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others in your abilities to drink ; your reason will quickly make you afhamed of that glory; and prove, as well as affert it to be a mark of baseft infamy.
Do you think, that Lombard was really honoured, or ftigmatized, whom Tiberius Caesar dubbed a knight, for drink. ing off three gallons of wine at one draught, and firmamed him Tricongius, that is to say, the three gallon knight, which ftory * Pļiny, in his Natural History, relates to the perpetual infamy of them both? Or think you, it added to the glory of Tiberius himself, who knighted this three gallon (not thrice galJant) knight, to have his name changed among the people, from Tiberius into Biberius ; as afterward they did the name of that monster Nero, into Mero?
Gentlemen, I appeal to your own reason, if the vaft continent you have within you for wine and strong drink, be really your honour ; whether the butt or hogshead, whence you have it, be not, for the same reason, much more honourable than you? Your reason will plainly give the conclufion.
But, oh! consider not only what reason faith, but what God, the fountain of that reason, faith in Isa. v. 22. 6 Wo to “ them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to “ mingle strong drink.” Methinks it should make
fit in as little ease
the tavern, or ale-house bench, as that courtparasite fat at a rich banquet furnished with variety of dainties, and all sorts of generous wine; over whose head, Diony. fius caused an heavy sword to be hanged, with the point downward, by a single hair every moment ready to drop perpendicularly upon it.
Excuse II. As for those that throw themselves into these excesses, on purpose to delude those anxious cares and thoughts, which cruciate and oppress them, whenever they are sober and folitary: I shall only propound three plain questions to the finall remainders of reason in themi, which yet I presume sufficient to determine rightly upon them.
Queft. 1. Whether they think that which greatly increaseth want and poverty, be a rational cure and proper remedy of it? And whether a jar of oil be not as fit to quench a flame, as tavern and ale-house scores and reckonings are to buoy up a finking trade, and keep bailiffs from mens doors ? Certainly none but a fottish fool can think it to be otherwise. Your own improvi. dence, or God's afflictive providence, have brought you into other mens books; and certainly you cannot think, if you be
* Plin, Nat. Hif, l. 14.6. 22.
in your wits, that chamberlains bills for fo many bottles of wine, and flaggons of beer, will be accepted by your creditors for good bills, to quit your scores with them. Were
sober, frugal, and industrious, you would put yourselves thereby into a better way to obtain a blessing from God, and refpects and forbearance from men, than in the course you now take.
Quest. 2. Nor can you, without manifest impudence, propound such a question as this to your own reason, whether the addition of injustice to profaneness, be à rational plea or excuse for it? And is not that the very case here? Whose money is that you so lavishly and prodigally waste, out of your consuming estates ? It is either your creditors, or the small remains of your own. Whether the one or the other, methinks that wine and drink should not go down very pleafantly, which must be mingled with manifest injustice, or with the tears, and (in a senfe) the blood of your wives and children. If your reasons can allow these things for lawful excuses, then you are excused, elfe self-condemned.
Queft. 3. I shall trouble your reason with the decision but of one question more, and it is briefly and plainly this :
Whether the addition of far greater troubles, or causes of troubles to the inner man, be a proper expedient to alleviate and 'ease the loads arid burdens of your outward troubles already grown almost too heavy for you to bear,
I dare venture all that I am worth, upon sound reason's side, that it will never allow, or comprobate such an absurdity, as the affirmative part of this question draws along with it.
Believe it, firs, all the outward necessities, cares and fears, which now oppress you upon the score of worldly affairs, (which frame not to your minds) are much more tolerable, and comparatively light and easy, to the stings, wounds, and lathes of a guilty conscience : But when all these inward troue bles shall be superadded to your outward troubles, they will, in conjunction, make a burden too heavy for man to bear.
Whatever cares or troubles providence involves any good man in, in the honest and painful pursuit of his civil calling, he may in a great measure relieve his burdened fpirit under them, by the comfortable testimony of his own conscience, and his free addresses to God in prayer. These will sweetly support him under his other entanglements and perplexities in the world. But the course you take, does not only strike away these props from under your minds; but doubles and
Srebles the burden upon them. Were men but once acquaint ed with that relief and cheariness of spirit, which a good conscience, and a spiritual address to God in prayer, afford in the midst of troubles, they would run to their clofets, rather than to taverns and ale-houses, to divert and cure their troubles. I leave it therefore before your own reason to consider, what weight or validity there is in this second excuse for drunken, ness.
Excuse III. Others plead they are drawn into this gu by pleasure and delight, whose charms are too strong for them to reGift.
In this, as in all the former, I resolve to make you your own judges. Give me leave but to state the questions right, and let your own reason freely determine them. And what fairer dealing can men that exercise reason expect ? And let the first question be this :
Queft. 1. Whether the pleasures of temperance do not far excel those of intemperance? If they do, then this your plea is vain and irrational: For you foolishly chuse a lesser pleafure, and refufe a greater and sweeter one. And that
And that you do so in this case, no wise man can deny or doubt.
For temperate drinking refrelhes the body, and no way burdens it, as excessive drinking doth : And that which bur, dens nature, can never be equally pleasant with that, which yields nothing but due refreihment. Temperance doth not vitiate; but raiseth the pure and ordinate appetite of nature to its just pitch and height; in which temper, and at which height, it is most capable of the sweetest pleasure from the creature. As the strings of a lute give us the sweetest and most delicious notes, when they are not let down too low, but are all fixed at their due height,
Temperance gives us the most pleafing enjoyment of the good things of this life, still leaving the mind free, and fit for the more spiritual and sweet enjoyments of a better and more excellent life; which excess never did nor can do.
Moreover, temperance maintains the manly grace and majesty of the countenance, but excess totally disguisesit. It draws the lines of drunkards faces into a form much like those ridic culous Dutch pictures, which fome set upon their chinney. pieces, to move laughter in those that behold thein.
Now, by the vote of universal reason, that pleasure which refresheth the body, but no way burdens it, which raises the ordinate and unvitiated appetites of nature, to its just pitch and due height, which gives nature the sweetest refreshment,
keaving it always fitter and freer for higher and better pleasures, which maintains the manly grace and majesty of the countee pance, and makes not a wife man look like a fool or an antic, must needs be better than the lower and flatter pleasures of a burdened body, and vitiated palate, which draw after them to great a train of present mischiefs (which temperance avoids), besides far heavier, and more durable ones in the life to come
Quest. 2. But if the present pleasures of temperance were in some respect inferior to those of excefs, (which I have prov. ed they neither are, nor can be); I demand, in the second place, whether the loss of your honour and health, your time and estate, your present peace and future bopes, do not make fuch senfitive pleasures base and inferior, compared with thofe of temperance and fobriety? Do you, in good earnest, think a glass or two above what satisfies and refreshes nature, can recompence for all that fhame, fickness, poverty, and guilt that follows it? If you think fo, fin bath turned you iuto brutes, and made you utterly uncapable of all arguments and manly considerations, to reduce and recover you.
Excufe IV. You say, you would not haunt taverns and alen houses as you do, but that you are drawn in by company and business, which you cannot well refift or avoid, and should you do fo, it would be to your loss; and besides that, you thould be branded for fanatics.
I deny not, but there is a snare in vain company; yet give me leave to propound a few plain and easy questions to your reason.
Queft. 1. Why must the importunity of good fellows (as you call them) be an irresistible temptation to you, and deprive you of all power to deny them, whilft you discern the snares and mischiefs they draw you into ? This seems to be a thing unaccountable to reason. Suppose you were allowed to spend the longest fummer's day in the highest gratifications of all your senses together, or successively one after another, upon condition that you
would endure the torments of the rack till that day twelvemonth came about again; do you think the importunity of all your intimates in the world, would prevail with you to accept the pleasures of a day under such a condition as this? And
what are the torments of a year upon the rack, to the torments of hell for ever and ever? Or to come lower: Suppose one of those lewd companions not worth A groat, if every man had his own, should request you to lend him an hundred pound upon his own security, could you
no power (think you) to deny him, especially if the loss of tnac hundred pound would certainly ruin you? If you would deny him (as I doubt not but in such a case you would) tell me then, why you should not find power to deny him, when he asks a far greater matter than an hundred pound, even the peace, purity, and safety of your souls, as well as the health of your bodies, and honour of your names? Why then should you be so easy and flexible when they ask the latter, and so stiff and unpersuadable to the former?
Quest. 2. You say, you have business, and concerns in trade, to dispatch in such places and companies, and this draws you into the snares of excess. I will not deny but men may lawfully transact their business in such places, and there may be a conveniency, and sometimes a neceflity for it : But that is not the case. The question referred to the determination of your reason, is this, Why drunkenness must accompany business? And whether a man be not more fit to tranfact his business, and drive bargains of the greatest value, whilst his body, and mind are cool, sober, and temperate, than when his reason is beclouded and deposed by drunkenness? How many men have undone themselves, their wives and children, by drunken bargains ?
Besides, I must tell you, that in all such drunken meetings, the devil comes to drive his bargain with you, as well as your other customers. He bids for your souls, and offers you such pleasures as you there find in exchange for them, and is content to make your dying day the time of your delivering them into his possession. How do you like such trading as this; gentlemen ?
Queft. 3. You say, should you refuse to accompany them, and do as they do, you should be branded for fanatics. I would fain know, whether such a plea for drunkenness as this, doth not justly cast the greatest reproach of fanaticism upon yourselves, and set a mark of true honour upon those men whom the world unjustly ftigmatizes with that title? Gentlemen, I do assure you, the fanatics (as you call them) have reason to thank you for the honour and justice you have done them, in acknowledging them to be none of the members of your hellish fociety, but perfons of a more sober and honourable character. And I appeal to your reason, whether it would not be more for your honour, to wear the unjust title of a fanatic, than the just censure of a drunken fot.
Excufe V. You say, you are obliged in point of loyalty