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“Lord John Russell has pronounced his opinion in the following words: 'I am convinced there is no cause more likely to elevate the people of this country, in every respect, whether as regards religion, political importance, literary and moral cultivation, than this great question of temperance.'

"That pure alcohol is a poison is an admitted fact.'". —[Rev. Dr. E. Nott, LL.D.

These oracular sayings were, at least, some of them, the precursors of the great movement, which may be called the Bibletemperance movement. But its consideration must be postponed till a future occasion, should God be pleased to grant it. Yours affectionately,




The first two remedial measures adopted by temperance reformers were merely palliative. They allowed, at the outset, the use of all intoxicating alcoholic liquors in moderation, as they termed it, although moderation in the use of poisonous (the synonyme of intoxicating) drinks, is a solecism in language, carrying contradiction and absurdity in its face. The next step in the movement was also based upon a false principle. By it the use of distilled liquors was wholly prohibited ; but, still, the moderate employment of vinously fermented liquors was permitted. When, by scientific research, and accurate observation, the truth began to be discovered that alcohol, in all its forms and combinations, was a poison, and a virulent one too, remedial means of a more radical kind were instituted; and teetotalism, or entire abstinence from all intoxicating alcoholic drinks, as a beverage in health, became the basis of union amongst a large class of temperance reformers. About this period, a temperance convention was held at Albany, February

25th, 1834. At it you introduced the following preamble and resolution :


Whereas, There is so much evidence of the almost universal adulteration of fermented liquors, and of wines particularly, by the use of alcohol, &c., and of the great extent to which the manufacture of factitious wines is carried, as to render it almost, if not quite certain, that the pure juice of the grape is seldom procured in this country; and

"Whereas, It is now understood, and generally believed, that the reformation of the drunkard is utterly hopeless, so long as he continues to use the smallest quantity of any intoxicating drinks; and

"Whereas, It is important to remove all objections againstuniting with temperance societies, now urged by a numerous and efficient portion of our citizens: therefore,

"Resolved, That those members of temperance societies, who wholly abstain from intoxicating liquors as an ordinary drink, présent to the world a consistent and efficacious example, which this meeting would warmly commend to the imitation of every friend of temperance."

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You go on to say: The passage of this preamble and resolution was powerfully, and, I doubt not, conscientiously opposed,: not only by a doctor of divinity, but by a doctor of law. Says one: The Scriptures permitted and sanctioned the use of (intoxicating) wine. Jesus Christ used it, and consecrated it by making it one of the elements in a religious ordinance instituted by Himself; and more than this, He manufactured it; and would gentlemen condemn the Lord of Glory?' Says another: 'We are looking to the great Head of the church for success in this cause. Shall we proceed contrary to His example? If the whole world should go for the preamble and resolution, the speaker would stand by the Bible and the example of our Saviour.'”

Of the document containing these remarks, and others of a

kindred character, the New York State Temperance Society circulated 100,000.

A sermon was preached January 7, 1835, by a very learned clergyman of Albany, on the danger of being over-wise. The occasion of this sermon was the dilution of powerful alcoholic wine with water, by certain members of his church, for communion purposes. This was honestly deemed by him an "unhallowed innovation."* This early discussion of this vital question seems to have been instrumental in the good and wise providence of God, in quickening into new life and vigor the minds, and whetting the ingenuity of some true men, who might otherwise have been induced to wait a little longer for a reformatory movement within the church.

But I cannot do better than use your own words to show the effects of the preamble, resolution, protest, and agitation of the wine question generally, upon the temperance movement. You thus proceed : "What were the friends of total abstinence to do in these circumstances? They were fully convinced that the temperance reformation must either be given up, or that all means of intoxication must be abandoned; distressed as they were to hear themselves condemned in public assemblies, from the pulpit, and by the press, as inculcating doctrines contrary to the word of God and the example of Christ; denounced on all sides as fanatics and ultraists, and an almost universal cry that they had ruined the noblest of causes; yet they felt strong in the truth of their position, and persevered in their efforts to sustain it. Here, and there, one and another began to ask: 'Was it really intoxicating wine, that our Saviour made at Cana, and that he used as a symbol of His blood at the institution of the supper?' Thus they were led to the Bible, and to

*A series of articles, in reply to this sermon, appeared in a religious paper published in Boston, from the pungent pen of a distinguished scholar and layman of the Episcopal church, conclusively proving that it was the practice of the early church to dilute sacramental wine with water.

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history, to ascertain whether, in fact, they did sanction the use of such wine. Many thanks are due to those who, in the face of persecutions and obloquy, first discussed this question. Among these were Prof. Stewart, Edwin James, M. D., L. M. Sargent, Esq., Mr. Wm. Goodell, Rev. Mr. Duffield, Rev. Dr. Chapin, and others. Those gentlemen appreciated, at that early day, the leading facts and principles which have established the reputation of the valuable essays, known by the titles of Bacchus and anti-Bacchus ;' and, indeed, there is no doubt that the early discussion of these gentlemen, and others in this country, first induced the authors of these essays to think and write on this subject. A very general excitement was produced by this slight agitation of the question. Many good men were for a time distressed and offended, and walked no more with those so universally denounced as fanatics; but the greatest concern and distress were evinced by makers and venders of factitious drinks. They saw clearly, that if they could no longer plead the example of the Saviour, and its use at the sacrament, good men would soon cease purchasing and drinking their importations and mixtures. We are sorry to declare, but truth demands it, that the clamor, for a while, prevailed; the opposition appeared to triumph, and temperance down' was echoed from tavern to grog-shop: from one extremity of the nation to another. Still, the friends of total abstinence held on, though truth compels me to say-and I say it with deep mortification-they were for a time obliged to suppress in the society's publication the public discussion of the communion question."

"The Enquirer (independent of all organizations,) devoted to free discussion as to the kind of wine proper to be used at the Lord's supper," began to be published by you at Albany, in December, 1841. From the pages of the first number of that deeply interesting and important work the preceding quotations have been derived. Your letters and comments on them,

with other critical, statistical, and scientific documents, contained in its two first numbers, afford precious material nowhere else to be found, as data for future reference; while the candid, truth-seeking spirit, which led to the throwing open of its pages to all honorable disputants, whatever side they might espouse, is worthy of sincere commendation.

It has been said with great energy and truth, by Youmans, in the following heart-searching words:

"How to deal with crime, committed under the influence of intoxication, has long been a thorny problem for jurists. But the difficulty of government has chiefly sprung from its double policy towards the agent which caused intoxication. It has uttered one language to the community, through the license system, and another from the bench, through its criminal jurisprudence, which necessarily involved it in inextricable self-contradiction. There is but one way in which it can relieve itself from complicity in this matter, and stand in a just and irreproachable relation to the crime, suffering, and multiform evil which alcohol engenders: and that is, by exerting its utmost power, and bringing all the influence it possesses to bear against the drinking practice. All earnest blows must be struck at this point, or nowhere. If government really desires to abate the evils of intemperance, let it prohibit their cause. If it would stand with clean hands to judge those who have gone into wrong courses through the agency of liquor, it must take an attitude of resolute and unyielding hostility to the system by which liquor is furnished. It has no more right to license this cause of crime than it has to sell indulgences for the commission of theft, robbery, or perjury. The only just thing possible for government is to prohibit this cause of crime, as thoroughly as it prohibits other crimes and their causes.'

But it can hardly be expected that governments will act greatly in advance of public opinion, even on questions manifestly for the general good; nor can it be expected that public

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