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immense benefit to a poor fallen or falling brother? Let us view the matter in the generous spirit of the great apostle, who declared, To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.' Would that this disinterested and benevolent spirit dwelt in every heart, and our appeal on behalf of the suffering victims of intemperance would surely be answered by discontinuing the custom which constantly sows the seed from which all their miseries spring.'

diminution of intemperance among the people at large.

Good, however, as all this unquestionably is, it has nothing whatever to do with the establishment of a respectable society, under the encouragement of which the weak and the tempted may find safety without disgrace; and those who practise only upon themselves, and weigh carefully all their own feelings, whether for or against the system as it operates upon their own health and comfort, know little of the enjoyment of those far-stretching views of benevolence which embrace the good of the whole human family, and which glance over every little symptom of personal inconvenience, as not worthy of being thought of for a moment, in connection with so vast and important a scheme for the advancement of their fellow-beings in the scale of virtue and of happiness.

But again, as regards the pledge, it should always be remembered, that it is only considered binding so long as the name of the individual remains enrolled among those of other members of the society; that those who thus subscribe their names to a compact entered into by individuals for the benefit of the whole body, may withdraw them whenever they think fit; and the fact that many persons do so is surely suficient evidence of perfect liberty of choice and free agency being allow

An exclusive regard for our own individual benefit is natural to all human beings, and if not pursued at the expense of injury to others, the principle is certainly good as far as it goes; because, to use the words of the old adage, "if every one would mend one," the world would soon be better than it is. Thus we cannot but rejoice to observe that the system of total abstinence from intoxicating beverages is gradually progressing among individuals; that there is now no difficulty in refusing to take wine in company, and that, say what men will, the habits of the friends of abstinence are obtaining countenance and credit from society in general. No one can fail to be convinced of this, who looks back to the state of society in England twenty or thirty years ago; and while we are well aware that a large proportion of the families by whom intemper-ed to all. ance is now discouraged where it was once allowed, would disdain the thought of associating themselves with a society of total abstainers, the fact is very evident that the moving of this great question throughout this and other countries, and the awakening of public attention to so important a subject, has had much to do with the increased regard for moderation prevailing in respectable families, and the

Those who have paid the least attention to the subject, must see that to the tempted the pledge is necessary, because it is a means exactly calculated to operate as a check at the only moment when a check can be availing-at the moment when the weak are hesitating whether or not they will take just a little; and if those who object to the pledge would be kind enough to propose any more agreeable plan by

which the same kind of check could be brought into operation in an equally efficacious manner, I do not think the friends of the Total Abstinence Society are so wedded to their own system as not to be willing to exchange it for a better.

It has frequently happened, in consequence of the fallibility of human reason, that the first system adopted for the prevention of any particular kind of evil, or the promotion of any good, has not been by any means the best. Indeed, the very defects of the system in its early operation have awakened a spirit of opposition, which in its turn has originated another and a better system for carrying out the same object. Thus we have some of us looked long and earnestly to the avowed opponents of the total abstinence scheme of reformation, for some other-some nobler, and, at the same time, more effectual device, for accomplishing the same great end; | but while all agree that the object is good, and all desire that the absolute drunkard should be reclaimed, not one of these enlightened individuals has yet favored us with a better scheme than our own; and until they do so, we must be satisfied to go on upon our present plan, by no means discouraged by what we already see and know of its results.

Often as the motives of human beings are mistaken in their transactions one with another, often as the actions of the benevolent are misunderstood, and a mean or selfish character assigned to feelings the most noble and disinterested, never have such motives, actions, or feelings, been more grossly misrepresented, than in ref. erence to the temperance pledge. Oh! could such cavillers be made to believe me when I say, there are sensations of thrilling interest connected with the signing of this pledge, which heroes well might

envy, and rich men give their gold to buy. Why, on that very page, disfigured by the unskilled lettering of a ploughman's hand, there are tears of such intense and exquisite delight, as unsophisticated Nature weeps when her emotions are too strong for smiles.

Upon that page, perhaps, the fond and faithful wife is gazing, heedless of the passing crowd. Her thoughts go back to the dark ruined home she has just left without a hope, and to her poor babes, who, weak with hunger, wept themselves to sleep. With borrowed cloak to hide her destitution, she stole out at the dark hour, and mixing in the crowd, found place among her fellows in poverty and distress, who came at least to hear of a strange but simple plan for calling back such wanderers as her husband long had been. And now she listens most intently, for the language is all such as comes home to her experience, and is level with her understanding. The speaker must have known

He tells of hope! but noher case. that never can be hers! If he were here

perhaps and then a deep, deep sigh bursts from her lips; but she listens still, and more intently, to the speaker's moving words, until her heart becomes too full; and she looks round to see if any among her neighbors for of friends she has none left-are there to profit by those words of touching truth. What ails the woman? Whom has she seen among the crowd? Her cheek is flushed with burning crimson, and her eyes are bright with living She cannot fire. It is it must be him! be mistaken in her husband's form, still Far back among the beautiful to her. crowd he stands with folded arms, his gaze intent upon the speaker's face. No smile of thoughtless folly flits across his brow, but a deep earnestness is stamped

Such are the scenes which cheer on every hand the laborer in the temperance cause, and if this passing sketch convey a slight idea of the interest excited by such scenes, what must be that of entering into the details of family and individual history, where all things temporal and eternal are at stake, and all hang as it were upon the transcript of a single name?

on every feature as he gazes on. But what is that which moves him now? A simple tale of woman's truth. The wife beholds him dash the tear-drop from his eye. A gathering mist is in her own, but she forgets it all; nothing is present with her but that other self-that life in which alone she lives. Alas! it is all over: the speaker ceases, and the company breaks up. The wife waits anxiously the mo ment when her husband shall withdraw, thinking to join him at the door; yet, fearing to intrude too hastily upon his softened feelings, she stands patiently resigned, with folded arms upon her breast, pushed here and there by the receding crowd, no one of whom takes note of her or hers. Still there is something to be done beside the platform where the speak er stands, and numbers gather to the spot. A book is opened a pen is offered a kind and friendly voice invites the company to sign. Make way! the figure of a man advances from behind. Make way! for wonder glances forth from every eye. Behind that figure is a female form-a shadow-a pale faded thing, so feeble that she cannot stand, but leans upon his shoulder with one clasping arm. "There! I have signed!" exclaimed the man; "and now, my wife, come home, and let us pray to-night." Stop but one moment. What What a hand is hers! so thin, so trembling; yet she grasps that pen as if it were a rod of iron, to inscribe deep words of mercy in the rock forever. They pass away together that penniless and friendless pair, strong in each other's truth, rich in each other's love. Weeks glide away-ously given themselves up to the destrucmonths or perhaps a year; and they are seen together now, so happy! with their rosy children, standing at their cottage door-their blazing fire and clean swept hearth, and plenteous table spread within. | ruin, had, in all probability, come to be

Nor is the situation of the drunkard's wife, sad though it be, the only one which claims our sympathy on these occasions, The little hungry and neglected child of an intemperate mother will sometimes come alone to sign; the old man with gray hairs, whose sons have all gone down before him, with this curse upon them, to untimely graves. And if nothing else affected us in such cases, one would suppose it might be enough to touch a heart of common mould, to think only of the poverty and destitution of those who thus come forward to make a voluntary surrender of what has become to them their only means of bodily enjoy. ment. We can go home to our abundance, to the cheering hearth, the social board, and to all those delicate and varied substitutes for gratifying pampered appetite, which custom has sanctioned, or ingenuity devised. genuity devised. We have all these, but the poor have nothing-more especially the intemperate poor; and, therefore, when they have signed the pledge, they have made what to them was the greatest possible sacrifice which duty could require; because, in proportion as they had previ

tive habit of existing upon stimulants alone, their homes had become stripped of every other source of comfort or indul gence, and that which was in reality their

applied to, in order to make them forget that they had nothing else.

What an effort then is this! what a sacrifice for a poor ignorant man or woman to make! and what a privilege to be enabled to assist them, by making the same sacrifice ourselves, in kind, though by no means in degree! Indeed, there is something in looking upon an assembly of persons of this description-in marking the tearful eyes and faded cheeks of those who are struggling against temptation, either to themselves or others, as against a mighty foe; there is something, too, in visiting their destitute and comfortless abodes, and giving them a word of encouragement, from our own experience, in favor of making the experiment at least; there is something in passing the senseless drunkard reeling home, and thinking that we have ceased to be one of the number who help on his way to ruin; there is something in these thoughts and feelings so far beyond the common interests which pervade the mere etiquette of polished society, that if any one should ask me what they could have recourse to as a means of excitement to supply the want of wine, I should recommend them to try the excitement of joining heart and hand in the promotion of the temperance cause. Persons deeply impressed with the importance of these subjects of profound interest, which are necessarily involved in the temperance question, are not likely to have their attention diverted from the main points of discussion, by any little inaccuracies of style or diction which occur in the public advocacy of the cause. Hence it is possible they may think less than some others do, of the particular manner in which that advocacy is maintained. It may naturally be supposed, however, to constitute rather an important objection

with the refined and fastidious, when not thus seriously impressed, that many public speakers on the temperance question are illiterate, and some of them injudicious men.

It is, however, a hard-I had almost said a cruel case, when respectable and enlightened individuals stand aloof from the cause for this reason-because if they and their associates of the same class would come forward in its support, there would no longer be any need to trust the management of temperance matters so much to the hands of ignorant or illiterate men. The absurdities of which they complain would then be done away with: the evils would be remedied; the objectors themselves teaching us a more excellent way of influencing the people at large.

It seems strange, however, that the charge of absurdity should so often be brought forward against the temperate class. In my own ignorance, I should have supposed that rather attached to the opposite party, and that we gave our countenance to absurdity more effectually, by joining in the habit of drinking wine, than in uniting ourselves with those who abstain from such things altogether. I should have thought too, in the same ignorance, that had we sought the world over for instances of absurdity, those which result from intoxication could not have been exceeded in any of its different stages, from the first of excitement, to the last of imbecility-from the buffoon at a country fair, to the gentleman who leaves his wine at a late hour to make himself agreeable in the drawing room to the ladies. I should have thought that to partake, even in a slight degree, of that which produced this absurdity in others, had been something like an approach to absurdity in ourselves. But

the world is unquestionably a wise world, and these are enlightened times; and the opinions of individuals must bow before those of the many.

Again, respectable persons, and especially those who have much depending upon the orderly and systematic operations of laborers and work-people, are very fond of saying that total abstinence is a good thing for the poor, and as such they often give it the advantage of their countenance to a certain extent. Even this acknowledgment is good, so far as it goes, and even this countenance is of use, for the poor are not so much accustomed to look to the rich for sympathy and encouragement, as to depend entirely upon them for their support; and in the temperance reformation more especially, they have learned a new lesson of reliance upon themselves. It would not seem very wonderful however, if the poor under such circumstances should sometimes retort upon us, and say "If you who enjoy all the luxuries of life and have no need to labor, cannot live without your wine, how can you expect a hard-working man who has nothing else, to live without his beer ?"

And this has been said many times, and would unquestionably be repeated much oftener than it is, did not some noble instances present themselves to our view, of wealthy and influential persons who have come forward practically and heartily to join in the cause, on the same footing as the poor, or at least so far as circumstances would allow their situation to be the same; nor am I aware that they have lost any thing of their importance, or their good influence in other respects, from such association. What they have gained in peace of mind, satisfaction, and happiness, can never be fully understood

or appreciated by those who have only gone along with them to the extent of countenancing total abstinence as an excellent thing for the poor.

But there is another objection which I speak of last, not because it is least important, quite the contrary; for I believe it to be beyond all comparison more influential than any other, or than all others put together, in its practical influence upon individual conduct. It may safely be said to rule paramount in its widespreading power to deter both men or women of all classes,-the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the good and the evil, from signing their names to the temperance pledge. Indeed this single ground of objection is of such overwhelming potency, that vast numbers who have the self-denial, and who are now most scrupulous abstainers, would shrink from the bare idea of connecting themselves with a temperance society.

The fact is, they consider it low, and in that one word, we read the sad and irretrievable doom of all those poor tempted ones, who would willingly sign the temperance pledge, if any considerable number of the ladies or gentlemen of their acquaintance had done so.

In hearing this objection brought forward, which we do almost every day, and in detecting its secret influence, which we do still more frequently, I have often wondered, as in the case of absurdity, what could be more low, than the drinking practices of our country. It is true that in these, at least in their excess, the delicate and respectable part of the community do not immediately join; but the miserable and degrading practices themselves are evident to us almost at every step in walking the streets of our large towns; while often in the summer's even

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