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had already listened to the most powerful appeals to their reason and conscience upon this momentous theme —and that many were familiar with the luminous and masterly dissertations which have been recently dispersed, in every variety of form, among the people, by Tract Societies or by the periodical press.

For these and other cogent reasons, I fain would have been excused from a service, which, in reference to one class, might be deemed superfluous, and to another, as idle and unavailing as all previous efforts of the kind have confessedly proved. Some men yield a ready and instinctive assent to truth whenever exhibited-while the obstinate prejudices of others cannot be overcome by any argument. The first have been already won—and is not the case of the latter utterly desperate ?

The evils of intemperance had been acknowledged, exposed and deplored, in every age and country, by all sane moralists and by all good men. Genius and wisdom and piety and patriotism had been arrayed against its destructive dominion; and had laboured to emancipate a suffering world from its degrading despotism. The preacher, the lawyer, the physician, the judge, the statesman, the philanthropist, the wit, the philosopher, the satirist, the orator, the poet, had all expended their energy and their zeal in the noblest efforts to subdue or to arrest this insidious and unsatiable foe to human happi

But what did they all achieve? How stood the case only some half-dozen short years ago? The press, the pulpit, the law, had done their utmost. The statistics of intemperance were collected and canvassed. The most astounding and appalling facts were disclosed and proclaimed to the world. Thirty or forty thousand of our citizens annually slain by ardent spirits—three hundred thousand more in the broad road to destruction from the same cause-fifty millions of dollars annually wasted upon this dreadful poison-three-fourths of all the

ness.

pauperism, crime, disease and misery of our land occasioned by intemperance-penitentiaries and prisons and hospitals and almshouses and lunatic asylums crowded with its victims-- mothers and children beggared, deserted, ruined by drurken husbands and fathers—the whole aspect of society deformed, bloated, repulsive, hideousthe thirst for the maddening bowl becoming every day stronger and more general-sots to be met with at every turn in every village, and almost in every family—the most temperate parent scarcely daring to hope that all his sons would escape the universal contagion, and accounting himself fortunate even if he should be blessed with one sober son to sustain and cheer him in his old age, and to close his eyes at last upon this world of sorrow and disappointment. In a word

The gloom of despair seemed to gather over the future —and to fasten upon the heart of philanthropy. What shall be done to stem the torrent? was the universal inquiry. The drunkard's case was conceded to be desperate. His reformation was hopeless. Friendship, affection, reason, religion, pride, honour, had warned, entreated, threatened, importuned, in vain. He was, by common consent, abandoned to his fate. Society renounced its claims upon him as a citizen and a man.

His estate, his family, his reputation were regarded as in fearful jeopardy-as soon as it was whispered that he had begun to tipple, or to visit the tavern or grogshop. I well remember—for I was born and brought up in a land of distilleries and drunkards,--how the grave and pious old people used to converse about, and to lament over, the failings of one and another of their once thriving, prosperous and respectable neighbours—whose fondness for strong drink was just beginning to be known or suspected. And invariably, the unfortunate party was, by every voice, set down as ruined. The sons of the best men in the community often fell a prey to the prevailing vice. No father, as I have already intimated, however wise, or cautious, or sober, or religious, felt assured that his sons would not disgrace his name and bring down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, by lives of intemperance. The danger was imminent—the tempter was ever at the door and every individual met him in every company and on all occasions. riages, at christenings, at funerals, at elections, at militia musters, at independence celebrations, at public festivals, at private entertainments, at dinner, at supper, in the workshop, in the field, at home, abroad, in winter, in summer, at the tavern, when travelling -by land or by water, in all places, at all times,—-brandy, whisky, ardent spirit in some enticing form or other, was always at hand

and there was never wanting the urgent invitation of interest or hospitality to partake of the intoxicating beverage. So that America-old America at least—was not undeservedly stigmatized by foreigners as a land

At marof drunkards.

How could it have been otherwise ?

Fashion prescribed the universal use of spirit as an article of necessity among all sorts of labourers, and of hospitable entertainment at every social party and friendly meeting

Under these circumstances, the wonder was that any mortal should pass the fiery ordeal unharmed. And yet it seems never to have occurred to our frugal sires, that this constant exposure of their children to the sight, smell and taste of inebriating liquors, would naturally produce a generation of sots; that they were in fact training their children precisely as if they designed them to become drunkards: that their own temperate drinking was the sole cause of all the calamities which they dreaded and lamented.

At length, however, the obvious cause of the evil in question was conjectured—was acknowledged—was proclaimed — was accredited by the world, and measures were soon taken to apply the remedy.

Now, among all the discoveries inventions and improvements of this wonderful age, I venture to assert that this single discovery of a radical cure and preventive of intemperance is the grandest and most invaluable that has yet been made, and that it will distinguish the period in which we live more signally than any or all others put together.

Discoveries in practical morality are always rare and difficult-and a revolution in popular customs, usages and habits can never be effected except by absolute authority, or by the overwhelming majesty and omnipo

tent energy of truth, when allowed to speak in her own persuasive and eloquent language, to the common sense, to the interests, and to the hearts of intelligent reflecting

men.

What then was the marvellous discovery to which we have alluded, and from which we anticipate such transcendent benefits? Simply this: that the moderate and temperate use of ardent spirits was the fatal cause of all the intemperance in the world; and that entire, absolute, universal abstinence from distilled liquors was the only effectual remedy and preventive of the mischief. But how was the remedial or preventive system to be rendered efficient or commensurate with the evil? Was it enough to promulgate the new doctrine from the

press and the pulpit? Would it have sufficed to have commissioned heralds to preach a crusade throughout the land against intemperance-or against the temperate use of ardent spirits? No such thing. Our enlightened sages judged more wisely. They knew that individual effort could accomplish little-comparatively nothing. They therefore sought for strength ---for the requisite moral power-in union, in combination, in association-in bringing the influence of numbers to bear directly and unceasingly upon the enemy until he should be routed and utterly exterminated.

A few minor associations led the van-served as pioneers—cleared the way of many obstacles and evinced their prowess in the good work. Then followed the formation of the "American Temperance Society,” in February, 1826. Already, there are thirteen or fourteen

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