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their fast with nuts and roots'; and when they were permitted flesh, ate it only dressed with hunger and fire; and the first sauce they had was bitter herbs, and sometimes bread dipped in vinegar. But, in this circumstance, moderation is to be reckoned in proportion to the present customs, to the company, to education, and the judgment of honest and wise persons, and the necessities of nature.
4. Eat not too much: load neither thy stomach nor thy understanding. "If thou sit at a bountiful table, be not greedy upon it, and say not there is much meat on it. Remember that a wicked eye is an evil thing: and what is created more wicked than an eye? Therefore, it weepeth upon every occasion. Stretch not thy hand whithersoever it looketh, and thrust it not with him into the dish. A very little is sufficient for a man well nurtured, and he fetcheth not his wind short upon his bed."
Signs and Effects of Temperance.
We shall best know, that we have the grace of temperance by the following signs, which are as so many arguments to engage us also upon its study and practice.
1. A temperate man is modest: greediness is unmannerly and rude. And this is intimated in the advice of the son of Sirach, "When thou sittest amongst many, reach not thy hand out first of all. Leave off first for manners' sake, and be not insatiable, lest thou offend." 2. Temperance is accompanied with gravity of deportment: greediness is garish, and rejoices loosely at the sight of dainties*. 3. Sound, but moderate, sleep, is its sign and its effect. Sound sleep cometh of moderate eating; he riseth early, and his wits are with him. 4. A spiritual joy and a devout prayer. 5. A suppressed and seldom anger. 6. A command of our thoughts and passions. 7. A seldom-returning, and a never-prevailing temptation. 8. To which add, that a temperate person is not curious of fancies and deliciousness. He thinks not much, and speaks not often, of meat and drink; hath a healthful body and long life, unless it be hindered by some other accident: whereas to gluttony, the pain of watching and choler, the pangs of the belly are continual company. And therefore Stratonicus said handsomely concerning the luxury of the Rhodians, "They built houses, as if they were immortal; but they feasted, as if they meant to live but a little while." And Antipater, by his reproach of the old glutton Demades, well expressed the baseness of this sin, saying, that Demades, now old b, and always a glutton, was like a spent sacrifice, nothing left of him but his belly and his tongue, all the man besides is gone.
1 Feltx initium, prior setas contenta dulcibus arvis;
Facileque sera solebat jejunia solvere glande. Boeth. 1. 1. de Consol. Arbtlteos fcetus, montanaque fraga legebant. Ov. M. 1. 104. * Cicero vocat Temperantiam omatum vitae, in quo decorum illud et honestum situm est.
But I desire that it be observed, that because intemperance in eating is not so soon perceived by others as immoderate drinking, and the outward visible effects of it are not either so notorious or so ridiculous, therefore gluttony is not of so great disreputation amongst men as drunkenness; yet, according to its degree, it puts on the greatness of the sin before God, and is most strictly to be attended to, lest we be surprised by our security and want of diligence, and the intemperance is alike criminal in both, according as the affections are either to the meat or drink. Gluttony is more uncharitable to the body, and drunkenness to the soul, or the understanding part of man ; and therefore in Scripture is more frequently forbidden and declaimed against than the other : and sobriety hath by use obtained to signify temperance in drinking.
Drunkenness is an immoderate affection and use of drink. That I call immoderate, that is besides or beyond that order of good things, for which God hath given us the use of drink. The ends are, digestion of our meat, cheerfulness and refreshment of our spirits, or any end of health; besides which if we go, or at any time beyond it, it is inordinate and criminal, it is the vice of drunkenness. It is forbidden by our blessed Saviour in these wordsc. "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness:" surfeiting, that is, the evil effects, the sottishness and remaining stupidity of habitual, or of the last night's drunkenness. For Christ forbids both the actual and the habitual intemperance; not only the effect of it, but also the affection to it: for in both there is sin. He that drinks but little, if that little makes him drunk, and if he know beforehand his own infirmity, is guilty of surfeiting, not of drunkenness d. But he that drinks much, and is strong to bear it, and is not deprived of his reason violently, is guilty of the sin of drunkenness. It is a sin, not to prevent such uncharitable effects upon the body and understanding: and therefore a man that loves not the drink, is guilty of surfeiting, if he does not watch to prevent the evil effect: and it is a sin, and the greater of the two, inordinately to love or to use the drink, though the surfeiting or violence do not follow. Good therefore is the counsel of the Son of Sirach, "Shew not thy valiantness in wine; for wine hath destroyed manyo."
b Plutarch, de cupid. divit. o Luke xxi. 34.
Evil consequents to Drunkenness.
The evils and sad consequents of drunkenness (the consideration of which are as so many arguments to avoid the sin) are to this sense reckoned by the writers of holy Scripture, and other wise personages of the world. 1. It causeth woes and mischief, wounds and sorrow, sin and shame »; it maketh bitterness of spirit, brawling and quarrelling; it increaseth rage and lesseneth strength ; it maketh red eyes, and a loose and babbling tongue. 2. It particularly ministers to lust, and yet disables the body; so that in effect it makes man wanton as a satyr, and impotent as age. And Solomon, in enumerating the evils of this vice, adds this to the accounth, "thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things:" as if the drunkard were only desire, and then impatience, muttering and enjoying like an eunuch embracing a woman. 3. It besots and hinders the actions of the understanding, making a man brutish in his passions, and a fool in his reason; and differs nothing from madness, but that it is voluntary, and so is an equal evil in nature, and a worse in manners '. 4. It takes off all the guards, and lets loose the reins of all those evils, to which a man is by his nature or by his evil oustoms inclined, and from which he is restrained by reason and severe principles. Drunkenness calls off the watchmen from their towers; and then all the evils, that can proceed from a loose heart, and an untied tongue, and a dissolute spirit, and an unguarded, unlimited will, all that we may put upon the accounts of drunkenness.
d Ksx,<rsiX? m Tgar'nx'ixs aut St-xo %si£ns olvuuoo-txs. SchoL in Aristoph. Idem fere apud Plutarch. Vinolentia animi quandam remisslonem et levitatem, ebrietas fusilitatem aignificat. Plutarch, de Garrul.
* Ecclus. xxxi. 25. f Prov. xxiii. 29. Ecclus. xxxi. 26.
1 Multa faciunt ebrii, quibus sobrii erubescunt. Senec. ep. H'A. 17
h Prov. xxiii. 33.
5. It extinguisheth and quenches the Spirit of God, for no man can be filled with the Spirit of God and with wine at the same time. And therefore St. Paul makes them exclusive of each otherk. '* Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit1." And since Joseph's cup was put into Benjamin's sack, no man had a divining goblet.
6. It opens all the sanctuaries of nature, and discovers the nakedness of the soul, all its weaknesses and follies; it multiplies sins and discovers them; it makes a man incapable of being a private friend, or a public counsellor. 7. It taketh a man's soul into slavery and imprisonment more than any vice whatsoeverTM, because it disarms a man of all his reason and his wisdom, whereby he might be cured, and therefore commonly it grows upon him with age; a drunkard being still more a fool and less a man. I need not add any sad examples, since all story and all ages have too many of them. Ammon was slain by his brother Absalom, when he was warm and high with wine. Simon the high priest and two of his sons were slain by their brother at a drunken feast. Holofernes was drunk when Judith slew him: and all the great things that Daniel spake of Alexander", were drowned with a surfeit of one night's intemperance: and the drunkenness of Noah and Lot are upon record to eternal ages, that in those early instances, and righteous persons, and less criminal drunkenness, than is that of Christians in this period of the world, God might shew, that very great evils are prepared to punish this vice; no less than shame, and slavery, and incest; the first upon Noah, the second upon one of his sons, and the third in the person of Lot.
1 Insanise comes est ira, contubernalis ebrietas. Plutarch. ————— Corpus onustum Hesternis vitiis animum quoque praegravat. Horat. Ebrietas est voluntaria insania. Senec. k Ephes. v. 18.
Oivos ffl rou-.t f/,tXmo*rtst oS rE xa) aXXov;
BXaTrt/, 05 at y.tv ;£a»Sov tXtt fiviS aifftfin Tmi. Homer. Od. $. 293. m Prov. xxxi. 4.
- i Ouot7s ol fit§Ca/v, ar ffx/xrrtSt "O; oit%t o*ovXos iffrt rov xnrM»tvou.
Philem. p. 344. ed. Clerc. n Alexandrum intemperantia bibendi, et ille Herculanus ac fatalis scyphus perdidit. Sen. ep. lxxxiii. 21.
Signs of Drunkenness.
But if it be inquired concerning the periods and distinct significations of this crime; and when a man is said to be drunk; to this I answer, that drunkenness is in the same manner to be judged as sickness. As every illness or violence done to health, in every part of its continuance, is a part or degree of sickness: so is every going off from out natural and common temper and our usual severity of behaviour, a degree of drunkenness. He is not only drunk, that can drink no more; for few are so: but he hath sinned in a degree of drunkenness, who hath done any thing towards it beyond his proper measure. But its parts and periods are usually thus reckoned. 1. Apish gestures. 2. Much talking. 3. Immoderate laughing. 4. Dulness of sense. 5. Scurrility, that is, wanton, or jeering, or abusive language. 6. An useless understanding. 7. Stupid sleep. 8. Epilepsies, or fallings and reelings, and beastly vomitings. The least of these, even when the tongue begins to be untied, is a degree of drunkenness.
But that we may avoid the sin of intemperance in meats and drinks, besides the former rules of measures, these counsels also may be useful.
Rules for obtaining Temperance.
1. Be not often present at feasts, nor at all in dissolute company, when it may be avoided; for variety of pleasing objects steals away the heart of man; and company is either violent or enticing; and we are weak or complying, or perhaps desirous enough to be abused. But if you be unavoidably or indiscreetly engaged, let not mistaken civility or good nature engage thee either to the temptation of staying,