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The Moral Power Of Women

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xNothing in American history has more obly illustrated the moral power of wonen, than the past and current crusade gmiibt the yice of driuking, aud the trafc upon which it feeds. The exhibition nd demoustration of this power are so uil of suggestion and instruction, both to nen and woinen, that they demand more lan a passing consideración, especially n their bearing upon some of the most iniug questions of the time. Why is it that the hardened rum-seller who, behind his bar, has dealt out the liuid death to his victiuis for years, quails efore a band of praying, beseeehing wonen - women who, coming from tbeir omfortable retirement, brave wind and :orm aud mud - brave obloquy and uiisepresentation and curses, and all the arsh obstacles that brutality can tbrow n their pa tb, to compass a reform that nall keep their natural supporters and rotectors pure and prosperous 'i Why is ; that men looking on form new resoluions of sobriety, and reform the vicious abits of their lives 'i Why is it that hanges which involve the destruction of brutal business, and of habits to which uudreds of thousands are wedded with 11 the power of a burning appetite, wake no more violence than they do 'i Why is it that so many good men, whose ouls protest against the sacrifioe of ease nd privacy which these women inakw, ow to the movement as something suremely Christian, and, therefore, verita)ly divine? I"irst, of course, because there is no man, however who does not know bat the women are right - that whisky 8 a curse, not only to thoso who drink it, ut to the unofifending who do not drink :. Every man feels that the action of ae women is an embodiment and expresion of the dictates of his own conscience. A.pproached in a way which disarms all vioent opposition, with an appeal to God nd to all the manliness which hu posesses, the vilest panderer to a debased ppetite trembles not only before the pure mbodied conscience without, but before un answering conscienee within. He hears Jod's voice in the souls which approach lim, and the same voice in his own soul. 'here is something terrible in this. A mob which would tear his house down, a escent of the officers of the law, the tireats of outraged fathers and brothers, would only stimulate his opposition, and five him an apology for continuing his rime ; but this quiet appeal to his concience by those whose consciences ie kuows to be pure, is awful to lim. Second, the mind of man is so oonstitu;ed as to feel most bensitively the praise nd the blame of women. It is hard for ny man to feel that he resta under the ensure of all the good women by whom ie is surrounded. The harshest words bat have been spoken against the orusaers have been spoken by the women whom they have found behind the bars hey have visited ; and these poor crea;ures were speaking to win the approval f the brutal men they loved. A man who has not some woman, somewhere, who believes in him, trusts him and loves ïiin, has reached a point where self peet is gone. AU men, wno cleserve tüe uame of inen, desire the respect of wouen; and when a ïnun fiuds bimself in a usiness which fixes upon him the disaproval of a whole coniniunity of women, power is brought to bear upon hiui which he certainly cannot ignore, and which be finds it difficult to resist. The ower of wotuan, simply as woman, bas lad too ïuiiny illustrations in history to ïeed further discussion here. A mans elf respect can only be nursed to its best state in the approval of the finer sense and quicker conscience of the women who [dow him. The third reason is that the end which hese women seek is purely and benefiently a moral one. They are not afttr uoney, they do not pursue revenge, they lo not seeek polilical power or prefermeut, they work in the interest of no arty. All they desire, and all they la)or tor, is the reform and safety of their ïusbands, brothers, fathers and sons, and he extinction of those temptationg and ources of temptation which endanger hem. They boar no ill will to the dram eller, but the moment he relinquishes his raffic, they cover him with their kindness and sympathy. They not only do not have the sympathy of party meu, as such, but they are denied the sympathy of portions of the Christian Church. They mrsue a much desired moral end by purey moral means. They seek nothing for hemsplves, but everything tor the men hey love, and foi the men that other women love. The element of self-sacrifice is n it all. They go from peaceful home jursuits, from the retirement which is nost congenial to them, from prayers where they have begged for the blessing of heaven upon their enterprise, into the street, into foul dens of debauchery, into rivate expostulations with brutal men, nto atmospheres reeking with ribaldry, and all to save others. No man with a spark of manliness in him - which, after all, is only godliness expre-sed in human character - can regard such a spectacle as ;his without being moved to admiration and reverence. And now for the lesson which this crusade teaches us. It will be a hard one ;or some women to learn, but a desire for ;he conservation of the best forces of society demanda that it shall not only be stated, but heeded. The ballot, even when exercised in the right direction, haa not yet, in any state, proved a cure for drunkenness. No law that has been enacted for the suppression of dram-selling, even in states where special constabulary machinery has been instituted for executing it, has done so much for the end sought as this crusade has done. In Massachusetts, the necessity of reform is as urgent as in New York. Does any one suppose that the moral power which the women wield to-day would be in their hands to wield if they held the ballot ? Not a bit of it. They are strong because they are not political. They are strong because they have no party to Serve, no personal ambitionsto push, noseliish end to seek. If women had the ballot, how long is it to be 6upposed that this crusade would bo without political leadership an( political perversión P If these women were the representativos of political pow er, how much toleration would they re ceive at the hands of those whose iuterest they imperil or destroy ' What kind o treatment would an office-holder have in their ranks 'i Would an office-holder dar to be seen in their ranks at all 'i If woman had the ballot, suoh a crusade asthis would simply be iiupossible. To respond that it would be uuuecossary, is to trille with the subject. Men would be obliged to exeeute whatever laws women niight pass, under any circumstances, and they would execute the lawa passed through the votes of wouien no better than they do their own. Further, let it be witnessed, that the women who are doing the most of the work in this crusade never have asked for the ballot, and never will do so. They would regard the couferment of political suffrage upon them as a calamity. It would rob them of their peculiar power - a power which all experience proves cannot be preserved too carefully. Woman cannot afford the ballot. It would tie her hands, weaken her influenoe, destroy ïer disinterestedness in the treatment of 11 public queations, and open into the eautiful realins of her moral power ten ïousand streams of weakness and corrupon. The woman who recently said that lis crusade " means the ballot," proved uly by that speech how poorly qualified ie was to use a ballot. Hhe ought to lave seen in the crusade soruethioggreatr than the ballot - soinething almoat innitely above the poor machinery of polic8 - something by tbe side of which the allot is only a toy. This crusade does ot uieau the ballot ; it means that woman does not need the ballot, cunnot af :ord to take the ballot, will not have the allot ; and with this conviction let all American society gratefully felinitate A large proportion of inen never can or will accumulate or keep capital. One of he best illustrations of this fact is that of Jerrit Smith and a schoolmate. The later, on the death of his father, came into ossession of a farm, with house, furniure, stock, impleinents and all things neessary to a comfortable home and payng business ; but he sold, lost by the sale, old his next home, and his next, always osing, until he was landless and very oor. His old schoolmate, who was givng his patrimony in small pareéis to andless uien, gave him a house and lot, ut took the precaution to deed it to his children. Por a while tho restlesa man was very happy in his new home, but oon grew tired of it and wanted to sell out. When he found that it was uot in ás power to render himself and his fauiiy homeless once more, he exclaimed, in jreat bitterness : " There, Gerrit Smith las ruined me." He believed this and never forgave the man who had prevented that trade which would have surely made his fortune !


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