Intemperance

A religion giving dark views of God, and infusing superstitious fear of innocent enjoyment, instead of aiding sober habits, will, by making men abject and sad, impair their moral force and prepare them for intemperance as a refuge from depression or despair.

He that will do anything for his pleasure, must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these pains, are the natural punishments of those actions, which are the beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass that intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness with mischances; injustice with the violence of enemies: Pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; negligent government of princes, with rebellion; and rebellion, with slaughter.

When the taste is purified, the morals are not easily corrupted. Whatever injures the body, the morals, or the mind, will lessen or vitiate taste; thus, disorders of the body and violent passions of the mind, will do this, and so will also excessive care or covetousness; but above all, a habit of intemperance, and keeping low company will greatly deprave that which was once a good taste.

Intemperance is the epitome of every crime, the cause of every kind of misery.

Those men who destroy a healthful constitution of body by intemperance as manifestly kill themselves as those who hang or poison or drown themselves.

Intemperance is the pestilence which killeth pleasure; temperance is not the flail of pleasure; it is the seasoning thereof.

Now, we shall be able to judge the extent of the spiritual undernourishment if we look at all these movements from another angle: not as errors but rather as attempts to find healing. I use this comparison: For a long time medical men combated fever as if it itself constituted the illness. Medicine today inclines rather to respect it, not only as a symptom of the disease but of the struggle of the organism against the disease. True, it is this struggle which makes it ill, and yet this very struggle is also the proof of its vitality and is the necessary way to healing.

Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a bolt out of the blue. The ground is prepared for years, through faulty diet, intemperance, overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject’s vitality. And when at last the illness suddenly shows itself, it would be a most superficial medicine which treated it without going back to its remote causes, to all that I call “personal problems.” There are personal problems in every life. There are secret tragedies in every heart. “Man does not die,” a doctor has remarked. “He kills himself”... Every act of physical, psychological, or moral disobedience of God’s purpose is an act of wrong living and has its inevitable consequences.

Poverty is dishonorable, not in itself, but when it is a proof of laziness, intemperance, luxury, and carelessness; whereas in a person that is temperate, industrious, just and valiant, and who uses all his virtues for the public good, it shows a great and lofty mind.

We shall one day learn to supersede politics by education. What we call our root-and-branch reforms of slavery, war, gambling, intemperance, is only medicating the symptoms. We must begin higher up, namely, in education.

Intemperance in talk makes a dreadful havoc in the heart.

Those men who destroy a healthful constitution of body by intemperance and an irregular life do as manifestly kill themselves as those who hang or poison or drown themselves.

Intemperance is the epitome of every crime, the cause of every kind of misery.

Make sobriety a habit, and intemperance will be hateful; make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will be as contrary to the nature of the child, grown or adult, as the most atrocious crimes, are to any of us.

Make sobriety a habit, and intemperance will be hateful; make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will be as contrary to the nature of the child, grown or adult, as the most atrocious crimes are to any of us.

Avoid wrath and thou wilt avoid sin; avoid intemperance and thou wilt not provoke Providence.

Death having occasion to choose a prime minister, summoned his illustrious courtiers, and allowed them to present their claims for the office: Fever flushed his cheeks; Palsy shook his limbs; Dropsy inflated his carcass; Gout racked his joints; Asthma half strangled himself; Stone and Colic pleaded their violence; Plague, his sudden destructions; and Consumption his certainty. Then came War, with stern confidence, alluding to his many thousands devoured at a meal. Last came Intemperance, with a face like fire, shouting, "Give way, ye sickly, ferocious band of pretenders. Am I not your parent? Does not sagacity trace your origin to me? My operations ceasing, whence your power?" The grisly monarch here gave a smile of approbation, and placed intemperance at his right hand, as his favorite and prime minister.

Food, improperly taken, not only produces original diseases, but affords those that are already engendered both matter and sustenance; so that, let the father of disease be what it may. Intemperance is certainly its mother.

Such is the common process of marriage. A youth and maiden exchange meeting by chance, or brought together by artifice, exchange glances, reciprocate civilities, go home, and dream of one another. Having little to divert attention, or diversify thought, they find themselves uneasy when they are apart, and therefore conclude that they shall be happy together. They marry, and discover what nothing but voluntary blindness had before concealed; they wear out life in altercations, and charge nature with cruelty.

The habit of using ardent spirit, by men in public office, has occasioned more injury to the public service, and more trouble to me, than any other circumstance which has occurred in the internal concerns of the country, during my administration. And were I to commence my administration again, with the knowledge which from experience I have acquired, the first question which I would ask, with regard to every candidate for public office, should be, Is he addicted to the use of ardent spirit?