Short account of the origin and progress of the cholera morbus

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Short account of the origin and progress of the cholera morbus  (1833) 

A

SHORT ACCOUNT

OF THE

ORIGIN AND PROGRESS

OF THE

CHOLERA MORBUS,

PARTICULARLY ITS RAVAGES IN

DUMFRIES,

In September, October, and November, 1832.

——

BY A CITIZEN.

——

DUMFRIES:

D.HALLIDAY PRINTER AND BOOKSELLER.

——

1833.

PREFACE
——

The following pages bring together some short memorials of the late awful visitation, from its first origin in India to the present time, particularly it ravages in our own town, from various authoritie not of easy access to the public.—Some may think that the less that is said on this subject the better, as bringing to our recollection gloomy days, and exciting the feelings of many who have been deprived of dear relatives.To such we would say, that we must not view the designs of Providence fulfilled merely on those who fell in the late calamity; the most important consequences are yet future; the improvement we make will either raise or lower the moral standing of every one of us. God has sent the pestilence among us, which has carried upwards of fifty millions of the human family, and hundreds of our neighbourhood, to the grave; and He is now looking on to see the moral effects it will have upon survivors; and our improvement may be counted doubtful if we are averse to have our attention turned to the subject. We have now time to reflect on what we have suffered; and we ought to give thanks to the God of Providence, that the pestilence is now so generally abated. And happy would it be, if this charge could not be brought against us—They soon forgot His works.


Dumfries, March 30. 1833.

ORIGIN AND PROGRESS, &c.
——

Spasmodic Cholera is a disease of modern origin. It was early in the year 1818, that accounts were brought to this country of a new and dreadful disorder that had appeared in India, by which some died almost instantaneously, and others were carried off in a few hours. It is said to have broke out first in August 1817, at Jessore near Calcutta; and, in the course of a few weeks, 10,000 persons fell victims. The inhabitants, astonished and terrified, fled in crowds to the country, to escape impending death.

It next attacked the poor of Calcutta, and before the end of September, it spread throughout and beyond the province of Bengal. Pursuing the course of the Ganges, it reached the interior of the country, and, on November 6, infected the grand army then stationed at Bundeleund, under the command of the Marquis of Hastings. No less than 5000 men perished between the 15th and 20th November, and in all, 9000 persons died. In March following, 10,000 Indians were cut off in the town of Banda and its environs, and Hutta, Saugur, &c. were proportionately afflicted. In Kotah alone, 100 persons perished daily for so long a time, that the city was at length abandoned by the inhabitants.

In the month of March, 1818, it broke out at Allahabad, and removed in a few months 10,000 persons; and proceeding still in a north-westerly direction, visited Cawnpore, Delhi, &c. In April and May following it reached the middle provinces of Hindostan. Lucknow and Fyzabad suffered greatly, and in Goruckpore 30,000 persons perished! It is calculated that in India the amazing number of twenty-millions have been removed into an eternal world by this awfully destructive scourge.

The Cholera prevailed at Madras in October, 1818. It raged with great severity in December following at Candy, the capital of Ceylon. At the end of November, 1819, it visited the island of Mauritius, shortly after the arrival of the Topaze frigate.

From the Delta of the Ganges, it extended itself in a few months after its first, irruption, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Bengal, and from Arracan, which it entered in 1819, it proceeded gradually to the Peninsula of Malacca. Forty thousand persons perished at Bankok,. the capital of Siam. 1823, the Birman empire was attacked, as were also afterwards Sumatra and the Philipine Islands.

In Muscat, a sea-port at the extremity of the Arabian Peninsula, and the most frequented harbour for the traffic of Bombay, the Cholera broke out in July, 1821, and soon exterminated 10,000 persons. In August following it had penetrated the Persian Gulf, and along the Arabian shore, Here its desolation was excessive.

The port of Bendar Abassi, the key to the interior of Persia, was invaded by the Cholera, July, 1821, and one-sixth part of the inhabitants were its victims. At Shiraz it destroyed one-eighth of the population, and proceeding northward, visited Ispahan. Having reached Taurus it extended to Armenia.

From this period till 1823, the disease infected the places north of Persia, and in September, 1823, it entered Astrachan, on the north of the Caspian. The Russian fleet was first infected, and out of 216 persons, 144 died!

The progress of this epidemic into Syria and Mesopotamia is marked by increased calamity. At Bassorah 18,000 persons were swept away in eleven days! and at Bagdad, one-third of the people perished! After visiting many other places, it reached Aleppo in November, 1822, and for three days destroyed 300 daily. In June following it extended to Latachia and Antioch, and thence to Tripoli and Suedia. The following affecting circumstance, related by Mr. Barker, the British consul, will convey some idea of its violence:--"Twenty peasants of Suedia, robust, vigorous, and in the flower of life, were labouring at the harvest work, when, on July 9, at noon, one was suddenly attacked, and the others, in a short time, showed symptoms of the disorder. In three hours the entire band was exhausted; before sunset many had ceased to live, and by the return of the following day, there were no survivors!!"

During the year 1823, in the short period of seven months, the Cholera had continued its ravages from Caramania to India; and in the winter of the following year it attacked the town of Tiberias. Towards the end of 1830, this destructive pestilence appeared in the Russo-Asiatic provinces of Sehirvan and Bakou, whence it spread to Tiflis, the eapital of Georgia, and, as it is supposed, to Astrachan, July 20, 1830, by means of a brig from Bakou, of the erew of which eight had died from Cholera on the passage. After visiting many Tartar villages in the neighbourhood, it proceeded through the Cossack stations on the highway to Moscow; and on the 25th of July, began in Krasnojar, twenty miles from Astrachan: it finally extended down to the Cossack eordon. It is computed that in the eity of Astrachan 4043 persons perished, besides 21,163 in the provinces! From thence it commenced a north-west course along the Volga, and reached Tsaritzin on the 4th of August. At Saratov (or Saratoff), where it appeared immediately after, 2367 persons died in three weeks. A clcrgyman of that eity, in going one day to bury four eorpses, met sixty funerals!

After visiting several other places, it reached Samaria, 200 miles N. E. from Saratov, August 27, where, in seven days, 47 people died. At the same time, it proceeded northward to Penza, and in fourteen days its victims amounted to 800. At Nischnei- Novgorod, 968 were eut off; at Kasan 1174. At length it reached Moseow, where, from the middle of September, when it first appeared, to the 17th of November, 6531 persons had been affected, of whom 3508 died! The patient either died in a few hours, or lingered for many hours, although able to eonverse; some were so violently attaeked, as to be like persons brought to the ground by a violent blow, or by a stroke of lightning.

In June 1831, the Cholera was discovered at St. Petersburg, and in about a month, out of 5367 that had been attacked, upwards of 2500 died. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, experieneed a similar afflietion, and in less than a month, 2530 cases were reported. Among the victims was Field Marshal Diebitseh, who died 10th June 1831. To prevent the entranee of this grievous malady into Prussia, a sanitary cordon was established from the Baltic Sea to near Cracow: along this line no travellers were permitted to enter Prussia, except at particular places, where they were obliged to produce a "bill of health," stating them to be free from all infection, or else to remain ten or twelve days before they proceeded on their journey.

Shortly after, the Cholera appeared in Austria, Riga, and Dantzie; and on the 29th of August, at Berlin, where, in nine days, 58 deaths were announced:

While the disease was destroying such numbers in Russia, it appeared again in Arabia, after an absence of eight years, and destroyed 20,000 out of 50,000 pilgrims who were on their way to Mecca.

This most awful disease visited Cairo in Egypt. In fourteen days, the number of the dead was 7735, at an average of more than six hundred per diem, from August 21, to September 1; and during the same period, at Alexandria the mortality amounted to upwards of one hundred daily. Five days after it had appeared at Cairo, it spread through Lower Egypt, and to the ships of war off Alexandria.

From the arrival of the Cholera at Berlin, as already stated, if shortly reached the Elbe, and in its usual mode, attacked many of the towns on its banks. On the 7th October, 1830, Hamburg was affected. Considerable alarm was excited, and great fears were entertained respecting its entrance into our own country.

Entrance into our Country.

Cholera first made it appearanee among us at Sunderland, in the end of Oetober, 1831. That awful plague, which visited in sueeession many lands, and swept away millions of our fellow-creatures, in its desolating progress, at last approaehed the British shores. God gave our land ample warning that we might seek the divinely appointed way, to avert a national calamity, by repentanee,—but it is to be feared we were slow scholars.— The political state of the country was very unfavourable for deriving any moral advantage from the dispensation with which we had been visited. The reforming and anti-reforming factions in the nation, were struggling for the superiority, and striving to invigorate their strength by stirring up soeiety to its very lowest depths, and evoking the worst passions of the human bosom. The one party spoke of the pestilenee that the attention of the people might be attraeted to it and away from reform; while the other first denied the existence of the disease, and then ascribed it to the wieked device of their opponents. Amid the contentions of political partisanship, the judgments of heaven were tossed about like a straw on the foaming surge. But God was not to be mocked. He hath bent his bow and fitted to the string his arrow; and his deadly shafts were to be lodged in many a bosom. Suddenly it diffused itself throughout the country—appearing in various plaees at the same time—as if Moses had again sprinkled a bandful of his pestilential ashes in the winds of heaven. Cholera was soon acknowledged to be no humbug, but an awful reality. Even medieal men said it was a frightful disorder. The prostration of strength was nearly as rapid as if a laneet had been applied to the arm, and the stream of blood had been allowed to flow. In a few hours, it induced the thin visage, and the erisped features, and the eold tongue, and the hollow voice, and the black-sunken eye, and the feeble pulse, and the incessant thirst, and the sinking heart—he that laid the eold elay of his departed relative in the grave, might also prepare for the same doom.

Cholera having made its appearance at Sunderland, reached Newcastle on December 7, and on the 17th it was diseovered at Haddington. January 14, it visited Tranent and Musselburgh, where it was very virulent; on the 31st the Edinburgh papers report three cases in that eity. It appeared at the same time at Kirkintulloeh, taking a leap of fifty miles at once. About 12th February, it reached Glasgow Paisley, and London. March 14, it appeared at Paris, when 23000 persons died in the eourse of one month. In April it passed over into Ireland, and reaehed the north of Seotland. May 12, it appeared in Liverpool. July 3, at Carlysle; about the same time at Kendal, Maryport, Penrith, and Ayr with great severity. At Tongueland, and at Spriughill, Annandale, and, in September, in the village of Penpont, there were four cases and three deaths.

Appearance in our Town

From the spread of the pestilenee, over the whole eountry, there was eonsiderable excitement and fear, in the Spring and Summer months, of it reaehing our town. A board of health was formed, near L.500 was spent among the poor in food, fuel, and clothes; a soup kitchen was opened and continued for thirteen weeks; but it was generally thought, from the openness of our town, and the eomparative eomfort of our inhabitants, if it did come it would not be severe. How vain are the thoughts of man! We were long spared, but it came at last, and raged with a virulence unexampled almost in any town in Britain, the shortness of the time considered.

The first ease of Cholera, in Dumfries, was a fcmalc of the name of Paterson, in English Street, on September 15. She died next day. Some persons in the neighbourhood were also seized. It rapidly increased; but, instead of lingering in the loeality where it showed itself, simultaneously appeared in various parts of Dumfries and Maxwelltown. People are slow to believe what they do not wish to be true; even at this advaneed stage of the disease, many denied that it was amongst us. Many now were in awful consternation, which prcdisposed them for the disease. Mueh was said, "but they spoke not aright." If mention was made of any place being spared, it was, "the provost is very active."—It was observed that during the wholc last week of September, the sky assumed an unusual appearance.—The newspapers of October 2, give the following report:—

Dumfries Board of Health official report to the Central Board.

From the commencement on the l5th to the 24th of September, Cases 17; Deaths 9; Recoveries 0.


September 25,
... 26,
... 27,
... 28,
... 29,
... 30,
October 1,

New cases.
14
9
37
68
52
73
56

Deaths.
9
5
5
19
13
14
23

Recoveries
0
0
.2
5
3
12
3




MAXWELLTOWN.


September 25,
... 26,
... 27,
... 28,
... 29,
... 30,
October 1,

New cases.
5
2
5
14
12
18
10

Deaths.
0
1
3
3
9
7
4

Recoveries
0
0
0
0
2
3
1




The appearance of our town was now dismal in the extreme, almost no vehicle to be seen but hearses, going in every direction; followed sometimes only, with one or two mourners; in one instance the only attendant of the hearse was a boy bare footed and meanly clad, he was following the remains of his mother; and, it was said, he had not another relation alive. No funeral letters were issued, no undertaker employed, no suits of mourning procured and worn; coffins, often ready made, were procured the moment after death, only a few friends were invited, who for the most part followed at a distance. For a number of days at the first there was scarcely a single recovery. The Cholera hospital in English Street was opened, filled, emptied, and as quickly filled again. The faculty, worn out with fatigue, were assisted by five of their profession arriving from Edinburgh and two from Castle Douglas; they even were not exempt from the malady,—two belonging to our town died and two of the strangers showed unequivocal symptoms. A number of pots filled with tar were burnt in the street in many parts, which, especially at night, gave the town a gloomy appearance. Most of the shops continued shut all day. Flying to the country did not evade death, there were more cases in proportion of persons seized in the act of flying, and even after they had reached their destination, than those that remained.

The grave digger's spade, was in constant use; there was a large common grave, like in the field of battle, for those that had no burying place. St. Michael's church was shut up on Sabbath for fear of Cholera graves and public worship performed in the court house. Wednesday, October 3, was very unlike a market day; there was no markets, few open shops, no cattle on the sands; out of nearly sixty carriers only one visited our town, every one seemed to dread the city of the plague. We were like a beseiged town, cut off from all communication with the world. Thursday October 4, was held by appointment as a last day, and many eried to God to spare us. The eases that day were fewer, and continued to decrease ever after; that night after ten o'clock there was a violent thunder-storm, quite unexpected; some of the peals were terrific. It has been observed that Cholera in other places decreased after a similar storm, and it was viewed by persons the most timid, with pleasure. The academy was vacated and hastily fitted up as a house of refuge, which was soon filled with orphans. Camphor, laudanum, preventative pills, and many other drugs were in great requisition; many commenced smoking as an antidote; brandy also was in great demand, a medicine which was disapproved of by the highest medical authority.

The disease likewise appeared at Springholm; the first case was a man of dissipated habits, who had been at Dumfries. In all, twenty-five cases, thirteen deaths. Carlaverock was also severely visited, there were about twenty-one cases, eighteen of these proved fatal; the localities were the Old Quay and Blackshaw. There like wise were three deaths by Cholera at the village of Amisfield; indeed there were insulated cases over the whole country.

To show the malignity of the disease, we here subjoin the official reports of the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Boards of Health, for two weeks.

DUMFRIES.


October 2,
... 3,
... 4,
... 5,
... 6,
... 7,
...8,
...9,
...10,
...11,
...12,
...13,
...14,
...15,

New cases.
55
62
30
33
36
31
35
10
16
15
15
9
20
20

Deaths.
44
27
26
11
17
4
21
14
14
18
11
3
5
11

Recoveries.
10
1
13
12
25
16
53
7
15
9
7
21
19
18




MAXWELLTOWN.


October 2,
... 3,
... 4,
... 5,
... 6,
... 7,
...8,
...9,
...10,
...11,
...12,
...13,
...14,
...15,

New cases.
5
13
5
14
5
5
12
10
6
9
1
5
10
5

Deaths.
0
3
6
5
7
9
4
10
4
2
3
4
5
3

Recoveries.
1
6
1
5
2
5
0
2
6
2
7
7
3
1




Total cases from the commencement reported to Nov. 5.

DUMFRIES.

Cases.
827

Deaths.
412

Recoveries.
406




MAXWELLTOWN.

Cases.
228

Deaths.
119

Recoveries.
96




Cholera Hospital report up to 22d of October.

Total number of admission, . .
Do. do. of deaths, . .
Do. remaining convalescent, . .

97
66
7





There were more deaths than what were reported officially. During the violence and near the commencement of the disease, many sickened and died without being seen by a medical man, or coming under the cognizance of the Board of Health. It has been ascertaincd, from the number of coffins that were made, and the grave-diggers accounts, that the real deaths exceeded the reported ones upwards of 100; so the deaths on both sides of the river, will be about 650 at the utmost.

"Our publicans were only warned to shut at night, when they ought to have been closed altogether nine months sooner; at least an interdict ought to have been laid on the sale of spirits, which would have been a grand physical and moral preventative of Cholera. If the same charge of generating of Cholera could be fixed upon a tan-yard, a slaughter-pen, or a fish-pond, whieh has been substantiated against the plaees where ardent spirits are retailed in cities, the legal arm would remove them at onee; and the question would never be asked, how much saerifiee of pleasure would be sustained by the owner of the fish-pond, or of money by the owner of a tan-yard, or slaughter-pen. Pleasure and money are not to be weighed against human life. And why should this spirit-trafic be entitled to peeuliar favour?"

The pestilenee likewise passed over to America, with awful malignity. A letter, dated 31st August, says, that in New York there were 3500 deaths, in a population of 200,000, one in fifty-seven. In Quebec, the deaths were 2000, population 33,000, one in fifty-seven. Montreal the deaths were 2000, population 25,000, one in twelve. In an alms house, in that eity, contains 1500 inmates, there were 300 deaths, one in five.

During the height of the disease, there were meetings for prayer on account of the state of the country, in the established ehurches once or twice a-week; and by the evangelical dissenters eonjoined, in the Spring and Summer months, as well as in the time of the calamity, in their meeting houses alternately, which were attended by 100 to 200 people, in a population, both burghs included, of 15000, few externally seemed to give glory to God for their deliverance,-were there not ten lepers cleansed, but where are the nine?

From the 23d October, the cases became daily fewer, and more mild, and the recoveries more numerous. After the beginning of Deeember, there was no more eases, and the town began to assume its usual appearance, although many living in the immediate neighbourhood, as well as those from a distance, did not enter it for months after, from a false report of the plague being still among us but coneealed.

The eleetion, of a member of parliament for the burghs, took plaee here on. the 21st December, and the late calamity seemed all to be forgot in the excitement and the dissipation previous; many for nights before went not sober to bed; the howl of the drunkard on the streets at midnight was as loud as ever, yet they all were for reform.But, excellent as reform is, bear, in mind, that you may get freedom from the domination of aristocrats and yet be the slave of sin and municipal reform, too, while you have a rotten burgh in your own heart; and the civil government of the country, such as you would wish, and the cessation of taxes, add to this the march of science and every improvement, yet after all, as a nation or as individuals, we will be miserable in the extreme, if we are defieient in morals, --only righteousness exalteth a nation.

Causes.

None need deny that certain circumstances in the physical, and in the righteous government of God in the moral condition of a people, tend to generate and spread this disease. The Bible teaches us that God is the moral Governor of the world; but if this tract fall into the hands of any who esteem revelation lightly, we would wish.to establish that the constitution of nature proclaims this most important truth,—the heavenly bodies, animals, vegetables, and every natural object are subject to certain laws, which are undeviating and, unflexible. "Order is heaven’s first law," and, if matter be subject to such laws of order, we may conclude that, mind must be subject in a higher sense, as mind is above matter. Without order, every social tie would be torn, asunder, every relation inverted, every government overturned, and thc whole assembly of human beings eonverted into a discordant mass. Without morality there would be no social order, so the material universe proclaims God's moral government, or that he will punish sin.

Some vices may be the moral eause of pestilence, others of the moral and physical eonjoined of the latter description, none oceupies a more prominent place than

Intemperance. 1st, Physically. In making this assertion, we shall not deal in speculation, but rest the whole matter on well-authenticated and recorded facts. On this point we have the concurrent testimony of most of the physicians who have had the opportunity of observing the progress of this disease in Asia, Europe, and America. Dr. Rieehe informs us, that in China. "the disease selected its victims from among such of the people as live in filth and intemperance." Ramohun Fingee, the famous Indian doctor, says, that "people who did not take spirits or opium do not catch this disorder, even when they are with those who have it." In the army under the command of the Marquis of Hastings, in India, consisting of 18,000 men, more than 9000 died in the first twelve days. And every one knows that soldiers, and especially in warm climates, are notorious for habits of intemperance. Dr. Joenichin, of Moscow, declares that "drunkeness, debauchery, bad food, and personal indiscretions, were indubitably its predisposing causes." Monsieur Huber, who saw 2160 persons perish in 25 days, (more than 86 a day,) in one town in Russia, says, "It is a most remarkable circumstance, that persons given to drinking have been swept away like flies. In Tiffis, containing 20,000 inhabitants, every drunkard has fallen! All are dead! not one remains!"

Dr. Becker, whose extensive experience entitles his opinion to deep respect, has recorded this caution, "Above all things avoid intemperance, which at Berlin, as every where else, has been found to render its votaries the first victims to this destructive pestilence." The London Medical Gazette remarks, that "intemperance gives a claim to the pestilencc which it never overlooks. In every town and district, from the Ganges to the Wear, the drunkard has been the object of its earliest attack, and its most ruthless visitation." The London Morning Herald observes, that "The same preference for the intemperate and the uncleanly has characterized the Cholera every where. Intemperance is a qualification which it never overlooks. Often has it passed harmlessly over a wide population of temperatc country people, and poured down as an overflowing scourge upon the drunkards of some distant town." The Edinburgh Board of Health says, "Experience has shown, that the most cssential precaution for cscaping the disease is sobriety; that intoxication during the prevalence of the epidemic is almost sure to be followed by an attack—and that those addicted to drink, are the most subject to Cholera, and the most likely to sink under it." The Journal of Humanity states, that "In Poland nine-tenths of those who died of Cholera were known to be brandy drinkers. In Paris the victims of the disease wcrc, with fcw exceptions, among the lower elasses all of whom drink intoxicating liquors to excess. In Montreal after 1200 had been attacked, a Montreal paper says, 'Not a drunkard who has been attacked has recovered of the disease, and almost all the victims have been at least moderate drinkers.'"

Dr. Thomas Sewall, of Washington eity, tells us, that "the epieure and the intemperate have no safety but in a speedy and thorough reformation. Wherever Cholera has prevailed, it has invariably sought out the glutton, the drunkard, and the. dissolute, and made them its earliest victims. Total abstinenee from all fermented liquors should be observed-" "Cholera," says Dr. Bronson, in a letter from Montreal, "has pleaded the cause of temperanee most eloquently, and with tremendous effect. The habitual use of ardent spirits, in the smallest quantity, seldom fails to invite the Cholera, and to render it ineurable when it takes place. Five-sixths of all who have fallen by the disease in England, it is computed were taken from the ranks of the intemperate and dissolute." Dr. Rhinelander, of the city of New York, who had an opportunity of witnessing the Cholera in Montreal, recommends "entire abstinence from spirituous liquors."-"Temperance," says he, "in every shape, is the great preventive.

2nd, Morally. It is opposed to the social moral and spiritual interests of the people, and so opposed to God's moral government, and must be subject to his punishment. Says the great judge Hales, "by due observation for nearly twenty years, I have found, that if the murders and manslaughters, the burglaries, and robberies, and riots, and tumults, the adulteries, furnieations, rapes, and other great enormities, that have happened in that time, were divided into five parts, four of them have been the issues and product of excessive drinking."

"Had it not been for distilled spirits," says Professor Edgar, "nine-tenths of the murders, which have made Ireland a land of blood, had never been committed. It is acknowledged that, three-fourths of all pauperism, four-fifths of all aggravated, crime, one-half of all madness, one-half of all sudden deaths, one-fourth of all deaths in persons above twenty years of age, are caused by spiritous liquors,"

"Who can estimate the hatred of God, of his word and worship, and of his people, which it oecasions? or number the oaths and blasphemies it causes to be uttered? or the violation of the Sabbath? the impurities and indecencies, violence and wrong-doing, which it originates? How many thousands does it detain every Sabbath-day from the house of God—eutting them off from the means of graee, and hardening them against their efficacy! How broad is the road whieh intemperanee alone opens to hell, and how thronged with travellers!"

Oh! were the sky over our heads one great whispering gallery, bringing down about us all the lamentation and woe which intemperance ereates, and the firm earth one sonorous medium of sound, bringing up around us, from beneath, the wailings of the damned, whom the eommeree in ardent spirits had sent thither;—these tremendous realities, assailing our sense, would invigorate our conseienee, and give decision to our purpose of reformation. But these evils are as real as if the stone did ery out of the wall, and the beam answered it; as real as if, day and night, wailings were heard in every part of the dwelling, and blood and skeletons were seen upon every wall; as real as if the ghostly forms of departed victims flitted about the ship, as she passed over the billows, and showed themselves nightly about stores and distilleries, and, with unearthly voiees, sereamed in our ears their loud lament. They are as real as if the sky over our heads eolleeted and brought down about us all the notes of sorrow in the land; and the firm earth should open a passage for the wailings of despair to come up from beneath."

Were intemperance universal, it would soon exterminate the human family from off the earth; there are instances of some Indian tribes, and- even whole families in this country being rooted out by it.— While temperate men eontinue their present practises, the evil can never be brought to an end. No man is born a drunkard; the whole misehief originates from it being counted reputable and social to taste spirits; and while one and then another become the victims in sueeession, intemperance is perpetuated in our country. He that would wish it brought to an end, must learn not to give it the smallest countenance, or, like Paul, not to taste that which maketh a weak brother to offend.

Profane Swearing, is another vice that may subject us to judgments, "Because of swearing the land mourneth." It has no temptations to plead in its behalf, and it is committed just because it is a sin. The man who can deliberately violate this command, proclaims to all around, that he has no emotions of reverence and affection towards that Almighty Being whose power upholds heaven and earth. Were this crime universal, all reverance for Jehovah would of course be banished from the earth; no temples would be erected to his honour; no forms of worship appointed. Universal reverence, for the name and character of Jehovah, would lead to all the duties of piety and morality. His mighty movements among the nations would be regarded with reverance: and his holy word would be perused by all Classes of men with affection and delight, as the oracle which proclaims the glories of his nature and the excellence of his laws.
Sabbath Profanation, is often mentioned in the catalogue of Israel's sins, for which they received the severest judgments. It prevails in all grades of society in our country, and may subject us to similar calamities. Many pay little attention to it externally; fewer make it regulate their conversation, and fewer still make its spiritual ty bear upon the thoughts of the inner man. God forsaw that the avarice and cruelty of man would deprive his creatures of their due rest, so he appointed a day for his public worship; where the rich and the poor meet on the same level; here pride is abased; here decency and cleanliness is seen, and human nature appears in all its physical and moral grandeur. If the physical strength of the labouring class would permit them to work eighteen hours a-day instead of twelve, it would soon be demanded, by their employers, for the price of twelve, especially where a sufficient number of labourers can be easily obtained; so were the Sabbath to be used as a day of labour, the wages of seven days would soon be reduced to what is now given for six. The knowledge of the true God, which the institution of the Sabbath, more than any other means, has tended to perpetuate, would be lost; and religion hurried in the dust, and the glories of redemption would he overlooked, and the pursuit of the objects of time and sense, would absorb every faculty of the soul.
Licentiousness may be counted another national sin, from its awful prevalence, and from its being tolerated in an organized form especially in our large towns. There is a lightness of speech on this subject which prevails among 'many who wish to be respectable. They conceive that no great harm is, done to society by a few insolated actions of the kind, if they are concealed from observation; but let such remember, that if it were right to violate this or any other laws of the Creator in one instance, it would be right for all mankind to do so continually. Marriage would be disregarded; the endearing relations of father and mother, of brother and sister, and all the ramifications of kindred, would be unknown. The training up of the youthful mind to knowledge and virtue would be neglected, diffusing misery over the whole mass of human beings, and at length empty the world of its inhabitants. The foundation of all regular government would be undermined, for if is chiefly in those habits of submission
and obedience that are acquired under the domestic roof, that the foundations are laid, of that subordination which is necessary to secure the peace and order of society.
Our limits will not allow us to mention Infidelity, Inattention to relative duties, Murder, Dishonesty, Falsehood, and Covetousness, all which are opposed to God's holy nature, and liable to his punishment; but it will appear, that a universal violation of any one of the last six precepts of the law, would lead to the entire destruction of the human race, and so subvert God's moral government, and the same effect would ultimately follow from a violation of the first four precepts of the decalogue.
The little attention that is paid to the principles of divine revelation, in our intercourse with the world, is another prominent sin; it would not be known that many make a profession of religion at all, except from their appearance on Sabbath. For instance, if they have a vote to give for a legislator, the command, "Provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, hating covetousness," seem to have little influence with the multitude; they will give their vote to any who please their own selfish views, or will forward their own interests, although he were an infidel; when, according to the Bible, religion is as essential to a civil ruler, as in a minister of the gospel, and states will flourish just in proportion as their constitution is according to the writen word.

"While honour, virtue, piety, bear sway,
States flourish; and as these decline, decay."


Again, there are a great number of denominations of professing Christians among us, differing in their constitution and doctrine, which doubtless must be hurtful to religion. If, under the Mosaic law, even the form of the tabernacle and ark, was to be exact to the patern shown in the Mount, we must be under higher obligation to have that branch of the church to which we belong according to the Bible. As the supporting unscriptural churches has been the root of all the heresy, and most of the immoralities, that have ever been in the world. The keeping the church pure, is the most important trust we can hold from God; and for which we will be awfully responsible. But the greater part pay little attention to this subject, they attend the church that is most fashionable, or where their fathers went before them; of the principles of different denominations they know little, because they think little about religion, and "care for none of these things." They act otherwise in the concerns of this life. If they purchase a piece of land, no pains will be spared to know if it is the best. If they buy a yoke of oxen, they must ascertain if they are of a sound constitution; but for the constitution of the church they care little.

"When nations are to perish in their sins,
'Tis in the church the leprosy begins."





DAVID HALLIDAY, PRINTER AND BOOKSELLER,
(BELOW THE COFFEE-HOUSE.) DUMFRIES,


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.