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THE NEED AND USEFULNESS OF TOTAL ABSTINENCE.
By the Rev. T. B. STEPHÉNSON. Although I am a very young minister, I have had sufficient experience to show me that we cannot get on in our churches without this Temperance cause.
There is a man now in connection with the people to whom I preach regularly; that man, when I first went to the chapel where I minister at Norwich, had been a member of the Church, but had turned through drinking. After a time he signed the pledge, and became a sober man, and having given due signs of repentance, we admitted him again into our communion, and permitted him to enjoy the privileges of a member of the church. Again, the man feeling that the old craving was waking up in him, has again broken his pledge and become a drunkard—not habitually, but still more than once he was overcome with strong drink, and therefore we were obliged again to refuse him the benefits of church membership. Now, what am I to do as a minister of the church? Can I say, “Trust in the grace of God ?” Certainly, I must say that; but God helps men not when they rush blindly into temptation, but when temptation comes upon them. If men will rush into temptation, then they must find strength to fight against it. I say to this man, “There is no chance for you unless you become a teetotaller;" and I believe that, without teetotalism, under God, that man could not be saved. While there is the craving in a man's heart, and passion unrebuked and unchecked, I do not see how it is possible for him to become a Christian man. I say to such, “Go and take the pledge to abstain from drink. There may be a doubt about its harmlessness to other people, but there is no question in your case-you cannot partake and be moderate.” There is another man, now a useful member of the Church in Norwich. Some six years ago he was a great prize-fighter, and used to be very great at single-stick and boxing, and all the rest of it ; in fact, he was quite noted in that part of the country for his capacity in teaching people blackguardism. This man had for a long time been accustomed to go on a Saturday night and spend part of his wages in the public-house. At last he began to look upon it in a commercial point of view-(I have never known another instance in which a man has been reclaimed from monetary motives) —and he resolved that at any rate he would try it for one Saturday night. He stayed away from the public-house, and, of
course, had got much more money to take home to his wife in consequence. He liked it so well that he tried it a second Saturday night, and before he became at all affected by religious truth he became a teetotaller. Very soon afterwards he lost a little child, and he told me that when the child died he went up into the room where it lay, and for the first time, probably, in his life, knelt down and prayed to God. Why, what would that man have done if he had still been a drinker? He would have run off to the public-house to drown his sorrow in drunkenness. But he was a teetotaller, and the little child there laid out dead upon the bed made more impression upon him than the most eloquent sermon. The next Sunday he went to church, and he has been now for three or four years a consistent member of the church, and is one of the most active Sunday-school teachers I have ever known.
CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of the “ BAND OP HOPE RECORD.” Dear SIR,-In visiting various Bands of Hope and Temperance Societies, I often regret to hear it said, “We cannot get the children to come;" or, “We cannot get the people out.” Just to show some of our friends what may be done even in warm weather in this respect, I trouble you with the following little history :-A Band of Hope was started in connection with a Wesleyan Sunday School in South London. It seemed to be the impression that as the Society was started, by a minute to that effect being recorded, that the children of the neighbourhood would be sure of knowing this. Of course they did not. At the first meeting there were 8 present; at the second 13; at the third 7, at the fourth 157. What brought about the change? This. One of the teachers made up his mind to USE THE MEANS to get a meeting. The means were very simple. He got 500 little bills printed, five inches by four, with a neat border; on the four edges of the bills were four striking little facts about the drink, which children could understund, and within the border, a kind simple invitation, intimating that the child to whom it was given would be welcome to the meeting The children, and even 20 parents accepted the invitation, were thoroughly pleased with the meeting, and went away delighted. I believe the same means used anywhere, would be equally successful. I forgot to say the bills were given away at the doors of the sunday school, two day schools near at hand, 100 by the city missionary of the neighbourhood, and a few to the children leaving the chapel, on the Sunday evening previous. I shall be glad to send to any one wanting it, one of these little bills.
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
F. SMITH. 37, Queen Square. W.C.
Annals of the Band of Hope Union.
THE TEMPERANCE CONGRESS. As our readers are now, no doubt, familiar with the proceedings of the Congress, convened by the National Temperance League, it is not necessary for us to enter into detail with regard to it. We heartily congratulate our fellow-workers on the admirable papers they evoked, and the meetings they held. At the féte, held in the Crystal Palace, a thousand children in connection with the Band of Hope Union, in compliance with the request of the National Temperance League, occupied the orchestra. How they and their leader, Mr. F. Smith, did their part, the Weekly Record shall inform our readers :
“ A feature of the day is announced: the little ones ' have been ranging themselves, the orchestra is once more filled; but this time the mass of golden haired, soft featured children make it radiant as a summer cloud steeped in the roseate dyes of morning; and as we gaze we can well fancy bow some grand old master would have drawn inspiration from such a scene, picturing that angel band which to the benighted shepherds sang of goodwill and peace.'
How the people flock to the foot of that orchestra! not a portion of the building but is deserted. Far down the transept on either side the throng extends; yet a silence deep as the grave falls upon all, as the note is given, and the young choir bursts into melody. If ever pride be pardonable it might be to those who now reap the results of their patient and unwearied care and attention bestowed upon the training of these children. The perfect time and harmony they kept, the enthusiasm developed, the feeling of discrimination, so early displayed, but which render the execution of these simple songs a truly artistic performance, which may well delight the most fastidious ears.
Too often has it been our painful duty to take exception on similar occasions to the faults of commission or omision-the hesitating drawl, or unequal pressing of time; but the praise which is due is here unqualified; the thousand little voices ring along the crystal roof in such perfect unison that to us—sitting apart, all senses merged in that of hearingthey might be one. And not in melody alone the children's hearts and souls are in it; hark to the burst of enthusiasm with which they bid 'Temperance and her sons rejoice,' and judge if they do not feel what they sing ; listen to the thrilling plaint as the voices die away-Oh! weep for youth and beauty, in the grave laid low.' What fêted prima donna of them all ever gave balf such meaning to the words she warbled forth, carried such conviction to the hearts of her listeners, or elicited applause more genuine than that which rings to the echoes as the song is finished, only, however, to be recommenced. There is soul, there is meaning, in the harmony; the singers gave them life, and the listeners welcome them with energy. : But the finale has arrived, the audience rise en masse as they join in ‘God save the Queen,' and we are wondering if she, gracious Lady, could but know what influences are here at work to raise up loyal hearts and lusty arms in defence of her and hers, would she not be fain at least to favour us? Would the truths bearing fruit this day in the People's Palace lack fostering in the home of our Sovereign?
THE LABOURS OF OUR AGENTS. The following is a summary of the agents' labours, during the past month :
Mr. Blaby has addressed the following meetings :-Bloomsbury Refuge, iwice; Denmark street, twice; Whitecross place, Finsbury, Star of Temperance, twice; Moor street, Five dials; Prospect row, Walworth road; Mill Pond bridge, Rotherhithe; Shadwell; Hendon; five meetings at Kenilworth ; also meetings at Leamington, Cubbington, Stoneleigh, &c. Mr. Blaby has also preached eight sermons, and addressed four sabbath schools.
We have received the following from Mr. Bowick, the indefatigable Secretary of Kenilworth Band of Hope :
Your agent, Mr. Blaby, has again laboured most acceptably, for a fortnight, in this place, and has also delivered lectures at several Warwickshire villages, where branch societies are formed. His services have been highly appreciated on this his third annual visit of the like duration.
Mr. F. Smith was engaged during part of the month, in training the children to sing at the Crystal Palace. He has also attended the following meetings:-Bow; Vauxhall walk Wesleyan Chapel; Denmark street; Ogle mews; Lant street, Borough; Stepney; Islington; and Amicable row,
Kent street. THE LABOURS OF A TEMPERANCE AGENT.-We are informed that Mr. W. B. Affleck, one of the agents of the Band of Hope Union, has, during three months, delivered addresses to five. Mothers' Meetings, at which there were present 400 persons; spoken nine times to the Inmates of Reformatories, when 840 were present; addressed nine Day and Sunday Schools, with 4,695 scholars in attendance; preached fourteen times, to audiences comprising 4,610 adults; lectured to twenty-four Bands of Hope, when 8,800 children heard him discourse on the blessings of a suber and christian life; and took part in thirty total abstinence meetings, the various audiences of which amounted to 21,910 persons. Mr. Ameck is now labouring in the North, as the agent of the Northern Auxiliary to the Band of Hope Union.
SOUTHAMPTON.-On Wednesday evening, August 13th, 1862, an entertainment, (the first of a series,) was given by the members and officers of the Richmond Band of Hope, in St. James' School-room, 'Cambridge terrace, when several friends, including the parents of some of the children, assembled. The chair was occupied by Mr.J. Lumby, who opened the meeting with prayer, then followed a variety of recitations and singing. During the evening, addresses were delivered by Mr. G. Collins, and Mr. A. Jones. The proceedings were of a most interesting character, and all present appeared to be highly gratified with the evening's entertainment.
J. BALĖ, Printer, 78, Great Titchtield-street, Marylebone.
BAND OF HOPE RECORD.
THE TWO DEATH-BEDS.
By the Rev. G. W. McCREE.
It is my lot to see many men die. I am still a young man, but I have stood by the bed-sides of more dying men and women than I choose to count. Some of them died in fearful agony of mind. Some of them perished in cellars and attics. Some of them expired in hospitals, of cancer, fever, and cholera. Some of them died in peace.
So fades a summer cloud away ;
So sinks the gale when storms are o'er;
So dies a wave along the shore. The final moments of two men whom I knew, deserve special record, and will, I trust, be deemed worthy of this memorial.
Let me begin with my well-beloved friend John. His father was a famous fighter, and like all men of his class, he was profane and drunken and wicked. John was born and trained in the midst of oaths, quarrels, card-playing, and lewdness. As soon as he could fight he did fight. He was always ready for a fray, and nothing pleased him better than “a regular set-to." He used to attend prize-fights, and I remember he told me that he twice saw Owen Swift contend in the ring. Like other violent and intemperate men he was addicted to wife-beating, and I saw his wife in an hospital undergoing an operation made necessary by his brutal treatment. Not long after this assault he was induced to sign the pledge, and he never broke it. Soon after his adhesion to total abstinence, he resolved upon doing what he had never done before, namely, attend the House of God. He went. The singing was beautiful. were short and simple. The lessons were read in a slow, distinct, varied voice. The sermon was on
“ The Common Sal. vation.” John felt in a new and higher and more beautiful world. During the week the sins of his life troubled him. He sighed and wept. He longed for the Sabbath of the Lord, that he might hear the Gospel. Again the minister ascended the pulpit—looked round his congregation-announced his text, and thus it read :- " THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD OVER
REPENTETH.” John felt transfixed. This was glorious news.
Tbis was a