« 上一页继续 »
on to California. Give the liquor power the whole country to fight at once and then we shall see a different result. Let us strike bravely; he who fights fearfully invites defeat. There must be no seeking after compromises, no parleying with the enemy. Prohibition—no one misapprehends the name-let us keep it on our banner and nail that banner to the masthead; and come weal or woe, defeat or victory, let us stand by it with the firmness of adamant until the last saloon in America goes down.
But is prohibition possible? With brave hearts and the right on our side nothing is impossible. At the battle of Lodi Napoleon commanded his troops to cross the long, narrow bridge that was swept by the Austrian cannon. One of his staff cried out: “Sire, that is impossible!” Napoleon turned upon him with flashing eye: “That word is not French, Go forward!” And forward went the troops, and the bridge was won and the enemy put to rout, and the plains of Lombardy were open to Napoleon's army,
In this fight for prohibition, with brave hearts within and with the omnipotent and omniscient God on our side, that word "impossible" is not Christian. Go forward, and victory is certain.
REV. JOSEPH COOK.
As it once was the duty of honest men to refuse to vote in favor of any party that was on its knees before the slave power, I hold it is now the duty of every honest man, no matter to what party he belongs, to refuse to vote for any party that is on its knees before the whiskey rings. I believe in educational measures, and have sufficiently emphasized my desire to see the laws concerning temperance education carried out to the full. I believe in the activity of God's own in the churches.
We are all God's own; but some of us have made profession before men and angels that we are citizens of the universal theocracy and that our citizenship is on high. If we act as citizens of the universal theocracy, what shall we do? We shall vote as we pray.
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 entrusted with power in municipal, State, or national politics. No saloon sycophant, no whiskey spaniel, makes a safe watchdog for the people.
Without a dominarit political party behind it, prohibitory legislation is a sword-blade without a hilt. It is not true that when public sentiment emphatically justifies a law it is always executed. Public sentiment so justifies the law against selling liquor to drunkards and minors, but the law, nevertheless, is not executed. The vast majority of good citizens justify this law, but their will is defeated by the audacity of the liquor syndicate and the cowardice of party managers. A prohibitory party, therefore, is a supreme political necessity. Only a prohibitory party in power can give to every temperance blade a hilt and to every temperance hilt a blade.
THE experience of years proves that the legislature is no
place to deposit discretionary power in dealing with the liquor traffic. The power exercised by the legislature is the people's power delegated by the people to the legislature; and the people have the right to recover any right or power which they have delegated whenever they think they can better their condition by so doing. The change will be that the people will say what the public policy shall be, and direct the legislature to make the principle in the organic law operative by functional law. If the principle does not prove practical, the people can at any time change it; but it can never be changed until the people will it.
So long as discretionary power is vested in the legislature, the drunkard-makers will annually use thousands of dollars if necessary to prevent right action. When discretionary power is taken from them, one of the worst sources of legislative corruption will be dried up, because the legislature can act in but one way and it will be useless to try to bribe them. With prohibition a settled principle in the Constitution, every legislator who swears to support the Constitution must vote in favor of a prohibitory law, making the principle operative, or be a perjurer and a rebel.
I am aware that some will object that the Constitution is no place to define what shall and what shall not be crimes. The Constitution lays down principles of government, and to attack or violate those principles is a crime against the Constitution and the Government. The defining and adopting of the principles makes its violation a crime against the Government. To adopt a constitutional amendment prohibiting the liquor traffic, is to make the principle of prohibition fundamental and to change the spheres of authority to conform to the newly-adopted principle. This was done in regard to African slavery. The people adopted the principle that no slavery should exist in the States, and left to Congress and the legislatures of the States the power to enact functional laws to carry out the will of the people.
The people of Iowa, finding lotteries dangerous to their best interests, declared it a fundamental principle of their government that lotteries should not exist, and the State has not been cursed with them since the principle was adopted by the people. When the people become convinced that a principle is right, the place for it is in the Constitution. That there are objections to changes in constitutions I am aware; but they are not as strongly urged as were the objections to written constitutions supplanting the unwritten ones. The constitution that can not develop is a fraud and a good basis for a despotism.
To the objection that the amendment specifies a single institution, the answer is that this institution is a special evil which is threateniig the life of the Government by debauching and degrading the units of the Government. The question of its overthrow is the question of the existence or non-existence of republican institutions; and that the prohibition of the existence of such an institution is fundamental to the existence of the Government it jeopardizes is self-evident.
You are the ones who are to say what you will do with the matter, and I can only urge upon you the necessity of doing something. The duty of the hour is action, and the leaders should be in the front of the fight. Inaction and idleness produce the same results as treason to principle. The liquor interests are active and aggressive, and the defenders of the home should be equally so.
What we want is men and women who, for the love of home and country, will enter the struggle to win, and, after carefully studying the plan of action, draw the sword and throw away the scabbard, determined to close the struggle only when victory comes to bless our homes and our country.
THE DEATH OF KING EDMUND.
MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.
Nine centuries since. Scarce had the ruddy
Yet was it idly wont to rest its claim
The years flowed on,
Deep the King
"Hence!” he cried, “ Dar’st thou to scorn my sentence and return? Hence, from my sight! ”
But still the muffled man
So, from his seat
One moment high
Thus Saxon Edmund fell, Whom men called king, but Wisdom deems a slave To appetite and passion. He who boasts His liberty, yet wears their secret chain, Doth bow to darker servitude and shame Than e'en the serf he scorns.