The following sermon is by T.De Witt Talmage. He is one of my favorite authors. When he is at the top of his game there are few better. He preaches against the evils of intoxicants, and was a powerful influence in the temperance movement in the 1800's. Of course he lived long before Meth was invented, and if Talmage were to preach today his sermon would have been intensified I'm sure. Having been touched by the evils of Meth, as most of us have these days, someone we know and love has been in the grip of this epedemic, I think his semon is understated. Drug and alcohol abuse has it's millions of victims, and so Talmage preaches hard against it.
“An arch fiend arrived in our world, and built here an invisible cauldron of temptation. He built that cauldron strong and stout for all ages and all nations. First he squeezed into it the juices of the forbidden fruit of paradise. Then he gathered for it a distillation from the harvest fields and the orchards of the hemispheres. Then he poured into this cauldron capsicum, and copperas, and logwood, and deadly nightshade, and assault and battery, and vitriol, and opium, and rum, and murder, and sulphuric acid, and theft, and potash, and poverty, and death, and hops.
But it was a dry compound and must be moistened and liquefied, so the arch-fiend poured into the cauldron the tears of centuries of orphanage and widowhood, and the blood of twenty thousand assassinations.
Then he took a shovel that he had brought up from the furnaces of his dominion below, and he thrust that shovel into the great cauldron and began to stir, and the cauldron began to heave, and rock, and boil, and sputter, and hiss, and smoke, while nations gathered around it with cups and tankards and kegs. There was enough for all, and the arch-fiend cried, with satanic exultation: “Aha! Champion fiend am I! Who has done more than I have for the filling of coffins and graveyards and prisons and insane asylums, and the populating of the lost world? And when this cauldron is emptied I’ll fill it again, and stir it again, and it will smoke again, and that smoke shall join another smoke – the smoke of a torment that ascendeth forever and ever.
The cup out of which I ordinarily drink is a bleached human skull, and the upholstery of my palace is of the rich crimson hue of human gore, and the mosaic of my floors is made up of the bones of children dashed to death by drunken parents, and my favorite music – sweeter than Te Deum or triumphal march – is the cry of daughters turned out at midnight on the street because father has come home drunk form the carousal.
I have kindled more fires, I have wrung out more agonies, I have stretched out more midnight shadows, I have damned more souls than any other emissary of diabolism. Champion fiend that I am!”
“And perhaps the drunken man has a will which has not been proved in the courts. That will, put in writing, would read something like this; “In the name of disease and appetite and death, amen. I bequeath to my children my evil habits. My tankards shall be theirs, my wine-cup shall be theirs, my destroyed reputation shall be theirs. Share and share alike I bequeath them my infamy. Hereto I affix my hand and seal in the presence of all the applauding harpies of hell.”
Photo from the internet