« PreviousContinue »
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
FROM THE HEIRS OF
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS......TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office. BE it remembered, that on the twenty, third day of May, A. D. 1827, in the fifty first Year of the Independence of the United States of America, Theophilus R. MARVIN, of the said District, has deposited in this Office the Title of a Book, the Right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the Words following, to wit :
Six Sermons on the nature, occasions, signs, evils, and remedy of Intemperance. By Lyman Beecher, D. D.
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled " An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned :” and also to an Act entitled “ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such
copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS, Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
THE NATURE AND OCCASIONS OF INTEMPERANCE:
PROVERBS, xxiii. 29–35.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause ? who hath redness of eyes ?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eye shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick ; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake ? I will seek it yet again.
This is a glowing description of the sin of intemperance. None but the pencil of inspiration, could have thrown upon the canvass so many and such vivid traits of this complicated evil, in so short a compass. It exhibits its woes and sorrows, contentions and babblings, and wounds and redness of eyes; its smiling deceptions in the beginning, and serpent-bite in the end; the helplessness of its victims, like one cast out upon the deep; the danger of destruction, like that of one who sleeps upon the top of a mast; the unavailing lamentations of the captive and the giving up of hope and effort. “They have stricken me, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not : when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again ;" again be stricken and beaten; again float upon the deep, and sleep upon the mast.
No sin has fewer apologies than intemperance. The suffrage of the world is against it; and yet there is no sin so naked in its character, and whose commencement and progress is indicated by so many signs, concerning which there is among mankind such profound ignorance. All reprobate drunkenness; and yet, not one of the thousands who fall into it, dreams of danger when he enters the way that leads to it.
The soldier, approaching the deadly breach, and seeing rank after rank of those who preceded him swept away, hesitates sometimes, and recoils from certain death. But men behold the effects upon others, of going in given courses, they see them begin, advance, and end, in confirmed intemperance, and unappalled rush heedlessly upon the same ruin.
A part of this heedlessness arises from the undefined nature of the crime in its early stages, and the ignorance of men, concerning what may be termed the experimental indications of its approach. Theft and falsehood are definite actions. But intemperance is a state of internal sensation, and the indications may exist long, and multiply, and the subject of them not