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To the minds of depraved being's instruction is not most effectually communicated, unless accompanied by some degree of suffering. That species of discipline, which renders good lessons lasting, by means of the deep impressions pain makes ou the memory and perception, is most likely to attain its evd. Now though I would not be understood to advocate the severities of the inquisition, nor the extreme corporal punishments practised by some nations, I insist on the position, that the self-complacency, with which men are accustomed to look on themselves, must be destroyed; the deep festering wound of human pride must be probed to the bottom, before the baughty temper, that scorns all external aid, will yield to the humbling doctrines of the Gospel. This is not accomplished but by the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit in setting before the eyes of the sinner a faithful representation of his own heart. How inexpressibly painful to the feelings is such a view, none who has been the subject of sincere penitence needs be told.
But in the infinite variety of conditions of those who are eventually brought to repentance, Providence sees an equal diversity of character, and adapts its dispensations to the case of the individual. Were it a possible event, it might afford a vast fund of instruction, to read now an exact history of all the intelligent beings who once inhabited this single spot. . To consider the place and circumstances of their birth,—their childhood with all the pleasing dreams of happiness to come,-the riper years, with the thousand disappointments accompanying the march of time--and the cheerless wane of life, -saddened with deepest gloom in many of them, by the ingratitude and the reproaches of those on whom they leaned for support, and thc cheerless prospect with which they entered the dark valley-these, and a thousand events connected with them, would give ample employment for the meditations of one who should love to trace the path of a fellow being in the dangerous journey conducting from the cradle to the tomb.
A soul of extraordinary sensibility to suffering is sometimes found united with a body of such a feeble structure, that it trembles at every blast which sweeps over the landscape. To its possessor such a susceptibility to injury is a source of inexpressible anxiety; and to its intimate friends scarcely less so. A rainy day, a hazy atmosphere, or an unpleasant morning, discomposes the temper of such an one, and greatly embitters his existence. Disappointments, by others felt only for the passing moment, and scarcely remembered, come to the soul of sickly sensibility with a tremenduous power, and fix an impression on the incmory as ineffacable as the bloody spot on the hands of lady Macbeth. In its balcyon days it shudders at the prospect of approaching tempests.
Now looking but a moment at such an example, or forming a conclusion respecting its value from the instances in which perhaps we have met with it, there might be some difficulty in judging of its intrinsic worth in a region where it seems an exotic, to be kept alive only by extraordinary care, and to flourish only in the full sun-beams of the most deroted and constant attention which disinterested friend. siip can ever bestow. Notwithstanding this difficulty, there can be no reasonable doubt, that lle, who attunes "the music of the splieres" and directs every movement in the evolutions of an immortal mind, can as easily assign to a being of this description its place in the system of his works on earth, as to any other subjects of his universal government. It seems indeed less fitted for action than other dispositions of a sterner temperament. Perhaps its proper place is by the side of a Inasculine understanding of great boldness, whose rigidity of features require some mitigation. But in a combination of such opposite feelings, infinite caution is requisite to preserve any tolerable degree of barmony, when notes are touched of natural tones so widely distant from each other. It is the high prerogative of the Divine Mind, to modulate all vibrations of such a mysterious instrument, as is formed by the combination of men's jarring passions:--the display of his power is conspicuous in the grand movements produced and the purposes accomplished, by his control of such rebellious subjects, fitted in their nature for mutual destruction.
In considering this amazing diversity among men, and the uses to which God has applied it in his holy administration, I have been forci. bly struck with the capability of some intellects to adapt themselves to the particular spot assigned them. Within my observation, instances have fallen, of persons educated with great delicacy of feeling and accustomed only to the better circles of highly polished society, who eventually sustained the toils of arduous warfare, with others of a disposition in every respect the complete counterpart of theirs. Once, "the winds of heaven might not visit them too roughly,"-assiduous tenderness was ever at their side to anticipate their wants,-keen de. sire to them was unknown, for parental and filial love watched the moment of its beginning, and satisfied its longings before they became painful. A change of circumstances has in a moment reversed the scene. The death of a father, a failure in business, or some disastrous revolution in a family, has shut the doors of affluence upon them, and turned Hiem houseless and unguarded on the mercy of a thankless world. Destitute of practical knowledge concerning the untrodden paths to be now attempted, they seem vastly less able to sustain such a contest with poverty, than those whose early and only lot has taught the severe discipline from infancy. Notwithstanding, amidst all these disadvantages, under these apparently liard lessons of Providence, I have sometimes seen such persons make a surprising proficiency. They have faithfully applied their minds to the task of bringing down their desires to their condition; have seized the opportunities placed before them; have noticed with gratitude the hand of the Supreme Disposer in transplanting them so kindly from a soil unfriendly to many virtues, and placing them in another more congenial to the growth of unafsected piety; although the stroke which dissolved the charm of earthly dreams, and effected the mighty separation, might come attended by a voice of thunder; though the whirlwind which swept away their idolized enjoyments seemed to have blasted the face of nature, and to wither the heart, while it cut off the sources of its nourishment below; still subsequent experience has shown, that what appeared terrible expressions of divine anger, were but a different voice uttering the accents of infinite love. A merciful God, through all the mysterious process, was dissipating the cloud which obscured their views of a world to come, stripping off the thick veil cast over the mental eye by sin, and, in the judgment of an enlightened charity, is preparing them for an incorruptible crown. Zeta.
ADULTERATIONS OF FOOD AND DRINK.
The following from "The Observer," an English paper, is extracted from a late work by
Mr. Accum. Of all the frauds practised by mercenary dealers, there is none more, reprehensible, and at the same time more prevalent, than the sophistication of the various articles of food. This unprincipled and nefarious practice, increasing in degree as it has been found difficult of detection, is now applied to almost every commodity which can be classed among either the necessaries or the luxuries of life, and is carried on to a most alarming extent in every part of the United Kingdom.
It has been pursued by men, who, from the magnitude and apparent respectability of their concerns, would be the least obnoxious to public suspicion: and their successful example has called forth, from among the retail dealers, a multitude of competitors in the same iniquitous course,
To such perfection of ingenuity lias this system of adulterating food arrived, that spurious articles of various kinds are every where to be fuund, made up so skilfully as to ballle the discrimination of the most experienced judges.
Among the number of substances used in domestic economy which are now very generally found sophisticated, may be distinguishedtca, coffee, bread, beer, wine, spirituous liquors, salad oil, pepper, vinegar, mustard, cream and other articles of subsistence. Indeed, it would be difficult to mention a single article of food which is not to be met with in an adulterated state; and there are some substances which are scarcely ever to be procured genuine.
Some of these spurious compounds are comparatively harmless when used as food; and as in these cases merely substances of inferior value are substituted for more costly and genuine ingredients, the sophistication, though it may affect our purse, does not injure our Health. Of this kind are the manufacture of factitious pepper, the adulterations of mustard, vinegar, cream, &c. Others, however, are highly deleterious; and to this class belong the adulterations of beer, wines, spirituous liquors, pickles, salad oil, and many others.
There are particular chemists who make it a regular trade to supply drugs or nefarious preparations to the unprincipled brewer of porter or ale; others perform the same office to the wine or spirit merchant; and others again to the grocer and the oilman. The operators carry on their processes chiefly in secrecy, and under some delusive firm, with the ostensible denotements of a fair and lawful establishment. These illicit pursuits have assumed all the order and method of a reg, ular trade; they may severally claim to be distinguished as an art and mystery; for the workmen employed in them are often wholly ignorant of the nature of the substances which pass through their hands, and of the purposes to which they are ultimately applied.
To elude the vigilance of the inquisitive, to defeat the scrutiny of the revenue officer, and to insure the secrecy of those mysteries, the processes are very ingeniously divided and subdivided among individual operators, and the manufacture is purposely carried on in separate establishments. The task of proportioning the ingredients for use is assigned to one individual, while the composition and preparation of them may be said to form a distinct part of the business, and is entrusted to another workman. Most of the articles are transmitted to the consumer in a disguised state, or in such a form that their real nature cannot possibly be detected by the unwary. Thus the extract of coculus indicus, employed by fraudulent manufacturers of maltliquors to impart an intoxicating quality to porter or ale, is known in the market by the name of black extract, ostensibly destined for the use of tanners and dyers. It is obtained by boiling the berries of the coculus indicus in water, and converting, by a subsequent evaporation, this decoction into a stiff black tenacious mass, possessing in a high degree, the narcotic and intoxicating quality of the poisonous berry from which it is prepared. Another substance, composed of extract of quassia and liquorice juice, used by fraudulent brewers to economise both malt and hops, is technically called multum.
The quantities of coculus indicus berries, as well as of black extract, imported into this country for adulterating malt liquons, are enormous. It forms a considerable branch of commerce in the hands of a few brokers: yet singular as it may seem, no inquiry appears to have been hitherto made by the officers of the revenue respecting its application. Many other substances employed in the adulteration of beer, ale, and spirituous liquors, are in a similar manner intentionally disguised; and of the persons by whom they are purchased, a great number are totally unacquainted with their nature or composition.
An extract, said to be innocent, sold in casks containing from half a cwt. to five cwt, by the brewer's druggists, under the name of bitlern, is composed of calcined sulphate of iron (copperas,) extract of coculus indicus berries, extract of quassia, and Spanish liquorice. *
During the long period devoted to the practice of my profession, I have had abundant reason to be convinced that a vast number of dealers, of the highest respectability, have vended to their customers articles absolutely poisonous, which they themselves considered as harmless, and which they would not have offered for sale, had they been apprised of the spurious and pernicious nature of the compounds, and of the purposes to which they were destined.
The baker (he continues) asserts that he does not put alum into bread; but he is well aware that, in purchasing a certain quantity of flour, he must take a sack of 'sharp wbites” (a term given to flour contaminated with a quantity of alum,) without which it would be impossible for him to produce light, white, and porous bread, from a half spoiled material.
The wholesale mealman frequently purchases this spurious commodity (which forms a separate branch of business in the hands of certain individuals,) in order to enable himself to sell his decayed and half-spoiled flour.
Other individuals furnish the baker with alum mixed up with salt, under the obscure denomination of stuff. There are wholesale manufacturing chemists whose sole business is to crystallise alum, in such a form as will adapt this salt to the purpose of being mixed in a crys. talline state with the crystals of common salt, to disguise the character of the compound. The mixture called stuff, is composed of one part of alum, in minute crystals, and three of common salt. In many other trades a similar mode of proceeding prevails. Potatoes are soaked in water to augment their weight.
The practice of sophisticating the necessaries of life, being reduced to systematic regularity, is ranked by public opinion among other mercantile pursuits; and is not only regarded with less disgust than formerly, but is almost generally esteemed as a justifiable way to wealth. It is really astonishing that the penal law is not more effectually en. forced against practices so inimical to the public welfare. The man who robs a fellow subject of a few shillings on the highway, is sentenced to death; while he who distributes a slow poison to a whole community, escapes unpunished.
T'hus devoted to disease by baker, brewer, grocer, &c. the physician is called to our assistance; but here again the pernicious system of fraud, as it has given the blow, steps in to defeat the remedy.
Nine tenths of the most potent drugs and chemical preparations used in pharmacy, are vended in a sophisticated state by dealers who would be the last to be suspected. It is well known, that in the article of Peruvian bark, there is a variety of species inferior to the genuine; that too little discrimination is exercised by the collectors of this precious medicament; that it is carelessly assorted, and is frequently packed in green hides; that much of it arrives in Spain in a half decayed state, mixed with fragments of other vegetables and various extraneous substances; and in this state is distributed throughout Europe.
But as if this were not a sufficient deterioration, the public are often served with a spurious compound of mahogany sawdust and oak wood, ground into powder mixed with a proportion of good quinquina, and sold as genuine bark powder.
Every chemist knows that there are mills constantly at work in this metropolis, which furnish bark powder at a much cheaper rate than the substance can be procured for in its natural state. The price of the best genuine bark, upon an average, is not lower than twelve shillings the pound; but immense quantities of powder bark are supplied to the apothecaries at tiiree or four shillings a pound.
It is also notorious that there are manufacturers of spurious rbubarb powder, ipecacuanha powder, James's powder, and other simple and compound medicines of great potency, who carry on their diabolical trade on an amazing large scale. Indeed the quantity of medical preparations thus sophisticated exceeds belief. Cheapmess, and not genuineness and excellence, is the grand desideratum with the unprincipled dealers in drugs and medicines.
Those who are familiar with chemistry, may easily convince themselves of the existence of the fraud, by subjecting to a chcinical exam