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nished us with a rich variety of articles of food, he has laid us under no necessity of using each and all of the different kinds. Some of them we may choose, others refuse, as our taste or our reason dictates. There is no breach of a divine command, no disrespect shown to the good creatures of God, in making a choice among the different articles of meat or of drink. Every man is exercising such choice, freely, every day, for the sake of his health or his appetite; and no one counts it wrong. Should either blame, then, or ridicule be attached to him who abstains for the sake of his conscience? Has any man a right to compel me to drink wine, or to quote in justification of his tyrannical conduct, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused?" I have just as good a right not to drink as another has to drink; and temperance societies will deserve the praise of all good men if, in the midst of a host of compulsory customs and courtesies, they should be able to do no more than establish the right of refusing.
In establishing such a right, they will be doing no dishonour to Him who, though the Creator of the vine, commanded the Nazarites to abstain from all that it produces, and who highly commended the descendants of Rechab for evidencing, by abstinence from wine, their obedience to the wise injunction of Jonadab their father. No sincere Christian can consider abstinence from wine to be sinful, after having reflected on the language of Christ respecting John the Baptist: "Among them," said he, "that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John," and yet "John came neither eating bread nor drinking wine." To command to abstain is anti-christian-to abstain is an exercise of Christian liberty.
We require not to be told, then, of the allusions made in Scripture to the use of wine. We know them; but we know, too, that the usual beverage of the Jews was water, and that the Jews were deservedly considered a temperate people. No member of a Temperance Society asserts that it is sinful to drink wine-he has no desire to affix a stigma to its moderate use; all that he contends for is that what is perfectly lawful may, under peculiar circumstances, become inexpedient in the midst of unbounded intemperance, he is anxious to draw, between his own practice and that of the multitude, a clearly defined line of separation; and being most desirous not only to shun all appearance of evil, but to mark, in the strongest manner, his abhorrence of intemperance in all its stages, he evidences by his practice his conviction that the state and taste of society have been grievously vitiated ---he withdraws himself from all connection with those opinions and practices by which, in the present depraved state of society, the use of intoxicating liquor is made essential to health and social intercourse, and from which, as the most prolific of all sources, springs the overwhelming drunkenness of our day.
Such a course of conduct would be most justifiable and proper even with respect to the wine usually spoken of in Scripture. It may laid down as a general position that all vinous countries are temperate. France, with all its infidelity, sets a noble example of temperance. But, suppose that in such a country as France wine should be so horribly abused as to become the bane and curse of the country, then the
truly Christian spirit would call for extraordinary means of reformation suited to extraordinary exigencies; and to avoid every apology for excess, as well as to stamp evil practices with the strongest reprobation, would abstain from that which caused stumbling, and offence, and weakness. The mere circumstance of the article abused being a good creature of God would present no objection to such a course of conduct; for an article good in itself may be so prostituted as to render its use by an enlightened conscientious mind wholly inexpedient. The meat offered in sacrifice to idols was not changed in its nature by being presented to that which, as a mere creature of imagination," is nothing in the world"-it did not cease from being a good creature of God; and yet the primitive Christians did not hesitate to abstain from it, on account of its having been prostituted to base purposes. It would be easy to find similar illustrations in a multitude of cases, where the wise and conscientious abstain from things indifferent, solely because they
have been abused.
The state of society with us, however, is wholly different from what it is in vinous countries-from what it was in the temperate Judea. By the use of ardent spirits a powerfully intoxicating stimulus-a false taste has been created, which loathes the light weak wines of the East, and which is gradually exalting the strength of all intoxicating liquors to that false standard which ardent spirits have created. What would the simple fermented juice of the grape be to a population like ours, swallowing down such huge masses of liquid fire? Even our best wines are mixed with undiluted distilled spirits; and yet such is the depraved taste of the great majority of our people that even for them they have no relish. Even with them the process of intoxication is too slow, excitement rises too feebly and gradually; and therefore, among the bulk of the population, wines and all weak intoxicating liquors are in small demand. Strength, not flavour, is the recommendation to every man whose object is to get drunk.
The argument founded on Christian charity for abstinence from wine, as the simple juice of the grape, receives much additional strength when applied to a liquor mixed as our wines are with another substance of a most dangerous and inflammatory intoxicating property. Against the use of this substance, against distilled spirits as a necessary or luxury of life,-Temperance Societies lift up their so
The use of wine being recognised in Scripture gives no warrant whatever for the use of every substance possessing intoxicating properties. No wise man would attempt to argue that because wine, in a weak state, may be used in small quantities on certain occasions without injury, therefore the daily use of strong wines is safe, and therefore it is right and salutary to bring into common use any intoxicating substance, whatever be the violence of its intoxicating powers. The use of wine furnishes no warrant for the use of distilled spirits. No revelation from God, no dictate of common sense, ever pronounced them
to be a proper substitute. That they have been substituted is a melancholy truth; that they should be is a pernicious error, whose fatal consequences have invaded the peace of almost every family.
These positions would hold good were wine nothing more than di
luted ardent spirits; for in the weakness of the intoxicating material there would be comparative safety. The use of vitriol and water, as a safe medicine, would furnish no warrant for drinking vitriol. But wine is not diluted ardent spirit. It is a distinct substance, which holds ardent spirit in chemical solution with other ingredients, by which the dangerous properties of the ardent spirit are partly neutralised.
The argument for the ordinary use of opium is stronger than for that of ardent spirits, since the former is a production of nature, the latter of art; and since, on account of the one affecting the imagination chiefly, the other the passions, a community would be safer with opium in common use than with ardent spirits. But who, in the present state of Christian society, would advocate the moderate use of opium?
In looking, however, to medical works, we find ardent spirits and opium classed under the same head, as possessing exactly similar properties. They are both narcotics, possessing, according to the meaning of the name, a stupifying, deadening influence. They are both, in the literal sense of the word, Poisons. Ardent spirits may not kill as quickly, when taken habitually, as arsenic, but they will as surely; and the few exceptions, which lay the foundation of the drunkard's sickly jests about slow poison, afford no more warrant for habitual use than the resuscitation of a man who had been an hour under water would sanction a repetition of the experiment. Every habitual drinker of ardent spirits, with his eyes open to the consequences, is as really and truly a suicide as he who seeks a desperate escape from conscience upon the nearest tree, or in the neighbouring pool.'-Professor Ed
I shall close my notice of objections, by adverting to a feeling which indisposes many to enrol themselves as members, because they are required to sign a declaration. From all that I have observed, I can regard this in no other light than that of an over-nice scrupulosity, which they can neither well define, nor offer any solid reason for. Some seem to regard it in the light of a vow. It is not so. The declaration is merely an expression of present determination, and, by an open avowal of existing conviction, giving your public testimony against the evil. As it is a voluntary act on your part, the name that is enrolled to-day can be withdrawn to-morrow; and as no reciprocal claim exists, farther than consistent conduct, while you do remain a member, the obligation is no longer binding than till you choose to annul it. Again, others think they as effectually serve the cause, by acting on the principle, without becoming members. This is a delusion; it wants some of the essential requisites which constitute the strength of our cause. It wants the public testimony against the evil, which forms one of the chief elements for counteracting it. It divests your example of much of that influence, which the simple fact that you are a member, would lend to it. It deprives us of the advantages of that union and combination, which are found to give strength and success to every other cause, for it is a long established maxim, that "union is strength." There are others who consider it an impeachment of their principles, by inferring that they cannot keep themselves sober, with
out such an obligation. It implies no such insinuation against those who possess better principles; and the fact, that it is temperate men whom we principally wish to become members, repels such an insinuation. But, have you no sympathy for your weaker brethren who possess them not? Many of them possess no such principles as can stay their minds against the insidious allurements of this deceitful enemy. And in the absence of such, is it not well to anchor their minds by such an obligation, to prevent temptation from breaking them away, and driving them continually on the quick-sands of destruction? Many feel this obligation, when they would feel no other; and it is in the simple fact, that they are members, that their chief safety lies. It furnishes an apology by which they can resist every solicitation from their acquaintances. It fixes their resolution, and settles in their minds, that they are done with the practice; and thus it terminates all those hankerings and desires which would betray them into evil. There is a power and a charm in being a member, which form a fine panoply of defence to many, who possess no higher principles to protect them.'-Collins.
Here we take leave of the subject, declining, for reasons of our own, to sum up the evidence, and, for once, vacating the seat of judgement. It is a question of conscience. In this matter we desire, most unfeignedly, that every Christian should decide for himself, and speedily. Thus far we may venture to go, not as partisans, but as Christians,-to entreat all our readers, without delay, to give the subject a full and impartial consideration. To this it is entitled, not less by the hold it has taken on the public mind, than by the weight of individual piety and intelligence which is already pledged in its favour. There is now a fair presumption that much is capable of being urged on its behalf;that it may possibly be our imperative duty to join its ranks; and that even ignorance may involve guilt. "If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, behold we knew it not: doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his work?" Hitherto, the worst enemy the Society has had to contend with, has been the power of ridicule: the sharpest arrows with which it has been assailed, have been pointed with a sneer. But this is no test of truth: if it had been, Christianity itself would scarcely have survived the severity of that warfare. We trust that none will shrink from the investigation through fear that it may end in a conviction, that they ought to take ground which may prove disagreeable. It is not pleasant to give up any gratification, however trifling:-the more trifling the enjoyment, the more vexatious, oftentimes, is restraint. To withdraw from our tables a luxury which is on the table of a friend, or to refuse to partake of any thing which he offers, on grounds
which imply disapproval, and which he may interpret unkindly, may, under some circumstances, be very annoying. But what is the value of a Christianity which does not include self-denial, whenever duty either to God or our neighbour calls for it? One word more, and we have done. The follies, the extravagancies, the inconsistencies of some Temperance advocates, form no valid reason for declining a thorough examination into the claims of the Society. It is no argument against the Association, that one man refuses to drink coffee, because it is stimulating,-that another, after signing a declaration against spirits, half intoxicates himself with wine, that a third, under pretence of sickness, hypocritically and fraudulently steals the accustomed dram, or that a fourth doubles his allowance of strong beer, or cider, on the strength of his abstinence from gin. Every good cause needs to be preserved from its friends. It would fare ill with Christianity herself, if she were to be judged by any of the tests to which we have objected. How often has she been wounded in the house of her friends! But what is the chaff to the wheat?
Art. III. 1. Arboretum Britannicum; or the hardy Trees of Britain, native and foreign, pictorially and botanically delineated, and scientifically and popularly described. By J. C. Loudon. In 8vo Numbers: 2s 6d. each. London, 1835.
2. Characters of Trees. By William Delamotte. On Zinc. Folio. 4 Plates, 6s. London, 1835.
3. Rudiments of Trees, from Nature. Six Nos., 1s. each. London, 1834.
TRUE as it may be, that the minute expression of foliage is
not necessary to the general rendering of natural effect, it is not less certain that the study of leaf, branch, and trunk with almost botanical accuracy, is a part of his educational processes which no well-judging artist will think it wise to neglect. Frequent occasions must occur, in which the knowledge of details, and the skill in their management thus acquired, will be especially demanded. The painter may be required, or he may feel it expedient, to treat landscape on the principles of portraiture, and to depart for a moment from those higher systems and those wellconsidered conventionalities, which merge specific character in general forms. Nor is this close imitation so uniformly or essentially objectionable as some would represent. It is an easy matter to sneer at Dutch littleness and Flemish elaboration; but they are excellent qualities in their right place, and convey a truer expression of things as they are,' than is given by the