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bear. Men of taste could unite to establish a picture gallery, or an atheneum, or a literary society, but they could not join a temperance society; no, not to save thousands of poor, perishing drunkards, and, perhaps, their own children from ruin.

6. A sixth obstruction was interest.

Perhaps there was no business in which a greater amount of capital was invested and greater profits were realized, than in supplying the means of intemperance. Distillers, importers, wholesale dealers, grocers, taverners, victuallers, and dramsellers, constituted no inconsiderable portion of the population, and were behind none in amassing money. An immense amount of shipping was employed in bringing the molasses and rum of the West Indies, and the wines and brandies of France, into the country; forty thousand distilleries kept up their fires; large brew-houses groaned under the labors of their machinery; sixtyfive million gallons of ardent spirits, and an untold amount of ale, porter, cider, and wines, were yearly sold at a profit, of which the consumers had no conception. All this immense concern was at once to be overthrown by the temperance reformation. The pledge was the axe laid at the root of the tree. Cut it down, said every temperance lecturer; it is the deadly Upas, why cumbereth it the ground? No wonder there was a cry made, "By this craft we have our wealth." "Great is Diana of the Ephesians,"

The character of many engaged in it, was the stronghold of the traffic. Had only the vile, the refuse of society, been leagued, it might more easily have been overthrown. But to a great extent, they were good men; members and officers of Christian churches. The law required that only men of good character and standing should be licensed to sell intoxicating drinks. These engaged in it from honorable motives. They were the guardians of the public against a wide-spreading evil. They would not sell to drunkards. They sold only

to sober men; and, if it was right for them to sell, it was right for sober men to buy, and often they who sold, and they who bought, went together to the drunkard's grave.

The struggle with this obstacle, for a season, was mighty. Dr. Justin Edwards addressed the public, in 1832, in à series of essays on the Immorality of the Traffic in Ardent Spirits, which prepared, in a great measure, the National Temperance Convention, held in Philadelphia in 1833,—a convention composed of four hundred delegates from twenty-one different States, to pronounce that traffic morally wrong, and one which should be abandoned throughout the world;-a decision, în which the friends of temperance felt that a great victory was achieved, and that the traffic was, at least, as it has proved to be, driven from the church.

7. A seventh obstacle encountered was the allowed use, by temperance men, of fermented drinks.

This was not sensibly felt until the eighth and ninth year of the reform, when, according to the Report of the American Temperance Society, seven thousand temperance societies had been organized, more than a million persons had signed the pledge, more than three thousand distilleries had been abandoned, seven thousand venders had ceased selling the poison, and no less than ten thousand drunkards were on the lists of reform. Then it was manifest that the wheels were blocked, and all was endangered. Alcohol was diffusing itself through all the veins of society in fermented drinks. Breweries sprang up as by enchantment. Distillers turned their whisky over to the wine factor. The happy family saw their hopes blasted in the return of the reformed father, through hard cider and drugged beer, to drunkenness. Even temperance men were seen intoxicated on sherry and porter, and the youth of the land were lawfully plunging, amid the exhilarations of cham pagne, into the vortex of ruin,

With a promptness and decision worthy of the cause, and evincing an impulse and direction from on high, those who felt that they were combating the evil, and not a particular drink, stood in "the deadly breach," and adopted the pledge of total abstinence from all that intoxicates;-first at Albany, February 3, 1835, and then successively, in State after State, until the act was consummated in the National Temperance Convention at Saratoga Springs, in August, 1836. The ravings of the demon, as fermented drinks were now put under the ban, may be seen by reference to a book entitled "Protestant Jesuitism," one of the publications of the day.

8. The license law has been, from the beginning, and still continues to be, a great obstacle to the progress of temperance. Law makes right. So say the multitude. If the law makes it right to sell, men will sell; and if men will sell intoxicating drinks to all who will buy, drunkenness will be perpetuated in the earth. Moral suasion has done its utmost to touch the heart and rouse the conscience of the rumseller; but his defence is, his license! his license! It still, in nearly every State, stands the barrier to the suppression of Intemperance; a cancer in the body politic which almost any individual would burn from his own flesh.

9. But the most serious obstacle to the progress and consummation of Temperance has been in the Church. Not but that she has given her strength to the cause. Her ministry, her judicatories, her assemblies, and communicants, to a vast extent, have rejoiced in its prosperity as the cause of God, and most intimately connected with the salvation of men. More than two years ago, of 2270 clergymen in the State of New York, more than 1900 had signed the pledge of total abstinence! And time would fail to tell of the Beechers and Edwardses, the Chapins and Fisks, the Hewitts and Bemans, the Tyngs and Waylands, who have "subdued kingdoms, quenched the violence of fire, and put to flight the armies of aliens." But there has been

a principle lurking in the Church, and even sustained and upheld by some of her ablest sons, which, while they have denied its connection with the continued use of intoxicating drinks, has countenanced and supported many in that use, and prevented the advance of the cause in the world, ever looking to the Church as the true standard of morals. This principle has been, that, while the use of intoxicating drinks is inexpedient, their use is permitted and sanctioned by the word of God and favored by the example and institutions of Christ. "I must have a new Bible before I can adopt the principle of total abstinence,”—was the declaration of a good man in England, and has been the feeling of many in America; and so far as imbibed, has proved an insurmountable obstacle to the progress of Temperance.

To a contemplative mind the à priori argument would seem to be, that a God of infinite wisdom and purity, all whose works were perfect, who had formed light for the eye, air for the lungs, given food to satisfy hunger, and water to quench our thirst, and had set up guards and beacons at every corner, and threatened a violation of the laws of our being with the most terrible consequences; a God of infinite holiness who requires of all the most perfect purity, would never pronounce a blessing upon an article whose least use was an outrage upon all our functions, and which he knew would, through all time, debase, pollute, and destroy the soul; yea, do more than all things else to bring men under the power of the devil, and fill up the dark regions of eternal night with ruined victims. Nor was the mind coming to such a conclusion, without strong support from the solemn injunctions of God himself to his priests, not to taste wine or strong drink while engaging in his temple service, (the first injunction of total abstinence); in the law of the Nazarite, and the approbation of the Rechabite; in the warning against wine as a mocker," and the direction to kings not to drink wine lest they should forget the law;" and in the charge to all, not to look upon the wine


when it sparkled in its cup, for its bite was like that of the serpent, and its sting like that of the adder.

But all these things seemed to be overlooked and forgotten, and the church and the world sat down in the belief that wine was the good creature of God, to be received with thanksgiving. Every lecturer on temperance had thrown in his path the permission given to the Jews, when they went up to the feast, to buy wine and strong drink and whatever their soul lusted after, and was sure to be reminded that Christianity carefully avoided the austerities of the Essenes; that it was well for John the Baptist to come neither eating nor drinking, but the Savior ate bread and drank wine, and commanded its use as the emblem of his blood, to the end of the world.

It is interesting, at this day, and with this work before us, which has cast much light upon this most difficult subject, to see how, from the beginning, the friends of temperance have sought for light, and been guided to results in which they now feel they

can rest.

Dr. Edwards in his Reports of the American Temperance Society, "monumentum ære perennius,” argued that Alcohol, the intoxicating principle, is not the product of creation, but is the fruit of vinous fermentation, a poison, always hurtful, ruining the body, and ruining the soul; that for men, therefore, to continue to use it as a beverage, to make it, or furnish it to be so used by others is morally wrong; especially, because of their great influence, is it wrong for professed Christians, and more especially still for officers of the Church and ministers of the Gospel. Making no exceptions for men of any age, and engaging in no criticism of words, he went on the broad principle that "to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." This, however, was not considered as meeting the argument, since men, it was affirmed, might moderately indulge in alcohol, and neither injure themselves nor others, and had the divine permission so to do.

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