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OUR NATIONAL VICE.

BY THE REV. WILLIAM REID,

EDINBURGH.

GLASGOW:
SCOTTISH TEMPERANCE LEAGUE.

LONDON: HOULSTON & WRIGHT, AND W. TWEEDIE.

1858.

232. C.105.

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THE Directors of the League deem it their duty to state, that their highly respected friend, the Author of this volume, has, with his accustomed liberality, presented it as a free gift to the League; for which they hereby tender him their hearty thanks.

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PREFATORY NOTE.

The accompanying volume has been prepared at the request of the Directors of the Scottish Temperance League. The object which the Author has aimed at has been to present, within a brief compass, a comprehensive and popular view of the Temperance question. After illustrating the chief evils of intemperance, and the sources of its widely-extended power, he proceeds to prove that total abstinence is essential to the sup. pression of our national vice, meets the usual objections urged in opposition to our principle, and concludes with a defence of a Prohibitory Liquor Law, and the place to be assigned it in the prosecution of the movement. And the Author cherishes the hope, that he has presented within a brief space all that is necessary to put a candid inquirer in full possession of our principles and aims.

In the illustration of his subject, the Author has had particular reference to the plan of Popular Readings; and he hopes that his work may be serviceat to those who seek to be useful by this mode of advocating there for the promotion of which it has been prepared. He mentions this fact to account for the numerous illustrations and rhetorical style which he has adopted. While this peculiarity may better adapt the work for Public Readings, he trusts that it may not render it less acceptable to the general reader.

.

MERCHISTON PARK, EDINBURGH, 20th September, 1858.

OUR NATIONAL VICE.

CHAPTER I.

man.

Personal Demoralisation. INTEMPERANCE exceeds all other vices in the comprehensive ness of its devastations. Other vices may entail many evils, but this one makes a deadly assault on every interest dear to

Well do I know that, in aiming at the reformation of the drunkard, it is not necessary to exhibit to him the miseries which he has entailed upon himself and others. On every side he is met with the memorials of his folly. The averted look of those who once welcomed him to their hearts and homes; a dwelling, the gloom of which contrasts sadly with its former cheerful aspect; the upbraidings of friends, and worse still, the upbraidings of conscience; wasted means and enfeebled health ;—these have all a language, the meaning of which he fully comprehends. Lucid moments there are, in the life of even the most abandoned inebriate, when the evils of intemperance stand out to his view with a vividness which far exceeds the descriptive powers of the most gifted of our alvocates. If, then, we briefly treat of the evils of intemperance, it is not so much with the view of thereby inducing the drunkard to abstain, as for the purpose of duly impressing the sober with the dire calamities to which they expose themselves, in tampering with the liquors which have proved the ruin of thousands.

As intemperance begins with the individual, and is gene. rally seen in those of mature years, we may view it, first of

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