« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
God has rested heavily on their persons, or their families. The writer is well acquainted with a certain town, containing about forty public houses and beer shops, and he does not know a single instance in which they have not occasioned some serious injury, to some of the parties connected with them, by producing poverty, crime, disease, drunkenness, or premature death.
“ In Stephen Town, New York, there have been fiftyfour tavern keepers who sold ardent spirits ; thirty-seven did not succeed in business ; sixteen are living intemperate ; and four have died drunkards."
“ In Petersburgh there have been fifty-four inn-keepers ; five succeeded in their business, and of the forty-nine who did not, eleven died drunkards”.
“ In Brunswick there have been forty tavern keepers ; twenty-two of them became intemperate, and four died drunkards."
" In Lansingburgh, of eighteen tavern keepers, twelve are intemperate, or have died drunkards."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 159.
" It is a lamentable fact, that upon a careful estimate, it is found, that of the tavern keepers, and retailers of ardent spirits in this state, (New York,) during the last forty years, more than two-thirds have become drunkards, and reduced their families to poverty and wretchedness.”Judge Platt.
"A rum-seller in Massachusetts became rich by the estates of his customers, who became drunkards, falling into his hands. At length he died, and left his property to his sons. They moved into the western country. The eldest opened a store, and prosecuted the business of his father. He soon, like his father's customers, became a
drunkard, and sunk into an ignominious grave. His bro. ther took his place, and prosecuted his business. He too became a drunkard, and was shortly with his brother, in the drunkard's grave. The third, and only remaining son, took the property, and prosecuted the business. And when our secretary, the last winter, passed that way, he was a drunkard, staggering about the streets."-Amer. Perm. Temp. Doc., p. 356.
THE OLD BRITISH AND FOREIGN TEMPERANCE
SOCIETY. This Society was the morning star of the Temperance Reformation in our hemisphere, and it would be both foolish and ungrateful to deny its past usefulness. It was the harbinger of a glorious day, but it was no more capable of producing that day, than the first beams of the morning are capable of vieing in warmth and brightness with the rays of a noon-tide sun. It told us that we had been slumbering through a long night of ignorance, and that it was time to bestir ourselves for our own, and our country's safety, but it only permitted us to see “ men as trees walking.”
The defects of this Society are every day becoming more and more apparent; and it must, yet, be merged, in the more perfect system, to which it has given rise, or sink beneath the weight of its own infirmities.
As far back as the year 1834, its want of adaptation to the case of intemperate characters was seen and acknowledged by its sincerest friends. When Mr. W. Collins was asked by the Parliamentary Committee, “ Have you found Temperance Societies," meaning those founded on
the moderation principle, “ of use in reclaiming the confirmed drunkard ? His reply was, " We have found Temperance Societies have been instrumental in doing a little that way, but not much. The more we have experience, the more we come to the conclusion, that drunkards are almost irreclaimable."-Rep. on Drunk., p. 144.
In another place this gentleman remarks, “I may mention an important fact connected with our Temperance Societies, that a considerable portion of our members, who have fallen, apostatized from us by substituting porter or ale, in the place of spirits, &c.” “ It still keeps alive the drunken appetite, and the tendency being onwards to stronger stimulants, leads them to spirits again.”-Rep. on Drunk., p. 167.
But with all its deficiencies and incongruities, money, and patronage, may, for some time, yet, preserve to it "a local habitation and a name;" but, as an instrument for secur ing to the world the blessings of true temperance, it must now be regarded as obstructive, rather than favourable to such an object. By attempting to perpetuate the delusion, that wine, cider, and malt liquors, may be used with safety by persons in health, its friends are, in reality, endeavouring to carry us back into the dark ages, and are leaving open the greatest sources of our national intemperance ; and by allowing the use of Alcohol, in the form of such drinks, while reprobating the use of it, under the name of spirit, however diluted, coloured, and flavoured, they are guilty of a practical inconsistency, too flagrant to escape the observation of any man, of common sense, and im partial judgment.
Alcohol is the enemy with which we are at war-Alcohol, in all its disguises, and under all the ever vary
ing forms it is capable of assuming. This is the great cause of our national degradation, crime, and misery; and we cannot think ourselves true to our profession, if, while we attack it in the shape of the washerwoman's gin, we let it escape when lurking in her mistress's port and sherry.
“ I laboured perseveringly,” says the Rev. D. CHARLES, of Bala, “ for the space of two years or more, with what is called the Temperance Society, and succeeded in persuading some few drunkards to sign that pledge; (few indeed, for the drunkards knew too well it would not do for them ;) but of those few I know not of one who was reclaimed thereby."
“In 1832,” says G. B. Brown, Esq., of Halifax, “ we formed a Temperance Society on the moderation pledge ; the effects were scarcely visible, for no drunkards were reclaimed, and not many reduced their daily consumption of wine and porter."
“ The moderation system,” says Mr. John CADBURY, of Birmingham,“ was zealously and ardently advocated, for many years, in this town, and enrolled those of high rank and wealth among its members." “ But with all our industry, in distributing tracts, visiting poor drunkards, and holding meetings, the interest sunk away, until the existence of a Temperance Society was only in name.” On the moderation system I never knew one drunkard reclaimed; whilst on the Tee-total plan, we have hundreds, who were once drunkards, now not only sober men, good husbands, and kind fathers, but regular frequenters of a place of worship."
J. CROPPER, Jun. Esq., of Liverpool, bears similar testimony to the inefficiency of the old Society. “We found," he says, “ after working the old Society for some
time, that little good resulted. We could point to few instances of permanent good.”
" The history of the Temperance Society," says T. BEAUMONT, Esq., Surgeon, of Bradford, “in this town and neighbourhood, is full of instruction on this head ; for here the first Moderation Society was formed, and here there was no want of zeal, talent, or piety, in the working of that system ; and yet, in nearly five years, we did not succeed in reforming one solitary drunkard.”.
So much for the uselessness of the old Society in the way of reclaiming drunkards ! and as an instrument for preventing drunkenness, it is to be feared, that among a people so universally infected with drinking customs, as are the inhabitants of Great Britain, it will prove almost as useless.
THE NEW TEMPERANCE SOCIETIES.
These are all on the principle of Total Abstinence from all Intoxicating Liquors. Manchester has the honour of being their birth place, but it would be difficult to fix on the individual, to whom belongs the credit of originating the principle on which they are founded, as the only infallible cure for drunkenness. Many, especially persons who had been intemperate, were acting on it, in the old Societies, before it became the basis of an entirely new system. Mr. Livesey, of Preston, in Lancashire, was one of its earliest and warmest advocates ; but the first society, established exclusively on this principle, was formed in connexion with Oak Street chapel, in Manchester, on the 26th Feb. 1835, by the Rev. F. Beardsall.