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A Plain Talk On Temperance

A Plain Talk On Temperance image
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Krom th" todependent (N. Y.) Il anj ("nristian Cliurcli slioulil devote its chief energies, both ou the Sabbath and during tlie week, tD rai.-injr nionpy for benevolenl euterprtees, Itmigbt effect a i i ü 1 ¦ good result, luit it would eouimit a grievons ralftake. Thls duty of feeding hanm pf charity it oujjht to perioim; but the higber duty of savlngeoula and edifyinp the body of Chi-iet, itshould not lenve undone. The Tempéranos Reform is lo-day la serioai perll, fïom the HRii oiuw - viz., the absorption f its enerarles In a Ringle dlreotlon. Pcrsonillv, I liavc been ;m earnest advocate for lejral restriction, and (where possible) the otire siippresBion of the dratnshop, ever ¦liice I i'n.-i heard the word "problbHIon." At tbe ballot l)ix lust yenr, I cheerfully (fave üiy vote for the candidate who repre !¦¦! lnisiility to the whisky oliirmcliy, and have 'liever shed any tears of repentanee for that rlghtAOUi act. The logical meanlng of the one. luiiulred and forty thousand ballota cast forJSx-Gover nor St. John, was Uut tbe llquor trafile si monster curse, tho proliflc ionrce of ontold miaoblef, mlsery and death, and, tberefore, ouirht to be suppressed. Bul u ;i ProhlbitionUt I feel entirely confldent that Temperance Reformen are commtttlng a inot serieus error in friving Biicb ezoesslre prominence to the civil and politica! RSpect of tho Rel'onn. The temptntion to do tlii is. peculiarly stronjr, The drinking saloon confronta us on eveiy si.le. M the visible embndiment of the drink cune; it tl units its bloody tlau' in our taeis, and it seiins tobeaveiy short and Himinaiy wuy of disposing of ii, t" pan BtrliiRent lawsforita suppression. 'l'liis temptation is made gtronger liy tlic speiious atsertion that Nefjro siavery was removed by B politica! party. The simple truth is tliat the F ree Soil party, by the electlon of Lincoln, drove the slave oliiiiircliy upto thepolnt of committlllg suicide by arnied seocssion. If the mm ollgarchy rere now conflned to a single sectlon of the land, and if it should, In sheer deeperatlon, flre ontheflajr, and attempt to deitroy the natlon'i life, tlicn it wonld speedily be luid in the (ame tomli with the defnnct institulion of siavery. Bnt tliere is really a very slight analotry between tlin politica! conflict witli the drink tiafBi', and the politie il conflict wliieh vraged under the banner of "Free oil, free speech and free lalor." Xerro siavery was essentially a teniporaiy civil institulion, the crea t ure of unjnst civil bus TW Óramshop is not a teniporary iilbtitation ercated by statute; It is tlie crea ture of the drinking usages of society. No fooi would ever open a llquor snloor'i, and fret out. B license for it in any comniunity in whlch tliere was no (Iemand for stmnir drink. Set it down as ;m incontrovertible truth that liqnor saloons are not the creations of license la ws, or of any other civil enactnieiifs. (The original pnrpose of requirinir a license was to limit the number and cnrtnll the mischlef of dramshops.) Drinking saloons do notowe tiieirexisience to a lew unes on a slalute book ; no, norare they to be entirely and permanently uprooteil by siniily enacling a few oppoalte lines on a statne look. If so, the probletn would be very simple and nianageable. The liqaor traffic, whether il be conducted by tlie hogshead or the gill, whether In tlie marbfe hotel, or in tbc vilest cellar, is the creature of the drinking Uftages. To figlit dramshops without any moral elVorts to keep people trom drinking intoxicants, would be as ridieulous folly as it would be to organlxe pólice forcea and build jalla without ever teaching a human being tbat it is a crime to steal. Tlie only way d reach an evil is to ia to its fount-liead. The fountliead of llquor sclling is liquor drtaklng. Dieper down than any civil enaetments - wbether liiuh license, low license, or no licente - lic tlie drlnking usajes, and every remedy i transient and superficial tlmt does Dot reach tliem. I do not dispute tliat the saloon tempts thousaiids to drink intoxicants who might not be tempted otherwise; bul it is also truethat even the wont dram-sellcr does not open a saloon f rom sneer nialicc to kill off his neihbors. He opens it elmply to make niiincy by ininistering toappetlte, and by supplylng his wbllkles and wlnet to his customers, and commonly he lias no Bcrnples as to Increating the number of liis cuatomers. Tliose customers, be it nmlci'stood, are snaren and partner in liis crime. lf he opens a hel!, tliey feed is Bres. It Istlme thal temperance advo¦:itfi fc.-isi'd to denuunoe aaloon keepers as nends and to speak of their customen as poor, innocent people who never go voliintarily to a barroom couater. If dram selliDff s a sin, so is drunUenness, and so is any patronage of the dram shops. The most eaéctual way to break np the tlquor iiailiu tu i't away lts customers and Btarve it out. llere lies the. wisdom of creatlng counter-attractlom to the Baloon, whciher it be the attraction of home, OF of a, "coffectavern,"oranythinf; else tlmt tends to keep men or boya from the slaughter-liouses. But it is certaln ai gravitación that lf any large number of persona In any community are determlned to Ikivc Intostcanti they wlll sonieliow mair.isre to ret them, even if re pile onr prohibltory lawa ns high as the Brooklyn in ge towerfti They will gettheui elthor by steltby evatlona of lav,or by ImportIng llquors for tbeir owo private use, or by some othur proeeM. ftlghteona and benitflola] as are utWI of prohibition When wi 11 enforced, yet to rely on law alone, without any moral efforta agalnst liquor drlnklngi woiild be as ingane as to dam ap a tonent at its mouth white neglectlng to dry up its fount-head. That fount-head, we agaln, is the drlnking ueages, wiiich demand, which oréate, and whlch malntalo the hotel bar aad the dramshop. Proliibitorj lawi h lu us, and niany good people claim that "high fteenie" lawgalci aaalsoi but tbeone permanent cure foi dram selliiiii is to break np the hablt o dram drinktng. lf nobody wants whisky, nobody wlll oflfer whi.-ky. Thte is the happy caae In the town of Bawbrook [reland, where tour thonsand sober, sen slble people keep everythlne llke a llquoi ghop out of theli town. Prohibition II automatlc In luob :. eommunlty. By this time, my reader will under stand, wliy - even as a Prohibitlouist - 1 [nstst that It la fatal folly for ui temper anee reformers to direel our efforta en tlrely, or even chlefly. In the line of civi enaetment or política] actlnn. Votes an( laws are the product of human convlc tiont of duty; nelther volea nor lawaan efflclenl wïthonl eonacientloua convietlon behlnd them. To awaken, to solidify and tn malDtaln theaa oonvicUon, is tii ¦ure kej and the only ki y to permanen sucre-, in the greet conflict agalnit th bottle, whether thal bottle Btanda on a prl vate Uible or on the oouater of n gin shoi 'e must address ouraelves, therefor, t the individual conscience of peojile, ol and young, and ply them with aif?uinenl nd persimsions to let the bottle alone, 'he best days tlie temporalice movement versaw were tlie day n which its ohlef ffort was to malee people eonscientious bstabieca ñroni erery kind of Intoxicante, o make tbem nnwllllng to culera drlnkliop, or to let the drink froin the shop ntëc iiu'iii. Fundamsncatly, the tem)erance reform is not a politica! moveH'iit ; t is n grand mural and social reoiin, wblch onlv iivokes the aid of civil uw to acconipliah itsbeneficent reanlta, Uight here comes in the prodición ower and responslblllly of' the Christiau hurch. DrnnkeoneM and grog-eelllng re tina; it is the provmeu of God's huren to lay tb e ax to the root of all ins. TbeChurch has no more rijjht to )link at the-e sins than it has to blink at jabbath-breaking, blasphemy, adultery, alsehood or dishonesty. Nor can miniseis or Obristlan people shirk their dnty Dd releíate Ibis vital (iiieslion to the Kilitician and the policenian, without icason to God. The bottle damiis imlortal snuls! Let the pulpit, thrrefore, lake no truce with it; let conacientious renta banish t trom thelr tablesand ooial gatherlos; lel ivery boy and girl n our Sunday schools be inbtructed to ractice total abatinenoe. Prerentlon ol rinklng s vastly sater, stronger, snrer :ian probibltlon of aelling, It goes to ie root, because it cuts up the drinkint sages. I rejoice also that temperance chool-booka are being Introducid into nblic and private schools, to waru every' luid against the Mrpent of alcohol. 'liis, too, gota to the root; save Ihe cliild9D, and you, in time, save tlie nation. Irethreii and sisters in this glorious reorm, let us use civil luw asa powerful iixlliary ; but let us notforget that deeper own tlian lefgü peiialties lie eonscieuce nd ciMtom. Whenconseience is reacbed nd custom reformcd, the reform is perlancnt. Above all we need God's help, Jod's gospel, and God's Almighty spirit. Jeath to the bottle is the only sure deatfa o the dramstiopj and the bottle can only W bloken hy apjicals lo the con.-cieruvc, tearti and habita of our Mlowmen. You iav bnlld only B political c:islle In the ir, if you will. I, lor one, prefer to uild solid resalte on a solid rock.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News