Dr. Lewis was a guest at the old mansion of Ex-Governor Trimble, father of Mrs. E.J. Thompson, a most cultivated, devoted Christian woman, mother of eight children. She was not present at the lecture, but "prepared," as she writes, "as those who watch for the morning, for the first gray light upon this dark night of sorrow. Few comments were made in our house," she continues, "upon this new line of policy until after breakfast the next morning, when, just as we gathered about the hearth-stone, my daughter Mary said, very gently: 'Mother, will you go the meeting this morning?' Hesitatingly I replied: 'I don't know yet what I shall do.' My husband, fully appreciating the responsibility of the moment, said: 'Children, let us leave your mother alone; for you know where she goes with all vexed questions;' and pointing to the old family Bible, left the room. The awful responsibility of the step that I must needs next take was wonderfully relieved by thought of the 'cloudy pillar' and 'parted waters' of the past; hence, with confidence, I was about turning my eye of faith 'up to the hills,' from whence had come my help, when, in response to a gentle tap at my door, I met my dear Mary, who, with her Bible in hand and tearful eyes, said: 'Mother, I opened to Psalm cxlvi., and I believe it is for you.' She withdrew and I sat down to read the wonderful message from God. As I read what I had so often read before, the Spirit so strangely 'took of the things of God,' and showed me new meanings, I no longer hesitated, but, in the strength thus imparted, started to the scene of action.
"Upon entering the church, I was startled to find myself chosen as leader. The old Bible was taken down from the desk, and Psalm cxlvi. read. Mrs. General McDowell, by request, led in prayer, and, although she had never before heard her own voice in a public prayer, on this occasion 'the tongue of fire' sat upon her, and all were deeply affected. Mrs. Cowden, our Methodist minister's wife, was then requested to sing to a familiar air—
"'Give to the winds thy fears! Hope, and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears: He will lift up thy head.'
"And while thus engaged, the women (seventy-five in number) fell in line, two and two, and proceeded first to the drug stores and then to the hotels and saloons."
Thus began this memorable Crusade, which was maintained in Hillsboro for over six months, during which time the saloons were visited almost daily.
Within two days, the women of Washington Court-House, a neighboring town, felt the inspiration of their sisters, and inaugurated the movement there. A description of what was done at this place will afford the reader a clear impression of the way in which the "Crusaders" worked, and the results that followed their efforts. We quote from the account given by Mrs. M.V. Ustick:
"After an hour of prayer, forty-four women filed slowly and solemnly down the aisle and started forth upon their strange mission, with fear and trembling, while the male portion of the audience remained at church to pray from the success of this new undertaking; the tolling of the church-bell keeping time to the solemn march of the women, as they wended their way to the first drug store on the list (the number of places within the city limits where intoxicating drinks were sold was fourteen—eleven saloons and three drug stores). Here, as in every place, they entered singing, every woman taking up the sacred strain as she crossed the threshold. This was followed by the reading of the appeal and prayer, and then earnest pleading to desist from their soul-destroying traffic and to sign the dealers' pledge. Thus, all the day long, going from place to place, without stopping even for dinner or lunch, till five o'clock, meeting with no marked success; but invariably courtesy was extended to them.
"The next day an increased number of women went forth, leaving the men in the church to pray all day long. On this day the contest really began, and at the first place the doors were found locked. With hearts full of compassion, the women knelt in the snow upon the pavement to plead for the Divine influence upon the heart of the liquor-dealer, and there held their first street prayer-meeting. The Sabbath was devoted to a union mass-meeting. Monday, December 29th, is one long to be remembered in Washington as the day on which occurred the first surrender ever made by a liquor-dealer of his stock of liquors of every kind and variety to the women, in answer to their prayers and entreaties, and by them poured into the street. Nearly a thousand men, women and children witnessed the mingling of beer, ale, wine and whisky, as they filled the gutters and were drunk up by the earth, while bells were ringing, men and boys shouting, and women singing and praying to God, who had given the victory.
"On the fourth day, the campaign reached its height; the town being filled with visitors from all parts of the country and adjoining villages. Another public surrender and another pouring into the street of a larger stock of liquors than on the day before, and more intense excitement and enthusiasm. In eight days all the saloons, eleven in number, had been closed, and the three drug stores pledged to sell only on prescription.
"Early in the third week the discouraging intelligence came that a new man had taken out license to sell liquor in one of the deserted saloons, and that he was backed by a whisky house in Cincinnati to the amount of five thousand dollars to break down this movement. On Wednesday, 14th of January, the whisky was unloaded at his room. About forty women were on the ground and followed the liquor in, and remained holding an uninterrupted prayer-meeting all day and until eleven o'clock at night. The next day—bitterly cold—was spent in the same place and manner, without fire or chairs, two hours of that time the women being locked in, while the proprietor was off attending a trial. On the following day, the coldest of the winter of 1874, the women were locked out, and remained on the street holding religious services all day long. Next morning a tabernacle was built in the street just in front of the house, and was occupied for the double purpose of watching and praying through the day; but before night the sheriff closed the saloon, and the proprietor surrendered. A short time afterwards, on a dying bed, this four-day's liquor-dealer sent for some of these women, telling them their songs and prayers had never ceased to ring in his ears, and urging them to pray again in his behalf; so he passed away."
From this beginning the new temperance movement increased and spread with a marvelous rapidity. The incidents attendant on the progress of the "Crusade" were often of a novel and exciting character. Such an interference with their business was not to be tolerated by the liquor men; and they soon began to organize for defense and retaliation. They not only had the law on their side, but in many cases, the administrators of the law. Yet it often happened, in consequence of their reckless violations of statutes made to limit and regulate the traffic, that dealers found themselves without standing in the courts, or entangled in the meshes of the very laws they had invoked for protection.
In the smaller towns the movement was, for a time, almost irresistible; and in many of them the drink traffic ceased altogether. But when it struck the larger cities, it met with impediments, against which it beat violently for awhile, but without the force to bear them down. Our space will not permit us to more than glance at some of the incidents attendant on this singular crusade. The excitement that followed its inauguration in the large city of Cleveland was intense. It is thus described by Mrs. Sarah K. Bolton in her history of the Woman's Crusade, to which we have already referred:
HOW THE CRUSADERS WERE TREATED.
"The question was constantly asked: 'Will the women of a conservative city of one hundred and fifty thousand go upon the street as a praying-band?' The liquor-dealers said: 'Send committees of two or three and we will talk with them; but coming in a body to pray with us brands our business as disreputable.' The time came when the Master seemed to call for a mightier power to bear upon the liquor traffic, and a company of heroic women, many of them the wives of prominent clergymen, led by Mrs. W.A. Ingham, said: 'Here am I; the Lord's will be done.'
"On the third day of the street work, the whisky and beer interest seemed to have awakened to a full consciousness of the situation. Drinkers, dealers and roughs gathered in large numbers on the street to wait for the praying women. A mob, headed by an organization of brewers, rushed upon them, kicking them, striking them with their fists and hitting them with brickbats. The women were locked in a store away from the infuriated mob, who, on the arrival of a stronger body of police, were dispersed, cursing and yelling as they went. The next day, taking their lives in their hands, a larger company of women went out, and somewhat similar scenes were enacted. Meantime, public meetings, called in the churches, were so crowded that standing room could not be found. The clergy, as one man, came to the front. Business men left their stores and shops, ministers their studies, and a thousand manly men went out to defend the praying women. The military companies were ordered to be in readiness, resting on their arms; the police force was increased, and the liquor interest soon made to feel that the city was not under its control. The mob never again tried its power. For three months, with scarcely a day's exception, the praying-bands, sometimes with twenty in each, working in various parts of the city; sometimes with five hundred, quietly and silently, two by two, forming a procession over a quarter of a mile in length, followed by scores in carriages, who could not bear the long walks, went from saloon to saloon, holding services where the proprietors were willing, and in warehouses which were thrown open to them, or in vacant lots near by, when they were unwilling. Men took off their hats, and often wept as the long procession went by. Little children gathered close to the singers, and catching the words, sang them months afterwards in their dingy hovels. Haggard women bent their heads as they murmured with unutterable sadness, 'You've come too late to save my boy or my husband.' Many saloon-keepers gave up their business and never resumed it. Many who had lost all hope because of the appetite which bound them, heard from woman's lips the glad tidings of freedom in Christ, and accepted the liberty of the Gospel."
In many other places the crusaders met with violence from exasperated liquor-dealers and their brutish associates. A pail of cold water was thrown into the face of a woman in Clyde, Ohio, as she knelt praying in front of a saloon. Dirty water was thrown by pailfuls over the women at Norwalk. At Columbus, a saloon-keeper assaulted one of the praying-band, injuring her seriously. In Cincinnati, forty-three women were arrested by the authorities for praying in the street and lodged in jail. In Bellefontaine, a large liquor-dealer declared that if the praying-band visited him he would use powder and lead; but the women, undeterred by his threat, sang and prayed in front of his saloon every day for a week, in spite of the insults and noisy interferences of himself and customers. At the end of that time the man made his appearance at a mass-meeting and signed the pledge; and on the following Sunday attended church for the first time in five years.
DECLINE OF THE CRUSADING SPIRIT.
From Ohio the excitement soon spread to other Western States, and then passed east and south, until it was felt in nearly every State in the Union; but it did not gain force by extension. To the sober, second-thought of those who had, in singleness of heart, self-consecration and trust in God, thrown themselves into this work because they believed that they were drawn of the Spirit, came the perception of other, better and more orderly ways of accomplishing the good they sought. If God were, indeed, with them—if it was His Divine work of saving human souls upon which they had entered, He would lead them into the right ways, if they were but willing to walk therein. Of this there came to them a deep assurance; and in the great calm that fell after the rush and excitement and wild confusion of that first movement against the enemy, they heard the voice of God calling to them still. And, as they hearkened, waiting to be led, and willing to obey, light came, and they saw more clearly. Not by swift, impetuous impulse, but through organization and slow progression was the victory to be won.
In the language of Frances E. Willard, in her history of "The Woman's National Christian Temperance Union," to be found in the Centennial temperance volume: "The women who went forth by an impulse sudden, irresistible, divine, to pray in the saloons, became convinced, as weeks and months passed by, that theirs was to be no easily-won victory. The enemy was rich beyond their power to comprehend. He had upon his side the majesty of the law, the trickery of politics and the leagued strength of that almost invincible pair—appetite, avarice. He was persistent, too, as fate; determined to fight it out on that line to the last dollar of his enormous treasure-house and the last ounce of his power. But these women of the Crusade believed in God, and in themselves as among His appointed instruments to destroy the rum-power in America. They loved Christ's cause; they loved the native land that had been so mindful of them; they loved their sweet and sacred homes; and so it came about that, though, they had gone forth only as skirmishers, they soon fell into line of battle; though they had ignorantly hoped to take the enemy by a sudden assault, they buckled on the armor for the long campaign. The woman's praying-bands, earnest, impetuous, inspired, became the woman's temperance unions, firm, patient, persevering. The praying-bands were without leadership, save that which inevitably results from 'the survival of the fittest;' the woman's unions are regularly officered in the usual way. They first wrought their grand pioneer work in sublime indifference to prescribed forms of procedure—'so say we all of us' being the spirit of 'motions' often made, seconded and carried by the chair, while the assembled women nodded their earnest acquiescence; the second are possessed of good, strong constitutions (with by-laws annexed), and follow the order of business with a dutiful regard to parliamentary usage. In the first, women who had never lifted up their voices in their own church prayer-meetings stood before thousands and 'spoke as they were moved;' in the second, these same women with added experience, and a host of others who have since enlisted, impress the public thought and conscience by utterances carefully considered. The praying-bands, hoping for immediate victory, pressed their members into incessant service; the woman's unions, aware that the battle is to be a long one, ask only for such help as can be given consistently with other duties."
As the result of this intelligent effort at effective organization by the women who inaugurated and were prominent in the "Crusade," we have "The Woman's National Christian Temperance Union," with its auxiliary and local unions in nearly every State; one of the most efficient agencies in the practical work of temperance reform which the country has yet seen.
THE WOMAN'S NATIONAL CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION.
During the summer of 1874, when the reaction which had checked the "Crusade" was recognized as something permanent by the more thoughtful and observant of the women who had been engaged in it, they paused for deliberation, and took counsel together. Great victories had been won in the brief season during which they were masters of the field; and now that the enemy had rallied his forces, and intrenched himself behind law, public opinion, politics and the State, should they weakly give up the contest? Not so. They had discovered wherein the weakness, as well as the strength, of their enemy lay, and had come into a new perception of their own powers and resources.
The first step taken was to call conventions in the various States where the Crusade had been active. These were attended by delegates chosen by the local praying-bands. The result was the organization, in some of the States, of what were known as "Temperance Leagues." Afterwards the word "Unions" was substituted for Leagues. Having organized by States, the next thing was to have a National Union. In August of that year, the first National Sunday-School Assembly was held at Chautauqua Lake, near Buffalo, New York. Many of the most earnest workers in the temperance Crusade, from different parts of the United States, and from the various denominations of Christians, were present, and the conviction was general that steps should at once be taken towards forming a National League, in order to make permanent the work that had already been done. After much deliberation, a committee of organization was appointed, consisting of a woman from each State. This committee issued a circular letter, asking the various Woman's Temperance Leagues to hold meetings, for the purpose of electing one woman from each Congressional district as a delegate to a National Convention, to be held in November, at Cleveland, Ohio. A single paragraph from this circular will show the spirit that animated the call.
"It is hardly necessary to remind those who have worked so nobly in the grand temperance uprising that in union and organization are its success and permanence, and the consequent redemption of this land from the curse of intemperance. In the name of our Master—in behalf of the thousands of women who suffer from this terrible evil, we call upon all to unite in an earnest, continued effort to hold the ground already won, and move onward together to a complete victory over the foes we fight."
Delegates representing sixteen States were present at the convention, which held its first session in Cleveland, commencing on the 18th of November, 1874, and lasting for three days. Prominent among its members were active leaders of the Crusade, but, besides these, says Miss Willard, "there were present many thoughtful and gifted women, whose hearts had been stirred by the great movement, though until now they had lacked the opportunity to identify themselves with it. Mrs. Jennie F. Willing presided over the convention, which was one of the most earnest and enthusiastic ever held. A constitution was adopted, also a plan of organization intended to reach every hamlet, town and city in the land. There was a declaration of principles, of which Christianity alone could have furnished the animus. An appeal to the women of our country was provided for; another to the girls of America; a third to lands beyond the sea; a memorial to Congress was ordered, and a deputation to carry it appointed; a National temperance paper, to be edited and published by women, was agreed upon, also a financial plan, asking for a cent a week from members; and last, not least, was appointed a special committee on temperance work among the children. Four large mass-meetings were held during the convention, all of them addressed by women. Mrs. Annie Wittenmyer, of Philadelphia, was elected president; Miss Frances E. Willard, of Chicago, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, of Brooklyn, recording secretary; Mrs. Mary A. Ingham, of Cleveland, treasurer, with one vice-president from each State represented in the convention."
The spirit of this assembly of workers is shown in the closing resolution, which it adopted unanimously:
"Resolved, That, recognizing the fact that our cause is, and is to be, combated by mighty, determined and relentless forces, we will, trusting in Him who is the Prince of Peace, meet argument with argument, misjudgment with patience, denunciation with kindness, and all our difficulties and dangers with prayer."
FIRST YEAR'S WORK.
During the first year six State organizations were added to the number represented in the beginning, including scores of local unions. A monthly paper was established; a deputation of women sent to Congress with a memorial, to which hundreds of thousands of signatures had been obtained, asking for inquiry and legislation in regard to the liquor traffic; a manual of "Hints and Helps," concerning methods of temperance work, prepared and issued; and other agencies of reform, and for the extermination of the liquor traffic, set in motion.
The reports from State Unions, made to the first annual meeting, held in Cincinnati, November, 1875, were, in most cases, highly encouraging. In Ohio, a large number of local unions were formed, nearly two hundred friendly inns established, while reading-rooms, juvenile societies and young people's leagues were reported as multiplying all over the State. Indiana showed effective work in the same direction; so did Illinois. In both of these States many local unions, reform clubs and juvenile organizations came into existence, while the work of temperance agitation was carried on with untiring vigor. Iowa reported fifty local unions, eleven juvenile societies, seven reform clubs and six coffee-houses and reading-rooms. But, how better can we sum up the results of this year's work, and how better give a clear idea of the new forces which were coming into the field under the leadership of women, than by giving an extract from the first annual report of the corresponding secretary, Miss Frances E. Willard:
"Briefly to recapitulate, bringing out salient features, Maine has given, since the Crusade, the idea of the temperance camp-meeting, which, though not original with us, has been rendered effective largely through the efforts of our own workers. Connecticut influences elections, has availed itself of petitions and given us the best form on record. New York has kept alive the visitation of saloons, and proved, what may we never forget, that this is always practicable, if conducted wisely. In the relief and rescue branches of our work, the Empire State is perhaps without a rival. The women of Pennsylvania have bearded the gubernatorial lion in his den, and the Hartranft veto had the added sin of women's prayers and tears denied. Maryland and the District of Columbia prove that the North must look to her laurels when the South is free to enter on our work. As for Ohio, as Daniel Webster said of the old Bay State, 'There she stands; look at her!'—foremost among leaders in the new Crusade. Michigan is working bravely amid discouragements. Illinois has given us the most promising phase of our juvenile work, and leads off in reform clubs. Our best organized States are Ohio, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Iowa. By reason of their multiplied conventions of State, district and county, their numerous auxiliaries, their petitions and their juvenile work, Ohio and Indiana bear off the palm, and stand as the banner States of our Union up to this time, each of them having as many as two hundred and fifty auxiliaries.
"Our review develops the fact that of the forty-seven States and Territories forming the United States, twenty-two States have formed temperance unions auxiliary to the Woman's National Union. Of the twenty-five not yet organized, twelve are Southern States and eight are Territories; while of the remaining five, three are about to organize State unions, and have already flourishing local unions. So, that, without exaggeration, we may say we have fairly entered into the land to possess it. To bring about this vast result of organization, and to maintain it, there have been held (not to mention conventions of districts and counties, the name of which is legion,) forty-five State conventions of women, almost all within the last year.
"The number of written communications sent out during the year from our Western office to women in every State in the Union, is nearly five thousand. This is exclusive of 'documents,' which have gone by the bushel from the Eastern and Western offices, and also of the incessant correspondence of our president. Either president or secretary has spoken in nearly every State in which our organization exists. During the summer months, conventions, camp-meetings and local auxiliaries in large numbers have been addressed by officers of our National and State Unions in all of the Eastern and Middle and in many of the Western States. Noteworthy in our history for the year, is the monster petition circulated in nearly every State, presented to Congress on our behalf by Senator Morton, of Indiana, and defended in an eloquent speech before the Finance Committee by our president."
THE SECOND YEAR'S WORK.
The second annual meeting of the "Woman's National Christian Temperance Union" was held in Newark, N.J., in October, 1876. From the reports made to this meeting, we take the following interesting statements, showing how actively the work, for which this great National Association was organized, has been prosecuted.
Twenty-two State unions were represented at this meeting, and local unions were reported as having been formed for the first time in Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas, preparatory to State organizations. An International Temperance Convention of women had been held in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, from which resulted an International Woman's Temperance Union. A summary of the work of the year says:
"In almost every organized State, the request of our National Committee that ministerial, medical and educational associations be asked to declare their position in relation to temperance reform has been complied with. In every instance, the ladies have been courteously received, and in no case has the declaration of opinion been adverse, and in many, most hopeful to our cause. The letter of Mrs. Wittenmyer to the International Medical Convention recently held in Philadelphia, secured the important declaration against alcohol made by that body.
"In February, our president, accompanied by Mrs. Mary R. Denman, President of New Jersey W.T.U., made a trip to Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana, in the endeavor to enlist our Southern sisters in the temperance work. Large meetings were addressed and several local unions organized.
"In the month, of May thirty-six temperance meetings were held in the State of Ohio, by the corresponding secretary, who has also made a trip through Michigan, and spoken in all the Eastern, Middle and several of the Western States since the last meeting.
"Our recording secretary, Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, has visited Great Britain, by invitation of Christian women there, for the purpose of introducing our Gospel work. Going in the spirit of the Crusade, Mrs. Johnson's labors have awakened an earnest spirit of inquiry and activity among the thoughtful and comparatively leisure class. During her six months' absence in England and Ireland, she addressed one hundred and twenty-one audiences and conducted forty prayer-meetings.
"'Mother Stewart,' of Ohio, has also visited England and Scotland this year, under the auspices of the Good Templars, and much good has resulted from her labors.
"Our union has circulated the petition to Congress for a Commission of Inquiry into the costs and results of the liquor traffic in America, and to the Centennial Commissioners praying them not to allow the sale of intoxicants on the Exposition grounds. The desired Commission of Inquiry has been ordered by the Senate in response to the wish of the united temperance societies of the land, but the subject did not come before the House at the last session.
"Our paper has constantly increased in its hold upon the local unions, whose devotion to its interests augurs well for its future success.
"The number of documents scattered among our auxiliaries cannot be accurately stated, but is not less than twelve or fifteen thousand, and the correspondence of the officers by letter and postal-card, will not fall short of the same estimate. To correct misapprehensions, it should, perhaps, be stated that no officer of the National Union has received a dollar for services or traveling expenses during the year."
A WORKING ORGANIZATION.
To meet annually in convention and pass resolutions and make promises is one thing; to do practical and effective work all through the year is quite another. And it is just here that this new temperance organization exhibits its power. The women whom it represents are very much in earnest and mean work. What they resolve to do, if clearly seen to be in the right direction, will hardly fail for lack of effort. In their plan of work, one branch particularly embraces the children. If the rising generation can not only be pledged to abstinence; but so carefully instructed in regard to the sin and evil of intemperance, and their duty, when they become men and women, to make war upon the liquor traffic, and to discountenance all form of social drinking, then an immense gain will be had for the cause in the next generation, when the boys and girls of to-day will hold the ballots, make the laws, give direction to public sentiment and determine the usages of society.
LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN.
To what extent, then, are the State and local unions looking after the children? Writing, as we now are, before the third annual meeting of the National Union, and, therefore, without a general report of the year's work before us, we are unable to give a statement in full of the important temperance work which has been done with and for the rising generation. But, from official and other reliable sources of information, we are in possession of facts of a most gratifying character. In the State of Minnesota, as the result of woman's efforts, they have had for several years a "Sunday-School Temperance League," and their last annual report gives seventeen thousand as the number of children already "pledged to abstain from all intoxicants as a beverage." Says their report for 1877, "We have carried the work into sixty-one new schools, held sixty-three anniversary meetings and temperance concerts, instigated about one thousand addresses in the Sunday-schools, secured six thousand six hundred and seventy-four signers to our pledges, and one thousand and fifteen to our constitution."
In most of the larger towns throughout the United States where active local unions exist, juvenile unions, bands of hope or temperance associations by some other name, have been formed among the children. These have, in many cases, a large membership; often as high as from five to six hundred. In Rockford, Ill., the juvenile union numbers over eight hundred boys and as many girls. The pledge taken by these children includes, in some localities, tobacco and profanity as well as intoxicants.
THE WORK OF REFORM AND RESCUE.
In the work of reform and rescue, the State and local unions are very active, especially in the larger towns and cities. In the smaller towns, religious temperance meetings are held weekly, and in the larger cities, daily, and sometimes twice a day. Chicago has as many as eighteen meetings every week. In Chapters XIX. and XX. of the first part of this volume, we have described at length, and from personal observation, the way in which these temperance prayer-meetings are generally conducted, and the means used for lifting up and saving the poor drunkard.
What are known as "Reform Clubs," have grown out of the efforts made of these praying women, to hold in safety the men whom they have been able to rescue. These clubs are numerous in New England and the Western States, and have a large membership, which is composed exclusively of reformed men. The common platform upon which they all stand is: 1. Total abstinence. 2. Reliance upon God's help in all things. 3. Missionary work to induce others to sign the pledge. In Newark, N.J., there is a club with a membership of over six hundred reformed men, nearly all of whom have been rescued in the past three years, through the efforts of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of that city.
In an interview with Mrs. Wittenmyer, President of the National Union, who had received reports of the third year's work from the various unions, we learned that, after deducting from the returns all who were known to have broken the pledge, ten thousand remained as the number reported to have been saved during the year, and who were still standing in the strength which God had given them. The larger part of these rescued men had united themselves with the church, and were earnestly endeavoring to lead Christian lives.
KEEPING ALIVE A SENTIMENT ADVERSE TO THE LIQUOR TRAFFIC.
Another and most important branch of the work of the "Woman's Christian Temperance Union," is that of arousing, keeping alive and intensifying a sentiment adverse to the liquor traffic. So long as the State and National Governments give the sanction of law to this traffic, they find their efforts to save the fallen, utterly unavailing in far too many instances. In an appeal made by the women of the State Union to the voters of Massachusetts, under date of August 15th, 1877, the curse of this traffic is exhibited in words of solemn earnestness. The document is strong and convincing, yet temperate and respectful. We copy it entire as presenting arguments and considerations which every humane and Christian voter in the land should lay deeply to heart:
"The Woman's Christian Temperance Union comes to you with a solemn and earnest appeal.
"Our mission is the redemption of the Commonwealth from the curse of intemperance. During the past year we have labored incessantly for this end, and have expended nearly twenty thousand dollars in efforts to rescue the perishing, and to educate public sentiment in favor of total abstinence.
"In this work we have met numerous obstacles—the apathy of the people, the inherited and depraved appetites of drunkards, and the perilous social customs of the day, which are indorsed by the practice of many otherwise excellent people. Worse than all these combined is the influence of the licensed dram-shop. We can arouse the indifferent to action; we can enkindle in the drunkard aspirations for a better life than that of debauchery; we hope, in time, by constant agitation, to change the social customs of the day. But against the influence of the licensed dram-shop we are powerless. We have no ability to cope with this most formidable enemy of virtue, prosperity and good order.
"A long and bitter experience compels us to say that the most untiring efforts to reclaim the drunkard have, in many instances, proved unavailing, because his demoralized will has been powerless to resist the temptations placed in his path by the sanction of the State.
"Worse, if possible, even than this—the licensed dram-shop is instrumental in creating a new generation of drunkards. For thither resort our young men, the future hope of the country, who speedily fall before the seductions of the place, their habits of sobriety are subverted, their moral sense is blunted, their will palsied, and they drift rapidly into the appalling condition of habitual drunkenness. The licensed dram-shops are recruiting offices, where another army of drunkards is enlisted, to fill the ranks depleted by dishonored deaths—and the great Commonwealth extends over them the aegis of its protection, indorsing them by the sanction of law. The people of Massachusetts drink annually twenty-five million dollars' worth of intoxicating liquors. Only God can furnish the statistics of sorrow, poverty, disease, vice and crime, begotten by this fearful consumption of strong drink.
"Under these discouraging circumstances, men of Massachusetts, we appeal to you! The licensed dram-shop is the creature of political action. We are wholly destitute of political power, by which it must be overthrown. Anguished by the peril of fathers and brothers, husbands and sons, we appeal to you to make good the oft-repeated assertion that the men of the State represent and protect the women of the State at the ballot-box. We beseech you to make earnest efforts to secure the repeal of the license law at the next election, and the enactment of a law prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.
"We are sure we speak the sentiment of the Christian people of this State, and of all who stand for morality, thrift, virtue and good order, when we say that the great State of Massachusetts should not take sides with the drunkard-maker against his victim. If either is to be protected by law, it should be the drunkard, since he is the weaker, rather than the rumseller, who persistently blocks the pathway of reform.
"We know that we utter the voice of the majority of the women of the State when we plead the cause of prohibition—and the women of Massachusetts outnumbers its men by more than sixty thousand. It is women who are the greatest sufferers from the licensed dram-shops of the community—and we pray you, therefore, voters of Massachusetts, to take such action that the law which protects these drinking shops may be blotted from the statute book at the next election."
This appeal from the Christian women of Massachusetts is signed by Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, President, and Mrs. L.B. Barrett, Secretary of the State branch of the Woman's National Temperance Union, and shows the animating spirit of that body. No one can read it without a new impression of the wickedness of a traffic that curses everything it touches.
But not alone in Massachusetts are the women of the "Union" using their efforts to shape public opinion and influence the ballot. In all the States where unions exist, this part of the work is steadily prosecuted; and it cannot be long ere its good results will become manifest at the polls in a steadily increasing anti-license vote, and, ultimately in the ranging of State after State with Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire on the side of prohibition.
INFLUENCE ON THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.
In still another direction important gains have been realized. But for the efforts of the Woman's National and State Temperance Unions we should scarcely have had the declaration of the International Medical Congress of 1876, adverse to the use of alcohol as food or medicine. Early in their work, the women of the "Union," seeing how largely the medical prescription of alcohol was hurting the cause of temperance, and being in possession of the latest results of chemical and physiological investigation in regard to its specific action on the body, sent delegations to various State medical associations at their annual meetings, urging them to pass resolutions defining its true status as a food or a medicine and discouraging its use in the profession. With most of these medical associations they found a respectful hearing; and their presentation of the matter had the effect of drawing to the subject the attention of a large number of medical men who had not, from old prejudices, or in consequence of their absorption in professional duties, given careful attention to the later results of scientific investigation. As a consequence, many physicians who had been in the habit of ordering alcoholic stimulants for weak or convalescent patients, gave up the practice entirely; while those who still resorted to their use, deemed it safest to be more guarded in their administration than heretofore.
ACTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CONGRESS.
But the crowning result of this effort to induce the medical profession to limit or abandon the prescription of alcohol, came when the International Congress, one of the largest and ablest medical bodies ever convened, made, through its "Section on Medicine," the brief, but clear and unequivocal declaration already given in a previous chapter, and at once and forever laid upon alcohol the ban of the profession.
Official communications were addressed to this body by the National Temperance Society, through its president, Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, through its president, Mrs. Annie Wittenmyer, and by the New York Friends' Temperance Union, asking from it a declaration as to the true character of alcohol and its value in medicine.
The following is the full text of the memorial of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union:
To the Chairman and Members of the International Medical Congress:
"HONORED SIRS:—I take the liberty, as a representative of the Woman's National Christian Temperance Union of the United States, to call your attention to the relation of the medical use of alcohol to the prevalence of that fearful scourge, intemperance.
"The distinguished Dr. Mussey said, many years ago: 'So long as alcohol retains a place among sick patients, so long there will be drunkards.'
"Dr. Rush wrote strongly against its use as early as 1790. And at one time the College of Physicians at Philadelphia memorialized Congress in favor of restraining the use of distilled liquors, because, as they claimed, they were 'destructive of life, health and the faculties of the mind.'
"'A Medical Declaration,' published in London, December, 1872, asserts that 'it is believed that the inconsiderate prescription of alcoholic liquids by medical men for their patients has given rise, in many instances, to the formation of intemperate habits.' This manifesto was signed by over two hundred and fifty of the leading medical men of the United Kingdom. When the nature and effects of alcohol were little known, ft was thought to be invaluable as a medicine. But in the light of recent scientific investigations, its claims have been challenged and its value denied.
"We are aware that the question of the medical use of alcohol has not been fully decided, and that there is a difference of opinion among the ablest medical writers. But we notice that as the discussion and investigation goes on, and the new facts are brought out, its value as a remedial agent is depreciated.
"A great many claims have been brought forward in its favor, but one by one they have gone down under the severe scrutiny of scientific research, until only a few points are left in doubt. In view of this, and the startling fact that tens of thousands die annually from its baneful effects, we earnestly urge you to give the subject a careful examination.
"You have made the study of the physical nature of man your life-work, and you are the trusted advisers of the people in all matters pertaining to the treatment of diseases and the preservation of life and health.
"You are, therefore, in a position to instruct and warn the masses in regard to its indiscriminate use, either as a medicine or a beverage.
"We feel sure that, true to your professional honor, and the grave responsibilities of your distinguished position, you will search out and give us the facts, whatever they may be.
"If you should appoint a standing committee from your own number, of practical scientific men, who would give time and thought to this question, it would be very gratifying to the one hundred thousand women I represent, and most acceptable to the general public.
"I am, with high considerations of respect, "Your obed't servant, "ANNIE WITTENMYER, "Pres't W. Nat. Chris. Temp. Union. "Philadelphia, Sept. 6th, 1876."
How was this memorial received? Scarcely had it been presented ere a member moved that it be laid on the table without reading; but ere the vote could be taken the voice of another member rose clear and strong in the question whether that body could afford to treat a hundred thousand American women with such a discourtesy! And the motion to lay on the table was lost.
A vote to refer to the "Section on Medicine" was largely carried; and to that section the petitioners took their case, and were not only accorded a gracious and respectful hearing, but, after a full discussion of the subject, a declaration against the use of alcohol, as a substance both hurtful and dangerous—possessing no food value whatever, and as a medicine, being exceedingly limited in its range. All the points in reply were passed upon unanimously by the section to which the matter was referred, and afterwards by the Congress in full session, with but a single dissenting vote, and the result officially communicated to the president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. An official notification of the action of the Congress was also sent to Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, president of the National Temperance Society.
Other aspects of the work of this young and vigorous organization might be given; but enough has been presented to show that its agency in temperance reform is already far-reaching and powerful; and to give assurance that if the spirit which has influenced and directed its counsels so wisely from the beginning, can be maintained, it will achieve still greater and more important victories for the cause of temperance.
These differ in some aspects from most of the associations which, prior to their organization, had for their object the reformation of men who had fallen into habits of drunkenness. The distinguishing characteristics of the reform club is its religious spirit, its dependence upon God and its reliance upon prayer.
The first movement in this direction was made in Gardiner, Maine, in January, 1872, by Mr. I.K. Osgood. He says of himself that in fifteen years he had run down from a moderate and fashionable drinker of wine, to a constant and immoderate drinker of the vilest spirits; and from the condition of a respectable business man to one of misery and destitution. Coming back to his wretched home late one night, he saw through the window his poor wife sitting lonely and sorrowful, waiting for his return. The sight touched his heart and caused him to reflect, and then to resolve, that God being his helper he would never drink again. That resolution he found himself able, by God's help, to keep. A few months later he began the work of trying to reform others. His first effort was with a lawyer, an old friend, who was as much reduced by drink as he had been. After much entreaty, this man consented to break off drinking and sign the pledge. Mr. Osgood then drew up the following call for a meeting which both signed: "REFORMERS' MEETING.—There will be a meeting of reformed drinkers at City Hall, Gardiner, on Friday evening, January 19th, at seven o'clock. A cordial invitation is extended to all occasional drinkers, constant drinkers, hard drinkers and young men who are tempted to drink. Come and hear what rum has done for us."
A crowd came to the City Hall. The two men addressed the meeting with great earnestness, and then offered the pledge, which was signed by eight of their old drinking companions. These organized themselves into a reform club, which soon reached a hundred members, all of whom had been men of intemperate habits. The movement soon attracted attention in other places, especially among drinking men, and clubs multiplied rapidly throughout the State. In a few months, the aggregate membership reached nearly twenty thousand. In June of the following year, Mr. Osgood began his work in Massachusetts, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Temperance Alliance, organizing about forty clubs, one of which, in Haverill, numbered over three thousand members. In New Hampshire and Vermont, many clubs were organized by Mr. Osgood and some of his converts.
DR. HENRY A. REYNOLDS.
Another effective worker in the field is Dr. Henry A. Reynolds, of Bangor, Maine, where he was born in 1839. In 1863, he graduated from the Medical College of Harvard University, and was assistant surgeon in the First Maine Regiment, heavy artillery, during two years of the war, receiving an honorable discharge. He then entered upon the practice of medicine in his native city, and continued therein until 1874. But he had inherited a taste for strong drink, through the indulgence of which he became its abject slave. After many efforts at reform which proved of no avail, he resolved to look to Almighty God, and ask for strength to overcome his dreadful appetite. About this time there was, in the city of Bangor, a band of Christian women who met frequently to pray for the salvation of the intemperate. At one of their meetings, the doctor presented himself—it was two days after he had knelt alone in his office and prayed to God for help—and publicly signed the pledge.
Sympathy for those who were in the dreadful slough from which he had been lifted, soon began stirring in his heart, and he sought, by various methods, to influence and save them. After working for several months, with only partial success, it became evident, that for sure and permanent work, there must be organization, and he conceived the plan of a reform club made up exclusively of those who had been drinking men; believing, as he did, that there must exist between two men who had once been intemperate, a sympathy which could not exist between a man who has, and one who has never, drank to excess. As soon as this matter became clear to him, Dr. Reynolds, by notice in a daily paper, invited the drinking men of the city to meet him at a certain place. Eleven men responded to the call, and the Bangor Reform Club, the first of its kind, was organized, September 10th, 1874, with Dr. Henry A. Reynolds as president. The motto of the new organization was, "Dare to do Right." Filled with the true missionary spirit, this little band held other meetings, and did their utmost to bring in new members, and so successful were their efforts, that in a few weeks their membership swelled to hundreds, and the whole city was in a state of excitement over the new and strange work which had been inaugurated.
From Bangor, the excitement soon spread through the State. Dr. Reynolds, believing that God had called him to the work of saving men from intemperance and leading them to Christ, gave up his profession and threw himself into the work of preaching temperance and organizing reform clubs. Within a year forty-five thousand reformed men were gathered into clubs in the State of Maine. In August, 1875, at a meeting of the National Christian Temperance Camp-Meeting Association, held at Old Orchard, Maine, where temperance workers from all parts of the country had congregated, the president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Salem, Massachusetts, learned of the great work of reform progressing in Maine under the leadership of Dr. Reynolds, and invited him to introduce his work in Massachusetts by holding a series of meetings in Salem during the month of September. So the work began in the Old Bay State, and within a year, forty thousand men of that Commonwealth, who had been habitual drinkers, were organized into reform clubs.
FORMATION OF CLUBS.
The method pursued by Dr. Reynolds in the formation of these clubs is very simple. There is a constitution with by-laws, to which the following pledge is prefixed: "Having seen and felt the evils of intemperance, therefore, Resolved, That we, the undersigned, for our own good, and the good of the world in which we live, do hereby promise and engage, with the help of Almighty God, to abstain from buying, selling or using alcoholic or malt beverages, wine and cider included." Article III. of the constitution gives the qualification for membership: "All male persons of the age of eighteen or upwards, who have been in the habit of using intoxicating liquor to a greater or less extent, are eligible to membership in this club." After organizing a club of persons who have been addicted to drink, Dr. Reynolds appeals to the Christian women of the locality to throw around them the shield of their care and sympathy, and urges upon the people at large the necessity of upholding and encouraging them in every possible way.
The meetings of the clubs are held at least once during the week, in the evenings; and on Sunday afternoons or evenings, the clubs, with the Woman's Christian Temperance Unions, hold public religious temperance meetings, which are often crowded to overflowing. The order of exercises at these public meetings consist of prayer, reading of Scripture and brief addresses by reformed men, interspersed with the singing of such hymns as "Rock of Ages," "Hold the Fort," "I Need Thee Every Hour," etc. Brief addresses are the rule, and a hymn is usually sung between each address.
The badge worn by members of these reformed clubs is a red ribbon. Their motto is "Dare to do Right."
One of the first fruits of the establishment of a reform club in any locality, is an increase in church attendance, and a decrease in the tax rate. In many towns where they exist, liquor-selling has become unprofitable, and liquor-drinking a custom that hurts a man's social standing.
From the East, Dr. Reynolds extended his labors into the West, where his work has been chiefly confined to the State of Michigan. In a letter to the Union, the organ of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, under date of July, 1877, the aspect and results of Dr. Reynolds's work in that State are thus referred to by a correspondent from Evanston: "His plan is to take a State and settle down in it 'to stay' until it capitulates to the red-ribbon pledge. None but men over eighteen years of age are allowed to sign this pledge. Eighty thousand men in Michigan, to-day, wear the ribbon, which is a token of their signature—all of them have been drinking men. 'None others need apply' as members of Dr. Reynolds's Reform Clubs. His method is to speak in a general way to the public on the evening of his arrival—his meetings being held in a hall and thoroughly announced. The next afternoon, the doctor addresses women, chiefly from the medical point of view. If they have not a W.T.U. he organizes one. The second night he talks to the public generally again, and organizes his club, then goes on his way, and leaves the town rejoicing. The doctor is thoroughly business-like and methodical. There is no doubt about his securing, in every State he visits, the same results as in Michigan, for his ability is marked, his experience growing, his sincerity complete and all his work is 'begun, continued and ended' in a firm reliance upon God."
To give an idea of the excitement created by the presence of Dr. Reynolds in any community, and of the results of his efforts to reclaim intemperate men, we copy the following brief reference to his work in the spring of 1877:
"It is impossible to give figures, for there are additions every day of hundreds in the State, and the climax of enthusiasm is by no means reached in any town while Dr. Reynolds is there.
"In Jackson, Sabbath evening, February 11th, two months after the organization of the club, Union Hall was so packed that the galleries settled and were cleared, and hundreds could not gain admittance.
"As the result of ten days' work in Saginaw Valley—at the three cities—(Bay City, Saginaw City and East Saginaw), the clubs number about three thousand men.
"From there, Dr. Reynolds went to Lansing, our capital, and at the first signing, two hundred and forty-five joined the club, which is far up in the hundreds now.
"The last and greatest victory is Detroit. Slow, critical, conservative, staid, not-any-shams-for-me Detroit.
"Friday and Saturday nights there were crowded houses. Sabbath afternoon, two thousand five hundred men together, and a club of three hundred and forty-five formed. Sabbath evening, no room could hold the people, and the club reached nearly nine hundred. It is safe to say to-day that a thousand men in the city of Detroit are wearing the red ribbon.
"Dr. Reynolds has done another grand work, and that is in bringing up the W.C.T. Unions. Everywhere this follows, churches are packed with women. Dr. Reynolds tells them how they can help the men and their families, and they fall into line by the hundreds. Three hundred have enlisted in Bay City, four hundred in Lansing, two hundred in East Saginaw, and so on, all over the State."
The establishment of reform clubs has been more general in New England and the Western States than in other parts of the country, though their organization in some of the Middle States has been attended with marked success. Vermont has a large number of clubs, the membership ranging from one hundred to fifteen hundred.
The work of Francis Murphy, which, has been attended with such remarkable fervors of excitement in nearly every community where he has labored, is not so definite in its purpose, nor so closely organized, nor so permanent in its results as that of Dr. Reynolds. He draws vast assemblies, and obtains large numbers of signers to his pledge, which, reads:
"With malice towards none and charity for all, I, the undersigned, do pledge my word and honor, God helping me, to abstain from all intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and that I will, by all honorable means, encourage others to abstain."
An Irishman by birth, and full of the warm impulse and quick enthusiasm of his people, he has thrown himself into the work of temperance reform with an earnestness that commands a hearing, and with an ardor of appeal and solicitation that is, for the time, almost irresistible.
In the fall of 1869, Francis Murphy found himself in the cell of a prison in the city of Portland, Maine, to which he had been committed for drunkenness. He had been a liquor-seller, commencing the work as a sober man with a good character, and ending it in ruin to himself and family, and with the curse of the drunkard's appetite upon him. A Christian gentleman, Captain Cyrus Sturdevant, had obtained permission of the authorities to visit the jail and talk and pray with the prisoners. This brought him into personal contact with Mr. Murphy, who was not only deeply humiliated at the disgrace into which his intemperate life had brought him, but almost in despair. He tells the story of this part of his life with a moving eloquence. Capt. Sturdevant, after some solicitation, induced him to leave his cell one Sunday morning and attend religious services with the prisoners. He was in a state of mind to be deeply impressed by these services, and the result was a solemn resolution to walk, with God's help, in a new and better way. While yet a prisoner, he began his work of trying to save men from the curse of drink, and to lead them to enter upon a religious life; and his influence with his fellow-prisoners was very marked and for good. On leaving the jail, he began at once his efforts to rescue others from the slavery from which he had escaped. His first appearance as a lecturer was in the city of Portland. The effort was well received by the audience, and at its close he found himself an object of special interest. From this time, he gave himself almost wholly to the cause of temperance. After working for a time in Portland, and assisting in the organization of a reform club, he extended his efforts to other parts of the State of Maine, and afterwards to New Hampshire and the adjoining States, in which, he labored for nearly three years with marked and often extraordinary success. From New England, Mr. Murphy went, on invitation, to the West, and was very active there, especially in Iowa and Illinois, in which States he aroused the people, and was instrumental in the organization of large numbers of local societies and reform clubs.
In the winter of 1876-7, his work in Pittsburgh was attended with remarkable results; over sixty thousand signatures were obtained to his pledge, and over five hundred saloons in Allegheny and neighboring counties closed their doors for want of patronage. The succeeding spring and summer Mr. Murphy spent in Philadelphia, where the excitement was almost as great as it had been in Pittsburgh. But, as in the last-named city, too large a portion of the harvest which had been reaped was left to perish on the ground for lack of the means, or the will, to gather and garner it. The real substantial and enduring work here has been that of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union; which not only held its meetings daily during the exciting time of the Murphy meetings, but has held them daily ever since, keeping, all the while, hand and heart upon the men who are trying in earnest to reform, and helping, encouraging and protecting them by all the means in their power.
Mr. Murphy continues to work in various parts of the country, attracting large audiences wherever he appears, and leading thousands to sign his pledge. He has done and is still doing good service in the cause to which he is so earnestly devoting himself.
As we have seen in the chapters on the "Crusade," the "Woman's Christian Temperance Union," and the "Reform Clubs," this new temperance movement, which has attained in the last few years such large dimensions, has in it many of the features of a religious revival. On this account, and to distinguish it from all preceding efforts to break down the liquor traffic and save the drunkard, it has been called a Gospel temperance movement. Its chief reliance with many has been on prayer and faith, as agencies by which the mighty power of God could be so determined as not only to save the drunkard from the curse of his debasing appetite, but to so move and act upon the liquor-seller as to lead him to abandon his accursed traffic.
THE VALUE OF PRAYER AND FAITH ALONE.
At the commencement of this movement, which took the form of what is known as the "Woman's Crusade," the power of prayer seemed for awhile to be an almost irresistible force. Thousands and tens of thousands of men were, as they felt assured in their hearts, freed in an instant of time from an appetite which had been growing and strengthening for years, until it held complete mastery over them; and this in answer to the prayer of faith. And hundreds of saloon and tavern-keepers abandoned their evil work, because, as was believed, God, in answer to the prayers of pious men and women, had turned upon them the influences of His Holy Spirit, and constrained them to this abandonment.
For awhile this power of prayer was regarded as the force that was to break down the liquor traffic, and rescue the people from the curse of appetite. If prayer were persistent enough, and faith strong enough, God would come to the rescue, overthrow the enemy, and redeem and save the wretched victims he was holding in such cruel bondage. But, as time moved on, and the enemy, whose ranks were at first thrown into confusion, rallied his forces and held himself secure against renewed attack, there came a doubt in the minds of many as to the value of prayer and faith, as the sole agency by which the rule of the demon of intemperance was to be overthrown; and the same doubt came as to the power of prayer and faith alone to work the removal of an appetite for drink, when it was found by sad experience that of the thousands of men who signed the pledge under religious excitement, and made public declaration that, through faith in Christ, they had been healed of their infirmity, only a few were able to stand in the hour of temptation; and these stood fast because they rested in no vain security. They knew, from an inner conviction, that appetite had not been destroyed; and that, in some unguarded moment, it would spring upon and endeavor to enslave them again. But, with God's help, they had resolved to hold it in check. Humbly they looked to Him for strength—meantime watching, as well as praying—to fight and overcome when their hour of trial and darkness came. So they stood ever on guard; and God gave them the strength they asked for, and victory after victory, until their enemy was under their feet; not dead, but held there by the power which is given to every one who will use it against the enemies of his soul.
PRAYER SUPPLEMENTED BY ORGANIZED WORK.
Not so much dependence on prayer and faith now as on organized work in the natural plane of means and forces. This came as an orderly sequence, and gave to the cause of Gospel temperance a surer foundation to rest upon, and a larger promise of success. There was no turning away from God; no weakness of faith in His Divine power and readiness to save; but clearer light as to His ways with man, and as to how He is able to save, to the uttermost, all who come unto Him. The instances going to show that men were not cured of the appetite for strong drink in a moment of time by prayer and faith, were too many and too sorrowful not to force this conviction upon the mind of every thoughtful and observant Christian man and woman. And, so, even while many sincere and self-devoted workers in this cause still hold to the view that God can, and will, if the faith be strong enough, change a man in an instant of time, and with no co-operation of his own beyond this act of faith, from vileness to purity—from a love of evil to a love of good—the sounder, safer and more Scriptural doctrine that, if a man would be saved from the enemies of his soul, he must fight and overcome them in the strength which God gives to all who will ask and receive, is the one now more generally preached to reformed men; and, as a result, the number of those who stand fast in the new life to which they have attained, is steadily increasing.
THE APPETITE FOR DRINK NOT TAKEN AWAY IN A MOMENT.
Still, far too widely in this Gospel work of saving fallen men from the power of appetite, is the delusive idea held out that if a man will "give his heart to Christ," as it is called; that is, pray humbly, sincerely and in faith to have his sins forgiven, and his soul purified from all evil by an application of Divine grace; God will, in answer to this prayer alone, and in an instant of time, take away the appetite for drink which has been for years gradually gaining the mastery over him. We have heard a man declare, in the presence of an assemblage of men who had been slaves to drink, and who were seeking for a way of escape, that God had, in answer to his prayers, destroyed in a moment the appetite which had long held him in a close bondage; and that, if they would come to Him and give Him their hearts, He would work in them the same miracle of spiritual healing. As we listened to his confident speech, we felt how great was the danger in which he himself stood, and how much better it would have been for his hearers if he had kept silent.
HOW MANY ARE REALLY SAVED.
Facts are solid things, and weigh heavily in the scale of argument. They are not always pleasant to look at; but it is weakness to ignore them. Let us take a few facts in connection with this Gospel temperance work. The first of these came to our knowledge while we were revolving the contents of this chapter, and before we had commenced writing it. A leading temperance worker, who was an active participant in the Murphy movement, and who holds that there is for the confirmed drunkard no hope or safety but in the power of religion, stated to us that during the Moody and Sankey revival in Philadelphia, something over two hundred drunken men were reclaimed and converted; changed in heart, as it was declared, and "saved" by the power of God. These were gathered together on a certain evening in one of the churches, and the gentleman to whom we have referred was among those who addressed them. The poor, weak, and in too many instances, friendless and homeless men were talked to, and then committed to God in prayer. They had His grace in their hearts—had been "saved" through prayer and faith—and would He not care for, protect and defend them?
Alas, for the sequel! Of all these two hundred converted and "saved" men, who had, in a moment of time, been changed from servants of sensuality and sin into children of God, their souls made "whiter than snow," not over five or six can to-day be found in the ranks of sober men!
In and around Pittsburgh, during the religious temperance revival which, under Francis Murphy, wrought such marvels in that city and neighborhood, over fifty thousand signatures were obtained to the pledge, the signers, in a large number of cases, professing faith in Christ, and having an inner assurance, as they believed, that He would keep them, by the power of His grace, from again falling into the sin and misery of intemperance. But, to-day, only a small proportionate number can be found out of this great multitude who are standing fast by their profession. A like result has followed the great Gospel work of Mr. Murphy in Philadelphia. Of the thirty or forty thousand who signed the pledge and professed to be saved through faith in Christ, the number of men who have been rescued from drunkenness can scarcely be counted by hundreds; and of these the large proportion owe their salvation to the natural safeguards and orderly external conditions which were brought to the aid of spiritual resolve and spiritual forces.
When the excitement of these great revivals was over, and the contagious enthusiasm had died away, and men fell back into their old ways, amid old surroundings and temptations, each alone in the house of his own real life, then came
THE TRIAL AND THE TEST,
and it was found that to depend on grace alone, and the inner change it had effected in answer to prayer, was to rest, too often, in a vain security. The new convert was the same as to the essential evil quality of his life as before his conversion—or turning round to go the other way—and if he stood still where he had turned, and did not, in a new life of practical obedience to Divine laws, walk forward in the Heavenly road, his conversion would avail him nothing. Not that he was left alone by God to stand or fall as he might. No human heart ever felt even the faintest motions of that Divine pity, and compassion, and yearning to save his lost and perishing children, which is felt by our Heavenly Father, who is very love itself. But He cannot save humanity by destroying it, and this destruction would take place the moment he touched man's freedom to choose between good and evil. Of his own will, man has turned away from God; and of his own will he must return to Him if ever he return at all. The way of return has been opened and made plain, and God is forever calling and entreating His poor, wandering ones to come back, and offering them strength to walk, and weapons to fight, and armor for defense. But He cannot walk for them, nor fight for them, nor defend them unless they put on the armor His mercy supplies. They must, of themselves, using the strength He gives them, walk in the Heavenly way; and with the sword of Divine truth He places in their hands, do battle with the enemies of their souls. There is no other means of attaining Heaven. This strength to walk and fight and overcome, is the Divine grace that saves. It is the free gift of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the very power of God unto salvation.
THE DIVINE GRACE THAT SAVES.
It is by the application of this Divine grace that men are saved from their sins and from the power of hell. But they can never receive it as passive subjects. They must take it and apply it in and of themselves, and use it as if it were their own; yet never forgetting that it is the gift of God, and never ceasing to acknowledge and thank Him for His infinite goodness and mercy in teaching their "hands to war;" in "girding" them "with strength unto the battle," and in giving them a "lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path," so that they may walk in safety.
If salvation were of grace alone, as so many teach in this Gospel temperance work, what need of "sword," or "armor," or a "lamp unto the feet?" for if, in answer to prayer and faith, a man's evil nature is instantly changed, he is no longer subject to temptation, and cannot, therefore, enter into combat with evil; and if God lift him out of the darkness of his carnal nature into the light of regeneration solely in answer to prayer, what need of any lamp unto his feet or light unto his path? He is no longer a pilgrim and a wayfarer, journeying heavenward through an enemy's land.
We press this subject on the reader's attention, because so much of success or failure in this great Gospel temperance work depends on a right understanding of spiritual laws and a true comprehension of the means of salvation. Holding, as we do, that, for the thousands and hundreds of thousands of unhappy and wretched men and women in our land who have become the almost helpless slaves of an appetite which is rarely, if ever, wholly destroyed, no true succor lies in anything but Divine grace and help, we feel that a great responsibility rests with all who, in the providence of God, have been drawn into this work.
Referring to the loose, and we cannot help saying hurtful teachings of too many temperance revivalists, Rev. Charles I. Warren, writing in the New York Christian Advocate, says:
"Religious conversion, all are agreed, is the first necessity for all men, and especially for inebriates, as the surest hope of a real and permanent reformation of life. And intemperate men, especially those who become demented rather than demonized, it is well known, are always easily moved by religious influences, even when so drunk that they would wisely be deemed incompetent to execute a will for the disposal of earthly property, and incapable of giving testimony in a court of law.
"Yet, this idea of a spiritual renovation of the heart, while the head is too intoxicated to apprehend a moral obligation, is almost beyond rational belief. It is difficult to conceive that any man, in such a state of voluntarily-induced imbecility, too drunk to hold intelligent converse with men, can be competent to transact business with God, to receive and answer those calls from the Holy Spirit that decide the eternal destinies of the soul."
And he adds: "We judge instinctively that all men, intemperate or sober, must work out their own salvation with fear, while God works in them to will and to do."
This is the key-note to the whole subject of spiritual regeneration. It is active co-operation; work, conflict, victory; and this down on the sphere of common life, and in the midst of temptation—not out of the world, but "in the world;" not something done in and for a man while he waits in prayer on God, but after he has fought his battle with some enemy of his soul, and overcome in the strength which God has given him in answer to prayer. Only they who have fought and conquered can possess the land and dwell there in safety.
AN UNSOUND AND DANGEROUS DOCTRINE.
In a meeting at which we were present, and where from one to two hundred reformed men were gathered for religious worship, and for help and counsel, the hymn commencing
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,"
was sung. At its close, a man rose from his seat and entered his protest against the singing of that hymn any more. It is not true, he said, that the man whom God has converted feels any proneness to wander. He had had the grace of God in his soul for—we don't remember how many years—and he could testify that the desire to wander from God's commandments had been wholly removed. He, therefore, repeated his protest against the use of a hymn containing a sentiment so dishonorable to a truly saved Christian. As he sat down, a very young man arose and added the weight of his testimony to the assertion of his older Christian brother. He also, in answer to prayer, as he confidently asserted, had attained unto that higher life which is not only free from sin, but from even the desire to wander from the ways of holiness.
As we looked into and read the faces of these two men, we sighed for what we saw therein, and pitied them for the peril in which they stood. But our greater concern was for the poor, weak, almost helpless ones we saw around us, and for the effect of this delusive error which had been so needlessly thrown into their minds. If any of them should rest in the belief that they, too, had, by the grace of God, been wholly set free from the bondage of sin; that the appetite for drink and the lust of all evil had been extinguished, and their proneness to wander from God taken away in simple answer to prayer, then would their danger, we felt, be so imminent as to leave but little room for hope of their standing in the new life. A stumbling-block had been laid in their way over which they must almost surely fall.
We are writing for the help and safety of men for whom there is but little or no hope of rescue from the depths of evil and sensuality into which they have fallen, except in a truly religious life; not a life of mere faith, and sentiment and fancied holiness, but of earnest conflict and daily right living. A life in which not only intemperance is to be shunned, as a sin against God, but every impure and evil desire of the heart, and every thought and purpose of wrong to the neighbor. And, believing as we do, that God's grace and power can only be given to those who will take it as active subjects—not mere passive recipients—and by using it as if it were their own, avail themselves of its purifying and regenerating influence, we can do no less than question and reject any doctrine that even seems to give a different impression, as delusive and exceedingly dangerous.
To make Gospel temperance the true power of God unto the salvation of intemperate men, we must have in it, and with it, the Gospel of conflict with evil, the Gospel of daily right living, the Gospel of love to the neighbor and the Gospel of common sense. And these are coming more and more into the work, which is widening and increasing, and every year adding thousands upon thousands to the number of those who are saved from the curse of drink.
TEMPERANCE COFFEE-HOUSES AND FRIENDLY INNS.
The cure of a drunkard is always attended with peculiar difficulties. The cost is often great. Sometimes cure is found to be impossible. A hundred may be protected from the ravages of intemperance at the cost of saving one who has fallen a victim to the terrible malady. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
While so much is being done to reform and save the drunkard, the work of prevention has not been forgotten. Great good has been accomplished in this direction through the spread of total-abstinence principles. In this the various temperance organizations have done much, and especially with the rising generation. But, so long as men are licensed by the State to sell intoxicating drinks, the net of the tempter is spread on every hand, and thousands of the weak and unwary are yearly drawn therein and betrayed to their ruin. In our great cities large number of men who have to do business at points remote from their dwellings, are exposed to special temptations. The down-town lunch-room and dining-room have, in most cases, their drinking bars; or, if no bar is visible, the bill of fare offers in too many cases, any kind of intoxicating beverage that may be desired. Thousands of men are, in consequence, yearly led away from sobriety.
Seeing this, efforts have been made during the past few years to establish, cheap temperance coffee-houses, where workingmen and others may get a good noonday lunch, or a morning and evening meal at a trifling cost. In all cases, these have been found of great service to the cause of temperance. A pint mug of excellent coffee, with sugar and milk, and a large, sweet roll, costing five cents, are found to make a far better and healthier lunch than the highly-seasoned hashes and scraps called "free lunches," which must be washed down by a, five or ten-cent glass of liquor.
THE EXPERIMENT IN PHILADELPHIA.
The success which has attended the establishment of cheap temperance coffee-houses in this city (Philadelphia), is quite remarkable. In the fall of 1874, Joshua L. Baily, one of our active, clear-headed merchants, who had been for many years an earnest temperance man, determined to give the cheap coffee-house experiment a fair trial, cost what it might; for he saw that if it could be made successful, it would be a powerful agency in the work of prevention. He began in a modest way, taking a small store at the corner of Market and Fifteenth Streets, and fitting it up in a neat and attractive manner. With a few pounds of coffee, and a few dozens of rolls, the place was opened, the single attendant, a woman, acting the double part of cook and waiter. For five cents a pint mug of the best Java coffee, with milk and sugar, and a good-sized roll, were furnished.
From the very start "The Workingmen's Central Coffee-House," as Mr. Baily called it, was successful. In the immediate neighborhood five hundred workmen were employed on the city buildings, and opposite stood the Pennsylvania Railroad freight depot, to which came daily about the same number of men—draymen, teamsters and others. It took but a few days to so crowd the new coffee-room at the usual lunching time as to require an additional assistant. From day to day the business went on increasing, until more help and larger accommodations became necessary. Soon a complete kitchen had to be built in the basement, and the adjoining store added, in order to meet the steadily-enlarging demands upon the new establishment. The fame of the good coffee, which was better than most people found at home, spread far and near, and larger and larger numbers of clerks, workingmen and others, turned their steps daily, at lunch time, towards the Central Coffee-House. It was so much better than the poor stuff served in most of the eating-houses; and, with the sweet roll added, so much better than the free lunch and glass of beer or whisky with which too many had been accustomed to regale themselves.
Steadily swelled the tide of custom. Within a year a third store, adjoining, was added. But the enlarged premises soon proved inadequate to the accommodation of the still-increasing crowd.
At this writing "The Central" is from six to seven times larger than when first opened; and there lunch in its rooms, daily, nearly two thousand persons. One room has been fitted up for ladies exclusively, in which from forty to fifty can lunch at one time.
But Mr. Baily looked beyond the cheap coffee and rolls by which he was able to keep so many away from bar-rooms and restaurants where liquor was sold. He believed in other influences and safeguards. And to this end, and at his own cost, he fitted up the various rooms over the seven stores extending along Market Street from Fifteenth to Broad, in which the coffee-rooms are located, and set them apart for various uses. Here is a lecture-hall, capable of seating four hundred persons; a free reading-room, well warmed and lighted and supplied with the best daily newspapers, American and English illustrated publications, and the standard periodicals; besides four other rooms that will hold from seventy to one hundred persons, which are used for various meeting purposes, all in connection with temperance. Five regular services are held in the lecture-room every week, viz.: "Bible Reading," on Sunday afternoon; "Temperance Experience meeting," on Monday evening; "Prayer and Praise meeting," Tuesday evening; "Gospel Temperance meeting," on Thursday evening; and "Youths' Temperance meeting," Friday evening. These meetings are often crowded, and, like the coffee-rooms below, attract audiences made up from every rank in society. At many of these meetings, Mr. Baily presides in person.
Encouraged by the success of this first effort, Mr. Baily opened another cheap coffee-house in the very centre of the wholesale trade of the city, where thousands of clerks, workingmen and merchants were in the habit of resorting for lunch or dinner to the restaurants and bar-rooms in the neighborhood. This, located at No. 31 South Fourth Street, he called "The Model Coffee-House."
CROWDED FROM THE FIRST.
From the first it was crowded even to an uncomfortable extent. The demands of its patrons soon rendered larger quarters a necessity. A new building was erected specially adapted to the purpose, many novel features being introduced which a twelve-month's experience had suggested.
The new "Model" opened June 1st, 1876. Many persons thought it was too large, and that it would never be filled. But it was thronged on the day of opening, and on every day since the demands upon it have been fully up to its capacity. The number lunching here daily is about three thousand.
In the establishment of the coffee-houses there were, of course, many mistakes, the results of inexperience. Many things had to be unlearned as well as many learned. But mistakes were promptly corrected. With the growth of the work, ability to provide for it seemed to keep pace, and modifications in the management were adopted as necessity dictated. Not much was anticipated at the commencement beyond furnishing a mug of coffee and a roll of bread, but it soon became apparent that something more than this was needed. To meet this necessity, the coffee-house bill of fare was greatly extended, and now quite a variety of nutritious and substantial dishes are provided, and each at the uniform price of five cents. The main feature—the coffee—is, however, preserved. A full pint mug of the best Java (equal to two ordinary cups) with pure, rich milk and white sugar, and two ounces of either wheat or brown bread, all for five cents, is the every-day lunch of many a man who, but for this provision, would be found in the dram shop.
No dish, as we have said, costs over five cents, which is the standard price the year round, whatever the fluctuations of markets may be. In addition to the bread and coffee already mentioned for five cents, the bill of fare comprises puddings of rice, tapioca and corn starch, baked apples dressed with sugar and milk, all sorts of pies (half a pie being given for a portion), mushes of cracked wheat, corn and oatmeal, dumplings, eggs, potatoes, beans, ham, corned beef, liver, "scrapple," sausage, custards, soups, pickles and, in season, fresh fruits. Of bread, there are Boston and Philadelphia brown, wheat, Philadelphia and Vienna rolls. A pint glass of milk with a roll, costs five cents; butter three cents, and extra rolls one cent each; so that for ten or fifteen cents a man gets a full luncheon, as every portion of food is equal to a large saucer heaped.
These establishments require, of course, the most methodical, orderly and careful management, with capable matrons at the head of each, and a steward or superintendent to make intelligent purchases. At the "Model Coffee-House," there are nearly fifty employees, and, excepting three or four men, they are girls and women. The upper rooms of the building are for the lodgings, offices, laundry and drawing-room, for the use of the employees. The girls, who are mostly of country birth and training, are thus furnished with a good and safe home, where they have books and music, large and well-furnished chambers, a good table—they dine at one family table in their own dining-room—and have their washing and ironing done in the house. They are required to be neat and tidy in appearance, respectable and discreet in character and manner.
THE GOOD DONE.
The good that is done through an instrumentality like this can never be fully known. Of those who are drawn into paths of safety, we do not so often hear as of those who are led astray. But enough is already known of the good done by these two coffee-houses to give large encouragement for their establishment in other localities and other cities. Hundreds of young men who had fallen into the dangerous habit of taking a glass of beer every day with their lunch, now take a fragrant cup of coffee instead, and find themselves better for the change; hundreds more who had begun to feel the insidious encroachments of appetite, have been able to get out of the way of temptation.
The question that naturally arises with all who look practically at this matter is, whether there is any profit in the business of keeping a cheap temperance coffee-house? Can a pint of coffee, with sugar, milk and a two-ounce roll of bread, be furnished for five cents and leave any margin for profit? Mr. Baily's experiment has proved that it can.
But not alone in Philadelphia is the cheap coffee-house to be found. There are hundreds of them in our various towns and cities, though none on so large a scale as here; and they are rapidly multiplying and doing good. "The Friendly Inn," and "The Holly-Tree Inn," are places somewhat similar in character, but partaking more of the nature of an "inn" than a simple eating-house. These have, usually, a pleasant parlor, with light, and warmth, and books, into which, any one may come and pass the evening, instead of drifting into a saloon, and where cheap meals and lodgings can be had if needed. In Cleveland, Ohio, Christian temperance work, which is very large and effective, is carried on almost entirely in connection with "Friendly Inns," of which there are five. A chapel, reading-room, sleeping apartments and a cheap restaurant are maintained in connection with each of these inns. The women engaged in the cause of Gospel temperance in that city regard them as most valuable auxiliaries to the spiritual work in which they are engaged. In a large number of cases, they have been the direct means of bringing men in whom few traces of goodness could at first be discerned in such contact with religious influences as to win them over to a better life.
The greatest and most effective agency in any work of enlightenment and reform is the press. By it the advanced thinker and Christian philanthropist is able to speak to the whole people, and to instruct, persuade and influence them. He can address the reason and conscience of thousands, and even of hundreds of thousands of people to whom he could never find access in any other way, and so turn their minds to the right consideration of questions of social interest in regard to which they had been, from old prejudices or habits of thinking, in doubt or grievous error.
No cause has been more largely indebted to the press than that of temperance reform. From the very beginning of agitation on the subject of this reform, the press has been used with great efficiency; and to-day, the literature of temperance is a force of such magnitude and power, that it is moving whole nations, and compelling Parliaments, Chambers of Deputies and Houses of Congress to consider the claims of a question which, if presented fifty years ago, would have been treated, in these grave assemblages, with levity or contempt.
For many years after the reform movement began in this country, the press was used with marked effect. But as most of the books, pamphlets and tracts which were issued came through individual enterprise, the editions were often small and the prices high; and as the sale of such publications was limited, and the profit, if any, light, the efforts to create a broad and comprehensive temperance literature met with but feeble encouragement. But in 1865, a convention was called to meet at Saratoga to consider the subject of a national organization so comprehensive and practical that all the friends of temperance in religious denominations and temperance organizations could unite therein for common work. Out of this convention grew the
NATIONAL TEMPERANCE SOCIETY AND PUBLICATION HOUSE,
which began, at once, the creation of a temperance literature worthy of the great cause it represented. The president of this society is Hon. William E. Dodge, of New York. The vice-presidents are ninety-two in number, and include some of the most distinguished men in the country; clergymen, jurists, statesmen, and private citizens eminent for their public spirit and philanthropy. It has now been in existence some twelve years. Let us see what it has done in that time for temperance literature and the direction and growth of a public sentiment adverse to the liquor traffic. We let the efficient corresponding secretary and publishing agent, J.N. Stearns, speak for the association he so ably represents. Its rooms are at No. 58 Reade Street, New York. Referring to the initial work of the society, "It was resolved," says Mr. Stearns, "that the publishing agent should keep 'all the temperance literature of the day.' This was found to consist of less than a dozen different publications in print, and these of no special value. All the plates of valuable works before in existence were either shipped across the water or melted up and destroyed. The society commenced at once to create a literature of its own, but found it was not the work of a moment. The first publication outside of its monthly paper, was a four-page tract by Rev. T.L. Cuyler, D.D., in February, 1866, entitled 'A Shot at the Decanter,' of which about two hundred thousand copies have been published."
FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED.
"The first book was published in May of the same year, entitled, 'Scripture Testimony against Intoxicating Wine.' Prizes were offered for the best tracts and books, and the best talent in the land sought and solicited to aid in giving light upon every phase of the question. The result has been that an immense mass of manuscripts have been received, examined, assorted, some approved and many rejected, and the list of publications has gone on steadily increasing, until in the eleven years it amounts to four hundred and fifty varieties upon every branch, of the temperance question. There were over twenty separate so-called secret temperance societies, each with a different ritual and constitution, with subordinate organizations scattered all over the land. These contained probably about one million of members. Then there were churches, open societies, State temperance unions, etc., each operating independently and with no common bond of union. Some were for moral suasion alone, others for political action, while others were for both united. The great need for some national organization which should be a common centre and ground of union, a medium of communication between all, and to aid, strengthen and benefit every existing organization and denomination, was felt all over the land.
"This society was organized to supply such a need. It is both a society and a publication house. The need and demand came from every quarter for facts, statistics, arguments and appeals upon every phase of the question, in neat, cheap and compact form, which, could be sent everywhere and used by everybody. Public opinion had settled down against us, and light was needed to arouse it to right action. The pulpit and the platform were to be supplemented by the press, which, henceforth, was to be used in this great and rapidly strengthening cause, as in every other, to reach the individuals and homes of every portion of the land."
AFTER TWELVE YEARS.
"Twelve years have passed—years of anxious preparation and toil, of seed-planting and sowing, and they have been improved. This society now publishes books and tracts upon the moral, economical, physiological, political, financial, religious, medical and social phases of the reform. We have the writings of over two hundred different persons in almost every walk and station in life. We already have a literature of no mean character. Its influence is not only felt in every State and Territory in the land, but in every country on the globe.
* * * * *
"Among the early publications of the society were those printed upon 'The Adulteration of Liquors,' 'The Physiological Action of Alcohol,' 'Alcohol: Its Nature and Effects,' 'Alcohol: Its Place and Power,' 'Is Alcohol Food?' Text-Book of Temperance,' etc., followed later by 'Bacchus Dethroned,' 'The Medical Use of Alcohol,' 'Is Alcohol a Necessary of Life?' 'Our Wasted Resources,' 'On Alcohol,' 'Prohibition does Prohibit,' 'Fruits of the Liquor Traffic,' 'The Throne of Iniquity,' 'Suppression of the Liquor Traffic,' 'Alcohol as a Food and Medicine,' etc.