Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

he labour indoors or out. The hollowness of insincerity will leak out at last, to his confusion and shame; the cause, alas! (among the unthinking) bearing no small share of his reproach.

To deep-seated principle the advocate must add steadiness of purpose, intelligent conviction, general good sense, and an aptitude to communicate truth to his hearerg. His facts should be facts. His illustrations should bear on his subject, his inferences should be logical, his bearing gentlemanly, and he should finish speaking when his speech is finished. His opponent should not only be tolerated, but listened to with respect. If his opposition is honest, respect is due to the man; but if not, respect is due to the speaker himself, and the cause he represents; an intolerant speech is an offence against freedom of thought, and weakens the cause he who makes it would defend.

The advocate who cultivates his natural talents and abilities, striving to add the charm of elocution to the grace of truth, must be powerful. He, like Dr. Watts' busy bee,

“Gathers honey all the day.

From every op'ning flower." It is very pitiable when, with the world as a storehouse of facts and incidents, the Temperance speaker goes on year by year ignoring them all, uttering the same platitudes, cracking the old jokes, wearing still more threadbare, long since "used up” illustrations. The good steward brings out of the storehouse things new and old.

Naturalism must never be departed from by the advocate who would succeed. It is awkward, as a wooden legged elephant, to see a man naturally grare striving to be grotesque. True, he sometimes creates laughter, but at him instead of with him. It is no less a mistake for a man whose rough and ready experience would

carry conviction to every hearer's heart, to get himself into the, to him, fog-bank of learned disquisition, using words ignorant of their meaning, perplexing his hearers, shaming his friends, and betraying the cause by darkening counsel by words without knowledge. The old proverb says, “Let the shoemaker stick to his last;" so here, let the scientific man speak authoritatively on science, the historian on history, the divine on divinity, the economist on social statistics, the experimentalist on experience, the statistician on statistics, and let us use their facts without aping their positions, and our work will prosper. The successful advocate must discriminate between things that differ. We lately heard a speaker affirm that the traffic was the cause of which drinking and drunkenness was the effect-a position

cess.

about as tenable as that butchers' shops are the cause of the consumption of beef, mutton, and pork. Another speaker, at the same meeting, spoke of the shutting up of the public-houses, &c., as "striking the axe at the root of the tree,” both speakers seeming to forget that the trade in drink was a very natural sequence to the habit of drinking, and that instead of being the root it was but a scathing branch of a more destructive stem. Such statements would damage the speakers' cause, and weaken their influence with every intelligent hearer. The analytical faculty would enable us to give to each argument its proper weight and position; to select at will the weak points of an unfriendly attack, as well as help us to systematise our own, thus preventing what is sometimes done, travelling from Dan to Beersheba in a speech, and landing “nowhere” at last.

Personalities should never be indulged in by the advocate. Attacks on individuals, or illiberal invective, is suicidal to suc

The Temperance platform is not the arena for the display of personal bitterness, but for the enunciation of great principles. Coarseness or indelicacy should be carefully eliminated from the speaker's address. He who by his advocacy brings a blush to the cheeks of modesty, or gives a taint to the youthful mind, has sown a seed which may germinate in distrust to the cause, and lead to the alienation of many from our ranks. Our only hope of success is in the adhesion of the good, the wise, the virtuous, and the holy, and he who offends one of these little ones throws a stone of stumbling in the path of progress.

Presumptuous predictions of a speedy final triumph are a source of weakness to the cause. Prophetic clap-trap may catch the ear, and draw the applause of an ignorant or partizan crowd ; but sober sense laughs it to scorn; the world will not be made moral at a bound, and when the disapointment comes, those who before yoked themselves to the prophet's chariot wheels, receive such a shock to their faith that they lose heart and hope, not unfrequently turning back, to their own dishonour, and injury of the cause.

Exaggerated statements and over-drawn pictures are highly injurious and prejudicial. The evil is fierce enough; we need not make it more grim. A skeleton is ghastly enough without paint. Besides, if proof is publicly demanded, resort must be had to the plea of ignorance, or prevarication, and a damaging exposure is the result, the effects of which years will not wipe away from the minds of the audience.

Consistency of conduct must mark the measure of an advo

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cate's success. Who can calculate the power of a blameless life? Who estimate the mischief done by an inconsistent or immoral advocate ? A Judas spite of Judas' example. The Temperance cause has bleeding wounds from stabs more deep than Brutus gave to Ceasar; she only does not die, because founded on truth and cannot. But, alas! too often, like the kindly woodman, she has warmed once frozen snakes, who have used their lives to sting her. We need vigilance to mark such as walk disorderly, and whatever their rank, station, or standing, to discountenance them as far as possible.

We must prepare to meet objections to our principles ; to meet them, not browbeat the objectors. Our replies should be truthful, lucid, kind, courteous. We have no right to suppose (unless we know to the contrary) but that the querist is really seeking for information. It does not follow that because we are familiar with the question of teetotalism everybody else is; and even should an objection be made from mere captiousness, it is possible some in the meeting may be anxious upon the points mooted, though lacking the courage to make the inquiry.

No advocate should begin and close an address without a distinct enunciation of the principles of the pledge. No meeting e mu should be held without an opportunity being afforded for signing the pledge; in this age of oratory this is sometimes forgotten.

Prodigies, whether young or old, need dealing with prudently, or the cause may suffer. As a general rule they need pulling back rather than pushing forward, the bearing rein before the spur; genius will find its level. We are frequently reminded that being great, and wishing to be great are quite two distinct things; and it is well for all to know that it is better to be useful without brilllance, than brilliant without use.

He who combines both will not have to hide his light under a bushel long. The Temperance cause demands, and is worthy of, men of superior intelligence. Its representative men must be workmen needing not to be ashamed, and such will soon become a power in our ranks.

“Toadyism” of all kinds is an unmistakable sign of weakness; waiting at the lips of a “great man” for an opinion, or an utterance, which he may have been "crammed” to make, or goaded to utter, and then trumpeting it through the land as a matured reflection, is a piece of snobbishness, disgusting propriety, and offensive to honesty and common sense. We will rejoice in the accession of men of “rank and standing” to our cause, but will not abate on jot of principle to court their favour, nor will their

[ocr errors]

-If

adhesion, if we are wise, startle us from our propriety, for it is still true that “Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king.”

The infusion of denominational differences into Temperance advocacy is destructive of harmony and inimical to success. In religion, politics, and other things we must "agree to differ," whilst uniting against the common foe. Much more might be said on the subject of the paper; but we forbear, simply saying that of the things of which we have spoken this is the sum :we would not weaken the cause of our advocacy, we must avoid bombast, coarseness, dishonesty of quotation, and discourtesy, exaggeration, imitation, inconsistency, indelicacy, personalities, predictions, sectarianism, toadyism, and unkindliness of speech and manner; while to strengthen and deepen the tide of Temperance truth, we must cultivate and carry out-aptness to teach, brevity, clearness of statement, consistency, conviction of right, determination to succeed, discrimination of character, foster our natural abilities, gather and systemise facts; gentlemanly bearing must ever prevail, good sense must guide, honesty of purpose be unmistakeable, logic convincing, naturalness of manner; principle must ever rule, purity of speech and gesture never be departed from ; store up incidents as they arise for future use, tolerate, and not browbeat opposition, be truthful at all hazards, and urbane under every provocation ; in short, add to "Temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love ; for if these things be in you and abound,” ye shall never fail.

6

[ocr errors]

POETRY

THE MANSION OF ALCOHOL.

By E. J. OLIVER.

I beheld a mansion in the visions of my slumber,

Gay, dazzling and radiant, with a hundred jets of light, And bottles fair to look upon, and countless without number,

Arranged in many an even row, formed an imposing sight; Fair gems of art from

every

clime were lavished in profusion, And all that man could do, was done, to charm his brother's

gaze, But though the place was beautiful, wild tumult and confusion

Reigned all around, and filled my heart with sorrow and amaze.

[ocr errors]

And as I stood and listened came a widow

poor
and

weary,
“Oh give me back my only son,” in agony she cried,
For

years he's been my hope and stay, and he was always

near me, Till lured by your Satanic arts he left his mother's side.” But all within that palace laughed to scorn her sad bewailing;

They heeded not her broken sobs-her wild heart-rending cry, Her tears—her cries—her earnest prayers—to them were una

vailing, And she sank upon the ground, with a broken heart to die.

And as I gazed and listened, came a child with tatter'd clothing,

Her little feet were shoeless, and her eyes were filled with

tears ;

She stood upon the threshold, and with instinctive loathing, She gazed upon the maddened groups, who greeted her with

jeers; But the child had seen her father, and she hastened to intreat

him To leave his gay companions and that gilded hall of sin ; But the drunkard, in his fury, hurled the little suppliant from

him,

And she lay there, bruised and bleeding, 'midst the ceaseless

noise and din.

Young and old, and sick and healthy-rich and poor--came

without ceasing: Little children yet untainted-hardened wretches sunk in sin; Drunken husbands, fathers, brothers, the huge crowd kept in

creasing, Girls

young and fair, and mothers too-came madly rushing

in. Then arose my voice to heaven, that the Lord would crush for

ever, That vile traffic which is hurling tens of thousands down to

hell, And that christian men and women might with heart and soul

endeavour To cast from off our fatherland, drink's soul-destroying spell.

« ForrigeFortsæt »