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eyes from outwards, from this great draught of fishes, inwards to himself; he turns from the act to the great Author of the act, acknowledging in himself vilenessin his Lord, majesty. Even the best men are sinful men, and should be ready upon all occasions to own it, and especially to own it to the Lord; for to whom else but to Him, who came into the world to save sinners, should sinful men apply themselves ?
Observe the occasion which our Lord took, from hence, to intimate to Peter, his purpose to make him his apostle, and instrument of his planting religion in the world : he said unto him, “Fear not; from hence thou shalt catch men." O my soul,, be not weary of complaining of thine own transgressions. Disgrace thyself before Him that knows thy vileness; be astonished at those mercies which have put to shame thy ill deservings. Behold! humility is thus rewarded with an apostleship. What rank or station on earth is so glorious as an appointment from God? Kings, and their mighty men, know no such honour, as that of the apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. Well might Peter have wondered, and wondering, have glorified God, that such honour was put upon him, who felt such shame for his own vileness. But thus it is, that God chooses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty.
He that asked Christ to depart from him, shall have the honor to go first on this happy errand. What is this divine trade of ministers then, but a spiritual fishery ? The world is a sea. Souls, like fishes, swim at liberty in the deep. The nets of wholesome doctrine draw up some to the shore of grace and glory. How much skill, and toil, and patience, is requisite in this art ? “Who is sufficient for these things ?” This sea, these nets, the fishers, the fish, the vessels, are all thine, O God. Do what thou wilt, in them and by them ; give them ability and grace to take; give men will and grace to be taken; and take thou glory by that which thou hast given.
Lastly, it is written, “When they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him," being more solicitous to serve the interests of Christ, than to advance any worldly interests of their own. It is observable, that they left all to follow Christ, when their calling prospered in their hands more than ever it had done, and they had had uncommon success in it. When riches increase, and we are therefore most in temptation to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for the service of Christ, through faith in him, this is the Christian's glory, and thus glory shall be brought to the name of the Lord. When Christ called, they turned not to their merchandize. They counted the cost, and forsaking all, they found the heavenly treasure. When there is true faith, it looks to Jesus Christ in all his glory, in opposition to difficulties, trials, dangers. The faithful disciple of Christ takes of the truth of God, he turns it not into gold, but into the current coin of heaven. These faithful men made shipwreck of wealth, of friends, of all, in order that they might follow their master. In order to judge of their faith, let us consider how light they judged of their own works, or of their own strength, and how implicitly they trusted in the Lord, when at his bidding they forsook all that they had before valued, and followed him.
ARE SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS NECESSARY TO HEALTH?
There is evidently a good deal of inquiry and consideration going on, at the present day, among almost all classes, and in several nations, whether the use of strong drinks is conducive to health or otherwise; whether they are necessaries of life or only luxuries; whether they promote the strength of the human body, or are the means of diminishing it. We hail the appearance of these discussions, and are glad to hear the subject brought before the minds of our countrymen. Not that we, by any means, agree with many of the extravagant opinions which have been advanced, such as declaring that all these things are utterly unlawful, and can never be made use of innocently, under any circumstances. We believe that this notion is contradicted by Scripture, and that drinks of this kind are not to be considered but as gifts of God, and useful in their time, place, and circumstance. But the reason why we are glad, as we said before, that people's minds are stirring on the subject with such unusual interest, is one worth consideration. We have long been quite persuaded that the use of drinks is altogether immoderate, and therefore sinful, in the great majority of those who indulge in them at all. We think that an opinion has long prevailed with respect to their necessity, which is entirely wrong, and contrary to all our knowledge of the principles of health. What had once been acknowledged to be a great excess, gradually came to be a general fashion; and when it was found that, after long practice and habit, the bodily frame could sustain a large quantity of liquor, it was at once concluded, most unreasonably and falsely, that such a quantity was good for it. We are not now speaking of those who drink for the abominable purpose of intoxication, but of those persons of decent and sober character, who have been taught to think that a certain quantity of spirits, wine, or beer, is necessary to every one's health. This opinion, we believe, came originally from the bad habit of toping in their forefathers, whose fondness for drink persuaded them to hope, and then to believe, that it was really a good thing for them. The opinion itself, therefore, was not the conclusion of reason, but of appetite and passion, and arose from that custom of our nature to believe easily what we wish to be true. Certainly, in some way or other, it came to pass that there was a general notion among Eng
lishmen, that something of the sort was needed by everybody; that the labourer could not work without beer; that the sailor could not stand the exposure at sea, or “ weather the storm,” without his grog; and that the gentleman was very much the better for his bottle, or halfbottle, or few glasses, of wine, after dinner. There were always some persons who disbelieved this, and protested against it, as not necessary to health; but most people, indeed, almost all, were of this way of thinking. This was the case till of late years, when some eminent medical men were accustomed to pronounce a different opinion, and seemed to prove that the common one was wrong. At the same time, the dreadful sin of drunkenness had got to such a height, that the public generally were alarmed, and with great reason; for gin, and wine, and beer, were slaying their thousands and ten thousands. The morals of the country were corrupted—the foundations of society were threatened by a total destruction of principle, health, and industry, through the immoderate use of strong drinks. It has often been found in the history of buman opinion, that one extreme begets another, and that when the world has lain long under one kind of error, it suddenly arouses itself, and rushes into an error in the opposite direction : as when the French nation found that to have a tyrannical and absolute king was a bad form of government, they decreed that it was better to have no king at all. There may, indeed, be something said on this point, to the effect that a great disease requires a very strong remedy; and that when we want to straighten a bent bow, we pull it violently back a good way on the other side; but this gives no good reason, in a case of truth and falsehood, for asserting what is beyond the truth. To say that these things are plainly and altogether unlawful, is to go beyond the truth ; and so it is to say that they are not useful and beneficial in many circumstances. It would be very absurd to pretend, that
because some people abuse a good thing, therefore everybody else is bound to abstain from it.
But there is a right and calm view of the subject very different from both extremes. It is a matter well worthy the careful consideration even of the most sober and moderate persons. For if wine, and beer, and spirit, could be dispensed with, with advantage to health, they may well doubt whether it would not be better to save the money spent upon them, and use it in a different way. And it is, besides, the duty of a self-denying soldier of Christ to refrain from some luxuries, even although he believes he may have them lawfully.
Now, the way to find out whether these strong drinks are advantageous to health, would be, of course, to consult physicians who are acquainted with the nature of our constitution. The same advice would not be given to all alike, because some require one mode of treatment, and some another. We can only give a general view, such
. as is suitable to most persons. And here we have many very decided opinions of learned physicians, declaring that the use of these things is not either necessary or of advantage to health. We quote that given by one of the most eminent of later times, Dr. Hope, a man who was not only an able physician, but an enlightened and zealous Christian. The following is given in his own words: “ Au opinion, handed down from the rude and ignorant times, and imbibed by Englishmen from their youth, has become very general, that the habitual use of some portion of alcoholic drink, as wine, beer, or spirit is beneficial to health, and even necessary for those subjected to habitual labour. Anatomy, physiology, and the experience of all ages and countries, when properly examined, must satisfy every mind well informed in medical science, that the above opinion is altogether erroneous. Man, in ordinary health, like other animals, requires not any such stimulants, and cannot be benefited by the habitual employment of any