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buy twenty little horses, he would have twenty fine coats, and see all fine sights, and the like.
Now promise but a man a great estate, and you will raise all these same thoughts and designs in his mind.
Now whence can all this proceed, but from this, that men act with the same vanity of mind, are under the same poor guidance of their senses, are as ignorant of their true happiness, as great strangers to their own nature, and as far from a true sense of their relation to God as when they first set out in life.
And is not this a plain argument of the reasonableness and necessity of self-denial ? For to indulge ourselves, and live according to our natural tempers and judgments, is to grow old in the follies of childhood. And to deny ourselves, is to save ourselves, as it is denying such tempers and judgments as are contrary to our eternal happiness.
To proceed: Let us take another view of the weakness and disorder of our nature, that we may still see a greater necessity of not walking according to it.
When we see people drunk, or in a violent passion, we readily own, that they are, so long as that continues, in a state of delusion, thinking, saying, and doing, irregular things by the mere force of their blood and spirits. In these states, we all see and acknowledge the power of our bodies over our reason, and never suppose a man capable of judge ing or acting wisely, so long as he is under the violence of passion, or heated with drink.
Now this is more or less the constant state of all mankind, who are, by bodily impressions, and the agitations of the blood and spirits, in the same kind of delusion, as men that are drunk, or in a passion, though not always in the same degree.
A man that is drunk has heated his blood to that degree, that it sends up spirits to the brain in too violent a motion, and in too great a quantity. This violent motion of the spirits rajses so many ideas in the brain, and in so disorderly a manner, that the man is every minute different from himself, as fast as different, or new ideas, are raised in his head, by the impetuous course of the spirits. This is the disorder of a man that is drunk.
Now this is the state of all people, more or less, when they appear to one another as sober.
For first drunkenness is a state of disorder and delusion, because our heads are then filled with a crowd of ideas, which we have little or no power over, and which, for that reason, distract our judgment.
Now this is, in a certain degree, the state of all men whilst they are in the body: the constitution of our bodies, and our commerce with the world, is constantly filling our heads with ideas and thoughts, that we have little or no power over, but intrude upon our minds, alter our opinions, and affect our judgments in the same manner as they disorder the minds of those that are drunk.
Let any one but try to meditate upon any of the most important doctrines of religion, and he will find the truth of this observation; he will find a thousand ideas crowd in upon him, in spight of all his care to avoid them, which will hinder his meditation, and prevent his seeing things in that light in which he would see them, if his mind was empty
of other thoughts.
Now it is the same cause that hinders him from thinking so well as he would, that hinders the drunken man from thinking at all, that is, an involuntary succession of ideas.
So that every man, so long as he is in the body, is, in some degree, weak and disordered in his judg-. ment, in the same manner, and for the same causes, as people that are drunk.
Secondly; Another circumstance of drunkenness
is this, that ideas and thoughts are raised in a disorderly manner, because the blood is too much heated.
Now this is another constant circumstance that attends men in every state of life.
For first it is the same thing whether our spirits be heated with liquor, or any thing else; if they are heated all the same effects are produced.
This is undeniably true, because we daily see that passion will heat and disorder people in the same manner as they who are inflamed with liquor.
Therefore our own thoughts and imaginations have the same effect upon our spirits as drink; so that it is the same thing whether a man be drunk with passion, or any other violent set of thoughts, or heated with liquor. There is the same weakness of mind, the same disordered imagination, and the same wrong apprehension of the nature of things.
Now though all people are not at all times drunk with passion, or some violent imagination, yet they are always in a disorder of the same kind; they have something that affects and hurries their spirits, in the same manner that a man's spirits are affected in some violent passion.
And the reason is, because men are always in some passion or other, though not to that degree as to be visible, and give offence to other people.
We are always in a state either of self-love, vanity, pride, hatred, spight, envy, covetousness, or ambition; some one or other of these passions is, in some degree, affecting our spirits, in the same manner that any violent passion, or heat of liquor, affects our spirits, differing only in the degree.
A silent envy, a secret vanity, which nobody sees, raises thoughts in our heads, and disorders our judgments, in the same manner as more violent passions.
You may increase the vanity and envy, till it ends in distraction and madness, as it sometimes hap
pens; but then we may be sure, that it disordered our understanding in the same manner, and made foolish and extravagant, in some degree, long before it came to madness. Whilst, therefore, we are in the body, we are constantly in a state of disorder, like to those who are drunk, or in a violent passion; we have some passion or other, either of self-love, vanity, envy, or the like, that affects our spirits, and disorders our judgment, in the same manner, though not in the same degree, as their spirits are affected who are in the heat of drink, or in some violent passion.
Thirdly, Another circumstance of drunkenness is this, that it forms us to a taste and temper peculiar to it, so as to leave a dulness and indisposition in the mind towards any thing else. An habitual drunkard has no pleasure like that confused hurry and heat of thoughts that arises from inflamed blood. The repeating of this pleasure so often has given him a turn of mind, that relishes nothing but what relates to intemperance.
Now this is the state of all people, in some respect or other; there is some way of life that has got hold of them, and given them a taste and relish for it, in the same manner that drinking has formed the drunkard to a peculiar liking of it. All people are not intemperate, but all are under habits of life that affect the mind in the same manner as intemperance.
Some people have indulged themselves so long in dressing, others in play, others in sports of the field, others only in little gossiping stories, that they are as much slaves to these ways of life, as the intemperate man is a slave to liquor.
Now we readily own, that a man who has enslaved himself to the pleasures of drinking and intemperance, has thereby rendered himself incapable of being a reasonable judge of other happiness and pleasure: but then we do not enough consider,
that we are hurt in the same manner, by any other way
of life that has taken hold of us, and given us a temper, and turn of mind, peculiar to it.
It is to as little purpose to talk of religion, or the happiness of piety, to a person that is fond of dress, or play, or sports, as to another that is intemperate; for the pleasures of these particular ways of life make him as deaf to all other proposals of happiness, and as incapable of judging of other happiness and pleasure, as he who is enslaved to intemperance.
A lady abominates a sot, as a creature that has only the shape of a man; but then she does not consider, that, drunken as he is, perhaps he can be more content with the want of liquor, than she can with the want of fine clothes : and if this be her case, she only differs from him as one intemperate man differs from another.
Thus it appears, that whether we consider the nature, circumstances, and effects of drunkenness, that all mankind are, more or less, in the same state of weakness and disorder.
I have dwelt the longer upon this comparison, because it seems so easily to explain the disorder of our nature. For as every one readily sees how the bodily disorders of drunkenness, and violent passion, blind and pervert our minds; so it seems an easy step from thence to imagine how the body, though in a cooler state, does yet disorder the mind in the same manner, though not in the same degrees. It is also easy to conceive, that if violent passion, or a heated imagination, confounds our judgments, and gives us wrong apprehensions of things, that therefore all passions, though more still and secret, must yet influence our minds, and make us weak and disordered in our judgments; in the same manner, though not in the same degree, as those are who are in a violent passion. So that the