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refreshing from the presence of the Lord. This contrast of emotional experience we wish to examine.

We must keep in mind the bitter rivalry between the Prince of light, and the Prince of darkness. The heart of a contest of this character is the expulsive power of the one over against the other. Satan studies assiduously every experience, every angle of advancement of Christ's kingdom, and proceeds to furnish a duplicate. He knows that the followers of Jesus often rejoice with a fullness of joy—unspeakable, as it were ; to meet this, he soon discovered that the exhilaration of drunkenness produced a splendid expulsive power. He proposes and promises his followers all the joys furnished by his rival; however pleasant they are always shams, and “at last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder."

A beverage that would produce drunkenness has been a curse from the earliest history. We call attention to two events, each one of which was so great that it left a blight sufficient to turn the course of human history into darker and bloodier channels. The first followed closely upon the remarkable deliverance from the Flood. The Ark had settled; life began its routine,fresh from the awful calamity. Noah built an altar and worshipped God; but before the perfume of the holy incense evaporated, that faithful servant of the Most High became beastly drunk, and his son Ham looked upon his nakedness and shame. The children of Ham must carry the curse until the end. The other followed closely upon a deliverance from fire. Lot was a citizen of Sodom, but he had not defiled himself; the iniquity of the place came up before God, and He destroyed it; not, however, until His angel led this righteous man to a place of safety. Through the entreaties of his designing daughters, as they were resting in the mountains, Lot became intoxicated unto idiocy. We must draw a veil over the shameful scene that occurred during his debauch; but the tribes of Moab and Ammon, warlike savages of the desert unto this day, was the terrible resultant. They are the incorrigible followers of the Crescent rather than the Cross.

Wherever drunkenness has touched humanity it has blighted and withered like a Sirocco from Sahara. No one but a fallen archangel could have invented such a beverage. Yet the character of liquors used by the race in its infancy for carnival pleasures, compared with the output of the modern distillery and brewery, are as moonshine to the blistering heat of the summer sun. Satan profits by experience; he has not been idle during the centuries.

; Solomon warned against “looking upon the wine when it was red, and turneth itself in the cup fermentation. If fermented grape juice should, at that time, bring forth such an inspired warning, what language would be necessary to depict the character of the low grade, adulterated fire-water sold in the saloons and dives of America and Europe?

The true spirit and character of liquor cannot be understood if viewed as a stimulating beverage, satisfying and inflaming human passions. Its Author soon discovered that such an unmixed evil must answer at the bar of an outraged individual and public conscience. He saw that if liquor succeeded in all he had planned, it must send its roots deeper down than taste and appetite. Hence this handmaiden of the Devil has now become one of the most gigantic trusts on earth, blooming out into commercial, political, and industrial proportions. The whole business lives and moves and has its being on misery and bloodshed on one side of the counter; loot and plunder, coupled with an insane lust for gold, on the other side of the counter.

It has not one redeeming feature; but so carefully has it sheltered itself by a devil-fish organization that it stands like a Gibraltar. It has become so great that the actual investments in the business aggregate billions; an army larger than the combined forces, North and South, at any one time during the Civil War are being supported; over one hundred millions go annually into the national exchequer. China has been called a sleeping giant; woe to the nations once she is awakened. In the liquor traffic we have a giant that never sleeps. Twenty-four hours each day—like Giant Despair-he enslaves and imprisons the multitudes. So tremendous has this organization grown that its work does not stop with social demoralization, but with little difficulty can dictate governmental policies, throttle legislation, and bribe juries.

Again, we cannot judge or estimate the liquor traffic until we follow it down through its labyrinth of social, financial, and moral declension. Not until we see it face to face, glaring and defiant, in the haunts where finished products are on exhibition. The “Scarlet Annex,” temples of lust, and the White Slaver's headquarters are united in the place where labour troubles are hatched, mob violence gathers fuel, and feud hatred is crystallized into bloodshed. Where gamblers, thugs, yeggmen, murderers, anarchists, jailbirds, and burglars hold high carnival. We must see the bloated faces, the bleeding Magdalenas, human beasts, and wife beaters, as they wallow in filth and obscenity, before the perspective is correct.

The inauguration of liquor as a duplicate for God's greatest manifestation of Himself—the infilling of the Holy Spirit—was a master stroke. In a wild, reckless debauch it supplements man's every need and hunger. In the crazed brain there is a vision of wealth, power, revenge, joy. The drunkard is clay in the liquor-demon's hand; if a coward, liquor makes him bold; if sympathetic, liquor deadens his heart; if honest, liquor makes him a thief; if a loving father or son, liquor makes him a brute. Behold the Handmaiden of the Devil-King Alcohol : the most efficient ally of the “ angel of the bottomless pit."

XXV

THE ASTUTE AUTHOR

« Till I come give heed to reading."- -1 Timothy iv. 13. “Of the making of books there is no end.”—Ecclesiastes xiï. 12.

WHEN we remember the crude methods of book making in the days of Solomon, compared with the facilities of modern publishing houses, his statement has in it a touch of humour. To-day manuscripts are turned over to printers and binders, and in two weeks an edition of from five to fifty thousand copies are ready for the market. There are three million volumes in our libraries; and, a writer has said, enough new books come from the press annually to build a pyramid as large as St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Mr. Carnegie is planting his libraries in every town and city in America.

Evening and morning papers are laid at our doors with flaming head-lines of all that has happened the world over in the last twenty-four hours. Detailed descriptions of murders, scandals, elopements, court scenes, betrayals, etc. Magazines, representing every phase of life and industry, are multiplying continually. The literature of a nation is potentially its food for character building, morally and spiritually.

Now what are we reading ? Editors are calling “ stuff" with “human interest." The manuscript with “ preaching” gets a return slip instead of a check; writers are governing themselves by this

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