The Youth’s Temperance Lecturer didn’t last long, but it made an impression on editors of other periodicals, who reprinted various pieces. Like its predecessor, this “Lecture on Temperance” was reprinted as a “Morality” piece in Youth’s Companion; it was followed three months later by another lecture. This lecture is basically a sermon listing the events in the bible where intemperance is the cause of destruction; the author’s version of why Sodom and Gomorrah fell is that they had so much to eat and drink that they became idle—very different from interpretations of the story in works for adults.

The The Farmer’s Cabine [Amherst, New Hampshire; February 15, 1833; p. 1] also reprinted this piece, with what appears to be the opening paragraph: “The last Lecture at the Town Hall, N. York, before the Youth’s Temperance Society, made some of the people think that they had much yet to learn about intemperance. So they attended the next.—Mr. Lecturer then spoke as follows.” Their version—which has differences in punctuation—then proceeds with the opening paragraph of the Companion’s version.
“Lecture on Temperance” (reprinted from Youth’s Temperance Lecturer; from Youth’s Companion, February 15, 1833; p. 155)

I intend, this evening, to tell you something about the history of intemperance, in our world.

We know but little about the people that lived before the flood, though we have reason to think that Enoch and Methuselah, and other patriarchs, who lived so many hundred years, were very temperate. We have no account that God allowed people to eat flesh, before the flood, so that those who obeyed him, probably ate none, and that might have been one reason, together with their temperance in other respects, why they lived to such a great age. But, the Bible says that the wickedness of man [that is, of most men] became very great upon the earth, and that it was filled with violence. This makes it probable that they were generally intemperate; because whenever we see people act very wickedly, we generally find that they love strong drink. And, in truth, the Bible plainly tells us, that the wicked people, in those days, were intemperate. We read that “they ate and they drank, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood swept them away.”

“Eating and drinking,” in this place, undoubtedly means that they ate like gluttons, and ddrank like drunkards. So that gluttony and drunkenness went together, then, just as they do now. And we have no account that they had any distilleries in those days. People, it seems, therefore, must do something besides abstain from distilled spirits, in order to be as temperate as God requires them to be. They must remember that he says “look not upon the wine when it is red,” and that he tells them how to eat, as well as how to drink; otherwise, their temperance, and their temperance socieites will not keep them from the wickedness and intemperance of those who were drowned in the flood.

I need not tell you the story of Noah’s building the ark, and how he went in, with his family, and how the rain fell, and how the sea rose, and how the ark rode upon the waters which drowned whole nations of intemperate and wicked men, women, and children. You have read it all in the Bible. And you will remember how Noah made wine, and became drunk, after he came out of the ark. How very strange that he should do so wickedly, after what had just happened!

Intemperance prevailed more or less, among all the ancient nations. Whenever we read of the wickedness of any people, we almost always read of their gluttony and drunkenness. Pride, idleness, and ‘fulness of bread’ were in Sodom. That is—they had all kinds of provisions, in such plenty, and felt so rich and haughty, that they supposed they need not labor, but only eat and drink as much as they could! This was just like some rich and fashionable people, now-a-days. They have nothing to do but feast and carouse, make great parties, and dash away, in style, as they call it! Truly, the “grapes of Sodom and the clusters of Gomorrah” are abundant among us! Do you remember how God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah? How he burned them all up, for their wickedness? The people of Canaan, became so filthy, and loathsome, that, it is said, “the land vomited them out.” The people of Israel and Judah became drunken, and thus were ruined. God punished them, for intemperance, as he told them, by the prophets, he would do. You will find the whole story, in the Bible.

Alexander, of Macedon, who is sometimes called Alexander the Great, was a very wicked man, and killed a great many thousands, in war. He became very intemperate, and finally died, drunken with wine, at a great feast. Whenever I hear of great statesmen, and great politicians, attending great dinners, and drinking a great many toasts, and saying many great swelling words of vanity, it makes me think of Alexander of Macedon, who was praised by men, but abhorred of God.

You have all heard the story of Belshazzar, king of Babylon. How he made a feast to a thousand of his lords, (or great men) and drank wine before the thousand. How he blasphemed the God of heaven, and how there came a hand, and wrote on the wall. God sent it there, and it wrote that Belshazzar’s kingdom should come to an end. And that same night, the army of Cyrus came into the city, while Belshazzar was drinking, and took possession of the city, and slew him. you may see the whole story, in the book of the prophet Daniel. Now Daniel was a very temperate man, and would not drink the wine that was given him by the king, as you will see, by reading the first chapter. Now learn from this, that when even great men, like the king of Babylon, disobey God, and “tarry long at the wine,” he will assuredly punish them. I might tell you many other things about intemperance, among the ancient nations, if i had time. But I want you all to read, and think, for yourselves. Read Rollin’s Ancient History. Read Josephus. And, above all, read the Bible, and you will see how great nations, that were once powerful, became weak, and finally, were conquered, and enslaved, by reason of intemperance, and the other wicked practices, that intemperance produces.

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