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Yes, yes !' she cried. • And may the holy lesson of this hour never be forgotten. Oh, God, let it rest, as an angel of mercy, upon my boys ! Let it be a light to their feet in the time of temptation! And so shall they bless through life the influence they carry with them from their home!'
PRACTICAL PAPERS, No. 3.
By Mr. G. M. MURPHY.
APPEAL TO FACTS. “Facts are stubborn things,” says the well-known proverb ; and it is indisputably true.
And canna be disputed.” No moral movement has such startling facts, on which to found appeals, as the temperance cause. Science declares the practice of total abstinence to be in harmony with its laws. History, when appealed to, speaks of whole nations flourishing when rigidly abstemious; but drooping to decay, in proportion as they yielded to a luxurious effeminacy. The Sacred Scriptures reveal the sad effects of intemperance; and make known the advantages accruing from following a contrary course of conduct. It is not our intention to prove these positions: they may be verified by any who have the least desire to do so.
The occurrences taking place around us, the facts of everyday life, are those to which we would at present advert. The Band of Hope conductor should be at home here ; narrating circumstances, drawing conclusions, enforcing lessons. While we are writing, two occurrences place themselves prominently before us to illustrate our meaning. Who has not heard of the awful calamity at New Hartley coal pit ? How unexpected! how sudden ! how sad their fate, who were buried alive! Who could but weep for the widows and the orphans? But how consoling it is to know that so many were Christians, and total abstainers. This knowledge inspires us with hope that their last moments would be spent as became thoughtful and earnest men, on the verge of the eternal world. What a contrast ! Four inebriated men are staggering through one of our main London thoroughfares; they are larking, as it is called. As they proceed, they overturn stalls, and push rudely against people who pass them. A cart for the reception of bones is standing at a butcher's shop door; the man who is loading it brings out a basketful and deposits them. As he returns he is 'pelted' by the drunken men; he remonstrates, and they add
abuse and rough treatment to the insult. The butcher comes forth from the shop to protect the man, when one of the ruffians stabs him in the stomach, inflicting à mortal wound. Thus a young wife becomes a widow, and four children are made fatherless by the drunkard's cruel blow. What multiplied lessons may be derived from such incidents! and how full of interest, to the children, is their narration. No anecdote or story can surpass them in attracting attention, and there is the additional advantage that while they are listening, they are learning to draw conclusions from passing events for themselves.
What we know of the companions of our school-boy days, of the incidents which are continually occurring around us, the things which happen in our daily walk in life, is full of interest, and we should exercise our memory in recalling the the past, and make good use of our judgment in discriminating as to what would wisely “point a moral and adorn a tale.” We know important facts, let us use them.
What we see as we journey through the world, day by day, is far from being uninteresting. Solomon says, “ The wise man's eyes are in his head," and if the head in which the eyes are, is worthy of its name, scarce a day passes over, but the eyes are impressed with pictures, eminently calculated to enforce our principles pleasantly and powerfully, if the pictures are put into words. We see important facts, let us use them,
What we hear should be made subservient to our enterprise. The merry laughter of the temperance tea-party; the cheerful prattling of an innocent child ; the sad moanings of the drunkard's wife; the story poured from the reclaimed one's heart.
The poor old alms-house man had always a cheery appearance on the Sabbath morn, because he heard, as he said, the bells chiming in his ear, “Keep a good heart, keep a good heart;" and the very ringing of the voices around us falling on our ear, like the country church bells to the happy old man, have a voice for us if we will but hear them. Stand in yonder police court, and listen to the plaintive tale of the poor woman whose face has been beaten out of shape by her brutal, because drunken, partner. Enter Westminster Hall
, and listen to the disclosures of wickedness enacted through the drink among the high-born and the proud. Watch that group in the private office of the large banking concern; there are the partners, and the manager, and a much younger man than either of them. What a confession of guilt the young man pours into their ears ! his defalcations have been detected, and now he details his
downward course-neglect of religion, the concert hall, the wine room, and the drink. It is the old, old story. His prospects in life are blasted, and respect for broken-hearted parents alone saves the partners from consigning him to a felon's fate. We hear important facts, let us use them.
What we read, of time wasted through drink—of money squandered through drink-of grain destroyed in making drink -of miseries occasioned through using drink-of crime committed to obtain drink, or when under its influence of peril to life and property on sea and ashore through the drink—of poor-houses filled by the drink—of churches, chapels, and schools emptied by the drink-of seventeen out of twenty lunatics made so by drink —of the many diseases occasioned, or their virulence increased by the drink-and when we add to this and much more might be said) the utter uselessness of the drinks for which all this suffering and calamity is endured, what can be said in favour of the common sense of those who disregard the facts they may read, hear, see, and know, on the other side of the question ?
We have the facts of both sides to read and use; and if the mischievous character of the drink is pourtrayed in sad and revolting colours, the results flowing from the adoption of temperance principles are unquestionably cheering and glorious, seeming the brighter, if that were possible, because of the opposing gloom. Let us go on, then, appealing to the facts which are relevant to our movement, and using them with all the assiduity and power we can command, and we shall still find them mighty in their influence for good, leading thousands to the adoption of that pledge, which, by the blessing of God, is still as powerful as it ever has been, and ever must be, in preserving the young, and redeeming the old from the blighting influences of intoxicating drinks.
THE GREAT SCOTTISH PREACHER.
By the Rev. G. W. McCREE. The Rev. Dr. Guthrie, of Edinburgh, is confessedly the most illustrious preacher of his age. Here he is: let us study him. Seated in a beautiful metropolitan church, we see around us two thousand well-dressed persons, and mingled with them may
be counted about a hundred ministers. In the carved pulpit stands Dr. Guthrie. He is tall, venerable, and self-possessed. Long grey locks fall from his fine broad temples. A capacious fore.
head indicates benevolence, thought, and power. No novice no trifler is before us. This man knows what work is. He has waded through the floods of sorrow. He is as familiar with life as with learning. The ragged child, the fallen woman, the bloated drunkard, the hunted criminal, have found in him a warm friend and loving teacher. Both humour and piety dwell in his soul, and war not with each other. He knows when to smile and when to pray. There is “a time to weep and a time to laugh,” and Dr. Guthrie contrives to do both with perfect consistency. Homely and sublime words alike resemble music when spoken by him. He can play at golf, sail a boat, write a book, preach a sermon, play with a child, argue with a philosopher, address a temperance meeting, or seek for a ragged child in a dirty garret, and do it all with skill, and grace, and zeal. He is a man
thoroughly furnished unto every good work." Listen to him! How impressively he speaks! Florid periods, snatches of holy song, familiar illustrations, grand bursts of eloquence, sketches of character, brief appeals, daring denunciations of popular sins, humorous anecdotes, pathetic consolation, and forcible proclamations of inspired truths flow from his lips. He preaches for an hour and a half, and yet you weary not. His sermon is a prose poem, and when it is delivered you sigh with regret, and wish the “old man eloquent” would resume his "wondrous tale."
The sun's in the sky,
The thrifty bee
Hums in the tree,
By whom the flower,
The sun and the bower,
THE BLIND BOY AT PLAY.
The merry games we had;
every step was glad ;
And praised its varied hue,
Just like a drop of dew.
Where falling waters made
As golden sun-rays play'd :
And hail'd the clear, blue sky,
And breathed a long, long sigh.
Whene'er we found the spots
O'er wild forget-me-nots.
As fast as summer showers-
The sunshine and the flowers."
He taught me that I'm blest;
On all I love the best ;
And daisies red and white,
VILLAGE SKETCHES, No. 1.
WINTER EVENINGS. A country village as drawn from imagination by a poet, and a country village as it exists in real life, are two very different places. So I have discovered from living in a real country village for a considerable period