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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
326                    CHURCH REVIEW.

are intemperate drinkers of ardent spirits. This is a most pow-
erful, exciting cause of those vile passions of the human heart,
which disgrace man and sink him beneath the dignity of a hu-
man being. Intemperance most seriously affects the angry dis-
positions of the fallen heart  It so effectually blunts the per-
ceptive powers of the mind, as, on the one hand, to inspire a
false confidence, and on the other, to render the drunkard so ex-
tremely irritable that the least supposed injury is by hin mag-
nified into a designed insult. He falls into a flood of passion,
while in anger; like the troubled ocean, casts up mire and dirt;
he is unfit to be reasoned with; indeed, while intoxicated, he
cannot be numbered among rational beings. He is prepared
for war, either with God or man. Few crimes exist but what
have their origin in the use of ardent spirits. In riots, in cases
of assault and battery, you are sure to find the drunkard. As
conscience continues to go down, he can carry the incendiary's
torch and light up the midnight conflagration; he can whet the
assassin's dagger and plant it in the unsuspecting bosom.  Go
to your state prisons, and you will find that most of their ten-
ants were men of intemperance and intemperate habits, till
they were arrested for crime and reformed by the strong arm
of the law.
  Third, "Intemperance is deceptive in its nature and influence,;
whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."  In the first sen-
tence of our text, intemperance assumes the character of one
of the rude sons of folly, pouring contempt upon human nature;
but in this, it assumes the character of a deceiver of mankind.
Various are the pretences urged by the intemperate for the use
of ardent spirits. It is pretended that distilled liquor possesses
great medical properties, so wonderful in its nature that it can
act in directly opposite ways. In the warm season of the year,
it is so cooling, and in winter it is so warming. This, however,
is all a deception. It has fully been tested, by many fatal ex-
periments, that man will perish with; the cold much sooner when
in a state of intoxication than otherwise, and those who use it
for its cooling qualities are equally deceived, for it only adds
fire to their already excited systems. It is true that, for the time
being, it raises the tone of animal feeling somewhat above its
usual standard, but when it has spent itself, the reaction brought
on thereby sinks the spirits far below their usual standard. Na-
ture, however, during this conflict, having sustained a loss of
strength, a greater quantity of stimulus becomes necessary to
produce the same degree of animation; the result is that the man
who, one year ago, drank but a very small quantity at a time,
now drinks twice or three times as much. Thus, the deception
goes on unperceived by himself, and perhaps in direct opposi-
tion to his oft-repeated resolutions, until his folly is consum-
mated in his becoming a confirmed sot. Another deceptive pr
text urged for the use of intoxicating liquor is that it drowns
sorrow. Strange infatuation! To throw yourself into the deep
to still the tempest; plunge into a sea of sorrow to drown a drop


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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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