Methodists and Opium

Though it comes from a newspaper account from Philadelphia, I’m still not sure whether I believe this story from 1803:

A late Chinese Edict, which prohibits the importation of opium into any part of that Empire, goes on to specify, “and all other drugs or articles whatsoever, that shall have been found to possess the same or similar effects; as Ale, Beef,Pudding, Methodist Sermons, Modern Epic Poems, &c.”

Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia, PA) Tuesday, April 05, 1803; Issue [173]; col B

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