图书图片
PDF
ePub

To Suicide's black river !

And nisery's haggard eyes !
" Drink-deeds most foul and cruel!

And shame that shrinks aside!
Fine honor's tarnished jewel!

And wounds of murder wide!
“Here's that our children languish!

Here's doom to unknown lives!
Here's to a mother's anguish!

And broken hearts of wives !
"Drink to the soul's disaster

And everlasting blight!”
Thus Truth, the grim toast-master,

Who gives the toasts aright.

THE CITIZEN AND THE SALOON SYSTEM.

SAMUEL DICKIE.

I

BELIEVE that the breweries and the saloons are just as

good and just as bad as the men running them. All that is good and bad about these places pertains in full measure to the enactments under which they are conducted and by which they are protected. The law did not evolve itself. It is the product of lawmakers who are the representatives and creatures of great organizations known as political parties. All that is bad and corrupting about this business pertains in all its odium to those political parties that have given this business the sanction and protection of law. Political parties are but organizations of citizens. All that is bad and debasing about the saloons and saloon legislation pertains in full measure to the individual citizen who, with complete knowledge of all the facts beforehand, votes to continue the saloon system. How can you, as individual citizens, unload the measure of your responsibility in this matter? By recording your convictions against the saloon system at the ballotbox.

All great political problems are rallied about the points of finance and morals. This great problem, judged by either of these great tests, stands head and shoulders above any problem before the American people to-day. Strike down the saloon system and you do more for the solution of other reforms than by any adjustment of the tariff question. The best Anti-Poverty Society in the United States to-day is the Prohibition party.

No class of citizens is so potent in politics as the saloon-keepers. The average saloon-keeper or brewer is more influential than the average minister. So mighty is the indirect power of the saloons through the old parties today that a majority of our church members and a very large number of our ministers intentionally and intelligently vote for these parties, knowing that they will continue the saloon system.

I grant that a majority of the members of both the old parties are right at heart, but the best men in these parties do not have their way. No party can be relied upon to crush out the saloon system but a party that runs up at its masthead the flag of no quarter and no compromise. God intends that victory shall come to the cause of prohibition.

THE ARCHFIEND OF NATIONS.

REV. T. DEWITT TALMAGE, D.D.

N archfiend arrived in our world and he built an invisi

ble caldron of temptation. He built that caldron strong and stout for all ages and all nations. First, he squeezed into the caldron the pieces of the forbidden fruit of Paradise. Then he gathered for it a distillation from the harvest fields and the orchards of the hemispheres. Then he poured into this caldron capsicum, and copperas, and logwood, and deadly nightshade, and assault and battery, and vitriol, and opium, and murder, and sulphuric acid, and theft, and potash, and cochineal, and poverty, and death.

But it was a dry compound and it must be moistened and liquified, and so the archfiend poured into that caldron the tears of centuries of orphanage and widowhood, and the blood of twenty thousand assassinations. And then the archfiend took a shovel that he had brought up from the furnaces beneath and put that shovel into the great caldron and began to stir, and the caldron began to heave and rock and boil and sputter and hiss and smoke, and the nations gathered around it with cups and tankards and demijohns and kegs, and there was enough for all.

And the archfiend cried: “Aha! champion fiend am I! who has done more than I have for coffins and graveyards and prisons and insane asylumns and the populating of the lost world? and when this caldron is emptied I'll fill it again, and I'll stir it again, and it will smoke again, and that smoke will join another smoke—the smoke of a torment that ascendeth forever and ever. The cup out of which I ordinarily drink is a bleached human skull, and the upholstery of my palace is so rich a crimson because it is dyed in human gore, and the mosaic of my floors is made up of the bones of children dashed to death by drunken parents. My favorite music_sweeter than Te Deum or triumphal march—is the cry of daughters turned out at midnight on the street because father has come home from the carousal, and the seven-hundred-voiced shriek of the sinking steamer because the captain was not himself when he put the ship on the wrong course. Champion fiend am I! I have kindled more fires, I have wrung out more agonies, I have stretched out more midnight shadows, I have opened more Golgothas, I have rolled more Juggernauts' cars, I have damned more souls, than any other emissary of diabolism.

of diabolism. Champion fiend

am I!

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

HE question of the desolation of the American home and

its protection lifts itself above every other question relative to American politics. I wish I could put on the canvas an imaginary American home. I would not make a fine mansion on the avenue or an old log cabin; but I would make a comfortable house with its garden and line of shadetrees, with birds singing the song of joy in the morning. Then I would put in this ideal home a husband, a wife and children, the eldest boy driving the team to the barn, the second one the cows, and the third whistling a familiar household tune. Then I would have Congress appoint a commission of inquiry upon political economy and inquire:

“Madam, we have called to know what this American home will do for this American Republic ?"

She would reply: “Gentlemen, we are trying to keep our home pure; are trying to make our boys patriotic American sitizens; we are trying to make our daughter a true American woman; we are trying to love God and keep His commandments, and to cultivate the grace of hospitality. Walk in, gentlemen, and take tea with us."

The chairman says: “Madam, we have called to know what sacrifice this American home will make for this American Republic ? This country is in danger, and we want an answer just now.

“Take our eldest boy,” is the reply; "take him away to the battle-field, and if he falls in defense of his country's flag, we will kiss the second one, and say: 'Go, fill your brother's place."

Any government that will not protect that home by all the power of its police and the majesty of its law from the cursed liquor traffic is not the republic it ought to be.

It is told of Ben Wade that once he rode upon his horse to

[ocr errors]

find the Government. He went to the President, who said, “I am not the Government. He went to the Senate and Congress, and they said, “We are not the Government." He then called his neighbors into the old schoolhouse and said: “I want to talk to the Government."

I ask you, gentlemen, if you love this American Republic, to silence the rum power that is destroying our homes.

THE LAW OF HABIT.

FRANCES E. WILLARD. "HAT which has been done once is easier done the second

time. Repetition is the only basis of perfection. Patient continuance in well-doing conducts by a straight path to glory, honor, and immortality.

Since 1874 I have been a steady student of the law of habit—I had wellnigh said the law of fate. I have seen it slowly, gently, imperceptibly, wrap men round and round in its close winding-sheet, as if they were Egyptian mummies. So quietly was all this done that they never knew their bondage until the first faint movement toward a better life, when, behold, their helplessness recalled the Indian-tortured hunter perpendicularly planted in the ground with earth packed around him even to the lips. A miracle of faith has rescued some of these; but a study of years compels the admission that not more than five in one hundred inebriates, gamblers or libertines are ever permanently reformed.

The thoughtless boy, cigar in mouth, playing cards “ just for fun," and a little later with a glass of beer as the stake, hiding all these things from his mother, saying to himself, “I'll quit this after a while, but I want to sow my wild oats;

»s the idle, spendthrift youth with fondness only for the vile company where his worst passions can be gratified; the besotted man, sold under sin, accursed of God and his own

« 上一页继续 »