Friday, July 04, 2008

Dr. John L. Dagg on liquor


A couple of years ago there was some "heat" among SBC bloggers and others over the use of alcoholic beverages. Since the Flounders' Tom Ascol did not seem to "cotton" to an SBC resolution on the matter, I thought it was rather paradoxical to read on Tom's website the attitude of one of Tom's alleged "heroes of the faith," Dr. John Dagg (1794–1884), on what Dagg called the "pernicious beverage."

The following is from Dr. Dagg's brief Autobiography which is published in the back of his Manual of Theology, and may be read here.

Pages 13, 14 of Dagg's Autobiography:

In August, 1812, I attended the meeting of the Ketocton Association, to which our church belonged; and was distressed to see the free use made of ardent spirits, by the ministers and members. There was also distressing evidence, that the principal deacon of our church indulged freely in the use of the pernicious liquor; though we had no proof that he was guilty of gross drunkenness. These facts induced me to prepare a query, which the church, at my request, sent up to the Association, at its next meeting. "At what point between total abstinence from ardent spirits, and intoxication by them, does the use of them become sinful?" The temperance reform was then unknown, and the notion of total abstinence was so little understood, that the bearing of my query was not apprehended. In replying to it, the Association replied, that moderation was necessary in the use of ardent spirits. This was the doctrine of the times, in which multitudes of Christian professors, including ministers of the gospel, were victims of intemperance. The deacon just referred to, I assisted afterwards, to exclude from the church; and, some time after, while lying on his hearth, in a state of intoxication, he was roasted to death by the fire. . . .

Page 29 of the Autobiography:

Soon after my settlement in Philadelphia, it became necessary to give a practical proof of my opposition to the use of ardent spirits. The ministers of the Association were accustomed to meet every three months at some one of the churches. A sermon was delivered by a brother appointed at the previous meeting. After the sermon, the ministers dined with the pastor; and, in the afternoon, in a ministerial conference, criticised the sermon for the common benefit. In the first meeting of this sort that I attended, my heart was pained to see ardent spirits set out on the pastor's side-board, and the guests partaking freely. At subsequent meetings the same custom was observed.

At length it became my turn to entertain the ministers meeting. The best food that the market afforded, I gladly provided for the table; but my conscience would not permit me, to offer the pernicious beverage. The effect, I think, was good. So far as I know, the decanter was never seen afterwards at a minister's meeting.


At Monday, July 07, 2008 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Another example of a FOUNDER whose position is at odds with Founders Ministries (yes, they really believe what they are doing is a ministry).

Brother Bob, you hit another home run!



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