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their becoming too fleshy? And how does it accomplish this? It does it by impairing the appetite, and by creating a perpetual waste of saliva. The excessive secretions which it causes are as sure a drain upon vitality as a severed vein would be. If a man is robust, with a strong tendency to accumulate flesh, he may endure it for a time; but the thin nervous man will soon show the tokens of failing power. Those organizations upon which the habit fastens most readily and firmly are most liable to be injured. The first apparent effect will be seen in the languid movement, the lack of physical energy, which is apt to mark those who indulge excessively in tobacco. A votary of the drug may succeed in life, but he does it in despite of his habits; and were this clog thrown off, this prodigal waste of vitality stopped, soul and body would be stronger, purer, brighter, capable of more, better fitted to act life and enjoy life, than when thus impeded.
It is hard to see how the habit of using tobacco in any form can fail to be deleterious. As has been shown, tobacco is a powerful poison, soothing, gently intoxicating, stupefying, or destroying, according to the degree in which the system is under its influence. How can the system be subjugated by a poison, and go unscathed? The process of poisoning may be certain where it is slow. Mithridates, of old, fearing that his enemies would attempt to poison him, accustomed himself gradually to the various deadly drugs then known, and after a time found that he could bear a dose that would have killed him when he began the process. He lived to be eighty years of age, yet will any one doubt that his drugs shortened his life.
Veteran consumers of tobacco may be found, and so may veteran drinkers of alcohol, but the existence of the former proves no more than that of the latter. The strongest apologist for tobacco will admit with all readiness that excess is injurious; but who shall draw the line that divides excess from moderation? To what extent may a man place his brain and heart under the narcotic influence, and for how many hours daily, and how much of the drug shall he be allowed to consume in the process ? What shall be the criterion of moderation? If you allow a certain weight of tobacco per day, and declare that this quantity must never be exceeded, the system of the consumer will in time so adjust itself to the quantity allowed as to lessen the narcotic effect. The “delicious repose" of the body and the dreamy reveries of the mind will be less marked, less pleasurable, as the nerves become less susceptible of the intoxication, and finally the tobacco user has little motive to continue the practice, except that he is all unnerved and miserable without it. If we adopt the other rule, and say that to be narcotized to a certain degree, so many hours daily, is moderation, then the quantity must be increased from time to time. Every consumer of the drug feels this tendency to increase the quantity. Here and there one detects it at an early stage of his career, and lays down rules for his own guidance, and by self-mastery adheres to them. The vast majority yield. It is characteristic of all drugging habits that they naturally grow. Of bread, and beef, and water, a man may consume no more this year than he did last year, and yet his wants are as well supplied. Of alcohol, opium, and cerebral stimulants generally, Dr. Woods remarks: “ Their influence is diminished by habit more rapidly than that of any other class of medicines. It is necessary gradually to increase their dose in order to obtain from them the same impression." Let the smoker or the chewer, who has progressed in the ordinary way for ten years, suddenly return to the quantity which he found abundantly sufficient for him at the end of the first year of the ten, and he will acknowledge that the remark quoted above is applicable to tobacco as well as alcohol and opium. How the habit increases is obvious. Suppose a man is accustomed to smoke one cigar every evening; in ordinary circumstances he finds it sufficient to quiet his nerves and lull mind and body to dreamy repose. But let him be peculiarly troubled or irritated, and one cigar is not enough to produce the degree of narcotization which he desires, and to which he is accustomed, and another must be lighted. Sometimes the example of others who are farther advanced in the habit, and whose society he enjoys, encourages him to proceed. And worst of all, as the victim of alcohol or opium loves the effects of his stimulus and increases the quantity that he may plunge more deeply into his unreal joys, so the consumer of tobacco loves his more gentle intoxication, and is tempted to seek a fuller tide of enjoyment. Where, then, shall the line of moderation be drawn? But suppose this difficult task performed, where shall the seeker of narcotic joys find the wisdom and the strength never to pass the line? Shall he depend on his own native decision of character and self-control ? Alas ! daily observation, if not experience, renders the prospect in that direction not very full of promise. Venturing upon perilous ground for the sake of needless self-indulgence, will he pray to the Strong for strength? Who would dare approach the throne of heavenly grace with so doubtful a prayer? Who would kneel and say, “Lead us not into temptation,” and then deliberately rush into it with his eyes wide open ?
Our whole supposition is a fallacy. No line can be drawn to separate rational Christian indulgence in tobacco from irrational unscriptural excess. Of the use of the drug as a medicine, by those who need it, we say nothing; but employed to secure narcotic enjoyment, we confess that tobacco seems to us too dangerous a thing, and the purposes for which it is employed too nearly allied to those for which alcohol is used, for it to escape arraignment on moral and religious grounds. But whatever may be our opinions in regard to the practicability of fixing a limit both theoretically and in practice, all will admit that excess is by no means uncommon, and that many are thereby injured. The ill effects are most visible when boys of only ordinary strength of constitution become excessive smokers and chewers. They soon become languid, inert, inefficient, indisposed to physical exercise, as well as hard mental labor, and consequently less successful as students, and less useful as clerks and apprentices, than they would otherwise be. And all who use the drug freely are liable to be injured.
Johnston makes the following quotation from Dr. Prout, whom he styles an excellent chemist, and a physician of extensive medical experience, whom all his scientific cotemporaries held in much esteem :
Tobacco disorders the assimilating functions in general, but particularly, as I believe, the assimilation of the saccharine principle. Some poisonous principle, probably of an acid nature, is generated in certain individuals by its abuse, as is evident from their cachectic looks, and from the dark and often greenish yellow tint of the blood. The severe and peculiar dyspeptic symptoms sometimes produced by inveterate snufftaking are well known, and I have more than once seen such cases terminate fatally with malignant disease of the stomach and liver. Great smokers, also, especially those who employ short pipes and cigars, are said to be liable to cancerous affections of the lips. But it happens with tobacco, as with deleterious articles of diet, the strong and healthy suffer comparatively little, while the weak and predisposed to disease fall victims to its poisonous operation. Surely, if the dictates of reason were allowed to prevail
, an article so injurious to the health and so offensive in all its modes of enjoyment would speedily be banished.”
But we will not multiply authorities to prove facts which few will venture to deny, nor will we repeat the common arguments against tobacco habits founded on their cost in time and money, and their offensiveness to those not addicted to the same. These things, and more, are left for the consideration of those who, after reading this article, shall feel, as many may, that the subject ought to be more fully examined before they finally settle the question in regard to what is lawful and best in their own case. To this investigation we leave them, not only hoping that they will reach the right result in theory, but wishing them great success in conforming their lives to their logic.
In the early days of the Wesleyan societies the Methodist trumpet blew no uncertain sound in regard to tobacco. The preacher in charge of a circuit was directed as soon as there are four men or women believers in any place" to "put them into a band,” and “see that every band leader have the rules of the bands.” The directions given the band societies December 25, 1744, contain the following: “You are supposed to have the faith that overcometh the world. To you, therefore, it is not grievous :
“I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil; in particular “1. Neither to buy nor sell anything at all on the Lord's day.
2. To taste no spirituous liquor, no dram of any kind, unless prescribed by a physician."
“7. To use no needless self-indulgence, such as taking snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed by a physician.”
The preachers in charge were directed to enforce "vigorously, but calmly, the rules concerning needless ornaments, drams, snuff, and tobacco.” When a new “helper," or preacher, was received he was asked before the Conference: "Have you faith in Christ? Are you going on to perfection? ... Do you take no snuff, tobacco, drams ?” The seventeenth question and answer in the Large Minutes read thus :
Quest. Have those in band left off snuff and drams? “Ans. No. Many are still enslaved to one or the other. In order to redress this, 1. Let no preacher touch either on any account. 2. Strongly dissuade our people from them. 3. Answer their pretenses, particularly curing the colic.”
At the Christmas Conference of 1784, when the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, all legislation on the subject of tobacco was repealed, except the band rule against it, and in 1792 that rule was also repealed. Whether this retrogression is to be attributed to a secret love of the drug among the preachers themselves, or to the acquisition of light not possessed by Wesley, or to the difficulties in the way of enforcing the rules, it might not be safe for us to decide. Nor will we even conjecture the fate of the Church if the rule had been made general, and rigidly enforced, whether Methodism would have been stronger and purer than it now is, or whether its commission to "spread holiness through these lands” would have become null and void. One thing, however, seems tolerably clear, if the habit of using tobacco is commendable among Christians, our Church ought to cease publishing tracts against it, and strike out No. 127 from the list.
ART. III.—THE MORAL THEORY OF THE BIBLE AND OF
The paradox between moral philosophy and theology lies in this : that the former restricts the moral region exclusively to the action of the will, while the latter extends it to the thoughts, sensibilities, and physical functions, nay, even to the undeveloped capacities and tendencies of our entire nature. Moral science ascribes the moral quality of the actions to the intentions, that is, to the choice of what the conscience approves or disapproves; not to the ideas of it, nor the feelings respecting it, nor to the overt acts; these have in themselves no moral character whatever, and are absolutely incapable of it; all the right or wrong in any wise applicable to them is to be traced to the volitions, and properly belongs to the volitions alone. The Bible, on the other hand, not only attributes right and wrong to the intentions, and even goes so far as to blame us for doing what God has not forbidden, provided we think it wrong, or even doubt that it is right, as in eating meat that had been once offered to idols; but it also declares that we are by nature the children of wrath," and that “death passed upon all men for that all have sinned,” and accounts for it by our descent from Adam : “As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners.” Now, here is an apparent contradiction between science and revelation! How can we reconcile them? Here is the problem of ages, and far more important than that of reconciling the discoveries of geology with the Mosaic account of the creation; for that has troubled only the learned, and those who are so situated as to read the rocky records of the preAdamite world; but this has perplexed all serious minds, and is perpetually pressed upon the attention by the ever varying aspects of our experience. Miss Catharine Beecher, in her work, " Common Sense applied to Religion,” has expressed the agonized feelings of thousands who have tried in vain to understand these mysteries by the aid of popular theological systems: "There must be a dreadful mistake somewhere, but I will trust, and obey, and wait quietly for light.”
It is often contended that moral science is superseded by revelation. This is true, whenever the direction of revelation is beyond science; but not when it seems to come into collision with science. Many truths we should expect inspiration would disclose which could not be discovered by reason; but then science is founded on facts and formed by strict induction; it admits of no contradic
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XI.-14