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that the truth, so long concealed, should be disclosed for the admiration and hearty reception of all lovers of genuine tempe-rance, and of mankind; and, that the knowledge of that truth should spread, with electric speed, "from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth;" and, that an anthem of praise and rejoicing be sung by all nations, ascribing "blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever?" "Alleluia, for the Lord, God Omnipotent reigneth." "Grace unto you,

and peace be multiplied."

I am, my dear brother,
Yours affectionately,

In christian bonds,

JOHN MAIR.

MY DEAR SIR,

LETTER IX.

A few more comments may be offered upon I Thess. v, 5-8. I have ventured to give a perfectly antialcoholic interpretation of Ephesians v, 18; and I now proceed to adduce additional reasons for interpreting the following passage in the same manner: "Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us watch and be sober: (abstinent from wine, wherein is excess): For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, (poisoned,) are drunken (poisoned,) in the night; but let us, who are of the day, be sober;" (abstinent from wine, wherein is excess): I Thess. v, 5-8. According to the ordinary, popular sense of the terms "drunk" and "sober," quoted above; or, of the abstract terms, corresponding to them, "drunkenness" and "sobriety," the one is contrary to the other; but, if we attempt anything like scientific accuracy, we must view them as only different degrees

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of intoxication, the one constituting an incipient, and the other an advanced stage of alcoholic poisoning; or, at least, sobriety, according to the common acceptation of the term, may co-exist with an abnormal change wrought upon the person by alcohol.

To illustrate this—a man, in vulgar estimation and parlance, would be considered sober, who should be able to stand or move in a becoming manner, in obedience to the word of command; (if a soldier, to go through his facings); whose speech should not be inarticulate, or incoherent; his face not flushed; and whose natural and animal functions should present no marked perversion, obvious to the beholder, &c., ; and he would only then be judged drunk, when his face should appear flushed, or swollen; his eyes vacant and blood-shot; his expression sottish; his speech inarticulate, or incoherent; his walk unsteady, or zig-zag - his behaviour eccentric and at variance with his natural character, either by unwonted sullenness and silence, or by vivacity and talkativeness; or he should present more, or fewer of this group of symptoms, &c.; and yet, in the former case, as truly, though not so intensely as in the latter, the man would have been poisoned by alcohol, if from its use, his circulation had become hurried, his imagination excited, his self-control lessened, so that he could not prevent wild, or vicious fancies from running their course; make nice and accurate distinctions between delicate shades of good and evil, and act accordingly; give judgment on any difficult point at issue; feel devoutly inclined, and capable of engaging in prayer to God, with faith, fear and fervor, and of faithfully observing His ordinances, as he otherwise could (cæteris paribus,) have done: all of which duties, in their proper season, are, or may be required, and ought to be performed by all men according to the Divine law, which is equally binding upon all men. Now all who know the deceitful and insidious nature of alcoholic poison, and are familiar with its effects, know, full well, that the condition just described as a sober

condition, precedes the condition previously sketched, which is commonly called drunkenness, and slides into it by imperceptible degrees. But we cannot possibly conceive of the man who is thus sober, alias, in vulgar phraseology, not drunk, being in that sound state of mind which the Scripture, above quoted, as emanating from the Holy Spirit, demands—whatever popular opinion may be upon the subject; but we must believe, that if he acted voluntarily, when he brought himself into that state, that he poisoned himself, violated the Divine law, and sinned in God's sight; and this, we maintain to be the doctrine of natural religion-but how much more of revelation; for the apostle Paul, as moved by the Holy Spirit, has said: "Let us watch and be sober:" (or rather abstinent from wine, wherein is excess-insalvability:) "For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, (poisoned,) are drunken (poisoned,) in the night; but let us, who are of the day, be sober, (abstinent from wine, wherein is insalvability.")

We conclude, then, (for I trust I have your concurrence in the argument,) that both natural and revealed religion condemn the use of alcoholic liquor by man in his normal state of health, whatever may be said to the contrary notwithstanding; and we are of the opinion that the terms "drunken" and "sober," respectively, should be exchanged for poisoned and abstinent, (from wine, wherein is excess,) to prevent ambiguity. The term drunk, may originally have expressed all that was wanted, with precision; but it has lost its strict, genuine meaning, from corrupt association with false and untenable, so called Scriptural doctrines, concerning alcohol, or wine containing it; doctrines which represent that poison as a "good creature of God," and lead its votaries impiously to call it by the holy name of "water of life," and to consider it a panacea for all the ills which flesh is heir to; doctrines, which, instead of deterring from the use of alcoholic drinks in the smallest quantity, have served to lull asleep all suspicions of danger at the outset, (when real

danger exists, and when alone it can be arrested,) and instead of restraining, have encouraged and afforded the most powerful motives to indulgence in these poisonous drinks, by awarding to their use, the dignity of a social virtue, if not a christian grace. Moreover, to the man in the intermediate statesbetween the first sensible impressions made upon the stomach and the brain by the poison, and the succeeding condition of bestial drunkenness,-attractive and imposing epithets have been given, such as being comfortable, exhilarated, invigorated, refreshed, and so forth; all tending to lead poor, sinful human nature, far, far away from God and happiness; to build up Satan's kingdom, and undermine the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

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The same principles apply to the term sober," as to "drunk." They both, in their accredited popular sense, permit the moderate use of alcoholic liquors, and consequently give free license to drink the first glass. Nevertheless, "Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coûte:" "Principiis obsta:" "Stop at the beginning:" "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red:" "Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth." In plain language, total abstinence is the only true philosophy, and sound Bible morality in regard to alcoholic drinks. That it is sound Bible morality, will hardly be denied by any unprejudiced person, who will candidly examine the argument contained in this and preceding letters; and that it is the only true philosophy concerning alcoholic drinks, has been clearly and ably taught in the following admirable passage, by Youmans, in the "Scientific Basis of Prohibition," which may be said, in a few words, to contain the pith and marrow of anti-alcoholic temperance:

"It is in vain to urge that government lends its sanction only to the moderate employment of alcoholic beverages, and reprobates their excessive use. This is impossible. Government cannot fix the magic line, up to which, indulgence is safe

and commendable, and beyond which, it is dangerous and to be prohibited. Government must either consent to the habit through all its imperceptible degrees of growth, or it must entirely interdict it. In this case, the beginning is everything. Put out your shoot in the soil, and the forces of nature will take care that it becomes a tree. Start your drinking habit, and the laws of nature will see to it, that it shall grow and bear fruit of its kind. It is preposterous to attempt a defence of government, by saying it only justifies a commencement of drinking practices. As well might the culprit on trial for arson, plead innocence on the ground that he did not burn the dwelling, but only fired a train of combustibles that led to it."

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I trust it has been made sufficiently plain, that the mind of the Spirit, in I Thess. v, 5–8, as in the passage previously quoted from Ephesians v, 18, is, that by "drunken," is to beunderstood, one, in any degree, under the influence of alcoholic poison; and by "sober," one who is a total abstainer from "wine, wherein is excess,' or any kind of alcoholic liquor, except in that state of the constitution where it can be used medicinally, i. e., beneficially under altered circumstances, or in a diseased, or abnormal condition thereof; and as these words "drunken" and "sober" do not convey that meaning, as above explained, it seems proper that they should be discarded, and the words "poisoning" and "abstinent," substituted for them. "How immense is the difference as to the light in which we shall learn to regard a sin, according as we have been wont to designate, and to hear it designated by a word which brings out its loathsomeness and deformity; or by one which conceals these; as when in Italy, during the period that poisoning was rifest, nobody was said to be poisoned; ́ it was only that the death of some was assisted (aiutata); or again, by one who seeks to turn the edge of the Divine threatenings against it by a jest, as when in France a subtle

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