Page images

forbidden in the text-drunkenness. reasons why we ought not to be guilty of it have been given, and are known to every one;-and the utmost that the preacher can expect to do, is to recallthem to your memory, and perhaps to place them in a stronger light.

Drunkenness is destructive of our happiness, both in the world to come, and at present-if we die while we are in the habits of it, it will most certainly prevent us from going to heaven, and in the mean time it is extremely hurtful to our comfort while we continue on earth.



First, then, I assert that drunkenness is destructive of our happiness in the world to come;-this must be proved from the scripture, in which, in various places, it is strictly forbidden, and those who are guilty of it are threatened with exclusion from the kingdom of heaven. In St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians,

SERM. we read-"Be not drunk with wine, XI. "wherein is excess,"-by which is meant that it entirely unfits a man for selfgovernment, and reduces him to the condition of the madman or the ideot. The same apostle, in writing to the Ephesians again, discountenances this vice; he mentions it, among many others, as incapacitating those who practise it for the attainment of salvation,-" Be not deceived, "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor

adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers "of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, "nor covetous, nor drunkards, shall inhe"rit the kingdom of God." Again, in his letter to the Galatians, describing the different fruits of the spirit and of the flesh, of the latter he says" Now the works

of the flesh are manifest, which are "these, adultery, fornication, unclean"ness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, "hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, "strife,

[ocr errors]

strife, seditions, heresies, envies, mur- SERM. "ders, drunkenness, of the which I tell


you before, as I have also told you in "time past, that they which do such

things shall not inherit the kingdom of "God." You see in what kind of company the drunkard is placed-with the adulterer, the idolater, the murderer, and the robber; and his vice is ranked in the same class with theirs :-it is expressly asserted at the same time, that the kingdom of God can never be gained by such as these. Nor indeed, had scripture been silent on this head, should we have been at any loss to conclude the same from the dictates of our own reason: our bodies, we are assured, are members of Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost; can we suppose that without displeasing God we may convert them into mere vehicles for glut tonness and drunkenness ?-Reason is the distinguishing prerogative of manhood; can



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


SERM. we expect to be allowed, with impunity, voluntarily to divest ourselves of it ?have we been so far raised above the beasts of the field, of our own accord to degrade ourselves beneath them ?-if we do, we surely cannot possibly expect to escape God's wrath and condemnation!-we cannot, for a moment, flatter ourselves that we shall be fit companions for our blessed master and the holy' spirits of the saints. I think, therefore, that it is evident, both from scripture and reason, that the vice of drunkenness is destructive of our prospects of salvation in the world to come;let us see whether it be not equally subversive of our happiness at present.

Drunkenness then, I assert in the first place, destroys the health, without which all other blessings are little worth. This is almost self-evident; the least observation may prove it to us; a remarkable strength of constitution may indeed be a pro


protection for a while, but sooner or later SERM. the punishment will certainly follow,-it certainly will, however appearances may at present be to the contrary.

Drunkenness destroys the character; I appeal to yourselves if this be not the case. Let a man's skill in his profession or trade be what it will, if he be deficient in sobriety, is it not always a sufficient reason against employing him, if you can with any tolerable convenience meet with any other person? and very justly too, for of what signification is his being able to exercise his calling, if it be at all times uncertain, whether he may not have disqualified himself? But if it injure his character, it will of course lessen or destroy his means of getting his livelihood; the refusal of those around him, to employ and place confidence in him, has naturally and necessarily this effect.


« PreviousContinue »