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Temperance Talk
            A TEMPERANCE TALK.                     323

drunkards, for the latter are manufactured from the former.
Much, however, may be done, and indeed  much has already
been done, to lessen the magnitude of this national calamity,
anti produce the happiest effects on society. Many a female
heart has been disburdened of an almost insupportable load of
grief at the reformation of an intemperate husband.  Many a
parent, whose gray hairs a profligate son was bringing down
with sorrow to the grave, has been made to rejoice and say:
"Rejoice with me, for my son was dead and is alive again; he
was lost and is found." Many a habitation, before as desolate
and dreary as the very chambers of death, has been lighted up
with the lamps of prosperity and the smiles of friendship.
Yea, through the instrumentality of the friends of temperance,
many a brand has been plucked from this all-devouring fire and
given back with great rejoicings to the bosoms of his friends,
and to the church of God; and to insure success, this work must
still be pursued.
  We now invite the serious and prayerful attention of this con-
gregation to our selection. First, "Wine is a mocker." Wine,
or the simple juice of the grape expressed, was probably the
only intoxicating liquor used by the ancients. The distilla-
tion of ardent spirits by a chemical process owes its invention
to a more modern date, and is, doubtless, among the many in-
ventions sought out by man in his departure from that original
rectitude in which he was first created. We  use the term
wine at present, however, as a general term, including in it
every species of intoxicating liquor, used by men at the present
day. We are not to understand by this expression of the in-
spired writer, that ardent spirits, of themselves considered,
have any more deleterious effects upon the human constitu-
tion than arsenic or any other substance either of the mineral
or vegetable kingdom. Wine will mock no man if it be care-
fully abstained from. It is only when provoked and irritated
by the hard usage of the intemperate, that it becomes an enemy
to the reputation and constitution of mankind. Hence, the ex-
pression is rather to be understood of the intemperate use of
ardent spirits than of any intrinsic evil existing in the sub-
stance itself. By the creative energy of an inimitable figure,
the sacred writer has here given to the vice of intemperance a
kind of personification.  There is attributed to it all the in-
tellect and intelligence, all the good sense and sobriety, and all
the decency and good behavior of the drunkard. It is repre-
sented as employing these powers and faculties in the con-
temptuous ridicule of poor human nature, and surely there
never was a truer character given of intemperance. Man, un-
degraded by this contemptible vice, is a noble structure, whether
we contemplate his body or his mind. He is characterized by
intelligence, by a faculty of reasoning, by an accurate judg-
ment in many things, and by a power of communicating the
secrets of his heart to his fellow beings  But in each of these
he suffers material loss by intemperance. If he has been a man


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 06, Num. 3

Temperance Talk


Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  322
Date:  01/1890


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