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THE WHITE RIBBON.
HATTIE F. CROCKER.
T is only a knot of ribbon white,
As white and as pure as the snow,
It is worn o'er many a loyal heart,
All over the earth, from South to North,
It tells of a purpose staunch and firm,
It is only a bow of ribbon white,
On the rich and poor, on the young and old,
And its snowy sheen is the key of gold
It silently speaks of the sweetest praise
It is ushering in the better days,
And the victory sure to come.
WHY SHOULD I SIGN THE PLEDGE?
MRS. S. M. I. HENRY.
'M not a drunkard.'
"I don't drink anything to speak of."
"If I want a drink I take it; if I don't I let it alone."
"I never take so much that I don't know what I am about."
"I can drink little or much; it never hurts me."
"I can drink or let it alone."
"Why should I sign the pledge?"
First, you don't want to be a drunkard. I never found a man that did; and the disappointment of men who wake up to find themselves drunkards is something too terrible to take the slightest chance on, and a pledge of total abstinence taken and kept will turn any man or woman from the path of the drunkard and the shame to which it leads. A deliberate promise is the strongest tether with which any man can bind a good purpose. You have a purpose to be sober, reliable. pure; then bind the habits of your life to it with a solemn promise to abstain forever from all intoxicating liquors, including wine, beer and cider, and you are safe from that dragon.
Second, you should sign the pledge and stop all use of intoxicating drink, because if you drink it ever so moderately you are in danger. The subtle poison of alcohol has just one way with human blood and nerves and brain, and if you take one glass to-day of light wine, you are in the path that leads to the drunkard's death. You may follow in the road that is filled up with drunkards, who all began with the first glass, which opened the gate to all that has followed of shame and
Third, you should sign the pledge even if you never touched a drop of alcoholic drink, that your name and influence may
be on the right side of the question; if you have a boy or girl, that you may lead your child in the right way; as a citizen, for the sake of the tempted and weak who need the strength which would come to them from your name on the pledge; as a member of society, that the social world may sooner adopt the fashion of purity; as a man, that every other man and woman may know just where you stand, and that no one shall dare call your position in question. "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, or anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended or is made weak."
THE PROMISES AND THE PERILS OF TEMPERANCE REFORM.
REV. JOSEPH COOK.
N quantity if not in quality there is something novel in both the hopes and the fears of the temperance cause at the present hour. The American people, at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour, usually comes to its senses and shakes any evil that threatens to be fatal. It did so in the conflict with slavery, and it may be expected to do so in the greater conflict with the saloon. Although I hope we shall tide through our conflict with the saloon without a military contest, I am not so certain that by and by it will not be necessary to put down the whiskey syndicates by the strong arm of the law, supported by bayonets.
To begin with the list of promises, first, I assume that, in the world of science, the justifiableness and expediency of total abstinence have been settled once for all. He is benighted and belated who is not a total abstainer.
The second promise is the broadening of the education of the young in the newest inculcations of science. We have now in this Republic more than thirty States and Territories in which the children are under laws requiring scientific instruction con
cerning alcoholics and narcotics. Unflinching prohibition is likely to be carried at last by the votes of that majority of children in English-speaking countries who are now receiving instructions in the latest inculcations of science concerning total abstinence.
A third element of hope is found in the wide arousal of all free populations to their political duty concerning the liquor traffic. The dethronement of the saloon is the greatest issue in American politics. We are far more nearly a unit on the matter of the conflict with the legalized liquor traffic than the politicians dream. As in religious affairs denominationalism separates us, so in political affairs a miserable political denominationalism separates us. But we work together in great crises, and so it will be found that the rising deluge of temperance sentiment will lift itself above denominationalism, and we shall see one level body of water stretching over it, so that when a billow is raised anywhere, it will break at last on all the shores.
The perils of the liquor traffic to-day, like slavery fifty and seventy years ago, are sprinkling the land with the earliest blood of martyrs, that ought to be the seed of gigantic re forms.
The first peril is the perversion of compulsory temperance instruction by the inculcation of loose views concerning moderate drinking. It is an enormous triumph for the temper ance people to have obtained compulsory instruction in the schools as to the latest science in reference to alcoholics and narcotics. But if, instead of text-books that represent sound and honest science, there are introduced into the schools sly apologies for moderate drinking, we are assassinating the youth of our land. It is time for us to attend carefully to our choice of school-committees, as well as to the choice of mayors and aldermen; it is time for us, in short, to resolve that this great educational height, which we have attained with so much labor, shall not have the guns we have placed upon it reversed and fired into the bosom of the youth of the land.
A second peril is the negro vote of the South
now 8,000,000 of colored people in the South. Education in temperance is the thing most needed among the freedmen of the South.
The third form of mischief is the international activity of the liquor traffic in poisoning populations hitherto temperate.
The next peril is the partnership of the national Government in the profits of whiskey manufacture. We never shall be able to dethrone the liquor traffic in American politics until we cease to be silent partners in its gains.
The last emphasized peril is the national unity of the liquor traffic, and the application of its power as a whole to nearly every important local issue of a political kind in which the interests of the liquor traffic are at stake. The only adequate measure of relief from these perils is a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together of our educational, social and religious, as well as of our political, forces. We must reorganize politics. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties can be preserved in whiskey. As no political party that was on its knees to the slave power deserved support from honest and patriotic citizens, so no political party that is on its knees to the whiskey power deserves support from men of intelligence, conscience and honor. Any political party that is more afraid of offending the whiskey vote than the temperance vote of the land is a sycophant of the saloons -a whiskey spaniel-and as such, unfit to be intrusted with power, or with municipal, State or national politics.
Let us broaden our views of the temperance cause until they cover not only national butinternational issues. The world is a unit. There are no foreign lands or hermit nations. The sky is but the roof of one family. Every link of reform on which you seize here with a firm grasp will draw toward God's bosom links on the other side of the planet. Let us so clasp the temperance reform and every issue allied with it that we may draw universal manhood into God's bosom so closely that the beating of His heart shall set the time of the beating of the entire heart of humanity.