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One page of personal experience is worth folios of theoretic fancies.-DR. KITCHENER.
Silly simple, John Bull! why will you pin your faith to fallible or fallacious authority, when you may get the truth so easily by a little personal examination.-Dr. DICKSON.
THE Temperance reformation found me, as it did a large majority of my fellow-men, addicted to the so called moderate use of Strong Drinks, which we had been taught to believe were necessary for our comfort and strength; nay, almost essential to life itself.
though I had a good constitution, the excitement occasioned by these drinks, and that arising from preaching eight or ten times a week, sometimes to thousands in the open air, so deranged and shattered my nervous system, and so impaired my general health and strength, that exertion caused me great fatigue. I was constantly troubled with head-ache and incapacity for mental effort; which I have now reason to believe were increased by the absurd system of drugging.
In the year 1833, I signed the pledge to abstain from ardent spirits; and two years trial proved so satisfactory, that I then resolved to take the second stage in the temperance progress, and to adopt what appeared to me to be the only plan of personal safety,* and also of re
* Alcohol IN the human system, is an ISHMALITE-his hand is against every man, and every man's hand is against him, NATURE tells us plainly she does not need him-that he is her enemy -not one of her principles will sustain the theory that she is be nefited by his influence in any form. Every such principle cries out against this abuse-this interference with her operations. Every fibre, and tissue, and organ of the living system sets itself in battle array against alcohol's invasion, in whatever form he may disguise himself to the eye and the taste.
moving the great curse of drunkenness from the land,* -viz. TEETOTALISM. I confess I did this with some reluctance, fearing it would injure my health; such were my foolish notions of strong drink. I have since proved that Tee-totalism "is the first application of science to diet on a large and popular scale ;" and now sincerely believe that all unnatural beverages might be at once banished from the earth, not only without any loss; (except that of disease, crime, and misery ;) but with the greatest possible benefit to mankind.
For nionths previously to my adopting the Tee-total principle, I had thought I should be necessitated to decline the ministry altogether, in consequence of a settled pain in my left breast: but after three months abstinence it began sensibly to decline, and in six months it finally left me. My general health improved and I was enabled to endure much more fatigue, and to do my work with much more pleasure. But still my dyspeptic complaint did not leave me. I was troubled with constipation and head-ache; especially when I studied more than usual, so that I was under the necessity of taking aperient medicine, never less than once a month, and often once or twice a week.
Soon after the publication of Mr. Claridge's excellent work on Hydropathy, it fell into my hands; I gave it a careful reading, and then a second; I studied its reasonings and facts, and was so fully convinced of the force of most of his observations, that I soon began, by degrees, to adopt so much of his plan as circumstances would admit of, and as I thought my case demanded. Commencing the THIRD STAGE in Temperance, I left off Tea, Coffee, &c., and all hot liquids; also Pepper, Vinegar, Mustard, and all hot spices; took nothing more than luke-warm; and generally, if I took animal food, I took
*Lord Althorp told the House of Commons, that drinking intoxicating liquors, was the immediate cause of Drunkenness. Would you first remove the CAUSE or the EFFECT, if you were aiming at the overthrow of an evil? Philosophy-the philosophy of common sense says the CAUSE. THEN ABSTAIN. Abandon it, and secure yourself against its bewitching influence.
it quite cold. I rose earlier in the morning; took a cold ablution the moment I was out of bed; rubbed myself dry with a very coarse towel, principally for the sake of the friction; during which, and dressing me, &c. I drank from three to six glasses of cold water. then took a brisk walk of two or three miles, and returned with a good appetite, to breakfast, upon bread and butter and cold water; or Scotch oatmeal and milk. No doubt many of my readers are ready to shiver at even the recital of the above plan; because there are very few, comparatively, who have any idea of the extent of the salubrious effects of water, taken internally, and applied in different ways externally. In the former this arises from the custom of taking hot Tea, Coffee, &c, from an early age. The long indulgence of these fictitious habits, produces an unhealthy state of feeling, attended with fear that cold water would produce unpleasant sensations, and some injury to the stomach, &c. There is, therefore, a barrier to its use, made up of Fear, Dislike, Prejudice, and Custom.* But when this barrier can be leaped over, or broken down, by a little reasoning and reflection, after a few essays, the individual finds that he has been deprived of one of the most powerful conducers to Health and Longevity, as well as of a great source of pleasure. By the great change produced in the feelings; the greater aptitude for mental and bodily exertion; the marked accession of cheerfulness and gaiety, which are the result of a fair trial; all these soon make a DISCIPLE. The increased relish for food, and the quantity that can be taken, and easily digested; the light and refreshing sleep, without disturbing dreams; these with the former make a CONVERT. The improved skin and complexion, conferring the freshness of youth: the clear eye, the sweet and wholesome breath: all these united to the foregoing, produce a ZEALOUS ADVOCATE, anxious for others to share his benefits: at least this has been the case with the author of these pages. Besides, arguing
• A mode of life conformable with nature will admit of no other beverage.
the matter merely on the ground of feeling, independent of Health and Longevity; what can exceed the beauty, freshness, and purity, of a glass of cold water, taken fresh from the Spring or from our one armed friend, the Pump? It leaves no mawkish taste behind it: none of those inexpressible feelings which are the results of what is called good cheer: but when taken before breakfast, after a bath, or general ablution, it cleanses all the passages; purifies the mouth; and, filling it with sweet and pleasant fluids, makes the individual cheerful, hungry, and wide awake. What a contrast is this to creeping down stairs, with the eyes half closed, huddling up to the fire, and swallowing scalding hot tea, &c., eating a few bits of toast, without an appetite, and requiring some relish to make it go down. "We speak that we do know ;" and that which you may prove to be true, if you will TRY IT.
In consequence of adopting the plan before referred to, I have been enabled to do without the least particle of medicine since April, 1842. Constipation has made its exit; head-ache and I soon began to be on bad terms, and it threatened to leave me altogether, if I did not, sometimes, treat it with a little Tea, Coffee, or something more comforting than pure cold water. However, after mature deliberation, I rejected the proffered terms; consequently we parted: and since that time, whenever it makes a call, it finds such a cold reception, that it soon takes it departure.
In all probability it will be thought presumptuous in one unconnected with the medical profession,* to write
We ask, with DR. DICKSON, "Who will tell me that this kind of study is only proper for medical persons? Who shall say that this description of knowledge may not be made interesting to the world at large?-Without a proper knowledge of the laws of your organization, how can you possibly put in practice the Greek maxim, "Know yourselves." Rowland Hill was no medical man, but as a friend of humanity-a minister of Religion-and an advocate for an enlightened view of things, he vaccinated, with his own hands, not less than 100,000 persons, notwithstanding the clamour that was raised against him; being denounced from the pulpit, and insulted by the populace. Doctors have written, and written