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rent like an honest man, then I'll forgive you this two pounds back money, and you shall start all fair again.”
Jackson could not but thank Mr. White for his kindness, and really felt grateful to him. He left the house with a firm resolution to keep away from the George,' and pay his rent. Perhaps some day we shall hear whether he did so.
“Well, Mary, here's rent day again; is the money all right? Bring the box, and let's see.”
“Right enough, George, I'll warrant; I counted the weeksthirteen, you know, to the quarter-and I've never missed dropping in the two shillings, though sometimes it's been no easy matter.
“Ah, Vary, it won't do to say we believe in our dying Saviour, and profess love to him, and not show it in our life. And so take the money to-day to Mr. White, and let us thank God that we've got it to pay him.”
TEMPERANCE LITERATURE-ITS PURPOSE AND
By E. J. OLIVER.
We have noticed for some time past with serious misgiving, the tendency of our Temperance literature, to claim too much on behalf of the principles it advocates. We allude more especially to the department of fictiou ; which, although not directly professing to be an advocate of the Temperance movement, is undoubtedly, one of the most influential forms in which its advocacy is to be found. No one supposes for a moment, that our Temperance tales are written and published simply to amuse. They have (or should have) a higher, and a nobler purpose in view. We seek by its means to pourtray the folly and wicked. ness of the inebriate—to paint in truthful colors, the long train of evils that follow in the wake of intemperance; and, with a no less truthful hand, to draw the pleasing picture that temperance exhibits to our view. The contrast thus afforded is in itself a most powerful argument in favor of our principles; and, we are justified in placing them side by side, that all may mark the beauty of the one, and the deformity of the other. But let us take care that we do not overstep the mark. We do not think it posssible greatly to exaggerate the evil influences exercised by the “Worship of Bacchus;" the danger lies in overstating the results of total abstinence. It has become the
custom with some writers, to hold out inducements to the moderate drinker in much the same way, that we offer high bounties in war time, to bring recruits to our armies. This is not as it should be. The legitimate, and the only true way to make converts, is not to appeal to the pocket, but to the head and the heart. Not to say, by becoming a total abstainer you will gain so much money, but you will increase your self-respect, raise your moral dignity, insure your happiness, and influence your fellow-creatures for good. This last cousideration is in our opinion, the principal point on which we should take our stand. There are few men who would not gladly abstain, if they were once convinced that benefit might accrue to others in consequence. Men, who scorn to look at it as a matter of so many shillings or pounds saved, in the course of the year, see it in a different light when it comes to them, clothed in the garb of philanthropy.
One is fearful of saying anything that shall seem to cast blame on a good work.
There are so many who, loving “not wisely but too well,” cannot see any defects in the object of their love; that he who utters a word of remonstrance, runs the risk of being looked upon by them as an enemy to the cause, the wellbeing of which is as dear to him as anything on earth. We should be the last to say one word in disparagement of the great work done by the Temperance movement; neither are we disposed to cavil at the means by which it has been effected. But it is in its true interests, that we would call attention to what we believe to be a step in the wrong
direction. Anything that goes beyond the boundary of probability, may occasionally extend to the sublime, but in the majority of instances, it reaches only to the ridiculous; and, surrounded as we are by opponents who are ready to seize upon anything that shall tell to our disadvantage, it behoves us to uphold the dignity of our cause, and make our literature worthy of a place beside that of the best of the day.
It is a very common thing to read of a working man entering a temperance hall, and being “struck” with the arguments of the speaker-signing the pledge—and in a short time becoming a considerable land owner, and M.P. for his native place. We know that these cases are only the exception, and not the rule; and therefore, to speak of them as though they were the rule, and not the exception, is, to say the least of it, unjustifiable. Unthinking people who read these tales, will jump to the conclusion, that they have only to leave off their daily pint, sign
the pledge, and five hundred a year will follow, as a matter of
The necessity for earnest, unflinching purpose, and hard work, is not sufficiently brought out; all the credit is given to the pledge, and consequently, clear-headed and thinking men look upon such narrations with contempt; which, we must admit, is not wholly undeserved. Nor is this all. People who sign the pledge with the idea just mentioned, soon find out their mistake, and having no good principles to support them in the course which they adopted, speedily fall back into their former habits, and the last state of these men is undeniably worse than their first.
Another complaint we have to make is, that in many of these tales, those who are teetotallers, are represented as being patterns of virtue and goodness; while those who have not embraced those principles, are insufferably bad, and depraved. Now, it does not need much knowledge of the world to know, that this is not the truth. There are very many who are conspicuous for their piety, their charity, their intellectual power, their true nobility of nature, and their scorn of all that is base and wicked, who do not see the Temperance question in such a light as to lead them to forsake the drinking customs of society, and cast in their lot with us. Seeing the matter as we see it, we do and must deplore the fact, and the more so when we consider the powerful influence which they would be sure to bring with them, and the good that would consequently result from their co-operation. On the other hand, strict justice compels us to deny the assertion, that temperance--however rigidly adhered to-necessarily implies the possession of all the other virtues inculcated by St. Paul.
It would be easy to select for criticism, one or more of the books to which we allude; and indeed, it was at first our intention to do so; but, as it would not be acting justly, to make invidious remarks upon one, while others with the same faults escape censure, we have judged it best to make this general protest, believing that the reader, if at all conversant with temperance literature, will readily call to mind several instances of the failings referred to.
Happily however, we can point with unmixed satisfaction, to several works, worthy not only of the writers who produced them, but of the movement, the principles of which they are designed to illustrate and enforce. They bear upon
pages the impress of all-powerful and imperishable truth,—they lead us to a right understanding of the great question at issue,
they speak out fearlessly, and honestly, for the principles they advocate,-and in no spirit of intolerance or bigotry, but with that charity which“ believeth all things” and “hopeth all things,” they attack, those long-standing drinking habits, which are at once our country's custom, and our country's curse.
Notwithstanding what we have said, we must express our conviction, that temperance literature does not receive fair play from the critics. It is subject, in common with all other literary composition, to two kinds of criticism, which have been termed the judicial and the sympathetic. Occupying the position it does, it is scarcely to be expected that a reviewer with strong anti-teetotal tendencies, should come to his task in anything but a judicial spirit; and with a determination to discover and expose the minutest flaw in the argument, or the least departure from the strict letter of “the Queen's English.” On the other hand, the anti-Bacchus critic, sympathising as it is natural he should do, with every effort to promote the spread of Temperance truth, welcomes with open arms anything which he believes will aid in the attainment of that object, and entirely ignoring plot, arrangement, style and grammar, proceeds, with an abundance of eulogistic remarks, to give it the sanction of his authority, as a work true alike to nature and art. It will be seen at once, that the latter course is as unwise as the former is unjust. In the one case, it is not unlikely (unless it be the work of a master mind) to sink under the fierce attack made upon its existence; in the other, it is in danger of being suffocated by cruel kindness, like a child in the arms of a too fond mother.
What we want is, a few earnest yet discriminating men, who, while they sympathise fully with the aim of the works submitted to them for review, will not hesitate to point out their defects, that others following in the same path, may take warning from the errors of their predecessors. By this means we shall produce a literature, that shall not only merit, but command, the attention of the world ; and those who at present stand afar off shall bring their time, their talents, and their heart's service to the cause, which more than any other (religion of course excepted) shall be the social regenerator of mankind.
Ne'er a one have I;
In a cottage, I;
Cleon hath a dozen fortunes,
Cleon, and not I.
But the landscape, 1;
Money cannot buy:
Freshening vigour, I;
Richer man am I.
Free as thought am I;
Need of none have I;
Cleon fears to die;
Happier man am I.
In a daisy, I;
In the sea and sky:
Earnest listener I;
WILL IT HELP US ?
By the Rev. GEORGE W. M'CREE. Would the formation of a Band of Hope in connection with our Sunday School be wise and useful? is a question now much debated by Sunday School Teachers. I believe it would promote the education, secular prosperity, self-mastery, and religious life of the scholars. My reasons for this belief will be found in the array of facts and opinions embodied in this paper.
1. Children often become lovers of Intoxicating Drink.
JUVENILE TIPPLERS.—Rev. C. F. Bagshaw, chaplain of the New Bailey, Salford, says :-"I heard the other day from the surgeon of the