The first drunkard!

(Henry Law, "Beacons of the Bible" 1869)

"After the Flood, Noah became a farmer and
 planted a vineyard. One day he became drunk
 on some wine he had made and lay naked in
 his tent." Genesis 9:20-21

Alas! this is a world of snares! To be beyond
temptation is to soar high above this earth.

Beneath the flower the viper lurks!

The pathway is beside a precipice.

The goblet may beguile. In the deep draught
there is poison! Excess brings death.

There is no mercy incapable of abuse.

There is no privilege, which may not be misused.

The cheering wine may make a drunkard. The
strengthening bowl may hurl a saint from his
high pinnacle.

Could it be so with Noah?

Fact must be heard.

The record cannot be erased.

"One day he became drunk on some wine
 he had made and lay naked in his tent."

Who will not sigh!

Who can restrain the pitying tear!

Alas! that such a sin should foully stain
so great; so good a man! But it is so!

His sun goes down behind this darksome cloud.

This miserable blot pollutes the goodness of his name.

This vile transgression soils his pure life!

The day cannot be canceled.

The deed cannot be recalled.

Intoxication was incurred.

Concealment cannot hide it.

The sin was done.

Noah, the glory of the ancient world, the first
fruits unto God of the new world, is dishonored
as the first drunkard! "One day he became
drunk on some wine he had made and lay
naked in his tent."

All sin is . . .  
  frightful in its nature,
  fearful in its course,
  destructive in its outcome.

The devil kindles it.

God hates it.

Wrath pursues it.

But where is the sin so pregnant with all
evil
as drunkenness? Mark its effects upon
its miserable victims . . .
  It puts out the lamp of reason.
  It quenches the light of every faculty.
  It cripples every power.
  It destroys each spark of consciousness.

Behold the besotted man . . .
  His eyes possess no more clear perception.
  His ears receive not the true sound.
  His feet refuse to lead him in straight paths.
  His tongue gives vent; at best to folly; more
frequently to blasphemy, and every vileness.

Ah! what a spectacle!

No beast is so degraded!

No fiend outside hell's confines can be more foul.

He lies contemptible below contempt.

Oh! wine, what have you done?

Wherever drunkenness appears, it comes
as a heartless and destructive pest.

Unhappiness in every form attends its steps . . .
  sickness,
  and withered bodies,
  and early death are its sure fruits.

Whoever would contemplate wretchedness,
let him mark the wretched drunkard. Whoever
would see misery, let him enter the
drunkard's home
. Whose are . . .
  the trembling limbs?
  the feverish pulse?
  the aching head?
  the restless mind?
  the gnawing remorse?
  the hardened heart?
  the reckless disregard of reputation?
  the stifling of conscience?

These woes are the drunkard's lot!

He is unhappy, and the cup is his relief. He
drinks again to lull remorse. He awakens to
deeper sorrow, and to drink the more. The
more he drinks, the more he thirsts.

Disease soon shows its face.

The bodily and mental powers fade.

Trembling imbecility follows.

So the drunkard goes downhill to a drunkard's grave!

Whose is that wretched home? Poverty
and filth have the possession. Neglect and
squalidness occupy it as their own.

The wife, unaided and downcast, with weeping
eye and broken heart, sees hopeless poverty.
The children, famished, naked, untaught;
proclaim the shameless father's hardened heart.
The wages needful to sustain them, supplies
the parent's poison!

This is a drunkard's home!


Noah, an aged, experienced saint is entrapped in
this snare! No warning can be louder. It speaks with
trumpet tongue. We learn, that no advance in grace
can raise above the devil's far extending arm!


No lengthened walk with God mounts to a path above
Satan's reach. Many years of holy living do not screen
from his assaults. While flesh is the tabernacle, there
is danger. While earth is the home, it will be haunted
by this untiring foe. There is no moment when the
watchtower may be left.

The constant attitude must be the bended knee.
The arm must ever wield the sword of the Spirit,
which is the eternal Word. The shield may not be
laid aside. Satan never ceases to hate and tempt.

Draw then nearer and nearer to the sheltering side
of your beloved Lord. Let your eyes ever gaze upon
the cross! The more you see redeeming blood, the
more you will abhor iniquity.

Trust not, however, to previous grace.
It was sufficient for its day. But each day
needs its own supply . . .
  This help is ready.
  The treasury is open.
  Approach by faith.
  Go in by prayer.
  Receive heaven's bounty.

Remember that each day is full of peril.
Therefore never cease to watch.

Do not forget, that in one unguarded
moment
a terrible downfall may occur!

Think, also, that one false step brings
terrible disgrace on your good reputation,
and causes hell to laugh, and all the enemies
of God to revel in blaspheming sneers.

Your sin may ruin multitudes.

A good man's sin may be exposed to many
eyes. But God alone sees . . .
  the deep humiliation of the wounded spirit;
  the many tears;
  the earnest cries for mercy;
  the self abhorring anguish;
  the increased self distrust;
  the life long grief.

Noah would well learn, that the atoning blood
was rich to wash out all his crimson stains. He
would not doubt that divine righteousness would
completely cloak his terrible defilement. But,
pardoned by God, he never would forgive himself.

Until the grave covered him, he would walk . . .
  lowly;
  contrite;
  with downcast head;
  with bleeding heart;
  with many a self condemning thought.

"After the Flood, Noah became a farmer and
 planted a vineyard. One day he became drunk
 on some wine he had made and lay naked in
 his tent." Genesis 9:20-21




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