The clerk of a drug store says: “I can tell them when they come in; there is something about their complexion, something about their manner, something about the look of their eyes that shows they are victims.” Some in the struggle to get away from it try chloral. Whole tons of chloral manufactured in Germany every year. Baron Liebig says he knows one chemist in Germany who manufactures a half ton of chloral every week. Beware of hydrate of chloral. It is coming on with mighty tread to curse these cities. But I am chiefly under this head speaking of the morphine. The devil of morphia is going to be in this country, in my opinion, mightier than the devil of alcohol. By the power of the Christian pulpit, by the power of the Christianized printing-press, by the power of the Lord God Almighty, all these evils are going to be extirpated—all, all, and you have a work in regard to that, and I have a work. But what we do we had better do right away. The clock ticks now, and we hear it; after awhile the clock will tick and we will not hear it.
I sat at a country fireside, and I saw the fire kindle and blaze, and go out. I sat long enough at that fireside to get a good many practical reflections, and I said: “That is like human life, that fire on the hearth.” We put on the fagots and they blaze up, and out, and on, and the whole room is filled with the light, gay of sparkle, gay of flash, gay of crackle. Emblem of boyhood. Now the fire intensifies. Now the flame reddens into coals. Now the heat is becoming more and more intense, and the more it is stirred the redder is the coal. Now with one sweep of flame it cleaves the way, and all the hearth glows with the intensity. Emblem of full manhood. Now the coals begin to whiten. Now the heat lessens. Now the flickering shadows die along the wall. Now the fagots fall apart. Now the household hover over the expiring embers. Now the last breath of smoke is lost in the chimney. The fire is out. Shovel up the white remains. Ashes! Ashes!
“Wherefore do the wicked live?”—JOB xxi: 7,
Poor Job! With tusks and horns and hoofs and stings, all the misfortunes of life seemed to come upon him at once. Bankruptcy, bereavement, scandalization, and eruptive disease so irritating that he had to re-enforce his ten finger-nails with pieces of earthenware to scratch himself withal. His wife took the diagnosis of his complaints and prescribed profanity. She thought he would feel better if between the paroxysms of grief and pain he would swear a little. For each boil a plaster of objurgation.
Probably no man was ever more tempted to take the bad advice than when, at last, Job’s three exasperating friends came in, Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad, practically saying to him, “You old sinner, serves you right; you are a hypocrite; what a sight you are! God has sent these chastisements for your wickedness.”