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opinion will be much in advance of the church of Christ, on the question of right and wrong.

But a step was taken in the right direction: the great work of reformation commenced when the denunciations of a grave ecclesiastic, in the halls of Albany, roused the sacramental host of the Lord from their lethargy, and made them feel that there was a work to be performed by them, in searching the Scriptures, to see whether in truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, Immanuel, did make use of poisonous alcoholic liquor, as the symbol of His blood, as had been asserted of Him by the learned divines, when they became alarmed at the adoption of the memorable preamble and resolution at the convention, held in the capitol of the Empire State in 1834.

It will be my endeavor, in future letters, with the blessing of God upon my labors, to show that the gospel antidote of the lawless mystery of alcohol, at the present time, is the cordial acceptance of the doctrine, that the revealed. law of God is against the use of alcoholic liquors, by man in his normal state of health, at his own table, and at the table of the Lord.

I am, my dear sir,

Yours affectionately,




Alcohol, when taken into the human system, may be viewed in relation to man in his normal or abnormal state of health. When viewed in relation to man in his normal state of health, it receives the name of poison; when in relation to man in his abnormal state of health, it receives the name of medicine. This is no vain or useless distinction, because the effect of alcoholic liquors differs, according to the healthy or diseased state of persons upon whose constitutions they act, and the nature of the diseases with which they are affected.

Youmans, in his "Scientific Basis of Prohibition," thus speaks of alcohol: "Of alcohol itself, little need be said. Its scientific history has been thoroughly canvassed, and no question is better settled than that of its origin and nature. It comes into existence through the chemical destruction of food, and is that common and active principle of all fermented and distilled liquors which gives them the power of producing intoxication. Hence, it is both customary and proper to employ the term alcohol, when its various mixtures are referred to." ." The question of the different effects of alcohol, as acting upon a healthy or diseased state of the human body, has been philosophically considered in the following words: "There is a condition in which it is agreed to call these agents (poisons) by another namee—that is, when the system has got into an abnormal or diseased state, and they are administered with the design of removing the malady; they are then known as remedies, or medicines. It is not to be forgotten, that the word poison is not applied to any physical or chemical qualities of a substance in itself considered. It is the name given to its relations to life-its effects upon the living organization. Now, though the agent may not change its properties, the system, upon which it acts, may be in such different conditions that there arises a difference of effects, which is very properly distinguished by the use of different words. In their remedial and restorative influence upon the system, when it is diseased, they are called medicines; in their effects upon the healthy organization, they are poisons. Like other poisons, alcohol may be given as a medicine to combat or extirpate diseased conditions of the system, but the powerful qualities which give it value in these cases, are equally potent upon the healthy organism. In the latter case, the change wrought is injurious, and therefore, justly denominated poisonous.

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*Alcohol is Poison. New York Weekly Tribune, September 22, 1855.

It is chiefly to the operation of alcoholic liquors upon mankind in their normal state of health, that attention will be directed in these letters. Dr. Carpenter has said: "The term intoxication is sometimes employed, in this country, to designate that series of phenomena which results from the action of all such poisons as first produce stimulation, and then narcotism; of these, alcohol is the type, and the term is commonly applied to alcoholic intoxication alone. It is worthy of notice, however, that the designation is now given, by French writers, to the series of remote or constitutional effects consequent upon the introduction of any poisonous agent into the blood. Thus we meet with the terms 'arsenical intoxication,' 'iodine intoxication,' and even 'purulent intoxication.' In fact, it is there considered an equivalent (as its etymology denotes,) of our word poisoning; and the fact that such a term should be in common use in this country to designate the ordinary results of the ingestion of alcoholic liquors, is not without its significance; for if the classical term 'intoxication' be habitually employed as the equivalent of the Saxon drunkenness, we are justified in turning that classical term into English again, and in asserting that the condition of drunkenness, in all its stages, is one of poisoning."*

As respects my work, I believe I have been led by the hand of Divine Providence, and the gracious impulse of the Holy Spirit, to turn my attention particularly to the word of Godto search the Scriptures to see whether those things in them which relate to wine and strong drink, were, as they have been generally represented by commentators and critics, and admitted by the church in these last days to be-i. e. : Whether alcoholic liquors were or were not approved of by the all-powerful, allwise, all-good Governor of the universe, as fit for man's use in

*On the "Use and Abuse of Alcoholic Liquors in Health and Disease." By William Carpenter, M. D. London, 2nd ed., p. 9.

his normal state of health, and enjoined accordingly; or the reverse, in that perfect law which has been mercifully provided by the Bible, for his instruction and guidance in all questions of religion and morals, by its Divine author. Its sacred pages then-I am to search. Its testimony-I am to receive. Its doctrines, and the fair inferences to be drawn from them-I am to treasure up, and set forth as binding upon mankind at all times, and in all countries, concerning the reception of alcoholic liquors into the human system, and the effects thereof. For this great work, I feel myself utterly insufficient of myself. But I ask of Him whose cause it is, to fit me for, and to direct me in, the prosecution of it,-trusting in the promises of the "Faithful Promiser," who hath said: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God-that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not-and it shall be given him." "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

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I solicit your prayers, and those of all good men, that the word of the Lord in this department of Christian morals may be fulfilled-for thus hath He spoken: "So shall my word be, that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

The subject may be treated of in the following order, and under the following heads:

I. The teachings of science and the Bible, respecting drunkenness or its equivalent, poisoning, in relation to the brain and mind of man.

II. The injunctions contained in the Bible, forbidding the use of wine or strong drink to priests and kings.

III. The alarming and opprobrious epithets given to wine and strong drink, in the Bible.

IV. The greatest possible distance, from alcoholic drinks, enjoined by Solomon-in the Bible.

V. The Lord's Supper.

Believe me, my dear friend,

Yours affectionately in Christ Jesus,




"Poison! What is a poison? Positively, it is any kind of matter which has, in any degree, the quality of disturbing or degrading the natural functions or organs of the human body. Negatively, it is matter which cannot fulfil the purposes or supply the place of food or drink—or which can do so in no degree innocently or permanently.'

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According to the views of Dr. Carpenter, already referred to, it is correct to substitute the word poisoning, for drunkenness, in all its stages. The same distinguished authority will justify the employment of the different derivations from the same root, to express the different modifications of poisoning, &c. Thus, the men who drink alcoholic liquors, are self-poisoners; those who give them to others to drink, are the poisoners of their fellows; those who manufacture them, are the manufacturers of poison; those who sell them to all and sundry who ask for them, are the venders of poison; or, in the true but frightful language of Wesley, "poisoners general." Those who license the distillation and sale of them, are the encouragers of, and legalizers of poison-making and poison-scattering far and wide, for the sake of money, to the signal injury of mankind.

* Dr. McCulloch. The Alliance Weekly News, March 14, 1857.


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