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it is a
spiritual conversion of men through our total abstinence societies in the way of preparing many to receive the gospel, who would not, and could not otherwise have been prepared. I say great work to make a drunkard a sober man; but we do even a greater work than this—we restore to the drunkard, reformed on our method, elements of character which, to say the least of them, are conditions favourable to the decisive operation of those influences which go to produce a higher life; and even the highest life of all—the life of a humble and earnest Christian.
But the drunkard is not the only object of our solicitude. We embrace also, within the sweep of our reformatory operations, the deluded multitude who suffer from the use of intoxicating drinks less manifestly and in a less degree. We have a mission to moderate drinkers as well as to drunkards. It may be said it is no great work to persuade a man who never drinks to excess utterly to abandon the use of alcoholic stimulants. But I venture think that the work is, in most cases, greater than it
It is a salutary and often much-needed discipline. I have been told by men, who were of the excellent of the earth, who had been induced to abandon their moderate indulgence, that they might qualify themselves to act as helpers of the drunkard, that they felt deeply grateful on their own account that the agencies of our movement had been brought to bear upon them. They found that total abstinence involved a sorer struggle than they had anticipated. They had scarcely committed themselves to the struggle until they felt that their moral lives needed this discipline. From being a question of benevolent concern for the deliverance of the fallen, it presently became , a question of their own moral strength. We believe that no man can habitually use intoxicating drinks as a beverage, though in moderate quantities, without being injured. Not to speak of their interference with bodily functions, their tendency is to fret the temper, to blear the eye of reason, to disable the mind for concentration and meditativeness, to pamper the appetites and stimulate the passions. They are unfavourable to all kinds of manly growth, and to that equanimity which is so necessary to the peace and beauty of home life, and to. kindliness and profitableness in one's social relations. I believe it is a great work of national education, in the highest sense, to which we have committed ourselves. It is a work from which the most beneficent result must issue in the sphere of moral and spiritual life. It is a discipline conceived in the spirit of our self-denying religion; a discipline which, as it does its work,
cannot fail to give to that religion a purer and nobler practical development. If we shall succeed in putting down the moderate use of intoxicating drinks as beverages, we shall accomplish, “a great work” within the proper sphere of temperate life, in elevating the tone of moral feeling, in checking the insidious and enervating progress of luxury, in promoting a manly, reasoning, and self-denying interest in the welfare of others, and in making the Christians of the time more Christlike. It is a poor narrow view of our work which regards it merely as a promotion of temperance: it is a subtle, pervasive, educational force, which, as it spreads, will touch the higher life of the nation at every point.
I cannot leave this part of my subject without refering, in a sentence or two, to the bearing of our work upon the young. I rejoice exceedingly that men among us, who are not likely to waver in their purpose, have lately given special attento this department. May God bless and direct them in their efforts to protect our rising youth from the prevailing contamination! You do a great work for a youth when you keep him from entering into the associations which our drinking usages have gathered about them ; when you teach him to bear himself vigilantly amid the hidden snares of social life, when you help him to stand upon his own convictions against the persuasion of friends and the banter of companions. There are few better preparations than this, not merely for the temptations with which our drinking usages surround our youth, but for all the work and trials of life. If our movement could take up but one generation of our youth, train them to an intelligent adoption of our principies, and carry them through the conflict of their earlier years with the prejudices and the habits of their seniors, it would give to our country a generation of men who would make her name greater than it has ever been. They would not merely be temperate men, they would, as a rule, be men of a clear head, and a firm will, and a pure life-worthy children of a great movement, and certain to be the fathers of some movement greater still,
PRIZES. The Committee of the Band of Hope Union offer Three Prizes,
ONE OF ONE GUINEA,
TWO OF HALF-A-GUINEA EACH, for the Three best Recitations or Dialogues, suitable for Bands of Hope. The adjudicators to be appointed by the Editor of the Band of Hope Record. The rejected as well as accepted MSS. to be the property of the Union. The productions to be in Prose or Verse. Open to all.
DIRECTIONS. All MSS. to be sent in by the 30th of September, directed to the Editor of the Record, 37, Queen Square, London. W.C.
Each MS. to bear at its head a motto, and a sealed letter to be enclosed, stating the name and address of competitor.
The sealed letters will remain closed till after the adjudication. The result will be stated in the November number.
FREDERIC JAMES EDWARDS, Abingdon, Berks, has obtained the Editor's Prize Bible.
FOR RECITATION FOR BANDS OF HOPE.
And through it streamed the radiance of a never-setting day; While angels tall and beautiful, and countless without number, Were giving gladsome greeting to all who came that way;
And the gates for ever swinging,
Of one that we adore ;
And the burden of that chorus
Was Hope's glad word, Evermore! And as I gazed and listened, came a slave all worn and weary,
His fetter-links blood-crusted, his dark skin clammy damp, His sunken eye gleamed wildly, telling tales of horror dreary, Of toilsome strugglings through the night amid the fever swamp,
Ere the eye had time for winking,
Wretch, and off his fetters tore;
“Pass, brother, through our portals
And as I gazed and listened, came a mother wildly weeping,
“I have lost my hopes for ever-one by one they went away; My children and their father, the cold grave hath in its keeping, Life is one long lamentation, I know no night nor day.”
Then the angel softly speaking
Stay, sister, stay thy shrieking,
Beyond that golden door;"
Thy children and their father
And as I gazed and listened, came one whom desolation
Had driven like a helmless bark from infancy's bright land; Who ne'er had met a kindly look-poor outcast of creation, Who never heard a kindly word, nor grasped a friendly hand.
“Enter in, no longer fear thee,
There no sorrow sad and sore;"
“ Enter brother, thine are friendship,
Love, and gladness, evermore.” And as I gazed and listened, came a cold blue-footed maiden,
With cheeks of ashen whiteness, eyes filled with lurid light; Her body bent with sickness, her lone heart heavy ladenHer house had been the roofless street, her day had been the
First wept the angel sadly,
And caught the maiden madly
Rushing from the golden door ;
“Enter, sister, thou art pure, and
I saw the toiler enter, to rest for age
from labour, The weary-hearted exile therein found his native land; Beggar there could greet King as an equal and a neighbour
The crown had left the kingly brow, the staff the beggar's hand.
And the gate for ever swinging,
Of one that we adore ;
While the vision faded from me,
A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR YOUNG MEN.
One Sunday morning the Superintendent of the Adult School in Severn Street, Birmingham, distributed amongst the scholars the “ British Workman Almanack.” It was illustrated by many woodcuts of a superior character; one of these represented a young man, with a cigar in his mouth, just entering a room well supplied with books, where was another young man, sitting at a table reading. In one of the classes, the teacher remarked that the young man with the cigar might be intended for one of his scholars, who was not present that morning, and who was known to be very fond of smoking. Seeing that there was a description of the scene below the picture, one of the scholars asked the teacher to read it. It appeared that two young men, who had formerly been companions, had been separated for some time; one had been induced to seek the company of those who thought only of the pleasures of the presentmoment, and was fond of the excitement of theatres and saloons, and had indulged in smoking cigars and tobacco.. The other had devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits; he had been determined to lay up a stock of useful information, and had expended his spare money in books. These were the companions whose meeting was represented in the engraving.
After reading the narrative, the teacher made some remarks condemning the practice of smoking, and asked the young men who were around him if any of them smoked. Two or three replied they smoked a little. The teacher said if any of the scholars were willing to leave off the use of tobacco, that he would take charge of their savings, and add interest at the end
One of the scholars, rather older than the rest, said he calculated that he spent sixpence a week, and he should like to deposit that sum weekly. A bargain was made, that if the scholars took to the use of tobacco during the next twelve
of the year.