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faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (ver. 1-5.)
These passages are abundantly sufficient to satisfy any one, who believes in the Word of God, and will take the trouble to consult it, that the eating of flesh is lawful. The frequency and the measure of this, however, is another question, and must rather be determined by convenience, and by the physician, upon considering the constitution of each individual. I believe, however, that it may be said, in general, that those who have the means of eating animal food, commonly eat too much. Were the rich to eat less, and the poor enabled to procure more, both classes would be the better for it. In particular constitutions and tempers, as, for instance, the irascible, an entire abstinence, or nearly so, from flesh and fermented liquors, might be advisable. Instances have been known of angry tempers being cured by living upon the food assigned to our fathers of the world before the flood--the herbs and fruits of the earth. Let it be observed, also, that, when animal food is rendered what is called high, either by putrefaction, or preparation, its illeffects are increased; and that all waste of meat, by reducing a large quantity into a small proportion of essence, is, no doubt, á sin.
This important truth, however, should be suggested to our minds whenever we eat of that which once had life.--that it is not the food originally designed for us, and given to us by our heavenly Father, in a state of innocence,-that it is sin, which has brought death into the world to animals as well as to man, that sacrifice was not appointed till after the fall, to prefigure the great sacrifice for sin; and the eating of flesh was not permitted till after “ the world of the ungodly" had been destroyed by the flood,—that the milder dispensation of the gospel is represented and confirmed to us by an unbloody sacrifice, and “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” gives place to THE BREAD OF LIFE. (John vi. 35.; Matt. xxvi. 26.)
II. I now proceed to consider those pase sages of the New Testament, which, either
directly, or indirectly, teach us our duties to the brute creation.
1. At the beginning of that divine discourse of our Lord's, called the Sermon on the Mount; he enumerates those virtues which make men blessed; and, amongst these, he states mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. v. 7.) Now, that this includes mercy to animals, as well as to man, cannot be doubted, when we consider all the precepts throughout the Bible to show mercy to them, and when we consider the mercy of God, who is good to all, and his tendermercy is over all his works;” (Psalm cxlv. 9.) and we are commanded by our Saviour, to be “merciful, as our Father also is merciful.” (LUKE vi. 36.)
2. This is again evident, from the same discourse, where he bids us“ behold the fowls
of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.” (vi. 26. See, also, LUKE xii. 24.) Surely, if God is thus bountiful and merciful, man should be so too!
The same tender care of God to his creatures is expressed by our Saviour in his reply to the person, who said that he would follow him whithersoever he went: “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. viii. 20.; LUKE ix. 58.) In connexion with this, though we have passed over the Book of Psalms, I cannot forbear citing that beautiful complaint of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, when obliged to fly from the holy city and the house of the Lord: “The sparrow hath found her a house, and the swallow a nest, where she may lay her young;