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reaHily found and penetrated, by going among strangers, who are all unused to the refinements which exist in the older and more populous parts of our country. And if the missionary should be obliged, as he often will be, to clothe his thoughts in a garb too coarse and homely for his own taste, yet there will probably be no serious difficulty in changing it again for that which is adapted to a change of circumstances.
Again, there are some good men, who are peculiarly fitted to be missionaries, and who learn, not only to endure, but to enjoy the kind of services, which their office demands; men who may acquire an influence, and exhibit an energy, of which they would be wholly incapable among the companions ol tlieir studies, in churches distinguished for intellectual cultivation and religious knowledge. They will always find enough to keep their minds awake; for there are many thinking, though unlettered men, men who read their Bibles, who may propound a question or give an exposition, which the teacher may want time to consider, and will find worthy of his most serious thoughts. Instances of this kind will perhaps at first surprise the missionary, whose education has been wholly scholastic; but they will tend to quicken him in the constant and faithful study of the scriptures, and to give the greatest activity to his mental powers. And if, by the abundance of his labors, he should be worn out sooner than his brethren in the ministry, whose services are confined to some favored spot, there is, perhaps, less danger of rust, and premature decline of intellectual vigor.
Whatever view we take of the objects of the Unitarian Association, we therefore cannot but predict great good from it to the cause of Christianity. And we confidently invite our readers to examine its claims to their favor, and to afford their cooperation in its efforts to promote the influence and extension of what wc believe' to be the doctrines of pure religion.
Art. VIII.—An Address delivered before the Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance. June, 1826. By Gamaliel Bradford, M. D. Boston. I. R. Butts & Co. 1826.
The Society before which this address was delivered, has been in existence fourteen years. Its object has been to operate upon the public mind, by collecting and disseminating in_ formation, rather than by any direct efforts for individual reformation; rather to produce a proper sense of the extent of the evils produced by intemperance, and right views of the means to be employed in its suppression, in the community at large, than actually to carry into effect any measures, which were to operate upon the subjects of this vice themselves. This object has been attempted, by the publication of the Addresses delivered before the Society on its anniversaries, and by the publication of the Annual Reports of the Board of Counsel.
These Reports were many of them drawn up with great care, and contain a very considerable mass of important matter. But at the time of their publication, they excited less attention than the nature of their contents demanded. Still they have had their influence, in combination with other causes, in gradually producing a lively sensation of the tremendous evils and the alarming increase of intemperance; and we believe that we are not mistaken in saying, that the impression upon the minds of men interested for the welfare of society, of the necessity for strenuous and united exertions for the suppression of this vice, has at no time been so strong as at the present.
Where a habit, like that of drinking ardent spirits in some degree, is so universal as it is among ourselves, it is found very difficult to point out at first, what particular circumstances have made some individuals carry their indulgence beyond the bounds of moderation; what causes have contributed to change the habit of occasional and prudent, into constant and excessive use. It is equally difficult, where this state of things exists, to point out the way in which the reformation of those who have thus become intemperate, is to be attempted; the means by which we are to produce a favorable influence upon their minds; the motives by which they are to be addressed. Consequently the efforts, which were made for a long time, had only a very general bearing, and therefore were apparently without effect. This, however, was not really the case. They have been preparing the way by gradually enlightening the minds of men, eliciting information, exciting discussion, and in this way bringing about, at length, a right understanding, both of the causes of the wide increase of the vice, and also of the most probable means of prevention and suppression.
It was very natural in seeking to devise means for the suppression of intemperance, that we should entirely overlook the influence, which the habits of even the sober part, of the community might exert upon those who had formed, and were forming habits of intemperance. It was very natural to overlook the circumstance, that if ardent spirits are in common, daily use in society, some will use them to excess, and that the number who use them will be greater or less according to the facilities for obtaining them. It was very natural therefore, in endeavouring to repress the excessive use of ardent spirits, that we should regard the moderate use of them as a thing with which we had nothing to do, and as having in itself no connexion whatever with the immoderate use; that while we exhorted the laborer, the mechanic, and the farmer, to beware of intoxication, it should never enter into our heads to hint to the merchant, the lawyer, the doctor, or the divine, that their habits were in a manner as dangerous to themselves, and more dangerous in the way of example to others.
In the Address of Dr Bradford, however, and in the Report of the Board of Counsel which accompanies it, the principle is distinctly stated and defended that, as things are situated with us, there is no middle course; that the only way to banish intemperance from society is to banish the means of it; and that since the means of it, among us, cannot be banished by high prices and difficulty of acquisition, it must be done by a combination among the temperate to relinquish even their moderate indulgence, and to hold up ardent spirits as an article, not to be used, under any circumstances, as a refreshment, or in short, as any thing but a medirine.
Many, we know, look upon this as a chimerical project; and in fact as a project, which it is not desirable to carry into effect. They believe it to be impossible that we should ever succeed in causing ardent spirits to be proscribed ii> the way which is proposed. We acknowledge its difficulty, perhaps its impracticability. But being firm believers in the pernicious effects of even a moderate use of spirituous liquors, and confident that all classes of persons to whom they are now deemed indispensable, may live in better health without them, we .-ire disposed- to think that every thing should be done to promote this attempt, and to render drinking as vulgar and unfashionable, as it is injurious.
The distribution of such tracts as the Address of Dr Bradford is desirable, and will do much to bring about this important result. It is a plain, sensible, judicious perlbrmance, precisely adapted to the purpose for which it was prepared. It contains the undisguised and independent expression of opinions, which he has formed in relation to this subject, from his own observations in the practice of a profession, which a fiords peculiar opportunities for such kind of observation.
We quote the following remarks on the use of wines, as a substitute for ardent spirits.
'One of the most obvious [causesof intempcrance]is the comparative cheapness of ardent spirits. This cause is acknowledged and generally regretted, but no effectual attempts appear yet to have been made to remove it. On the contrary, the financial regulations of the United States, have been calculated to increase its effect, by diminishing the quantity and enhancing the price of those liquors, which are naturally opposed to the prevalence of spirits. I mean the wines. A taste for good wines of any kind, but more especially a taste for the lighter wines in summer, is far more natural, or more easily acquired, than one for spirits, and is very much opposed to one for spirits of an indifferent quality, as all cheap domestic spirits must necessarily be. But those who cannot afford wine, will soon learn to drink spirits; and the taste, once acquired, can with difficulty be destroyed. There is hardly any financial regulation, which, considered either in an economical, political, or moral view, is more to be deplored, than that which imposes a high duty upon wines. It is the duty of every one to exert his influence against these duties, and it is devoutly to be hoped, that the good sense of our legislature will at last abolish them. Let those who are tenacious of the revenues, and believe that the treasury is filled by high imposts, transfer these from wines to foreign spirits, and though it may be doubted whether the public funds would be much benefited by the change, there can be little doubt of its good effect on the happiness, the morals, and the strength of the nation.
'I do not mean to imply that persons may not became intemperate in the use of wines. But it is well known, that gross and brutal sottishness is comparatively rare, where wine is the ordinary drink of the community. Moreover, the effects of excesses in this particular, are far less destructive to the constitution than those with ardent spirits—and we should be willing to risk a *nall evil for the sake of removing a greater, remembering also, that it would be quixotic to attempt to confine mankind to water, or herb teas.' pp. 8, 9.
The author refutes some of the false notions prevailing in society, which have a tendency to perpetuate and increase the use of ardent spirits. He particularly opposes the common opinion that, in a limited quantity they are necessary to persons who are at hard labor, or who are weak and feeble; or that their use is necessary during a residence in a hot climate, or during the hot weather of our own climate. In support of his opinion on this point he quotes Dr Johnson, who had been a temperance of his countrymen in that region.
'" Nor did these most excellent habits of temperance originate in any medical precepts, or admonitions,—far from it. The professional adviser was by no means solicitous to inculcate a doctrine, which it might not suit his taste to practise. But in a vast empire, held by the frail tenure of opinion, and especially where the current of religious prejudices, Brahmin as well as Moslem, ran strongly against intoxication, it was soon found necessary, from imperious motives of policy, rather than of health, to discourage every tendency towards the acquisition of such dangerous habits. Happily, what was promotive of our interest, was preservative of our health, as well as conducive to our happiness. And the general temperance in this respect, which now characterizes the Anglo-Asiatic circles of society, as contrasted with Anglo-West Indian manners, must utterly confound those finespun theories, which the votaries of gently stimulating liquids have invented, about supporting perspiration, keeping up the tone of the digestive organs, &.c, all which experience has proved to be, not only ideal, but pernicious."' pp. 10, 11.
The example of the trainers of combatants for pugilistic matches in Great Britain is introduced, to show how utterly unnecessary spirits are to muscular strength and robust health. Their example shows also, that there is none of that danger from suddenly leaving off the excessive use of spirit, which is commonly apprehended. No consequence usually follows the relinquishment of such a habit, except the speedy improvement of the subject in health and strength. Indeed, we believe the testimony of almost all careful observers in the practice of physic confirms this position.
'But the great obstacle,' says Dr Bradford,'to anyeflectual suppression of intemperance, is to be found in the encouragement afforded by the language and customs of society in general, to the limited use of ardent spirits. Notwithstanding, as I have observed above, that the feeling of the community in general, is hostile to