal price is so excessively high, that he finds it extremely difficult to furnish the means; and in the second place, the grain is not to be had within his town or neighbor-thing upon the whole, for where one is hood. The barns and cellars of his wealthy neighbors are full, it is true; but the rye, and the corn, and even the potatoes, are engaged, or kept back for a further advance in the price. Hence, the cry, which is already heard; and hence the probability, I might almost say certainty, that hundreds, if not thousands, of families, will be compelled to struggle through a cold winter without bread. Look at the little children in these families. How distressing the thought, that they must suffer so much, when, were it not for the distilleries, they might obtain a coinpetence if not a plenty !
But allowing, (what there is not the least reason to hope for,) that enough should be reserved for the poor, and afforded to them on moderate terms, is it morally right, to turn the surplus into liquid fire? Suppose the crops should be cut short another year to such a degree, that the men who are now pouring the last bushel they can spare into the stills, should be pinched for bread themselves. Might they not very properly regard it as a judgment upon them, for what they are now doing? Let those, then, whose ground has brought forth plentifully the pre
made rich by means of distilleries, ten
[Panoplist, Nov. 1813.]
AN HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE FIRST
(Continued from Vol. I. page 455.) IN the preceding numbers we have given some account of the first planting of the several New-England colonies. We have seen something of the motives with which this work was undertaken, of the difficulties through which it was accomplished, and have been enabled to form some idea of the character of those venerable fathers by whom it was performed. It will comport with our plan to give some account of the progress of these plantations, at least, during the period of the first generation. In the events of forty or fifty years from the first plant