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immense benefit to a poor fallen or falling diminution of intemperance among the brother ? Let us view the matter in the people at large. generous spirit of the great apostle, who Good, however, as all this unquestiondeclared, To the weak became I as weak, ably is, it has nothing whatever to do with that I might gain the weak ; I am made all the establishment of a respectable society, things to all men, that I migla by all means under the encouragement of which the save some.' Would that this disinterested weak and the tempted may find safety and benevolent spirit dwelt in every heart, without disgrace; and those who practise and our appeal on behalf of the suffering only upon themselves, and weigh careful. victims of intemperance would surely be ly all their own feelings, whether for or answered by discontinuing the custom against the system as it operates upon their which constantly sows the seed from which own health and comfort, know little of the all their miseries spring.”

enjoyment of those far-stretching views of An exclusive regard for our own indi benevolence which embrace the good of vidual benefit is natural to all human be. the whole human family, and which glance ings, and if not pursued at the expense of over every little symptom of personal ininjury to others, the principle is certainly convenience, as not worthy of being thought good as far as it goes; because, to use of for a moment, in connection with so vast the words of the old adage, “ if every one and important a scheme for the advancewould mend one,” the world would soon ment of their fellow-beings in the scale of be better than it is. Thus we cannot but virtue and of happiness. rejoice to observe that the system of total But again, as regards the pledge, it abstinence from intoxicating beverages is should always be remembered, that it is gradually progressing among individuals; only considered binding so long as the that there is now no difficulty in refusing name of the individual remains enrolled to take wine in company, and that, say among those of other members of the sowhat men will, the habits of the friends ciety ; that those who thus subscribe their of abstinence are obtaining countenance names to a compact entered into by indiand credit from society in general. No viduals for the benefit of the whole body, one can fail to be convinced of this, who may withdraw them whenever they think looks back to the state of society in Eng. fit; and the fact that many persons do so is land twenty or thirty years ago ; and surely su Ticient evidence of perfect liber. while we are well aware that a large pro ty of choice and free agency being allow. portion of the families by whom intemper-ed to all. ance is now discouraged where it was Those who have paid the least attention once allowed, would disdain the thought to the subject, must see that to the temptof associating themselves with a society ed the pledge is necessary, because it is of total abstainers, the fact is very evident a means exactly calculated to operate as that the moving of this great question a check at the only moment when a check throughout this and other countries, and can be availing—at the moment when the the awakening of public attention to so weak are hesitating whether or not they important a subject, has had much to do will take just a little ; and if those who with the increased regard for moderation object to the pledge would be kind enough prevailing in respectable families, and the to propose any more agreeable plan by



which the same kind of check could be envy, and rich men give their gold to buy. brought into operation in an equally effi. Why, on that very page, disfigured by cacious manner, I do not think the friends the unskilled lettering of a ploughman's of the Total Abstinence Society are so wed- hand, there are tears of such intense and ded to their own system as not to be will. exquisite delight, as unsophisticated Nature ing to exchange it for a better.

weeps when her emotions are too strong It has frequently happened, in conse.

for smiles. quence of the fallibility of human reason, Upon that page, perhaps, the fond and that the first system adopted for the pre. faithful wife is gazing, heedless of the vention of any particular kind of evil, or passing crowd. Her thoughts go back to the promotion of any good, has not been the dark ruined home she has just left by any means the best. Indeed, the very without a hope, and to her poor babes, who, defects of the system in its early operation weak with hunger, wept themselves to have awakened a spirit of opposition, which sleep. With borrowed cloak to hide her in its turn has originated another and a destitution, she stole out at the dark hour, better system for carrying out the same and mixing in the crowd, found place object. Thus we have some of us looked among her fellows in poverty and dislong and earnestly to the avowed opponents tress, who came at least to hear of a strange of the total abstinence scheme of reforma. but simple plan for calling back such wantion, for some other—some nobler, and, derers as her husband long had been. at the same time, more effectual device, And now she listens most intently, for the for accomplishing the same great end ; language is all such as comes home to her but while all agree that the object is good, experience, and is level with her under. and all desire that the absolute drunkard standing. The speaker must have known should be reclaimed, not one of these en- her case. He tells of hope! but no— lightened individuals has yet favored us that never can be hers! If he were here with a better scheme than our own; and —perhaps—and then a deep, deep sigh until they do so, we must be satisfied to go bursts from her lips; but she listens still, on upon our present plan, by no means and more intently, to the speaker's moving discouraged by what we already see and words, until her heart becomes too full ; know of its results.

and she looks round to see if any among Often as the motives of human beings her neighbors—for of friends she has none are mistaken in their transactions one with left-are there to profit by those words of another, often as the actions of the benev- touching truth. What ails the woman ? olent are misunderstood, and a mean or Whom has she seen among the crowd ? selfish character assigned to feelings the Her cheek is flushed with burning crimmost noble and disinterested, never have son, and her eyes are bright with living such motives, actions, or feelings, been fire. It is it must be him! She cannot more grossly misrepresented, than in ref- be mistaken in her husband's form, still erence to the temperance pledge. Oh! | beautiful to her. Far back among the could such cavillers be made to believe crowd he stands with folded arms, his me when I say, there are sensations of gaze intent upon the speaker's face. No thrilling interest connected with the sign- smile of thoughtless folly flits across his ing of this pledge, which heroes well might brow, but a deep earnestness is stamped



on every feature as he gazes on. But Such are the scenes which cheer on what is that which moves him now? A every

hand the laborer in the temperance simple tale of woman's truth. The wife cause, and if this passing sketch convey beholds him dash the tear-drop from his slight idea of the interest excited by such eye. A gathering mist is in her own, but scenes, what must be that of entering into she forgets it all ; nothing is present with the details of family and individual hisher but that other self-that life in which tory, where all things temporal and eteralone she lives. Alas! it is all over: the pal are at stake, and all hang as it speaker ceases, and the company breaks were upon the transcript of a single up. The wife waits anxiously the mo

name? ment when her husband shall withdraw, Nor is the situation of the drunkard's thinking to join him at the door; yet, wife, sad though it be, the only one which fearing to intrude too hastily upon his soft claims our sympathy on these occasions. ened feelings, she stands patiently resign. The little hungry and neglected child of ed, with folded arms upon her breast, an intemperate mother will sometimes pushed here and there by the receding come alone to sign; the old man with crowd, no one of whom takes note of her gray hairs, whose sons have all gone or hers. Still there is something to be down before him, with this curse upon done beside the platform where the speak. them, to untimely graves. And if nother stands, and numbers gather to the spot. ing else affected us in such cases, one A book is opened a pen is offered—a kind would suppose it might be enough to and friendly voice invites the company to touch a heart of common mould, to think sign. Make way! the figure of a man only of the poverty and destitution of advances from behind. Make way! for those who thus come forward to make a wonder glances forth from every eye. voluntary surrender of what has become Behind that figure is a female form-a to them their only means of bodily enjoy. shadow—a pale faded thing, so feeble that ment. We can go home to our abun. she cannot stand, but leans upon his dance, to the cheering hearth, the social shoulder with one clasping arm. “ There ! | board, and to all those delicate and varied I have signed !” exclaimed the man; “and substitutes for gratifying pampered appenow, my wife, come home, and let us pray tite, which custom has sanctioned, or into-night." Stop but one moment. What genuity devised. We have all these, but a hand is hers! so thin, so trembling; the poor have nothing—more especially grasps


pen as if it were a rod | the intemperate poor; and, therefore, when of iron, to inscribe deep words of mercy they have signed the pledge, they have in the rock forever. They pass away

made what to them was the greatest postogether-that penniless and friendless sible sacrifice which duty could require ; pair, strong in each other's truth, rich in because, in proportion as they had previ- . each other's love. Weeks glide away-ously given themselves up to the destrucmonths—or perhaps a year; and they are tive habit of existing upon stimulants seen together now, so happy! with their alone, their homes had become stripped rosy children, standing at their cottage of every other source of comfort or induldoor-their blazing fire and clean swept gence, and that which was in reality their hearth, and plenteous table spread within. ruin, had, in all probability, come to be

yet she

applied to, in order to make them forget with the refined and fastidious, when not that they had nothing else.

thus seriously impressed, that many pubWhat an effort then is this! what a lic speakers on the temperance question sacrifice for a poor ignorant man or wo

are illiterate, and some of them injudiman to make! and what a privilege to be cious men. enabled to assist them, by making the It is, however, a hard--I had almost said same sacrifice ourselves, in kind, though a cruel case, when respectable and enlightby no means in degree! Indeed, there is ened individuals stand aloof from the cause something in looking upon an assembly for this reason-because if they and their of

persons of this description—in marking associates of the same class would come the tearful eyes and faded cheeks of those forward in its support, there would no who are struggling against temptation, longer be any need to trust the manageeither to themselves or others, as against ment of temperance matters so much to a mighty foe; there is something, too, in the hands of ignorant or illiterate men. visiting their destitute and comfortless The absurdities of which they complain abodes, and giving them a word of en- would then be done away with: the evils couragement, from our own experience, in would be remedied; the objectors themfavor of making the experiment at least; selves teaching us a more excellent way there is something in passing the senseless of influencing the people at large. drunkard reeling home, and thinking that it seems strange, however, that the we have ceased to be one of the number charge of absurdity should so often be who help on his way to ruin; there is brought forward against the temperate something in these thoughts and feelings class. In my own ignorance, I should so far beyond the common interests which have supposed that rather attached to the pervade the mere etiquette of polished opposite party, and that we gave our society, that if any one should ask me countenance to absurdity more effectual. what they could have recourse to as a ly, by joining in the habit of drinking means of excitement to supply the want wine, than in uniting ourselves with those of wine, I should recommend them to try who abstain from such things altogether. the excitement of joining heart and hand I should have thought too, in the same in the promotion of the temperance cause. ignorance, that had we sought the world

Persons deeply impressed with the impor. over for instances of absurdity, those tance of these subjects of profound interest, which result from intoxication could not which are necessarily involved in the tem- have been exceeded in any of its differperance question, are not likely to have ent stages, from the first of excitement, their attention diverted from the main to the last of imbecility--from the buf. points of discussion, by any little inaccu- foon at a country fair, to the gentleman racies of style or diction which occur in who leaves his wine at a late hour to the public advocacy of the cause. Hence make himself agreeable in the drawing it is possible they may think less than room to the ladies. I should have thought some others do, of the particular manner that to partake, even in a slight degree, in which that advocacy is maintained. It of that which produced this absurdity in may naturally be supposed, however, to others, had been something like an apconstitute rather an important objection proach to absurdity in ourselves. But the world is unquestionably a wise world, or appreciated by those who have only and these are enlightened times ; and the gone along with them to the extent of opinions of individuals must bow before countenancing total abstinence as an ezthose of the many.

cellent thing for the poor. Again, respectable persons, and espe- But there is another objection which I cially those who have much depending speak of last, not because it is least imupon the orderly and systematic opera- portant, quite the contrary; for I believe tions of laborers and work-people, are it to be beyond all comparison more influvery fond of saying that total abstinence ential than any other, or than all others is a good thing for the poor, and as such put together, in its practical influence they often give it the advantage of their upon individual conduct. It may safely countenance to a certain extent. Even be said to rule paramount in its widethis acknowledgment is good, so far as it spreading power to deter both men or goes, and even this countenance is of use, women of all classes,-the old and the for the poor are not so much accustomed young, the rich and the poor, the good and to look to the rich for sympathy and en the evil, from signing their names to the couragement, as to depend entirely upon temperance pledge. Indeed this single them for their support; and in the tem- ground of objection is of such overwhelmperance reformation more especially, they ing potency, that vast numbers who have have learned a new lesson of reliance the self-denial, and who are now most upon themselves. It would not seem scrupulous abstainers, would shrink from very wonderful however, if the poor un- the bare idea of connecting themselves der such circumstances should sometimes with a temperance society. retort upon us, and say—“If you who The fact is, they consider it low,

and enjoy all the luxuries of life and have no in that one word, we read the sad and need to labor, cannot live without your irretrievable doom of all those poor temptwine, how can you expect a hard-working ed ones, who would willingly sign the man who has nothing else, to live without temperance pledge, if any considerable his beer ?

number of the ladies or gentlemen of And this has been said many times, and their acquaintance had done so. would unquestionably be repeated much In hearing this objection brought for. oftener than it is, did not some noble in ward, which we do almost every day, stances present themselves to our view, and in detecting its secret influence, of wealthy and influential persons who which we do still more frequently, I have have come forward practically and heart-often wondered, as in the case of absurdi. ily to join in the cause, on the same foot- ty, what could be more low, than the ing as the poor, or at least so far as cir- drinking practices of our country. It is cumstances would allow their situation to true that in these, at least in their excess, be the same; nor am I aware that they the delicate and respectable part of the have lost any thing of their importance, or community do not immediately join; but their good influence in other respects, the miserable and degrading practices from such association. What they have themselves are evident to us almost at ev. gained in peace of mind, satisfaction, and ery step in walking the streets of our large happiness, can never be fully understood towns; while often in the summer's even

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